Toire No Hanako (beta version)

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Donmai
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Toire No Hanako (beta version)

#1 Post by Donmai » Thu Feb 28, 2013 3:58 pm

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Reiko says she is not afraid of living people. Every night, however, she is scared, believing she is hearing unnatural voices and noises inside her house, and seeing shadowy forms moving inside her room.

Isamu says he is a skeptic, and that he does not believe in supernatural things. Every day, however, after a peaceful night, he will be frightened by people with whom he has to deal daily. He says that living people can scare him to death.

This is a story about fear, about love, and about the incompatibilities between love and fear.

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Playing time: 4 hours
Endings: only one, but you can understand it the way you prefer.
Rating: 16+. No nudity or sex scenes, but this is not a story for kids.
CGs: 310 (!)
Sprites: None (why would I need sprites with so many CGs?)

Concept, story, graphics and direction by Donmai
Music by Kevin MacLeod and the Farina Brothers

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This is my very first Ren'Py project and I have used it to learn how to code. Although concluded last year, I have been waiting for the release of Ren'Py 6.15 "Foreign Policy", as this is a multilanguage project. This Beta version was build with a prerelease version of Ren'Py 6.15 (6.15.0.265).

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Edit (january, 27, 2014):
The beta version of TNH had 176 downloads. Thanks to everybody who played it, and especially to those who contributed with comments and suggestions.
You can find the new version by clicking on the link in my signature.
Thank you all.
:D
Last edited by Donmai on Sun Jan 26, 2014 11:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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TOIRE NO HANAKO (A Story About Fear)

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Re: Toire No Hanako (beta version)

#2 Post by FellowKahjiit » Sun Mar 03, 2013 4:47 am

I think you could have done better... ALOT BETTER! The problem i had with your game is that there was a lot of meaningless talk and it starts to get boring. You also said there was NO sexual content but she puts his hand up her shirt?!?!? waaay over the line. This story was boring. im sorry, but if I were to rate it i would give it a 4/10. I like thrills, i thought this would thrill to me, not be boring.

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Re: Toire No Hanako (beta version)

#3 Post by Donmai » Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:04 am

Wow! Thank you for your comment, FellowKahjiit! Good luck with your projects! :wink:

Edit: Oh! And I have noticed this is your very first post here. So, welcome to Lemma Soft Forums!
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Re: Toire No Hanako (beta version)

#4 Post by Ran08 » Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:46 pm

Did you draw all the CGs? If you did, then that's so amazing! They look so good! I love the colors, the way they're drawn... everything! It's like a whole new experience with visual novels for me.
I'm not yet done with it, but I am currently liking it so much. The story is nicely written and I like the plot. I shall say more when I am finished with this! =)

Edit: Oh, that cinema scene! Eeeeeeeek! :") The one in the girl's restroom... :") Awwwwieeee. makes me feel so giddy! I have to admit that their relationship seems to have progressed a bit too quickly but... I'm not complaining! Teehee.

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Re: Toire No Hanako (beta version)

#5 Post by Donmai » Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:12 am

Thank you Ran08 for the kind words! :D Yes, I did all that CGs (it took me only seven months) and the proposal was really to experiment with a new way of telling a story. The way I did them was a mix of hand-drawn art and 3D-CG (you will notice there is a lot of mirrors along the story, all with accurate reflections on their surfaces. They are very important for the narrative, and that's were 3D rendering helped me a lot!).

The feedback I had till today was always rewarding. I hope you have noticed this is not a horror story, it is only a story about fear. I think I have failed at making it clear, maybe that's why FellowKahjiit was so upset. :wink:
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Re: Toire No Hanako (beta version)

#6 Post by Ran08 » Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:56 am

You're very much welcome! Yes, I have noticed! :) Awww, that's super amazing! ONLY 7 months?! That's so long! :O But I guess, for something like this... that is kinda short, ne? You did so well though!

Hahaha, yes. It was the title that actually caught my attention because I know something about that urban legend. And honestly, I was expecting that it would be a horror story. I was surprised when I saw that it was actually... more of a romance story. But this is truly amaaaazing. I like it very much. I had this open from morning until 5PM, but I'm still not done with it. Teehee. I was doing other stuff. I'm already in the scene in the park with Sayumi. :) But even though I was doing other stuff I had my headphones on and I was listening to the bgm from the cinema restroom scene. I love the music! :") So lovable!

I'm gonna make a review of this on my blog. Hahaha. Just can't resist. :")

Edit: Review done. Awww, this really was so good. I'm gonna finish this tomorrow and update my post. Teehee.

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Re: Toire No Hanako (beta version)

#7 Post by Donmai » Wed Mar 27, 2013 7:30 am

Wow! Just read your review. Thank you so much! I'm glad you liked the soundtrack. Many people here tell us to avoid Kevin MacLeod because his songs were overused, but I believe if the music really matches the scene, then there is no problem.

Edit: when releasing the final version I better add a "Caution! This is not a horror story!" note. :lol:
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Re: Toire No Hanako (beta version)

#8 Post by philip » Sun Apr 21, 2013 5:04 am

Donmai - Just came across this story and downloaded it. The first post in this thread says that it takes four hours to go through it; well despite that, and the fact that it was quite late already, I just could not resist going through it. I have just finished - it is now 5 am. It was well worth it, the art is wonderful, the characters are believable, the story is captivating - I greatly enjoyed the experience. After a good night's . . . um, make that morning's sleep, I will be visiting it again. A very impressive effort!
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Re: Toire No Hanako (beta version)

#9 Post by Donmai » Sun Apr 21, 2013 8:15 pm

Wow! What can I say? Thank you very much, phillip! My intention was only that: tell a story that people would (perhaps) find enjoyable. I am happy that you appreciated it, especially because you talked about "believable characters".

