Violet Hill [Sci-fi, Romance][Demo Available]

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Violet Hill [Sci-fi, Romance][Demo Available]

#1 Post by Helvetica Standard » Mon Jan 26, 2015 2:56 pm

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Red Lattice Studio wishes you a warm welcome to Violet Hill~! Have a drink at the Wakamoto Express on us, it’s the best café around. Afterwards, have a wander down to Monarch’s Monument – it’s quite the sight. Did you know there are two urban legends that centre around the statue? The first involves a serial killer who allegedly hid the bodies of his victims beneath the monument; the second states if you confess your love under a full moon at the statue, that you and your lover would be eternally bound together.

The latter is far scarier than the former – at least in the eyes of our protagonist, Aoki Oka, who returns to Violet Hill at the beginning of our story. His time awake may not be the most interesting however, as Aoki possesses Mindstorm, an ability that prevents him from dreaming like most people. Instead, he has the ability to relive and explore past experiences down to the most trivial detail.

But nothing comes without a cost, does it?

Mindstorm can have dangerous consequences for Aoki and those around him, which is why he’s so unsociable and happy to throw more than just the odd cynical comment at our five heroines – often far from popular! You can’t put anyone at risk, no matter how much you like that person, right? But I won’t say anymore… I wouldn’t want to spoil anything! But you’ll have eight chapters of common route to explore Mindstorm and Violet Hill on top of the heroines’ routes and find out for yourself. Not to mention there may be surprises hidden along the way for those with a keen eye.
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What compelled you to start this project?
Simple, we love visual novels and we spend a great deal of our free time reading them.
As part of the western VN community, we want to contribute by giving them our very own original visual novel.

Is the VN free/are you selling it?
The VN is completely free. We are doing this in our spare time and with our own
resources because we love it.

What’s the genre and setting of the visual novel?
The genre is sci-fi/romance and has a school setting.

What about the time period and location?
The story is set in the present day and all events occur in a fictional town called
“Violet Hill”, which is in Japan.

How long is the game?
Although we have a detailed framework in place for most of the major events and routes, there’s still a large chunk of the writing that has to be done yet. As an estimate, the VN will probably be in the 30+ hours range.

What’s the structure of the VN?
Story is divided into chapters (8 for common route, 3 for each of the 5 heroine’s routes,
an epilogue, and a joke route) there are also several bad ends.

What are the technical details?
The VN’s reading format is ADV, bottom text box and has a default resolution
of 1280x720.

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What are the system specs?
Violet Hill, like most VNs, doesn’t need much to play as it uses Ren’py which is quite light. That said, very old computers without a proper graphics card may struggle with some of the animations.

Is there any plan for H-scenes?
No, we feel this would impact on the storytelling too heavily. We are open to feedback however, so if there was a large demand we would consider it, but not at the moment.

So, then the VN is all ages?
There may be implied sex and mild sexual themes, but these by no means would
dominate the game. The VN is probably best classified as 15+, but honestly what we have at the moment is pretty tame.

Is there a DEMO/where do I download it?
You can download the DEMO at the bottom of this post.

When will it be completed?
Not yet, no. We’ll keep you updated as we progress.

How can I help/join the staff?
We appreciate your feedback and input, so replying and offering advice is greatly
appreciated! If you want to join the project, please message any member of staff
(see links below) or post below.
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Rin Minamoto

Rin lives with her father in Violet Hill, and is passionate about literature
and painting. She aspires to become a professional artist with her own
studio, despite the fact that she has little to no actual artistic talent.
Unfazed however, she recreates the art club at Sakura High in an effort
to improve her skills and realise her dream. Feisty and short tempered,
she isn’t afraid to vocalise herself, especially to Aoki who she tends to
clash with quite a bit.

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Likes: James Joyce and other literature, art, sci-fi movies.
Dislikes: Milk, spicy food, thunderstorms.
Kanade Inoue

Despite Kanade’s overly cheerful exterior, she actually suffers
from a rare memory disorder, that allows her to remember what
she deems as important with unerring detail, albeit at the loss
of less important memories. Kanade has used her condition to
become an incredible talented manga artist in a very short period
of time. Considering Aoki her teacher in art (although he says
different), she goes to great lengths to live near him.

