Idol Manager [business sim, dark comedy]

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Kuiper
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Re: Idol Manager [business sim, dark comedy]

#16 Post by Kuiper » Sun Apr 24, 2016 4:16 am

Hey guys, I'm really pleased to see everyone's comments so far. Going in, I knew we were doing something pretty unique with this game, but it seems like people have immediately picked up on the tone and feel that we're going for--I hope the finished product lives up to your expectations!
Kevlei wrote:Anyways, I was actually curious as to whether or not there will be a male idol to manage? Since it isn't just women who are exploited in the entertainment industry.
It's definitely true that male idol groups as a part of the entertainment that can have a less-than-pleasant side as well. While the idea of having male idols in the game is certainly something that I'd be interested in, I don't think it's a feature we'll be supporting in the initial release. Adding male idol groups to the game would essentially double the amount of work our artist has to do, and there are also many parts of the game that deal with gender-specific issues, meaning the script for many of the events would have to be substantially re-written as well. Adding male groups is definitely the kind of thing we'd consider working on after the initial release--we can't promise anything at this point, but it is something that we're thinking about.
Windchimes wrote:I'm assuming this will be commercial, considering the quality of the art/the amount of content. ;; Any plans where you will release/how much you will be selling it for?
We're optimistically hoping to release the game around the 2016-2017 winter season. As for the price point, Max says "No more than $10 for sure."
Zelan wrote:I just realized that Kuiper also did the writing for Trial By Fire and now I'm even more hyped for this game ^_^ I loved Trial By Fire, it made me want to try out Phoenix Wright.
I'm glad to hear you enjoyed Trial by Fire so much! Idol Manager is quite a bit different from my previous projects in terms of subject matter, but it's been a lot of fun to work on so far. Despite the difference in subject matter, I think that Idol Manager actually has some themes in common with Phoenix Wright: Although the Ace Attorney games are comedic and farcical in tone, they are actually in many ways a criticism of the more unpleasant parts of the Japanese justice system (Japan has a conviction rate of 99%, and the "guilty until proven innocent" concept in the Phoenix Wright games is actually a reflection of real Japanese courts). That's somewhat similar to what we're trying to do with Idol Manager--there will be some "fun" and farcical elements, but we're also trying to delve in and examine some of the real issues and "unpleasant truths" that exist within the Japanese idol industry.
Last edited by Kuiper on Mon May 16, 2016 4:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Idol Manager - experience the glamour and dangers of the pop idol industry
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Atomic-Invasion
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Re: Idol Manager [business sim, dark comedy]

#17 Post by Atomic-Invasion » Sun Apr 24, 2016 10:12 am

ooh a sim, will bookmarked this! Reminds me of my project but yours has so much to do!

If you need help in GUI just message and maybe I can help out...since I want to try this game :D

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Re: Idol Manager [business sim, dark comedy]

#18 Post by Tediusman » Sun Apr 24, 2016 11:43 am

You know what? This is absolutely great. I checked the thread three times because I couldn't believe that someone was actually making a game with this concept. It's basically a dream come true for me.
I sat for too many hours playing Im@s, slowly crawling through difficult kanji and thinking "This is fun and all, but it would be so much exciting if the developers choose not to play so safe." And then this game came! I'm so stupidly overexcited for this!
The visuals are extremely good and make me proud of the quality that OELVN can achieve. The only thing I don't really like is the windows 10 styled menu, but that's kind of a minor issue.
Also, thank you for bringing the fantastic art of Aiwa and Ninamo to my attention. I'll be following them, and your project, very passionately!

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Re: Idol Manager [business sim, dark comedy]

#19 Post by PeroxidePrince » Tue Apr 26, 2016 10:04 am

This looks like it's going to be great. I like management/simulation games, and the premise is intriguing.
The fact that it'll also include the more unpleasant aspects of the idol industry is a huge selling point for me. It's different and seems like it'll be really interesting. The cutesy art style makes for a good contrast with the not-so-cute parts of the idol industry, as well.
Best of luck with this project! I'll be looking forward to seeing more updates on this.

