Yearning: A Gay Story [BxB][School/Slice of Life][18+][DEMO]

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Yearning: A Gay Story [BxB][School/Slice of Life][18+][DEMO]

#1 Post by bobconway » Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:32 pm

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(Previously "Yet Another Gay Dating Sim")

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Yearning: A Gay Story (YAGS for short) is a coming-out-focused character-driven slice-of-life game set during your freshman year on a college campus (phew). You'll meet people, make friends, come out, and maybe start dating someone. (The game is part dating sim, with four dateable guys (with good and bad endings for each), but hopefully is enjoyable enough to play even if you don't manage to find a boyfriend.)

One important note: The story is 100% complete and playable, and I'm mostly looking for feedback on the story and the characters as I continue working on the game.
However, the art assets (sprites and backgrounds) are in progress, and are being replaced as they come in. (Most of the sprites are currently stick figures in varying stages of progress.) There is also currently no music other than on the title screen.

The current goal is to release the game for free after it's complete. There is no estimated completion date.

The game is also quite long, and is NSFW, featuring adult situations and scenes of a sexual nature. However, it does not have overly explicit depictions of sex.

This game is a lot of firsts for me: It's my first time using RenPy, my first time really doing any creative writing, and my first visual novel. I hope it's enjoyable, even in its current unpolished state.

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You can grab the game at my tumblr, which will be updated as changes are made.

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Writing: 99% (Finished except for tweaks and changes based on feedback, and general cleanup)
Sprites: 29% (4/14 finished)
Backgrounds: 100% (19/19 finished)
Music: 86% (12/14 finished)
GUI: 100%

Current game stats: 26,254 dialog blocks, 230,683 words, 1,211,435 characters
(Obviously, not all text will be in a given playthrough, as the game tries to adapt rather heavily to your choices, but that's still a general idea of size.)

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I think of YAGS as being about meeting and getting to know people. As such, I don't want to include any background information about the characters here, but here's the characters -- in their current finished-or-unfinished state -- in the game.
(The game itself contains unlockable character profiles where you can learn more about the people that you meet.)
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Most of the sprites are still stick figures, and many backgrounds are still placeholders. However, here's some representative screenshots anyway:
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My tumblr has a lot of behind-the-scenes posts and general progress notes, so you can always follow that to see how things are going.
https://yags-game.tumblr.com

If you have played the game, I've been writing a series of backstory fics for each of the characters, which you can read here. It's a way to pass the time while waiting for art assets, anyway.

I also tweet general status updates, photos, and random thoughts in the development process.
https://twitter.com/bobcgames

I can't talk about this game without talking about Coming Out on Top, by Obscurasoft. I'd had a bunch of disparate stories and ideas bouncing around my head for years, but playing CooT kind of gave me the kick I needed and convinced me that I should write them down, try to connect them together, and present them in a way that a player could interact with and play through. At a superficial level, the two games are fairly similar games in terms of setting and general goals. However, it is my hope that I've created something that is also extremely different and stands on its own.

In YAGS, all of the characters you meet are intertwined, even (and if) you start dating one of them. While you can pursue different guys, and therefore go down different "paths", the main "story" remains the same, and you will see the same events from different perspectives and get to know different characters better. That's why I call it a character-driven game: the story as as much about the lives of the people you interact with as it is about your own decisions and experiences.

YAGS is also intended to be significantly darker than CooT, dealing with a lot more of the fear, uncertainly, and angst that surrounds the coming out progress, and attempting to paint a realistic picture of what it could mean to be gay and to find yourself. That's not to say it's a depressive slog, but it tries to have its realistic and serious moments, alongside the light-hearted ones. Has it succeeded at that? You tell me. :)

YAGS has followed an extremely non-standard development process. My goal, originally, was just to get stories from my head onto "paper". However, as the number of characters and story kept growing, I figured it was worthwhile pursuing an actual game release. Given my complete lack of artistic skills, I focused on what I was able to do (primarily writing and programming). Now that this project has grown more serious, I have signed on the talents of a couple of artists and a musician, and am replacing game assets as they come in.

You can follow asset status (sprites, backgrounds, and music) on either my tumblr or Twitter. (I'll update this thread sporadically, but post much more frequent updates on social media.)

