Tales From Windy Meadow [Fantasy/Slice of life/Pixel Art/Drama]

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Aureus
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Tales From Windy Meadow [Fantasy/Slice of life/Pixel Art/Drama]

#1 Post by Aureus » Sat Aug 26, 2017 12:36 pm

(Updated on 25th day of November, 2018.)

Well hello there!

In the name of Moral Anxiety Studio I’m glad to announce that we currently work on our second story-focused video game project for Windows.
WindyMeadowStoryNew.png
Tales From Windy Meadow is a single-player collection of interactive stories focused on the community of small village set in bittersweet fantasy world. This Visual Novel explores topics like finding your place in life, loneliness, pursuing your goals and dealing with your past and disadvantages.

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Unlike most VNs, we decided to use to our advantage the world of pixel art. Inspired by games such as VA-11 Hall-A and Sword & Sworcery, we want to create distinctive visuals and combine them with immersive, relatable writing and amazing folk music composed by Doctor Turtle.

We also experiment with other features to make the game as pleasant as possible. The text-based narration is going to be replaced by various animations, limiting the on-screen text almost exclusively to dialogues. Significant character decisions, “skip a scene” button, an in-game map... The GameMaker Studio engine is a perfect tool to add to our game everything it needs to entertain you.

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The game still has a long way to go. We’re currently working on concept arts, story improvements and programming alike, so we plan to release the game in March of 2018.

And if you liked our previous game, The Tavern, you may want to know that Tales From Windy Meadow are set in the same universe, though a couple of decades later. Nalia’s cameo is definitely going to please those wondering what happened to her after her struggles. : )

Very soon I’m going to share with you some more details related to the story we want you to experience. Until then, please let us know if you have any questions or suggestions. : ) I also want to know - do you think there is a place for experimental, weird games in the VN community? Especially ones that don't include romance, porn and manga characters (especially waifus/moe)?
VenaFaceSSSnew.png
FabelFaceSSSnew.png
IudiciaFaceSSSnew.png
To stay in touch with us, follow us on Twitter (@MoralAnxiety) and Facebook (@MoralAnxiety) to make sure you won’t miss any updates!

Much love,
Maciej Aureus Gajzlerowicz
Moral Anxiety Studio
Last edited by Aureus on Sat Nov 25, 2017 1:33 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Tales From Windy Meadow [Fantasy/Pixel Art/Drama]

#2 Post by gekiganwing » Sat Aug 26, 2017 8:05 pm

Aureus wrote:The text-based narration is going to be replaced by various animations, limiting the on-screen text almost exclusively to dialogues.
Sounds like an interesting idea. I'm sure you can think of many quality films, comics, and games which convey information through visuals. Challenge yourself to see how much story, background, personality, and so on that you can present through graphics. If events in your story seem too ambiguous, or if playtesters have trouble understanding what's going on, then use enough text to help clarify things.
Aureus wrote:I also want to know - do you think there is a place for experimental, weird games in the VN community? Especially ones that don't include romance, porn and manga characters (especially waifus/moe)?
In a word, yes. The next three paragraphs are in spoilers because they're somewhat off-topic and personal:
I sometimes seek out and enjoy offbeat things. For instance, after stumbling into the indie comics scene during the mid-90s, I started looking for other comics written in English that also defied my expectations of "only G-rated superheroes and slice of life newspaper series." Also, around the early 2000s, I started to associate video games written in English with "only angry, dour military games," so in order to find more alternatives, I began exploring the fan translation scene.

During 2005, I began looking for visual novels which didn't adhere to my expectations of "only school-based love polygon stories, mostly porn-without-plot." Thankfully, I found a few freeware VNs translated by Insani.org. The Poor Little Bird wasn't a fun read, but it was a good change of pace. Instant Death! Panda Samurai was kind of forgettable, but it was an entertaining change of pace. Having said that... I want visual novel fandom to continue to grow and change. I have my quirky likes and dislikes, but I want to be challenged as a fan.

