Kokorogawari [GxB Drama] [CHAP 1+2 DEMO] [STEAM GREENLIGHT]

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Emilily
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Re: Kokorogawari [CHAP 1 DEMO UP!] [GxB Drama] [KICKSTARTER]

#31 Post by Emilily » Sun Dec 04, 2016 7:46 pm

I'm probably going to structure this post like Tea did. I don't really know how much else to organize my thoughts. Also, just a side note: I haven't played the demo, so my thoughts may be. . .not complete? Hopefully, this makes sense. Anyways, I will just go and answer the same general questions everybody tends to ask about their game like Tea.

I. Does the story seem interesting so far? For me, I have never been a huge fan of slice of life; I tend to get bored and zone out. I like to lean more towards the dark and fantasy genres. However, I can tell that this story has considerable potential. Although I do enjoy the fact that our main protagonist here is quite different from the regular protagonists, I can't seem to relate to her that well. However, the fact that there is heavy Japanese culture involved sort of does draw me in, I suppose. In a nutshell, it's a little boring, personally.

II. Who is your favorite character and why? I think I like Shinichi the most, though I can't really favor one character over another clearly, as none of them really appeal to me. Usually, I like the witty, sadistic, and snarky characters (it may make me sound like a masochist, but I like those types the most). I don't want to be too harsh, but the pursuable characters sound like any character a typical girl x boy visual novel would throw in there. What's so special about them? What quirks and talents do they have to sway the icy heart of Asami, who is cold and seems to not give anything to love? How can you turn a character type that's overused into something unique only to this game?

III. Are you going to play this game? Eh, I already have so many commercial games I'm interested in buying it's hard to say whether I am able to afford this. For example, if I do buy ZodiaX, then that is already around $30 out of my pocket. I also want to buy games such as Love is a Game and Hocus Pocus Prince, which also costs around. . .$30 and ~$15 respectively. As much as I am interested in supporting you, it's probably not something I would go so far as paying it to play it, especially knowing that I only have so much money to spend. Otherwise, good luck!

IV. Do you like the art? Yes! It's very beautiful and vibrant. It's eye-catching as well. Hopefully, the game itself won't let fans down with the story. I'm not a huge fan of the graphic artwork, but I can say with confidence the character artwork is stunningly and amazingly beautiful. Kudos to you!

V. Do you have any questions or comments? I don't really have anything at the moment. . .How did you all meet, I guess?

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Re: Kokorogawari [CHAP 1 DEMO UP!] [GxB Drama] [KICKSTARTER]

#32 Post by Laramie Castiel » Sun Dec 04, 2016 9:39 pm

Hello Emilily (I keep on reading this as "Emily" in my head),

Thank you for sharing your honest thoughts about our game and structuring them very nicely.
Emilily wrote:I. Does the story seem interesting so far? For me, I have never been a huge fan of slice of life; I tend to get bored and zone out. I like to lean more towards the dark and fantasy genres. However, I can tell that this story has considerable potential. Although I do enjoy the fact that our main protagonist here is quite different from the regular protagonists, I can't seem to relate to her that well. However, the fact that there is heavy Japanese culture involved sort of does draw me in, I suppose. In a nutshell, it's a little boring, personally.
I can definitely understand those who don't enjoy slice of life much, but I'm happy to know you still see potential in our story! As for me personally, I find that I'm the opposite- I've been growing tired of the overuse of fantasy as a secondary genre to otome (even if I do enjoy fantasy in general). However, I do really like darker themes myself, being a fan of utsuge! Kokorogawari will certainly have darker moments, but I would still call it more "serious drama" than outright dark. I like hearing about what others have to say about Asami, since she is a protagonist that can easily be divisive. We plan on making her develop a lot, but I can understand those who get put off and don't want to stick around.
Emilily wrote:II. Who is your favorite character and why? I think I like Shinichi the most, though I can't really favor one character over another clearly, as none of them really appeal to me. Usually, I like the witty, sadistic, and snarky characters (it may make me sound like a masochist, but I like those types the most). I don't want to be too harsh, but the pursuable characters sound like any character a typical girl x boy visual novel would throw in there. What's so special about them? What quirks and talents do they have to sway the icy heart of Asami, who is cold and seems to not give anything to love? How can you turn a character type that's overused into something unique only to this game?
Don't worry about sounding harsh- honest opinions are always welcome! In addition, those are great questions and I'm keen to answer them... Though it's hard to go into detail without entering spoiler territory.

What I can say is that each love interest (or route) represents a key facet/"theme" of Asami; a key commonality in their personalities and lives that create a platform for them to relate to each other on a deeper level. For example, with Shinichi (as we tried to present in the demo) and Asami, this is their shared love of the visual arts. Since Asami is obviously not the type to pursue guys and be receptive to advances, plus making all three love interests immediately as forward as Shinichi would be "same-y" (and IMO, a cop out), the goal becomes slowly getting them to learn about each other over time. We want closeness and feelings to build rather than writing a story where characters have that "eureka!" moment and plummet into love.

