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

Posted: Sat Dec 16, 2017 12:56 pm
by ParrotWatcher
Hey, I tried the new WiP, and it's a definite improvement. Adam looks gorgeous, and James doesn't look bad either (can't wait to see Jake and Juan in this style); it's great to be able to join the banter with Jake's group; and while I'm still not a fan of Dan, he feels more obnoxious than predatory now.

I do still feel that the Elliot/Robert issue can come out of nowhere if the player doesn't visit the frat enough; for something that ends up dominating the end of the story, it feels as though it should have been set up more on the non-frat routes.

My main issue, though, is that it's pretty hard to romance anyone.
I managed to miss Jake's route, and as far as I could tell, the thing that I had to do to get it was to do DDR with Hannah and vaguely tell her how I felt about Jake, which caused him to ask me out. Is that a switch that needs to be flipped, or did it just provide a boost to get me over the threshold? Likewise, I had no luck getting with either Juan or Adam, despite spending the entire story with them. While I agree that Adam makes sense as an ultra-difficult semi-secret character, I do feel that the other characters could maybe do with being made a little easier. For one thing, would it be possible to ask out Jake or Juan directly? Maybe after their respective coming out/self-acceptance scenes (and presumably with a lower required relationship)? I get that you want to write something more realistic than "you spend some time with character X and now you are boyfriends", but "asking another gay guy out, and thus getting him to see you as more than a friend" is also pretty realistic. I guess to compare (again) to Coming Out on Top, the majority of routes are easy to get onto (if not easy to stay on), and it's generally reasonably easy to tell approximately where you messed up, if not exactly how. In this game, I have to go through dozens of choices before I get to see how effective they are, and then have to work out exactly which ones I got wrong last time.
I do really enjoy the game; I just feel that the difficulty could be lowered somewhat.

Also,
I note that Elliot, Nate, and Nikhil all have body hair options... :shock: Are they all romanceable, too, now?

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

Posted: Sat Dec 16, 2017 1:07 pm
by bobconway
Thanks for the feedback! :D
ParrotWatcher wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 12:56 pm
I do still feel that the Elliot/Robert issue can come out of nowhere if the player doesn't visit the frat enough; for something that ends up dominating the end of the story, it feels as though it should have been set up more on the non-frat routes.
That's fair. I can throw in a few more forced Elliot scenes or something? At least make it clearer that Juan and Elliot are pretty good friends. The game makes you spend at least some time with Adam and Juan already.
ParrotWatcher wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 12:56 pm
My main issue, though, is that it's pretty hard to romance anyone.
How would you feel about a "game difficulty" setting that unlocks after the first completed playthrough, that lowers the requirements for actually dating someone (as well as the associated ending threshholds)?
I think that maintains a reasonable balance of "this is a game that tries to be realistic" and "it's frustrating not being able to date anyone."
ParrotWatcher wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 12:56 pm
Also,
I note that Elliot, Nate, and Nikhil all have body hair options... :shock: Are they all romanceable, too, now?
No :lol: It's there for completeness sake
particularly since you can sleep with two of those three
.

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

Posted: Sat Dec 16, 2017 4:12 pm
by ParrotWatcher
Okay; so apparently there is an option to ask Jake out, but I just didn't get it that time... :? Did I have to (and forget to) crush on him in the beginning last time?
bobconway wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 1:07 pm
That's fair. I can throw in a few more forced Elliot scenes or something? At least make it clearer that Juan and Elliot are pretty good friends. The game makes you spend at least some time with Adam and Juan already.
That makes sense; I can only remember meeting him the once in my Jake playthroughs. Maybe Juan could introduce us?
bobconway wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 1:07 pm
How would you feel about a "game difficulty" setting that unlocks after the first completed playthrough, that lowers the requirements for actually dating someone (as well as the associated ending threshholds)?
I think that maintains a reasonable balance of "this is a game that tries to be realistic" and "it's frustrating not being able to date anyone."
That works, too.

Thanks for your reply! :D

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

Posted: Sat Dec 16, 2017 11:38 pm
by illuminate001
Hey Bob, just wanted to say hi before the Christmas season is in full swing and everyone goes MIA for awhile. :)

Anyways it's great to see the sprite progress. Particularly I have to mention that the UI seems on point thematically with this whole college experience setting. It's very appropriate and works without being distracting.

