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 .
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
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.
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.
The Insane Biochemist
(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:
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/
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
[*]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.