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Any and all feedback is appreciated. (And thank you for playing!) However, here are some specific things I was curious about:
  1. Did you finish a full playthrough? If not, was there a particular reason or moment that caused you to stop playing, or did it just not hold your interest?
  2. What do you think of the gameplay length? Does it feel too long? Are there any scenes that feel like they should be cut, or that don't add much to the game?
  3. Are the characters sufficiently compelling? Do you have a favorite or least favorite character?
  4. Are there particular scenes or situations that seem out of place or just don't fit into the game?
  5. How does the current lack of art assets affect your enjoyment of the game?
  6. (New) What do you think about the sprites and backgrounds so far?
  7. (New) If you didn't play, what is your impression of the game concept?
Last edited by bobconway on Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:32 pm, edited 37 times in total.

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Re: Yet Another Gay Dating Sim [BxB][Slice of Life][18+]

#2 Post by PMscenarios » Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:40 am

Wow, I saw this earlier tonight, and thought I'd download it to give it a try, and ended up spending the rest of the night playing. Finally dragged myself away, and just wanted to leave a few first impression thoughts.
I have sooo much feedback I wanna give later! ;)

I love CooT, it would probably rank as my favourite vn, having played through it at least 3 times I think, so my first impression of YAGS was that it was a bit too similar to it - Jake sounds so much like Brad description-wise, and both the feel and style of writing was really similar.
This became less and less prevalent as I continued playing and got to know the characters though.
I love the idea of a more darker, realistic tone, and trying to deal with insecurities around coming out - the first time I tried going to Q&A and John just -refused-, and coming out to Jake were really emotional.

Because of the more realistic tone though, the twins do not work for me at all. In CooT they (Ian's threesome) are over the top and cartoony bc that's what the game is - here they just feel very unrealistic - more like the kind of girl characters you'd see in a yaoi - there to be the evil roadblocks for the mc - not written as characters.
Them combined with Robert's assholiness and Juan's lecherousness made me extremely unwilling to go to the frat house - ever - and thus also avoiding Adam in the process. I find those scenes -so- uncomfortable that I'm not sure I'd be able to handle trying to do Adam/Juan's path(s?).

Had a lot of fun playing games with Jake, Nik and Hannah, though we keep losing all the time!

By the time I stopped - having to go to bed - I'd reached over midway through October - the first snow falling - and not really getting anywhere with anyone. Jake's
seemingly making things work with Nate,
Nik and Hannah's doing their thing, Dan is sort of a friend, James' both busy and doesn't really seem to want anything to do with us, Adam is studying and Juan is just sort of there in the periphery.
This is a lot on me, if I'm given a more realistic scenario I have a tendency to play in a way I think ppl would actually act - which usually means not pushing things and being afraid to take chances, but - and I'm not sure if it is on purpose or not given the tone of the game - I also feel like I don't have any idea what the paths -actually- are and who I -actually- can go after. Like, is Adam an option? He told us he was straight.. I genuinely don't know.

Maybe bc I walked such a hands-off path there's been a few continuity flaws as I've progressed. What happened to Elliot keeps coming in and out of the story (I'm not sure this should be a plot point unless you've actually spent more time at the frat house)- and Jake's came to us for advice even though we'd never been filled in on the Nate thing before that.

quick run-through of the questions:
1. Stopped at oct. 26th I think, half bc it's late (early) and I need to sleep, half bc I kinda felt like I'd pathed myself into a "not getting anywhere with anyone" scenario. Definitely going back and playing more of it though!

2. Not sure how long it is yet. The time we went swimming with Juan was probably the one scene I really felt did nothing for me or the story. Like I get the small thing about the shorts, but everything else was just.. eh. But then I really don't like him so that probably biases me a bit.

3. Nik and Jake could probably do with a bit of tuning to be less similar, their rapid-fire word-play is fun, but it does blend into one another. Otherwise my impression of them is basically: Jake likes food, Nik is good at programming. (this might be bc of them not having any distinct sprites at the moment)
Janet is great, I really like her, and Hannah is also really nice.
Adam I like, he seems like a good guy, Dan and James both feel well-defined for what they're supposed to be.
I have no idea if James actually likes us though. It feels like we're bothering him.
Juan I just don't like. I think I get what you're going for with him, and I'm pretty sure there'd be more to him if we actually hung out with him, but, frat house..
Robert and the twins easily segment themselves into "least favourite".

