April was a Fool [Fantasy RPG Setting][GxB/GxG]

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Racheal-Moon
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April was a Fool [Fantasy RPG Setting][GxB/GxG]

#1 Post by Racheal-Moon » Wed Apr 01, 2015 8:44 pm

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Two years ago, six heroes rose to stop an Evil Overlord from taking over the world. They were honoured as World-Class Heroes for their efforts. When a new threat appears, His Majesty King of Castle City calls upon these same six Heroes once again. However-- for tragic reasons, only five of them are available.

Faced with the reality that admitting to the king why one person isn't there would be too difficult, the Heroes approach May, a young girl who is just starting her first job to raise money for school, for help. Soon, she's whisked away with them to battle Dragons, inner demons, and the occasionally pushy suitor on a journey to vanquish Evil and save the world.

Maybe she'll score some sweet kisses along the way.

--

April was a Fool is a game that was made over a three-month period. Originally intended to be a joke game, it quickly blossomed into something grander. There's five potential character routes to explore and 11 endings to unlock. This is our first completed RenPy game, but not our first game. (Our previously releases include Castle Chase, Halloween Bash/Flop, Dragonfly Summer Olympics, Punch Bears, and a couple incomplete demos) It proved to be a very enjoyable storytelling medium to play with! I'll admit I'm a bit nervous to share it in a community centred around this type of game, but! Maki and I are both very proud of it. I hope you all enjoy it! <3


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May
(default name, player input)
May is a young girl who has moved away from her parents' farm to Castle City, where the job prospects are endless. After securing a job as a barmaid, she's only worked there for a few days before strange events flip her life around. According to the other characters, she bears a strong resemblance to someone they once knew.

Erwin Gates
| Age: 27 | LV: 80 | Rogue |
Erwin Gates is a lot of things. The richest and, perhaps self-proclaimed, smartest man alive, the mayor of the illustrious Perk City, a business man, and a World-Class Hero. He's other things too, but he doesn't like talking about those. Actually, it seems he's hiding a lot behind that smile and wink.

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Gabby Embers
| Age: 32 | LV: 75 | Mage |
A powerful mage who has a nasty habit of burning down entire villages and cities, to the point where she was wanted across the known land. Thankfully, assisting in the defeat of the Evil Overlord helped clear her criminal record, but with a temper as fiery as her magic, it's anyone's guess how long it will stay that way.

Gunn Rose
| Age: 25 | LV: 80 | Priest |
Gunn lives and works at his parents' church, using his time spent there to increase his skills as a healer. His enthusiasm for healing is often taken the wrong way, making first impressions not his best skill, but he shrugs that, and most other things, off pretty easily.

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Kent Kentson son of Kent
| Age: 22 | LV: 58 | Berserker |
A peace-loving boy from the North, Kent is rarely seen without a smile or his companion, Foxy. He has a lot of respect for the peace keeping union, the Utopia Makers, and for his father, a powerful chief, but talking about both sometimes leave him strangely nervous.

Blake Embers
| Age: 23 | LV: 23 | Warrior |
In the ashy ruins of the Embers' Estate stands a stone tablet. On it, Blake's Hero Prophecy is scrawled: "The first son born with hair of flames is destined for greatness." Needless to say, that puts a lot of pressure on the young boy, but no outside pressure can ever be as powerful as the internal one he puts on himself.

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To meet our self-imposed deadline of April 1st, there are a few art assets that are woefully incomplete: the backgrounds and the character busts for the inn scenes. So, when you see fully clothed characters in the inn, but PJs in the CGs - that's why. We'll likely polish up these details at a later date, but they aren't anything game changing or game breaking.

Also, despite this game's cartoonish look, it does get a wee bit violent in some descriptions and sounds.

Some quick stats:
  • 56,000 words
  • 200+ busts
  • 68 CGs
  • 18 backgrounds
  • 11 endings
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Re: April was a Fool [Fantasy RPG Setting][GxB/GxG]

#2 Post by Mad Harlequin » Wed Apr 01, 2015 11:12 pm

Hello, Racheal! I've been keeping an eye on this via RMN. :)

I enjoyed Castle Chase, so I'm excited to see something else from you. Downloading this now!
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Re: April was a Fool [Fantasy RPG Setting][GxB/GxG]

#3 Post by runeraccoon » Wed Apr 01, 2015 11:52 pm

The description itself hooks me like rarely others. XD will download as soon as there's time to~

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Re: April was a Fool [Fantasy RPG Setting][GxB/GxG]

#4 Post by sherberrie » Thu Apr 02, 2015 5:05 am

I have only played it three times(and when I have time to I definitely will play more!!)but I really love the story and art so far! I also liked those CGs-in-the-box sort of thing. I really felt myself relating to the MC a lot, too... and she even kinda looks like me. Woah. The only thing I didn't like that much was the GUI, but it was something I could ignore. But anyway, great work! It's a super awesome game. c:

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Re: April was a Fool [Fantasy RPG Setting][GxB/GxG]

#5 Post by GrizelyBear » Thu Apr 02, 2015 5:16 am

I've only played Erwin's story, but I have to say that I like this VN!

