Crimson Gray [BxG] [Psychological] [Yandere] - RELEASED!

A place for game announcements, and for people to discuss games being made.
Forum rules
Please read the sticky before creating a new topic. Linking to Kickstarter/Crowdfunded games requires a demo.
Post Reply
Message
Author
User avatar
Sierra Lee
Regular
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2016 2:00 am
Contact:

Crimson Gray [BxG] [Psychological] [Yandere] - RELEASED!

#1 Post by Sierra Lee » Thu Jun 15, 2017 7:09 pm

John is a young man suffering from severe depression. As he loses his sense of purpose in life, he begins to see the world in unfocused gray. Just when he begins to lose all hope, John meets a girl...

Image

A very special girl.

Though Lizzie appears affectionate and devoted, it becomes clear that she's so violent and unstable that a normal boy would run away from her. But when John sees her, he sees someone else suffering from a mental condition. John is willing to risk his safety for a chance to help Lizzie gain some mental stability. Lizzie is willing to murder everyone in school if she believes it would make him happy.

Will he reject her or succumb to his depression? Will she lose control and ruin her chances? Is there a sinister conspiracy lurking in their school, or is it only a figment of their mental struggles? Or... could the two of them actually be exactly what the other needs? Depending on your choices, their relationship will end in tragedy, violence, or just maybe happiness.

Image

Image

Crimson Gray is a psychological thriller, exploring the psyches of the characters and the strange circumstances that brought them together. It has a focus on subtle actions having consequences, your choices impacting the characters' mental stability in ways that could make choices later in the story have very different results.

Image

Lizzie has multiple poses and many expressions to convey a wide variety of different emotions, which you'll have to navigate during the game. The backgrounds are also part of the game's core themes: John sees the world in black and white to represent his depression, and the world becomes increasingly unfocused when he succumbs to it.

Progress
Crimson Gray is mostly complete, the full game having been playtested by several dozen people. What remains is some polishing, most notably a custom GUI. The game is intended to be replayed several times, since making poor choices will end in death and the deeper plot can lead to more than one happy ending. But on average, players report it has around 2-5 hours of content.

Image

Questions
1) Are you interested in the premise of this game? If so, do you have feedback about the pitch? I've struggled on how to pitch the concept of this game, so I'd be happy to get reactions from a broader audience.

2) How long do you think a demo should be for a short VN? I want it to be long enough to give players a sense for the game, but the first chunk of choices/consequences would be a large percentage of the game.

3) What expectations do you get from the story synopsis? I've had some players expect the game to be cruel or tragic, but my intent is for it to be a happy romance... just a strange one. =P

4) How would you react to there being both SFW and NSFW versions of the game? With or without a free patch? Though the game is not focused on sex, there are a few times when sexuality plays a role in the plot. My plan is to release two versions, one in which sex is handled with a fade to black, but I'm curious how the OELVN community views this kind of thing.

5) Do you frequently use Q.Save, Q.Load, and F.Skip in VNs? I'm wanting to pare down the GUI, but I won't remove those options if they are widely-liked by VN readers.

Anyway, that's my VN! Finishing/releasing it is being delayed because I have lots of work to do for my regular monthly releases that pay the bills, but this is a passion project that I look forward to launching eventually. I look forward to your feedback! ^-^
Last edited by Sierra Lee on Fri Jul 14, 2017 6:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Mostly NSFW games/links:
Ongoing Projects: The Last Sovereign, Kingdom of Deception
Finished Games: Ouroboros, Noxian Nights

Zelan
Eileen-Class Veteran
Posts: 1894
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2016 7:23 pm
Completed: The Dark
Projects: bookSLEEPer, Stalker & Yandere
Tumblr: evns
itch: Zelan
Contact:

Re: Crimson Gray [BxG] [Psychological Thriller] [Yandere]

#2 Post by Zelan » Thu Jun 15, 2017 8:08 pm

1) Are you interested in the premise of this game? If so, do you have feedback about the pitch? I've struggled on how to pitch the concept of this game, so I'd be happy to get reactions from a broader audience.: Since mental illness is at the core of your VN, I would hope that you've done a lot of research into the topic. I'm no expert myself, but for one thing, the characters would not just suddenly 'get better,' i.e. completely lose their mental illnesses. Even in the happiest of endings, it should be something that they still have to cope with but are doing so in a healthy way. There's more stuff to consider when mental illness is a plot point as well but, like I said, I'm nowhere near being an expert on the subject.

2) How long do you think a demo should be for a short VN? I want it to be long enough to give players a sense for the game, but the first chunk of choices/consequences would be a large percentage of the game.: You said it yourself: long enough to give players a sense for the game. If you're having trouble figuring out how long 'long enough' is, I would suggest building up to the tone and ending on a cliffhanger (even if just a small one). That way, you draw your audience in, establish the tone of your game, and give them a reason to come back for more.

