The Censor [dystopian/SF]

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saguaro
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The Censor [dystopian/SF]

#1 Post by saguaro » Mon Apr 01, 2013 7:04 pm

The Censor
The Censor is a story about CJ489775, an information censor in a dystopian society. The project began as part of NaNoRenO 2013.

08/03/14 - New demo for mac, win, linux.

4/2/13 NaNoRenO postmortem:
Looking back, I guess I failed on the devlog thing. I like posting screen shots on Tumblr, though, I will probably continue to do that.

Li'l made three pieces of music. We agreed the string trio wasn't quite right for the mood, but I included it anyway because I like it. We both had some ideas about music that sounds like it has been piped through loudspeakers--I remember reading an article about patriotic songs being piped into mine loudspeaker systems in China--so we may explore taking otherwise-innocous music and making it work for the tone of the game.

I managed to finish scripting that last scene, but I was using renpy.layer_at_list to do the scene panning and it presented some real challenges, which I mostly ignored until the last few days and therefore had limited time to resolve. I cobbled together a solution for the demo, but I will try to find a more elegant way. Normally I would just build a new, 2x screen for those side pans, but the animated panels (those luscious, luscious panels) are the real sticking point.

Since I'm using silhouettes, I'd like to eventually have different poses for most of the action.

I'm interested in burgerkinging the game to some extent and want to have all content available as soon as you install it through a scene menu. Nothing will be locked, including endings, so you could skip right to the end if you wanted, though I doubt it would make any sense. As part of trying out this feature the demo includes a scenes menu that utilizes Ren'Py's wonderful new replay scene feature.

There are still a few performance issues, especially when particles are on the screen, and I hope to resolve these.

That's it for now, I think. I'm gonna take a break and play some games.
Last edited by saguaro on Tue Jun 02, 2015 9:20 am, edited 12 times in total.

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Re: The Censor [dystopian/SF] - Demo 04.01.13

#2 Post by fioricca » Mon Apr 01, 2013 11:14 pm

Congratulations on the demo! I've just played it, and I have to say that your works blow me away as always. *_* I love love the stylistic feel of it, I love the different ways in which text and images are presented, and I love the writing so much. There's this constant air of tension and mystery that surrounds your games and I love it so! The characters are interesting and I had fun fiddling with the... phone... app... things. The way so many different elements in the game moves is also very cool. My only nitpick is that the design doesn't seem too polished on the whole; the feel like blocks/elements which are put together as placeholders, like sketch GUI designs. ... if that makes any sense. I also felt that the way the mirror/screen opens up was cool at first, but then I got distracted by the floating white bars that bob up and down. The text suddenly feels like it's moving up and down as well, which induces a little discomfort when reading. Overall, though, this game exhibits many novel ideas of presentation, which is really exciting.

Congrats once again and well done! I'm really looking forward to the completion of this game. :D

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Re: The Censor [dystopian/SF] - Demo 04.01.13

#3 Post by saguaro » Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:45 am

Hey, thanks for playing. You're probably the first player, Li'l hasn't even played through the last scene yet.

I wasn't sure about the sheer number of floaty things, so some of that may go away. I've struggled with the aesthetics on this one, but hopefully it's gradually becoming more cohesive.

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Re: The Censor [dystopian/SF] - Demo 04.01.13

#4 Post by Karl_C » Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:16 pm

Unfortunately I get:

While running game code:
File "game/censor.rpy", line 5, in script
Exception: Surface alphas do not match.

The game look very promising though... ;)

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Re: The Censor [dystopian/SF] - Demo 04.01.13

#5 Post by saguaro » Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:36 pm

Update: I think I have a fix. I can't test it, since the issue wasn't present when I tested the Windows demo, but I just uploaded new distributions for each platform. If you try it and the error persists, please let me know which version. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

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Re: The Censor [dystopian/SF] - Demo 04.01.13

#6 Post by Karl_C » Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:51 pm

Wow, this was a quick fix! ;)

Your fix works, no more error msg. I was trying the Linux package btw.

Thanks!

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Re: The Censor [dystopian/SF] - Demo 04.01.13

#7 Post by saguaro » Tue Apr 09, 2013 2:48 pm

Image

Adding in scene replay as I go along. To prevent spoilers, spoiler-ish scene titles are listed as 'censored' until the scene is watched at least once. Not sure if I'll keep that idea or not.

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Re: The Censor [dystopian/SF] - Demo 04.01.13

#8 Post by Nuxill » Wed Apr 10, 2013 12:29 am

I like the idea! It fits with the theme.

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Re: The Censor [dystopian/SF] - Demo 04.01.13

#9 Post by arachni42 » Wed Apr 17, 2013 12:58 am

Nuxill wrote:I like the idea! It fits with the theme.
Same... I played the demo and enjoyed it. Definitely a different style, and the story flowed well. I thought you made a good choice about where to cut off -- I want to see the rest.
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Re: The Censor [dystopian/SF] - Demo 04.01.13

#10 Post by CheeryMoya » Fri Apr 19, 2013 8:35 pm

I just realized that I've played Locked-In and YERT but never left a review on them OTL They were both REALLY GREAT I LOVED THEM AAAAAAAAHHH

I played the demo a few days back but didn't have the time to gush over how perfect it was ;n; Like man, I was convinced it was gonna be great by the time the title screen finished typing. I definitely wasn't disappointed either; the opening scene sucked me in immediately.
There's gonna be a lot of people telling you this gives off a 1984 vibe with the whole deletion and all (I still haven't gotten tired of the idea :'D ), also the Matrix. I really want to know what kind of war made it necessary to lock up everyone into this prison of numbers and strings.
I'm so confused you're an infinitely better programmer and writer than me why do you play my games hhhhh???
I just like the entire mood and atmosphere of the story so far! I can't articulate how great it is besides with a keyboard slam. HSODFHSLGPERFECT

The censoring bit was super fun :'3 At first I was confused so I accidentally clicked a section that was fine, and then I panicked and reported the whole thing OTL You'll want to include a tutorial on how this part works and what sort of messages players should target.

