The Circular Gate (25/08/09 - ver. 1.00e+OST out)

Ideas and games that are not yet publicly in production. This forum also contains the pre-2012 archives of the Works in Progress forum.
Message
Author
User avatar
AlphaProspector
Regular
Posts: 169
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2008 10:41 am
Completed: The Circular Gate
Projects: Yume no Sono, Hoshi Agari, The Circular Gate, Koenchu Yonogi Seiyu Story (こえんちゅ!)
Organization: Primum Soft
Location: Border of the Universe
Contact:

The Circular Gate (25/08/09 - ver. 1.00e+OST out)

#1 Post by AlphaProspector » Wed Jul 23, 2008 3:48 pm

Project Name: T.C.G. Project

English Title: The Circular Gate
Spanish Title: La Puerta Circular
Japanese Title: 「円形の扉」 (Enkei No Tobira)

Official Site: Click Here (development log and other nonsense)

Release Platforms: Windows/Mac/Linux

Price: Freeware

Genre: Sci-fi/Fantasy (also labelled as "surreal sci-fi")

Rating: T (Teen, and only because of the weirdness)

Overview:

Confusion reigns. Their homeworld is in danger: a strange enemy (a race known as 'The Ara') lurks in the high orbit, ready for the final surface bombardment. The Seeker fleets are long gone and hope is diminishing quite fast. Cornered, unable to escape from their planet, the Seekers wait for the end. However, one individual, one single creature amongst them, decides to try and do something to stop this madness and possibly prevent a terrible genocide.

Using a massive reality-altering device called the Multi-Dimensional Transference Engine (M.D.T. Engine), The Undefined will embark on a completely odd journey across realities for answers.

Will he dare to tread across these perilous ways, come out victorious and get the desired answers?


*********

Main Characters:

The Ara: the foes in the background, the enemies you never see, the impending doom, the veiled threat. Their motivations are unknown to the Seekers though it seems they are simply jealous or don't want them to discover something dangerous. The truth remains hidden.

The Undefined: the main character. You 'travel' with him. What is it? Who is it? We only know he is a seeker, while his species call themselves "Seekers", with capital "S". As I refer to this character as a "he" we can only assume the gender. He's the one who ventures to travel beyond with the help of the M.D.T. Engine and the guidance of the Archives to see if he can reveal the true intentions of the Ara.

Ubiquitous Collective Archives: the Collective knowledge of the Seekers, a once galactic network that connected every one of them to conform a single entity yet allowing each member to retain its individuality. Now the connection with other Seekers across the galaxy was cut off by the Ara and it only operates with the homeworld entities. The wisest souls guide the others and help them whenever they decide to explore the dimensional paths through the M.D.T. Engine. The Archives can also record and analyse everything the Seekers experience/witness to provide all sorts of strategic information but only if it is requested or one of the higher souls considers necessary to do so.

This is one of the most 'human' character of all as it fuses personalities (might consider itself a group or an individual, then a complete network), it speaks in plural, singular, it does not recognise a proper tense for its verbs or a proper time. It might really be the past for him/her/them/it. And despite all these details, it will still exude emotions and thoughts.

Not your average type of Archives.

(Note: there are more characters)

Development progress:

Nicol Armarfi (thank you, thank you!) is almost done with the "epic muzzak". Current internal version is 1.00e. Final release closing in.

Here is the OP theme, called "NRG":



And the full main menu theme 2, called "The Lonely Dancers ~Orbital Overview~" (composed and arranged by A.D.P.):



I'll modify this thread as I update the game and such.

