The Lighthouse [NaNoRenO14(ish)][BxG][Fantasy] DEMO ADDED

NaNoRenO is an event where creators make a game from scratch during the month of March.
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KiloTango
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The Lighthouse [NaNoRenO14(ish)][BxG][Fantasy] DEMO ADDED

#1 Post by KiloTango » Sun Mar 23, 2014 1:47 pm

★ Now with WIP-Demo!

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There have always been stories about Touchstone, the little town on the isle of Asherah.
They say the island is cursed. That strange and terrifying demons wait on its shores.
And the only thing that can keep them at bay is the strange lighthouse on the other side of the forest...
and the Eternal Flame that burns within.

Nobody knows how long the lighthouse has been there, or who first kindled the Eternal Flame.
But the only one that can keep it burning is the lighthouse keeper.

A monster with cursed blood running through their veins.
What's this then?
The Lighthouse is a mostly-KN being made by newbie duo Starship ★ Palindrome. We started it as a NaNoRenO but it's sort of ballooned into something we'd like to polish more than we could do in the month, so we'll probably move this thread once March is over.

It's a melancholy little story about isolation, connections, fate and memory. It focuses on The Keeper, the creature tasked with taking care of the Eternal Flame, and what happens when his solitary, ostracised and resigned life is disrupted by a young woman who is fascinated by the stories of the monster in the Lighthouse.

Characters

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The Keeper (namable)
Our narrator. A quiet creature who gave up everything to tend the Flame. Feared and shunned by the other islanders, he keeps to himself. He seems to have given up on his past and his future in favour of throwing himself into his work, but may not have come to terms with his fate as much as he thinks he has.


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Sienna
A young woman with unusual opinions about the monster who tends the Lighthouse. A bit of firebrand with a deep curiosity and a heavy dose of wanderlust, she's stubborn and likes to tease people, but is kind at heart. Sienna is the daughter of a noble family but has little interest in her fathers plans for her, instead searching for the answers to a mystery from her childhood.


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Kendrick
As far as he is concerned, Kendrick is Sienna's fiancé. A well-to-do young man with an angry streak who is quick to turn to violence and has been taking out his frustrations on the Keeper's shrine. While he may have nothing but scorn for the Keeper, he does care for Sienna deeply and is concerned about her wandering and infatuation with the Lighthouse


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Rusty
Sienna's little brother. Lacking in real confidence, he's easily taken in by Kendrick's bravado and looks up to him like a big brother. Cares for his sister a lot but does not always have faith in her decisions.


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Iona
A girl from the Keeper's past. Brave and kind, and the person who most reached out to him in his darkest times.
Screenshots and UI

In-game example (BG slighly in progress)
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Textbox example (with VERY PLACEHOLDER background)
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Main Menu
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System UI example
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Music

The Lighthouse has a fully custom soundtrack. Here's a little crossfade of some of the completed tracks.

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The Team
Starship ★ Palindrome is a transatlantic duo and The Lighthouse is our first big project together. We are powered by coffee, spiral energy, over the top scifi/fantasy, and being mean to protagonists. We're hoping to carry on into a bunch of other little VN/KNs after this. Meanwhile, I better introduce us:


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TK (Octopuddle on here)
Space pirate princess and lead pixel-slinger. Last seen off the coast of andromeda, or somewhere in America. It's easy to get the two confused. TK is in charge of the sprites and backgrounds on this one. She made most of the pretty pictures up there.



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KT (KiloTango, the muppet writing this post)
Time traveling detective from another universe (called England). Possibly. If you squint. KT is on words, code, music and UI design on this one. And drawing celtic knotwork over everything so TK doesn't break my legs for specifying so much fiddly nonsense in the design ideas.


Everything Else
The Lighthouse is mostly KN, in that it'll have a couple of branches but only right near the end. We're building in Renpy, it's my first time using the engine and I've been having a tonne of fun with text timing, overlays and so on. Sienna in particular has a fairly silly amount of expressions (thank you, im.Composit). It's looking like it's going to clock in somewhere around 25,000-30,000 once the ending paths are all in. We're working in 1080 because we make good life decisions (we might make a scaled down version later).

