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A jam submission

Dia:Dol - Diamond IdolView game page

Can you be the Diamond Idol?
Submitted by MakioKuta (@MakioKuta), Racheal — 1 day, 4 hours before the deadline

Play game

Dia:Dol - Diamond Idol's itch.io page

Results

CriteriaRankScore*Raw Score
Degica's Choice#9n/an/a
People's Choice Vote#233.9733.973

Ranked from 37 ratings. Score is adjusted from raw score by the median number of ratings per game in the jam.

Team Members
MakioKuta
Racheal

Engine
RenPy

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Comments

Submitted(+1)

It was fun getting to know all the characters in this game! My favorite is Chris because hes really cool. The other characters were interesting too. Perry might be a demon though... Anyway I had a good time. I'll have to finish the 2nd week later, but I like what I played so far.


The mystery about the brother sure has me interested. Art style was really cool and recognizable and most of the characters were fun. Nice work!

Developer

Perry... He just might be...

Thank you so much for playing! I'm glad you enjoyed the characters and the art! I'll be curious to hear what you think of the rest of the demo. :>

(+1)

Amazing one!!

Developer

thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Submitted(+1)

Rating the games using the Judge categories

Gameplay

VN's tend to be super light on gameplay, and while this one does not have a lot more than the rest, what is here is actually really interesting if you play through to the end. The potential consequences of training or not, the type of training you do or whether you rank high or not during a given week are pretty intriguing with the ending in mind. Although the contest build didn't actually present a result in that regard, I can see where it can go. 

Also I liked that you could unlock different routines if you chose to do so.

I think some sort of gameplay interaction in the dancing sections could be better, to give that part of the game both a skill and strategy factor. Speaking of strategy, some indication of the audience's preference towards singing or dancing would be nice too, so the player could attempt to see which routine would be best to pick

[14/20]

Presentation

Art is gorgeous and polished where it matters, and even the art that is not so polished is pretty nice as well. Music is also fun and fitting

Now the story: It was a bit of a rollercoaster for me, even before it ramped up near the end. I started with the expectation that this was just going to be a relatively simple story about a dance contest and your rivals. Then the first hint that there was something more came. I became intrigued. Then the whole ghost gimmick started gaining importance and I became worried this was going to go a little too supernatural, and then the ending. It changed how I viewed the entire game. I immediately thought of Danganronpa: Dancing edition XD. But beyond that, it also changed how I wanted to approach the game. Now the decision between training and slacking off was more important, and the stakes became higher. Sadly, the story ended right there

It was great.

[18/20] -> Doubled to 36

Engagement

The story is very engaging, although I wouldn't say I was glued to the game... until the last few parts of it. I think a little bit more of gameplay interaction/choices during the story segments is needed. Still, this game keeps itself interesting decently enough

[14/20]

Potential

VN's tend to have the least potential for commercial success, since there are many and the genre is relatively niche. This one is pretty unique, even within the male idol category, and the promise of the story development given near the end certainly makes me feel that this one can really shine bright

[14/20]

Total: 78/100 (4 Stars)

Developer

Thank you for the very in-depth review! A lot of the negatives mentioned are things that we have on the drawing block for a longer game. (especially when it comes to HOW the audience votes; there was no time to work out the math needed for that along with everything else however. and how many branching narratives had to be cut for time as well.) Still there's some good stuff to take away from here :>

I can't wait to introduce the game at full potential, because as you said, a lot of the mechanics become more interesting after the twist is introduced.

Thank you again for playing!

(1 edit) (+1)

Finally got around to trying this. Just finished episode 1, and really enjoying the game so far! I'm not a big fan of visual novels much less male virtual idols, but the character design and writing here more than make up for that. Sad that best boy got sent home first week though :(


edit: Finished the contest build. That turned into a bit of a ride towards the end. Can't wait to see what comes next!

