Senior Year

Finished games are posted here, once they've been tested and are ready for wide release.
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EwanG
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Senior Year

#1 Post by EwanG » Tue Dec 26, 2006 9:39 pm

Senior Year is a fully voiced, original english language visual novel. It follows a protagonist (you), as you go through your last year of college. It is a story of love, relationships, and fun.

Senior Year was coded using the RenPy engine, and weighs in at just under 83 megs. Playing time is between 2 and 2 1/2 hours for all the paths.

Website is being updated even as we speak, but the game can currently be downloaded from Megaupload:

Senior Year Visual Novel for Windows
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=K6X4ULI3

Senior Year Visual Novel for Linux
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=QSW1OBRS

Senior Year Visual Novel for Mac OS/X
http://www.megaupload.com/?d=EMT7B88S

Direct downloads from the website will be available in a few hours.

I'd like to thank everyone on the forums here who have contributed towards getting this game done. Lemma for hosting these forums. PyTom for writing the engine that made this all possible, and being a beta tester on top of that. Jake and Musical74 for their beta testing - and Jake for giving me a revised rooftop background that made a big improvement. Also BCS for some of the backgrounds I used in the initial builds of the game.

Thanks also to the vocalists - Azure, Mirielle, Georgina Bensley (Papillion), Erika (aka Taco), and Cheshire. Five ladies who were willing to put up with me, and willing to do a professional job in a very short time.

I hope everyone enjoys the end product, and please tell your friends. Since it's a free game, the biggest thanks you can give us (other than a donation), is to make it popular.

Thanks again,
Ewan

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Mirielle
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#2 Post by Mirielle » Tue Dec 26, 2006 10:18 pm

Yay, it's ready!

And you know what? It's going to take forever to download...around 3hrs. Due to my broadband dying down to dail-up speed.

Yeah. I'll post a review when it's done. And I play it.

But, yay!
Available for voice acting - Please listen to my demo reel!

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#3 Post by EwanG » Tue Dec 26, 2006 11:49 pm

Game is now also available at the main web site:
http://www.bklovr.com

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#4 Post by DrakeNavarone » Wed Dec 27, 2006 1:08 am

I managed to play through all the branches. It was a nice little story. The story didn't really take as long as advertised (maybe about an hour and half tops). The voices were good, so I just couldn't cut them off... On that note, congratulations on releasing a fully voiced game!! Isn't this the first completed game with voices? Well, congrats again!

The writing was nice. I didn't spot any grammar/spelling errors, so if they are there, the writing flowed so well, I blew right past them. It was amusing and had a good pace to it, so I never slowed down at all (and hey, I did all the branches in one sitting, so it definitely managed to hold my attention). Annette was my favorite, by far the most interesting of the girls. The choices were relatively easy to comprehend, you knew what you would be getting into before you picked them, which made replays a lot easier.

The character art was also well done. Each girl had their own distinct look and style to them. The backgrounds also worked very well with the characters, and fit the story nicely too. While on things in the background, the music was nice, too, though there was this one track that played mostly during Linda's story that wasn't so hot... It was slowly starting to work on my nerves, but fortunately it didn't take me long to clear her story, and the other tracks more than made up for it.

The voices were good as well. I think Carla's accent was a bit off, but for me, it didn't really detract from the experience. Also, while Julie's voice was good, I think the quality of the actual files did a little damage to liking her voice (quite a bit of noise in the background, I think). There was also one part in Carla's path where the text and the voice said two completely different things (it's when her text reads "The date sounds like fun. When?"). Otherwise, no complaints, great job. In fact, while I'm at it, I wanna say good job to all the actresses who took part in this project, especially Mirielle. Hands down, Linda was the best voice in this game (so much so, I HAD to play through her story first)!!

Overall, I really liked it. Definitely worth the wait, and it managed to exceed my expectations that built up from the weekly reports. Keep up the good work and I'm already looking forward to your next project!

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#5 Post by Mirielle » Wed Dec 27, 2006 3:18 am

DrakeNavarone wrote:In fact, while I'm at it, I wanna say good job to all the actresses who took part in this project, especially Mirielle. Hands down, Linda was the best voice in this game (so much so, I HAD to play through her story first)!!


*BLUSHES FURIOUSLY*
Available for voice acting - Please listen to my demo reel!

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#6 Post by EwanG » Wed Dec 27, 2006 5:04 am

Glad to hear folks are liking the game, and the feedback is useful in letting me know what to look for in working on Camp Handiba.

If folks want to help promote the game, you can give the release announcement a Digg at:
http://www.digg.com/gaming_news/First_f ... _and_Linux

Thanks again,
Ewan

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#7 Post by DaFool » Wed Dec 27, 2006 9:04 am

Awesome! Congratulations!

(Unfortunately, the Taiwan Earthquake cut the undersea cable and severely affected the local internet providers, so it will take a lot of patience from me to obtain it)

Just something regarding the site, you might want to revise mentioning the emails of the voice actresses (convert the __@__.com to __ at __ dot com) to protect them from spambots.

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#8 Post by musical74 » Wed Dec 27, 2006 6:59 pm

Well, Mirelle, since you seem to have such a CUTE blush...

When I was beta-testing Senior Year I found Linda to be the most straightfoward and seemed to me to be the *best* of the 4. That, and you had such a cute voice....:)

Biggest challenge was finding Annette's path (THANK YOU, Ewan, for showing me!) but other than that...it's a good game. All the characters are believable, the voice acting for all the characters is well done, and it makes total sense...that's what makes a good game =)
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#9 Post by Counter Arts » Wed Dec 27, 2006 7:37 pm

Do we have our first western seiyuu star here?

