Ambre [Drama][Free][NaNoReno 2013] Now on Steam!

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Helianthus
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Ambre [Drama][Free][NaNoReno 2013] Now on Steam!

#1 Post by Helianthus » Mon Apr 01, 2013 1:20 pm

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Ambre tells the meeting of a depressed thirty years old man with a lost little girl he takes in his house. Their cohabitation quickly becomes very strange, if not creepy, until the story breaks apart to reveal a terrible secret.
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Features
A classic kinetic novel now available on Steam with new enhanced graphics!
13 550 words worth of drepressing and heartbreaking story
The full Original Soundtrack is available for free as well
Buy the bonus booklet for 2,99$ and get access to tons of comments from the writer, sketches, illustrations and an exclusive insight into a possible sequel (I bet you didn't see that one coming)


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Last edited by Helianthus on Sat Aug 12, 2017 4:26 pm, edited 13 times in total.
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Re: Ambre [Drama][NaNoReno 2013]

#2 Post by teacup » Mon Apr 01, 2013 2:25 pm

Ah, congrats on finishing this! I was really anticipating this game. I'm going to play it as soon as I get done with my classes for the day :'D
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Re: Ambre [Drama][NaNoReno 2013]

#3 Post by latte » Mon Apr 01, 2013 3:19 pm

This is probably the game I was looking forward to the most for this year's NaNo, and...

Holy shit this was depressing. Not that it wasn't good, just... My heart wasn't ready. You did say there was a twist but that was far from my expectations. No hope. No happiness. Nothing. Nada. I was trolled hard, specially seeing how your other game is (seemingly) a light-hearted comedy involving cowgirls. :lol: Though child Ambre was cute, but I was honestly expecting a development of the sort after they had sex because if not it would be freaking creepy...

So many depressing games in NaNo 2013, where the $%&@ is my happy ending?


Anyway, great writing and atmosphere, great art, great soundtrack, great GUI.
though I felt trolled by the GUI too
Amazing job for only one month. Congratulations!

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Re: Ambre [Drama][NaNoReno 2013]

#4 Post by Karamelow » Mon Apr 01, 2013 4:24 pm

Yay! Our first review!

So, I'm sorry to respond before our project leader but...
I'M VERRY HAPPY YOU ENJOY THE VN YEAAAAAH!

Thanks you very much!!
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Re: Ambre [Drama][NaNoReno 2013]

#5 Post by teacup » Mon Apr 01, 2013 4:55 pm

Oh man, this is really sad... I feel kind of... empty(?) because I was hoping for a happy ending, or at least an epilogue explaining what became of Ambre.
I suspected that Ambre was not a regular girl, but I was pretty horrified with they kissed and had sex. It made sense later, though. It was still disturbing, but also really sad :<
The twist is unexpected. I didn't see that coming, though I did suspect a connection between little girl Ambre and the wife when she looked at the photo and said they looked the same.
The music, GUI and art were all very good. I noticed some grammar errors, but I'll excuse them since I know it's translated from French. ^^
So overall, this was a good game worth playing. It's very depressing though, especially since the GUI and art makes it seem like it will have a happy feeling. I feel depressed now, so I guess I'll go find something happier to play... xD
Still, thanks for making this game!
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Re: Ambre [Drama][NaNoReno 2013]

#6 Post by Carassaurat » Mon Apr 01, 2013 5:13 pm

Congratulations on finishing!

I'll be honest with you, I had initially downloaded this primarily to see the visuals, because I like their style, thinking that the story would be a fairly standard meaning of life story. I was pleasantly surprised.

I had my doubts about the length of the repetition after the final reveal; I thought it better to leave the audience with the shock and then end it right there, so that a second playthrough might allow the player to see the initial lines in a different subtext. Like a gestalt switch, without having to explicitly explain what's actually going on, as it does now when repeating itself. It felt too repetitive for one playthrough. But then I realised that that's the point — it ought to be repetitive, it is what it is about. Clever.

