Skylines: A Personal Memoir [BxBG/Awkward Teens]

A place for game announcements, and for people to discuss games being made.
Forum rules
Please read the sticky before creating a new topic. Linking to Kickstarter/Crowdfunded games requires a demo.
Post Reply
Message
Author
User avatar
kaleidofish
Veteran
Posts: 292
Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2012 10:25 pm
Completed: Tell Her a Story (Nano12), In This Dream of Ours, The Mishka Effect (Nano14), Saving Zoey (Asylum Jam 2014), Fairly Dangerous (Nano15), Palette Swap (Nano16)
Projects: see my site!
Organization: Kaleidofish Studios, Team ANARKY
Tumblr: kaleidofish
Deviantart: kaleidofish
Location: Silent Hilladelphia
Contact:

Skylines: A Personal Memoir [BxBG/Awkward Teens]

#1 Post by kaleidofish » Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:12 am

Image
~ A Personal Memoir ~


“It’s amazing how you can tell entire cities apart based on skylines alone. How much does your silhouette say about you?”


Skylines is a character-driven story set in Lincoln-Fair Academy, a private American high school. The story is played from the perspective of Chris Lauria, a recent dumpee who's become jaded after losing all his "friends" after his ex broke up with him. Well, almost all of them. He's still got that semi-weird Thom kid with him. Victory? Then, there's also that transfer student, Izzie, who Thom somehow roped into hanging out with them at lunch. Together, Thom and Izzie decide that it's up to them to save the universe rescue Chris from his slump, even though he'd much rather write in his notebook by himself.

Senior year's a hard enough year as it is, even without friends on stupid "cheer-up" missions. How can their final year get any worse?

Famous last words.

Characters:

Note - my awful resizing job does not do these images justice.

Image

The visual novel is seen through Christopher “Chris” Lauria’s eyes. He starts the visual novel with a reserved personality that changes dependent on your choices. The personality that you craft for him will color his choice options as the story goes on. For example, acting passive for a long enough time will make “tough guy” options harder to pull off. Likewise, creating an aggressive personality will make it harder for gentler options to come off as kind. It all depends on the way that you steer him and the situations that you get him into.

Image

Thomas “Thom” Hatch is Chris’ best and, at the time of the visual novel’s opening, only friend. The two of them go way back. Called Thom instead of Tom for the sake of being unique, Thom’s the jokester in the group. Although he’s hard to take seriously, he’s a lot more grounded in reality than he lets on. He’s the BxB option, but since this VN’s more about the story than the pursuit-of-romance, don’t expect it to be an easy path to take.

Image

Isabelle “Izzie” Westfield is Lincoln-Fair Academy’s newest student. She becomes the glue that holds Chris and Thom’s slowly distancing friendship together at the beginning of the visual novel. She’s all smiles, but how much of her happiness is truly genuine? Why transfer to Lincoln-Fair of all schools? Teaming up with Thom, she vows to turn Chris’ frown upside down after learning about his post break-up depression.

Image

Rosalia “Lia” Ramirez is Chris’ ex-girlfriend and the one that’s dumped him a little while before the visual novel starts. Normally confident, she has difficulty when it comes to matters of the heart. In response to that sentence, she asks, "hey, doesn't everyone? It's called being human." Her main struggle is having a family that doesn't support her. I've said too much already.

Features:

A story of trust, identity searching, cultural issues, uncertainty, and the messiness of a year in an American high school
Writing by kaleidofish of ouroboros[connect]
Sprite art by the forever-amazing Deji
Custom music and GUI (I hope, lol)
2 BxG romances, 1 BxB romance, a whole lot of writing
Choices that really do lead to multiple endings (hey, if you played my other games, you know this is a step-up for me)
your teenage dream tonight
all the main characters only go by their nicknames (that's totally a feature)

Bonus Art:

Image
Drawn by untramen. Find a bigger version and more bonus art!!! on the official ouroboros[connect] website!

Why Highschool?:

I chose this setting for several reasons. I wanted the characters to be at an identity-exploring age where they're still figuring out who they are, way before "real world issues." I also wanted to capture that "constrained in the classroom, hurry up and get here summer, I can't wait until I move out of my parents house, when's college gonna start already, etc." type of feeling. The "trapped" (and often times lonely) feeling is key. And that intense amount of frustration, too, towards lives that are changing too slowly.