Manga is just one category of comics -- a word which I use to describe words-and-pictures stories across the world. It was established as a storytelling form about seventy years ago, so it's much younger than live theater or literature, which have existed for centuries. At the same time, it has at least five demographics. The thirtieth best-selling series of 2016 sold 1.6 million copies just in Japan (citation: Gobiano.com/the-30-best-selling-manga-series-of-2016). For what it's worth, some of the best-selling series of all time are almost unknown in other nations. (Kochikame lasted forty years and two hundred books, but I only know about it because I decided to do research. Oishinbo has lasted over thirty years and more than a hundred books, but its official English localization was limited to seven books of short stories.)

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Aureus
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Re: Tales From Windy Meadow [Fantasy/Pixel Art/Drama]

#3 Post by Aureus » Sun Aug 27, 2017 2:59 am

Thank you for sharing your story and for your supportive words. I actually was thinking about making a voice-only version of our game with single voice actor as a narrator to make it accessible for blind people as well, but it will happen only if the game is going to be a success. However, as you said, if the tests are going to prove my general concept is poorly executed, I'm going to change some things and let more narration in. (Currently I'm leaving it to one dream sequence.)

Same as you did, I'm going to hide the rest of my post.
Some of my favorite games are not even marketed as VNs since they include walking and interacting with your surroundings, but I can't find a good reason to not consider them as such (and I think in Japan people wouldn't mind such an approach). To The Moon (people call it an "adventure RPG"), Kentucky Route Zero (an "adventure game" with no puzzles, completely focused on mood, world-building and dialogues), The Beginners Guide (walking sim)...

I love some VNs and concepts behind them, but I sometimes feel out of place in VN community since I don't like porn games nor romance games (when I translated an otome from English to Polish, I was metaphorically suffering). I don't have anything against them or people who love them, but it feels weird to to create/market something that doesn't belong to the mainstream. I hope I won't disappoint those who are going to give Tales From Windy Meadow a chance.
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Re: Tales From Windy Meadow [Fantasy/Pixel Art/Drama]

#4 Post by Neeka » Sun Aug 27, 2017 7:58 pm

I'm excited to see some more pixel art! Will definitely play your game once it is completed.

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Re: Tales From Windy Meadow [Fantasy/Pixel Art/Drama]

#5 Post by Aureus » Sat Sep 02, 2017 12:16 pm

Neeka wrote:
Sun Aug 27, 2017 7:58 pm
I'm excited to see some more pixel art!
And here it is! I decided to wait for nearest #screenshotsaturday, and I think I have something quite nice. : )

Tales From Windy Meadow is set in our unique low-fantasy world inspired by early medieval Europe. We want to turn our characters (both protagonists and NPCs) into relatable, believable and interesting people. It's a community with goals, memories, regrets and fears.

Here are our newest concept arts related to minor NPCs. We play around with both pixel art sprites and more realistic (not-manga-ish) character faces.
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1.jpg
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fems.jpg
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Re: Tales From Windy Meadow [Fantasy/Slice of life/Pixel Art/Drama]

#6 Post by Aureus » Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:27 pm

Another ScreenShotSaturday, another example of playing around with various color sets from concept art stage:
Nalia-Large.png
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Re: Tales From Windy Meadow [Fantasy/Slice of life/Pixel Art/Drama]

#7 Post by Zelan » Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:25 pm

I like the fact that you're making games that you like - aka, not a porn game and not a romance game. Here on Lemmasoft, I think you'll find quite a lot of people who agree that they don't read VNs for the prom, myself included. c: Sexual content is not something that I'm always comfortable with, and when it is present in a VN I prefer to have it censored if possible.

Romance is a bit trickier. I like it, personally, and so do a lot of other people, but I think that you'll also find that there are people who are open-minded and willing to give non-romance games a shot.

I also think it's cool that you're trying an approach of "more art, less writing."

