Clarity in Qualia [BxB, Yaoi Game Jam 2018, Slice of life, Drama]

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8Laelia8
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Clarity in Qualia [BxB, Yaoi Game Jam 2018, Slice of life, Drama]

#1 Post by 8Laelia8 » Thu Jun 28, 2018 9:46 am

CIQMain.jpg
(This is pretty much copied from the itch.io page but with the addition of some questions at the bottom :3)

Clarity in Qualia is a visual novel I'm creating for the current Yaoi Game Jam 2018 :3

Alyx is a young man who has allowed his mother to dictate every aspect of his life for as long as he can remember. As a result, Alyx is currently in further education studying subjects that he has no interest in and dating a girl who he doesn't have feelings for. He has known for a while that his romantic urges tend to veer towards other males but is afraid of actually mentioning it to his mother for fear of upsetting her. In fact, Alyx refuses to even accept himself, preferring instead to just let life pass him by. Despite being fairly miserable, Alyx is empathetic to the point that he would prefer to suffer in silence than face the possibility of hurting others. His only solace lies in a chat group he came across online, where he's able to be a truer version of himself around the other members of the group, Alvy, Sio, Elil, and Kagan.

One day, Alyx is involved in an accident that puts him in a coma. As he dreams away in hospital, a mysterious figure called Merrik visits him, claiming to be his spirit guide. Merrik warns Alyx that if he continues to refuse to accept himself then he will never wake up. All hope is not lost, as Merrik offers Alyx another opportunity to live, with the condition that he makes an effort to be true to himself. There is one condition, however, Alyx must prove to Merrik that he has the ability to change within just 7 days, or face death after all.

With the help of his online friends, can Alyx learn to love himself for who he really is on the inside? The outcome is entirely up to you! Make choices and help Alyx on his journey of self-discovery, deepen friendship with his online companions, and possibly even find true love :3

(Scroll down to view character profiles and questions :3)

I suppose this would fall under the category of slice of life, with a bit of fantasy mixed in. I've never even played a yaoi game before as I prefer otome's instead, so I have no idea if I'm even doing this right, or how it compares to all the yaoi content out there >.< But at the end of the day, I just figured it's a story about friendship, love, and learning to accept yourself... and I wanted to tell it, so yeah xD

Since I'm still working hard on my main project, Solipsism Reigns, development for this is going to be slow, sorry T_T but SR takes priority, haha. I will, however, try my very best to get at least one whole route completed in time for submission by the end of the jam! :3 If everything goes according to plan you should be able to play the prologue, common route, and Alvy's route. If there's somehow enough time for me to complete a second route then I'll hold a poll or something to see which one people would prefer to play ^_^ Rest assured though, this project will be completed at some point after Solipsism Reigns is released.

Because of the time limitations on this project, I decided it would be best to edit some of Tokudaya's sprites to make the characters, so if they seem familiar, that's why! I did my best to edit them in a way that makes them look a little more unique at least :3

Anyway, I hope that someone out there somewhere will get some form of enjoyment out of this project at some point ^_^/
Development page: https://ikarikali.itch.io/clarity-in-qualia

Alyxprofile.png
Alvyprofile.png
Sioprofile.png
Elilprofile.png
Kaganprofile.png
Merrikprofile.png

Questions:

1) Which of the guys seems the most interesting to you, and whose route would you like to see next after Alvy's?

2) If this were to eventually be voiced, would you want the protagonist (Alyx) to be voiced too?

3) Does this seem like a typical yaoi game? (because as I said, I've never played one so I have no idea what they're actually like >.<)

4) There are friendship endings and romantic endings for all ages, but would you be interested in seeing R18 endings too?

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Re: Clarity in Qualia [BxB, Yaoi Game Jam 2018, Slice of life, Drama]

#2 Post by High » Thu Jun 28, 2018 2:53 pm

1. Merrik. I find Merrik interesting because from what I understand his job is essentially guide the dead to the afterlife and I find that concept utterly fascinating. Are there more like him? How did he become one, or was he always like this? Does interacting with dead people take a toll on him? Is the deal he made with Alyx exclusive to him or has Merrik make the same deal with other people before? If not, what about Alyx made him do that? And will Merrik suffer repercussion from haven done it? There a lot of interesting ways his storyline could play out. And I also like Kagan.

