Sincerely, Tea Leaf [GxB][GxG][Romance, Fantasy, Drama]

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Sincerely, Tea Leaf [GxB][GxG][Romance, Fantasy, Drama]

#1 Post by Sapphire-Skillz » Fri Nov 11, 2016 7:08 pm

Image
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Plot:
After living her life in poverty, Selene has grown to believe that the world is a cold and isolated place where the only way you can get something is to get it yourself. With the country living in corruption because of the "Greedy King" Hartingale, Selene spends her days partaking in a variety of trades from grifting to plain old pickpocketing. Anything that will let her have a meal at the end of the day.

However with the death of the Greedy King, his son is set to take the throne and there are rumours that people are using this opportunity to set a rebellion and overthrow the monarchy while the Prince is still inexperienced. The country will be undergoing a change that's bigger than ever. Not that it concerns Selene though right? But little does she know that her part in it will be bigger than she ever wanted and her life will change... And all because she decided to steal from that one person that day.

Premise:
My main aim was to focus on the different outlooks on life. The game is focused on Selene (heroine's) pessimisstic view on the world and one of the characters she will meet all have different outlooks which will challenge her in different ways. The choices you choose in the game will directly affect her personality (but the choices will still be in accordance with her negative personality) and change her outlook depending on how you decide to portray yourself as, and will affect the way your chosen character's route will think of you (leading to a Good or Normal End).

Features:
- There will be 2 endings for each character [Good/Normal End] + 1 True End (which may be a linear route unlocked when all endings are achieved.)
- Changeable name for protagonist.
- Your choices will affect how your heroine may act in certain situations (and other character's interactions towards her).
- Voice acting -- Will be auditioning for voice actors when the game is more complete.
- Alot of CGs -- Haven't decided how many yet, but so far I'm thinking 20 per character (not including general CGs)

Characters/Love interests:
(All the characters have different levels of optimism and pessimism, can you tell which one?)

Selene [Heroine](19)| "Who said good things happen to good people? The only way you're going to get anywhere in life is to do it yourself."
Sneaky, cocky and self-centered. Those are the words Selene likes to describe herself as. She enjoys the achievement of accomplishment when she manages to steal something, always wanting to challenge herself and find harder people to target. Deep down, she is a kind-hearted soul that has become battered down by her depressing view of the world, believing that everyone is selfish and in the end, only cares about themselves at the end of the day. Thus, Selene is very untrusting towards those she meets and has a hard time knowing how to react when someone is kind or worse, cares for her. Also has a weak spot towards animals and children.

Andreusse (Andy) Percival(21)| "I'm gonna be the one everyone calls a hero."
An upbeat and high-spirited character, Andy is a self-proclaimed warrior on a journey to become the greatest hero that bards will sing tales of. He is a textbook main character whom is always optmistic, constantly looking for solutions and fixes and never hesitates to jump into any situation and put others ahead of himself. The extreme lengths he will go to save someone's life can come off as commendable or plain idiotic as this makes him very gullible and little misguided at times. His vision becomes so clouded with his obsession to see the good in everyone and belief no one is truly evil that he is prone to falling into a fit of rage if said person will constantly suggest otherwise, suggesting a darker side that he (unconsciously) attempts to hide.

Callum Hartingale(19)| "Believe what you want but I truly want what's best for this country!"
The Prince set to become the next King. The Greedy King's only child, Callum was born to a loveless marriage between the King and his wife, a princess of a lesser kingdom that was forced into marriage through conquer. Callum was detested by his father who hated the thought of giving his kingdom to his son so much that he gave him what he felt was a peasants name and constantly belittled him in hopes he would grow into a weak and meek man. However, Callum was loved by the castle's staff that gave him all the education and love instead and grew up into a wonderful prince. As a child, he once snuck away to visit the neighbouring town and after being attacked, was saved by some orphans. Realising the hidden goodness amongst the corruption, Callum now seeks to right the wrongs that the previous King, his father, had bestowed on the kingdom. However, everyone on the other hand is distrustful of his words and are set on destroying the monarchy in its entirety, which he knows will set the country in true anarchy and is set on trying to prove his worth.

Oribelle Barrett(18)| "What's wrong with wanting to be a NORMAL girl? Being pretty, being able to have money, food on the table... and actually be wanted?!"
A seemingly upper-class maiden at first glance, Oribelle is a beautiful but vain and stuck-up girl who claims her aim in life is to find herself a rich husband so that she can live a life of luxury. However, she is actually a hardworking milkmaid who lives in a small farmhouse, along with her little sister and 5 cows. She spends all their earnings for the basic necessities for her sister and the rest on clothing herself in beautiful garments and jewellery. Driven by her determination to give her sister a life of comfort and believing that this is the best way to attract a rich man, puts beauty above anything and attempts to portray herself in that way, even at the cost of changing herself and losing those around her -- including her own sister.

