Where Poppies Grow [Adventure][War Drama][Bildungsroman]

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Where Poppies Grow [Adventure][War Drama][Bildungsroman]

#1 Post by Ark » Sun Jun 19, 2016 7:18 pm

Good Afternoon! After a couple of months of writing I decided that I should probably post my updates in the WiP thread instead of my recruitment thread. Most likely you will see more things populated in there as things start to roll in. May develop into a commercial product if the opportunity presents itself, however until then will post details here for general situational awareness.

1. Premise

Conley Booker is drafted into a war which seems to re-erupt in cycles. Faced with bitter enemies, his homeland fights numerous battles to shape the borders - hoping to encompass the resources that these countries depend on for survival. Stuck in a monotonous, never ending cycle of conflicts, Conley is eventually shifted from the rear to the front-lines. He however, sees this as an opportunity for adventure, and to develop into the type of person that he finds in the numerous adventure novels that he cherishes.

He spends a couple of a weeks in conflict, bonding with his fellow comrades and learning that war and the military is a fickle thing. As a leader and fellow combatant, he grasps the ropes as he is put into a leadership position despite not having the necessary qualifications. After a pivotal and devastating loss, he wakes up on the battlefield, finding that his cherished comrades nowhere to be seen. Desperate to reunite with his comrades and to return home, he travels behind enemy lines to an ever furthering front-line, while in the process learning about himself and those he fought so viciously against. A story about growth, adventure, and one man’s journey through war.

Story Structure

Will be a kinetic VN, with a prologue and 5 ACTs. Each section will range from 20,000 to 30,000 words each. Current status on the writing is the prologue is finished with ACT I 1/3 of the way completed.

2. Themes

- Reality Versus Expectations
- Isolation and Self-Preservation in Times of Hardship
- Bonds and their Motivational Impact
- Polarizing Nature of Conflict
- Character and Ideal Changes
- Finding Good in Harsh Places

3. Universe Building

I. Location - Will take place in an alternative version of Europe during the interwar period (WWI-WWII) era. The story will take place across two countries, with MC's main mode of transportation being his feet, hence worn soles. Scenes will vary from rolling country hills to the trenches at the front lines.

II. Historical/Cultural Background - Country A (MC's homeland), and Country B are relatively small countries, comparative to interwar period Belgium and Netherlands. both countries are surrounded by much larger neighbors, and for their own survival are trying to assimilate the other to stand a better chance on the regional arena. Due to this, they have been in an out of conflict for the last 10-15 years. Despite this, both country know relatively little about each other. Though important to know, it is not the emphasis of the story, as it is more focused on MC's development, rather than the conflict itself.

4. Characters

Note, all character concept art is subject to change, not all characters are mentioned have art yet. Certain characters and information about characters not revealed due to plot relevance.

Image

Art Credit to Sabviee

I. Conley Booker

He’s the main character. As an early twenties male, he was drafted while he was completing his third year of college. Though he was forced away from home, he sees it as an opportunity for adventure and to find something that he felt like he was missing from life.

He earned his rank through having prior education, hence is pretty inexperienced when it comes to the military. He’s a bit apathetic looking, however he loves jests and often sports a smug expression when he does show emotion. His banter with Dave and Beatrice often bring out the more playful side from him. Loves to read and sketch and comes off as a more educated person when compared to his comrades.

II. Dave Cadby

A 19 year old male, he volunteered to join the military rather than a draft. He has been in for several years as he saw it as an opportunity to escape from his broken family life. He’s Conley’s best friends in the service, and arguably the one that he spends the most time with. He’s loud and boisterous, however he uses his joking nature to keep not only his but his other squad members’ spirits up.

The conflict has planted a seed of hate for the enemy for him, and he is a very capable soldier due to his experience. The military life has shaped his views and despite seeming very carefree, he is holds strong emotions about the service and against the enemy. Does not want to return home.

III. William Valentine

A early/mid thirties male who functions as Conley’s platoon sergeant. He is the father-like figure of the section, and is one of the few people that Conley can look up to. Conley recalls a lot of his advice as he goes through his hardships.

He’s an older gentleman, and a veteran of the previous conflicts that [Country A] has been involved in. Very warm-hearted and generally serious, however he has his own problems despite looking like a hero in Conley’s eyes.

5. Progress

Story Outline: 100%
Writing: 75% (~120,000 Words)
Artwork: 10%
Music: 15%
Sounds: 0%
Coding: 0%

6. Updates

This thread will update itself too when I have things to present, alternatively click my twitter for more day by day progress!

