Meryl & August [Adventure, slight GxB] New Demo!

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Meryl & August [Adventure, slight GxB] New Demo!

#1 Post by Heiden » Sun Jan 04, 2015 5:30 pm

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Synopsis
Meryl is a plucky and energetic 17 year old girl who just failed all of her classes.
Whoops.
Instead of going back and starting the year over again, she decides to take a year off to go on a journey of self-discovery.
(Don’t worry, her Mom ok’ed it!)
Leaving home with nothing but a bounce in her step and a mysterious treasure map that her mother gave her,
Meryl finds herself caught up on a journey that might reveal to her not only her own future, but the future of her country!
Characters
Image

Meryl
Our main protagonist!
She’s 17 and REALLY! EXCITED! to learn more about the world!
She hates studying and memorizing things but is good at concepts and interacting with people.
She is also really REALLY not looking forward to going back to school.

Image

August
A 20 year old young man who Meryl runs into early in her travels.
Seemingly kind, he’s a fresh new recruit in the Royal Guards and is accompanying Gregor in their travels to round up the Dirks, a bandit group running amok among the countryside. You’d think with his dramatic red cape and battle bandanna he’d be a brash, confident guy, but he acts very nervous all the time and often second guesses himself. According to him, he, like Meryl, ‘failed some tests’ and has to study really hard to eventually make them up.
But apparently these ‘failed tests’ involved people dying.
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Gregor
An older man (despite what Meryl thinks, he’s only 30) who is August’s boss/tutor/babysitter.
He’s accompanying August on their journey to round up the Dirks and also helping August ‘study for his tests’.
His style of teaching involves intimidation and pop quizzes which apparently works for August?? (Meryl has no idea how)
Although he’s coarse and gruff, he’s really good at his job.
And at yelling. He’s good at that too.
Other Characters
These characters don't show up until much later in the story (minus Meryl's Mom), but I figured I'd introduce them anyway. Also, their sprites are not finished yet, so please take that into consideration.

Image
Meryl's Mom
An extremely kind mother to Meryl.
Gives an old treasure map to Meryl as she leaves on her journey.
Image

Adrianne
A veteran adventurer that’s been a longtime friend of Meryl’s mom.
She has a habit of showing up out of the blue just when things look hopeless.
Image

Grete
Gregor’s sister who is bookish and blunt.
Goes to St. Petrarch’s School for the Intellectually Gifted.
Image

Werner
A fellow classmate of Grete’s. Incredibly rude and pretentious.
Grete hates his guts and refers to him as ‘Weenie’.
Image

Maybellene
???
Screenshots
Image
Demo
This demo contains the first 23k words of the game.

http://www.mediafire.com/download/5o43k ... 25-all.zip
Progress
Writing - 117k, 100%!
Editing - ~100%
Sprites - 50%
BG - 10/? (I've stopped updating these because I've lost count, haha)
CGs - 10/? (Ditto)
GUI - 100%
Coding - 32%
Questions
1) Which character looks the most interesting to you?
2) Do you think the synopsis should go more in depth about the plot? Or is it alright as is?
3) How do you feel about VNs that don't heavily feature romance?

Specific questions about the demo

4) How were the music levels? Sound effect levels? Was there ever a moment you thought one was too loud compared to the other?
5) Were there any moments you thought would be helped by an additional CG on screen?
6) General thoughts, comments, suggestions?
Thank you very much for reading!
Hello! This is my second game and first WIP thread, so please let me know if I'm missing anything/did something wrong!
I've been working on M&A for over a year by myself so I'm very excited to finally be able to share it with people! :)
I'm hoping to update about once a month, though I'll say that progress will be slow. I'm going to be very busy in the upcoming months (at least until June), but I'll be chipping away at the project!
Once again, thank you so so so much for reading!!


