Love Hues [LGBT+ friendly][College-Life][Mystery][Rating TBD/18+ for now]

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DewDrop
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Love Hues [LGBT+ friendly][College-Life][Mystery][Rating TBD/18+ for now]

#1 Post by DewDrop » Sat Sep 23, 2017 4:09 am

lemma-soft-banner-corrupt-ph.png


Hello, visitor! Are you ready for your first year at Falls University, the most prestigious post secondary institution in town? Read on if you are!

(Hi! Please let me know if you'd like to repost any of these images - unauthorized distribution is not allowed. Thank you in advance! :D)
What's this game about?

Love Hues follows you, the protagonist (default name Skyler, though you can change this as well as Skyler's pronouns), as you experience your first year at Falls University. Over the course of your studies you'll encounter several of your peers whom you'll be able to befriend or romance, each of whom harbor a secret; who will you interact with, and what kind of secrets about Falls and your peers will you discover?

You can romance any of the characters below regardless of your pronoun choice!

The characters
Skyler
Skyler.png
(Character profile + more info to come!) This is the player character, Skyler (changeable name). They/she/he took a year off after high school and they're/she's/he's now a first-year student at Falls. Skyler's field of study is determined by you at the start of the game.
Toby
toby.png
Toby is a first year student just like yourself - they just finished a year in academic upgrading and are slightly nervous about their enrollment in a prestigious post-secondary. Sports are their passion and they enjoy motivating people on-and-off field. They're pretty quiet about their past and determined to get a new start.
Nova
nova.png
Nova is a first year student as well, although she's already thoroughly set herself up at Falls as one of its amateur history researchers. You can always find her pouring through books on various historical events. She doesn't talk about herself frequently. (A/N: I'm still tweaking Nova so her name is subject to change! Please bear with me.)
Devlin
devlin.png
Devlin is a third year student who serves as Falls' student union volunteer coordinator. He's quiet and reserved, but don't let that scare you - he's friendly to everyone who visits him. He loves music but can't handle severe emotional pressure.
James
james.png
James is also a third year student. He's preparing to earn a medical degree and feels a strong sense of duty towards it, but this doesn't detract from his cheery personality. He's known as one of Falls' most social people.
Ava
ava-final.png
Ava. A first year student. [ERROR] some information corrupted.[/ERROR]
Screenshots
Want to get a feel for the game's look? Look no further!
screen-3.png
Sitting in the cafeteria after your first day.
screen-2.png
Meeting Toby.
screen-1.png
The main menu.

















Why are you posting on this forum?

The primary reason that I'm posting here is because I'd love to receive feedback (I'll write down some concrete questions below), and the secondary reason is because I'd like to report on my progress regularly! I'm excited to make this a place for me to report on my game and I hope you'll be as excited as I am to watch me finish it. Please feel free to comment on this thread if there's anything you'd like to know about the game and I'll answer ASAP!






My questions for you.


Please note: Before you submit your feedback/thoughts/suggestions/advice, please be aware of the following: I cannot provide you any form of compensation for it, in the past, present or future, whether I take or don't take your advice. If I do act on your advice, the resulting changes in the game will remain as my intellectual property. Thank you for your understanding - all input is really and truly appreciated and I'll try to respond to it where I can!

  • Based on the profiles above, who's your favorite character?
  • The game will very likely end up being sold for some money to help fund my future endeavors in VN development/living costs. What could a fair price be?
  • The game will end up having mature themes and some language, but nothing explicit. Will an 18+ rating work?
  • What's your preferred platform to purchase VNs from?
  • How much does a player character portrait matter to you?
  • On that topic: do you prefer a main character who speaks (i.e. they're a character in the plot, themselves) or do you prefer to have more of a silent protagonist?
  • Do you have any other questions/concerns/feedback? Feel free to let me know!
  • More to come!
Game statistics/general info.

This version of Love Hues is 100% made by me (with the exception of some specific code) - the very first demo, which is no longer available, used CC materials. The sources for said CC materials can be found on the credits page on LH's site. http://love-hues.tumblr.com/.

