Best Wishes [Romance | Fantasy | Adventure] [DEMO] GXB

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Best Wishes [Romance | Fantasy | Adventure] [DEMO] GXB

#1 Post by Glitterbark » Sun Apr 02, 2017 6:45 pm

Image


Best Wishes is a WIP romance-adventure visual novel about a young, hot-blooded elf attempting to get her crush a present in the wake of his oncoming birthday. Unfortunately, Kree is an idiot, so this may (definitely) be far, far harder than she expected it to be.

Synopsis


In the mountainous nation of Fyrholde, strength is respected above all else, and no pursuit held in more esteem than that of glorious battle. The long nights and brutal winters foster close-knit communities, and such is true of Astrid's Oathbound, a unit of warriors who share a feasting hall affectionately known as Attyrhus. Their work is, on the whole, simple - Fyrholde is filled with threats ranging from dragons to petty bandits, and for a fee, Astrid's Oathbound will... eliminate problems. Violently.

It's not a glamorous life, or a particularly easy one, but they all seem happy enough.

Of course, not every day can involve conquering a beastly foe, though today certainly feels like that for Kree, a young elf from the southern Sylphlands who has, through mysterious circumstances, come to make Attyrhus her home.

Kree is good at many things. Screaming a lot! Brewing potions! Fighting bears! But when she learns that tomorrow is the birthday of the man she's secretly in love with, Kree finds herself honor bound to acquire a present and celebrate his existence in the Fyrish tradition... which is something that's much more easily said than done, given that Kree's skillset basically ends at scholastic dismemberment.

Not that she'd ever let that stop her. Kree is, if nothing else, determined, which may very well land in more trouble than she bargained for.

Characters


Kree
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Our delightful protagonist. She very obviously is foreign to Fyrholde, but she refuses to be shamed about anything regarding her character and prefers punching things to talking about the odd circumstances that landed her there in the first place. She squanders away her profound wizardly talent by using it to make herself really, really good at fistfights, and while most people see this as cheating, it's hard to chastise someone who's decked a bear. She's very desperately in love with Folke, and considers him a dear friend. It doesn't matter if her affections are forever unrequited. Seeing him happy is all she can really ask for in life.

Underneath her brash exterior, she's a very inquisitive, thoughtful, curious person.

Folke
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The birthday boy! Well, almost. Folke is Attyrhus' blacksmith, though he's insecure about his abilities, seeing himself as a meager replacement for his fabulously talented (but ultimately deadbeat) dad. Not that he'd let that show! He's the pinnacle of reliability and he's fabulously kind, which is a good part of the reason Kree has fallen head-over-heels for him. It helps that he's remarkably patient and lets her babble about whatever latest curiosity has taken her fancy.

He doesn't particularly care much that it's his birthday tomorrow. Kree takes this to mean that she needs to go 200% in caring for him.

Briar
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Briar was born in the south, explaining the comparative strangeness of her name. She's a ward of Ranveig, the honorary leader of Astrid's Oathbound, who came into his company after a traumatic incident that left her sans a pair of hands. She's since acquired a pair of replacements constructed from salvaged dwarven technology, magic, and medieval hot-glue, which she has used to become very, very good at making sure nothing ever gets near her hands again.

Vis a vis stabbing.

Her most notable traits are her even temper and regal demeanor. Briar looks the part of a holy paladin, and boy howdy, does she hate the forces of darkness. While Kree doesn't care much one way or another about demons, zombies, and necromancers, she thinks Briar is pretty gosh-darn cool and will gladly follow her into battle. Today, she's going on a trip to a dwarven ruin to find replacement parts for her hands. This may or may not get bungled up by Kree.

Ulfr
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Succinctly put, Ulfr is a jerk. A big, massive, I don't like you because you're different from me jerk. He and Kree have a very tense relationship that started when his first words to her were an insult about her height, and her response was to introduce her fist to his face. He's also one of those 'charge in and think later' types, which should endear Kree to him at least a little bit, but he also seems to think books are the work of the devil so, y'know.

Not really on great terms with the local wizard, even though Kree isn't a particularly... austere one.

He can, occasionally, be kind of nice, particularly when it comes to Folke, a man he holds in pretty high regard. That might be why he's amenable to the idea of helping Kree pick out a present in keeping with Fyrish tradition. Whether or not Kree accepts, and whether or not they can refrain from trying to kill each other for two seconds is... up in the air.

