In This Dream of Ours [AU Feudal Japan Samurai Drama]

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kaleidofish
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In This Dream of Ours [AU Feudal Japan Samurai Drama]

#1 Post by kaleidofish » Mon May 07, 2012 1:47 pm

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In This Dream of Ours is a kinetic novel set in an alternate version of the dawn of the Edo Period (early 1600s, Japan). It stars Kouji, a commoner forced into becoming a warrior, whose injured body was taken from the aftermath of a decisive battle between East and West, and brought to the nearest village's clinic. It's there that he heals under the care of Hitomi, a girl whose father fought alongside Kouji, and her brother, Yasahiro, who trains in order to make his father proud on his return home. The longer Kouji stays with them, the more he realizes that his connection to them is stronger than just a chance meeting...

Screenshots:

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Details:

800x600 resolution
15+ for violence and brief suggestive scenes
Bx1G
Four unlockable alternate endings
One unlockable bonus story (Gx1B)
Unlockable developer's notes
38,000+ words total (roughly 20,000 for the main story alone)

Credits:

Writing, Coding, BG Filtering: kaleidofish of ouroboros[connect]
Proofreading: Kaiyume, emeraldgreen, thestral31
Music: Kevin MacLeod, Yuki Toshi
Sprites: MOROMAGA
Original Backgrounds: Various

Thank you to Mild Curry for helping me with coding issues when I posted on the forums and Musashi for thoroughly critiquing the demo. And many thanks to you for taking the time to read my story. Comments are encouraged.

Downloads:

Windows (143 MB)
Linux (139 MB)
Mac (140 MB)
Last edited by kaleidofish on Tue Jun 26, 2012 2:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: In This Dream of Ours [AU Feudal Japan Samurai Drama]

#2 Post by Aileo » Mon May 14, 2012 2:12 am

I have to tell you that I played and loved your KN. I am honestly surprised that I haven't seen any comments here on this story.

I am a big fan of feudal pieces, and this was a really well told. It doesn't bother me that there isn't a lot of art for it, the side images are more than fine. The music fit and the gui was fine as well.

As for what I feel... I really liked all the characters. I think I can identify with Kouji. I understand walking a line and being conflicted about doing the right thing.

Tadashi... I am very sad that he died. He was a very long suffering individual. I wonder if he only spoke up because of what he learned about Kouji or if he really thought he could diffuse the situation with his words. I almost felt like it was pretty worthless for him to have spoken up.

Hitomi is a nice girl who just wanted to believe with her whole heart that everything was going to be fine, even if everything that happened said otherwise. I liked that she kept her faith even in this situation. Her strength is something to emulate. It would be too easy to give up.

I have a love/hate relationship with Yasahiro. I can understand his beliefs, but I couldn't put them into practice. He wanted to do what was right but it was a really bloody way to do it. But I can see where in this situation where words alone would have been useless. I don't think he should have flipped on Kouji, but I wonder if the situation would have been any different if he had told him earlier.

I really like all the thought and research you put into your work. And the ending and epilogue were very bittersweet. I like the call back in your short story in the extras, where Henry mentions the things Hitomi hopes she and Kouji would reincarnate into. I didn't expect them to be reincarnated as the opposite sex or for them to find themselves in a parallel situation to the main story. It was cute and funny at once.

I am really glad that you finished this piece, as it would have been a real shame to let this gather dust any longer.


Thank you very much!

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Re: In This Dream of Ours [AU Feudal Japan Samurai Drama]

#3 Post by kaleidofish » Tue May 15, 2012 5:29 pm

@ Aileo:

No, thank you for leaving a comment. The downloads for this story are more than double than my last one (and climbing), but I've heard way less about it, so again, thanks so much for posting. I'm happy that you liked the characters and were even able to identify with Kouji. Your comments about them were very insightful, especially the one about Tadashi. I'll hide my next sentences under a spoiler cut.

I hadn't consciously thought of Tadashi that way, but looking back on everything, I have to agree with you about him being a "long suffering individual." He must have been pretty lonely, too. In a way, all four of them were lonely people, struggling with their doubts (Hitomi and Yasahiro about their father, in their own ways), guilt (Kouji), and other negative feelings (Tadashi, to some extent). There was a lot of "holding back" of feelings on all of their accounts. Thanks for catching onto that!

Maybe, if Kouji had told Yasahiro face-to-face earlier on, things would have turned out differently. There's a lot of things that could have happened differently. Thankfully, there are alternate endings that answer some "what-if" questions, like "what if Kouji had died in Tadashi's place?" and "what if Kouji had fought back and killed Yasahiro?" If you haven't played them yet, then I suggest giving them a try. They provide a little extra about the characters, too.


Thanks again! I'm glad I went ahead and finished this project, too. And to anyone else that's played the game (I know you're out there, I see the download counter going up XD), any thoughts?
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Re: In This Dream of Ours [AU Feudal Japan Samurai Drama]

#4 Post by Kaiyume » Wed May 23, 2012 8:11 pm

Yay, I'm happy to see this up here! I'll try and play it as soon as possible. In all honesty, I'm most excited for the alternate endings/bonus story.

