Our Personal Space [Romance] [Drama] [Sci-fi] [Life Sim]DONE

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qirien
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Our Personal Space [Romance] [Drama] [Sci-fi] [Life Sim]DONE

#1 Post by qirien » Tue Nov 05, 2013 7:51 pm


Game Info:
  • Release Type: Free, open source
  • Release Date: February 14, 2015
  • Genre: Sci-fi Relationship Sim Visual Novel
  • Rating: PG-13 for implied nudity, adult situations
  • Length: 4-6 hours (100k words total)
  • Endings: 3 (each with two variants)

COMPLETE!
Download Here (Completed Game Thread)
Synopsis:
Newlyweds Jack and Kelly have come to colonize the Earth-like planet of Talaam, along with two hundred other brave pioneers. They thought their love would be strong enough to hold them together no matter how difficult the circumstances.

But love on its own can't regrow failed crops, repair broken equipment, or dig cellars. Love doesn't make one immune from wild creatures, diseases, or depression. Their choices will decide their fate...

Game Features:
  • Control Kelly's fate by deciding her work schedule, hobbies, and time with Jack
  • Interactive dialogue lets the reader decide Kelly's attitude and approach to every event, as well as major decisions such as having a baby
  • 100,000 words of dialogue spread between 4 different jobs, 7 different hobbies, and 3 endings allow for a variety of playing styles and different playthroughs
  • A community of interrelated NPCs with their own motivations, families, and stories
  • Science fiction setting that blends modern technology and old-fashioned frontier improvisation
  • Open source code licensed under the GPLv3 and other licenses.
Soundtrack:
Because of Magnatune's generous licensing to CC projects, we are able to use songs from a variety of wonderful composers, mostly new age piano. Our Team Screenshots:

I appreciate the friendly, helpful community here and look forward to seeing your responses!
Last edited by qirien on Tue Mar 03, 2015 2:25 pm, edited 27 times in total.
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Re: Personal Space [GxB] [Romance] [Drama] [Sci-fi]

#2 Post by Anne » Tue Nov 05, 2013 8:45 pm

The first paragraph of your game description is so cliche (I know it's unimportant but it's bothering me for some reason, sorry). Otherwise I think your idea is very interesting.
To answer some of your questions:
Easy is fine (I wouldn't replay though) but it's important that the gameplay feels meaningful throughout the game (for example, farming in Flower shop - you have to do it every day but it has no influence on the plot and game outcome with an exception of minor changes in the ending depending on the amount of money you have, totally not worth the effort, or in Dandelion you choose several activities every day and raise stats through them, then at some point there is a "Bad End date" after which you can't get the bad ending anymore, but you still have to waste your time on choosing (and executing) daily activities for around 1/4 of the game remaining even though that won't affect anything anymore)
Personally I think it's okay not to have CGs or to have only a few or even one for the good ending.
Normally people make the playable character a side image instead of a full sprite, and with the full sprite I think it'd be better if the characters faced each other and not the player.
How long will you game be? (in-game time and approximate playthrough)
Oh, and I hope her husband is cool, I'd hate to be stuck with him if he's a douche (there are games where you start in a relationship that makes you wonder just what the MC was thinking...)

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Re: Personal Space [GxB] [Romance] [Drama] [Sci-fi]

#3 Post by qirien » Tue Nov 05, 2013 9:46 pm

Yeah, you're right, that intro sucks... I might as well have started with "In a world...". :-D
So here's a more personal, in-game intro.

Yeah, I agree that choices should be meaningful. In this game, having higher and more skills will increase your options during events later in the game, in addition to having their own interesting scenes. So, for example, say there's monsters attacking (doesn't actually happen in the game). If you have a high Technical stat, you might be able to build a powerful weapon. If you have a high Knowledge stat you might be able to study them and find a weakness. If you have a high Social stat you might be able to rally the colony and organize them in a more effective way.

I am still waffling back and forth on how to do the sprites. I was thinking of having them both have full and side images, but have her side image on the left and his on the right? It is a little weird to have them talking to each other and looking at the player! I don't know; every way I try it, something looks wrong. :-/

Personally, I think the husband character is pretty cool - he's a little goofy but hardworking and funny and affectionate. But, if the player really doesn't like him, there may be another option... ;-)

The game takes place over 2 years of game time, which I think will amount to about 2-3 hours of play time? The writing is not done, so it's hard to judge. But we have 60,000 words so far... but you will probably only see about 1/4 of that per playthrough.

