Zodiac✼Axis: A Fantasy-Fusion Otome [GxB] [KICKSTARTER]

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melelisun
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Zodiac✼Axis: A Fantasy-Fusion Otome [GxB] [KICKSTARTER]

#1 Post by melelisun » Tue Sep 27, 2016 5:57 pm

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Check out the demo!
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We've developed a pre-alpha demo for a brief look at the project. It features two backgrounds, one pose per main sprite, and a brief selection of music and story. While there are some placeholders and limited features, we hope it provides a glimpse of our vision! The main goal of the demo is to convey the overall atmosphere of the game in how we handle visuals and music.

The demo is 2500 words long (around 7 minutes of material).
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We'd like to shoutout Youngha Hwang for programming the demo via the Ren'Py engine, and putting truckloads of work into custom functionalities!
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STORY


Here's the rundown: you play as Alison Hart, a fresh-out-of-college journalism graduate who is desperate for a job. In fact, you're so desperate that you're willing to apply for an infamous (yet successful) online tabloid that specializes in "supernatural events"—though, really, it's just a collection of tinfoil hat conspiracies.

So, when you're assigned to investigate six people who are rumored carry the Spirits of the Zodiacs—whatever that means—you're not worried. After all, the whole idea is just sheer nonsense. Right?

A light and fluffy adventure ensues in which you:
  • Are almost crushed by a chandelier.
  • Find yourself in a burning house.
  • Witness an execution.
  • And somewhere along the lines, you start to think that journalism is a lot more complicated than you expected.


ABOUT


Zodiac•Axis is a commercial visual novel game that will be developed in Ren'Py and released for Mac, PC, and Linux. It is a fusion of suspense, romance, and supernatural fiction with a splash of psychological horror. With a thoroughly developed worldlore, it mixes a contemporary environment with whimsical Asian fantasy.
  • Romance five guys! (Not simultaneously.)
  • Pick from an array of choices. Feign insanity, write a cheesy love song, and assimilate with cardboard boxes.
  • Choices shape Alison’s skillset and allow her to stay alive. Er, that is to say, write good articles.
  • Experience a narrative begins with humor and intrigue, then evolves into heartwarming depth.


CHARACTERS
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Last edited by melelisun on Sat Jan 21, 2017 5:41 am, edited 12 times in total.
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Re: Zodiac✼Axis: A Fantasy-Fusion Otome [GxB]

#2 Post by Rinima » Tue Sep 27, 2016 6:05 pm

:D I've been waiting for this game to appear on here for aggggggges! How exciting ^-^

1. Who doesn't love a good zodiac story? I know I do!
2. Probably Leaf. Rabbits are cute <3
3. not really, I assume we'll find out eventually.
4. Buttons and key chains would be pretty awesome.
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Re: Zodiac✼Axis: A Fantasy-Fusion Otome [GxB]

#3 Post by Zelan » Tue Sep 27, 2016 10:39 pm

What are your impressions on the plot or story?: It seems interesting. I like the idea of the MC being forced into a not-so-illustrious job because she doesn't have any options. I haven't had to experience that yet but I'm sure I will at some point.
Whose route would you likely pursue first?: Probably either Leaf or Zaxary. I've dabbled a bit in audio engineering and I'd like to be a teacher, so their occupations speak to me. ^_^ Plus, Leaf has dark hair and Zaxary has glasses.
Any wild conjectures on why each character has a somewhat bizarre or ominous secret?
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Make of that what you will.
What kind of rewards would you expect (or wish) to see on Z•A's crowdfunding campaign? The game itself is pretty much a given - always good rewards to have. Digital copies of the OST, CGs, etc. tend to be pretty popular; if you can work out shipping and make sure that doesn't take up too much of the budget, physical copies tend to net a fair amount as well. Other physical goods tend to be hit-or-miss, but they're worth a shot. Beta access tends to be sought after as well.

Something else that I've only seen a few times but like the idea of is a commission from one of the artists working on the VN; if that's a little too broad, you could limit it to something like "any two characters from the VN" for the commission.

