MechaNoid [Sci-fi][Mystery][BxB?]

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Saitoki1582
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MechaNoid [Sci-fi][Mystery][BxB?]

#1 Post by Saitoki1582 » Wed Jun 10, 2015 5:50 pm

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A story of overcoming communication barrier, earning trust and maybe find love...
Synopsis

Scholarship student Calvin is in a dilemma: He is in dire need of an assistant for his end year project. Most students in Gruvine University have a Mechanoid-a popular robot that look exactly like human- so professors always give assignments with short deadline. Being a country boy on a scholarship, he have to buy the cheapest one from the second-hand market Unfortunately, his new Mechanoid is full of flaws: speech device was broken, he can't access the internet from it, and it constantly misunderstand his orders! Now Calvin will have to try coping with a defective Mechanoid to deal with a looming end year project, bad money situation,rival problem, gaint robot attack(!?) and a sinister plot that he'd rather not be involved in.

Character

Calvin

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A scholarship student of Gruvine University - the most famous university on advanced technology. Coming from a normal family in the country, he is extremely dedicated to his study, sometime to the point of being insensitive. He doesn't care much for others as long as he get his work done. Calvin believed that Mechanoid is just a tool, that's why he get irritated and lose his patience fast when dealing with Liam-his incompetent Mechanoid.

Liam

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The second-hand Mechanoid Calvin bought. His AI was programed to be the obedient, submissive type ( personality was hard coded into the AI device so it's impossible to reprogram the Mechanoid personality), which is the main reason Calvin choose him. Liam can't talk, so the only way he could communicate is nodding or shaking his head when asked question, or show his answer on a holo screen activated by Calvin's voice. He try his best to please Calvin but often interpreting the orders wrong, and usually lament about his incompetence.
Cody
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A rich boy from the same engineering department. He is playful, love partying and is somewhat of a slacker. He find Calvin's gruff behavior interesting and offered to be his friend. He os also the one who often get Calvin and Liam in trouble .
Ethan
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Calvin's self-proclaimed rival. He was beaten by Calvin in a mini robot competition and since then constantly provoke him to compete with him with the end year project. He is a Mechanoid fantanic, and surprisingly, the one who called out on Calvin's cold treatment to Liam the most. His favorite past-time is customizing Mechanoid.

Ava
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An upper class student from the IT department, specialize in Mechanoid computing. She fix bugs, update custom driver or make special programing for other students' Mechanoid in exchange of a favor.It's rumored that she is a legendary hacker. Ethan is her regular visitor.
Minor character:
Anna
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Cody's Mechanoid, who also act as his babysitter.

Game play
This game will be pure VN with choice affecting the out come. The story is a mix of slice-of-life and mystery. I have three ending planned, 2 standard ending and 1 true end. The choices will have some romance options mixed in to unlock some scenes if you choose to romance Liam.
Progress (the dreaded part)
Plot:90%
Sprites:60%
BG:30%
Writing: 15%
Coding: 5%
GUI: 40%
CG:8%
Music: 0%


Some snap shoot:
BG:
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Gruvine University
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Lecture room
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Last updated: 7/21/2015

Some question:
-What do you think of the art?
-Does the summary intrigue you?
-Do you want BxB linked to the ending or just optional (like if you pick some choices along the way you would have additional romance scene)? (There will be a lot of bromance/borderline romance though)
-Do you have any suggestion on GUI?
Last edited by Saitoki1582 on Tue Jul 28, 2015 12:28 pm, edited 14 times in total.

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Re: MechaNoid[Sci-fi][Mystery][BxB?]

#2 Post by Kikaharu » Thu Jun 11, 2015 1:31 am

I think it's an interesting idea. First, I seen the image which I like; I tend to look at the look of the characters. Then, I read what was under the first image and then skimmed the Synopsis. Which "Most students in Gruvine University have a Mechanoid-a popular robot that look exactly like human" is what caught my attention and I was like okay got to read the whole thing. I didn't have to read the whole thing though because just by the little under the image and that line already was like okay I'm going to follow this.

I tend to be quick at deciding if I' going to follow a visual novel or game, or if I'm not going to. The ones I have followed that are finished, I tend to really like so I think I'm good at deciding what I like for a visual novel or a game. But there are people with different opinions on everything so I can't choose for them. But I'll be following this and hopefully you will be able to finish it sometime. :)

Also "That's all I got at the moment, please let me know what you think of the concept so far! I planned to use the header image as game menu background, but I probably have to rethink about the text. Everyone else have got so nice logos..."

I actually like the look of it. It has its own uniqueness to it. At first, I was a bit confused at it because I was staring at it and my brain wasn't registering that the guy is upside down. But I think that was my brain just being wonky. Haha anyways I do hope that you finish this sometime and I'll be following :)

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Re: MechaNoid[Sci-fi][Mystery][BxB?]