Word count/progress

As per 2017/09/23:
The game contains 6,643 dialogue blocks, containing 68,039 words and 367,904
characters, for an average of 10.2 words and 55 characters per block.

The game contains 133 menus, 449 images, and 18 screens.
Ava's Route: Writing is underway and about 20% done; many CGs are still needed ( ? BGs, 8 CGs); final round of QA testing needed
James' Route: Writing is done; a few CGs/BGs are still needed (1 BG, 3 CGSs); final round of QA testing needed
Devlin's Route: Almost done; ending needs to be finished; a few CGs/BGs are still needed (3 BGs, 4 CGs + a correction to one); final round of QA testing needed
Nova's Route: Mostly done; ending needs to be written; a few CGs/BGs are still needed (0 BGs, 4 CGs); final round of QA testing needed
Toby's Route: Mostly done; a few CGs/are still needed (0 BGs, 3 CGs); final round of QA testing needed

I might reduce the number of CGs in this list to speed up the game's development and see if I can fit the others in later. Alternatively I'll just condense the number in general.


DEMO PROGRESS: Currently I'm focusing on finishing the whole game rather than the demo; that being said, I do want to spend dedicated time on setting it up and releasing it come ~October if I can get everything around the release sorted out.

Credits/Creator

BG/CG/Sprite/GUI Artist: Dewdrop (Me)
Music: Dewdrop
Writing: Dewdrop
Programming: Dewdrop (It would've been impossible for me to code many of LH's features without the help of the excellent Ren'Py specialists across the web and I'll try my best to credit their code as need be! I'm still trying to find the best way to do so.)
(c) Love Hues game. Please do not repost any of my images - this is not allowed. Thank you for your cooperation!

Post updates:
  • Fixed some formatting issues with the screenshots.
  • Added a portrait and a description for the player character.
  • Added important 'read-before-posting' information under the 'questions' header.
    • The simple summary of it is that I cannot provide any form of compensation for your feedback and that my resulting changes to Love Hues will remain as my intellectual property. Thank you for your understanding! :)
Last edited by DewDrop on Sun Sep 24, 2017 11:01 pm, edited 4 times in total.

Zelan
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Re: Love Hues [LGBT+ friendly][College-Life][Mystery][Rating TBD/18+ for now]

#2 Post by Zelan » Sat Sep 23, 2017 5:31 pm

Based on the profiles above, who's your favorite character?: I'm intrigued by Ava considering the missing pieces of her bio. Also, her hair's fantastic.

The game will very likely end up being sold for some money to help fund my future endeavors in VN development/living costs. What could a fair price be?: I'm pretty bad at giving prices for games, but based on your word count alone I'd say you don't wanna go lower than $10. Then again, there are free games out there with twice your word count, so it's really all up to you in the end.

The game will end up having mature themes and some language, but nothing explicit. Will an 18+ rating work?: If it's not explicit, an 18+ rating is probably too high. I don't know exactly what you mean when you say "mature themes" (i.e. content of a sexual nature, content related to trauma, etc.), but most of the time games like that are fine with a 16+ rating. And, I mean, kids these days start cursing when they're like 10. I really don't think the language is gonna be a problem.

What's your preferred platform to purchase VNs from?: I don't have access to a credit card and/or PayPal, so currently the only way for me to purchase VNs online is for them to be available on Steam - this way, I can buy gift cards from GameStop or wherever. However, I know that itch.io is a pretty popular service, especially on this forum, and I would definitely buy from there if I were able to.

How much does a player character portrait matter to you?: I like being able to see my main character. I understand that you are striving for inclusivity by including pronoun choice for the protagonist (and that's great), but accommodating this with a character portrait is a little tricky. It's not a total dealbreaker for me, especially in a situation like this, but I would prefer that the main character be more defined.