Features
  • * Roughly 150k wordcount for the full game (there's lots of branching). Demo includes ~32k words.
    * Numerous, indepth ways to die and fail horribly, usually accompanied by a quasi-divine entity making fun of you. The demo includes one good ending, 3 was to die, and one "to be continued" ending.
    * Discover hidden truths about the world and the characters inhabiting it by gathering information between multiple paths.
    * Three distinct adventures, one focused on dungeoneering, one focused on domestic mishaps, and one exploring just how horribly wrong a shopping trip can go, all with multiple branching paths within them.
    * Plenty of poorly picked fights full of improvisational combat and bad decisions
    * Spooky stuff involving dwarves that might not actually be dwarves
    * Dogs.
Screenshots
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About

Hi! Thanks for reading this far. Best Wishes is a WIP freeware romance/adventure game that I'm making to flesh out characters and a world that I'd like to use in a much longer, route-based otome game! The available demo was my submission for NaNoRenO-17, and as such, it's a bit... rough around the edges, featuring some WIP assets (read: dear god, those backgrounds), missing sprites, and far fewer endings and choices than I'd like in the full game. Still, I think it's enough to get a taste of the tone of this project and some of the story! This is my first visual novel, so I've got a lot to learn, but making this demo was a seriously educational experience, and I hope you enjoy it if you decide to give it a shot.

(Here's another link to the demo, if you don't want to scroll up.)

If you're interested in the game, I have a few questions for you.

1.) Who is your favorite character?
2.) Does the premise sound interesting?
3.) Is Kree your kind of protagonist? Do you think following her stupid misadventures will be fun?
4.) Is there anything you're really interested in seeing in the finished game?

And, more specifically, if you've played the demo -

5.) What was your favorite scene?
6.) Do you enjoy the world this is set in? Are you interested in learning more about it?
7.) And finally - did you have fun?

Thank you so much for your time, and I hope you have a very nice day!
WIP: Image

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Re: Best Wishes [Romance | Fantasy | Adventure] [DEMO] GXB

#2 Post by gekiganwing » Fri Apr 07, 2017 12:22 pm

I like the art style and limited color palette. Though I wonder if it's a good fit for a story which is somewhat humorous. I tend to associate brown color art with dour, downbeat stories.

The premise sounds interesting. I say this as a person who practically grew up in a library and read every fantasy novel that seemed appealing. I've also enjoyed fantasy fiction in the forms of games and comics.

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Re: Best Wishes [Romance | Fantasy | Adventure] [DEMO] GXB

#3 Post by Glitterbark » Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:46 pm

gekiganwing wrote:I like the art style and limited color palette. Though I wonder if it's a good fit for a story which is somewhat humorous. I tend to associate brown color art with dour, downbeat stories.

The premise sounds interesting. I say this as a person who practically grew up in a library and read every fantasy novel that seemed appealing. I've also enjoyed fantasy fiction in the forms of games and comics.
That impression might change if you play the demo! It's not really a bright comedy, so to speak - and I think it shows in some parts that horror is my favorite genre. Pretty serious topics like slavery and war are also discussed, and
Ulfr bears Kree a lot of ill-will due to war crimes committed by the elves in the not-too-distant past.
Overall, I'd say Best Wishes has a dark comedy flair to it, which is why I picked the limited color palette - along with it dealing primarily with what basically amounts to fantasy vikings. (Also, the limited color palette does have some thematic meaning.)

I'm glad the premise intrigues you, though, especially since you've consumed so much fantasy work to judge it against! If you like detailed fantasy, I have tried to put a lot of thought into this world... and I've also tried to play with classical fantasy stereotypes in an atypical way. Elves, for example, are highly nationalistic, dwarves seem to have turned math into a religion, and the cosmological system is rooted (hahaha) in the belief that the world came from a divine tree. The world is, in a lot of ways, strange... and a priority of mine is making sure it has character.

Thanks for your comment!
WIP: Image

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Re: Best Wishes [Romance | Fantasy | Adventure] [DEMO] GXB

#4 Post by Alcor » Sun Apr 09, 2017 7:18 pm

Hello! I haven't tried all the choices in the demo quite yet, but I loved what I did choose.
I chose to go with Briar, and then I chose some of the most unintuitive choices available (winging all the puzzles)--I'm surprised Kree is still alive after all that, but it was such an adventure and I enjoyed it so much!
1.) Who is your favorite character?
I really like everyone. I usually don't have such a hard time choosing favorite characters in a story; I'm just amazed by how awesome (and relatable) your characters are.