I'm in two minds about the translation. I wanted to play it in French to brush up my knowledge of it, but the prose is just too purple for be comfortably read for people who don't actually speak it. The English translation is a bit unnatural (at least to me, but I'm no Englishman) because at times you can clearly hear that a sentence which is excentric in English might be perfectly fitted in French. It's a reminder of how much prettier the latter can be.
Last edited by Carassaurat on Mon Apr 01, 2013 6:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Ambre [Drama][NaNoReno 2013]

#7 Post by blahblah0625 » Mon Apr 01, 2013 6:04 pm

I knew what was happening maybe a few clicks before
Tristan found Ambre at the park again
.
I had my mouth covered in shock as I proceeded to finish playing..
This.. your writer is very talented..
Screams and yells for bishies

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Re: Ambre [Drama][NaNoReno 2013]

#8 Post by Kinjo » Tue Apr 02, 2013 4:06 am

Oh man, how do I even start... I can barely manage any words for this.

The premise seemed questionable at first, but somewhere in the WIP thread you said it wasn't really that bad. So I assumed it must be some happy, slice of life thing that wouldn't be too disturbing. ...Well, I sure was surprised.

At first I was very confused, wondering why Tristan so easily decided to take Ambre in, why his wife's room was so kiddy, and where his wife even went. Then the scenes after that just kept going further and further, darker and darker. Thankfully there was eventually some sort of justification for all of the disturbing scenes, although at the time of reading, they definitely made a lasting impression.

The plot twist was clever, creepy, and explained away a lot of the disturbing parts of the story. The ending was perfect.

While the English translation could have been better, the game itself was entertaining enough to make up for it. This is definitely one of the darker EVN I've played, and it was a strangely enjoyable experience.

Oh, and I'm curious about one thing.
Was the doctor's sprite based off of Sigmund Freud? His psychological theories came to mind when reading, and I can't help but notice the resemblance.

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Re: Ambre [Drama][NaNoReno 2013]

#9 Post by Helianthus » Tue Apr 02, 2013 2:07 pm

Thank you very much, all of you, for your kind comments, I’m really happy to see that people enjoyed the story so far ^__^

@Latte
I’m flattered, there are other games that surely seem best-looking and more popular to me, so I surely didn’t plan to surpass those XD.
Hey, I did warn it wasn’t a real Pedobear story but saying much would have spoiled the surprise, I think =). I was afraid some people would freak out after the “Sexual Innuendo;” and wouldn’t read until the end, I’m glad it doesn’t seem the case.

Latte wrote:I was trolled hard, specially seeing how your other game is (seemingly) a light-hearted comedy involving cowgirls.
Hum, in fact Milk (I’m pretty sure you’re referring to that one :) ) isn’t really a “light-hearted comedy”. Well, not only. I wanted to make a more balances story with various elements (a bit of comedy, a bit of drama, a bit of mystery) and all but since the genre shift happens starting from episode 2 (which isn’t finished yet), people don’t seem to be willing to wait for the next part to form their opinion, so I think I already have been labelled “cliché comedy setting” :?. Also the random Japanese names didn’t help either, people were complaining my story wasn’t Japanese enough or too Japanese for their taste, based only on that element. It will be difficult for me to prove it’s not another classic soulless high-school comedy…especially when we’re too short on one artist to go on at a decent speed :oops:

Tl;dr it was predictable :
I love to play with reader’s expectation, I did that all the time XD
when the reader is willing to play the game =’)


@teacup
I had thought about making a happy ending with some choices so that the player could “save” Ambre at one point, but then I realized I didn’t know how to do that with still sticking to the plot, so I gave up that idead. Maybe, one day, I’ll make a Ambre reference in another story to tell what happened of her…maybe…
Sorry for making you depressed X’D.


@Carassaurat
It’s okay, I even think your comment is even more pleasing, precisely because you’ve changed your mind. Also, I read something like that on Lemmasoft once : "I came for the art, I stayed for the plot XD"
Concerning the repetition, I was hesitating at first : I could have ended the story with the shock, but the reader would have missed a better explanation (forcing the reader to read the story twice to understand it seem tedious), and cramming said explanation at the end would not have been pleasant to read. So I though it would be more fitting to come back at the main events of the story with a different light : for example, seeing Ambre’s adult sprite as Tristan’s point of view change the perception of the scene more strongly than just a reveal, and adding some sentences to highlight what is really going on. Of course, re-reading all the beginning of the story would be boring too, so I had to find the right balance.But you can still make a second playthrough to spot some hidden references here and there
Since comments are mostly encouraging so far, it may mean that I managed to do it right this time X’).