On that topic: do you prefer a main character who speaks (i.e. they're a character in the plot, themselves) or do you prefer to have more of a silent protagonist?: Along the same vein as the above, I much, much, MUCH prefer a dynamic main character. I am not at all a fan of silent protagonists, and I can't even think of an example of a VN that I've enjoyed which had a silent protagonist. Give me some depth, please.

Do you have any other questions/concerns/feedback? Feel free to let me know!: I'd like to see a profile for the main character, even if all it says is "this character's goals and personality are determined by the player." Also, is Toby only romanceable by a non-binary protagonist? Are the girls romanceable by a male protagonist?

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Re: Love Hues [LGBT+ friendly][College-Life][Mystery][Rating TBD/18+ for now]

#3 Post by DewDrop » Sun Sep 24, 2017 1:47 am

Hello Zelan! Thank you so much for stopping by! :D I really appreciate your feedback.

Zelan wrote:I'm intrigued by Ava considering the missing pieces of her bio. Also, her hair's fantastic.
Excellent! I can't wait to share Ava's route with everyone - it should be one of the strongest routes in Love Hues. Her braids are always fun to draw.
Zelan wrote: I'm pretty bad at giving prices for games, but based on your word count alone I'd say you don't wanna go lower than $10. Then again, there are free games out there with twice your word count, so it's really all up to you in the end.
Thank you for your input! I'm even worse at gauging prices haha - I've seen so many different prices on the market for so many different VNs that I've been struggling to come up with a price that's fair to the quality of the game... I'll continue researching it; once the demo is completed it'll probably be easier for me to come up with a potential price. That being said, ~$10 to about a maximum of $15 does sound fair to me. :)
Zelan wrote:If it's not explicit, an 18+ rating is probably too high. I don't know exactly what you mean when you say "mature themes" (i.e. content of a sexual nature, content related to trauma, etc.), but most of the time games like that are fine with a 16+ rating. And, I mean, kids these days start cursing when they're like 10. I really don't think the language is gonna be a problem.
Okay! 16+ does sound about right since there's some suggestive themes and infrequent cursing (referring to the ESRB T content guidelines) but yeah, the game definitely doesn't get explicit... I'll review the script and then I'll make a firm decision.
Zelan wrote:I don't have access to a credit card and/or PayPal, so currently the only way for me to purchase VNs online is for them to be available on Steam - this way, I can buy gift cards from GameStop or wherever. However, I know that itch.io is a pretty popular service, especially on this forum, and I would definitely buy from there if I were able to.
Right! That's a good point... I'll keep that in mind and see what platform would work best for the game. Ideally I'd like the game to be accessible to as many people as possible!
Zelan wrote: I like being able to see my main character. I understand that you are striving for inclusivity by including pronoun choice for the protagonist (and that's great), but accommodating this with a character portrait is a little tricky. It's not a total dealbreaker for me, especially in a situation like this, but I would prefer that the main character be more defined.
Okay! The good news is that I do have a design for the main character already - it does occasionally pop up in various CGs... I'll add it into the main post. I can't believe I forgot to add it haha! I might add character appearance variations later but that's very much up in the air. Might be a cool addition though.
Zelan wrote:Along the same vein as the above, I much, much, MUCH prefer a dynamic main character. I am not at all a fan of silent protagonists, and I can't even think of an example of a VN that I've enjoyed which had a silent protagonist. Give me some depth, please.
Luckily I did give the player character a bit of personality in the current script - feedback noted! I always wondered what people preferred so this is good to know.
Zelan wrote:I'd like to see a profile for the main character, even if all it says is "this character's goals and personality are determined by the player." Also, is Toby only romanceable by a non-binary protagonist? Are the girls romanceable by a male protagonist?
Oh, good point! I'll try to get one up ASAP (in the next few days, probably). As for your second question: Toby and all the other characters are romanceable regardless of the protagonist's pronoun choice - I polled people's opinion on this when I first started building the game and that appeared to be their preference.

