The Dolls' Stories

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fioricca
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The Dolls' Stories

#1 Post by fioricca » Mon Oct 29, 2012 11:44 pm

sobs here goes nothing

Hi LSF! This will be the very first game that I will ever finish, so excuse how unpolished it is. :'[ Still, I'd love any form of constructive feedback, bug reports, or thoughts about the game in general!

The Dolls' Stories

... yeah this title is most definitely not a rip-off of The Bride's Tales. Nope.

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dolls-1.0-win.zip
(29.39 MiB) Downloaded 1064 times

dolls-1.0-mac.zip
(28.76 MiB) Downloaded 86 times


Story: Congratulations, you have become just become a state puppeteer -- that is, a soldier with the license to own a magical doll! Magical dolls are awesome things that are nurtured from young to BAMF, so you can look forward to getting either a hot dude or a cute chick. As time passes, however, you find that your doll isn't growing up as he or she should be...

Characters
Male/Female dolls: You know you want to take them home -- no. The male doll is an earnest boy while the female doll is more bubbly.
Melinda: A senior puppeteer. An easygoing woman with a high sense of duty.
Gilfred: Mel's doll partner. Gil is courteous and has a gentle personality.
Priestess: One of the priests in charge of the temple. Well-mannered and demure.
The rest.

Programmer: JW/jw2pfd (I swear this person is a genius. A terrifying wizard. He also has a great work ethic that I can vouch for YES I'm so grateful for all the help he's offered TAT)
Writing: Junny
Music: various free music sites that I'll list out in the credits when I get to it
Sound: various users from freesound.org, who will also appear in the proper credits
Graphics: various users from deviantart and fontsquirrel
Everything else: M... e OTL
Guest artist: Minji (http://www.razirune.tumblr.com)

Overall progress: script somewhat done, I just need to make changes here and there! Sprites also someeewhat done, I just need to shade/fix things as needed, but I'll do it when I've fixed up placeholder images for everything. =_=; Backgrounds have been loosely sketched out, cutscenes planned, GUI ready, sounds and music picked, magic is happening IT'S AWESOME YOU GUYS

Notes: Basically, Doll Stories is a kinetic novel except not really, and has dating elements except it's not a dating game. Let me clarify. There's one main story and only one ending, very much like a kinetic novel. You can get through this story with either a male or a female companion. The male doll's route is catered towards girls while the female doll is supposed to appeal to guys, except I've only ever played otoges all my life and so I don't... know how to write a story that will appeal to guys sob I am never going to escape this unharmed OTL

But I would still appreciate it if you guys would try the demo out nonetheless! I know it's still made up entirely of lame placeholder images, and that the writing is really shabby. :'[ I'm not a writer, I can't think in words and they just won't come to me -- but I've tried my best, honest. (What on earth do you eat, writers Q_Q) More importantly, though, I'm interested in what you guys think of the chat system. It's something that's inspired by Japanese twitter bots; sometimes, when I talk to them, I feel as though they're really talking to me, haha. So I was wondering if players would like to see the same effect in visual novels, and got JW to craft this beauty. Right now, it's still in its raw stages, and is basically a sentence-construction sort of thing. But with enough input and encouragement, maybe we'll see a more powerful and dynamic system in future projects? Who knows! We can't promise to make every single change/add every single feature that users would want, but we'll definitely take them into consideration for future games.

The resolution is 1280 x 720. This will be a quick game that shouldn't take more than... half an hour? Or an hour at most to clear when it's finished. |D That means the demo is roughly at 20% of the game so far. I hope to finish the game by next month or early December.

Thanks so much, guys! And now I'm going to jump off a cliff because what is confidence /cry
Last edited by fioricca on Thu Dec 06, 2012 5:30 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: The Dolls' Stories

#2 Post by fioricca » Mon Oct 29, 2012 11:46 pm

Also, things that have yet to be coded in

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... no the last dude is not in this game, I just quickly drew him to test out shading because I am forever indecisive about colouring style. ;; What do you guys think?

... omg I am so nervous and thoroughly embarrassed right now ARE PUBLIC WIP THREADS ALWAYS THIS EMBARRASSING AND NERVE-WRACKING TO MAKE AHHHhh /wrists
Last edited by fioricca on Thu Nov 01, 2012 1:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Dolls' Stories

#3 Post by CheeryMoya » Tue Oct 30, 2012 12:33 am

Aaaaaaahh I downloaded this because screw homework I thought that someone was coding an AI game, and in Ren'Py! I think I know how your programmer is pulling it off without some giant PyGame module though, the input commands register certain phrases so stuff happens (this was used in DTIPB). Still, not many games try this!
The problem with a game built off this system though is that a player might get stuck in one screen if they enter in a wrong phrase, like here. I've tried all combos of the keywords and I still can't pass :/

Other than that the GUI is really fabulous right now, everything's so sleek and it even slides ;u; That options screen looks great too, I need to figure out how people do that. The writing isn't half-bad, there's a few areas where the wording is awkward, but this is an early demo so I'm not worried. As for that shading style, it seems alright to me. I'm not a fan of super glossy shading (especially on the hair, those blind me!).
One nitpick I have though is the textbox. Right now it's just a box, and that's boring/clunky :/ Perhaps a bigger border would look better?