Another reason is that I want to create a visual novel that does explore teenage insecurities, rather than brushing them under the rug so you can pursue this or that character. Things aren't glamorous. Dating doesn't come easy, and some times, it doesn't come at all. Being a teenager is awkward (says the recently turned 20 year old). There's so much untapped potential in this setting. I want to shake this setting down for all that it's worth, in other words.

Let Me Know:

Any thoughts? Questions for me or the characters?
Words of encouragement?
Suggestions? Any awkward anecdotes of your own to share?

What sounds better "Skylines: A Personal Memoir" or "Skylines: A Personal Manifesto"? The characters get a writing assignment where they have to explore who they are as writers, and how that relates to them as a person. This assignment can either be called the "Personal Manifesto" or the "Personal Memoir." ...Or something else entirely if you've got a better idea!!

Should this be set during Junior year of HS or Senior year of HS? There are pros and cons to both sides.

Thanks for the support! (And yes...most of the text is copied and pasted from the other thread.)

Anddddd...yes, k-fish is back. Check out this story I made with Twine if you'd like a short and recent sample of my writing. Warning: it's nuts.
avatar by 15385bic
Redwood Crossing * THE MISHKA EFFECT [NaNo14] * PALETTE SWAP [NaNo16] * FAIRLY DANGEROUS [NaNo15] * Twitter

Visit kaleidofishstudios.com to learn more about what I'm working on.

User avatar
Nuxill
Veteran
Posts: 463
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2010 4:50 pm
Projects: We Are the Hunted, Heart Shard
Tumblr: nuxill
itch: nuxill
Contact:

Re: Skylines: A Personal Memoir [BxBG/Awkward Teens]

#2 Post by Nuxill » Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:20 am

Ooh, I love stories that explore this kind of thing. Hooray for awkward teens! :P
I think A Personal Memoir sounds better imo, and i think the looming pressure of college could be an interesting topic to explore if you go with them being seniors. How much of the script and/or outline do you have written up at the moment, if you don't mind me asking?

User avatar
arachni42
Veteran
Posts: 313
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2013 6:33 pm
Completed: demo for Vignettes
Projects: Vignettes, A Turbulent Age
Organization: no, I'm pretty messy
Location: New York
Contact:

Re: Skylines: A Personal Memoir [BxBG/Awkward Teens]

#3 Post by arachni42 » Tue Apr 09, 2013 12:25 am

kaleidofish wrote:Why Highschool?:

I chose this setting for several reasons. I wanted the characters to be at an identity-exploring age where they're still figuring out who they are, way before "real world issues."

You got me at "awkward teens." I'm definitely interested in seeing how you capture American adolescence. :D

Also, the sprites are looking very nice!
Works in Progress:
I, Miku (NaNoRenO 2014)
Vignettes (actively in progress)
A Turbulent Age (long-term project)
Athena (on hiatus)
_________________
Honest Critique

gekiganwing
Lemma-Class Veteran
Posts: 2363
Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2004 1:38 pm
Contact:

Re: Skylines: A Personal Memoir [BxBG/Awkward Teens]

#4 Post by gekiganwing » Tue Apr 09, 2013 6:25 am

kaleidofish wrote:Another reason is that I want to create a visual novel that does explore teenage insecurities, rather than brushing them under the rug so you can pursue this or that character. Things aren't glamorous. Dating doesn't come easy, and some times, it doesn't come at all. Being a teenager is awkward (says the recently turned 20 year old).


All very true. In case you didn't know, there are Adolescent Romance and Slice of Life Realism tags on the VNDB. Both of them have surprisingly few examples.

kaleidofish wrote:What sounds better "Skylines: A Personal Memoir" or "Skylines: A Personal Manifesto"?


Manifesto is not a bad term. But for some reason, I associate the word with "insane rant" a little too much. Memoir isn't a bad term either. I don't think it has any negative connotations.

kaleidofish wrote:Should this be set during Junior year of HS or Senior year of HS? There are pros and cons to both sides.


In my own experience, I was already thinking about my future during my third year of high school, and touring nearby colleges. Senior year was more of the same. If your characters are in their fourth year of HS, then that lets you talk about the phenomenon known as senioritis, in which a student's anxiety and/or apathy reach their highest level.

