[BL] Break Chance Memento / first post updated 12/28/2011

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Re: [BL] Break Chance Memento -- GERMAN DEMO RELEASED 11/12

#271 Post by Deji » Thu Nov 24, 2011 10:54 am

I found myself procrastinating badly from a huge homework thingie due in... 5 hours, and ended up doodling Shuuki.
So here, have a procrastishuuki 8D!
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Re: [BL] Break Chance Memento -- GERMAN DEMO RELEASED 11/12

#272 Post by Aiurax » Thu Nov 24, 2011 11:08 am

Nawww. I was hoping he would be wearing a bright sunshine yellow apron. With green butterflies on it.
He looks like the jolly type. The type to roleplay as Santa at christmas?
Reminds me of the film 'Bad Santa'...
Anywho. It's... different... to see someone in the game who's not a bishie!
Please tell me he's available too~ ;)

Ah wow, Deji, Shuuki looks amazing. He kind of looks like he's waiting to hear the scream come from the person he just pranked :D

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Re: [BL] Break Chance Memento -- GERMAN DEMO RELEASED 11/12

#273 Post by Camille » Thu Nov 24, 2011 2:54 pm

Yay confectionary boss! 8D Shuuki can't stand him because the boss can never be bothered to remember his name, so every time Shuuki visits the shop, the owner calls him "Natsume's brother", which pisses him off immensely. Sadly he is not obtainable, Aiurax. :P

A rare look at Natsume's story:
It was another hot July day at the confectionary. The owner, too cheap to install air conditioning, had left Natsume alone to watch the shop. It was sweltering inside even though Natsume had left the front door open for circulation. He leaned against the counter on the verge of sleep, absently fanning himself with one of the advertisement pamphlets in a futile attempt to stay cool. Though he had been named for the summer, it was one season Natsume could personally do without. The heat made it much too hard for him to stay awake—already a feat in normal circumstances. The confectionary hadn’t seen a single customer all afternoon. After all, who would want to eat cake in this heat? The owner had offered to let Natsume go home, but he was paid by the hour and every little bit helped, so he declined. He was now essentially being paid to stand around in the heat and do nothing.

The glass cabinet that held all the western pastries had fogged up nicely; tiny droplets of water formed and then dripped down the sides of the glass over and over and over… Natsume’s eyes focused on a single fixed point outside the store window and after half an hour of this, he had no idea what he was staring at anymore.

Natsume: Have to stay awake… Don’t want anyone to rob the store…

He mumbled to himself, but knew in the back of his mind how ludicrous this was. Who on earth would want to steal melted cakes?
Back to Shuuki's:
Just then, the front door swings open and in walks a stubby-looking old man.

Natsume: Ah—! Owner!
Owner: Natsume, what do you think you’re doing?! And who’s that?
Natsume: Oh, this is my little brother… He’s just studying here. I thought it would be okay since there haven’t really been any custom—
Owner: Good lord, you haven’t sold anything all of today, have you?
Natsume: Well, Hayashi-san came in this morning and bought one cake…
Owner: One cake?!
Natsume: I can’t do anything about it… It’s really hot outside, so nobody wants to eat these pastries. I already suggested selling ice cream cakes and other cold desserts, but you turned me down, remember?

The owner sighs.

Owner: It’s not like I don’t like your ideas, but if we sell those, what are we supposed to do with all of the current stock? Throw it out?
Natsume: …well…
Shuuki: Excuse me, but if we can sell off most of these pastries you still have here, you’ll let my brother make ice cream cake? Is that what you’re saying?
Owner: … I suppose.
Shuuki: Ani-ue, why don’t we just go out and try to sell the rest of these, then?
Natsume: Huh? How are we supposed to do that?
Shuuki: The weather’s really nice today, aside from the heat, so there’s a lot of people walking around. You won’t sell anything sitting in here… We should set up a booth outside or something.
Owner: Ohh!! That’s a good idea, Natsume’s little brother!
Shuuki: … It’s Shuuki, sir.
Owner: Shuuki, eh? Well, I like it! Natsume, take some of these cakes out there and try selling them to people as they pass by. Make your pretty face useful for a change! Natsume's little brother, why don’t you help? If you can sell at least half of today’s stock, I’ll let you study here whenever you want!
Natsume: If we can sell at least half of the stock, would you consider getting an air conditioner installed?
Owner: Don’t press your luck, kid.