Questions

I. So far, what is your opinion of the game?
II. Are there any characters that particularly stand out to you? Good or bad?
III. What are you looking forward to in the game?
IV. Are there certain things that you would like to see more of?

Feel free to put your questions/things you wish to see in the comments below, will do my best to address all of them. Thank you for your time!
Last edited by Ark on Thu Dec 01, 2016 9:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Project Worn Soles [Adventure][War Drama][Bildungsroman]

#2 Post by Ark » Sat Jun 25, 2016 1:20 pm

Good Morning!

Just some updates for you, here they are!

- Found a background artist - currently negotiating contract/vetting for quality.
- Act I is roughly halfway done, hopefully will complete in the next couple of weeks.
- Prologue is going through edits and streamlining.

Feel free to ask questions, I'll be happy to answer them!

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Re: Project Worn Soles [Adventure][War Drama][Bildungsroman]

#3 Post by Ghost of Crux » Sat Jun 25, 2016 6:23 pm

I. So far, what is your opinion of the game?

First of all, thank you for having a female character in reasonable clothes. It's something that made me turn away from a lot of "war" VNs (and manga, and anime, but I very rarely read/watch them anyway, but...) because come on. How do you expect me to take this seriously with boobs and bared skin.

But anyway. ONWARDS.

I've always been a fan of reading war novels, and I really loved Band of Brothers. Honestly, it's probably a bit funny, but whenever I visit a new library, my instincts would always take me to the section with those, and I've always, ALWAYS wanted to see a modern warfare story-- though honestly, preferably English VN-- with emphasis on, well, war. The ugly side of it, without the softening flair of a fantasy touch, the one where brotherhood isn't a romanticized idea as much as it is, sometimes, the only reason someone keeps going on or the only reason they are somehow still sane. So when I scrolled down and saw everyone in proper uniform, I was pretty darn stoked. Then I scrolled up, curious whether the story is as I expected it to be, and was not disappointed.

I'm really, really excited and am looking forward to this.

I quite like the idea of the younger characters with some sort of romanticized notion of war. It just seems like something that would be interesting to delve into as the narrative goes on, and I'd be really interested to see how you'll be taking it. A cyclical approach would be pretty interesting, but I would be happy just seeing how their views change with the more they see of war, or what they've seen of it. In any case, I'm excited to see how you'll be approaching the story and characters.

II. Are there any characters that particularly stand out to you? Good or bad?


I like the mentor, because I'm easy to guess like that, but I'm also really pleasantly surprised and curious about the woman in the picture so far. Though this is really, really "nitpicky", but I hope she won't look so frail in the actual VN

III. What are you looking forward to in the game?

REALISTIC DEPICTIONS OF PEOPLE BEING PART OF WAR. REALISTIC DEPICTIONS OF WAR. Give me all the good and ugly in this, man. I'm just. I will eat my shoe.

IV. Are there certain things that you would like to see more of?

Since I reckon the MC will be facing enemies, and I really hope that if you're planning to be having some sort of confrontation, you read the book On Killing, by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman. A realistic depiction of war-time killing would be something that I'd really love to see if it's shown at all. It might also help with fleshing out the relationships between the characters that might've happened, so it's a plus!

Also, I think things like nicknames for the opposing sides, various weapons, positions and such might be good for immersion purposes? Just my two cents.
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Re: Project Worn Soles [Adventure][War Drama][Bildungsroman]

#4 Post by Ferdokki » Mon Jun 27, 2016 7:27 pm

I. So far, what is your opinion of the game?

I think this KN sounds super cool! I love the serious theme of war being discussed and not glorified. I also love the artwork you have thus far, as well as the setting (makes me think of Germany's WWII trench warfare, but it'll be even more interesting in this story since you're focusing on smaller nations).
Overall the premise of this KN reminds me a lot of All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque. Really good book I wholeheartedly recommend if you're interested.

II. Are there any characters that particularly stand out to you? Good or bad?

I like the main character's personality, in that he's both quiet, but also into adventuring. And I like the way you contrast his best friend being a bit more outgoing. I'm also glad that the mentor has a realistic personality and is logical because of his experiences. I just feel a lot of media shows too many "gung-ho" leaders, to the point where it's a trope now.
And also, similar to what the person above me said, THANK YOU for clothing the female. n__n

III. What are you looking forward to in the game?

I guess I'm just really excited about the story and the character's journey. I'm excited to see the way you present the characters going through war and realizing that it's not all just challenges, fun or glory. I'm particularly looking forward to your presentation of the "Isolation and Self-Preservation" theme.