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Likes: Manga, drawing, horror stories and films.
Dislikes: 4-komas, natto.
Akane Sasaki

Secretly the heir to the large Sasaki corporation, Akane has led
a sheltered life with very little contact with the outside world.
While incredibly intelligent due to her private tutoring, she’s often
lacking in common sense, and her overly formal speech makes it
hard for her to make friends.
She also speaks very formally, making it hard for her to blend in
socially. Despite this, she is adaptable and exceptionally observant,
making her very quick to learn new concepts and grasp situations.
She seems to have an important reason for coming to Violet Hill.

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Likes: Painting, Maths, Ikebana.
Dislikes: Alcohol, bad manners.
Yuki Shirai

A very popular girl at school, Yuki is the ever dauntless
Student Council President of Sakura High. She has a
reputation for being a strict leader of the student body,
and shows very little outward emotion.
Although originally a member of the Fine Arts Club, she
suddenly quits and decides to join the much smaller art
club headed by Rin and Aoki. Her past is shrouded in
mystery and she has a habit of asking Aoki cryptic
questions that only she understands. Despite her small
figure, the ever level-headed Yuki is actually 18.

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Likes: Action movies, mystery novels, bitter food.
Dislikes: Cute things, chocolate, hospitals.
Satsuki Kagami

An enigmatic and secretive girl, Satsuki officially attends Sakura
High but rarely ever attends lessons. Not much is known about
her except that she wanders Violet Hill looking for, as she puts it,
“someone important”. Satsuki is actually a shrine maiden who has
sensitivity for the supernatural and is convinced there is more to
the erratic weather the town has been experiencing. She seems to
have an interest in Aoki, although is not clear as to why.

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Likes: TV soap operas, videogames, reading.
Dislikes: Onions, hot weather.
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Minimum Requirements:

OS
Windows XP SP3/Vista/7/8/8.1

CPU
Pentium 4 3.0 GHZ or higher.

RAM
1GB.

Display Adapter
Graphic card with pixel shader 2.0 support.
Direct X9 and a minimum of 256 VRAM.

Screen Resolution
Game requires at least a resolution of 1280x720.

Recommended Requirements:

OS
Windows 7/8/8.1

CPU
Anything dual core and up.

RAM
2GB.

Display Adapter
Mid-range to high-end graphic card with at least 1GB
of dedicated VRAM.
* Game requires 3D hardware acceleration to run. It won’t work on virtual machines or virtual drives.
* Some in-game animations are taxing on low end PC’s.

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Please note the demo is to give you an idea of what we want to accomplish, and it may not be completely representative of the final game (the demo covers the first chapter or two of the proper game, but much of the content is likely to be spread for the actual game)... that's why the pacing may be a bit, uh... heavy. Sorry. Also some of the backgrounds and music tracks used aren't ours (yet), but these will be phased out as the project goes forward. (4 Backgrounds are free-stock pictures and 6 songs are Royalty Free tracks composed by Kevin Mcleod).

In conclusion, Violet Hill is, first and foremost, made by fans of visual novels and for fans of visual novels. Whether it's the calm sound of the rain or the thrill of seeing a mystery unfold that pleases you the most, Violet Hill has something for you. We want you to have fond memories of it.
We are currently recruiting! If you wish to apply for an open position don't forget to visit our recruitment thread: http://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/viewto ... 59&t=30154
Demo released! DOWNLOAD BELOW!

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Don't forget to visit our website for news, questions and content!

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Last edited by Helvetica Standard on Sat May 16, 2015 8:35 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: Violet Hill [Sci-fi, Romance][Demo Available]

#2 Post by fleet » Mon Jan 26, 2015 6:10 pm

I hope your project is successful. :D
The font/background combination you've chosen for the project description, FAQs, and cast descriptions is very hard to read. :cry:
All of my VNs are at http://wolflore.net Note: Downloads currently not working
Some are at http://www.the-new-lagoon.com. NSFW
Poorly done hand-drawn art is still poorly done art. Be a Poser (or better yet, use DAZ Studio 3D) - dare to be different.

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Re: Violet Hill [Sci-fi, Romance][Demo Available]

#3 Post by Chocolatemilkgod » Mon Jan 26, 2015 6:57 pm

fleet wrote:I hope your project is successful. :D
The font/background combination you've chosen for the project description, FAQs, and cast descriptions is very hard to read. :cry:
Yes, apologies for the images; we hadn't realised the size limit on lemma posts. As soon as Helvetica is back on, we should update with text so that it's easy to read :D. Also, if you or anyone else has any time, playing the demo would be really helpful~~. It's about an hour-ish long and, while there are a lot of things that will be changed (like most of the writing, in fact, since it's a wee bit all over the place), it should give an idea of the main themes in the story... plus you get to see some of our amazing artist's art <3. Any advice is greatly appreciated though, really.

