[NaNoRenO WIP] The House that Bled Paint (beta)

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SusanTheCat
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[NaNoRenO WIP] The House that Bled Paint (beta)

#1 Post by SusanTheCat » Sat Mar 26, 2011 11:15 pm

Woo hoo! A beta version of my game!

Image

Tara starts a new job in an old building -- but something doesn't want her there!

This is a contemporary supernatural horror game. BE WARNED! I would give it a PG-14 rating. At thirteen I would not have found it too scary, but I like horror.

The game takes 1-2 hours depending on how fast you read. There are currently 4 endings.

This is the Visual Novel version of a NaNoWriMo novel I wrote. I took it from 50,000 words to 20,000.

Credits:
Writing, Art, Programming: Susan Douglas
Music: Kevin MacLeod http://incompetech.com/m/c/royalty-free


Vital stats:
The game contains 2,192 screens of dialogue.
These screens contain a total of 20,476 words,
for an average of 9.3 words per screen.
The game contains 8 menus.

Screen shots:
Image
Image
Image

Downloads:
Linux - http://www.thecatsweb.com/games/The%20House%20that%20Bled%20Paint-linux-x86.tar.bz2
Mac - http://www.thecatsweb.com/games/The%20House%20that%20Bled%20Paint-mac.zip
Windows - http://www.thecatsweb.com/games/The%20House%20that%20Bled%20Paint-win32.zip
All - http://www.thecatsweb.com/games/The%20House%20that%20Bled%20Paint-all.zip

Any feedback is welcome.

Things I would like to know:
- Is it worth going through the extra effort (beyond NaNoRenO) to make CGs and sound effects?
- Were there too many characters? Who could I get rid of? Who did you want to see more of?
- Was the plot too jumpy?
- On a scale of 1 to 10, how predictable was it?
- which character had the best sprite? (or the worse)
- which is the best background?

Susan
Last edited by SusanTheCat on Mon Mar 28, 2011 4:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: [NaNoRenO WIP] The House that Bled Paint (beta)

#2 Post by Midnighticequeen » Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:41 am

:( don't know what it is but the windows link and all link seems to be broken.

edit: Did you move the game somewhere else perhaps? And congrats on your NaNoRenO release. Can't wait to play it.

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Re: [NaNoRenO WIP] The House that Bled Paint (beta)

#3 Post by SusanTheCat » Sun Mar 27, 2011 4:29 pm

Thanks for pointing that out. I had forgotten about the spaces in the name.

Susan
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Re: [NaNoRenO WIP] The House that Bled Paint (beta)

#4 Post by Midnighticequeen » Sun Mar 27, 2011 5:04 pm

:D Thanks, will comment after I play it.

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Re: [NaNoRenO WIP] The House that Bled Paint (beta)

#5 Post by James » Mon Mar 28, 2011 7:56 am

Hello Susan just finished with the VN. Got two of the ending so far, but it should be enough to give you some feed backs.

What I liked

I do like this VN and feel you should know it, it really stands out and is refreshing change from the teenage love trouble VN's. The scary atmosphere is certainly your drive for this VN, you do know how to pick suspenseful music, there are times where I'm tempted to plug by ears. This VN has a nice story pace to it and you can tell the VN creator (you) is someone who knows their horror movies and the elements to a good one.

What I thought needed more work

The sprite of the ghosts and possessed people aren't scary enough in my opinion, they don't inspire fear to me. I was kind of expected a big scare from the music and then I saw the "thing" I kind of relaxed my shoulders and went "oh good not too scary". This is fine if you want a suspense VN, but the art is not on par with the scary level of your writing and music.


- Is it worth going through the extra effort (beyond NaNoRenO) to make CGs and sound effects?

The VN is good enough that it's memorable among the VN's made so far. Wither it's worth it to put in extra effort depends on how much drive you have left. If you feel tired from the project then it's probably best to take a break from it, if not please do continue I"ll support you with feed backs. I do think you know how to pick the right sound effects to scare people so I'd like you to add them.

- Were there too many characters? Who could I get rid of? Who did you want to see more of?

The priest kid kind of lacked purpose in the story other then allowing you to have a alternative choice. It's way obvious that other choice with the pro's are the main line as they actually become more involve with the end. I think it's better to either get rid of him or add more of him to the others who are trapped. He'll make a good dead body or the "one".


