Deadnettle Creek [Nano2019] [Solarpunk] [Urban Fantasy] [Demo Complete!]

NaNoRenO is an event where creators make a game from scratch during the month of March.
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azaraih
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Deadnettle Creek [Nano2019] [Solarpunk] [Urban Fantasy] [Demo Complete!]

#1 Post by azaraih » Sat Mar 02, 2019 3:27 pm

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Deadnettle Creek

Demo available here: https://azaraih.itch.io/deadnettle-creek-demo

NaNo 2019 Postmortem here: https://azaraih.itch.io/deadnettle-cree ... postmortem

Summary

Maez has an ordinary life, spending their days in a cubicle doing data entry and sharing lunch breaks with their college friend turned coworker, Lupita. When Lupita is unexpectedly laid off, the two of them take a walk through Deadnettle Creek, one of the few spaces left in their town that isn’t paved over with concrete. Walking along the dried up creek bed, they stumble into a mysterious hollow and accidentally release a strange snake creature. The snake turns out to be an ancient nature spirit who possesses Maez. During the centuries the spirit spent sealed up, the destruction of nature in the area left it weakened. Since it can’t leave Maez’s body until it regains its powers, they have to work to bring nature back to the town or be stuck together forever.


Characters

Maez - The protagonist. Had a normal life before being possessed by a nature spirit. Works a megacorp office job, lives in a tiny studio apartment, hasn’t done anything for the environment since planting a tree in second grade. Nonbinary, goes by their last name.
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Lupita - Maez’s longtime friend and now ex-coworker. Never liked working for a megacorp, after being laid off is looking for a new job where she can help her local community. Teams up with Maez to bring nature back, after getting over how weird the situation is.
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Dedalos - An ancient nature spirit that takes the form of a snake. Mischievous, impulsive, glad not to be stuck in a hollow anymore. Ready to take the town back from the humans, but annoyed it has to depend on humans to do it. Confused about how different modern life is compared to centuries ago.

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Team

Art - azaraih & somonastic
Story - azaraih & somonastic
Writing - azaraih
Editing - somonastic
Programming - azaraih
Music - probably creative commons


Plan for Nano

Hey! I’m azaraih and I’m going to be working on Deadnettle Creek for Nano this year. My #1 priority is to finish something and put it out there for people to play, so I’m going to focus on completing a demo that includes the game’s intro. If there’s time left after that I’ll keep adding more to it. I’m going to start with doing some writing and design for the first part of the month, and I’ll update here once I have more to show.

Also, good luck to everyone who’s working on Nano projects! I’m having fun looking at everyone’s cool game concepts. :]
Last edited by azaraih on Sun Apr 14, 2019 1:55 pm, edited 7 times in total.
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Re: Deadnettle Creek [Nano2019] [Solarpunk] [Urban Fantasy]

#2 Post by Zelan » Sat Mar 02, 2019 4:08 pm

I absolutely love this idea! I already love urban fantasy anyway, and this is a great premise to go alongside the genre. I'm really interested in the characters, Dedalos especially, since that whole bit about disliking humans but being reliant on them is sure to make for some interesting interaction.

Good luck on your NaNo!

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Re: Deadnettle Creek [Nano2019] [Solarpunk] [Urban Fantasy]

#3 Post by minyan » Sat Mar 02, 2019 7:07 pm

This sounds interesting, I look forward to seeing where it goes! I am also most interested in learning more about Dedalos :3
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Re: Deadnettle Creek [Nano2019] [Solarpunk] [Urban Fantasy]

#4 Post by azaraih » Sun Mar 03, 2019 12:47 pm

Zelan wrote:
Sat Mar 02, 2019 4:08 pm
I absolutely love this idea! I already love urban fantasy anyway, and this is a great premise to go alongside the genre. I'm really interested in the characters, Dedalos especially, since that whole bit about disliking humans but being reliant on them is sure to make for some interesting interaction.

