This Is Not a Love Story [BxG, GxB, GxG]

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TheTourist
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This Is Not a Love Story [BxG, GxB, GxG]

#1 Post by TheTourist » Wed Aug 22, 2012 2:49 pm

While I took a break from my other game, I started a small side project. Initially, it was just a fun design and the vague kernel of an idea but it blossomed into something more...
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Taking place over the course of one Friday night, This Is Not a Love Story explores the lives of three students from Sapporo East High School, as they intersect in sometimes mundane and sometimes magical ways. At the beginning of each chapter, you choose a new viewpoint character. The order you play the characters determines the choices you face and the choices you face determine the story, resulting in a multitude of possibilities. One student's perspective might answer the mysteries of another student's adventure.

(Just to warn you, this game will feature some swearing and light sexual content. They're teenagers, after all.)
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In Sapporo East High School, there are many students, and each of them are special. Here are three.
  • Sapporo East is one of the top high schools in the the Hokkaido prefecture, and (President of the Student Council) Murakami Satoshi is one of the top students. He earns good marks, sets regional track records, and every girl dreams of holding his hand. He's friendly, funny, and focused on making it into Tokyo University, just one stop on the way to the Diet.
  • Hokkaido is one of the coldest prefectures in Japan, and (member of feminist punk act "Quickly Revolt") Ichikawa Eri is one of its coldest students. "Eddy," as she'd rather be known, passes classes only because failing them would be too much trouble. She couldn't give less of a shit about the Japanese "educational-industrial" complex, openly boasts of losing her virginity, and dreams of touring South America with her band.
  • Japan is one of the richest countries in the world, and (7th Dan Go player) Sawahata Midori is one of its richest citizens. Sophisticated, brilliant, and uncommonly thin, "Princess" Midori is both the most-envied and least-liked student in Sapporo East. While polite, she mostly keeps to herself, but this hasn't stopped rumors of her travels, riches, and boyfriends; none of it true, of course, but Midori doesn't mind.
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Developer's Notes
Honestly, this game is just a lot of fun to write, design, and program. Putting together this weird, fun GUI (with inspiration from Collage, my favorite visual novel) has been educational and awesome. I'll apply some of the skills I've picked up to This Is Not A Game, though obviously not the aesthetic as a whole. (Seriously, these games are, like, at opposite ends of the spectrum.)

Programming has also been an enjoyable challenge; I have to account for which chapters have used which characters, and incorporate the decisions made (and not made), when displaying subsequent stories. On that note, I get to write small variations that add up to huge differences in the story, which is nice, but even better: with three different characters, I get to cover overlapping events with three different writing styles. Seriously, this game is such a blast to make. Looking forward to hopping between my two projects, pulling lessons from one and applying it to the other.

Progress?
Story: 25% - (I've finished Satoshi Chapter 1, Satoshi Chapter 2, & Eri Chapter 2.)
GUI: 40% - (Still need to redo the preferences and save menus, as well as the GUI for Midori's chapters.)
Art: 50% - (Still need backgrounds for Chapter 3 and the Epilogues.)
Sound & Music: 50% - (I have lots of sound effects and musical cues, but I still need more for Chapter 3 and the Epilogues.)
=-=-=-=-=-Works In Progress-=-=-=-=-=
This Is Not A Game - a posthuman mystery and all-too-human love story
This Is Not a Love Story - three high school students intersect over the course of a Friday night

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PrettySammy09
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Re: This Is Not a Love Story [BxG, GxB, GxG]

#2 Post by PrettySammy09 » Wed Aug 22, 2012 3:47 pm

Your GUI looks really amazing. And I really dig the multiple POV approach to the story. I think it'll be really neat to see a single night played out from three different people's perspectives - really tight, concise storytelling.

Good luck!

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Veniae
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Re: This Is Not a Love Story [BxG, GxB, GxG]

#3 Post by Veniae » Thu Aug 23, 2012 2:56 pm

Man, this looks amazing! I'm really curious as to how it will turn out, the whole concept sounds sointriguing. I also like the GUI. ouo Will we get to see any character art soon? Good luck!

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Re: This Is Not a Love Story [BxG, GxB, GxG]

#4 Post by victorita9 » Fri Aug 24, 2012 12:55 am

this looks amazing. I cannot wait to play, especially Eri's story.

TheTourist
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Re: This Is Not a Love Story [BxG, GxB, GxG]

#5 Post by TheTourist » Fri Aug 24, 2012 11:49 am

Writing this has been extremely unpredictable; while I'm not one to claim "the characters wrote the story," they really did this time. Everyone's story is much closer to each other than I expected, in addition to being much weirder. There's even an overarching plot, involving a dangerous ex-boyfriend of Eri's, and a possibly metaphysical hallway. Haruki Murakami's influence is showing. :P

I'm hoping to get a demo up next week, but we'll see. Each chapter has 2 choices, one with minor consequences and one with major consequences. This has resulted in two different endings for each of the three "Chapter One"s. This, in turn, has resulted in four endings for Satoshi's Chapter Two, five endings for Eri's Chapter Two, and six endings for Midori's Chapter Two.

The endings share a lot in common, of course, but are still distinct enough that I have to keep track of them. Yikes.

In addition, I have to figure out how to animate the buttons for the choices you make. Stupid imagebuttons and ATL...

@PrettySammy09: Thanks! I'll need it. ;)

@Veniae: Well, that's the thing... there is no character art. Wait, no, don't leave yet! In all honesty, I'm not a good enough artist to produce the level of character art I'd need for this game, and I'm not well-known or rich enough to recruit the quality of talent I'd need. I find bad art in a game extremely distracting.

If you look at my other project, you'll see I heavily manipulate stock photos for the character art. In this game, in lieu of character art, I'm trying to use sound effects, subtle background effects, and extremely polished writing.

@Victorita9: Thanks! Eri's probably my favorite character as well. I liked using these archetypes (the handsome, model student; the angry, rebellious loner; the enigmatic, perfect heiress) and then trying to turn them into real, fleshed out characters. Eri won't be as angry as you think; deep down inside, she's actually kinda (vaguely, immaturely) Zen.
Last edited by TheTourist on Fri Aug 24, 2012 2:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.
=-=-=-=-=-Works In Progress-=-=-=-=-=
This Is Not A Game - a posthuman mystery and all-too-human love story
This Is Not a Love Story - three high school students intersect over the course of a Friday night

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Veniae
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Re: This Is Not a Love Story [BxG, GxB, GxG]

#6 Post by Veniae » Fri Aug 24, 2012 2:17 pm

Ohh, I see! That's actually not bad, especially with the sound and BG effects you mentioned. I'm intrigued! (Definitely not going to leave, heh.) And I can relate - if it weren't for my wonderful friend who's doing the art for our game, I don't think I could do it. And bad art really is a bit annoying. :D

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Re: This Is Not a Love Story [BxG, GxB, GxG]

#7 Post by saguaro » Fri Aug 24, 2012 4:02 pm

I like the typography and the unique layout style. Looking forward to your demo.

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