5. I thought I'd have a huge problem with it, but actually I just mostly ignored the "sprites" all together, and almost treated it like a book. The backgrounds are serviceable, though the kiosk for the pizza place is really confusing (as are the boxes for the dinner table) - they overall give enough info to keep tabs on where we are.
I think it could just as well been without the stand-in stick-figures though. Using free character sprites or just not using any would have worked just as well I think, I don't really need the visual aide of ppl undressing.

I can say I'd definitely like the game more with sprites though, since it'd give me a better idea of the characters and their personality (I don't care much about appearances, but how one dresses and hold oneself tells a lot about a person).


This might make it seem like I'm negative to the game, but I really am not. I was absorbed from the moment I started, and with some tweaks and continued working I think YAGS could be absolutely amazing! I'm new to this myself, but if you need any help or anything, I'd love to help out. I wanna see you succeed! :)
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Re: Yet Another Gay Dating Sim [BxB][Slice of Life][18+]

#3 Post by bobconway » Tue Sep 19, 2017 9:39 am

This is all extremely useful; thank you! Let me respond to some specific points.
PMscenarios wrote:
Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:40 am
my first impression of YAGS was that it was a bit too similar to it - Jake sounds so much like Brad description-wise, and both the feel and style of writing was really similar.
This became less and less prevalent as I continued playing and got to know the characters though.
Yeah, this is something I was worried about. I definitely do not want to come across as a CooT clone -- that's not fair to Obscura and the work she's put in.
I'm glad it works itself out, but I'm curious if there's anything I can do that would make initial impressions more distinctive. (This is reminding me of the opening to Who We Are by TJ Klune, which opens as a shifter mpreg action book and makes totally no sense. Which, while hilarious, would probably not work at all here. :P)
PMscenarios wrote:
Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:40 am
the twins do not work for me at all.
The twins were one of the first people I wrote (after Adam and Juan), and they were originally more of a plot device to both 1) allow you to come out to Adam and 2) provide Juan someone to sleep with (who, as you say, is extremely lecherous), and were therefore kind of throwaway.
But now that the rest of the game exists, I agree -- they're rather unrealistic and flat. (I made an attempt, on the last day of the game, to humanize them, but it's probably way too late by that point.)
I will definitely make changes to their scenes. I think they serve an important role in the game, but should do so while being less bitchy and more well-developed.
PMscenarios wrote:
Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:40 am
Them combined with Robert's assholiness and Juan's lecherousness made me extremely unwilling to go to the frat house - ever - and thus also avoiding Adam in the process. I find those scenes -so- uncomfortable that I'm not sure I'd be able to handle trying to do Adam/Juan's path(s?).
You're the second person I've heard that from. The house is meant to be uncomfortable, but it sounds like maybe it's excessively so, right now. I wonder if making the twins more pleasant would help alleviate some of that. Robert's enough of an asshole for everyone. :)
PMscenarios wrote:
Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:40 am
not really getting anywhere with anyone. ... I also feel like I don't have any idea what the paths -actually- are and who I -actually- can go after. Like, is Adam an option? He told us he was straight.. I genuinely don't know.
This is intentional, but I heard this from one of my testers as well; if you don't play the game as a game and really go after one person, and instead make decisions that feel natural to you, it's easy to go through the entire thing without dating anyone.
I kind of like that it works this way, because you often don't just stumble across a bunch of guys willing to date you in life. But this is also intended to be a dating game, and I totally get if playing it and ending up alone at the end sucks and feels like you wasted your time.
Would it help if I 1) added a character list, including noting who was dateable and who wasn't and 2) made at least one of the guys a little easier to pursue?
Originally, Jake was basically free within the plot (you could always ask him out when he comes out), but I got feedback that it cheapened his path a bit if you knew you could always fall back to him. It probably doesn't need to be that extreme, but maybe some of the requirements around him can be tweaked downward.

