FLY : Forever Loving You (2) [GxB][GxG][Free][High School Life]

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emilkun
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Joined: Tue Apr 28, 2015 6:11 am
Projects: FLY : Forever Loving You
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itch: ajeb
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FLY : Forever Loving You (2) [GxB][GxG][Free][High School Life]

#1 Post by emilkun » Wed Jul 11, 2018 12:30 pm

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Introduction
Here I come with what I've been working on for the past (almost) 3 years! Didn't want to post anything before it was close to being released.
It's my second game, my first one was started in early 2015 and is entitled "FLY : Forever Loving You". I didn't have any scenario or precise idea back then, I just wanted to try making an Otome game by myself. It has been downloaded 130k times on the Google Play store so far, but is not finished (I update it with new chapters every 3 months or so) and it's only in French. But my art style evolved, and so did my programming skills (I hope so), so I became soon very bored with the project (late 2015) and started drawing stuff for a reboot. But as FLY 1 is finally coming to an end, I'm spending more and more time on FLY 2 and the first 3 chapters will soon be available in both French and English (British spelling because that's what I'm used to). It will have its own standalone story and is also a sort of reboot, you will be reintroduced to all the characters even though it also serves as a sequel to the first one (key elements of the story will be summed up at the beginning of the game, tl;dr you don't need to play the French game)
I'm not localising names except for titles and things such as mum, etc
(don't mind the black borders on the pics it's because they're screencaps I took on my phone)


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What is the game about?
Welcome to Hummingbird High! I won't say much because if you're playing the French prequel, it's a spoiler, but let's just say it follows the life of a teenage girl in high school as she navigates through friendships, romance and family drama. Expect mystery, jokes and cute moments. But also things like homophobia, bullying, transphobia, racism, and other social issues. It sounds really typical but I'm also trying to stay away from clichés and offer more nuanced and unique storylines. I'm much more into characterisation and small meaningful plot twists than into extraordinary plots with tons of twists and totally unexpected outcomes (that sounds really "pick me"-ish but I didn't mean to ahfgkdkd sorry).
Many people who played/are playing the prequel in French have compared it with Amour Sucré/My Candy Love/Amor Doce/Corazon de Melon/Sweet Crush or whatever you wanna call it, not in its story and characters but by its format if that makes any sense.


Who is the team behind this project?
I am the team (Ajeb, formerly Emilkun). I'm doing everything by myself except for backgrounds (thanks Uncle Mugen!!! you're a life saver) and music (main theme by one of my best friends, other musics are royalty free). I'm also using this forum a lot and reading the ren'py cookbook because I had never programmed in my life before, but I'm a fast learner! credit will be given for copy-pasted code and everything. I will write it in both French and English at the same time so there won't be any delay to play the English version (and the chapters afterwards with the updates).


Who are the dateable characters?
Now to the interesting part!
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You've got 6 dateable characters aka crushes (you choose the crush you want after the 1st chapter but nothing really changes storywise, and you can change your crush anytime but you may miss endings and CGs if you do it too often) and one extra character who will become dateable later in the game.
- Clément, he's a flirt and a friendly guy, but when he doesn't like someone, there's often no going back. Into comics and video games. His best friend is Evan.
- Evan, an introverted guy, your (the main character's) best friend since she arrived in town. Likes to read books and cook. Not the type to make the first move.
- Josh, guitarist in a band, writes his own songs, and a romantic. The sweetest guy you'll ever meet, don't let his bad grades fool you. Protecive and socially aware.
- Juliette, an introverted extrovert, a sweet artistic girl, plays the piano and paints, she's forgiving and easy to talk to. People think she's fake but she's only socially awkward.
- Mélanie, the queen bee, the popular girl, the headmaster's daughter. She's not the most easy-going person in the world, but rumour has it that she's got a heart hiding somewhere. And she's a skater girl so do I need to make it anymore obvious?
- Tomas, a university student who's a part-time IT manager at Hummingbird High. He's a loner and hates intrusive people, thank you very much. You saw him smile one (1) time because of his cat named Licorice. A tragic and troubled past that still doesn't justify him being a gigantic d*ck.


