Summoned [Kinetic][Comedy][BxG][68k Demo][16+] - 1.1.1 Released!

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Semicolonkid
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Summoned [Kinetic][Comedy][BxG][68k Demo][16+] - 1.1.1 Released!

#1 Post by Semicolonkid » Wed Sep 13, 2017 4:21 pm


WARNING: Rated 16+ for explicit language and some adult themes.

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Trailer

Summoning.

A magical and incredible ability, granted to the wearers of summoning rings.
If you possess such a ring, all you need to do is focus, and the person bound to that ring will teleport to you.
Doesn't matter how far away they are, doesn't matter what they're doing...
Doesn't matter if they don't WANT TO.
Doesn't matter if, oh, I dunno, they're ASLEEP or BRUTALLY INJURED or in the middle of a FUCKING CONVERSATION.
...Sorry, this isn't a story about how cool it is to be able to summon a servant to do your bidding.
[/size]
This is the story of how my life became filled with bullshit.

Maybe I'm just enjoying a nice walk outside, looking up at the sun and almost forgetting that my life's the worst, when suddenly ZSHZSHIIIINNGGG!!!! Brad barks at me to help him cut boards for his home remodeling.

Then, after we finish, if I'm lucky I might get an entire 8 seconds of free time before ZSHZSHIIIINNGGG!!!! Stella and her rock band need me to set up their musical equipment.

Whether it's walking David's night shift as a mall security guard, helping Brenda drag people out of burning buildings, or attempting to protect James from high school bullies, it's safe to say that THIS JOB SUCKS.

At least there's Amy...the one person who never forces me to do anything, and is in fact quite nice to me. I think with her help, I might just make it through this year with my emotional sanity intact.
That's assuming my boss, Steve the Demon Lord, doesn't find more piles of shit for me to do.

In any case, my name's Flin Paltwell, and I hope you enjoy my modern tale.

Download:
https://semicolonkid.itch.io/summoned

Blog:
https://summonedvn.wordpress.com

Demo Stats:
Words: 68k
Images: 390+
Songs: 26
Projected Final Word Count: ~300k (152k written so far)
There's a long way to go before completion, especially considering this is a 100% solo project, but I'm determined to get there. I've already put in over two years, so what's a few more?



Summoned has a fuck-ton of CG's. Here are just a few:
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If you play the demo, I would love it if you could answer these questions:

1. Does the 3D-ness or the art style in general bug you? Did you get used to it if it did?
2. What do you think of Flin, the cynical protagonist?
3. Who's your most-favorite character? Your least-favorite? How come?
4. Did any of the music seem out-of place or annoying?
5. I'm very much of the opinion that Summoned gets better and better over time, but the first two hours shown in the demo are burdened with a lot of exposition and setting establishment. Did the demo succeed in grabbing your interest? Are you curious what happens next in the story?
6. Finally, any critiques you may have in general about things you liked or disliked are greatly appreciated! This is a passion project, and I shall strive to make it as good as I can!
Last edited by Semicolonkid on Thu May 16, 2019 8:01 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Summoned [Kinetic][Comedy][BxG][41k Demo][Trailer][16+]

#2 Post by LeonDaydreamer » Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:05 pm

Haha! That song is awesome! :)
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Re: Summoned [Kinetic][Comedy][BxG][41k Demo][Trailer][16+]

#3 Post by Semicolonkid » Thu Sep 14, 2017 2:54 pm

LeonDaydreamer wrote:
Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:05 pm
Haha! That song is awesome! :)
Aww! :)
It's funny you'd comment, because I just checked out "A Near Dawn" yesterday for the first time and I was blown away!! Totally inspired me! Thank you!
Last edited by Semicolonkid on Mon Sep 18, 2017 4:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Summoned [Kinetic][Comedy][BxG][41k Demo][Trailer][16+]

#4 Post by nekobara » Mon Sep 18, 2017 12:23 pm

1. Does the 3D-ness or the art style in general bug you? Did you get used to it if it did?
Not a bit. I actually really like it since it seems to be such a good fit for the game you're creating.

