Starlit Sky

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#31 Post by DrakeNavarone » Fri May 25, 2007 7:48 am

Glad you enjoyed it, mrsulu. "Sweet, clever, well-realized characters, delicate writing, and well-edited," huh? Thanks, but I'm not quite so sure how accurate that last part is. I didn't really make that many edits, what you see now is pretty much the first draft. I'll agree about the length though. I can't imagine it any longer or shorter.

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And as for the pauses... Well, I did put some thought in it, but decided to make it skippable anyway. I used to promote hard pauses all the way, but after listening to some of the opposing arguments, I've come to think it's best to trust the player after all. I was thinking of using renpy.pause() (not the hard pause variety), but the more of those you add, the less skippable the transition becomes, which defeats the purpose in a sense. I hope the experience wasn't too ruined for you. There won't be a version 1.1, but it's something to think about a little harder for next time.
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Starlit Sky ~ Songs of Araiah ~ Mirai Imouto ~ Temple Glen ~ Fuyu no Tabi

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#32 Post by Hime » Sat May 26, 2007 3:05 pm

I finally finished this just a few minutes ago... And I'm still quite speechless. This was a really touching story, and well written, too... The characters were really humane, I loved them.
I especially liked Violetta's case, probably because it unfortunetly reminds me of some real cases I've ran into. Though they weren't nearly as serious as hers, of course... A lot of girls make themselves suffer and stress in order to look good in front of other people. It's quite a sad thing... :<
The end too, it was really touching, a good end. Many visual novels that I've played have an ending that feels like the player would be forced to run into a wall, but this certainly wasn't one of those - this felt complete. That's really an achievement! ^^
So, it's a great story, congratulations. :)

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#33 Post by mrsulu » Tue May 29, 2007 2:20 pm

When I say "Well-edited", I don't mean you spent hours retouching the script. Edit != effort.

The important thing is that the vast majority of your text contributed to the story or characters. I didn't catch much filler. Your story hit the ground running, then got out of the way when it was over.

However, if you'd like, I'll retract the compliment. :-)

I still think the last pause is probably worth making people wait, but it's your game.

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#34 Post by mikey » Wed May 30, 2007 10:01 am

First of all, I liked this game - and I really enjoyed it, after some time without playing, I really made an effort to have my peace and quiet and play, get immersed and just enjoy the slight backlog of games that has formed for me.

I have to say the pacing was really nice - there was quite an amount of text, but it didn't really feel like filler, and actually, there would still be place for one more adventure of Jack and Marivel - but the length is still very good as it is.

Music - wonderful, as well as character art. Actually, you really used the sprites well, always moving, mirroring and somehow it gave the game a sense of really using its resources as much as possible, and that's something I really love to see. And the art itself was also very nice for the eyes, not this moe nonsense, it added to the atmosphere a lot.

The story, well, for me it was surprise after surprise and I had no idea where it would go or end up. In the end, in retrospect I realized that "I could have seen this or that coming", but to be honest, I didn't. And I can't call it stereotypical, because all the things that you can categorize as such aren't really stereotypes in this story - they are the elements of the story of Starlit Sky, and that's as much as there is to it.

So I really enjoyed my time with this game. But I'm sorry if I don't sound as enthusiastic as more or less all of the posts. There are two reasons, I think.

First, it's the perspective (the relation of the sprites to the BG). I know I go on about this all the time, and yes I do realize that several commercial games have this and it's not the end of the world, but for me it really matters and it breaks a lot of the atmosphere. It's by no means ruining it, it's just making it a bit abstract, and I always struggle in separating the character sprites from the background and then mentally combining them in my head again. I may just be getting old and losing my imagination though :(

Well, the second reason is mostly the setting, represented by the BGs. It was difficult for me to understand the world it takes place in. Don't get me wrong, I don't need long descriptions about how a world works, but the combination of witches and an otherwise normally functioning society raised so many side-questions for me that I got distracted a lot just thinking about why things are the way they are.
The game really gives the impression the world is functioning properly, with the witches and the normal people living together, but that's why I found it even more interesting to stop and think -for instance the hex put on Reese - it seems that anyone can hire a witch to hex anyone, and that gives a lot to think about, since people aren't really safe - but maybe there is some form of control over the abuse of powers - there should be one. There are many more examples of practical things, like why can Marivel do this, but not that? It's often well explained, but my questions were always - could she do THAT? And so on, and so on. I was also wondering about Violetta's makeup - it was told in a good, fairytale-ish manner, but also with great atention to detail, which isn't so common for fairytales - and so it left me wondering (I'm not joking here) - in WHICH ORDER she puts on the makeup products that she listed - first the oils, then the cream? She would have to let the cream dry, since that's moist, and only then put on the powdery parts - the problematic thing is that often different facial care products don't go together out of principle - so if you have a revitalizing cream for instance, the very point is to let your face breathe, and if you use it you don't put on any more makeup on that face part - which may well be the whole face. The same is true for sunscreen, it works only really when it's applied to clean skin. Also, it makes the skin a bit moist, so again, make up on top of it would not really hold, and make up under it would smear off.