02/06/15 Update: Coding is at 7%, Editing is at 90%
03/05/15 Update: Coding is at 10%, Editing is at 100%+0% (Of the new part of the script)
04/04/15 Update: Coding is at 12%, Editing is at 100%+0%, Script is FINISHED!!!!!!
05/02/15 Update: Coding is still at 12% :( Editing is at 100%+0%. Tests suck.
06/06/15 Update: Coding is at 15% Editing is at 100%+0% (@.@;;;). NEW DEMO!!!!
07/19/15 Update: Coding is at 19% I made a new KN!
08/03/15 Update: Coding is at 20%
09/04/15 Update: Coding is at 23%
09/15/15 Update: New demo!
12/15/15 Update: Coding is at 27%
1/13/16 Update: Coding is at 30%
2/6/16 Update: Coding is at 32%
3/6/16 Update: Coding is blah. Next update will be for Capital route demo.
Last edited by Heiden on Sun Mar 06, 2016 5:02 pm, edited 24 times in total.

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Re: Meryl & August (Adventure, slight GxB)

#2 Post by Green Glasses Girl » Mon Jan 05, 2015 2:45 am

Heeeeey, I've seen your work on tumblr! I knew it looked familiar.

This looks like an interesting game! I'm pretty much a sucker for adventure stories and friendships. I'll play the demo tomorrow and give you my thoughts. :D
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Re: Meryl & August (Adventure, slight GxB)

#3 Post by Heiden » Mon Jan 05, 2015 6:59 pm

Green Glasses Girl wrote:Heeeeey, I've seen your work on tumblr! I knew it looked familiar.

This looks like an interesting game! I'm pretty much a sucker for adventure stories and friendships. I'll play the demo tomorrow and give you my thoughts. :D
!! Thank you! And I hope you enjoy the demo! :)

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Re: Meryl & August (Adventure, slight GxB)

#4 Post by Reikun » Wed Jan 07, 2015 12:21 am

WHOO!! Good to see your wip on here, Heiden!! :D I'll start with some personal thoughts about M&A's demo and then more technical stuff after that!
- When Meryl runs out of the room after handing her mom the paper: I WAS SO SAD. POOR MERYL. The shame of the time I failed a class came back to me and how upset my mom was over it HAHAHA;;;; I'm so glad Meryl's mom is nice!!! ;___;
- Explanation about how all the kids want to be adventurers at first: couldn't help thinking if you substitute "artist" with "adventurer" everything is still applicable......... OTL

- Overall: WHAT HAPPENS NEXT don't actually tell me I'LL JUST WAIT FOR FULL GAME /cries You just had to pick a place where Meryl loses consciousness to end the demo xD

More seriously, I think the demo gives the player a good understanding of where Meryl is coming from, her life so far, and how 'open' her future is, even though her society would say her opportunities are few. The way she keeps referring to the things she learned in school as she starts her adventure sets her up to look very naive (which I assume is true, since she's never left her village before. But if this wasn't how you intended to present her character at first let me know.... HAHA). I think it sets a good pattern in the narrative, and it's something a lot of people can easily relate to, having gone through compulsory education and being graded... etc. Also: HARD HITTING LESSONS of no grades in the real world!! I really liked that bit about the lean-to have no grade attached to it. I think it's an important message whether it's your intention to present it as such or not. There's a lot of pressure and emphasis on "how well" someone does in school these days, so I appreciate the presentation that school isn't everything, grades don't mean anything beyond someone's judgement based on an arbitrary rubric (I could go on FOREVER about this, but I'll stop here xD).

