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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 4:38 pm 
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For the lagging, if accessed from Title screen, it is either not as noticeable as the other part, or it isn't there at all. Good luck in finding all the bugs! :D

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 5:24 pm 
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I decided to give a2 a try during lunch today... and ended up procrastinating all afternoon playing it :'D
I loved it. A lot.
It made me smile, it made me laugh, and it made me cry. I even loved the Ensemble characters and their interactions!
When you first showed the concept sketch for Sona I was like "...okay", and honestly I wasn't sure I'd like her, but i ended up loving her and I woulnd't change her appearance one bit! I'm glad you took that path ;)
Also the GUI work! And the little emotes! x'D And the sound effects! And omg the music <3 Sorry, I'm just gushing over here, haha I loved it all ^___^
About the art, I have my concerns with anatomy and consistency, but you know I'm super picky :'D My fav art bits were Sona's sprite and the chibis <3. hao's sprite and the CGs could use more work :P

So, yeah, I'm just echoing everything everybody else has said x'D
Congrats on the great work, guys, and congrats on doing it in only a month! ;v; *claps and throws confetti*

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:05 am 
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Completed: a2 ~a due~
Projects: AXIOM.01, The Pirate Mermaid
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Since Nellie is still traveling and Azure is singlehandedly working on her full (real) NaNoRenO, you get the (dis)honor of hearing me babble out more incoherent thanks. I don't think I'll ever adequately express how much I love you guys for taking the time to try our work and talk to us about it! Group hug, everybody! (gets pushed away for being creepy ;_;)


@ Blue Lemma
Squishy sounds good. :3 I'm quite fond of the little doodles as well (though they can be awfully tedious to time/code). And yes, punk girls need love, too! We can't take too much credit for the GUI, as it's based largely on Uncle Mugen's template, but I'm glad you like it.


@ 15385bic
Awesome! The chibis are my fav parts of the art as well. Also happy you liked the sound - I know there were compression and volume leveling issues, so I'm glad it wasn't too much of a problem for you. Let us know if you have any other thoughts after you get the other endings!


@ 9-of-Hearts
I was getting scared people's expectations were going to be too high for us to fulfill, so I'm relieved we didn't disappoint you! Hearing you found the game engaging enough to complete in one sitting - brb rolling around in happiness. :'D The flute girl is actually also my fav nameless orchestra member - I totally want to do a side story on her! And good luck on your games as well!


@ lein
Thanks so much! I hope you were finally able to get that last ending!


@ fioricca
Your words and enthusiasm always bring a smile to my face! :D I'm so happy you enjoyed the story and music that much (Nellie actually arranged the piano and orchestra version of the theme song in just a few days - it was superhumanely impressive!!)

Thanks also for being honest about the flaws, and I agree we would have benefited from additional time! Our motivation for the one-month deadline was partly to keep in the spirit of NaNoRenO, partly to prevent ourselves from spending too much time on this game (given that we already have other projects ohoho), and partly to prove that we could finish something on a strict deadline and get a completed game under our belts (for me and Nellie, at least).

You make very good points on why playing a remake would be redundant for a lot of people, which I hadn't fully considered before. I think we would still like to do an improved version, though, even if it's just to finally have a complete game that we're truly proud of (and maybe by the time we get the remake out, people will have already forgotten the story ahaha). If it helps, we have been talking about adding two new side stories (percussionist x flutist may very well be one of them ^_^).

In that light, we're welcome to any additional suggestions/critiques on the issues you noted, just so we can make sure we're giving them our best effort this time around! Were there certain art errors you think should definitely be fixed? And if you could see more scenes illustrated, which ones do you think would be the most important to have additional artwork for? Ideas on how to improve the thug scenes you mentioned would also be great. :D Oh, and Azure just mentioned doing side sprites for the orchestra members, so great minds must think alike! Myself, I really want to see a cute flute girl. :3


@ Skyefrost
I'm glad we were able to make you both laugh and cry!
And lol! That "hidden Chinese joke" at the concert was Nellie's idea. She originally sketched Sona's concert outfit with a bigger chest than usual, so we had to reference it somehow. ;)


@ ngareci
Thanks for your support! I hope you were to unlock the translation successfully. And the UI is beautiful because of Uncle Mugen Magic ahaha.


