Whoa, thanks for the replies, everyone!! My comment will be a bit long so I can properly respond to you all!
The plot is pretty good! What interesting for me is this will be in a military academy with magic! I think it reminds me of a movie with similar background, but it's not a military academy, just a regular academy for "special" students
Thanks! I'm glad it interests you! I'm actually surprised nobody was reminded of My Hero Academia, which was my biggest inspiration for this game. That's a good thing because I'm not trying to rip it off
So far Nina, Trenton and Aaron, although Shanela character might be cool to see in the story
Awesome, I'm so happy you like the brothers! Also Shanela is bae, just to let you and everyone else know. She and Nina will compete to out-sass one another, so look forward to that
I think for now everything is pretty clear, it'll be nice to know the other side characters and what kind of features we can expect for the VN
I'll be sure to post the side characters once they're designed and I write some good bios for them! (Plus figure out which characters are and aren't spoilers.) As for features, the game will work like a traditional VN with a point system, which will determine whose route you end up on, complete with one good end and one bad end for each character.
I do! This will be an awesome VN when it's done, I'm looking forward to the world building since the military academy must have some sort of history and mystery in it on why Nina's sister died etc.
Thanks so much for your kind words and support! I plan on making the world feel rich and full of life without dragging out unnecessary or boring details. Also yes, the academy does have some deep history despite being new and young, and I hope to flesh out the mystery aspect surrounding Lillia's death, as well as bring other mysteries to the surface.
I've enjoyed protagonists with personalities across multiple media formats. It's often fascinating to see a main character who doesn't overcome their weaknesses, but who is sympathetic regardless. Likewise, I think it's interesting when a protag has multiple negative traits, but they come across as believably flawed. When a video game or a visual novel focuses on its story, then I think that a not-necessarily-likeable main character will be more memorable than an audience identification character.
Nina will overcome her blind rage and anger flaws while exposing some other flaws - after all, she is just a sixteen-year-old girl and will behave like one. I'd like to think she's a well-rounded character who doesn't need to be defined by the player's choices, and she's non-renamable to help people relate to her, if that makes any sense. I hope people will come to like her because she is just trying her best
Thank you for your words!
@tincrumbs: (I'm going to pick apart some of your statements so I don't end up writing blocks of text here! Also going to update the OP with some relevant information I left out the first time around)
I like Nina a lot! I think she sounds quite bit angrier than the average "I'm going against the system and making a strong protagonist!!" heroine and I find her far more interesting and worth rooting for than most characters of the type. I hope that her anger and rashness is a source of conflict between the player and the character herself, though, instead of just a façade of an interesting one. She'll be a great character, I think, if she's not stupid, but also not going to act ways the player wants her to 100% of the time.
I'm glad you feel that way! Nina is the way she is not just because of my desire to break free from traditional heroines, but also because this is the way she has to be to make the story progress. Nina is at the heart of each conflict, though that's not to say she's a Mary Sue who magically solves the issues of everyone around her. I think most of the "conflict" between the player and her will come from confusion, especially during early parts of the story. The player doesn't and won't understand Nina's conviction and motivation until later on and might just think she's being childish (which she is at times!). I don't think she's stupid by any means, but her rash personality will definitely lead her to make poor decisions.
That being said, she seems in sharp contrast to Lillia and Eclair who sound very much like the cookie-cutter big sister and best friend and seem jarring by comparison. Obviously, it's hard to portray the full depth of a character in such a short description, so I'm sure those two characters have their flaws as well! The other girls in the game follow more in the path of Nina, so those are the only two I'd take a second look at.
Lillia and Eclair are very much typical big sister types on the surface, but they're not afraid to get angry or scold someone when they see injustice being done. When their mother died, Lillia took her role upon herself, leading to several occasions when she and Nina butted heads. Eclair is Nina's best friend, and she didn't get that title by just being gentle
Eclair's pretty shy around most other people, but she's very vocal and upfront with Nina.