In order of ease of dating currently, Jake is the easiest, followed by Dan, then Juan, then James. (You can always sleep with Dan, but that doesn't count in terms of endings.)
Adam is the secret path and is intentionally nearly impossible to get. Your relationship with each of the guys is tracked, and you need 55 out of a possible 60 points with Adam for him to ask you out, so there's basically no room for error. Which I thought was appropriate, because the "gay for you" thing has been done to death, and I really didn't want some straight guy randomly falling for his roommate without a seriously good reason for it.
PMscenarios wrote:
Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:40 am
This might make it seem like I'm negative to the game, but I really am not. I was absorbed from the moment I started, and with some tweaks and continued working I think YAGS could be absolutely amazing! I'm new to this myself, but if you need any help or anything, I'd love to help out. I wanna see you succeed! :)
Thank you so much for your time and this feedback!

I'll note that, if you hit October 21 without starting to date someone, you will no longer have the opportunity to. I tried to make this clear (Juan settles down a bit, Jake gets a stable boyfriend, James messages you if you've been interacting more), but I also don't want you playing through the rest of it and being disappointed at the end.
(Given that you're on October 26, you'll no longer have the opportunity to date anyone, so if that's important to you in terms of story, you'll unfortunately need to restart.)
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Re: Yearning: A Gay Story [BxB][Slice of Life][18+]

#4 Post by bobconway » Tue Sep 26, 2017 9:59 am

Sorry for the bump, but just wanted to note that I've renamed the game after a few comments suggesting that the previous name was selling the game short, in case anyone sees this topic and is confused.
(The new name is maybe a little awkward, but I really liked the acronym, so I tried to backform a reasonable name from it.)

The GUI has also had some work done to it, so it's no longer the RenPy default. (The menus and title screen are still uncustomized, but I hope to make some progress on those before the next release.) There have also been some minor tweaks to the story, and bug fixes.

Screenshots in the original post have been updated.

As always, any and all feedback is welcome and appreciated.
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Re: Yearning: A Gay Story [BxB][Slice of Life][18+]

#5 Post by SilverHyena » Tue Sep 26, 2017 5:39 pm

I gave the game a shot because of the BxB tag and I've got to say that I'm extremely glad I did. You've really created an impressive game here-- it's hard for me to believe this is your first one!

To answer your questions specifically:

1 - Yup. I mainly focused on hanging out with Adam even though I knew that probably wasn't going to work out (
I did read the spoiler about him being a secret route so I knew it was possible, but I didn't think that I'd get enough points to win him over on my first playthrough. I didn't. :P But it was still fun.
) so him and Juan were the ones I got to know the best. On a side note, I didn't find the frat house as off putting as some of your other players apparently did. I mean, maybe a few tweaks are still in order (Note: I played an earlier build than the one you just posted so I don't know if you've changed things since then), but since the frat house was the one of the only places with decent food I was like, yeah, I could go there. :P

2 - Long is good. I felt like I got a good school life experience in. :P I didn't come across any scenes I'd cut.

3 - I've only done the one playthrough, but I did like most of the characters-- Robert being the glaring exception for obvious reasons. I agree that the twins were a little annoying too, but it's not like I had to hang out with them much. Nik didn't really stand out for me, but it's possible that's because I didn't end up doing anything with him outside of the group. Adam is my current fave (but again, I only did the one playthrough so far)

4 - Well, I did get the alone ending and I did think it was weird that
even though we were such great friends Adam stopped talking to me. I mean, it does kind of make sense since he's busy with doctor stuff, but it did hurt a little.
I think you said that there was only one alone ending so, in that case, I suppose it makes sense. Still, it might be nice to have some variants based on who you befriended. Of course, that is more work and probably isn't that important in the grand scheme of things. (Especially since it sounds like the new build made things a bit easier)

5 - Honestly, it did make me a little hesitant to download the game, but once I actually started playing it didn't end up bothering me much. I did kind of enjoy assessing the hotness of various stick figures. Haha. I'm thinking that James is the most attractive stick figure. Because you really needed to know that. :P Still, some upgraded art would help your game get the attention it deserves so it's good to hear that you have a sprite artist on board. I was actually going to offer to help out myself, but it looks like that isn't necessary. Still, if for whatever reason that doesn't work out (not to jinx it or anything), feel free to PM me. I'd gladly help out.

