Once a Day [Apocalypse/Dramedy] [GxB] [Asexual/Aromantic]

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Once a Day [Apocalypse/Dramedy] [GxB] [Asexual/Aromantic]

#1 Post by Cirrocumulus-Cloud » Fri Oct 30, 2015 8:47 pm

Image
About
Created with Renpy.

Visual Novels finally go into the direction of same-sex relationships, which is a big step towards including smaller groups of people, and I love that.
However, I have yet to see an openly asexual or aromantic character in a visual novel.
Being demisexual myself, this was an issue I couldn't ignore.
Thus, this project was born as a personal NaNoReNo challenge for the month of November/December.


~*~

Waking up without memories is a cliché that Koneko would have loved to avoid, alas, fate wasn’t on her side.
Thankfully she functions pretty well as a basic human even without remembering her name.
Finding herself in bed next to the most electric person she has ever met is another experience that she could have lived without.
Oh, and the world has experienced the apocalypse while she was out cold.

Great.

Experience a rich and colourful world, different from other apocalyptic scenarios in its mixture of comedy and drama.
Play as Koneko as she comes to understand that the true mystery isn't her fuzzy memory, but earth itself.
Learn more about this weird world and come to understand its inhabitants.
Experience why life after humanity's fall can be beautiful as long as you have friends to rely on.
Accept the dark sides that come with trying to help each other survive.
You won't stay innocent.

But Once a Day you might look up at the sky and think that life is beautiful.
Features

- original artwork and CG's
- over 50.000 words
- the ability to play as asexual, aromantic, both or none
- 2 character relationships

Varied endings by three types of sub-endings
- 6 character endings - bad, friendship, relationship (3 Ko, 3 Junji)
- 2 pet endings (Matcha)
- 2 story endings (Koneko)


Progress

Script: 5.000 words/50.000 words [10%]
Sprites: 2/? [5%]
CG's: 0/?
Choices: 2/?

Warnings
(each subject is portrayed sensitively, though it does exist)


- some blood
- character disabilities
- sexual themes beyond kissing (not for Junji)
- an overwhelming amount of cuddling (not for Ko)
- dark humour

Characters

Koneko
Image
The player character. She got her nickname because of the fluffy cat ear earmuffs that she wears and it stuck.
Koneko wakes up in a world that is unlike what she remembers,
though the uncertainty of her situation cannot stop her cringe worthy humour from brightening up any day.



Moto, Junji [Asexual]
Image

Junji, also known as “Bluebird”, is a strange young man with fading blue hair and an eccentric nature.
He loves band t-shirts, even though he rarely knows any of said music groups.
Junji seems to be obsessed with pills, picking them over a well balanced meal.
He clings to Koneko, even though she does not know him.



Sato, Ko [Aromantic]
Ko, otherwise going by the nickname “Redwing”, is a troubled redhead.
His bark is worse than his bite, though you shouldn’t underestimate him either way.
While he isn’t one for close human contact, he loves a good conversation.
Ko could be a fearsome gang leader, if it weren’t for the fact that he is bound to a half-broken wheelchair.



Matcha
Matcha is a hairless cat with bright, green eyes.
She loves to bedazzle people with her ladylike charm and snobbish attitude.
Matcha is the biggest tuna lover in the world, according to Junji and Ko.


Team

Currently, this is a solo project made entirely by Cirro herself.

All portraits are WIP and do not represent the final product.



Questions

1. Does the idea sound appealing?
2. What about the art style?
3. Do you need more information regarding the plot?
4. Who interests you more - Junji or Ko?
Last edited by Cirrocumulus-Cloud on Mon Nov 16, 2015 9:00 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: Once a Day [Apocalypse/Dramedy] [GxB] [Asexual/Aromantic

#2 Post by Cirrocumulus-Cloud » Sun Nov 01, 2015 6:03 pm

Small Update:

- added a progress bar in the opening post
- managed to finish roughly 10% of the script
- sketched out Koneko's sprite
- thought about making Junji's sprite brighter

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Re: Once a Day [Apocalypse/Dramedy] [GxB] [Asexual/Aromantic