That's the problem I had with this story - I had to switch from the fairytale perspective to a more elaborately described environment back and forth to be able to enjoy it. I still did, but it left me with a lot of questions - interesting ones - but still they detracted from the overall experience. As I said, I think the main reason were some of the backgrounds. They evoked a sense of familiarity, so I instantly associated it with a relatively modern, maybe 19th century world and fitting in witches, maybe the world would be completely different. I could never quite stop thinking about that and sure it may actually enrich the playing experience, but I just thought that maybe it detracted me from the story, which was supposed to play the major role.

So you see, I'm very complicated ^_^. In any case though, it was an excellent read, and a nice outcome as well. Happy endings are always good, and no matter what they say - that they are all stereotypical, that they are not realistic (life is cruel and all that) - I don't believe it. I really enjoy a good happy story and this was one of such games.

EDIT: monele >> Sure. I just don't like huge spoiler tags, but it probably can't be helped. :(
Last edited by mikey on Wed May 30, 2007 10:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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#35 Post by monele » Wed May 30, 2007 10:15 am

You could have put the whole second part in a spoiler tag ^.^. There's not much non-spoilery material after all :)

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#36 Post by Ignosco » Fri Jun 01, 2007 8:11 am

I really enjoyed reading this, for me it never really came across as sad, but instead felt like more of a heartwarming story.
The pacing of the story worked really well, I liked how you gradually introduced the reason why Jack wanted to reach the stars and how the advancement of that backstory was tied into the present situation. The final plot twist with Marivel having drunk the memory loss potion was suprising, but in some ways clearly foreshadowed. Above all, the story felt like it was the right length, it was never overly verbose yet it felt like every word needed to be there. :)

The way art was used in the game was superb; the reflected characters and the animations (such as when Violetta reluctantly goes to talk to her father) really get the most out of the sprites. Also, the ending was very beautiful :) - a really effective use of art/background.

I really liked the character art and facial expressions, (for Violetta in particular, her expressions really captured her character). The music was very well chosen (although there really needed to be a piece of violin music when Reese was playing, not piano music).

The whole timeframe of the game setting felt a bit odd, having the fantasy/fairy tale element and the portable, collapsable telescope, and phone (which the butler talks to the mayor on) - it almost seems like an early 20th Century/fantasy world... which isn't necessarily a bad thing, it just made a bit harder to pin down and place the setting.
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Great Story!

#37 Post by m_evergreen » Thu Jun 21, 2007 2:49 pm

I downloaded, I read, I loved! Just thought I ought to let you know. Such a wonderful, emotional tale!


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#38 Post by parvenue » Sat Jun 23, 2007 4:59 am

Yes, I must agree with everyone else. The story had the right amount of everything, in my opinion.
The story held itself up enough even without the details about Ana and Clementine's deaths. We're left with a small hint, which I think was a good thing for the story. Hm, I had been expecting Ana to turn out to be the one who hexed Reese or something, but I'm glad that didn't turn out to be true.

The ending at the graveyard was something that I hadn't been expecting, to be honest. I didn't catch any hints at Marivel having used the vial. I guess, looking back over the game, I should've. Oh, well. :P

I loved how Marivel and Jack helped out without becoming lost in saving the day. The way they ran into Violetta and Kareena and choice to help them felt natural. It wasn't forced. Also, I liked the contrast in personalities between Marivel and Jack, particularly when they met up with Violetta. ^_^
The artwork and music were great, too. Great use of movement with the images. :D Both the artwork and music had the right level of softness that this game called for. Nice job. Overall, the game was great and played smoothly... Very good! :)


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Re: Starlit Sky

#39 Post by yvanc » Sun Dec 23, 2007 1:37 pm

Hiya guys! Been a long time ^_^ ahehehehhe
This is my christmas present for Drake ^_^


Merry Christmas Drake !!!

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Re: Starlit Sky

#40 Post by Mikan » Thu Jan 10, 2008 6:53 pm

Heya, I just completed your game.
It took me two sittings to complete this since my attention span is so short, but anway,
the music is really pretty and the premise of the story is good too.
I was starting to feel a little weary of the theme of the conflicts (girl in trouble, male at fault) when the main characters reached the second home, but since you didn't repeat it three times. no harm done :p

But then again, does this mean Marivel's sister's death is the fault of another cruel male?
Nice short phrases, good music, reasonable motivations of main characters, and something to look at on the screen. I'm a little disappointed that the main character never appeared on the screen, but I suppose that's only a minor detail compared to the interesting storyline. Good job~

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Re: Starlit Sky

#41 Post by lordcloudx » Fri Jun 06, 2008 10:32 pm

Time is my enemy
and boredom is my blood
Have passed over a thousand games (well... a hundred)
Unknown to playing
Nor known to shame
So as I read...
Unlimited Necromancer Works

Finally got around to trying this game and I thought it was beautiful.

Now to organize my thoughts a bit; I liked how each of the two scenarios were very thematic in their own right while they were subtly supporting the main theme. The background music was excellent - I loved all the tracks and they seemed to just blend into this type of story perfectly. The character art, while not really extraordinary, did their job well enough and really worked for this VN by just not taking too much attention off the story from the reader to ogle the pretty graphics. The author's choice of words and style of writing in general impressed me from the very beginning, which is what kept me reading this kinetic novel non-stop in one sitting.

I kinda predicted the plot-twist at the end of the game; most likely because of good foreshadowing on the author's part. (though I like to think it's just because I'm such a freakin genius)

My one very minor complaint is that the resolution for scenario 2 seemed a bit forced and anti-climactic. With all that build-up, I was expecting something a little bit more creative or dramatic. However, it's a very minor complaint because the story picks up again after that one scene that didn't agree with me.

Over-all it was nice, light and dramatic but not too melodramatic and very well-structured story that just had this "feel-good" aura to it. I felt that the story could have gone on for even longer if the two main characters had gone on more adventures before the conclusion, but I won't complain about that because all the elements of this game just seemed to harmoniously mesh with each other so well; including its relatively short length. The marriage of text and graphics in this game was really well-executed, especially the use of the "Starlit Sky" background at the end.

And now... have a fanart
(Marivel based on DaFool's design except that I drew the face to my own liking)
How do you make your games? I see. Thank you for the prompt replies, but it is my considered opinion that you're doing it wrong inefficiently because I am a perfushenal professional. Do it my way this way and we can all ascend VN Nirvana together while allowing me to stroke my ego you will improve much faster. Also, please don't forget to thank me for this constructive critique or I will cry and bore you to death respond appropriately with a tl;dr rant discourse of epic adequately lengthy proportions. - Sarcasm Veiled in Euphemism: Secrets of Forum Civility by lordcloudx (Coming soon to an online ebook near you.)

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Re: Starlit Sky

#42 Post by Midnighticequeen » Wed Jul 02, 2008 6:48 pm

I've just got finished playing your game and I loved it. It was one of the sweetest games I ever played which almost made my cry a little. I love your characters, your music, and your story. Isn't this your first game?

Well, congratulations on your first game!

To lordcloudx: That's an awesome picture, Good job!

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Re: Starlit Sky

#43 Post by honoreixix » Thu Jul 03, 2008 12:07 am

it was a very nice game, although i didn't expect that part at the end...

and that was a very nice twist there...

it was awesome, the story was very good and touching...


btw, that's a cute fanart...
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Re: Starlit Sky

#44 Post by Celestine » Thu Jun 23, 2011 5:33 pm

I am so touched by this story.

I figured it out the witche's little secret half-way through the kinectic story. Your solutions were really surprising and clever. It made me feel that there's always a better solution in life then the one you give-into desparingly.. It's too bad you didn't make it a VN with the solution and wrong choices it would of been some ride to see what could have happened. The possibilities with the endings to this story boggle my mind.
But it still a really thrilling experience. I enjoyed travelling along in your journey.
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Re: Starlit Sky

#45 Post by Auro-Cyanide » Sat Nov 24, 2012 4:49 am

This game is this week's Group Play! ... 53&t=18228

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