[TRAILER][DEMO]Ballad of a Dream [Perspective of Life][Short]

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AsHLeX
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[TRAILER][DEMO]Ballad of a Dream [Perspective of Life][Short]

#1 Post by AsHLeX » Tue Feb 20, 2018 6:43 pm

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Have you ever...
  • Looked at the sky and felt that it was so far away?
  • Felt that the universe is so much larger than it seems, so much so that it freezes you for a moment in wonder and fear?
  • Looked down upon the Earth from a high place like a mountain and thought about just how small everything seems?
  • Maybe even just once in your life, pondered upon how insignificant you might be to the world - one lonely person in the grand scheme of things?
  • Lost someone dear to you making it seem like the entire world is crumbling apart only to step out to find that nothing has changed? That people are still going about their everyday lives, to work and to school, oblivious of your sorrow and pain.
  • Strove so hard to achieve something only to stop and wonder whether there is any point to all that hard work?
  • Convinced yourself that no matter how hard you try, you will eventually be reduced to ashes, fading eventually in the waters that is the endless stream of time. That no matter what you do, no matter what you achieve, in the end you are merely nothing more than a person destined to disappear, its very existence forgotten, never to be remembered again.
After all, even if one person fails at their duty, there’s always 7.4 billion other people who can eventually fill the gap that that person left… isn’t that right?

This is a story about a man who felt all these things, a man who convinced himself that there was nothing left to live for. That life was all bleak and empty, drained forever of its colour. That whatever joy that had and could be achieved was akin to holding a small stub of a candle to the darkness of the night sky - a futile attempt at stopping the inevitable. For eventually, the darkness of the night will always win over, and the candle will fizzle out for all eternity - never to light again.

On his final journey to end it all, he encounters a mysterious girl – not because of her clothes or anything of that sort, but simply because of the time and place at which he meets her.

What are the things that they discuss on that cold and dreary winter night?

Features:
  • Fully voiced characters
  • Original character art
  • 5+ CGs
  • 3000 words of well… I’m not sure how to describe it. You’ll find out.
Not entirely sure if this story is for you? Give this short story a shot and see if you like it: viewtopic.php?f=47&t=47534
It’s what this kinetic novel is going to be based off. Beware that it’s spoiler-y of sorts, since that is basically the entire script/plot of the KN (albeit without some minor changes that I made to make it fit a KN format more).

Progress:
  • Writing 100%
  • BG 90%
  • CG 100%
  • Voice acting 50%
  • Programming 90%
  • Music 100%
While I know that kinetic novels don’t usually appeal to many people because of how little interaction there is, I really wanted to give this story a shot, since it has a somewhat more hopeful theme than some other works of mine (aka To Fly: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=40488) and it is about a subject that I often found myself pondering about.

I really hope that you guys will give it a shot when it comes out and let me know what you think of the subject material. And if you read the original text, I would appreciate it if you let me know what you think of it as well.

I'm not entirely sure if I should put a trigger warning for this, but here it is if you need it?
This story contains elements of discussion about suicide, life and death and what it means to truly be alive.

Team:
Character/CG Artist: LIZM
Background artist: qs2435
Male VA: Plotline_Progenitor
Female VA: Chiiyuro
Writer+Programmer: AsHLeX

Thanks for taking your time to read this!

(I've attached a picture of the character design of the girl below. The character artist/designer is lan: memberlist.php?mode=viewprofile&u=28898)
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Last edited by AsHLeX on Mon Mar 12, 2018 8:28 am, edited 8 times in total.
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Re: Ballad of a Dream [Perspective of Life][Short]

#2 Post by Zelan » Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:34 pm

Oh yay, you posted this!! I like the girl's design, it's great to be able to see her. c:

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AsHLeX
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Re: Ballad of a Dream [Perspective of Life][Short]

#3 Post by AsHLeX » Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:05 pm

Oh hey Zelan! You found the thread ^^" Was just about to update the Feedback thread with this link haha.
Thank you so much for your support!! :D
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Re: Ballad of a Dream [Perspective of Life][Short]

#4 Post by IronForPistons » Tue Feb 20, 2018 10:12 pm

I've been lurking in that feedback thread since you started it, and I'm so glad you've decided to move forward with this idea! I loved the original short story and I can't wait to see what you come up with now that you're moving on to a KN!
Interested in editing or proofreading services? I do both, for free or trade!

(Travelling out of the country for the summer so may not respond quickly. Will return in late July.)

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Re: Ballad of a Dream [Perspective of Life][Short]

#5 Post by AsHLeX » Wed Feb 21, 2018 6:59 am

Hey IronForPistons!
Thank you!! 😊😊😊 I'm glad you enjoyed it.
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Re: Ballad of a Dream [Perspective of Life][Short]

#6 Post by nekobara » Wed Feb 21, 2018 10:30 am

I'm happy to see that you decided to make this into a kinetic novel, after all. I'll be looking forward to its release so that I can feel more deep feelings. ~
Also, the girl is adorable. Her ensemble is especially so. 💙
"When people don't express themselves, they die one piece at a time." -Laurie Halse Anderson

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Re: Ballad of a Dream [Perspective of Life][Short]

#7 Post by AsHLeX » Wed Feb 21, 2018 10:50 am

Thank you nekobara for your support!
Yeah, I think the artist (lan) did a great job ^_^ I'm glad that you like it.
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Re: Ballad of a Dream [Perspective of Life][Short]

#8 Post by LIZM » Fri Feb 23, 2018 2:50 am

I loved designing the girl and am super looking forward to seeing (and helping) this come to life. <3
Your writing is lovely, it'll be amazing experiencing it along with music and voice acting as well!
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[ Ballad of a Dream (TBA): character design&art | Hermes & Gry (April 2018): character design&art ]

