Evergreen Valley Demo

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Watercolorheart
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#16 Post by Watercolorheart » Thu Aug 31, 2006 5:15 pm

An artist could use that photo as a reference, and make a similar CG picture. It isn't illegal to use a photograph as long as the work is original, I think.
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#17 Post by Alessio » Fri Sep 08, 2006 2:30 pm

Very nice, liked it, great writing! Please finish it, I'm curious to see how it'll end!

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#18 Post by yummy » Sat Sep 09, 2006 12:50 pm

I tried it and I think it was really interesting.
I particularly liked Sydney's personality because of she's quite cheerful.
I'm curious how it'll turn out when the game is finished.

Keep up the good work!

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#19 Post by papillon » Sat Sep 09, 2006 4:38 pm

Finally got around to trying this... some tiny nitpicky comments.

The auto-advancing at the beginning might go on a bit long. A slow reader might have trouble keeping up, and if someone is distracted and looks away, they'll miss stuff... I would generally advise for design purposes not to spend that much time letting the text move ahead on its own. Focusing for a few lines is better than focusing that long.

Like many, I found the chibis jarring, but especially because... How *old* is Noah supposed to be? I haven't played very far in yet, but the opening text had a mature feel to it, especially when talking about six-years-ago. Talking about the passage of time in that way feels like an adult phrasing to me and immediately made me interpret the character as at LEAST twenty-one. And no parents, and walking to school alone... I assumed we were dealing with an adult, who had to go back to school becaues of memory problems. It was then very startling to end up at school with chibi sprites calling the PC the "new kid". Just a style thing, I guess, but it leaves me feeling confused about Noah.

Other than that, it's interesting and does make me curious to see the whole thing. :)

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#20 Post by DrakeNavarone » Sat Sep 09, 2006 7:21 pm

Thanks again for the comments and encouragement.

The opening's not gonna change. That's one thing I'm not gonna budge on. I personally think out of everything in the demo, the opening just fits right. The pace and the text just fit. However, even in the demo, you have the option to replay the intro as much as you want, so you can go back if you missed something.

I'll apologize for the chibi sprites again. But I promise you, they won't be chibi in the full version. But if I tried to draw, they'd turn out even worse...

As for Noah's age, he's 17. I can blame the "super-mature" speech on a few things. One reason is, while he's lacking in other subjects, Noah's really strong in English, so "big words" and the like wouldn't be a problem, even if most teenagers don't talk like that. Also, the memories of the town are really precious to him, so I don't think it would be totally out of place for him to describe them rather extravagantly. Later in the demo, you find out that the reason Noah finds the snow to be so sacred is because his last real memory of the town centers around it. I don't think this kind of mature talk is out of Noah's range (Parker might be able to get away with it too), but I'd be worried if my other characters talk like that, especially Sydney or Blake.
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#21 Post by papillon » Sat Sep 09, 2006 8:05 pm

It's not the big words, it's... (Like I said, this is an incredibly picky personal style issue, and you do NOT have to do anything about it, I'm just trying to explain why I reacted the way I did)

When I was young and describing things that happened to me when I was even younger, I wouldn't describe them as "six years ago" - it would be "when I was eleven" or "when I was in X grade". Focusing on the exact circumstances and not the elapsed time, if you see what I mean? Measuring time in great gulps like that becomes more common as you've lived longer and have more years to count, in my experience. Also, if he's been away from the town since he was eleven, you'd figure his memory'd be kinda fuzzy anyway, eleven's not that old, there would be a lot of things he wouldn't have noticed back then... he'll be an awful lot TALLER than he was then...

