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Back in July and August of last year, I reached out to the community here to find a team to help me bring this game to life. I received a terrific response, and we made some great progress through the end of 2018. Since our goal now is to have a working version of the game by the end of summer 2019, I figured it was time to make a progress thread so that we could update everyone on how things are going.
Refraction is a game that is generally about alternate dimensions and specifically about the differences in circumstances and people between two very similar dimensions. The main character is Jackie, a journalism college undergraduate in the US. Allegations of abuse of power have been brought against the president of her university, and she is striving to find the evidence that will be able to convict him.
However, something strange begins to happen to her just as she's making her plans to find this evidence. When she wakes up, she finds that things about the world around her are slightly off: people look different, others are acting strangely, and her memories don't match up with reality. She soon discovers that she is mysteriously traveling back and forth between her world and an alternate version of it. Even more bizarrely, she finds that there is another version of herself that is switching places with her...and messing up things in her world in the process! She has to find a way to come to terms with this other person that looks just like her and prevent her from ruining everything Jackie has set out to do.
The game also has two romantic interests: Paul, a quiet, thoughtful boy from the South of the US, and Jun, a boisterous and opinionated girl from Taiwan. As the game progresses, players have the option to get closer to each of these friends, but this is complicated by the fact that Jackie is traveling back and forth between two dimensions...and the person she's interested in today might be a different version than the one she talked to yesterday!
Development So Far
One hope I have for this thread is that I'll be able to keep updating it regularly so that everyone is informed on our progress. This will probably involve quick updates, as well as sharing new resources to keep interest up. In this section, I'd just like to quickly introduce the members of our team and some of the things they've created so far. I'll be referring to them by their profile names on this website so that you can check out their pages if you're interested~
For starters, there's me, of course. I'm acting as the writer and programmer for Refraction, as well as the general director and organizer of the team. The first version of the game's script was finished before I started looking for team members, so luckily that part is already completed. As resources start to come in, I'll be organizing them and putting them into the game's code. I'm always happy to respond to questions or comments, so feel free to contact me. ^_^
Ende is the most recent addition to our team, but he's already proved himself invaluable as a proofreader and editor. It's hard to see the errors and limitations of your own writing, so it was a great relief to me for Ende to come in and let me know what was and wasn't working in the script. The game will be very noticeably better because of his efforts. He's also worked hard to put the script into RenPy format. Thank you, Ende!
Nat is our character and CG artist. Her vision has managed to breathe life into the characters that only existed in my head previously. Have a look at these character sketches for Jackie that she sent to me:
We're currently looking for another artist to assist Nat with lineart and coloring, if any of you are interested. (I'll talk about this at the end of the post, too.)
Danil is our background artist. He's made several backgrounds for us so far, and his work speaks for itself. Check out these amazing pics:
Min is our UI Designer and Artist. You can thank her for that incredible logo at the top of this post! Here's some of her work on a text box as well:
Luke is the composer for our game. He has an amazing musical sense for what I imagine when I picture this game as fully made. I can't seem to attach an mp3 to this post, so you'll just have to wait to hear some of the amazing stuff he's come up with.
All of these team members are phenomenal. I'm so lucky to have them working with me. I hope you look forward as much as I do to what they'll come up with next! ^_^
Purpose and Updates
There are a few reasons I wanted to make this thread:
1. First off, I want to be able to keep everyone here in this forum updated on this game's progress as it develops. Our plan is to keep working through the next few months so that a working version of the game is complete by the end of summer. It will help keep us motivated if we have this post to update regularly.
2. Second, I would love to hear from all of you! I think that Refraction has some good potential, but I want to know what other people around here think of our ideas and the things we've developed. Please feel free to comment or message anytime about your thoughts. I'll be happy to read them.
Just to get things started, I would be very grateful if you would leave a comment about your opinion on the project and what you like or dislike about it. I'm hoping we can generate interest through discussion.
3. Finally, I'd like to use this thread as a way to reach out to the community in the event that our project needs some additional help. At the moment, we do have one opening we're looking to fill: Nat is in need of another artist to help her with lineart and coloring in order to increase her efficiency and rate of production. If anyone has the requisite skills and is interested in joining our project, please send a message to me as soon as possible, and we'll discuss.
Thanks again for reading this post! I look forward to interacting with you as we seek to make this game a reality!
Character Introduction: Jun
Born in Taiwan but currently attending Big Lake University in the United States, Jun is a bit short, but her personality more than makes up for this. Enthusiastic, energetic, and opinionated about everything she takes an interest in, Jun tends to dominate whatever room she decides to walk into. Her biggest passion is pop culture, as can be seen if you ever get a glimpse of her room overcrowded with memorabilia and covered in posters, or can be heard whenever she's within earshot. But beyond just caring about things like TV shows, movies, and comic books, Jun particularly enjoys examples of these things that are awful. She gets a particular kind of joy out of finding and then sharing pop culture that is a prime example of terrible quality.
Despite her overbearing presence, Jun's passion isn't only directed inwards. She has a strong loyalty towards the people she cares about, and when the time comes for it, there's not a better person to have defending you in a crisis. Her love of laughter and jokes can ease the tension in any situation, although this sometimes leads her to cracking wise at inappropriate times. She's not entirely unaware of how caustic some people can find her, and she sometimes secretly wonders whether she'll ever be able to find someone who doesn't just put up with her.
