Allégro: a Ballet dating sim. [GxB & GxG]

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Mad Harlequin
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Re: Allégro: a Ballet dating sim. [GxB & GxG]

#16 Post by Mad Harlequin » Thu May 08, 2014 12:59 pm

I'm not concerned with the sprite myself---it does look like the thighs might be out of proportion a tiny bit, but that's not because I think Lola is overweight. It's more of an artistic issue. I'm no artist, though, so take everything I say with a huge grain of salt. (Maybe my eyes are just playing tricks on me.)

But I do think Taleweaver's concern is valid. The peer pressure to conform to a certain ideal is enormous, especially in something like ballet, so it's important to communicate positive messages.
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Re: Allégro: a Ballet dating sim. [GxB & GxG]

#17 Post by MelodyKnighton » Thu May 08, 2014 1:38 pm

I think it's a valid concern too, but that sort of peer pressure does exist in ballet. I could either pretend it doesn't and let the main character fly through the story without a care in the world, or I can take on the idea that it's a real issue and show the main character overcoming in. The first option just seems like bad story telling.

I guess all I can say is that I plan on tackling the subject in as empowering of a way as possible, but if it's not something you want to see in a game, I could never fault you for that. At the end of the day the game is being made to be entertaining. All the issues it deals with are there for the story but by no means comprise all of it. I'm always happy to hear concerns, I just hope you won't make up your mind on what the game will be like before it's even created.

As for the sprite, you've got a good eye Harlequin. Like I said before, it's exaggerated a bit, but so is Naoko and people aren't really mentioning that. Maybe we're all just more accustomed to seeing exaggerated thinness that the opposite seems more obvious in comparison? Part of it is a style choice (I mean look at their anime-esque eyes, no way would those look right on a normal person haha, or their tiny noses and mouths), and part of it is to create a visual difference between characters for story telling and aesthetic effect. I don't think 'style' should be an excuse for bad anatomy, but I think I've gotten it as close as I can while still keeping the feel I'm going for.

I hope my ideas are getting across, and please, don't take my defending of them as an insult. I really do appreciate all this feedback. If anything the fault is with me for not being clear enough, or for choosing a touchy subject to begin with. Staying with the standard GxB otome game with delicate pale anime characters would have been easy enough to do, but I think pushing the box is a good thing for everyone, even if I don't end up doing it right, it opens the door for the next person to get that much closer.

And I have to say, I love that everyone on Lemma can be so open and communicate so well. It's really refreshing to have these kinds of conversations without any sort of animosity. : )

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Re: Allégro: a Ballet dating sim. [GxB & GxG]

#18 Post by Mad Harlequin » Thu May 08, 2014 6:04 pm

MelodyKnighton wrote:I think it's a valid concern too, but that sort of peer pressure does exist in ballet. I could either pretend it doesn't and let the main character fly through the story without a care in the world, or I can take on the idea that it's a real issue and show the main character overcoming in. The first option just seems like bad story telling.

I guess all I can say is that I plan on tackling the subject in as empowering of a way as possible, but if it's not something you want to see in a game, I could never fault you for that. At the end of the day the game is being made to be entertaining. All the issues it deals with are there for the story but by no means comprise all of it. I'm always happy to hear concerns, I just hope you won't make up your mind on what the game will be like before it's even created.
Oh, no one was ever saying you should go with the first option. Taleweaver was just worried that the game might unintentionally communicate the message that in order to succeed, you have to lose weight, adhere to a specific body type, etc.
As for the sprite, you've got a good eye Harlequin. Like I said before, it's exaggerated a bit, but so is Naoko and people aren't really mentioning that.
The credit goes to Taleweaver. When I look at VNs here, I generally focus on the story and characters and let others critique the art (it's not my field). You're right about Naoko, and she looks fine. I think the concern here with Lola is that her thighs appear too large to fit visually with the rest of her body. It's as if she's wearing an actor's fatsuit, but only on the bottom. Does that make more sense now?
I hope my ideas are getting across, and please, don't take my defending of them as an insult. I really do appreciate all this feedback. If anything the fault is with me for not being clear enough, or for choosing a touchy subject to begin with. Staying with the standard GxB otome game with delicate pale anime characters would have been easy enough to do, but I think pushing the box is a good thing for everyone, even if I don't end up doing it right, it opens the door for the next person to get that much closer.
Don't worry! You're doing just fine. And I posted in this thread in the first place because I love the fact that you have Lola for a heroine. It's always refreshing to see stories that embrace people of different body types and ethnic backgrounds, because not everyone is blonde, blue-eyed, and willowy (in fact, few people are all these things at once). You have my full support. I'm sure everyone else here wants you to succeed too. :)
Last edited by Mad Harlequin on Thu May 08, 2014 7:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Allégro: a Ballet dating sim. [GxB & GxG]

