Darling Shoujo Imoutohotep [BxG][Mystery][Mummies][WTF]

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Darling Shoujo Imoutohotep [BxG][Mystery][Mummies][WTF]

#1 Post by Mad_Scientist » Wed Sep 25, 2013 5:35 pm

Synopsis:

Poor Pharaoh. He always loved his little sister, Imoutohotep, but he just never could manage to confess his feelings for her. Now it is too late, for she has been struck down by illness. Or is it too late? Pharaoh comes up with the "great" idea to bring back Imoutohotep as a resurrected mummy, because bringing back mummies has never gone wrong before. Oh wait.

Imoutohotep does return, and not even as some flesh devouring monster. But the spell does not go off without at least a small hitch. Imoutohotep's beloved cat Nyanyanhotep is also brought back, though for some reason she is transformed into a catgirl, and she doesn't think much of Pharaoh. And Imoutohotep herself is not nearly as pleased to be brought back as a mummy as Pharaoh expected.

Can Pharaoh find love with his darling Imoutohotep as she is now? Will he perhaps find love in a different and unexpected place with the acerbic Nyanyanhotep? Will he be able to convince High Priest Khasekhemre to accept his mummy love with anyone? As he deals with such struggles of the heart, he must also continue to handle his responsibilities as Pharaoh, and not neglect his duty as Egypt's ruler and god.

And it seems all the above may all be the least of his worries, for a series of unsettling events begins to occur in the palace...

Screenshots:
Image

And this is why you always read the fine print before casting a mummy resurrection spell.

Image

According to wikipedia, in Ancient Egypt incest was indeed used at times to preserve the royal lineage. I don't think wikipedia took mummies into account.

Image

Perhaps Pharaoh is not the only oddball in the palace

Image

Uh, sure. A boyish figure is the reason. It has absolutely NOTHING to do with using free sprites from multiple sources with clearly different art styles... *whistles*

Image

And now, I present to you, mummy cleavage! Oh **** what am I doing with my life?

Image

This is always the proper response to "Where did you get the embalming fluid and knife?"

Demo Links:

Yes, I have more than just screens, I have a playable demo. All the above screenshots are from scenes you can encounter in the demo. If you'd like to play it, you can find it at either of the links below. If neither of those sites work for you, let me know your preferred file-hosting site and I'll see about uploading it there.

http://www.filedropper.com/darlingshouj ... tep-03-all

http://www.mediafire.com/download/60ngp ... .3-all.zip

http://rapidshare.com/share/2CC47D9F3DB ... DB13166BF5

Questions for those who played the demo.

For those of you who actually play through the demo all the way through (and I don't just mean getting the early bad end), I have a few questions I'd appreciate an answer to. These are spoilerific questions though, so don't read them until you finish the demo.
By the end of the demo, did you start to actually care about the characters and events? Did you view this VN as more than just a silly joke? And did you perhaps even find yourself rooting for Pharaoh and Imoutohotep to get together, rooting for the mummy incest ending?
EDIT: Fixed old download links
Last edited by Mad_Scientist on Mon Apr 21, 2014 6:40 pm, edited 5 times in total.
Check out the demo of Darling Shoujo Imoutohotep, my mummy VN. Cause haven't you always wanted to play a Pharaoh in love with his mummy little sister? Oh, you haven't always wanted that? Uh... well... if you check it out anyways, I'll be happy. (Cannot guarantee your happiness though).
You can follow me on twitter at:
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Re: Darling Shoujo Imoutohotep [BxG][Mystery][Mummies][WTF]

#2 Post by KittyKatStar » Wed Sep 25, 2013 5:59 pm

Congrats on the release! Downloaded the updated demo. =)
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Re: Darling Shoujo Imoutohotep [BxG][Mystery][Mummies][WTF]

#3 Post by Ophelia » Wed Sep 25, 2013 7:27 pm

This looks hilarious.
I would say more, but it takes about 3 hours before the download finishes, so.. would you mind to upload it on mediafire or somewhere like that?

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Re: Darling Shoujo Imoutohotep [BxG][Mystery][Mummies][WTF]

#4 Post by Mad_Scientist » Wed Sep 25, 2013 8:33 pm

Ophelia wrote:This looks hilarious.
I would say more, but it takes about 3 hours before the download finishes, so.. would you mind to upload it on mediafire or somewhere like that?
Sure thing:

http://www.mediafire.com/download/vs24v ... .2-all.zip

I tried to upload it to mediafire before, but it kept on failing. This time it seems to have actually worked though.
Check out the demo of Darling Shoujo Imoutohotep, my mummy VN. Cause haven't you always wanted to play a Pharaoh in love with his mummy little sister? Oh, you haven't always wanted that? Uh... well... if you check it out anyways, I'll be happy. (Cannot guarantee your happiness though).
You can follow me on twitter at:
@MadNovelist212 My "official" account, follow for updates.
@MadScientist212 My personal account. Beware, I tend to babble.

