Twice Reborn [Drama] [Vampire]

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JBShields
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Twice Reborn [Drama] [Vampire]

#1 Post by JBShields » Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:35 pm





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If you crossed a vampire, would you protect humanity or embrace the blood?


progress last updated 8/13/2019 (latest post below)


Please follow our facebook page, we'll have bi-monthly updates on the project there. https://www.facebook.com/FirstStepCinematics/

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Our Twitter is @1stStepCine https://twitter.com/1stStepCine






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In Twice Reborn, Mark Delaware a teaching assistant, becomes a newly-turned vampire in a community forced to hide in plain sight. His mentor, Michelson, has trusted Mark to become the Enforcer: a feared arbiter who keeps the quarreling vampiric houses following the Code. When arson kills key vampires in the community, it's up to Mark to either embrace his blood or to find a way to--somehow--regain his humanity.

There Are Sacrifices to Make

Interacting with humans and vampires is a delicate balance. Not all appreciate Mark's decision and not all relationships can last. Some want him dead, others want him for their own. Mark's responses in the perilous community changes their reactions as well as the story's routes/endings.

Survive the Night

Satiate Mark's bloodlust, otherwise he may kill innocents. The opportunities for blood will not always be private nor moral.

Not all are who they seem to be.

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Twice Reborn Features:

• Listen to a fully voiced cast of 30+ characters (audio dialogue is in English)
• Build a reputation among factions, earn friendships, and control Mark's bloodlust
• Experience a story with over 95,000 words
• Arrive to 20+ possible endings
• Experience a vampire drama with an optional romance and an apprentice to adopt
• Unlock art through a CG gallery as you achieve milestones in the story
• To be released for Windows and Mac

• Genre: Drama, Vampires
• Setting: Modern-day Colorado
• Rating: PG-13 [violence]
• Length: est. 60,000 words for a single play-through; estimated 250,000 words for all play-throughs.
• Routes/Endings: 25 endings total (including "dead-endings")
• Platforms: PC, Mac, [thinking of Android--not sure], will be released on Steam, Itch.io, and Amazon
• Commercial: Yes
• Release Date: 2020


Project in progress.


__
Writer
Judith B. Shields

Sprite, CG, and Animation Artist
Aeghite

Background Artist
Rachel Marks

GUI Artist
Re.Alice Works

We're making this on Visual Novel Maker! :D

Progress:

Manuscript: 100%
Translating Manuscript into VNM language: 100%
Characters: 100%
CGs: 100%
GUI Artwork: 100%
GUI built into VN: 20%
Backgrounds: 100%
Music: we're doing a mix of stock music and original music. 100%
Building the game: 50%
Character animations: 100%
Background animations-- cancelled for better reading experience
Translations: 0%
Voice Acting: 100%

Voice acting sample:

Last edited by JBShields on Tue Aug 13, 2019 1:27 pm, edited 25 times in total.

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Re: Twice Reborn [Drama] [Vampire]

#2 Post by gekiganwing » Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:26 pm

JBShields wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:35 pm
...Mark discovers frightening clues that his mentor committed a taboo, that he is being watched by a murderous renegade, and that he may have risked his soul.
I read this story pitch and thought about it. My first reaction is to ask "So what will happen next?" I am not sure what Mark's plan of action will be. How will Mark address what his mentor did or didn't do? How will he confront or avoid the renegade? How will he determine whether he's lost his humanity or sanity? Above all else, I'm left wondering what order he will do these things. One of these actions should be priority #1, and the others can wait until later since they're less important. Perhaps the reader has to choose what the protagonist's plan of action will be...

I haven't seen 'Delaware' as a surname. So I decided to search Google for 'delaware surname.' Fortunately, there were relevant results. (The name reminds me of the fictional character Louise Baltimore. :oops: )
JBShields wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:35 pm
1) This VN has almost no love-story plot. How are people going to take that since most of the VNs we're seeing have heavy romance?
You may benefit by marketing your story based on its strengths. In other words, emphasize what it does well. I think it can be better than marketing your story based on what it doesn't do.

It's easy to find VNs with an emphasis on a love polygon, deliberately paced slice of life storytelling, and sometimes porn-without-plot. That said, if you create a VN which has a different genre, pacing, and/or art style, then it will stand out. Some people will be more interested in your story because it's distinct. I say this because I have sought out and then purchased offbeat indie comics, video games, and VNs.