Good luck on your NaNo!
Aaahh thank you so much!! I really like urban fantasy too, but I didn't actually realize that this fit that genre until I was trying to make this post and read the definition of it on Wikipedia. I was just like wow, that exactly fits what I'm doing!
minyan wrote:
Sat Mar 02, 2019 7:07 pm
This sounds interesting, I look forward to seeing where it goes! I am also most interested in learning more about Dedalos :3
Thank you! :] I'm glad people are interested in Dedalos, I enjoy writing weird non-human characters since they can have a very different way of thinking and reacting to things than a normal person (I like robots/AI for the same reason). So Dedalos and the humans interacting and learning to understand each other will definitely be a big part of the story.
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Re: Deadnettle Creek [Nano2019] [Solarpunk] [Urban Fantasy]

#5 Post by Wight » Sun Mar 03, 2019 7:37 pm

I'm also really curious how Dedalos thinks and feels about the modern era. If it's been sealed away for centuries, then it would pretty much would feel like a completely different world, wouldn't it?
I can understand how it would be annoyed by humans and how much nature has weakened since it was sealed away, but that also means there's suddenly a whole lot for Dedalos to learn and experience. Would it feel horror? Amazement? Disgust? Ambivalence? I'm getting kinda excited just thinking about the possibilities.

azaraih wrote:
Sun Mar 03, 2019 12:47 pm
I enjoy writing weird non-human characters since they can have a very different way of thinking and reacting to things than a normal person (I like robots/AI for the same reason). So Dedalos and the humans interacting and learning to understand each other will definitely be a big part of the story.
Exactly! It can be tricky to try and see and think from the mind of a non-human, but pulling it off can make for some really interesting and entertaining interactions.
It's cool to hear how it will be a major part of the story. Starting off as a weakened nature spirit, I wonder just how much Dedalos can grow and make a difference in the world - or how much it will struggle and fail.

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Re: Deadnettle Creek [Nano2019] [Solarpunk] [Urban Fantasy]

#6 Post by nerupuff » Mon Mar 04, 2019 10:24 am

Just saw the tags and I am ultimately curious as to how this will all pan out. I love the idea of this. Generation gaps in context make for fun interactions, so I'm looking forward to how Dedalos takes note of the new world around them considering that their point of reference is centuries ago.

In any case, possession sounds so interesting (I can already imagine possible interactions in my head) and I'm looking forward to more updates! Wishing you the best of luck~
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Re: Deadnettle Creek [Nano2019] [Solarpunk] [Urban Fantasy]

#7 Post by azaraih » Wed Mar 06, 2019 10:28 am

Wight wrote:
Sun Mar 03, 2019 7:37 pm
I'm also really curious how Dedalos thinks and feels about the modern era. If it's been sealed away for centuries, then it would pretty much would feel like a completely different world, wouldn't it?
I can understand how it would be annoyed by humans and how much nature has weakened since it was sealed away, but that also means there's suddenly a whole lot for Dedalos to learn and experience. Would it feel horror? Amazement? Disgust? Ambivalence? I'm getting kinda excited just thinking about the possibilities.
That's definitely going to be an interesting thing to explore as I'm writing the story. I'm sure there will be a lot of confusion and anger in the beginning, but hopefully by the end it will have found at least a few things to like about the modern world (maybe depending on the player's choices). Now that I think about it, this game was probably influenced by Princess Mononoke at least somewhat, even though the story and tone are very different.
nerupuff wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 10:24 am
Just saw the tags and I am ultimately curious as to how this will all pan out. I love the idea of this. Generation gaps in context make for fun interactions, so I'm looking forward to how Dedalos takes note of the new world around them considering that their point of reference is centuries ago.

In any case, possession sounds so interesting (I can already imagine possible interactions in my head) and I'm looking forward to more updates! Wishing you the best of luck~
Thank you, I'm glad you're interested! :] Possession is going to be a fun thing to write for sure. Having a weird spirit hanging out in your head 24/7 definitely makes things interesting, especially when you still have to do normal things like go to work haha.
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Re: Deadnettle Creek [Nano2019] [Solarpunk] [Urban Fantasy]

#8 Post by Amiralo » Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:00 pm

I can't wait for Dedalos to destroy the village in a fit of angst (just kidding)

That being said, the premise is intriguing. I want to know how Maez will take to sharing a body with a snake god. I want to know if Lupita will compromise her ideals due to reality. I like how the environment takes a central role in all of this--I wonder if things will play out like Princess Mononoke or Nausicaa?
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Re: Deadnettle Creek [Nano2019] [Solarpunk] [Urban Fantasy]

#9 Post by azaraih » Thu Mar 07, 2019 10:33 am

Amiralo wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:00 pm
I can't wait for Dedalos to destroy the village in a fit of angst (just kidding)

That being said, the premise is intriguing. I want to know how Maez will take to sharing a body with a snake god. I want to know if Lupita will compromise her ideals due to reality. I like how the environment takes a central role in all of this--I wonder if things will play out like Princess Mononoke or Nausicaa?
Haha I'm sure Dedalos would love to destroy some things if it wasn't weak and stuck with a human :p But yeah, I also love Nausicaa a lot (the manga is my favorite!) so who knows, we'll see what happens.

