The Homestead: A Centaur's Story [Archived]

NaNoRenO is an event where creators make a game from scratch during the month of March.
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noeinan
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The Homestead: A Centaur's Story [Archived]

#1 Post by noeinan » Mon Mar 03, 2014 2:57 am

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SETTING
A low technology world where all high intelligence species are descended from a patron god-- with the exception of humans. Specifically, this game takes place in a moderate, mountainous area where nomadic centaurs roam. Centaur society here is matriarchal, and most adults travel with the tribe, herding livestock, hunting, and gathering food. Along their migratory route are several "homesteads" where centaur that are unable to keep up with the herd live under the care of one or more adult centaur. The pregnant, young, elderly, and physically infirm all live together, and visit with the main tribe when it passes through the area. When the young centaur become strong enough to keep up, they, too, join the herd...


STORYLINE
The story follows a pair of rare centaur twins who are about to join their tribe and thus enter into adulthood. They encounter many different characters on their journey, and deal with the culture clash of the greater world. Much of the plot is still under development.


FEATURES
  • Releasing on Android/Ouya
  • Play as either of the centaur twins
  • Romance [GxG, GxB, BxB, BxG]
  • Build friendships [GxG(x2), BxB, BxG]
  • Minimum of 11 CGs
  • Multiple endings
Features are still under development


GAMEPLAY
The player will be able to make choices that influence both their relationships with the other characters, as well as how the game ends. Currently deciding between having a calendar, with a certain number of actions per day, or simply having events proceed linearly except where choices set the player along a different "story track."


CHARACTERS
Currently, none of our characters have names and are thus addressed by a short character description.
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The Twins: Filom and Agatre

Centaur twins are extremely rare, and it is even more rare that they are healthy enough to reach adulthood. As such, the fact that both of them will be joining the tribe as adults this year is an even bigger deal than most-- and they are expected to bring great fortune to the herd.

The sister, Agatre, is very energetic and outgoing. She excels both physically and socially, often overshadowing her introverted brother. Filom, on the other hand, lacks confidence. He resents being underestimated because of his sex, and wants to prove himself to the tribe. Both of them are eager to join the tribe, especially since this year the great Gathering will be held, when all centaur tribes descend from the hills to celebrate in the ancestral plains.

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Caretaker: Hierlon

Heirlon is in charge of the homestead that the twins grew up in. He is somewhat of a parental figure to them, and is very gentle. Although he can be a bit of a pushover, he does manage to keep everyone under control for the most part.

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Disabled Inventor: Gaelanto

Gaelanto was injured at a young age, breaking her leg and thus requires a leg brace to get around. Due to this horrible accident, she is now middle aged and yet has never received an adult name. She spends much of her time reading or visiting the non-centaur communities surrounding the homestead. She hopes that her inventions will one day allow her, and others injured centaur, to move more freely.

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Elders: Abdera and Seslin

Two elders reside at the homestead, their old injuries finally catching up to them. Gifted long lives by the god they descended from, most centaur are able to keep up with the herd well into their old age unless they lived particularly harsh lives. These two were once compatriots on the battlefield, leading the battle to drive the giants out of the mountains. Seslin is close to Filom, having become a warrior despite being male. He sees a bit of himself in the young centaur, and tries to pass on some wisdom to help him come to peace with himself. Abdera, on the other hand, is closer to Agatre for similar reasons. She is quite harsh, and much more traditional minded than her counterpart.

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Farmer: Hildegarde

Hildegarde was abandoned as a newborn, most likely born from some of the outcasts who roam the plains. She was discovered and raised by a young couple, although due to her long lifespan she outlived them and now takes care of the farm. Due to her unusual upbringing, she has a hard time connecting with the other centaurs who come down every five years for the Gathering.