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

Posted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:46 am
by illuminate001
So I know I said we'd touch base in the new year, but I finally had time on my hands now that I'm on Christmas break from work until early January...and at last I played the demo for YAGS. Honestly, I'm pleasantly surprised at how much I liked it. Not that I was expecting it to not be good of course! :oops:

What I mean is, I just thought I'd play it for a sec before bed in a really not committed way but found myself immersed so quickly. It was so natural and I attribute it to the effortless writing(style) you seem to have. (although there were a few spelling errors here and there, I'm certain you'll tackle those eventually)

Anyways, I was enjoying the play and Adam (your Adam is a lot nicer than the Adam in my game lol), so much so that I couldn't finish the demo.

I kinda want to wait now until the full thing is out and not spoil myself any further. lol. If that makes sense.

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

Posted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 6:14 am
by ParrotWatcher
Saw this on your Twitter, and thought I'd give my thoughts here:
So uh. Some CGs (even just ending CGs) for #yags might be nice, but I'm also not sure how much more money I want to throw into this project at this point.
How much do CGs matter to you, as a player?
Is that something I could add after I release the game itself?
CGs are nice, but I don't think you'd need them, especially given the immense variation in sprites you've already got. If this was a paid project, then it'd probably feel pretty empty without them, but as you've already said you intend this to be free, I don't see a problem. I guess if you want to, then go for it, but otherwise I don't see the need.

(Also, if you did CGs for every sex scene then Dan would get way too many compared to the other guys... :P)

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

Posted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 10:43 am
by bobconway
illuminate001 wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:46 am
What I mean is, I just thought I'd play it for a sec before bed in a really not committed way but found myself immersed so quickly. It was so natural and I attribute it to the effortless writing(style) you seem to have. (although there were a few spelling errors here and there, I'm certain you'll tackle those eventually)
Thank you! That's really nice to hear.

If you see misspellings or typos as you play, it would be super useful if you could send them to me. I've passed over the script so many times at this point (mostly in the process of doing sprite replacements) that anything left is probably something that I've repeatedly missed. (Or inadvertently added when doing cleanups... I've already found a few of those in the last replacement cycle.)

ParrotWatcher wrote:
Sun Dec 24, 2017 6:14 am
CGs are nice, but I don't think you'd need them, especially given the immense variation in sprites you've already got. If this was a paid project, then it'd probably feel pretty empty without them, but as you've already said you intend this to be free, I don't see a problem. I guess if you want to, then go for it, but otherwise I don't see the need.

(Also, if you did CGs for every sex scene then Dan would get way too many compared to the other guys... :P)
Thanks for the thoughts. Sprite variations instead of CGs was indeed my original goal (which is a lot of why the guys have so many different clothing [and facial hair] variants, and why the backgrounds change with the seasons), so it's useful to know that you picked up on that already. (Related to that is the bonus unlockable scenes and profile features, if you want to just oogle the guys after you date them. Which is arguably one of the reasons to have CGs.)

Still, I think CGs add that little something "more" that might be nice. If I add them for YAGS, I would initially only do one per path (as part of the epilogue), because yes, one per sex scene would be crazy both in terms of quantity and distribution across guys. (Also I think the scenes would have to become significantly more verbose, and explicit, to fit in with the art, which is not something I think I'm comfortable writing yet.)

I might start the conversation with my artist now anyway, because that doesn't hurt anything.

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

Posted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 11:37 pm
by Nalassa
I like the idea of a epilogue CG - it's certainly up to you though if you want to stick to just updating the sprites instead.

To me it's something you'd have to decide to include in the first place and budget for. As ParrotWatcher says for a free game they're probably not expected. I don't know if they'd need to be more verbose and explicit either (I mean currently your scenes are adult with a fade to black rather than a blow by blow description. ;) )

Overall it's shaping up really well and i've been enjoying replaying each route as the sprites and backgrounds are updated.

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

Posted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:07 pm
by bobconway
I was hoping to have a nice large update with finished Jake and Dan sprites and full background replacement to show off. This, unfortunately, is not that update. Sprites have hit some more delays (my artist, correctly so IMO, is focusing on his fledgling webcomic), and the last backgrounds are still on their way.