#19 Post by MelodyKnighton » Thu May 08, 2014 7:44 pm

Harley: aw I really appreciate that. It's nice to have support from such a cool community. : )


UPDATES:

-It looks like this project may turn into a single commercial game instead. I might be bringing a professional programmer on board and if I do I'll obviously need to pay the people involved. I would love to do this game for free but it will be a lot easier to have the help creating it, so free might not be an option. I'll do my best to make it up to everyone with some really fun kickstarter rewards as well as putting more work into the game's final product.

-I rewrote the plot section on the first page, which I think gives you a better idea of what the tone of the game will be like. Thanks again for all the people who posted concerns, it helped me see what I needed to clear up.

(TLDR: Lola get's into the school by making a sweet dance video set to a Spice Girl's song, and get's a scholarship which totally doesn't make sense, but she's taking it anyways and is going to be a badass prima ballerina and everyone else can suck it.)

-Reworked some of the writing on everything else as well, but mostly minor changes.

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Re: Allégro: a Ballet dating sim. [GxB & GxG]

#20 Post by Lora » Fri May 09, 2014 12:46 am

I'm very interested in this game so far! You handled those questions about her weight very well and I'm so happy that the GxG and GxB elements will be treated with equal dignity. You sound like you really know what you're doing and it makes me so glad since I'm interested in the concept of the game and the sprites look beautiful! I'd support a kickstarter :)

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Re: Allégro: a Ballet dating sim. [GxB & GxG]

#21 Post by rainbowcascade » Fri May 09, 2014 1:00 am

I'll be watching out for this game. I don't really see a problem with Lola's thighs and the art looks fantastic! Definitely, the first thing I noticed on Lola was her thighs but in my opinion, they're perfectly fine. Lot's of folks have huge lower ends.

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Re: Allégro: a Ballet dating sim. [GxB & GxG]

#22 Post by Taleweaver » Fri May 09, 2014 3:49 am

MelodyKnighton wrote:It never even dawned on me that Lola's figure would be misinterpreted because to me she was just a slightly exaggerated illustration of female athletes in real life that I admire as well as my own Latina family. Women come in all shapes and sizes and weight/muscle isn't always evenly distributed.

So it didn't seem odd to me at the time, but I guess if you've been burned enough with commercial games about weight loss or any other kind of shaming, it can be easy to read into things, which is a sad truth about the industry I guess. It's too bad that when we see a non-standard main character that we have to worry about him/her adapting to the norm in order to succeed. Do you think it's because we expect that in the 'real world' or just because it's what we've been told to expect?

Either way, it's awesome to get some feedback from someone who was in a similar field. Would you mind if I picked your brain via pm when I get more into the writing of the game? It's always nice to get some first hand knowledge from female athletes about training and things of that sort.
Well, you certainly seem to know what you're doing. I was afraid this could unintentionally become some sort of Otometeki Koi Kakumei Love Revo!! clone where, in order to get the "best ending", you need to become exactly the kind of person others want you to. (Even worse is Rune Factory Frontier, where in order to get the best ending for one of the girls - one with really large thighs - you need to tell her that you like slim girls better, which will make her go on a diet and become the petite girl of your dreams.) My reaction towards Lola's pic was probably triggered by this.