@ morpheme
Wow, I feel especially flattered you posted for our game, then! I'm glad we were able to make such an impression on you. Thanks so much for commenting, and feel free to tell us about any specific parts that could have been improved. ;)


@ v3-kei
Thanks for the update! I suspect the lag may be due to the screen animations (e.g. the sliding title and boxes) not running well on some computers, though I'm not sure why accessing from the title screen would have less lag than accessing from the in-game quick menu. Do the screens lag every time you open them, or do the animations run normally after they've already been opened once?


@ Deji
Ahhh, thanks so much for giving our game a try! :'D <--this is my new favorite emoticon, by the way. I'm especially happy you liked the animated emotes, since I think most people either ignore or don't notice them, ahaha. Also glad Sona's character design managed to win you over in the end! We've heard from some people who still dislike her look or call her "ugly," so I really do feel reassured every time I hear otherwise. ^_^

And thanks also for the art advice! We're definitely hoping to redo some of the art for the new version, so any further suggestions or critiques you might have would be wholeheartedly appreciated! :D Thanks again for playing!

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:29 am 
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@Arowana

I was just playing through the game one more time with translations (Hao is incredibly funny btw^^) and to pay more attention to the music.
The original music overall sounds a bit damped, ScottySeng's already commented on how to help you there. The Chopin you picked, a great choice and one of my personal favourites, also sounds a bit metallic. This could compression issues again, or the recording itself (probably the former, but you might want to check it with a different recording).The Mendelssohn's Symphony recording sounds like it's very old, you might want to replace it unless you like that particular sound. His Concerto in D minor is also a bit off and the beginning has some noise. The volume of the Romeo and Juliet Overture seems a bit low, it's this big and grandiose part, but it's quite soft. Maybe try another recording?

That's about what I can detect, I'm afraid. My musical expertise only reaches as far as listening and playing, my music software skills are a bit lacking. However, I love the selection of music and the original music also fits in really well with the mood of the game.^^


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:33 pm 
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Omg. I loved the whole game xD
I loved how you did a music VN which incorporated Chinese dialogue/text!
I swear this game was perfect for me! I'm in the school band + I'm taking Chinese 1 LOL.
Win-Win situation for me, as I understood most of what they were saying (Musical terms & Chinese) xD

Except for a few words I didn't learn yet in Chinese lol
Is it also weird how Hao and Sona were talking about Butterfly Lovers, when my Chinese class just started learning about that? This is such a cool coincidence lol
I also love how there was a Translation function after getting all 3 endings! Definitely good for the non-Chinese speakers or readers xD

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:59 pm 
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I just finished the two endings, it was awesome! At first I didn't like how Sona looks like but I enjoyed her actions during the story.
I personally like the friendship ending better than the love one, since Sona was all tsundere and not admitting stuff and all--and in the end she hasn't told Hao her feelings yet. Man, where were you all these two months?! And the language difference is the best idea! I don't understand Chinese but I could imagine if Hao says something and Sona replies with other things that'd be completely irrelevant, lol. Have to finish the 3rd ending to find out what Hao said all these times, wonder why it's so hard to get (only played it three times thou).


Overall, it's really a nice VN for a NaNoRenO. I'll look forward your other projects!

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 11:02 pm 
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Completed: a2 ~a due~
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@ varyalanis
Thanks so much for replaying to take notes on all the music! I'm a total audio n00b, so it's super useful to have your opinion on the tracks. :D

I'm quite fond of that Chopin piece as well, and I think it's fairly popular, so I'll try to track down another recording. The Mendelssohn symphony is also likely replaceable, possibly with an entirely different song. I see if I can find alternative recordings for the other songs you noted as well. (You know, I thought it would be easy to find popular orchestra pieces like these for noncommercial use, but it's actually been quite challenging! I've tried archive.org, Musopen, and Jamendo, but it seems the recording quality can be a bit dubious ^^).


@ ixWishing
Wow, what a neat coincidence! I swear we're not reading your mind! xD

And yay, you know Butterly Lovers! I was hoping people would recognize it as a famous Chinese orchestral piece - I don't hate it as much as Sona does, lol.


@ Akitsuki
Thanks so much! If you still need to get the ?? ending, Azure posted the walkthrough here:
viewtopic.php?f=11&t=19641&start=45#p254745

The friendship ending is actually my favorite as well, so I totally understand. ^_^ I think it's happier and everyone ends up on better terms, whereas the love ending is more bittersweet. If you finish all 3 endings, though, you can unlock a bonus chapter with an extra scene. And yes, Sona totally misunderstands Hao sometimes, lol!