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Re: Darling Shoujo Imoutohotep [BxG][Mystery][Mummies][WTF]

#5 Post by Anne » Wed Sep 25, 2013 11:03 pm

So I've played the demo and then read the explanation part and had my impression confirmed - you have a lot of really funny things here and then some serious stuff which is also good but they sort of clash when put together, like I sympathize with the Pharaoh (who is a cool character by the way and I like him a lot) and his sister but I just can't help laughing every time I read her name and that ruins the mood a bit.
Also I'd probably prefer the pace to be a bit slower as new things just kept happening and new characters appearing (though maybe this chaotic feeling is just right for this sort of situation :))
Altogether I enjoyed the demo a lot and can't wait to play the finished game.

Some typos I've noticed:
gaurdian
be able feel the wind
nile river
knowledgible
grevious

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Re: Darling Shoujo Imoutohotep [BxG][Mystery][Mummies][WTF]

#6 Post by Mad_Scientist » Wed Sep 25, 2013 11:31 pm

Thanks for the feedback!

Regarding the tonal clash, yah I can definitely see that. I wondered if that would be an issue.
It does present a challenge for me though, because even as the game starts to get more serious, I still want there to be elements of lightheartedness and humor. I still want there to be an element of fun. And I've seen stories combine both the very serious with the very silly and pull it off. Of course, those stories are written by people who have far more experience at writing than I do.

Now that my direction for the story has changed a bit, I thought about maybe reducing the silliness of the early parts. But I suspect that the early silliness is needed. If I just hit people right off the bat with "This is Pharaoh, he loves his little sister, is going to pursue her even though she's a mummy now, and oh you should actually care about and sympathize with him and his situation" most of them would just be repelled and quit the VN. I need to lure them in with the promise of laughter and silliness.
Again, if I was a more experienced writer I could probably pull it off better. And I'll definitely try my best to improve as I write the rest of the story. Still, if you enjoyed the demo a lot despite this I guess that means I didn't fail entirely at least.

Also, another big thanks for pointing out the typos/spelling mistakes. I try to catch them before creating a build, but I always discover new ones right after. I actually discovered "knowledgible" about 5 minutes after I posted the download links for the demo last night, but I wasn't going to compile and post a new build just for that. :D
Check out the demo of Darling Shoujo Imoutohotep, my mummy VN. Cause haven't you always wanted to play a Pharaoh in love with his mummy little sister? Oh, you haven't always wanted that? Uh... well... if you check it out anyways, I'll be happy. (Cannot guarantee your happiness though).
You can follow me on twitter at:
@MadNovelist212 My "official" account, follow for updates.
@MadScientist212 My personal account. Beware, I tend to babble.

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Re: Darling Shoujo Imoutohotep [BxG][Mystery][Mummies][WTF]

#7 Post by Anne » Wed Sep 25, 2013 11:53 pm

Oh no! You should definitely leave the funny parts (and add more :)). Though I wonder what stories did succeed in combining the two? The only example I can think of is Yo-Jin-Bo and though it's a good game the parody (I think it's easier with just humour but you have parody as well) and drama parts don't complement each other.

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Re: Darling Shoujo Imoutohotep [BxG][Mystery][Mummies][WTF]

#8 Post by Mad_Scientist » Wed Sep 25, 2013 11:57 pm

Anne wrote:Though I wonder what stories did succeed in combining the two? The only example I can think of is Yo-Jin-Bo and though it's a good game the parody (I think it's easier with just humour but you have parody as well) and drama parts don't complement each other.
Well, one recent example of a story I felt did good with both was an anime called The Devil is a Part Timer. It only really gets serious at a few points, but is effective when it does, and it felt natural to me.

Also, another anime called Kotoura-san attempted to do both, though with less success in my mind. I still enjoyed Kotoura-san a lot even though I felt some of the elements clashed some.

Interestingly enough, both of those actually started out with an opening bit that was serious, then got silly, then got serious again later on.
Check out the demo of Darling Shoujo Imoutohotep, my mummy VN. Cause haven't you always wanted to play a Pharaoh in love with his mummy little sister? Oh, you haven't always wanted that? Uh... well... if you check it out anyways, I'll be happy. (Cannot guarantee your happiness though).
You can follow me on twitter at:
@MadNovelist212 My "official" account, follow for updates.
@MadScientist212 My personal account. Beware, I tend to babble.