Updates:

25/08/09: Ver. 1.00e released. OST released.
24/08/09: Dev. Update. Preparing final release.
24/03/09: Demos ver. 0.90e/s released. Development update. Promotional videos added.
13/03/09: Status update.
18/12/08: Added promotional poster. Development update.
11/12/08: Updated main post to cut its length. Leaving it with the basic info and story overview.
04/12/08: Demos taken down (they are no longer representative of the current version of T.C.G.). Development Status: Still reworking.
14/11/08: Proof Reader found. Reworking BGs, OST in progress, bug fixes, etc.
04/11/08: Updating/Correcting stuff from the Mini Site. "Quest for the Proof Reader".
27/10/08: Version 0.60b cancelled. Official Mini Site launched.
11/10/08: General development update. Version 0.60b announced.
17/09/08: Upcoming features announced.
14/09/08: 0.50b release (PC, Mac & Linux). Added Linux version. Game icons changed.
13/09/08: Development Update. Reworked interface+version 0.50b pre-release.
10/09/08: General development update. Version 0.50b announced.
10/08/08: fixed typos+took out rapid link. Please download from this thread for now.
04/08/08 - The Aftermath: Mac demo (ver 0.30b) released.
04/08/08: PC demo (ver 0.30b) released.
30/07/08: Added artwork, info and edited for typos.
Last edited by AlphaProspector on Tue Aug 25, 2009 4:24 pm, edited 51 times in total.
Enjoy tranquillity. Paint reality with the colours of your imagination.

Primum Soft Website and Blog

User avatar
JDC
Newbie
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2008 2:05 am
Projects: Love Revolution
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Contact:

Re: T.C.G. Project (in need of a musician/composer)

#2 Post by JDC » Wed Jul 23, 2008 8:48 pm

Hi there!

I might be interested in making some music. I've been playing classical violin for years, but these days I'm more enamored with drums and guitars, especially the blues. I've started to fall in love with writing music, and this would be great practice for me.

The time it might take for me to compose might be a little while, however, since I'm busy with my own game and, you know, other things. Still, I'm willing to help, if you don't mind the wait times.
First there was Daikatana, then there was Too Human, then there was Duke Nukem Forever... now it's...

Love Revolution.

User avatar
AlphaProspector
Regular
Posts: 169
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2008 10:41 am
Completed: The Circular Gate
Projects: Yume no Sono, Hoshi Agari, The Circular Gate, Koenchu Yonogi Seiyu Story (こえんちゅ!)
Organization: Primum Soft
Location: Border of the Universe
Contact:

Re: T.C.G. Project (in need of a musician/composer)

#3 Post by AlphaProspector » Thu Jul 24, 2008 11:11 pm

mmm, do you have musical samples to check? Might be interesting to hear some thingies. Classical violin sounds neat.

By the way, I updated the main post with the characters and the story overview. Demo probably coming by the middle of next week if able.
Enjoy tranquillity. Paint reality with the colours of your imagination.

Primum Soft Website and Blog

User avatar
AlphaProspector
Regular
Posts: 169
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2008 10:41 am
Completed: The Circular Gate
Projects: Yume no Sono, Hoshi Agari, The Circular Gate, Koenchu Yonogi Seiyu Story (こえんちゅ!)
Organization: Primum Soft
Location: Border of the Universe
Contact:

Re: T.C.G. Project (Dev. Update: 30/07/08)

#4 Post by AlphaProspector » Wed Jul 30, 2008 9:20 pm

30/08/08: Updated with new artwork, edited character details.

Development update:

I'm almost done with version 0.70e, progressing to 0.80e. Gotta start tweaking the script and artworks for the last chapters. I sadly lost all the files for the demo but I'm already working on it. Expect it anytime soon.

However, it is still quite an early version so a lot of the stuff shown is composed of placeholder images and some sentences need tweaking.

Because I say so, I've labelled the demo 0.20b.
Enjoy tranquillity. Paint reality with the colours of your imagination.

Primum Soft Website and Blog

User avatar
AlphaProspector
Regular
Posts: 169
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2008 10:41 am
Completed: The Circular Gate
Projects: Yume no Sono, Hoshi Agari, The Circular Gate, Koenchu Yonogi Seiyu Story (こえんちゅ!)
Organization: Primum Soft
Location: Border of the Universe
Contact:

Re: The Circular Gate (04/08/08 - PC Demo out)

#5 Post by AlphaProspector » Sun Aug 03, 2008 11:49 pm

PC Demo out. Modified several things and changed some artworks. Thus, it's version 0.30b now. Check the first post for the download link.