So in my view, we're more aiming to really develop and flesh out seemingly anodyne love interests rather than going far out of the way to create very unique/bizarre love interests with really theatrical (which are entertaining and also to my tastes, but it goes against our "realism"/"grounded" aim) personalities. Our 3 guys have their "surface traits", if you will, but spending more time with them will allow players to understand what makes them inclined to show some parts of themselves to the world but hide others, what motivates them, why they became the way that they are, their strengths, their weaknesses, etc.; the types of things you learn when getting to know a "real" person over time.
Emilily wrote:III. Are you going to play this game? Eh, I already have so many commercial games I'm interested in buying it's hard to say whether I am able to afford this. For example, if I do buy ZodiaX, then that is already around $30 out of my pocket. I also want to buy games such as Love is a Game and Hocus Pocus Prince, which also costs around. . .$30 and ~$15 respectively. As much as I am interested in supporting you, it's probably not something I would go so far as paying it to play it, especially knowing that I only have so much money to spend. Otherwise, good luck!
Thank you for your honesty and well wishes! We definitely understand that times are tough for many people. Really, there are so many great visual novel projects out there and it's unfortunate that the majority of us don't have the means to support each one we like. So I can empathise with having to make the most out of your dollar vote!
Emilily wrote:IV. Do you like the art? Yes! It's very beautiful and vibrant. It's eye-catching as well. Hopefully, the game itself won't let fans down with the story. I'm not a huge fan of the graphic artwork, but I can say with confidence the character artwork is stunningly and amazingly beautiful. Kudos to you!
Thank you! Our artists will be thrilled. =)
We're definitely fortunate to have found excellent artists, so we're working very hard to make sure the story matches up- just the like artists are working hard for the artwork to match the story and setting. I think that Kokorogawari should read as good as it looks and not become a game in which the art "lures" people but ends up shielding a substandard story.
Emilily wrote:V. Do you have any questions or comments? I don't really have anything at the moment. . .How did you all meet, I guess?
I met Jyuuguchi through our blogs we run. We we've been pals for a while and then she decided that she wanted to create an otome game after we had a conversation relating to that subject. To my understanding, the rest of the team met each other when Jyuuguchi was seeking extra team members (though our character artist, she knows in person and met through a friend). So most of us were online friends prior to the formation of Precatio.

Again, thank you so much for taking the time to comment at length about Kokorogawari! We hope you may one day decide to play the full game and enjoy it if and when you do. =)

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Re: Kokorogawari [CHAP 1 DEMO UP!] [GxB Drama] [KICKSTARTER]

#33 Post by Limabaen » Tue Dec 06, 2016 12:33 am

I finally got around to playing the demo of this today. I saw some feedback in this thread about it which wasn't so positive, so I was a little wary about it, but I was pleasantly surprised.

I think what stood out to me most was Asami. Her dislike of romance reminded me of myself a bit haha i don't even like romance why do i play otome games
She's certainly unique as an otome protagonist. She almost feels like a heroine in a bishoujo game- as in you're playing from the point of *insert guy here/koga* trying to woo the kuudere, which was kind of funny to me. But I could definitely see where she was coming from and I could understand the logic behind her attitude to love and romance (even if she is a little overdramatic about it in parts). Maybe it's just because I'm a teenager, but I can relate to the way she makes some strange leaps of logic :lol:

Not much really happens in the demo, but that's the slice of life genre for you. I enjoyed the character interactions and I look forward to seeing how Asami's character develops, as well as her relationship with those around her. Just a preliminary caution: I see that the game is planned to be very long, and I hope the length is "genuine", not just slice of life-y padding. In some other long otome/bishoujo games which were very long, reading about daily kyakyakaya ufufufu got tiring after a while and all I wanted to do was skip some of the artificial length to get to the actually plot aka conflict and character development. The demo was fine in this regard though, I thought the writing was solid and it was paced nicely. The dialogue was somewhat stilted here and there, and there were some typos but I'm confident that your writers or editors will fix/have fixed it.

The only other criticism I have that I don't think has been mentioned already is that the colour of the Japanese dictionary words is a bit bright. As in, when the dialogue pops up my eyes jump straight to them which kind of breaks the flow of reading. I also feel like some words like "kimono" don't really need a definition- with vns (especially with anime artstyle) the assumption is that the audience has some knowledge of Japanese culture and anime. Heck, I'm pretty sure most people who don't watch anime know what a kimono is. Just my two cents though, not really something that needs to be changed.

Good luck with your project! It actually appeals to me more than some other upcoming commercial otomes because it seems like it could be a hefty read, I'll try to check it out when it's done.