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Re: Darling Shoujo Imoutohotep [BxG][Mystery][Mummies][WTF]

#9 Post by Anne » Thu Sep 26, 2013 12:06 am

Thank you, I'll try watching them. Speaking of anime I think Ouran High School Host Club is a good example as well.
Anyway, I wish you good luck with achieving your goals.

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Re: Darling Shoujo Imoutohotep [BxG][Mystery][Mummies][WTF]

#10 Post by PyTom » Thu Sep 26, 2013 12:46 am

Mad_Scientist wrote:
Now that my direction for the story has changed a bit, I thought about maybe reducing the silliness of the early parts. But I suspect that the early silliness is needed. If I just hit people right off the bat with "This is Pharaoh, he loves his little sister, is going to pursue her even though she's a mummy now, and oh you should actually care about and sympathize with him and his situation" most of them would just be repelled and quit the VN. I need to lure them in with the promise of laughter and silliness.
I think the story kind of needs it. Drama for drama's sake isn't all that interesting. But if you get the reader invested in the characters, then suddenly we have a reason to care once the drama hits.
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Re: Darling Shoujo Imoutohotep [BxG][Mystery][Mummies][WTF]

#11 Post by Mad_Scientist » Tue Oct 01, 2013 11:29 pm

I decided to update this thread with some info on some of the specific types of feedback I'm hoping for. Obviously you don't have to give me feedback about all these things, or not give me feedback about things not mentioned. These are just some of the things I'm particularly interested in knowing, and if you are having trouble figuring out specific things to comment on maybe this will give you some ideas.

Visuals:

I can't draw, so I'm using free sprites from various sources, and unfortunately they clash at times. (See the above pic with Baniti. A "boyish figure" can't explain that difference in neck size, ugh). Can't do much about that at the moment, though in the future I might see about replacing the artwork with original stuff.

But I'm curious about how people feel about my backgrounds. I'm using photos modified via GIMP mostly, but I'm a complete newbie. The process I'm using is one I came up with rather quickly, as I wanted to get on with making my VN rather than continue to waste hours finding a process that would probably still suck anyways.

The default method I use is to first crop/scale the photo to the appropriate dimensions, then create a duplicate layer. For the top layer, I use the Cartoon filter, with the percent black pumped up all the way. For the bottom layer, I use Oilify, with the mask size bumped up to about 30. I then set the alpha level of the top layer to about 50. Sometimes this method doesn't quite look right, and it can do odd things when there's a big area that is brightly lit, so I have to improvise with additional layers or effects or slightly modified settings.

How do you feel about the backgrounds? I think they honestly turned out better than I expected, but I expected them to be utterly wretched. I can definitely tell my backgrounds could be better. I know using filtered photos is not uncommon, so if any of you have suggestions or tip and tricks to share, I'd appreciate it.

In addition, there were cases where I attempted to use Ren'Py to convey some action, and used things beyond just simple dissolve transitions. They were:
Nyanyanhotep surprising Pharaoh and Imoutohotep after the scene discussing the painting.
Nyanyanhotep falling to her knees during the Scarab scene if you make the choice to go to where Imoutohotep is.
Eshe saving the life of a (yet unnamed) servant during the Scarab scene if you make the choice to go back to Baniti. The most complicated thing I did.
I've seen how sometimes making sprites slide around the screen can just look silly, but my hope was that in each of these scenes the movements would be fast enough where that wouldn't be the case. What do you think?

Sound:

Game sound so far just consists of music. I'm curious, how did you like it? Did you feel my choices set the mood properly, and added to the tension/emotion/humor/etc of a scene? Were there cases where you thought my music choice detracted from a scene? And how was the volume? I tried to normalize the songs so that they would all be roughly the same loudness. Did I succeed, or where there cases where you needed to adjust the volume because a track was too loud/quiet?

There are many cases in DSI where there is no music playing. I plan to probably add a bit more to some of the early parts, but I am also thinking I may leave a fair amount of scenes without music, and use the music when there is a particular emotion or mood I really want to convey. Is that a stupid choice?

Writing:

Obviously, I am interested in any typos or spelling errors you notice, any weirdly written or clunky sentences, any grammar mistakes, etc.

But I am curious about other things as well. I'm trying to create a variety of different moods in DSI. I want it to be funny at times, sad at times, tense at times, and heartwarming at times. How did I succeed at that? And at the end, did you care about Pharaoh and the other characters? Were you rooting for Pharaoh and Imoutohotep to have some sort of happy ending, perhaps even an ending where they get together?

