miraclr - Divine Dating Sim [BxB, GxB][Otome][Romance, Comedy]

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storykween
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miraclr - Divine Dating Sim [BxB, GxB][Otome][Romance, Comedy]

#1 Post by storykween » Tue Jul 25, 2017 3:53 pm

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miraclr
An upcoming dating sim in which the archangels deliberate their next miracle. Help them decide by chatting on their workplace app, miraclr!
Overall description
miraclr is a comedic workplace romance starring the biblical (and apocryphal) archangels, told in a mobile office collaboration app.

In miraclr you play as an unnamed human recruited to assist the archangels of heaven with the creation and implementation of the first true miracle in over 400 years. Because you can't visit them in their office, you are given access to miraclr, an app used by the Archangels for intra-office messaging. It looks a little like Slack, with similarly structured channels and PMs.

When you first start up miraclr, you will decide on a time zone and a scheduled time for daily morning meetings. From then on, miraclr will unfold (mostly) in real-time, whether or not you have the game open. Your co-workers (the Archangels) will talk among themselves, ask for your input, and private message you for both work and personal reasons. Your timely responses--or lack thereof--will affect romantic relationships and how the story unfolds.

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Gameplay and Scope
Similar to "Mystic Messenger," the experience of this game is strongly connected to time in the real world. Via the Slack-like messenger app, the player must check in regularly or risk missing important conversations and private messages. Every day, the player can schedule an important meeting with the other angels. We will start with seven days of content and multiple branches.

We've already proto-typed a version of the app that can display the story in real-time and have most of the first day written, which along with some initial art only took a few days. It was tricky to get the system working in Ren'Py, but our proto-type is holding up well and we are rapidly developing it further. With all that in mind, we're targeting an early September release date for miraclr!

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Portraits of Lucifer (left) and Gabriel, who is non-binary (right)

My Questions to You
This is a very unusual project for my two-person team, Woodsy Studio. The time element introduces a lot technical and storytelling challenges. Altogether, I'm really curious to hear what you think of the concept thus far.
  • Does it sound like something you'd enjoy playing? Why or why not?
  • Do you like the art style so far?
  • We'll start by targeting mobile devices, but would you be interested in playing a game like this on desktop?
  • Would you prefer ads or in-app purchases as a means of paying for the game?
Last edited by storykween on Tue Aug 22, 2017 7:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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My website: woodsy-studio.com

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Re: miraclr [BxB, GxB][Otome][Romance, Comedy]

#2 Post by GhostGnome » Tue Jul 25, 2017 11:47 pm

i'm always up to try new things and this sounds interesting, there's a lot you can do with this concept.

if the art is as good as there "profile pics", then going to be good.

yes to desktop because i don't play games on my phone, i see the game working like one of the old instant messaging clients like ICQ, AIM or MSN Messenger, i also see more features on the PC like randomized AI behavior with AI traits, for example, Lucifer could be vary manipulative and sex crazed (doing things like sending dirty photos to you) and Michael could be the one who's kind, wants to take it slow and to get to know you, the desktop has so much less restrictions that will benefit the game more.

i prefer ads but then again, i'm not a mobile player.

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Re: miraclr [BxB, GxB][Otome][Romance, Comedy]

#3 Post by MilanaWalters » Wed Jul 26, 2017 7:49 am

Does it sound like something you'd enjoy playing? Why or why not? -Yes, definetely. I wanted to play MM so much, but i just dont like playing as a girl, so the option of both genders is really good.

Do you like the art style so far? - it really looks nice, esp the black-haired guy *swoons*. Im just hoping this game will have romance cgs, i tend to enjoy VNs that have them much more.

We'll start by targeting mobile devices, but would you be interested in playing a game like this on desktop? - Hmm, i usually play games on my laptop, but i guess this one i will enjoy more on my phone.

Would you prefer ads or in-app purchases as a means of paying for the game? - Ads, i guess.

P.s. i really liked Quantum Conscience, but it was a bit too dark for me, left me quite depressed lol hopefully this one will be lighter :P

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storykween
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Re: miraclr [BxB, GxB][Otome][Romance, Comedy]

#4 Post by storykween » Wed Jul 26, 2017 1:05 pm

Awesome, thanks for the thoughts so far!

@GhostGnome - Ha you've guessed some of the personalities pretty well ;) Glad to hear you're interested in a desktop version. I imagine it will have a much different layout and notification system, but hopefully we can still create a good experience for it

@MilanaWalters - Thanks for playing QC! And yes this will definitely be lighter :D I hope to add some romance CGs as well <3
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Re: miraclr [BxB, GxB][Otome][Romance, Comedy]

#5 Post by GhostGnome » Wed Jul 26, 2017 6:20 pm

storykween wrote:
Wed Jul 26, 2017 1:05 pm
Awesome, thanks for the thoughts so far!