Edit:
I've finished reading the game. ^-^ For me, it had a very complete, purposeful feel. And thanks for including my name in the credits!

As the story unfolded, I couldn't help but give in to Kouji's world. Even though I knew what was going to happen, I was drawn in once again-- I could feel the genuine emotion and all of the meaning behind the words. The shock of Kouji's death still had as much of as an effect, but the addition of Hitomi's final POV effectively closed the story.


About the bonus stuff:
And I loved every alternate ending! They answered every "what if" in the same style as the main story, and each worked on their own. Each one even fit the haiku, adding another dimension to its meaning. Well, except for the alien one, which made me laugh out loud in spite of myself. XD PHOENIX KOUJI IS VERY AWESOME.

The bonus story, I'd have to say, didn't have as much depth as the main story...which is all right, seeing as it didn't need that kind of tone. Haha. It was really interesting, though, and probably a better idea than writing a story about their lives as tree-incarnates.

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Re: In This Dream of Ours [AU Feudal Japan Samurai Drama]

#5 Post by kaleidofish » Sat May 26, 2012 8:15 pm

Of course I put your name in the credits. Your feedback was valuable and helped motivate me to write those alternate endings in the first place. Thanks again! I'm glad you enjoyed them so much. Spoiler response to follow...

I'm happy that Hitomi's epilogue was able to close the story. It left the story off on a more bittersweet note, rather than the depressing note that it had without her final scene. And you thought Phoenix Kouji was funny? Good, haha. I thought that alien ending was going to be something that only thestral31 (who actually edited the character art for me) and I liked.

And you're right, I'm not sure how a tree-incarnate story would have worked out. Henry and Kayla might not have been the same as Hitomi and Kouji, but I think they'll be alright with the rest of their lives.


Thank you very much for your comment. :D
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Re: In This Dream of Ours [AU Feudal Japan Samurai Drama]

#6 Post by Applegate » Sun Jun 10, 2012 6:31 pm

So I went into this expecting a short tale, plainly paying no attention to wordcount, and I am glad that I did not.

I really liked this Visual Novel. Its hook is exceptionally strong; I should have been dead, and yet I am not. How come he isn't dead? An element is introduced that wants to make one read on, and the plot is paced well. The characters are distinct, their actions inspired by the setting. For once, a Japanese-set story that actually deals with being Japanese, rather than using it as a backdrop for no particular reason.

The backgrounds were very nice, showing the site of each scene quite nicely. The minimalistic presentation is charming in its own way.

I'm not too sure whether I agree that the story benefits from having no sprites, and given the conclusion I think a present tense narration would have made more sense than a past tense narration. It was also jarring that you swapped the tenses a few times, with a few awkward lines and some grammar that bothered me here and there, such as misplaced commas. I admit that I have made a study of English, so I tend to pay attention to those sort of things.

Some lines seemed too descriptive for my tastes, or were simply futile narration; a particular moment where Kouji narrates something, and then says it out loud, which effectively made me read the same thing twice. Things like "shrugging [one's] shoulder" are longer than they need to be, but I admit these are nitpicks.

All in all, I enjoyed the story, with a plot that was strong and, though at times slow, kept a good enough pacing to maintain my interest for the entire duration. And I, for one, seldom finish stories over 10,000 words long, unless in a published novel.

I look forward to reading more of your work; you are a darn good writer.

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Re: In This Dream of Ours [AU Feudal Japan Samurai Drama]

#7 Post by kaleidofish » Tue Jun 12, 2012 1:48 pm

Thank you for your kind review! I'll make sure to avoid any awkward tense shifts and misplaced commas in my next visual novel. I'll definitely make sure to watch out for futile narration in my future works. I'll admit that the main story was written in 2009, so I've grown as a writer since then. My next release should have better writing than this one, although the setting will be simpler. I won't go into details about it here, though. It'll show up in the WIP forum sooner or later. :D

Thanks again! I'm happy that you thought the story was strong enough to warrant finishing it to the end. That's an amazing compliment, seriously. And, thank you for that bit of fan art in your blog. :)
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Re: In This Dream of Ours [AU Feudal Japan Samurai Drama]

#8 Post by Applegate » Tue Jun 12, 2012 4:12 pm

And, thank you for that bit of fan art in your blog.


You... read my blog? People actually read my blog? You have no idea how happy that makes me, in turn.

If you've a next work, you can count me among your readership. I was rather baffled you have so few comments, given how it is a very strong narrative piece with a decided focus on plot and storytelling over anything else.

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Re: In This Dream of Ours [AU Feudal Japan Samurai Drama]

#9 Post by CheeryMoya » Fri Jun 22, 2012 2:09 am

OMG GUYS WHY ISN'T EVERYONE READING THIS WHY WHY GO READ IT NOW GO GO GO I'm surprised that this gem hasn't gotten as many comments as it should be O: I mean, seriously. This is going to stay on my computer forever because it's just that damn good.

