Herald [VN+P&C+CYOA][Commercial][Kickstarter&Demo!]

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NickW
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Herald [VN+P&C+CYOA][Commercial][Kickstarter&Demo!]

#1 Post by NickW » Wed Mar 04, 2015 9:58 am

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Herald, an interactive period drama about colonialism.
Teaser Trailer:
Genre:
Visual Novel + Point & Click
Herald is a two-part interactive period drama for PC, Mac and Linux that plays as a mix between a visual novel and a point and click adventure game. You are Devan Rensburg, a man of mixed heritage, assigned to work as a steward aboard the HLV Herald.
Features

In short, Herald offers:

An Interactive Period Drama with a heavy emphasis on character development.

A branching narrative that changes depending on how you choose to play.

A gripping tale about finding your identity in a world divided by race, class and religion.

A beautiful hand-painted art style mixing 2D animated portraits with 3D environments.

A world inspired by historical events that took place in the final days of the Age of Sail.
Content-wise the game is about 60% VN and 40% Point and Click, most of it takes place on board The HLV Herald, a micro-cosmos of 19th century society.

As its steward you are responsible for the well-being of all passengers, the rich and the poor, the important and the downtrodden. Your job is best done without anybody noticing, so if a conflict should arise, you better solve it before the captain gets wind of it.

What side of morality will you be on? Are you going to stand up for the oppressed, or will you watch idly how authority abuses its power? Either way, you are responsible, so you will carry the consequences.
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Setting
In an alternate 1857, the West stands united as a single empire: the Protectorate.

As a republic with a colonial empire, the Protectorate is ruled by an elected leader: the Lord Protector. Each colony of the Empire is a potential new province, but to earn membership, a colony has to adapt to Protectorate law and custom.

Lately, things are amiss in the realm. With the onset of modernity, the Protectorate is struggling to maintain order, as tensions arise resulting from great inequality and prejudice. Colonial governments are slowly losing grasp on their territories and rumors of a coming rebellion run rampant.
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Inspirations

With Herald, our main inspirations were drawn from period-drama's and the story-driven gameplay brought forward by the games from Telltale, Obsidian and Bioware.
But as development continued we ended up working on a game which had more in common (gameplay-wise) with monkey island and the visual novel genre.
I was introduced to this forum by our artist and will be posting more info, screenshots and eventually the demo!

Updates

-We will be releasing a Demo on the 19th of April in conjunction with our kickstarter!

-Our lead writer, Roy, also is also busy writing a blog about the design of Herald's story: http://heraldgame.tumblr.com/post/11460 ... story-blog

-Our artist, Aïda wrote a 5 part "making of" for the 2D animated portraits: http://heraldgame.tumblr.com/post/11317 ... nimated-2d

-And to give you an example of how our portraits work:

Image

Image


I'm really interested in hearing what you guys think of the moving portraits!

Do you guys know of any western Visual Novels with animated portraits?


Cheers,

Nick
Designer at Wispfire

Website:
http://heraldgame.com

Tumblr:
http://heraldgame.tumblr.com/
Last edited by NickW on Mon Apr 20, 2015 2:49 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Herald [VN+Point&Click] [2D+3D] [Period-Drama] [Commerci

#2 Post by Mad Harlequin » Wed Mar 04, 2015 10:29 am

NickW wrote:
1:
What do you think of the concept? Does it pique your interest? Are you curious, or should we provide more info about the game?

2:
What do you think of the setting?

3:
What do you think of the art style? How does it compare to the more manga-inspired styles of most visual novels?
1. I'm sold! The reasons for, and continuing consequences of, colonialism and imperialism were and are a big motivation for me vis-à-vis studying world history and cultures. I've always believed that if we are to walk a better path into the future, we must learn from the past, so stories that tackle these things are always worth reading.

2. Well, it's an alternate West, so I don't yet know enough about it to really form a helpful opinion, but I'd love to know more!