#3 Post by Didules » Wed Nov 04, 2015 8:41 am

Hi there!
This seems to be a promising thread :D
I hope this'll help in some way:

1) Does the idea sounds appealing?
Which idea? Being thrown into a post-Apocalyptic world without any memories? Or (finally) character from the silent minorities that are aces and aros? Both sound good to me X)
Though I'd have to say I'd be more interested if the story was story-driven and not character-driven, so with an emphasis on the "being thrown in a post-apo world without any memories" part, since I'm an ace I always find it obviously painful when games/books/etc dwell too much on this sexual orientation ^^" (I trust you on that thing though).

2) What about the art style?
I have more issues with it, since I don't know which tone you're aiming for. If it's a bit of a dark story then I think the art's style is too colorful, bright and simple. If you're aiming for a light-hearted comedy then it's all good. It seems to be a dramedy, so I guess maybe the style should be a bit less colorful and bright, but just a little? Junji seems quite androgynous, is it what you were aiming for? (I don't mind actually I think he looks quite cool as an androgynous character).

3) Do you need more info regarding the plot?
As for now it's quite an open plot, it seems there are several ways of understanding what we will have to play and choose. I don't mind such open plot (moreover since it's quite a good synopsis with some humor), but some people may not like it because it doesn't say much.

4) Who interests you more?
As I've said previously I'm less interested in the love interests than the plot, so if I had to translate this into an interest in one character of the game... that'd be Koneko, the main character. Why is she here? What happened to her? Does she actually know the love-interests without having memories of them?
Okay now I'll really answer to the full question, I guess Junji seems more appealing to me, because I'm always curious about aces characters, and I'm quite curious about his relationship with Koneko ^^ I'm more "meh" about Ko because he seems a bit cliché for now (there isn't much about him after all).


I really hope to see this game one day, and wish you all the best in your work!!!!!! :)
This may not be welcomed, but still... If you need some little help art-wise or about aces, I'd be happy to offer some help because I really want to see this game through! (

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Re: Once a Day [Apocalypse/Dramedy] [GxB] [Asexual/Aromantic

#4 Post by Cirrocumulus-Cloud » Wed Nov 04, 2015 11:25 am

Didules wrote:Hi there!
This seems to be a promising thread :D
I hope this'll help in some way:

[...]

I really hope to see this game one day, and wish you all the best in your work!!!!!! :)
This may not be welcomed, but still... If you need some little help art-wise or about aces, I'd be happy to offer some help because I really want to see this game through! (
Thank you very much! I will try to reply to a few of the topics that you spoke about, mainly the concept of the story itself.

1. The story itself is both plot, as well as character-driven. There is a reason why Koneko lost her memories, why she wakes up in a post-apocalyptic world and why Ko and Junji are there. The mystery behind if she even knows Ko and Junji will be answered really early - that isn't actually the big mystery that you want to have an answer to. While I do enjoy the amnesia trope a good bit, I hate it when it is overdone and remains a plot device until the end of the game. Thus, Once a Day actually answers a few general questions pretty early. The real fun comes into trying to figure out why Koneko lost her memories and why the world has basically 'ended' already.

You will have total control of how Koneko reacts to sexual/romantic content and the game won't punish you for rejecting either of those, so don't worry about those scenes. The game will dwell on the different sexualities of the characters quite a bit, but that is mainly to inform players of what being ace or aro is about - being asexual or aromantic is quite confusing for sexual/romantic people to understand simply because no one really informs our society of those orientations, thus I try to inform players in a careful and 'funny' way.

Both Junji and Ko will make fun of each other for being their complete opposite, in a tongue-in-cheek way. They have their insecurities about who they are, but they try to understand each other and Koneko. This game is aro and ace positive and neither the player nor Ko or Junji will ever be forced into situations that they do not like. Both of them actually have varying romance/friendship scenes based on Koneko's orientation (Which you will be able to decide quite early, and can further define down the road - an asexual Koneko might be comfortable with kisses, or not. You decide.). If Koneko doesn't want to be touched, then Junji won't touch her. If she is uncomfortable with Ko possibly kissing her, then he won't do so - because the characters respect each others boundaries.