Emery Lovell (17)| "You think I want to be a damn peasant all my life?!"
A merchant son from a working-class family, Emery spends his day helping his old father sell and trades their goods and wares with other travellers who pass by the town. Being adept at haggling and negotiating, he has dreams of becoming a world-famous merchant, owning several trading companies and being able to travel the world and experience everything the world has to offer. However, after spending his life watching his father, a man he looks up to, become old and worn despite working so hard, he has become held back by his own insecurities and lack of self-worth, feeling that he will never be more than he already is: a peasant boy. Because of this, he has grown to use anger as his defence mechanism in order to protect himself from disappointment and getting his hopes up. Despite of this, he is a good son, constantly doing the chores for his parents and always tries to make sure they're happy.

Iori Yukimoto(29)| "I've made too many enemies in my life. No one would shed a tear if I died."
An outcasted samurai who has made a name for himself as a cold-hearted murderer back in his own country. He has travelled to the kingdom, seeking any dirty work people are willing to give him. Women, children -- he has no regard for anyone's life, including his own and merely goes through the motions of life waiting for death to come. He is quiet spoken and rarely expresses any emotions, but there is a sense of nostalgia on his face whenever he is reminded of something from his home town and culture. This also applies to his clothes as he is very particular about his appearance, as he feels as taking care of one's outer appearance is important and lastly -- the samurai code, which is something he will never desecrate no matter what.

Odin(23)| "Guys like us? We're not scum, we're just too good for this god forsaken world."
An orphan wolf-boy that had taken Selene under his care for as long as she could remember, teaching her everything she knows about the art of thieving. Being accustomed to her negative attitude, he often tries to counteract her attitude by acting cheerful or making playful banter with her. Due to the discrimination of beast warriors in the town, Odin was outcasted by everyone as a child and survived by relying on own skills. Having no name, he encountered a children's storyteller who was telling stories of the Odin of Norse mythology and decided to take on the name, feeling that doing so will give him the strength of Odin himself. Although he is dubbed affectionately as "Odie" by Selene to his dismay. Unknown to her, Odin's purpose in life is to protect Selene as he had made a promise to someone important long ago.

[1 more character to be added as of now]
-----
Extra: (17.11.16)
[While I'm still doing the majority of the art, I now have an assistant artist whom offered to help me so she will be helping me with second opinion, designs and such!]
Hi! Thanks for reading. So this will be a one-man team(apart from voice acting) so please don't expect this game to be done for a long time, especially since I'm still waiting to be completely solid on the plot&characters before I start on any progress so all suggestions and comments are very appreciated! ʕ •ᴥ•ʔゝ☆ [May make a demo though of a prologue with the best designs and writing I can do and see how people like/want improvements on]
I didn't want to add too much information for the plot/characters because it might change/want to keep some of the mystery and story to be unveiled in the routes themselves (since each character delves on their own issues and have different interactions with the character.) But if you feel like they seem too brief then tell me so I can add more. The idea is still in the super early stages, so I'm very open to any new ideas such as new characters (and any criticism!)

F.A.Q:
- Will the heroine have a changeable name?
I decided "Yes" because there are people who'd like to make the game their own. However there will be more benefit to using Selene's default name since there will be voice acting that call her name (whereas other names will be silent.)

- Will there be full or partial voice acting?
Due to seeing other experiences of having to wait for voice acting, the large audio files I will have to keep track of and such. I have decided on doing partial (catchphrases, sound effects) but there will be certain events with longer voice acting such as CG-specific events (Introductions, Confessions, etc.)

- Will this be PG?
The game will contain mature themes such as violence, swearing but these will be very minimal, therefore I would still classify it as PG. :) (Also alot of doki doki moments but nothing X-rated >////<)

Feedback: (It's a bit lengthy sorry ;;u;; May change questions if needed)
- Tea Leaf is "Thief" in rhyming slang. Does that change your notion of the title? (Someone said that people won't get it so do you think I need to point it out or add like a sub heading of "Sincerely, thief"?)
- Does the premise interest you?
- Do the characters interest you? Do you want more characters/personalities to be added?
- Would you want a visible meter or pop up notification of some sort, showing you how pessimistic or optimistic your choices are? (or any sort of indication of how your character has changed? Or would you rather it show in the dialogue instead)
- Is there anything you think I need to improve on or take into account?

Updates:
17.11.16 -- Done 4 character designs & expanded/modified their descriptions -- Added a new character with an unfinished description. Also changed feedback questions and put my decisions of the old questions in a new F.A.Q section. Bits of editing done in general & made a dev. tumblr blog aswell.
18.11.16 -- Made the most basic logo ever as a placeholder (no idea what image I want my logo to have. T3T)
23.11.16 -- Created another logo design and made sketch of Emery (on dev.blog). Also began writing the prologue.
27.01.17 -- Game on hold for now while I try to work on other games and improve my writing/art before I return to this ;u;
Attachments
IoriandOdin.jpg
Designs on Iori (right) and Odin (left)
GGGG.jpg
Another quick sketch, this time of Andy. Again colours/outift not finalised. And yes I know the proportions look terrible. QuQ
selene_by_sapphire_skillz-dao79pc.png
Quick sketch of Selene. Colour&outfit not finalised yet.
Last edited by Sapphire-Skillz on Thu Jan 26, 2017 10:05 pm, edited 8 times in total.

