Blooming Nightshade Demo [Yuri Game Jam 2017]

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Jackkel Dragon
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Blooming Nightshade Demo [Yuri Game Jam 2017]

#1 Post by Jackkel Dragon » Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:38 pm

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After hearing about a number of student couples forming at her school, Himeka Uchida decides to look for a girlfriend of her own. As she gets wrapped up in the daily lives of her friends and classmates, will she find the romance she seeks?

This game is developed with Android phones in mind, but can also be played on PC.

Game Features:
  • Free (with optional donation)
  • 6 love interests
  • Friendship and romance paths for each girl
  • Randomized weekly events each playthrough
Characters:
  • Himeka Uchida, a second-year high school student. Cheerful and friendly, but is sensitive about her height.
  • Izumi Kawano, a second-year high school student. The reliable captain of the volleyball team, though she doesn't share much about herself.
  • Kiyomi Ito, a second-year high school student. A track team member who always wears a jacket or hoodie.
  • Nanami Kobayashi, a first-year high school student. A bashful member of the cooking club that tends to minimize her achievements.
  • Atsuko Aoki, a first-year high school student. Blind in one eye, and doesn't socialize much with others.
  • Kiku Moritani, a third-year high school student. She looks younger than she is, and is known to be skilled with many musical instruments.
  • Shiori Goto, a third-year high school student. She has a regal figure and reputation, particularly due to her long hair.
Game Download:
itch.io link

------------------------

This is a game I put together for this year's Yuri Game Jam. The game doesn't have character art yet, but the first draft of the script is complete and everything should be playable. Judging on my playtests, a full playthrough should take roughly 30-45 minutes.

Known issues include a problem with the week counter, which will sometimes be much higher than it should be.

I'd appreciate feedback or comments for the game, should players have the time afterward. Knowing what works and what doesn't helps me when I work on future projects.

I hope you enjoy the game so far!
Last edited by Jackkel Dragon on Sun Jan 28, 2018 12:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
Current Projects:
  • Eldritch Academy: A Romance/Paranormal Thriller Visual Novel about a Japanese boarding school's dark secret. (Lemmasoft) [Nightshade]
  • Blooming Nightshade: A lighthearted Romance Visual Novel set at the school from Eldritch Academy. (itch.io) [Nightshade]
  • Novels and short stories. (Shireishi, Those That Linger: GhostSense, and more) (Tumblr) [Nightshade]
  • Corpse Party D2: A series of RPG Maker and Ren'Py fangames based on CORPSE-PARTY's D-2 ending. (Tumblr) [Team Despair]

Mutive
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Re: Blooming Nightshade Demo [Yuri Game Jam 2017]

#2 Post by Mutive » Sun Nov 26, 2017 4:04 pm

A couple of thoughts!

1. I know you're working on character art! I think the game will be a LOT better with it! (Right now, the backgrounds are lovely, but definitely the lack of character art makes it less awesome than it could be!)

2. I think that any music and/or sound effects you could add would also make it a LOT better.

3. The current format (for me anyway) is a bit distracting, as (at least on my screen) it's showing up as a small, narrow rectangle. (It would be hard on it, I think, to see more than one character even if you put in that many.)

4. I felt that the weekend "which girl do you want to hang out with" bit got a touch repetitive. It was okay on the first play through, but if I went through several, I'd probably feel it slightly more, if that makes any sense.
Enjoy Minion!, my free to play game at: https://mutive.itch.io/minion

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Jackkel Dragon
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Re: Blooming Nightshade Demo [Yuri Game Jam 2017]

#3 Post by Jackkel Dragon » Sun Nov 26, 2017 7:25 pm

Thanks for the comments!

For the first two points, I'm still working on trying to get art and maybe at least some BGM added to the game. I have an artist in mind for the character art, but they've been busy lately so I don't know the status on that. For music, I'm still considering how to handle that. I usually play mobile games with the sound muted, but it would certainly help to have some sort of soundtrack for the game. I'd probably want to go with something royalty-free, so I might need some time to look around for something that would fit the game.

The screen dimensions are intentionally taller than wide, since the game was designed to be played on an Android phone in portrait mode. (As you mention, only one character would be on the screen at a time.) I'll keep your comment in mind, though. Based on my download stats, an overwhelming majority of players are playing the game on a computer rather than a phone. Maybe there isn't really an audience for a mobile visual novel like this.

The last point might be difficult to address... Since the weekend choices are the primary way for the player to interact with the game and determine what routes/endings they get, I'm not sure that can be changed easily without reworking the game. If more people think it's too repetitive, I can take a look at it, but I'm not sure what I'd be able to do without redoing the game flow.