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Re: Zodiac✼Axis: A Fantasy-Fusion Otome [GxB]

#4 Post by melelisun » Wed Sep 28, 2016 3:14 pm

Rinima wrote::D I've been waiting for this game to appear on here for aggggggges! How exciting ^-^

1. Who doesn't love a good zodiac story? I know I do!
2. Probably Leaf. Rabbits are cute <3
3. not really, I assume we'll find out eventually.
4. Buttons and key chains would be pretty awesome.
Thank you so much for the support and the input! <3
Zelan wrote:The game itself is pretty much a given - always good rewards to have. Digital copies of the OST, CGs, etc. tend to be pretty popular; if you can work out shipping and make sure that doesn't take up too much of the budget, physical copies tend to net a fair amount as well. Other physical goods tend to be hit-or-miss, but they're worth a shot. Beta access tends to be sought after as well.

Something else that I've only seen a few times but like the idea of is a commission from one of the artists working on the VN; if that's a little too broad, you could limit it to something like "any two characters from the VN" for the commission.
Thanks for the suggestions! What you've listed, aside from the physical copy of the game, is currently planned :D Like you mentioned, I'm worried about the costs of manufacturing and shipping taking up an inordinate amount of money, so it's pretty likely that physical merchandise would be limited. My hope is that the majority of the audience will be satisfied with digital and commission rewards, hence why I'm testing the waters with this question.
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Re: Zodiac✼Axis: A Fantasy-Fusion Otome [GxB]

#5 Post by LadyOfGatsby » Wed Sep 28, 2016 5:34 pm

What are your impressions on the plot or story?
Wow it's so original and amazing. I also find it amusing she's desperately looking for a job because it seems relatable and even more intriguing that her job is to write articles for supernatural events. I'm just an overall sucker for supernatural romance. I wonder how the article writing will pan out as well!

Whose route would you likely pursue first?
I would like to pursue Dexter Ardent. Partly because I find him handsome and mostly because his mysteriousness really makes me want to know more about him.

Any wild conjectures on why each character has a somewhat bizarre or ominous secret?
I don't have a clue haha

What kind of rewards would you expect (or wish) to see on Z•A's crowdfunding campaign?
Some awesome rewards would be like an art book, any distribution of art really and like an early access. It'd be cool to receive updates by email too since I like to keep track on visual novels in development.
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Re: Zodiac✼Axis: A Fantasy-Fusion Otome [GxB]

#6 Post by melelisun » Thu Sep 29, 2016 1:46 pm

LadyOfGatsby wrote:What are your impressions on the plot or story?
Wow it's so original and amazing. I also find it amusing she's desperately looking for a job because it seems relatable and even more intriguing that her job is to write articles for supernatural events. I'm just an overall sucker for supernatural romance. I wonder how the article writing will pan out as well!
Thank you! Same, I love supernatural romances. Article writing will actually hold a fairly significant part in the story! There may be critical times where word choices may make the difference between a good end and a bad end.
LadyOfGatsby wrote:Whose route would you likely pursue first?
I would like to pursue Dexter Ardent. Partly because I find him handsome and mostly because his mysteriousness really makes me want to know more about him.
My personal fav too :D
LadyOfGatsby wrote:What kind of rewards would you expect (or wish) to see on Z•A's crowdfunding campaign?
Some awesome rewards would be like an art book, any distribution of art really and like an early access. It'd be cool to receive updates by email too since I like to keep track on visual novels in development.
Art for sure! I'd like to offer a digital artbook, but I've got no ideas aside from that, aside from full-resolution CGs for wallpapers? Perhaps digital stickers for iOS, Line, and Telegram :D

Probably the closest thing to email updates we've got is the RSS feed on our blog. I originally considered starting up a MailChimp for the monthly updates, but it'd take a little bit of work. Do you think it's worth the effort? I've been getting the impression that email is becoming outdated, but I could be totally mistaken.
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Re: Zodiac✼Axis: A Fantasy-Fusion Otome [GxB]

#7 Post by Zelan » Thu Sep 29, 2016 4:43 pm

melelisun wrote:Thank you! Same, I love supernatural romances. Article writing will actually hold a fairly significant part in the story! There may be critical times where word choices may make the difference between a good end and a bad end.
Wait wait wait we get to make choices that determine how the MC writes her articles?? :o This is even cooler than I'd originally thought, and I was already pretty dang hype for this.