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Re: Sincerely, Tea Leaf [GxB][GxG][Romance, Fantasy, Drama]

#2 Post by lumia » Sat Nov 12, 2016 11:21 am

- Tea Leaf is "Thief" in rhyming slang. Does that change your notion of the title? (Someone said that people won't get it so do you think I need to point it out or add like a sub heading of "Sincerely, thief"?)
  • As much as I find using rhyming slang for creativity, I too wouldn't have been able to figure out until I have read over the plot. Primarily, the title should introduce the audience to a broad perspective of the setting, plot, and possibly the characters as well. While I do find that the words "tea leaf" eye-catching and something that can potentially draw people in, I see little to no association to it whatsoever, since I don't believe many people would have guessed it was slang. So, I would say either change the title in its entirety, or add the subheading; it's never too late to change.


- Does the premise interest you?
  • I like the world you set up; it's sort of mirroring our own world, as opposed to--for example--a world crafted where everything starts and ends perfectly. I also like the message you are trying to depict through this story. "Hope is slicing through despair, slowly but surely" is what I'm getting from this in a brief nutshell. Especially with the monarchy system with warriors, thieves, bards, samurai etc., it makes me think that this is set in the medieval times; it's definitely going to be interesting for me, since medieval times have always fascinated me.


- Do the characters interest you? Do you want more characters/personalities to be added?
  • The characters to me are diverse in their own manner. I would probably add someone with a sense of mystery, but strangely related to Selene. That way, it can be a story where not only a theme is visible, but also a feeling of tenseness will arise, and you will be able to more easily create a climax, especially if this character happens to be the antagonist. I personally like witty, but smiley characters though, so I can't say I'm very passionate about all of them as they are listed now, but if I were to choose one character to pursue, I would go for Iori. However, I also love how the protagonist has a unique personality, as opposed to the majority of visual novels (where she is kind and often physically weak, damsel in distress, etc.).


- Should the heroine have a changeable name?
  • I personally prefer to have a changeable name, because that way I can better place myself into the world (because I'm playing as myself, rather than Selene). Many people desire a changeable name mainly for that reason, I feel. You can better immerse yourself into the story.


- Would you want a visible meter or pop up notification of some sort, showing you how pessimistic or optimistic your choices are? (or any sort of indication of how your character has changed? Or would you rather it show in the dialogue instead)
  • I think it would be a good idea if the visual novel is really long to help the player keep track of stats on the long-run. However, if it's shorter (meaning probably less than 100,000 words grand total), then I would probably leave it out, as players can probably figure it out themselves, possibly. It depends on how difficult you make the choices. If they are obvious though, I would leave it be. It would probably save work for you in regards to creating the graphic art (interfaces) as well. Though, ultimately, it's your choice in the end.


- How do you like VN to differentiate between getting the Good or Normal End? (Do you want there to be "correct" choices that if done wrong, you must replay and try a different approach, or do you like having a final event that determines it?)
  • To answer your first question, it's just as you describe them. However, any "good" or "normal" ending could have any approach; you have a wide spectrum of options laying before you on that. As of your second question, I don't really have a preference on that. Maybe you could incorporate both; it depends on the scene, I suppose, but I think it would be more interesting if you took both of those approaches at different scenes.


- Do you feel this should be PG?
  • With this story, it's not possible to do R18, but with some of the characters, I feel like it would be very hard to be intimate with. However, to expand your audience, you can do an option where it is either originally PG or R18, but have an option for the other so that players who prefer PG and players who prefer R18 will both come together to play your game, as opposed to one interest-group audience. However, that would mean more work for you to expand your audience. I prefer the game to be PG though, since my knees get uncomfortably weak and jelly-like when I read R18).


- Do you prefer VNs to be fully voiced or partly voiced? (Please specify. i.e, if partly voiced how much do you mean, like random phrases, or special scenes?)
  • Unless this is voiced in Japanese, I definitely prefer partially voiced. Whenever I listen to a fully-voiced visual novel in English, it feels like the voices are not... in-character, and it bothers me a lot. I would partially voice special or romantic scenes, so that it feels more meaningful. However, you have a lot of options; just have voices in random lines, meaningful lines, etc. etc.


- Opinion on mini events that can result in a game over? (i.e one wrong move and you're dead?)
  • Ever since Nusantara, I've hated those scenes since I didn't save it, and so I had to start over again. However, if it's early in the game, I guess I wouldn't mind too much. If you're going to do those scenes though, I would push you to make it interesting and "spiced up", that way, it would be worth reading through, at least. After all, just because you're writing a bad end, that doesn't mean it should be utter... garbage.


- Would you like more female romance options or is one enough?
  • I think one is enough, but if you end up creating another female character that you think draws people in, then I'd say go for more. Though, I don't think I'd play the female romance options, since I am not a huge fan of Girl x Girl. However, I'd never play it if they had R18 scenes together. That for me is a no-no.