2. I would rather the game had no voice acting at all actually.

3. I don't think I understand the question. Do you want your game to look like everyone else's? I really like the art style if that's what you're asking. :D

4. Yes, I would be very interested in that.
Last edited by High on Wed Sep 26, 2018 5:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Clarity in Qualia [BxB, Yaoi Game Jam 2018, Slice of life, Drama]

#3 Post by 8Laelia8 » Fri Jun 29, 2018 8:26 am

Thank you very much for taking the time to answer those questions, it's much appreciated! :3
High wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 2:53 pm
1. Merrik. I find interesting Merryk because from what I understand his job is essentially guide the dead to the afterlife and I find that concept utterly fascinating. Are there more like him? How did he become one, or was he always like this? Does interacting with dead people take a toll on him? Is the deal he made with Alyx exclusive to him or does he who make the same deal with other people? If not, what about Alyx made him do that? And will Merrik suffer repercussion from haven done it? There a lot of interesting ways his storyline could play out. And I also like Kagan.
Merrik is probably my personal favourite actually :D I was originally thinking about having him as a hidden/unlockable character that you could only access and play his route after completing all the other guy's routes... but after hearing your opinion it makes me wonder if that would be somewhat cruel to anyone who is possibly only really interested in Merrik. I may have to reconsider! I'm not sure it would be right to have him playable from the very beginning because of possible spoilers for the story, but perhaps it would be better to have him become available after completing just one other route first.
High wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 2:53 pm
2. I would rather the game had no voice acting at all actually.
This is really interesting! Would you mind explaining why? (Feel free to PM me about it if you want.) For some reason, I always assumed that voice acting improves stuff (unless it's really bad voice acting, of course xD) I suppose it's largely due to the fact that I adore voice acting personally. Knowing this makes me consider the fact that any project I make that features voice acting should have the option to turn it off completely for those who don't want it :3
High wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 2:53 pm
3. I don't think I understand the question. Do you want your game to look like everyone else's? I really like the art style if that's what you're asking. :D
Yeah, it is a bit of a daft question I suppose >.< I definitely don't want it to look like everyone else's that's for sure... in fact, I'd be pretty mortified if it turned out anything I made was really similar to something that already existed! I certainly wouldn't intend it to be that way. I guess what I was sort of trying to ask is if there are any things in yaoi games that are typical/a staple that I should be aware of? Particular things that people look for in those types of games.

If there are and I haven't included them then it's still absolutely fine, as I said, I just wanted to tell a story really :3 But it would be cool/helpful to know what people play yaoi games for since I've never really had any interest in them myself.

As for the art, I'm glad you think it looks nice :3 I can't really take much credit since they are Tokudaya's stock sprites, but I did spend time editing them in GIMP to make them more unique and suited to this particular project.
High wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 2:53 pm
4. Yes, I would be very interested in that.
In regards to that last question, I was just wondering... if there were R18 endings but they didn't have CG's, would that still be of interest? Or is it having an unlockable CG that makes it more appealing? I only ask because I suck at art so wouldn't stand a chance at drawing something like that, I can happily write scenes like that :3 but I would need to hire someone to create CG's to accompany the scenes and since it's a free project that'd be pretty tough :(

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Re: Clarity in Qualia [BxB, Yaoi Game Jam 2018, Slice of life, Drama]

#4 Post by High » Sat Jun 30, 2018 7:06 pm

8Laelia8 wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 8:26 am
Thank you very much for taking the time to answer those questions, it's much appreciated! :3
Of course! Anytime.