3) What expectations do you get from the story synopsis? I've had some players expect the game to be cruel or tragic, but my intent is for it to be a happy romance... just a strange one. =P: I would expect it to be both heartbreaking and heartwarming if done right.

4) How would you react to there being both SFW and NSFW versions of the game? With or without a free patch? Though the game is not focused on sex, there are a few times when sexuality plays a role in the plot. My plan is to release two versions, one in which sex is handled with a fade to black, but I'm curious how the OELVN community views this kind of thing.: For me personally, I don't really play games that are completely centered around erotic scenes. However, if there are such scenes which are relevant to the plot and character development, I don't really mind them much. That said, I do prefer that they are non-explicit and/or censored. Katawa Shoujo had sexual scenes, but none of them were particularly explicit (you could clearly see that the characters were having sex but there were only a few CGs where you could actually see the characters' genitals) and they weren't gratuitous (it ranged from 1-3 sex scenes per route).

CUPID also had mature content, but there was an option in the menu to turn the content on or off. Turning mature content off changed the art that was displayed and a few lines of dialogue without changing the overall story or making it so that players who used the filter were "missing out" on the story.

Cute Demon Crashers! also had a filter which simply covered genitalia and female breasts.

User avatar
Scribbles
Miko-Class Veteran
Posts: 560
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2016 4:15 pm
Completed: Pinewood Island
Projects: As We Know It, By Moonlight, Possessed[hiatus],
Organization: Scribble Games
Tumblr: doodlesatbreakfast
Deviantart: breakfastdoodles
itch: scribbles
Location: Georgia
Contact:

Re: Crimson Gray [BxG] [Psychological Thriller] [Yandere]

#3 Post by Scribbles » Fri Jun 16, 2017 8:46 am

The game sounds interesting! I like yandere's so even though I'm not into BxG games I might be interested in playing it when it's done. :)

as for your questions

1. I would revise the questions at the end of your summary so there was only one, and explain everything else as a narrator in the similar way you started. Something like "He tries to keep her stable while fighting his depression and the paranoia that something strange is going on in this school". Open questions like that always come off as a really weak way to sum up a plot (just my opinion!)

2. I couldn't tell you anything for demo length I don't know enough about your game lol perhaps try to cut it off after the yandere reveal, or 1/3 way through the game, or after the introduction to any kind of game play mechanic?

3. You describe a lot of dark subjects if you're going for something upbeat and happy? Are you writing it as a dark comedy?

4. if the sexual content is minimal I don't see a purpose to offer separate versions of the game, if you just want to give ppl the chance to skip it you can program that in to the settings. if you're planning to offer the sfw for free and charge for the nsfw I think the game would need to have enough nsfw content to make it worth purchasing.

5. the only buttons I use in VNs tend to be auto, skip, save(not q.Save) other than maybe history, and load

i'll add to what Zelan said, you're dealing with a lot of heavy topics. Mental Illness and abusive/toxic relationships and there is nothing wrong with that but it has to be done with awareness and purpose. They are things that will make people very touchy, and critical of your work. Make sure you know your subject matters, and that you're not just romanticizing abusive relationships b/c you'll get a lot of shit for it. If you want them to have a happy end make it believable, and it's very true mental illness doesn't go away, not even when you fall in love.

good luck with your project! it's something I would def check out when it is complete :)
Image - Image

User avatar
Sierra Lee
Regular
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2016 2:00 am
Contact:

Re: Crimson Gray [BxG] [Psychological Thriller] [Yandere]

