Chess of Blades [BxB][Mystery][Romance][DEMO!]

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Dovahkitteh
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Chess of Blades [BxB][Mystery][Romance][DEMO!]

#1 Post by Dovahkitteh » Tue Feb 14, 2017 3:08 am


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We have a playable demo on itch.io, complete with voice acting!


Follow us along during the development process:

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Title: Chess of Blades
Genres: BxB (Boy's Love), Mystery, Romance, Comedy
Length: ~125,000 Words (around 9-13 hours)
Voice Acting: Full English VA
Rating: PG-13, R-18 (two versions)
Available Platforms: PC/Mac/Linux
Release Date: Dec 20th-24th 2017


Summary:
The king is having a huge birthday celebration! Five days of dancing, festivals, and drinking, culminating in a grand masquerade ball. It just so happens that Rivian Varrison, the introverted son of a famous nobleman, is forced to attend this giant event by his father. By chance, or maybe something more deliberate, he runs into a host of colorful and shady characters, all with their own stories to tell. But when a sudden and mysterious crime happens on the second day of the celebration, Rivian finds himself thrown into the middle of it, and has to discover the truth behind what really happened -- and who the people around him really are.
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Questions:
-Does this game sound intriguing to you? Why or why not?
-Do you usually play BL games?
-Which character appeals to you the most?
-General feedback/comments?

If you played the demo:
-What scene/aspect was your favorite? Your least favorite? Why?
-What was your impression of the atmosphere? Did you enjoy it?

Any responses are very much appreciated!
Last edited by Dovahkitteh on Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:01 am, edited 24 times in total.
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CosmicFan

Re: Chess of Blades [BxB][Mystery][Romance]

#2 Post by CosmicFan » Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:44 pm

Does this game sound intriguing to you? Why or why not?

It does. I'm an avid BXB VN player so it's kind of a no brainer. I also like courtly intrigue stories, and so far the art looks really good. Both the character and background art.


Do you usually play BL games?

Yes.


Which character appeals to you the most?

Rivian, actually. He hates parties and loves sweets, I relate to that so much.
But if you mean love interests then Arden appeals to me the most. He seems like the nicest.


General feedback/comments?

I bought and played Requiescence, and I gotta say, it seems like you really stepped up your game. Presentation wise the game blows it's predecessor out of the water. I'm very impressed!
I'm looking forward to this.

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MilanaWalters
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Re: Chess of Blades [BxB][Mystery][Romance]

#3 Post by MilanaWalters » Wed Feb 15, 2017 8:36 am

-Does this game sound intriguing to you? Why or why not?

Yes! Very:) i played Requiescence and really liked it, but i admit this one seems even more interesting whats with that gorgeous art style!

-Do you usually play BL games?

yep. though i enjoy all kinds of games that has any lgbt characters in it and the more the merrier, not just one token.

-Which character appeals to you the most?

Arden and Franz, damn they are hot:) the protagonist looks a bit too feminine for my liking, but i guess its a favorite bl trope u cant avoid:( at least he still got a manly build:)

-General feedback/comments?

a bit more long romance routes would be appreciated, the ones in Requiescence were kinda short:( and more manly looking protagonists for the future, but you still did much better job than ones who make them look very small and like 12-14 yo:/
Last edited by MilanaWalters on Thu Feb 16, 2017 1:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Chess of Blades [BxB][Mystery][Romance]

#4 Post by Zelan » Wed Feb 15, 2017 5:15 pm

MilanaWalters wrote:the protagonist looks a bit too feminine for my liking, but i guess its a favorite bl trope u cant avoid:( at least he still got a manly build:)
I'm with Milana on this one. A lot of BL games and otome games that I see have a habit of always making the protagonist the youngest and shortest character (you did this in Requiescence, too). I'd like to see some more variety with that.

CosmicFan

Re: Chess of Blades [BxB][Mystery][Romance]

#5 Post by CosmicFan » Wed Feb 15, 2017 8:03 pm

I'm going to be the contrarian and disagree with the other two posters. I don't get feminine vibes at all from Rivian. His angular face, blonde hair and pose give more of a bratty, snobbish noble then anything else.

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Re: Chess of Blades [BxB][Mystery][Romance]

#6 Post by rito » Wed Feb 15, 2017 8:34 pm

-Does this game sound intriguing to you? Why or why not?
I get the feeling it's a good story but the summary makes it sound more vague/generic than it is. Wish I could help in this department but I'm ESL and not a great writer.

-Do you usually play BL games?
No. Too many straight girls fetishizing gay men and calling it diversity. Not saying it applies to your game, just the reason I don't usually play them (and I'd love to be proven wrong more often).

-Which character appeals to you the most?
Arden. I'm a sucker for knight types. Also Rivian is highly relatable.

-General feedback/comments?
The art is very good. Shoutout to the costume design which looks diverse enough while looking like it belongs to the same setting, as well as suits the characters. That said, at first glance I got the impression they all look the same because of the poses. Body language is as important as facial expression, if not more, in relaying character, so would be nice to see more than just different arm posing.
I don't think Rivian looks feminine in the slightest. Like CosmicFan said, I think "His angular face, blonde hair and pose give more of a bratty, snobbish noble then anything else."
Lastly, this is a controversial topic in that many people don't find it all that important, but I think you're lacking in the graphic design department for a group in their second Kickstarter. Decorative fonts are great, but for longer texts like character descriptions, they're tiresome to read. I'd go with a classy old style serif instead. The logo, unless it's a placeholder, is in need of reworking too, like the jagged edges of the sword, the colors--the similar reds are making the B blend into the sword--and the way the effect is different between each word. I believe the idea was make it all like it appears in "Blades"?