*Cough* Also, you know, if you or any writers want to be involved with the project and make your mark on the story, you could always pop down to the recruitment thread here*cough*

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Re: Violet Hill [Sci-fi, Romance][Demo Available]

#4 Post by polterghast » Tue Jan 27, 2015 1:01 am

Ah, this sounds very interesting. Not to mention I rather like Kanade's design, I think I may have to give your demo a try at some point. ;w;
I wish you the very best of luck with it!

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Re: Violet Hill [Sci-fi, Romance][Demo Available]

#5 Post by curry nochi rice » Tue Jan 27, 2015 10:36 am

"I took my love down to violet hill"
"There we sat in snow"
"All that time she was silent, still"

"Said if you love me"
"Won't you let me know?"

-Violet Hill, Coldplay

yey another BxG game :cry:

That aside, that song has been dear to me so... the first time I saw this thread I found myself singing the last stanza. Hahahaha.
Good luck with the project! :)
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Re: Violet Hill [Sci-fi, Romance][Demo Available]

#6 Post by PyTom » Wed Jan 28, 2015 8:16 pm

So, I played through the demo during my free moments over the past two days. Some random comments:

The story is engaging enough, combining a science-fiction premise with a high-school harem setup. There is a lot of infodump going on, with much of it introducing keywords - I do worry that as the game gets longer, it may be hard to keep track of the vocabulary that's been introduced. So I'd suggest trying to reduce that, if possible.

The text could probably be a bit bigger, without hurting anything. As it is, it seems smooshed together, when there's plenty of room in the textbox.

I like the rain effect. That's how you do it in Ren'Py.

I think the walkabout screens could use a little work. It seems excessive to have me click on a location, confirm the click, and then have an introduction. Similarly, you should have the game automatically break out when it's done.

Overall, I liked the game - the girls are interesting, and so is the setup, assuming it's properly paid off. So keep it up.
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Re: Violet Hill [Sci-fi, Romance][Demo Available]

#7 Post by DarkSin » Thu Jan 29, 2015 7:52 pm

Hello, I'm the artist for the VN :)
polterghast wrote:Ah, this sounds very interesting. Not to mention I rather like Kanade's design, I think I may have to give your demo a try at some point. ;w;
I wish you the very best of luck with it!
I'm glad you liked Kanade's design. And thanks, your words are very motivating :)
curry nochi rice wrote:"I took my love down to violet hill"
"There we sat in snow"
"All that time she was silent, still"

"Said if you love me"
"Won't you let me know?"

-Violet Hill, Coldplay

yey another BxG game :cry:

That aside, that song has been dear to me so... the first time I saw this thread I found myself singing the last stanza. Hahahaha.
Good luck with the project! :)
Oh yes we became familiar with this particular song when we were well into the VN's development. We discussed and played around with some possibilities, because we figured it may create some confusion in the future, but in the end we stuck with this title. We found it very fitting for the VN. And thanks :)
PyTom wrote:So, I played through the demo during my free moments over the past two days. Some random comments:
I'll try to answer to some of your concerns.
PyTom wrote:The story is engaging enough, combining a science-fiction premise with a high-school harem setup. There is a lot of infodump going on, with much of it introducing keywords - I do worry that as the game gets longer, it may be hard to keep track of the vocabulary that's been introduced. So I'd suggest trying to reduce that, if possible.
About the infodumping... yes, we are very much aware of it, and we seek to rectify the issue. We are recruiting capable writers and reworking a lot of what has been done so far. And also there are plans to add a glossary and an inventory. Hopefully this would help readers keep track of some of the terminology and concepts presented in the VN.
PyTom wrote:I like the rain effect. That's how you do it in Ren'Py.
I'm glad you liked the rain :) I made the frames, and Helvetica coded it.
PyTom wrote:Overall, I liked the game - the girls are interesting, and so is the setup, assuming it's properly paid off. So keep it up.
Thanks :)
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Re: Violet Hill [Sci-fi, Romance][Demo Available]

#8 Post by plainviewer » Fri Jan 30, 2015 2:04 am

Hello,

First, allow me to state that I enjoy the premise for your project, and sincerely hope it becomes a success your entire team can be proud of.

