Summer Special! [Otome] [NaNo16] DEMO OUT

NaNoRenO is an event where creators make a game from scratch during the month of March.
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Summer Special! [Otome] [NaNo16] DEMO OUT

#1 Post by Kingv » Wed Mar 02, 2016 2:30 pm

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GENRE: Otome | RATING: Teen | PRICE: Free
The demo is now finished! You can download it over at https://kingv.itch.io/summer-special!

Hi guy! It's that time of year again but rather than go solo I decided to put together a team. We're all super excited to be making this VN and hope that ya'll stick around and check out it's progress!

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Cereza has had the misfortune of being temporarily forced tasked to work at her grandmother's convenience store, Angie’s Mart. While her grandmother recovers from a recent accident, she’ll spend the week manning the store. It’s all good though. Because if everything goes well she’ll earn just enough money from her time working there to finally pack up and leave her dump of a hometown. All she has to do is make it through the next week and she’ll be well on her way to greener pastures. A simple enough task on its own but not so much when circumstances throw a few uncalled for coworkers into the equation.

GAME FEATURES
• Two possible romance interest (Three if we have time)
• Lots of daily activities to choose from
• Twelve different endings


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Cereza Jones AGE:21
The main character of the story who’s now the not so proud manager of Angie’s Mart. She doesn’t have the best relationship with her hometown and is looking forward to moving on with her life. Cerezas' sharp tongue and no nonsense attitude has gotten her in a fair amount of trouble but it's nothing she can't handle.

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Jun Jie Sun AGE:20
Jun Jie recently moved to the town and hasn't been working at the shop very long but seems to be on good terms with everyone. Especially the neighborhood children, who often ask him to join in on their daily games. A happy go lucky guy, he tends to acts like a big kid, much to Cerezas’ chagrin.

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Kameron Hawthorne AGE:23
Kameron has known Cereza ever since his family emigrated from Martinique and opened a Caribbean bakery next door to her grandmother's’ shop. He often works long hours but always makes it a point to stop by and deliver fresh pastries every morning to Angie’s Mart. Considerate and kind he goes out of his way to help anyone in need. Which would be great…if he wasn’t constantly letting everyone take advantage of him.

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Rafael Miguel González Domínguez AGE:19
To say Rafael is a tough nut to crack would be an understatement. His flippant attitude and negative outlook towards most things in life tends to keep others at a distance. It's a wonder how he even managed to get a job working the night shift at Angie's Mart.

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WRITERS: ellisama | Ferdokki | Hazel-Bun
PROGRAMMER: Marionette
BACKGROUND ARTIST: Lareon
SPRITES, GUI, & CGS: kingv

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I wanted to do something a little different with this project than what I normally see in VNs, namely by adding POC and having it be set in an urban environment. I never really understood why representation was important until I got older and saw the effects it could have on a person. I vividly remember as a child one friend I had with very dark skin always believing that she was ugly because of it's color, going so far as to use household bleach on herself to make it lighter. Or my half Korean cousin refusing to acknowledge her Asian side for fear of being teased and stereotyped. And more recently my nieces lamenting that they could never have the long flowing locks like the women on TV because their own hair was kinky coils. It may be an unlikely wish, but I'd be happy if just one person played the game and was ecstatic to see even a small reflection of themselves in it.

USER FEEDBACK
1.What do you think of the premises of the story?

2.Are there any characters that stand out to you so far? If so, why? (Could be design, personality or anything else.)

3.What type of events would you be interested in seeing in the game?
Last edited by Kingv on Fri May 13, 2016 6:33 pm, edited 9 times in total.

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Re: Summer Special! [Otome] [NaNo 16]

#2 Post by bretuile » Wed Mar 02, 2016 2:47 pm

LOVE THIS! LOVE LOVE LOVE IT! But seriously, I love the message behind this and the reasons why you chose it. As a person of mixed white/Asian descent, I do feel underrepresented in modern day media.

I adore the bright colors you are using for the game, and the urban setting is a refreshing departure from the usual. Really forward to your progress on this- best of luck! :D

Edit: Woops I got too excited and hit enter before answering your questions :P

1.What do you think of the premises of the story?
Great, stoked to see PoC main characters and love interests!

