The Story of Us [ GxB/G | Fantasy | Action ][ GUI Preview ]

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Kumiho
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The Story of Us [ GxB/G | Fantasy | Action ][ GUI Preview ]

#1 Post by Kumiho » Fri Jan 29, 2016 6:28 am

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        • Recommended for ages 15+
          Trigger Warnings: amputation, blood (minor gore), technical cannibalism, murder, torture, swearing
          The main character is not and will not be guiltless throughout the entire vn.

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Art Credit
Thanks so much to the amazing YuukiCrossPudding, who very generously offered to draw the sprites for Cognitive Dissonance! Everyone send her hugs and thank-you messages! Just kidding. Please don't spam her, that's rude. In the picture above are sketches for Hans, Alys, Narsiq, and Lena respectively. :) The art is gorgeous!

Hans Lavarre
Hans is the one-armed spider lily who rescues Alys in the beginning of the story. He was very close to Alys when they were children, but he left without a trace seven years ago shortly after his parents died on a hunting trip. Although time has made him callous and cryptic, he is still a warm, chipper man at heart who enjoys nothing more than a good laugh.

Lena Saramne
A human girl with an intense hatred for demons to the extent that many of her comments are reprobate at best. Even while terrified, she remains poised, calculating, and graceful, and she never ceases to deliver snark after snark. However, she is physically weak and slow, even in comparison to other, typical humans. In comparison to spider lilies, she is less than nothing. Her true talent stems from her intelligence and broad knowledge, especially regarding weapons of indirect combat. Lena is very secretive regarding her past, and she seems to have scars on her body that she is desperate never to show.

Narsiq Mazhari
Narsiq is an eighteen year old spy for Garden. He doubles as one of the most acknowledged knights of Sagua's royal army, which has been temporarily relegated as a group for the most powerful of demon-slayers by the queen herself. Rumors abound that he will be promoted to co-captain within the next decade. He is currently on a temporary leave to "visit his home town". Narsiq is Machiavellian but emotional and hot-tempered. It was inevitable that he partake in a series of atrocities to rise to his position and level of respect in Sagua, and while he'd commit them again and again if necessary, there's a part of him that hates himself for his actions and inactions.



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Current Status
Scripting the General Route + Plotting Hans' Route
  • Will desperately seek CG Artist once outlining is 100% done
  • Lowkey looking for more editors... will actively search for editors come ~April
  • Always looking for idea bouncers & people to fangirl with :3

Progress
Plot Construction: DONE!
Plot Detailing: General Route: DONE! | The Story of Vengeance: n/a | The Story of Escapism: n/a | The Story of Nihilism: n/a
Scripting: 1/5 done with General Route (~1/20 done with entire VN)
Sprites: In progress! Thanks much to YuukiCrossPudding <33
CG Art: Soon to look for an artist willing and able to draw violent scenes of a graphic nature & gxg romance
GUI: On hold
Music: On hold
Miscellaneous Coding: On hold


Features
Three Routes Based on Allegiance
Do you choose to side with the humans or the spider lilies? Are you too hesitant for either?
Three Romanceable Characters
The route and your resulting actions result in romance with one of the characters, rather than the vice versa.
As such, romantic scenes are sadly negligible until about the middle of the individual routes.
I'm a fangirl at heart, though, so once the romance will be established, scenes will be saccharine.

Six to Eight Endings
I have eight endings planned out, but I may not be able to implement all of them
due to time/money constraints.

Freeware. Otherwise known as donateware.
Totally not because beggars can't be choosers.


Basic Goals
Finish Diagramming Routes: March~June 2016
Finish Scripting General Route: February 2016
Finish Scripting Branched Routes: October~November 2016
Release VN♥: No later than December 2016


Questions
What's your opinion on the plot? How do you think it could be improved?
How do you feel about the endings? Should they be happier? I mean, this IS an otome
How do you feel about VNs with "darker" scenes?
They're fairly relevant to the plot, but I could always use vague descriptions/euphemisms/timeskips instead of detailed scenes & CGs.
Do you have any complaints regarding the thread layout?
e.g., should I make the plot description's font bigger?
How do you guys feel about endings that are of substantial length?
That is, each ending would be about a fifth or fourth of a single playthrough, with "choices" no longer making ending-related decisions once it's chosen
How do you guys feel about the love interests based on the little information you have?


Dev Blog
I now have a Tumblr specifically for VN development news / progress / etc! This thread will only be updated with super major topics/news, while the Tumblr will be filled with as much info as I feel justified spamming people with :) It's my side blog, and sometimes I accidentally reblog to it instead of to my personal, but I'm trying my best not to! Any accidental posts are deleted ASAP. Click "Dev Blog" to go there! Plsfollowmang attention feeds me



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Last edited by Kumiho on Wed Feb 24, 2016 3:13 am, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: The Story of Us [ GxB/G | Fantasy | Action | Psychologic

#2 Post by KiloTango » Fri Jan 29, 2016 8:17 am

This sounds really cool. The intro-blurb is really evocative and the design style and sprite work look great.

