Lycoris: Their Journeys [Horror|Romance|Satire] [BxB]

Ideas and games that are not yet publicly in production. This forum also contains the pre-2012 archives of the Works in Progress forum.
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Lycoris: Their Journeys [Horror|Romance|Satire] [BxB]

#1 Post by Holland » Wed Aug 13, 2014 1:27 pm

Lycoris: Their Journeys

In the gardens beneath Paradise, Yahweh orders you to watch over half the lycoris flower and see that no harm comes to it. You are to sit in your throne without making any sound or moving any muscle. He will come back for you once the task is complete. He promised he would. And yet, years have passed, and you are still alone. Time and weather collapse your seat, and you are thrown to the dry, barren ground of this wasteland once called Eden. When you finally raise your head, your eyes lock onto a familiar face...

In Lycoris, you play as either Manju or Saka, sinners wandering through the fabled lands of Dante's Divine Comedy and other great works of myth, religion, and literature. Is this journey your punishment or a chance at redemption? Is it full of romance and drama or battle and gore? Will it take you through lands long forgotten or skies never seen? That is for you to decide.

Old Concept Art | Current Mockups | Pinterest Board
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1/14/19
After jumping from project to project in 2018, I'm back to working on this for a while c:

I know the OP needs to be updated with new art and a proper summary and whatnot. I'll get around to it soon.

Most recent updates are in the latest reply.
Last edited by Holland on Fri Mar 29, 2019 9:52 pm, edited 66 times in total.
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Re: Lycoris [S/LGBT/A] [Otome] [Supernatural/Horror/Romance]

#2 Post by Fungii » Wed Aug 13, 2014 2:08 pm

Wow, this looks like a huge project you're taking on. Best of luck to you all!

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Re: Lycoris [S/LGBT/A] [Otome] [Supernatural/Horror/Romance]

#3 Post by Holland » Wed Aug 13, 2014 2:12 pm

Fungii wrote:Wow, this looks like a huge project you're taking on. Best of luck to you all!
Thank you! :'3
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Re: Lycoris [S/LGBT/A] [Otome] [Supernatural/Horror/Romance]

#4 Post by gekiganwing » Wed Aug 13, 2014 11:24 pm

I admire ambitious projects. It's encouraging to see creators planning unusual, complex, and lengthy stories.

I don't want to be negative about your project. However, I am worried about a few things:

* Scope. Please carefully consider how much you are ready to write. You might benefit by giving yourself deadlines in order to finish story segments, in order to reduce the likelihood of schedule slip. Also consider releasing your story one part at a time. Make sure you can climb a hill before you try climbing a mountain. I hope that metaphor made sense...

* Many quiet cancellations. If you browse the Ideas and Works in Progress sections of this forum, you will see a lot of unfinished/unreleased visual novels that never progressed past the planning stages. Including a couple of my own. Orz... It doesn't seem to matter whether the creator wants to create the next Katawa Shoujo (...but in space, with sentient furniture!) or whether they want to make a short, simple VN. As far as I can tell, a lot of writers experience problems such as 1) getting bored and losing interest in their stories, 2) getting frustrated and giving up, 3) underestimating how much time and effort is required to get their story finished. Please read at least some of the "Why so many unfinished VNs?" thread.

* Group problems. It's difficult to find people who will commit to getting work done no matter what. Especially if a project goes on for months or years. And especially if you are not able to compensate them for their work. I have seen a few blog entries and forum posts about visual novel projects which had conflicts between group members. This usually ends up in the project getting quietly discontinued.

Think about reading TVTropes' article "So You Want To: Make a Visual Novel." The site has a bunch of useful articles, but please keep in mind that it's a notorious time sink.

Don't give up. Just be careful as you continue. Who knows, perhaps your work will influence and shape fandom.

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Re: Lycoris [S/LGBT/A] [Otome] [Supernatural/Horror/Romance]

#5 Post by Mad Harlequin » Thu Aug 14, 2014 12:20 am

I'm very intrigued by this (I've long been interested in Biblical lore and the like), but as Gekiganwing has advised, be careful not to bite off more than you can chew.

1. Of the characters whose details are currently available, I'm probably most interested in Virgil, Tang Shi, and Leviathan. They seem less . . . straightforward, I suppose.

2. At this early stage, it's difficult to say what I think of the settings, but I'm hoping you do something creative with them.