2.Are there any characters that stand out to you so far? If so, why? (Could be design, personality or anything else.)
JunJie <3 I love carefree characters, especially those that are good with children (is that oddly specific?)

3.What type of events would you be interested in seeing in the game?

Nothing comes to mind at the moment
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Re: Summer Special! [Otome] [NaNo 16]

#3 Post by Kingv » Wed Mar 02, 2016 4:14 pm

bretuile wrote:LOVE THIS! LOVE LOVE LOVE IT! But seriously, I love the message behind this and the reasons why you chose it. As a person of mixed white/Asian descent, I do feel underrepresented in modern day media.

I adore the bright colors you are using for the game, and the urban setting is a refreshing departure from the usual. Really forward to your progress on this- best of luck! :D

Edit: Woops I got too excited and hit enter before answering your questions :P

1.What do you think of the premises of the story?
Great, stoked to see PoC main characters and love interests!

2.Are there any characters that stand out to you so far? If so, why? (Could be design, personality or anything else.)
JunJie <3 I love carefree characters, especially those that are good with children (is that oddly specific?)

3.What type of events would you be interested in seeing in the game?

Nothing comes to mind at the moment
Aww! Thanks so much! I was a bit worried it would offend some people to make such an inclusive cast but I'm glad you like the idea. Seeing people that look like you is really important in regards to media and whatnot.

So glad you like the art direction as well. I'm doing a slight variation to how I usually color to make everything pop more color wise. And I've been wanting to do a project based in an urban setting for a while now so I'm glad I can play with that idea now.

1. Same here! I'm always one for diversity. The plan is for quite a few different racial backgrounds to be in the game.
2. I don't think it's oddly specific at all. Being good with kids is an attractive trait! JunJie was the first romanaceable guy I started with so he's quite special to me too.
3. Cool beans.


As far as progress on art goes rough sprites for the three main characters are done but I still need to go back and make revisions. Cereza will have two different body poses and a few arm variations. I need to work on finalizing the GUI though so I can pass it on to the programmer so I'll be doing that for the next few days.

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Re: Summer Special! [Otome] [NaNo 16]

#4 Post by Eevee.avg » Wed Mar 02, 2016 4:34 pm

1.What do you think of the premises of the story?
Love it! I love the diversity and i love how the art makes it seem like it will be such a fun game to play

2.Are there any characters that stand out to you so far? If so, why? (Could be design, personality or anything else.)
I really like JunJies hair tbh but i have a feeling Kameron kindness will make me like him the most

3.What type of events would you be interested in seeing in the game?
Cant think of anything specific, happy and heartwarming interactions (both with the MC and between other characters) are usually great for me tho

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Re: Summer Special! [Otome] [NaNo 16]

#5 Post by KittyKatStar » Wed Mar 02, 2016 8:11 pm

Omigosh I love everything about this. The designs, the diversity, the GUI. >w<

1.What do you think of the premises of the story?
I'm always up for coworker stories and learning how to get along. =)

2.Are there any characters that stand out to you so far? If so, why? (Could be design, personality or anything else.)
I'm torn between them all.. I really love Cereza's design ;v; and her personality. I feel she'll be very fun and bounce off the others quite well.

3.What type of events would you be interested in seeing in the game?
I guess when I think of a shop/coworker story, I always think of work-related drama (whether between coworkers or a terrible customer). >.>; but that's just me.

Good luck with the nano everyone. ^_^
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Re: Summer Special! [Otome] [NaNo 16]

#6 Post by Kingv » Thu Mar 03, 2016 2:25 pm

Eevee.avg wrote:1.What do you think of the premises of the story?
Love it! I love the diversity and i love how the art makes it seem like it will be such a fun game to play

2.Are there any characters that stand out to you so far? If so, why? (Could be design, personality or anything else.)
I really like JunJies hair tbh but i have a feeling Kameron kindness will make me like him the most