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Kuiper
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Re: Idol Manager [business sim, dark comedy]

#20 Post by Kuiper » Sat Apr 30, 2016 11:36 pm

We've made some changes to the UI. Here is a screenshot showing the new look, and here is the older version for comparison.

I've updated the OP with several more new screenshots showing off the new UI. (The embedded images are shrunk down to 800px wide to conform to the forum width requirements, but there are also links to full-size screenshots.)
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Idol Manager - experience the glamour and dangers of the pop idol industry
Cursed Lands - a mix of high fantasy and gothic horror

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Re: Idol Manager [business sim, dark comedy]

#21 Post by curry nochi rice » Sun May 01, 2016 12:41 am

The new UI is like optimized for mobile builds. I really love it. Also, the new color scheme is much more aesthetic than the previous windows metro-ish colors.
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Kuiper
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Re: Idol Manager [business sim, dark comedy]

#22 Post by Kuiper » Thu Jun 30, 2016 11:07 pm

We've been making steady progress for the past couple months. Several updates to report:

We have a video trailer! (I'd love to hear your feedback on this--let me know what you think!)

We've also updated the website with a new look, and added some new screenshots that show several of the gameplay systems that hadn't been shown previously, such as recruitment. There are also several posts on the blog portion of the website for those who are interested in a more thorough explanation of some of the gameplay systems.

We've also updated our planned released date. We had been hoping to have the game ready for release in 2016, but after considering the scope of the project with the large number of features we'd like to include and the amount of time would take to implement them, we decided that releasing the game in 2016 wasn't realistic. The game should completed in 2017, and so far I'm really pleased with how the project has been progressing--when you have the chance to play it next year, hopefully it will be worth the wait.
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Idol Manager - experience the glamour and dangers of the pop idol industry
Cursed Lands - a mix of high fantasy and gothic horror

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Re: Idol Manager [business sim, dark comedy]

#23 Post by wererat42 » Fri Jul 01, 2016 12:50 am

Kevlei wrote: Anyways, I was actually curious as to whether or not there will be a male idol to manage? Since it isn't just women who are exploited in the entertainment industry. I think it would be rather interesting to see things from a male idol's point of view, especially since traditional gender roles dictate that men should be "strong" and "providers."
At any rate, good luck on your project! I would gladly find it if it ever went up on a crowdfunding website such as Kickstarter~
Read this post and it got me wondering if your manager is going to be male or female or whether or not it has any relevance. It's pretty much a staple anime trope now that idol producers or managers are male and the idols generally develop crushes on them. Considering scandals seem to be a real issue in this game, will your role be aiming to remain professional and steer away from that romanticized version of idols?

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Re: Idol Manager [business sim, dark comedy] - new video tra

#24 Post by warmsundae » Fri Jul 01, 2016 1:04 am

This looks great, but a more complex than other games. It already looks like you've worked on it a lot, so good luck! Also, I am a sucker for smooth GUI.

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Kuiper
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Re: Idol Manager [business sim, dark comedy]

#25 Post by Kuiper » Fri Jul 01, 2016 3:36 pm

wererat42 wrote:Read this post and it got me wondering if your manager is going to be male or female or whether or not it has any relevance.
You'll be able to choose the gender of the player character at the start of the game and it will be relevant to a few things (mostly minor dialog changes, and a few mechanical things, some of which I'll get to later in this post).
wererat42 wrote:It's pretty much a staple anime trope now that idol producers or managers are male and the idols generally develop crushes on them. Considering scandals seem to be a real issue in this game, will your role be aiming to remain professional and steer away from that romanticized version of idols?
​Manager/idol affections aren't just an anime trope, they occur in real life, too! As such, this will be reflected in the game, albeit in a relatively minor (and completely optional) way. In the course of the game, some of the idols may flirt with you, you have the option to flirt back, and flirting may lead to a certain character getting preferential treatment. In gameplay terms, "preferential treatment" will probably manifest as minor stat bonuses for that specific character, and maybe protection from certain negative events as well. However, this may cause jealously and resentment to begin brewing within the ranks, and if the idols feel that one of their colleagues is unfairly receiving preferential treatment (or maybe they just don't approve of your flirtatious behavior), this kind of thing could get leaked to the press, which would obviously carry consequences.

