Elementalism (Paranormal/Genre-Mix) - Update 6

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Elementalism (Paranormal/Genre-Mix) - Update 6

#1 Post by Soundstorm » Fri Jan 27, 2017 6:03 am

I'm kinda nervous about talking about this project, but I figured I'm approaching 200 pages into it, and I have an artist. I'd like to see what people think and if they might have suggestions.

The title of this post is not the name of the project, it just...doesn't have a name yet, but I felt 'Elementalism' summed it up better than anything else I could think of at 2 AM.

I'm putting this in the ideas page because I still feel I'm a ways off from any kind of release, but I have been working on this for about two years (albeit slowly because I was (and still sort of am) a broke college student), and I'm getting concept art in.

The plot, in short, is that a young man with mind powers ends up sent to a location that is a mix of a school and a prison after he accidentally causes a tragedy in his area. From here, he meets a bunch of other people, but the plot varies depending on which character you choose to interact with. Hence why I wrote 'Genre-Mix', I have no idea how to narrow down what I'm trying to do without delving into specific routes.

It's not really a dating sim type game? But there are elements of that in there, as you can date some of the characters. The dating would be M/M to start with until I'm able to introduce the female characters. The male characters were conceptualized first, so I figured I'd start there, seemed fair to me.

There's a lot of concepts that are mentioned depending on the different routes, such as mental illness, loss and grief, family, trust and betrayal...again, a lot of it depends on different routes, but I can mention which character has what topic if that is helpful to anyone.

There are 10 characters but I'm starting with the first 4 after the intro and will probably update from there, mostly so I don't overwhelm myself any more than I already have. All characters have a different element, and there are 12 elements: fire, water, earth, air, light, dark, sound, time, electricity, mind, healing and neutralize. Some elements have subtypes (neutralize has 3: immunity, cancellation or reflection) while others are technically combinations (technopathy would be a mix of mind and electcitym, for example, though the tecnnopath character would not be added to the game until much later in development). Each element has a symbol I've drawn out, and 5 of the 11 characters have concept art. Everyone has a backstory and such already too.

As for what I still need?
I may need a backgrounds artist and someone who knows how to make music, but I'm not overly in a hurry. However, if anyone would be willing to lend a hand, let me know and I can offer even more details on the project and what I have in mind. It'd be really helpful =3'

While I have developed the world quite a bit, I feel like I can do more. It is very early in the morning here so I may have missed some details, but I'd really appreciate it if people might be willing to ask some questions about the world and characters to further develop the story and the like. There's some character descriptions on my Tumblr, but I can offer a small list of characters here, too:

-Leon (Fire)
IMG_2566.JPG
Leon Sketches
IMG_2567.JPG
Leon Concept

-Tora (Water)
IMG_2571.JPG
Tora Sketches
IMG_2574.JPG
Tora Concept
-Isa (Earth)
IMG_2592.JPG
Isa Concept 1
IMG_2593.JPG
Isa Concept 2
-Venti (Air)
IMG_2573.JPG
Venti Concept
-Kiro (Light)
IMG_2683.JPG
Kiro Concept
-Raine (Dark)
IMG_2682.JPG
Raine Concept
-Noelle (Sound)
IMG_2681.JPG
Noelle Concept
-Jace (Time)
-Anima (Mind) - PROTAGONIST
IMG_2791.JPG
Anima Concept Finalized
-Wolfgang (Neutralize)
IMG_3040.JPG
Wolfgang (Final Sprite)
-Gear (Electricity) - NOT A ROUTE
IMG_2792.JPG
Gear (Concept Undetermiend)
-Yuuki (Healing)

These characters are all male. There are female characters but they came after, so they'd be more of a second wave of characters. I don't want to focus on them for now, since I already have a lot of work ahead of me.

Some of those boys can be dated (bisexual protagonist), some of them can't (some of them are straight and it wouldn't make sense for them).

Are there any questions about anything? Ideas to offer? Thoughts or concepts you might want to throw at me to see where they'd lead? I'd love to discuss!

Also, sorry if this is in the wrong forum or anything, I'm really new here so I'm still learning the ropes.

U1: Art - Leon, Tora, Isa, Anima (Rejected Concept)
U2: More Art - A couple more art posts
U3: More Art - Kiro, Raine, Noelle
U4: More Art - Anima (Finalized Concept)
U5: More Art - Gear (Currently Undecided)
U6: More Art - Wolfgang (Proper Sprite!)