With the owner’s nagging help, Shuuki and Natsume manage to set up a booth right outside the shop. The two of them man the booth while the owner stays inside in case people decide to go in and buy more.
/o/ Writing samples get! And Deji, Shuuki looks so cute in your style. xD He looks like he's plotting away right there... (love the headphones!)
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Re: [BL] Break Chance Memento -- GERMAN DEMO RELEASED 11/12

#274 Post by Auro-Cyanide » Thu Nov 24, 2011 6:39 pm

OMG DEJI! He looks so awesome! *U* Ah, I'm so happy! I love the outfit you put him in and the headphones! And his expression! So cool! Thank you so much! *dance*

@Aiurax, Hahaha, it's always fun to draw other types of characters, as much as I love drawing bishies XD His apron will be pretty though, with candy like stripes. I can't guarantee jolly though, unless Natsume is making him money.

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Re: [BL] Break Chance Memento -- GERMAN DEMO RELEASED 11/12

#275 Post by mysterialize » Thu Nov 24, 2011 11:54 pm

Hey, I was actually following this for a while, thinking it seemed pretty interesting and very sleek looking, but I missed the demo release, so I'm a little late. XD That said, would you be okay with a thorough critique of the demo, now that I've finally gotten to playing it? I don't just want to throw a wall of text at you guys without at least a warning first.

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Re: [BL] Break Chance Memento -- GERMAN DEMO RELEASED 11/12

#276 Post by Camille » Thu Nov 24, 2011 11:57 pm

@mysterialize: We always welcome walls of text! (: Any comments or criticisms you might have would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: [BL] Break Chance Memento -- GERMAN DEMO RELEASED 11/12

#277 Post by mysterialize » Fri Nov 25, 2011 5:09 am

Okay, just now got through every demo scene. COMMENCE WALL OF TEXT *Cracks knuckles*

The art and UI is, of course, beautiful. Those were the first things that drew me to this project originally, to be honest, and I was only more pleased when I saw them in action. That title screen is a truly sexy beast. Auro deserves many a high five.

I also quite like the premise of the game in general. Time travel is far from a new concept, but the idea of being able to utilize it as a VN feature is really neat, especially with the concept of needing mementos to be able to make it happen. It does a good job of giving the player an interesting mystery-based goal, while also explaining away the sorts of issues that could come up with a time travel plotline. With the necessity of BCMs, someone wouldn't be able to just go back and punch the murderer in the face to prevent the killing from happening, for example. If what I've picked up is correct, then I'm assuming you'd need something directly related to the perfect period of time to be able to do such a thing. So, congrats. Even fixing one common time travel plot issue is something worth praise.

I felt like the dialogue and such was, for the most part, well written and entertaining. You do a very good job at banter and painting a picture of your characters' relationships.

That said, I do feel like exposition could have had a slightly better handling in the demo. A lot of the time, I felt like Kyousuke was just being used as a mouthpiece for basic character and plot points, when those things could have been just as easily been expressed through action. His introductions of the three brothers, for example, seemed unnecessary when the brothers went on to show off their personalities in their dialogue just moments later. I also found it a bit disappointing when he simply listed off a bunch of things that Yukinari did while he was tailing him, when I felt like seeing him do said things could be much more interesting. I hate to repeat a tired expression, but "Show, don't tell" is probably a good phrase to keep in mind. There's just little reason to keep the reader away from the action.

The other main issue I had with the writing was really more of a pet peeve than anything, but I did find myself a bit put off by the frequency of Japanese terms in the dialogue. I'm a pretty longtime follower of Japanese pop culture, but several phrases used in this game went straight over my head. There was also the occasional moment where I feel like the Japanese references were a bit shallow and forced, such as the list of cooking options for Natsume, and the frequent mention of Japanese culture club. Though, perhaps these things have just been ruined for me by overexposure.

Otherwise, I do feel like the writing was of pretty high quality.