Anyway, I enjoyed the world that the demo set up and I am looking forward to the rest of the story!!
Technical bits:
- Needs larger line height at "Dear friends...." because the ascenders of the font shows up beforehand (explanation here http://puu.sh/eb7wt/f899d1895f.png)
- Sudden cut to "Dear friends..." could use a slower transition??? Like panning away from the previous CG, even if it's a simple pan up/down into darkness??? Just to cushion the transition a little so the player can see that the pace is going to slow down considerably.
- Record scratch is cliche... HAHA Not sure if you want to keep this.
- "She placed her caring arms on me shoulders" -> my (I DO THIS ALL THE TIME HAHA)
- "emergency exacuation techniques" -> evacuation
- "There was no grades..." -> "There was no grade" or "There were no grades"
- "We need to think their ranks out..." -> thin
- "The treasure map seemed to be pointing down a separate path..." -> a graphic here would be helpful to understand how this is possible

- The hover state for the choices hurts my eyes a little because of the sudden extreme change in contrast. Maybe use a different indicator like a golden orb/arrow appearing before the text or making the hover choice darker instead of lighter so the text color can stay the same?

- Also in Gregor's character blurb in your OP: "course" > coarse.
OMG I TALK TO MUCH......... *goes to answer thread questions*

1) Which character looks the most interesting to you?
From playing the demo I LOVE MERYL and want to see her grow!!!! From everybody............. stares at Werner /brick'd
2) Do you think the synopsis should go more in depth about the plot? Or is it alright as is?
I think it's short and sweet!! As long as your plot doesn't have some kind of unforeseeable twist or genre shift/mood whiplash it should be good??? (don't listen to me I'm horrible at synopses)
3) How do you feel about VNs that don't heavily feature romance?
THEY ARE A-OK!! (in the case of M&A, adventure genre is a huge plus for me)
4) How were the music levels? Sound effect levels? Was there ever a moment you thought one was too loud compared to the other?

I found the music/sound volume to be ok on my end. I already told you about the .wav files........ :P
5) + 6)
Addressed in my spoiler'd comments above!

Great job on the demo!! Looking forward to the full game :)
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Re: Meryl & August (Adventure, slight GxB)

#5 Post by Heiden » Wed Jan 07, 2015 2:22 am

Hey Reikun! I know I've said this like a million times, but thank you so much for your feedback!! :D
I'm glad that Meryl's character came across as relatable, I wanted to write her as a character that anyone that went through a school system could relate to, haha.
As for the technical stuff:
LINE HEIGHT. THAT'S THE NAME OF THAT. I realized a bit too late that the nvl menu's were doing that and I didn't know what it was called so my google attempts at finding an answer were pretty much all in vain. But now I actually know what it's called and I can potentially fix it. THANK YOU!!! :'D (I'm so bad at coding and programming rofl)

And I'll definitely change the hover choice images! As well as adding a glowing path for the cave scene. I also want to eventually add images showing just what is happening on Meryl's map as she is trying to find the treasure chest, but I wasn't yet ready to commit on a final design of the map just yet. :)
1. Which character looks most interesting to you?
I'm really looking forward to coding Weenie's scenes. He's... interesting, haha XD

Once again, thank you so much for your feedback! :D

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Re: Meryl & August (Adventure, slight GxB)

#6 Post by champignonkinoko » Thu Jan 08, 2015 8:13 am

Hello!! Excited to see that you finally have a WIP thread! Unfortunately I'm a bit tied up at the moment but will play your demo when weekend comes :)

All the best!

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Re: Meryl & August (Adventure, slight GxB)

#7 Post by Green Glasses Girl » Wed Jan 14, 2015 1:26 am

Finished! I actually was in denial that the demo was over and went back to change my choices, haha!

Anyway, I loved it! It's such refreshing to have some solid writing for VNs. To answer the questions:

1) Which character looks the most interesting to you?
Meryl! But I don't know much about the other characters other than the summaries posted...I guess I'll have to wait and see!
2) Do you think the synopsis should go more in depth about the plot? Or is it alright as is?
The synopsis is fine. It leaves more to the imagination, so that leaves the reader wanting to find out more.
3) How do you feel about VNs that don't heavily feature romance?
For me personally, I tend to look for the VNs that don't rely heavily on romance. Like if there is an awesome story and romance gets tossed in along the way, I'm fine with that. But I'm not venturing to find a pure, romance story.
4) How were the music levels? Sound effect levels? Was there ever a moment you thought one was too loud compared to the other?
Loved, loved the music. Sound was fine. I have rad speakers.
5) Were there any moments you thought would be helped by an additional CG on screen?
I think the CG amount was fine.
6) General thoughts, comments, suggestions?
I love "kid/teen goes on an adventure" stories. Reminds me of the almighty days of Pokemon and Digimon. It will be very interesting to see Meryl's character development with situations and people she meets along the way.

