Violet Hill [Free][Sci-fi][Romance][Demo available]

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Chocolatemilkgod
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Violet Hill [Free][Sci-fi][Romance][Demo available]

#1 Post by Chocolatemilkgod » Thu Jan 09, 2014 1:01 am

Preamble
Hello lemma forums! This is almost certainly terrible etiquette (and I apologise, really, I do), but the first post I’m going to make is a visual novel project that I’m helping to work on. I’m the editor for the project and Helvetica Standard is the programmer/writer. There are also a few other volunteers who help with the project by acting as QC and beta testers (the full list of people working on the project should be below).

I was pretty anxious about posting here, if I’m at honest, as it’s a little out of my comfort zone, and I was scared what work we’ve done so far wouldn’t be good enough (especially looking at some of the other amazing projects on the forum)... but we’d like to hear your honest thoughts, so have a play if you have the time. Anyway, that’s enough of my rambling, onto the overview!

Overview and scope
Violet Hill is a sci-fi romance mashup written by Helvetica Standard, started sometime in the middle of 2013. It is inspired a lot from KEY works, mainly in their use of sci-fi (like in Rewrite). The story will follow the main character, Oka Aoki, in his return to his hometown Violet Hill. Aoki possesses a powerful and mysterious ability known as ‘Mindstorm’ that allows him to view and explore his memories during times of rest in ways that we would never normally consider possible... but it has a downside. Mindstorm has unknown and potentially deadly consequences both to Aoki and those around him.

It’s fairly ambitious project with the intended length sitting at around 30 hours (common route = ~10 hours, five heroine routes = ~3-5 hours each), and I have to point out that it is still early days for the project. At the time of posting, we have about an hour and a half of the common route heading towards finalisation (this is the playable demo) and probably ~8-12 hours of raw, unedited scripts done. With our schedules, it will be a while until the game is finished in its entirety (the end of the year is the most optimistic guess we have, it’ll probably take longer). It will come out eventually, it’s just a question as to when; there’s quite a lot to do still!

That said, we have prepared a demo, which is the first chapter of the common route, and it is about 1-2 hours in length depending on reading speed (see section below for download link). Now while it hasn’t gone through QC yet, it needs a little more detail here and there (maybe even an extra scene or two?), it was my first time editing (so the first ~300 lines I still think could be improved...) and the art makes my eyes burn... it should at least give you an idea of what we’re going for. Please give us your thoughts! We’d love to hear your opinions on how to make this better :).

Wanted
Now comes to the part where I seem like a terrible human being for trying to gather more people for the project... nonetheless, here we go.

Violet Hill will be a free game, written by fans of VNs for fans of VNs. Really, we want to have a bit of fun with the community and, hopefully after facilitating some discussion, present a nice VN that people can contribute to in a friendly way. As such, we do not have any funds for the project, and we cannot hire or pay anyone for their time. As much as we’d love to do that, doing would compromise our vision for the project being a ‘community based visual novel’... sorry. I know this severely limits our options since that’s how people earn money, but it’s not a concession we are not willing (nor particularly able) to make unless under extremely dire circumstance.

Anyway, we would LOVE to have people join in if they want and give us a hand. The visual novel is currently using 3D custom girl sprites, photoshopped backgrounds and public domain music, so there are no copyright issues (bar the OP, although we would happily change this if this were to become a problem; also, we need to attribute some of the musicians who use the CC licence, but that WILL be done in the full version/later version of the demo, we just have to remember to add it...). All contributors, of course, will be credited (we know what your time means, so you will by no means be forgotten!). So, the positions that, in a perfect world, we’d like to fill are:

Artist (1+?): Let’s be totally frank here. The 3DCG sprites are horrendous. Helvetica is a decent artist (well, I think so), but time constraints and extra talent could REALLY help us out. Especially if we want to add CGs or even pose changes for the sprites at some point... I don’t know how much we would end up doing and it would be quite some work, but if anyone is interested, do say so!

Musician (1+?): Public domain/royalty free music is surprisingly good so we’re not actively searching, but if anyone generous likes the project and wants to donate a track or two (or volunteer even further), any help is greatly appreciated!

QC (?): We probably have most the people we need for this role, but if you do want to volunteer, we’ll probably choose the people who do the QC out of those that volunteered by means of a proficiency test or something to that effect (the technicalities are yet to be worked out because I'm lazy...). The QC’s role is to provide the final touches to the script when the terrible amazing editor is done with his 10th draft or whatever of the script (I actually do this, by the way, I am terribad). Anyway, self-deprecation aside, QCs also are the alpha testers, so they can provide ideas for new lines, scenes and/or stuff that needs to be added or changed along with checking through the script.