So it's because I hope this visual novel succeeds, that I wish to offer a brief constructive critique. I know these are often misinterpreted as offensive, but I stress my intention is purely to bring awareness to key issues, in the hopes your team will address and resolve them.

This will also be spoiler-free.
~Critique Below~

I'm not well-versed on the mechanics of art or the engine's graphics, so I don't feel qualified to properly evaluate them. I can say though, that my first impressions of them were positive. They seem promising, despte the project not being finalized yet. In the brief time I've played this visual novel, however, my main analysis--in the field I'm more experienced in--is with the writing. I noted a few things I wish to share below.

*Concision*

It actually took longer than expected before the protagonist actually advanced the plot. To clarify, I mean peforming an action that clearly progressed the plot. Ex: if the story only advances after you leave the house, then the longer you stay inside doing other things, the longer the story will stagnate.

Roughly, the entire introduction can be cut entirely. It presents too much information that is difficult to both understand and relate to. Largely because it's done out of context, and we know very little this early in the story. Add to that, nothing noteworthy happens until the protagonist Aoki leaves for school and meets the first new character.

Until then, there are paragraphs of commentary from Aoki about his Mindstorm ability. Ironically, though, after that, I still understood very little about it. And that amount of information could be surmised in a handful of sentences.

I also noticed in the intro, the writer tried to subtly convey information to the audience, by using dialogue. This is a sound tactic, but was poorly executed, and only added to the already exhaustive list of information, that arguably wasn't advancing the story. Why was the execution poor? It had too many convenient explanations for new terms and past events. The characters already know these things, so no need to expand on them.

What is a possible solution?

Give small amounts of information along the way, and only offer what is directly relevant at the time. It's okay to have the protagonist explain what some things are--like certain terms or past events--despite the fact that he already knows them. In 1st Person Narration, this is virtually impossible to avoid. The trick is to not make it too technical/obvious, and not extensively expand on it. If it takes more than two paragrpahs, it's already too much. Currently, Aoki literally spends more time thinking to himself and commenting on previous events. Rather than spending more time narrating what is currently happening, and actual dialogue.

This is a very common problem when using this POV, because it's also how humans think to themselves. But remember, this is commentary, and does not continue the story until you've finished talking.

*Realism*

This focuses mainly on the Mindstorm ability. The issue with this, is the unrealistic way it impacts Aoki. His demeanor does not match what you would expect someone with this condition to have. I'll expand on his personality separately. For now, I'd like to note how Mindstorm should realistically impact someone, and how it can better be made more personal to afflicted characters.

The novel is classified as sci-fi, not fantasy, meaning this ability would not be magical in nature. And at the beginning, Aoki understands very little about it. I'm not saying there needs to be technical explanations--or even a technical term--of this ability. At the very least, for the sake of realism, there needs to be an early reference of the fact that, yes, doctors tried to study and understand this ability; their theories, what it's likened to, things like that.

Next is coping. How does one deal with the fact that they have Mindstorm? Are there certain practices to perform, or medications? In the short time I've played, and without spoilers, all that's really mentioned is that he "can't get close to people." So he's essentially an introvert, and arguably not by his preference. But beyond that, there was little to no mention of what else he does to cope with having Mindstorm.

Then, there are personal problems. How has Mindstorm specifically harmed Aoki? What relationships has it ruined and/or prevented? What's something that is very easy for us, but difficult for him? There is no expansion beyond him simply not having any friends. Now keep in mind, I've only briefly played this game, so there may be examples of these instances. The issue here is that assuming they do, they weren't alluded to as early as they should have been. How early, you might ask? During the introduction, when he was explaining the fact that Mindstorm makes him a "social outcast."

Conversely, how is Mindstorm benefical to him? Is there a silver lining to it all? Again, I didn't finish the novel yet, so maybe this information is included. The problem is that it wasn't mentioned when it was relevant--when Aoki was essentially complaining about Mindstorm's impact on his life.

