Love Hues [LGBT+ friendly][College-Life][Mystery][Rating 16+ for now][Trailer Available!]

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Love Hues [LGBT+ friendly][College-Life][Mystery][Rating 16+ for now][Trailer Available!]

#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 West University, the most prestigious post secondary institution in town? Read on if you are!

I've added new questions as of 2018-07-04 if you're interested in the game! Thank you!
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 West 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. However, Falls' students aren't the only ones who are keeping secrets; the school itself appears to have a strange past as well... What will you uncover about the university, and more importantly; will you live to tell the tale?
The characters



Skyler
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.
skyandsky.png


Toby
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.
toby-profile.png



Nova
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.)
nova-profile.png



Devlin
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.
devlin-profile.png



James
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.
james-profile.png



Ava
Ava. A first year student. [ERROR] some information corrupted
by Curiosity.[/ERROR]
ava-profile.png














Screenshots
Here are some glances at the game's overall appearance! These
will be updated as I finish polishing the GUI.
gallery.png
sky1.png
james_meeting-new.png


Why are you posting on this forum?

I'd love to receive feedback (I'll write down some concrete questions below), and 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?(Resolved! Skyler won't be a silent protag.)
NEW QUESTIONS (2018/07/04)
  • What would you want a Love Hues demo to look like? (Feel free to describe your demo-creation experience here if you'd like!! It'd help lots!) Would you want a chance to meet all the characters or just a few? Would you want to try a part of the actual game or have a short standalone story for the demo?

  • What convinces you to follow a game's progress and eventual release?
  • Do you have any other questions/concerns/feedback? Feel free to let me know!
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/.
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
As per 2018/07/04:
The game contains 10,183 dialogue blocks, containing 108,407 words and 586,298
characters, for an average of 10.6 words and 58 characters per block.

The game contains 164 menus, 708 images, and 21 screens.
As per 2018/09/02:
The game contains 10,482 dialogue blocks, containing 112,444 words and 608,295
characters, for an average of 10.7 words and 58 characters per block.

The game contains 164 menus, 749 images, and 27 screens.
Ava's Route: Writing is underway and about 80% done; 3 CGs are needed; fina
l round of QA testing needed
James' Route: Writing is done; CGS are done; final round of QA testing needed
Devlin's Route: Almost done; ending needs to be finished; 2 CGs are still needed; final round of QA testing needed
Nova's Route: Almost done; ending needs to be finished; 2 CGs/BGs are still needed; final round of QA testing needed
Toby's Route: Writing is done; CGs are done; final round of QA testing needed



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 don't repost my images! Thank you! :D
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! :)
Attachments
screenshot-newgui.png
Meeting Toby.
screen-3.png
Sitting in the cafeteria after your first day.
Last edited by DewDrop on Wed Sep 12, 2018 8:25 pm, edited 11 times in total.

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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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Re: Love Hues [LGBT+ friendly][College-Life][Mystery][Rating TBD/16+ for now]

#9 Post by DewDrop » Sun Jun 17, 2018 3:16 pm

It's been quite a bit of time since I've last updated this thread, but I've been working hard on the game and I've made some solid progress. Here are the main updates that Love Hues has gone through!


-The game's stats (as per Ren'Py's script checker) are now as follows: The game contains 9,918 dialogue blocks, containing 103,959 words and 561,277
characters, for an average of 10.5 words and 57 characters per block. The game contains 165 menus, 696 images, and 20 screens. In other words - I doubled the script length as I elaborated on the routes and edited the script! The script is now almost a 100% complete.

-I've listened to your feedback and given Skyler a more detailed personality - the story reads much better from an "I" perspective than from a "you" perspective. Thank you very much!

-I've overhauled all the main characters' sprites (as well as a bit of Skyler's art) and given them each 3 different outfits. Here's a sneak peek:
spritecollect.png
-Speaking of overhauling sprites, I've also added more CGs (unfortunately I've lost track of how many I've added) and I've updated several outdated ones.


Currently I'm still trying to get the final CGs in and to formally tie all the routes together, and after that I'll have to move on the marketing and continued playtesting. I'm not sure what my marketing strategy will be yet but I'm going to be doing some research - if anyone has any tips or experience with that, I'd appreciate it a ton!

Thank you very much for reading this update if you're seeing this message - I'll try to post my future milestones on here!

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Re: Love Hues [LGBT+ friendly][College-Life][Mystery][Rating TBD/16+ for now]

#10 Post by Zelan » Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:39 pm

Oh hey, I'm glad to see an update here! I hadn't realized this was still in development. c: 100k words is a huge accomplishment, well done!

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Re: Love Hues [LGBT+ friendly][College-Life][Mystery][Rating TBD/16+ for now]

#11 Post by bobconway » Fri Jun 22, 2018 12:02 am

Ooo, another LGBT college life game. Yes, please!

Congrats on the progress as well. Writing 100k+ words is no small feat. Your art looks nice as well, and it's kind of awesome that you're doing everything yourself.

- Based on the profiles above, who's your favorite character?
James is my favorite ATM, but I think it'll ultimately depend a lot on the personalities of the characters (as you actually interact with them)

- 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 am terrible at pricing VNs, but I think something around this size should be around $10?

- The game will end up having mature themes and some language, but nothing explicit. Will an 18+ rating work?
I figure better safe than sorry, but it depends on what "mature themes" means. 18+ seems like overkill if there's nothing explicit.