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 8:23 pm 
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Ahh. That was great, it actually made me FEEL feelings. The characters were unique, the music fit the mood very well and the writing was certainly an experience. There were so many things and themes going on it kept you on your toes through the whole game. Bravo!


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 1:31 pm 
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Posts: 105
Location: Romania
Completed: Out of Sight, Summer Found Me, Signed X, Trapped
Projects: Poison Sweet, CryptoHaven
I played this game a few days ago and got all the endings (3 right?). The "bad" one was hilarious. I'm going to play again since the completeness meter was only at 90%. There must be some route I didn't find.

The idea was interesting and original. At least I've never played a game where the love interest spoke another language. The whole communication through drawings and musical terms was so cute!

I'm glad the "other" language chosen was Chinese, since if it was something I could understand, even partly, it wouldn't have been as fun to replay to read Hao's lines. Also, now I know how to say practice in Chinese. Win! XD

About the characters... I loved Sona. I'll take a loud, lazy, slightly crazy, kick-ass protagonist over a goody-goody doormat any day (even if I did choose the nicer options first time around). The backstory was touching and it made me like her even more.

The art was great. My first impression was that it had a manhua feel to it (the eyes especially), which makes sense. ^^ I liked the music as well. I know next to nothing about music, so that's all I can say. >.>

I hope I said all I wanted to. Thanks for the great game, guys! I had lots of fun playing.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 6:21 pm 
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So I downloaded this shortly after it was posted and did a quick run-through. Got the "friendship" ending and, while I thought the premise and characters were interesting, the story... well, I guess it was alright.

But then last night I finally got around to replaying it, got the "love" ending and oh man was that so much better! I missed pretty much everything the first time around, choosing to either go to sleep or run away instead of seeing the really important scenes of the game. Didn't realize I'd miss so much just from making a few decisions. I liked how all the themes came together at the end, both Sona and Hao having completely different personalities being forced to work together for the sake of the team. The theme song was also very appropriate when it was played, including both the vocal and orchestral versions. Can't get it out of my head!


The art was also really good, although I have to agree that the CGs could have used some more work. Still, it wasn't too distracting, but it would be something to look into for a revised version -- it's understandable since this was done within a month, after all. You may have also caught this by now but there's a small sprite glitch
when Sona says "It's weird for me too, okay?"; her sprite has some strange pixels that go away when she blinks.


I will disagree that the gang scenes were unnecessary; I think they added some depth to both characters.
Sure, having the whole orchestra fight the gang was completely ridiculous, but there are more over-the-top scenes in this game. What really got me though was on my second reading when Hao started beating them up on his own like a boss. You could have left that scene the same, which I had expected, but you didn't. It felt like the fight scene had more impact after seeing their relationship grow on the "love" route.


Also,
I just got the "bad" ending, which was actually pretty funny. Got 100% now so I'll be re-reading the game with translations on!


Congratulations and well done. I liked the concept, and it was executed well, too. That's hard to pull off, especially for a NanoReno project!

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 10, 2013 10:23 pm 
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Finally got around to playing this, and I loved it! It's just like those American romcom movies, but better. Also incredible work for only one month.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 3:24 am 
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Caveat: I've done one playthrough so far...I think I got the friendship ending.

Oh man guys, this was SO effin good! I really, truly loved it. Everything hung together quite nicely, art, music, writing etc.

I especially thought the writing was excellent. The story clipped along at a good pace and kept me interested. I'm curious to know if you were just writing this as all the assets were being created. Did you have an outline first or did you just write through this in one blow? Whatever you did, the story felt beautifully organic. That kind of storytelling ability is a gift; I don't know if you know how unusual that is! Characters and story had a nice amount of depth, comedy, and heart. The dialogue was great, and I'd find myself LOLing at something the bassoonist said and so forth. Yes, I actually started tearing up at one point which was really embarrassing. I've never cried while reading a VN before. :?

Anyhow, thanks so much for making this! So impressed! It was a love/friendship VN, but done in such an exceptionally original way I'm going to remember it for a long time to come.

edit: And I just had to reiterate, this was utterly splendid and I'm not sure how to convey that to you without sounding like an insane fangirl, which I think I've become. I love you guys for creating this. *sigh*

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 11:02 pm 
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Completed: a2 ~a due~
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@ Einara
Thanks so much! :D I'm especially glad the music fit well (since it is a music-based VN after all!) I hope the different themes didn't make the story too muddled, ahaha - one of our concerns was being able to tie everything together coherently.