As for heroes, some of them are dangerously close to being stereotypes, but not so much that I think it's a concern. My #1 recommendation from my extraordinarily brief and uninformed experience is to flesh out how the relationships between the LI and Nina help each other. Why are they interested in dating each other and how does it make a positive (and negative) impacts in their lives? This goes for all the relationships with all the characters, tbh! I think it helps me fall out of the trap of boring stereotypes characters (I hope). Anyways, that's a very long-drawn out way of saying, I love Nina, but worry about Lillia's and Eclair's characterization. Sorry for being long-winded!
Yup! Most, if not all, the characters are based on common tropes, but I hope to flesh them out in ways to make them stand out! At the risk of tooting my own horn here, I do think I've got character interactions down
Even the characters that don't appear to have a reason to interact with Nina much (Matthaeus, Quinn, Willem) will eventually have their own reasons! I was thinking about adding some character quotes to their bios but wasn't sure if it would make them too long. I think I will after all though!
I want. To date. William. So bad. Like, so bad. He's the playboy type but also a dork and I LOVE it!! Dorks are my fave but so are the playboys and so it's a perfect balance! I also want to mention that I really want Amaly to be my buddy. Also, also, I love the mentor/student trope so I have the hots for Trenton already. And Nina's cool and one of the better of the "I'm going against the system and making a strong protagonist!!" character's I've seen so we should also be buds.
Yay, I invoked strong emotions!! Willem is definitely a dork, and I hope his route doesn't disappoint! Amaly is adorable and must be protected at all costs. And I reeeally wanted to make a character like Trenton because, like you, I'm also a giant fan of student/mentor tropes and needed it in this game haha. As for Nina, maybe wait until the end of a route where she mellows out a bit, then you can try befriending her!
I have a few questions. I feel very unclear with the setting and tone. The characters seem to set off a quirky tone--which I like--but the main plot of trying to find Nina's sister's killer (or a murderous system) seems kinda at odds with that and with Nina as brash and angry a character herself. Ofc, this could just be because of the shortform of the introduction, so it may not be something you need to worry about with the final form.
The characters are full of quirks mainly to offset the serious tone of the plot. Astaleth Academy is a military-run training facility (the headmaster is a retired military general) so you would think that equals no horseplay, no jokes, no anything fun or funny, but the students are still students, most fresh out of high school, and so their personalities reflect their immaturity. Along with that, each character has their own circumstances - maybe they hate their power, maybe they had dreams and aspirations before they were drafted - to better flesh them out than their short bios let on. I think it's from the bios being so short that I ended up making that unclear, so I apologize!
To better clarify, Dussult and Amaly in particular are very much the main comic relief sort of characters. Dussult pokes fun at people and gives them stupid nicknames (he will try and nickname Nina but she more or less tells him to buzz off) whereas Amaly fawns over boys she thinks are cute, but they each have issues coming to terms with their powers. Basically, though every character is based on a trope and sticks to it for the most part, they're all three-dimensional - I just chose to play on their commonly seen personalities!
Ah, and Nina's the only one on her quest for revenge. Nobody else knows about Lillia's death, but as she's the main character, there is more focus on that part of the plot in the synopsis. Nina was finally drafted after waiting so long (when normally people perceive a draft notice as a death sentence), and now she's eager to find out the truth of Lillia's death - and why Trenton is still at the academy, let alone a teacher there, since she believes him to be Lillia's killer. The plot as a whole revolves less around murder mystery and more character-driven. I hope that makes sense!
As for setting, I'm very confused if this is urban fantasy, pure fantasy, etc. How far romoved from our world is it? You mentioned it's an amalgamation of a lot of different genres at this stage and I'm afraid it shows, but not for the better (at least in this description).