Additional stuff: Meryl's mother is super sweet. I also laughed out loud when
Meryl found the book in her bag.

Meryl is pretty smart. I don't think she realizes all of the teachings she learned in school are slowly coming into play as she travels. I hope she comes to that conclusion in the end and it motivates her to continue her education.
Overall, I very much enjoyed this demo! I will keep watch for a full version!
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Re: Meryl & August (Adventure, slight GxB)

#8 Post by Heiden » Thu Jan 15, 2015 12:03 am

champignonkinoko wrote:Hello!! Excited to see that you finally have a WIP thread! Unfortunately I'm a bit tied up at the moment but will play your demo when weekend comes :)

All the best!
Hey! Yeah I finally put up a WIP thread, haha XD
Green Glasses Girl wrote:Finished! I actually was in denial that the demo was over and went back to change my choices, haha!

Anyway, I loved it! It's such refreshing to have some solid writing for VNs. To answer the questions:

1) Which character looks the most interesting to you?
Meryl! But I don't know much about the other characters other than the summaries posted...I guess I'll have to wait and see!
2) Do you think the synopsis should go more in depth about the plot? Or is it alright as is?
The synopsis is fine. It leaves more to the imagination, so that leaves the reader wanting to find out more.
3) How do you feel about VNs that don't heavily feature romance?
For me personally, I tend to look for the VNs that don't rely heavily on romance. Like if there is an awesome story and romance gets tossed in along the way, I'm fine with that. But I'm not venturing to find a pure, romance story.
4) How were the music levels? Sound effect levels? Was there ever a moment you thought one was too loud compared to the other?
Loved, loved the music. Sound was fine. I have rad speakers.
5) Were there any moments you thought would be helped by an additional CG on screen?
I think the CG amount was fine.
6) General thoughts, comments, suggestions?
I love "kid/teen goes on an adventure" stories. Reminds me of the almighty days of Pokemon and Digimon. It will be very interesting to see Meryl's character development with situations and people she meets along the way.

Additional stuff: Meryl's mother is super sweet. I also laughed out loud when
Meryl found the book in her bag.

Meryl is pretty smart. I don't think she realizes all of the teachings she learned in school are slowly coming into play as she travels. I hope she comes to that conclusion in the end and it motivates her to continue her education.
Overall, I very much enjoyed this demo! I will keep watch for a full version!
Ooh, thank you for the feedback!

I know what you mean about looking for VNs that don't heavily rely on romance. I enjoy a good romance, but I also feel like sometimes they can limit the things you can do with the story. :)

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Re: Meryl & August (Adventure, slight GxB)

#9 Post by YossarianIII » Sun Jan 18, 2015 10:15 pm

This is a strong demo, and I clicked to download it because I thought the original post was very strong.

As for the questions:

1) Which character looks the most interesting to you?
Meryl. Her personality in the demo was exactly what I expected based on the WIP post.
The rest of the cast looked great, too, with a nice diversity of personalities.

2) Do you think the synopsis should go more in depth about the plot? Or is it alright as is?
IMO, the plot synopsis you have is sufficient. It gives a good sense of your main character's personality in a few sentences, and since this seems to be a character-driven story, that's probably the most important thing.

