Zen: A Gay Sequel [BxB][School/Slice of Life/Dating][18+][Demo Available]

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bobconway
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Zen: A Gay Sequel [BxB][School/Slice of Life/Dating][18+][Demo Available]

#1 Post by bobconway » Sat Apr 04, 2020 10:58 pm

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Spoiler warning: Since this game is the sequel to YAGS, the game (and this post) contain abundant spoilers for YAGS, and it is recommended that you play YAGS before trying ZAGS (or reading this post).

(You can find out more about YAGS on the YAGS website.)

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Zen: A Gay Sequel (or ZAGS for short) is an upcoming, gay, planner-focused, stat-based, dating sim that is the sequel to last year's Yearning: A Gay Story. (Phew.)

ZAGS takes you back to Chris' freshman year for the spring semester, but you'll instead play as Carlos as he navigates classes, friendships, frat life, and his libido (yep) during his pursuit of a boyfriend. Unlike YAGS, ZAGS will be more focused on the dating aspect, and is built around a weekly planner system, where you choose activities for Carlos to perform, and raise his stats.

But since this is a Bob Conway game, of course it's not that simple. The planner itself unlocks new options depending on your choices in the main game, and certain activities may change their effects based on your stats and decisions you've made. And, of course, player choice abounds.

This game is for adults only and features explicit sex as well as explicit CG images. While censoring options and the usual nudity patch will be available, you must be of legal age in your country of residence to download and play this game.

Unlike YAGS, ZAGS will be a paid game, but a demo will be available for free download. The demo covers the first month or so of the semester, and features:
  • 50,000 words
  • 3 sexy CGs and 2 new bonus images
  • 3 optional (and replayable) minigames
  • A variety of "routes" to follow
The full game is expected to contain:
  • 150,000+ words (probably 200,000+, in reality)
  • 12+ CGs
  • Additional minigames
  • Three (and a half) full routes, plus a bunch of side stories
  • Additional unlockable extras like development notes and lyric videos
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You can download the demo for free from itch.io: https://bobcgames.itch.io/zags

You can also preorder the final game (estimated for late 2021 at the moment) at a discount. Your preorder helps make the final game better by funding additional art for the game!

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Your favorite characters are back, with a few new faces.
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Hang out with new and old friends at the frat house.
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Find the courage to befriend the motley group of people at the school GSA club.
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Or hang out with Chris' original crew and get your board gaming on.

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You can follow progress on my twitter or on the itch.io page.

You can also visit the website at http://zags.bobcgames.com.

Let me know (either here, or on Twitter) what you're excited for, or ask any questions you might have!
Last edited by bobconway on Sun Apr 19, 2020 12:17 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Zen: A Gay Sequel [BxB][School/Slice of Life/Dating][18+]

#2 Post by bobconway » Sun Apr 12, 2020 8:42 pm

We have a demo release date! You'll be able to download the demo for free on Saturday, April 18 starting at 11 AM US Eastern.

You'll also be able to preorder the full game at that time, which is currently due in late 2021 (but is subject to change). Your preorder includes alpha (and eventual beta) access, if you'd like to keep abreast of the game's progress.

(A fake trailer, featuring my amazing beta testers, is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vle72vV4yPM )
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Re: Zen: A Gay Sequel [BxB][School/Slice of Life/Dating][18+][Demo]

#3 Post by bobconway » Sat Apr 18, 2020 12:13 pm

The demo is now available for download!

In case you missed it, we also have a a game trailer and a lyric video for Zen (the ZAGS theme song).

You can grab the demo for free at https://bobcgames.itch.io/zags and preorder the game at a discount (plus an additional discount for the next 23 hours or so).

Let me know what you think! Any and all feedback is welcome and appreciated.
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Re: Zen: A Gay Sequel [BxB][School/Slice of Life/Dating][18+][Demo]

#4 Post by ParrotWatcher » Sun Apr 19, 2020 3:09 am

Congratulations on the demo! :D

I haven't finished it yet, but I was wondering if it's possible to access the stat screen at any time other than the weekly plan session?