2. The artstyle will actually change, haha. I will go for a not-quite-as-brightly coloured, simple style with huge, black outlines. I think it will represent the game quite well. I might be able to finish Koneko's sprite (first real, finished sprite) today. If that is the case, I will immediately post her. =)

Junji is supposed to look quite androgynous, yes. I always imagine him as a stylish guy that doesn't really care about how girly or manly he looks. He's simply himself, and he's fine with that. While the story won't dwell on how he defines his gender, calling him androgynous is a good way to describe him. But, as I said, the game won't be about gender identities; I just don't have the time for that.

3. Since the game is a dramedy, I try to keep the mood light in some places and quite dark in others. I cannot really say a lot about the plot beyond the set-up without giving anything away, though. But be assured that the plot is deeper than the little bio suggests. =)

4. Koneko IS quite interesting. I really enjoy her humour - she's a lot of fun to write for. I hope you will be able to connect with her, even though parts of her personality are set in stone. Mhm, Junji might seem more eye-catching because he well, he is a little more over-the-top than Ko is. He also came before I envisioned Ko, so as of now he is a little more fleshed out than the tough guy. I hope you will enjoy Ko too, though, he's a really interesting character as well.

Thank you so, so much!

And why shouldn't it be welcomed? As a demisexual, I think I can write Junji confidently, but it would be nice to exchange opinions, simply because every person on the asexual spectrum is different and I really hope to show Junji as someone that fits in there (the spectrum) quite nicely.

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Re: Once a Day [Apocalypse/Dramedy] [GxB] [Asexual/Aromantic

#5 Post by Didules » Wed Nov 04, 2015 12:17 pm

Ah, after reading your reply I'm fairly at ease with how you want to talk about aces/aros! I'm always scared that the whole explanation about aces/aros turns them into some sort of freaks, but you clearly master the subject and its subtilities, the insecurities and the boundaries, this is so reassuring! :lol: (Basically reading that you wrote this: "every person on the asexual spectrum" makes me give you all my trust. Because indeed everyone IS different, and we choose label just so that some people would feel more at ease, but after all, it doesn't matter what or who we are as long as we're fine with ourselves).
(So yeah basically this also means I totally approve your choices for Junji's design! :) )
And now Koneko's definitely my favorite, because she really sounds like she has a real personnality and yet you make it sound as if our choices ingame really will matter!
You seem to have an excellent grasp on your subject, your plot and your characters! This looks so great! :D Full support from me!!

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Re: Once a Day [Apocalypse/Dramedy] [GxB] [Asexual/Aromantic

#6 Post by Agashi » Wed Nov 04, 2015 12:44 pm

I find this concept very interesting also. I don't know much of anything about asexual and aromantic orientations (I hope that's the correct word), but I think my sister might be one and I'm interested in learning more about it. My ignorance on the subject is really what's kept me from commenting before now. :oops:

I'm with Didules though, in that I'm glad to hear the story will be equally plot-driven. A premise can only take a game so far, after all, and I wouldn't mind hearing more details about the plot.

As far as Ko and Junji, I think both of them sound very interesting. I'm excited to see how their relationship with the main character develops. Anyway, good luck! Hope to see more progress soon! :mrgreen:
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Re: Once a Day [Apocalypse/Dramedy] [GxB] [Asexual/Aromantic

#7 Post by Cirrocumulus-Cloud » Wed Nov 04, 2015 3:40 pm

Didules wrote:Ah, after reading your reply I'm fairly at ease with how you want to talk about aces/aros! I'm always scared that the whole explanation about aces/aros turns them into some sort of freaks, but you clearly master the subject and its subtilities, the insecurities and the boundaries, this is so reassuring! :lol: (Basically reading that you wrote this: "every person on the asexual spectrum" makes me give you all my trust. Because indeed everyone IS different, and we choose label just so that some people would feel more at ease, but after all, it doesn't matter what or who we are as long as we're fine with ourselves).
(So yeah basically this also means I totally approve your choices for Junji's design! :) )
And now Koneko's definitely my favorite, because she really sounds like she has a real personnality and yet you make it sound as if our choices ingame really will matter!
You seem to have an excellent grasp on your subject, your plot and your characters! This looks so great! :D Full support from me!!
I am glad that I could reassure you that this project will be handled with the sensitivity that it needs! I thought going the humour/drama route would be perfect to approach the subject, because it allows me to present the central theme with tongue-in-cheek moments of the characters. That's always a lot more fun than simple exposition.