Menu Choices:

First of all, did any of you get the bad end? :D

Aside from that, there is one particular menu in the game where I am curious to hear what people picked.
When the Scarabs showed up in the garden, which of the three choices did you pick first? Did you later go back and see the results of one or both of the other choices? Did you explore enough of the choices to discover that choosing to cross the Scarab swarm resulted in the death of a servant who would have lived if you had picked the other choices?
Check out the demo of Darling Shoujo Imoutohotep, my mummy VN. Cause haven't you always wanted to play a Pharaoh in love with his mummy little sister? Oh, you haven't always wanted that? Uh... well... if you check it out anyways, I'll be happy. (Cannot guarantee your happiness though).
You can follow me on twitter at:
@MadNovelist212 My "official" account, follow for updates.
@MadScientist212 My personal account. Beware, I tend to babble.

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Re: Darling Shoujo Imoutohotep [BxG][Mystery][Mummies][WTF]

#12 Post by Anne » Wed Oct 02, 2013 9:54 am

Actually I was thinking about what can be done to improve the visuals of your game as I was playing the demo. Sprites - not much, really. Unless you want it to look professional. It's not that bad as it is. Characters who should look cute look cute and characters who should look funny look funny (the priests who are comic characters just have to look different from Baniti who is supposed to be a handsome man). Backgrounds - personally I think that filtered fotos generally look worse than just plain fotos but I know that most people disagree. The problem here is that you need the backgrounds to have clean lines to match the sprites. But then you get the same black outlines for all the fine detail on the walls (that's generally a problem with the trees as their leaves get covered with black dots and is not so much of a problem with interiors but not in your case) that don't look that nice. Would like to know how to solve that myself.
You can also use stock backgrounds like this (there's more in the stock folder of the gallery)
Music always starts so suddenly... You don't intend to keep it that way though, do you?

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Re: Darling Shoujo Imoutohotep [BxG][Mystery][Mummies][WTF]

#13 Post by Mad_Scientist » Wed Oct 02, 2013 5:36 pm

Hmm. I thought about using some free drawn or rendered backgrounds instead of photos, but the issue I ran into there was I couldn't find any source that would be able to provide me with every background I'd need. So I'd end up using multiple sources with different styles and possibly have to supplement with some photos anyways. If I knew what I was doing, perhaps I could overcome that by modifying the images in various ways, but as we've established I don't know what I'm doing. I figured that by going with all filtered photos, at the very least the backgrounds would be consistent.

As for music, most of the music I believe I have set to play with fadein 1 now, but I realize that is still kind of abrupt, so I'll probably try bumping it up a bit. I might keep it that fast in a few cases
(like when the Scarabs arrive)
when the sudden change in music is meant to indicate a sudden event.
Check out the demo of Darling Shoujo Imoutohotep, my mummy VN. Cause haven't you always wanted to play a Pharaoh in love with his mummy little sister? Oh, you haven't always wanted that? Uh... well... if you check it out anyways, I'll be happy. (Cannot guarantee your happiness though).
You can follow me on twitter at:
@MadNovelist212 My "official" account, follow for updates.
@MadScientist212 My personal account. Beware, I tend to babble.

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Re: Darling Shoujo Imoutohotep [BxG][Mystery][Mummies][WTF]

#14 Post by Anne » Wed Oct 02, 2013 7:28 pm

No, I mean sometimes there's no music at all. I thought it was until you find something suitable.
Do you need more backgrounds than what's in the demo? (the demo you can easily manage with the ones in the gallery I've linked. Unless you don't like them of course)

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Re: Darling Shoujo Imoutohotep [BxG][Mystery][Mummies][WTF]

#15 Post by Mad_Scientist » Wed Oct 02, 2013 8:00 pm

Oh, I completely misunderstood what you meant by the music, sorry. Yah. I haven't found songs I really like for a lot of the "Pharaoh walks around the palace talking to Nyanyanhotep" or "Pharaoh listens to a teacher" type of scenes. I'll probably still keep some brief periods without music when I feel the mood I'm going for is actually best served that way, but I do plan to add more music, especially to a lot of the early parts where there are big gaps without it right now.

As for the gallery you linked to, unless I am somehow missing things, there actually aren't backgrounds enough to do every scene in the demo, at least not as they are currently written. That said, the full game will be needing some additional backgrounds not in the demo anyways, at least based on my current plans. But thanks anyways for the link, it's always good to know about additional resources and tools.
Check out the demo of Darling Shoujo Imoutohotep, my mummy VN. Cause haven't you always wanted to play a Pharaoh in love with his mummy little sister? Oh, you haven't always wanted that? Uh... well... if you check it out anyways, I'll be happy. (Cannot guarantee your happiness though).
You can follow me on twitter at:
@MadNovelist212 My "official" account, follow for updates.
@MadScientist212 My personal account. Beware, I tend to babble.

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