Wish I could sit here and babble about how great this is but I gotta get back to doing homework now ;n; Props to you and the team, I look forward to more!

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Re: The Dolls' Stories

#4 Post by fioricca » Tue Oct 30, 2012 12:46 am

CheeryMoya wrote:Aaaaaaahh I downloaded this because screw homework I thought that someone was coding an AI game, and in Ren'Py! I think I know how your programmer is pulling it off without some giant PyGame module though, the input commands register certain phrases so stuff happens (this was used in DTIPB). Still, not many games try this!
The problem with a game built off this system though is that a player might get stuck in one screen if they enter in a wrong phrase, like here. I've tried all combos of the keywords and I still can't pass :/

Other than that the GUI is really fabulous right now, everything's so sleek and it even slides ;u; That options screen looks great too, I need to figure out how people do that. The writing isn't half-bad, there's a few areas where the wording is awkward, but this is an early demo so I'm not worried. As for that shading style, it seems alright to me. I'm not a fan of super glossy shading (especially on the hair, those blind me!).
One nitpick I have though is the textbox. Right now it's just a box, and that's boring/clunky :/ Perhaps a bigger border would look better?

Wish I could sit here and babble about how great this is but I gotta get back to doing homework now ;n; Props to you and the team, I look forward to more!

sadfhgahsdf thank you so much for the quick response, Cheery! Right now, the system is still very basic, so to pass, you need to include all of the keywords that are displayed on the screen. So for "public space, people, gather, freely", something like "It's a public space where people can freely gather in" should work. Alternatively, because we also allow for some synonyms (that we can think off, off the top of our heads), "open area for townsfolk to congregate freely in" should work, too.

I... am admittedly absolutely horrible at GUI design so the textbox is probably going to stay as it is lol ;;; I'm really sorry! But my creativity fails me when it comes to graphic design. orz But I'll see what I can do about it when we get to the polishing stage.

Thank you for playing and for your feedback! All the best with homework; KICK IT IN THE SHIN

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Re: The Dolls' Stories

#5 Post by RunicV » Tue Oct 30, 2012 1:25 am

Ah, this demo was fun to play! I really liked the GUI and the art, even if it was placeholders.

The typing method was fun, although it did get a bit annoying at times. They keywords were a really nice touch, though. After a while I got lazy and just typed in the keywords to progress XD.

CheeryMoya said about all I wanted to say, so good job on this game so far. I really loved the interactions between the doll and you, although I'm confused about the MC. You're probably supposed to be the MC, though, so it's fine. I really liked the music, too. It would be better if you had more sound effects?

The wording was a teensy bit weird at moments, but there was no problems in understanding what it meant. You might want to get a proofreader or something.

Just my two cents. Again, congratz on the shiny GUI. It's so pretty. *_*
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Re: The Dolls' Stories

#6 Post by magbie » Tue Oct 30, 2012 3:10 am

it was really fun to play :D i hope you'll finish this
Also I love this conversation system. Being able to choose the wording makes a huge difference in playing and roleplaying.

Conversations with dolls, when they ask questions are a bit tedious and annoying so they work fine (every one who had a younger anything can relate :))

I liked especially the gender neutrality of MC. I hope it won't be to tricky to write thought, at some point someone will have to address them as he/she/other pronouns

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Re: The Dolls' Stories

#7 Post by AxemRed » Tue Oct 30, 2012 3:42 am

Just played it for a bit. The input system never accepts anything other than literally the keywords, so I just gave up and typed those. Having to provide input so often really drags the pace down, maybe you can reduce the number of times you need to type? The text box looks a little plain and it's quite large compared to the font size, you have space for ~6 lines of text but rarely use more than 2. Those random pauses at commas and periods are kind of annoying.

Oh, and maybe it's better to move the confirm button on the doll selection screen. Now, when you want to select the girl, you need to move your mouse over the other doll (which makes him light up) to reach the confirm button. I'd also like to be able to use the enter key on the name entry screen instead of needing to use the mouse to confirm.

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Re: The Dolls' Stories

#8 Post by fioricca » Tue Oct 30, 2012 4:15 am

RunicV wrote:Ah, this demo was fun to play! I really liked the GUI and the art, even if it was placeholders... It's so pretty. *_*

Thanks for playing and for the feedback, Runic! Could I perhaps ask how the typing was annoying? Which route were you on, and what did you type? Which part did you feel lacked sound effects? (I personally thought I've jammed a lot of sounds into this game haha... ;;)

I think I'll definitely ask a friend if she can proofread for me when we're at the final stages. XD; Sigh, English can be such a complicated language sometimes.

magbie wrote:it was really fun to play... I hope it won't be to tricky to write thought, at some point someone will have to address them as he/she/other pronouns

Oo thank you so much for playing, and I'm super glad you found it fun! The dolls do ask a lot of questions. orz The main character is really you, and as I can't control who will try this game, I'm keeping the gender neutral throughout. I haven't had any problems so far, but we'll see |D;

AxemRed wrote:Just played it for a bit... I'd also like to be able to use the enter key on the name entry screen instead of needing to use the mouse to confirm.

