Shira Oka demo

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Re: Shira Oka demo

#31 Post by chensterrain » Wed Jul 28, 2010 5:56 am

Counter Arts wrote:I know that Tokimeki Memorial 4 has 90+ skills like conversationalist, aerobic, motorcycle license. The skills does stuff like reduces the rate that you get stressed, increases general stats, or gives trades offs. So far no one but me has pointed out something like this.
In all fairness, I don't know if you could really call that a 'standard' - as far as I'm aware, none of the other Tokimeki Memorial games have this feature, including Girl's Side 3 (which is the more recent game); that and even the older TokiMemos had features that aren't present in the newer games, such as weather affecting dates and whatnot, so I wouldn't take the features of any one game in the series to be particularly 'standard' at all. At any rate, I wouldn't really expect a small indie game to include every feature of the biggest dating sim in the genre, even if it has been in development for five years or so. (That and to be honest, I wasn't really a fan of most of the skills in TokiMemo 4 anyway - when most of the gameplay is basically just 'take girl on date - choose from simple answers', there didn't seem to be a whole lot of point to them. But maybe that's just me. :) )

(Actually, the whole 'failing repeatedly' bit from the demo irritated me too - while it's understandable for storyline reasons, it doesn't seem to serve much purpose gameplay-wise, and what exactly affects it isn't explained (I hear it's both base stats and physical / mental exhaustion, though the fact that even with exhaustion meters completely full you can fail or double fail at everything makes them completely useless at the beginning of the game, at least). I also agree completely with the whole 'being forced to raised stat x while the others plummet' aspect being pretty annoying, as while introducing actions one by one is a nice touch, several in-game weeks / months is far too long to spend doing this).

*bitches and whines* :D I'm still looking forward to Shira Oka's release, though - have there even been any full-on, lengthy stat-driven dating sims other than the TokiMemo games in the past few years? (Not a rhetorical question, I honestly have no idea :? Though I suppose there's always Love Revo... and Love Plus, if it counts.) Even though very little of the game appeals to me, I'd still like to see how it turns out...

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Re: Shira Oka demo

#32 Post by Counter Arts » Wed Jul 28, 2010 12:34 pm

I actually meant the expectations in different market segments as opposed to standards. Not just to the Tokimeki Memorial standards either. I have seen better flip-flap animation in higher quality. Noel from Flying Shrine (makers of Cross Channel) looks like it has good quality lip-flap. But Shira-Oka's market doesn't dig down and consume obscure Japanese VNs and producing something like that would really require a higher price point. (Noel cost 8800 yen at retail on release) You need to have a lower price point for a game to help grow the market.

I'm just jealous because they got the money for voice actors, flying around on anime convention tours and promoting at GDC.
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Re: Shira Oka demo

#33 Post by Blue Lemma » Wed Jul 28, 2010 9:38 pm

As someone who was involved with Okashi for about a couple years, I've been following this thread closely. So even though I'm NDA'ed up, there are some things I can safely say:
Counter Arts wrote:I'm just jealous because they got the money for voice actors, flying around on anime convention tours and promoting at GDC.
From what I understand, Andrew and Colleen (the two people in charge) both have high-paying jobs in the tech industry. I don't know anything about investors - maybe there are, and maybe there aren't.

Also from a monetary standpoint, the main expense for a software venture is generally labor. If a company could find a way around paying much for the labor, it would save a lot of money and be able to continue for years regardless of how long the development cycle was. Obviously, major corporations like Sony or Square Enix would not be able to have excessive production cycles since their employees are presumably paid consistent and professional wages.

Personally, I have no intentions of playing the demo or the full game as I've moved on to other things.
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Re: Shira Oka demo

#34 Post by Counter Arts » Wed Jul 28, 2010 10:33 pm

I shouldn't be complaining too much about the money thing. Canada has a very good way of getting around labour costs if I'm a corporation.

Everyone is watching how will Shira-Oka turn out. It will definately be interesting to see.
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Re: Shira Oka demo

#35 Post by DaFool » Fri Jul 30, 2010 3:42 am

Blue Lemma wrote:
Counter Arts wrote:I'm just jealous because they got the money for voice actors, flying around on anime convention tours and promoting at GDC.
From what I understand, Andrew and Colleen (the two people in charge) both have high-paying jobs in the tech industry. I don't know anything about investors - maybe there are, and maybe there aren't.
So that's why the project is still around... these folks aren't full-time indies. Okashi studios is essentially just their "hobby" company. Had they been full-time indies with no other source of income they would have folded up like a lot of other AAA devs hit by the recession. There's just no frickin' way one would be able to run a company for 5 years with no sellable product just burning through overhead costs.