To kick things up a notch and discuss the topic of (ahem) physical involvement, one of the goals of this project is to examine and present some of the more "unsavory" aspects of the Japanese entertainment industry, and talent exchanging sex for favors is certainly a part of that. (In fact, for some players, "exchanging sex for favors" might be one of the first things that comes to mind when they think about the seedy underbelly of the entertainment world.) It would feel really weird to ignore this, and at the very least it seems like the intellectually honest thing for us to acknowledge that this kind of thing happens. This leads to an interesting question of what happens when you try to implement this kind of thing in the context of a game. If we're going to present the idea of the player getting "involved" with the talent, then it makes sense for this to carry certain risks--you could get blackmailed, for instance, and you're risking your own reputation, and by extension the reputation of the agency, potentially jeopardizing the careers of everyone working there (both the staff and the talent). And in exchange, you get...well, maybe you get some lewd or suggestive photos for your trouble. From a gameplay perspective, taking on all that risk (not to mention all of the moral boundaries you have to trample over) just for the sake of some temporary and intangible gratification doesn't seem like a very rational thing to do, but maybe that's kind of a reflection of reality.

This is all is based on some internal team discussion, and we haven't actually implemented any systems surrounding this yet. But it's certainly something we'd like to do, and I think the above paragraph goes a good job of summarizing how we currently think about this topic and how we'd like to approach it. It's certainly a sensitive topic that ought to be approached respectfully, but I think sometimes the most respectful thing to do is acknowledge that yes, this is a real problem within the industry, and we're not going to pretend that it doesn't happen.

On a more broad level, this is a game that will definitely allow you to behave like a scumbag (mostly in a lot of ways that have nothing to do with the realm of personal "relationships"). But if you do decide to go down that route, don't be surprised if the game goes out of its way to make you feel like a scumbag afterward.
Necrobarista - serve coffee to the living and the dead
Idol Manager - experience the glamour and dangers of the pop idol industry
Cursed Lands - a mix of high fantasy and gothic horror

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Re: Idol Manager [business sim, dark comedy] - new video tra

#26 Post by camisteja » Fri Jul 01, 2016 6:31 pm

The trailer is perfect! I am impressed by the depth and dedication of your team in getting this game out there. So far, everything appears extremely polished and professional. Keep up the great work!

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Re: Idol Manager [business sim, dark comedy] - new video tra

#27 Post by Atomic-Invasion » Fri Jul 01, 2016 11:58 pm

Question and sorry if I didn't notice this in the first page: Will you be releasing this on steam

BECAUSE I WANT TO WISHLIST FOR FUTURE IDOL MAKING BUSINESS DOMINATION o_o

...yes I obviously like this game you have here.

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Re: Idol Manager [business sim, dark comedy] - new video tra

#28 Post by JBShields » Wed Aug 10, 2016 3:09 pm

I love the concept behind this game.

By the way: the promo video rocks. What program did you use to make it?

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Re: Idol Manager [business sim, dark comedy] - new video tra

#29 Post by sadambober » Wed Aug 10, 2016 3:48 pm

JBShields wrote:By the way: the promo video rocks. What program did you use to make it?
After Effects and this template, though I had to edit it quite a bit

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Re: Idol Manager [business sim, dark comedy] - new video tra

#30 Post by JBShields » Wed Aug 10, 2016 4:56 pm

Well, it rocks!

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