Who is the main character?
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The main character is called Ivy by default, but you can choose her name. Her last name is automatically Perkins. She's 15 and a half at the beginning of the new school year. She lives alone with her mum and doesn't have much family.
You can customize her appearance by clicking on the button in the upper left corner, but the one on the screencap is the one "by default".
More pictures:
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How does the game work?
It's made with renpy and will be published on the Google Play store, available on PC, Mac & Linux and may be available on the Apple app store (idk yet though if I ever will be able to afford anything when it comes to apple, let alone publish a game with their expensive af license or whatever). It's 100% FREE and ad-free. How do I make money then? Well, I have a patreon that I don't promote because I don't like asking people for money, so yeah, I don't make money out of the game. Once this one is released, if it starts becoming popular, I might sell merch and stuff like this. But other than that, I'm not comfortable with being paid for what I do (and ads are out of the question, as a player before being a creator there's nothing I despise more #fuckcapitalism)
First published with 3 chapters, more chapters will come with future updates (12 planned)

Here are some pics to see the game design and how it works:
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1. "classmates" screen to see affection points // 2. "love interests" screen // 3. "other characters" screen // 4. mini game button (explained later) // 5. text history screen // 6. Rollback button // 7. dress-up button

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"love interests" screen

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choice at game start to either play in English or in French

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main menu in French, this one will be edited it's kinda messy since I changed the bg pic so I have a few things to move

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you can switch languages in-game from the setting menu

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text history screen

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other pics


Progress
It's hard to say tbh. I've drawn the 29 different characters needed for most of the story, and 2 others are almost ready. Except for a few things to clean, 22 of the characters to draw as chibis for the affection points screens, the game design&engine is ready and done. I only have to start writing/scripting the story (ready) and dialogues (not fully ready) and draw the CGs. So that's the easy and fun part left.
BUT.
There's something I struggle with and that I consider important, it has to do with mini games. So my idea was to add a mini game button (done) clickable whenever you want that would let you choose between different mini games inside the game that wouldn't add anything storywise, except unlocking special illustrations/CGs and character profiles after a certain given number of mini games played, maybe even raise the affection point level of a character of your choice, or unlock side stories. I would for example make a memory game with the dateable characters as chibis, puzzles with illustrations/CGs that eventually get unlocked, one other idea I had in mind was to make a mini game designed after a fake comics I invented for the game, and maybe unlock small episodes or dialogues to know a bit about this story, I don't know if you understand, but yeah just to know more about the game lore.
I've looked into the renpy cookbook and I came across Andredron's topic, and it's the type of mini games I wanted to add but they're also a little too easy and simple for people to actually enjoy playing them if they don't have to. Increasing the difficulty after a certain number of games played would be a start, but it doesn't change the fact that I'd like other types of games, I'm also not sure if my idea is doable.

TL;DR: I can art but I can't code adhbhgj : I'm working on a mini game function but I'm not even sure I have the knowledge to do it so it might postpone the release of the game, so if anybody has any idea if it's doable or can offer any help (free or paid but since it's a free project and I'm far from rich I can't invest anything other than a symbolic ammount that wouldn't reflect the work done, so don't understand this as a real fairly paid recruitment post, even if credit would of course be given if it's more than guiding me) I'd be forever grateful!!


Your feedback
Now I want to hear from you guys! What do you think about the game as a project? What are your expectations? What do you think about the art style and game design? About the chapter/updates system?
What do you think about the dateable characters? About the main character? What would make you want to play it and not play it?
What do you think could make this game better? What do you wish you could see in otome/dating games both storywise and gameplay-wise that you never see?

Criticism is always welcome, it doesn't even have to be constructive, I wanna hear the harsh, raw truth. Most people tend to shy away from criticising it because it's free but imagine I'm asking you a third of your salary, I take criticism veryyyy well! I know it's not easy because you haven't played it but anything helps!
Thanks!
21-yo digital artist & beginner in game dev. Expect LGBTQ+ and far-left propaganda in my upcoming games.
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FLY: Forever Loving You (2) coming in French and English in 2018!

ZanthosAC
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Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2018 3:34 pm
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Re: FLY : Forever Loving You (2) [GxB][GxG][Free][High School Life]

#2 Post by ZanthosAC » Wed Jul 11, 2018 2:38 pm

Ambitious project I must say. The fact that you have been working on it for 3+ years is definitely testament to your dedication. Couple of things I wanted to inquire about/comment on.

Are you the sole staff member on this project? Seems you have solely produced the art, writing/story/scenario and programming yourself. Quite a bit to take on yourself, but if you're talented in that way and don't mind the workload, more power to you. Your art is certainly beautiful, interesting blend of western and eastern influences.

Additionally, I like some of the little details like the textbox. Very cute and creative. Clothing and customization options also seem to offer lots of replay value and player freedom. Design wise, I'm really digging the chic outfits of the cast, seems like a lot of work went in that aspect.

Some criticism:

29 characters seem like a ton (even if it includes minor npcs). My only concern is that some characters will be underdeveloped. You might have a valid reason for having so many characters (such as increasing the amount of love interests).

The white cursive text on the character customization screen is a little hard to read, in my opinion. Perhaps it needs a shadow or outline.

Voice acting? Certainly not required, and I realize it might go beyond your scope and or budget, especially considering the amount of characters. However, such a feature could probably be added in the future if you ever decided in a re-release.

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