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Human Girls: Lisa and Minnie

A pair of human sisters who attempt to escape an abusive situation by fleeing into the mountains. Centaurs are well known among humans for being violent drunkards, and kidnapping young women-- a belief that is supported by the fact that only the outcasts of centaur society still dwell in the plains near human civilizations. Lisa, the older sister, is very cautious and uncertain but she tries to put up a good front for her sister. Minnie is much more outspoken, almost aggressively so, though she is nearly always smiling.
SCREENSHOTS

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PLAN & PROGRESS
Setting: 100%
Story Outline: 100%
Friendship Engine: 60%
Calendar: 100%
GUI: 95%

Music: 2 selected
Sprites: 9 complete
CGs: 0 complete
BGs: 16 complete

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Dunno yet! That's why I'm using a tally system instead of percentages. :P

CREDIT
Story Concept: daikiraikimi
Writing: noxchaos
Character Sprites: daikiraikimi
Background Composition: daikiraikimi
Background Coloring/Shading: heypetdragon
Programming: daikiraikimi

And a thank you to Sheridan, who was the first to join me on this project. Sheridan was an immense help organizing early drafts of the plot, helping to brainstorm character names and further exploring their personalities and relationships. In addition, Sheridan picked out several of our music pieces and helped with early programming.
Last edited by noeinan on Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:20 pm, edited 37 times in total.
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Re: Centaur VN [NaNoRenO 2014] [Fantasy] [Slice of Life]

#2 Post by Ophelia » Mon Mar 03, 2014 5:27 am

Just wanted to say, I am really looking forward to this! I love the design of your characters - this is what I want to see instead of humans with animal tails and ears. I'm really happy about this. I guess the fact that I recently read the Centaur no Nayami manga may play a role, too. But this is completely different. :)
I'm also really digging the matriarchy, there are definitely not enough games with this system.

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Re: Centaur VN [NaNoRenO 2014] [Fantasy] [Slice of Life]

#3 Post by noeinan » Mon Mar 03, 2014 11:17 am

I'm glad you're interested! :D I really love mythology, and creating fictional societies, so when I got into a centaur funk I had to make a game. ^^ (And the fact that I read Centaur no Nayami maaaaay have something do do with it as well, haha!)

Oh, I also got a message from kaleidofish while I was recruiting for a writer, and apparently they're a part of a team that's also doing a centaur themed vn. So if all goes well, this month there will be two!

[Edit]

So far, I've been playing around with what colors various characters will be, and decided to line them all up and see what they look like together. As I add more characters, I'd like the herd to look like a herd-- and like they all belong together. Obviously, there will be some striking colors and some less striking ones, but overall I want a balanced color set, I guess?

In any case, input on the colors is appreciated. None of them are finalized yet, and I just reused the brother's shape for those I haven't sketched yet.

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So far, I'm thinking I need to add a few more white markings on some of them, and maybe add another chestnut or two? Maybe a seal brown as well.
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Re: Centaur VN [NaNoRenO 2014] [Fantasy] [Slice of Life]

#4 Post by Ophelia » Mon Mar 03, 2014 6:26 pm

If you want them to look like a herd, then yeah, there needs to be bit more. This looks rather like a bunch of interesting individuals than a group, though of course it's better (?) to keep the colours different enough for easier distinction.

(Hehe, great! I was really, really impressed with the worldbuilding of CnN and was actually really looking forward to the titbits of information after each chapter. I also read what you wrote on the facebook page, really love how much thought you've put into this!)

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Re: Centaur VN [NaNoRenO 2014] [Fantasy] [Slice of Life]

#5 Post by noeinan » Mon Mar 03, 2014 7:36 pm

Hrm, that's true. But I suppose most of the characters above actually live in the homestead, so maybe I can make the colors blend more with the actual nomadic tribe. :/ It's just so tempting to add lots of different colors, haha.

And I'm glad you liked the world-building! I spent a lot of time on it and am currently working with Sheridan on the actual story plot. :)

I feel like I should also add world tidbits, but I'm not sure. Maybe if I have the time, I'll add in a codex of sorts where you can unlock setting information, or various research I did for this game/author commentary.
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Re: Centaur VN [NaNoRenO 2014] [Fantasy] [Slice of Life]

#6 Post by Googaboga » Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:07 am

This sounds very nice ^^. Yay for centaurs X3.

Honestly I like all the different colors. But if you want some of them to look like a group maybe they should be a little more samey.
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Re: Centaur VN [NaNoRenO 2014] [Fantasy] [Slice of Life]

#7 Post by noeinan » Tue Mar 04, 2014 12:02 pm

:D Glad you like it!

Hmmm, maybe I'll make the black and white ones into bays instead. And the painted one could also just as easily be a chestnut.

[Edit]

Okay, I think this looks a little less... all over the place. :)

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(Oops, I forgot the black points on the Buckskin! Added that in, too.)
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Re: Centaur VN [NaNoRenO 2014] [Fantasy] [Slice of Life]

#8 Post by Kaht » Tue Mar 04, 2014 5:38 pm

This looks really interesting! You don't see a lot of centaur slice of life, that's for sure!!