3. I'm quite fascinated by the art style: oil painting meets anime (a 90:10 ratio)..

Welcome, and please post more! :)
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Re: Herald [VN+Point&Click] [2D+3D] [Period-Drama] [Commerci

#3 Post by Rinima » Wed Mar 04, 2015 1:28 pm

NickW wrote: 1:
What do you think of the concept? Does it pique your interest? Are you curious, or should we provide more info about the game?

2:
What do you think of the setting?

3:
What do you think of the art style? How does it compare to the more manga-inspired styles of most visual novels?
1. Very much so! I love the look of it and I love point and click games, so consider my sold :)

2. Hmm, not sure what to thing since, well, it's just a ship to me atm XD

3. Love. It. *is biase as she loves semi-realism art*
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Re: Herald [VN+Point&Click] [2D+3D] [Period-Drama] [Commerci

#4 Post by Hazel-Bun » Thu Mar 05, 2015 12:35 am

1). Combined two of my favorite genres I'm sold.

2). Want to know more but the historical backdrop peaks my interest. I'm sold.

3). YES! I just, yes, love it. Reminds me of a mixture of realism, 90's shoujo, and a distinct flavor I can't really pinpoint. In short, I'm sold.

Can't wait for more guys, gals, people!!!
Last edited by Hazel-Bun on Thu Mar 05, 2015 11:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Herald [VN+Point&Click] [2D+3D] [Period-Drama] [Commerci

#5 Post by NickW » Thu Mar 05, 2015 8:40 am

Awesome feedback everyone! :D
Mad Harlequin wrote: 1. I'm sold! The reasons for, and continuing consequences of, colonialism and imperialism were and are a big motivation for me vis-à-vis studying world history and cultures. I've always believed that if we are to walk a better path into the future, we must learn from the past, so stories that tackle these things are always worth reading.
Hazel-Bun wrote: 2). Want to know more but the historical backdrop peaks my intrest. I'm sold.
You ask, and I shall comply!

Here's a link to an article I wrote about the narrative design for Herald:

http://gamasutra.com/blogs/NickWitsel/2 ... design.php

It goes more in depth on why we decided to make the game and where we got our inspiration from for the setting.
And I'll be sure to update the page with more info about the characters and setting in the upcoming weeks ;)

This actually brings me to a fourth question: As I mentioned before, with Herald our main inspirations were drawn from period-drama's and the story-driven gameplay brought forward by the games from Telltale, Obsidian and Bioware.
But as development continued we've ended up working on a game which has more in common (gameplay-wise) with monkey island and the visual novel genre.

4: This still being a little new for us, I was wondering if anyone here could offer me some advice as to which other communities would be interested in giving feedback on our game? :)

Cheers,

Nick

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Re: Herald [VN+Point&Click] [2D+3D] [Period-Drama] [Commerci

#6 Post by Roxie » Thu Mar 05, 2015 7:22 pm

4: I'd recommend http://www.adventuregamers.com/forums. There's a handful of devs there, but mostly fans of the adventure genre itself. I don't see a mention of any type of problem solving elements, which is what tends to get AG fans interested. Though it sounds like it might have a CYOA element, or what Telltales calls choices and consequences?
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Re: Herald [VN+Point&Click] [2D+3D] [Period-Drama] [Commerci

#7 Post by Mad Harlequin » Thu Mar 05, 2015 9:57 pm

Thanks for sharing your article, Nick! I'm glad I got a peek at your thought process.
I'm an aspiring writer and voice talent with a passion for literature and an unhealthy attachment to video games. I am also a seasoned typo-sniper. Inquiries are encouraged. Friendly chats are welcome.
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Re: Herald [VN+Point&Click] [2D+3D] [Period-Drama] [Commerci

#8 Post by underbliss » Thu Mar 05, 2015 11:35 pm

The art style is very nice, on both the 2d/3d end, plus the animated 2d portraits sound very cool (and I'm curious to see)! I'm not a guru on manga art style myself but I think it would be well enough received... there are more and more non-manga visual novel style games popping up, but either way, as Mad Harlequin mentioned you guys have a hint of a kinda manga style (subtle but there) that might help ease the manga crowd in.