3. I can't think of anything in particular at the moment, but in general, I'd like to see the characters break free of popular tropes if possible (in both characterization and design).

4. I would have no problems with a more surreal style for the backgrounds, given the nature of the project.
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Re: Lycoris [S/LGBT/A] [Otome] [Supernatural/Horror/Romance]

#6 Post by LadyOfGatsby » Thu Aug 14, 2014 12:31 am

Hey there, this really captured my interest because of the unique plot and amount of everything being put into this visual novel. The features definitely makes things more exciting as well. I don't mean to complain but I really have to since this seems a bit too ambitious and unrealistic for me. There's bound to be problems concerning such a large ambitious novel full of variety of characters and romance routes, etc. Although I'm intrigued and a little edgy, this is still in the ideas section and who knows what could happen? This is amazing though and I do hope this project comes through. Good luck :)
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Re: Lycoris [S/LGBT/A] [Otome] [Supernatural/Horror/Romance]

#7 Post by Holland » Thu Aug 14, 2014 10:02 am

LadyOfGatsby wrote:Hey there, this really captured my interest because of the unique plot and amount of everything being put into this visual novel. The features definitely makes things more exciting as well. I don't mean to complain but I really have to since this seems a bit too ambitious and unrealistic for me. There's bound to be problems concerning such a large ambitious novel full of variety of characters and romance routes, etc. Although I'm intrigued and a little edgy, this is still in the ideas section and who knows what could happen? This is amazing though and I do hope this project comes through. Good luck :)
Thanks for the response~ I understand; it's very ambitious in terms of a visual novel - your skepticism is definitely well-founded! I was wary of posting this just yet since I know the scope is going to get a lot of ill criticism without some clear progress, but I couldn't help myself v-v. I'm sure that there will be problems. All we can do is persist through it and hope there's something reasonable at the end :'3
Mad Harlequin wrote:
Thank you for the response! As for the setting, it's going to be (almost) true to the original Dante's Inferno. Little things are changed (like the presence of a bunker in the 2nd Circle and the 9th circle's ice lakes turning to ice cities) but most of the base ideas (and punishments!) are kept. And no worries - none of the characters are as straightforward as they sound :>
gekiganwing wrote:I admire ambitious projects. It's encouraging to see creators planning unusual, complex, and lengthy stories.
Thank you - I do as well! As much as I love visual novels, I have trouble finding one that can really grasp my attention as long as a real novel does, which is why I wanted to create my own to fill in that gap.
gekiganwing wrote:I don't want to be negative about your project.
I prepared myself for a lot of negative feedback, so don't restrict yourself :'3 Thank you for being honest with me!
gekiganwing wrote:Scope. Please carefully consider how much you are ready to write. You might benefit by giving yourself deadlines in order to finish story segments, in order to reduce the likelihood of schedule slip. Also consider releasing your story one part at a time. Make sure you can climb a hill before you try climbing a mountain. I hope that metaphor made sense...
I'm confident that the base amount of writing won't be a concern once I finally get to the script. I've written longer, less amusing pieces (in a much shorter timeframe with angrier clients D'x). I actually do have a schedule prepared for myself, as well. I agree with releasing it parts at a time, but I'm not sure how that would work while keeping all the variables from previous parts.