Thanks, and good luck with the game! :D

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Re: Zen: A Gay Sequel [BxB][School/Slice of Life/Dating][18+][Demo]

#5 Post by bobconway » Sun Apr 19, 2020 4:52 am

ParrotWatcher wrote:
Sun Apr 19, 2020 3:09 am
I haven't finished it yet, but I was wondering if it's possible to access the stat screen at any time other than the weekly plan session?
It is not possible at the moment, but it's something I've been contemplating adding to the full game.

I'm a little worried it could cause action paralysis (you save, select a choice, see how it changed your stats), which is why it currently only shows during planning (where all of the options say explicitly what they do). But that might just be me, as someone who would actually be tempted to do that. (Although then I would probably just decompile the game... :roll: )

Is your opinion that it should be generally accessible from the quick menu?

(Thanks for the note!)
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Re: Zen: A Gay Sequel [BxB][School/Slice of Life/Dating][18+][Demo]

#6 Post by ParrotWatcher » Sun Apr 19, 2020 8:45 am

bobconway wrote:
Sun Apr 19, 2020 4:52 am
I'm a little worried it could cause action paralysis (you save, select a choice, see how it changed your stats), which is why it currently only shows during planning (where all of the options say explicitly what they do). But that might just be me, as someone who would actually be tempted to do that. (Although then I would probably just decompile the game... :roll: )
You're not wrong, but right now I just worry because I can't find it... :lol: It just makes it weird to be able to view it at some times but not at others. (And yeah, I'd probably just decompile it anyway; it's how I got Adam in YAGS...)

And yeah, accessible from the menu makes the most sense, if that's possible.

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Re: Zen: A Gay Sequel [BxB][School/Slice of Life/Dating][18+][Demo]

#7 Post by bobconway » Sun Apr 19, 2020 9:56 am

ParrotWatcher wrote:
Sun Apr 19, 2020 8:45 am
You're not wrong, but right now I just worry because I can't find it... :lol: It just makes it weird to be able to view it at some times but not at others. (And yeah, I'd probably just decompile it anyway; it's how I got Adam in YAGS...)

And yeah, accessible from the menu makes the most sense, if that's possible.
It's an easy enough change. I'll update it in the full game. Thanks for the feedback!

(I'm planning on revamping the stats screen in general anyway, splitting it into two separate views for relationships vs friendships, but I didn't want to do it for the demo because it'd require me to redo the tutorial sections.)
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Re: Zen: A Gay Sequel [BxB][School/Slice of Life/Dating][18+][Demo Available]

#8 Post by bobconway » Thu Apr 30, 2020 12:02 am

It's the end of April, and I want to write an update post at the end of every month while the game is in active development. All updates of course apply only to the full version of the game (not the demo).

As always, you can contact me on twitter, by PM here, or on the ZAGS community.

Announcements:
Wolfscade will be drawing some of the CGs for the game.

Writing:
The first pass of writing is complete up to the in-game day of February 9. The game is now at 63,880 words, 6085 dialogue blocks, and 135 menus.

CGs:
Two additional CGs (plus a "variant" constituting a third) are complete, one by David and one by Wolfscade. General status is 6/14 CGs complete.

Other Progress:
One new minigame has been added.
The stats screen will now be accessible during normal gameplay.
The planner tutorial calls out the execution speed preference, and the preference better explains what it does.
The prologue now gives a "I played YAGS on a different computer" option if it doesn't detect YAGS save data.
"Some Censoring" vs "Full Censoring" have been changed to "No Genitalia" and "Censored" to better reflect what they do. Censored mode now also throws up a larger censor bar over sensitive parts of the CGs (in addition to excluding... fluids).
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Re: Zen: A Gay Sequel [BxB][School/Slice of Life/Dating][18+][Demo Available]

#9 Post by bobconway » Wed Jun 03, 2020 11:19 pm

I just realized I forgot to copy May's status update here, which actually isn't too big of a loss because not much happened. (It was a bad month as far as the day job goes, and the world also seemed to get even more depressing, somehow.)

As always, you can contact me on twitter, by PM here, or on the ZAGS community.