#4 Post by Sierra Lee » Fri Jun 16, 2017 2:56 pm

Hello, thanks for your feedback! Some responses and questions for further clarification:
Zelan wrote:Since mental illness is at the core of your VN, I would hope that you've done a lot of research into the topic. I'm no expert myself, but for one thing, the characters would not just suddenly 'get better,' i.e. completely lose their mental illnesses. Even in the happiest of endings, it should be something that they still have to cope with but are doing so in a healthy way. There's more stuff to consider when mental illness is a plot point as well but, like I said, I'm nowhere near being an expert on the subject.
Is that a general piece of advice you're offering, or did some part of my synopsis give you the impression that the characters would just get over their mental illnesses? I do not want to give that impression, because while one of the mental illnesses in the VN is imaginary, the story as a whole tries to take it seriously.
Zelan wrote:For me personally, I don't really play games that are completely centered around erotic scenes. However, if there are such scenes which are relevant to the plot and character development, I don't really mind them much. That said, I do prefer that they are non-explicit and/or censored. Katawa Shoujo had sexual scenes, but none of them were particularly explicit (you could clearly see that the characters were having sex but there were only a few CGs where you could actually see the characters' genitals) and they weren't gratuitous (it ranged from 1-3 sex scenes per route).
While I feel the sex scenes aren't gratuitous, they don't skirt around the subject either. Right now, even the NSFW version has an option to disable the sex, leaving the sex scenes as "fade to black" scenarios without removing the sexuality-related content surrounding them.
Scribbles wrote:The game sounds interesting! I like yandere's so even though I'm not into BxG games I might be interested in playing it when it's done. :)
Thank you! I hope this game can be interesting to people who like BxG, general romance, or the psychological aspects, as opposed to only people who like all of those.
Scribbles wrote:2. I couldn't tell you anything for demo length I don't know enough about your game lol perhaps try to cut it off after the yandere reveal, or 1/3 way through the game, or after the introduction to any kind of game play mechanic?
I was more wondering if there are any lengths that players would consider too long or too short. For example, I wondered if a third of the game would be too much or if a 5-10 minute demo would be considered too short.
Scribbles wrote:3. You describe a lot of dark subjects if you're going for something upbeat and happy? Are you writing it as a dark comedy?
Oh, I miscommunicated there, the game is far from upbeat! What I mean is that the purpose of the game isn't to see a tragedy play out, it's to pass through the heavy subjects to reach catharsis at the end.
Scribbles wrote:4. if the sexual content is minimal I don't see a purpose to offer separate versions of the game, if you just want to give ppl the chance to skip it you can program that in to the settings. if you're planning to offer the sfw for free and charge for the nsfw I think the game would need to have enough nsfw content to make it worth purchasing.
Thanks for the input. For the record, my reasoning for separate versions is that the NSFW content would most likely get the game taken off Steam and other stores with content guidelines.
Scribbles wrote:i'll add to what Zelan said, you're dealing with a lot of heavy topics. Mental Illness and abusive/toxic relationships and there is nothing wrong with that but it has to be done with awareness and purpose. They are things that will make people very touchy, and critical of your work. Make sure you know your subject matters, and that you're not just romanticizing abusive relationships b/c you'll get a lot of shit for it. If you want them to have a happy end make it believable, and it's very true mental illness doesn't go away, not even when you fall in love.
Yeah, my intent is definitely not to romanticize abusive relationships. This VN is actually a bit of a deconstruction of the yandere trope, modifying the elements of it that I find troubling if taken seriously and trying to place it in the context of a real romantic relationship. The relationship may not start off healthy (given Lizzie's instability) but one of the main progressions of the VN is seeing it move in a healthier direction.
Mostly NSFW games/links:
Ongoing Projects: The Last Sovereign, Kingdom of Deception
Finished Games: Ouroboros, Noxian Nights

User avatar
Nuxill
Veteran
Posts: 464
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2010 4:50 pm
Projects: We Are the Hunted, Heart Shard
Tumblr: nuxill
itch: nuxill
Contact:

Re: Crimson Gray [BxG] [Psychological Thriller] [Yandere]

#5 Post by Nuxill » Fri Jun 16, 2017 9:08 pm

Ooh, this sounds interesting. I'm a fan of the deconstruction of tropes like these. Like others have said, I'm hoping that the treatment of mental illness is handled with care in this vn.

I'm also a big fan of the character sprites. Who's the artist?

Zelan
Eileen-Class Veteran
Posts: 1894
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2016 7:23 pm
Completed: The Dark
Projects: bookSLEEPer, Stalker & Yandere
Tumblr: evns
itch: Zelan
Contact:

Re: Crimson Gray [BxG] [Psychological Thriller] [Yandere]

#6 Post by Zelan » Fri Jun 16, 2017 9:57 pm

Sierra Lee wrote:
Zelan wrote:Since mental illness is at the core of your VN, I would hope that you've done a lot of research into the topic. I'm no expert myself, but for one thing, the characters would not just suddenly 'get better,' i.e. completely lose their mental illnesses. Even in the happiest of endings, it should be something that they still have to cope with but are doing so in a healthy way. There's more stuff to consider when mental illness is a plot point as well but, like I said, I'm nowhere near being an expert on the subject.
Is that a general piece of advice you're offering, or did some part of my synopsis give you the impression that the characters would just get over their mental illnesses? I do not want to give that impression, because while one of the mental illnesses in the VN is imaginary, the story as a whole tries to take it seriously.
Oh, yes, that was meant to be a general piece of advice. You didn't post anything that made me think "oh, this is definitely poorly handled." I just wanted to put it out there since it's going to be such a core focus. Sorry if my post seemed like I was calling you out!
Sierra Lee wrote:
Scribbles wrote:i'll add to what Zelan said, you're dealing with a lot of heavy topics. Mental Illness and abusive/toxic relationships and there is nothing wrong with that but it has to be done with awareness and purpose. They are things that will make people very touchy, and critical of your work. Make sure you know your subject matters, and that you're not just romanticizing abusive relationships b/c you'll get a lot of shit for it. If you want them to have a happy end make it believable, and it's very true mental illness doesn't go away, not even when you fall in love.
Yeah, my intent is definitely not to romanticize abusive relationships. This VN is actually a bit of a deconstruction of the yandere trope, modifying the elements of it that I find troubling if taken seriously and trying to place it in the context of a real romantic relationship. The relationship may not start off healthy (given Lizzie's instability) but one of the main progressions of the VN is seeing it move in a healthier direction.
Trope deconstructions are always great. I'm definitely looking forward to this.

