Happy Valley High ✿ [Comedy|Slice of Life|Drama] ★DEMO OUT★

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PeroxidePrince
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Happy Valley High ✿ [Comedy|Slice of Life|Drama] ★DEMO OUT★

#1 Post by PeroxidePrince » Tue Nov 03, 2015 6:13 am

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After living in the same town for 15 years, Mimi Stokes' life is turned upside down as her father's new job lands her at an international school in the foreign land of Hong Kong.
Friendless and a little desperate for human interaction, she sees the school trip as her prime chance -- only most everyone on the trip seems caught up in some brewing teen drama plot seemingly ripped from the pages of her favourite shoujo manga stories.
When friendships are strained over Umi and Sami's feud over the oblivious Nolan, whose side will Mimi take? Will she be able to make friends in these tumultuous waters? Or will she end up rocking the boat even more?


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Happy Valley High is a light-hearted parody of Asian dramas, with a quirky cast of characters set in an international school with it's own charm.
This is a friendship game, where the player, as Mimi, can pursue 7 different characters, each with their own story line.
The "common" route will take place on the aforementioned school trip, after which the game will branch into one of the routes, focusing on that one character.

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We’re pleased to announce that Happy Valley High’s first public demo is now out!
Downloads for Windows/Mac/Linux are over here.


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At the moment, we would really appreciate any feedback you have to share on the demo!
If you're not sure what kind of feedback to leave, here are some questions:

- Which character(s) are you most interested in? Is there a reason for that?
- Do you feel like you managed to get to know each character well/equally?
- Are you interested in playing a game focused on building relationships, even if it isn't necessarily romantic?
- Was the player character likeable? Were you able to relate to her? If not, what do you think would've helped?
- Have you ever attended an international school or been an expatriate? Did this affect your playing experience?
- Is there anything in particular you really want to see in the post-demo content/individual routes?
- Did you encounter any bugs or typos in your playthrough?

Alternatively, we have also set up an anonymous survey with some of the above questions.
We will also be looking for testers for future closed testing, so do let us know if you are interested!
Last edited by PeroxidePrince on Sun Jul 09, 2017 2:39 pm, edited 8 times in total.

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Re: Happy Valley High ✿ [Friendship|Comedy|Slice of Life|Dra

#2 Post by Lumenue » Tue Nov 03, 2015 10:46 am

1) Are you interested in playing a game focused on building relationships, even if it isn't necessarily romantic in most of the routes?
Absolutely! The fact that you have a variety of characters to choose to persue a friendly relationship with really helps this, and gives the game a level of replay-ability to me.

2) Which characters are you most interested in from their description?
Cherry Lin is really cute and sounds like she'd be fun, but Umi has my complete interest.

3) On a scale of 1-10, how much does the premise of the game interest you?
Somewhere around an 8.

4) Any questions or comments?
Will the game be free, or are you planning on a commercial release? If you plan on charging for it, around how much do you plan to charge?

I'd be interested in testing out the demo once released, and overall, this looks like a really neat game with a cute art style and idea, so color me "stoked"! :wink:

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Re: Happy Valley High ✿ [Friendship|Comedy|Slice of Life|Dra

#3 Post by Apex » Tue Nov 03, 2015 9:55 pm

1. Yes. This game looks like it's going to be hella-awesome. I also liked relationship building games, I like playing RPGs with that feature somewhere in it.

2. The Lui twins seem really interesting to me. I would have never thought they were twins just by looking at them, which makes me think there will be something cool happening with them in the story.

3. Around a 6 or 7. I saw Asian Drama-parody and I was like "hmm, okay". My friends are obsessed with Korean Dramas and are trying to drag me into their madness. I'm not a fan of them, a little too over the top for my taste, but I'm sure your game will be better and less hectic than the shows I've seen.

4. Your art style is really nice and your characters are so cute. So jealous over here! D:

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Re: Happy Valley High ✿ [Friendship|Comedy|Slice of Life|Dra

#4 Post by SwedishJazz » Tue Nov 03, 2015 10:20 pm

1) Are you interested in playing a game focused on building relationships, even if it isn't necessarily romantic in most of the routes?
Yes! It's a nice change of pace.
2) Which characters are you most interested in from their description?
Can't say any of them stood out to me yet, I'll withhold judgement until I play the demo.
3) On a scale of 1-10, how much does the premise of the game interest you?
6/10; I'm not big on school dramas, but I am big on friendship.
4) Any questions or comments?
I really like the art style! It's a big selling point for me that all the characters have distinct faces and bodies.
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Re: Happy Valley High ✿ [Friendship|Comedy|Slice of Life|Dra

#5 Post by sweetstrawberry » Wed Nov 04, 2015 12:02 pm

Hello everyone and thank you for replying to our post! Your feedback really means a lot.
Lumenue wrote: 4) Any questions or comments?
Will the game be free, or are you planning on a commercial release? If you plan on charging for it, around how much do you plan to charge?
We intend to release the game for free, but the most we might do is to add a pay-what-you-want option.