3.What type of events would you be interested in seeing in the game?
Cant think of anything specific, happy and heartwarming interactions (both with the MC and between other characters) are usually great for me tho
1. Awesome!
2. I really like his hair to! I'm a sucker for fun hair colors. Kameron's super nice so it'll be a fun contrast to the other characters.
3. Thanks fo rthe input! Hopefully the story has all that and more. ^^
KittyKatStar wrote:Omigosh I love everything about this. The designs, the diversity, the GUI. >w<

1.What do you think of the premises of the story?
I'm always up for coworker stories and learning how to get along. =)

2.Are there any characters that stand out to you so far? If so, why? (Could be design, personality or anything else.)
I'm torn between them all.. I really love Cereza's design ;v; and her personality. I feel she'll be very fun and bounce off the others quite well.

3.What type of events would you be interested in seeing in the game?
I guess when I think of a shop/coworker story, I always think of work-related drama (whether between coworkers or a terrible customer). >.>; but that's just me.

Good luck with the nano everyone. ^_^
You're too kind Kitty!
1. Same here. Getting along with and getting to know coworkers is like the adult version of high school lol.
2. That's a good thing then! I'm glad that everyone has something you like about them.
3. Ah... I didn't even think of adding in customer drama, so thanks for the suggestion! Will add for some more interesting scenes.

And thanks! Good luck with you and Deji's project as well!


Day 3 Update~
I did a bit more on the GUI earlier but not much since I have other things to get to today that aren't NaNo related.

EDIT: Totally forgot to mention my theme for the GUI. I'm going for a mix of different things but here's what I listed as inspirations in the games' design document.

Cute (Bright and fun)
Bubble Letters (Rounded text)
Coloring Book (Bold outlines)
Retro Comic (Using halftones and certain shapes to give a vintage design feel)
90s Kid (Hand drawn doodle effects and bold colors)
ssGUI_WIP.jpg

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Re: Summer Special! [Otome] [NaNo 16]

#7 Post by Kingv » Fri Mar 04, 2016 9:17 pm

Spent a little time making some arm poses for a few of the sprites. Nothing too fancy to save time but it helps with making the sprites more interesting. I ended up editing Cerezas' sprite to look a bit more like her concept design since she was beginning to look a dull in comparison to the guys.
c.png
jj.png
Nothing just yet to share on the writing front but as far as the story goes it's all been outlined along with all the different character endings.

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Re: Summer Special! [Otome] [NaNo 16]

#8 Post by Weenily » Fri Mar 04, 2016 10:03 pm

1.What do you think of the premises of the story?
It's cute!! Please recover soon, Cereza's grandma. And more representation for POC definitely!

2.Are there any characters that stand out to you so far? If so, why? (Could be design, personality or anything else.)
I'M IN LOVE WITH CEREZA TBH. FOR ONE THING, SHE IS GORGEOUS AND I LOVE HER DESIGN ESPECIALLY IN THAT SPRITE UPDATE. Her personality seems fun too! All the characters are cute tbh! Jun Jie and Kameron seem like such sweet men. And I love how expressive your sprites are! Jun Jie and Kameron are also like, totally ripped, so NICEEEE.

3.What type of events would you be interested in seeing in the game?
Oh gosh I'm not sure. Cereza and Jun Jie playing with kids and then Cereza having an option to either go easy on them or OBLITERATE them? Cereza stopping by Kameron's family's bakery and getting asked to help? Cereza growing to be a HUGE Grocery market CEO and bringing in lots of $$$.

Also I really love the background art for this!! I like how you can see the bakery next to Angie's Mart. The GUI is really easy on the eyes too, I love all the pink and the textures are a nice touch. Good luck with your game!!
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Re: Summer Special! [Otome] [NaNo 16]

#9 Post by Lesleigh63 » Fri Mar 04, 2016 10:25 pm

USER FEEDBACK
1.What do you think of the premises of the story?
I like the idea of an urban setting. I really like the bright colours being used.

2.Are there any characters that stand out to you so far? If so, why? (Could be design, personality or anything else.)
I like Jun. His pose seems to suggest a lot about his character.

3.What type of events would you be interested in seeing in the game?
Surprise me.