IV. Are there certain things that you would like to see more of?

I can't think of anything I'd need more of. I guess my one advice would to balance out everything. Don't water down the subject with too much humor, don't try to throw in random romance/sexual encounters (for Pete's sake, they're in a battlefield), etc. I mean it seems like you've got everything nicely planned anyway, so I'm not too worried about that.
Overall I'm just really looking forward to the development! =)

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Re: Project Worn Soles [Adventure][War Drama][Bildungsroman]

#5 Post by Dark Sentinel » Wed Jun 29, 2016 8:13 pm

I. So far, what is your opinion of the game?
This all looks very promising!
I mean, I'm interested in the 20th century military history. Well, mostly WWII and mostly tanks of that era, but anyway!
And looks, thing like 'Girls und Panzer' are of course fun to watch, but I want something more harsh, grim and realistic to watch and read.
So yeah, I'm waiting for this now.

II. Are there any characters that particularly stand out to you? Good or bad?
Not sure I can say anything for sure about the characters now, sorry. Not enough info, sorry.

III. What are you looking forward to in the game?
Ghost of Crux wrote: REALISTIC DEPICTIONS OF PEOPLE BEING PART OF WAR. REALISTIC DEPICTIONS OF WAR. Give me all the good and ugly in this, man. I'm just. I will eat my shoe.
Seconding that with all my might and my shoes are at stake now as well.

IV. Are there certain things that you would like to see more of?
Tanks, please?
I read that tanks in this world are pretty much in their infancy, but eh, in certain countries the tank infancy lasted until mid 1940s.
So, I mean, if you give a bit more wide description of what exactly is happening in the tank design committees and what era I should look at, I may try to come up with some designs, tactical recognition markings, whatever you need.
Or don't need.
Yes, I'd be happy to contribute meaningfully to the development.

And best of luck to you.
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Re: Project Worn Soles [Adventure][War Drama][Bildungsroman]

#6 Post by Ark » Wed Jul 06, 2016 11:31 pm

Good Evening!

I got some updates for you - some concept drawings along with a general progress report. Here they are:

- The deeper into the rabbit hole I go, the more likely this will become a commercial project. Just for your SA!
- Received additional concept art
- Decided to get the writing/script to 80-90% before I really start looking for additional resources.
- Should be wrapping up ACT I this week, need to comb through prologue for consistency and make sure the characters sound the same.
- Hope to start ACT II soon
- Will have character names before ACT II completes (demands from my editor)

Reading

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On the Homefront

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Re: Project Worn Soles [Adventure][War Drama][Bildungsroman]

#7 Post by Ferdokki » Wed Jul 13, 2016 11:08 pm

Love the concept art! =)

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Re: Project Worn Soles [Adventure][War Drama][Bildungsroman]

#8 Post by Ark » Mon Jul 18, 2016 9:08 pm

Good Evening!

Some relatively minor updates:

- Will start writing ACT II today.
- Almost done proofreading ACT I, Prologue for consistency in prose/character speech.
- [MC] has a name. Conley Booker

I took a bit of a break due to life, however I'm back and recharged. Feel free to continue asking questions - for those who are wanting a realistic depiction of war I'll do what I can. Perhaps a snippet of a scene or something?

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Re: Project Worn Soles [Adventure][War Drama][Bildungsroman]

#9 Post by Ark » Thu Aug 04, 2016 12:36 am

Good Evening! My apologies for not posting so long - things sort of slipped of my plate for a little bit. I bring updates though!

Updates:

- ACT I finished, roughly 29K words
- ACT II in the works, roughly 7k words in.
- Some characters have names, they are as follows: Conley Booker, Beatrice Clementine, and Dave Cadby.

Beatrice Clementine

The girl that Conley left behind once he went off to war. One of his closest friends before he went off to the frontlines, he often associates her with his feelings for home.

Image


In terms of some of the feedback I really appreciate it! A lot of war isn't always action and tends to be sitting around waiting for orders or talking to whomever is around you. This will have plenty of action scenes, however will always be inbetween Conley's recollections of home, his dialogue with his comrades, and the other things that happen to him.

If I had to say some things without revealing to much, the progression goes as follows:

Prologue - Introducing characters and setting
ACT I - More events during the war front and Conley's experiences
ACT II - Conley's changing feelings and his ability to persevere.

Stay tuned for the next update! Sorry it took so long!

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Re: Project Worn Soles [Adventure][War Drama][Bildungsroman]

#10 Post by Crono Cidra » Thu Aug 04, 2016 12:56 am

As you said in your post "a lot of war isn't always action and tends to be sitting around waiting for orders..." I'm not much of the war story kind of person but I've always wanted to read a story that got in the heart of each character forced into the unpleasant reality that war isn't grandiose. It's real, it has people behind it who all had lives before that were cut short for the sake of society's progression. I hope the dialogue between his comrades (and maybe even enemies) shake the foundations of how we first and lastly perceive the cast. From what I read so far I really hope that we as the audience can feel the passion and weight that each and every character you add into this story feels.