The art style is perky and cute, and the story's pretty interesting. Each character is interesting on their own too! <3

Anyway, thanks for the VN! I'll be off to check out the other routes! <3

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Re: April was a Fool [Fantasy RPG Setting][GxB/GxG]

#6 Post by Kirlett » Thu Apr 02, 2015 9:12 am

OMG. If this is from the same people who made Castle Chase...it's gonna be awesome!!!
Downloading now! So excited! :D

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Re: April was a Fool [Fantasy RPG Setting][GxB/GxG]

#7 Post by Skit » Thu Apr 02, 2015 5:21 pm

I love this game!

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Re: April was a Fool [Fantasy RPG Setting][GxB/GxG]

#8 Post by nipaa_kazuma » Fri Apr 03, 2015 9:43 am

I've finished the game and really liked it !
My favourite paths were without any hesitation Gunn and Kent !

Usually I'm only playing bad endings to obtain all CGs but I rarely appreciate them as much as good endings.
Here, each time I completed a character's story, I wondered which end suits better.
It was really an enjoyable play ! Congratulations and thank you =) !

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Re: April was a Fool [Fantasy RPG Setting][GxB/GxG]

#9 Post by Racheal-Moon » Sat Apr 04, 2015 11:22 pm

Thanks to everyone who has expressed interesting in playing or has played and enjoyed it! ( I'm really happy to see people who remember Castle Chase! <3 )

@sherberrie: The CG-in-the-box style was something Makio has always adored from the story telling in the old Phantasy Star games and she was really excited to get to use it here. We're glad you enjoyed it! We're a little new to designing VN GUIs - was there something in particular that stuck out as wrong with it that we could work to improve on? Or was it just lacking a layer of polish?

@nipaa_kazuma: I'm glad you enjoyed the bad endings we came up with. They were a lot of fun to create. (We both enjoy them a lot as well.)

Thank you again!

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Re: April was a Fool [Fantasy RPG Setting][GxB/GxG]

#10 Post by Godline » Sun Apr 05, 2015 6:59 pm

I absolutely loved it. :) I could see how it started as a joke game though. If I hadn't known that I would have thought it pretty weird that you listed things like HP and then didn't even have a RPG element to it. Haha. I think you even could have gone FURTHER with the spoof thing if you'd wanted to. In parts it almost seemed too serious. ;)
Spoiler stuff:
I especially liked kicking Edwin in the balls. He had a really interesting route.
I also got the beserker Kent ending - which was depressing because he's so little and cute and then he just went and killed everyone!
The Blake good ending was sweet too. I didn't think I'd like Blake but it became one of my favorites. Gabby seems so cruel to him!
And what was the dealio with personified Evil as a bad guy? I guess that's just the spoof thing again, right?
Cute art. Cute game. If I had a rating site for VNs, I'd give it a high rating. :)

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Re: April was a Fool [Fantasy RPG Setting][GxB/GxG]

#11 Post by Andreas » Mon Apr 06, 2015 11:43 am

The character designs are great. Very expressive and fit perfectly with the tone of the game and personalities of every character.

The story is great as well. I'm usually not much of a completionist with VN style games but each storyline had me wanting to try another. Even the characters that didn't initially grab me had compelling stories (Gunn especially, on both of his paths).

Favorite part so far:
Erwin getting kicked in the crotch on not only his paths but one of the other character's. I felt for him but he had it coming.
:lol:

I'm not a very eloquent reviewer but just wanted to say I really enjoyed this. It even kept my mild Skyrim addiction at bay. Thanks very much for posting it.

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Re: April was a Fool [Fantasy RPG Setting][GxB/GxG]

#12 Post by sherberrie » Sat Apr 11, 2015 10:37 am

@Racheal-Moon
Gah, I had no idea you replied to me! I apologize for being so late.

Those borders were good, but I think you should go for something more colorful~ And I was also thinking the buttons could be more unique rather than a letter. I'm also new to making GUI, so no worries!
( Ov<) b

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Re: April was a Fool [Fantasy RPG Setting][GxB/GxG]

#13 Post by Racheal-Moon » Mon May 04, 2015 9:23 pm

You might have seen this update elsewhere as I'm a few days late in posting this, but we made an important announcement / update in regards to this game. Please see Maki's original blog entry below:

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Music Player, Game Expansion, Website, and More!!