HOWEVER

There is one thing that confused the hell out of me. Why is it that when you make choices about what Kyousuke would expect people to do, they wind up doing it, no matter what it is? How is he managing to change people's actions despite being in stealth mode? All he's doing is thinking about things, and they wind up happening. He's changing people's very personalities with his thoughts. His trip back in time is creating entirely new versions of the people he knew, based entirely on his own expectations! Is he really time traveling at all, or is he just traversing an imaginary timeline inside of his mind, where people behave only in accordance to his expectations, with no free will at all!? Has he completely lost his connection with the timestream as we know it, and created his own flow of events that exist only in his own mind!? Has Kyousuke become God of his own world!? OH MY GOOOOOOOOD

Seriously though, I'm really confused.

There were also a couple of times, such as when you had to choose between people to follow and when you had to choose a dish to cook as Natsume (Or Kyousuke subconsciously deciding the actions of imaginary Natsume), when the choices just felt random and meaningless to choose between. There's really no way to predict what's going to happen if you choose to bake a cake rather than make onigiri.

A few other small, nitpicky things:

It probably wouldn't hurt to have a short explanation about how to work the time machine at the time jump screen. Since it happens on a separate screen, complete with an interface, it wouldn't really break immersion to do so. On a similar note, maybe have a message appear if you don't have any BCMs? Something like "You do not have an BCMs, and cannot travel at this time." to make it clear what you need to make it work. When I first played, I thought it was buggy because I couldn't get the machine to do anything.

The blinking without any mouth movement creates the odd effect of knowing that the characters should be able to move because, again, they're blinking, but for some reason seem to be incapable of moving their mouths when they speak. It's a bit creepy. I strongly suggest adding mouth movement in the final version, if you're not already.

Chiaki's shirt has kind of an odd neck cut. It's not quite the right shape or length to show off his chest in a way that would make sense on a male, while still having a low cut. It's not that feminine clothing looks particularly weird, Shuuki gets away with it just fine, but it just seems odd when he has the sort of shirt cut meant to show off a woman's cleavage. He doesn't have cleavage, so what is he showing off?

The demo never actually explains what a BCM is, which, while not confusing to anyone who has read the topic, would be confusing to anyone who played the game without reading up on all the details first.

Really though, while there are some things I felt could use improvement, I did rather like the demo, and I think it's quite a good start. I'll definitely keep watching it for updates and such, because, all and all, it's a neat project.

BUT KYOUSUKE WHAT HAS SCIENCE DONE

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Re: [BL] Break Chance Memento -- GERMAN DEMO RELEASED 11/12

#278 Post by Auro-Cyanide » Fri Nov 25, 2011 6:19 am

mysterialize wrote:Chiaki's shirt has kind of an odd neck cut. It's not quite the right shape or length to show off his chest in a way that would make sense on a male, while still having a low cut. It's not that feminine clothing looks particularly weird, Shuuki gets away with it just fine, but it just seems odd when he has the sort of shirt cut meant to show off a woman's cleavage. He doesn't have cleavage, so what is he showing off?
Thanks for the feedback Mysterialize! ^_^

For my part of it, I can pretty much guarantee I didn't think about it l'D But you make a good point, I might round the neck line a bit more so it's not so angular. I've been looking at more clothing blogs and that for male clothing because I'm not very good at making up outfits, especially for guys, and I would like to give them all some more hopefully.

For the mouth movements, we have been kind of torn. We thought it might be a bit weird if their mouths moved, but there was no sound? Plus, the mouth movements would be pretty simple because we have limited ability with it and I'm not sure how it would go with the emotions (I didn't think we were doing blinking for the demo so I was very surprised and excited to see it XD). So, I would like to get opinions on this. Should it be something we should consider doing if we can?

I'm glad that overall you liked the demo. We are working very hard to make the demo everything we want it to be :D

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Re: [BL] Break Chance Memento -- GERMAN DEMO RELEASED 11/12

#279 Post by Camille » Fri Nov 25, 2011 12:33 pm

mysterialize wrote:That said, I do feel like exposition could have had a slightly better handling in the demo. A lot of the time, I felt like Kyousuke was just being used as a mouthpiece for basic character and plot points, when those things could have been just as easily been expressed through action. His introductions of the three brothers, for example, seemed unnecessary when the brothers went on to show off their personalities in their dialogue just moments later. I also found it a bit disappointing when he simply listed off a bunch of things that Yukinari did while he was tailing him, when I felt like seeing him do said things could be much more interesting. I hate to repeat a tired expression, but "Show, don't tell" is probably a good phrase to keep in mind. There's just little reason to keep the reader away from the action.
To be honest the "telling instead of showing" scenes came about mostly because I didn't have enough time to write. We didn't want to push back the release date of the demo, but we didn't decide to do totally new scenes until close to a week before the release date, so I quite literally had to stay up all night running on espresso for a few days in a row just to write the scenes in the demo now. XD; There's no introductions like that in the real game whatsoever (all Shuuki says is "Oh this is Hosokawa Yukinari, my brother's classmate" and leaves it at that, for example)