I liked the music, I can't think of the word at this moment but you definitely should use more ambient tracks than songs. And damn, the whole presentation of the game? I love how everything's in motion, I just sat there for 5 minutes admiring the ATL I feel so weird saying that but it was really great okay. The floating white bars didn't distract me that much but perhaps it's just me? Other games are less static so I don't see why everything in a VN has to stand still.

Last but not least, there's a few bugs, to be expected.
  • Some lines in the regular textbox weren't centered, I think it was just the part showcasing the email function.
  • The icons while at your job aren't completely centered either (unless more icons will be available later on).
  • It's possible to keep the list of items to be censored open while continuing with the game.
  • When the characters are talking in speech bubbles, skipping doesn't work.
I'm really excited for the full version, keep at it!

Edit:
To prevent spoilers, spoiler-ish scene titles are listed as 'censored' until the scene is watched at least once. Not sure if I'll keep that idea or not.
Do itttttt

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Re: The Censor [dystopian/SF] - Demo 04.01.13

#11 Post by Obscura » Sun Apr 21, 2013 12:27 am

You're a f*cking genius and that's all I'm gonna say.

This is the coolest VN I've ever played...I hate Kinetic Novels and if this is one, I don't care. I love this so much.
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Re: The Censor [dystopian/SF] - Demo 04.01.13

#12 Post by saguaro » Sun Apr 21, 2013 11:46 am

arachni42 wrote:I thought you made a good choice about where to cut off -- I want to see the rest.
Yeah, I happened to have a convenient stopping point fairly early in. Thanks for playing!
CheeryMoya wrote:I just realized that I've played Locked-In and YERT but never left a review on them OTL They were both REALLY GREAT I LOVED THEM AAAAAAAAHHH
THAAAAAAANK YOU!
CheeryMoya wrote:
There's gonna be a lot of people telling you this gives off a 1984 vibe with the whole deletion and all (I still haven't gotten tired of the idea :'D ), also the Matrix. I really want to know what kind of war made it necessary to lock up everyone into this prison of numbers and strings.
Both 1984's Big Brother and Animal Farm's faux-utopia are conscious influences, as well as the 2006 film "The Lives of Others," which is about an East-German secret police agent that covertly monitors people in their homes.

My goal is to have the optional backstory information about the war be as interesting as the main story. Hopefully I can pull that off.
CheeryMoya wrote:The censoring bit was super fun :'3 At first I was confused so I accidentally clicked a section that was fine, and then I panicked and reported the whole thing OTL You'll want to include a tutorial on how this part works and what sort of messages players should target.
Will do, I'm trying to figure out a way to do it without breaking immersion too much, probably something that pretends to be an admin message that's at the top of the stack.

And thank you for those bug reports, especially the skipping, I'm not sure what I did but that definitely needs to be reenabled.
Obscura wrote:I hate Kinetic Novels and if this is one, I don't care. I love this so much.
Thanks for trying it out. There will be more player agency after the first day and at least one "big choice" towards the end. I haven't decided how much impact the actual message censoring choices will have on the main storyline, since I want it to be a truly optional feature.

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Re: The Censor [dystopian/SF] - Demo 04.01.13

#13 Post by Ishimizu » Sun Apr 21, 2013 11:58 am

already played the demo yesterday.

...and hated it...

...for being a demo ôo

kidding aside: already awesome, really look forward to this one >.<

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Re: The Censor [dystopian/SF]

#14 Post by saguaro » Sun May 04, 2014 3:48 pm

it's baaaaackkkk

I want to work on other games, but I got to get this one off my back first. I don't think it will be quite what I envisioned, but I've decided to gut what doesn't work and move on. Gotta finish this game y'all. Resurrecting the WIP so that others may apply pressure.

The look has changed! I spent most of today abusing my assets.
screenshot0003.png
The game contains 729 dialogue blocks, containing 8,718 words and 45,833
characters, for an average of 12.0 words and 63 characters per block.

The game contains 45 menus, 130 images, and 32 screens.
I rewrote the script, I would say it's about 85% finished. Originally I wanted the game to be 10k I'm sure it will meet that. I have no idea where all those menus are coming from.

Li'l made a full soundtrack for me, including an AMAZIN orchestrated power theme that I shall not share here. At the very least, the music will be good.

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Re: The Censor [dystopian/SF] (Rebooted)

#15 Post by tiya_nofurita » Mon May 05, 2014 10:10 pm

This is really intriguing :3 I'm just sucker of sci-fi/dystopian genre
please continue this project, i'm looking forward for it :3
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