The plot is interesting, and I like the idea of having to fake amnesia. I don't really mind things being dark, if it's what the plot needs. Same for sad endings. (I'm not a fan of gore being done just to be gory but when it serves the story and mood it can be really effective.) If you're worried you could always use a switch to turn that stuff off for people who don't like it: it takes a little extra writing to give them the less graphic alternatives but that way you can cover both.

I like a well written KN as much as a VN so not having a lot of choices once you've set the wheels in motion doesn't matter to me much.

Romance wise, Hans is the most appealing so far but I like GxG as well so I'm interested to see where things go with Lena, and Narsiq seems like he could be very interesting as well!

Can't wait to see how this develops!
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Re: The Story of Us [ GxB/G | Fantasy | Action | Psychologic

#3 Post by Windchimes » Fri Jan 29, 2016 8:46 am

You finally posted this in WIP <3 Yay. It looks great omg. It's developed a lot since I've heard about it last. xD

√ What's your opinion on the plot? How do you think it could be improved?
I really like it. I also like how the paths/alliances you choose get you with a character rather than the other way round which is how it usually works in VNs, so this is unique and cool.

√ How do you feel about the endings? Should they be happier? I mean, this IS an otome
As long as the MC stays with the love interest I don't care how dark the endings are. xDD Them being together is a happy ending in itself for me.

√ How do you feel about VNs with "darker" scenes?
They're fairly relevant to the plot, but I could always use vague descriptions/euphemisms/timeskips instead of detailed scenes & CGs.
I'm fine with darker scenes, though maybe vague descriptions would be better because it may not be everyone's cup of tea.

√ Do you have any complaints regarding the thread layout?
e.g., should I make the plot description's font bigger?
It looks fine to me. Super pretty

√ How do you guys feel about endings that are of substantial length?
That is, each ending would be about a fifth or fourth of a single playthrough, with "choices" no longer making ending-related decisions once it's chosen
I don't see anything wrong with that. This is kinda interesting too, because most endings are short and kinda just wrapping the route up but your endings are like a mini route in itself! xD

√ How do you guys feel about the love interests based on the little information you have?
I think Hans sounds badass and mysterious. I would go for him first
(if it weren't for the spoilers I knew -cough- LOL)
I would probably be torn between pursuing Hans and Narsiq first because I'm also really curious about Narsiq's story. Idk man I like all your love interests, it's hard to choose.

Good luck with your VN! :D <3
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Re: The Story of Us [ GxB/G | Fantasy | Action | Psychologic

#4 Post by Kumiho » Fri Jan 29, 2016 10:06 pm

@KiloTango: Thank you so much! And ooh, I suppose just providing an option could be cool. Thankfully, there are only about five or six scenes at the most that are, well, darker than the norm, so the extra writing shouldn't be inundating. I feel like another option could just be to be somewhat-descriptive text wise, but to not have CGs / BGs corresponding to several of the scenes. I feel like the contrast between the text matter & plain, benign graphics could be a turn-off, but in some ways, that could also be a boon -- I won't have to look for a CG artist who is also willing to draw graphic violence, which would probably narrow the pool. & haha, alright about the endings/KN! :) It won't be strictly a KN from that point on, since choices will still be present & affect the side stories / scenes, but the endings will still follow the same general plotline. I'm glad to hear you like the characters! :) I really hope you enjoy the VN when it's released <3

@Windchimes: Thank youuuuu <3 Yeahno, I just never really liked the idea of your love interest completely dictating your story/personality (for the long term -- obviously, it makes sense if the story/deviation only lasts a relatively short period of time). And haha alright! I'll try to keep the violence down to a minimum, while Hans... may or may not get a slightly minor adjustment just for you. As for the endings, I felt like it would be hard to depict two fairly different yet equally "true" endings without branching off somewhere prior to their conceptions. Also, yes, both the MC & her love interest will be most definitely alive & together in all of the endings. 8D
I can't speak for anyone whose route you're not on... y'know what I mean ;] ;] ;] since I've told you a million and two times ;] ;] ;]

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Re: The Story of Us [ GxB/G | Fantasy | Action | Psychologic

#5 Post by VocaloidsRCool » Sat Jan 30, 2016 3:50 pm

Oh my gosh! I am so looking forward to this game~ The plot is amazing, and the characters are so interesting. I rather like dark themes, and the storyline is quite intriguing. Hans is the guy I like the most, though that could change later on. I look forward to future updates, and the subsequent release of the game~

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Re: The Story of Us [ GxB/G | Fantasy | Action | Psychologic

#6 Post by Elze » Sun Jan 31, 2016 4:29 am

CONGRATS ON GETTING YOUR THREAD UP!! * D *

√ What's your opinion on the plot? How do you think it could be improved?
It sounds pretty intriguing so far. I think as long as we get to understand the story from both perspectives - spiderlilies and humans - it can be a pretty evoking and strong piece.