- Is there anything you think I need to improve on or take into account?
  • I think I have mentioned everything you need to improve on and take into account in the previous questions. I wish you the best of luck in this game, and I hope to play it once it's released~

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Re: Sincerely, Tea Leaf [GxB][GxG][Romance, Fantasy, Drama]

#3 Post by Mammon » Sat Nov 12, 2016 2:13 pm

This looks like an interesting tale. Before I get to your questions however, allow me to give a few tips on the road ahead from one one-man team to another.
1) Are you familiar with making ren'py games? If not, you might want to make a small mock-story first to test all the steps of making it. It would be a shame if you found out halfway that something doesn't work or that you did it wrong, delaying the project a lot.
2) I already saw that you realize projects like these take time, so this might be unneccesary, but just to be sure: you're counting on >1year right? My project took about 1,5years to make and there are a lot of projects around that take/took even longer. Not meant discouraging, off course.
3) Unless you hit a problem with the plot so bad that you can't continue the story this way, don't start rewriting until you finish the first draft. After that, the one-(wo)man's perk of being able to rewrite at their heart's content kicks in, but if you don't reach the end(s) first you might doom yourself to a project with no end in sight due to endless rewrites.

- Tea Leaf is "Thief" in rhyming slang. Does that change your notion of the title?
Did not catch that, but already a much more original title than I could ever hope to come up with.

- Does the premise interest you?
It does. We do live in a world where everyone's clashing personalities causes a lot of strive and harm, and causes everyone to change their orignally good nature for the worst. A story where there's no definite good and bad side, but a cast of characters whose differences and misconceptions of each other causes conflict, does sound interesting.

- Do the characters interest you? Do you want more characters/personalities to be added?
See the above about them being interesting. Personally I felt like the cast could use someone with a realistic-good nature deemed bad to compensate. By realistic-good I mean someone who means well or who wishes to help others, but who has the experience that the end can justify the means and that some people shouldn't be helped (both people who don't want help, and people who rely too much on the help of others). So while their intentions are good, the way it's presented and executed suggests otherwise.

- Should the heroine have a changeable name?
Personally I would say no. Doesn't really add anything I feel, unless I happen to come up with a word-joke that goes with the story.

- Would you want a visible meter or pop up notification of some sort, showing you how pessimistic or optimistic your choices are? (or any sort of indication of how your character has changed? Or would you rather it show in the dialogue instead)
Like Lumia already said, it really depends on the questions. If it's obvious it's not needed, but if the questions aren't as clear you might want to do that. F.e.

Do you need help?
Choice: I guess/Why would you help me?
Choice: Help? So I'll owe you?/I guess I have no other choice

The first choices are a bit too vague for an optimism/pessimism choice, both could end up as the optimistic one. The second ones are much clearer in which one is which. But unless you go for intentionally obvious questions, a testreader or feedback from the audience might work better to determine whether they are clear.


- How do you like VN to differentiate between getting the Good or Normal End?
However you feel like the story would work best is probably the right solution.

- Do you feel this should be PG?
I prefer PG, but mostly because I find eroge scenes rather boring. Being able to release the game in the regular rather than the adult section will probably reach a larger audience as well.

- Do you prefer VNs to be fully voiced or partly voiced?
Fully voiced, it allows the writer to determine the pace, define a character faster/more and convey things through pronunciation. This is difficult to organise properly though (and possibly expensive depending on whether you plan to use free or paid voice actors), and might easily go wrong like Lumia said. Partly voiced can work too, off course.

- Opinion on mini events that can result in a game over? (i.e one wrong move and you're dead?)
You mean a tring of choices, or a mini-game? I personally don't like mini-games in VN, but the mini-choices can be fun if done right.

- Would you like more female romance options or is one enough?
Really comes down to what you want to do, if you can't come up with a good second GxG route then don't do it. If you can, go for it.

- Is there anything you think I need to improve on or take into account?
Just a little nit-picking; don't make Selene's cape green. Her attire already reminds me of Attack on titan uniforms as is.
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Re: Sincerely, Tea Leaf [GxB][GxG][Romance, Fantasy, Drama]

#4 Post by Zelan » Sun Nov 13, 2016 12:41 am

- Tea Leaf is "Thief" in rhyming slang. Does that change your notion of the title? (Someone said that people won't get it so do you think I need to point it out or add like a sub heading of "Sincerely, thief"?)

I love the title! It draws me in right away. I understand what Lumia said about the title giving an insight into what the story is about, but it's always been my opinion that the main job of the title is to grab a person's attention. Once that's been done, the synopsis is what shows us what the story is. Now, obviously, the title should have at least SOME relevance to the plot, but it doesn't have to be something as blunt as "Selene's Pessimistic Adventure." Plus, "Tea Leaf" is just cute. ^_^

- Does the premise interest you?

Yes, very much!

- Do the characters interest you? Do you want more characters/personalities to be added?

I do like the characters - they all seem very rounded out, with the exception of Oribelle, but I get the feeling there's more to her than finding a rich husband (especially considering she's the GxG route).
About Selene's personality - I'm interested in the bit about how she "revels the feeling of accomplishment she gets from successfully stealing something important and ruining people's days." This definitely makes her more interesting, but I am curious about how far she would go with it. If she takes it too far, some of the readers might dislike her and be alienated by her. A few examples:
1) She steals a fair amount of money from a wealthy jerkass merchant. He's all "oh noooooo my money!" and she's just like, "sucks to be you, loser." This would probably fly with pretty much anyone, and makes a lot of sense given her personality.
2) She steals again from a jerkass merchant, but this time she's stealing his goods - namely, herbs being transported to a hospital/apothecary/somewhere that makes medicine. This still would make some sense given her personality, but a few people might be disturbed by the fact that she's willing to steal important medical supplies. I think that you could still pull off something like this, especially if she changed for the better later on, but it would highlight that Selene doesn't bat an eye at doing some shitty things sometimes.
3) She steals from someone who's poor and/or a genuinely nice person. This could really go multiple ways depending on how you write it and how she changes throughout the VN, but if you write it wrong people will just dislike the main character. And, in my experience, it's almost impossible to have a successful work if the main character isn't likable to at least the smallest degree. I'm sure there are examples out there but I can't name them and I certainly can't tell you how to pull it off.

