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Author Topic: Breathing new life into a dead idea  (Read 198 times)

Offline BroadwayPrism

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Breathing new life into a dead idea
« on: 2017-02-20 01:59:07 »
Hello Caine. I've come today to speak with you on a matter that has been on my mind.

So, maybe we bit off more than we could chew with creating our own anime (even just an opening sequence) from scratch. Admittedly it was pretty ambitious. However, our dreams do not have to die here. We can take our collective passion and pour it into a new project, perhaps a tier of difficulty lower.

"What could I possibly be talking about?' I hear you ask. Well here it is:

I suggest we make a dating sim game.

I was inspired by a workshop I went to at Katsucon. The event, called: Make your Dating Simulator, involved the host leading the groups to create the most ridiculous and over-the-top dating simulators we could imagine. Within an hour, we had dozens of stories, characters, events, and twists all lined up. Afterwords, he spoke to us about the process of turning ideas into an actual game. Remarkably, it's not that difficult. There are platforms out there, programs which let you make essentially a flowchart of text and images with occasional branching paths, which make the process easy to get started in.

When you think about it, a dating sim is basically a romance plot anime, but with an occasional choose-your-own-adventure element. It's also significantly less work. For an anime, you need 1000 drawings per minute of animation, whereas in a dating sim you need only a handful of characters, and a picture of each in a variety of emotions, as well as a few background images. They can be made with or without voice acting, maybe with a bit of open source music in the background. The only extensive work is writing a creative story. And in a world where games like Hatoful Boyfreind not only exist, but are successful, the sky's the limit on story ideas.

Plus, who knows? I'm no expert on copyright law and marketing, but if we use all original characters, art, and music, we might even be able to use it to put a little money in the club's coffers.

[EDIT] We could even keep the old idea of making it about Caine, where our club members make up the cast of potential love interests for our protagonist. Then each person could write their lines in their own voice. As Dana Carvey once said: "That's crazy... It's so crazy, it just might work".

Offline tormaid

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Re: Breathing new life into a dead idea
« Reply #1 on: 2017-02-20 10:22:46 »
I actually like this idea quite a bit. You're right that there are plenty of tools out there like Ren'Py that make coding a visual novel relatively easy compared with any other game. We could even do all of the "animated" scenes as video, which would be easier for me anyway.

It would still take quite a considerable amount of time and effort, and would probably not be something we could finish this semester, but if even a few people are interested in working on something like this, I think there are things we could do now to get started. I would also like to suggest incorporating some of that preliminary work into our doujin publication for this year. For example, if we could get the character design and some of the story elements figured out and published in Misspent Youth, that would let people reference them easily and start thinking of their own ideas for individual story arcs.

I'm interested to hear from others about this!

Offline bwbScram

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Re: Breathing new life into a dead idea
« Reply #2 on: 2017-02-21 20:51:09 »
This should happen. A degree or two more feasible than the original endeavor to make an actual OP. Also gives us a reason to use this platform over the summer.

Should start talking this Thursday re: setting, characters, etc...

Pic related is from Panzermadels.

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Offline BroadwayPrism

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Re: Breathing new life into a dead idea
« Reply #3 on: 2017-02-22 08:43:26 »
Oh my, I'd forgotten about Panzermadels.
 Good 'ol IS-2. Best tank.

Offline 13thMuse

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Re: Breathing new life into a dead idea
« Reply #4 on: 2017-02-22 20:43:12 »
This is great; my friends and I are always joking about what crazy theme should be the next Hatoful g­irlfriend, and Mystic Messenger has popularized dating sims recently. I'd be on board for either a serious story or some kind of parody. I also think it'd be nice to have a story with romanceable guys and girls so anyone could play.

Offline tormaid

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Re: Breathing new life into a dead idea
« Reply #5 on: 2017-02-24 15:12:43 »
So, one of the things I wanted to accomplish with the animation project was coming up with a set of CAINE characters, or mascots that we can use in T-shirt designs, advertising, etc. I think since that's something we'd need to do for this project anyway, this would be a great chance to get started with that.

I think 3-5 main characters is probably plenty for our uses. I'd like to see a mix of male and female characters, too. I think we sort of are limited to a modern setting if we are to use the UVa grounds as a backdrop for the visual novel, so modern consume design is also probably best. Otherwise, go to town. If you can draw, a quick doodle will give us a better understanding of what the character is like, but if not, just a description will suffice. Come up with as many as you like and then we can vote on them or something if we have too many.