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Re: Yearning: A Gay Story [BxB][Slice of Life][18+][Demo]

#6 Post by bobconway » Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:38 am

I wanted to post an update now that some of the game assets are underway, just so you can start to get an idea of what the final game will look like.

I'm hoping to have the first of the finished sprites by this weekend, which hopefully means that a new build with the first real sprite will be out by next week. There will be an option in Preferences to toggle between the two sprite styles, in case it's too jarring to see the real things next to stick figures.
(This will probably be in the final game too, just because the stick figures have inexplicably grown on me, even though I know they won't be for everyone.)

Here's some sketches of the mostly-finalized Adam. (Inking is in progress, hopefully soon followed by coloring.) My sprite artist was incredibly accommodating with all of the different variants I asked for, and also decided to vary the head with different expressions -- which I think makes for a much more interesting, and emotive, character, but was also the cause of unexpected delays given the hair and facial hair variations I'd requested.
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(Click to make bigger)

Here's some work-in-progress sketches of James, with the right one being the more recent design. He's probably going to be re-posed slightly, but the look is pretty much right.
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Music is also in progress. There's a demo of the theme song (albeit with dull guitar strings and unpolished vocals) available here. The rest of the game will have a less in-your-face soundtrack, but I wanted the theme song to be more rock, and stand on its own.

The GUI is also mostly finished, at this point.
Here's the mostly-finished title screen (the sprites will, of course, be replaced and repositioned as I get the real things):
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Overall asset progress:
Sprites: 2/14 in progress
Backgrounds: 1/19 in progress
Music: 1/? in progress

I want to thank, again, everyone that has played this game, with a particular note of gratitude to those of you that have sent me feedback. Your help in this process has been invaluable. :)

And as always, you can download and play through the whole game (for free) here.
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Re: Yearning: A Gay Story [BxB][School/Slice of Life][18+]

#7 Post by SilverHyena » Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:38 am

The sketches look so great! I can't wait to see everyone else. XD The variety in poses should make it look extra dynamic too. Also, I kind of love the idea of including the stick figure mode. Haha.

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Re: Yearning: A Gay Story [BxB][School/Slice of Life][18+]

#8 Post by illuminate001 » Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:11 pm

Honestly, I was hesitant to give this one a shot...as, I-I just couldn't do it. lol. Get past those initial placeholder stickmen. I can't.

BUT~! Now that you've updated and are showing some of the initial sketches for the characters, and the art looks like it could go in a really attractive direction...Yearning has definitely caught my interest! Also the fact that those who HAVE tried the demo-ish so far have had nothing but great things to say about the characterization and the overall kickass-ness of your VN so far.

We can never have too many BxB VN's out there, so I'll definitely be supporting! Cheers!
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Re: Yearning: A Gay Story [BxB][School/Slice of Life][18+]

#9 Post by Nalassa » Tue Oct 17, 2017 8:28 pm

I usually lurk but really wanted to pop in and post my thoughts on this after talking to bobconway - I really enjoyed this game especially as a first attempt, and i'd honestly recommend giving it a try to any BxB fans, but if you're hesitant because of the placeholders just follow the game and wait for the new sprites etc. (which look really promising.) Storywise I thought it was very good and felt well edited, with no errors that leapt out.

You can already play all the way through, each route is a good length and pretty different and there's lots of choices and variety in the paths - there's open relationships, first love, etc.

For the questions;

1/. I've completed all the routes, but as bobconways knows I needed help with the secret route as I definitely found it nearly impossible - in comparision, with the general hints from his tumblr (without which i'd never have thought of
having to talk to Janet or explore the campus to not miss key scenes)
I was able to get James first time.

2/. Gameplay length was great - felt substantial for all of the characters, although I think due to the nature of the secret route it's more of a surprise ending than a full route in itself.
I am a huge fan of gay for you/roommate romance if you ever want to look at expanding Adam's route I wouldn't object no matter how cliché ;)

3/. Characters are fine, and I really enjoyed them all. I think i'm honestly hard-pressed to say which route I like most as they all had different appeals. Possibly liked Jake's the least just because i'm not the shy nerd type, but plotwise it was still really sweet.