- Should the heroine have a changeable name?

Many people like it as an option, but I personally prefer the heroine to have a set name. It's just a difference in preference - Lumia likes to put herself in the MC's shoes, which I completely understand, but I like to read about other people; whenever I play a video game, I never think of the character that I'm playing as to be "me," but rather as a character. I never even give the character my name.
A good compromise would be to have the option to enter a name, but have "Selene" already in the textbox for those of us who like preset names.

- Would you want a visible meter or pop up notification of some sort, showing you how pessimistic or optimistic your choices are? (or any sort of indication of how your character has changed? Or would you rather it show in the dialogue instead)

Another good compromise here would be to have an option to toggle the meter on/off. For me personally, I think the idea is cool and I'd like to see the meter used.

- How do you like VN to differentiate between getting the Good or Normal End? (Do you want there to be "correct" choices that if done wrong, you must replay and try a different approach, or do you like having a final event that determines it?)

I'm not a fan of having final determining events; they just make the rest of the story feel completely unimportant.

- Do you feel this should be PG?

The other two commenters have answered specifically about erotic content, but I figure that you may also be asking about violence and vulgar language. Given your setting, such things probably aren't out of place; it might even be weird not to include them. So I'd say that those things should be included to the level that you feel appropriate. Concerning R-18 scenes, that's really completely up to you. A good compromise (me and compromises jeez) is to have them be skippable. (You could do that by either having a very obvious skip button come up right before an R-18 scene or by making the choice before the scene very obvious - something like, "Do you want to... come to bed with me?" and the choices "yes" and "no.") If you do include mature content, something that I personally really like is a mature content filter like the ones used in Cute Demon Crashers! or Love and Romance: A Study of Intimacy. Both of those include the images and descriptions for the erotic scenes but use filters to cover up any genitalia.

- Do you prefer VNs to be fully voiced or partly voiced? (Please specify. i.e, if partly voiced how much do you mean, like random phrases, or special scenes?)

I prefer fully voiced or nothing at all. It's too weird for me to have only bits and pieces of the story read to me, so if a VN has partial voice acting, I usually turn it off. I also dislike when every character is voiced except for the protagonist - the protagonist is a character too! - but I'll still leave it on if this is the case.

- Opinion on mini events that can result in a game over? (i.e one wrong move and you're dead?)
I'm usually not a fan of these unless they're in the very beginning, and even then they just feel cheap. I prefer bad ends like Lumia said - they are interesting to read, even if they're bad endings. Usually, an ending like this will reveal something about a character or setting that is interesting to the readers.

- Would you like more female romance options or is one enough?

I'm fine with just one, but I know that for some people having the obligatory same-sex route is a pet peeve. You might want to consider adding at least one other female route (or, I guess, getting rid of Oribelle, but I'd rather you change nothing than get rid of her).

- Is there anything you think I need to improve on or take into account?

Is Odin a love interest? If so, be careful with that. Having stories where protagonists get sexually and/or romantically involved with their parental figures tend to be... squicky for a lot of people.

How old are all of the characters?

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Re: Sincerely, Tea Leaf [GxB][GxG][Romance, Fantasy, Drama]

#5 Post by Sapphire-Skillz » Sun Nov 13, 2016 6:38 pm

lumia wrote:
  • - Do the characters interest you? Do you want more characters/personalities to be added?
    • The characters to me are diverse in their own manner. I would probably add someone with a sense of mystery, but strangely related to Selene. That way, it can be a story where not only a theme is visible, but also a feeling of tenseness will arise, and you will be able to more easily create a climax, especially if this character happens to be the antagonist. I personally like witty, but smiley characters though, so I can't say I'm very passionate about all of them as they are listed now, but if I were to choose one character to pursue, I would go for Iori. However, I also love how the protagonist has a unique personality, as opposed to the majority of visual novels (where she is kind and often physically weak, damsel in distress, etc.).
(っ˘ω˘ς ) Thank you for being the first person to respond! Your answers have been very helpful but I only have one question about this answer. I kinda say I do & don't understand your point about the character with a "sense of mystery" but I feel that both Odin and Iori both fit this description in a sense -- plus if I had a character that was basically similar to Selene then there'd be no point in having other characters. Please don't forget I have barely divulged any information on my characters, the plot and such but please feel free to expand on what you mean, especially what you meant about feeling of "tenseness" and "climax"? 6u6

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Re: Sincerely, Tea Leaf [GxB][GxG][Romance, Fantasy, Drama]