Mac version coming tomorrow and I'll upload both here at the forums. The rapid link is temporary so I'll delete it later.

Please submit any bugs you encounter so I can go and rip my hairs in madness trying to fix 'em.

Demo Stats:

The game contains 197 screens of dialogue.
These screens contain a total of 2502 words,
for an average of 12.7 words per screen.
The game contains 0 menus.


The total average playtime is around 8-10 mins max... I know, not too much. I estimate the full thing might probably reach two hours or so if able.

Hope you like this insanity!

Final notes:

The readme contains info regarding what has been done so far (music, artworks, etc.) and credits.

Pay special attention to the characters list. The Archives have a particular, almost engrishy, way of speaking and most of the time they won't make much sense. It's all intended... and if it's not intended but sounds cool, then it's fine! The idea is to provide a heavily odd aura around everything, even if that implies, ermm, using a lot of cryptic sentences.

So, yes, this is not your average story. It's more like a VN on acid but without the acid or any drugs and a lot of alien/sci-fi feeling.
Enjoy tranquillity. Paint reality with the colours of your imagination.

Primum Soft Website and Blog

User avatar
Draugen
Newbie
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2008 1:25 pm
Location: Denmark
Contact:

Re: The Circular Gate (04/08/08 - PC Demo out)

#6 Post by Draugen » Mon Aug 04, 2008 8:25 am

i just played the demo and i must say looking really forward to the final release really like the story






awesome work you have made
That which is not dead which can eternal lie, and with strange eons even death may die...

Winter Studios

User avatar
AlphaProspector
Regular
Posts: 169
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2008 10:41 am
Completed: The Circular Gate
Projects: Yume no Sono, Hoshi Agari, The Circular Gate, Koenchu Yonogi Seiyu Story (こえんちゅ!)
Organization: Primum Soft
Location: Border of the Universe
Contact:

Re: The Circular Gate (04/08/08 - PC/Mac Demos out!)

#7 Post by AlphaProspector » Mon Aug 04, 2008 10:35 am

Thanks a lot! (it also indicates the PC version seemingly works!)

Now, Mac demo is up, along with the PC in this thread. I hope you can download from there but I'll leave the rapid link for another day.
Enjoy tranquillity. Paint reality with the colours of your imagination.

Primum Soft Website and Blog

User avatar
AlphaProspector
Regular
Posts: 169
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2008 10:41 am
Completed: The Circular Gate
Projects: Yume no Sono, Hoshi Agari, The Circular Gate, Koenchu Yonogi Seiyu Story (こえんちゅ!)
Organization: Primum Soft
Location: Border of the Universe
Contact:

Re: The Circular Gate (10/09/08 - UPDATE)

#8 Post by AlphaProspector » Wed Sep 10, 2008 2:40 pm

Time to bump this.

Over a month later, here we are. A lot of stuff has changed (I mean it) in The Circular Gate and I'm close to prepare a new demo release (codenamed version 0.50b).

I won't offer a changelog since I just changed way too much. Let's say Ren'Py version 6.7.0 and the ability to completely rework the game menus allowed me to remove the standard widgets and built-in buttons for totally customised image maps.

Here are a couple of small screens of the brand new, shiny options and load/save menus so you can check what is coming:

Image

Image

I'm still playing with the functions, I have modified a bit the splash screens order, added new sounds (mmm, music will be on hold, I have yet to contact the musician, I've been too busy messing with the code and finishing Univ, which by the way I finished last month with my thesis) and I'm almost done with the 8th chapter and started the 9th and last one (the 10th chapter is the epilogue, decided to cut a chapter for a possible second part).

The current internal version is 0.80e and I already prepared custom window icons and might probably risk myself with an installer though I'm not sure about that.

