The Witch of Pondgulch [Free] [Fantasy | Historical | Dark | Drama] [Kinetic]

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FishyFeathers
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The Witch of Pondgulch [Free] [Fantasy | Historical | Dark | Drama] [Kinetic]

#1 Post by FishyFeathers » Mon Feb 25, 2019 8:30 am

    Image
    Play the latest version here

    About
    A dark, pseudo-historical drama about friendship and disobedience.

    Ardel thinks simply: she follows the rules, and she tries to be good. But when a new student crashes in to her bland life at the Pondgulch Girl’s Charity School and townspeople start looking for someone to blame for recent tragedies, “simple” gets, well, complicated.

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    Think the first part of Jane Eyre meets the Salem Witch Trials … only ignore the part where the Witch Trials took place about 200 years before the events in Jane Eyre and apparently charity schools didn't really come into fashion until like the 1700s at the earliest. To any and all history buffs out there, I apologize. It pains me too. Just not enough to keep me from writing it ;)

    Current Progress
    The first chapter is up now, and you can check it out on CloudNovel!
    Chapter 2 is done! Featuring actually visible buttons and a new font :) Play it here
    Chapter 3! If the plot were a roller coaster, we'd be reaching the end of that first climb...but you can see that for yourself ;)

    Chapter 4!
    The first route is totally playable as a kinetic novel!

    Eventually I want the story to branch, but for now I will be publishing chapter-by-chapter as a kinetic novel on Cloudnovel. Once it can be played all the way through, I’ll re-evaluate and decide whether I will be publishing more routes. The script for the kinetic version is 100% complete, and I am making the other resources as I go along.
    Feedback
    I’ve never actively sought feedback on my projects before, so any constructive criticism will be helpful! That said, I do have a few specific things I’m wondering about, if anybody plays what I have up so far:
    • What sort of tone does the background music create? How could the novel’s soundscape be improved?
    • Writing style – is it too formal/long winded? How well/poorly do you think it interacts with the art? How could it improve?
    • Do you forsee any problems with this story as a kinetic novel?
    • Is there a direction that you hope the plotline will take? I won’t be changing the current plot but it would be pretty awesome to hear peoples’ thoughts on how it could branch later :D
    • Any general pros/cons, comments or questions!
    Last edited by FishyFeathers on Mon Jul 01, 2019 11:48 am, edited 4 times in total.

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    parttimestorier
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    Re: The Witch of Pondgulch [Free] [Fantasy | Historical | Dark | Drama] [Kinetic]

    #2 Post by parttimestorier » Mon Feb 25, 2019 9:01 am

    I really like the art and concept for this story! I like to wait for the full versions of things to read them, so I'll definitely look forward to that. Although I did take a quick look at the first part on CloudNovel and the first thing I noticed was that since the quick menu is white, it's really hard to read against the parchment textbox. Is that something CloudNovel lets you customize at all? I've never used it before, so I don't know.
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    Re: The Witch of Pondgulch [Free] [Fantasy | Historical | Dark | Drama] [Kinetic]

    #3 Post by FishyFeathers » Mon Feb 25, 2019 9:16 am

    I really like the art and concept for this story! I like to wait for the full versions of things to read them, so I'll definitely look forward to that. Although I did take a quick look at the first part on CloudNovel and the first thing I noticed was that since the quick menu is white, it's really hard to read against the parchment textbox. Is that something CloudNovel lets you customize at all? I've never used it before, so I don't know.
    I'm glad you liked it :D ! I hardly ever share stuff so it really means a lot to hear that somebody else is interested. And yes, the menu is customizable. I'd just been too lazy to do so :oops:. Thanks for the reminder!

    Also by the way I think I played your game Well Met By Moonlight a while ago. I really enjoyed it, so thank you for that as well!

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    Re: The Witch of Pondgulch [Free] [Fantasy | Historical | Dark | Drama] [Kinetic]

    #4 Post by parttimestorier » Mon Feb 25, 2019 12:20 pm

    FishyFeathers wrote:
    Mon Feb 25, 2019 9:16 am
    I really like the art and concept for this story! I like to wait for the full versions of things to read them, so I'll definitely look forward to that. Although I did take a quick look at the first part on CloudNovel and the first thing I noticed was that since the quick menu is white, it's really hard to read against the parchment textbox. Is that something CloudNovel lets you customize at all? I've never used it before, so I don't know.
    I'm glad you liked it :D ! I hardly ever share stuff so it really means a lot to hear that somebody else is interested. And yes, the menu is customizable. I'd just been too lazy to do so :oops:. Thanks for the reminder!