#3 Post by Steamgirl » Thu Jun 11, 2015 7:03 am

I love the look AND sound of this game! The art is really nice, and the mechanoid story really draws me in.

I always love stories about robots/androids and their creators/owners. What I really like about this one is that the mechanoid is second hand and needs repair. It gives the mechanoid a past that is not easily discovered. Perhaps he has a sad past. It makes me wonder questions like: Why was he sold in the first place? Why is his speech broken - did someone do it on purpose?

I have to be honest, I'm not in love with the protagonist based on what I know of him (his rival sounds more likeable), but I can see that this gives him scope to grow and become a better person.

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Re: MechaNoid[Sci-fi][Mystery][BxB?]

#4 Post by Saitoki1582 » Thu Jun 11, 2015 4:13 pm

@kikaharu
Thank you, I'm glad you found the art and concept appealing. This story forcus heavily on interaction between two characters with incompatible personality and communication barrier between them, and of course these is also action but I really don't want to spoil them. The human-robot theme is actually overused, and there is also bxb so I didn't expect much interest.

@Steamgirl
Thanks! actually the robot -master theme was overused, but I really want to make my own take on it. I purposely designed the protagonist like that to show another perspective. As technology develop, there are people who embrace it, hate it or be apathetic to it. The protagonist doesn't hate mechanoid, but he see them as machine. His rival is charmed by them and treat them like human, it is a matter of persective. Calvin is not cruel, but he is apathetic. Of course it's his personality flaw, and will be addressed later.
As for Liam's past, it will be revealed in the true end, so no spoilers for now :D

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Re: MechaNoid[Sci-fi][Mystery][BxB?]

#5 Post by Kikaharu » Thu Jun 11, 2015 4:23 pm

Saitoki1582 wrote:@kikaharu
Thank you, I'm glad you found the art and concept appealing. This story forcus heavily on interaction between two characters with incompatible personality and communication barrier between them, and of course these is also action but I really don't want to spoil them. The human-robot theme is actually overused, and there is also bxb so I didn't expect much interest.
You didn't think bxb theme has much interested? O.O I think a lot of people like it. Well maybe that's all my friends I know haha. But I think a lot are interested in it than you think.

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Re: MechaNoid[Sci-fi][Mystery][BxB?]

#6 Post by Saitoki1582 » Sat Jun 13, 2015 10:20 am

Updated finished character sprite, more character will come soon.

@Kikaharu
Well, BxB is kind of a niche inside the VN niche, people in lemma is more likely to make it optional, I think. I know there is an audience for it though, otherwise I wouldn't make so much BxB XD. The first VN I read is an BxB, it really inspirit me and that's the reason I look for Ren'py in the first place.

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Re: MechaNoid [Sci-fi][Mystery][BxB?]

#7 Post by YuukiCrossPudding » Sat Jun 13, 2015 10:55 am

I really like the concept and art! <33 they're lovely!
and for BxB, there'a lot, a lot of BxB fans out there //shivers
Liam character seems interesting, and since he can't talk, looking forward to see how they'll interact with that problem
at first I thought it's vocaloid Len lol
Will be rooting for this project! Can't wait to see more of it soon!

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Re: MechaNoid [Sci-fi][Mystery][BxB?]

#8 Post by Saitoki1582 » Sat Jun 13, 2015 11:21 am

Thanks! I'm glad you liked it. I'm trying to get the sprites and some BGs done, this game is really a challenge to draw.
As for Liam interaction... There will be a lot of expression reaction sprites, and nodding/shaking animation, and hand reaction... Drawing them will be a tedious chore XD.
Len? I actually didn't think about him, more about Miku's hand warmer/sleeves (what robot/android wouldn't have them? it's a crime!), but now I did notice an overwhelming yellow

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Re: MechaNoid [Sci-fi][Mystery][BxB?]

#9 Post by Saitoki1582 » Wed Jun 17, 2015 7:14 am

So I have been fiddling with GUI lately, it's really hard and I wanted to make something simple but fit the story theme.
I decided to make 'a gear around a heart' as Mechanoid symbol (aka a machine with a heart), and have them printed somewhere on a Mechanoid's body to show that they are not human.

Image

I'm no designer and this is my first time making custom GUI so some suggestion would be greatly appreciated. I wanted to make it simple but I'm worried it look too rough and plain. I will post a shoot of config window when I'm done with it.

Image

Here is a mock screenshoot of the text box. The textbox color seemed to mesh with the background. I tried to make the color darker but then it look dull. Other backgrounds will have a lot of blue and white, but this one is the most problematic, as I wanted the text box to look nice with every background. Maybe modify it after making every background art would help. Any suggestion would be appreciated!

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Re: MechaNoid [Sci-fi][Mystery][BxB?]