Can anyone enlighten me on how releasing continuing chapters works with Ren'Py? Can you continue off the save of a previous release?
gekiganwing wrote:Many quiet cancellations. If you browse the Ideas and Works in Progress sections of this forum, you will see a lot of unfinished/unreleased visual novels that never progressed past the planning stages. Including a couple of my own. Orz... It doesn't seem to matter whether the creator wants to create the next Katawa Shoujo (...but in space, with sentient furniture!) or whether they want to make a short, simple VN. As far as I can tell, a lot of writers experience problems such as 1) getting bored and losing interest in their stories, 2) getting frustrated and giving up, 3) underestimating how much time and effort is required to get their story finished. Please read at least some of the "Why so many unfinished VNs?" thread.
I noticed this when I was lurking through the forums v_v' It's sad to see so many great ideas dropped off because of time/effort or team problems. I went ahead and read through that thread (I'm so sorry Tableweaver!!) and agree with most of the points there. I really wanted to start out with a shorter story, honestly. "This idea is a monster!" - not really, since every other "small" idea I tried to come up with afterwards for this turned out a similar length. The problem is that I have no self-control as far as stories go ; v ;' I do intend to get more practice by releasing short side stories with the characters (just a few scenes in length) to get more confident with using Ren'Py and get feedback before I go all out. I'm really hoping that this project doesn't get dropped off. I wouldn't be surprised if it ended up on hiatus more than once or sunk down into the archives here or there, but I intend to keep going with it no matter how long it takes for the progress to show.
gekiganwing wrote:Group problems. It's difficult to find people who will commit to getting work done no matter what. Especially if a project goes on for months or years. And especially if you are not able to compensate them for their work. I have seen a few blog entries and forum posts about visual novel projects which had conflicts between group members. This usually ends up in the project getting quietly discontinued.
Luckily, the majority of the front end of this is being done by myself, so even if my members drop out, it won't be a visible problem. I'm also a programmer at heart and could take care of the coding myself; I just really don't want to. I love my team (mostly Ham-bb), but I'd understand if they drop out and will try not be restricted by it :0 They have school and lives, after all. I'm just dedicating my entire days to working on this monster /cry.
gekiganwing wrote:Don't give up. Just be careful as you continue. Who knows, perhaps your work will influence and shape fandom.
I'll try my best! Persistence is key to any project, big or small. Even if I don't have a fandom, I'll be my own fandom </3 (BeeMon OTP).
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Re: Lycoris [S/LGBT/A] [Otome] [Supernatural/Horror/Romance]

#8 Post by akemicchi » Sat Aug 16, 2014 12:11 pm

1) Which characters released so far interest you the most? / Who would you pursue first?
There's so many of them, to be honest I can't connect the personality with the name... ^^; I only remember the characters I read last (the angels), and so far, I like most of the angels than I like the demons. Especially the ones that are a strict/impudent/high-and-mighty, which is think most of them lol.

2) What do you think of the settings? (Inferno, Purgatory, Paradise)
I'M SUPER INTERESTED IN THIS. I had an abandoned project that had a completely different plot, but had a similar setting and a similar cast. (Though the cast was only similar in name; yours sounds much more in-depth than mine in terms of personality ahaha) I'm super excited to see what you're going to do. ovo

Oh, I have a question: the demons are based off the Seven Sins, but what are the angels based off? Those aren't the Seven Virtues.

3) Is there anything in particular you'd like to see in current or future characters?
For all games, especially for VNs, I expect deep characters; I want to see interesting characters that stray away from their tropes and surprise me (in a good way, of course). You have so many of them though, I'm just... unsure how you're going to pull that off. ^^; I mean, I'm pretty sure everyone struggles with making three dimensional characters, and it seems like a monumental task doing that for all 21 characters. I like your descriptions now, but seeing them in action is another thing entirely. If you can pull it off, though, that would be amazing!

Also, with such a huge cast, I expect characters to get the proper amount of screen time. It doesn't have to be an equal amount of time as the main characters, but if I'm specifically pursuing a character's route, I expect a route that isn't so short that it feels tagged on. It sounds like they all have their own side story though, so I don't have to worry about something like that... right? eve

4) Do you believe a background style that's more flat and surreal would break the immersion?
I don't think so? :s Though if you had super detailed sprites with meticulous coloring, and then you had a flat, surreal background, it'd be kind of jarring. As long as all the elements work with each other (GUI, sprites, background, etc), it should be fine, I think. :D

Like others, I'm really skeptical about the scope of this VN and your ability to complete it, though it'd be so cool if you did complete it. *v* I also hope the game won't be short? I'd really like to be able to explore and immerse myself in the world.

Good luck! ovob

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Re: Lycoris [S/LGBT/A] [Otome] [Supernatural/Horror/Romance]