So it's not the vocabulary, and waxing grandiose is pretty in-character for a teenager. :) It's the way he talked about not having been here for six years that felt to me like an adult describing having been away for a relative while, not a young adult describing a place he hasn't seen since he was a much younger child - a whole third of his life. Especially in the beginning when I don't think there were any more explicit clues about his age or circumstances. Or maybe I just read too fast and missed them. :)

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#22 Post by DrakeNavarone » Sat Sep 09, 2006 11:43 pm

Okay, now that I get what you're trying to say, you're absolutely right. In fact, in what's written so far, the phrase "six years" appears 12 times... And I can tell you why that is... I've been changing the details around quite a bit already, especially those concerning the time line, and I guess it's just easier on me to make the changes to "six years ago", then trying to vary the lines up with "when i was blah" or "when I was in X grade"

But now that that's been brought to my attention, I might actually be able to make something of it... It really wasn't intentional to make it sound that way, but now that I see the effect it has, I might be able to use it to my advantage... I wanna thank you for this contribution. It just might've added a little bit more depth to the story.
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#23 Post by F.I.A » Sun Sep 10, 2006 12:38 am

Nice writing so far. There is a griping in the writing which draws my attention.

As for the "six years ago" quote, welll, in Kanon, it's most of the time refer as "7 years ago'(Or 10 years ago) when Yuiichi trying to think about his past, and not saying "When I am 10". But yea, the word "6 years ago" appears quite often than even in Kanon, but since it will be a multicho VN as finished work, you will not be meeting all girls at the same time and talking about "6 years ago".
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#24 Post by DrakeNavarone » Wed Apr 18, 2007 1:24 pm

Rise from the grave, this thread of mine! Man, it's been a while since anything has been posted here... Sorry for the massive bump... I guess I should give an update while I'm here. Script is currently twice as long as the demo, but the end is still pretty far away. Nothing else has been done so far. I haven't touched it at all lately, been working on my overdue nanoreno entry (at a very very slow pace). No other significant developments. Now that's out of the way, on to the real reason for the bump...

I've been thinking. I'm almost always thinking about Evergreen Valley no matter what I'm doing. Quite a few recent posts have made good points about certain things, and I always reflect on them, wondering what it means to me and my projects. And so I've come up with a number of different ideas about Evergreen. I've been seriously considering them and I like some of them, but implementing them means changing what Evergreen Valley will be drastically.

One of my ideas that (surprisingly) I like a lot is to do a complete rewrite. Tearing down everything and starting from scratch. Actually, it'd pretty much be a completely different story. Almost nothing would be the same, really. New setting, different plot, even new characters. But certain parts would be really similar, like the theme and hopefully the feel of the project. So while it's not really a rewrite, it's also not like a whole different project. More like a "spiritual successor". Though going this route does kind of feel like I'm dropping this project too, the whole Araiah deal all over again. But I don't really like the idea of finishing up Evergreen and then making this a separate project, because to me it'll feel like I wrote the same thing twice, seeing how similar they would be in spirit.

Another idea is to go kinetic. Sometimes I wonder just how much I am accomplishing with the non-true-end paths. They do have their purpose in the current scheme of things, but that doesn't mean they do enough to justify actually writing them. I could just merge all the paths together, incorporating the important elements from the branches into the main path, without losing all that much. And as they are planned now, the branch endings aren't really all that satisfying, either. But still, I also wanted Evergreen Valley to be interactive, to have those choices. Most of my projects and ideas seem to be veering over more and more towards the kinetic side, but I really do want to make at least one interactive visual novel...

The funny part is that continuing on just as planned doesn't sound all that bad either. I like what it could be, but I also like what it is now, despite its faults. I like the story and I like the characters, and I like what it will be if I simply continue doing what I am doing. But I can't help thinking about and considering these other ideas too. In fact, some of them could be better and some of them I might like more, but I still can't find a reason to hate what I have to make implementing those ideas easier. That's why I've been doing mostly thinking instead of acting.