Thanks for taking the time to respond! :-)
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Re: Personal Space [GxB] [Romance] [Drama] [Sci-fi]

#4 Post by gekiganwing » Wed Nov 06, 2013 7:38 am

qirien wrote: Is this something other people are interested in? I mean, I'm going to make it either way, because I'm interested in it, but am I the only one?
Do you believe that your story and gameplay have merit? Think about how confident you are. It's not always easy to get feedback, let alone detailed or constructive comments. Furthermore, it's impossible to appeal to everyone.

It's difficult to sell quirky, experimental, or intimately personal stories. They are rarely summer blockbusters, and they rarely have huge midnight launches. But that hasn't stopped people from writing unusual books, films, games, and so on.
qirien wrote:How should I classify this? I'm using the DSE, but there's no dating. It's GxB, but there's only one "gettable" character (probably!), and you already have him! There's romantic parts, but no erotic parts, and lots of things other than romance. Is it a "game", or a "visual novel"?
Good question. It's pretty rare to find a romance game focused on *maintaining* a relationship. (The first part of LovePlus is about the protagonist and three heroines, but it's mostly about the couple's life together...) This is a topic worth exploring. In the near future, it might be a theme that helps in establishing western visual novels as a distinct category.

I know that Writing Excuses has talked about the difficulty of creating fiction that doesn't fit into a genre or category. Unfortunately, I don't recall which episodes address this topic.
qirien wrote:Is it disappointing if a game is "too easy"; in other words, if you get the "good" ending on your first try? Will you still replay to see the other endings? I am hoping to get non-gamers to play this game and want them to have a satisfactory experience, too...
Unless you want to focus on challenge, don't worry about it. The world of video games has expanded beyond thinking only about the highest level of difficulty. (Yes, I remember when Gamepro magazine graded software on its level of challenge.) Instead, I believe you'll benefit if you focus on writing, and using game mechanics in clever ways.
qirien wrote:A lot of the game will have the married couple on the screen together - how can I make this not get boring? Should I be consistent and always have them in the same positions on the screen, or move them around to make things interesting?
You can use poses and expressions that illustrate their current feelings. Don't worry too much about creating a cinematic experience. Refining the presentation can wait until the project's nearly done.

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Re: Personal Space [GxB] [Romance] [Drama] [Sci-fi]

#5 Post by Anne » Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:25 pm

gekiganwing wrote: It's pretty rare to find a romance game focused on *maintaining* a relationship.
Almost all Voltage games have sequels exactly on maintaining a relationship started in the first part.

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Re: Personal Space [GxB] [Romance] [Drama] [Sci-fi]

#6 Post by Ferdokki » Mon Dec 09, 2013 4:45 am

Hi!

Let me have a turn answering some of your questions :wink:

1. I am interested in this game! I like that it's different from typical VNs that are starting to sprout up more frequently. In fact, if you're familiar with the game blogging site jayisgames, I think they would be pretty interested in recommending this to their players/readers. :) They usually look for unique or innovative games, and since this is different than a lot of the games currently being made, I'm sure you'll get some players. :wink:

2. Erm...I'm single and not really planning on having relationships anytime soon (they're so time and energy-consuming! :roll: ), so I'm not sure I can help you out much on this. BUT, from stuff I've seen and/or heard, it seems that for long-term relationships, one of the things that comes to light is whether the couple still feels the same way about each other after a long time together. I've seen the 2-year-itch and whatnot spring up in relationships. Like, it's like the "same chemistry isn't there" kind of thing.

3. Great question, and I actually had to think about this a bit. I don't think this is really a VN; it's more of a simulation, isn't it? Like, the player is playing as a lady living her normal life in a colony and doing her daily chores and stuff. So it's a life simulation game maybe?

4. Hmm...if it's "too easy", it will appeal to the non-videogame players, because they will easily succeed. But for the regular gamers, it will be a bit of a disappointment, and I'm not sure whether or not they will go back to get the bad endings.

5. Nah, I don't think CGs are necessary. In fact, sometimes they're kinda distracting for a game.

6. Well, to answer this, I'd kinda have to see your characters shaded in. The game looks great so far. The only thing I can think of is to advise you to render your characters nicely so that the images look detailed (ex: with shadows, glares, etc).