We had totally planned to do this all in March but... well, frankly I got a bit carried away and we bit off a bit more than a 2 person team, one of which works a day job, can really get done in a month. Still we've been blitzing it hard enough that I figured we were allowed to share things in here even if we're going to take a few extra weeks to finish her up.

STAT TIME (We all love stats. Don't you love stats?)

Mr Lint says: "The game contains 927 dialogue blocks, containing 14,157 words and 75,624 characters, for an average of 15.3 words and 82 characters per block."
  • Words: 60% done
  • Code: 60% done
  • Audio: 40% done
  • Sprites: 60% done
  • BGs: 30% done
  • CGs: 10% done
Apologies for the massive and late post, and good luck to everyone else doing this NaNoRenO thing! *pompoms for all!*
Last edited by KiloTango on Wed Apr 02, 2014 5:30 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: The Lighthouse [NaNoRenO 2014(ish)]

#2 Post by KiloTango » Mon Mar 24, 2014 7:12 am

Hit 14,520 words last night according to Lint, but it's probably longer as I've been running some blocks of text into a custom function for some twiddly dialogue effects and I think Lint won't have counted those. (Anyone know if there's a way to make the wordcount count those? Though I could I could count them in an external program...)

Still only about 600 words though but I also added a bunch of visual and audio effects that nearly gave me a headache to work on XD Hopefully that scene comes across as unsettling to play as it was to make.

Even though we're not going to get this done in March, I think we're going to shift art priorities and try and get a demo of the 1st chapter done. Fingers crossed! (The full game will be 4 chapters + a prologue, with 4 possible endings in chapter 4. I'm about half way through the code of chapter 3, not counting going back to improve a few earlier scenes now we have more complete spritekits done).

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Re: The Lighthouse [NaNoRenO 2014(ish)]

#3 Post by AtA » Mon Mar 24, 2014 8:09 pm

Nice work ! I really like your UI, good job :)

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Re: The Lighthouse [NaNoRenO 2014(ish)]

#4 Post by KiloTango » Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:49 pm

Thanks! I wanted to keep things fairly simple and clean so it didn't get in the way things, and to give the type as less conventionally 'fantasy' feeling for some contrast with the other design elements... quite soon into the design work 'celtic tron' became the phrase for what we wanted to aim for :)
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Re: The Lighthouse [NaNoRenO 2014(ish)]

#5 Post by AtA » Tue Mar 25, 2014 7:23 pm

KiloTango wrote:Thanks! I wanted to keep things fairly simple and clean so it didn't get in the way things, and to give the type as less conventionally 'fantasy' feeling for some contrast with the other design elements... quite soon into the design work 'celtic tron' became the phrase for what we wanted to aim for :)
Ah ah simple is sometime a great way :P And aiming a "celtic tron" design seems to be opposite, but you did well I really like.
Will download your game at release B)

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Re: The Lighthouse [NaNoRenO 2014(ish)]

#6 Post by Googaboga » Tue Mar 25, 2014 7:43 pm

I like the look of the characters :3. And congrats on getting so much done ^^.

Man poor Keeper. I wonder how things are going to work out for him.
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Re: The Lighthouse [NaNoRenO 2014(ish)]

#7 Post by KiloTango » Tue Mar 25, 2014 8:27 pm

AtA wrote:Ah ah simple is sometime a great way :P And aiming a "celtic tron" design seems to be opposite, but you did well I really like.
Will download your game at release B)
Yeah, I'm a fan of minimal :) As for the opposite of 'celtic tron', it's more the idea of combining Kells-inspired knotwork with geometric glowy nonsense. (Because I love me some geometric glowy nonsense! :) )
Googaboga wrote:I like the look of the characters :3. And congrats on getting so much done ^^.
Man poor Keeper. I wonder how things are going to work out for him.
Cheers! It's been really nice working with TK/Octopuddle :)

And yeah, The Keeper needs all the hugs. So many hugs needed for the sad fishboy.

