First off, I’m a 30 year old (male) with no special qualifications or degrees in art or literature (or any degrees for that matter). I had once aspired to complete college for game design and development, but it didn’t work out. I find creating art to be extremely frustrating so I have little to no plans on designing art for my own game. Additionally, the scope of my game is quite huge for the amount of free time I have to actually create the game. One or two hours of free time on most days (married, full time job). Creating this game will definately be one of the greatest challenges of my life. However, its something I want to accomplish because I have a story to tell, and this game and its plot is very personal to me.
Some other background info for those out there that might want to get to know me. For the past couple of years I have founded/organized/ran a netplay community for anime fighting games (think Blazblue/UNIEL/Guilty Gear). Its a small community, of roughly 2500 followers. It has definitely been a labor of love, and has been a negative (in the red) venture in terms of profit. Not saying I do all thing for profit, but very few things I have set out on or started have been wildly successful. The game I’m creating will be a commercial release, as I’m unfortunately tight on funds and would like to at least break even. Though as I stated above, I’m creating this game for more reasons than commercial profit.
Why a visual novel? I have been an avid follower and fan of Japan inspired art since I was young (starting with Dragonball most likely). Also, since I have limited to no experience with coding, I feel this will be the better route for me to take when focusing on the development of my game. Not to mention, I’d like to emphasize the story over the gameplay since I love great stories and narratives as opposed to grinding in a game to level infinity. Anyways, on to discussion on the game I am creating.
Zeta Wolf Chronicles
Shounen/Seinen Boy x Girls/Drama/Alternative Universe Non-Fiction/Slice of Life/School Life/Adult Life
Think alternative universe retelling of actual events. In a sense, creating the story will be more about me drafting dialog and narrative based on actual events in my life. It won’t be a 100% conversion of course, but the main character will be based on me. Alternate routes will go more into the fictional side of things.
I want to make clear that this game will not be a harem in any sense (even alternate routes). The pairings will only be BxG. I was never a fan of the unrealistic nature of harems (I mean like really, how many of us dudes are actually studs to have multiple women around us). That being said, I am a fan of several harem works and some of the more deeper philosophical decisions that might result drawing toward their conclusion.
MC Rayen is a 18 year old teenager finding himself alone in the world. He must navigate the real world by himself with limited social assistance from his friends or peers. Zeta Wolf is planned to be an “educational social learning experience” if that makes since, as it will largely be (the true route at least) an accurate portrayal of real life events and personifications. Lets just say that the MC craves more social contact in his life (mainly from women) and must come to terms on how he plans to reach his goals.
A “wolf” theme is present in the game, even though it's more philosophical rather than literal. Expect the narrative to play off narratives such as alpha wolf, beta wolf, lone wolf, pack mentality and several in universe fictional terms. Zeta Wolf Chronicles is a moniker adopted for the title because there are a total of 6 women in the MC’s life and seven challenges he must face. Zeta was chosen also because of its deceiving meaning (sixth greek letter but has a numerical value of seven). This title just happened to line up with my planned narrative and the women in my life. Due to Chronicles in the title, I am planning to have the story span from 18 to late adult life. As such, it will not be a short game by any means, but likely the first release will contain one arc, with later releases adding cumulatively to the story.
Even though the game itself has no artwork done, and script writing has just started (Pre Alpha) I wanted to create an online journal here so that others could track my progress. This will hopefully help me to set deadlines and stay focused. Unfortunately, I’m the type of person who starts more projects than I finish, so I hope that isn’t the case with this game. I will definitely tell you that this is a multi year project. Due to budget limitations and planned workflow, I’d like to largely create the script before any artwork is made. That and also because I’d like the same uniform art style for the characters at least.
As of March 10th 2018, this is the status of my script and outline for Zeta Wolf Chronicles:
- 2 conceptualized characters Rayen and first girl, Siona
- Siona general appearance drafted, but will be finalized with artist. Rayen no confirmed appearance yet.
- At Least 20 events drafted with Siona which takes place senior year for the MC. Narrative flow and timeline needs some more work. Events were mostly brainstormed and based on real life events.
- Music samples organized, not sure whether to go with a single composer or multiple “broad range” public works. Might go with the latter due to game budget.
- Game budget planned to be 2 to 3 grand. Could be more if there’s any success with Patreon or other campaigns.
- High school locations of first arc inspired by former high school.
- Ideas for a day/night system but nothing complete
- Mini games considered.
- Might be inventory or collecting system depending on what can be programmed.
- Planned software is Visual Novel Maker. I'll need to spend some time getting accustomed to developing using VNM. It's a gamble, but I like what I've seen so far.
- Planned Spanish translation (thanks to my wife) I am unfortunately terrible learning languages.
- Voice acting considered but its a later goal
Any ideas or comments on this title are appreciated. Still brainstorming additional systems and mechanics I can implement when it comes time to program. Most important thing is to just start writing.
Since this intro was written before it was posted, I have the latest script update and a small teaser:
Thanks for reading. I'd like to post updates on the script once a week on Sunday or Monday. Any questions for me I would love to answer. I can try for 2k words a week which seems doable if I set aside time. Demo is not set in stone, its more a funding issue, so I thought I'd progress with the script.Name is Rayen, though I'm normally called Ray for short. It's one of those names where you swear your parents pulled out of a hat since they were out of ideas. I've been teased and belittled more times than I can count over my name. Seems rather asinine of a reason to make people's day miserable. Though when it comes to the logic of others, sometimes there is no logic.
It was senior year. Where aspiring graduates must buckle down on their studies and search for college. Truth be told, I had very little care about my studies. My own goal was to find a girlfriend, a companion. Trouble is, I had no idea where to start short of the ambitious ebooks that I read online. The so called “pickup artists” preached to weak-willed self conscious guys on the proper way to pick up women. I had some of those teachings in the back of my mind, though whether I would apply any of those teaching this year was anyone’s guess.
If you'd like to ask questions, I'll bring up some starters:
- What do you think of the story concept so far?
- Would you play this game, if so why?
- If you could add something to this game or make a suggestion, what would it be?