Before it triggers the same reaction in others, you might want to research pics of female athletes, especially swimmers, wrestlers and weight lifters. In all of these, both their upper AND lower bodies are developed, whereas Lola has a normal-figured upper and a large lower body (which is why her thighs stand out so much). If Lola's legs are all muscle, she looks like a bodybuilder who has entirely focused on training her legs.

(I realize this is painfully specific criticism, especially from someone who can't even draw.)
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Re: Allégro: a Ballet dating sim. [GxB & GxG]

#23 Post by papillon » Fri May 09, 2014 7:55 am

It just looked like intended style to me, but then, Amanda Borden was one of my favorite gymnasts. :)

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Re: Allégro: a Ballet dating sim. [GxB & GxG]

#24 Post by E-night » Fri May 09, 2014 8:43 am

I really like the protagonist, espically her body type which is like a slight exaggaration of my own. Normally you only see girls with either hour-glass or no curves, so it is nice to have other shapes acknowlegded.

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Re: Allégro: a Ballet dating sim. [GxB & GxG]

#25 Post by bellice » Fri May 09, 2014 10:45 am

I'm usually not a fan of ballet (best case scenario, I only fall asleep instead of being bored to death), but I am very interested in this. Lola seems like an interesting kind of main character and I can really see myself enjoying playing as her and guiding her to greatness.
And let me tell you, I LOVE the character designs. Both because the girls we've seen so far have wonderfully different bodies and because they are adorable. Can't wait to hear more about this. :)

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Re: Allégro: a Ballet dating sim. [GxB & GxG]

#26 Post by Taleweaver » Fri May 09, 2014 10:55 am

papillon wrote:It just looked like intended style to me, but then, Amanda Borden was one of my favorite gymnasts. :)
I'm not quite sure. Compare if Amanda Borden is standing, not jumping:
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Maybe the exaggeration is just a _tad_ too much, I don't know...
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Re: Allégro: a Ballet dating sim. [GxB & GxG]

#27 Post by MelodyKnighton » Fri May 09, 2014 11:09 am

Update:

-Added a BG

Taleweaver wrote:Maybe the exaggeration is just a _tad_ too much, I don't know...
I honestly don't think it is. I'm coming from a concept art background and one of the big things you learn is that every character should be easily identified from their silhouette and exaggeration is key. When you have a set of characters, the most boring thing you can do is keep everyone perfectly average. Look at anime with their rainbows of colored hair. Sure it looks cool, but it also serves a purpose, to differentiate characters. Maybe I'm just coming at this from a total different view point, but I love her thighs. They're visually interesting, and that's ultimately the goal in character design.

You're right, they're not 100% anatomically correct, but I think that's okay. The heart wants what the heart wants, and this heart wants thunder thighs. haha. : )

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Re: Allégro: a Ballet dating sim. [GxB & GxG]

#28 Post by pickle131 » Fri May 09, 2014 2:05 pm

My first thought when I looked at the sprites was actually that I'm impressed that someone is using a different body type than what is usually used in these games. I recently did a case study comparing how human bodies are portrayed in anime & video games vs real life averages. We're just so used to seeing people always be portrayed as thin that to some people this might seem strange. It may be a tad exaggerated still, but what isn't in cartoon styles? The level of thinness usually portrayed by these characters is almost unobtainable for anyone due to the proportions. Personally I never thought she looked overweight either, I assumed it would be muscle from training. I think the protagonist looks fine how she is, and I'm pretty excited to see how this turns out C:
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Re: Allégro: a Ballet dating sim. [GxB & GxG]

#29 Post by Taleweaver » Fri May 09, 2014 2:29 pm

MelodyKnighton wrote:I honestly don't think it is.
And that's all that matters. You're absolutely right. :)

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Re: Allégro: a Ballet dating sim. [GxB & GxG]

#30 Post by MelodyKnighton » Fri May 09, 2014 5:16 pm

Update: Added Felix's Sprite.

Pickle: Do you have a copy of your case study online? I'd love to read that. Sounds really interesting.

Taleweaver: : )

Everyone else: Sorry I haven't been able to respond to everyone individually, but I wanted to say thanks for the support and feedback so early in the process. It's really motivating and things are moving ahead of schedule thanks to you.

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