Thank you very much again for your input! It helps a lot. :D

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Re: Love Hues [LGBT+ friendly][College-Life][Mystery][Rating TBD/18+ for now]

#4 Post by Zelan » Sun Sep 24, 2017 12:20 pm

Yoooo Skyler's really cute. :o
DewDrop wrote:
Sun Sep 24, 2017 1:47 am
As for your second question: Toby and all the other characters are romanceable regardless of the protagonist's pronoun choice - I polled people's opinion on this when I first started building the game and that appeared to be their preference.
That's sort of what I figured. For you opening post, I would just say something like that instead of adding all of those tags. Tags can be confusing, and even with all of the ones that you have, you didn't actually cover all of the possible options. You have [GxB] but not [BxG] listed, which basically means that a female protagonist can pursue male characters, but a male protagonist cannot pursue female characters. (The first letter always denotes the player character.)

This is why I asked specifically about Toby, since I didn't see any [GxN] or [BxN] tags.

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Re: Love Hues [LGBT+ friendly][College-Life][Mystery][Rating TBD/18+ for now]

#5 Post by DewDrop » Sun Sep 24, 2017 10:59 pm

Thank you haha! I'm pretty happy with the way Skyler turned out. :D
Zelan wrote:You have [GxB] but not [BxG] listed, which basically means that a female protagonist can pursue male characters, but a male protagonist cannot pursue female characters. (The first letter always denotes the player character.)
Oh!! Thanks for letting me know that - I had no idea that that's how it worked... I'll update the post straightaway so that it's accurate! :)

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Re: Love Hues [LGBT+ friendly][College-Life][Mystery][Rating TBD/18+ for now]

#6 Post by Zelan » Mon Sep 25, 2017 8:43 am

DewDrop wrote:
Sun Sep 24, 2017 10:59 pm
Thank you haha! I'm pretty happy with the way Skyler turned out. :D
Zelan wrote:You have [GxB] but not [BxG] listed, which basically means that a female protagonist can pursue male characters, but a male protagonist cannot pursue female characters. (The first letter always denotes the player character.)
Oh!! Thanks for letting me know that - I had no idea that that's how it worked... I'll update the post straightaway so that it's accurate! :)
No problem! c: It's a pretty common confusion, actually, so no worries. I didn't get it either for a while - it took me maybe a month of being on LSF before I had that 'aha!' moment.

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Re: Love Hues [LGBT+ friendly][College-Life][Mystery][Rating TBD/18+ for now]

#7 Post by gekiganwing » Mon Sep 25, 2017 4:34 pm

If a visual novel features complex gameplay, then I won't worry too much if the protagonist has a personality. However, if it's a story with occasional choices, then I will prefer a protag who is a memorable character. In other words, a person who is flawed, thoughtful, amusing, proactive, and so on.

It might be a challenge to give Skyler a predetermined personality *and* also let the reader determine their college major, gender, and sexuality. Consider your protagonist's interests, goals, backstory, and so on. If Skyler will have a personality, then make sure that it will make sense no matter what the person's major, gender, and sexuality are.
DewDrop wrote:
Sun Sep 24, 2017 10:59 pm
...I had no idea that that's how it worked...
You'll see "Protagonist x Potential love interest" used quite a bit on this forum. However, I do not often see people on r/visualnovels or the Fuwanovel forums using these types of phrases. If you want to know far too much about fan slang, then read through the Abbreviations used here discussion thread, which ended in 2012.

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Re: Love Hues [LGBT+ friendly][College-Life][Mystery][Rating TBD/18+ for now]

#8 Post by DewDrop » Tue Sep 26, 2017 1:01 am

Hi gekiganwing! Thank you for dropping by my thread. :D

Your input on a protagonist's behaviour helped a lot! I'd assumed people preferred a silent, inactive protagonist, but it's really neat to hear from you folks that this isn't the case (I really ought to research this kind of thing beforehand in the future haha). Love Hues does feature choices and their results as its primary gameplay feature, so I'll re-evaluate Skyler's actions/script and see if they need changing. Having a protagonist with their own story does add something to the plot...

Lastly, thanks for the list of abbreviations as well! It's nice to be better versed on the different things that people are referring to on this specific forum.

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