NGL hoping for some GxG BxB romance options hahahaha....but seriously it's really different, I like it! As well the second set you posted does look more cohesive as a group, but I don't think that's something you have to worry about too much? Because it's a VN most people are going to be viewing the characters as individuals and assessing their color schemes on that basis, though creating a more streamlined color scheme can aid in having background colors that more easily match more characters and group shots. Up to you (tho I am always sad to see a white haired option go away lmfao)

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Re: Centaur VN [NaNoRenO 2014] [Fantasy] [Slice of Life]

#9 Post by noeinan » Tue Mar 04, 2014 6:55 pm

Thanks for expressing your interest!

No worries, there will be more white haired characters-- I haven't gotten rid of the color scheme I used before, I'll just be using it on a different, yet to be announce character. :)

As for romances, at this point we can confirm there will be friendships and possibly romances. If there are romances, I certainly won't limit them in terms of gender, so I'm sure there will be something you'll like. ;)
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Re: Centaur VN [NaNoRenO 2014] [Fantasy] [Slice of Life]

#10 Post by noeinan » Wed Mar 05, 2014 1:17 am

I changed some colors around on the Farmer sprite. The old one was a little straining on the eyes.

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Re: Centaur VN [NaNoRenO 2014] [Fantasy] [Slice of Life]

#11 Post by PyTom » Thu Mar 06, 2014 12:34 am

I think that even the new image is a bit too dark.

Cameras (and from what I understand, our eyes) adjust the amount of light they let in such that the brightness of the image is roughly about the same, regardless of what you're photographing/seeing. I'm not sure how this translates to drawing, but I think that there's probably some sort of neutral point that you'd expect an image to be at, if it's the thing you're focusing on. This image seems to be below that neutral point.

(I may be incorrect about this, since it's not really my area. But I seem to remember this from some graphics courses I took.)

I'm guessing one could fix this by adding specular highlights to her skin (which would also make it stand out from the fur a bit more) or else by shading the skin.
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Re: Centaur VN [NaNoRenO 2014] [Fantasy] [Slice of Life]

#12 Post by arachni42 » Thu Mar 06, 2014 1:03 am

I agree that the new one still seems pretty dark... and I kind of like the contrast of the hair/body on the original (though the hair is a tad bright), but I actually like them both. I think the problem is that the black lines get lost in the really dark brown. The profile by itself is good, so I know I'm looking at a centaur... but I find myself straining my eyes trying to follow all of those black lines anyway.

You need some light in there. If you plan to add highlights, I think it'll help, especially if they're strategically placed. You can also try experimenting with non-black lines for this sprite. Try light brown or something. Look up Nightmare Moon from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic to see an example of using light lines. Compare to Princess Luna -- her skin is light enough and her body skinny enough that they were able to get away with dark blue lines, although they used light lines for her hair and neckpiece.

Overall I am digging the character designs.
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Re: Centaur VN [NaNoRenO 2014] [Fantasy] [Slice of Life]

#13 Post by noeinan » Thu Mar 06, 2014 5:25 pm

Thanks guys! I'll probably work on her a bit more, but before that I think I'll get some more sprites done in case I run out of time. I've got three more sketches done that need inking and coloring. :)

Once I have all the flats colored I'll go back and try my hand at shading. (I'm terrible at it so it will take me a bit longer, and at the very least I want to have usable flats for the game-- I can update the art after NaNoRenO ends if I need to.)

Though, the line adjustment is something that might be easier and quicker, so I'll test that out when I get home to my desktop!
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Re: Centaur VN [NaNoRenO 2014] [Fantasy] [Slice of Life]

#14 Post by Rinima » Thu Mar 06, 2014 5:48 pm

This looks awesome, look forward to playing :)

As for thr farmer sprite, personally, I can see her perfectly well with the new colours, and doesn't really strain my own eyes to much, but I can see why it would effect others *then again, you should probably ignore me since my luck granted me no sense of smell, but excellent sight XD*
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Re: Centaur VN [NaNoRenO 2014] [Fantasy] [Slice of Life]

#15 Post by noeinan » Thu Mar 06, 2014 8:39 pm

I also think it depends on what kind of screen you're using. For instance, the first version looked okay on my computer, but when I checked this thread on my phone I couldn't see her face at all!
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