3) How do you feel about VNs that don't heavily feature romance?
To be honest, I find it odd that romance is the "default" genre for VNs, when it seems like the medium has to potential to tell stories as diverse as books or comics. (Then again, if you look at book sales, particularly self-published, you could make a strong case that romance is the "default" genre for books, too.)

That's kind of a tangent... Basically, what I'm saying is I'm all for well-handled romantic elements in an interactive story ("To the Moon" is the best example I know of), but the only way I'd be interested in, say, an otome game is if it also contains cannibalistic pigeons.


4) How were the music levels? Sound effect levels? Was there ever a moment you thought one was too loud compared to the other?
Sound and music levels were good.

5) Were there any moments you thought would be helped by an additional CG on screen?
No, none that I thought of.

6) General thoughts, comments, suggestions?
My one criticism/suggestion is, I'm not sure what to expect from August when he shows up. It's OK (and probably desirable) to keep some mystery here, but I don't think it would spoil too much to add a sentence or two about how he interacts with Meryl... Does he yell at her like Gregor, or is he shy? Is he a comic character or a serious foil? Just a little snippet so readers know what to expect from the two title characters.
Overall, looks good and like a lot of work has gone into it. I'll be interested to see future updates and a final version!

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Re: Meryl & August (Adventure, slight GxB)

#10 Post by Heiden » Thu Jan 22, 2015 11:37 pm

@YossarianIII

Thank you so much for your feedback!

I also find myself sometimes wondering why romance is the 'default' genre for VNs, in that it almost feels expected for the medium. (I'm sure this has something to do with the fact the medium started out as mostly eroges, haha)

I'd also just like to disclose that although I've been talking about VNs without romance a fair bit, M&A does have a romance in it. It's just not a focus. I just don't want to mislead anyone about what is and isn't in M&A.

And suggestion taken about August's character! I'll add a few lines about him! :) (He's kind, but also doubts himself a fair bit, which makes him a bit of a pushover)

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Re: Meryl & August (Adventure, slight GxB)

#11 Post by pyla8 » Fri Jan 23, 2015 12:53 am

This is so awesome. Meryl's adorable.

The romance thing only bugs me when it's required to get a good ending. It's fine except when that's all there is. But some people are into that and that's good too. Personally, it makes me uncomfortable and I'll quit a game and delete it if it's just romance romance date love.

Make more please. I need more Meryl adventures in my life. This is one of the few VNs I've seen here with a predominantly female cast and the only one that isn't a GxG exclusively. That's fantastic. Go you! x)

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Re: Meryl & August (Adventure, slight GxB)

#12 Post by Heiden » Wed Jan 28, 2015 7:06 pm

Thank you pyla8!

I plan to continue working on Meryl adventures and hope you'll give the VN a shot when it's finished. :)

On an unrelated note:

I've updated my progress section (as well as changed it around slightly) with all that I've been able to do the last couple of weeks. Whoo~

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Re: Meryl & August (Adventure, slight GxB)

#13 Post by Heiden » Sat Feb 07, 2015 12:10 am

Monthly update!

I've been working little by little on M&A and am now at 7% coded and 90% of the script edited. Yay!
Attachments
febupdate2.png

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Re: Meryl & August (Adventure, slight GxB)

#14 Post by Godline » Sat Feb 07, 2015 12:31 am

Ooh nice update. It looks awesome! Coding -bleh- don't get me started on that. ;) But so glad it's nearing completion! Your hard work is paying off!

As for the characters Werner is hilarious. :)

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Re: Meryl & August (Adventure, slight GxB)

#15 Post by Googaboga » Sun Feb 08, 2015 2:24 am

This seems like a really lovely game. I never play demos but I'm definitely looking forward to getting a chance to play the full version.

1) Which character looks the most interesting to you?

Meryl and August C:.

2) Do you think the synopsis should go more in depth about the plot? Or is it alright as is?

I'd say it's just fine the way it is.

3) How do you feel about VNs that don't heavily feature romance?

It doesn't bother me~
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