Inverness Nights [BxB/history/fantasy] [DEMO]

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Inverness Nights [BxB/history/fantasy] [DEMO]

#1 Post by kitsubasa » Wed Jun 18, 2014 1:02 pm

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Story


1750, Inverness, Scotland.

Tristram Rose is an immortal tailor whose knack for repairs extends from clothing to people. Born with healing hands, he is able to make the elderly young again, reverse the progression of illness, and undo decay in corpses. He has historically lead a quiet life; picking himself up and moving town every decade or two, avoiding flaunting his powers -- keeping himself to himself to avoid potential fallout from his unique traits being aired openly.

All his careful work is starting to come undone. After healing and rejuvenating his elderly partner, Alas, Tris is betrayed. Alas never wanted help, and if he's going to be stuck as a 20-something again, losing his social standing and resources, he's going to make sure Tris loses the same.

Alas will report Tris for sodomy if he doesn't leave Inverness in the next few days.

Tris lacks the money to move -- but luckily, a solution has presented itself: a woman offering a small fortune to make her a dress. Dresses aren't his usual trade, but given the circumstances, he'll take anything.

As he works, she begins to tell a story. She's very insistent on finishing.

Which will come first -- the end of her story, the end of the dress, or the end of Alas' patience?

Stats

-3 routes (Shell, Alas, and a bad route)
-6 endings (2 per route)
-70,000+ words long
-60-90 minutes per route, and around 4-6 hours playtime total
-14 CGs
-recommended for audiences 16+ (contains gore, body horror, implied suicide, implied sex scenes, and profanity)
Characters

Tristram Rose

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Tris is a stoic Scotsman; born 995AD and still attached to his homeland.
Nationalistic, opinionated, and inflexible -- he's a hard man to socialise with, but inarguably dedicated in matters of politics and business.
His immortality has isolated him from humanity in several senses, so he was never an ideal partner for Alas.
Shell Azzara

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Shell is a cheery woman with an expensive taste in fabric and a noted passion for tall tales.
She isn't wearing a wig or a hat -- or any proper accessories -- but she's wealthy enough to fund an entire cross-country move for Tris.
Is she your average person with more money than sense? Or is she hiding an ulterior motive?
Alasdair Fairbairn

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Alas is happiest when he lives without thinking; but a crippled man in the post-Culloden Highlands has little else to do.
His wife long dead, his son recently killed, and his only close relationship at odds with his religious beliefs... Alas spends much of his time grappling with feelings of inadequacy and self-loathing.
His second chance at life could either enable a change for the better, or a descent into greater depression. Even he is unsure which.
Porfirio, Mariana, Sinbad and Aquila

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The cast of Shell's story.

Porfirio: a Venetian vagabond out to steal priceless treasure and enjoy the world.
Mariana: a Turkish seamstress who escapes her workshop to travel with Porfirio and Sinbad.
Sinbad: a Persian sailor who was implicated in Porfirio's thieving ways some time ago and never extricated from them.
Aquila: a Byzantine soldier pursuing Mariana (and her companions).
General Info


(Updated Jan '16)

Inverness Nights is a slow-burn game about how the era a person lives in changes the way that person is perceived. Relaxed and small-scale, if you like personal stories about magical people in historical places, you'll probably enjoy this game! Tonally, the project is shooting for something downbeat but hopeful. Unambiguous happy endings exist, but you'll have to work to understand the cast if you want to achieve them. Befriending two characters over three routes (together or individually), try and bring joy to the Highlands -- or keep the gloom going, if you prefer.