- Was the plot too jumpy?

The pacing of the story was good and believable. No it's not jumpy.

- On a scale of 1 to 10, how predictable was it?

I kind of guessed how it would go already. With 1 being predicable and 10 being mind boggling. I'd have to give it a 3-4. There's only so many ways to end a horror story.

Suggestion to make it better,
When you said only creative guys, it was a dead give away what will happen. Maybe alter the story line a little so both guys and girls could be the "one". Lilian would've be a good candidate to be on the suspicious list as the "one".


- which character had the best sprite? (or the worse)

To me it seems that girls in general are drawn better. Tara and her family they resemble each other. The guy sprites not as so much, especially Jason whose Jaws are the same length as Tara's whole cranium.

- which is the best background?

The attic


Good job Susan, you deserve a pat in the back!
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Re: [NaNoRenO WIP] The House that Bled Paint (beta)

#6 Post by SusanTheCat » Mon Mar 28, 2011 4:49 pm

James wrote:The scary atmosphere is certainly your drive for this VN, you do know how to pick suspenseful music, there are times where I'm tempted to plug by ears.

I got all the music from an AWESOME site: http://incompetech.com/m/c/royalty-free I was able to find a trio of pieces with the same theme

James wrote:
The sprite of the ghosts and possessed people aren't scary enough in my opinion, they don't inspire fear to me.

I completely agree. The next thing I want to do is fix my earlier sprites and add different expression
and have possessed/normal sprites


James wrote:If you feel tired from the project then it's probably best to take a break from it, if not please do continue I"ll support you with feed backs.

I'm still having fun with it. This was my first horror novel. I wrote it because I have a tendency to be really nice to my characters.
That why most of them get killed off - no more Mrs Nice Writer! Mua ha ha ha!


James wrote:
The priest kid kind of lacked purpose in the story other then allowing you to have a alternative choice. It's way obvious that other choice with the pro's are the main line as they actually become more involve with the end. I think it's better to either get rid of him or add more of him to the others who are trapped. He'll make a good dead body or the "one".

I agree here too. The problem with adapting an existing work is that one plot line is well developed, and the others suffer. I really want to beef up the other options.
The novel was written in a month as well and some of the plot lines went nowhere.
I really want to have more stuff with her friends and family. An the dog. The dog doesn't get much story time.


James wrote:I kind of guessed how it would go already. With 1 being predicable and 10 being mind boggling. I'd have to give it a 3-4. There's only so many ways to end a horror story.

I agree here to, but I should be able to fix this as I beef up the other plotlines.

James wrote:Suggestion to make it better,
When you said only creative guys, it was a dead give away what will happen. Maybe alter the story line a little so both guys and girls could be the "one". Lilian would've be a good candidate to be on the suspicious list as the "one".

Sweet!

James wrote:Good job Susan, you deserve a pat in the back!

Thank you for the great feedback! It really helps. Cookie for you!

Susan
" It's not at all important to get it right the first time. It's vitally important to get it right the last time. "
— Andrew Hunt and David Thomas

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Re: [NaNoRenO WIP] The House that Bled Paint (beta)

#7 Post by Elze » Thu Mar 31, 2011 9:58 am

Completed the game a few days ago so here's a review OuO;;
Overall I think it was pretty well done in terms of narrative and mood. I actually played the game at 3am in the morning, which added to the scare factor. So yes, the game did send shivers down my spine.

(I've put everything under a spoiler tag just in case I let slip a spoiler by accident)
- Is it worth going through the extra effort (beyond NaNoRenO) to make CGs and sound effects?
Adding CGs and sound effects would help spook things up and get us into the mood, especially so if you included the gory images of the victims. But gore isn't always easy to portray so it might be better to leave it to the readers' imagination unless you've been drawing gore for most parts of your life. Overall I think the game is pretty self sufficient as it is, so there isn't a need to enhance it, but it would refine the game.


- Were there too many characters? Who could I get rid of? Who did you want to see more of?
I agree about the church kid. He only came out for that one shot, then disappeared. You could probably do away with him. Also, it'll be nice if there was more about Shane (is that his name? the male artist), since he's part of the creative flow that's giving strength to the ghost.