2. What do you think of Flin, the cynical protagonist?
Hmm. While happy-go-lucky protagonists tend to put positive syrup on people's pancakes (that definitely came out weirdly), oftentimes I can better relate to characters like Flin. Because I'm pretty pessimistic and mistrustful myself, cynicism in fiction is easier to get into than the cheerful disposition of say, a young schoolgirl stuck in the body of an old man who is trying to be happy about it. (Don't know why I went with that...) But despite his situation, Flin can still laugh (laughter, even I'm-dead-inside and I'm-literally-dead laughter, is important) and he's trying his best. You have to admire that.

3. Who's your most-favorite character? Your least-favorite? How come?
Most-favorite is either Flin or Amy-Flin's a relatable dude who keeps me entertained even with his negativity, and I love Amy's lovely weirdness. It's a beautiful thing. Oh, and Steve. Steve is dang close to being a fave because how could he not be? He's a magnificent, badass, (handsome) demon lord. :twisted:
Least-favorite is probably Brad. I also dislike James and Stella, but Brad? Brad's a bitch with a small beard.

4. Did any of the music seem out-of place or annoying?

Nope. Though my ears aren't professionally trained, nor are they elephantine (thank goodness for that). So I'm probably not the best person to tell you what's out of place. And I'm annoying. So I might be biased. "Annoying things have to band together!" or something like that. Haha.

5. I'm very much of the opinion that Summoned gets better and better over time, but the first two hours shown in the demo are burdened with a lot of exposition and setting establishment. Did the demo succeed in grabbing your interest? Are you curious what happens next in the story? Personally, I don't think your opinion is that far off from the honest to Steve truth. (Apparently, there are people using 'honest to Pete.' So why not Steve?) And yes, the demo did succeed. I found...basically everything pretty interesting. Not to mention I laughed quite a few times while reading. I appreciate true comedy. Overall, I think you did a really bang-up job on this demo. I find your writing to be fantastic and as I previously said, I think the 3-D art is very fitting. So of course I'm curious about what happens next! I already miss Flin and I only left him at the demo's end about half an hour ago...

6. Finally, any critiques you may have in general about things you liked or disliked are greatly appreciated! This is a passion project, and I shall strive to make it as good as I can! I suck at critiquing things. Trust me when I say: You don't want none of that from me. :lol:

But your passion for this project is a great thing. Hang onto that. :D
"When people don't express themselves, they die one piece at a time." -Laurie Halse Anderson

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Re: Summoned [Kinetic][Comedy][BxG][41k Demo][Trailer][16+]

#5 Post by gekiganwing » Mon Sep 18, 2017 3:17 pm

Semicolonkid wrote:
Wed Sep 13, 2017 4:21 pm
I realize that there are a number of reasons why a project like this may not fully appeal to the Lemmasoft community.
But I believe in it. I love this story, and I think if you decide to lend me 2 hours of your time, there's a solid chance you'll at least have some fun (although if you HATE swearing...you should probably just turn back now).
If you believe in your story and characters, that's excellent. I think it's one way to make sure that your work-in-progress will not go unfinished.

In the last fifteen years, I've selected a variety of visual novels to read. I've liked some which have about a 5/10 average rating on the Visual Novel Database, including both porn-without-plot as well as zero-budget freeware titles . At the same time, I've disliked some commercial VNs which are considered among the best, and have average ratings between 8/10 and 9/10. To be specific, I tried about five of the titles on the July 2015 recommendations chart, and all of them left me thinking "it's okay, I guess" or "not interesting" after about an hour.

Cursing can be dramatically appropriate. However, there have been times when I've thought that it overwhelmed a story, and left me feeling numb. For instance, in the recent past, I tried browsing a trade paperback of Vaughn and Staples' comic Saga. I knew that it was well-regarded. However, when I saw that the story included major characters saying a large variety of expletives, my first reaction was "did an adult write this?"
Semicolonkid wrote:
Wed Sep 13, 2017 4:21 pm
1. Does the 3D-ness or the art style in general bug you? Did you get used to it if it did?
For a while, I wasn't sure if I liked it. Then I got to the scene where Flin meets Steve. I was surprised to see dramatic camera pans. I don't expect that in freeware.

