HIGH FOG [paranormal, campy horror, wacky teens, romance??]

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Lora
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HIGH FOG [paranormal, campy horror, wacky teens, romance??]

#1 Post by Lora » Fri May 09, 2014 2:05 am

Image
(tentative logo, might change after seeing some of the really great logos being used by other VNs on this site haha)
Hi! This is my first visual novel project/foray into Ren'Py. I've been learning a lot for the past few months about the engine and it's been very exciting! This is my in-progress game, High Fog, about wacky teens, ghosts, friendship-possibly-romance, and bad endings. Lots of bad endings. But hopefully each will be rewarding enough in their own right :)

The game takes place in a swampy, ambiguously-southern town called Clearwater Cove, the Spookiest, Bloodiest, Most Hauntedest place in the country, where every five years during a supernatural weather event known as High Fog, mysterious murders take place. Central to this is a hundred-year-old ghost legend involving legendary murderess Rose Sundergrave. (Turns out all of this is great for tourism.)

Subvert the ghosts!! Save your friends!! Maybe date them!! (can definitely at least choose to get close to a particular one, though)
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The heroes:
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Cypress Urenger - a laid-back and somewhat unextraordinary teen who is just trying to not die
and keep his friends from not dying also, with various levels of success. Can come across as kind of dumb,
but smarter than he lets on.

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Holly Mackerel - Cypress's best friend since they were in diapers. The two have a teasing
back-and-forth relationship and are creepily in tune with each other. Holly's family made money in the
sciences and then moved to town and bought out an old flower shop, the same one that once
employed Rose Sundergrave, the town's famous ghost. On the eve of High Fog, Holly begins
acting a bit stranger than normal...

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Thistle Kilya - moved to Clearwater Cove a year ago. Introverted, bookish and quiet, although
opening up a little bit more and more all the time. Although she maintains an air of mystery, she enjoys
hanging out with Cypress and Holly, although she often has to cancel plans for vaguely-defined reasons.

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Aster Eau-Pleine - extremely dramatic drama student. Occasionally hangs around with Cypress and
Holly, but most of the time is just a little too weird, even for them. He seems extremely extroverted, with
all of his cohorts in theater, but it seems hard for him to connect with people on a personal level. Hates
Thistle and can't stand to be around her, but can't really seem to give a satisfying reason as to why.
There are a few other characters but I don't have finished sprites for them yet. It will take a few playthroughs and endings to get a full grasp of the story - how the ghosts influence the events, and the secrets behind each character. If there IS romance, it will take a backseat to the other elements of the story (and will probably just be a bonus CG)
Progress Estimates:
Script: 25%
Sprites: 40%
CGs: 5%
GUI: 50%

Save/Load GUI screen preview:
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(Also attached some screenshots to the post at the bottom!)
My questions to the forum are, what are your feelings towards photo backgrounds when paired with the art style? How do you feel about the green hud gui at the top of the screenshots (My intention now is to either move it to the bottom or do away with it entirely - I was thinking of having a right-click menu instead)? Do you like the speech bubbles? I also welcome general impressions/suggestions if you have them!

Right now I'm using music from Newgrounds and elsewhere (permission granted of course), but high on my personal wishlist is an original score. I would love to collaborate with a musician and a background artist! However, currently this is a free project, so I'm only putting it out there in case someone is interested in the idea. :)

Will post updates here if anyone is interested, but you can also check out the tag on my tumblr!

Thanks for reading!!
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screenshot5.jpg
Holly & Aster
screenshot1.jpg
DRAMA!
screenshot3.jpg
Creepy Holly

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Re: HIGH FOG [paranormal, campy horror, wacky teens, romance

#2 Post by Angie » Fri May 09, 2014 2:19 am

Game looks really interesting! I like natural backgrounds and I like your style - it simple, but looks good! Wish you good luck with everything ~
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Re: HIGH FOG [paranormal, campy horror, wacky teens, romance

#3 Post by rainbowcascade » Fri May 09, 2014 2:21 am

HOLY CRAP! This game looks boss! Heck, the VN could be a fun show on Cartoon Network. Charming, looks family friendly, the characters have a very endearing look. Doesn't matter if you attach a romance to it, I'll play this game either way. Good luck to you and your game!

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Re: HIGH FOG [paranormal, campy horror, wacky teens, romance

#4 Post by Mad Harlequin » Fri May 09, 2014 2:26 am

Oh, this looks quite creative! I love the character names. :)

I don't mind the speech bubbles. Just make sure the text is easy to read.

I'm not sure what to do about the GUI. It doesn't seem intrusive, but you might fare well with that right-click menu you're considering.

While the photo backgrounds don't clash too much with the art style, I'm not a hundred percent sold on the combination yet. I probably just need time.
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Re: HIGH FOG [paranormal, campy horror, wacky teens, romance

#5 Post by Lora » Fri May 09, 2014 2:37 am

rainbowcascade wrote:HOLY CRAP! This game looks boss! Heck, the VN could be a fun show on Cartoon Network. Charming, looks family friendly, the characters have a very endearing look. Doesn't matter if you attach a romance to it, I'll play this game either way. Good luck to you and your game!
Ahh thank you so much!! :D I'm so happy to hear that!!
Angie wrote:Game looks really interesting! I like natural backgrounds and I like your style - it simple, but looks good! Wish you good luck with everything ~
Thank you!! That was another thing I was curious about actually, because many of the VNs I see have a very painterly shaded look to the sprites. I'm glad the style is working for you though :)
Mad Harlequin wrote:Oh, this looks quite creative! I love the character names. :)

I don't mind the speech bubbles. Just make sure the text is easy to read.