Good luck to your team for Nano.
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Re: Summer Special! [Otome] [NaNo 16]

#10 Post by Kingv » Sat Mar 05, 2016 11:15 pm

Weenily wrote:1.What do you think of the premises of the story?
It's cute!! Please recover soon, Cereza's grandma. And more representation for POC definitely!

2.Are there any characters that stand out to you so far? If so, why? (Could be design, personality or anything else.)
I'M IN LOVE WITH CEREZA TBH. FOR ONE THING, SHE IS GORGEOUS AND I LOVE HER DESIGN ESPECIALLY IN THAT SPRITE UPDATE. Her personality seems fun too! All the characters are cute tbh! Jun Jie and Kameron seem like such sweet men. And I love how expressive your sprites are! Jun Jie and Kameron are also like, totally ripped, so NICEEEE.

3.What type of events would you be interested in seeing in the game?
Oh gosh I'm not sure. Cereza and Jun Jie playing with kids and then Cereza having an option to either go easy on them or OBLITERATE them? Cereza stopping by Kameron's family's bakery and getting asked to help? Cereza growing to be a HUGE Grocery market CEO and bringing in lots of $$$.

Also I really love the background art for this!! I like how you can see the bakery next to Angie's Mart. The GUI is really easy on the eyes too, I love all the pink and the textures are a nice touch. Good luck with your game!!
1. ^_^!
2. I'm really glad you like her! She went through a couple of personality revisions from when she was first designed but I'm happy where she is now. Cereza definitely adds some fun when paired along with the other characters. And thank you! Yeah, they're pretty well built lol. Muscles make life more enjoyable you know.
3. Oh there'll be quite a few scenes where she totally puts them both in her place. Cereza has little tolerance for foolishness but maybe she'll soften up as the game progress. Maybe....

Glad you like it! I'm not going to be doing the BGs for the game since there's another artist on the team in charge of them. But I did do that one as a guide to the art style for them. Since the surrounding neighborhood is important to the story I wanted the title screen to show how everything looked in relation to each other. I only wish i knew enough to animate parts of it, like the clouds, because I think it would look really nice!
I'm getting a bit better at making GUI designs so thanks for noticing it! I really appreciate you stopping by to comment. There's so may awesome NaNo games in the work I can't wait til I'm done with this one so I can give everyone elses's a go.
Lesleigh63 wrote:USER FEEDBACK
1.What do you think of the premises of the story?
I like the idea of an urban setting. I really like the bright colours being used.

2.Are there any characters that stand out to you so far? If so, why? (Could be design, personality or anything else.)
I like Jun. His pose seems to suggest a lot about his character.

3.What type of events would you be interested in seeing in the game?
Surprise me.

Good luck to your team for Nano.
1. Thanks so much! I like the juxtaposion of gritty urban setting and cute pastel colors.
2. He's pretty cool! When he's not being a nerd anyway.
3. Will do!


Here's another update. The GUI is done and will be sent off to the programmer shortly. I ended up nudging the menu boxes up as well as changing a few colors.
gui2.png
Now that that's out of the way I can work on getting the sprites completed. Not quite sure of all the expression I'll need so I'll only do a few basic ones until the script is done. And I thought it would be interesting to share the first rough sprites I made for the characters. They all stayed pretty true to form. The guy in the yellow shirt is the 3rd potential romance for the game..
Cast Concept Sketches.jpg

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Re: Summer Special! [Otome] [NaNo 16]

#11 Post by Kingv » Thu Mar 10, 2016 4:36 pm

This NaNo is certainly speeding along! In regards to the art I changed the logo a bit. Was never really happy with it but I like this one more so now.

I finally figured out an alternate arm pose for Kameron. It's not terribly expressive but seeing as he's a rather reserved guy it works. His eye shape was bugging me a bit so I tweaked that as well and like it much better now.
kameron.png
Working on sprites was so hard this year because I rarely flatten layers but I forced myself to do it. There's this nagging thought in the back of my head saying "but what if you have to change something...?' and I just gotta be like, oh well, have to keep moving forward! It's terrifying but freeing at the same time. There's no time for nitpicking if I want to get everything done by the end of the month.