Progress update: We should have all the sprites for the Ch1 demo now ready for me to export and combine, which just leaves one more body pose for Sienna (she has 3 so far with lots of possible expressions for each as we're using a composite sprite setup but we can get away without this pose until a later chapter), and then 2 more sprites that aren't in the OP and that'll be the sprites done! :)

I've been throwing around some fight music but frustratingly I think it'll be more appropriate for use in the game we're planning after The Lighthouse is finished. Tomorrow however is going to be basslineariffic, I think. I would have done it last night but putting together a chest of drawers left me with achey hands no good for playing XD
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Re: The Lighthouse [NaNoRenO 2014(ish)]

#8 Post by KiloTango » Fri Mar 28, 2014 9:26 pm

Updaaaaate o/'

Composed the 2 tracks remaining for Ch1 (though one will probably get replaced in the final release), and helped TK on art by throwing in a couple of really quick BGs to use in the prologue/opening credits thing, complete with snazzy title. Also exported the remains of the sprites that appear in Ch1 so I can get the rest of the ACTING done tomorrow.

You are not ready for the levels of pure smug some of Kendrick's expression combos kicks you. TK has created the most punchable face.
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Re: The Lighthouse [NaNoRenO 2014(ish)]

#9 Post by Lesleigh63 » Fri Mar 28, 2014 9:56 pm

Another good looking game. NanoRenO 2014 looks like it will be very productive for the community. Keep going.
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Re: The Lighthouse [NaNoRenO 2014(ish)]

#10 Post by KiloTango » Mon Mar 31, 2014 5:34 am

P-p-p-progress report!

To help get the demo done I've jumped on backup art. A couple of backgrounds have been cleaned up (or fully made) and I've been throwing down BGs on some of the CGs. This is a really CG heavy game and even just in the Ch1 demo we have 4! One is done, one needs BG cleaning, one has lines and character flats, and one, uh, is a terrible placeholder I made just so we have SOMETHING to use in case TK doesn't have chance to get to it before the deadline.

Sienna, Rusty and Kendrick now have hilarious amounts of expressions. Not including arm variations, they each have 30 or more (and Sienna will get more in the full when TK has done her 4th pose :)).

Annoyingly I have to jump back on my day job but we're so nearly there so even if we don't match the clock up there (I'm british so I protest it only gives me half the last day!) I think we're on track for the demo. Which, sure, it's not the full game but does have 5 BGs (9 if you count variants), 3 sprites with lots of expressions (plus another that doesn't show up this chapter), 4 CGs, 5 bits of original music, and the text for another chapter and a half... I think we've done alright!
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Re: The Lighthouse [NaNoRenO 2014(ish)]

#11 Post by KiloTango » Tue Apr 01, 2014 1:36 pm

Okay, NaNoRenO is over, which means you get a WIP-Demo!

All Operating Systems Package (128.7mb)

It's not quite as polished as we'd have liked but it ended up going right to the wire. When we've finished the full game we'll release a cleaned up and edited demo... but I wanted to stick to the spirit of NaNoRenO and release this flaily draft. It's our first time doing this kind of thing as a team (and my first time doing anything VN related) so go easy on us! XD

Big standout issues on the demo though that will be fixed in the final:
  • One of the CGs is a placeholder from me (it will be VERY obvious which one XD)
  • A couple of the backgrounds need some TLC, and there'll be something to replace the abuse of sky backgrounds
  • Different menu music incoming (I just used a track that doesn't appear till ch2 for it because we needed something)
  • Hopefully some better SFX
Hope you enjoy it! :)

EDIT: I uploaded a patch for a couple of minor issues. If you have trouble running it before please retry.
Last edited by KiloTango on Thu Apr 03, 2014 3:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Lighthouse [NaNoRenO 2014(ish)] WIP-DEMO ADDED