I am tempted to put an end to the tests phase and release Toire No Hanako, finally. Thank you again. :)
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Re: Toire No Hanako (beta version)

#10 Post by ViRiX Dreamcore » Fri Apr 26, 2013 7:14 am

I had to force myself to stop because I have things to get done today.

I got to the part where he was told to stop playing his guitar.

I did really enjoy it and the background music is great although there's something strange about the audio quality of it.

I also DO wish there was some sort of minor horror element. Maybe not a full blown ghost, but maybe a hint that there ARE some supernatural things going on. That would add a bit of a twist to it.

Other than that though, I really enjoyed it. Great work.

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Re: Toire No Hanako (beta version)

#11 Post by Donmai » Fri Apr 26, 2013 7:49 pm

ViRiX Dreamcore wrote:I had to force myself to stop because I have things to get done today.

I got to the part where he was told to stop playing his guitar.
My goodness! So you've read a big part of the story in one go! :o
ViRiX Dreamcore wrote:I did really enjoy it and the background music is great although there's something strange about the audio quality of it.
You are the first person to mention that and you are right. The songs were downsampled to save disk space/download time. Some songs suffered more than others. I will have to revise this. Thank you for commenting.
ViRiX Dreamcore wrote:I also DO wish there was some sort of minor horror element. Maybe not a full blown ghost, but maybe a hint that there ARE some supernatural things going on. That would add a bit of a twist to it.
Sometimes strange things really happen when we aren't waiting for them. :wink:
ViRiX Dreamcore wrote:Other than that though, I really enjoyed it. Great work.
Thank you very much! :D
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TOIRE NO HANAKO (A Story About Fear)

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Re: Toire No Hanako (beta version)

#12 Post by hillaryj » Mon May 06, 2013 11:50 pm

Hi! I just finished the whole game. The story is amazing!!! So are the visuals - they are compatible with the feel of the story. I'm curious how you did them, because sometimes they tend to look like computer-generated characters. :D This makes me think kinetic novels are actually better than those that aren't hehe. The only point of improvement would be the grammar for the English version. Not major errors that would make the story hard to understand, just small ones. I'd offer help if you would accept it :)

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Re: Toire No Hanako (beta version)

#13 Post by Donmai » Tue May 07, 2013 7:41 am

hillaryj wrote:Hi! I just finished the whole game. The story is amazing!!! So are the visuals - they are compatible with the feel of the story. I'm curious how you did them, because sometimes they tend to look like computer-generated characters.

Hi hillaryj! Thank you for playing and commenting. Yes, the graphics are partially computer-generated (that's how all those mirrors have accurate reflexions, for example). That helped me to conclude all those CGs in "only" seven months. :)
hillaryj wrote: :D This makes me think kinetic novels are actually better than those that aren't hehe.
Personally I don't care if a VN has choices or not. I only hope it will have a good story. But I admit the majority of people here are gamers, not readers (Oops! Can't believe I'm stepping into this minefield again! :o ).
hillaryj wrote:The only point of improvement would be the grammar for the English version. Not major errors that would make the story hard to understand, just small ones. I'd offer help if you would accept it :)
Surely I need all the help you could give me! I will send you a PM. :D Thank you!
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Re: Toire No Hanako (beta version)

#14 Post by merdeamour » Sat Jun 08, 2013 1:02 am

First-- I absolutely loved this. The story was so engrossing that I read it for a little less than two hours straight. The art was beautiful, of course, and further enhanced the writing you got going on there. There were a few flaws in writing (like I thought you sometimes used exclamation marks excessively), but they didn't distract me from the VN itself.

I have to say that this was a masterpiece... the art was gorgeous, and the characters well-developed.
Some scenes, though, like Kaori telling Isamu that she loved him and then him laughing it off sounded a bit weird to me...

Also, the way Reiko's mother and aunt addressed her as 'not mad' sounded a bit... off. Of course, mad is used as a synonym for 'crazy', but instances like 'She is not mad' don't suggest the crazy kind of mad, only the angry kind. That's something I noticed.

What I loved about this:

-You made it look and sound like a horror story... you know, quoting that story about the girl in the restroom, using it as the picture for your main menu, citing instances of possession. I was scared at some parts, but it was a skillfully well-done story that didn't give away much of anything as I was reading it. It kinda gave me a psychological-thriller kind of feel (especially when Isamu didn't say outright that he knew Reiko was the 'shadow', but referred to sleepwalking after the incident).
There were a few grammatical mistakes, but they're nothing a good editing and proofreading wouldn't fix. If you want help in proofreading/editing, I could offer you my help :D

Once again, great job with this! Thank you for the wonderful story! I'm doing a review on this in my blog when I have the time--I hope you like it when I finish it xD
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Re: Toire No Hanako (beta version)

#15 Post by Donmai » Sat Jun 08, 2013 1:38 pm

You're right: language barrier is my biggest problem. It's difficult to choose the right words in many cases. Sometimes the dialogues sound overly formal (or the opposite) when they should not. The grammatical problems are coming from the fact that I'm thinking in a language while writing in another.
Hmm. I think maybe only a shy guy can understand Isamu's reaction when Kaori confesses to him. Remember what he was thinking when he was at the cinema with Reiko? Girls have always been a problem for him because he could never understand what they really wanted. For a shy guy that's a big nightmare. Then, after he finally finds his great love, comes another girl giving very explicit signals that she liked him. It seemed terribly ironic. Besides, he needed to remember that Kaori was Yoko's girlfriend and that he was Reiko's boyfriend. I cannot see Isamu "laughing it off", but just meditating on the big irony presented by the situation. He could only be ironic too: "Now forgive me for the joke, but I hope it isn't just because I look like a girl!"
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