The writers have been hard at work on the script and now are up to Day 2 out of the 7 planned for the game. Reading the script also helps me to plan for what expression I need to make so bonus points on that.

The next few days will be spend streamlining the CG list and making sketches.

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Re: Summer Special! [Otome] [NaNo 16]

#12 Post by pyopyon » Thu Mar 10, 2016 7:42 pm

1.What do you think of the premises of the story?

I'M READY!! I saw your thread in the "Free Projects"/team building forum section thing and would've totally volunteered to be a writer if not for the fact that I have my own NaNo project- but super bright side!! Now there's at least two NaNo projects with a cast of black and brown POC, like ayyeeeeeee! I'm really happy LOLLLL LIKE I CANNOT CONCEAL MY DELIGHT.

2.Are there any characters that stand out to you so far? If so, why? (Could be design, personality or anything else.)

I am a huge fan of the MC, but honestly your art style is really bold and colorful! I'm a huge fan of the colors and I'm like... dying to play this, ngl. I like the designs for the guys, too but your MC (and her expression LOOOLLLL) totally have me super pumped to try this game. As a side note, I also like that your protag isn't the only cast member with brown skin. Even games with black and brown protags generally don't seem to have even one brown love interest, so it's super nice to see a black person with a black romanceable, too!

3.What type of events would you be interested in seeing in the game?
Hmm... Honestly, I'm not picky... but... since Kameron is from Martinque, definitely some kind of references to his culture would be nice. ^^ Like... Kameron teaching Cereza some French would be really cute, or if his confession (or however you do it XD) was in French, too, that'd be really sweet.

Is Jun Jie Chinese? Because if so, I would say the same to him. I like characters that are diverse and also bring a little something with them aside from varied appearance.



I totally feel you, btw, about representation. I was in Japan recently and a friend of mine has two children-- her husband is Nigerian and so her kids are mixed, Japanese & Nigerian and her kids are going through that like crazy. Since they're mixed kids growing up in a homogenous nation, I worry for them...

Anyway! I look forward to your project! :'^D I'll be watching this thread closely o7
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Re: Summer Special! [Otome] [NaNo 16]

#13 Post by Kingv » Sat Mar 12, 2016 3:47 pm

pyopyon wrote:1.What do you think of the premises of the story?

I'M READY!! I saw your thread in the "Free Projects"/team building forum section thing and would've totally volunteered to be a writer if not for the fact that I have my own NaNo project- but super bright side!! Now there's at least two NaNo projects with a cast of black and brown POC, like ayyeeeeeee! I'm really happy LOLLLL LIKE I CANNOT CONCEAL MY DELIGHT.

2.Are there any characters that stand out to you so far? If so, why? (Could be design, personality or anything else.)

I am a huge fan of the MC, but honestly your art style is really bold and colorful! I'm a huge fan of the colors and I'm like... dying to play this, ngl. I like the designs for the guys, too but your MC (and her expression LOOOLLLL) totally have me super pumped to try this game. As a side note, I also like that your protag isn't the only cast member with brown skin. Even games with black and brown protags generally don't seem to have even one brown love interest, so it's super nice to see a black person with a black romanceable, too!

3.What type of events would you be interested in seeing in the game?
Hmm... Honestly, I'm not picky... but... since Kameron is from Martinque, definitely some kind of references to his culture would be nice. ^^ Like... Kameron teaching Cereza some French would be really cute, or if his confession (or however you do it XD) was in French, too, that'd be really sweet.

Is Jun Jie Chinese? Because if so, I would say the same to him. I like characters that are diverse and also bring a little something with them aside from varied appearance.



I totally feel you, btw, about representation. I was in Japan recently and a friend of mine has two children-- her husband is Nigerian and so her kids are mixed, Japanese & Nigerian and her kids are going through that like crazy. Since they're mixed kids growing up in a homogenous nation, I worry for them...

Anyway! I look forward to your project! :'^D I'll be watching this thread closely o7
1. Yay! So glad to hear that! I'm glad you wanted to volunteer but it's even better now that there will be two more games being made with PoCs. I've been keeping up to date on your project as well and it's turning out to be amazing! I'll definitely get around to making a proper comment on it once I knock off a bit of my workload first.

