AIdol - KICKSTARTER

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Morhighan
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AIdol - KICKSTARTER

#1 Post by Morhighan » Sun May 18, 2014 6:20 pm

Please support us on Kickstarter!

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Idols are the most popular thing in the media right now, and the top idol manufacturer Lyriq has a convention to run this weekend. One catch–the virtual idol, Aiko, is malfunctioning. Only one thing can fix Aiko, and that is finding the person who programmed her. But it isn’t easy for a sapient computer program to find her creator–that is, without help. That’s where superfan Hana and a ragtag team of convention attendees come in to save the day.

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Name: AIdol
Format: Visual Novel
Genre: Slice of Life, Friendship
Platforms: Windows, Linux, OSX

Characters

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Pixel Pineberry is the creative force behind AIdol. With the help of a few freelancers, the Pixel Pineberry team hopes to bring AIdol to you.


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Creator, Director, and Manager
Morhighan/Mystery Corgi is the head of Pixel Pineberry and the original creator of AIdol. She has assisted in the writing, programming, and other creative tasks of various visual novels. Some of her previous works include Afterthought Studios' A More Beautiful World, Forgotten, Not Lost, and When Our Journey Ends. Look forward to her upcoming project Connection Pending.


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Writer
Ebi-hime is the writer who helped make the script of AIdol a reality. She has penned a good many visual novels. Some of her previous works include The Way We All Go, The Sad Story of Emmeline Burns, Asphyxia, Strawberry Vinegar, This World Unknown, and Empty Horizons. Look forward to her projects Sweetest Monster and Once on a Windswept Night on Steam, and make sure to vote for them on Greenlight!


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Sprite, CG, and GUI Artist
Melow is the artist who helped bring the GUI and characters of AIdol to life. She has drawn for several visual novels, including When Our Journey Ends and Chronotopia. Look forward to her newest project Once on a Windswept Night on Steam, and make sure to vote for it on Greenlight!


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Background Touchup Artist
JWhitney is the artist who is helping us touch up our background art for AIdol. She has worked on Caramel Mokaccino as an assistant artist. Look forward to her as the lead artist in the upcoming project Connection Pending.


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Musician and Composer
Mock Off is the musician who composed the soundtrack for AIdol. He has lent his talent to Syrup and the Ultimate Sweet, Sickness, and Sweetest Monster. Look forward to his work in the upcoming project Connection Pending.


​Programming and Engine provided by

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Last edited by Morhighan on Tue Apr 18, 2017 12:43 pm, edited 50 times in total.
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Broodelin
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Re: AIdol (Technological Malfunction Slice of Life)

#2 Post by Broodelin » Sun May 18, 2014 6:52 pm

This is a really neat concept for a game. Unfortunately, I wouldn't be of much help outside of beta-testing when you get that far.

I wish you the best of luck, and I hope that you'll be able to fill up the empty slots on your team! :)

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Morhighan
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Re: AIdol (Technological Malfunction Slice of Life)

#3 Post by Morhighan » Sun May 18, 2014 7:49 pm

Broodelin wrote:This is a really neat concept for a game. Unfortunately, I wouldn't be of much help outside of beta-testing when you get that far.

I wish you the best of luck, and I hope that you'll be able to fill up the empty slots on your team! :)


Thanks! I await your help on the beta. :3

Mostly they are empty because I haven't decided if I want to do those tasks or not yet. ;)
I'm debating if I will be doing the music and if so, will it tie in with potential voice actors and such. I'm going to have to see where the rest of the script takes me.
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Re: AIdol (Technological Malfunction Slice of Life)

#4 Post by Chasing Summer » Mon May 19, 2014 4:17 am

While I’d be happy to help, I’m afraid the empty slots on your team aren’t something I’m good with... I’m actually really, really bad at them. But I wish you luck, anyway! I hope you complete the project, because I’d love to play.