8Laelia8 wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 8:26 am
Merrik is probably my personal favourite actually :D
We both have good taste then.😘


8Laelia8 wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 8:26 am
I was originally thinking about having him as a hidden/unlockable character that you could only access and play his route after completing all the other guy's routes... but after hearing your opinion it makes me wonder if that would be somewhat cruel to anyone who is possibly only really interested in Merrik. I may have to reconsider! I'm not sure it would be right to have him playable from the very beginning because of possible spoilers for the story, but perhaps it would be better to have him become available after completing just one other route first.
I understand if Merrik's route gives a perspective flip on the others and you want the player to experience the game normally once or twice before playing a route that explains the full plot or something like it, but I agree that having a character unlocked after playing the game 4+ times might be a bit overkill. XD




8Laelia8 wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 8:26 am
This is really interesting! Would you mind explaining why?
I just don't think it adds anything. Visual Novel is genre all about reading so I don't see the point of a voice telling me what I'm already reading. Also I always finish reading faster than the voice clip plays.



8Laelia8 wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 8:26 am
I guess what I was sort of trying to ask is if there are any things in yaoi games that are typical/a staple that I should be aware of? Particular things that people look for in those types of games.
I don't think so, as long as you play as man who can date other men. Take a look at your game's "competition" so to speak: Coming Out On Top is a light, porny game with a very Whendonesque sense of humor and larger than life characters, Requiescence is a Gothic fantasy adventure with a very brooding atmosphere that has you finding love while fighting for your life in a demon infested castle, Dramatical Murder is a ridiculously stylish game that deals with the unraveling of a distopia, 404 Error and Forget-Me-Not are essentially character studies with the main focus not being the romances but inner problems of the main characters, Silver Chaos is like playing a very cheap adventure anime with the exception everyone of importance is gay and you can have sex with them, Blind Men is a James Bond pastiche that doesn't take itself too seriously, No Thank You is fun game in which you play as a lovable obnoxious amnesiac pervert until unnecessary stupid drama comes out of nowhere and ruins everything. The only common thread in all these is being able to date guys as a guy, and even then that's not always the focus.

Sure, there are some archetypes like The Best Friend, The Flirty Guy, The Nerd but none that would consider ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY OTHERWISE IT CAN'T BE CONSIDERED YAOI HOW DARE YOU!? And honestly? Innovation is good.

Now if you take yaoi to mean specifically the Japanese created games then it is just the opposite; there are harmful, toxic staples of the genre that I recommend you avoid like the plague.

Yaoi as a genre was created by straight women to objectify gay men for straight women's benefit and so most works are in the genre are a gross caricature of a gay relationship. Typical pairings have the Seme and the Uke roles, which signify the characters' roles during sex, penetrative and receptive respectively, and often dictate their personalities and masculinity relative to each other. The Seme is tall, masculine looking and nearly always mean to his love interest. The Uke is very feminine, short and completely and utterly spineless. The Uke is so utterly feminized (like a girl except with a penis and balls) that even though there are two men in relationship they reinforce heteronomamente ideals of masculinity and femininity. The whole Uke/Seme thing is quite pathetic.

It's also (unfortunately) very common for a love interest to be violent/abusive to the other to the point of threatening to rape or actually raping him and it being portrayed as a display of love.


8Laelia8 wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 8:26 am
In regards to that last question, I was just wondering... if there were R18 endings but they didn't have CG's, would that still be of interest?
Not really.
Last edited by High on Thu Dec 13, 2018 9:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Clarity in Qualia [BxB, Yaoi Game Jam 2018, Slice of life, Drama]

#5 Post by ParrotWatcher » Wed Jul 04, 2018 3:18 am

This looks like an interesting concept, and I'd like to see where it goes.

I do have a couple of issues with what I see so far, though. Firstly, Alyx looks too young. While the other guys look 18-20s, Alyx looks several years younger than that. Would it be possible to have his eye size reduced, to be more like Alvy's?

