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Aaryn

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A member registered Dec 15, 2017 · View creator page →

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Soooo, that's kind of a loaded question so i'll answer it from a few different angles. Thus far, Blayke my co-writer/editor has helped me with that stuff. However, that last v0.02 had a few typos that we missed in the rush. People on my Discord have offered some corrections which will appear in v0.03 that I'm working on the tail end of now. 

The other side to that is that this story is written very imperfectly. It has it's own reasons for that and was more of an outlet for me than it was ever designed to be a cohesive tale. The pacing is sometimes off and my sense of time in the story is garbage (lol). I will say that I play to keep some of those imperfections because they're almost nostalgic to me at this point and I don't really want to buff them out. I also like a certain type of writing akin to Faulkner or Cormac McCarthy. i like those long dramatic run on sentences sometimes which are not technically correct but they capture the gravity of the picture in my head. Some of those have driven Blayke beyond the realm of madness and he has made several editing suggestions throughout and i've sometimes ignored some of those just because i wanted it authentically me. 

Not sure if that answers your questions or not.

Ok, so I did some checking on this because it used to work. Apparently, Renpy (the coding program) has updated and no longer supports 32 bit for Windows and Linux as of version 8.x. According to Renpy's creator, the 32 bit environment "is not the best environment to run Renpy smoothly in all instances." I didn't realize this was a change with the recent update so sorry about the false info.

aww. give it time. I don't think that's something you can rush and it works differently for everyone. I've said before that this game, the interactions, and the path they walk isn't not the "truth." It's not the "right" or "only" way of doing things. It's just one way that happened to be the path that these characters chose. That shouldn't be a standard for others. But if there's things within the story that resonate with you and things that you can take from it that will bring your joy or improve your own life, then take them. But definitely take the time to find your own way that's unique and special to you <3

heya and glad you liked the old version. So the revamp is my attention to bring the beginning of the game's quality up to the level of quality we see at the end. I'd never done any of this before and my lack of understanding on anything really shows in the beginning parts so I wanted to fix that. The early part also had things cut out just to make Patreon updates. When your'e starting out early, you have to put out product frequently but that takes time and when you're doing it solo, you have to pick and choose what to include and what to scrap. As the project continued, I was able to build enough faith in the community that longer production time actually meant longer updates so it balanced out. The revamp, so far, is completely reshot. No CGs are reused. It's much more cinematic like what you see in the end game. There's also music now and the dialogue is redone, including new discussions, teasing, and stuff like that. I've also eliminated the repeatable grind that you have to go through in the first few chapters, that's being replaced with a more linear story because it was annoying. These revamp updates are coming out way faster than the old ones too. If you get a chance, check it out. I honestly think it's worth it even if you played the original. Just from the time you boot it up, it's a completely different experience for the early game. 

I believe that it should work

good deal. glad you enjoyed :)

heya. there is no sound in v0.21.4. that was my rough draft of the story so it's basically just the rough written story. the revamp is what i'm currently working on now and that has sound. if you're new to the game, i'd honestly recommend playing the v0.21.4 that you downloaded first to get the whole story. even after finishing the story, the revamp is a whole new experience that people are really enjoying

thanks a lot. It feels fresh going back through it for me so I’m glad that’s translating to the reader too. Stay tuned. I’m at the tail end of v03 now

hope you enjoy :)

you can't overestimate the power of fresh air :)

heya, thanks so much. I usually won't tell people how to read the story but i can tell from your post that you picked up all the things that i really wanted people to from this story so thanks, it's always reassuring to get messages like that. 

In terms of the choices: Yeah, i wish their were more choices too. this was my first attempt at writing anything and i think it would be easier to write a book than a VN just because of all the branching paths and stuff. that can get out of hand really quick so i sorta limited them because my concentration is trash. Plus, the more paths i develop, the longer things take and people get antsy for updates. It's not very often people accusing me of being lazy but 2 or 3 have over the years and while i dont personalize those comments, the time it takes to create something like this is always on my mind. 

the specific choice that you listed: the swimming accident, is a tough one. that's been heavily debated on our discord since it happened and i'll go on the record as saying that i have no regret for not giving the audience a choice. there was a lot that went into that moment and giving the reader a choice in that moment essentially breaks the story to me. I realized when i was writing this story that these characters and my ability to control them was out of my hands. they began to have a life of their own beyond me. i knew that for awhile but not until the beach scene. I found myself screaming at zack. i was frustrated and and angry and i wanted him to be a hero there... because that's what people are supposed to do. but in the reality is that that's not always what people do. sometimes trauma can twist you and zack's response in that scene is very much a realistic response. i couldn't control him and i was angry and i wanted the audience to feel the same like of control. while the game is a VN and we usually have choices associated with that to get the ending we want, it was never up to us, the audience, to choose this ending. these characters had to find what worked for them. a large part of this narrative was being yourself and finding who you really are. if the audience was allowed to change the story, or manipulate the character, that defeats the whole purpose because the characters would still have someone telling them who they were and who they should become.