- Was the plot too jumpy?
Seems okay to me. There was a proper build up and all. The only part that I felt could have been elaborated more on was when Jenny got killed. I wasn't quite sure what was going on and suddenly she was dead, despite being the experienced one.


- On a scale of 1 to 10, how predictable was it?
For some reason I kept thinking it's going to be a psychological thriller than a horror one, so I was guessing which one of them was a mad man behind the whole thing. But once I got over the mad man thing when they had that confrontation with the owner's ghost, the rest of the plot is pretty guessable. Maybe a 4-5?


- which character had the best sprite? (or the worse)
I think the female sprites were done better. I didn't like Jason's sprite because he's perpetually smiling, even when they're getting haunted by ghosts. That spoilt the mood for me a little. Give him some expressions or change to a more neutral one?


- which is the best background?
Attic.


Overall, I think it's pretty well done for the horror genre. C:
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Re: [NaNoRenO WIP] The House that Bled Paint (beta)

#8 Post by SusanTheCat » Thu Mar 31, 2011 12:24 pm

Poor poor Micah (Church kid)
He was stuffed in at the end to provide an alternate route and his whole story was written in less than an hour. The original route only had the spiritualist and the cat. I am now planning on making a fuller path for Micah and not have Joanne and the cat pop in out of nowhere.


Sprites:
I was trying to limit myself so I didn't get bogged down trying to create multiple sprites. I REALLY REALLY want to redo Jason's sprite since he was the first one I created.
My son thought it was VERY creepy that Jason kept smiling as he was attacking poeple.


Thank you for the great review. All your comments are very helpful!

Susan
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Re: [NaNoRenO WIP] The House that Bled Paint (beta)

#9 Post by Midnighticequeen » Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:31 am

I played your game last night and got...maybe 5 of the endings. I kept playing until I was certain that I played all that I could before I commenting.
Is it worth going through the extra effort (beyond NaNoRenO) to make CGs and sound effects?

I think it's always worth the effort to make the CGs, unless you want to keep the vague descriptions of some scenes, like Tara and Jason kissing as it is, when an image can help a whole lot more. But this depends totally on what you feel like doing, how much more extra work you want to put in the game, and how tired you are after just completing it. Do whatever works best for you.

I think that the game can benefit greatly with the right sound effects though and they can help enhance certain scenes in the story.
- Were there too many characters? Who could I get rid of? Who did you want to see more of?

Hmmm...I don't think that there was to many characters. Even Tara's mom and sister were relevant for when she went to stay at her mom's house, and the friends helped guide her path towards Jason's, so its fine with me. I think Micah's path could have been expanded or deleted, because he feels like an add-on instead of a part of the story. I think it would have been an interesting angle to see how he would have helped solved the story. Though I wouldn't have wanted him to die. :( Oh yeah, and I would have liked to see more of him
- Was the plot too jumpy?

I think it might have been. Like right when we thought we destroyed the being the second time, he came back again just for one last round. I was ready for the ending right then so I was sort of mad that he came back again.
And that he took over Jason >__< I'm glad it's dead

- On a scale of 1 to 10, how predictable was it?

It was predictable at some points. Can't say that I can rate it since the game did surprise me here and there, but some things were just to obvious.
Like when George just happened to come into the building somehow not noticing the police cars or running across any dead bodies. It was obvious that he was going to be the one

- which character had the best sprite? (or the worse)

I wasn't really looking at the sprites to closely to compare. :( Sorry. I can tell you that those two downward pointed fingers of Lilian's scared me, Peter had a hunch back(which was fine if that was intended) and I thought Joanna and Tara in her winter outfit was well made.
- which is the best background

Err..........................................................( I really wasn't looking that hard. >__<) Checks again. The shared boardroom was decent, Tara's bedroom was alright, but I think the attic was the best so far. Now that I think about it, you had a lot of backgrounds that were included in this story and that must have been a lot of work. I liked the feel of the office. It was soothing.

You had a lot to do to get this game ready for NaNoRenO month and I'm glad you finished it. Cutting 50, 000 words down to 20,000 could not have been easy.

I loved the main menu music, but the transparent menu was clashing with the background of the main menu. The font you used had a weird 'g' and 'f' that threw me off and was sometimes hard to read. I couldn't understand what the typo and plot menu button was for, do they even work?