The story is just lovely. The pacing of events just flowed so naturally, and I never felt like it was too fast or too slow.
I knew from the moment Kouji and Hitomi met that they were going to fall in love, but maaaaan it was just delicious watching Kouji squirm in his guilt. I really wanted that guy Kouji killed not to be Hitomi and Yasahiro's father, but at the same time that's what made it sooooooo good. All of their reactions to the confession were realistic too, none of that sappy "but I love you so I insta-forgive you." No, there was lots of conflicted feelings involved and it was just wonderful.

These are the type of characters who are going to stick with me. Kouji is the type of protagonist I really enjoy because I'd do the same in his place. If I could have potentially killed the father of the girl I liked, I would have kept quiet too. Hitomi, her actions were to be expected of her for the times, but she was still a strong and independent woman. Even if I don't like Yasahiro, he still had pure intentions. Revenge for father, even if it means killing my sister's lover! Heck, Tadashi was a wimp but he had principle. These characters actually felt real.

Ngh, I'm in love with your writing style too. It's the perfect balance of narration and dialogue, and both complement each other. Like Applegate, I noticed a few tense inconsistencies, but they were negligible. If this was written 3 years ago, I need to catch up with your more recent stuff O:

I'm really disappointed that no artists ventured out to draw for this game, because it would have been a great addition to their portfolio. Like, shame on anyone who could draw and had no projects at the time. This story deserves custom art and music, none of that free resource stuff. One day you have to re-release this game; with unique side portraits (if you insist on keeping that, I thought it was something different in a good way), beautiful BGs if there aren't going to be any sprites, and rad CGs. God, CGs in the right scenes would make me HNGGGGGG.

If it weren't for the free resources, I would say this game is perfect. It's a breath of fresh air I sorely needed after too much stagnation and thank you for sharing this story with us.

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Re: In This Dream of Ours [AU Feudal Japan Samurai Drama]

#10 Post by eternalwishess » Fri Jun 22, 2012 11:34 pm

This was very well written. The story drew me into its world and I loved the feeling it gave out to the readers (me, to be specific). Even at 4 AM in the morning, I knew I was tired and I should've been in bed, but I couldn't help but keep reading because it was very interesting. There wasn't a moment where I wanted to stop where I was at and go do something else. I always wanted to know what would happen next. Question after question constantly popped up in my head while enjoying this lovely story.
I'm usually a picky reader, and I'd like to ponder over my interest level in a kinetic novel's summary (especially a medium/long one) before dedicating myself to reading it.
I am proud to say I did not regret downloading this.
Call me αίкσ, hehe. C:

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Re: In This Dream of Ours [AU Feudal Japan Samurai Drama]

#11 Post by kaleidofish » Sat Jun 23, 2012 1:18 pm

@ Applegate:

Thanks again! And yes, I do keep track of your blog. :D

@ Moya:

I already thanked you on Skype, but I'll thank you here again. Thank you. I'm happy that the story left a lasting impression on you and that all of the characters were understandable. A re-release of In This Dream of Ours would be awesome. All I can say about that is, "maybe, some day." I would love to do one, but it may not be possible for a while. Thank you again for your nice review. It still leaves me speechless, er....type-less no matter how many times I reread it.

@ eternalwishess:

Part of me is sorry that the story kept you awake and another part of me is happy that you thought the story was so good that you couldn't sleep. :D Thank you! I'm glad it was able to keep your attention hooked the whole way through.
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Re: In This Dream of Ours [AU Feudal Japan Samurai Drama]

#12 Post by CheeryMoya » Sat Jun 23, 2012 2:39 pm

And btw guys, the Alien Ending alone is worth the download :3 It's like, so hilarious that you'll want to wonder what you just read but you'll be laughing too hard to think. And it is glorious.

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Re: In This Dream of Ours [AU Feudal Japan Samurai Drama]

#13 Post by Stainless_Steel » Wed Jul 04, 2012 5:33 pm

Definatly worth it for the alien ending....

Let's spend our life in the flying saucer trolling other games with alien endings.

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Re: In This Dream of Ours [AU Feudal Japan Samurai Drama]

#14 Post by jghibiki » Tue Oct 02, 2012 12:18 am

kaleidofish wrote:@ Applegate:

Thanks again! And yes, I do keep track of your blog. :D

@ Moya:

I already thanked you on Skype, but I'll thank you here again. Thank you. I'm happy that the story left a lasting impression on you and that all of the characters were understandable. A re-release of In This Dream of Ours would be awesome. All I can say about that is, "maybe, some day." I would love to do one, but it may not be possible for a while. Thank you again for your nice review. It still leaves me speechless, er....type-less no matter how many times I reread it.

@ eternalwishess:

Part of me is sorry that the story kept you awake and another part of me is happy that you thought the story was so good that you couldn't sleep. :D Thank you! I'm glad it was able to keep your attention hooked the whole way through.


very enjoyable and poetic storyline, makes me very excited to continue editing Superhero Madness and see what other utility you can get out of Kouji's character :D
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Re: In This Dream of Ours [AU Feudal Japan Samurai Drama]

#15 Post by Auro-Cyanide » Fri Nov 30, 2012 9:56 am

This game is this week's Group Play! viewtopic.php?f=53&t=18306

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