Meet Me At Sea [otome][GxB][GxG][Mermaid]

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Evy
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Meet Me At Sea [otome][GxB][GxG][Mermaid]

#1 Post by Evy » Thu Feb 23, 2017 11:25 pm

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Madgalena Salazar - 21
The protagonist. Magdalena hasn't had an easy life, but very few people know the details. She moved to Atarga around a year ago to attend school, where she is starting her second year (third semester) in marine biology. She works as a waitress at one of the casino's restaurants. She loves the sea, and dreams about the existence of mermaids. She has a younger brother named Artemio back home, whom she frequently keeps in touch with.
(redesign illustration)

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Gabriel Vivas - 21
A sort of boy-next-door who majors in linguistics. Gabriel is a very charitable soul, going out of his way to assist people in need and often volunteering at the hospital to keep both children and old folks company. He sports an unusually large scar on his chest. He doesn't like talking about it.

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Zayleen Chukwu - 23
A biochemistry major, Zayleen is outspoken about her views and deeply cares about people discovering self-love. She's laid-back and romantic, but something about the question of relationships seems to be bothering her... She owns a pair of bonded lovebirds, Josephine and Octavia.
(redesign illustration)

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Nanami Uotani - 20
Nanami is a botany major who seems to prefer the company of plants over people. She gets the job done, but dislikes having to deal with others and shuts everyone out. She isn't afraid of calling others out on their stupidity. She also has a thing for motorcycles.

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Maneli Khadem - 21
Maneli is studying to become a nurse for a very specific reason, which she doesn't disclose. She acts very much like a fussy big sister, or even a mom, when others do risky things. She worries a lot but denies it. (I-it's not like I'm worried about you, idiot...)

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Leonidas Lambros - 24
A history major who consistently gets top grades - and doesn't shy away from flaunting his intelligence. While he's nice to people, he has difficulty relating to them and comes off as a snob. He has a younger brother named Mihail that he doesn't get along with.

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Blair Allaway - 19
A peppy tomboy who loves to dance. She's super friendly and caring and is definitely best friend material, though currently Joshua holds the best friend seat for her. However, she doesn't seem to be super comfortable around men in general...

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Joshua Hall - 19
An outgoing young man who looks at the bright side of life, Joshua is studying athletic training. His optimism is infectious, and he has a lot of love to give. While he enjoys hanging out with people, he doesn't let anybody come over to his place for some reason.

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Hugo Madeira - 23
A philosophy major who, despite his seductive good looks, isn't all that well-liked by his peers due to his... eccentric comments. He has a bit of a sadistic streak and quite frankly, he kind of freaks people out. He collects butterflies as a hobby.

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Layla Halabi - 20
A sweet literature major, she often acts as a voice of reason. She struggles with money, however, and sometimes doesn't follow her own advice. Aside from reading and writing, she has a love for lolita fashion and enjoys sewing her own outfits.
(redesign illustration)

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Tristan Campbell - 19
An art student who is frequently absent from class due to his poor health. While he is kind, he can be quite fatalistic. He usually paints landscapes and favors impressionism; his favorite thing to paint is the beach at twilight. He longs for the sea...

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Jun Zhou - 22
A music student who plays the saxophone. Life has not been kind to Jun, and he believes himself to be a bad person who only brings misfortune. For this reason, he always shuts out anyone who tries to approach him. He really needs a hug.

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Roksana
The antagonist. A mysterious woman lurking through Atarga's shadows. Nobody knows who she is, where she's from, or what she wants... except that she quickly develops a fixation on Magdalena...

There are several supporting characters who populate the island of Atarga; family, friends, classmates, coworkers, and so on.

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  • 11 love interests (6 male, 5 female), plus an unlockable route for a total of 12 - and an overarching plot
  • Elements of mental illness, self-harm, suicide, loss, alcoholism and verbal abuse spread out through the various routes, as well as suggestive themes
  • Estimated 16+ rating due to the above
  • (Tentative) Gifts system
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  • Which character appeals to you the most so far? Whose route would you play first?
  • How do you feel about a protagonist that has their own identity rather than being a blank slate for self-insertion?
  • If you were a mermaid, what color would your scales be? :D
Meet Me At Sea has been an on-and-off work in progress since sometime in 2015, and presently, this is a solo project. This thread will be updated gradually.
In the meantime, check out the project's Tumblr blog!
Last edited by Evy on Tue May 02, 2017 7:51 pm, edited 7 times in total.

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Re: Meet Me At Sea [otome][GxB][GxG][Mermaid]

#2 Post by Zelan » Fri Feb 24, 2017 10:29 am

Hey, this project looks super cool! The setting is interesting, I think it's a really creative idea.

I'm interested in Gabriel and Layla because their majors have to do with th language, which I love. I think Nanami is my favorite, though - botany + motorcycles seems like an interesting combo.

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Re: Meet Me At Sea [otome][GxB][GxG][Mermaid]

#3 Post by Evy » Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:06 pm

Yay! I'm glad someone is finally paying attention to Gabriel; all of my friends prefer the other characters, haha.