#12 Post by Didules » Tue Apr 01, 2014 3:02 pm

This is definitely a good demo, it shows enough to get people interested and introduces the characters nicely.
The art is stunning (those CGs :shock: and the sprites feel so lively!), and the way you included the credits at the very beginning was a good idea (makes it look like a movie! :) ). It was well-written: easy to understand even for a non-native and nice to follow. The musics are beautiful too! :) Seriously, GG!!! :)
I really look forward to seeing more of this game and of both of you ! Good luck! :)

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Re: The Lighthouse [NaNoRenO14(ish)][BxG][Fantasy] DEMO ADDE

#13 Post by KiloTango » Thu Apr 03, 2014 3:56 pm

Thank you very much! Really glad you enjoyed it, it's being an interesting process learning how to do this stuff (I get pretty experimental in ch3 and I can't wait to share that bit).

Nice to hear the cinematic idea for the opening worked, I wasn't sure if it would come across but I didn't want to just do a straight exposition crawl. :)

What did you name The Keeper, out of interest?
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Re: The Lighthouse [NaNoRenO14(ish)][BxG][Fantasy] DEMO ADDE

#14 Post by Didules » Thu Apr 03, 2014 5:47 pm

KiloTango wrote:(I get pretty experimental in ch3 and I can't wait to share that bit).
And we can't wait to see that too, of course!! (Because "experimental" is an odd word to use XD )
KiloTango wrote:Nice to hear the cinematic idea for the opening worked, I wasn't sure if it would come across but I didn't want to just do a straight exposition crawl. :)
Nah, that's a really good idea, and a much better one than to just add a credit page in the end of the game (no ones really look at them anyway, they're ofter in the way more than everything else), here it feels really nice, and it has got a sort of "thriller movie" feeling! :)
KiloTango wrote:What did you name The Keeper, out of interest?
Err, I named it "Aël" (it means "Angel" in Breton), I thought it was nice enough and rather soft for this character (and for a "monster" it seemed quite ironical :lol: ). Out of curiosity, did you think of a name for him before you thought about letting the player decide?

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Re: The Lighthouse [NaNoRenO14(ish)][BxG][Fantasy] DEMO ADDE

#15 Post by KiloTango » Thu Apr 03, 2014 6:19 pm

Didules wrote:And we can't wait to see that too, of course!! (Because "experimental" is an odd word to use XD )
Haha, well, it should make sense on release. Having to playthrough to that particular scene over and over for like 3 hours while I got the timing/fx right was an... interesting experience, so I hope it'll come across well.
Didules wrote:Nah, that's a really good idea, and a much better one than to just add a credit page in the end of the game (no ones really look at them anyway, they're ofter in the way more than everything else), here it feels really nice, and it has got a sort of "thriller movie" feeling! :)
Cheers. We're probably going to have end credits after the 'True' ending as well anyway but that is entirely because if you're going to have an ending song you need something to go with it... And when your partner demands you write a gooey ending ballad it's rude not to at least try. (This is so out of my usual songwriting remit it will be hilarious but I WILL DO IT *flame eyes air punch etc etc*)
Didules wrote: Err, I named it "Aël" (it means "Angel" in Breton), I thought it was nice enough and rather soft for this character (and for a "monster" it seemed quite ironical :lol: ). Out of curiosity, did you think of a name for him before you thought about letting the player decide?
Oooh, what a lovely name! I really want to learn some Breton (I've been researching some breton myth for another project, and my uncle lives over there). The Keeper does have a placeholder name that TK and I use because we started writing this before we'd named anyone but it's incredibly silly... but I did hide it in the intro post if you want to ruin any illusion of seriousness with this. XD We're the worstbestworst at placeholder names. So I've been asking everyone who plays it what they name him because at some point we're probably going to need a less ridiculous fallback name for him.

We decided very early on that he was namable though because thematically it works for him. (In this case it's specifically that Sienna names him rather than him telling us his name, that he kind of accepts the name he's given fits with some of the other elements of his character and while I could have done that a bit with Sienna just giving him a pre-defined name, it's somehow a stronger feeling when it is player chosen).
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