Props to natjieo for the character sketches. You should definitely check out her work if you haven't already.
I'm still very open to receiving any questions or comments about the project you have! We're also still looking for someone assist Nat with her linework and coloring. (I've updated our listing in the Recruitment section as well.)
Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful week!
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I think the concept of alternate universes is super interesting, and I like what you've done with the idea! It'll be interesting to see how Jackie confronts herself to get life in her own universe back on track. She sounds like a really cool protagonist. ^_^
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Background feature: Church Exterior
I love the way that Danil draws his backgrounds. This image really encapsulates the idea of a large, majestic religious building contrasted with the nearby urban buildings. It was exactly what I asked for.
Thank you to Zelan and papilion for your responses and interest in the project. I hope that it ends up meeting your expectations. ^_^
Oh, and Zelan, Jun wants to know what you have planned for the wedding. She won't marry you unless it has multi-colored fireworks and at least three stereotypical anime plot-twists that she can laugh at.
We've received a lot of great applications for the artist position we advertised, and we're currently in the negotiation stage with some of the applicants. Stay tuned next week for when we (hopefully) announce the newest member of our team.
As always, I'm happy to hear any and all of your questions and comments about the project. Thanks, all!
Hey all! I just wanted to give a quick update and report that we've found another artist to help Nat out! Reisei will be assisting with the character work. I recommend that you all check her work out!
Next week we'll have a feature on our game's second romantic interest, Paul. As always, questions and comments are welcome!
Character Introduction: Paul
Paul hails from the Southern states in the US, and is currently attending Big Lake University, pursuing a degree in World Religions. He tends to be silent and pensive most of the time, happy to allow others to carry the conversation around him. When he does want to say or ask something, he tends to spend a lot of time thinking before opening his mouth, something that often comes back to bite him when he finds the conversation has moved on without him. Although quiet, he isn't shy, and is always happy to talk to people when they ask him to. Otherwise, he keeps to himself, occupying his time with solo activities such as school and carpentry, his most recent hobby.
Paul is deeply religious, having grown up in a very Christian environment, but his spirituality usually manifests itself in the form of curiosity, which is one reason for his current major. His friends know him for being thoughtful and careful about what he says, and he's happy to pitch in a hand or an ear to a friend in need. However, due to experiences with his family, he privately worries about whether he contributes enough to the relationships he has. He fears that his personality is too bland and straightforward to keep the interest of people who get to know him, and this drives him to, mentally and emotionally, place barriers to prevent others from falling into the "trap" of caring about someone who will do nothing but make their lives boring.
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Thanks! I'm glad that Paul is to your liking. ^^ And I'm glad you like the diversity too. I do think that having lots of different kinds of people in a story gives it much more room to be creative and interesting.
Thanks a lot! I'm hoping that you enjoy the direction I take things, and how her investigation and her dimension switching end up interacting with each other.parttimestorier wrote: ↑Mon Feb 04, 2019 10:15 amThis sounds like a cool concept! I like that the protagonist is a journalism major - I wonder how all the dimensional switching will affect her ability to look into what's going on with the university president. And I always appreciate VNs that have both male and female love interests. I'm looking forward to seeing more updates!
This week I want to show off some of the work being done by our incredible UI artist, minyan. She has really taken the theme and style of the game to heart. Check out how slick this prototype preferences screen she made is. It definitely conveys the sort of sci-fi atmosphere I imagined when I wrote the script. And what could those strange symbols in the background be, I wonder....
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That would certainly be very satisfying feature! Ultimately it will come down to how much work our artists can take on, as I don't want to bury them in work. But I'll definitely keep that in mind. ^_^
Hey, everyone! Thank you all for the comments so far.
We're continuing to make progress with developing the resources for the game. Our goal at the moment is to have a working version of the game completed by the end of summer 2019. We'll be working hard to achieve this goal!
In the meantime, here are a couple more new pieces of art. First off, we have a lovely background from Danil, representing the space Jackie passes through when she's pushed from one dimension to another:
Second, we have another set of character sketches from Nat! She's updated the sketches on Paul's looks to match the designs of the other characters more closely. Hopefully those of you who like Paul will be pleased at the development:
Thanks again for all your kind comments. More updates to come!
Hey all! It's been a little while. Sorry about that. ^^; We had a couple of months of stalled time as we tried to figure out a few of the things for the team. However, we're back to regular posting, and we're still on track to having a working version of the game by the end of August.
The wonderfully talented Sayuui has joined our team, and we're lucky to have her. Just check out what she's already done with the sprite for our main character, Jackie:
As always, comments and questions are welcome and appreciated! Feel free to comment about what you like or dislike about the concept and the resources we've shown so far. We'll be posting weekly again, so I look forward to continuing to post as we move towards the games completion. Thanks!
Hello, everyone! I hope you're having a great weekend. ^_^ Progress on Refraction continues to move along as scheduled. I can't wait until August when we'll have a demo out that you can play.
This week, I'd like to share an incredibly awesome image designed and drawn by minyan! This is the logo for our production company name, Universe Zero. As usual, she's done absolutely beautiful work for us. The shape and name in the logo are very important to the game's story...but you'll have to play the game to find out why!
Feel free to add questions or comments about the project if you like. Thanks!