I hope this helps in some way. Best of luck with dev & KS prep!
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Re: Chess of Blades [BxB][Mystery][Romance]

#7 Post by Zelan » Wed Feb 15, 2017 10:20 pm

In response to CosmicFan and rito: I agree that he's not overly feminine, but in comparison to the other two revealed love interests, he doesn't have that same square jaw that they do, and his hair is a little longer (generally a feminine trait). And either way, my complaint about him being the youngest and shortest still stands.

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Re: Chess of Blades [BxB][Mystery][Romance]

#8 Post by Dovahkitteh » Thu Feb 16, 2017 5:37 pm

First of all, thanks to everyone for your awesome feedback! We really appreciate hearing from you guys.

Regarding Rivian: His character design was indeed intended to be that of a posh and somewhat dainty nobleman; "pretty and haughty features" is how I put his description for our artist. He may look a little feminine as a result, but that's up to the viewer's interpretation! As for him being the youngest, that also has a story component -- it's his first fancy ball all by himself without his family, and he's finally of marriageable age! Incidentally, the level of experience these characters have is not necessarily correlated to their ages, as Rivian stands toe-to-toe with most of them (and outdoes some others).

@rito: Our graphics here are mostly placeholders, and we're definitely going to do some tinkering with them before Kickstarter. Just wanted to get the thread up so we could get some feedback. Thanks for the detailed comments :) Also, in terms of the fetishizing trope, we're attempting to break the mold some with a few fun female characters and a focus leaning more towards mystery and intrigue (although romance remains a significant component).

More art is in progress, but in the meantime, a WIP sketch for one of our backgrounds (castle bedroom):

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Re: Chess of Blades [BxB][Mystery][Romance]

#9 Post by illuminate001 » Fri Feb 17, 2017 3:00 am

Hi Dovah,

First off, I'm excited for your VN. You've really upped your art game since Requiescence! And it's not like that was anything to scoff at! :P Personally I can't seem to find myself able to pull away from the idea of pursuing Franz, even though he's obviously the worst (as in bad boy/difficult) choice at 1st glance.

Arden looks like he might be evil to me. I think there's something in his eyes... So although i find his character design appealing, I'd probably keep my distance from him.

As for tropes I think the setting you have and the fact that this VN isn't a slice of life kinda deal is already enough to ensure it won't be stereotypical. The mystery aspect sounds fascinating and I'm wondering how you'll leverage that.
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Re: Chess of Blades [BxB][Mystery][Romance]

#10 Post by Zelan » Fri Feb 17, 2017 5:00 pm

illuminate001 wrote:Arden looks like he might be evil to me. I think there's something in his eyes... So although i find his character design appealing, I'd probably keep my distance from him.
Huh, really? I'm getting more of an "I'll cut you if you mess with the people you love but otherwise I'll just be cuddling" vibe from him.

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Re: Chess of Blades [BxB][Mystery][Romance]

#11 Post by illuminate001 » Sat Feb 18, 2017 10:41 am

Zelan wrote: Huh, really? I'm getting more of an "I'll cut you if you mess with the people you love but otherwise I'll just be cuddling" vibe from him.
Heh I hope you're right actually. Also in his description the "there seems to be another side lurking beneath the surface." part is very telling. His whole description up to that point is very loyal, warm, kind so I feel like "another side" must be a counterpoint to those good qualities. Also choice of words..."lurking", lurking is like "festering"...its never good so it has to be something bad. I hope Im wrong tho Zelan! :wink:

I guess I'll have to wait and see what Linnaeus looks like. Altho his desc already puts me off. I don't like chasing after tsundere characters. Well..they have to be the *right* kind of tsundere. lol.
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Dovahkitteh
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Re: Chess of Blades [BxB][Mystery][Romance]

#12 Post by Dovahkitteh » Wed Feb 22, 2017 12:43 am

Super excited to announce that the last love interest, Linnaeus, has his spritework done! The main post has been updated, but you can check out what he looks like here:

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Also, a glorious remnant from an early sketch:

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Thoughts? Comments? Thanks again to everyone who's posted so far! :wink:
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Re: Chess of Blades [BxB][Mystery][Romance]

#13 Post by Albert Fernandez » Thu Feb 23, 2017 7:28 am

-Does this game sound intriguing to you? Why or why not?
YES! I like a lot that you combined the medieval esthetic and a crime related plot.

-Do you usually play BL games?
No, but I will try hahaha

-Which character appeals to you the most?
Franz Chaumont, how he is visually it's what I like the most, really cool.

-General feedback/comments?
In which platforms do you plan to release the game, and when?
Maybe you could upload an image of a completed scenario

Keep the good work!

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Dovahkitteh
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Re: Chess of Blades [BxB][Mystery][Romance]

#14 Post by Dovahkitteh » Sat Feb 25, 2017 10:59 am

@Albert -- thanks for the reminder, and the comments! I'll update the post with the details of platforms and release date.

We're super excited to say that our voice acting for the main character is now open! (The rest of the side characters' auditions will open at a later date, but soon)

If you're interested in trying out, or know anyone who might be, share the word!


BTVA Auditions
CCC Auditions

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Re: Chess of Blades [BxB][Mystery][Romance]

#15 Post by shadowkazaki » Sat Mar 04, 2017 12:38 am

-Does this game sound intriguing to you? Why or why not?
It really does. A high society mystery, not something you see very much anymore.
-Do you usually play BL games?
I do. I beat Requiescence in 3 days and absolutely loved it. But I really enjoy BL games.
-Which character appeals to you the most?
Rivian. He seems like the type to not take any sort of crap from people, especially ones he's getting to know.
-General feedback/comments?
The characters sound very intriguing as does the story plot.
It's an interesting spin on a mystery story. ^^

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