@GhostGnome - Ha you've guessed some of the personalities pretty well ;) Glad to hear you're interested in a desktop version. I imagine it will have a much different layout and notification system, but hopefully we can still create a good experience for it
Nice, i'm good at this game i guess.

one other problem with mobile is content restrictions, google and apple are vary picky about sex and nudity which is not something you have to worry yourself with on a PC.

also are you going to start a kickstarter?.

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storykween
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Re: miraclr [BxB, GxB][Otome][Romance, Comedy]

#6 Post by storykween » Thu Jul 27, 2017 10:41 am

@GhostGnome -- No plans for Kickstarter at the moment. We're making good progress, so we hope to release it before too long!
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storykween
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Re: miraclr [BxB, GxB][Otome][Romance, Comedy]

#7 Post by storykween » Mon Jul 31, 2017 3:48 pm

I came up with some character portraits/genders the player can choose from:

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What do you all think of those as options so far?
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Re: miraclr [BxB, GxB][Otome][Romance, Comedy]

#8 Post by Dovahkitteh » Mon Jul 31, 2017 7:25 pm

Alright, this sounds absolutely...divine :wink: No, seriously, what an awesome idea! I loooove angelic lore, but the thought of combining it with a Slack/Mystic-Messenger-like system is not only hilarious, but really dang clever.

Does it sound like something you'd enjoy playing? Why or why not?:
YES! I never really got into Mystic Messenger because I don't really like GxB games, but I'd definitely go for a BxB version. The interactivity is really appealing, and it sounds like there's so much potential for humorous encounters.

Do you like the art style so far?:
I do! The coloring strikes me as a bit flat, but the designs are cool.

We'll start by targeting mobile devices, but would you be interested in playing a game like this on desktop?:
Sure! I already don't get enough notifications on a regular basis. *sweats* Either would work, but I think it'd lend itself to mobile best.

Would you prefer ads or in-app purchases as a means of paying for the game?:
I don't like in-app purchases very much. Ads are okay, but I'd probably just prefer to pay for it up-front.

I'll be keeping an eye on this one for sure. September sounds like a really early release date though! How long are you expecting the game to be for a full play-through?
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Re: miraclr [BxB, GxB][Otome][Romance, Comedy]

#9 Post by MilanaWalters » Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:44 am

storykween wrote:
Mon Jul 31, 2017 3:48 pm
I came up with some character portraits/genders the player can choose from:

Image

What do you all think of those as options so far?
the first face is good, second one is a bit too small? idk mb its just me and third one is too big :P

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Re: miraclr [BxB, GxB][Otome][Romance, Comedy]

#10 Post by Amberbaum » Tue Aug 01, 2017 6:37 am

storykween wrote:
Tue Jul 25, 2017 3:53 pm
Does it sound like something you'd enjoy playing? Why or why not?
The premise? Definitely yes! This setting can open up all sorts of goofy shenanigans or interesting historical theology stuff:
"Hey Michael! Remember when one of our opium addicts once wanted to walk through the sea with his homies because he was chased by some angry space aliens with a weird love for pyramids?", "Wha...? Those weren't space aliens, you doofus! Those where Egyptians. And that opium addict was one of god's prophets!", "Yeah, but I still don't get how they build those things. We are talking about "primitive" humans here. No cars and shit. Whatever....I still find it funny that they consider the parting of the sea a miracle by god, when all the fat ass did was sleeping while they prayed for a miracle. Turns out it was just a natural occurrence.", ".......*hnnn* Talk one more time this badly about our boss and I will report you!"

As for the format? Nope :arrow:
storykween wrote:
Tue Jul 25, 2017 3:53 pm
Do you like the art style so far?
It's okay. I prefer your art style from Echoes of the Fay to be honest.
storykween wrote:
Tue Jul 25, 2017 3:53 pm
We'll start by targeting mobile devices, but would you be interested in playing a game like this on desktop?
Yes, I mostly emulate apps on PC. I prefer to keep my smartphone clean of typical mobile games. ( emulated Tetris is good, Clash of titans not so much)
storykween wrote:
Tue Jul 25, 2017 3:53 pm
Would you prefer ads or in-app purchases as a means of paying for the game?
No, either I buy the whole package or complete routes OR I won't bother at all with ingame purchases. I don't like microtransaction. I still have yet to buy microtransations from GREE/dating mobile sims. So I would go for the ad version.

storykween wrote:
Tue Jul 25, 2017 3:53 pm
Similar to "Mystic Messenger," the experience of this game is strongly connected to time in the real world. Via the Slack-like messenger app, the player must check in regularly or risk missing important conversations and private messages. Every day, the player can schedule an important meeting with the other angels. We will start with seven days of content and multiple branches.
:arrow: This is one of the reasons why I don't play MM. Which is why I am not really sure If I am the right target demographic for your project. Maybe people who already play this sort of format (MM) and/or GREE games. And who buy these mini-purchases.