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Re: Summoned [Kinetic][Comedy][BxG][41k Demo][Trailer][16+]

#6 Post by Semicolonkid » Mon Sep 18, 2017 5:00 pm

nekobara wrote:
Mon Sep 18, 2017 12:23 pm
I suck at critiquing things. Trust me when I say: You don't want none of that from me. :lol:

But your passion for this project is a great thing. Hang onto that. :D
Well, I'm excited to see that you enjoyed it overall!! You also clearly put thought into your response, and everything you said made my day! Thank you so much!
gekiganwing wrote:
Mon Sep 18, 2017 3:17 pm
Cursing can be dramatically appropriate. However, there have been times when I've thought that it overwhelmed a story, and left me feeling numb. For instance, in the recent past, I tried browsing a trade paperback of Vaughn and Staples' comic Saga. I knew that it was well-regarded. However, when I saw that the story included major characters saying a large variety of expletives, my first reaction was "did an adult write this?"
I hear ya. In my experience, people have wildly different "cursing tolerance thresholds," and I made the decision early on that I wasn't going to let my fear of rubbing people the wrong way inhibit my use of expletives (which honestly just made this WAY more fun to write). But I understand that it can come off as immature or low-end to certain people, and whenever I'm editing the thing I generally find myself removing more swearing than I add.

Thanks for your thoughts!
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Re: Summoned [Kinetic][Comedy][BxG][41k Demo][Trailer][16+]

#7 Post by Semicolonkid » Mon Jan 22, 2018 5:13 am

Updated the demo to 1.0.1!
The security guard's name has been changed to David to avoid any confusion with Stan, the lead singer of the rock band.
Stan's character sprite was updated to look both more detailed and more masculine.
There were also mild dialogue and narrative edits.

Attached is an image of Amy's bedroom, which I finally finished modeling from scratch. I'm afraid very few environments in Summoned will ever be fully 3D-modeled like this (currently, the only others are Steve's realm and the living room + kitchen in Amy's house), due to how time-intensive the process is. However, completing this marks a significant milestone! In short, progress towards the next major release is coming along!
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Re: Summoned [Kinetic][Comedy][BxG][61k Demo][16+] - 1.1.0 Released!

#8 Post by Semicolonkid » Sun Jun 17, 2018 3:27 pm

UPDATE: Demo 1.1.0 is now released!!

+20k words
+100 (arguably more) CG's, as well as several more backgrounds and sprite emotions
+10 songs
+A bunch of random shit, like the very first of several ANIMATIONS, added to Chapter 1.

This is a MASSIVE update, extending the content from roughly two hours to three! The demo left off halfway through Chapter 8, and now covers up to the beginning of Chapter 12.

There has been a mild character revamp across the board. David, James, and Eric all look better now, and nearly EVERYONE in the story has had that weird eyeliner removed from the bottom of their eyes! Unfortunately, I think it would be too much work to propagate this change to the CG's I already made.

Some of the text in the first two hours have been polished here or there, and one or two songs have had some re-balancing done to the instrumentation. Beyond that and the additional animation, the original content is largely unchanged.

So, the story continues! Should you decide to check it out, I'd love to hear your thoughts! Enjoy!
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Re: Summoned [Kinetic][Comedy][BxG][61k Demo][16+] - 1.1.0 Released!

#9 Post by ComputerArt.Club » Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:42 am

Hey, its the Facebook guy. I will try to make time check this out some time next week :) Sounds awesome though and I was very happy to hear you made the art with Blender. I think I just finished my latest app too, though I need to wait for a translation of the description before I can post it.

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Re: Summoned [Kinetic][Comedy][BxG][61k Demo][16+] - 1.1.0 Released!

#10 Post by Semicolonkid » Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:37 am

ComputerArt.Club wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:42 am
Hey, its the Facebook guy. I will try to make time check this out some time next week :) Sounds awesome though and I was very happy to hear you made the art with Blender. I think I just finished my latest app too, though I need to wait for a translation of the description before I can post it.
Thanks! Yeah, I really love Blender, and was always curious about NPR techniques. I'm just glad I'm using Cycles rendering, since we'll still have that in 2.8.
And, sounds good! Lemme know when your app's ready, and I'll check it out!
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Re: Summoned [Kinetic][Comedy][BxG][61k Demo][16+] - 1.1.0 Released!

#11 Post by DirkB » Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:56 am

I have played the demo. I didn't read everything. I skipped through a lot. But I did look at all the pictures in the image folder. I have also been reading a bit on your blog.

The graphics in 3D are really very good because of the variation in scenes and the immersive experience wih different camera angles. This is one thing that could keep me interested in playing through the whole story. You really put a lot of effort in that.