#6 Post by Sapphire-Skillz » Sun Nov 13, 2016 7:02 pm

Mammon wrote:This looks like an interesting tale. Before I get to your questions however, allow me to give a few tips on the road ahead from one one-man team to another.
1) Are you familiar with making ren'py games? If not, you might want to make a small mock-story first to test all the steps of making it. It would be a shame if you found out halfway that something doesn't work or that you did it wrong, delaying the project a lot.
2) I already saw that you realize projects like these take time, so this might be unneccesary, but just to be sure: you're counting on >1year right? My project took about 1,5years to make and there are a lot of projects around that take/took even longer. Not meant discouraging, off course.
3) Unless you hit a problem with the plot so bad that you can't continue the story this way, don't start rewriting until you finish the first draft. After that, the one-(wo)man's perk of being able to rewrite at their heart's content kicks in, but if you don't reach the end(s) first you might doom yourself to a project with no end in sight due to endless rewrites.
Hi, thanks for your advice but I'm very aware of the possible hurdles, I'll have to overcome. And of course I am! I checked out your VN (haven't played -- but definitely need to add it to my must plays!) and saw that you didn't redo the text/textboxes whereas I'm planning on redoing the interface and everything! Again, this has no expected time of release, therefore giving me time to experiment and do my own thing. :) (Plus this was supposed to be my mock-up ren'py for another game I've been wanting to make since I was like 12 which is much more complicated) but then I got really carried away and this game got complicated aswell so... 6u6 I just thought eh, why not? Just because it's my first game doesn't mean I should limit myself. ^_^ And yes, I don't even plan to begin writing until I've nailed down the plot, characters and how I want to split it up into chapters before I do any writing.
Mammon wrote: - Do you feel this should be PG?
I prefer PG, but mostly because I find eroge scenes rather boring. Being able to release the game in the regular rather than the adult section will probably reach a larger audience as well.
I think I made the question confusing by saying PG-18, I never meant like full on eroge scenes or anything o///o I can't even draw those kinds of scenes or stand them. But I literally meant PG as in completely innocent like no swearing, blood or even "sexual moments" rather than full on boing boing. >u>"
Mammon wrote:- Opinion on mini events that can result in a game over? (i.e one wrong move and you're dead?)
You mean a tring of choices, or a mini-game? I personally don't like mini-games in VN, but the mini-choices can be fun if done right.
This was kinda hard to word properly, but for example, if on one of their routes, it required a "quest" for the player to go around time like go to different parts of town and decide who to talk to and find someone in order to kind of get to know the world but also allow for some bonding time with the character of the route. Or another example is if you have to "chase" someone and you can choose to turn right/left, "corner them in the alley" etc and there's a chance of losing the person and miss out on potential affection points, is that tedious?
Mammon wrote:- Is there anything you think I need to improve on or take into account?
Just a little nit-picking; don't make Selene's cape green. Her attire already reminds me of Attack on titan uniforms as is.
Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat. For one thing, it's not a cape, it's a scarf and second, I had to google snk cause I forget how their outfit looks like and apart from the belts, I don't see any other resemblance. :c *sigh* And here I thought I came up with something different, but maybe it's cause it's not coloured in either.

-- With your other answers, thank you very much, I'll deffo take them into mind (especially with the "realistic-good" I was already thinking of doing that with an already existing character but this has made it more clearer for me to do now)

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Re: Sincerely, Tea Leaf [GxB][GxG][Romance, Fantasy, Drama]

#7 Post by Sapphire-Skillz » Sun Nov 13, 2016 7:25 pm

Zelan wrote:- Tea Leaf is "Thief" in rhyming slang. Does that change your notion of the title? (Someone said that people won't get it so do you think I need to point it out or add like a sub heading of "Sincerely, thief"?)

I love the title! It draws me in right away. I understand what Lumia said about the title giving an insight into what the story is about, but it's always been my opinion that the main job of the title is to grab a person's attention. Once that's been done, the synopsis is what shows us what the story is. Now, obviously, the title should have at least SOME relevance to the plot, but it doesn't have to be something as blunt as "Selene's Pessimistic Adventure." Plus, "Tea Leaf" is just cute. ^_^
Thank you for your response -- and also your reply for this answer! This makes me very happy and you made a good point about having to read the synopsis anyway (plus they do say never judge a book by its cover haha) . :)
Zelan wrote:- Do the characters interest you? Do you want more characters/personalities to be added?