As for the translation matter, I plead guilty… I have my own peculiar way of writing in French which doesn’t adapt well to others languages. It must really be a pain in the ass to translate... That’s probably why, even so we’re trying to improve ourselves each time we have to do an English version, the translation always seem strange ^^’.

@blahblah0625
Oww, that really is a touching comment. This is the first time someone tells me I am talented at writing. I can now die in peace ;__;.

@Kinjo
Kinjo wrote:
The premise seemed questionable at first, but somewhere in the WIP thread you said it wasn't really that bad. So I assumed it must be some happy, slice of life thing that wouldn't be too disturbing...
Or the premise is voluntarily questionable for a reason, that’s what I meant, but hey, that way of thinking works too XD.

Kinjo wrote:At first I was very confused, wondering why Tristan so easily decided to take Ambre in, why his wife's room was so kiddy, and where his wife even went
"The older man suddenly taking care of a young girl" trope doesn’t have much sense to begin with, but here, it’s rather a hint that something isn’t quite right.

Kinjo wrote:This is definitely one of the darker EVN I've played, and it was a strangely enjoyable experience.
Hum, I didn’t really see the story as a dark one
since the disturbing content is misleading and does not really exist,
for me it was more of a depression one, but why not :)

Sorry to disappoint but the doctor’s sprite was meant to be an ordinary doctor, I did not even think of Freud when writing ^^”
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Re: Ambre [Drama][NaNoReno 2013]

#10 Post by clua » Tue Apr 02, 2013 2:17 pm

Congratulations!! I've downloaded it a while back. I will come with my thoughts later!

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Re: Ambre [Drama][NaNoReno 2013]

#11 Post by latte » Tue Apr 02, 2013 2:59 pm

Helianthus, I didn't mean Milk looks cliché/boring/whatever, only that I'd only seen the topic once and it did come off as light-hearted to me; it wouldn't have been too much of a surprise if I'd played it and was proved wrong, since a light beginning and setting are so common in nakige. Unfortunately I'm one of those people who pass on some hidden gems unless the art and/or premise really draw me in, and for Ambre, both did.

Anyway since this game was really great, I'll probably give your others a chance when I have some time.

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Re: Ambre [Drama][NaNoReno 2013]

#12 Post by saguaro » Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:28 pm

For some reason, I thought I might have a monopoly on discomfort this year.

You win.

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Re: Ambre [Drama][NaNoReno 2013]

#13 Post by Arowana » Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:09 pm

Wow, I loved the twist! I genuinely did not see it coming and thought it was a very cool idea.
I do have some mixed feelings about the the second half. I initially felt it should have ended with the scene of Ambre on the swing again, so as to parallel the beginning. But you and Carassaurat made nice arguments for why the repetition makes sense, so I can see why you did it that way.

The art was very pretty and fit the story well! I especially like the coloring style on the sprites and cute chibi arts. The dead leaf animation was pretty cool too. <3

All in all, great work! I agree the English translation could use a proofreader, but it's understandable given the abbreviated time frame. I'm very glad you guys were able to power through and finish on time!
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Re: Ambre [Drama][NaNoReno 2013]

#14 Post by dreamingdaze » Wed Apr 03, 2013 1:10 am

Very nice twist. I have to admit, I was more than a little uncomfortable in the first half and quite depressed in the second. Nicely played, very well written. Hats off on all ends. The art, writing, and the music definitely added to the experience.

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Re: Ambre [Drama][NaNoReno 2013]

#15 Post by Chibichann » Sat Apr 06, 2013 4:29 am

Wow! a very mind twisting vn i was first thinking like it would be like a father daughter relationship but was completely different from what i thought would be after started reading the vn,but the art writing etc were really well done.

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