Btw. Aiko’s concept art is super adorable! I can totally see why Hana’s such a big fan. c:
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Re: AIdol (Technological Malfunction Slice of Life)

#5 Post by pickle131 » Mon May 19, 2014 11:12 am

I'm interested to see how this turns out C: The plot sounds like an interesting spin on idol stories.
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Re: AIdol (Technological Malfunction Slice of Life)

#6 Post by Broodelin » Mon May 19, 2014 12:14 pm

Sorry to post again so soon, but I noticed that you don't have a person to work with fonts on your team (I somehow missed it earlier...).

If you'd like, I'd be more than willing to delve into my collection and scrounge up a few that might suit your purposes. :)

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Morhighan
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Re: AIdol (Technological Malfunction Slice of Life)

#7 Post by Morhighan » Mon May 19, 2014 12:38 pm

Chasing Summer wrote:While I’d be happy to help, I’m afraid the empty slots on your team aren’t something I’m good with... I’m actually really, really bad at them. But I wish you luck, anyway! I hope you complete the project, because I’d love to play.

Btw. Aiko’s concept art is super adorable! I can totally see why Hana’s such a big fan. c:


Thank you! At the moment, that's all the support I need. It's good to know that people are interested. :D

pickle131 wrote:I'm interested to see how this turns out C: The plot sounds like an interesting spin on idol stories.


Thank you! Me too, I'm excited to see exactly where this game goes.

Broodelin wrote:Sorry to post again so soon, but I noticed that you don't have a person to work with fonts on your team (I somehow missed it earlier...).

If you'd like, I'd be more than willing to delve into my collection and scrounge up a few that might suit your purposes. :)


That might be fun! I'd be interested to see what fonts you think would be a good match. :3 Thank you!
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Morhighan
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Re: AIdol (Technological Malfunction Slice of Life)

#8 Post by Morhighan » Thu May 22, 2014 3:23 pm

Quick updates:

New website here.
AIdol specific part of the site.

Also, I may have two new team members! BG art by Badriel and Music/SFX by afterworldStudios. Hopefully that works out. :D

And I'll transcribe some of the blog posts here so you can read them easily.

AIdol Setting
AIdol is set in the not-too-distant future, in Japan. Specifically, it is set in an alternate reality where technology has advanced enough for there to be AIs. The big thing right now is Idols, both virtual and real. Idols are based on the Idol culture of Japan, with pop stars like Hatsune Miku–who doesn’t actually exist in the physical plane. We’ll take a look into some of the inspiration and work I have done on creating the world.

The largest company with the most popular idols is Lyric (リリック).
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Lyric sponsors two social sites that are important to the plot. One being IdolBoards (アイドルBBS) and the other being Idolfaire (アイドルフェア).
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In this world everyone has mobile devices, but not many people actually use them as phones, but rather use instant message systems out of convenience and social awkwardness. One of the top used IM systems is PakuPaku (ぱくぱく).
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I don’t know if this will make it into the game, but computers and phones run on AmethystOS. The commonly used browser is called Viola.

The town that AIdol is set in is based on Fukuoka. I’ve never been, but I’ve been doing a lot of research to try to stay faithful to the town. Of course, being that the game is set in an alternate reality, some things will be different. However I am still basing some of the game’s locations off of actual places.

Hana lives in Jonan-Ku (城南区). From Wikipedia:
Located southwest of the downtown area of Tenjin, Jōnan-ku is a primarily residential area. Despite its proximity to downtown Fukuoka, Jōnan-ku has suffered from a lack of transport infrastructure, leading to congested roads and difficult access to the rest of the city. The Nanakuma Line of the Fukuoka Subway opened in 2005, improving traffic flow in the area.


Hana will use the Nanakuma line to get to various locations throughout the game. For ¥600, she can get a day pass to explore the city. I’m hoping to actually implement a map system based on the actual subway system.

Hana will take the Nanakuma station (七隈) and can stop at the Tenjin-Minami station (天神南) as well as traveling to Fukoka Kokusai Center (福岡国際センター), where the convention is held.