#9 Post by Holland » Sat Aug 16, 2014 2:32 pm

akemicchi wrote:1) Which characters released so far interest you the most? / Who would you pursue first?
There's so many of them, to be honest I can't connect the personality with the name... ^^; I only remember the characters I read last (the angels), and so far, I like most of the angels than I like the demons. Especially the ones that are a strict/impudent/high-and-mighty, which is think most of them lol.
I understand; they may be easier to connect with when they can be properly associated with their sprites :'3
akemicchi wrote:2) What do you think of the settings? (Inferno, Purgatory, Paradise)
I'M SUPER INTERESTED IN THIS. I had an abandoned project that had a completely different plot, but had a similar setting and a similar cast. (Though the cast was only similar in name; yours sounds much more in-depth than mine in terms of personality ahaha) I'm super excited to see what you're going to do. ovo
I'm glad to hear you're interested! I hope I can meet your expectations ^o^
akemicchi wrote:Oh, I have a question: the demons are based off the Seven Sins, but what are the angels based off? Those aren't the Seven Virtues.
Thank you for pointing that out! Those are smaller virtues that were acing as placeholders until we decided on what of the Seven Virtues each represented (since it varies from source to source, like the Princes). I'll go ahead and update that shortly.
akemicchi wrote:3) Is there anything in particular you'd like to see in current or future characters?
For all games, especially for VNs, I expect deep characters; I want to see interesting characters that stray away from their tropes and surprise me (in a good way, of course). You have so many of them though, I'm just... unsure how you're going to pull that off. ^^; I mean, I'm pretty sure everyone struggles with making three dimensional characters, and it seems like a monumental task doing that for all 21 characters. I like your descriptions now, but seeing them in action is another thing entirely. If you can pull it off, though, that would be amazing!
Absolutely; I actually wanted to make them each a bit trope-y in appearance and base personality, but their back stories and the way they develop through the story is completely unique to each character (and may make fun of the tropes they're based off of /cough). Developing them is really the hardest part. Though I've crossed it off the list, I'll have to sit down and do a lot more work with each character before I can write them as well as I'd like to.
akemicchi wrote:Also, with such a huge cast, I expect characters to get the proper amount of screen time. It doesn't have to be an equal amount of time as the main characters, but if I'm specifically pursuing a character's route, I expect a route that isn't so short that it feels tagged on. It sounds like they all have their own side story though, so I don't have to worry about something like that... right? eve
The characters are gradually introduced through the story, and you get to pick and choose who you stay with when new characters are introduced. (Imagine it like Dragons Age; there's a limit to how many people can be in your 'party'.) You can interact with the characters you keep, and when you've managed to enter a certain character's route, the rest of the story wraps around how they affect the story. It's not just a parallel side story where you and them run off into the sunset to get a new ending - it lasts the rest of the game and influences just how much you find out about your own character. However, that also means that some character's routes are shorter if they're introduced later. (You can get around this with an early dialogue choice with the guard to Limbo, who's job is to assign the level you start at.)
akemicchi wrote:4) Do you believe a background style that's more flat and surreal would break the immersion?
I don't think so? :s Though if you had super detailed sprites with meticulous coloring, and then you had a flat, surreal background, it'd be kind of jarring. As long as all the elements work with each other (GUI, sprites, background, etc), it should be fine, I think. :D
Yey :'D No, the sprites and such will be in a very similar style~
akemicchi wrote:Like others, I'm really skeptical about the scope of this VN and your ability to complete it, though it'd be so cool if you did complete it. *v* I also hope the game won't be short? I'd really like to be able to explore and immerse myself in the world.
Skepticism is welcome ♥ And no, the game won't be short at all. I'm a huge fan of world building, so each level is going to be fleshed out with different places to explore and events to occur.
akemicchi wrote:Good luck! ovob
Thank you!
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Re: Lycoris [S/LGBT/A] [Otome] [Supernatural/Horror/Romance]

#10 Post by Holland » Thu Aug 21, 2014 9:17 pm

I've just been editing my updates in instead of posting, so I figured I might as well do a 'week one' recap kinda thing so people who aren't lurking know that there's been progress.

Progress From 8/14 - 8/21
I did some basic characterization of Saka's love interests and added them to the main post. I digitalized my rough sketches of the Prophets (linked in News) and, thanks to the reminder from Akemicchi, assigned them their actual virtues. A DeviantArt, Tumblr, and YouTube were made for the group to post updates outside of the forum; they probably won't see action for a while. I also wrote up a description of the 10 worlds you can explore and added them to the main post. Each character has a fun fact added to give you a better picture of them. I also decided on what powers (or lackthereof) each character has (but am not releasing it yet just in case it changes along the way).

I should also note that, during this period of time, a large fleet of fully stocked Chamuelships quietly docked on my kingdom's shore and want me to pick just one. It's a terrible predicament.