It is a completely standalone world, taking place in the fictional land of Shaice. Shaice is split up into three separate countries, one of which is Astaleth. I admit I only used so many descriptor tags to give potential readers a better idea of what to expect from the plot. At this point, I think the game can be condensed down to Adventure/Romance. Some routes will have more focus on the adventure aspects (there are two other countries in this universe) where others will focus more on romance and character interactions (which is where the drama comes into play). I used fictional historical pretty loosely, and for that I apologize. I meant it in a way that implies there's a lot of lore to be found about this fictional universe, and some old-ish fictional history will come into play regarding other countries' leaders, etc.
Also, how does the school work? Do they get people in based on grades or ability? If it's based on ability, why is William in there? If it's a "draft", why? Most schools don't work like that and it seems like a strange decision. How do classes work? How do Aaron and Quinn keep their abilities secret since at a school focused on training abilities they should be using them daily in classes, I'd think? It seems like it's well-known the school is dangerous, so what's the outside world like if the average person seems unconcerned about it?
How the academy works: Mages are drafted as young as sixteen (legal adult age in this universe), with several students being drafted right on their sixteenth birthdays if their powers are sought after enough. What makes the powers sought after? Offensive and technical skills (such as elemental control and mind control, respectively) are the highest priorities as they are likely the most powerful, so mages with those skills tend to be drafted as early as possible. The academy tries to draft as many students as possible to ensure they don't become villains, for lack of a better term. Even a skill like Willem's pheromone secretion could prove deadly if used for the wrong reasons - what if he suddenly learned how to control his power without proper guidance? The academy operates with the mindset of training mages to control their powers.
As for classes, they are split up into different skill sets depending on how many students there are of each skill. Nina's class is the offensive/defensive skill class, so students with elemental control (Shanela, Matthaeus, Dussult) as well as barrier creation (Nina, Amaly) are put together. It works out because during training sessions students from each skill set can be partnered up to exploit weaknesses and help each other discover their strengths. Training sessions happen once each week, with Trenton supervising and mediating each session for each class and year (first-years have their sessions one day, second-years the next, and so on).
Aaron is a second-year student so he's already not usually seen outside of his own route, unfortunately, and the people Nina is around most don't tend to talk about him much, making it easy for him to keep his power secret. Basically, it's not so much his power is unknown (and he is also one of Nina's childhood friends so she already knows what it is, I'm just keeping it secret for bullcrap suspense reasons), but Nina's classmates barely know of his existence, and he's normally not in class or training anyway. As for Quinn, he isn't drafted until a bit later in the story so his power is a mystery to everyone except the staff. He doesn't talk about himself or his power and doesn't like participating in training sessions - which leads to some disciplinary actions but that's another story.
The academy is seen as dangerous to outsiders because mages are still a new occurrence and Astaleth is the only country who has seen the emergence of magical powers. Mages are generally feared, especially those with more powerful skills, but their skills don't change their outside appearances so it's hard to gauge if someone has a power just looking at them. It's unusual for someone to be so open about their power because of the backlash they will face from society, which leads to tension all around the country - and that's why the academy was founded in the first place, to try and relieve some of this tension. So the public isn't unconcerned about it, more like it's sort of taboo to talk about it? It's something that's not really understood just yet, so it scares people to think and talk about it.
Enough so that I'd want to be a beta reader or something and follow the progress of the game, but not enough so that I'd grab it first day of release without any further information.
I'll be sure to update when any progress is made! I wager within the next six months or so I'll be able to open up a proper WiP thread for it
Also I'm planning on having this game be free to play, if that entices you any! But no hard feelings if it's not a day-one grab for you.
Ofc, all of this is pretty subjective and just comes to mind when I'm reading a short-description of your upcoming game. I know that there's tons of info and details that you couldn't fit, so some of this might have already been answered. This list just want came to my head while reading. I'm really, really excited to see the progress of this game and I hope it's super successful!!
Thank you so much for your kind words and support!! You asked some great questions and I hope I cleared up some of your confusion. I'll be updating the OP with some relevant information I left out the first time around, but don't be afraid to ask any more questions if there's still something you need cleared up!