I read that you say that it's very time consuming, so that you will not make 3D environments for every scene. When I started making my VN, I also thought about using blender, but I didn't do it, because first of all I had no experience with it, no experience with 3D art at all in fact, and I got the impression that if you are going to make everything yourself then you are going to spend a huge amount of time, and that's why I eventually chose to buy environments with DAZ instead. 3D environments are a big thing for me and without it I wouldn't be able to remain motivated for my VN.

I think the main story idea about someone being summoned for several things, is really good. It has a lot of potential. I do like the cynical character of Flin. I think it's well suited for this story. What makes me lose interest is Steve. I am just not into that type of demon. But I am still curious as to what you are going to do with the story. I am kind of hoping that it will be more than being summoned by several people for rather mundane activities. I would like there to be some occult twist, which widens the scope, for example by threatening the existence of Steve or messing up the whole magic summoning thing so that it threatens the balance of the universe or turning Flin into some other "being" with a different personality etc.

The animation with signing the contract was awesome. Overall you are doing a really great job in keeping people entertained with camera panning/angles etc.

The music overall is ok (but I didn't listen to everything, so it's just a basic impression).

Good luck!

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Re: Summoned [Kinetic][Comedy][BxG][61k Demo][16+] - 1.1.0 Released!

#12 Post by Semicolonkid » Wed Jun 20, 2018 9:28 pm

DirkB wrote:
Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:56 am
I think the main story idea about someone being summoned for several things, is really good. It has a lot of potential. I do like the cynical character of Flin. I think it's well suited for this story. What makes me lose interest is Steve. I am just not into that type of demon. But I am still curious as to what you are going to do with the story. I am kind of hoping that it will be more than being summoned by several people for rather mundane activities. I would like there to be some occult twist, which widens the scope, for example by threatening the existence of Steve or messing up the whole magic summoning thing so that it threatens the balance of the universe or turning Flin into some other "being" with a different personality etc.
I don't want to spoil anything, though I will say this: There is an overarching plot that affects the "status quo," but it progresses slowly. Summoned is very character-centric, and actually rather slice-of-life-y. It's a bit of a shame you don't like Steve, given how much screen time he regularly gets, but that's totally fair!
As for the mundanity, well, I definitely think the first 2 hours focus on that aspect more than the rest of the story (very few time skips early on) for the purposes of immersing you in Flin's life, but as time progresses I start to jump more and more to the exciting or more interesting summons. Hopefully that was starting to become evident in the last several chapters of 1.1.0's demo, but I do maintain a focus on character and relationship development throughout most of Summoned.

As for my use of Blender, first of all: Thank you! I'm really glad you like what I've done!
For me, when I started the project, I had much more experience with Blender than any form of 2D art. I hate that I can't feasibly model all the environments (Amy's house took a solid week, her room almost another week), but skipping those ultimately means that going 3D has saved quite a lot of time. After all, I only need to model everyone once, right? Posing a 3D character takes much less time than drawing one, even if I get really finicky with how good a shot looks.
I realized that if I was going to go 3D, I'd better capitalize on it. That meant two big things: Lots of images, at lots of angles. Framing the shots is sometimes very frustrating, but often quite fun. Making the character expressions is also extremely fun.

Your critique actually means a lot to me. This whole time I've been operating under the assumption that people would mainly only like Summoned for its writing, and that the visuals drag it down. If some feel even a little bit inverse of that, that does a lot to validate the effort I'm putting into the visuals too.

Thanks so much for the feedback!
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Re: Summoned [Kinetic][Comedy][BxG][61k Demo][16+] - 1.1.0 Released!

#13 Post by Semicolonkid » Thu May 16, 2019 8:12 pm

UPDATE: Demo 1.1.1 now released!

+ 7k words (The entirety of Chapter 12)
+ 15 (arguably more) CG's, as well as several more backgrounds and sprite emotions
+ 1 new character, as well as some mild character revamps
+ Random tweaks overall

Not as large an update as the two prior, but let this be a warning that I'm still alive and going to finish this!

Very little was changed in previous chapters, aside from the character revamps.
But this is probably the biggest part of this update: Say hello to Leanne, the newest member of the cast!
Leanne_Default_Norm_C.png
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Re: Summoned [Kinetic][Comedy][BxG][68k Demo][16+] - 1.1.1 Released!

#14 Post by ComputerArt.Club » Tue May 21, 2019 9:02 am

Keep up the hard work!

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