@ GlassHeart
You won't believe this, but I was literally just gushing to KittyKatStar about how much I liked "Summer Found Me," and then I saw your post right after! Needless to say, I'm beyond stoked that you enjoyed a2 as well! Let's all do something together in the future plz!

The remaining 10% is actually the bonus chapter (under Extras -> Chapters), so no need to replay! I'm glad you liked the premise! We originally wanted to do a Valentine story about an odd couple relationship, and the language barrier seemed like a fun way to explore this. We ended up choosing Chinese because it's something we personally have experience with (Nellie is Chinese, I'm Chinese American).

Also glad you liked Sona! I think "jerk" protagonists are actually really fun to write. ^^
I'm not sure we ultimately liked the idea of tying the Love Ending to all the "goody-goody" choices, but the choices were admittedly added at the last minute, ahaha, and that was the simplest structure we could think of.


@ Kinjo

I'm really, really glad you kept on playing! xD In retrospect, we probably should have routed players directly to the bad ending if they skipped either of the backstory scenes, since the friendship ending probably comes off as overly sudden/happy without them.

I really like the theme song as well, and I think Nellie did an awesome job with the instrumental arrangements! Gerald Ko's music was actually the primary inspiration for this project -Nellie got him to let us use his songs for a project, so we wanted to do a short VN revolving around one of them.

And actually, no one has caught that sprite glitch before, so thanks a bunch for pointing it out! We've asked some awesome artists to help us redline CGs and such, so hopefully they will be much improved for the new version. ^_^

I'm glad the gang scenes worked alright for you. I was wondering if I should tone them down by making them less over-the-top - I hesitated to remove them completely since they do provide most of Sona's motivation. And I'm happy you liked the variation with Hao for the "Love Ending"! I think the CG for that one is better as well, ahaha.


@ latte

Awesome! I think romcom is a really good way to describe it. We were definitely going for the sweet Valentine's story angle. ^_^


@ Obscura
Omg Obscura, I am such a huge fan of your writing I can't even...I don't know what to say...oh god, I need a moment to squee (runs outside and cries in happiness).

(cough) Okay, my fangirling urges are now under control! But gosh, it totally makes my day to hear you liked my writing, since you're a writer I really admire. ^^

As for the process, we started by making an outline on Google Docs with character descriptions and summaries of each chapter, as well as a tentative CG list. Then we branched off into writing vs. art working from that outline. It wasn't a perfect system, because stuff would get changed/shuffled around, especially the CGs
For instance, after I had Sona injuring her hand, Nellie had to retroactively add bandages to most of the CGs. Or I kind of wanted to cut the "sleeping on the floor scene" because I couldn't fit it in earlier, but ended up shoving it into the last chapter because the CG was already done.

But given the abbreviated development schedule, it was probably best to do the writing and art simultaneously, so I think it worked out in the end! :'D

(And pssh, if you're an insane fangirl, what does that make me? X'D)

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 12:17 am 
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I really loved this game. I loved the theme song that you guys chose, I loved the story. The art is a biiiiit hit and miss, but not in a distracting way. I got the love ending the first time, but I am planning when I have time trying to get all the endings so I can get the translator.

I did tear up. Not gonna lie.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:13 am 
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Completed: Love Like No Other; a2 ~a due~
Projects: The Pirate Mermaid; Gamelicious!; Spiral Destiny
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Wow... So much <3 for A2 *sob* I'm so flattered and touched... And happy *sob more*

Would really love to reply to each one individually, but I'll just be repeating Aro's lines like a broken radio, so THANKS FOR THE <3 !!

@FatUnicornGames
So glad you love the game! We love the theme song and kinda build the story around it too :) Helps that the singer-composer is kinda like my idol... Hehe :3 We'll try to improve the arts, if not for the remastered, then for our future games! Hope you'll try all the other endings and tell us which is your fav!

You teared up? Good, it means my evil plan worked... Muahahahah



We're also working on porting this onto Android platform so ppl can play it on the go... Wish us luck in fiddling with RAPT! XD

For those of you who loves the theme song as much as we do, the singer, Gerald Ko, said he'll re-record it in high quality and offer the mp3 download! Who's excited? I know I am! XD If you just want the orchestra or piano edition, PM me and I'll send them to you :) Or I'll upload them somewhere, wherever easier xD

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