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Re: Twice Reborn [Drama] [Vampire]

#3 Post by JBShields » Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:37 pm

Yes, in the story the main character has to react towards certain problems (or at least make a choice to think about them). Without giving too much away, this will impact the story's ending. This VN is very character-driven.

Thanks for your insight. I'll try to think of more ways to play upon its strengths.

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Re: Twice Reborn [Drama] [Vampire]

#4 Post by Zelan » Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:50 pm

1) This VN has almost no love-story plot. How are people going to take that since most of the VNs we're seeing have heavy romance?: I don't know about "people," but I'm 100% okay with this. Still, I would suggest being upfront about this anywhere that the game is distributed - that way, no one goes into it expecting a dating sim and ends up disappointed or angry with the final product.

2) Do vampires interest you?: I'm impartial to them, but this idea of "societies" that the vampires divide themselves into has me interested.

3) What other questions do y'all have for me? I can't give the whole story, but as the writer I can share what I think won't spoil things.: Nothing yet, but I'll definitely be keeping an eye on this. c:

4) How interested are you for an Android release?: Not particularly. I don't have any space on my phone for any new VNs, haha. Plus, I prefer to play them on my laptop.

5) Of the languages listed-- is anyone interested in a Spanish, Russian, or German translation? Is there a language you think may be better for common VN reader audiences?: For me personally, as an English speaker, that's all I really need. However, I am trying to learn Spanish, and I've been seeing some Spanish language VNs around here that I'm excited to try reading. Once the Spanish translation is out, I might give it a go depending on price. In terms of a wider audience, there seems to be a large Russian audience for visual novels, so that translation should probably be a focus.

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Re: Twice Reborn [Drama] [Vampire]

#5 Post by JBShields » Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:00 am

Newest update!

Our Sprite and Animation Artist, Aeghite, has completed all of our sprite animations. I'm very excited. These animations are blinking and mouth movement when a character speaks.

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Re: Twice Reborn [Drama] [Vampire]

#6 Post by JBShields » Thu Mar 15, 2018 1:02 pm

Update:

We finished uploading animations for all characters for our project Twice Reborn this morning. We have about 20 characters, each with blinking and voice animations--approximately 6 expressions each with about 2 outfits each.

This is different than the announcement above, because it's one thing to have them finished drawn, it's another thing to time them in Visual Novel Maker. Very exciting to see the characters come alive.

We don't have voice actors yet, and will be several months before we're ready for that stage.

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Re: Twice Reborn [Drama] [Vampire]

#7 Post by JBShields » Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:38 pm

Update:

We're about 80% finished with music. (Will update main post).

What to expect?

Rock, chillhop, 90s hip-hop, classical, and vampire-y sounding tunes.
Last edited by JBShields on Mon Jul 16, 2018 10:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Twice Reborn [Drama] [Vampire]

#8 Post by JBShields » Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:44 pm

Update on endings:

Did a count of how many endings Twice Reborn will have.

There will be 25 ENDINGS. Most of them are "Dead Endings" or the bad guys win. Otherwise, there's SIX GOOD or NORMAL endings! A single path can have anywhere from 20,000 words to 80,000 words.

I'm the writer on the project. Still formatting the long manuscript for appropriate project formatting, but we're moving along.

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Re: Twice Reborn [Drama] [Vampire]

#9 Post by JBShields » Mon Jul 16, 2018 10:58 pm

Update:

We are now 100% finished with both CGs and Character Sprites!!! Thank you Aeghite!

Characters are all animated too for blinking and speech.

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Re: Twice Reborn [Drama] [Vampire]

#10 Post by JBShields » Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:51 pm

Fantastic news everyone!

The manuscript has been translated over into VN language. All routes and the whole script equals 91,000 words! There's 25 endings (many are dead ends) but otherwise, there are good branches here.

As the writer of the project, I've been working on this for several years so I'm thankful to God the hardest part is over.

What's next is that we'll be plugging in what was formatted into the Visual Novel Maker language (same writing style as Tyranobuilder for those interested).
It's a backwards work process compared to renpy I think. It's easier in those two formats to have assets first then build, but that's just me. Or maybe I'm the one who likes working backwards.

In a couple of weeks we'll have auditions for voice actors. We'll have many open positions--especially for male voices.

