Life in Helsinki. [slice of life]

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LottieWriter
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Life in Helsinki. [slice of life]

#1 Post by LottieWriter » Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:15 am

Hi everyone, I've been following this forum for a few months now and decided like many to create my first visual novel.
itchoweb.jpg
THE PROJECT
The market I am aiming for are girls between 12 and 32 ( approx. ). I know a lot of visual novels tend to favor the dating or heavy romance arena, but I truly wanted something different, so it's more about finding your place in the world, against all odds...Let's see if it can still find an audience.

Additionally, for this project, I didn't go with the classic anime look, so another challenge there. I'm collaborating with an Italian illustrator and just got a proofreader on-board. (From this forum.) I also found a great composer. Like most show-string productions teams, I wear many hats. I do the writing, implementation and half the background art.

Last, I decided to try to see if I could create something respectable in Unity3d. I already know how to get around in that tool and can do a lot without any coding using Fungus. ( fungus is open source. )

SO WHATs THE GAME?
Lottie is a young adult who just finished university and goes to Helsinki to start an internship in a law firm. As you expect, nothing goes as planned and we follow her struggles from the moment she arrives...New roommates, new career, new town.

PROGRESS

Beside Lottie, the game offers ten more characters and twelve locations. All the characters are completed with different expressions. For the main character we have three poses and have created a good number of facial expressions. All other characters have between 2 and 5 expressions depending on their involvement in the story.
faceset.jpg
Writing.
The game will last seven chapters and a good draft is done for all of them. Chapters 1 to 5 are pretty solid, the proofreading will start soon.
Characters.
They are all done and in the game. I just need to export more expressions, perhaps also optimize the workflow.
Backgrounds.
This is my main focus these days, and it's progressing nicely. I'm building the scene in 3D with a toon shader then in a 2d package I'm finalizing the look with other 2d elements.
rendercafe.jpg
Game Engine
The implementation is also going nicely, chapters 1 to 5 are in the engine, other are coming in at a steady pace.


THE GAME
screens.jpg
Each chapter takes about 15 minutes to complete and it's possible to play chapter 1 online

https://doubletongamestudio.itch.io/life-in-helsinki
Password : Lottie

BUSINESS MODEL?
I'm looking at different monetization  models. For itch.io, I will probably do a "pay what you want". For mobile, perhaps credits that regenerate with time and each chapter cost a few credits. So it would be possible to be patient and read it all for free, or be eager and buy credits....

If you have some time, please try the game and tell me what you think. Please note, the characters are done and the illustrator is now on other projects so, no changes can be made to any of them. Any thing about writing, backgrounds, UI, flow is welcome! :D

I'll keep this page updated with more art and story as the game progresses.

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LottieWriter
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Re: Life in Helsinki. [slice of life]

#2 Post by LottieWriter » Wed May 09, 2018 10:19 am

Started working on Chapter Icons. Here are the three first ones.
Attachments
chapter03.png
chapter02.png
chapter01.png

gekiganwing
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Re: Life in Helsinki. [slice of life]

#3 Post by gekiganwing » Sat May 12, 2018 10:37 am

LottieWriter wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:15 am
The market I am aiming for are girls between 12 and 32 ( approx. ). I know a lot of visual novels tend to favor the dating or heavy romance arena, but I truly wanted something different, so it's more about finding your place in the world, against all odds...Let's see if it can still find an audience.
1. Promote your project based on what it does well. Demonstrate a confident attitude regarding your story and illustrations.

2. Unfortunately, I don't know what it takes to get a VN noticed. I just have a couple of thoughts regarding what might work. My first thought is "Does it exude an individual style?" In other words, I think it helps if a visual novel conveys an author's concerns, opinions, and beliefs. My second thought is "Distinct art can get people interested." In other words, I think that potential fans will notice drawings that stand out in a crowd. (Why did I rent the remake of Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap from my local library? Because I liked its cover illustration a lot.)

3. Just two days ago, there was a discussion on r/otomegames called Which game would you wish to be an otome or genderbend, in which the original poster expressed interest in a compelling general plot.

Most of what I enjoyed while growing up near Chicago was general plot driven movies and fantasy novels. I had a dismissive attitude toward romance novels for way too many years. Didn't give slice of life fiction much of a chance until my early twenties.
LottieWriter wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:15 am
BUSINESS MODEL?
I'm looking at different monetization  models. For itch.io, I will probably do a "pay what you want". For mobile, perhaps credits that regenerate with time and each chapter cost a few credits. So it would be possible to be patient and read it all for free, or be eager and buy credits...
Be sure to talk with indie devs. They might have some insights on how to sell stories for computers, and how to sell stories for mobile devices.

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Preseva
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Re: Life in Helsinki. [slice of life]

#4 Post by Preseva » Sun May 13, 2018 2:57 pm

(Edit: I just reread this today and wow, I did not for it to sound as harsh as it does! The game is beautiful and professional looking, and I think my belief in that got lost in my description of girl games, so I've removed that. Sorry.)

A problem I'm seeing here is that you're aiming for an audience aged 12 - 32, but I'm seeing a tween game for 8 - 14 year olds. It's the art style. The character art, the backgrounds, and the UI gives it a resemblance to a "pink game", also known as "girl games."

It's too late to change the character and background art (and they're fine, really) but I'd suggest sobering up the UI with less feminine colors and give it a more mature style. The bubble fonts and the rounded edges for the dialogue boxes and UI are also a staple of the pink game genre, so you may want to change that. And the hearts... you say this game is different from the average VN because it doesn't focus on romance, yet you've got hearts everywhere, on everything, including the logo, which gives the opposite impression. The hearts are also pushing it toward that teen girl aesthetic.

The art and UI are beautiful and of good quality, but if I came across this game and saw the screenshots, I'd dismiss it immediately as genre work without ever realizing it has a plot. I played a little of it and the opening is definitely more mature and interesting than the aesthetic would suggest.

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