So, in light of that fact, Shira-Oka is pretty decent.

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Re: Shira Oka demo

#36 Post by Blue Lemma » Fri Jul 30, 2010 5:13 pm

It may appear this way on the surface. Personally, I would expect more from a venture that's been doing so much promo and had the time and resources they do.
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Re: Shira Oka demo

#37 Post by victorita9 » Sun Aug 01, 2010 4:05 am

i will definitely buy this game depending on the price. If it's $20 i will definitely buy this game. If its $25 i might buy it. Anything more and i will not buy it.

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Re: Shira Oka demo

#38 Post by Glazed Donuts » Thu Aug 19, 2010 10:39 pm

Wow, was this game done in Ren'Py?! I'm really not a fan of dating sims. I only wanted to try this game to learn more about VNs. This one was very...interesting. The opening animation sequence seemed very well done. I felt like I was watching an actual anime. I think the overall aesthetics of the game were done well for an indie studio like this. It may not be on par with the professional Japanese games, but it's still pretty good. I liked some of the features that were programmed into the game. It gave you various choices and activities to take part in rather than just the VN aspect.

One thing I didn't really like about it was the story. The premise sounded like it would be something that would hook me right in when I read it on the forums, but as I played the game, the story and characters seemed very flat. The girls just didn't seem interesting enough for me to want to try and pursue them. Also, overall, what kind of irks me about the game is that after playing through much of it, I feel like this game was created by a bunch of obsessed anime otaku (using cliches and everything).

I'm an avid anime otaku, myself, but I really think they went overboard with things in this game. Much of it was unnecessary.

I think overall, it seems that they spent more time on the aesthetics of the game rather than substance.

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Re: Shira Oka demo

#39 Post by DaFool » Thu Aug 19, 2010 10:58 pm

It wasn't made with Ren'Py, it was a custom engine.

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Re: Shira Oka demo

#40 Post by LVUER » Fri Aug 20, 2010 12:15 am

But is it doable using RenPy? I mean if we use RenPy, could we achieve all those nice visual effects too?
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Re: Shira Oka demo

#41 Post by gekiganwing » Sat Nov 13, 2010 11:14 pm

Four months after the demo was released to the public, Okashi Studios has announced that beta testing is now complete (link: http://www.shira-oka.com/shira-oka-home ... plete.html ).

It sounds like the staff are now planning how they will distribute the final product. In a few minutes, I'll post on the Shira Oka forums, and make sure to remind them of some ways in which indie game developers are releasing their PC games.

EDIT on Nov 19: a second demo has been released. The staff say that it will be compatible with the full retail version (Windows and OS X).

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Re: Shira Oka demo

#42 Post by gekiganwing » Sat Dec 04, 2010 10:10 am

After all these years of wondering, there is finally a release date, and plans to release Shira Oka on a paid download service. It's embarrassing that it took this long, but at least the game has been finished.

Thanks to their latest update -- http://www.shira-oka.com/shira-oka-home ... today.html -- I learned that the full PC version will cost $25 US, and will be available on Impulsedriven.com on December 10 2010. The Okashi Studio staff say that there is a ten percent discount for pre-ordering the game.

There's a Shira Oka demo for OS X, but Impulse Driven does not offer games for Mac. So if you're a fan of that platform, wait and see... the game will probably be available through at least one other download service.

Interesting side note -- I seem to recall that when the English version of Recettear was first announced for release on paid download services, the company Carpe Fulgur stated it would be available on Impulse Driven. Days later, it was also released on Steam and GamersGate.
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Re: Shira Oka demo

#43 Post by okonomiyaki » Wed Dec 15, 2010 1:17 pm

Nngh. After playing that demo, I would rather buy a second Animamundi for the crazy prices it's going for than buy that. For that price, it's extremely poorly done, and that's all I can say.

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Re: Shira Oka demo

#44 Post by gekiganwing » Wed Dec 15, 2010 6:37 pm

The full version on Impulse Driven is 1.12. According to what I read on the Shira Oka forums, there are already plans for updates to fix bugs and inconsistencies, and to add an easy difficulty setting.

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Re: Shira Oka demo

#45 Post by GLACIER » Fri Dec 17, 2010 6:28 pm

I've completed the first year of game time so far, and my impression hasn't changed.

Stats still take too long to improve, and there are too many interruptions to the process. In a sim, the player needs ample opportunity to work on skills. However, much of the game time is depleted by various story scenes (i.e. during a five-day school week, two or three days may be wasted because of the decision to insert some boring event or character conversation. This happens on a regular basis), which makes the game pretty tedious and frustrating. I can't imagine replaying this and having to sit through those scenes again.

Some character builds also prevent you from doing well in the game, so be warned.

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