√ How do you feel about the endings? Should they be happier? I mean, this IS an otome
Not gonna lie, I love fluffy happy endings xD But yea I agree with Windchimes, as long as the mc gets to be with her love interest of choice, it's a happy ending for me. Plus bitter sweet endings = LOVE.

√ How do you feel about VNs with "darker" scenes?
They're fairly relevant to the plot, but I could always use vague descriptions/euphemisms/timeskips instead of detailed scenes & CGs.
Well I loved Amnesia, but that was more of a psychologically dark game, rather than gore/macabre I guess. I think it depends on the tone you want to set. If you want something that's really dark, CGs will definitely help, but just make sure you put the appropriate tags and warnings :)

√ Do you have any complaints regarding the thread layout?
e.g., should I make the plot description's font bigger?
Looks good so far! I guess once the sprites are ready, it'll be good to place the sprite alongside the character descriptions, so it's easier to get who's who at once glance.

√ How do you guys feel about endings that are of substantial length?
That is, each ending would be about a fifth or fourth of a single playthrough, with "choices" no longer making ending-related decisions once it's chosen
Ehhh I'll admit I do love VNs with lots of choices and where every choice matters. But to be honest I've realised that some games have "choices" that are not ending-related, and I wasn't actually aware of that while playing the game LOL. So I think it's all good.

√ How do you guys feel about the love interests based on the little information you have?
I... have no idea LOL. A bit too early to choose. For now I'll go with Hans since he's the childhood friend choice xD;;;

Good luck with your VN! Here's a lil congratulatory gift:
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Re: The Story of Us [ GxB/G | Fantasy | Action | Psychologic

#7 Post by KiloTango » Sun Jan 31, 2016 12:11 pm

I feel like another option could just be to be somewhat-descriptive text wise, but to not have CGs / BGs corresponding to several of the scenes. I feel like the contrast between the text matter & plain, benign graphics could be a turn-off, but in some ways, that could also be a boon -- I won't have to look for a CG artist who is also willing to draw graphic violence, which would probably narrow the pool.
A good place to look on this front is Higurashi and Umineko. There are some HORRIBLE bits of violence in those stories that generally don't get CGs but are almost more effective for it. Really well chosen music and SFX can do a lot to fill in what we can't see, often with something even worse than a CG would be able to get across. It also sidesteps the way that really over the top gore can sometimes step across the line from shocking to almost comedic and numb you to the impact. Really effective horror is often as much about the unseen as the seen: Give the reader enough to extrapolate the rest into something they find really horrible.
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Re: The Story of Us [ GxB/G | Fantasy | Action | Psychologic

#8 Post by Kumiho » Sun Jan 31, 2016 5:03 pm

sorry for esp. rambley text I'm in a rush but really wanted to respond first

@VocaloidsRCool: Oh my gosh, thank you! :'3 Haha, Hans seems pretty popular! He was actually the love interest added last minute x'D and I'll definitely try to flesh out his route some more. I hope I don't disappoint!

@Elze: Aaaaaaaaaaaaa thank you so much for both the awesome words and the art! The art almost makes me weep in joy and envy and happiness and glee and bliss and fangirling and just. So much <3, I am so grateful. The details are amazing, and I really like the effect made by the spider lilies & strings, and the coloring is super pro, and just! And alright, that's another vote for more subtle descriptions and Hans as a love interest! As for the endings, what I'm thinking right now is that the choices will still matter (the plot will branch out), it just won't contribute to the ending you get.

@KiloTango: Oh, those are really good examples! I read Higurashi years ago (I think only the first ~2 arcs though?), and while I don't remember it very well, I do remember it was really, really good, and I'm glad you mentioned it! As for Umineko, it's been on my bucket list for a really long time, although all I knew about it was that it was from the creators of Higurashi and that there's some girl with braids who is sketch (= awesome) af. Thanks so much for the tips! I'll definitely read both VNs & use them as references! Hahahaha watch me never get TSoU done as result

edit: ++ I'm wondering whether I should use a black screen + text or use simple, non-violent, & typical sprites & bgs + text.

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Re: The Story of Us [ GxB/G | Fantasy | Action | Psychologic

#9 Post by Kumiho » Wed Feb 10, 2016 1:37 am

Comprehensive GUI Update [thus far]!

