Refinery [KN][Slice of Life/Drama][Magical Realism][2ndDemo]

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Feral Phoenix
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Refinery [KN][Slice of Life/Drama][Magical Realism][2ndDemo]

#1 Post by Feral Phoenix » Tue Aug 04, 2015 5:26 pm

Story
Nineteen-year-old artist Kouro Tomomi is bored and restless. She’s tired of life in her small, slow-moving Hokkaido hometown. But her plans to study at a prestigious art college and break into the architectural and landscape design field were sidelined by a rude shock that impacted her on both a mental and physical level. Treading the worn path of routine at her parents’ house and her part-time job at a local home and gardening store, she feels frozen in place, trapped—that it’s still too early for anyone to buy her services landscaping is not helping.

But then one day early in May, a strange young man calling himself Kuro Daiya comes to Tomomi’s workplace. Everything from his hair to his beloved motorcycle stands out a mile in this town. And early in the season though it may be, he has his heart set on setting up a garden for his new house—

Characters
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Screenshots
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Some Background
I've been working on Refinery for a completely obscene amount of time (I started writing the story in 2010, and made the first alpha demo in Ren'Py in 2012), but now that I've finished my RPG Maker game Uncommon Time, I'm hoping to be able to devote more time to it and get it out by the end of 2015 - spring 2016. Nearly all the writing is complete; I just have to draw all the remaining assets and program the game.

This game will be comprised of a short novel-length main story (~45k, complete) plus two unlockable short stories (~10k, complete; ~6k, also complete). The main story's focus is on male/female friendship and mental illness recovery, not romance.

You can download the demo from here if you'd like to get a feel for what the writing and art are like (I actually made a demo topic here last year too). You can also find concept art and a few more screenshots on my art blog (tagged by character: Tomomi, Daiya, Shiu, Natsuko).

I've got a working music room and would like to incorporate a CG gallery too if I can--I'm not a proficient coder--but I don't plan to mess with the UI much (or at all) (I'm NOT a proficient coder), at least for now. I'd mostly just like to focus on finishing this dang game; I can always make version updates later. :'|

The background image for Tomomi's bedroom was drawn by charmwitch, and Carrogath has helped me figure out Coding 4 Dummies. I've mostly used free music (*CAMeLIA*, Amacha Music Atelier, Presence of Music, Rengoku Teien, Senses Circuit, Ongaku no Tamago, Ramine, H/MIX Gallery, Sildra Company, Maoudamashii, Hagall, this list will probably get longer later), but this game does feature a couple original BGM by 3x3holic.

Progress (I will keep updating this bit)
Overall: 100%
Refinery (main story): 100% complete. 9/9 segments complete and coded.
-Writing: 100% complete.
-CGs (including variations): 100% complete. (64/64)
-BGs: 100% complete. (15/15)
-Sprites: 100% complete. (36/36)
Landscape: 100% complete. 4/4 segments complete and coded.
-Writing: 100% complete.
-CGs (including variations): 100% complete. (28/28)
-BGs: 100% complete. (2/2)
-Sprites: 100% complete. (16/16)
For Us All: 100% complete. 3/3 segments complete and coded.
-Writing: 100% complete.
-CGs (including variations): 100% complete. (12/12)
-BGs: 100% complete. (7/7)
-Sprites (including variations): 100% complete. (17/17)

And So
Talking to other people about my in-progress stuff helps me stay motivated, so after a lot of back-and forth with Carrogath to the effect of "I should start a WIP thread for Refinery" "yes you should, go do it", here I am. Do you have any thoughts or questions about the story/characters/worldbuilding/whatever? Any recommendations for really basic/easy gallery help?

Any encouragement or interest helps. Thanks for your time!


ETA 8/31/15;
Changed the GUI a little, so I've replaced the screenshots to reflect that! The demo version still uses the default GUI.

ETA 9/11/15;
Fixed the main screen GUI too! \o/ The demo version still uses the default GUI.

ETA 12/01/15;
NEW DEMO (v0.36) RELEASED. This demo covers up through day 3 of the main story and includes the new GUI changes. You can get that here.

ETA 9/27/16;
This project is not dead yet. My hope is to have at least the main story assets finished and coded by the end of 2016.