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Re: Ballad of a Dream [Perspective of Life][Short]

#9 Post by AsHLeX » Fri Feb 23, 2018 12:27 pm

Hey Ian! Thank you, working with you is a pleasure 😊😊. And thank you for your compliments about my writing as well!
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Re: Ballad of a Dream [Perspective of Life][Short]

#10 Post by AsHLeX » Mon Mar 12, 2018 6:55 am

[Update 1] A trailer of sorts for the KN

Some things about the trailer:
- The entire trailer was made using Ren'py only + video capture softwares
- The music in the video is Sense & Senses by Tempus (Jake Bowkett) viewtopic.php?f=52&t=24885
- Apologies if some of the words are hard to read - it was hard finding a colour that didn't blend into the background. And I couldn't find out how to put an outline around the text in Ren'py.
- This is the first trailer/OP video that I have ever made, so apologies if there's a few mistakes that might have gone undetected, or if it isn't flashy enough.
I hope you like it!

[Update 2]: Demo is out!
What it's missing: 1 BG and the female voice acting, but otherwise contains everything else.
Mac and PC google drive link: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/ ... sp=sharing
(Let me know if you need a mirror link)
Do give it a try and hopefully some feedback if possible, especially regarding:
1. Is the credits scrolling too fast? Is there a problem with the credits? Would you like to be credited differently?
2. What do you think of the transitions between the images (a.k.a the zoom and pan effects)? Was it smooth enough?
3. Is the music covering up the voice acting? Should I make the music softer?
4. Am I still being too descriptive in my script? I took away some descriptions in adapting it to a KN from a short story, but is it enough?
5. Does not having a save/load/options menu really bother you? I took it out to save time with programming and artwork, especially since I thought that it's a short KN so saving isn't all that important. Let me know what you guys think though!

Thanks again for all your support!! :D
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Re: [TRAILER][DEMO]Ballad of a Dream [Perspective of Life][Short]

#11 Post by IronForPistons » Mon Mar 12, 2018 6:26 pm

Woah, lots of new content! Super exciting!
The trailer is interesting! It's definitely attention-grabbing. It sets up your premise and gives a good idea of the atmosphere of the game.

1. I found the credits to be a little hard to read, but not too bad. If you don't want to slow it down, I think it might help if you made the text a little bit smaller (I found it to be too wide to read quickly because my eyes had to move too fast). But yes, it might be best to slow it down a bit. Thanks for putting me as Special Thanks! I feel special and thanked :D
2. I think the transitions *between* images were fine, but the zoom that's included in both the trailer/OP and the bridge scene, where it zooms out then back in, was pretty jarring. I think it would be best to zoom exclusively in OR out rather than both in AND out. Slowing it down would also help if you prefer that route.
3. Yes, I did find the music to drown out the voice acting a bit. You could fix this by increasing the voice volume or decreasing the music volume, either one.
4. No, I think the level of description is great! You describe enough in words to create the atmosphere, but not so much that it feels redundant with the picture.
5. The lack of a save/load didn't bother me at all. Honestly, I think it works to your benefit in this case because it forces the viewer to experience the whole thing in one sitting. Especially considering the time required to create and code a save/load UI, I think it's perfect the way it is.

A couple of things besides your questions:
-On the "Enable Voice Acting" screen, and the "Quit Game Yes/No" screen, the circles around Yes and No are weird and flickery. Like, there are some spots where you'd expect to be able to click but can't. It seems like the VA screen works even if you click on a part that doesn't make the circle appear, but the Quit screen doesn't work in the same circumstance. Weird.
-If you're looking to add a stroke to your text, try this tutorial: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=13155 It's old, but it still works - I tested it in 6.99.14.1.3218.
-I did notice a few minor grammar things, which I'll send you a PM about later today, because it's not worth listing them here.

Really, this is freaking awesome and I'm super excited about it!
Interested in editing or proofreading services? I do both, for free or trade!

(Travelling out of the country for the summer so may not respond quickly. Will return in late July.)

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Re: [TRAILER][DEMO]Ballad of a Dream [Perspective of Life][Short]

#12 Post by AsHLeX » Thu Mar 15, 2018 12:07 am

Hey IronForPistons! Sorry for the late reply, been busy with uni lately. I'm glad you find it interesting and thank you very much for the detailed reply, it's definitely been very helpful.
Thanks again for your support!!
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Re: [TRAILER][DEMO]Ballad of a Dream [Perspective of Life][Short]

#13 Post by zankizuna » Fri Mar 30, 2018 7:44 pm

Aahh it looks so pretty! The story is pretty deep sounding and it could mean a lot to the readers, actually, that intro speaks to me.. Lookibg forward to play this! Hey LIZM! Hi AsHLeX! Great job on the demo!

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Re: [TRAILER][DEMO]Ballad of a Dream [Perspective of Life][Short]

#14 Post by AsHLeX » Fri Mar 30, 2018 11:15 pm

Thanks zankizuna! Thanks for your support!
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Re: [TRAILER][DEMO]Ballad of a Dream [Perspective of Life][Short]

#15 Post by AsHLeX » Tue May 08, 2018 3:34 am

Hey guys! Bad news here, the background artist pulled out and I lost contact with the female VA :(
Since I'm currently smack-dab in the middle of exams and assignments, and I won't get a break from now all the way until September, I probably won't be able to have time to work on it at the moment. But I will get it done before the end of the year! >_<
Apologies for the huge delay to everyone who supported this project, I haven't abandoned it! And I really appreciate the support so far.

Also, InabaYap did a let's play for the demo, feel free to check it out! (Thanks InabaYap :))
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FV_Z5WMYIv4&t=1s (can't seem to embed this one into the thread for some reason)
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