User avatar
kaleidofish
Veteran
Posts: 292
Joined: Sat Jan 28, 2012 10:25 pm
Completed: Tell Her a Story (Nano12), In This Dream of Ours, The Mishka Effect (Nano14), Saving Zoey (Asylum Jam 2014), Fairly Dangerous (Nano15), Palette Swap (Nano16)
Projects: see my site!
Organization: Kaleidofish Studios, Team ANARKY
Tumblr: kaleidofish
Deviantart: kaleidofish
Location: Silent Hilladelphia
Contact:

Re: Skylines: A Personal Memoir [BxBG/Awkward Teens]

#5 Post by kaleidofish » Tue Apr 09, 2013 3:33 pm

Nuxill wrote:Ooh, I love stories that explore this kind of thing. Hooray for awkward teens! :P
I think A Personal Memoir sounds better imo, and i think the looming pressure of college could be an interesting topic to explore if you go with them being seniors. How much of the script and/or outline do you have written up at the moment, if you don't mind me asking?


I have a couple different versions, and a massive amount of word smatterings (random vignette and ideas). The best iteration, and the one that I'm going to used as a base, is about 25k words incomplete. I've peeled back things and simplified things...going back to the basics, so to speak, so it actually has a shot at being finished.

When I was working on it before (early and mid-2012), it just grew completely out of control. The scope was unmanageable. I kept adding crazy stuff onto it. Looking back on it, a lot of it was unnecessary and detracted from the main point. (For example, scenes that didn't add anything onto the plot or to the general feeling. A lot of meandering fluff, like talking about what to eat for lunch in the day...like, what? Just eat something and get to the point of the conversation, not your sandwiches. Talk about an inflated word count for no reason.)

This is a story that's been in-the-making for a long time. I think I made the first ever complete version of Skylines some time in 2009. Might've taken me two months to write it up. It was set in a Japanese high school, though, and was mostly forgettable (and not to mention, all it had was one ending). Some of the concepts from that one have been transferred over to this story. I doubt the original will ever see the light of day. I started remaking it around February 2012, after I was mostly finished with my first released visual novel. If it weren't for my 6 month break, I might have finished it up by now.

...or maybe not, since its scope was becoming way too massive. Having some time apart from the script has really given me clarity on the whole project. I honestly feel like this will be finished by the end of 2013 at the absolute latest because my goals with it are much more realistic now.

teal deer.

arachni42 wrote:You got me at "awkward teens." I'm definitely interested in seeing how you capture American adolescence. :D

Also, the sprites are looking very nice!


Thanks! Yes, Deji did a terrific job on them. I hope I don't disappoint.

gekiganwing wrote:In my own experience, I was already thinking about my future during my third year of high school, and touring nearby colleges. Senior year was more of the same. If your characters are in their fourth year of HS, then that lets you talk about the phenomenon known as senioritis, in which a student's anxiety and/or apathy reach their highest level.


Ah, senioritis. Beautiful thing. I'll be sure to include that...especially since I went through a particularly bad case of it my senior year myself, haha. The great thing about writing for this VN is being able to let my inner-17 and 18 year old vent out all of her frustrations, all under the guise of the characters venting their own frustrations.

And yeah, I'm surprised Slice of Life Realism doesn't have many entries. Maybe it's because people often put them into the general "Slice of Life" category?
avatar by 15385bic
Redwood Crossing * THE MISHKA EFFECT [NaNo14] * PALETTE SWAP [NaNo16] * FAIRLY DANGEROUS [NaNo15] * Twitter

Visit kaleidofishstudios.com to learn more about what I'm working on.

User avatar
Blane Doyle
Miko-Class Veteran
Posts: 809
Joined: Mon Dec 21, 2009 10:00 am
Organization: Autumn Eclectic
Location: Mountains
Contact:

Re: Skylines: A Personal Memoir [BxBG/Awkward Teens]

#6 Post by Blane Doyle » Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:34 pm

I looked at this at first and thought "hmn, ok, looks like a simple high school story with a Manic Pixie Dream Girl type character, I might enjoy this".

And then I read everything from the bios down, including your response. NOW you have my attention.

You've been working on this for years, you've already changed a lot from what I gather, which is a plus for me. You have Deji's art, which is always a plus. You explained why you chose a high school setting and it is probably the best reason to do so in my opinion. I want to see what you do with these characters, what they are hiding, and how different they may be from my expectations. But I want to see what happens with your personality system. I want to see how in depth it is, how it changes the story and out main character, and what the outcomes are for it.

I'm glad I read through all of this because my original response to this is starting to falter. Like a poorly built cake.

Also: I vote Memoir because it is a more common term and is more fun to say... that's a dumb reason but what you you.

I also say senior year. There is a sense of urgency connected to your final year of high school and, as you guys brought up, the dreaded senioritis. You'll be able to explore similar things in both years, but the later year has more to lose, more at stake as it were.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot]