Fallstreak [Fantasy][Psychological][Free]

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Centicerise
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Fallstreak [Fantasy][Psychological][Free]

#1 Post by Centicerise » Fri Oct 19, 2018 6:26 pm

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Synopsis

The land of Socotrine— a hidden garden surrounded by a border of reality-distorting mist.
Fallstreak tells the tale of Adelise Cotard, a young girl that enters a timeless golden dream when she falls asleep.
How are her dreams related to the Fire of Collapse, a mysterious disaster ten years ago in which prismatic flames rained from the sky, and how does it connect with her ultimate goal: escape from the closed world of Socotrine?



Characters

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CG & Screenshot Samples

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Features:


- Writing: 80,000 Word Script
- Character Sprites: 13 Unique Character Sprites
- Backgrounds: 30+ Unique BGs
- Illustrations: 12 Event CGs
- Original Sound Track: 23 Tracks

Team:


Writing & OST: Centi

Sprites & CGs: Rimuu

Logo & GUI: Potouto

Backgrounds: Xand


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Fallstreak is available on Steam and Itchio!

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Re: Fallstreak [Fantasy][Psychological][Free]

#2 Post by aliciarune » Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:54 pm

This game looks really beautiful. I'm surprised it's free. But I'm gonna try it. Congrats on getting it done =)

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Re: Fallstreak [Fantasy][Psychological][Free]

#3 Post by tri2015 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 2:54 pm

I wish that there are choices for textbox/text color because sometime it is hard to read for me.
I haven't finished the VN but there are interesting lines (about "omniscience is curse") and memorable one (when the girl's color turned to be red, which implied blood caused by suicide, I suppose. I think it is interesting narrative, I like it).

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Re: Fallstreak [Fantasy][Psychological][Free]

#4 Post by ebi-hime » Sat Nov 03, 2018 2:33 pm

The art for this story is seriously beautiful, and I love the UI. The music is also pretty nice, and the general concept is interesting.
However, the actual style this story is written in leaves a bit to be desired. The narrative constantly flip-flops between past and present tense (in some scenes, it swaps between the two every second sentence or so), which makes it a bit of a headache to read. Here's an example from one scene (these screens were taken about 5 text boxes apart):

https://66.media.tumblr.com/09467be123d ... 1_1280.png
https://66.media.tumblr.com/7edae89d7c2 ... 4_1280.png

The first screen is clearly in past tense ('she was there'), while the second is in present ('[she] returns our greeting'). Since present tense is used more frequently in this story than past, the first screen should probably be rephrased to something like 'I see her sitting there, illuminated by the light of the early morning'.

This constant shifting between past/present tense is quite jarring, and I think it would benefit the story if you got somebody to go through it and fix all these inconsistencies.

The art and presentation is really nice, and the story itself seems quite interesting, but I think the writing needs some editing.
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Re: Fallstreak [Fantasy][Psychological][Free]

#5 Post by roytam » Mon Nov 05, 2018 5:48 am

Hi,

The graphics of this game are very excellent. Well done!

Sprites and CGs were made by Rimuu. Rimuu should be a very good artist...yes!

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Re: Fallstreak [Fantasy][Psychological][Free]

#6 Post by Centicerise » Mon Nov 05, 2018 6:39 pm

ebi-hime wrote:
Sat Nov 03, 2018 2:33 pm
The art for this story is seriously beautiful, and I love the UI. The music is also pretty nice, and the general concept is interesting.
However, the actual style this story is written in leaves a bit to be desired. The narrative constantly flip-flops between past and present tense (in some scenes, it swaps between the two every second sentence or so), which makes it a bit of a headache to read. Here's an example from one scene (these screens were taken about 5 text boxes apart):

https://66.media.tumblr.com/09467be123d ... 1_1280.png
https://66.media.tumblr.com/7edae89d7c2 ... 4_1280.png

The first screen is clearly in past tense ('she was there'), while the second is in present ('[she] returns our greeting'). Since present tense is used more frequently in this story than past, the first screen should probably be rephrased to something like 'I see her sitting there, illuminated by the light of the early morning'.

This constant shifting between past/present tense is quite jarring, and I think it would benefit the story if you got somebody to go through it and fix all these inconsistencies.