Screenshots
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Credits

Writing/character design/programming/BG art -- Kitsubasa
Sprite/CG art -- Cafechan
Additional CGs -- Toastyhat
Music -- Sebastien Skaf
GUI/Logo -- Morhighan

Progress

Writing -- 100% (first draft)
-- 100% (second draft)
-- 100% (third draft)
-- 100% (fourth draft)
-- 100% (fifth draft)

-- 100% (ending addition-- first draft)
-- 70% (ending addition -- second draft)

-- 20% (ending revisions -other routes-)

-- 100% (side story-- planning)
-- 100% (side story-- script)
-- 0% (side story-- editing)

Sprites -- 5/5
CGs -- 20/20
BGs -- 6/24

GUI -- 100%
Music -- 100%
Coding -- 70%

(updated: July 23rd, 2016)
Last edited by kitsubasa on Fri Jul 22, 2016 11:48 am, edited 28 times in total.
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Re: Seven Stories with Tristram the Tailor [BxB/history/fant

#2 Post by Mad Harlequin » Thu Jun 19, 2014 8:51 am

1. While I really don't have much business commenting on artwork since I can't draw to save my life, I don't mind your art. I did notice that Tristram's head looks too small for his body. The same appears to be true for Shell as well, though it seems like her case isn't as severe.

2. I think music would be nice to have, but voices are an optional bonus.

3. I quite like the concept. I think you could find a balance between Shell's stories and the main narrative itself if you write well.

4. I'm interested in both the history and the fantasy elements. Again, it might be worthwhile to find a good balance.

5. I can only speak for myself, but I'm very interested in what you have planned, even though little information is currently available. I don't mind the mystery. :)
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Re: Seven Stories with Tristram the Tailor [BxB/history/fant

#3 Post by Washu_Ira » Thu Jun 19, 2014 12:37 pm

1. The art isn't the greatest but it does have a nice folk charm to it(to me). As far as the art driving people away I don't necessarily being a turn off if you can show your strong story for it.

2. music is usually a plus but voice acting could hurt a game if it is not done right so choose wisely. (voice acting for a quiet game like this would be awesome)

3. Story based games are quite fun to dive into so that idea resonates with me. as for the focus I honestly think the talk shop should hold the most focus while the adventuring bit is set as an overlay on those conversations.

4.I think the history i more important because it can make the story and characters seem more real. healing is a neat ability but the setting shouldn't be over shadowed when the ideology of the time might leave him with nothing.

5. I really like he idea you have set here. Super curious and itching to learn more~ keep your secrets secret. Mystery is good for this.

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Re: Seven Stories with Tristram the Tailor [BxB/history/fant

#4 Post by kitsubasa » Fri Jun 20, 2014 2:04 am

Mad Harlequin-- Hahaha oh man I always draw heads too small, I really need to work on fixing that-- but I don't notice it on my own ever, for some reason. Also; I've been working some more on the story balance the past couple of days, I think the way I've stacked the narrative now, there should be a good balance between Tris and Shell. Originally everything was weighed more to her side, but I've done some work developing Tris' situation and, in particular, his relationship with the guy who's blackmailing him (one Alasdair Fairbairn, a tinker of no renown and no cosmic importance, but great looks and a great philosophical mind). At this point, they should both be able to carry their weight just fine; at least from my POV.

Washu-- That's cool that you're interested in the history element, I was kind of worried the concept would bore people, but it doesn't sound like that'll be the case. As I work more on the plot details, it's becoming apparent that it'd be pretty hard to ignore the history for this anyway. Mid-18th century Scotland was a hotbed of political issues, and while I was never intending to skirt around them, they get more and more integrated into what I'm writing as I go...

Also; as a general note. I've thought it over and I've decided to get someone else to handle the sprites/CGs for this (though I'll still be responsible for the background). Hashing things out with someone re: this at the moment, so hopefully I'll have more to say about this soon. : D
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Re: Seven Stories with Tristram the Tailor [BxB/history/fant

#5 Post by kitsubasa » Wed Aug 06, 2014 7:22 pm

Alllright! I've completely overhauled the first post and moved things from ideas to WIP, because wa-hey, this project is going somewhere fast!

So, in the month interim since I posted this in 'ideas' and now when it's been moved over here...