 i know some will disagree with that approach. hell, i disagree with it because there's things in the story that i would choose differently for them. but that wasn't my choice to make and i wanted to pass that along to the audience as well

<3 thank you

nah. Rather than having a handful of "romance" routes in the game, i wanted to focus on polishing one route to the best of my ability. In time, the fan base grew to see most of my side characters as threats and it really took some careful handling to make a lot of the fans actually like anyone else even on a friend level. So no. no other romance routes. the fan base would have literally killed me, lol

Heya, 

Thanks for the note and I'm glad you enjoyed most of the story. The early positions of Zack can certainly be off-putting to some, but they're common for many and that was just part of his character and that changes drastically over the course of the story. This story is written very existentially and that can be a very individual journey. I've stated that it's not the way towards acceptance, it's just a story about one person's slow shifting of ideas and what allows them to find and accept who they specifically are. Some of that may or may not be applicable to others. I've always encouraged people to take what benefits them from the story and leave what doesn't. 

While I don't normally tell people how to interpret the story, I would disagree with what you took from it as I feel the bulk of the narrative argues on behalf of exactly what you wanted it to. In fact everything you're saying is a leading reason into why i wrote the story and it's a constant message from characters like Mikhail, Ash, and Braden as they try and beat it into Zack's head. Being much more public or overt regarding one's sexuality is completely valid and all the characters would agree with that as well-- even Zack at the beginning of the story would agree with that. The overwhelming bulk of the story very much states that people should become themselves or at least work towards that as much as possible--whatever that may be. Which very much includes someone who, as you said, "never wanted to pass for straight" or is more overtly expressive about their sexuality. I can't imagine these characters disagreeing with that lifestyle and I don't know of any part of the story in which they do. However, that more overt lifestyle may not apply to everyone and that's just as valid like Braden says. I guess I would compare it to an introvert versus an extrovert. Both are valid but trying to force one into the other would probably be catastrophic for their identity. I would also note that "introvert" here doesn't mean closeted. I think in the case of these characters, a more flamboyant and sexually open lifestyle isn't who they are, that doesn't mean they have ill feelings towards that lifestyle or judge people with that lifestyle, it just means that it's not them. I'm pretty introverted but that doesn't mean i judge or have ill feelings towards extroverts-- I just couldn't live that way and be happy, just like an extrovert could probably not live my lifestyle and be happy. We're different people and that's ok. Braden gives a few pretty long talks about that near the end. Honestly, Braden would probably be a blast around a more open and flamboyantly gay character. To me, this story was always about finding yourself on that continuum, wherever it may be, and living that out while also realizing others can live in a completely different way that brings them just as much happiness.

Heya, glad you like the story and were able to identify or find things that you could pull that were applicable to your experiences. Don't worry about the donation stuff, the game is free for a reason. If you want to help out, you can always share or help spread word of the project-- that counts just as much. But no pressure. It's perfectly fine to just play it and enjoy it. 

My official position on sequels right now has been that I have no plans for one. I worked hard to tie things up in a certain way at the end of this one and any sequel would potentially undo that. However, if i think of a story that's better than this one for a part 2, then I'll certainly give it a shot. i know people are interested in a sequel but i don't want to drag it out just as a money grab, ya know?

haha. yeah, I have a masters in clinical psych. Finished it while I was working on this project actually. 

And yeah, people taking psych classes to secretly fix themselves is huge. It's to the point that at the masters level, instructors are viewed as gatekeepers to try and filter some of those people out. 

Hey,

No probs. I'm always up for questions. Also, I'm happy the story is still holding up after a few rereads.

1) The Year. So there's actually no year associated with the game. I've purposely tried to write the dialogue with references or slang that's all over the place. Some of the references Zack makes reference things from decades ago. But also other references are much more modern (like "millennials" and some technology references).  I did that purposely to try to make the game transcend the readers age groups. I sorta wanted any legal age to be able to pick the game up and see something that's applicable to their generation.