Update on my progress:
Character designs and almost all the background image designs are done, I’ve created the Ren’Py project and started adding a few things in, and I worked on these two character sprites. So here’s Maez and Lupita. Not sure if these are 100% done yet but I wanted to get some art out there.
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Re: Deadnettle Creek [Nano2019] [Solarpunk] [Urban Fantasy]

#10 Post by azaraih » Sat Mar 09, 2019 2:00 am

Another update: I did some more writing and art, including finally making a logo! So here’s a little bit of a preview of what Dedalos looks like. Also now that it’s the weekend, I’ll have a lot more time to work on the game. I’m hoping to get a lot of the writing done, and then work on some background and real sprite art. More updates soon!

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Re: Deadnettle Creek [Nano2019] [Solarpunk] [Urban Fantasy]

#11 Post by NiccyNeko » Sat Mar 09, 2019 4:54 am

Ooo this looks like it's going to be fun to play! We're excited to see how it progresses, keep up all the good work!
Love the characters, story and the artwork so far!
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Re: Deadnettle Creek [Nano2019] [Solarpunk] [Urban Fantasy]

#12 Post by Zelan » Sat Mar 09, 2019 3:19 pm

What a beautiful logo! I love the soft edges, it's really different from the other logos I've seen on this forum.

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Re: Deadnettle Creek [Nano2019] [Solarpunk] [Urban Fantasy]

#13 Post by azaraih » Sat Mar 09, 2019 8:32 pm

NiccyNeko wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 4:54 am
Ooo this looks like it's going to be fun to play! We're excited to see how it progresses, keep up all the good work!
Love the characters, story and the artwork so far!
Thank you!! I'm having a lot of fun working on this project, so I'm hoping people will enjoy playing it once it's done. :]
Zelan wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 3:19 pm
What a beautiful logo! I love the soft edges, it's really different from the other logos I've seen on this forum.
Thank you so much, I'm glad you like it! One of my other goals for this project is to work on my digital art since it's been a while since I've done any. In the past, I just used the default round brush and always tried too hard to make the lines clean, which took forever. Now I'm trying out using textured brushes instead, so that's become the style of this game haha.

So far today I worked on the main menu design! When you hover over the buttons they turn green and a different leaf appears for each one. It’s nice to not have the default UI in there anymore, it makes it feel like I’m making some progress. The one thing I’m not sure about is that I like having some simple animation on the main menu, like part of the background being a scrolling pattern or something, but I couldn’t think of what would make sense for this one. I’ll add it in later if I think of something that fits.
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Re: Deadnettle Creek [Nano2019] [Solarpunk] [Urban Fantasy]

#14 Post by azaraih » Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:27 am

Just wanted to give a quick update since I made a good amount of progress this weekend! Since my last update I:
  • Added animation to the main menu
  • Updated the other menus so they match (still need a little more customization though)
  • Wrote the first scene and sent it to somonastic for editing
  • Cleaned up the coloring on the sprites and set up the files better so I can add more expressions
  • Finished one background
  • Added a custom text box, with different name boxes for each character
I'm feeling pretty good about being able to finish the intro this month, since I only have one scene left to write for that. I'm planning to get the intro totally completed first so I can release something that's polished, but it's looking like maybe I could start on the first chapter too. Still a lot to do though, so we'll see how it goes!
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Re: Deadnettle Creek [Nano2019] [Solarpunk] [Urban Fantasy]

#15 Post by azaraih » Sun Mar 17, 2019 3:26 pm

Here’s a few screenshots! I did a lot of work on the UI, created another background, and got all of Maez’s expressions working (still working on Lupita). Still a lot left to do on the next scene since it’s going to be a bit more complicated, but the first scene is close to being finished.

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