-I've finished the majority of the writing; all the story sections are done and most of the present day sections are too, it's just a matter of finishing up the last couple of those. It's currently sitting around 20k words, and by the end I'm guessing it'll be in the ballpark of 30k
-Cafechan has taken care of the sprite art and is working on the CGs! There are 11 CGs total, and 4 characters have sprites.
-Music is being organised by Sebastien Skaf

I'll be commissioning someone to help out with GUI sometime soon, as well, but I can only afford to have so many commissions ongoing at once, between this and my other project. So, that'll happen once music is done.

All in all, things are going well, and I think this should all be done within the next two months sometime. Hoorah!
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Re: Seven Stories with Tristram the Tailor [BxB/history/fant

#6 Post by Mad Harlequin » Wed Aug 06, 2014 8:48 pm

I'm so happy to see this got moved! The art is just lovely. Cafechan really captured the spirit of your original sketches! I'll be looking forward to seeing more updates. :)
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Re: Seven Stories with Tristram the Tailor [BxB/history/fant

#7 Post by Noire » Thu Aug 07, 2014 6:54 pm

Awesome! I can't wait to see more :D

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Re: Seven Stories with Tristram the Tailor [BxB/history/fant

#8 Post by Cafechan » Sat Aug 09, 2014 1:09 pm

I'm very excited to be working on this!! kitsubasa has such an interesting story planned. It's gonna be fantastic!
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Re: Seven Stories with Tristram the Tailor [BxB/history/fant

#9 Post by sasquatchii » Sun Aug 10, 2014 1:51 am

I LOVE the art!! As someone who is working on a game with cartoonish art that is not traditionally seen in VN's, its really encouraging to see others breaking that mold with art that doesn't look like something straight out of an anime.

The plot for this seems amazing & original. I'm really interested to learn how the game plays out if the player doesn't play nicely with the other characters. I'm guessing they won't learn more about the story/plot because other characters won't like them enough to share that information?
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Re: Seven Stories with Tristram the Tailor [BxB/history/fant

#10 Post by kitsubasa » Sun Aug 10, 2014 12:50 pm

@Mad Harlequin+Noire-- Hopefully I'll have more proper updates to post soon! : D

@Cafechan-- BD

@sasquatchii-- Yup, you got it. Shell is making some very big decisions about Tris as he interacts with her, and if he doesn't seem prepared for or interested in those revelations, she'll just skip out on sharing them. She won't withhold things out of malice, she's honestly very sweet, she just doesn't want to drag someone on a ride they don't want.

All that said, I'm trying to make it so the route where she spills the beans isn't the only rewarding option. You can also receive fulfilling outcomes for Alas, and for Tris himself, without ever knowing what the deal is with Shell. Orrr you can ruin everything for everyone if that's how you want to play it, though that's kind of mean, and you probably won't like how things turn out if you go that way, haha.
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Re: Seven Stories with Tristram the Tailor [BxB/history/fant

#11 Post by kitsubasa » Thu Aug 14, 2014 8:55 am

Woo, update time! Cafechan has just finished all the sprites and CGs for the game. Since the CGs are (obviously) pretty spoilery, here are some more samples of the sprites, including one of Shell's alt outfits:

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Since I don't think I've mentioned it yet in the thread, for the character designs I've been trying to follow a kind of Disney-esque philosophy of starting with actual historical references, then moving from those out into more innaccurate designs that give a clearer sense of each of the characters. The ultimate aim with each is to give the sense of the right time period, while also communicating character traits in a way that works with the story and modern sensibilities~ The most intricate and involved design is Shell's commission dress, which I'm keeping under wraps so it can be appropriately pretty and surprising when it shows up in-game.

So; art stuff aside, where's the project at for now? Still writing endings over here, and wanting some input from anyone who's willing to offer it!

In the process of writing the ends of the script, I realised I needed to add a handful more bad ends to make sure there's room for exploring different ways of treating Shell and Alas. Just paying lip service to the fact Tris can be tactless didn't feel like enough, and I want to give people the opportunity to make some blunders and see the extent of his issues on their way to the good endings. At this point, there are now eight endings-- two good, two neutral, and four bad-ish endings.