Offline bwbScram

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Re: Breathing new life into a dead idea
« Reply #6 on: 2017-03-02 20:50:17 »
Time for me to get back on this...

OFFICIAL LISTS re: CAINE Vis-nov

Platform
Almost certainly Ren'Py. It doesn't hurt to have some people familiar with programming, but they probably won't be needed too much.

Resources Needed
  • Settling on a concept/setting (UVa-centric occult mystery slice of life, anthropomorphized flooring materials are two ideas that have been suggested)
  • Script/dialogue
  • Art (characters at the very least)
  • Music (in-house or outsourced?)

Other cool stuff that could be...
  • Voice acting? This could be a way to get other members involved. That, or recruit outside the club.
  • Eventually make an OP?

If people come up with other ideas, I will modify this list to reflect them.

In the meantime, we could start "assigning" people to certain parts. I think we have a good idea of who can do the art, but what about writer(s)? Would anyone be up to composing some music? A couple of CAINEanites have some connections with SGD, where there could be some skill overlap with this endeavor. Might not hurt to reach out subtly.
« Last Edit: 2017-03-02 21:05:02 by bwbScram »

Offline tormaid

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Re: Breathing new life into a dead idea
« Reply #7 on: 2017-03-05 17:00:26 »
I would like to volunteer for the writing, specifically of setting and world building elements (I think someone else would be better at dialogue). Full disclosure: I have trouble getting invested in "silly" story premises, so I would likely write a pretty dark occult subplot, although how much that will influence the course of the story is something we'd need to discuss together.

If you all would prefer something on the comedic side, I would probably focus on art and shooting background photos.

Offline 13thMuse

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Re: Breathing new life into a dead idea
« Reply #8 on: 2017-03-05 19:38:09 »
I'm in favor of an occult kind of storyline too--there's enough history with secret societies, etc. at UVA to make that work, and that kind of serious plotline was surprisingly popular in Mystic Messenger and other recent games. Are we looking at something Persona-esque? I know a lot about occult/New Age topics such as tarot and other kinds of divination,  ancient symbols/omens, Freemasonry, etc. through my family's eccentric friends, so I might be able to get us some resources on that stuff too. I'd like to help with the project no matter what kind of story we choose though.

I would like to volunteer to help with the writing (I think I can do passable dialogue and help plot broader storyline elements) and editing and checking for the finished work. I can also take pictures/video of scenery and backgrounds, though maybe you already have that covered? My Instagram has a few informal shots I've already done of UVA buildings, etc.

I can help plan characters' personalities and provide prompts/exercises/lists for character and story development, but I cannot contribute to the art in any significant way. If few CAINE members step forward I might be able to rope some of my friends into helping a little though.

Offline sarawr

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Re: Breathing new life into a dead idea
« Reply #9 on: 2017-03-06 18:23:22 »
I'm not sure how invested I'd be in this, and I would be terrible with development of story and character ideas, but I wouldn't mind doodling stuff or making sketches for you guys. Unfortunately, aside from the showing of Anthem of the Heart (which doesn't count), I haven't been at CAINE recently, so I've missed whatever conversations y'all have had about this at the meetings, but I'm here! and can contribute maybe a little if you want me to do stuff

(dA is nickjrlover; it's mostly dead but my art style hasn't changed much from the last thing I posted in my scraps on there; I can also bring my sketchbook to CAINE if I actually show up lol; I think my art is okay, but just okay)

I've been told that I have a very expressive voice (before I burst into giggles as I am prone to doing) and I can sing, so I can lend you my voice as well if you want it
« Last Edit: 2017-03-06 18:24:56 by sarawr »

Offline 13thMuse

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Re: Breathing new life into a dead idea
« Reply #10 on: 2017-03-23 00:49:32 »
I'm sure anything would be helpful, but especially art! TBH we haven't really talked about this at CAINE meetings yet, mostly just here and in social meetups, but maybe we can talk about it along with the workshopping for Misspent Youth next meeting.

Edit: I'm sure we do NOT want to get this dark with it, but as an example of the kind of seamy underbelly that UVA has to explore, here's an article about the since-destroyed Anatomical Building Jefferson designed for the medical school: http://uvamagazine.org/articles/theatre_of_the_macabre
This is pretty gruesome and has some nasty racial overtones, but there are a lot of dark secrets like this hiding in the school's past that we could shamelessly appropriate. 
« Last Edit: 2017-03-23 01:19:34 by 13thMuse »