Lastly, how Mindstorm should realistically affect someone, even if to a small degree. With an ability resembling eidetic memory, there are bound to be unique traits about your personality. Such as being observant, reserved, cautious, tight-lipped, and introverted. The last of which, was emphasized in the short time I read about Aoki. The other traits you'd expect of someone with Mindstorm--especially someone who doesn't have it under control--seemed nonexistent in him. Which brings us to our next and final point:


*The Protagonist*

The issue with Aoki is not whether you actually like him personally. Well made characters don't necessarily always gain everyone's good graces. The problem is I can't find him relatable or understand him. Consequentially, he strikes me as unrealistic and cliché. Now allow me to explain why.

As previously mentioned, his personality does not match what is expected of someone living with Mindstorm, and with virtually no control over it. Then what is his personality? Note that is naturally subjective, based on what I've seen of him so far.

In his first dialogue, the most iconic part about him that is expressed, is his dry humour and sarcasm. He does it not to be witty, but dismissive and rude. The reason I chose the word 'rude' to describe him, is because of one example when he meets Rin. Again, without spoiling specifics, he acts in an offensive, tactless manner that is both unprovoked and unnecessary.

He's also very easy to unnerve. A little proding, and he'll display cliché, theatrical displays of emotions, mostly stemming from nervousness.

His inner thoughts are also not defining in a positive way. So far, they mostly consist of insubstantial comments and feelings on a topic. There is no unique interpretation on a subject, nor an iconic choice of words that makes you feel, "Yes, this is definitely Aoki talking right now."

My main impression of him is a sterotypical teenaged boy: he's cynical that borders on outright pessimism, easily nervous and has trouble expressing himself clearly, introverted, and has no passions in life he dedicates himself towards.

Since he holds the role of someone meant to socialize and properly connect with people on a deeply personal level, this is a very poor foundation for a protagonist. My current view of Aoki is not someone who can soon get a girlfriend, or even derserves one for that matter. By that, I mean he doesn't seem the person who would even care enough to try, never mind if he actually succeeded.

*Conclusion*

These issues in the writing, if I may be honest, are common in beginning writers. Why? Well, they're both easily mendable and preventable, if you know to keep an eye out for them. The writers need to take more time improving their prose before this novel can be considered finished.

An example is stating the obvious or redundant explanation, i.e, "show vs tell." I understand, having been there, your average writer starting out won't be aware of something like this. Hence, why it's important to study more tips. For example: "I hear the sound of rain outside." Being the POV narrator, by default, means you experience everything in this story. We know you heard, smelled, or tasted something. Just say what it was, not that you sensed it. Instead: "It was raining outside."

Some people tend to use the five senses such as heard, smelled, etc. as a substitute for the word 'noticed,' like in the previous example.

The story certainly holds promise, no argument on that. Rather than just saying, "The writing is bad," which it's not. I feel it's more accurate to say, "It's inexperienced." Until the writing is honed and polished a bit more, the story's ideas will suffer for it. There needs to be a greater emphasis on clear, concise prose. Along with more developed and realistic characters.

Let me finish by again stating, this was constructive criticism, not nitpicking or insults. If that's what I wanted to do, I could have done so in fewer sentences and with much harsher language. I did my best to keep this critique professional and unoffensive. I truly hope the team will take what I've presented into consideration. As I genuinely want to see this story at its peak potential.

Thank you for reading.

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Re: Violet Hill [Sci-fi, Romance][Demo Available]

#9 Post by Helvetica Standard » Sun Feb 01, 2015 2:22 am

polterghast wrote:Ah, this sounds very interesting. Not to mention I rather like Kanade's design, I think I may have to give your demo a try at some point. ;w;
I wish you the very best of luck with it!
Hello there. I'm project leader. I'm glad you like Kanade, she's a runner up for the most popular girl among our audience.
I can assure you however that each girl has her unique charm. Hopefully you'll get to try our demo soon.
We're looking forward to your feedback. :)
curry nochi rice wrote:yey another BxG game :cry:
Good luck with the project! :)
Many thanks for the encouragement. It really means a lot to us, and as for BxG game, we don't know why that would be a problem
considering the project is labeled as a romance VN. I assure you that won't hinder the fun in any way and you'll still be surprised
at how deep and engaging our story is. Boy meets girl will play an important part, sure, but that's just the tip of the iceberg.
We encourage you to check out our demo so you can see it for yourself. :)
PyTom wrote:So, I played through the demo during my free moments over the past two days. Some random comments:

The story is engaging enough, combining a science-fiction premise with a high-school harem setup. There is a lot of infodump going on, with much of it introducing keywords - I do worry that as the game gets longer, it may be hard to keep track of the vocabulary that's been introduced. So I'd suggest trying to reduce that, if possible.