I adore complex fictional worlds, and the play on cultures, customs, pulls against tradition, expectation, independence, etc. You've got plenty of room and then some for a really powerful story~

SO, I'm excited for your game and I wish your team luck!

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Re: Herald [VN+Point&Click] [2D+3D] [Period-Drama] [Commerci

#9 Post by NickW » Fri Mar 06, 2015 8:52 am

Roxie wrote:4: I'd recommend http://www.adventuregamers.com/forums. There's a handful of devs there, but mostly fans of the adventure genre itself. I don't see a mention of any type of problem solving elements, which is what tends to get AG fans interested. Though it sounds like it might have a CYOA element, or what Telltales calls choices and consequences?
Interesting suggestion! :) I was actually in contact with their editor-in-chief about an article they wrote when we announced our game: http://www.adventuregamers.com/news/view/27837

Yep, it's more CYOA in that regard, and I personally consider Telltale's games a major inspiration for myself.

PS: I really wish there was a way for me to "favorite" all your comments, thanks for all the positive feedback! :)

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Re: Herald [VN+Point&Click] [2D+3D] [Period-Drama] [Commerci

#10 Post by Cith » Fri Mar 06, 2015 8:59 am

NickW wrote: 4: This still being a little new for us, I was wondering if anyone here could offer me some advice as to which other communities would be interested in giving feedback on our game? :)
http://forums.fuwanovel.net/index.php?/ ... ve-design/

And before anybody mentions it, Fuwanovel no longer hosts torrents so they're not anti-creator or anything.
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Re: Herald [VN+Point&Click] [2D+3D] [Period-Drama] [Commerci

#11 Post by NickW » Tue Mar 10, 2015 1:49 pm

For those interested in seeing more work from us, we have a tumblr where you can follow our development:

http://heraldgame.tumblr.com/

We recently posted an article about the 2D animation:

http://heraldgame.tumblr.com/post/11317 ... nimated-2d

All our characters will be animated using Live2D, a japanese animator program designed to be used for VNs:

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Re: Herald [VN+P&C+CYOA][Period-Drama][Commercial][Demo:19/4

#12 Post by NickW » Thu Apr 02, 2015 4:33 am

Just a few updates:

-We will be releasing a Demo on the 19th of April in conjunction with our kickstarter!

-Our lead writer, Roy, also is also busy writing a blog about the design of Herald's story: http://heraldgame.tumblr.com/post/11460 ... story-blog

-Our artist, Aïda finished the 5 part "making of" for the 2D animated portraits: http://heraldgame.tumblr.com/post/11317 ... nimated-2d

-And to give you an example of how our portraits work:

Image

I'm really interested in hearing what you guys think of the moving portraits!

Do you guys know of any western Visual Novels with animated portraits?


Cheers,

Nick

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Re: Herald [VN+P&C+CYOA][Period-Drama][Commercial][Demo:19/4

#13 Post by Aviala » Fri Apr 03, 2015 5:25 pm

The portraits are the coolest thing ever, I've never seen anything like it before. I wanted animated portraits for my vn but I thought it'd be impossible with painted sprites. I won't be using the same software as you, but this has inspired to add at least some animation to my sprites if I have the time to :)

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Re: Herald [VN+P&C+CYOA][Period-Drama][Commercial][Demo:19/4

#14 Post by Mad Harlequin » Fri Apr 03, 2015 5:35 pm

I'm really impressed! I need to learn how to do this sort of thing.
I'm an aspiring writer and voice talent with a passion for literature and an unhealthy attachment to video games. I am also a seasoned typo-sniper. Inquiries are encouraged. Friendly chats are welcome.
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Re: Herald [VN+P&C+CYOA][Period-Drama][Commercial][Demo:19/4

#15 Post by NickW » Mon Apr 20, 2015 12:23 pm

And we're live! Check out our kickstarter and download the demo:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/he ... riod-drama

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If you enjoy the demo, feel free to share it and help spread the word!

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