#10 Post by P_Nova » Wed Jun 17, 2015 4:31 pm

I'm not an expert too but it seems your GUI is not out of the norm. The main screen looks good and you created a color chart for your GUI which is always a good idea.

For the background of the text box, transparency is quite usual and efficient... If you wanna do a "hard" background, I think you may rethink the whole design ! (It would something closed and representing something...)

As long as the text is clearly seen, that the background creates enough contrast with the text for an easy reading, I think it's good !
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Re: MechaNoid [Sci-fi][Mystery][BxB?]

#11 Post by Lesleigh63 » Wed Jun 17, 2015 9:02 pm

I like the art and the GUI design (the clean look of the GUI suits the type of art you have in my opinion).
I also like BxB and the sound of the story.
Image

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Re: MechaNoid [Sci-fi][Mystery][BxB?]

#12 Post by Saitoki1582 » Fri Jul 10, 2015 9:50 pm

It has been a while! I have just finished my exam and can fully concentrate on this game now.

Here is another BG, futuristic scenery is terribly hard to draw and I don't have much BG drawing experience, so comment would be appreciated.

Image

Here is a progress shot of Ava:
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Sketch of Cody and Ethan are still in the work but they are too messy to be posted now ^^!
Lesleigh63 wrote:I like the art and the GUI design (the clean look of the GUI suits the type of art you have in my opinion).
I also like BxB and the sound of the story.
Thanks, I liked a simple look too, but I'm still thinking about how big the game screen would be. It kind of look OK in smaller window but feel a bit rough when I make the game window bigger. I guess I have to do some more research on GUI.
P_Nova wrote:I'm not an expert too but it seems your GUI is not out of the norm. The main screen looks good and you created a color chart for your GUI which is always a good idea.

For the background of the text box, transparency is quite usual and efficient... If you wanna do a "hard" background, I think you may rethink the whole design ! (It would something closed and representing something...)

As long as the text is clearly seen, that the background creates enough contrast with the text for an easy reading, I think it's good !
By background, I mean the scenery background (school, room...). I think you mistaken it for the color of the text box. Text box color is transparent, so I have to consider the color harmony between background art and text box.
Here is the adjusted text box, for example:
Image
The text can be read clearly, even when the university background is mostly white. But I'm worried the orange color of the text box clash too much with the blue of the university, or too similar to the color of Calvin's room. I tried putting a white outline to fix it, but not sure if it will work.

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Re: MechaNoid [Sci-fi][Mystery][BxB?]

#13 Post by Reikun » Sat Jul 11, 2015 12:43 am

-What do you think of the art?
I think the art is great so far :) I especially like the bg you did of the university! I think it looks great even though you said it was difficult to do!! Good job on it.

-Does the summary intrigue you?
Calvin's personality doesn't interest me much (I just personally don't really like the character type who disregards other people >__>;;; ) but I'm looking forward to know more about this giant robot attack.

-Do you want BxB linked to the ending or just optional (like if you pick some choices along the way you would have additional romance scene)? (There will be a lot of bromance/borderline romance though)
I'm happy with whichever implementation serves the story best :) If the romance feels forced when it's tied to an ending it might be better to just leave it optional, for example. I trust your judgement on which one is better for your story! ^0^

-Do you have any suggestion on GUI
I have a really boring suggestion... Have you tried to make the GUI color black? haha :'D Feel free to disregard if you're trying to avoid black. You may want to try just editing the hue/sat/lum until it looks good? I would put all your bgs in one file and hide/show the layers with different colored textboxes to see what fits best. (but yeah it'll be easier to decide when you have more bgs done too....)

Good work on everything so far!! I'm looking forward to this :)
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Re: MechaNoid [Sci-fi][Mystery][BxB?]

#14 Post by 78909087 » Sat Jul 11, 2015 3:10 am

-What do you think of the art?

I actually think your background of the university is what kept me reading! It's really good! Your sprites eyes look a little plastic to me (maybe because I'm used to characters looking at the screen) and Liam looks pretty tensed up. Is he meant to be?
Something that struck me as odd in the room bg you displayed is the purple walls. I don't know why but they seem to clash with the other colours to me.

-Does the summary intrigue you?

I'm sure curious how this will end up BxB, and I'm all about giant robot attacks, so I'm throwing my opinion in to keep updated ;)

-Do you want BxB linked to the ending or just optional (like if you pick some choices along the way you would have additional romance scene)? (There will be a lot of bromance/borderline romance though)

I'm all for BxB honestly (the two projects I'm working on right now are both varying levels of the stuff) but if you feel like it isn't an integral piece of the story, then you should feel free to create a BL-free version.
I agree with Reikun, if the romance seems forced to be tied to the ending, then it might just be better as optional.
It is your decision in the end, but try not to do anything just because you feel like other people would 'prefer' it.
Create and tell the story you want to. Appealing to the market is secondary.