I've moved all of the art posts up underneath the character descriptions, and they are also on my tumblr!
Last edited by Soundstorm on Fri May 26, 2017 11:42 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: Elementalism (Paranormal/Genre-Mix)

#2 Post by Mammon » Fri Jan 27, 2017 6:27 am

Oh, sounds good. With 200 pages (assuming regular font that's about 90k words) and two years of development this isn't just some project you start, announce and might abandon in a fwe weeks like some projects around here. This project sounds like you have the motivation and dedication to see it through until it's released, and that's already a big plus for me.

Questions:
-It seems that all characters have a specific power and you're going for no doubles, will you make a female version of your male characters, are there enough left for the women or are you planning to make them combi powered ones?
-Considering the special powers, are there fight scenes/action themes to your story? From what I've read I'd guess you're not going for any shojo action though.
-It seems that only Gear isn't a romanceable route. Is he really the only straight guy in the cast, are some of the others straight to but a non-sexual route, or will there be more men with less significance added later?
-With Wolfgang, might 'Nill' or 'Void' be a better word for his faction? I mean, he does seem to be a power nullifying character.
-What are Anima's specific mental powers? Is it just telekenesis, or will things like mind reading be a thing like in (P)lanets? In which case, how do you intend to use such a gimmick to the advantage of your story?

Suggestion, maybe add some of the sprites you've got to the thread, those work better for the reader's first impression than the text.
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Re: Elementalism (Paranormal/Genre-Mix)

#3 Post by Soundstorm » Fri Jan 27, 2017 7:04 am

Hello, Mammon =3
Yes, I do have ideas that come and go, but this one took root in my brain and has not left. I am determined to finish it! I'm not as far as I'd like to be, admittedly, but given life circumstances, I think I've done alright.

I'm going to number the questions and respond accordingly, if that's cool. Just helps keep it organized.
*
1. "It seems that all characters have a specific power and you're going for no doubles, will you make a female version of your male characters, are there enough left for the women or are you planning to make them combi powered ones?"

I have a few women characters that aren't combo. For Darkness, there's a girl named Phoenix (Nikki for short), just as an example. So in a sense, there will be one girl for each element. However, they aren't just gender flips of the boys, they are their own characters with their own stories. That said, were I to focus on developing their stories and routes as well, that'd leave me with 21 characters to focus on, roughly. So I'm going in order of which the characters were conceptualized, and the 12 listed (minus Anima and Gear, so 10) came first. It's just easier for me to chunk the information and focus on them that way than it is to try and handle it all at once,
*
2. "Considering the special powers, are there fight scenes/action themes to your story? From what I've read I'd guess you're not going for any shojo action though."

There are some fight scenes, yes, and I have considered asking my artist for stylized affects for them, but I haven't gotten there quite yet. The protagonist receives a rather nasty 'injury' at the very end of the intro/non-route chapter, but that's not exactly due to a fight. There will be some fights though. I'll need to figure out how to structure them.
*
3. "It seems that only Gear isn't a romanceable route. Is he really the only straight guy in the cast, are some of the others gay to but a non-sexual route, or will there be more men with less significance added later?"

EEP, sorry, I wasn't clear about this, was I? It's not that Gear is the only straight guy, it's that Gear is the only significant male character of the lot who can't be befriended or romanced. Specifically because he's...kind of bonkers. I think when I checked, was about a 5/5 split for those who are datable and those who are not, but even if they aren't datable, you can befriend them. Same with those who you can date, as you can choose to just be friends with them, and you will get a slightly different ending scene depending on which you choose. Not a 'bonus scene' for just one, though...I've always had issues with visual novels that treat romance like it's more important than a friendship, no romance bonus, just two variations on the ending scenes. That said, as of now, my thoughts are as such:

Leon is asexual (can't be dated)
Tora is gay
Isa is bi
Venti is straight (can't be dated)
Kiro is bi and may or may not have a connection to Raine already (haven't decided)
Raine is bi and may or may not have a connection to Kiro already (haven't decided)
Noelle is pan
Jace is...i dunno what I'd call Jace but you CAN date him.
Wolfgang is bi
Yuuki, I'm kinda on the fence about, but I'm leaning towards no (can't be dated)

So assuming Kiro and Raine are their own possible thing, that would be five and five for each. That's subject to change at this point, of course, but I'm not fully sure how I'll go about it.
*
4. "With Wolfgang, might 'Nill' or 'Void' be a better word for his faction? I mean, he does seem to be a power nullifying character"

He is a power nullifying character, yes, and a staff at the prison/school/facility. Maybe Void might be a better term...hm. I'll consider using that term instead, its shorter and rolls off the tongue easier. There are still the three subtypes though. Might it help if I describe them?
*
5. "What are Anima's specific mental powers? Is it just telekenesis, or will things like mind reading be a thing like in (P)lanets? In which case, how do you intend to use such a gimmick to the advantage of your story?"

Anima has a few different...capabilities, some of which he uses and some of which he is only accused of using. He's capable of telekinesis, telepathy, and a certain level of influencing, but if he were trained, he could influence someone into robbing a bank with such ease that they thought it was their own idea. Individuals in his world have done this before, and those are just the ones who got caught that people know about (certain neutralizers can detect if an element has been used, and some of them work for police), so people are justifiably afraid of his potential. It leads to some trouble, to say the least. The influence might become complete control if he was specifically trained, and there is one bad ending where that is possible but you really have to work for that ending because it's a bit bleak and completely works around every other character Route. Just to clarify, there is one route that is open by default, so even if you didn't hit any character flags, but you don't get enough flags for the routeless ending, you still have one available to you. You won't just randomly die because you refused to interact with anyone. *quick glance at Katawa Shoujo*
*
I'd really like to put some of my concept images up, actually, but I want to talk to my artist first! Since they're all concept sketches and not finalized, i just wanna make sure he's cool with it. I'm sure he wouldn't mind or anything, but it just feels right.

Wow that got lengthy, sorry about that! But thanks for the expressed interest, I get really antsy when I talk about my work, so having even one person ask some questions makes me feel a little better =3 lemme know if I haven't been clear about anything.

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Re: Elementalism (Paranormal/Genre-Mix)

#4 Post by Mammon » Fri Jan 27, 2017 8:32 am

Soundstorm wrote:I have a few women characters that aren't combo. For Darkness, there's a girl named Phoenix (Nikki for short), just as an example. So in a sense, there will be one girl for each element. However, they aren't just gender flips of the boys, they are their own characters with their own stories. That said, were I to focus on developing their stories and routes as well, that'd leave me with 21 characters to focus on, roughly. So I'm going in order of which the characters were conceptualized, and the 12 listed (minus Anima and Gear, so 10) came first. It's just easier for me to chunk the information and focus on them that way than it is to try and handle it all at once.
Personally I believe that the author should never feel like being restricted in terms of cast size, but I'll be the one to tell you what others will no doubt say if I won't: Keep the cast as small as possible. A lot of people here will advice that and refer to Shödingers Gun (link below) to prevent the audience from being unable to keep track of who's who and which name belongs to which character. Anyone who serves a purpose already filled by another character needs to be shot by this gun.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/M ... dingersGun

Like I said I personally do not share this belief too strongly, half the cast in my project could be scrapped with ease if I would, but I do advice caution when making such a large relevant cast. Not only because you're giving your artist quite a workload, but because your ability to oversee the story and keep writing it might be lost or because you'll be confused by what has and hasn't been explained yet. With three-five routes you can easily keep track of whether gimmick A (Let's take the example; Anima can manipulate people's thoughts) has been explained. However with 20 routes you might forget explaining Gimmick A in one or two before it comes into play. If the audience picks that route first, later events might confuse them due to a lack of explanation beforehand. The example I took is probably a common-route one and will be the same for each route, but similar (primarily character-related) exposition might be overlooked.
There are some fight scenes, yes, and I have considered asking my artist for stylized affects for them, but I haven't gotten there quite yet. The protagonist receives a rather nasty 'injury' at the very end of the intro/non-route chapter, but that's not exactly due to a fight. There will be some fights though. I'll need to figure out how to structure them.
Take a good look at what you can do and what you can't before you write the action scenes (preferably even before you start your outline, but too late for that). A lot of action VN look just anticlimactic or silly because it's essentially a sprite moving from the left to the right and back regardless of production values, take ChuSingura46+1 for example. And a single static image of swords clashing isn't exactly breath-taking either. Writing a VN action scene with what resources you have can be quite tricky, so best would be to look for the easiest and most general way to do it. For example, just a sprite of Anima blocking an attack can suffice where you intended to get 5 more detailed CG. It won't be as good, but it'll be much more manageable.
Probably a good plan to check out some action-oriented VN as well to see how they did it exactly.
Gear is the only significant male character of the lot who can't be befriended or romanced. Specifically because he's...kind of bonkers.
Because he fried his own brain with electricity I assume? :wink: But it does sound like a good spread of romanceable/friendship.
He is a power nullifying character, yes, and a staff at the prison/school/facility. Maybe Void might be a better term...hm. I'll consider using that term instead, its shorter and rolls off the tongue easier. There are still the three subtypes though. Might it help if I describe them?
Although I don't remember for what stories, I do remember such a deviant name in a list of factions or powers being a problem. Because Neutralize is so different from the rest, the audience might remember it specifically because of this difference and end up forgetting the rest of the factions. They'll be self-explanatory, but some like the less obvious like Sound might slip through the cracks of the reader's memory.

What I mean: The reader can be told of the different factions and 5 minutes later you ask them about it. Neutralize will be their first answer and they'll remember that the others are elements so they can probably guess a few, but others will be forgotten because Neutralize through it's different name type stood out so much.
Anima has a few different...capabilities, he could influence someone into robbing a bank with such ease that they thought it was their own idea. Individuals in his world have done this before, and those are just the ones who got caught that people know about (certain neutralizers can detect if an element has been used, and some of them work for police), so people are justifiably afraid of his potential. It leads to some trouble, to say the least.
:D Both expansive lore beyond the prison school setting and a protagonist with a potential dark side. I like it. Something a bit similar to Marvel's purple man I assume?
You won't just randomly die because you refused to interact with anyone. *quick glance at Katawa Shoujo*
Yes, having ending where you're not pretty much forced to get distracted by a relationship with someone and instead try to figure out the overarcing plot like a rational person is indeed something I can appreciate *Nod to Everlasting summer*. Doesn't even need to be a good one per se as long as it's not some 'Bad end, try again with love points this time, doofus.'
Wow that got lengthy, sorry about that! But thanks for the expressed interest, I get really antsy when I talk about my work, so having even one person ask some questions makes me feel a little better =3 lemme know if I haven't been clear about anything.
:lol: You should see some of my posts around here, don't worry about the length.
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Re: Elementalism (Paranormal/Genre-Mix)

#5 Post by gekiganwing » Fri Jan 27, 2017 11:22 am

Creating a variety of fictional characters is fine. That said, I recommend asking yourself, "Are they just a collection of focus group approved stereotypes?" This has occurred in some professionally published works. To learn about where it has and hasn't worked, consider reading the TVTropes article Five Token Band.
Soundstorm wrote:... I figured I'm approaching 200 pages into it, and I have an artist... I'm putting this in the ideas page because I still feel I'm a ways off from any kind of release, but I have been working on this for about two years (albeit slowly because I was (and still sort of am) a broke college student), and I'm getting concept art in.
Have you written and then *finished creating* any stories? If so, what was their word / page count?

I noticed that Elementalism has quite a few characters, and that the story will address multiple themes. I like it when people create ambitious visual novels, and when they aspire to influence fandom. However, I worry because an awful lot of work-in-progress freeware VNs do not get past the planning stages. (There's a discussion thread about this topic called Why So Many Unfinished VNs? You might benefit by reading it.)

If you have not already writing and finished at least one story, then you may benefit by creating a short VN first. Make sure you understand the challenges of creating fiction which combines words, pictures, and (sometimes) multiple endings. If you decide to create a short story with just a few characters and a limited scope, it will be akin to climbing a hill. It might help you prepare for a longer project, kind of like getting ready to climbing a mountain.
Soundstorm wrote:The plot, in short, is that a young man with mind powers ends up sent to a location that is a mix of a school and a prison after he accidentally causes a tragedy in his area.
Sometimes it helps to write at least one ending ahead of time. Write several possible endings, and maybe also several possible climactic scenes. From there, think about how you could build up to these events. I recall that comic creator Jeff Smith talked about how he planned to build up to an ending in his series Bone.

Incidentally, the plot element "protagonist causes a catastrophe through foolish actions / an accident" occurred in at least two of my old favorite console RPGs. A low-key version happened in Secret of Mana (hero's action causes monsters to appear), and a more traumatic version happened in Paladin's Quest (hero's action destroys an entire town).
Soundstorm wrote:It's not really a dating sim type game? But there are elements of that in there, as you can date some of the characters.
Most stories involve characters interacting with each other, regardless of whether they're friends, enemies, allies, or anything else. Romance side plots are common elements in feature films, and from what I've heard, are relatively common in open world video games. If your story focuses on a different genre -- perhaps slice of life, supernatural combat, or interpersonal drama -- then emphasize its genre.

If your story is at least partially a romance visual novel, that's fine, and you're free to call it that. I recommend against calling your project a dating simulation unless it features complex statistics-driven gameplay.
Soundstorm wrote:... there is one bad ending where that is possible but you really have to work for that ending because it's a bit bleak and completely works around every other character Route. Just to clarify, there is one route that is open by default, so even if you didn't hit any character flags, but you don't get enough flags for the routeless ending, you still have one available to you. You won't just randomly die because you refused to interact with anyone.
My overall thought is "make sure endings make sense in the context of the story." Why do these events occur? Are the tone and theme consistent? Do the endings help convey the message which you want to send to the reader?

Somewhat off-topic: I enjoyed the visual novel Sweet Fuse quite a bit, but it has a moment that I don't like all that much. It involves a possible early bad ending...
The protagonist needs to start a relationship with *one* of the guys during the first three deadly games. One aspect of the story is whether the characters trust each other. There's an event during the third game where one of them seems to be a traitor, and they're in a building about to collapse. If she does not have enough trust with one of them, she will not survive, and there will be an early Game Over. In my opinion, it sort of fits in regards to the story. However, I think that Sweet Fuse would have been better if there was an option for every character to just be friends.

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Re: Elementalism (Paranormal/Genre-Mix)

#6 Post by Soundstorm » Fri Jan 27, 2017 8:07 pm

Mammon:

Schrodinger's Gun
On the topic of Schrodinger's Gun, I understand the idea, and I guess for me, it is implemented in a slightly different way? Depending on which route you take, certain characters will become less relevant. For an example, Leon has connections with Tora and Noelle. Wolfgang may be around too because he's on staff in the setting he's in, but otherwise, a bunch of other characters just aren't affiliated with him. As a result, they are around in the setting but are no longer an integral part of the story. I personally think it makes sense, but do you think that works as a whole, or do you have any advice for that?

Also, as I begin writing the routes for the boys, I'll be able to see if any of the specific female characters are extraneous. I don't really want them to be there just to support the male cast somehow. I prefer my characters to be people, not just...devices or stereotypes. I certainly try, at least.

For characters who are combinations of elements, there's two I can think of (one male (Vaughn - Electricity/Mind - Technopathy) and one female (Lanette - Earth/Water/Healing - Poison). I don't know much about either of them yet though. Again, focusing on the main 10 I listed, and even from there, the first four or five are priorities.

As for gimmicks, influence and reading are the main two. I don't think I'd be adding any more, and they're usually only offered to you at very specific points in the game.

Fight Scenes
I don't think Anima himself would do any major fighting. Even when he gets injured, it's not from a fight, per say...it happens close to the end of the routeless section, though, so I guess it counts as a spoiler. I can tell you if you want, just PM me if you want to know and think it might offer some context for offering advice. Otherwise...I can't think of any major fighting that happens. Still, it is a possibility, so I should figure out how I'd go about it, but I'll probably do that when I get to specific routes where it might become significant. Tora's comes to mind.

Gear
Haha, no, actually, it's a bit more unfortunate than that. Gear had his mind completely screwed over by a person with mind powers unrelated to Anima before he arrived in the story's setting. No one really knows what they did, just what it has resulted in. Even to me, he's an interesting character of whom I have mixed feeling about. He's sort of tragic because what happened to his mental state isn't his fault, but he has also done some completely unforgivable things to other characters in the cast. Literally no one knows what to do with him in story because they aren't legally allowed to kill him but he is a danger to himself and others, and putting him in a mental ward that isn't affiliated with the elementalist facility would only put everyone in the ward he went to at risk. Part of me wants to make a route for him via sending Anima into Gear's head (at which point there'd probably be elements of horror in this visual novel). If I do that, it'll be a while from now. I want to deal with everyone else first. I'm not sure if I'd do it, but it is kinda tempting.

Neutralize/Void
Even to me, 'Neutralize' always stood out, I just was never sure what else to call it. Maybe I'll start calling it 'Void'. Subtypes of such won't really be addressed unless you take Wolfgang's route...hm. I'll seriously consider that. Thank you!

I guess while i'm on a similar topic, 'healing' is actually not the technical name of the element, just what it's widely known as. It's actually referred to as "body", because reverse healing is also a thing. Do you think that works for a name?

Anima
I have actually been told by a few people that I should look into X-Men for reasons of 'research'. I don't really know much about Marvel to be honest, though. I'll look into Purple Man and I'll get back to you on that.
I'm trying quite hard to establish that the system of this world has it's issues in terms of set-up and politics. Kind of unavoidable, after all. Nothing is flawless, but I'm also determined to ensure that it's not "the place is evil and tortures it's occupants and has a secret agenda" type "flawed". It's flaws only stem from human nature and differing opinions about how the issues that occur within should be dealt with.

Endings
It's not a happy ending because the only way to obtain the ending is to
actively ostracize yourself from everyone around you.
As long as you're not doing that, the members of the cast have been fairly welcoming to the protagonist (though some have been wary for reasons I've already explained). The route that's always going to be open is Yuuki's, because of the circumstances under which you meet him. But yeah, I always feel a little insulted when visual novels are like "oh, you refused to go along with what we were trying to do so we're going to kill the character pointlessly and make you start over". Just feels like lazy writing.

As for post length, hah...whoops, at it again. Oh well! It helps me organize my thoughts.

gekiganwing

Stereotypes
I'm being incredibly careful about making sure the characters aren't stereotypes. There are a few characters, such as Raine, who APPEAR to be one archetype but when you get to know them, they're someone completely different. But otherwise I try to make sure they're people and not stereotypes. Since the girls came secondary, I fear some of them might be more archetypes currently, but when I'm done with the male stories and I'm able to focus on them more, I'll flesh them out significantly.

Completion
I have completed STORIES, yes, but VISUAL NOVELS, no. There's a large difference, in my opinion. I think the longest story I ever finished was...50,000 words? I started on a part 2 but never finished that, but part 1 got finished, so that's cool.
I'll take a look at the "unfinished visual novel" article a little later, probably when I'm done writing this post. However, I'm pretty far beyond planning at this point, and I have an artist I'm paying to help me out. I don't know if I'll make this visual novel completely free either, maybe the routeless portion of it but I'll decide on that when I get further.

Endings
I have a few endings planned, actually, albeit not completely written. Maybe I will write the 'Routeless' ending in advance at some point in the near future. Tora's ending has also been planned, but I would rather wait until I've dealt with Leon's route in full before I write that out. That said, it might be fun to do a rough draft of it in advance just to see if it works...hmm.

It's not quite 'destroying a town' level of accident. I used to be pretty open with what Anima accidentally did when I started, because I was originally going to open the game with the incident itself, but after a while I decided it was more effective to let the resulting PTSD tell the story of what occurred throughout the routeless section of the game.

Genre
No, there are no complex values dictating whether or not you date characters, so I definitely wouldn't call it a dating sim.
Interpersonal Drama is probably a little closer? There's elements of slice of life but it's not completely that either.

That One Ending I Keep Mentioning Vaguely
I mentioned it a bit above, but due to the actions you have to rather actively take to get it, I think it makes sense.

Sweet Fuse
Read the spoilers, that's interesting. I understand both sides on that one, it's a weird thing to balance. I agree with you, though...I think I said this somewhere already but I always have trouble with games that prioritize romance over even really strong friendships? I mean, both involve trust. But I say this as someone who has had maintained some really strong friendships over 9 years and while I have no romantic interest in them, I'd trust them with my life if it came to that for whatever dramatic reason. So it's possible that I just have a bias from personal experience.

ART
So I talked to my artist! He's perfectly fine with me posting his concepts and said he'd even like some feedback for them. So I'll upload them in a short moment =3

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Re: Elementalism (Paranormal/Genre-Mix)

#7 Post by Mammon » Sun Jan 29, 2017 5:36 am

Soundstorm wrote:Schrodinger's Gun
On the topic of Schrodinger's Gun, I understand the idea, and I guess for me, it is implemented in a slightly different way? Depending on which route you take, certain characters will become less relevant. For an example, Leon has connections with Tora and Noelle. Wolfgang may be around too because he's on staff in the setting he's in, but otherwise, a bunch of other characters just aren't affiliated with him. As a result, they are around in the setting but are no longer an integral part of the story. I personally think it makes sense, but do you think that works as a whole, or do you have any advice for that?
That can work. Even if you have a large cast, if only a handful of them are relevant to a route while the others remain on the sidelines it shouldn't cause character overload. The reader will only have to remember 3-6 or so characters per route, and with those numbers you can even do a little re-introduction for every character when they appear like 'Wolfgang? Oh right, one of the wardens, the one who cancelled out ... powers, I believe.'.
Granted, it's a bit more complicated than that, because many characters that will prove irrelevant in one route will still be introduced in the pre-routes, and it won't be just a matter of picking a few characters and disregarding all others, but it can work.
Soundstorm wrote:As for gimmicks, influence and reading are the main two. I don't think I'd be adding any more, and they're usually only offered to you at very specific points in the game.
I think we're using different definitions for 'gimmick', my bad. I meant pretty much anything that can be used as a plotdevice, and your exposition on the topic. For example if Anima can use telekinesis, what are the limitations in terms of weight, range and speed with that? I assume that's something that will be explained somewhere in the common route before the routes split, but let's assume that it is not.
Let's assume it's explained in each route. My point was that you remembered to do it for Leon, Tora and Isa, but might forget to add it for Ventri, or couldn't fluently implement it into his route like you could with the others. Just as an example of course. While I don't think this mistake will be made quickly with such basic exposition, certain character development scenes may easily be remembered to have taken place by the author only to not be in the route that the reader reads.
Soundstorm wrote:Fight Scenes
I don't think Anima himself would do any major fighting. Even when he gets injured, it's not from a fight, per say...it happens close to the end of the routeless section, though, so I guess it counts as a spoiler. I can tell you if you want, just PM me if you want to know and think it might offer some context for offering advice. Otherwise...I can't think of any major fighting that happens. Still, it is a possibility, so I should figure out how I'd go about it, but I'll probably do that when I get to specific routes where it might become significant. Tora's comes to mind.
If you have little intention of adding fight scenes, actual shojo style fight scenes, into the story, then there's no reason to worry about it. It's quite easy to avoid these problems if you have no intention of describing a battle to such detail that the scene would take about 10 minutes to read.
Soundstorm wrote:Gear
Part of me wants to make a route for him via sending Anima into Gear's head (at which point there'd probably be elements of horror in this visual novel). If I do that, it'll be a while from now. I want to deal with everyone else first. I'm not sure if I'd do it, but it is kinda tempting.
Really depends on whether you want to write the story, whether you'll think it'll fit and whether you can write the story. Personally I think that especially if there are this many routes, genre diversity will be a much appreciated feature by many.
Soundstorm wrote:I guess while i'm on a similar topic, 'healing' is actually not the technical name of the element, just what it's widely known as. It's actually referred to as "body", because reverse healing is also a thing. Do you think that works for a name?
It would even things out with mind. Just make sure to establish that it's not a power to enhance one's physical abilities or become a regenerator.
Soundstorm wrote:Anima
I have actually been told by a few people that I should look into X-Men for reasons of 'research'. I don't really know much about Marvel to be honest, though. I'll look into Purple Man and I'll get back to you on that.
Honestly I haven't read any story featuring the Purple man either, I only know his power through what I've heard: Rather than the ability to read one's mind and force someone to do something, the purple man can manipulate one's will and make the person believe that they want to do something. Manipulating the will of the person rather than their thoughts and thus making it incredibly more difficult to fight against it or even know it's happening.