2.) Does the premise sound interesting?
Yupyup!

3.) Is Kree your kind of protagonist? Do you think following her stupid misadventures will be fun?
Yes! Kree is definitely my kind of gal. The demo confirmed this for me.

4.) Is there anything you're really interested in seeing in the finished game?
I don't really know what to expect, haha, and I also don't have anything in particular to suggest here.
All the twists were spectacular, though. I did NOT expect to meet the dwarf.
And, more specifically, if you've played the demo -

5.) What was your favorite scene?
I'm not sure yet; would have to try some of the other options before I can give a satisfactory answer. I did love the opening scene (with Folke), though, as well as every scene that included Briar. I think I'm becoming a huge Briar fangirl.

6.) Do you enjoy the world this is set in? Are you interested in learning more about it?
Definitely!
Everything about the dwarves is so mysterious and ambiguous, and as Kree pointed out that everything is brown I was all "oh crap she's right... I thought the brown was just a color scheme, BUT THERE ARE ACTUAL COLORS HERE".
7.) And finally - did you have fun?
Yes! And I'll try the other choices whenever I'm procrastinating again.

Sorry if this comment is all over the place, ahaha. I think you're doing a terrific job, and I'm looking forward to seeing this in all its completed glory! (You didn't ask questions about the art, but I think the art is gorgeous and I'm amazed by how good you can make everything look with such a limited color palette. Just going to put that here.)

EDIT: FORGOT TO MENTION
the entire game kind of feels like a DnD campaign, with the variety of choices available and the fantastic world-building. I think you would be (or are) a fantastic DM.

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Re: Best Wishes [Romance | Fantasy | Adventure] [DEMO] GXB

#5 Post by Glitterbark » Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:22 pm

@Alcor
Ahhhhh I'm so happy you liked it!! And that you like the art! I'm definitely doing something sort of outside my comfort zone with a limited palette, but I thought it'd be... fitting. (Also Briar confirmed Best Girl.)
"Just wing it" being the correct answer to the door puzzle is actually a meta-joke; both on "the stupid option is the one that DOESN'T kill you" and "sometimes thinking about things too much leads you astray". You can also think of it another way... the choices are like nudging Kree in a particular direction, and in that specific case, Kree knows what she's doing. As the player, interfering there has a decent chance of killing you if you don't know what's what. [Rest assured, though, it'll be much easier to accidentally die in the full game.]
Hehe! I actually am a big D&D fan, and it certainly was an inspiration! During the entirety of NaNo I was binging D&D podcasts while I worked. There's also a lot of Elder Scrolls influence... in fact, I got the idea for the game after a session of me playing Skyrim that included quite a bit of alcohol and me semi-roleplaying an angry punch-elf running around the arctic wilds. My creative process is a very austere and regal one.

-

I've started working on this again after taking a little bit of a break to catch up on school and play some other people's games! Here, for your viewing pleasure...

Image

Image

A bit of updated art! My first priority is to get the content in the demo looking a little, uh, less... less rough.
WIP: Image

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Re: Best Wishes [Romance | Fantasy | Adventure] [DEMO] GXB

#6 Post by Mammon » Tue Apr 11, 2017 1:39 pm

Just played this game, and loved it. While the art is still with its rough edges I really liked the expressions and I can't say I didn't mind the rest because of it. And the writing was really enjoyable, really liked how you introduced the lore through dialogue instead of narration quite often. A lot of writers who just throw that on your plate like homework, while your approach made it feel much more like actual world-building of a viking fantasy setting.

1.) Who is your favorite character?
I can't say for certain yet because the others haven't really gotten a chance to shine yet, but Briar. She really had that caring and stoic personality that fits a tank/paladin without making it feel like 'this is her class so this is what her character should be.'

2.) Does the premise sound interesting?
Of course. The God overseer's hints of the eventual destination of Kree's journey and the way you've been paving a path towards it are most intriguing.

3.) Is Kree your kind of protagonist? Do you think following her stupid misadventures will be fun?
A well-developed protagonist is always better than a clean slate one, and Kree is a most enjoyable girl to follow. Not to mention her excited pose is just joyful.