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Re: miraclr [BxB, GxB][Otome][Romance, Comedy]

#11 Post by storykween » Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:38 am

@Dovahkitteh - Thanks for the thoughts! Yeah, our September release date is a bit ambitious, but I'm still feeling pretty good about it. My partner and I are pretty prolific writers when the mood strikes us :D It's hard to say how many "hours" of play-time it will be, exactly, but there will be 7 days to the story. Each day will have multiple group conversations and private interactions with the characters spaced throughout

@MilanaWaters - Heh good to know, I probably just need to zoom equally on each one :p

@Amberbaum - Great to hear from you! Haha "space aliens" -- nice :p In terms of art style, I thought I'd try my hand at a more traditional anime style, but it's nice to know you like my usual style! Regarding the time factor of the game: good to hear your thoughts. We have actually enjoyed writing a story that will play out in actual time; it definitely leads to a unique experience. But I know it's hard for that to work with everyone's schedules. There will be a way to skip ahead in time or rewind to things you missed (probably via in-app purchase). Anyway, it's definitely a bit of a departure from our other recent work (and we WILL return to Echoes of the Fey afterwards), but I hope you enjoy this nonetheless!
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Re: miraclr [BxB, GxB][Otome][Romance, Comedy]

#12 Post by MilanaWalters » Tue Aug 01, 2017 11:15 am

in regards to art style, its weird how ppl prefer anime more, i really like realistic one, though i admit smtms anime art can look great too.
i wasnt a big fan of art in Quantum Conscience, but the art in Serafina's Saga is gorgeous.

and yea now i can see that the third pic is just zoomed in lol

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Re: miraclr [BxB, GxB][Otome][Romance, Comedy]

#13 Post by Amberbaum » Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:48 am

MilanaWalters wrote:
Tue Aug 01, 2017 11:15 am
in regards to art style, its weird how ppl prefer anime more, i really like realistic one, though i admit smtms anime art can look great too.
i wasnt a big fan of art in Quantum Conscience, but the art in Serafina's Saga is gorgeous.
I also prefer realistic art style. I think it might me due to me being tired of anime style. There isn't much variety in having strange hair and eye colours as in for different body-types. A big part of anime style hobby artists just won't bother with bone-structure or facial-structure or they don't have the necessary skills. Characters vary too often in only their height. But on the other hand if it's done right and the artist knows how to draw anatomy and different faces, it can truly be a treat for the eyes. Then there are pretty anime art styles and anime art styles who I won't like no matter what.
storykween wrote:
Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:38 am
...In terms of art style, I thought I'd try my hand at a more traditional anime style, but it's nice to know you like my usual style!
I think for this format and the regulars that prefer it (Mobile player/MM player/GREE player) or people who only know this format and have no exposition to PC video games/English VNs this might be the best choice. Jack from Winter Wolves games once made a survey about art styles in VNs and the result was that people preferred anime art style ( :cry: ) with semi-realistic on the second place. Personally, I think this result might be due to the fact that people who started developing an interest in Anime and Mangas in their younger years (teens or kids) got later in contact with Japanese dating sim/harem/otome games after travelling through animu land via the interweebs in search for more animu content. Mainstream animu land (let's just ignore Mamoru Oshii, Hayao Miayazaki or Naoki Urasawa) came with it's own ideas on how a story has to be, character archetypes, art-style and whole bunch of lovely animu tropes. People absorbed it really fast and thus their expectations for this sort of media was being shaped and formed. Fanservice in JP media differs from western fanservice and it doesn't always resolve about nudity or panty-shots. Certain character types, behaviour or physical traits that makes you : "Huh? What the heck is so sexy about that? I swear you all have been brainwashed by this format into loving it. This whole place reeks of fetishism." -> "Mekane-Guy? I dig that! Ohhhh sexy-eyepatch man (it's just a damn Eyepatch!)! He is such a perverted tsundere! I love the arrogant, oujisama prince type".

Japan made this genre popular and I would say that the majority of players who play VNs/otome/harem/RPG maker games with romance elements are mostly made up of people who developed an early interest in Japanese media
-> then found Japanese dating sim games
-> the popularity spawned western fans to do their own VNs/romance games that uses a similar game structure if not the same
-> those who don't develop their own games became customers for western VNs once they found out that they exits.
This audience is closely followed by, let's call it, Bioware game/romance consumers. I don't know about the rest, but this is how I perceive the VN audience landscape and their tastes. It's mostly the Bioware audience (and the small rest) that wishes for a more realistic or unique art style and some sort of gameplay mechanics. The traditional otome/Vn player that weren't being fed JP RPG games are often confused with any game mechanic that goes beyond "choose right option for more romance points* or senseless stat grinding (because bishie no.2 needs 120 in beauty if I wanna unlock his special good end) I think the Lemmasoft regulars on the other hand are much more diversified in terms of preference and how they came in contact with this genre. And not every VN genre lover knows about this place.