Thanks for playing and for the feedback, Axem! Out of curiosity, could I ask what responses you typed that were rejected? A friend of mine solved the pauses problem by setting the text speed to infinite. I'll discuss the other aspects with JW and we'll see how it goes.


... is the plain text box that jarring...? OTL

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Re: The Dolls' Stories

#9 Post by AxemRed » Tue Oct 30, 2012 4:30 am

fioricca wrote:Out of curiosity, could I ask what responses you typed that were rejected?
Most of it is just the keywords being overly specific. Why can't we live in the town square? -> ??? everyone ???. The logical response for me would be to point out it's not our home, people don't live outside, it's a public place, other people wouldn't like us living there, etc. The keywords sometimes force a specific wording that's unnatural for me to use.

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Re: The Dolls' Stories

#10 Post by fioricca » Tue Oct 30, 2012 4:51 am

AxemRed wrote:Most of it is just the keywords being overly specific. Why can't we live in the town square? -> ??? everyone ???. The logical response for me would be to point out it's not our home, people don't live outside, it's a public place, other people wouldn't like us living there, etc. The keywords sometimes force a specific wording that's unnatural for me to use.

Ahh, I see. x: I'm sorry about that. It's true that as I'm still exploring the potential of this chat system, I wasn't sure what kind of dialogue would be good, how different users think, etc. The best that I could come up with was a gameplay form that is more of a guided response -- and sentence construction with the keywords presented -- than a free chat system. Sorry to have disappointed you in that regard.

But thanks for trying the game out and pointing it out nonetheless ^^;

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Re: The Dolls' Stories

#11 Post by AshenhartKrie » Tue Oct 30, 2012 5:49 am

ASDFGHJKL THIS LOOKS AWESOME!
Sorry for yelling. Sadly, I'm almost out of download, but I'll download the demo when we top it up and let you know what I think.

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Re: The Dolls' Stories

#12 Post by RunicV » Tue Oct 30, 2012 6:03 am

fioricca wrote:Thanks for playing and for the feedback, Runic! Could I perhaps ask how the typing was annoying? Which route were you on, and what did you type? Which part did you feel lacked sound effects? (I personally thought I've jammed a lot of sounds into this game haha... ;;)


It was only annoying at parts where all you had to say was, "Yeah," or "Okay," or "Right," or "Correct." Those parts. I was on the guy's route, but I replayed the girl's route later. The guy asked a lot of questions, LOL.

I expected there to be more sounds in the market, and the explosion scene, too. Or maybe that's just me, but I like having sound effects for almost everything.
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Re: The Dolls' Stories

#13 Post by fioricca » Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:32 am

RunicV wrote:It was only annoying at parts where all you had to say was, "Yeah," or "Okay," or "Right," or "Correct." Those parts. I was on the guy's route, but I replayed the girl's route later. The guy asked a lot of questions, LOL.

I expected there to be more sounds in the market, and the explosion scene, too. Or maybe that's just me, but I like having sound effects for almost everything.


Ahh, I think I can see how typing a lot of 'yes/no' statements can get dry after some time. Thanks for the input, and the recommendation on sounds, too! I'll think about it and see what I can do. :D

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Re: The Dolls' Stories

#14 Post by Blane Doyle » Wed Oct 31, 2012 1:34 am

Jumping in blind, not looking at anything but the art and the story before opening this demo.

OH, I get to name myself! Sweet, I LOVE naming the MC.
The slight pauses between sentences was strange to me at first, but I got used to it. I kinda like it, keeps me from pressing enter too much I guess. Though it is much more awkward after commas than anything else.
The character art is very nice so far, I love it! It is definitely unique.

(I find it hilarious that I am called "man". I guess I'm a guy then?)
Female doll first. I can name the dolls too? Ok, I'm liking this more now. She's adorable!

I CAN TYPE IN MY OWN TEXT OH MY SJALKdajslk
Sorry, minor overreaction. But I love this! It's nice that you give us keywords to use. It makes my dialogue sound like me (mostly), makes it more customized.

The scenes following were a bit over the top but I found it believable to an extent given the nature of our partner. (And the one scene was really really cute.)

Ok, male doll next. Well he's a lot more calm (and just as adorable... no, even more so!).

That was very enjoyable! I loved how unique and customized it was to the player. I didn't mind that it took me longer than normal to play because of this, it was a lot of fun. I wish that would could rearrange the keywords in my responses or leave some out though. Using "right" also got a bit old, I felt "yes" or listing multiple options of positives would have sounded more natural, but this is a smaller issue for me. Move on was a bit... awkward, but not bad either

Overall, I enjoyed this! It was short but fun. It had some things I felt could use work, but it didn't keep me from enjoying it.

And the male doll is just ADORABLE.

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Re: The Dolls' Stories

#15 Post by sapiboonggames » Wed Oct 31, 2012 2:47 am

This one is superb, I tell you.
The 'inputting and talking to your doll' system is very well done.
I usually feel bored while playing VNs, but this one prevents me to do that!
And yeah, the male doll is adorable as heck. Please finish this game :D
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