Once again, thanks for replying!

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Re: Happy Valley High ✿ [Friendship|Comedy|Slice of Life|Dra

#6 Post by MilkChocoPanda » Tue Nov 24, 2015 10:03 am

1) Are you interested in playing a game focused on building relationships, even if it isn't necessarily romantic in most of the routes?
Of course! I want to be emotionally attached to characters in any way possible (hate or like them, any kind of relationship is great).
2) Which characters are you most interested in from their description?
Wyn because he sounds like a funny character, lol. I can just imagine someone talking nonstop at random times.
3) On a scale of 1-10, how much does the premise of the game interest you?
The plot doesn't appeal to me 100 percent, but I still want to play it because there's drama in there. I would say 8.
4) Any questions or comments?
Good luck!

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Re: Happy Valley High ✿ [Friendship|Comedy|Slice of Life|Dra

#7 Post by PeroxidePrince » Sat Dec 05, 2015 1:45 am

★ Progress Update ★

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We've finished quite a fair bit lately, so now all the script that's needed to go in the demo is done, as well as the background art!

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We've also tweaked the UI a little bit.
In regards to programming & putting it all together, the demo is complete & playable at the moment! We've had a few testers have a go on it so far.
I'm not too satisfied with the sprites as they are at the moment though, so I'm really considering redoing them before releasing the demo properly.
MilkChocoPanda wrote:1) Are you interested in playing a game focused on building relationships, even if it isn't necessarily romantic in most of the routes?
Of course! I want to be emotionally attached to characters in any way possible (hate or like them, any kind of relationship is great).
2) Which characters are you most interested in from their description?
Wyn because he sounds like a funny character, lol. I can just imagine someone talking nonstop at random times.
3) On a scale of 1-10, how much does the premise of the game interest you?
The plot doesn't appeal to me 100 percent, but I still want to play it because there's drama in there. I would say 8.
4) Any questions or comments?
Good luck!
Thanks a lot for your feedback!
I'm glad you're interested in Wyn. He's one of my favourites too haha
Last edited by PeroxidePrince on Sun Jul 09, 2017 2:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Happy Valley High ✿ [Friendship|Comedy|Slice of Life|Dra

#8 Post by PeroxidePrince » Mon Apr 18, 2016 12:06 pm

★ Progress Update ★
It's been a while since we last updated, but we've not abandoned this project!
We did intend for the demo to be out in December, but due to several setbacks (in particular, my tablet was broken for several months and it took a while to get that sorted rip) that didn't end up happening.
With NaNoRenO over, though, we're dedicating our game dev efforts towards Happy Valley High. We've learned a lot coming out of NaNo, so hopefully it'll help us in this game.

★ Writing
  • Sweetstrawberry is currently working on the outlines for the individual routes, and reworking some of the older storylines.
    As mentioned before, the demo will have some snippets of each individual route after the common route, but the little bits of the individual routes shown in the demo might not actually feature in the full game because of the rewrites.
★ Art
  • Regarding the sprite art, I was really unhappy with the older ones, as I've mentioned in the previous update, and I've been working on redoing all of them, and giving everyone an extra pose.
    One of the things I really liked about our NaNo project was that I drew two poses for each character, which was really nice to work with. HVH is a much longer game than our NaNo one -- just the common route stands at roughly 30k words, whereas our NaNo project being about 30k in total, so it'll be nice to have a bit more variation since players will be looking at the sprites a lot.
    At the moment, I've inked and coloured all the new sprites, and I'm currently working on shading and adding expressions.
    Here's a comparison of Mimi's sprites:
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★ Looking Forward
  • We're tentatively aiming to be done with the final game by the end of this summer. It's a lot of work, but we've learned a lot coming out of NaNoRenO, and having set deadlines in mind will probably help to motivate us! We've both got a lot of stuff going on in the latter part of the year, and having this project hang over our heads isn't something we want.
    We will be scaling the game a little down from what we originally envisioned, to make our goals more attainable. As it stands, Sweetstrawberry is aiming for about 10-15k words per individual routes. Some routes might end up having more content than others.
    Most hopefully, we'll be able to get the demo out by next month, as it's just waiting for the new sprites! (I might redo the UI at a later date, though. I'll never be satisfied, will I?)
★ Questions & Beta Tester Recruitment
  • Also, a wee question -- as the game has a lot of interaction between the characters, not just the player and an individual character, we were wondering what would be the best way to illustrate some of the more animated moments. Since drawing full CGs will be time consuming, we've been toying with the idea of having chibi cut-ins.
    We would really appreciate it if anyone would like to share their opinions of chibi cut-ins -- whether you find that they work quite well, or if you tend to be put off by them!
    Additionally, we will be looking for maybe 1-2 closed beta testers to look over the story as well as try the demo before we release it. In particular, we're really keen to get the viewpoint of someone who has not been an expatriate/attended an international school.
    Feel free to either PM me here, or tweet one of us (@juliechewley & @cavalrycaptn) if you are interested!
Last edited by PeroxidePrince on Sun Jul 09, 2017 2:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Happy Valley High ✿ [Friendship|Comedy|Slice of Life|Dra