Well, that's it for now, I'm still holding a couple of aces up my sleeve for an upcoming update. Hoping to avoid a sudden strike of laziness and get ready the 0.50b demo.

edit: yeah, I'm super happy with the latest Ren'Py release!

edit: I just realised a line is missing in the second picture. It got lost when I reduced the screenies sizes but it's been fixed in the source files.
Enjoy tranquillity. Paint reality with the colours of your imagination.

Primum Soft Website and Blog

User avatar
PyTom
Ren'Py Creator
Posts: 15378
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2004 10:58 am
Completed: Moonlight Walks
Projects: Ren'Py
IRC Nick: renpytom
Github: renpytom
itch: renpytom
Location: Kings Park, NY
Contact:

Re: The Circular Gate (10/09/08 - UPDATE)

#9 Post by PyTom » Wed Sep 10, 2008 3:38 pm

Hm... I have some mixed feelings about this.

On one hand, I'm really impressed by how you were able to make such a nice-looking set of menus in a relatively short amount of time. I mean, the wiki was only updated on Saturday, and the code wasn't actually released until Sunday... and now 3 days later, you have this. Wow.

At the same time, I'm not a huge fan of the way in which you've chosen to name the various options. My general philosophy towards the game menu is that it's the most meta part of the game, by far. (The main menu, by contrast, not only serves a meta-purpose, but also helps with the positioning of your game.)

Things like the sound volume or the text speed have no in-game equivalents. As a result, when the user goes to adjust them, he's temporarily disengaging from the narrative, working at the meta-level, and then returning to the story. I think the right way to treat this is to try to minimize the time he spends outside of the story... and I think the way to do this is to try and keep everything as clearly named as possible. The seconds a user spends puzzling through your menu options are seconds he spends disengaged from the story.

I mean, say the user wants to adjust how fast text is displayed. In your menus, he will have to click "Engine Opswitch", then adjust the "Mental Speed" slider. Neither is terribly intuitive.

So, my general theory is that by grossly changing the names of the options, you actually hurt, rather than help the intuitiveness of your game.

(This isn't to claim the defaults are the best names, BTW. There is some downside to changing the names, since people have learned what they mean, but that could be overcome, maybe. IIRC, there have been a few changes since Ren'Py 4 came out, the first version with a menu.)
Supporting creators since 2004
(When was the last time you backed up your game?)
"Do good work." - Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom
"Silly and fun things are important." - Elon Musk
Software > Drama • https://www.patreon.com/renpytom

User avatar
AlphaProspector
Regular
Posts: 169
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2008 10:41 am
Completed: The Circular Gate
Projects: Yume no Sono, Hoshi Agari, The Circular Gate, Koenchu Yonogi Seiyu Story (こえんちゅ!)
Organization: Primum Soft
Location: Border of the Universe
Contact:

Re: The Circular Gate (10/09/08 - UPDATE)

#10 Post by AlphaProspector » Wed Sep 10, 2008 6:09 pm

Thanks. I was really really looking forward to configure the menus since they are helping me following the flow of the game.

Suggestion taken. I really wasn't sure myself so I kept asking some native english speakers about it and got mixed comments like: "Stop playing Ikaruga for god's sake", "It's odd", "It's odd but nice" or "... WTF".

I was going to make a quick manual on "how to navigate" the 'Engine' (part of the story) with screens clearing what the options do but...

While I like the "it's odd" and such, one has to know when to stop and tone things down. That's what I'm gonna do for the sake of playability.

There is more than enough weirdness in-game to torture the poor player so lets keep it clean with the menus. I'll still change a couple of things but it'll be small, minimal word changes now, not a complete mad overhaul.

It's not too readable from here but I pretty much left intact a couple of options like "Transitions", "Skip Messages" and "Display" (Full Vision = Full Screen, Farsight = Windowed but I might change it here too, this was meant to be a joke regarding big monitors where 800x600 looks really small and you would need to have good eyes or magical vision to read), the "External Device" is for the pad but since there is yet no template to modify it I might leave it alone. "Begin Skipping" was changed to "Commence Skipping" just to sound more pompous.