-Do you have any suggestion on GUI

Actually, I really like your idea with the orange, but I would suggest making it a more earthy tone. (Like rust!)
The darker a colour is, the less likely it is to clash with other colours. (I think). Ultimately, you have created a visually effective display, and I like your main menu a lot.
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Re: MechaNoid [Sci-fi][Mystery][BxB?]

#15 Post by Saitoki1582 » Sat Jul 11, 2015 2:17 pm

Everyone, thank you for your helpful feedback! Especially on the text box, I really appreciated your input.
Reikun wrote:-What do you think of the art?
I think the art is great so far :) I especially like the bg you did of the university! I think it looks great even though you said it was difficult to do!! Good job on it.

-Does the summary intrigue you?
Calvin's personality doesn't interest me much (I just personally don't really like the character type who disregards other people >__>;;; ) but I'm looking forward to know more about this giant robot attack.

-Do you want BxB linked to the ending or just optional (like if you pick some choices along the way you would have additional romance scene)? (There will be a lot of bromance/borderline romance though)
I'm happy with whichever implementation serves the story best :) If the romance feels forced when it's tied to an ending it might be better to just leave it optional, for example. I trust your judgement on which one is better for your story! ^0^

-Do you have any suggestion on GUI
I have a really boring suggestion... Have you tried to make the GUI color black? haha :'D Feel free to disregard if you're trying to avoid black. You may want to try just editing the hue/sat/lum until it looks good? I would put all your bgs in one file and hide/show the layers with different colored textboxes to see what fits best. (but yeah it'll be easier to decide when you have more bgs done too....)

Good work on everything so far!! I'm looking forward to this :)
Thank you! That BG took me a few days to draw, it really required patience. I'm glad it was well received, as many events of the story will happen in the school. Actually there are still many difficult scenery but that was one of the hardest. I want this story to have special scenery because there will be a lot of would bulding and
there is even explanation why Calvin's room looks so down to earth, it's plot relevant
Actually, the ending was set and it's not that romantic, but I planned some romance (or pre-romance) on the way. I just wanted to see what people like for future reference. I don't like forced romance either, but I really like the borderline romance bromance theme XD, and that will be present throughout the story.

I knew that I purposely make Calvin an ass a not really nice guy, but didn't expect him to be that unlikeable, wow. I guess I should try to get a demo out soon to get more feedback on his character.

About the text box, black was actually a good idea! It fit with all kind of color and is good for presenting text. I'm thinking of incorporating both black and orange-red for the text box, will post it up when I get a proper idea.

Again thanks for the input,it was really helpful!
78909087 wrote:-What do you think of the art?

I actually think your background of the university is what kept me reading! It's really good! Your sprites eyes look a little plastic to me (maybe because I'm used to characters looking at the screen) and Liam looks pretty tensed up. Is he meant to be?
Something that struck me as odd in the room bg you displayed is the purple walls. I don't know why but they seem to clash with the other colours to me.

-Does the summary intrigue you?

I'm sure curious how this will end up BxB, and I'm all about giant robot attacks, so I'm throwing my opinion in to keep updated ;)

-Do you want BxB linked to the ending or just optional (like if you pick some choices along the way you would have additional romance scene)? (There will be a lot of bromance/borderline romance though)

I'm all for BxB honestly (the two projects I'm working on right now are both varying levels of the stuff) but if you feel like it isn't an integral piece of the story, then you should feel free to create a BL-free version.
I agree with Reikun, if the romance seems forced to be tied to the ending, then it might just be better as optional.
It is your decision in the end, but try not to do anything just because you feel like other people would 'prefer' it.
Create and tell the story you want to. Appealing to the market is secondary.

-Do you have any suggestion on GUI

Actually, I really like your idea with the orange, but I would suggest making it a more earthy tone. (Like rust!)
The darker a colour is, the less likely it is to clash with other colours. (I think). Ultimately, you have created a visually effective display, and I like your main menu a lot.
Thanks for the feedback! That university BG was something I made through a lot of trial and error, glad that it came out alright. As for the character eyes, maybe because it was a faraway shoot? I will post some close up faces later so everyone can inspect them.

About Liam stance, because he is a robot, I want his first sprite to be in a neutral pose. Unlike human, he didn't have 'habit' (arm crossing, arm on the hip...) at first, so the best neutral pose is with his hands at his side with no expression. Also that neutral pose will help easy the process of drawing hand pose (if he was crossing his arm, to get more hand pose I would have to redraw his chest where the crossed arm was, making the redraw process harder)

Yep the wall bugged me too. Since you have mention it, now I can be certain that it's not just me being OCD (I have the habit of obsessively revising stuff and is trying to get out of it to get thing done). Here is the revised version.
Image
As for the textbox, I'm thinking of a way to keep the text box style and look persistent. Thank you for all the helpful feedback, I appreciated it :D

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