#9 Post by gekiganwing » Mon Apr 18, 2016 5:37 pm

Glad to hear that this project is still active. I like the character designs. Not just because they are 2D drawings, but because they remind me of Nobuteru Yuki's art.
PeroxidePrince wrote:Since drawing full CGs will be time consuming, we've been toying with the idea of having chibi cut-ins.
We would really appreciate it if anyone would like to share their opinions of chibi cut-ins -- whether you find that they work quite well, or if you tend to be put off by them!
Consider whether you think they seem appropriate for your story's tone. I think they would make sense as long as your story is upbeat and humorous.
A potentially interesting comparison... Early on in Magic Knight Rayearth, the characters constantly become super deformed. In my opinion, it happened a bit too much. However, I will also praise CLAMP's story because this slowly goes away as the story becomes more serious.

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Re: Happy Valley High ✿ [Friendship|Comedy|Slice of Life|Dra

#10 Post by PeroxidePrince » Fri Apr 22, 2016 9:57 pm

gekiganwing wrote:Glad to hear that this project is still active. I like the character designs. Not just because they are 2D drawings, but because they remind me of Nobuteru Yuki's art.

Consider whether you think they seem appropriate for your story's tone. I think they would make sense as long as your story is upbeat and humorous.
A potentially interesting comparison... Early on in Magic Knight Rayearth, the characters constantly become super deformed. In my opinion, it happened a bit too much. However, I will also praise CLAMP's story because this slowly goes away as the story becomes more serious.
Thank you for your feedback! I'm happy to hear that you like the character art.
I'll take that into account! The game is pretty lighthearted in general, and we're definitely thinking of only having them for the sillier events in the game, since I agree that it doesn't seem appropriate for more serious scenes.

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Re: Happy Valley High ✿ [Friendship|Comedy|Slice of Life|Dra

#11 Post by PeroxidePrince » Tue Apr 26, 2016 9:27 am

★ Progress Update ★

I've been slowly making progress on the sprite redraws. So far, all the sprites have been inked and coloured, and I'm working on expressions now.
Here are some sprite previews for Cherry and Sami.

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Last edited by PeroxidePrince on Sun Jul 09, 2017 2:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Happy Valley High ✿ [Friendship|Comedy|Slice of Life|Dra

#12 Post by Googaboga » Tue Apr 26, 2016 2:19 pm

Aaw, this sounds really nice C:. I'm looking forward to it.

I don't know if you still want opinions, but I like chibi cut-ins for non-serious moments.

Good luck getting everything done ^^.
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Re: Happy Valley High ✿ [Friendship|Comedy|Slice of Life|Dra

#13 Post by sweetstrawberry » Wed Apr 27, 2016 2:10 am

Hello everyone~
On the writing side, we're now finalising the outlines for each of the routes for the full game. We're aiming to get them done by the end of this week, so hopefully we can start on the actual script after that!

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Re: Happy Valley High ✿ [Friendship|Comedy|Slice of Life|Dra

#14 Post by PeroxidePrince » Fri Apr 29, 2016 7:41 am

★ Progress Update ★

Dropping by with a preview of Umi's new sprites!

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Each main character has three outfits (winter, summer, school uniform) but so far we've only just been showing the new uniform sprites, so here's a preview of her other outfits as well!

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Googaboga wrote:Aaw, this sounds really nice C:. I'm looking forward to it.

I don't know if you still want opinions, but I like chibi cut-ins for non-serious moments.

Good luck getting everything done ^^.
Thanks a lot! We're still interested in getting opinions, so thanks for sharing haha.
Last edited by PeroxidePrince on Sun Jul 09, 2017 2:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Happy Valley High ✿ [Friendship|Comedy|Slice of Life|Dra

#15 Post by PeroxidePrince » Mon May 02, 2016 10:09 am

★ Progress Update ★

Quick update with two more redrawn sprites -- Nolan and Wyn this time!

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After this, only the Liu brothers are left to do and all the main character sprite redraws are done.
We'll see about secondary characters getting sprites -- they most likely will for the full game, but not so sure for the demo.

Also wanted to share that mtclothing has volunteered to contribute some chibi CGs for us.
Here's a preview of one in game!

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Last edited by PeroxidePrince on Sun Jul 09, 2017 2:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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