2)True Story or not? For this question, I'm just gonna post a link to a Patreon post. It gives some background on the purpose of the game, too. Don't worry, it's a free post and you don't need a Patreon account to view the post. You can check it out here

Hope this helps. If you still have more questions, hit me up. And no problem on being available. I like being accessible as a developer. Lot of devs aren't or they just have a narcissistic attitude. It's honestly super humbling to talk to fans of the project so thanks for the interest <3

aww, thanks. glad you like it. The revamp feels pretty fresh so far so if you liked the original, this one adds a lot to the beginning. so far on the patreon page, a lot of people saying they're "falling in love with it" all over again so that's fun :)

well thank you. I really did want to do something different with this, which is maybe why you can't find other games like it. I wanted a heavy story, humor, rollercoaster emotions, and something that people could take something away from if they chose-- all within an adult context. It's a weird mix but I like the vibe of that because that's what living is to me. I know a few people have started writing their own stories after playing this so hopefully we start seeing more. I'm really glad you enjoyed it. Stay tuned because the revamp is taking it up like 100 more notches in quality.

aww, well thank you. I really appreciate this. I'm glad it had an impact on you. warm fuzzy messages like this are my shoulder pat so thank you <3

hehe. thanks. it's a work in progress. I've been wanting to redo things over here to reflect the new direction of the game development but website updates take a ton of time and that's time away from actual development so I tend to put it off. I'm gonna do a quick note to all the followers over here when I get things finalized. glad you like it tho. thanks :)

sure thing. no problem. good luck. it's suuuuuper overwhelming at first (and by "at first" i mean for like the first 3 years, lol)

heya. sure thing. So there's a few different engines that you can use for VNs but Renpy seems to be the most popular. I've never coded in my life and I'm still not good at it but you can do most basic stuff with Renpy without too much trouble. It's also good for games like Straight!? that has a TON of dialogue. Unity is another one that some people role with but from what I hear, it's a little more tedious in starting a new conversation box whereas Renpy is just a new line in the script. You can pretty much google or youtube Renpy tutorials. If I had a recommendation to start with, I'd probably go with that but honestly I'm not that knowledgeable about this stuff, I only know what I've had to figure out to do this game. 

In terms of art, you can just draw the stuff you want if you're good at that. Others will hire an artist and write their own story and just work as a duo. I use Daz3D for the art in Straight!? Blender is also good if you need to make custom 3D stuff

yep. It’s very short. Just the first day but I’m hoping to have the next section out next week. Here’s the direct link to the post if that helps

https://www.patreon.com/posts/72286791?utm_campaign=postshare_creator

well, if it makes you feel better, i'm working on the revamp so you get to start all over again if you're up to it. However, i haven't figured out a way to post it on here yet to make it easy. I'm working on redoing this page to incorporate it but you can still download it for free on my patreon

oh for sure. we'll see what happens when I get to that point. that scene was definitely one that i underestimated back in the day. honestly, i think it's still sort of an allegory to why so many of these games get abandoned. people start creating a story then they create 5 or 6 different love interests and by the 3rd or 4th update realize how quickly things have expanded. if you have a large team working on things, it's probably not that bad but I could easily see me including 5 routes in the story and going 6 or 7 game updates before I actually included a route that someone was interested in. Which makes the development take ages. Hell, I only have really one or two routes depending on how you interpret this project and it still took me 4.5 years to get the story out.

Yeah, so (and your diagram starts to show this pretty quickly) it doesn't take very long for that process to get out of hand. Granted, I have better hardware now than I did back when I was trying to construct that stuff before-- and I'm a tad faster with image creation (all while focusing more on other details); even creating a scene like that with that many choices by yourself can quickly balloon. My old choice was to only give a couple options and play to my strengths-- the writing and story versus spending time on added images and coding, which I was very poor at. It would be fun to have something like that have a lot of routes but even though the game is free, some people get pretty impatient about updates and they don't usually understand how long it takes to create that stuff by yourself. Sure, I could hire other people to help me but when you start breaking the math down to an hourly wage, I only make a few dollars an hour so that can get pretty rough to hire more help. IDK, we'll see what the future holds with that scene in particular. I may add a few new features or I just may keep it the same just for the sake of simplicity. I don't plan many of those things in advance, I sorta just feel it out when the time comes. I've had better results that way from a storyline perspective.

no worries. I didn't take offense or anything. I'm pretty chill. I definitely agree with you on the insta-friend stuff. I wanted the bulk of the story to be how they grow closer and to make that worth it, I wanted a slow burn and highs and lows.