Closed beta tester (?): We have a few testers, but we might look for more depending on response etc. They’re sort of like QC, except they look at a more polished project and don’t have as much to do. They’re also the ‘final line’ before release to the public.

Open beta tester (unlimited): Well, this is a bit of a cop out since this is a fancy way to say ‘anyone who wants to the try the demo position’. So... if you are interested in giving the demo a whirl, then you’re technically an open beta tester... I guess? At any rate, as well as updating the demo a little bit after it’s gone through QC and perhaps adding a little detail to it, we will release some teaser screenshots and such as progress develops. We could also release a short scene or two to see how people like them. They will not be extremely important scenes (to avoid spoilers), and could just be little extras. Who knows, might be fun.

Closing
Even though we’ve got a long way to go, I hope people find the project interesting! We very much look forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas for new scenes/lines and ways that it could be improved from the demo. Also, I’m not the technical guy, so I may have to update this post when Helvetica views it later. You might also want to check out the project’s blog, or the post we have at fuwa or EG if you really want to keep up with updates (since those are updated by Helvetica himself, so they are more likely to be current). I’ll leave you with a few screenshots, then, as I sign off. All of the <3s to you guys.

Chocolatemilkgod
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Screenshots
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Title Screen

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NOTE: These are screenshots from the demo which is subject to a lot of change. So... keep that in mind, I guess? Not entirely sure where I was going with that one...

Progress/News
(Taken from the blog because I'm lazy)

Common Route: 90% initial script completed
Prologue: First pass QC
Chapter 1: First pass QC
Chapter 2: Editing
Chapter 3: Ready for editing
Chapter 4: Ready for editing
Chapter 5: Ready for editing
Chapter 6: Ready for editing
Chapter 7: Ready for editing
Chapter 8: Alpha, currently being written


Rin's route: 100% completed
Kanade's route: 5% completed
Akane's route: 0%
Yuki's route: 10% completed
Satsuki's route: 0%
Yaoi joke arc: Alpha, currently being checked

Other Violet Hill Stuff:
Blog: http://violethillvn.blogspot.mx/
Erogegames thread (it's a bit long...): http://erogegames.com/eroge-visual-nove ... ss-so-far/
Fuwanovel thread: http://forums.fuwanovel.org/index.php?/ ... l-project/

News:
Chapter 2 is now being edited by me! In other words, you'll be waiting a while... 1/1/2014
v2.0 demo out <3 4/1/2014
Helvetica is working on some art that doesn't make my eyes bleed! Hooray! 8/1/2014



Current staff list
Helvetica Standard: Programmer, writer and designer

Chocolatemilkgod: Editor (I style myself as editor-in-chief but it's a wee bit pretentious...)

Hazel-bun: Artist, Quality checker
Kaskade: Proofreader, Quality checker
Dubs: Quality checker

Kaguya: Closed beta tester
Linkman19: Closed beta tester
yachi: Closed beta tester
Azada: Closed beta tester

Demo link download
This is v2.0.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/2n35789ewhvzw ... .0-win.rar

Changelog:
[*]Adds cellphone/mobile sprites
[*]Some improved sprites (well, sort of...)
[*]Cleaned up the script so it reads better (still in need of QC)
[*]Fixed a crash when you tried to enter fringe in mindstorm
[*]A few extra lines added
[*]New prettier title screen

Disclaimer: Helvetica is the graphic designer, not me... so sorry if this looks like a boring impenetrable wall of text... also I wrote this at 3AM jet-lagged, so apologies if I rambled and lacked any coherency.
Last edited by Chocolatemilkgod on Thu Jan 09, 2014 1:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Violet Hill [Free][Sci-fi][Romance][Demo available]

#2 Post by Omniknight » Thu Jan 09, 2014 1:07 am

Hmm...
Just saying, it's going to be hard to recruit good artists right now because there are 20+ projects already in motion.
And free musicians are going tricky, especially since musicians usually work under a commission.

A final note would be... please don't make a near-replica of rewrite...becuz from the demo and the storyline...it seems somewhat suspicious...
And yes, Rewrite is very famous so if the storyline's similar then it won't be a good reputation for you.
But good luck anyways :)

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Re: Violet Hill [Free][Sci-fi][Romance][Demo available]

#3 Post by Chocolatemilkgod » Thu Jan 09, 2014 1:39 am

Omniknight wrote:Hmm...
Just saying, it's going to be hard to recruit good artists right now because there are 20+ projects already in motion.
And free musicians are going tricky, especially since musicians usually work under a commission.