The art and presentation is really nice, and the story itself seems quite interesting, but I think the writing needs some editing.
It's good you bring that up, because tenses were indeed a great point of contention when it came to finalizing the script. Fallstreak shifts quite a bit between tenses and writing style depending on the scene, since there are a wide variety of scenes that need to be approached differently. There are components where past tense is used exclusively, such as the more traditional storytelling sections (e.g. the doll story section at the beginning). Then there are components where present tense is used exclusively such as dynamic action scenes in order to facilitate a sense of engagement and immediacy.

The majority of the scenes are present time and relatively unengaged, however. While it certainly deviates from writing norms, we decided to go with tense shifts, because we believe it allows for a wider range of expression. Generally speaking in Fallstreak, past tense is used for character reflection, observation, and introspection, while present tense is used for character action and direct interaction.

It is certainly unconventional-- we would never approach normal mediums with tense shifts. Novels should stick to only one tense, which is usually the past tense. Cinematic scripts like for movies/plays should also only stick to one tense-- the present tense usually.

But visual novels (and some video games) as a medium often aren't quite as straightforward. Some visual novels like Fata Morgana with a more traditional story-telling leaning angle use past tense for the prose, with only the dialogue being in present tense. When this is done from a 1st-person perspective (which the vast majority of VNs are done in) it gives a narration-like quality to the perspective character's both internal life and external actions, which isn't always desirable.

Most visual novels simply use present tense though, and that honestly works fairly well. However, it does give little room for nuance when it comes to the perspective character's active inner voice thoughts and interactions vs. their passive impressions & perceptions of the world. Visual novel protagonists are in an odd spot where they serve as both the 1st person perspective character and the narrator of the scene/world. VNs are also a weird medium because, while it mimics it, the scenario isn't truly real-time/current like in cinematic scripts.

Overall, it's good you bring it up, but the tense shifts are indeed deliberate rather than the product of editing negligence. Tense shifts were something the writer decided on after trying out the script in strictly past tense and strictly present tense and being unsatisfied with the constraints that both imposed.

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Re: Fallstreak [Fantasy][Psychological][Free]

#7 Post by ebi-hime » Mon Nov 05, 2018 8:08 pm

Centicerise wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 6:39 pm
It's good you bring that up, because tenses were indeed a great point of contention when it came to finalizing the script. Fallstreak shifts quite a bit between tenses and writing style depending on the scene, since there are a wide variety of scenes that need to be approached differently. There are components where past tense is used exclusively, such as the more traditional storytelling sections (e.g. the doll story section at the beginning). Then there are components where present tense is used exclusively such as dynamic action scenes in order to facilitate a sense of engagement and immediacy.
I think it would be totally fine if sections of the story were written exclusively in past tense, and other sections exclusively in present tense. This would be very easy to read, and using different writing styles would help distinguish the different 'types' of scenes this story has (e.g. the doll story, the scenes in the 'Golden World', and scenes in the main character's daily life).

However, this isn't really the case.
In the scenes depicting the main character's daily life, the tense changes a lot, often for no reason (that I can see, at least).
I noticed that descriptions of characters' personalities/appearances are generally written in past tense, while most of their actions are in present tense... but this rule doesn't always hold true, and even if it did, it would be unnecessary.
It's perfectly possible to write descriptions of physical appearances/personalities in present tense, and doing this wouldn't affect the 'nuance' of the narrator's voice. It would only make everything feel more consistent.
This changing of tense also muddles the narrator's status. Having her describe everybody's appearances in the past tense, but their actions in present, makes it seem like she's constantly jumping backwards and forwards in time, which might not be the 'feeling' you want to communicate?