The text could probably be a bit bigger, without hurting anything. As it is, it seems smooshed together, when there's plenty of room in the textbox.

I like the rain effect. That's how you do it in Ren'Py.

I think the walkabout screens could use a little work. It seems excessive to have me click on a location, confirm the click, and then have an introduction. Similarly, you should have the game automatically break out when it's done.

Overall, I liked the game - the girls are interesting, and so is the setup, assuming it's properly paid off. So keep it up.
Hello sensei. I must tell you that I love Ren'py and that it is a magnificent engine. Many thanks for input, It means the world to me as I'm the one programming Violet Hill.
Now for your questions:
1. We plan on adding a glossary and an inventory to keep track of all the worldbuilding terms and technical jargon.
2. Text was bigger before, we actually thought it was too big for the textbox. I'll take your advice to heart and increase the size again.
3. I'm glad you like the rain effect. I made sure to make it look as realistic as possible since in Violet Hill, rain is very prevalent.
4. I added confirmation so readers wouldn't feel the transition to another scene as fast or "in your face" kind of thing. It also helps if they pick a wrong place by mistake.
The introduction screen might be overkill so yeah we'll discuss about it.

Many thanks again. I am very glad you liked it! :D
Kind regards.

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Re: Violet Hill [Sci-fi, Romance][Demo Available]

#10 Post by Helvetica Standard » Mon Feb 02, 2015 2:24 pm

plainviewer wrote:Hello,

First, allow me to state that I enjoy the premise for your project, and sincerely hope it becomes a success your entire team can be proud of.

So it's because I hope this visual novel succeeds, that I wish to offer a brief constructive critique. I know these are often misinterpreted as offensive, but I stress my intention is purely to bring awareness to key issues, in the hopes your team will address and resolve them.

This will also be spoiler-free.
~Critique Below~

I'm not well-versed on the mechanics of art or the engine's graphics, so I don't feel qualified to properly evaluate them. I can say though, that my first impressions of them were positive. They seem promising, despte the project not being finalized yet. In the brief time I've played this visual novel, however, my main analysis--in the field I'm more experienced in--is with the writing. I noted a few things I wish to share below.

*Concision*

It actually took longer than expected before the protagonist actually advanced the plot. To clarify, I mean peforming an action that clearly progressed the plot. Ex: if the story only advances after you leave the house, then the longer you stay inside doing other things, the longer the story will stagnate.

Roughly, the entire introduction can be cut entirely. It presents too much information that is difficult to both understand and relate to. Largely because it's done out of context, and we know very little this early in the story. Add to that, nothing noteworthy happens until the protagonist Aoki leaves for school and meets the first new character.

Until then, there are paragraphs of commentary from Aoki about his Mindstorm ability. Ironically, though, after that, I still understood very little about it. And that amount of information could be surmised in a handful of sentences.

I also noticed in the intro, the writer tried to subtly convey information to the audience, by using dialogue. This is a sound tactic, but was poorly executed, and only added to the already exhaustive list of information, that arguably wasn't advancing the story. Why was the execution poor? It had too many convenient explanations for new terms and past events. The characters already know these things, so no need to expand on them.

What is a possible solution?

Give small amounts of information along the way, and only offer what is directly relevant at the time. It's okay to have the protagonist explain what some things are--like certain terms or past events--despite the fact that he already knows them. In 1st Person Narration, this is virtually impossible to avoid. The trick is to not make it too technical/obvious, and not extensively expand on it. If it takes more than two paragrpahs, it's already too much. Currently, Aoki literally spends more time thinking to himself and commenting on previous events. Rather than spending more time narrating what is currently happening, and actual dialogue.

This is a very common problem when using this POV, because it's also how humans think to themselves. But remember, this is commentary, and does not continue the story until you've finished talking.

*Realism*

This focuses mainly on the Mindstorm ability. The issue with this, is the unrealistic way it impacts Aoki. His demeanor does not match what you would expect someone with this condition to have. I'll expand on his personality separately. For now, I'd like to note how Mindstorm should realistically impact someone, and how it can better be made more personal to afflicted characters.