I do like the characters - they all seem very rounded out, with the exception of Oribelle, but I get the feeling there's more to her than finding a rich husband (especially considering she's the GxG route).
About Selene's personality - I'm interested in the bit about how she "revels the feeling of accomplishment she gets from successfully stealing something important and ruining people's days." This definitely makes her more interesting, but I am curious about how far she would go with it. If she takes it too far, some of the readers might dislike her and be alienated by her. A few examples:
1) She steals a fair amount of money from a wealthy jerkass merchant. He's all "oh noooooo my money!" and she's just like, "sucks to be you, loser." This would probably fly with pretty much anyone, and makes a lot of sense given her personality.
2) She steals again from a jerkass merchant, but this time she's stealing his goods - namely, herbs being transported to a hospital/apothecary/somewhere that makes medicine. This still would make some sense given her personality, but a few people might be disturbed by the fact that she's willing to steal important medical supplies. I think that you could still pull off something like this, especially if she changed for the better later on, but it would highlight that Selene doesn't bat an eye at doing some shitty things sometimes.
3) She steals from someone who's poor and/or a genuinely nice person. This could really go multiple ways depending on how you write it and how she changes throughout the VN, but if you write it wrong people will just dislike the main character. And, in my experience, it's almost impossible to have a successful work if the main character isn't likable to at least the smallest degree. I'm sure there are examples out there but I can't name them and I certainly can't tell you how to pull it off.
Yeah I feel like my description of Selene is really coming off badly to others. I didn't mean that she's like a kleptomaniac-level of stealing, just that since she's grown up with it being her way of life, she enjoys doing it and has found the fun of trying to target a person and steal something. But it's not really that she LOVES it, just that, does she have a choice? But yes, I guess I'll have to give her and a few of the other characters a re-writing. And yes, of course Oribelle has more to her. ^_^
Zelan wrote:- Do you feel this should be PG?
The other two commenters have answered specifically about erotic content, but I figure that you may also be asking about violence and vulgar language. Given your setting, such things probably aren't out of place; it might even be weird not to include them. So I'd say that those things should be included to the level that you feel appropriate. Concerning R-18 scenes, that's really completely up to you. A good compromise (me and compromises jeez) is to have them be skippable. (You could do that by either having a very obvious skip button come up right before an R-18 scene or by making the choice before the scene very obvious - something like, "Do you want to... come to bed with me?" and the choices "yes" and "no.") If you do include mature content, something that I personally really like is a mature content filter like the ones used in Cute Demon Crashers! or Love and Romance: A Study of Intimacy. Both of those include the images and descriptions for the erotic scenes but use filters to cover up any genitalia.
I love Cute Demon Crashers! (That's actually where I'm getting I guess, my "influence" on how to make Oribelle likeable since the female demon in that game was the only female love interest I've ever liked in any game cause usually they're shy, quiet characters and I don't like those.)
And yes I did mean generally PG in general. xD I was never planning to do any scenes cause the whole point of the game was to get with the people/or not by the end (And Selene is a good girl! :<)
Zelan wrote:-- Do you prefer VNs to be fully voiced or partly voiced? (Please specify. i.e, if partly voiced how much do you mean, like random phrases, or special scenes?)
I prefer fully voiced or nothing at all. It's too weird for me to have only bits and pieces of the story read to me, so if a VN has partial voice acting, I usually turn it off. I also dislike when every character is voiced except for the protagonist - the protagonist is a character too! - but I'll still leave it on if this is the case.
How about if its like phrases like "No!" "Hello" or just quirks of the characters?
Cause I'm really leaning towards partial voiced, cause the main issue would be finding people who would be willing to do all the lines for one, plus I think voicing meaningful scenes (maybe CG-specific scenes) would be more memorable and less of a hassle. :)
Zelan wrote:- Would you like more female romance options or is one enough?
I'm fine with just one, but I know that for some people having the obligatory same-sex route is a pet peeve. You might want to consider adding at least one other female route (or, I guess, getting rid of Oribelle, but I'd rather you change nothing than get rid of her).

- Is there anything you think I need to improve on or take into account?
Is Odin a love interest? If so, be careful with that. Having stories where protagonists get sexually and/or romantically involved with their parental figures tend to be... squicky for a lot of people.

How old are all of the characters?
Okay so the female romance part, I agree with you. I also tend to not play the female romances and I originally was not planning to add one. But at the same time, you have to remember that at the same time, there are people who would prefer having one female route than none at all. And while I can understand that people find it annoying, I would also not want to exclude people who would like them either. :)

Also no, Odin is only like 5 years older than her. :) I do know what you mean about that but again, some people like that kind of stuff and again, like with the female routes, people have the choice not to play them lol. xD

And I forgot to add the ages, still deciding, but I'm thinking of making Selene 18/19 so she's at the stage of adulthood where childhood is basically over. The oldest character should be iori, whom I wrote in my notepad at 27 at the time I came up with the story haha. xD But yes, your answers have been helpful! Thank you <3
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Re: Sincerely, Tea Leaf [GxB][GxG][Romance, Fantasy, Drama]

#8 Post by Zelan » Sun Nov 13, 2016 9:00 pm

Sapphire-Skillz wrote:How about if its like phrases like "No!" "Hello" or just quirks of the characters?
Cause I'm really leaning towards partial voiced, cause the main issue would be finding people who would be willing to do all the lines for one, plus I think voicing meaningful scenes (maybe CG-specific scenes) would be more memorable and less of a hassle. :)
I really just don't like partial voice acting at all; I will always turn it off if it isn't full. However, having said that, I think that I might actually be in the minority on this particular opinion. The way that you described it seems to be pretty popular with a lot of people, so I would say go for it. c:
Sapphire-Skillz wrote:Okay so the female romance part, I agree with you. I also tend to not play the female romances and I originally was not planning to add one. But at the same time, you have to remember that at the same time, there are people who would prefer having one female route than none at all. And while I can understand that people find it annoying, I would also not want to exclude people who would like them either. :)

Also no, Odin is only like 5 years older than her. :) I do know what you mean about that but again, some people like that kind of stuff and again, like with the female routes, people have the choice not to play them lol. xD
Yeah, like I said, I don't mind having just one female romance option at all. c: I've just seen a few people who get annoyed by it and I figured that I'd let you know about that sentiment. As for me personally, though, I'm totally okay with it.