So I figured I could ask for some opinions. See how many people want to see this story finished instead of derivatives or alternatives. I'm pretty much split on all fronts, but I'd be equally satisfied no matter which approach I take. However, it seems like there were a few people looking forward to how this story will turn out. I want to ask those people how they would feel if I changed things, if I made this into a different story. I'm not in a hurry to make a decision since I won't be picking this back up until my other project is finished, but I am curious about what everyone else thinks about this...
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#25 Post by DaFool » Wed Apr 18, 2007 2:30 pm

Uh...I know most of writing is all about editing, but can you limit the rewrites? Finish the script first before doing the intensive polishing (and chopping blocks if necessary)

About going kinetic or keeping things interactive, unless you are going hybrid, don't worry at all about gameplay or lack of choices.

As a player...

I... DO NOT... LIKE... TO PIXEL-HUNT.

If you feel some paths can be merged then by all means merge them. So instead of 20 endings some of which are just one order of magnitude different from each other, it'd be better to have a few (i.e. around 3 or so) really well-written possible outcomes for the story where you really pushed what the characters could accomplish given the scenario stipulated for that particular ending arc.

Determine where exactly your Finish Line for this project is, then it will help you better plan your strategy in completing it. For example, the Finish Line was easy for me to identify in Magical Boutique. On the other hand, I cannot pinpoint the Finish Line in Hardcastle and Cromwell since although I have adequate writing and a workable battle engine, somehow I'm still not convinced I could just put them all together without having a total disaster on my hands -- a work that would fall short of the hype I have generated for it. It is not an issue of assetts (graphics, music) but an issue of metagame and overall structure of the narrative. I'll tackle it some more after finishing other projects first

So, where is your Finish Line, and are the options you're considering actually moving you towards it or pulling you farther away?

Perhaps other writers can give a better suggestion, though.

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#26 Post by mikey » Wed Apr 18, 2007 6:00 pm

DrakeNavarone wrote:So I figured I could ask for some opinions. See how many people want to see this story finished instead of derivatives or alternatives. I'm pretty much split on all fronts, but I'd be equally satisfied no matter which approach I take. However, it seems like there were a few people looking forward to how this story will turn out. I want to ask those people how they would feel if I changed things, if I made this into a different story.
Well, I was looking forward - but as you mentioned in the rewrite paragraph - not really to the story (series of events and their presentation), but because of how the project felt. And since in this respect it wouldn't matter in which form or using which story it was presented, I'd have to say it doesn't matter - as long as Evergreen Valley or whatever its spiritual equivalent may be still has the essence.

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#27 Post by Nafai » Wed Apr 18, 2007 9:50 pm

Well from the way you described the situation, it seems like the choice isn't so much between finishing this project and rewriting it, insomuch as its a choice between continuing Evergreen and making a whole new game. So I say do both :P Not at the same time of course...

If you're of equal mind to choose either decision, I'd say finish Evergreen first, because theres a greater chance that way that youll do both, as opposed to if you move on to the new project, as the original Evergreen might not be something you return to. Ideas are a progression after all and while youre finishing up the new project you might get an idea for yet another, and move to that instead of going back to Evergreen etc.
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#28 Post by DrakeNavarone » Fri Apr 20, 2007 2:18 pm

DaFool wrote:If you feel some paths can be merged then by all means merge them. So instead of 20 endings some of which are just one order of magnitude different from each other, it'd be better to have a few (i.e. around 3 or so) really well-written possible outcomes for the story where you really pushed what the characters could accomplish given the scenario stipulated for that particular ending arc.
Well, right now, Evergreen Valley only has 4 real endings, and each one is prtty distinct from the other, so it isn't just one magnitude of difference and there won't be pixel hunting... The problem is that even though the endings are different from each other, I'm not entirely sure if they actually get that much done. And I think that three of those endings aren't really that emotionally satisfying either. So the endings don't vary by one or two lines or anything like that, but I think it'd still be possible to merge all the threads together and just have the true end.
Determine where exactly your Finish Line for this project is, then it will help you better plan your strategy in completing it. For example, the Finish Line was easy for me to identify in Magical Boutique. On the other hand, I cannot pinpoint the Finish Line in Hardcastle and Cromwell since although I have adequate writing and a workable battle engine, somehow I'm still not convinced I could just put them all together without having a total disaster on my hands -- a work that would fall short of the hype I have generated for it. It is not an issue of assetts (graphics, music) but an issue of metagame and overall structure of the narrative. I'll tackle it some more after finishing other projects first