Now, the good and neutral endings all have CGs completed, and that's great! But Cafechan isn't able to take on any more commissions for the time being, and I'm trying to figure out whether the bad ends should have CGs or not.

Obviously, the advantage if they do is that they'll feel more like proper endings, and people will be more interested in seeking them out-- which, considering I've conceptualised them so they all add something interesting to the game, would be pretty neat. The disadvantage is that, since they're bad ends, people might not want to bother anyway. Additionally, they'd probably be in a different art style to the rest of the game, which might bother some people (though I have a couple of ideas on how to pull this off without looking too unintentional).

So... should I try to organise CGs for all the endings? Yes, no? If so, any preferences on how they're done? Thoughts, please, because I really need some feedback to make this decision, haha.
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Re: Seven Stories with Tristram the Tailor [BxB/history/fant

#12 Post by Aviala » Thu Aug 14, 2014 6:38 pm

I'm really excited for this project! I love the art and I love the idea of the story.

For me, a change in art style without a good reason would be a major turnoff. Maybe if the other artstyle was close to the original one or if the change was explained by a change in the story's mood or something it might work.

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Re: Seven Stories with Tristram the Tailor [BxB/history/fant

#13 Post by kitsubasa » Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:30 am

@Aviala-- I'll bear that in mind! I've asked people off this forum and I've had responses all over the board on the CG front, so I think I'm going to finish up most of the rest of the game and then when I'm in the final stretch, I'll decide whether I think those endings desperately need art or not. I still think it'd be nice, but the big question I have to ask myself here isn't really 'would I like it', but 'would it make be appropriate'-- and that's the thing I'll be thinking about as I get on the home stretch for the project.

General update stuff-- GUI is now being worked on for the project! Morhighan is handling the GUI, and we're planning it to be bright and colourful like the rest of the game... that we might lull you into a false sense of security before bashing you over the head with sad concepts and tricky interpersonal relationship issues, oooh.

I've basically finished writing the 'best' route from beginning to end, so I'm just putting the finishing touches on that before building up all the alternate paths. The best end is 30k start to finish, as I thought it'd be, so I'd estimate the game'll take around 60min to play through once. Most of the branching occurs on day 4 and 5, so replays will mostly differ in roughly the last 10-15k of the script, save for a couple of bad ends which split off sooner.

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Lastly, to make this post a little more interesting, here's a silly picture of Sinbad in his alternate outfit (peace signs probably didn't exist in the 1100s but who cares, not me). I haven't discussed much about the 12th century crew, but they actually take up a big chunk of the script-- you'll be seeing almost as much of them as the 18th century trio. Porfirio is a classic trickster/pirate archetype, in for whatever sounds like the most fun at the time, and Sinbad is theoretically supposed to be his morality chain, but he gave up trying to police Porfirio's actions a long time ago. Mariana is kind of enigmatic from their point-of-view, but she's competent, she listens well, and she's observant, so she's not too much of a burden despite not having seafaring experience. Together, they... run from the law, gamble, smash ships, and generally make a mess of things. They're compatible with each other but not so much with the world. Ah well, they try!
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Re: Seven Stories with Tristram the Tailor [BxB/history/fant

#14 Post by BarabiSama » Tue Aug 19, 2014 10:47 am

Between the story and art, this sounds like it's going to be a really fun read. Good luck!

(By the way, Sinbad's alternate pants are pretty dayum fabulous - just saying.)
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Re: Seven Stories with Tristram the Tailor [BxB/history/fant

#15 Post by LadyOfGatsby » Tue Aug 19, 2014 11:13 am

I absolutely love the summary of the story and the unique characters you have brought to life. This project seems wonderful to me and it look like it will be such a good read, I can't wait. The art style is so distinct and unique as well which makes me want to play it even more. What's awesome is that the writing is almost done :)
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