The other reason is that during the release of the demo, we only had so many BGs to use. The BGs you saw in the demo were the only ones we had at the time. (other than the love hotel one, which ... I didn't think would be good for this demo for a multitude of reasons) I didn't want the demo to show placeholders at all, so I wanted to write scenes that utilized only the BGs that Auro had finished. As such, we couldn't show Chiaki or Yukinari at their own homes, nor could we show scenes with any of the 5 at off-campus hangouts. This, too, will be solved in the actual game since we will have all the BGs and no such restriction. :3 Of course the problem in the game is that you're now getting scenes only from Natsume and Shuuki's point of view and unlike Kyousuke, they can't follow everyone around 24/7. But the differing POVs is a big part of the story--seeing how the two main characters react differently to the same things. Kyousuke really was just ... there. He gave us an excuse to follow the characters around without directly affecting the story, but more on that later.
mysterialize wrote:The other main issue I had with the writing was really more of a pet peeve than anything, but I did find myself a bit put off by the frequency of Japanese terms in the dialogue. I'm a pretty longtime follower of Japanese pop culture, but several phrases used in this game went straight over my head. There was also the occasional moment where I feel like the Japanese references were a bit shallow and forced, such as the list of cooking options for Natsume, and the frequent mention of Japanese culture club. Though, perhaps these things have just been ruined for me by overexposure.
You think? D: I only really used Japanese words for honorifics, the two words for "brother" that Shuuki and Masaharu use for Natsume, and the aforementioned two food items... Unless I'm forgetting something. I remember once I used "goukon" in a BCM-related text and a friend chewed me out for it, so I was careful to call it a "group date" in the demo. xD For the food, I just happened to choose those two because they're two things that are easily made at home. (also Natsume really does only eat onigiri) The onigiri is later just referred to as riceballs anyway, and takoyaki... Well, calling it takoyaki is a lot easier and effective than calling it "octopus balls". A lot of food-related things, if I were to try to translate them directly into English, it'd just be a bit weird. Like how would I translate "yakiniku" or "yakisoba bread" or even "oden"?

The two words for "brother" can't be helped because they're part of the original uhh. Canon? BCM is based off of another story project that a group of friends and I came up with. The fact that Shuuki and Masaharu each call Natsume something different reflects the differing amount of respect they have for him. Shuuki calls Natsume "Ani-ue" which is a super-highly respectful term, whereas "Aniki" (via Masaharu) is much more casual, though still somewhat respectful. There really isn't an English equivalent for those, either, and to remove them would feel kind of weird to me.

Other than that, I have actually been thinking about removing the honorifics and such. I've been working as an editor for Digital Manga Guild where they mostly frown upon that sort of thing... I dunno, I personally feel like if a game is set in a certain country, you should try to keep to it a bit. But "sensei" became teacher and "goukon" became group date... I tried not to just randomly use Japanese words when there was an obvious English equivalent. Still, I understand that it's easy to oversaturate the text with Japanese terms (a lot of which I sort of overlook simply because I can speak/read Japanese at a fairly decent level so they're hardly foreign words to me anymore) so I'll try to be more careful about that in the future. :3 I have another friend who's very picky about that sort of thing that I'll get to proofread. XD Due to the aforementioned speed of and state under which I had to write the demo, I couldn't get it proofread at all. (in fact I think the only person who played it before it was released was my friend Kei/Natsumachi on LSF and that was like 15 minutes before xD)
mysterialize wrote:There is one thing that confused the hell out of me. Why is it that when you make choices about what Kyousuke would expect people to do, they wind up doing it, no matter what it is? How is he managing to change people's actions despite being in stealth mode? All he's doing is thinking about things, and they wind up happening. He's changing people's very personalities with his thoughts. His trip back in time is creating entirely new versions of the people he knew, based entirely on his own expectations! Is he really time traveling at all, or is he just traversing an imaginary timeline inside of his mind, where people behave only in accordance to his expectations, with no free will at all!? Has he completely lost his connection with the timestream as we know it, and created his own flow of events that exist only in his own mind!? Has Kyousuke become God of his own world!? OH MY GOOOOOOOOD

Seriously though, I'm really confused.