ETA 4/14/18;
Partial release is currently out; am trying to finish the whole thing within this year.
Last edited by Feral Phoenix on Sat Jul 07, 2018 9:31 am, edited 60 times in total.
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Re: Refinery [KN][Slice of Life/Drama][Magical Realism]

#2 Post by Heiden » Thu Aug 06, 2015 8:46 pm

This looks really cute!

The "magical realism" tag caught my eye, so I'm excited to see what sort of magical things will happen in the story!

I really like Kuro and Hiki's designs, they're very cute! (All the art is super cute~)

I haven't played the demo yet, but I'll play it this weekend and get back to you with my thoughts! :D
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All available to play on my itch.io page!

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Re: Refinery [KN][Slice of Life/Drama][Magical Realism]

#3 Post by Laniessa » Fri Aug 07, 2015 8:13 am

I loved the demo when I played it a while back, I'm glad to see it's being worked on fully again. (I might also be downloading Uncommon Time right now, ahah.) I really love how vibrant and distinctive your art is!

In the case of coding, questions generally go here, and the people tend to respond really fast? Otherwise, there's a lot of stuff in the cookbook - maybe this guide on customizing the textbox, this on customizing menus, this on screen language might help? I would love to answer your questions directly but I honestly don't know much about coding, sorry!

Anyway - I'm really looking forward to the game, good luck!

edit: Oh, I found this in the documentation - maybe it'll make sense for you? ;;;

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Re: Refinery [KN][Slice of Life/Drama][Magical Realism]

#4 Post by Feral Phoenix » Fri Aug 07, 2015 9:26 pm

@Heiden:

Thank you! I hope you enjoy the demo when you get the chance to try it ;w;/

@Laniessa:

aaaa thank you! (YES play uncommon time do it do it) (these nerds even get to show up in it!)

And thank you for the links! Somehow I managed to miss the bit about utilizing custom backgrounds in the documentation when I last checked; I've got a (potentially temporary) image in place now ;a; Attached file is a sample screenshot with the new UI.
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Tragic Muppets (RPG Maker VX Ace) | The Gaol of Eternity (RPG Maker XP) | I Wished For (RPG Maker VX Ace) | Gathering the Magic (RPG Maker VX Ace) | Rainy Drop (RPG Maker VX Ace)

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Re: Refinery [KN][Slice of Life/Drama][Magical Realism]

#5 Post by Carrogath » Wed Aug 12, 2015 8:28 pm

Feral!

I said I was gonna reply to this so here I am. I've gotta read the whole thing through once you're done with it; it's so long and there's lots of little ideas and things packed into the writing, it's hard to get it in bits and pieces, haha... Even though we're not going to see her in person for a long time, I am excited for Natsuko, esp. since we mostly just see her as this, like, weird blur of flashbacks and complicated feelings from Tomomi's perspective. Shiu is fun but because of [spoilers], I feel bad for her. :'D So goofy, and yet so... Nngh.

The mystery continues with Daiya! His relationship with Tomomi is shaping up to be a lot of fun, and with all the weird magical things that are bound to happen, it's going to be even more fun lol.
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Re: Refinery [KN][Slice of Life/Drama][Magical Realism]

#6 Post by Feral Phoenix » Fri Aug 14, 2015 9:56 pm

Haha, thanks for your thoughts! I'm glad you're enjoying Tomomi and Daiya's friendship and Shiu's antics... I'm impatient to actually get to Natsuko too.
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Tragic Muppets (RPG Maker VX Ace) | The Gaol of Eternity (RPG Maker XP) | I Wished For (RPG Maker VX Ace) | Gathering the Magic (RPG Maker VX Ace) | Rainy Drop (RPG Maker VX Ace)

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Re: Refinery [KN][Slice of Life/Drama][Magical Realism][W/De

#7 Post by Feral Phoenix » Wed Sep 09, 2015 12:48 pm

Finished all the CGs for day 6 of the main story! Also went ahead and coded all of day 6 in except for the sprites (which still need to be drawn anyway whoops). Once that's done I'll be able to update the overall completion percentage, though, so...

Since this part of the story's difficult to screencap without giving anything away, I'm just gonna stick some concept art in this post instead haha...