Also, Alyx and Alvy have very similar names, which could cause confusion. I guess you don't want to change the names too much, but it could be a problem for readers.
8Laelia8 wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 9:46 am
1) Which of the guys seems the most interesting to you, and whose route would you like to see next after Alvy's?
I would say Kagan, although Sio is cute, too.
2) If this were to eventually be voiced, would you want the protagonist (Alyx) to be voiced too?
I don't exactly dislike voice acting in VNs, but I haven't really ever seen a game that I feel was drastically improved by it, either. And certainly if this is a small(ish) YaoiJam game, voice acting seems like it would be far more trouble than it would be worth.
3) Does this seem like a typical yaoi game? (because as I said, I've never played one so I have no idea what they're actually like >.<)
I'm going to agree with High here: You don't really want to make a "typical" yaoi game. Certainly not in the strict definition of "yaoi", but even in the looser definition
(i.e. just a game about gay romance). Just write your own game. Don't try to make it too similar to other games; just make the game you want to make. :)
4) There are friendship endings and romantic endings for all ages, but would you be interested in seeing R18 endings too?
Sure, even if it's just in the prose. It doesn't need CGs, really. (I guess you could have naked sprites, though...) Unless they *are* under 18, in which case it would probably be best to avoid it.

Anyway, good luck with the game. :)

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Re: Clarity in Qualia [BxB, Yaoi Game Jam 2018, Slice of life, Drama]

#6 Post by 8Laelia8 » Sat Jul 07, 2018 7:05 am

Sorry it's taken so long for me to reply! I've been ridiculously busy as usual >.<
High wrote:
Sat Jun 30, 2018 7:06 pm
I just don't think it adds anything. Visual Novel is genre all about reading so I don't see the point of a voice telling me what I'm already reading. Also I always finish reading faster than the voice clip plays.
That's so interesting because when I first started reading visual novels I hadn't encountered any with voice acting, but once I did, I ended up choosing to play the ones with voice acting first over the ones without. I also finish reading faster than the voice clip plays, haha, I only let it play the full line if it's a character's voice that I really like xD
High wrote:
Sat Jun 30, 2018 7:06 pm
I don't think so, as long as you play as man who can date other men...
I really appreciate you taking the time to write out such a detailed explanation, it's super helpful :3 One day I'll definitely have to make time to actually play some for myself!
High wrote:
Sat Jun 30, 2018 7:06 pm
Sure, there are some archetypes like The Best Friend, The Flirty Guy, The Nerd but none that would consider ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY OTHERWISE IT CAN'T BE CONSIDERED YAOI HOW DARE YOU!? And honestly? Innovation is good.
Hehe I figured that would probably be the case but I thought it was still best to ask :3
High wrote:
Sat Jun 30, 2018 7:06 pm
Now if you take yaoi to mean specifically the Japanese created games then it is just the opposite; there are harmful, toxic staples of the genre that I recommend you avoid like the plague.

Yaoi as a genre was created by straight women to objectify gay men for straight women's benefit and so most works are in the genre are a gross caricature of a gay relationship...