The novel is classified as sci-fi, not fantasy, meaning this ability would not be magical in nature. And at the beginning, Aoki understands very little about it. I'm not saying there needs to be technical explanations--or even a technical term--of this ability. At the very least, for the sake of realism, there needs to be an early reference of the fact that, yes, doctors tried to study and understand this ability; their theories, what it's likened to, things like that.

Next is coping. How does one deal with the fact that they have Mindstorm? Are there certain practices to perform, or medications? In the short time I've played, and without spoilers, all that's really mentioned is that he "can't get close to people." So he's essentially an introvert, and arguably not by his preference. But beyond that, there was little to no mention of what else he does to cope with having Mindstorm.

Then, there are personal problems. How has Mindstorm specifically harmed Aoki? What relationships has it ruined and/or prevented? What's something that is very easy for us, but difficult for him? There is no expansion beyond him simply not having any friends. Now keep in mind, I've only briefly played this game, so there may be examples of these instances. The issue here is that assuming they do, they weren't alluded to as early as they should have been. How early, you might ask? During the introduction, when he was explaining the fact that Mindstorm makes him a "social outcast."

Conversely, how is Mindstorm benefical to him? Is there a silver lining to it all? Again, I didn't finish the novel yet, so maybe this information is included. The problem is that it wasn't mentioned when it was relevant--when Aoki was essentially complaining about Mindstorm's impact on his life.

Lastly, how Mindstorm should realistically affect someone, even if to a small degree. With an ability resembling eidetic memory, there are bound to be unique traits about your personality. Such as being observant, reserved, cautious, tight-lipped, and introverted. The last of which, was emphasized in the short time I read about Aoki. The other traits you'd expect of someone with Mindstorm--especially someone who doesn't have it under control--seemed nonexistent in him. Which brings us to our next and final point:


*The Protagonist*

The issue with Aoki is not whether you actually like him personally. Well made characters don't necessarily always gain everyone's good graces. The problem is I can't find him relatable or understand him. Consequentially, he strikes me as unrealistic and cliché. Now allow me to explain why.

As previously mentioned, his personality does not match what is expected of someone living with Mindstorm, and with virtually no control over it. Then what is his personality? Note that is naturally subjective, based on what I've seen of him so far.

In his first dialogue, the most iconic part about him that is expressed, is his dry humour and sarcasm. He does it not to be witty, but dismissive and rude. The reason I chose the word 'rude' to describe him, is because of one example when he meets Rin. Again, without spoiling specifics, he acts in an offensive, tactless manner that is both unprovoked and unnecessary.

He's also very easy to unnerve. A little proding, and he'll display cliché, theatrical displays of emotions, mostly stemming from nervousness.

His inner thoughts are also not defining in a positive way. So far, they mostly consist of insubstantial comments and feelings on a topic. There is no unique interpretation on a subject, nor an iconic choice of words that makes you feel, "Yes, this is definitely Aoki talking right now."

My main impression of him is a sterotypical teenaged boy: he's cynical that borders on outright pessimism, easily nervous and has trouble expressing himself clearly, introverted, and has no passions in life he dedicates himself towards.

Since he holds the role of someone meant to socialize and properly connect with people on a deeply personal level, this is a very poor foundation for a protagonist. My current view of Aoki is not someone who can soon get a girlfriend, or even derserves one for that matter. By that, I mean he doesn't seem the person who would even care enough to try, never mind if he actually succeeded.

*Conclusion*

These issues in the writing, if I may be honest, are common in beginning writers. Why? Well, they're both easily mendable and preventable, if you know to keep an eye out for them. The writers need to take more time improving their prose before this novel can be considered finished.

An example is stating the obvious or redundant explanation, i.e, "show vs tell." I understand, having been there, your average writer starting out won't be aware of something like this. Hence, why it's important to study more tips. For example: "I hear the sound of rain outside." Being the POV narrator, by default, means you experience everything in this story. We know you heard, smelled, or tasted something. Just say what it was, not that you sensed it. Instead: "It was raining outside."

Some people tend to use the five senses such as heard, smelled, etc. as a substitute for the word 'noticed,' like in the previous example.

The story certainly holds promise, no argument on that. Rather than just saying, "The writing is bad," which it's not. I feel it's more accurate to say, "It's inexperienced." Until the writing is honed and polished a bit more, the story's ideas will suffer for it. There needs to be a greater emphasis on clear, concise prose. Along with more developed and realistic characters.