The Tenjin-Minami station is the closest station to the Lyric Office Building. Nearby there is a cafe, Virtual Cafe, which I based on Paloma, where the temporary Optimus Cafe was located. You can find Paloma on google maps using this address: 福岡県福岡市中央区今泉1-3-13.
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The Fukoka Kokusai Center is a real place, and I’m super glad they have floorplans available to view online, as well as tons of pictures. Below is a gallery of some reference materials I’ve gathered.
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Crowdfunding Platforms?

I’m debating crowdfunding platforms right now. Indiegogo or Kickstarter? Something else?

I have a sprite artist who is willing to work for free but her work is so beautiful I want to fairly compensate her. I also will be hiring a superb background artist, whose rates reflect the quality of his work.

Because I want to ensure the quality of this game, which I plan to release as pay-what-you-want, I will need funding, or this will all come out of my pocket. Making games isn’t cheap, so contributors will help me bring this game to life, a goal I’ve had since 2011.

I’ve heard it said that the minimum cost of producing game is made up of the Cost of Living x Time Taken x Team Size.

I will pay for my own cost of living, however, I feel I must pay my artists.

What do you find attracts indie gamers more as a crowdfund platform?
Which do you feel more comfortable supporting on?
Which Platform have you seen the most success for indie devs with in the past?

I will be doing a crowdfund once the script is done so I can pay my artists.

Let me know what you think. Thanks!


Cost of Production
It is my intent, what with wanting to eventually crowdfund for this game, to be completely transparent with production costs for this game. For my personal records as well as the example/education of other devs starting out.

Anyone with this link can read my Cost of Production spreadsheet. I imagine I will add income reports to it as well. I plan to make end-of-the-month income and spending reports for this game.

Thanks for reading.
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Morhighan
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Re: AIdol (Technological Malfunction Slice of Life)

#9 Post by Morhighan » Sat May 24, 2014 3:11 am

UPDATE!

I have just finished the plot. Here is a preview of the branching, which I made in yED. I highly recommend the program.
I believe I shrank the preview enough so that I don't have to make a spoiler warning, but squint at your own risk.

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Re: AIdol (Technological Malfunction Slice of Life)

#10 Post by krisnah » Sat May 24, 2014 9:01 am

Oh the game's plot and setting is very interesting!
And the art is really good too! Will look forward to this ^ u ^

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Morhighan
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Re: AIdol (Technological Malfunction Slice of Life)

#11 Post by Morhighan » Sun May 25, 2014 10:58 am

krisnah wrote:Oh the game's plot and setting is very interesting!
And the art is really good too! Will look forward to this ^ u ^


Thank you! :D


Update:
I've changed the logo up. What do you think?

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New:
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Last edited by Morhighan on Sun May 25, 2014 11:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: AIdol (Technological Malfunction Slice of Life)

#12 Post by Broodelin » Sun May 25, 2014 11:59 am

I like this new one a lot better. I think it conveys a lot more information and style than the other one. :)

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Re: AIdol [Convention Adventure][Pay-What-You-Want]

#13 Post by Morhighan » Fri May 30, 2014 7:29 am

It's been quieter since I've stopped updating every day...sorry about that, folks.

I love this project and I will work on it as I can, but I do have good news and bad news.

The bad news is that I probably won't be able to produce AIdol as fast as I would have liked.

The good news is I've been hired on by Winter Wolves to work on one of their projects! Very exciting. Since I'm getting paid by them to write for their game, it takes presidence. After all, if I make money, I can use it to get art assets for AIdol done! Woo! Double win, other than the whole extending the time bit.

Hopefully this project will be done in about 11 weeks. I'm also hoping to continue on with the company for more games.

I will also be taking a "Programming for Everyone" Python Language course for free on coursera, which I highly recommend. It'll take about 10 weeks to complete, so I'm going to be a busy lady.

Thank you for your understanding and support. I plan to work on visual aspects of AIdol and some programming during the writing break, when I need to take a breather from the other project. Also, I just finished Chapter 3, which was twice as long as the others. Yay!
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Re: AIdol [Brief Hiatus Announcement!]