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Re: Zodiac✼Axis: A Fantasy-Fusion Otome [GxB]

#8 Post by melelisun » Thu Sep 29, 2016 10:49 pm

Zelan wrote:Wait wait wait we get to make choices that determine how the MC writes her articles?? :o This is even cooler than I'd originally thought, and I was already pretty dang hype for this.
Nothing on the level of Cleverbot! But yes, as the MC writes articles, the player will be presented with a handful of choices to pick specific wording. Early on, these choices don't mean much, but later, they might have some pretty big repercussions.
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Re: Zodiac✼Axis: A Fantasy-Fusion Otome [GxB]

#9 Post by LadyOfGatsby » Sat Oct 01, 2016 3:38 am

Maybe I'm outdated but I personally am into email and check mines everyday XD Just a suggestion but you may be right about others not on top of email
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Re: Zodiac✼Axis: A Fantasy-Fusion Otome [GxB]

#10 Post by Asphodel Kioku » Sat Oct 01, 2016 12:02 pm

What are your impressions on the plot or story?

I don't have the opportunity to see many stories based on this type of zodiac; usually, if I see these types of stories, they are based on the now-13 signs of the Zodiac. So, it's nice to see this change. I think the story is pretty interesting, especially about how we get to make choices on how the main protagonist writes articles. There's not much revealed, so I guess this is about all I can say at the moment right now.


Whose route would you likely pursue first?

Leaf Lewis, he looks like the quiet type, like myself. I think I would also pursue the masked character, if he is meant to be a selectable character? He looks like he has something up in his sleeve?


Any wild conjectures on why each character has a somewhat bizarre or ominous secret?

... No?


What kind of rewards would you expect (or wish) to see on Z•A's crowdfunding campaign?

Merchandise, exclusive wallpapers, keychains, buttons, early access to the game for free, etc. etc. Like any other crowdfunding campaign awards, I think? I have never backed anyone before on Kickstarter.


Question

Will there be any beta testing/recruitment in the future? I would love to apply, since I don't think I will be able to afford the game, seeing it is commercial.

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Re: Zodiac✼Axis: A Fantasy-Fusion Otome [GxB]

#11 Post by melelisun » Sat Oct 01, 2016 6:02 pm

LadyOfGatsby wrote:Maybe I'm outdated but I personally am into email and check mines everyday XD Just a suggestion but you may be right about others not on top of email
Good enough for me! I'll launch a newsletter when the new website is launched in a few weeks :) If you'd like to PM me your email, I can add you when it launches, but if not, that's totally fine too!
Asphodel Kioku wrote:What are your impressions on the plot or story?

I don't have the opportunity to see many stories based on this type of zodiac; usually, if I see these types of stories, they are based on the now-13 signs of the Zodiac. So, it's nice to see this change.

Glad to hear this in particular, I'm happy that people are interested in the Chinese Zodiac since it doesn't seem as popular as the star signs ^^

Asphodel Kioku wrote:Whose route would you likely pursue first?

Leaf Lewis, he looks like the quiet type, like myself. I think I would also pursue the masked character, if he is meant to be a selectable character? He looks like he has something up in his sleeve?

The Cat is not romancable in the base game, but during the campaign we might add a stretch goal to make him have a hidden route for fun.

Asphodel Kioku wrote:Question

Will there be any beta testing/recruitment in the future? I would love to apply, since I don't think I will be able to afford the game, seeing it is commercial.

Beta testing will be a reward on the Kickstarter, but I do look for contractors in art and music! If you have a portfolio, please send it my way; I'd love to see it. In terms of game cost, the early bird Kickstarter price will be $15, Kickstarter price $20, and release price $25, and the game will have over 50 hours of content. So I would highly encourage looking for the early bird reward if you want to get it for cheap :D
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Re: Zodiac✼Axis: A Fantasy-Fusion Otome [GxB]

#12 Post by aeri » Sun Oct 02, 2016 4:42 pm

What are your impressions on the plot or story?
Interesting premise, definitely something that seems to be down-to-earth but at the same time has some light (?) supernatural feel to it. Skimming from the other comments about how the "choices" are presented, it is definitely a different approach!