- What's your preferred platform to purchase VNs from?
itch.io

- How much does a player character portrait matter to you?
As someone who doesn't have them for his game... not at all. But this depends on the protag. (See next answer.)

- 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?
I think it's unrealistic to never have the character speak, because they have to interact with other characters. But I also hate when all player speech occurs via dialogue options and the options are meaningless, because then it feels like you shouldn't even be giving me an option.
So I think there's a balance that has to be struck, and there's really two different options that I like: A fully-formed protag with a strong personality, where all the choices you make are hugely important; or a protag whose personality is decided mostly by the player, with more frequent choices that build their personality in a way that the game and other characters react to. But I feel like the latter is harder to do well (and I say that as someone who tried to do this, and arguably failed at it).
But as far as portraits go, I think the former really does want a portrait, while the latter arguably shouldn't have one, because with a less-formed protag, the player is putting themselves in the game instead of playing as someone.
Image Image Image

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Re: Love Hues [LGBT+ friendly][College-Life][Mystery][Rating TBD/16+ for now]

#12 Post by DewDrop » Fri Jun 22, 2018 3:14 pm

Zelan wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:39 pm
Oh hey, I'm glad to see an update here! I hadn't realized this was still in development. c: 100k words is a huge accomplishment, well done!
Thank you so much!! And thank you for stopping by again too. :D It definitely still is; I'm going to try and upload some more screenshots today (and in general, haha) as soon as I've done a bit more GUI updating! I'd like to spruce up the top post too so that people can see the progress I've made.

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Re: Love Hues [LGBT+ friendly][College-Life][Mystery][Rating TBD/16+ for now]

#13 Post by DewDrop » Fri Jun 22, 2018 4:08 pm

bobconway wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 12:02 am
Ooo, another LGBT college life game. Yes, please!

Congrats on the progress as well. Writing 100k+ words is no small feat. Your art looks nice as well, and it's kind of awesome that you're doing everything yourself.
Hi bobconway!! Thank you for stopping by and providing your feedback - it really does mean a lot to me! :D I'm definitely going to try to update this thread more in the coming months instead of letting it stagnate, haha. I didn't copy the entire quote but I did read everything!
bobconway wrote:
Fri Jun 22, 2018 12:02 am
- How much does a player character portrait matter to you?
As someone who doesn't have them for his game... not at all. But this depends on the protag. (See next answer.)

- 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?
I think it's unrealistic to never have the character speak, because they have to interact with other characters. But I also hate when all player speech occurs via dialogue options and the options are meaningless, because then it feels like you shouldn't even be giving me an option.
So I think there's a balance that has to be struck, and there's really two different options that I like: A fully-formed protag with a strong personality, where all the choices you make are hugely important; or a protag whose personality is decided mostly by the player, with more frequent choices that build their personality in a way that the game and other characters react to. But I feel like the latter is harder to do well (and I say that as someone who tried to do this, and arguably failed at it).
But as far as portraits go, I think the former really does want a portrait, while the latter arguably shouldn't have one, because with a less-formed protag, the player is putting themselves in the game instead of playing as someone.
This input was really helpful too!! To be honest, Skyler was originally going to be a largely silent character, but after reading your comments and the comments from last year, I realized that they'd be much better as an actual part of the story instead of being a nebulous observer. I've already been modifying them to have a unique personality but I think I'm going to invest quite a bit more time into developing their story and making sure that they're an enjoyable protagonist to experience the story with.

Again, thank you very much for your feedback!! :mrgreen:

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Re: Love Hues [LGBT+ friendly][College-Life][Mystery][Rating TBD/16+ for now]

#14 Post by DewDrop » Fri Jun 22, 2018 4:24 pm

Hi everyone!

It really is time for me to overhaul the top post of this thread and add up-to-date information about the game (which I'll try to do in the coming days... It's so busy over here!) but I thought I'd share some of Love Hues' WIP GUI overhaul in the meantime! Here you go.
newGUI-1.png
newGUI-2.png
I modified the textbox to look more like a little notebook; the font on the quick menu is just a placeholder for now and I'll likely be making the buttons a little bigger. I've also changed the choices so that they're animated notes! Hopefully this'll add to the overall 'look' and immersion of the game.

I'll be using the coming days to do the following:

- Refine the routes' endings and flow (they're all fully written but they need to be polished);
- Improve Skyler's character (and maybe add a side portrait);
- Add CGs;
- Fix narrative and programming problems;
- Marketing;
- Finishing the GUI overhaul.

That's all for now! Thanks for checking out this project; I really and truly appreciate all the support I've gotten from this community. :D

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Re: Love Hues [LGBT+ friendly][College-Life][Mystery][Rating TBD/16+ for now]

#15 Post by DewDrop » Wed Jul 04, 2018 7:34 pm

Hi everyone!

Sorry for the state that the thread was in earlier if you saw that - I accidentally made a huge mess of the thing! That being said, I've overhauled the top post with up to date information about the game and new character profiles! Once the GUI is done I'll be sure to add that too...

Anyway, as for a game update! Love Hues now has a Twitter account (https://twitter.com/love_hues_game) where I'll be tweeting frequently! Come check it out if you have the time!

It also has an official website (https://love-hues.github.io/index.html) though it's still under construction, so please don't mind any sudden changes!

I'm mainly focusing on marketing right now as I'll be presenting the game at an exhibition in August, but that also means that I have to build a demo by that time. I'll keep my demo progress posted here as soon as I'm working on it - luckily the game is largely done minus some missing CGs so it shouldn't be hard to create!

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