User avatar
Sierra Lee
Regular
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2016 2:00 am
Contact:

Re: Crimson Gray [BxG] [Psychological Thriller] [Yandere]

#7 Post by Sierra Lee » Fri Jun 16, 2017 11:06 pm

Nuxill wrote:Ooh, this sounds interesting. I'm a fan of the deconstruction of tropes like these. Like others have said, I'm hoping that the treatment of mental illness is handled with care in this vn.

I'm also a big fan of the character sprites. Who's the artist?
Probably doesn't do a lot of good for me to simply say that it's handled with care, but I will say that a fair number of the beta testers have clinical depression diagnoses. While most felt the catharsis I was going for, for some the depression aspects hit a little close to home. One of the things I'm tweaking now is the route pathing and variables so that it's less likely that players will end up trapped in bad endings without finding the hopeful ones.

The artist goes by Redd, here is her site for professional work (some NSFW images):
http://reddart.tumblr.com/
Zelan wrote:Oh, yes, that was meant to be a general piece of advice. You didn't post anything that made me think "oh, this is definitely poorly handled." I just wanted to put it out there since it's going to be such a core focus. Sorry if my post seemed like I was calling you out!
No problem, just checking!
Zelan wrote:Trope deconstructions are always great. I'm definitely looking forward to this.
Good to hear. ^-^
Mostly NSFW games/links:
Ongoing Projects: The Last Sovereign, Kingdom of Deception
Finished Games: Ouroboros, Noxian Nights

User avatar
Sierra Lee
Regular
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2016 2:00 am
Contact:

Re: Crimson Gray [BxG] [Psychological Thriller] [Yandere]

#8 Post by Sierra Lee » Wed Jun 21, 2017 6:34 pm

Hello again! Thanks to sasquatchii and Dovahkitteh, the game's now has a custom GUI! Thanks to both of them. ^-^

Here are some samples:
Image

I wanted the screens to just partially obscure the screens underneath:
Image

As a whole, I went for a shadowy, formless design to match the game's theme:
Image

The goal being to create an immersive GUI that doesn't distract the player too much by announcing itself:
Image

I'm currently negotiating with storefronts to decide the exact release dates and release order. Expect more updates here as I cross my fingers and hope the launch goes well!
Mostly NSFW games/links:
Ongoing Projects: The Last Sovereign, Kingdom of Deception
Finished Games: Ouroboros, Noxian Nights

User avatar
Sierra Lee
Regular
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2016 2:00 am
Contact:

Re: Crimson Gray [BxG] [Psychological Thriller] [Yandere]

#9 Post by Sierra Lee » Thu Jun 29, 2017 6:52 pm

The game is out! Right now it isn't out on all platforms (I'll post the SFW Steam version here later), but everyone can enjoy the trailer, created by the aforementioned Dovakitteh:

YouTube Trailer: https://youtu.be/FGnOLbI2et8
Mostly NSFW games/links:
Ongoing Projects: The Last Sovereign, Kingdom of Deception
Finished Games: Ouroboros, Noxian Nights

User avatar
Sierra Lee
Regular
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Dec 22, 2016 2:00 am
Contact:

Re: Crimson Gray [BxG] [Psychological Thriller] [Yandere]

#10 Post by Sierra Lee » Fri Jul 14, 2017 6:54 pm

Hello again, everybody! The game is now released and available on all stores!

SFW Versions
Steam: http://store.steampowered.com/app/655770/Crimson_Gray/
itch.io: https://sierralee.itch.io/crimson-gray

NSFW Versions
MangaGamer: http://www.mangagamer.com/detail.php?go ... _code=1027
itch.io NSFW: https://sierralee.itch.io/crimson-gray-nsfw

Suuuper busy with the release, but if there are any issues or questions, I'll do my best to get back to you ASAP!
Mostly NSFW games/links:
Ongoing Projects: The Last Sovereign, Kingdom of Deception
Finished Games: Ouroboros, Noxian Nights

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Preseva