As far as art goes, I'm still flipping between two different background styles (one that's more flat or one with more patterns) but have decided to at least stick with my plans of slightly animating them. I even practiced working with the sprites and set up the files for it, at which time I proportioned the character's heights so they'll be shown accurately on screen with one another. (I gave up on trying to get Satan's child form to fit on the same screen as Mammon's, by the way; please try to enjoy your floating shota - unless you'd rather just see the top of his head while he rages around.)

We're also definitely sticking with the default Ren'py screen size for Lycoris to hopefully not have one giantarsefile that takes a week to download. With releases, we're hoping to go by short chapters that will probably have about 15-30 minutes of gameplay each. I'd like to take care of the sprites first so I just have to worry about BGs and CGs (plus unexpected clothes/expressions?) when we get to that point. I took a couple hours out of my day to acquire a good video editing program to avoid worrying about that when we go to do the trailer or a gameplay update, etc. I also sketched out some possible layouts for our team site to grasp the key features. We've basically been trying to set the groundwork for everything.

My aim right now is to try to make character sheets where I can lay out all the poses, clothes, expressions, powers, items, and basic information of each character for reference. That'll let me take care of the sprites and move on to the next parts of the goal list~
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Re: Lycoris [S/LGBT/A] [Otome] [Supernatural/Romance]

#11 Post by unknown5 » Wed Aug 27, 2014 2:32 am

ooh, love the art style and the subject matter - especially the seven deadly sins. best of luck with your project!
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Re: Lycoris [S/LGBT/A] [Otome] [Supernatural/Romance]

#12 Post by Holland » Wed Aug 27, 2014 7:26 am

unknown5 wrote:ooh, love the art style and the subject matter - especially the seven deadly sins. best of luck with your project!
Thank you!
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Re: Lycoris [S/LGBT/A] [Otome] [Supernatural/Horror/Romance]

#13 Post by Holland » Thu Aug 28, 2014 4:43 pm

Here's the week two recap since I'll be busy tomorrow through Sunday for The Homeless Game Jam. I'm hoping to make a short KN around the theme; I'll post it here if it's any good ;3 cleaning the house ;_;

Progress From 8/22 - 8/29
Most of the work this week was behind-the-scenes nonsense. I made the chart mentioned in the last update so that we could start to organize everything for the sprites. The poses were designed for all the main characters except the three girls on Saka's side. I worked quite a bit on the story itself to try and stabilize the plot (it was all over the place, gah). The story now has a lot more direction thanks to the central route being figured out.

Other than that, I've been working on getting the basic graphics for the GUI together (buttons, text boxes, etc). A screenshot was added to the front post which shows the basic art style we're going for with the game. The first post in general was fixed up a bit with the progress area being broken down for more specific updates and the current goals section being flipped around to better show the order we're (kind of) working in.

A Twitter (link in the team section of the first post) was made for the group for when this goes full WIP and we get around to bigger updates. (All the social media pages are dead for now.)

We gathered some more music for those scenes that didn't have anything fitting. In the process, I also found a track I'd like to use as the theme for the trailer; it's not final since Ham isn't a fan of it. I may also upload a couple of the music tracks later today as samples, but I'll make no promises ;0

Edit: Just to give a heads up, the next few weeks will probably be merged into one update since it's mostly art work that's not worth updating each day.
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Re: Lycoris [S/LGBT/A] [Otome] [Supernatural/Romance]

#14 Post by Holland » Tue Oct 07, 2014 7:52 pm

Those two have been busy with their school work, so rather than putting extra stress on them or being the only one dedicating time to the project, I'm putting this on hold for a little bit. I mentioned a while ago that I was going to work on much smaller games for practice at some point between Lycoris' progress; now is the chance for it ^^ Lycoris is more of a fun but long-term project to toss our shoujo nonsense and im/mature fantasy themes into a continuously evolving setting, but this one is more serious in plot and characters, better reflecting my personal preferences when it comes to story telling. It should have a thread up in the next few days~
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Re: Lycoris [S/LGBT/A] [Otome] [Supernatural/Romance]

#15 Post by dott.Piergiorgio » Sun Oct 26, 2014 7:28 am

Perhaps I'm culturally biased (I'm, well, Italian), but why Virgil, Beatrice and not Dante ??

Best regards from Italy,
dott. Piergiorgio.

p.s. there will be reference to the old scholastic question, the sex of angels ? ;)

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