I'm not sure what to do about the GUI. It doesn't seem intrusive, but you might fare well with that right-click menu you're considering.

While the photo backgrounds don't clash too much with the art style, I'm not a hundred percent sold on the combination yet. I probably just need time.
Thanks for the feedback!! Yeah, I'm not totally sold on the photo backgrounds either - I'm in the same boat as you I think haha! I might end up setting aside time to do the bg art myself. We'll see. :) I do think the character names are my favorite bit...

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Re: HIGH FOG [paranormal, campy horror, wacky teens, romance

#6 Post by KiloTango » Fri May 09, 2014 5:43 am

I love the character art style for this!

The speech bubbles are a cool idea, Aster's fancy font could do with a tighter line-height if you are able to edit such things.

With the backgrounds, they're not bad but I'm not in love either so it could go either way. The combo of the super clean art with the photographs makes me think of the Tatami Galaxy opening, but something a bit more textural and natural could also give a nice contrast. But as long as which ever you go with, it's done in a way that looks like it was intentional visual choice rather out of lack of effort, it'll be fine :)

Can't wait to see how this comes out!
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Re: HIGH FOG [paranormal, campy horror, wacky teens, romance

#7 Post by Lora » Fri May 09, 2014 4:44 pm

KiloTango wrote:I love the character art style for this!

The speech bubbles are a cool idea, Aster's fancy font could do with a tighter line-height if you are able to edit such things.

With the backgrounds, they're not bad but I'm not in love either so it could go either way. The combo of the super clean art with the photographs makes me think of the Tatami Galaxy opening, but something a bit more textural and natural could also give a nice contrast. But as long as which ever you go with, it's done in a way that looks like it was intentional visual choice rather out of lack of effort, it'll be fine :)

Can't wait to see how this comes out!
Line-height adjustment is definitely within my power :P Thanks so much for the feedback!! I see too what you mean about the Tatami Galaxy OP. Given that everyone (including myself) seems to have mixed feelings about the photo backgrounds, I think I might attempt to draw them in a more cartoony style that matches the characters and see where that takes me!

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Re: HIGH FOG [paranormal, campy horror, wacky teens, romance

#8 Post by MelodyKnighton » Fri May 09, 2014 7:39 pm

Campy horror is my faaaaavorite. Oh boy, I'm really excited for this. haha.

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Re: HIGH FOG [paranormal, campy horror, wacky teens, romance

#9 Post by saguaro » Fri May 09, 2014 8:51 pm

I luuuuuuuurve Holly's sprite.

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Re: HIGH FOG [paranormal, campy horror, wacky teens, romance

#10 Post by Feral Phoenix » Fri May 09, 2014 9:09 pm

Your art is super adorable and I really like it against the photo backgrounds! That pixel art is also really cute...

Good luck working!

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Re: HIGH FOG [paranormal, campy horror, wacky teens, romance

#11 Post by Lora » Fri May 09, 2014 10:56 pm

Thank you guys so much!! I'm currently experimenting with doing "cartoony" backgrounds to match the character sprites. I think I like how it looks, but I could always use a second opinion! (still playing with it and tweaking the colors - and keep in mind I'm ordinarily allergic to backgrounds :P)

I go back and forth with this, I might add textures to certain elements, like maybe the dirt or the grass or something. Definitely gonna take that thin "shading" off the text bubbles if I decide to keep the look.
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screenshot0025.png
Last edited by Lora on Sat May 10, 2014 12:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: HIGH FOG [paranormal, campy horror, wacky teens, romance

#12 Post by Green Glasses Girl » Sat May 10, 2014 12:36 am

Wow, I really like the character designs! I also like the speech bubbles too - nice touch to the usual textbox on the bottom. I think the cartoony backgrounds work well since they compliment the sprites more.

Keep going! It looks great so far.

EDIT: Oh, and those pixel mini-sprites are so adorable.
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Re: HIGH FOG [paranormal, campy horror, wacky teens, romance

#13 Post by Lora » Sat May 10, 2014 3:30 am

Green Glasses Girl wrote:Wow, I really like the character designs! I also like the speech bubbles too - nice touch to the usual textbox on the bottom. I think the cartoony backgrounds work well since they compliment the sprites more.

Keep going! It looks great so far.

EDIT: Oh, and those pixel mini-sprites are so adorable.
Thank you so much!! :D I think the cartoon bg is growing on me too. The input is much appreciated! :)
(the pixel sprites are extra visual cues for the load/save screen so you can tell what characters are involved in the current scene hehe)

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Re: HIGH FOG [paranormal, campy horror, wacky teens, romance

#14 Post by Lora » Wed May 14, 2014 10:14 pm

CG sample! Not a particularly important scene, but fun as a test subject...! Everything seems a lot easier now that I've settled on hand-drawn cartoonesque backgrounds :)
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cg_monster2.jpg

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Re: HIGH FOG [paranormal, campy horror, wacky teens, romance

#15 Post by Mad Harlequin » Wed May 14, 2014 11:58 pm

I agree---these new backgrounds mesh with the sprites so much better and create a cohesive feel for the project.

Keep up the great work!
I'm an aspiring writer and voice talent with a passion for literature and an unhealthy attachment to video games. I am also a seasoned typo-sniper. Inquiries are encouraged. Friendly chats are welcome.
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