The language thing, though... it might prove to be a bit tricky. I'm bilingual myself, but I'm not very well-read... and Gabriel speaks Spanish as his first language, which incidentally is also Magdalena's native tongue. I'm like... if they're alone, would they talk in Spanish? Would I need to put some kind of indicator like < translation brackets >? Or does it just not matter?

Things also get a bit iffy when you consider which characters would have accents, such as Blair (Scottish) and Joshua (Jamaican), or who would use slang from their respective countries of origin.

HMMM. Cross that bridge when I get there, I guess!

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Re: Meet Me At Sea [otome][GxB][GxG][Mermaid]

#4 Post by Zelan » Fri Feb 24, 2017 5:39 pm

Hmm, that's a good question. I don't know that anyone would notice or complain if everyone spoke English the whole time, but it would definitely add some to the realism if there were some sort of indicator of a language switch. On the other hand, if Magdalena and Gabriel don't know that the other is bilingual, maybe it wouldn't occur to them?

Accents are always tough to write. I know some people who actually find it annoying when a dialect is written phonetically. A possible compromise here would be to state when the characters are first introduced that they have accents?

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Re: Meet Me At Sea [otome][GxB][GxG][Mermaid]

#5 Post by LunarNoir » Fri Feb 24, 2017 9:22 pm

Oh! romantic visual novel about mermaids spiced with dark elements, too! I love mermaids, so I was so happy to see this!
I really like Hugo and Jun (I am Chinese like him!) the most. Their kind of personalities have always appealed to me.
I seldom see Chinese characters in visual novels as well, so I was really happy to see one here~
I wish that I could hug Jun right now; I think he honestly should have more love, really!
If he is not locked by the beginning of the game, he is definitely the person that I will go and pursue first, no doubt about that.
I also like Nanami; I look forward to her interactions and her developing herself as a person.
Actually, you can say I like all of the cast. That doesn't usually happen with me, but here I find myself loving them all~
Needless to say, I am definitely looking forward to this game's final product!

As for the accents and translations. I agree with Zelan in that they add to a sense of realism.
However, it also bothers me and gives me a hard time when their accents are written and it's hard to understand.
If you write in an actual different language though, using brackets would be good; I don't know how else to do it?
I would say probably if you want to really bring accents and speech to life, to recruit or hire voice actors on board.
I never tried it myself though, but maybe actually hearing other people say it would help understand better/easier than simply reading.
Maybe it's just me though (because I actually tend to be more of an audio kind of person, after all.)
Maybe, some of the characters - if ticked off or angered - would end up speaking their native tongue habitually until they calm down?
For example, swear words/phrases, names, a sentence or two in their native language until they calm down, etc.
This is, of course, just an idea, and it's definitely not obligatory that you include this kind of thing, haha.
My friends in real life sort of do that though sometimes, so I just wanted to bring the idea up to you.

You have a lot of routes! 12 total? That is the most amount of pursuable characters I have seen yet.
That is, other than games such as Brothers Conflict and Diabolik Lovers.
I think it is indeed an ambitious goal. Especially if this is a solo project, but it's definitely doable.
I wish it did have more than one ending for characters, but that would be a lot, and would probably require someone else to help write.
I would definitely like to see him/her and Magdalena either together or something bad happening based on the player's decision.
Maybe it is simply because it's my preference and normally that is how typical visual novels are structured.
Or maybe it's just because I'm scared that the one ending will be very emotional/psychological, or angst kind of ending.
It's not that I don't like those types of endings though; in fact, I actually do like them quite a bit.
It's just that they get me to think so much it almost pains me/tears me up that they don't end up together, happy and all...

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Re: Meet Me At Sea [otome][GxB][GxG][Mermaid]

#6 Post by Evy » Fri Feb 24, 2017 10:07 pm

Bad endings might still be a possibility! It will all depend on whether I have enough wiggle room to write them in seamlessly. But right now, it's not an immediate priority since everything is still very early in development. But we'll see!

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Re: Meet Me At Sea [otome][GxB][GxG][Mermaid]

#7 Post by Zelan » Sat Feb 25, 2017 12:55 am

LunarNoir wrote:Maybe, some of the characters - if ticked off or angered - would end up speaking their native tongue habitually until they calm down?
For example, swear words/phrases, names, a sentence or two in their native language until they calm down, etc.
This is, of course, just an idea, and it's definitely not obligatory that you include this kind of thing, haha.
My friends in real life sort of do that though sometimes, so I just wanted to bring the idea up to you.
Oooh, that's a really good idea - I know people who do that, too.

Again, there's a question of whether you want to go to the lengths of implementing that, and how much you want to describe it (e.g. actually writing the sentences out vs. writing "He let off a string of rapid-fire Spanish in his fury" or something like that). It's a neat idea, though.

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Re: Meet Me At Sea [otome][GxB][GxG][Mermaid]

#8 Post by Evy » Sat Feb 25, 2017 3:08 pm

I edited the original post with a few questions at the bottom, but here they are again just in case!
-Which character appeals to you the most so far?
-How do you feel about a protagonist that has their own identity rather than being a blank slate for self-insertion?
-What are some themes that are dealbreakers for you?
-At which point in a story do you think is the best moment to branch off into the different routes?
-How important are multiple endings to you?
-How important are variations in sprite poses to you?
-If you were a mermaid, what color would your scales be? :D

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Re: Meet Me At Sea [otome][GxB][GxG][Mermaid]

#9 Post by Zelan » Sat Feb 25, 2017 3:48 pm

-Which character appeals to you the most so far?
I already mentioned Gabriel, Layla, and Nanami, but looking at the images and descriptions again, I think I'm actually most interested in Zayleen.

-How do you feel about a protagonist that has their own identity rather than being a blank slate for self-insertion?
I prefer it. c:

-What are some themes that are dealbreakers for you?
Hmm...I don't know if there are any themes that would be dealbreakers by themselves, but if a darker theme is handled insensitively or just plain badly I wouldn't be a happy camper.

-At which point in a story do you think is the best moment to branch off into the different routes?
It really depends on the story; the best thing to do is make sure that each route doesn't feel too short or too long.

-How important are multiple endings to you?
I do enjoy them (it's what got me into VNs in the first place), but it's not the end of the world if it only has one. I've come to appreciate KNs a lot more as of late.

-How important are variations in sprite poses to you?
They're very cool and make the game look more lively, but I also understand that they're an awful lot of work (especially considering your huge cast) so I won't turn my nose up if your characters only have one pose.

-If you were a mermaid, what color would your scales be?
Probably blue or green. ^_^ I like cool colors.

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Re: Meet Me At Sea [otome][GxB][GxG][Mermaid]

#10 Post by Evy » Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:42 pm

I'm going to be veeeery slowly updating the original post to make it prettier as things progress on my side. I just can't make any cool graphics or illustrations at the moment because of capricious tablet drivers |(

In the meantime, I've started putting what I have of the script into Ren'Py. It's literally just text for now, but it works great so far! I also wrote an additional character introduction scene, and will hopefully work on the other ones in the following days.

(Also I'd like to do periodic updates that include random character trivia at some point, but I'll have to think on this some more, haha.)

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Re: Meet Me At Sea [otome][GxB][GxG][Mermaid]

#11 Post by Evy » Tue Mar 14, 2017 11:11 pm

Edited the original post a little to trim down on text and added simple banners/headers for each section, as well as put an image together for the plot summary. Next would be making nice profile images for the characters, although the illustrations therein would be the old ones as placeholders until I get back to drawing the redesigns and game sprites proper.

Of course, I've never been any good at things like text fonts, so these headers and the plot summary image are very experimental/tentative and are subject to be updated later!

I've also drafted a tentative casual outfit redesign for Jun. I may post concept sketches at some point.

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Re: Meet Me At Sea [otome][GxB][GxG][Mermaid]

#12 Post by Evy » Wed Mar 29, 2017 11:46 pm

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The girls' casual outfits have all been redesigned! Here are sneak peeks at their concept sketches (sans Zayleen, whose polished illustration I've already done). Layla's illustration will be next since I started on it a while back; I just need to shade it.

Now I need to... design the boys... this'll be tough. I'm also going to tweak everyone's mermaid appearances a bit (their outfits, I mean; I felt that leaving all the guys shirtless was pretty bland).

I also started drafting a couple backgrounds... using The Sims 4, lmao. I just loaded up an empty world, picked a large lot, and starting putting some rooms together, then taking screenshots to trace over. I'm really bad with environmental perspective, so I always have to use this kind of method for backgrounds. u_u Outdoor scenery will be another matter...

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Re: Meet Me At Sea [otome][GxB][GxG][Mermaid]

#13 Post by Zelan » Thu Mar 30, 2017 8:11 am

I am digging these outfits, especially Nanami's. ^_^ Blair's is my second favorite from the image.

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Re: Meet Me At Sea [otome][GxB][GxG][Mermaid]

#14 Post by Sonomi » Mon Apr 03, 2017 6:47 pm

Which character appeals to you the most so far? Whose route would you play first?

I really like Nanami and Joshua, so I would probably play their routes in that order, respectively!

How do you feel about a protagonist that has their own identity rather than being a blank slate for self-insertion?

As someone who isn't a huge fan of blank slate protagonists, I welcome this. There's a good amount of character development that can result from giving your main character opinions, hobbies, and goals. Those are the things that make me enjoy any story, especially if I can relate. Even if I can't quite agree with the character, they will still stand out because of their personality and I'm far more likely to remember them (and the story, for that matter). I suppose I just wanted to share why I have this preference in case you might find it useful somehow...

If you were a mermaid, what color would your scales be?

Red is my favorite color. :) Good luck with development!
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Re: Meet Me At Sea [otome][GxB][GxG][Mermaid]

#15 Post by Evy » Mon Apr 03, 2017 7:06 pm

Layla's illustration is done! \o/

I worked on the boys' redesigns and I have Leonidas and Hugo left to work on. I finally started writing down an actual outline for the story (because until now it was all in my head orz) and I've been doing some brainstorming. I also started drawing a birthday illustration for Blair on the 31st, but... I got distracted, so it's late... oops.

Not much else to comment on at the moment though.

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