A final note would be... please don't make a near-replica of rewrite...becuz from the demo and the storyline...it seems somewhat suspicious...
And yes, Rewrite is very famous so if the storyline's similar then it won't be a good reputation for you.
But good luck anyways :)
The story has some inspiration from KEY works and Rewrite in terms sci-fi and drama, I guess, but other than that, it is nothing like Rewrite in terms of actual content, and the Mindstorm ability goes much deeper than anything explored in Rewrite. So I suppose that it was my mistake for not giving sufficient background, since Helvetica just took my ear off for it XD. Sorry for the miscommunication, I guess that's what you get when you have the editor make a post who hasn't read everything since he doesn't want to spoil story... I'll update the post so it doesn't cause confusion in the future, again, sorry for that...

Also, more Helvetica literally just finished the sprite for Rin Minamoto for the game if people are interested. I think it turned out quite nice (and sure beats 3DCG stuff we were using before).
Image
Step 1 sketch

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Step 2 outlines

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Step 3 defining lines

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Step 4 colouring

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Stage 5 details and finalising

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Re: Violet Hill [Free][Sci-fi][Romance][Demo available]

#4 Post by Green Glasses Girl » Thu Jan 09, 2014 1:46 am

Hi! If you are looking for a team to form (artists, writers, musicians, programmers, etc.), you should post in the Recruitment Forum.
Omniknight wrote:Just saying, it's going to be hard to recruit good artists right now because there are 20+ projects already in motion..
That isn't necessarily true. There are a ton of awesome artists on here looking for work (again, the Recruitment forums). Doesn't matter how man projects are going at once. Same goes for musicians, programmers, etc. There are a few people volunteering their services for free as well.

Back to the topic, I'm not really familiar with Rewrite, so is it possible to detail a little more about your story? Maybe a little about the characters too, unless that is still in the works?
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Re: Violet Hill [Free][Sci-fi][Romance][Demo available]

#5 Post by Omniknight » Thu Jan 09, 2014 1:51 am

Green Glasses Girl wrote:Hi! If you are looking for a team to form (artists, writers, musicians, programmers, etc.), you should post in the Recruitment Forum.
Omniknight wrote:Just saying, it's going to be hard to recruit good artists right now because there are 20+ projects already in motion..
That isn't necessarily true. There are a ton of awesome artists on here looking for work (again, the Recruitment forums). Doesn't matter how man projects are going at once. Same goes for musicians, programmers, etc. There are a few people volunteering their services for free as well.

Back to the topic, I'm not really familiar with Rewrite, so is it possible to detail a little more about your story? Maybe a little about the characters too, unless that is still in the works?
Meant free artists, sorry :D
Just saying cuz I know ppl invest thousands of dollars... ($2000 for 30 hr long game one of my friends made)

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Re: Violet Hill [Free][Sci-fi][Romance][Demo available]

#6 Post by Helvetica Standard » Thu Jan 09, 2014 2:10 am

Green Glasses Girl wrote:Hi! If you are looking for a team to form (artists, writers, musicians, programmers, etc.), you should post in the Recruitment Forum.

Back to the topic, I'm not really familiar with Rewrite, so is it possible to detail a little more about your story? Maybe a little about the characters too, unless that is still in the works?
Hello, many thanks for your reply. I'm project leader, Helvetica Standard, nice to meet you :3

1. We're actually just in need of an artist. The rest of our staff team is pretty much assembled, though it would be nice to to have the help of the talented people in this forum.
2. Story is largely complete, but I'm afraid it's difficult to disclose details without spoiling too much. What I can tell you is that aside from having sci-fi IT SHARES ABSOLUTELY NOTHING MORE with
famed KEY's "REWRITE".
I will post a FAQ shortly and some of the least spoilerish details regarding the VN. Many thanks for your time and welcome to Violet Hill! :D
Last edited by Helvetica Standard on Thu Jan 09, 2014 3:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Violet Hill [Free][Sci-fi][Romance][Demo available]

#7 Post by Helvetica Standard » Thu Jan 09, 2014 2:20 am

About Violet Hill


What compelled you to start this project?
Simple. I love VN's and I spend a great deal of my free time reading them. In fact, I've read so many that I've lost count and if you'd asked me which one is my favourite I would have a very hard time naming even my top 10! Anyway, the VN community has always helped me and embraced me ever since I was a noob. This is also my way to say thanks and give something back to you guys in the form of my favourite hobby.

Is the VN free/are you selling it?
Excellent question. The VN is completely free. We are doing this in our spare time and with our own resources because we love it.

What's the genre and setting of the visual novel?
The genre is sci-fi/romance and it has a school setting.

What about the time period and location?
The VN's story is set on the present day and all events occur in a fictional rural town called "Violet Hill" (which, yeah is in Japan).

How long is the game?
It depends, if you're a fast reader you'll breeze through it in no more than 20+ hours; though the game clocks at 30 hours approximately.
(10 hours for common route, 3 to 5 hours for each of the 5 heroines' routes.)

How's the structure of the VN?
Violet Hill is divided into chapters (8 for common route, 3 for each heroine's route, an epilogue, and a joke route.)
The plot branches as the reader picks the choices presented to him/her. There are also several bad ends and 1 worst end.

How many heroines there are?
5 heroines in total, each with their individual path.

Is the text format NVL or ADV?
ADV, bottom text box

What's the game's aspect ratio?
16:9 with a default resolution of 1280x720

Are the characters Japanese?
They are. Violet Hill is set in modern day fictional Japan.

About the MC....Ummm is he...?
Don't worry, no Makotos or Shirous here. :3

The VN features (insert personality trait/fetish here)?
There's: Tsundere, kuudere, loli, ojou-sama and imouto.
Not much fetishes except for onsen scene and pantsu. a few surprises might await readers, though?

Umm, about the art...?
Currently using 3DCG renders for the sprites and CG's. That's as much as we can do with our current
staff/timetable. We all have either jobs or school to attend to. IF YOU'RE AN ARTIST and would
like to help us with original character art WE'LL GLADLY INDULGE IN YOUR KINDNESS!!

What about H-scenes?
Ah, I was so expecting this one... well, no. there are NO sex scenes. There is however IMPLIED sex,
nothing out of the ordinary; as we're dealing with perfectly healthy teenagers here.

So, then the VN is all ages?
For the most part yeah, though there is some mild ecchi here and there.

Is there a DEMO/where do I download it?
Available for download (check the links at the first post.)

When will it be completed?
There's no precise ETA yet, but I can assure you it will be finished and released later next year.

How far you've progressed?
Common route is 90% completed and 1 of the 5 heroines' routes is also ready. It's safe to say that
the overall progress is 60+%

Are the heroines likeable?
I should hope so. I tried my best in making them as down to earth/adorable as possible.
There will always be haters, though. I'm looking forward to the fan wars! XD

Is there a true route/canon girl?
I'll leave this to the personal interpretation of the reader. If one of the routes you choose to follow
leaves a greater impression on you than the others, then that will be the true route.

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Re: Violet Hill [Free][Sci-fi][Romance][Demo available]

#8 Post by Chocolatemilkgod » Thu Jan 09, 2014 3:37 am

Green Glasses Girl wrote:Hi! If you are looking for a team to form (artists, writers, musicians, programmers, etc.), you should post in the Recruitment Forum.
That was the plan, we just wanted to introduce the project here before rushing over there without any sort of warning, haha. We also wanted to see if we could get people's feedback on the demo after they played it here. In hindsight maybe I didn't need to post all of that stuff here... but, then again, I sort of wanted this thread to be the 'base' where people can go for all the information they need for the project.

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Re: Violet Hill [Free][Sci-fi][Romance][Demo available]

#9 Post by Hazel-Bun » Thu Jan 09, 2014 7:06 am

Oh, good to see you guys put this up here ^^ I'll give more detailed thoughts on the demo once school lets up.

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Re: Violet Hill [Free][Sci-fi][Romance][Demo available]

#10 Post by Haze » Sat Jan 11, 2014 10:17 am

Oh hey look, Hazel-Bun's working on this project!

Anyway, this sounds like it'll be interesting. Downloading the demo now; I'll tell you what I think when I'm done. :D
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Re: Violet Hill [Free][Sci-fi][Romance][Demo available]

#11 Post by verysunshine » Fri Nov 21, 2014 3:37 am

Anything looks better than 3D Custom Girl in my eyes. I don't know why- the body shapes always look weird to me. The actual character design for Rin is adorable.

This project looks really nice. I'm interested in the story.

Build the basics first, then add all the fun bits.

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Re: Violet Hill [Free][Sci-fi][Romance][Demo available]

#12 Post by Caveat Lector » Fri Nov 21, 2014 2:43 pm

This looks very intriguing! I'd be interested in maybe eventually being a beta tester for this sometime later down the line. :)
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Re: Violet Hill [Free][Sci-fi][Romance][Demo available]

#13 Post by DarkSin » Fri Nov 21, 2014 4:19 pm

Ah thanks for the interest :)

This thread is a dinosaur, though xD The project is very, very different now, and a new thread will be up soon. Please look forward to it :)
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Re: Violet Hill [Free][Sci-fi][Romance][Demo available]

#14 Post by Taleweaver » Fri Dec 26, 2014 5:45 pm

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