The poker game is a ways out and in terms of how long in real time it's gonna take to get there is up in the air. The rewrites at the beginning are very slow to try and organize the code that was split all over the place into more of a streamlined design. It's just frustratingly slow right now. However, once we get to chapter 2 or 3, that should speed up significantly because I won't have to organize anymore, I'll just be looking at the writing and doing some polishing so i anticipate that updates will happen much faster or be much larger. Just bare with me for the first couple chapters to straighten (no pun intended) this mess out.

lol, college professors, really? i thought the original dialogue was just poorly worded and stuff. I tried to fill in some of the blanks and just make it more conversational than it did before. looking back on it, it read really juvenile to me-- and not juvenile as in the age group but just in the writing style. We'll see how it plays out for ya. it's an interesting perspective that i definitely hadn't seen yet. 

in terms of the creeping, i'm glad you liked it. that's going to be a difficult thing during the revamp so i'm going to have to be really careful with it. i'm glad i got this first checkpoint out of hte way, though

and tbh with you, i hate the numbering of floors too

it's the circle of life, Simba :)

thanks a lot. glad you liked the revamp. it's a crazy upgrade from the original. hoping to take all those feels to another level.

yo, thanks a lot and i'm glad you liked it. It's crazy meaningful to me when people are moved to become a first time commenter on this game. I never thought this thing would get the kind of attention and response that it did and I'm truly humbled by that. And you don't have to be able to relate to it the way the characters are, but I'm happy you enjoyed it anyway. Not everyone has to have a battle with their sexuality. Honestly, i don't know you but I'm glad you didn't have the same story. Thank you for the kind words and for taking the time to leave a post 

Also, thanks for the finnacial support but please dont feel obligated. i made this thing free for a reason. 

it's very much still in development. This is my first project so I'm not sure if you know how much involvement it is in creating something like this. Since i use 3DCG, it's basically like a movie set where i have to write the script, play each actor for each shot, position the studio lights and snap the picture. That usually takes me about an hour per pic depending on how involved it is. The current build has over 50k lines of code that I've had to write with no coding experience until this. I've also never written anything before and I didn't make outlines for the game ahead of time because i wanted to be surprised like the readers are. Basically, the way i've explained it before is take some movie or game you like and sit down and watch the entire credits and once they're over, just assume that all of that was just one person that tags in 2 other buddies to help out on the writing and visuals, but i'd say around 90% of it is just me. We've at 21 updates on this thing and each one of those updates has taken me thousands of hours before they were ready. I have no idea how many tends of thousands of hours I've spent on this but I usually work at least 50 hours at week on it. Usually around 70 now. making a game by yourself is the dumbest thing ever. it's why most of them get abandoned. But this was a passion project and i wanted full control over it and i've been stubborn

hey thanks a lot for checking in. I'm glad the "lessons" were something that you responded to. I've been very careful to state that the story isn't "true" in a sense or "right." It's just a way that worked for me to connect some life dots that I was really stubborn about. Glad you could relate and i wish you the best on your own journey. Take what's applicable and leave the rest :)

in terms of a sequel, nothing is planned for this story. i told the story i wanted to tell and I wrapped it up in the way that I wanted to. but i'm a pretty open guy so we'll see, if a better story comes to me, then we'll do it all again. Stay tuned though, i'll be posting the revamped version over here before long. It's already free on the Patreon page if you wanna go snag it. It's just the first day of the game so it's very short but it's my proposed changes and it's blown people away so far. way better than this version but it's just a prototype. I'm still working on the rest of chapter 1

depends on what you mean by "finished." The current build that's here goes to the end of the game. I'm working on a revamped version now that's going back through the early stages of the game to upgrade the graphics, add music, and fix some of the crap writing where i didn't know what i was doing. the revamped demo is posted on my patreon page for free. i just haven't uploaded it here yet because I'm trying to figure out how to post 2 versions of the game. I'd like to keep the full story version which i'm considering the "rough draft." but also post the revamped for free here as it comes out.

to save yourself some time, you can just go to chapter 9 from the new game menu and select the respect route and you’ll get the jist of it. Basically the story is written in a generic way that changes the tone of the story based on the routes. Different scenes may have the same dialogue but a few changes throughout the story just have those scenes have a completely different meaning. However the biggest difference is in chapter 9 where the routes completely split before merging back together again 

I appreciate comments like this and always enjoy when people are surprised that it's not just some lame porn game with a nonexistent plot. Glad you appreciated Mikhail, too. The revamped version looks amazing so far. I haven't posted it over here but it's free over on my Patreon. I'm actually just trying to figure out the easiest way to post the revamp here while still keeping the old version with the full story so stay tuned

heya. glad you liked it. sorry about your bad experience though. i hope you found peace with that. I was pretty stubborn accepting myself too (hence why the damn story is so long :P )

um... i have no idea what you're talking about. Are you unsure why the game is NSFW, are you stuck at the beginning where things repeat, did you finish the game and didn't understand it? I'm totally lost. Also, please make sure you're at least 18 years old if you're playing this. Thanks

thanks a lot. Yep, i'm doing better and back at working again. Just trying to make up for losing a few days :)