I'm not sure if I'd recommend researching similar themed stories, it has its ups and downs. The ups are that you can learn from successful stories what does and doesn't work, which powers many will understand, etc. On the other hand, you already want to make this story without knowing those similar tales to inspire you, and by not knowing them you'll be less influenced by their specific mood and quirks.
However, the purple man might be a good research topic if you want to see humanity's worst when learning of Anima's forbidden powers, I've heard his stories are rather dark and grim, and filled with psychological torture and grief. Whether this is actually true is another matter, but a quick wikipedia search did suggest that even his character in the real-life series (Jessica Jones) was terrifying.
Soundstorm wrote:Endings
I have a few endings planned, actually, albeit not completely written. Maybe I will write the 'Routeless' ending in advance at some point in the near future. Tora's ending has also been planned, but I would rather wait until I've dealt with Leon's route in full before I write that out. That said, it might be fun to do a rough draft of it in advance just to see if it works...hmm.
Seems that it's already your game plan, but working at it one route at a time will probably be best. You said there were 4-5 relevant characters compared to the rest, once you finish those you'll already have a release-worthy project and every route on top of them will be icing on the cake.
Soundstorm wrote:ART
So I talked to my artist! He's perfectly fine with me posting his concepts and said he'd even like some feedback for them. So I'll upload them in a short moment =3
I expected as much, I'd wonder how you'd find him in the first place if he wouldn't want to showcase his art anywhere.
I'm liking his art style, the sketches suggest great flexibility, like how he drew 3 different styles of eyes for Tora to pick from. Personally I'm wondering if Isa and Ventri might've been switched, Ventri's coloring and sturdy looks suggests rock-solid earth while Isa's more white tones and his stature would fit the bending and avoiding wind better. But that's probably more a matter of character traits not being exactly what one would expect from their element.
Edit: If they're not switched it's not a problem. It's not like you're obligated to follow the tropes of what an element should look like.
With Anima, is he going to be a more closed-off and anti-social character? If he doesn't really want to talk to people then the crossed arms will help, but if he'll be more social then this sign of unapproachability will make him seem a bit more like he doesn't want to talk to others.
Last edited by Mammon on Mon Jan 30, 2017 4:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Elementalism (Paranormal/Genre-Mix) - ART ADDED

#8 Post by Soundstorm » Sun Jan 29, 2017 6:27 pm

I can't give a full response right now, but I did double-check to make sure Isa and Venti weren't switched. They weren't, but I do see exactly what you mean. It matches their personalities more than their elements, however. Isa is a quiet, mildly shy and selectively mute boy, while Venti is more of a troublemaker. I'll come back and give a full response when I'm not on mobile ^^

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Re: Elementalism (Paranormal/Genre-Mix) - ART ADDED

#9 Post by Soundstorm » Sat Feb 04, 2017 9:03 pm

I have been working on the novel still, and just want to say that I'm still around. I have a few ideas for things I could add into the game but I want to focus on the first four routes first.

That said, personal things have been getting in the way, but I'll see to it that they don't stop me for long.

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Re: Elementalism (Paranormal/Genre-Mix) - ART ADDED

#10 Post by Soundstorm » Sat Feb 18, 2017 1:44 am

Got a few more concepts from my artist. Been writing a little bit, too.


Kiro:
IMG_2683.JPG
Kiro Concept
Raine:
IMG_2682.JPG
Raine Concept
Noelle:
IMG_2681.JPG
Noelle Concept

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Re: Elementalism (Paranormal/Genre-Mix) - ART ADDED

#11 Post by Soundstorm » Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:49 pm

On mobile, but the protagonist has a finalized concept/design
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Re: Elementalism (Paranormal/Genre-Mix) - Update 5

#12 Post by Soundstorm » Sat Mar 11, 2017 9:24 pm

Update 5: The concept of Gear was posted. I'm uncertain about it for the moment.
Anima's old concepts were also removed, since I have his finalized concept now.

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Re: Elementalism (Paranormal/Genre-Mix) - Update 6

#13 Post by Soundstorm » Fri May 26, 2017 11:47 pm

Update six! I've done a lot more writing and coding stuff ^^ but more relevantly to the post, I added a final Sprite for Wolfgang!! He's one of the first dudes to show up in the VN so it's good to have proper sprites for him. He has 19 different emotion sprites (a lot more than I asked for o.o) so that's promising ^_^ Anima should have final sprites by the end of this weekend, according to my artist.

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Re: Elementalism (Paranormal/Genre-Mix) - Update 6

#14 Post by Soundstorm » Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:43 pm

Still active, though there was a slight snag: my artist was in Florida when the hurricane hit last year. I’m pretty sure he’s okay, but last we talked, he was staying with a friend.

Anima has a design update and a few sprites too. I’m on my phone though, so I’ll post them later.

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