Still, I do have a new build, with a lot of new stuff, even if a lot of it isn't immediately obvious. Gory details are here, but I wanted to call out the most relevant changes.
  • There's now an "easy" difficulty mode that you can toggle from preferences, after completing a playthrough. This will hopefully make it easier for people that just want to experience all aspects of the story without having to be overly concerned with decisions. I'm absolutely open to further tweaking the numbers if there's a desire for such.
  • All sprites in the game have been replaced with "better" stick figures that I dub "tentacle sprites". In particular, this means that all clothing, expression, and accessory variations that will be in the final game (and the final sprites) are now present. It looks a little strange, but hopefully it'll be a better representation of the final game than the old stick figures were. Please let me know if you run into any bugs, given those changes touched almost all of the game script.
  • Due to popular demand, there's a few new (sexy!) scenes in the game. Let me know if you find any of them awkward; I tried to find reasonable places to slot them.
Dan and Jake sprites are making reasonable progress. Jake is inked and Dan's sketches are complete:
Image

The game itself looks perhaps even stranger than the last build now, due to the combination of Jake's inked sprite and Dan's sketched face on a tentacle sprite, but hopefully the next build will rectify all of that.
Image

The original post has also been updated with some new screenshots. You can grab a copy of the new build at the usual place.

Overall asset progress:
Sprites: 14% (2/14 finished)
Backgrounds: 84% (16/19 finished)
Music: 8% (1/12 finished)

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

Posted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 3:23 am
by ParrotWatcher
So beautiful! :shock:

Okay, so Jake is looking pretty good, if not very colourful, at least.

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

Posted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:29 pm
by poorlyformed
Just downloaded this and am enjoying it so far! I have to admit, I burst out laughing when Juan's sprite popped up. I know you said they weren't finished, but it was still kind of funny to see it in comparison to Adam's.

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

Posted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:14 pm
by bobconway
poorlyformed wrote:
Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:29 pm
Just downloaded this and am enjoying it so far! I have to admit, I burst out laughing when Juan's sprite popped up. I know you said they weren't finished, but it was still kind of funny to see it in comparison to Adam's.
Haha, yeah. I've gotten a lot of time to get used to them, so they don't really phase me now. But the first time I put stick figures in, as a replacement for the free sprites I'd been using during very early development, I couldn't stop laughing.

Hopefully they're not too distracting from the story and game. (If they are, there's an option in settings that can convert all of them to stick figures, which is maybe a little less weird since they'll at least all be consistent?)

I hope you enjoy the game!

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

Posted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:00 am
by bobconway
A bit of a smaller update than usual (and no new game build this time), but I wanted to share some progress before Nanoreno starts to consume my time.

Jake's sprite is done. I'll probably end up waiting to receive Dan's final sprite as well (currently scheduled for mid-March) before pushing a new game build with the both of them, but here's a preview anyway.
Image

More interestingly, as a way to keep myself writing the characters while waiting for game assets, I've started writing a series of short ficlets to fill in backstory in the game. For example:
What happened when Jake came out to Hannah?
What conversations did Adam have with Juan before Juan came out to you?
How did Jake and Nate get together?
How did Adam work through his sexuality, with Juan's help, and start dating you?
They're intended to be canon, and consistent within the game's various storylines, even if they're not necessarily consistent with each other (for game branching reasons).

There's a few already up (including my first attempt at writing explicit sex, which hopefully isn't too cringeworthy), and I intend to continue publishing one fic a week, even through Nanoreno in March.
You can read all of the fics here.

Hopefully I'll be back in late March with a new game build and some more sprites to show off!

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

Posted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 8:51 am
by ParrotWatcher
bobconway wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:00 am
Jake's sprite is done.
So cute! :D A shame there's no shirtless version, but I can wait...

I also note that you've been starting work on a sequel; do you have any early news, or are you looking for suggestions?
(If the latter, I'd quite like to see a full Elliot romance, or at least an ending happier than "slowly recovering", if it's possible, of course...)

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

Posted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:41 am
by arosia
This is looking really fantastic.

I love the approach you took to the game, in terms of sketching it out and just working on assets as you can. Art is almost always the biggest time sink, and you have such a mature approach to the way you're handling your development.

Super impressed and the game looks amazing!

So much love.