4/. I think the scene I really disliked the most was Juan
cheating - would have been ok with say making out, but personally i've never liked this particular bit of drama, even though it makes sense in the narrative given how much he struggles with the pressure from the frat/family etc. Did find it funny I could be the most forgiving and understanding boyfriend ever so that even Adam comments on it and is more upset. :D

5/. I didn't mind the art assets at all but as the others (some great creators here) have said it might improve first impressions so even just implementing draft Adam, given he's the first you encounter, might help appeal to people - as i've seen mentioned around, these are visual novels so the visual part has to be recognised.

So TL;DR - it's pretty well progressed and I hope it gets the attention it deserves.

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Re: Yearning: A Gay Story [BxB][School/Slice of Life][18+]

#10 Post by ParrotWatcher » Wed Oct 18, 2017 12:39 pm

I was a little put off by the current art at first, but I decided to give it a go, and I found I liked the game enough to make my first ever post on the forums. The characters were (mostly) likeable, and the story was compelling enough to keep playing, even if it was more "slice-of-life" than anything else. I even found myself not hating the art by the end. I should note that I've only played through once thus far.
Did you finish a full playthrough? If not, was there a particular reason or moment that caused you to stop playing, or did it just not hold your interest?
What do you think of the gameplay length? Does it feel too long? Are there any scenes that feel like they should be cut, or that don't add much to the game?
Finished, and yes, it seems a good length, although it did seem to be dragging a bit by the end.
Are the characters sufficiently compelling? Do you have a favorite or least favorite character?
Well, aside from Robert (obviously), I really found myself disliking Dan. He felt really creepy, especially during the lunch scene, and I really couldn't see myself ever wanting anything more to do with him (so it surprised me when I went out of my way to meet him :roll:).

Other than that I liked most of the characters that I spent time with. One major complaint would be that while I did enjoy the banter between Jake and Nikhil, I was always disappointed that my character never joined in (indeed, he was generally pretty quiet during all their group conversations). I assume that you're trying to avoid putting words into the player's mouth, but to me, it just feels like the protagonist is pretty bland. The only thing I can remember about him is that he's pretty OCD about "you're" and "your". (For comparison, remember that CooT has a very well-defined character for its protagonist.)
Are there particular scenes or situations that seem out of place or just don't fit into the game?
The Elliot subplot felt weird to me, given that I'd never even met him, and suddenly I was supposed to care about him... I mean, I was worried for Adam and Juan, but not for a character who I didn't even know about until he was in hospital. I'm sure it would have been different had I spent more time at the frat-house, but since I didn't, it felt like a pretty pointless subplot. (Perhaps we should be forced to meet him more? Maybe he could visit Adam with Juan sometimes?)
And on a similar note, there was this one guy (Nate?) who kept being mentioned, but I never met... :?

Likewise, some of the epilogue was concerning characters I'd barely spoken to (the Lizes, for example, got about as much time in the epilogue as I'd actually spent on them in the game...), so maybe that should be trimmed to characters you'd had a lot of contact with?
How does the current lack of art assets affect your enjoyment of the game?
It didn't that much, but mainly because I knew that it was only a temporary thing. Maybe you could have a disclaimer that the art's not finished yet at the top of the first post in big red letters? :P Also, regarding the sprites, is the protagonist going to get one? This may sound weird, but I find it easier to relate to VN protagonists when I can see their faces...
In order of ease of dating currently, Jake is the easiest
Well, given that I failed to woo Jake, despite spending pretty much all of my time with him, I guess I must be pretty bad at this game... :( I understand not wanting him to just be the fallback option, but making it too hard to get him when I had been after him all along just makes it more frustrating than anything else. Maybe he could be made easier again? Or is it always a doomed romance? In which case, it would be more depressing than frustrating...

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Re: Yearning: A Gay Story [BxB][School/Slice of Life][18+]

#11 Post by bobconway » Wed Oct 18, 2017 1:10 pm

First of all, I want to thank everyone that's played, and particularly those of you that have commented or messaged me privately. :) Your thoughts and feedback have all been useful, and I really appreciate you taking the time to try this out.

I also want to respond to some specific points from ParrotWatcher.
ParrotWatcher wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 12:39 pm
Finished, and yes, it seems a good length, although it did seem to be dragging a bit by the end.
I've heard this before from people that don't find a boyfriend during the game. Given there's a fairly definitive cutoff point for dating someone, I could possibly skip more days in the second half of the game. I will look into this. Thank you.
ParrotWatcher wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 12:39 pm
I really found myself disliking Dan. He felt really creepy, especially during the lunch scene, and I really couldn't see myself ever wanting anything more to do with him (so it surprised me when I went out of my way to meet him :roll:).
I've heard all sorts of different things about Dan, including "I think he's awesome because I want to be as outgoing as him and I want to be him" to "He comes on a little too strongly", but this is the first time I've heard him described as creepy. If you have any suggestions for how to tone him down a bit, I'd love to hear them. He's supposed to be very talkative and have no filter, but he's also supposed to be respectful (even as he mouths off at you and makes you uncomfortable).
ParrotWatcher wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 12:39 pm
One major complaint would be that while I did enjoy the banter between Jake and Nikhil, I was always disappointed that my character never joined in (indeed, he was generally pretty quiet during all their group conversations). I assume that you're trying to avoid putting words into the player's mouth, but to me, it just feels like the protagonist is pretty bland. The only thing I can remember about him is that he's pretty OCD about "you're" and "your". (For comparison, remember that CooT has a very well-defined character for its protagonist.)
Yeah, this was an intentional decision early on (protag is mostly silent and malleable), but as you and others have pointed out, he still does have a personality (such as being terrified of his sexuality). I'm not sure how much I want to change this around at this point (especially because inserting even more options into conversations seems like it'll bog down the game), but given I already track the protag's personality based on choices, I could have him interject more depending on those stats. I personally enjoy games with silent, invisible protags, so this doesn't bother me, but I can also understand why others would find it off-putting.
ParrotWatcher wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 12:39 pm
The Elliot subplot felt weird to me, given that I'd never even met him, and suddenly I was supposed to care about him..
And on a similar note, there was this one guy (Nate?) who kept being mentioned, but I never met... :?
Likewise, some of the epilogue was concerning characters I'd barely spoken to (the Lizes, for example, got about as much time in the epilogue as I'd actually spent on them in the game...), so maybe that should be trimmed to characters you'd had a lot of contact with?
This makes a lot of sense. It would be fairly straightforward for me to track how much you've met certain characters, and adjust both the epilogue and in-game dialogue/options to reflect it. (The Elliot thing has come up before as well.)
Let me put that on the backlog of things to fix up. :)
There should be a few points where you meet Nate, but right now his "sprite" is so similar to Adam's that it's pretty easy to think it's actually Adam. I wonder if maybe that's what you ran into? (If you're dating Jake, I think you meet him only once, briefly, but he also doesn't show up in the epilogue.)
ParrotWatcher wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 12:39 pm
Well, given that I failed to woo Jake, despite spending pretty much all of my time with him, I guess I must be pretty bad at this game... :( I understand not wanting him to just be the fallback option, but making it too hard to get him when I had been after him all along just makes it more frustrating than anything else. Maybe he could be made easier again? Or is it always a doomed romance? In which case, it would be more depressing than frustrating...
That's interesting... do you mean that you failed to date him at all, or that you dated him but got his "bad" ending at the end?
Dating him should happen mostly automatically if you've been spending time with him (and if it doesn't, I need to tweak those numbers further). But the endings depend on a bunch of other factors, so the "good" ending is not guaranteed, just like in a real relationship. (I promise there's a good ending for him, though.)
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Re: Yearning: A Gay Story [BxB][School/Slice of Life][18+]

#12 Post by ParrotWatcher » Wed Oct 18, 2017 6:21 pm

bobconway wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 1:10 pm
I've heard all sorts of different things about Dan, including "I think he's awesome because I want to be as outgoing as him and I want to be him" to "He comes on a little too strongly", but this is the first time I've heard him described as creepy. If you have any suggestions for how to tone him down a bit, I'd love to hear them. He's supposed to be very talkative and have no filter, but he's also supposed to be respectful (even as he mouths off at you and makes you uncomfortable).
It was mainly the lunch scene; I was basically trying to indicate (probably too subtly) that I really wasn't interested, but he kept going on about it. I guess if he was more responsive to uncomfortable answers (including things like "I have to work") then he wouldn't have come across as so creepy.
bobconway wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 1:10 pm
Yeah, this was an intentional decision early on (protag is mostly silent and malleable), but as you and others have pointed out, he still does have a personality (such as being terrified of his sexuality).
Thinking about it, the problem may have been that he was too much in between; with too much personality for me to feel like he was just a stand-in for the player, but too little to stand out as his own character. I think adding a sprite for him (even the basic ones you have now) would probably help this.
bobconway wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 1:10 pm
That's interesting... do you mean that you failed to date him at all, or that you dated him but got his "bad" ending at the end?
Bad ending (I assume);
he broke the relationship off after Christmas.
I don't think I did anything wrong in the relationship, though, so if he's supposed to be the easiest boyfriend, he might need to be easier...

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Re: Yearning: A Gay Story [BxB][School/Slice of Life][18+]

#13 Post by Nalassa » Thu Oct 19, 2017 7:41 am

Re; Jake (or any of the characters really); I don't know if it helps but I tried to follow the hints in the story - some are shy or don't like PDA so don't come on too strong and let them take the lead (at least in public), where there's choices try to go with favourite games, food (i.e fries), etc they like. They usually mention it beforehand or from your early encounters, and the responses were generally clear if they were happy or not. I'm not sure if in Jake's route winning games helps improve affection; I tried to.

I'm going to guess I got Jake's happy ending as we were
engaged and married.

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Re: Yearning: A Gay Story [BxB][School/Slice of Life][18+]

#14 Post by bobconway » Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:36 pm

Sorry for the lack of updates. I was hoping to post a large update here when I received the final sprite for Adam but, long story short, sprites have run into a bunch of delays, so the first sprite is not done yet. But I do have some things to show!

First of all, I have the first three backgrounds from the talented Crowkicks: The dorm room (in messy/clean, as well as day/night variants), the campus dining hall, and The Yard restaurant. I think he did an awesome job on these. (Yes, some of the restaurant chairs have no seats. That will be fixed.)
Image Image Image

Second of all, the game's theme music is done. (Not going to post it here on its own, but it's been added to the game itself, and plays on the title screen.) Hopefully it's not too weird to have music on the title screen and nowhere else inside the game right now, but if it is, you can mute the music in preferences.

Third, I have inks for Adam. We ran into trouble there, because it turns out having head variants for the different expressions takes a really long time. We decided that wasn't scalable, given the effort and number of other sprites, so he went through and redid them on a static head. I'm hoping to have a final colored version of his sprite in the next week, but it's already looking pretty good.
Image

Despite the unfinished Adam sprite, I pushed a new game release anyway that includes these art assets (including the black-and-white Adam inks), which you can download from my tumblr. It's really interesting to see this all start to come together. :) The original post has also been updated with new screenshots.

Overall asset progress:
Sprites: 0/14 finished
Backgrounds: 3/19 finished
Music: 1/? finished

As always, any and all feedback is welcome and appreciated. If you're interested in following general progress, I update much more frequently on my tumblr, and also Tweet random thoughts and asset previews.
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Re: Yearning: A Gay Story [BxB][School/Slice of Life][18+]

#15 Post by bobconway » Tue Dec 12, 2017 1:48 am

So... it's been a while. Sprites ran into more delays than I would have liked, and took a bit longer than I would have liked, but the first two are complete, and the game is really starting to come together as a result.

The latest build of the game with the latest art assets (sprites and backgrounds) is out, and available at the usual place (https://yags-game.tumblr.com/download).

Feel free to follow me on twitter (@yagsgame) or tumblr (yags-game.tumblr.com) for more frequent updates. I'd also love to hear thoughts on the art, now that it's starting to come together!

Here's a representative screenshot (more in the original post):
Image

Also here's some samples of the characters themselves:
Image
Image

Overall asset progress:
Sprites: 14% (2/14 finished)
Backgrounds: 37% (7/19 finished)
Music: ??% (1/? finished)
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