So, where is your Finish Line, and are the options you're considering actually moving you towards it or pulling you farther away?
I understand your approach to game making here, but it's not really the case with Evergreen Valley. I knew before I put down even one word that it was going to take a while, so I'm not concerned about time or getting to the finish line as soon as possible. In fact, the most appealing idea, the complete rewrite, would likely take me the furthest away from the finish line, but I still like that idea a lot. However, the shortest distance to the finish line, going linear/kinetic, still sounds appealing, too.
mikey wrote:Well, I was looking forward - but as you mentioned in the rewrite paragraph - not really to the story (series of events and their presentation), but because of how the project felt. And since in this respect it wouldn't matter in which form or using which story it was presented, I'd have to say it doesn't matter - as long as Evergreen Valley or whatever its spiritual equivalent may be still has the essence.
This is one of the reasons why the rewrite is so appealing. Even though there will be a lot of changes, to me it will still feel the same, so it's not like I'm just giving up on Evergreen. It might have a different name, plot, and characters, but the theme and feel will hopefully remain. However, it's not like I hate the current plot, setting, characters, or even the name, which is why I haven't started over yet. In fact, it's my attachment to the characters I have now that's probably the biggest reason I didn't just dive into a rewrite. I'd like to bring them over to the rewrite, but the problem is most of them wouldn't have a place in the new story...
Nafai wrote:Well from the way you described the situation, it seems like the choice isn't so much between finishing this project and rewriting it, insomuch as its a choice between continuing Evergreen and making a whole new game. So I say do both Razz Not at the same time of course...

If you're of equal mind to choose either decision, I'd say finish Evergreen first, because theres a greater chance that way that youll do both, as opposed to if you move on to the new project, as the original Evergreen might not be something you return to. Ideas are a progression after all and while youre finishing up the new project you might get an idea for yet another, and move to that instead of going back to Evergreen etc.
I have considered this too, but this isn't nearly as appealing as the other options. My new story idea and Evergreen Valley would just feel too similar, it'd be like writing the same thing twice. The themes, the mood, even one or two major plot points (possibly) would be the same, so I don't really like the idea of doing it all over again. Even if I put off the other story for a while, get other projects done first, I still don't like the idea of coming back to a story I already told in another way. To me, it feels like I could do one or the other, but not both.

So, if we're keeping score, it seems like that's one vote for each option. Well, I'm still not in a hurry to decide as other things come first. But I'm still interesting in hearing more opinions if anyone cares to chime in.
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#29 Post by mokenju1 » Fri Apr 20, 2007 3:36 pm

If you had the feeling that you should rewrite the script in the first place, maybe you should follow that feeling. Only you as a writer can know what you want to write and no logical reason is really important in these kind of decisions. At least if I had this thought about one of my games or scripts, I would pay attention to that kind of warning. If I start don't "liking" what I'm writing (or have written) the chances that other people is going to like it are small. Just my two cents.

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#30 Post by F.I.A » Sun May 06, 2007 1:24 pm

After viewing Enerccio's thread in General Discussion, I think I should voice my opinion. Especially when I owed you.

Well, maybe first you need to consider what is holding you back on finishing up with Evergreen Valley after all these time. No artist to do the job? Not enough spare time? Deadbeat writing block? Probably the latter two since they are more common.

While it is your own decision to decide, if I was you, I will continue to focus on Evergreen Valley. By "focus" I mean to concentrate wholy on it for the time being, without any side projects in work. While I have no priveledge to say this since I still do not have a "completed" project, doing side project will just hinder the progress of the initial one.


At least that is what I am doing with Winter Shard, ignoring other ideas for the time being still I see it being "complete".
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