    Also by the way I think I played your game Well Met By Moonlight a while ago. I really enjoyed it, so thank you for that as well!
    Oh thank you! I'm glad to hear that. Good luck with the rest of the creative process on this one!
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    Re: The Witch of Pondgulch [Free] [Fantasy | Historical | Dark | Drama] [Kinetic]

    #5 Post by YuukiCrossPudding » Tue Feb 26, 2019 11:36 am

    1. What sort of tone does the background music create? How could the novel’s soundscape be improved?

    I'm trying to play the VN via phone and sadly it didn't allow the music to play, but I believe you picked the best sound for the theme, will try to play this on PC later to listen to the music

    2. Writing style – is it too formal/long winded? How well/poorly do you think it interacts with the art? How could it improve?

    So far I absolutely love the writing, I can relate so much to Ardel's perspective and it's definitely good. Too bad it's so short! I'm curious what things will happen next! The artwork is lovely and really suitable for the writing style, although the font is a bit hard for me to read sometimes but maybe that's just me

    3. Do you forsee any problems with this story as a kinetic novel?

    Not sure in the long run but so far I didn't see any problems as long as the story is good

    4. Is there a direction that you hope the plotline will take? I won’t be changing the current plot but it would be pretty awesome to hear peoples’ thoughts on how it could branch later :D

    I wish that there will be exciting mysteries and how it will unravel, I always love these kind of stories

    5. Any general pros/cons, comments or questions!

    Pros:
    Love the story, writing, art and everything! Keep up the good work!
    Cons:
    Loading screen is a bit slow and the transition isn't that smooth, but still bearable.
    It's soo short and I wish it's longer because I'm curious about the story and everything!

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    Re: The Witch of Pondgulch [Free] [Fantasy | Historical | Dark | Drama] [Kinetic]

    #6 Post by papillon » Tue Feb 26, 2019 2:46 pm

    Interesting art/concept! I don't really know what CloudNovel is, though, and I'm a little hesitant about browser VNs. Will there be a downloadable version when it's all complete?

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    Re: The Witch of Pondgulch [Free] [Fantasy | Historical | Dark | Drama] [Kinetic]

    #7 Post by FishyFeathers » Wed Feb 27, 2019 10:02 am

    Hi Yuuki Cross Pudding! Thank you so much for taking the time to look at it and comment.
    YuukiCrossPudding wrote:
    Tue Feb 26, 2019 11:36 am
    So far I absolutely love the writing, I can relate so much to Ardel's perspective and it's definitely good. Too bad it's so short! I'm curious what things will happen next! The artwork is lovely and really suitable for the writing style, although the font is a bit hard for me to read sometimes but maybe that's just me
    That's a relief to hear about the writing! I feel like I know my strengths and weaknesses as an artist pretty well, but a a writer I often have no idea were I stand haha. It's also super helpful to hear that about the font. CloudNovel has a limited selection and I knew this one was borderline in terms of legibility, but is suited the tone so I figured I'd give it a shot. (Plus the name of the font was "Nothing You Could Do" and it was just SO thematically on-point...) You're not the only one to mention it, though, so I'll try out a different one when I post chapter 2 :)
    YuukiCrossPudding wrote:
    Tue Feb 26, 2019 11:36 am
    Cons:
    Loading screen is a bit slow and the transition isn't that smooth, but still bearable.
    Yeah, that's a recurring problem I have with CloudNovel. 3 years and I still can't figure out if the problem is me or the website :roll: I'm going to try out something with chapter 2 that hopefully makes it a bit less rough though!

    I'm really glad you enjoyed it. I hope you'll enjoy the rest of it, too! I'm hoping to post about one chapter a week, so it shouldn't stay short for long.

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    Re: The Witch of Pondgulch [Free] [Fantasy | Historical | Dark | Drama] [Kinetic]

    #8 Post by FishyFeathers » Wed Feb 27, 2019 10:14 am

    papillon wrote:
    Tue Feb 26, 2019 2:46 pm
    Interesting art/concept! I don't really know what CloudNovel is, though, and I'm a little hesitant about browser VNs. Will there be a downloadable version when it's all complete?
    Hi Papillon! I'm glad to hear that you are interested :) My goal at the moment is to have a downloadable version once it's finished, yes. However, with CloudNovel there are some limits to the file types I can use if I want to make a downloadable game. Since I am a one-person "team" and have no clue how to do music/sound effects, I'll use whatever file types are freely available and give up the download option if I have to.

    Also, CloudNovel is an online visual novel maker. It's awesome for people like me who are too impatient to properly learn how to code haha.