"Mental Speed" was meant to imply the text speed but I put it back to "Text Speed".

The three sound bars have been also reversed back to "Ambience" (Sound), "Music" and "Voice" volumes.

For the game menu bar, I completely modified it.

Values are:

Back (Return)
Save Memories (saves the game)
Load Memories (loads the game)
Engine Options (options)
Return to Main Screen (pretty much self explanatory but it's also a translation we use in spanish "Volver a la Pantalla Principal" so I'm familiar with this one)
Quit (idem)

The Save/Load screen is just the elements moved from position. Auto is still Auto, Empty Slot is still Empty Slot and there are 5 pages with 6 slots each to save (plus the Autosave page). I removed the "Next" and "Previous" option since I'm not gonna use those nor I'll assign more save slots (the game is quite on the short side after all).

The Main Menu screen was also reworked (and the text adjusted to fit the accessibility/less weirdness/annoyance).

Screens coming soon, at a better res.

edit: I forgot of "Auto-Forward Core" = Auto-Forward Time (this one will also get back to normal)

edit2: God, my memory! I think I need to go to the "Save Memories" option. The "Yes/No" questions are intact too (no weird stuff) I only changed "Yes/No" for "Accept/Reject".

edit3: Here is the updated menu with normal text and at 640x480. I added a bar for the Auto-forward function and polished the colours a bit more.
Attachments
menu retry2.jpg
Custom Menu 2
Enjoy tranquillity. Paint reality with the colours of your imagination.

Primum Soft Website and Blog

User avatar
AlphaProspector
Regular
Posts: 169
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2008 10:41 am
Completed: The Circular Gate
Projects: Yume no Sono, Hoshi Agari, The Circular Gate, Koenchu Yonogi Seiyu Story (こえんちゅ!)
Organization: Primum Soft
Location: Border of the Universe
Contact:

Re: The Circular Gate (13/09/08 - UPDATE)

#11 Post by AlphaProspector » Sat Sep 13, 2008 9:08 pm

Ok, managed to tweak all the menus and polish the splash screen sequence plus revised the script once more and I'm ready to build the 0.50b release. Might start uploading things tomorrow. PC, Mac and probably Linux too this time 'round.

So I don't add it later, here is the changelog of this version:
Statistics:

The game contains 306 screens of dialogue.
These screens contain a total of 3727 words,
for an average of 12.2 words per screen.
The game contains 0 menus.
(over 1.5k words added, thus increasing the playing time a bit more and reaching around 33% of the total script's length, which is around 12.5k words)

1) All menus reworked (followed PyTom's suggestion and decided it looks far better and polished with normal text), splash screens modified.
2) Re-rendered and reworked the entire artwork for Chapter III.
3) Re-rendered and reworked the entire artwork for Chapter II.
4) Extended the length of Chapter I.
5) Added effects to some of the backgrounds (subtle stuff, nothing too big).

So the demo this time includes:

Intro
Chapter I - Eternal Ocean and the Black Void
Interlude
Chapter II - A Primitive Symbol
Interlude
Chapter III - Musical Sign

Here is a screenshot of the main menu screen window completely cleaned (I took away all the graphics on the left and simply placed small, subtle and almost invisible text to give a feeling of emptiness and loneliness) and modified the base font to match the game menu one.

That's it, stay tuned!
Attachments
main_menu_demo.jpg
Main Menu Screen
Last edited by AlphaProspector on Sun Sep 14, 2008 3:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Enjoy tranquillity. Paint reality with the colours of your imagination.

Primum Soft Website and Blog

User avatar
N0UGHTS
Miko-Class Veteran
Posts: 516
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2008 7:47 pm
Location: California, USA
Contact:

Re: The Circular Gate (13/09/08 - UPDATE)

#12 Post by N0UGHTS » Sat Sep 13, 2008 10:33 pm

My initial thought:
"WTFLIP? We're using the same sound effects for our games? Aww, goddammit..."
"This is new, interesting..."