#14 Post by Angie » Fri May 30, 2014 7:47 am

Good luck with everything :)

I hope you'll be able to finish this project, too, as I'm looking forward to it!

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Re: AIdol [Brief Hiatus Announcement!]

#15 Post by Morhighan » Wed Jul 16, 2014 6:33 am

My last few updates since the hiatus:

May Progress (As well as June due to Hiatus)
Writing-
Plot: 100%
Endings: 1/??
Achievements: 5/??

Chapters-
Prologue: 100%
Chapter 1: 100%
Chapter 2: 100%
Chapter 3: 100%
Chapter 4: 0%

Design-
Rough Character Design: 100%
Sprite Artists Roughs: 15%
Final Design: 0%
GUI: 0%

Art-
Sprites: 0%
BGs: 0%
CGs: 0%
Icons: 0%
GUI: 0%
Logos: 5/??

Sound-
Music: 0%
Sound Effects: 0%
Vocal work: 0%

I know that’s a lot of “0%” and “/??” to look at, but I want to get writing done before I ask for finalized assets. But in the meantime, I have three sections of writing done. Woohoo!

Plot Finished!
I just now finished the plot for AIdol. I’d been about 80% done and was having a hard time figuring out the good ending. Finally did it, so here’s a preview of the plot at 100%! (Look at above post)

Spoiler warning, but only if you can read that small.

GUI and Design
Today I will be chronicling my adventures in design for the GUI. I’ve also decided to redo the title logo.

Game Character Hub
So, as part of a Humble Bundle, I got my hands on Game Character Hub. I really wanted to try it out, because as an off-and-on sprite artist I really hate using programs without layers.
I tried out the demo and wasn’t too sure about it. This was mostly because in the demo didn’t have the features for drawing from scratch. Since I use GameMaker: Studio and Ren’Py, those features are what I am really after. Then I tried out the full version and was very impressed by all of the features. so I figured I would write about it here.

This is my first experience in making a character from scratch with GMH. Previously I have used GameMaker: Studio for most of my sprite work.
Here is a sample of that:
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After messing around with the features in Character Hub, I finally managed to make a sprite of Aiko, from my project AIdol.
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After some tweaking, I started a walking animation. The first one was a bit of a dud, since I accidentally placed the layers in a weird way. It looks pretty funny. After fixing that, the walking looked much better. Now I just have to add a head-bob and arm movement.
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Overall I am really happy with the program. I can’t wait to experiment with it more.
Thoughts?

Considerations when using Actual Locations
I know that even when writing fiction, sometimes places pop up that are perfect for our stories.
Buildings occasionally have a “brand” that they are trying to sell, so I made some considerations on how to compromise with the owners if this was the case. With that in mind, I wrote the following:

Greetings,

I will be writing an interactive fiction/novel soon and when I came across information online about [location name], I thought it might be the perfect location to set my story.

I wanted to make sure I had permission first, but I was not sure who to contact on the matter. If I could be pointed in the direction of an authority who might be able to help me, I would be much obliged.

It is my hope to visit the premise to take some photos and notes so that I may do the location justice. If name changes are necessary for legal reasons, I completely understand. I just want to do this right, as [location name] seems so perfect.

Thank you for your consideration,

[name here]


It’s really important, I think, to respect location owners, staff, and guests, so keep this in mind when taking photos and notes. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or base little details off of reality. I plan on talking to staff and writing down their uniform descriptions so I can use a similar design. The important thing is to also make sure you write the “fiction-coincidence” proclamation/disclaimer. AKA the “All incidents and characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.” I originally wrote most of this article when I was working on another project, but it came up for AIdol, since it’s set in Fukuoka and I’m hoping to use several locations, I’ve spent the afternoon messaging CyberConnect2 and attempting to contact other locations that I want to use in game, explaining that I’ll use different names and that I mean it only as a friendly homage and reference to local businesses. This is something I think all creators should do when working with actual locations.
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