Back to anime style. It gives you an immediate recognition amongst the dating sim crown that aren't even aware that western developers exist. For them only Japan can provide their favourite medium and you'll be damned to stray from this formula. Tho, I think not everyone from this group is so pedantic. Note: I am not kidding you when I say that there is a large portion of female players that only play via mobile and only play Japanese or other Asian otome/dating sim/GREE games. I literally had to tell someone from one of the otome facebook groups I am part of what a PC VN is and why it doesn't have any events, why it doesn't have any avatar items, why it doesn't have a friend option and why it doesn't need any checkpoints items. Or I have to explain to them what a rar file is and how to unpack it. Convenience is very important for them. Some of them turned up their noses when I tried to introduce them to 7KPP from Azalyne studios because it had stats and they didn't wanted to invest their time in figuring out the game mechanics. I can understand being overwhelmed by 7KPP's game mechanics and just wanting for something easy to play. What I can't understand is not wanting to play Cinderella Phenomenon only due to not having a walkthough ready because making choices without knowing the outcome is "eww" and developing an understanding for the ingame characters, so you know what options to pick, is hard /s
(yes.....I am a salty asshole. I'll admit that. I have my own frustration with this genre or the audience that runs after the cheap fanservice crap instead of treating it like a gimmick and how it impacts the focus of this genre, but.....eh. Fanservice games are fine. They are like fastfood. I don't mind them and you can eat them once in a while. It only becomes bothersome when it spills over into high quality mouth watering cuisine, thus muddling up it's presentation and overall taste. A gourmet course(game) can be downgraded because of that from a 5 star to a 4.)
storykween wrote:
Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:38 am
But I know it's hard for that to work with everyone's schedules. There will be a way to skip ahead in time or rewind to things you missed (probably via in-app purchase). Anyway, it's definitely a bit of a departure from our other recent work (and we WILL return to Echoes of the Fey afterwards), but I hope you enjoy this nonetheless!

Hm, I think one of the interesting thing about Woodsy studio's products is that they always turn out to be interesting. I will never forget Quantum Conscience's unique game mechanic and how it impacted the story. That game left me with a enlightened but ambivalent feeling similar to when you watch a really good film that has a crushing ending with a really good message. Like a horror story that won't end well and you know that it never ends well in reality. Something that leaves a mark on you and makes you think. Heavy fare. Not necessarily something that one wants to play over and over again, but something that you will definitely remember even if you haven't played it in 10 years.

So hypothetically speaking, if you want to experiment - why not? If it turns out to be a good cashcow, that makes people happy and won't rip them off, opposite to a problematic cashcow (EA's bought out Sims franchise) then that's good. Maybe you can add some mechanics or features that will give MM players something new. My only beef is that because games like that have to be constantly maintained and new events have to be written, it will halt any future PC games productions, like it did with Chertiz. That's why I hope you will find the happy medium between maintaining it and maybe continue developing PC VN games (like you mentioned with EotF) And if that doesn't work out then that's life. Maybe I will end up playing it like crazy or not. Who knows.

TL;dr - Me talking about artstyle, VN audience and that you should just continue doing what you have been doing: Experimenting, expanding and to improve your skills. I also hope that you will continue making your own music for your games and best of luck.............I really admire how do nearly everything on your own for your games. No stock music etc.

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storykween
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Re: miraclr [BxB, GxB][Otome][Romance, Comedy]

#14 Post by storykween » Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:49 pm

@Amberbaum - Wow, so many good thoughts here! I think a lot of your impressions about the various VN communities are correct. We are hoping to appeal to some of the more casual players with this game while still being our weird, experimental selves ;) And to be honest we are having a blast with this project so I feel great about it! I know there will be plenty of maintenance for this game, but I'm determined not to let it halt our PC projects afterwards.

Anyways, I really appreciate your support and ideas!

The artwork I had in the original post was a bit preliminary; I've updated it now with a more accurate representation of what the in-game character portraits will look like.
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storykween
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Re: miraclr [BxB, GxB][Otome][Romance, Comedy]

#15 Post by storykween » Tue Aug 22, 2017 2:43 pm

Would anyone here be interested in trying an Android alpha demo of the game on Google Play? We have 4 days of content ready for testing (out of 7), before all the major plot branching takes place.

We're still expecting it to be rather buggy at this point, but would love to get some general feedback on the game so far!

If you're interested, message me here or email jenny AT woodsy-studio DOT com with your gmail email info. Then I'll try to hook you up with an Android testing build.
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