Developer(+1)

Thank you for checking out or game, even if the genres aren't to your taste! I'm glad the characters and writing carry it well. Especially happy to know the hook at the end has got you curious for more. heh Thanks again!

Hello! I am interested in playing this game, but I just wanted to ask if there where any Yandere characters that you can date in this? c:

Developer

Hello! This is a Visual Novel, but not a dating sim. So no Yandere character to date. Hope that helps, and if you do decide to play it, I hope you enjoy it!

Submitted(+2)

I only occasionally play visual novels (and only the most famous ones at that,)
with Idolmaster music videos and Yakuza 5 being the sum of my idol experience,
but even I could tell this was well made! You handle a large cast really well.

Of course, the other half of Visual Novels are the story.
I must say I laughed, cheered and even cried over Jared's quest for stardom.
I thought it was a bold choice to tell his story through the eyes of another idol.
In my headcanon, Mamoo (I called him Mamoo) is the real main character.
So, I'm going to pretend he is even though it's obvious Jared's going to
come back in a big way. Until then, Mamoo is a snug fit for the spotlight, I like him!

I liked all of the distinct characters in general.
Their interactions micro and macro were solidly told;
To fraternize a group that big is an unsung feat of storytelling.
I'm curious to see who all the prominent characters will be in the endgame!

As for gameplay improvements, well, it's a Visual Novel, yes, but...
I'd add minigames to the idol sections! This is a game based on music, after all.
Even if the end result is the same, it may create tension to have Mamoo perform
fourth-to-first or fourth-to-last, with a standard Game Over if the player
doesn't even bother trying. This is a game based on music performance, after all.
As the story unfolds, the pressure will blend hope and despair... 
This advice is post-IGMC, of course.

Another subjective improvement I have is typewriter sounds.
This may be an odd suggestion because this applies to a setting I set manually;
I don't know if the instant text is an intentional design choice or something
Ren'Py defaults to. At any rate, even the illusion of speech is enough to
spice up production value.  

While we're on the subject of audio, I'd change up the music more often too.

Overall, this was an easy read! I feel like we got one full act out of five,
with just enough content to reel in the hook.

TOTAL PLAYTIME: 1 HOUR

FINAL VERDICT: This game makes me never want to be an idol,
there is no way you could make me get up before noon.

Developer(+1)

Thank you so much for giving our game a play, even if Visual Novels are not usually your Jam!

It was pretty bold of us to tell Jared's story through someone else's eyes, but then Jared's heroism might just be too powerful for anyone to experience first hand. You know? ;D Glad to know you enjoyed the characters and story! Especially happy to know that the large cast was handled well and that everyone's personalities were able to shine through.

The ability to have a game over was removed from this version of the game - mainly so the judges don't get ejected from the story too early. In a full version, the stakes of your training and fraternizing will be quite a bit higher. (and we'll be implementing better menus during training and outside of it to better keep track of where your abilities are.) Mini games... I wonder what sort we can make. I'll admit I thought about it a little bit haha something still on the drawing table.

Thank you again for playing our game and leaving feedback! I'm glad the hook got you interested ;>

Submitted(+2)

I liked it a lot. I am all into the male idol visual novel thing. Also, the story was pretty interesting, the art is great, and the stats mechanic is funny.

A suggestion: the background art is not bad but I feel that it could fit better with the characters.

This is a nice visual novel gem anyways, I am curious to see how the story develops I still want to play strip poker with Mark and Lanford

Developer(+1)

Thank you for playing! I'm glad you enjoyed it. The backgrounds took the hit from the 1 month time restraints (along with some of the mechanics) It can take me a long time to do fully polished backgrounds, so I concentrated my time on the character art and writing.

When we move into the full version, they will be fixed up for sure! And just maybe you can play strip Go Fish with the guys ;> 

Thank you again!

Submitted(+2)

My favorite game from you is always going to be U. U. P. Gemstar, I think.  I'd love to see that finished.

This game wasn't really my thing, but I enjoyed it!