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Re: Kokorogawari [CHAP 1 DEMO UP!] [GxB Drama] [KICKSTARTER]

#34 Post by Laramie Castiel » Tue Dec 06, 2016 1:45 am

A fellow Australian! =) Thank you very much for trying our demo, Limabaen!
Limabaen wrote:I finally got around to playing the demo of this today. I saw some feedback in this thread about it which wasn't so positive, so I was a little wary about it, but I was pleasantly surprised.

I think what stood out to me most was Asami. Her dislike of romance reminded me of myself a bit haha i don't even like romance why do i play otome games
She's certainly unique as an otome protagonist. She almost feels like a heroine in a bishoujo game- as in you're playing from the point of *insert guy here/koga* trying to woo the kuudere, which was kind of funny to me. But I could definitely see where she was coming from and I could understand the logic behind her attitude to love and romance (even if she is a little overdramatic about it in parts). Maybe it's just because I'm a teenager, but I can relate to the way she makes some strange leaps of logic :lol:

I'm glad you still gave it a try even though not all feedback was completely positive.

Also, you have an interesting perspective on Asami and Koga's relationship- I've never thought of them like a P.O.V.-reversed instance of a bishoujo-ge situation! Asami is no doubt one of the biggest reasons why some readers did not like our demo or wanted to continue to reading it, and I can understand. Her views on romance are extreme to say the least and she has a lot of maturing to do in this area. A more unique protagonist often becomes polarising, though I do enjoy reading both sides' viewpoints about her!
Limabaen wrote:Not much really happens in the demo, but that's the slice of life genre for you. I enjoyed the character interactions and I look forward to seeing how Asami's character develops, as well as her relationship with those around her. Just a preliminary caution: I see that the game is planned to be very long, and I hope the length is "genuine", not just slice of life-y padding. In some other long otome/bishoujo games which were very long, reading about daily kyakyakaya ufufufu got tiring after a while and all I wanted to do was skip some of the artificial length to get to the actually plot aka conflict and character development. The demo was fine in this regard though, I thought the writing was solid and it was paced nicely. The dialogue was somewhat stilted here and there, and there were some typos but I'm confident that your writers or editors will fix/have fixed it.
You bring up an excellent point in regards to "genuine" length and I can empathise with exactly what you're talking about. According to the Visual Novel Database, our game would fall under "medium" length, but I do think that compared to many other indie VN projects, our game is much longer. We want to make sure that each chapter remains interesting even if they don't all contain the "big" moments. So we've decided that our common route scenes should mostly revolve around smaller events including the love interests that enable players to learn more about them, build towards future plot points, etc.; scenes that still have a purpose to some extent even if they're not hugely dramatic. Definitely don't want a "75% mundane uni classes to create space between the 25% 'actual' plot events" situation!

About the dialogue, I do know that some parts are intentionally stiff to portray the polite but impersonal "formal Japanese"; to create a sense of distance/as a sign of respect to elders, though some parts are certainly not intended to come across this way. I'm sure to be re-reading the story many more times to come, so I will be mindful of this!

About the typos (I think of this as pure typographical errors like simple misspellings or accidental extra spacing. Please let me know if this isn't the case and you do recall specifics off the top of your head), that is concerning considering we've went over the text thoroughly! I'm sure we'll pick up on more as development continues and we re-read the chapters.
Limabaen wrote:The only other criticism I have that I don't think has been mentioned already is that the colour of the Japanese dictionary words is a bit bright. As in, when the dialogue pops up my eyes jump straight to them which kind of breaks the flow of reading. I also feel like some words like "kimono" don't really need a definition- with vns (especially with anime artstyle) the assumption is that the audience has some knowledge of Japanese culture and anime. Heck, I'm pretty sure most people who don't watch anime know what a kimono is. Just my two cents though, not really something that needs to be changed.
That is true, the pink is bright. I'm sure we can choose a much darker pink or just a darker colour in general- I'll see what the rest of the team thinks! I'll also go over the dictionary again, though I do believe at this stage that "kimono" is the only word in Chapter 1 that wouldn't need a dictionary definition when taking our audience into account (many are definitely familiar with Japanese culture, but we also want to keep things accessible to our English-only/non-anime reader base as well. We're definitely learning about trying to maintain this balance!)
Limabaen wrote:Good luck with your project! It actually appeals to me more than some other upcoming commercial otomes because it seems like it could be a hefty read, I'll try to check it out when it's done.
Thank you very much for your feedback and support! We hope that you'll enjoy the full game when it is complete and you decide to try it. =)

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🌟 Official OP and Chapter 2 demo now up! 🌟

#35 Post by Laramie Castiel » Thu Feb 23, 2017 10:09 am

Hello everyone!
Apologies for the very delayed update... >_<

First of all, we're very pleased to report that our Kickstarter was a resounding success!
Thank you all so much for your incredibly honest feedback- positive or constructively critical- that undoubtedly helped us improve Kokorogawari!