There were also a couple of times, such as when you had to choose between people to follow and when you had to choose a dish to cook as Natsume (Or Kyousuke subconsciously deciding the actions of imaginary Natsume), when the choices just felt random and meaningless to choose between. There's really no way to predict what's going to happen if you choose to bake a cake rather than make onigiri.
Because it's a demo and since it's from the POV of someone who has no presence whatsoever in the current timestream, we had to improvise a little bit. I mean, would you have preferred a kinetic demo? XD; Which I was actually also considering, but then thought it wouldn't be that much fun. I don't think any of the choices were really personality-altering. The biggest choice was whether Shuuki was going to wait or not for his (now) ex-boyfriend, but that choice is really only there because it's a demo and as such, Shuuki's personality hasn't developed enough yet. I think most choices in VNs are kind of like that, though... I mean, sometimes you have the choice of SAVE THIS PERSON or LEAVE THEM TO DIE, you know? Still, either of those choices would have been something Shuuki is capable of doing. True, he is a very punctual person so he'd be more likely to just leave after five minutes, but if he was in a certain mood, he might also be inclined to wait. Sometimes humans do things that are somewhat "out of character" if they're "in the mood" or influenced by other factors.

In the end, I figured anyone interested enough in BCM would end up picking all the choices in order to see all the scenes, anyway. Since there's no end to the demo, the choices themselves don't really matter; they're just ways you can see different scenes. As for not being able to predict what will happen, that's what save/load and rollback is for. I try not to have too many choices like that (it's unfortunate that the demo had quite a few), but sometimes it's just sort of necessary. Life itself is like that--it's not always obvious what will happen when you decide on something. I think most VNs (especially the dating sims) are even more vague than this. XD; At least here when Kyousuke goes "Should I follow Shuuki or should I follow Masaharu?" it's fairly obvious what will happen should you choose one.
mysterialize wrote:It probably wouldn't hurt to have a short explanation about how to work the time machine at the time jump screen. Since it happens on a separate screen, complete with an interface, it wouldn't really break immersion to do so. On a similar note, maybe have a message appear if you don't have any BCMs? Something like "You do not have an BCMs, and cannot travel at this time." to make it clear what you need to make it work. When I first played, I thought it was buggy because I couldn't get the machine to do anything.
Actually the time machine wasn't supposed to show up when you didn't have any BCMs, so that really was a bug. ^^; (someone reported it on one of the previous pages in this thread and I was really confused at first, but basically I forgot to put a "return" somewhere and it threw off the whole thing :|) There's an explanation on how to use the time machine in the help file of the demo (that's why it says in bold letters on the demo page to read the help file before you play the demo); the actual game has a tutorial that I'm still annoyed at because I haven't figured out how to have everything show the way I want it to. I figured since this version of the time machine is veeeeery umm--restricted?--compared to the real thing that people would probably be able to figure it out and I didn't want to put my buggy-as-heck tutorial from the real game into the demo, so... Not a good choice, I suppose. D: But yeah there's a tutorial in the actual game, so all the complicated stuff will be explained.
mysterialize wrote:The blinking without any mouth movement creates the odd effect of knowing that the characters should be able to move because, again, they're blinking, but for some reason seem to be incapable of moving their mouths when they speak. It's a bit creepy. I strongly suggest adding mouth movement in the final version, if you're not already.
I think quite a lot of games have sprites blinking without mouth-moving, though. (in fact I find it's much more common to have only-blinking sprites compared to other kinds) We thought it'd be weirder for their mouths to move without any voicing coming out. ^^; The blinking was a little bit of an experiment, but if it's that jarring, I suppose I can just take it out altogether. I think most people liked it, though, based on the survey responses and whatnot. It's something for Auro and I to discuss and think about some more. D: It wouldn't be that hard to code the blinks out or code mouth-movements in, I suppose.
mysterialize wrote:The demo never actually explains what a BCM is, which, while not confusing to anyone who has read the topic, would be confusing to anyone who played the game without reading up on all the details first.
Yeah, because they don't really matter in the demo. They are thoroughly explained in the actual game. In hindsight, I suppose that wasn't a very good decision. D: As a few have said, the weak time travel in the demo is really only there to unlock two extra scenes and so people can see what the time machine GUI looks like. You don't get to look for BCMs or use them like you do in the real game, so I didn't think it was necessary to have an explanation of something that didn't really matter at that point in time. (no pun intended) Again, all the complicated stuff will be explained in the actual game. :3 Above everything, the demo was really just a way for people to see the characters in action, as well as preview the UI and some of the other art. It wasn't very good at showing what the real gameplay will be like. XD; Given more time, there's a lot of things that I would have done differently, but then a friend of mine said something along the lines of "Quit worrying and just get the demo out so you can get your butt back to working on the real game", so that's pretty much what I did, haha.