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Tragic Muppets (RPG Maker VX Ace) | The Gaol of Eternity (RPG Maker XP) | I Wished For (RPG Maker VX Ace) | Gathering the Magic (RPG Maker VX Ace) | Rainy Drop (RPG Maker VX Ace)

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Re: Refinery [KN][Slice of Life/Drama][Magical Realism][W/De

#8 Post by Fox Lee » Wed Sep 09, 2015 7:43 pm

I may be wrong, but the use of "college" strikes me as a bit of an Americanism here. I'm no expert on Japan, but my understanding is that (much like here) the place to study art or architecture would be university, not college.

Otherwise, really cute! I like your style - it's very anime-ish, but distinctive as well. And the use of full scenes behind NVL-mode dialogue strikes as being a really good idea - sort of more like a picture book than a game. I like it!
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Re: Refinery [KN][Slice of Life/Drama][Magical Realism][W/De

#9 Post by Feral Phoenix » Thu Sep 10, 2015 12:20 am

I may be wrong, but the use of "college" strikes me as a bit of an Americanism here. I'm no expert on Japan, but my understanding is that (much like here) the place to study art or architecture would be university, not college.
I am American and so, yes, I am going to be using American English lmao... :')

There are actually technical and specialized high schools in Japan too alongside liberal arts/college (university) prep ones, but I don't think that's what you're asking about, right? Where I'm from the terms college and university are more or less interchangeable (though "college" is more general-use) and both refer to the place you can go after graduating from high school. These are almost exclusively referred to as 大学 in Japan (with some exceptions in the case of, say, vocational schools); and 大学 can be translated as either "college" or "university" depending on what dialect of English you speak. That's where Tomomi would be right now if not for events in-story (I'm not sure if you're already aware, but the school year starts in April in Japan; Tomomi's birthday is more or less right after the cutoff line for where she would have been included in the earlier school year, which is why she's 19 already even though she should be just starting her first college/university year).

Tomomi was enrolled in (and wound up not going to) an unspecified 美術大学, i.e. art college/university! (i.e., yes, I did do my research to double- and triple-check that I wasn't getting the Japanese higher education system hideously wrong as is the wont of so many well-meaning Westerners.)

Otherwise, really cute! I like your style - it's very anime-ish, but distinctive as well. And the use of full scenes behind NVL-mode dialogue strikes as being a really good idea - sort of more like a picture book than a game. I like it!
Thanks! NVL is a loooot friendlier with my writing style than ADV since I'm pretty long-winded (see: above). Also I feel as though I've played/gotten more invested in more NVL games (Type-Moon and 07th Expansion's stuff, say) than ADV ones. So I'm just more used to that kind of style for visual novels, and NVL is what comes to mind when I hear the phrase "visual novel" too, haha...
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Tragic Muppets (RPG Maker VX Ace) | The Gaol of Eternity (RPG Maker XP) | I Wished For (RPG Maker VX Ace) | Gathering the Magic (RPG Maker VX Ace) | Rainy Drop (RPG Maker VX Ace)

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Re: Refinery [KN][Slice of Life/Drama][Magical Realism][W/De

#10 Post by BerryB » Thu Sep 10, 2015 1:04 am

This is pretty amazing and I look forward to see how the development in this tale goes. Its reassuring to see someone create a story about passion and motivation. c:

My suggestion for UI is probably something simple yet unique to the story. I can't give any recommendations per-se.. but something green or pink could be a good base color to start with. But it looks nice so far though. Good luck with later developments.

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Re: Refinery [KN][Slice of Life/Drama][Magical Realism][W/De

#11 Post by Feral Phoenix » Thu Sep 10, 2015 1:11 pm

This is pretty amazing and I look forward to see how the development in this tale goes. Its reassuring to see someone create a story about passion and motivation. c:
Thank you! It makes me really happy whenever anyone says this kind of thing, honestly; it's super gratifying. Adjustment disorder (what Tomomi's got) sucks and has the potential to screw you over just as badly as regular depression, and recovery stories are some of my favorite things to read and to write.