Secondly, our Chapter 2 trial is now out!

In Chapter 2, readers will be able to get to know Guillam Matisse much more extensively, as well as our final love interest Takahara Yuuya!

For those who haven't played our Chapter 1 trial yet, please download the "Chapter 1+2" demo. For others who just want to get right into Chapter 2, please pick "Chapter 2 only"!

We hope you enjoy our latest offering and as always, we welcome any feedback so please don't hesitate to express your opinions!
Download our full Chapter 1 + 2 Trial!

(Due to the trial files now exceeding 100mb (they're now approximately 200mb), we're no longer able to host any of them here on Lemma Soft. Apologies in advance for any inconvenience caused!)

🐦 Via Kokorogawari's itch.io page!

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Kokorogawari Steam Greenlight campaign now underway!

#36 Post by Laramie Castiel » Fri Apr 14, 2017 5:48 am

Hello again, everyone!

Now that we've release our full Chapter 1 + 2 demo and have further progressed with the full game's development...


We hope to receive your support and spread Kokorogawari to a wider audience.

As always, thank you all so much for your continued critique, support and encouragement!

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Re: Kokorogawari [GxB Drama] [CHAP 1+2 DEMO] [STEAM GREENLIGHT]

#37 Post by Jyuuguchi » Thu Aug 09, 2018 11:02 pm

KOKOROGAWARI WILL BE RELEASED IN AUGUST!

Laramie left the team in February, so as the Director/Producer of the game, I will be taking over posting updates here for now, until we open another thread in the 'Completed Works' section.

Shinichi and Yuuya's route will be coming in another week or two, with Guillam TBD.
Please check out our Kickstarter for more updates!
Updates here: http://kck.st/2gnaFok

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Re: Kokorogawari [GxB Drama] [CHAP 1+2 DEMO] [STEAM GREENLIGHT]

#38 Post by Jyuuguchi » Wed Aug 29, 2018 11:45 pm

ello everyone!

Image
https://store.steampowered.com/app/895820/Kokorogawari/

After a long developmental process, Kokorogawari is finally on Steam! (Officially open on 31 August)
It has taken us 2.5 years of hard work to reach this stage and we really want to share our game with the world!

Here is our Opening movie!
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/embed/5reBSNZCYAc[/youtube]

★★★ About Kokorogawari ★★★

Kokorogawari is a GxB romantic human drama visual novel set in modern-day Japan. Through the main themes of the narrative- family, the visual arts and the complexity of relationships- we aim to bring you a story that both visual novel newcomers and veterans can enjoy!

Having been successfully funded on Kickstarter, we hope to receive your support so that we can share Kokorogawari with a wider audience!

You may download the demo here! -> https://precatio.itch.io/kokorogawari

★★★ A heartfelt story... ★★★

Matsubayashi Asami is a fourth-year university student who, having seen her mother's hardships during the divorce thirteen years ago, bears a cynical attitude towards relationships and marriage. Harbouring wounds from the past that may never heal, Asami's insecurities and fears are laid bare as you dive further into the story.

However, as Asami's relationships with her cheeky classmate Shinichi, her polite colleague Yuuya or her self-assured art teacher Guillam deepens, she finds that her negative world view frequently gets challenged.

How will she cope with these new feelings...?

The two main themes of Kokorogawari are "the visual arts" and "family". The visual arts play an integral role in the way many of Kokorogawari's characters express themselves, while their families heavily influence the decisions that they've made in the past and will make.

Rather than just focusing on romantic emotions alone, Kokorogawari's characters explore the difficulties of social obligations and pressures that many of us have been through. This sets us apart from many otome (GxB) visual novels as "family" is a theme that is rarely explored at depth, even though for most of us, our families are a significant part of our lives.

★★★ FEATURES ★★★

★Gorgeous, high quality artwork
★Beautiful original soundtrack and theme song
★A more unique GxB visual novel experience that focuses on under-explored themes
★Dynamic and well-developed love interests and protagonist
★Optional "Love Stats" function to keep track of Asami's relationships
★In-game Japanese dictionary to learn even more about Kokorogawari's world
★Plenty of post-game bonuses to enjoy in the "Extras" section
★Easy-to-use, convenient interface. Fast-access rewind, skip and text jump functions to make replaying for new endings much simpler.
★6 endings; 2 per love interest.
★Approximately 24~28 hours worth of playtime

Note that currently, Guillam is not yet released, and he will be released as a patch soon.

******************************************************************************

Please support Kokorogawari by sharing about our release on your blogs and twitters! :D

P.s - Prepare your tissues...!

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