Developer(+1)

Thanks for playing!

Every new VN brings us closer to actually tackling Gemstar - which turned out to be a bit adventurous in its story branches for our skill level at the time. It's always on the back of my mind, though. :)

(1 edit) (+3)

The game is pretty neat so far. I've only played about an hour but what I did see was nice. A lot of the backgrounds were a bit slap-dash but that's understandable given time constraints. I look forward to seeing a more polished version eventually. I also felt like there was a very slow build up to the actual gameplay itself, but being a VN that's understandable. What I did see of the gameplay was simple but effective. The little cut-outs of your character doing stuff reminded me a lot of a cute game called A Little Lily Princess.

As to the characters, I think there were only a few I didn't really get a good feel for/remember well. I got a bit attached to Perry, Yun, Chris, Ryan, Oliver, Lanford and Archie. I was super upset when Ryan got sent home first because I get the feeling it's because I bugged him the first day when Perry nabbed me to slack off. ;.; I'M SORRY RYAN!

So, yeah, it doesn't need saying that the character art is gorgeous, being that it's Makio and Racheal making the game. It definitely needs some in-game reference-type thing, though, if only so you can see how you're changing over time and how your relationships are stacking up.

Overall, I quite liked it. >.<)b

(+2)

Good job on your entry!I really enjoyed the game and found the writing pretty quirky–there were a few lines that made me laugh throughout the game. I like the concept, and especially all the heart that was put into it; I can tell that you guys worked super hard on this all month. It's a huge game with a lot of potential and a month really just scratches the surface of what (I feel) you guys were aiming for!

Like everyone mentioned, the large cast was a bit difficult to keep track of–there were so many personalities and not really enough air-time (haha) for me to really get to know them each as characters; I think the stat raiser portion of the game kind of limits me as a player who wants to both do well at the performance and also make friends with the others. I was so focused on not performing terribly that the window for slacking off and getting to know them is really narrow, haha. I think as a result it was kinda hard to form emotional attachment for the events later down the road, but since this is a prototype I'm sure there's still loads of time where you can focus on balancing the performance mechanic with the social one! 

Overall a really fun game with a lot of heart and I'm looking forward for more to come! 

Developer

Thank you for playing!

It's okay that you didnt get to slack off in this version because it was one place where time restraints heavily impacted the contents. In future versions there will be days where you can train alongside other characters to boost friendship and also hopefully when you can easily see where your stats are their will be less pressure to train. (Or perhaps doing well in the contest is more dangerous than you realize ;) and training becomes second to forming alliances.)

It's a balancing act that we will be putting a lot of focus into in the future. More focus than 1 month allows for for sure Haha

Thank you again!

Submitted(+2)

Wow there is a LOT of characters in this game.  I was going through the introduction portion and was just hoping there wasn't going to be a test later because I didn't remember half of their names. :D  

If I were going to tackle it I might introduce the player in the audition process and give a few key characters in a tutorial, then pair up other characters into "teams" constructed of archetypes of personality that can be drilled into for more nuance.  As it is the introductions are just to much to take in for me.

The artwork is great, I like the way that the game animates the portraits with the emotions.  It's a really great system for visual novels.  Overall really nice work!

Developer (1 edit) (+1)

Yeah, we've been hearing a lot that it's hard to keep track of all the characters. I guess personally I was never expecting the player to remember all of them from the introductions alone. It's there to give you a quick overview, not a cram session. (just my interpretation, I'm not the writer, haha)

We've had suggestions of a menu where you can see and reference all of them, and we're probably go with something like that in the future. Relationships will play an important role in the outcome, so it can all be tied together with a friendship menu. I'd also include the stats and routines and such info in there. I knew I didn't have the time to design / program that for this build, so it was cut early as an extra.

Thank you for your comments and suggestion and for playing our game ^^

Oh, as a quick fix, I'll add a visual reference for who is who on the game page. It's older concept art (and Nikolai changed his spelling), but maybe it will help.