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It’s been one month since the release of April was a Fool and in that month we have received more reception than we could have ever imagined. So, before I get the ball rolling properly on this announcement, I’ll risk sounding like a broken record with another HUGE thank you to everyone who has taken the time to download, play, review, comment, draw, write anything for AwaF. It was always our goal to release this game, get a feel for what people thought of it, and if we felt it was popular enough, expand on the game itself. Never in my wildest dreams did I think we would be able to decide this within the first month of the game’s release and we’re both very excited that expanding the game is a direction we’ll be able to go.

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We’re also happy to announce that we’ve added a music player to the game which is accessible from the bonus menu! (as pictured above) We’ve reuploaded the game file to include that and also fix typos and tiny errors that players have found. (Thank you!) We’ve launched a website for the game, HERE.

Now, back to that stuff about expanding the game. We would like to take April was a Fool the next mile, by adding loads of new content to the game and taking it commercial. Commercial is a scary word, but I've honestly always felt that Rach and I are a strong enough team with good enough ideas to achieve it. It's also a scary word to toss around on a free game. So I will say right now that we will NEVER be pulling the current version of AwaF from its free status. The game in its most basic form will always be available for anyone who wishes to play it. Secondly, we are not picturing a large price on the expanded version of the game. It's going to be somewhere in the $5-$10 range. At the moment we're not sure where or how we will handle sales, but that's something we'll be looking at. In terms of this, we will keep you all updated.

So, what does expanding the game mean exactly? Is it going to be worth your money? I'd like to say it will be! We have a lot of ideas in mind for AwaF; here's a list of some things that will definitely be included in the expanded version of the game:
  • Finished Backgrounds (will be added to the free version as well)
  • PJ busts (will be added to the free version as well)
  • A flashback bonus route from April's PoV
  • Three flashback childhood routes:
    Erwin/Gunn | Gabby/Blake | Kent/His Father
  • Three new events in the main story for every route (one short, and two longer ones)
  • Post story bonus scenes for EVERY ending minus the Evil End
  • A new unlockable main route that will address every character and serve as a true ending
  • A new fully custom soundtrack
A new soundtrack may come as a strange decision, but the music we picked was not picked with a commercial release in mind, as it was always on our minds that we would be commissioning a custom soundtrack later on. The music we picked we have both grown very attached to, but I have confidence that we will be able to bring someone on board who can produce music just as fitting.

While the above things are set in stone, we have been tossing around other ideas that are still a 'maybe.' This includes:
  • Translations into other languages
  • English language voice acting
  • A kickstarter for said translations, the music, voice acting, + paying our editor for the new content
  • This will also help justify keeping the final cost of the game down
  • Contest to design May's outfit in the post story arcs
  • Alternate version of the Evil End where you have a high affection with one of the other characters
  • Porting to iOS, android, and/or Vita
I'll also be looking into a few concerns that have come up in regards to a couple of the characters. Nothing will be changed substantially, but I do feel there's a couple places where my writing can be stronger.

I'd be very curious to hear what other things people would be interested in seeing added to the game! If you have any ideas or suggestions, please feel free to contact me here, on tumblr, twitter, or by email (Shuta.Medu@gmail.com Please put AwaF in the subject line!), as we want to bring to everyone a good, strong game worthy of standing as an improvement of the original.

In particular, we are interested in knowing if we should pursue adding voice acting to the game. Voice acting seems to have mixed reception and we're not too sure how much of an investment this angle will be yet, so we want to make sure it is worth our time to look into it. If we add a voice track, it will be something that can be shut off in the menu.

We don't have a solid timeframe yet for these plans, but I would peg Summer as when we really start working on these things. The Indie Game Maker Contest is on the horizon, which we will be participating in, so these plans will definitely begin after that is done and we have recuperated.

Thank you again! We're both excited and hyped to even be able to start THINKING about the above things in a realistic manner.
Lots of love to you all! <3

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Re: April was a Fool [Fantasy RPG Setting][GxB/GxG]

#14 Post by princessgardinia » Mon May 04, 2015 10:47 pm

That sounds amazing! I would completely buy that without a second thought!

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Re: April was a Fool [Fantasy RPG Setting][GxB/GxG]

#15 Post by doodle » Tue May 05, 2015 2:11 pm

Yeees! I haven't gotten around to comment on this game yet, but I played it a while ago and loved it.
Erwin is definitely my favorite, he's arrogant and full of himself - but really smart and makes an effort to be a better person. He's a very well-rounded character and I felt equally annoyed and sympathetic towards him; few VN - characters can move me in that way.
(Gunn's another one I like, I just feel like we've got a lot in common and would get along strangely well xD)

I love the way you've mixed comedic elements with more serious ones, and the relationships between the characters seem very complex and realistic, if you look at what they've recently been through.

So, the new, commercial version sounds awesome. I think this game has great potential and it would be a shame to not expand it. I was going to suggest you give some consequences regarding the affection bars, if you have raised it too much with another person and having that result in something. It makes it more fun to play with, since otherwise your choices regarding the affection of the other team members doesn't matter one bit if you're not on their route.

Good luck with all the work!

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