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Re: Twice Reborn [Drama] [Vampire]

#11 Post by JBShields » Fri Aug 17, 2018 5:40 pm

Good news everyone:

Casting auditions--both paid and unpaid are finally open! Auditions only accepted through Casting Call Club. https://www.castingcall.club/projects/t ... sual-novel

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Re: Twice Reborn [Drama] [Vampire]

#12 Post by JBShields » Sun Jan 06, 2019 6:58 pm

Update for 1/6/19:

We've released the Voice Actor Introduction video for our project! We're on track to release it late 2019!



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Re: Twice Reborn [Drama] [Vampire]

#13 Post by Kuiper » Wed Jan 09, 2019 11:08 pm

Sorry if the following comes across as a harsh critique, but based on your post in Creator Discussion, it sounds like you want people's impressions on your game, so here are my thoughts:

Looking at your page, the thing that I found most intriguing was the idea of different vampire factions or cliques, e.g. "The Society of the Arts," "The Culture of Love," "The House of Skulls," etc. It makes it feel like there will be a big element of deciding who to hang out with, who you want to side with in inter-faction conflicts, etc. Except, I don't know if there will be any inter-faction conflicts, or whether you spend most of your time with a single group mostly exploring intra-faction conflict.

Right now, the messaging for your game feels very vague. We're told that "How Mark treats those around him will determine his fate." Okay, so, like, a visual novel. What kind of things does Mark do? How does he solve his problems? Can you give me at least a few examples, or maybe hint a bit more strongly about the kinds of things the main character will do in this game? The conflict is described as, "Mark searches for the truth about vampires." What exactly does that entail? Like, is he just sitting in a library reading a lot of ancient texts about vampires? Or is he looking for information inquisitor style, threatening people with violence and interrogating them? Is he a charmer, getting into the graces of people in power and coaxing secrets out of them? Or does he work from the shadows, working incognito to discover what people are hiding behind closed doors?

It seems like you've put a lot of work into creating a really big game, but I'm not really seeing information or hints about what's in this game of yours. Are you intentionally holding back information for fear of disappointing people by telling them something they might find unappealing? Are you worried that if you try to communicate some of the appeal of your game, you won't be doing it justice because you haven't communicated all of the appeal? Because if so, here's something I've learned: If you say something vague, like "Anything is possible!" then it feels like nothing is really possible, because you haven't defined the possibility space. If you tell people a few specific things, that might feel to you like it's narrowing the possibility space, but really, in my experience, it tends to make the possibility space more comprehensible to the listener. Like, if you're a science fiction game, and you say "encounter 10 alien races," that kind of feels meaningless to me. But if you say, "there are 10 alien races, here, let me tell you in detail about 3 of them," then I'm going to get more excited to learn what the other alien races are. You might think, "I don't want to just focus on 3 alien races, because that's only representing a small portion of what the game has to offer," but representing a small part of what the game has to offer is how you get people to become interested in the bigger whole. People understand that the list of features you tell them about is not exhaustive. If you tell me that in your fantasy game, I can fight creatures like wizards and bears, I'm not going to say, "Oh, there are only two kinds of enemies in this game, wizards and bears, that sounds like it's going to get old really fast," I'm going to say, "Cool, wizards and bears! I wonder what other kind of enemies I'll get to fight?"

I'm probably not the target audience for your game, but I can't definitively say that I'm not the target audience for your game, because I feel like I know so little about it. I'm not even sure what genre it is. You say it's a drama, but that's a vague term that can, depending on the context, just mean "a serious story." If it's specifically a game that is all about serious interpersonal relationships, then I'll be more interested if you communicate that to me in unambiguous language.

All of the above mostly pertains to how I think you might want to go about messaging the game to other people (partly based on my own reaction, but also things that I think might inform your marketing more generally). Now, a question that I am more personally interested in:

A mystery is a story about things that focused on the past, while a suspense story is one that focuses on what's going to happen next. Where would you say your story lies on the mystery-suspense continuum? On a moment-to-moment basis, are we more interesting in questions about the past (e.g. "What happened to my mentor," "I wonder what happened to this eccentric character to make them the way they are,") or questions about what's about to happen (e.g. "What's on the other side of that door," "Is this person who ambushed me in this alleyway intending to stab me," etc.)?
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Re: Twice Reborn [Drama] [Vampire]

#14 Post by JBShields » Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:54 pm

Kuiper wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 11:08 pm
Sorry if the following comes across as a harsh critique, but based on your post in Creator Discussion, it sounds like you want people's impressions on your game, so here are my thoughts:

Looking at your page, the thing that I found most intriguing was the idea of different vampire factions or cliques, e.g. "The Society of the Arts," "The Culture of Love," "The House of Skulls," etc. It makes it feel like there will be a big element of deciding who to hang out with, who you want to side with in inter-faction conflicts, etc. Except, I don't know if there will be any inter-faction conflicts, or whether you spend most of your time with a single group mostly exploring intra-faction conflict.