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Re: Tales From Windy Meadow [Fantasy/Slice of life/Pixel Art/Drama]

#8 Post by LeonDaydreamer » Sun Sep 10, 2017 3:00 am

Ooh, lovely pixel art! :)
This project looks great!
ImageImageImageImage

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Re: Tales From Windy Meadow [Fantasy/Slice of life/Pixel Art/Drama]

#9 Post by MarkusLappalainen » Mon Sep 11, 2017 4:17 am

Absolutely yes! I wish there was more of the non-romance, no-porn, not-anime VNs. Personally I find them either uninteresting or repulsive most of the time. I want stories with more depth and substance. While I understand why anime/manga is attractive (protagonists are young = more relatable) I feel that the VN scene would benefit of more productions that go against the status quo, like this one.

The visuals are beautiful! I grew up playing games like Day of the Tentacle and Monkey Island so this takes me directly to that era. Thank you for the rush of nostalgia ;) If I had time I'd want to play those games again now...
Have a happy day! 8)
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Re: Tales From Windy Meadow [Fantasy/Slice of life/Pixel Art/Drama]

#10 Post by TellerFarsight » Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:52 am

The art looks amazing! It looks like you're making quite the step up from The Tavern in terms of visuals; I'll be honest, I tend to avoid games that look like their made in RPGMaker, just because I don't like the general aesthetic of them, but Tales From Windy Meadow looks much more like a Sierra game. If it's a KRZ style game, that would be wonderful.
Although the general perception of VNs are of otomes and general teen romance anime themes, there are a lot of people both on this forum and elsewhere (itch.io) that heartily accepts the kind of narrative you're going for. I'm trying to do a pixel art game as well, one that is closer to classic western pixel games than to the usual VNs poster cases.
I look forward to future updates.
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Re: Tales From Windy Meadow [Fantasy/Slice of life/Pixel Art/Drama]

#11 Post by Aureus » Tue Sep 12, 2017 2:26 am

Thank you so much for your encouragement, fellows!
I love the pixel art of our graphic artists as well, and I think it's a perfect match for our story - since we don't try to present cute schoolgirls and we don't have to make the characters sexually attractive, we can experiment with many designs and approaches. Such as this one!
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And since Visual Novels benefit from player's imagination, pixel art is much more attractive for me than show-all realistic art.

I can't say that we're following Kentucky Route Zero - I love this game, but there are good reasons why it took so many years to publish the 4 chapters, and the game is officially not even finished yet! We don't have the budget to make something with such an amazing range of creativity, but maybe in the future? : )

In a couple of days (maybe this week's ScreenShotSaturday?) I'm going to highlight the story we want to tell, to let you know if you think we're exploring the topics you find interesting. : )
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Re: Tales From Windy Meadow [Fantasy/Slice of life/Pixel Art/Drama]

#12 Post by Aureus » Sat Sep 16, 2017 4:19 pm

#screenshotsaturday! : )
After a terrible week (on personal level) I feel the next one is going to be awesome. ^^ "Tales From Windy Meadow" goes forward, big updates ahead!
Follow us on FB and on Twitter (@MoralAnxiety) to stay in touch! : )
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Re: Tales From Windy Meadow [Fantasy/Slice of life/Pixel Art/Drama]

#13 Post by Aureus » Sat Sep 23, 2017 10:34 am

It would be an honor to know what you think about our new #screenshotsaturday. : )

Image
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Re: Tales From Windy Meadow [Fantasy/Slice of life/Pixel Art/Drama]

#14 Post by Zelan » Sat Sep 23, 2017 5:12 pm

I love the idea of having 3 different protagonists/storylines to follow! I think Vena is my favorite so far, but they all seem like they'll have cool stories.

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Re: Tales From Windy Meadow [Fantasy/Slice of life/Pixel Art/Drama]

#15 Post by Aureus » Sun Sep 24, 2017 3:38 pm

I'm glad you like it! Just to make it clear - these stories are separate, but they occur in the same time in the same community, so the characters know each other pretty well. : )
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