7. Hmm, that's a bit tricky. If they're talking to each other, you can show perhaps one character at a time. Like, if the wife is talking, just show her. If the husband is talking, just show him. You can change their poses or facial expressions if you want. You wouldn't need too many, maybe just 2 additional poses along with the general one you have. And you can then copy these poses and change the expressions without having to re-draw all over again.


Hope this helps. Good luck on the development; it's seems like it's going to be a fun game! :D
P.S. The last screenshot made me lol. :lol:

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Re: Personal Space [GxB] [Romance] [Drama] [Sci-fi]

#7 Post by qirien » Mon Dec 09, 2013 1:22 pm

Hey, thanks for the response!

I am sorta hoping jayisgames might do a review when it's finished...

I suppose it is more simulation... maybe it just feels like a VN because I've been writing sooo much text for it. It always bugs me in simulation games when it's like "Another boring day at school" "You practiced the guitar" "Now it's time for bed". I'm like, give me some variety here! :-D So, even though it's a simulation game, most events will be unique and interesting.

Yes, we will definitely have colored/shaded sprites and more poses eventually...

I think I have decided to just do 3 endings - a sad ending, normal/happy ending, and awesome/happy ending. That way, if casual players just get the normal ending, it should be satisfying enough, but power gamers should still feel motivated to get all three endings, especially since there are four different professions and seven different skills to choose from...

Also, we found a GUI artist, so expect to see a much better GUI, as well!
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Re: Personal Space [GxB] [Romance] [Drama] [Sci-fi]

#8 Post by Ferdokki » Mon Dec 09, 2013 5:27 pm

Sounds like a great plan! I like the way you worked out the situation with the endings. :wink:
I wish the best of luck to you and your team! :D

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Re: Personal Space [GxB] [Romance] [Drama] [Sci-fi]

#9 Post by qirien » Sat Jan 25, 2014 1:44 pm

Updated the original post with a new screenshot of the Mayor, and more writing is done.
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Re: Personal Space [GxB] [Romance] [Drama] [Sci-fi]

#10 Post by Ferdokki » Sat Jan 25, 2014 9:59 pm

Lol, the mayor kinda reminds me of Danny Glover! xD

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Re: Personal Space [GxB] [Romance] [Drama] [Sci-fi]

#11 Post by qirien » Sat Mar 01, 2014 4:35 pm

Writing/coding is almost completely done! My goal is to have an alpha version ready March 5. This will be a private release mainly to get feedback on the story and writing, as the art is still unfinished.
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Re: Personal Space [GxB] [Romance] [Drama] [Sci-fi]

#12 Post by Ferdokki » Sat Mar 01, 2014 9:08 pm

Cool beans! Looking forward to it! ;)

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Re: Personal Space [GxB] [Romance] [Drama] [Sci-fi]

#13 Post by buttdumpling » Tue Mar 04, 2014 12:23 am

one of my best friends is in a long term relationship, and she says:

- sometimes it becomes harder to talk about your problems because you know it will upset your partner
- sometimes the sex DOES get stale
- previously cute personality quirks can get annoying
- being with people for a long time will inform them of your flaws & you of theirs
- things that don't seem like a big deal in the beginning of a relationship can be really frustrating later
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Re: Personal Space [GxB] [Romance] [Drama] [Sci-fi]

#14 Post by qirien » Tue Mar 04, 2014 12:29 am

Hey, those are good points, we'll definitely include some of those concepts in the game. :-)
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Re: Personal Space [GxB] [Romance] [Drama] [Sci-fi]

#15 Post by Ophelia » Tue Mar 04, 2014 12:43 am

[*] Ideas from people with experience in long-term relationships about what were some of the hardest things to work out.
One of the most important things, especially when you are living together, is to make your partner feel special. To tell them that you care about them, that they are not a guaranteed constant in your life, that you still appreciate them even though you don't necessarily show it everyday. When living together, it's very easy to forget to have "proper" dates, since you're always together and don't need to make plans to meet each other. It's also very easy to slip into a "family" life. You start to bicker about the most mundane things, shout at each other over who was supposed to take the trash out and why there is no toilet paper anymore and you're annoyed because partner's quirk #43 is starting to drive you *completely* mad. Those things that you didn't mind at the beginning, but now can't stand and arguing about it doesn't really help it because the partner has always done them and you haven't been bothered at the beginning and it's very difficult to change and anyway, you can't really change people either. Well, I guess I'm trying to say it's very easy to be mainly friends that spend time with other/live together, than actually partners that deeply care about each other and show that.
Yeah, just my two cents.

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