Whose route would you likely pursue first?
I'm kinda leaning toward the elementary school teacher, but that detective not releasing any information seems mysterious...I wonder why you know?

Any wild conjectures on why each character has a somewhat bizarre or ominous secret?
Not exactly sure, but I am thinking it might have to do with that masked cat character?? Just an idea anyway :P

What kind of rewards would you expect (or wish) to see on Z•A's crowdfunding campaign?
I definitely would like to see a physical release of this! Boxart, some sort of art book or even a guide book like those that those attached to 3DS games nowadays (I'm actually disappointed that a lot of vita and ps4 games don't have those little booklets anymore...), and of course we like accessories like keychains and bags :)


I'm definitely looking forward to your game!

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Re: Zodiac✼Axis: A Fantasy-Fusion Otome [GxB]

#13 Post by melelisun » Mon Oct 03, 2016 3:56 pm

aeri wrote:What are your impressions on the plot or story?
Interesting premise, definitely something that seems to be down-to-earth but at the same time has some light (?) supernatural feel to it. Skimming from the other comments about how the "choices" are presented, it is definitely a different approach!

Whose route would you likely pursue first?
I'm kinda leaning toward the elementary school teacher, but that detective not releasing any information seems mysterious...I wonder why you know?

Any wild conjectures on why each character has a somewhat bizarre or ominous secret?
Not exactly sure, but I am thinking it might have to do with that masked cat character?? Just an idea anyway :P

What kind of rewards would you expect (or wish) to see on Z•A's crowdfunding campaign?
I definitely would like to see a physical release of this! Boxart, some sort of art book or even a guide book like those that those attached to 3DS games nowadays (I'm actually disappointed that a lot of vita and ps4 games don't have those little booklets anymore...), and of course we like accessories like keychains and bags :)

I'm definitely looking forward to your game!
Thanks so much for your feedback! It's likely that if we do offer physical merchandise, we're gonna put a lot of effort into packaging, so that would mean nice boxart and a 12-page booklet.
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Re: Zodiac✼Axis: A Fantasy-Fusion Otome [GxB]

#14 Post by melelisun » Sun Dec 04, 2016 12:22 am

Popping in for a really exciting update: we're thrilled to announce the amazingly talented voice cast for Zodiac•Axis! If our Kickstarter is funded to its first stretch goal, we will be able to hire them for partial voice acting. Huge shoutout to earthtrap from Yin Yang Voices for being our voice casting consultant. He offered invaluable time, wisdom, and experience, and helped us make some very difficult decisions!

Take a listen below:

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Re: Zodiac✼Axis: A Fantasy-Fusion Otome [GxB]

#15 Post by Emilily » Tue Dec 06, 2016 10:48 pm

1.What are your impressions on the plot or story? Like the others, it's certainly not every single day that I see something based purely of the Asian Zodiac/mythology. The general storyline seems fairly interesting from my standpoint, but it doesn't seem to have as much darkness I was hoping for, but this is just from my first impressions of the story. Looking down at the characters though, they have short descriptions, but the red text makes them all the more intriguing. I think the characters suggest a darker story than initially suggested/implied from the content before it. I think though that this primarily caught my attention because it is based on the Zodiac, which I adore!

2. Whose route would you likely pursue first? I would definitely want to pursue Dexter, because I want to know what's behind the obscured text. He seems like one of those mysterious yet smiley characters, and it really gets me thinking about what secrets he may hold and reveal throughout the course of the story (and the humor). I would probably also pursue Zaxary for two main reasons: (1) he's an elementary school teacher, and that's one of my favorite occupations to see in characters, for some reason, and (2) the façade part sends chills down me; I like that feeling, to be honest. At any rate, I look forward to an immersive and emotional story!

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