First, please note the following.
  • The sprites are placeholders from Tokudaya
  • Thanks to OokamiKasumi for base textbox!
    (... which was also used for the choice selection buttons)
  • Max resolution of VN will be 1366x768
  • The font of the text box has been enlarged & changed to Century Gothic since I screenshot the scene.
    This way, reading TSoU won't be unnecessarily cumbersome for people who have a harder time reading serif-based fonts.
  • The text of the choices selection screen will be enlarged & either darkened or outlined (once I have the time to fix it), again for visibility & ease
  • The font of the sidebar in the preferences screen will (again) be increased in size & altered in style for the same reason as above.
  • The choice selections boxes aren't the most attractive, but they're better than the default Ren'Py ones... I hope! ;u;


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Re: The Story of Us [ GxB/G | Fantasy | Action ][ GUI Previe

#10 Post by Alcor » Mon Feb 15, 2016 2:25 pm

What's your opinion on the plot? How do you think it could be improved?

It sounds intriguing to me! I've always been interested in the sort of CHAOS/LAW spectrum (in this case, spiderlily/human). I'm excited to see how you tell the story.


How do you feel about the endings? Should they be happier?


I don't think otomes, by definition, require happy endings...right? I'm a fan of bittersweet endings where not everything ends up perfectly.


How do you feel about VNs with "darker" scenes?

I love them if they're done right! I think your plot definitely warrants darker scenes.


Do you have any complaints regarding the thread layout?

No complaints. If anything, I love love love how the plot is laid out. It looks gorgeous and pretty darn evocative :D


How do you guys feel about endings that are of substantial length?

Choices just for flavor sounds fine for me. I wouldn't mind endings of substantial length, and I'd much rather have a long ending than a short one. Any length goes if it wraps everything up!


How do you guys feel about the love interests based on the little information you have?

Well, their designs are gorgeous! I see from your tumblr that Narsiq is white-haired, so, uhh, he'll probably end up being my favorite. Although Hans' mysterious backstory (and everything we don't know about him) is also intriguing, and I'm definitely interested in that as well.


Good luck with your project~

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Re: The Story of Us [ GxB/G | Fantasy | Action ][ GUI Previe

#11 Post by Seigetsu » Fri Feb 19, 2016 3:14 am

I've got to say this is one of my most anticipated games on the forum. The plot sounds really intriguing - I'm a sucker for fantasy/action/politics in visual novels.

What's your opinion on the plot? How do you think it could be improved?
I like that none of the characters will be guiltless. Considering the plot, I don't think it'd be possible for the characters to remain pure and innocent. I would really like to see the protagonist grow out of her innocence, take action, and struggle with the consequences of those actions. Compared to hero/heroine-type characters, I'm much more interested in characters who may sometimes make selfish, impulsive choices, and must then face what they've done. I think the way you've outlined the plot to include both human and spider lily perspectives will give us the chance to see into the minds of different characters and relate to their choices even if those choices aren't necessarily always the "righteous" ones.

How do you feel about the endings? Should they be happier? I mean, this IS an otome
As long as the pairing of that route stays together and doesn't die in the end, I'd be happy enough. I'm generally fine with any kind of tragedy in the middle of the route so long as the pairing is fulfilled in the end.

How do you feel about VNs with "darker" scenes?
Similar to the above answer - I'm fine with "darker" scenes. I quite like them actually. I'm a little tired of the "high school romance" storyline in so many visual novels. I prefer detailed CG for scenes that are intended to be impactful, even if mild gore is involved. Vague descriptions/euphemisms seem like it'd take away from the impact.

Do you have any complaints regarding the thread layout?
No, I'm fine with it.

How do you guys feel about endings that are of substantial length?
I play both kinetic novels and VNs with choices, so honestly, choices aren't a huge deal for me. I do think that you need to branch out the three routes so they are significantly different from each other though (I don't like routes that just differ by a little and don't add anything to the main story that's being told). If there are multiple endings within the route, then I don't mind how long each ending is. I do think that you should value the "content quality" of each ending rather than the "quantity" of endings. If more text is required to fully flesh out an ending, then just write it. It's better than short endings that don't really have any substance to them.

How do you guys feel about the love interests based on the little information you have?
I'm here for the GxG, so I'm particularly interested in Lena. Although I'm usually more into physically-strong female characters, I do look forward to seeing how Lena can draw strength from her intellect. I'd be interested to see how her relationship with Alys develops considering her hatred for demons (which I'm assuming has to do with those scars on her body?). On another note, since Alys is a spider lily, will she be using her physical prowess to fight in this story?

Oh, and if you're still looking for idea bouncers and editors, I'd love to help! Let me know if there's anything I can do for you :)

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