My suggestion for UI is probably something simple yet unique to the story. I can't give any recommendations per-se.. but something green or pink could be a good base color to start with. But it looks nice so far though. Good luck with later developments.
I'll take your suggestion into consideration, thanks!
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Uncommon Time (RPG Maker VX Ace) | Refinery (Ren'Py) | The Sullen Boku Girls Alliance (RPG Maker VX Ace)
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The Witch-in-Training and the Magic Seal (RPG Maker VX Ace - illustration, English translation)
Translated
Tragic Muppets (RPG Maker VX Ace) | The Gaol of Eternity (RPG Maker XP) | I Wished For (RPG Maker VX Ace) | Gathering the Magic (RPG Maker VX Ace) | Rainy Drop (RPG Maker VX Ace)

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Re: Refinery [KN][Slice of Life/Drama][Magical Realism][W/De

#12 Post by Feral Phoenix » Sun Sep 13, 2015 8:39 pm

[Redacted]'s sprites are complete! All that's left to do for Day 6 is to finish the rest of the new sprites and code them in. So close... TT____TT

I've also converted the main menu and save/load/preferences navigation to imagemaps! I'm going to at least give the quit yes/no screen its own unique imagemap too. The title screen image in the top post now reflects the new menu.

No screenshots again this time, so... here is more concept art:

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Early image of Tomomi's alma mater's girls' uniforms

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More or less accurate height chart, minus Natsuko


ETA 9/14/15;
All backgrounds for the main story are done!!!
My Games Hub Page
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Uncommon Time (RPG Maker VX Ace) | Refinery (Ren'Py) | The Sullen Boku Girls Alliance (RPG Maker VX Ace)
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The Witch-in-Training and the Magic Seal (RPG Maker VX Ace - illustration, English translation)
Translated
Tragic Muppets (RPG Maker VX Ace) | The Gaol of Eternity (RPG Maker XP) | I Wished For (RPG Maker VX Ace) | Gathering the Magic (RPG Maker VX Ace) | Rainy Drop (RPG Maker VX Ace)

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Re: Refinery [KN][Slice of Life/Drama][Magical Realism][2ndD

#13 Post by Feral Phoenix » Tue Dec 01, 2015 11:10 pm

Okay, oh my god.

I'm still alive (mostly, I think), and still working on this project--in fact I've only got 13 CGs and 7 sprites left until all the main story's assets are complete! After that there will just be a lot of coding.

Meanwhile, I've released a new demo that covers more of the story and also includes the mostly-custom GUI I've incorporated recently. Please take a look at that if you're so inclined! You can get it here. Extra feedback and/or cheerleading is appreciated.
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Uncommon Time (RPG Maker VX Ace) | Refinery (Ren'Py) | The Sullen Boku Girls Alliance (RPG Maker VX Ace)
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The Witch-in-Training and the Magic Seal (RPG Maker VX Ace - illustration, English translation)
Translated
Tragic Muppets (RPG Maker VX Ace) | The Gaol of Eternity (RPG Maker XP) | I Wished For (RPG Maker VX Ace) | Gathering the Magic (RPG Maker VX Ace) | Rainy Drop (RPG Maker VX Ace)

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Re: Refinery [KN][Slice of Life/Drama][Magical Realism][2ndD

#14 Post by Karl_C » Tue Dec 08, 2015 10:25 am

Feral Phoenix wrote:Meanwhile, I've released a new demo that covers more of the story and also includes the mostly-custom GUI I've incorporated recently. Please take a look at that if you're so inclined! You can get it here. Extra feedback and/or cheerleading is appreciated.
Just curious: How to download the Linux version? The download link doesn't seem to work for me?

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Re: Refinery [KN][Slice of Life/Drama][Magical Realism][2ndD

#15 Post by Feral Phoenix » Wed Dec 30, 2015 7:48 pm

Karl_C wrote:
Feral Phoenix wrote:Meanwhile, I've released a new demo that covers more of the story and also includes the mostly-custom GUI I've incorporated recently. Please take a look at that if you're so inclined! You can get it here. Extra feedback and/or cheerleading is appreciated.
Just curious: How to download the Linux version? The download link doesn't seem to work for me?
ahh sorry it's taken me so long to reply! I probably hit the bandwidth limit on my box account; if it still hasn't rolled over adequately, I have a dropbox mirror up now too.
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Uncommon Time (RPG Maker VX Ace) | Refinery (Ren'Py) | The Sullen Boku Girls Alliance (RPG Maker VX Ace)
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The Witch-in-Training and the Magic Seal (RPG Maker VX Ace - illustration, English translation)
Translated
Tragic Muppets (RPG Maker VX Ace) | The Gaol of Eternity (RPG Maker XP) | I Wished For (RPG Maker VX Ace) | Gathering the Magic (RPG Maker VX Ace) | Rainy Drop (RPG Maker VX Ace)

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