At any rate, thanks for providing feedback. It helps me figure out what sort of things work or don't work.
Current Projects:
  • Eldritch Academy: A Romance/Paranormal Thriller Visual Novel about a Japanese boarding school's dark secret. (Lemmasoft) [Nightshade]
  • Blooming Nightshade: A lighthearted Romance Visual Novel set at the school from Eldritch Academy. (itch.io) [Nightshade]
  • Novels and short stories. (Shireishi, Those That Linger: GhostSense, and more) (Tumblr) [Nightshade]
  • Corpse Party D2: A series of RPG Maker and Ren'Py fangames based on CORPSE-PARTY's D-2 ending. (Tumblr) [Team Despair]

Mutive
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Re: Blooming Nightshade Demo [Yuri Game Jam 2017]

#4 Post by Mutive » Sun Nov 26, 2017 9:26 pm

I really do think that royalty free background music would help it pop. (And I'm fairly sure there's enough around that you could find something you liked. :))

And yeah, I get the phone vs. computer thing. It really does seem incredibly difficult to optimize for all formats!

(And would wait on other feedback, too! I suspect it's not worth recoding the entire game over, but I know that as a player, I always love as much variation as possible!)
Enjoy Minion!, my free to play game at: https://mutive.itch.io/minion

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Re: Blooming Nightshade Demo [Yuri Game Jam 2017]

#5 Post by saetan » Sat Jan 20, 2018 3:48 pm

Hello!

Just played through Nanami's route and it was too adorable XD

There were some parts during the non-weekend scenes that seemed route independent. Like there were two separate stories going on: going through life as a boarding school student and weekend scenes depending on who you spent it with. Spending time with someone on the weekend doesn't seem to affect the boarding school story and vice versa. If you were going for that, cool :D Just wanted to let you know!

About Nanami's ending:
Thank you for ending it very subtly! It's super refreshing not having them say "I love you!" so early in their relationship. It was super cute that you can sense they were starting to love each other, but they couldn't say it just yet. At least, that's how I saw it. I was REALLY surprised about what the book was XD Epic twist XD

Loved playing through it X3 Thanks so much for making it!

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Jackkel Dragon
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Re: Blooming Nightshade Demo [Yuri Game Jam 2017]

#6 Post by Jackkel Dragon » Mon Jan 22, 2018 11:29 pm

Glad to hear that you liked the game so far!

Your observation about the way the game plays out is pretty close to what it is. I didn't explain it well in the original version of the game page, but the game events fall into two categories: weekly events and weekend events. Weekly events are random after the first few weeks, and often focus on interactions that don't directly involve Himeka. The weekend events are the route-based events, chosen by the player based on who they want to spend time with.

Glad you liked how Nanami's ending went! I don't remember off the top of my head, but I think some of the relationships do have characters say that they love each other. But not every relationship works like that in the real world, so each character's ending is based on their personality and story.

Thanks for the feedback!
Current Projects:
  • Eldritch Academy: A Romance/Paranormal Thriller Visual Novel about a Japanese boarding school's dark secret. (Lemmasoft) [Nightshade]
  • Blooming Nightshade: A lighthearted Romance Visual Novel set at the school from Eldritch Academy. (itch.io) [Nightshade]
  • Novels and short stories. (Shireishi, Those That Linger: GhostSense, and more) (Tumblr) [Nightshade]
  • Corpse Party D2: A series of RPG Maker and Ren'Py fangames based on CORPSE-PARTY's D-2 ending. (Tumblr) [Team Despair]

User avatar
Jackkel Dragon
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Posts: 116
Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2014 7:17 pm
Projects: CPD2 series, EA, BN
Organization: Team Despair, Nightshade
Location: USA
Contact:

Re: Blooming Nightshade Demo [Yuri Game Jam 2017]

#7 Post by Jackkel Dragon » Sun Jan 28, 2018 12:32 am

Demo v5 of the game is now out! (Follow the game download link to the game page to find the files.)

A partial list of major changes:
  • Izumi's date events revised based on some feedback.
  • Himeka can no longer start dating most characters if that character is dating someone else.
  • Week number display should be fixed, and now also shows how many weeks are left.
  • BGM added to the game.
  • The PC/Mac version of the game now runs at a larger aspect ratio.
  • A potential new feature, "Spectator Mode", has been added. (On the first weekend event, the player can choose to skip all weekend events to focus on the weekly events. This locks the player into the friends ending.)
The last two in particular I'm interested in feedback on. At any rate, hopefully the next build will be the "full release" build. After that, I can start working on some potential post-release updates.
Current Projects:
  • Eldritch Academy: A Romance/Paranormal Thriller Visual Novel about a Japanese boarding school's dark secret. (Lemmasoft) [Nightshade]
  • Blooming Nightshade: A lighthearted Romance Visual Novel set at the school from Eldritch Academy. (itch.io) [Nightshade]
  • Novels and short stories. (Shireishi, Those That Linger: GhostSense, and more) (Tumblr) [Nightshade]
  • Corpse Party D2: A series of RPG Maker and Ren'Py fangames based on CORPSE-PARTY's D-2 ending. (Tumblr) [Team Despair]

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