She does have a personality! I would describe her as snarky, kind of a tomboy who knows how to defend herself, but with a motherly heart. Just like Matcha, though, she is quite a handful and can be pretty petty sometimes, which stems from the fact that she is so sarcastic and a little spoiled. And yes, your choices will matter a lot. Not all that much in a narrative sense (as is common with visual novels, really), but there are a few important decisions regarding the plot as well. The huge amount of freedom comes with the relationships between Junji, Ko and even Matcha. You can really shape Koneko's orientation in whatever way you desire and the game will recognise if Koneko is fine with, well, hugging for example.

Basically, there are, at first, four flags: Asexual, Aromantic, Both, None. Once you picked one option, let's take for example asexual, there will come further defining flags. This time, it might be kissing vs. no kissing. If your Koneko doesn't like to be kissed and tells that to Ko, he won't make further advances at a different point in the game, even though he would do that if your Koneko would be fine with kisses.

Basically, I try to make Matcha, Ko and Junji as responsive and 'smart' as possible. They are still their own characters, though, and will never be comfortable with certain things. The player won't be able to force them into doing something they aren't comfortable with, but you have the option to say that you can't handle a relationship like that, which will still open you up to the friend ending of said character's route.

Thank you so much for your support, it means a lot! I aspire to become a real game designer one day, because games have a chance to change something in the way we perceive our realities. And that's such a powerful tool to have.
Agashi wrote:I find this concept very interesting also. I don't know much of anything about asexual and aromantic orientations (I hope that's the correct word), but I think my sister might be one and I'm interested in learning more about it. My ignorance on the subject is really what's kept me from commenting before now. :oops:

I'm with Didules though, in that I'm glad to hear the story will be equally plot-driven. A premise can only take a game so far, after all, and I wouldn't mind hearing more details about the plot.

As far as Ko and Junji, I think both of them sound very interesting. I'm excited to see how their relationship with the main character develops. Anyway, good luck! Hope to see more progress soon! :mrgreen:
Thank you a lot - and please, don't worry about ignoring it at first. It is a delicate subject that hasn't been fully explored - and I try to help to raise awareness for the asexual and aromantic community. The game will be completely free, of course. My hope is that I can one day, maybe, get it onto steam.

If you want to learn more about the subject, you could always visit AVEN - the Asexual Visibility and Education Network. They have a section for allies - people who have friends or family members who are part of the asexual and/or aromantic spectrum. And your choice of words was right! =)

I, personally, love games that have a good story. Storytelling is one of the most important aspects of a game, in my opinion. As long as the story really draws me in, I don't care so much about graphics, bugs or gameplay.

It is good to know that Junji and Ko seem interesting! They certainly aren't cardboard cutouts of walking clichés that a lot of visual novels use. They might have aspects of certain tropes, but I don't think you can fully avoid tropes if you want to make your characters stand out, anyway.

Small Update

While I am only now beginning to colour Koneko, please have a WiP of two of her four outfits. (Without her trademark kitty earmuffs, for now.) Junji and Ko will have three outfits each, with two/three poses (one facing the player, one facing each other which will be mirrored with changed details like scars). Junji's sprite will be redone completely very soon, too. =)

ImageImage

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Re: Once a Day [Apocalypse/Dramedy] [GxB] [Asexual/Aromantic

#8 Post by Cirrocumulus-Cloud » Fri Nov 13, 2015 3:12 pm

Update

- wrote 5000 more words, so now the script consists of 10.000/50.000 words
- outined the 6 character endings, as well as 2 Koneko/story endings
- drew concept art for Junji's new sprites
- managed to finish the overall 'look' of Koneko's sprite

Image

This sprite is still a WiP, but it can actually show the overall look that the sprites will have!
I hope I can show you the WiP for Junji and Ko soon~

Edit:

Rough Sketch for Junji's new look! He looks like Brawly from Pokemon and I apologize for that, haha.