Submitted(+1)

When starting the game, before getting into the core mechanics of the game the player will assume that the information you give them is very important.  So spoonfeeding the content a bit more, with a shift or two in play style would be a great way to fix it I think.

(2 edits) (+2)

A fantastic game with such a large varied cast that it explodes with boys.  Nevermind the inherent blood lust of the devs, the games mechanics will have you dancing.  

Here you have three primary stats which are trained at the expense of relationship points to other contestants.  

Forming bonds, dancing, singing, and learning concrete routines are your ticket to success.  There is a solid mechanic I wasn't expecting, in which you can randomize your routine for varied results.

Pros: Clearly stated graphics and animations for training.  Lots of characters and a variety of routines. Characters aren't all the same mold or style.  They range in age, skin complexion, and backgrounds.  The cast is not white washed.  Such a feat doesn't go unnoticed as the events and dialogue play smoothly with an equally skilled programmer at the helm.

You can deviate from the normal and take a chance on random performances.  Events besides the contest that allow you to bond.   Routine is mastered in four sessions and can be chain trained allowing the character to expand quickly.

Cons:   Cannot see stats or performance values, even after elimination.  The backgrounds were sacrificed for better content, which is fine.  We need a stat screen, and a tutorial on how to use it and what the routines are BEFORE performance day.  We need a closed set practice booth that will allow us to rate each of the contestants abilities and see how the main character's score measures up against their three primary stats.  Seraphina from Disgaea 5 is hosting the show for some reason?  Small grammatical mistakes.  The music is so generic, it just doesn't fit the intense nature of the game.

In it's current shape the story and protagonist's/player's motivation is enough to propel the game further.  I highly recommend supporting it.  Please talk to a musician.

Developer

Thanks again for playing! Most of the things listed in the cons are things that were left on the wayside to make up for the time. (especially the music. I think what I found worked for this build, but it's just free-for-commercial use music. We'd certainly be going custom in the future.) Our host is staying though ;D

I'm glad you liked the characters and story and enjoyed what depth we could put into the training in this version.  Thanks again for the feedback!

Submitted(+2)

Ok!

1. Art is awesome, as expected and loved! (you know I love your art MakioKuta!)

2. I got a bit overwhelmed by the amount of characters in the game at first, there was a lot going on and I was a bit lost for a while, but as the game progressed I got more used to it. The ingenious way of showing the characters in the little boxes so the screen didn't get over crowded was brilliant!

3. I loved the mechanics for training, and the option to slack off, those were fun!

4. The story was interesting, and I liked the characters and theor little stories (except Perry, he annoyed me no end! Loved Nikolai, Langford and Chris though, and Daniel sounds like me when I get really into my phone games! lol. I liked how you let us get into the mechanics of the game, and get used to the general way things worked in the game competion while adding all the hints that you don't realise are important until what happens in Episode 3.

I was so surprised, and then was all "So that's a huge reason why his brother..." and I loved it. and I need more, so you had better hurry up and make more so I can get to the bottom of this mystery and win this contest!

In short, I loved the whole thing and look forward to more!

Submitted(+2)

That can't be the whole game can it??? It was just getting so good and I want more so badly!!! What an incredible entry you should be so proud of yourself! I genuinely wasn't expecting that king of ending, but I'm a fan of it. The rpg elements mixed in were great too!

I was a bit disappointed that I didn't really get to choose who to slack off with, but I completely get it, time limits on game jams suck sometimes.

Us game devs should support each other, I'm glad I got to play and rate your game! It deserves even more comments and ratings, I can tell you put a lot into it.

Developer

Thank you so much for playing our game and for your kind comment!! We wanted to end on a hook to build interest heheh

Slack off was certainly trimmed for time reasons, as was a lot of other things. (hopefully the finished game will have a lot more variance in events, as actually having the slack off system in place, will allow the friendship system to be a thing!)

Thank you again! <3