Writing:
The first pass of writing is completed up to the in-game day of February 10. The game is now at 68,107 words, 6458 dialogue blocks, and 149 menus.

CGs:
One new ending CG was started, but nothing else was completed. Still at 6/14 CGs complete, and 1/8 in progress.

Other Progress:
There is now a preference to skip board games on weekends.
A meeple stacking minigame has been implemented, but not yet added into the game.
A typing minigame has been implemented, and may become part of ZAGS or a separate game? TBD
The sliding puzzle minigame now supports additional customization to customize the puzzle to your tastes.
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Re: Zen: A Gay Sequel [BxB][School/Slice of Life/Dating][18+][Demo Available]

#10 Post by bobconway » Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:32 pm

June was probably the most productive dev month since the demo was released, at least writing-wise.

Announcements:
The "put yourself in the game" donation tier has sold out, and my artist has started work on the two new sprites for Mike and Mark. I've started writing work for their storylines, as well, and I'm really excited to put them into the game.
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Writing:
The first pass of writing is complete up to the in-game day of February 17. Additional writing on side paths has also been done further out (including into March). The game is now at 83,925 words, 8004 dialogue blocks, and 175 menus.

CGs:
The CG started last month has been completed, putting us at 7/14 CGs complete.

Other Progress:
Several quality-of-life changes to the planner, including marking new additions to the notes and splitting stats into separate screens for friendships and love interests/personal stats. There's a video on Twitter here.
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Re: Zen: A Gay Sequel [BxB][School/Slice of Life/Dating][18+][Demo Available]

#11 Post by bobconway » Thu Jul 30, 2020 6:08 pm

July was another good month for writing, but there's not too much to show off as a result.

Writing:
The first pass of writing is complete up to the in-game day of March 3. The game is now at 99,040 words, 9457 dialogue blocks, and 219 menus.

CGs:
Wolfscade has started initial planning for Malik's ending CG. General status is still 7/14 CGs complete, with 1/7 in progress.

Other Progress:
The two new sprites from last month are now complete through inks, and should be completely finished (and in the game) by the end of next week.
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Re: Zen: A Gay Sequel [BxB][School/Slice of Life/Dating][18+][Demo Available]

#12 Post by bobconway » Sun Aug 30, 2020 2:29 pm

August was yet another good writing month.

Writing:
The first pass of writing is complete up to the in-game day of March 24. The game is now at 133,487 words, 12,541 dialogue blocks, and 305 menus.

CGs:
David got through inks of another CG (preview here), but Wolfscade hasn't made significant progress on the CG he started last month. General status is still 7/14 CGs complete, with 2/7 in progress.

Other Progress:
The sprites for Mark and Mike are both complete and in the game
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Character profiles have been improved, with new unlockable outfits (including naked variants)

Two new minigames have been added to the game; you can see a preview of Adam's clothing search here
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Re: Zen: A Gay Sequel [BxB][School/Slice of Life/Dating][18+][Demo Available]

#13 Post by bobconway » Sat Sep 26, 2020 1:41 pm

September started off well, but then the world and work got explode-y and my productivity tanked. Since I'm going to take this weekend as some recovery time, and then it'll be October, I'm posting updates a few days early.

Also October and November are Bara Jam 2020, so I likely won't make much ZAGS progress over the next couple of months.

Writing:
The first pass of writing is complete up to the in-game day of March 31. The game is now at 155,771 words, 14,519 dialogue blocks, and 327 menus.

CGs:
David finished the CG from last month, but Wolfscade hasn't made any additional progress. Thanks to preorder funds for ZAGS, we've added another few CGs to the plan, so we're now at 8/17 CGs complete, with 1/9 in progress.

Other Progress:
The special planner for Spring Break week is done, as are some stat screen changes so you can reference planner notes at any time.
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Re: Zen: A Gay Sequel [BxB][School/Slice of Life/Dating][18+][Demo Available]

#14 Post by PassiveChicken » Tue Sep 29, 2020 4:04 am

This looks interesting! I love games that have loads and loads of characters. Keep up the good work!!
With a quiver full as this, I'm bound to hit something eventually.

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