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Re: Once a Day [Apocalypse/Dramedy] [GxB] [Asexual/Aromantic

#9 Post by Cirrocumulus-Cloud » Mon Nov 16, 2015 8:56 pm

Update

- added additional information to the opening post
- finished outlines for 2 backgrounds
- wrote a guide for the endings and how to achieve them
- started writing a dictionary for unknown words/titles/people in the game
- finished Matcha's design
- started sketching Ko
- started first CG

And here is the CG in question, showcasing one of the outlined backgrounds in the, well, background.
It also shows the style of the game quite well even in these early stages, I think.
Still lacks a lot of detail, though, and might only be used as a small picture in the actual game.
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Re: Once a Day [Apocalypse/Dramedy] [GxB] [Asexual/Aromantic

#10 Post by Agashi » Tue Nov 17, 2015 12:29 pm

I actually like the minimalistic style and the thick lines you used. It gives the game an edgy look that really fits the concept. Good to see it's coming along!
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Re: Once a Day [Apocalypse/Dramedy] [GxB] [Asexual/Aromantic

#11 Post by Cirrocumulus-Cloud » Fri Nov 20, 2015 11:00 am

Agashi wrote:I actually like the minimalistic style and the thick lines you used. It gives the game an edgy look that really fits the concept. Good to see it's coming along!
Thank you so much! The CG's will make more use of the thick lines than the normal sprites will, though, to make them more into little eye catchers. I'm not sure how thick the lines will be for the normal sprites, but as of now I like this approach a lot (also a tiny update):

ImageImage

Junji in all his glory, wearing his boxershorts in the colours of the asexual flag~ Also his first/winter and autumn outfit WiP! He looks like he escaped from a modern Rune Factory, pfft.

Another great update: I found a wonderful voice actor for Junji!

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Re: Once a Day [Apocalypse/Dramedy] [GxB] [Asexual/Aromantic

#12 Post by Cirrocumulus-Cloud » Thu Dec 03, 2015 7:08 pm

Hello guys! This update is pretty minimal, since I'm down with the flu for a couple of days now. Because of this I finished pretty much nothing. What I DID do however, was change Koneko's colour palette to make her fit more into the game as a whole. (She is still missing her re-design of her outline, though.) I will get back to working on this project next week and then new, real updates will roll around. =)

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Re: Once a Day [Apocalypse/Dramedy] [GxB] [Asexual/Aromantic

#13 Post by Cirrocumulus-Cloud » Thu Dec 17, 2015 6:50 pm

Update

Things are still very stressful and will stay that way throughout the holidays and the first half of January.
Because of this, I have very little progress to show - but the script is coming along nicely.
I plan to release a demo during Spring next year that shows the complete common route, so stay tuned for that! =)

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Re: Once a Day [Apocalypse/Dramedy] [GxB] [Asexual/Aromantic

#14 Post by Didules » Mon May 09, 2016 3:31 pm

Hi there!

I was wondering how was everything going? (Yes you've got a fan :lol: )
I also really like the turn you've taken for the art, it looks so unique compared tomany games, it's lovely!
(And also, I dunno if I'll have enough time, but do you mind if I do some fanarts? ='D )

Good luck on both personal life and projects ^_^

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Re: Once a Day [Apocalypse/Dramedy] [GxB] [Asexual/Aromantic

#15 Post by VocaloidsRCool » Wed May 11, 2016 3:56 pm

I have played a total of two romantic post-apocalypse games - three, if you count a demo. This game definitely sounds more different than any of them - in a good way. I would definitely play this game when it is complete.

I think the art is really cute. The character sprites are adorable, and make me interested in the characters.

I REALLY like Junji. He sounds strange but fun, and has adorably boyish features. I look forward to getting to know him, and interacting with him.

I wish you good luck on this project, and look forward to the finished game~

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