It's also (unfortunately) very common for a love interest to be violent/abusive to the other to the point of threatening to rape or actually raping him and it being portrayed as a display of love.
Again, that's really interesting and although I had an idea that material like that existed, I didn't realise it was so common in Japanese works. I can see why you would recommend avoiding stuff like that! Haha. I mean, I love yandere characters so I'm not entirely against abuse as long as the love that's there is genuine (and there are good endings where nice things actually happen!), but if a character who's not a yandere type is abusive I would likely hate their guts and want to punch them xD A certain character from the Diabolik Lovers series comes to mind... man I really hate that dude >.<
High wrote:
Sat Jun 30, 2018 7:06 pm
Not really.
Fair enough :D
ParrotWatcher wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 3:18 am
Would it be possible to have his eye size reduced, to be more like Alvy's? ...
It may have been possible back when I was editing the sprites but unfortunately, it's too late now because I've already finished building the prologue, common route, and start of Alvy's route. It would take me a long time to re-edit Alyx's sprite and replace all his expressions in game :(
ParrotWatcher wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 3:18 am
Also, Alyx and Alvy have very similar names, which could cause confusion...
I did wonder if that might happen, haha x3 They only have similar names because to me personally, they are the "true" coupling of the game. Hopefully, readers will know who's speaking at all times and stuff since I have Alyx's name in the box even when he's just thinking, as well as speaking out loud.
ParrotWatcher wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 3:18 am
I don't exactly dislike voice acting in VNs, but I haven't really ever seen a game that I feel was drastically improved by it, either...
I know what ya mean, I did wonder if it's really worth the time and effort. If it was to happen it wouldn't be for a long time because I'm struggling to get Alvy's route finished as a demo in time for the end of the jam as it is. I wouldn't even start looking for voice actors until the game was actually close to being fully completed. Even though I have the story for all the route's drafted out, I'm not sure how long it's going to end up being yet really. I definitely don't want to wind up making it as long as my main project because that would be unmanageable xD
ParrotWatcher wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 3:18 am
Just write your own game. Don't try to make it too similar to other games; just make the game you want to make. :)
Those are sound words of advice, thanks :3 I really hope I don't accidentally make it too similar to other games though xD But yeah, I just wanted to write something a little more lighthearted than my main project. Even though I love Solipsism Reigns to bits it's nice to have something else to work on that's not quite as dark, haha.
ParrotWatcher wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 3:18 am
Sure, even if it's just in the prose. It doesn't need CGs, really. (I guess you could have naked sprites, though...) Unless they *are* under 18...
Honestly, I hadn't actually given any of the characters a strict age yet just because I didn't want to sit and agonise over it when I know I don't have much time, haha. Unfortunately, I'd have to hire an artist if I wanted to have naked versions of the sprites since I'm not the original creator of the sprites I'm using. I'd like to have various CGs if it were a possibility but since it's going to be completely free and without funding, it would mean more money coming out of my pocket and I spent a fair amount on my main project already >.< haha.
ParrotWatcher wrote:
Wed Jul 04, 2018 3:18 am
Anyway, good luck with the game. :)
Thank you very much! :3 It's going to be a slow process but it'll get there eventually.

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Re: Clarity in Qualia [BxB, Yaoi Game Jam 2018, Slice of life, Drama]

#7 Post by ParrotWatcher » Wed Aug 01, 2018 7:15 am

Congratulations on the demo release! :D

I'm interested in seeing where this goes, although I was a little worried by the
suggestion that choosing one route might be condemning the other guys to death...
As for the guys themselves, Alvy certainly seems like the cutest, although Sio seems quite nice, too. I'm less fond of Kagan after actually meeting him :p and Elil is about what I expected of him...

I did spot a couple of technical issues, though. Setting the BGM to mute only applies to the current track, and it resets when a new track starts. Constantly going back to the menu to re-mute the music wasn't exactly that fun... Also, at the end of the demo, the game just froze instead of returning to the menu (or quitting).

Anyway, other than that, it looks like a very good start. Good luck with the rest of the game. :)

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Re: Clarity in Qualia [BxB, Yaoi Game Jam 2018, Slice of life, Drama]

#8 Post by Elric Atchison » Tue Aug 14, 2018 1:14 pm

I'm interested to voice in this project, if the game is going to be fully voiced. even though, I lent my voice for Zen on an another project of yours: Solipsism Reigns, just about a couple of months ago.
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Bouncer (Samuel)- The Curse of Dwight Periwinkle


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Re: Clarity in Qualia [BxB, Yaoi Game Jam 2018, Slice of life, Drama]

#9 Post by CeeCeeVA » Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:01 pm

This game looks really interesting!! I love the character artwork and their synopsis. I would love to see Sio’s full route in the game! It depends on what you want with voice acting. I may be a voice actress but I play visual novels and otome games that does not have voice acting included. Although sometimes it gives the characters more personality throughout the game when hearing them speak. There are a few games that I wished had voice overs because they were just so good that you imagine them with voices! However, again, it is up to you if you would like to add that in. It’s a good idea to have the option to turn voice overs off though!
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https://www.dropbox.com/s/kq9prmkz5yib4 ... 8.mp3?dl=0

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