Anyway we both really appreciate the feedback. You've given us a lot of things to think about and consider. *__* I hope I didn't come off as defensive or anything, because you did bring up many good points that I have to ponder for a while. Luckily there's still (at least) half a year before the real game's release. I'm glad that, overall, you enjoyed it. XD It would've been a serious problem if you were bogged down by all these things you didn't like and weren't able to enjoy the demo at all. ;_;

Edit; Whoops also in response to this
mysterialize wrote:That title screen is a truly sexy beast. Auro deserves many a high five.
While Auro did do the logo, the title screen and other GUIs were designed by Lazcht and coded/tweaked/etc by me.
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Re: [BL] Break Chance Memento -- GERMAN DEMO RELEASED 11/12

#280 Post by Celestie » Fri Nov 25, 2011 1:47 pm

Deji wrote:I found myself procrastinating badly from a huge homework thingie due in... 5 hours, and ended up doodling Shuuki.
So here, have a procrastishuuki 8D!
procrastishuuki.jpg
...I'd totally dig that...him. *Q* Shuuki looks like a sly fox and I so like it~

THE TITLE OF THIS THREAD CONFUSES ME. Just the 'GERMAN DEMO RELEASED' part. Hm, gotta find out what this is about /D not that I have any time playing any demos right now, but once I have time...muahahahaha~
*pending signature, as in, I don't have any if this signature doesn't allow any 100px high images TAT*

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Re: [BL] Break Chance Memento -- GERMAN DEMO RELEASED 11/12

#281 Post by Camille » Fri Nov 25, 2011 1:51 pm

0_o What's confusing about it? A German version of the demo was released on November 12th. You can download it at the demo website whenever you find the time for it.
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Re: [BL] Break Chance Memento -- GERMAN DEMO RELEASED 11/12

#282 Post by Celestie » Fri Nov 25, 2011 2:03 pm

Confused as in baffled that something like this existed. (And yesh, I also just found the post where you posted the link, too.) What was the reason to have a German version? There won't be a German Version of the full game, will there be?
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Re: [BL] Break Chance Memento -- GERMAN DEMO RELEASED 11/12

#283 Post by Camille » Fri Nov 25, 2011 2:13 pm

Well, we released the demo and shortly afterward, a German member of LSF who really liked the game offered to translate it, so I let them. I was really flattered that they offered. I don't know if there's ever a reason for having translations of a game... So more people can play it? The full game will have a German version, too, of course, translated by the same person. (it would be really silly to have a German demo but not have a German version of the real game, as all the German people who played the demo--and there are quite a few--would be left out) The translator is part of the beta team, so they'll be translating the game about 3 chapters at a time instead of doing it all at the end. We're planning on releasing the English and German versions at the same time, if it's possible.
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Re: [BL] Break Chance Memento -- GERMAN DEMO RELEASED 11/12

#284 Post by Celestie » Fri Nov 25, 2011 2:24 pm

Why, that makes it perfect. My friend is better-versed in German than she is in English, so. Perfect birthday present, in case the release is sometime before October. And even if it's later, she'll just get the present later. Muahaha. So, thanks for all the efforts, all of you♥
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Re: [BL] Break Chance Memento -- GERMAN DEMO RELEASED 11/12

#285 Post by Auro-Cyanide » Sun Nov 27, 2011 4:04 am

Boss sprite is now finished! I'm late, but I'm blaming apple pie and my first experience with a Thanksgiving food coma XD
Sprite Example.png

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