Right now, the messaging for your game feels very vague. We're told that "How Mark treats those around him will determine his fate." Okay, so, like, a visual novel. What kind of things does Mark do? How does he solve his problems? Can you give me at least a few examples, or maybe hint a bit more strongly about the kinds of things the main character will do in this game? The conflict is described as, "Mark searches for the truth about vampires." What exactly does that entail? Like, is he just sitting in a library reading a lot of ancient texts about vampires? Or is he looking for information inquisitor style, threatening people with violence and interrogating them? Is he a charmer, getting into the graces of people in power and coaxing secrets out of them? Or does he work from the shadows, working incognito to discover what people are hiding behind closed doors?

It seems like you've put a lot of work into creating a really big game, but I'm not really seeing information or hints about what's in this game of yours. Are you intentionally holding back information for fear of disappointing people by telling them something they might find unappealing? Are you worried that if you try to communicate some of the appeal of your game, you won't be doing it justice because you haven't communicated all of the appeal? Because if so, here's something I've learned: If you say something vague, like "Anything is possible!" then it feels like nothing is really possible, because you haven't defined the possibility space. If you tell people a few specific things, that might feel to you like it's narrowing the possibility space, but really, in my experience, it tends to make the possibility space more comprehensible to the listener. Like, if you're a science fiction game, and you say "encounter 10 alien races," that kind of feels meaningless to me. But if you say, "there are 10 alien races, here, let me tell you in detail about 3 of them," then I'm going to get more excited to learn what the other alien races are. You might think, "I don't want to just focus on 3 alien races, because that's only representing a small portion of what the game has to offer," but representing a small part of what the game has to offer is how you get people to become interested in the bigger whole. People understand that the list of features you tell them about is not exhaustive. If you tell me that in your fantasy game, I can fight creatures like wizards and bears, I'm not going to say, "Oh, there are only two kinds of enemies in this game, wizards and bears, that sounds like it's going to get old really fast," I'm going to say, "Cool, wizards and bears! I wonder what other kind of enemies I'll get to fight?"

I'm probably not the target audience for your game, but I can't definitively say that I'm not the target audience for your game, because I feel like I know so little about it. I'm not even sure what genre it is. You say it's a drama, but that's a vague term that can, depending on the context, just mean "a serious story." If it's specifically a game that is all about serious interpersonal relationships, then I'll be more interested if you communicate that to me in unambiguous language.

All of the above mostly pertains to how I think you might want to go about messaging the game to other people (partly based on my own reaction, but also things that I think might inform your marketing more generally). Now, a question that I am more personally interested in:

A mystery is a story about things that focused on the past, while a suspense story is one that focuses on what's going to happen next. Where would you say your story lies on the mystery-suspense continuum? On a moment-to-moment basis, are we more interesting in questions about the past (e.g. "What happened to my mentor," "I wonder what happened to this eccentric character to make them the way they are,") or questions about what's about to happen (e.g. "What's on the other side of that door," "Is this person who ambushed me in this alleyway intending to stab me," etc.)?
Wow, I just wrote a whole response to this...and I missed that I had previously logged out of Lemmasoft so nothing I wrote was saved.

Thank you for writing such an indepth and thoughtful feedback.

My shortened version of feedback is that this is a drama in the truest sense of the word. World-building through complex characters is what makes this story.

Fans of the movies "Interview with a Vampire", "Only Lovers Left Alive" and "Lost Boys" and fans of the books the Historian or Morganville Vampires Series will love this visual novel.

Your feedback gave me a lot to think about and I will be working on how to improve the OP.

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Re: Twice Reborn [Drama] [Vampire]

#15 Post by JBShields » Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:21 am

Latest project update is that we're at 40% finished of the build!

We have an Itch.io page. Please Follow Us when it's time for announcements of the game's release: https://firststepcinematics.itch.io/

We'll be giving an alpha-demo to AnimeFest in Dallas August 16-19th, 2019. Go to the 4th Floor Visual Novel room to request to play it.

We'll be attending SanJapan and showcasing the Alpha Demo only for the first two days of the convention.

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