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    Re: The Witch of Pondgulch [Free] [Fantasy | Historical | Dark | Drama] [Kinetic]

    #9 Post by yaelso » Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:39 am

    Oh my! This is a lovely little project you have! Definitely feels reminiscent of the YA novels I was all about as a kiddo; +10 points for witches and period pieces.


    1) What sort of tone does the background music create? How could the novel’s soundscape be improved?

    Honestly, the music stands to be some major support for the environment-- it's delightfully whimsical, playful, and a perfect compliment to the odd occurrences already set in motion. I don't think you need to improve much on this, but I suppose it would have been immersive to hear a few more sound-effects here and there to spruce the auditory landscape.

    2) Writing style – is it too formal/long winded? How well/poorly do you think it interacts with the art? How could it improve?

    I adore the stylistic approach to the script-- the whole letter format and coinciding scribbles at the close/end-- and the writing itself maintains an excellent diction which is frankly most enjoyable to me. Moreover, it works phenomenally alongside the art & era aesthetics you're jabbing at!

    3) Do you forsee any problems with this story as a kinetic novel?

    Not so far, no!

    4) Is there a direction that you hope the plotline will take? I won’t be changing the current plot but it would be pretty awesome to hear peoples’ thoughts on how it could branch later :D

    Witchcraft and adolescent high jinks (and parading pigs?) are already an excellent framework. It would be pretty cool to explore a few mysteries as as YuukiCrossPudding said, especially if it coincides with the unfolding of Ellanor's backstory or that of the encroaching plague.

    5) Any general pros/cons, comments or questions!

    The transition speed was already touched on-- and part of me is pretty convinced it's a site-thing?-- but otherwise I'm wholly eager to see where all this goes! By the by, Ardel's expressions were the cutest.

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    Re: The Witch of Pondgulch [Free] [Fantasy | Historical | Dark | Drama] [Kinetic]

    #10 Post by FishyFeathers » Wed Mar 13, 2019 8:33 am

    Hi Yaelso! Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment, and sorry for the delayed reply! I never really grew up in terms of my reading tastes, so I'm glad to hear it's hitting those sweet sweet YA notes :D . It's great to have that feedback on the music too. I've listened to it so much I feel like I have no idea what the actual effect of it is anymore.
    yaelso wrote:
    Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:39 am
    The transition speed was already touched on-- and part of me is pretty convinced it's a site-thing?-- but otherwise I'm wholly eager to see where all this goes! By the by, Ardel's expressions were the cutest.
    I think I have figured out the Loading Problem . . . and I'm not going to fix it. Yet. I left all my assets at their largest file size so that I would be able to resize and animate them with impunity as I went along, but then I didn't choose my image hosting site very carefully. CloudNovel specifically recommends against this. It was a moment of laziness I will now regret for months as I try to decide whether it's worth going back and re-sizing, re-uploading, and re-linking hundreds of images after the whole thing is complete haha. In the meantime . . . sorry :|

    But also I'm glad you liked Ardel's expressions! I definitely felt like she really came into her own as a character when I started bringing the script and the sprites together.

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    Re: The Witch of Pondgulch [Free] [Fantasy | Historical | Dark | Drama] [Kinetic]

    #11 Post by FishyFeathers » Wed May 15, 2019 8:06 am

    Woah it's been a while! So much for "one chapter a week"...but! I am back from my stint in the internet-less wilderness, and I've finished chapter 4, in which the situation gets a bit more serious...
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    Re: The Witch of Pondgulch [Free] [Fantasy | Historical | Dark | Drama] [Kinetic]

    #12 Post by parttimestorier » Wed May 15, 2019 9:31 am

    I'm glad to see this is still ongoing! How many chapters are you planning to have in total?
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    Re: The Witch of Pondgulch [Free] [Fantasy | Historical | Dark | Drama] [Kinetic]

    #13 Post by FishyFeathers » Wed May 15, 2019 10:00 am

    parttimestorier wrote:
    Wed May 15, 2019 9:31 am
    I'm glad to see this is still ongoing! How many chapters are you planning to have in total?
    haha I'm super glad to see that someone remembers/cares that it exists! I have it divided into nine at the moment, but I am considering adding one more for pacing/character development reasons. So probably 10 total? I am still aiming to get back to 1 chapter/week, but the chapters get progressively more ambitious so I don't want to make any promises xD

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    Re: The Witch of Pondgulch [Free] [Fantasy | Historical | Dark | Drama] [Kinetic]

    #14 Post by FishyFeathers » Mon Jul 01, 2019 11:46 am

    The first route is complete! I also resized and re-uploaded a bunch of files so hopefully loading times are down now, although I still haven't addressed the main culprit (looking at you, Nor...)

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