Ohhh, okay. So about Odin's age, I think the reason that I was thinking he was older was because you wrote that he found Selene when she was a baby. It seems unlikely that a 5-year-old could care for a baby on his own, so it might make more sense if he found Selene when she was somewhere between 4-6 years old. c: And an age gap like that would be okay with me, because then it would be less of a father-daughter thing and more of a buddy thing. Of course, you are right about there always being the option of not playing a route, but I'm a completionist so I don't like leaving things unfinished. cx

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Re: Sincerely, Tea Leaf [GxB][GxG][Romance, Fantasy, Drama]

#9 Post by Sapphire-Skillz » Sun Nov 13, 2016 10:32 pm

Zelan wrote:Ohhh, okay. So about Odin's age, I think the reason that I was thinking he was older was because you wrote that he found Selene when she was a baby. It seems unlikely that a 5-year-old could care for a baby on his own, so it might make more sense if he found Selene when she was somewhere between 4-6 years old. c: And an age gap like that would be okay with me, because then it would be less of a father-daughter thing and more of a buddy thing. Of course, you are right about there always being the option of not playing a route, but I'm a completionist so I don't like leaving things unfinished. cx
Wellll that did pop up in my head aswell. But tbh, if in extreme situations, humans are pretty resilent to surviving. Alot of orphans are out there in the world and somehow they manage to fight everyday and survive.
Also there's more backstory to the circumstances between the two aswell -- which you would find out when the game is out (so play it keke) ^____^ But yes, I did take your idea into considering but I think I'll settle for the middle and do like 2 years old since it's not a baby but still young enough not to remember much.
Also he didn't find her, she was given to him to care for but I didn't write it right, oooh mystery~~~
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Re: Sincerely, Tea Leaf [GxB][GxG][Romance, Fantasy, Drama]

#10 Post by Mammon » Mon Nov 14, 2016 6:08 am

Sapphire-Skillz wrote: Hi, thanks for your advice but I'm very aware of the possible hurdles, I'll have to overcome. (Plus this was supposed to be my mock-up ren'py for another game I've been wanting to make since I was like 12 which is much more complicated) but then I got really carried away and this game got complicated aswell so...
Good, I already figured you did from your OP, but I couldn't be sure. Better to give unneccesary advise than not giving needed advice.
I think I made the question confusing by saying PG-18, I never meant like full on eroge scenes or anything o///o I can't even draw those kinds of scenes or stand them. But I literally meant PG as in completely innocent like no swearing, blood or even "sexual moments" rather than full on boing boing. >u>"
In that case, don't limit yourself to that. Even if there were a lot of 13-year old kids around here, they've seen much worse. The no swearing thing is an U.S. thing, but they're a rather prudish people in that regard.
This was kinda hard to word properly, but for example, if on one of their routes, it required a "quest" for the player to go around time like go to different parts of town and decide who to talk to and find someone in order to kind of get to know the world but also allow for some bonding time with the character of the route. Or another example is if you have to "chase" someone and you can choose to turn right/left, "corner them in the alley" etc and there's a chance of losing the person and miss out on potential affection points, is that tedious?
Really depends on whether you do it right or not.
Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat. For one thing, it's not a cape, it's a scarf and second, I had to google snk cause I forget how their outfit looks like and apart from the belts, I don't see any other resemblance. :c *sigh* And here I thought I came up with something different, but maybe it's cause it's not coloured in either.
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That's why I said it was nit-picking. It was my first impression, but others can disagree and the colouring can completely nullify that impression.
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Re: Sincerely, Tea Leaf [GxB][GxG][Romance, Fantasy, Drama]

#11 Post by Zelan » Mon Nov 14, 2016 4:15 pm

Mammon wrote:The no swearing thing is an U.S. thing, but they're a rather prudish people in that regard.
We are? This is news to me.
Sapphire-Skillz wrote:This was kinda hard to word properly, but for example, if on one of their routes, it required a "quest" for the player to go around time like go to different parts of town and decide who to talk to and find someone in order to kind of get to know the world but also allow for some bonding time with the character of the route. Or another example is if you have to "chase" someone and you can choose to turn right/left, "corner them in the alley" etc and there's a chance of losing the person and miss out on potential affection points, is that tedious?
Most people would say that this is EXTREMELY tedious. It's one thing to have a choice like "I just saw Oribelle go down the left path, but... Odin took the right!" Or a choice like, "Odin took the right path... should I even bother chasing him anymore? There's some crap I can steal down the left path." (these are terrible examples but you get my point) Those are fine because it's pretty clear what the outcome of each choice will be.

Choices like "Should I go left or right?" with no clues whatsoever as to what the "right" answer is are just frustrating, especially if the outcome isn't immediately obvious. If the player knows very quickly that this choice was wrong, it's not that annoying to have to roll back or load a save. But if the player goes through lines and lines of dialogue for a few minutes and THEN discovers that the choice was wrong, you've wasted that many minutes of the player's time.

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