Let me finish by again stating, this was constructive criticism, not nitpicking or insults. If that's what I wanted to do, I could have done so in fewer sentences and with much harsher language. I did my best to keep this critique professional and unoffensive. I truly hope the team will take what I've presented into consideration. As I genuinely want to see this story at its peak potential.

Thank you for reading.
Hello there. :)
We thank you for your detailed feedback and your criticism. The sheer size of your post amounts to that of a short essay,
so we're grateful for your extensive interest in this project.
While I'm glad you noticed the faults with the writing, what we have for our demo is not the work of an actual writer, nor it's representative of the final release. I began this project by myself a year and a half ago and pretty much intended to do things solo. However it wasn't long before people warmed up to the project and decided to kindly help me realise it. Red Lattice Studio was born and the project scope grew. Of course, one of the key features of a VN is the writing and I'm not a writer, so the bad prose and the issues that come with it are my fault. And I apologise for that. This among other reasons are why we are looking for skilled writers to help us out in this endeavour.

Regarding concision:
Prologue was always a mixed bag for us and we went over it many times. At first it was a large info-dump then later it was over-descriptive, we never truly agreed with it and ended up
trimming it for good measure. The problem we have with concision is that we wanted to showcase most of the VNs future features. So we crammed that into the demo, harming the pace
and the information distribution.

Regarding realism:
Yes it's sci-fi and we were careful enough to plan for an explanation to most of the phenomena, including Mindstorm how Aoki deals with it, how it affects him and other people, how it's harmful ,beneficial, etc. I understand your curiosity but most of the explanations will come only when final release is out and you read it. We can't simply spoil you with all the details about our most intriguing plot secret.

Regarding protagonist:
I'm sure glad Aoki came off as a rude, dismissive, sarcastic and gloomy. That's how he is at the beginning of the story, he has no passions and no fond memories to hold to. His way of coping with his condition is that of being alone and avoiding people. And of course he is bound to have some extensive character development. And we certainly didn't plan to have a uber nice and likeable MC right from the start. My suggestion is... to stick around with him, he'll soon grow on you.

Again we thank you a lot for your detailed opinions on our current material and we'll take all of your suggestions to heart.
Kind Regards - Red Lattice Studio.

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Fluxx
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Re: Violet Hill [Sci-fi, Romance][Demo Available]

#11 Post by Fluxx » Mon Feb 09, 2015 3:43 pm

There's something about this artstyle that makes it very eye catching, I keep coming to the page to view it lol. Anyway, looks very professional. I look forward to playing the demo when I have time.
CURRENT PROJECTS (Ongoing)
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Nature's Kingdom - A Girl Wishes for Utopia -
Web Novel that takes place in the same universe as Magnificent//Omniversal Love.

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Re: Violet Hill [Sci-fi, Romance][Demo Available]

#12 Post by DarkSin » Thu Feb 12, 2015 8:44 pm

Fluxx wrote:There's something about this artstyle that makes it very eye catching, I keep coming to the page to view it lol. Anyway, looks very professional. I look forward to playing the demo when I have time.
Thanks, I'm happy that you find the art to be eye-catching :) I hope you'll like the demo. There's still much to be revamped, writing-wise, but the overall theme and the assets are still representative of our vision for the project :)
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Re: Violet Hill [Sci-fi, Romance][Demo Available]

#13 Post by Helvetica Standard » Thu May 07, 2015 2:08 am

Hello Lemma! How are you doing?
Just know that we love you, and to prove it we bring this update as you patiently wait for our reworked script.
Stay in touch for more updates and hopefully a brand new demo.

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Re: Violet Hill [Sci-fi, Romance][Demo Available]

#14 Post by Helvetica Standard » Sat May 16, 2015 8:37 pm

Hello! How've you guys been? Us? We are celebrating because a new member has joined our ranks!! Can you guess who is it?

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Re: Violet Hill [Sci-fi, Romance][Demo Available]

#15 Post by Helvetica Standard » Fri Jun 19, 2015 4:01 pm

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Hello Lemma! RLS is recruting for Violet Hill project! :D

We are currently searching for a talented co-artist who can help Darksin out with character art.
Good art skills are expected since applicants will try and match the style and quality of our head artist.

We also need a SDCG artist. For those unfamiliar with the acronym, SD stands for "super deformed" which is commonly referred to as "chibi."
Cuteness and neatness are an absolute plus, please send us your samples!

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