The Photographer [NaNoRenO 2016] [relationships]

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mikey
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The Photographer [NaNoRenO 2016] [relationships]

#1 Post by mikey » Mon Apr 04, 2016 3:41 pm

A soon-to-be married couple goes on vacation to Venice, but the city isn't the only thing that seems to be falling apart.

https://atpprojects.itch.io/thephotographer

Enjoy!
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photographer_3.png
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Taleweaver
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Re: The Photographer [NaNoRenO 2016] [relationships]

#2 Post by Taleweaver » Mon Apr 04, 2016 4:07 pm

Yup, there you have it. Finally I get my opportunity to work together with Mikey, after admiring his works for so many years. Plus, total artistic freedom for me! What more could I have asked for?

Enjoy, everybody, and please give us feedback. We practically live on it.
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Re: The Photographer [NaNoRenO 2016] [relationships]

#3 Post by ludeshka » Mon Apr 04, 2016 4:39 pm

Looks beautiful and sounds very interesting. I'm downloading this! (And will return with proper feedback ^^)

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Re: The Photographer [NaNoRenO 2016] [relationships]

#4 Post by minyan » Wed Apr 06, 2016 2:40 am

I think the VN accurately showed how two people will read into a relationship, creating more problems for themselves that are already there. I enjoyed the simple GUI and the photos were gorgeous. It was an interesting text system as well. It was kind of hard playing through one route after already doing one and knowing everything the other character was actually thinking though, knowing what they both thought about each other. Unsettling I guess. But that just means it's well written.

Congrats on finishing NaNo~!
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Re: The Photographer [NaNoRenO 2016] [relationships]

#5 Post by mikey » Wed Apr 06, 2016 11:12 am

Thank you for playing!
minyan wrote:It was kind of hard playing through one route after already doing one and knowing everything the other character was actually thinking though, knowing what they both thought about each other. Unsettling I guess.
A lot of Taleweaver's nuances in that script became apparent to me as I was editing and coding, and I can definitely confirm it was unsettling to see how often both "accused" the other of the same things. I think the second playthrough is almost necessary to see the full depth of their relationships and (as Taleweaver confirmed to me in a PM when I asked about another small thing that I noticed) how similar they truly are.
minyan wrote:I enjoyed the simple GUI and the photos were gorgeous
Thank you, it took some time to coordinate all the "paths" through Venice that our two protagonists took, there were so many pretty places :)

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Re: The Photographer [NaNoRenO 2016] [relationships]

#6 Post by ludeshka » Thu Apr 07, 2016 4:09 pm

I enjoyed this. It felt really different from other vns I played. (I mean this as a compliment!)

What you did with the backgrounds is special.
I mean, not only they're pretty, they're storytelling.
Like in that looooooooooong walk they take at the beginning. Long and silent.
All that beauty, and they had nothing to say about it, because their hearts were not in it.

I really liked seeing their two perspectives, and I really, really liked seeing that no one was "right"
As I played his part, I thought "You're so competitive, so controlling! I would never date you!" but when I played hers, I thought "Passive-aggressive much, my dear?"
So I guess these two imperfect beings deserve each other. (Again, I mean it as a compliment! I would have been bored reading about them if they had no conflicts!)

There's only one thing I disliked about this, maybe you didn't have the time to write it differently, but I couldn't help but notice.
They had the exact same inner monologue at the end, when they're reunited on the island.
"The first one to make a mistake will bleed" and so on.
Earlier in the game, their thoughts parallelled, but it was subtler. Here they said exactly the same things, it seemed lazy.
I guess what you wanted was to show that they're reunited in mind as well as in body, but...eh, you had been a lot subtler before.

Long story short, I liked this game, enjoyed the graphics very much, and it was nice to see these stubborn fellows working through some of their issues. :)
Thank you for sharing this with us.

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Re: The Photographer [NaNoRenO 2016] [relationships]

#7 Post by Taleweaver » Fri Apr 08, 2016 2:13 am

Without saying too much, I wrote The Photographer from the experience of seeing more than one working relationship fall apart because the people involved put too much thought into it. Instead of realizing how well they fit together on an emotional level (how comfortable each of them felt in the presence of the other), they started interpreting each other's little gestures on a rational level, constantly questioning motivations for saying or doing things, and all too often coming to the conclusion that their partner is secretly unsatisfied with the relationship as a whole.

The Photographer is about a couple like that, one who looks so much at all the little things that are different about them that they stop realizing how alike they really are.
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Re: The Photographer [NaNoRenO 2016] [relationships]

#8 Post by january » Fri Apr 15, 2016 12:55 am

Played both routes, and enjoyed them! The story was what I was expecting, and I mean that in a positive way. It was interesting to see the parallels between the two and the tension build from various misunderstandings. As much as a part of me went "Gah, it's not what you think!", particularly on my second playthrough, I can definitely empathize with the instinct to over-read into everything the other party does, albeit not from a romantic perspective. Suffice to say that I got invested enough in their relationship that I was seriously dreading how things were turning out for them for a good chunk of the game.

(And damn, Venice is pretty.)

A minor (gameplay) nitpick, though: it might just be me, but there were numerous moments in the game's introduction where I intuitively expected the next transition/event/etc. to occur automatically, and so it repeatedly took me a few seconds to realize that I was supposed to click to continue (and then I'd consequently click too many times to compensate, oops--bless rollback!).

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Re: The Photographer [NaNoRenO 2016] [relationships]

#9 Post by mikey » Fri Apr 15, 2016 7:46 am

Thank you for playing, happy you liked it...
january wrote:A minor (gameplay) nitpick, though: it might just be me, but there were numerous moments in the game's introduction where I intuitively expected the next transition/event/etc. to occur automatically, and so it repeatedly took me a few seconds to realize that I was supposed to click to continue (and then I'd consequently click too many times to compensate, oops--bless rollback!).
Yeah, I went for the concept of making people click rather than auto-advance when there is no text before a partial image change (which is what I asssumed happened). For example, when a piece of story text was wiped, and after that I wanted to change the image, I did want to stay in the original image and make the player click for the change, for example when character silhouettes appeared. I know this is not the usual approach, but given that this was such an image-heavy production, and so many times the player would only advance the images and no text, I did want to give them a bit of extra control / pauses, so that they would be encouraged to stay a bit longer and take in the pictures before moving on. So in a way the game occasionally tries to "slow down" the player against their expectations given typical VN mechanics / conventions. As a result, it's sometimes not intuitive, I agree.

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Re: The Photographer [NaNoRenO 2016] [relationships]

#10 Post by january » Fri Apr 15, 2016 3:22 pm

mikey wrote:Thank you for playing, happy you liked it...
january wrote:A minor (gameplay) nitpick, though: it might just be me, but there were numerous moments in the game's introduction where I intuitively expected the next transition/event/etc. to occur automatically, and so it repeatedly took me a few seconds to realize that I was supposed to click to continue (and then I'd consequently click too many times to compensate, oops--bless rollback!).
Yeah, I went for the concept of making people click rather than auto-advance when there is no text before a partial image change (which is what I asssumed happened). For example, when a piece of story text was wiped, and after that I wanted to change the image, I did want to stay in the original image and make the player click for the change, for example when character silhouettes appeared. I know this is not the usual approach, but given that this was such an image-heavy production, and so many times the player would only advance the images and no text, I did want to give them a bit of extra control / pauses, so that they would be encouraged to stay a bit longer and take in the pictures before moving on. So in a way the game occasionally tries to "slow down" the player against their expectations given typical VN mechanics / conventions. As a result, it's sometimes not intuitive, I agree.
Makes sense! At any rate, I did get used to it by the time of the route split (and the photos were certainly worth sticking around for and looking at).

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Re: The Photographer [NaNoRenO 2016] [relationships]

#11 Post by Genow » Fri Apr 15, 2016 9:10 pm

This one was just simply fantastic. I agree with many who've said the photos act as a special way of story telling by itself.

It just really reached me! Preferred the girl's route, perhaps because I could relate more to her, but both routes are worth playing and make up a complete experience.

I can only hope to play more of your projects in the future!

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Re: The Photographer [NaNoRenO 2016] [relationships]

#12 Post by Taleweaver » Sun Apr 17, 2016 2:29 am

Genow wrote:I can only hope to play more of your projects in the future!
Well, looks like mikey and I need to get our creative heads together more often. I'll definitely keep that in mind.
Scriptwriter and producer of Metropolitan Blues
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Re: The Photographer [NaNoRenO 2016] [relationships]

#13 Post by Selebus » Fri Apr 22, 2016 12:38 pm

Character art is absolutely enchanting. Great job.


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Re: The Photographer [NaNoRenO 2016] [relationships]

#14 Post by Taleweaver » Sun Apr 24, 2016 5:42 am

Selebus wrote:Character art is absolutely enchanting. Great job.
I particularly love the art direction - the split screen, the way of showing narrative perspective without using any words. I suppose that's something I, as a writer, really look up to.
Scriptwriter and producer of Metropolitan Blues
Creator of The Loyal Kinsman
Scriptwriter and director of Daemonophilia
Scriptwriter and director of The Dreaming
Scriptwriter of Zenith Chronicles
Scriptwriter and director of The Thirteenth Year
Scriptwriter and director of Romance is Dead
Scriptwriter and producer of Adrift
More about me in my blog
"Adrift - Like Ever17, but without the Deus Ex Machina" - HigurashiKira

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Re: The Photographer [NaNoRenO 2016] [relationships]

#15 Post by mikey » Fri Apr 29, 2016 5:00 pm

Taleweaver wrote:I particularly love the art direction - the split screen, the way of showing narrative perspective without using any words. I suppose that's something I, as a writer, really look up to.
I guess it worked out well, then - I remember I came up with this layout in my head while we were Skype chatting about the story with Taleweaver and it became clear we'd have two narrative perspectives.

However visually we'd only have "portrait" sprites (head and a bit of the torso) so that we wouldn't be able to set them into the eye-level backgrounds like a regular VN would have it because they'd be too short. That's why the idea of having two permanent positions for large portraits came to mind, and also helped in that most of the photos were 4:3 aspect ratio, while the game was widescreen, so the permanent portraits meant we didn't need to crop too much. It kind of all fell into place :)

Glad you (Genow, Selebus) enjoyed it!

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