4.) Is there anything you're really interested in seeing in the finished game?
What the other two routes will be like. The dwarven fortress is most interesting, but I can't help but wonder how baking a cake will result in a similarly epic adventure. And Ulfr seems like a very interesting character for Kree to have friction with in whatever trouble they'll stir up in the city.

5.) What was your favorite scene?
That would be either the description of the dwarven architecture or the diary. The way you designed the dwarves was something I really liked, they felt like the kind of beings whose technology could still be active and advanced hundreds of years after their disapearance and their culture seemed really interesting in a way.

6.) Do you enjoy the world this is set in? Are you interested in learning more about it?
Most definately.

7.) And finally - did you have fun?
I did. It helped immensely that I chose to go to the fortress right away and thus never knew that the other two routes weren't written yet making me giddy about the actual expansive interactive story that, but even without that I would've liked it. And that I could actually understand a puzzle (The color one) instead of being dumbfounded by the writer's leaps in logic was a nice change of pace.
ImageImageImage

Want some CC sprites?

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Re: Best Wishes [Romance | Fantasy | Adventure] [DEMO] GXB

#7 Post by Glitterbark » Sat Apr 22, 2017 10:42 am

@Mammon

I'm so glad you had fun, and you could look past how rushed some things were!

Briar does really seem to fit her role, doesn't she? In a way that almost makes you wonder what came first - did she become a paladin because it fits her personality, or was she so shaped by becoming a paladin that she molded herself into fitting that role? There's also an interesting contrast that's only pretty briefly alluded to in the demo; she's one of the youngest members of the Oathbound. Being so responsible, when she's actually in her very early twenties... well, I hope that makes people curious about what makes her tick!

(Kree's pretty similar to her in age, though elf aging works different so it's not easy to make comparisons.)

Haha! I'm glad Kree looks cute when she's excited. She actually was meant to have some variations on it; one of which I'll put in when I update the art of the demo. Ulfr is..... man. I can't wait to get to his stuff, tbh. Briar's adventure is the most interesting on an action level, and I think you learn the most interesting details about the world in hers. Ulfr's is, in my opinion, going to be the most interesting on an individual character level.

Knowing that I didn't bore you with all the ~worldbuilding~ is a comfort! And that you liked the color puzzle. I meant there to be more, but ran out of time, haha... but I do try to make the puzzles things that make sense, both from an IC (like, why they exist) and OOC perspective. I want people to be able to draw conclusions about the world based on what exists in it! The puzzles are a part of that.

Thanks for commenting! School is taking up a lot of my time, but I'm still chugging away at this. I've done a lot of work in updating the character art and backgrounds, so I'll show off some more of that soon!
WIP: Image

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Re: Best Wishes [Romance | Fantasy | Adventure] [DEMO] GXB

#8 Post by Glitterbark » Fri Apr 28, 2017 5:30 pm

I now have a development blog! You can follow me at http://www.glitterbarkgaming.tumblr.com for updates about my progress. I'll also be posting character doodles and miscellaneous art about the game, such as this page of blushing characters.

Image
WIP: Image

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Re: Best Wishes [Romance | Fantasy | Adventure] [DEMO] GXB

#9 Post by Ghost of Crux » Sun Apr 30, 2017 7:35 am

B L U S H U B R I A R
[creature no longer operates]
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misspells everything as unicorn. Call me Namio. They/them. | Honest Critique

Become a patron on my Patreon!

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Re: Best Wishes [Romance | Fantasy | Adventure] [DEMO] GXB

#10 Post by Glitterbark » Fri May 19, 2017 10:38 pm

:) Glad to know Briar has her intended effect!

I just got done with files, and have taken the opportunity to go "full steam ahead" on work again! Here are some updates on the demo - I've been working on backgrounds and CGs, mostly!

Image

Image

Image

Image
WIP: Image

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Re: Best Wishes [Romance | Fantasy | Adventure] [DEMO] GXB

#11 Post by Glitterbark » Fri Jun 09, 2017 7:57 pm

I've got more time to work on this now that it's the summer. :D I'm hoping to have the art of the demo updated by the end of June. Here's a taste of what I've been doing, along with some extra doodles.

I'm going to start doing streams soon, since I've got long, interrupted periods to work. My picarto is here, if you'd like to be updated when I start! I'll also be posting updates on my development tumblr.
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librarybg.png
Fyrroom.png
WIP: Image

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