Because the tense of the story keeps switching, you even end up with several very awkward sentences that switch between tenses, which look like mistakes:
https://66.media.tumblr.com/d6ccf4ceb33 ... 2_1280.png
https://66.media.tumblr.com/0c0b9a35f2d ... 1_1280.png
https://66.media.tumblr.com/001599b20f7 ... 3_1280.png
https://66.media.tumblr.com/417d834310b ... 1_1280.png

I'm sorry if it seems I'm being pedantic about this, but I can be pretty picky when it comes to grammar.
I've read a lot of visual novels, and though several of them switch between different tenses/narrators/writing styles to convey their stories, they're usually easier to follow than this, with more logic behind them.
I have a lot of free & commercial VNs available on Steam here if you want to check them out! ☆

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Re: Fallstreak [Fantasy][Psychological][Free]

#8 Post by Centicerise » Tue Nov 06, 2018 2:00 am

ebi-hime wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 8:08 pm

I'm sorry if it seems I'm being pedantic about this, but I can be pretty picky when it comes to grammar.
I've read a lot of visual novels, and though several of them switch between different tenses/narrators/writing styles to convey their stories, they're usually easier to follow than this, with more logic behind them.
I wouldn't consider it being pedantic-- it's very much a valid point that was wrestled with for pretty much the entirety of the script writing process and one that will remain at the center of attention for the writing of the sequel's script. To explain the decision making behind it though, the tense changes in Fallstreak are generally tied to the perspective character's degree of engagement with the environment. Past tense prose is usually reserved for internal life parts where the MC's mind 'recedes,' while present tense prose is used for external interaction that projects onto the world.

The desired effect is for the past tense to create a sense of suspension of time, with the present tense indicating time is actively flowing once more. It's undoubtedly unconventional, but the idea is it allows the prose to exert an extra dimension of control over the flow of the narrative.

Essentially since visual novels lie in a gray area between the true real-time of cinema/theatre and the past-tense narration of traditional novel prose, it feels like exploring some intermediary or compromise would allow it to actualize its potential as a medium. The theory behind VNs and interactive storytelling is pretty undeveloped due to how young and unique it is as a medium. The flexibility that tense shifting provides is an appealing, if not experimental, approach that we ultimately ended up utilizing with that in mind. Overall it feels like we were able to instill a more dynamic sense of flow by incorporating it.

It's definitely easier to just make everything present tense, and that's honestly the smoothest way to approach it considering how much headache it would've saved. But we tried doing it that way, and it felt a lot of extra nuance that tense shifts allowed was lost. Basically every single block of text was poured over with the question of whether it would work better to make it past or present, and the final script is the product of that.

The way we approached the script is pretty much heresy for any writing fundamentalist, but the way it's crafted is entirely the product of the vision we had for it.

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Re: Fallstreak [Fantasy][Psychological][Free]

#9 Post by vana » Sun Nov 11, 2018 2:37 am

ebi-hime wrote:
Mon Nov 05, 2018 8:08 pm
I think it would be totally fine if sections of the story were written exclusively in past tense, and other sections exclusively in present tense. This would be very easy to read, and using different writing styles would help distinguish the different 'types' of scenes this story has (e.g. the doll story, the scenes in the 'Golden World', and scenes in the main character's daily life).

However, this isn't really the case.
In the scenes depicting the main character's daily life, the tense changes a lot, often for no reason (that I can see, at least).
I noticed that descriptions of characters' personalities/appearances are generally written in past tense, while most of their actions are in present tense... but this rule doesn't always hold true, and even if it did, it would be unnecessary.
It's perfectly possible to write descriptions of physical appearances/personalities in present tense, and doing this wouldn't affect the 'nuance' of the narrator's voice. It would only make everything feel more consistent.
This changing of tense also muddles the narrator's status. Having her describe everybody's appearances in the past tense, but their actions in present, makes it seem like she's constantly jumping backwards and forwards in time, which might not be the 'feeling' you want to communicate?

Because the tense of the story keeps switching, you even end up with several very awkward sentences that switch between tenses, which look like mistakes:
https://66.media.tumblr.com/d6ccf4ceb33 ... 2_1280.png
https://66.media.tumblr.com/0c0b9a35f2d ... 1_1280.png
https://66.media.tumblr.com/001599b20f7 ... 3_1280.png
https://66.media.tumblr.com/417d834310b ... 1_1280.png
I have to agree with ebi-hime. While I found the story of Fallstreak intriguing (perhaps I'll write more later... if I find the time >.< ), the tense changes didn't feel logical. When it changes so frequently within a single scene, it just takes me right out of the flow of the story. I don't mind breaking literary rules but they take a great deal of skill to pull off a good rule-breaking. I'm sure there are other creative ways to get the nuance you desire without breaking the flow of the narrative by changing tenses. Don't complicate things needlessly, imho.

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