chill devlog here
After reviewing some old notes, I realized we'd changed the characters' names to "Manja" and "Saku" (swapping the last letters) at some point, probably to avoid the awkward images their fable names bring up when spoken with an English/American accent ("man jew" and "that dude from avatar").
I'm considering bringing this back. I don't mind a little lingual inaccuracy if it helps the immersion. Just worried it might have the opposite effect on anyone familiar with the inspiration.
Edit: After getting more interested in Chinese content and comfortable with how their names work, I realized this change is very very silly. We'll leave 'em as they were in the fable.
I've also switched the romance in this to bxb. The stories' themes aren't sex-relevant, and the split between sexes was causing them to come off that way. This should also make each protagonist appealing to the same (smaller, niche-r) audience and encourage players to try both routes. I hadn't thought that deeply about it until just recently & wish I had reconsidered that choice earlier.
Currently reading some game design books and condensing my own knowledge that's been picked up throughout this development process. Will resume art and writing shortly. Not in any rush (obviously lol).
On the research side of things, I recently picked up a translation of The Arabian Nights / 1001 Nights. It has a similar structure to Lycoris in that one story branches out to tell many shorter tales. In the case of Lycoris, the main plot is the journey of Manju/Saka, during which we learn the stories of the characters met and places visited, each with a theme that relates back to modern life. 1001 Nights handles it a bit differently, using modern characters and events within the same universe to glue together older middle-eastern mythological and historical fables. It's actually really good and is giving me a lot of great ideas. But it's very long, definitely not something I can or should binge over a few sittings :c
edit: By the way, there's a lot more mockups and updated concept art lying around than what's linked in the first post. I just haven't had any reason to scan the newer stuff in (been working solo for a while). Maybe a new character/location list would be a good enough excuse for the effort.
Made a quick sketch of the protagonists as kids. Getting used to Manju as a male character.
3/21/19 - 4/10/19
Taking a break to focus on a NaNoRenO game.
I've spent the last few months working on other projects, working on my mental health (trying to be more consistently productive), and building up my skills. I'm very close to being able to draw in the art style I've wanted Lycoris to have for a long time. Well, character art, anyway; my environments and composition need some work. I would like to do more audio practice soon as well.
The game has a new name (a few other VNs with the title "Lycoris" or similar variations have come out since I first started working on this...) which will be announced alongside the updated concept art. I've also solidified the vibe and game mechanics.
I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned this here, but over the past year or two, I've been envisioning Lycoris as having a bit of a meta-game. Because it's so massive and will take so long to produce, I wanted it to be designed in a way that left plenty of room for me to play around with other game mechanics and art styles, while still having a consistent aesthetic throughout the bulk of the story and some aesthetic detail tying these additional mechanics together. I've finally figured out how to do this and exactly what kind of tone the game will have.
The bulk of the story will play out in this "manuscript" style VN where the player is flipping through pages in a series of books. Instead of these being disembodied books on some random desk, there's a layer of meta game above them -- you're playing the character who is flipping through them as much as you are playing Lycoris. While most of the story is in the books, the books will sometimes prompt you to play cassette tapes or VHS tapes or video games (the console will probably be a knock-off GameCube with the same resolution limits; we're using that retro/glitchy aesthetic to tie these mechanics together). There will also be some additional horror elements "outside" the game alongside a meta plot. This all allows us to have background audio, cutscenes, jump scares, and minigames without taking away from the books. Imagine trying to binge read a good book while working night shift at FNAF - that's close to the vibe I'm going for.
I'm very happy with the direction the game is going in and look forward to working on it. In the meantime, I'll continue building my skills and progressing on smaller projects ♥