I liked the way you introduced new characters by having them slide in the screen. It was only later that I noticed you did this for only the two creative men. Was this a clue? I liked that you made the ghost zoom in on the screen until it was almost upon us. It was a nice effect. I was surprised at the particle effects, but I liked them. Though the leaves you used at some point felt odd to use at other points.

I'm glad the thing finally died, I'm not really good at scary stories, but I feel that a lot of questions about the creature wasn't answered. Why did it not like creative women? That didn't make any sense. Out of all the women to dislike he disliked the creative types. Why creativity? What was the big deal about it? Why did it drive him to kill. I think the story was still missing a good reason for that.

I'm sad Joanne kept dying no matter what I tried to do. I do wonder why a woman who was a professional with ghosts would choose to go off alone without any protection. It makes no sense. I also wonder why Harmony didn't seem to comment about her death that much either. Is it a cat thing? And one more question: What happened to the dog? :(


Overall, I liked the game :D I liked the style, the sprites, and the colors. I hope you decide to add some sound effects and maybe some more of Micah. Waiting patiently for the complete version.

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Re: [NaNoRenO WIP] The House that Bled Paint (beta)

#10 Post by SusanTheCat » Mon Apr 04, 2011 2:31 pm

Thanks for taking the time to check out all the endings! Once I add CGs, I'll add a Gallery to People can see what endings they are missing.

I'll look for another font. I stuck that one in because I was tired of Arial and wanted an old fashioned book font.

Micah and George were stuffed in at the last minute. I have plans to expand their stories. :twisted:



Midnighticequeen wrote:
I liked the way you introduced new characters by having them slide in the screen. It was only later that I noticed you did this for only the two creative men. Was this a clue? I liked that you made the ghost zoom in on the screen until it was almost upon us. It was a nice effect. I was surprised at the particle effects, but I liked them. Though the leaves you used at some point felt odd to use at other points.

I was learning about the different transitions as I went. The next version will be more consistent and have more realistic particles.

Midnighticequeen wrote:
I'm glad the thing finally died, I'm not really good at scary stories, but I feel that a lot of questions about the creature wasn't answered. Why did it not like creative women? That didn't make any sense. Out of all the women to dislike he disliked the creative types. Why creativity? What was the big deal about it? Why did it drive him to kill. I think the story was still missing a good reason for that.

I was exploring was it meant to be creative and the different ways people are creative: full artists who can make a living from it; artists that end up working somewhere else to support themselves; people who have "real" jobs but have creative hobbies.

Why it hates creative women? I can't remember right now, I'll have to check my notes. It was a creative woman that bound it to the house. Why it can only posses creative men? Don't know. Maybe I'll open it up so that is can possess all men.


Midnighticequeen wrote:
I'm sad Joanne kept dying no matter what I tried to do. I do wonder why a woman who was a professional with ghosts would choose to go off alone without any protection. It makes no sense. I also wonder why Harmony didn't seem to comment about her death that much either. Is it a cat thing? And one more question: What happened to the dog? :(


You are correct -- Joanne should be smarter. At the time my friends accused me of not being able to kill off major characters. My challenge in this story was to kill them all off.
In the original story, Jason died but I thought it would be unfair to not have a change or rescuing him. So George was added with the strange "Hi! I just showed up for no reason!"

In the original story, the dog died. I thought that would be mean in the VN. :)

Here she is all grown up:
Image


I am planning on expanding all the little remaining bits. The problem with reworking a novel is you have one REALLY developed plot line, and a bunch of mediocre ones. I'm going to try to bring them all up to the same standard.

If you can't tell, this was heavily influenced by the movie "The Grudge". My idea was that I would start with Tara and Jason's story, then write Pamela and Sam's story. Pamela and Sam were haunted by the previous victims. And so on to the first victims.

Susan
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— Andrew Hunt and David Thomas

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Re: [NaNoRenO WIP] The House that Bled Paint (beta)

#11 Post by merdeamour » Sat Jun 08, 2013 5:45 am

SusanTheCat wrote:At thirteen I would not have found it too scary, but I like horror.
I get more scared by horror movies by people five years younger than me D: I'd love to try this out later, though xD Expect my feedback in about a week, I'm really excited to play this!. (I hope I survive the story, though...)
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