2. Thanks so much! I really wanted to push the bold color scheme this time around for NaNo. You know, I never ever noticed that when there's a brown or black MC the love interest are rarely the same color as them. It's quite distressing when you think about it.

3. Those are some very cute ideas! I might have to brush up on my French to make it work but it's doable. Jun Jie is actually Korean, but unfortunately I don't know any of the language. I suppose google could help with simple phrases though. I'll look into it!

I totally agree! I'm sure it's much harder to go through that living in a homogeneous place. Not to mention dealing with the ideals of beauty in Japan when you're mixed. Miss Universe Japan had to deal with quite a lot of criticism about her looks and not being Japanese enough to represent where she was born. Hopefully things improve for you friends children though!


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

Work has been going slow this week. I ended up hurting my hand and now there's a huge blood clot right in the middle of it. It hurts pretty bad whenever I use my hand so am trying to take it easy til it heals.

My original plan was the just make sprites for the MC and the guys she works with. But even if other characters show up, it's still jarring for them to not have sprites. So to remedy that I drafted out some of the NPCs. Most of them still need cleaning up and expressions but that shouldn't take too long since they only have maybe 3 each.
npcs.jpg
Cody: Age, 8. A nervous child that doesn’t seem to have any friends and is rarely seen far from his mother's’ side. Is well behaved but unusually quiet for someone his age.

Rashid: Age, 11. Hyperactive and friendly, he can often be found following his friend Madison around town. Loves to play any games, especially basketball. Although young he’s often the voice of reason when it comes to Madisons' antics.

Madison: Age, 13. Madison often comes to the store to recruit June to join in on games she sets up along with the other neighborhood kids. A bit of a prankster she’s well known to play jokes on almost everyone she meets. Is very competitive and hates to lose.

Mona: Age, 35. Mona owns the auto repair shop that’s a few doors down from Angie’s Mart. She regularly comes in to chat with Granny and buy miscellaneous snacks to help her get through her work day. A strong woman in both body and character she has little patience for anyone unlucky enough to get on her bad side.

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Re: Summer Special! [Otome] [NaNo 16]

#14 Post by Kingv » Sun Mar 13, 2016 9:43 pm

It's just about the half way point for NaNo and I managed to finish Cerezas' sprite! Her expression are broken down between brows, eyes and mouths but that still counts in my book.
cerezaExpressions.jpg
Got in touch with the background artist and realized that I forgot to list some of the ones that I'd potentially need. It would be unfair to tack on more to her load so I'll just do those two myself since they're fairly simple. I managed to do one of them, a view of the stores' cash register. Colors and stuff might changed depending on which ones Lareon chooses for the other BG items. Sprites will be able to stand behind or in front of the counter for added effect. BTW, I'm super proud of my soda machine! So cute!
storeRegister.jpg
Sketched out the intro CGs for both Kameron and Jun Jie. CGs will definitely take me the longest to do so I'm trying to make as much time for them as I can.

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Re: Summer Special! [Otome] [NaNo 16]

#15 Post by Kingv » Wed Mar 16, 2016 1:37 pm

The intro CG for Kameron has been finished and Jun Jies' is soon to follow. Also I finished up each guys expressions, which completes all the sprites except for one that I still need to do.

After having another look through the script, I realized that there's quite a few big gaps between CGs. So to fill those in I ended up adding in some chibi CGs. It'll only be perhaps two chibi CGS per each characters' route and most scenes are just slight variations of each other. Here's a look at a WIP picture one of them. Cereza has two poses and everyone has a couple of expressions.
chibiPhone.png
Speaking of the script writing is going well. Most of the team had a slow start to NaNo but things are picking up!

Unfortunately there's some bad news to share. Our programmer had to graciously bow out after some unforeseen circumstances popped up and now we're in need of a new one. Basically we're looking for some who's able to make sure the game is playable by coding in the script and art assets. Also keeping track of stats in game and coding the GUI is necessary. If anyone's interested please send me a PM or reply here!

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