I see a high amount of potential in this story. No doubt if this game does go commercial I will likely buy it to support you.

Your concept art is really nice too.

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Re: Project Worn Soles [Adventure][War Drama][Bildungsroman]

#11 Post by Ark » Mon Aug 08, 2016 7:35 pm

Crono Cidra wrote:As you said in your post "a lot of war isn't always action and tends to be sitting around waiting for orders..." I'm not much of the war story kind of person but I've always wanted to read a story that got in the heart of each character forced into the unpleasant reality that war isn't grandiose. It's real, it has people behind it who all had lives before that were cut short for the sake of society's progression. I hope the dialogue between his comrades (and maybe even enemies) shake the foundations of how we first and lastly perceive the cast. From what I read so far I really hope that we as the audience can feel the passion and weight that each and every character you add into this story feels.

I see a high amount of potential in this story. No doubt if this game does go commercial I will likely buy it to support you.

Your concept art is really nice too.
Thanks for the comments! Yeah, that's actually one of the struggles that I'm running into is how to characterize everyone while in environments that aren't exactly natural. I guess my main goal is to have non-war/military people be able to pick this up and read it along with anyone who might be a slight military/history buff.

Some minor updates!

- ACT II roughly 40% along, still need to go through edits.
- Most likely going to roll with the four planned acts - depends on how ACT III shapes out.

In addition, have some extra art, just to prove I didn't forget you guys:

Image

Sample sets, Conley and Beatrice

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Re: Project Worn Soles [Adventure][War Drama][Bildungsroman]

#12 Post by Ark » Wed Aug 17, 2016 12:01 am

Good Evening!

I got a decent sized update for you! For my humble followers, here are some of the updates!

- ACT II is 90% done. Just got done with the first of many heart wrenching scenes to go, really interesting to see how the story evolves.
- Should have some more ACTUAL art to give you as I get geared up to do a KS. I'll keep you guys in the loop as the development shape sup.
- This will be a commercial VN! More details to come (if I get the permission).

I'm sitting at around 200 pages and 75K words. I think it's save to say that I am probably halfway done. Still a lot of things to happen, though depending on how the writing goes I may cut some of it. I've been getting good feedback from my beta readers, so hopefully this rises to expectations.

In the meantime, please feel free to ask me any questions! I'll be happy to answer the ones that I can. Thanks for joining me on this trip!

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Re: Project Worn Soles [Adventure][War Drama][Bildungsroman]

#13 Post by Ark » Mon Aug 29, 2016 12:17 am

Good Evening!

Wow, it took forever but I finally finished ACT II. I went through some restructuring and it felt like it just needed more... That being said, it is finally done.

Here's where we stand now.

- ACT II is DONE! Total VN wordcount stands at 82,000 words (Prologue, ACT I, ACT II). This is halfway done folks!
- I keep promising you guys art, and I will keep telling you that it is coming! My artist freed up some time, so I think we'll press on there.
- ACT III will be started soon!

I apologize for taking so long to update - just didn't really have much at the time. I think my main focus now will be to continue writing, but also to make sure I have enough resources to do a kickstarter. Let me know if you have any questions, and thank you to those who follow this thread!

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Re: Project Worn Soles [Adventure][War Drama][Bildungsroman]

#14 Post by Ark » Fri Sep 09, 2016 12:58 am

Good Evening!

Just combing through ACT II and fixing some of the things that seemed a bit off. ACT III has started in the works, and hopefully develops into a greater climax for you folks. Sprite artwork is starting to roll in - I'll give you a brief sample for now!

(Credit to Sabi)

Image

As a last update, I am looking for beta readers! I'll give you parts of the story for you to read and to receive feedback on. Keep in mind, this would be raw script that has had some editing but not full editing done. Let me know via PM if you are interested and I'll hook you up! I'll just want to know what you think of it, what you like, and potentially what you think could be done better.

Thanks for your time and sorry for the long time without updates!

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Re: Project Worn Soles [Adventure][War Drama][Bildungsroman]

#15 Post by Dark Sentinel » Fri Sep 09, 2016 2:20 am

Okay, answer time.
First: this is your sprite style? No coloring, just lineart? Y'know, I mean, even if the answer is 'no', this is pretty fitting, I believe.
Second: beta readers. I am interested, but I'm not a native English speaker and my comments (and perception) on whatever I read will be pretty much warped by that.

And as always, best of luck to you.
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