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#10 Post by DaFool » Wed Dec 27, 2006 7:52 pm

Are there four or five girls in this game? If four, why are there five voice actresses?

One thing I like is that it's pretty straightforward when I'm on someone's story path already.

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#11 Post by EwanG » Wed Dec 27, 2006 8:06 pm

DaFool wrote:Are there four or five girls in this game? If four, why are there five voice actresses?


There are five girls. The fifth girl (Annette) is a little tricky to find. Let me know if you have too much trouble finding her, but let's just say that it's a good idea to do some walking on a fall evening.

The list (in order of appearance):

Linda
Becky
Julie
Carla
Annette

FWIW,
Ewan

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#12 Post by DaFool » Wed Dec 27, 2006 8:41 pm

Ah, found Annette before the clue was given.
Regarding the clue, it seems like it gives the player a second chance to embark on someone's story path.
Giving 2 days' alotment to solidify the path is a good thing.

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#13 Post by mikey » Wed Dec 27, 2006 9:20 pm

What's to say except that it's impressive. Very long, I spent more than two hours going through all the paths. A game with FIVE girls, this wasn't here before, so congratulations on the successful completion of your project. It's a big download, but it's definitely worth it. A very nice job.

Of course, the choice of backgrounds caused a bit of a deja vu, but what can you do, and I knew this beforehand, so I tried to adjust my mind to it. The music, I heard a bit, but then I replaced it with silence, just to be able to hear the voices, which brings me to the specialty of the game, the VA.

Congratulations on seeing this feature through. The varying sound quality didn't bother me - all of the voices were different and dinstinctive, Julie's voice I found particularly memorable, but that might come from the fact that Julie was my first ending. Actually, the voices helped to bring out the personalities of the girls a lot, especially in Becky's case. And I can't forget Carla, Annette or Linda either, it's hard to choose.

I really can't say too much against the game, except for one technicality - in
Julie's path at 10pm (twisted ankle) you are in her home,
but when you get to the bedroom, the sun is shining. Also, maybe some non-default menu colors could be better, but oh well.

Anyway, the game is great, the fact that you can easily get any girl is great, the selection of girls itself is great, the character art is great (nice use of the poses and how they enter a conversation), the music was also great, the voice acting as well, and the story was also fitting - I didn't expect anything dramatic, and this simple thing was just right. All in all, this is a great achievement, best played when you've had no experience with such games before (and haven't seen the backgrounds anywhere else). In any case though, this is excellently put together.

But, to be honest, this type of game isn't my cup of tea. The girls are too direct too quickly, calling you 'hon, 'sug and the like. Also, a bit too vulgar without warning. It's not that it was going too far, it's just that the game never really gives you ANY warning. Like:
[You know the virgin Julie for five minutes (text-reading time), and she wants to show you her... *gulp* trim.]
I had no real time to get into her personality and then she does that all of the sudden. It made me think that she thinks that I'm cheap.

But I chose the phrase "not my cup of tea" on purpose, because I don't think there's a problem with the game, but with what I like. I do like all-out "sexy" games, mindless "harem" games, "romantic" games, even really hardcore ones. But, what I never really warmed up to are "flirty" games. Something like Sprung for the NDS. Cool lines, provocative girls and such. In the end, this is what Senior Year is, and I think the problem for me was that I somehow expected romance, and in this game, it wasn't there.

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#14 Post by DaFool » Wed Dec 27, 2006 11:52 pm

I like Julie's character the best, since she seemed more intellectual and a little perverse and twisted, especially in how she deals with the protagonist. Also since her voice actress has the highest pitch, she most closely resembles a voiced anime girl.

I'd say the game was a bit faster than advertised, since an ending can be gotten in under 20 minutes, and that's at a leisurely pace (I even made the text type out slower and was pleased that the voicing starts a bit later so it can match the line). But like mentioned already, an OELVN with 5 girls from the get-go, with full stories(although typical of most OELS, very crisp and efficient)

It's a bit awkward to have a college setting, with everyone living at home in a nearby neighborhood (Community College?), and still have their parents heavily involved in their lives while at the same time their kids are getting it on in their first or second dates and then talking about living together or marrying after graduation. I would expect such behavior to fit more with the late 20s early 30s yuppy crowd. Still, it was easy to get used to.

I liked the choice of bossa nova music, and like mentioned, the way the sprites would get closer for conversation works well, as well as the additional expressions and poses (I also noticed what you meant by 'mustache' mentioned earlier lol)

The best thing is how I am motivated to get all the endings (I'm completed 7 so far), even though it doesn't spell it out for you (i.e. Ending 1 of 10 - Good Ending), you pretty much know there are 11 endings (Good/Bad for each of 5 girls, and the No One ending). Even better is how I didn't have to go through each decision point and play the "Whose Best at Predicting Permutations" game by having to go through each and every possible choice just to get a path you need.

Also, releasing during Christmas vacation is perfect timing to get the most leisure time out of people.

So in terms of thinking about the Player, this game is among if not, the best.

Great job!

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#15 Post by monele » Thu Dec 28, 2006 3:56 pm

I've only played once so far (Becky's path) but I can already agree with this :

mikey wrote:But I chose the phrase "not my cup of tea" on purpose, because I don't think there's a problem with the game, but with what I like. I do like all-out "sexy" games, mindless "harem" games, "romantic" games, even really hardcore ones. (...) I think the problem for me was that I somehow expected romance, and in this game, it wasn't there.


Just too straight-forward for my taste. Of course, getting Becky first wasn't the best choice since she seems to be the most "inclined" of them all... but I was a bit disappointed because I didn't *really* want to go all out on Becky but I got stuck on her path after only 2 choices or so... Oh well, we'll see next time.

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