It seemed a little too winding at first (the descriptions were... They didn't add enough to my experience, I guess.), but in the end it's left me waiting for the whole game.

Few typos here and there...

Actually, it's only one sound effect we seem to be sharing; not plural. You must be good at choosing SFX, then... XD Like the ambience. And the planets... I've tried that program before, I'm not too good at it.
World Community Grid
"Thanksgiving is a day for Americans to remember that family is what really matters.
"The day after Thanksgiving is when Americans forget that and go shopping." —Jon Stewart
Thank you for playing Alter Ego. You have died.

User avatar
AlphaProspector
Regular
Posts: 169
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2008 10:41 am
Completed: The Circular Gate
Projects: Yume no Sono, Hoshi Agari, The Circular Gate, Koenchu Yonogi Seiyu Story (こえんちゅ!)
Organization: Primum Soft
Location: Border of the Universe
Contact:

Re: The Circular Gate (13/09/08 - UPDATE)

#13 Post by AlphaProspector » Sat Sep 13, 2008 10:59 pm

The tragedy of freebies, huh? =P I picked most of the short sound clips from Soundsnap or built them with Finale's built-in stuff (the bells, pianos, the track for the Circular Gate and a couple more were done that way). Or tell me where you heard it and I might record a bell I have around in my house and with some good doses of Cool Edit Pro make it different? xD

The version uploaded in the first post is the old one and, yeah, contains typos and stuff. And warning: The Ubiquitous Collective Archives suffer an extreme personality disorder. They are one and many, a couple or maybe just the entire species at once. Weird stuff right there.

There is also the narrator, which not only tells the story outside of the characters but also offers the inner thoughts of The Undefined and features The Voice (in italics).

I just hope the revamped first chapter and the rest will flow a bit better. I can only say things get weird. Really weird.

edit: the plug in for the planet is LunarCell for Photoshop (it's heavily modified though not the raw planet), but I also build planets with 3dsMAX... although I reckon they look far prettier with LunarCell for still images. I still need to train with MAX.
Enjoy tranquillity. Paint reality with the colours of your imagination.

Primum Soft Website and Blog

User avatar
AlphaProspector
Regular
Posts: 169
Joined: Wed Jul 02, 2008 10:41 am
Completed: The Circular Gate
Projects: Yume no Sono, Hoshi Agari, The Circular Gate, Koenchu Yonogi Seiyu Story (こえんちゅ!)
Organization: Primum Soft
Location: Border of the Universe
Contact:

Re: The Circular Gate (14/09/08 - Version 0.50 Released)

#14 Post by AlphaProspector » Sun Sep 14, 2008 7:21 pm

Well, version 0.50b is out for PC and Linux.

Decided to release it for Linux as well since it's the composer's (Nicol Armarfi, which I'm deeply grateful for being interested in this short and crazy project) current platform. And because I noticed quite a good amount of people use it as well.

Uploading Mac version in the meantime.

Quick changes I made before releasing:

Replaced the game icons (the ones you see in the window corner and Windows Explorer) and fixed a nasty error in one of the splash screens.

edit: Mac version added. Done for today... Time to rest!
Enjoy tranquillity. Paint reality with the colours of your imagination.

Primum Soft Website and Blog

User avatar
Tsundere Lightning
Miko-Class Veteran
Posts: 910
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2008 4:30 pm
Projects: And plenty of them!
Location: Creche Alpha, Treasure Island
Contact:

Re: The Circular Gate (14/09/08 - Version 0.50b Released)

#15 Post by Tsundere Lightning » Sun Sep 14, 2008 9:33 pm

...huh. HUH. This looks nicely bizzare.

Will DL when I get the chance and give you my thoughts.
She's sun and rain: She's fire and ice. A little crazy, but it's nice.
Bliss Stage: Love is your weapon! A sci-fi visual novel about child soldiers coming of age. Kickstarter prerelease here. WIP thread here. Original tabletop game by Ben Lehman here. Tumblr here.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot]