I love this more than I can express. And it makes me so sad that it's so horrible. We are what we think, what we feel. The real world is only as real as we perceive it to be. The good news then, is that imagined worlds are more important than they seem. The bad news, is that the depths of insanity are without a bottom.
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I already really love this VN. I am going to be brutally honest, and say that the writing could use some spellcheck, as there are a lot of grammar - and spelling mistakes. However.. That is not central and I don't love the story any less for it. Maybe get chat-Gpt to run through the script in little sections, for future updates? I imagine that might be quite painless, enabling you to continue focusing on writing, rather than proof reading :)
I have to respect the writing and the world building, as well as the talent latent in it all. BUT.. These stories are nothing short of sadistic. I have to ask.. WHY? Im going to hazard a guess, that there's a really traumatized individual behind the main writing.
These stories effectively suck you in with great character building, only to DESTROY YOU when you're at your most vulnerable. I should know. Echo was one of the main factors behind the big breakdown of my life, a bit over two years ago. Yeah yeah, I have mental issues as well, but it actually broke me, and I'm not the same. Arches is shaping up to be much the same as Echo (and taking place in the same world, of course).
It's impressive that a visual novel can do this, but I guess some of us just wish for anthro people to be real so intensely that this hits exactly in the right spot.
Sigh.. take care out there.
Mobile apps are designed as complete packages, not as incremental updates. I would never install an application on top of an older version, as you don't know which files are kept, and which files are replaced. The creator must really be vigilant when creating a new installer, and mistakes happen. Obviously, we don't reinstall windows whenever there's a new update - which is every 5 minutes these days, but that's created differently. To give you another example; When you update your GPU driver, you would prefer the "clean install" option, to make sure all relevant files are updated, and no bad mix of old and new files exist.
Since I can't be sure.. I'll always remove the app, before installing a new version.
Often, removing it will not removed the save game folder, but sometimes it will.
That's my opinion anyway :)
No I use a third party file browser, standard android apps do not give you access to the filesystem.
My fault though, the "Android\data\santa.lucia\" folder is not generated before you create a savegame file, and I hadn't done that on this install (I forgot).
I know I could just install it on top of the existing, but that doesn't always work, and I wouldn't recommend it.
Thanks anyway :)
(on Android) I can't seem to find the install dir. Usually, apps are installed in "Main storage/Android/data/"
When I install an update for a VN, I manually copy the saves to a temp location, and insert them again. I can't really do that here. Probably it's installed in data, but with a generic name I won't spot, or know to search for :(
I have some feedback.
First of all, stellar production, very promising VN!
I love the characters. Maybe put one of them on the cover, since they're so attractive? It might help draw people in, I know it would apply to me.
The graphics are so nice! I love the art style, and the moving backgrounds.
There's a audio loop of moving water, and it's very obvious when the loop restarts, as there's a cut or an abrupt sound at the end.
I encountered some bugs as well, but I guess it's to be expected when building a game from the ground up.
Unity is certainly capable than much more than the still image game play that Ren Py can offer.
After I took a picture of the little figurine, and the daydream/nightmare occurred, the screen goes white. The first time, the screen stayed white and I had to kill the game.
Next time, the dialogue sort of bunched up, multiple textboxes superimposed on each other, as I remember. I did get to move on though.
[FEEDBACK ON THE TUTORIAL SECTION]
This is subjective, take it with a grain of salt.
I admit I skipped through the tutorial, since it kept bugging me. I prefer to find things out by myself, and not be forced to read a bunch of messages, when I want to advance the story instead. I was getting increasingly impatient about it, and just skipped through it after a while, since it felt like control was taken from me, and I was put through school. Again, I much prefer less hand holding, so this is subjective.
Lastly, I've been enjoying various VN's posted on this site for the last year or so. I've been thinking of offering to produce music for a VN. I noticed you already have some music. If you'd like, I'm offering to produce some more. Free of charge for now, I'm only looking to contribute for the joy of it.
I have a soundcloud that admittedly I haven't been posting much on for years, but there are a couple of new minor projects on there;
I'm mostly on Youtube these days, but that's a different style of music less suited for a visual novel. Anyway that was just an offer, you mayb already have what you need in that department.
I wish you all the best with the project!
I just wanted to say, that I remember playing this VN, and that it really touched me. You've created something special here. You may or may not look at these messages, and I've no idea how you're doing (hopefully getting by okay).
Maybe it's painful since you probably feel really bad that you're not working on it, but maybe it's a little pick-me-up as well, that people are enjoying this thing you've made.
Once again I hope you're well, and I hope one day you feel up to working on this project again. I know all too well how it is too lose motivation, and dealing with mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. One piece of advice I might offer - don't set out to do much. Very small goals. Just do a little bit, and hold back. You may eventually want to do more.
All the best ❤
I must admit he tends to be a little obnoxious. After what happened at the end of Day 30, I kind of had enough. Things deepened afterwards though, and I appreciated both the pragmatism of Keisuke, and the author, if that makes sense.
Tbh both Shoichi's AND Keisuke's families are major assholes. I'm not really into Jun so I wouldn't know about him.
That's just my thoughts. The VN is an amazing piece of work, and like the best of these stories, it starts to feel real after a while. Definitely supporting on patreon!
Edit: I've been playing Arches with music turned OFF without even realizing there are a bunch of great tracks already. Sorry for the ADD mistake. I think I was playing another Ren Py game and listening to spotify or something, and the settings stayed. The music by Anthemics is really good!
Inspired by the game, and after having previously played Echo, I felt inclined to contribute with a potential soundtrack. You guys have no obligation to use it, and I take no offense if you don't feel like it fits in the project. If on the other hand you like it, that's cool, and you can get in touch :)
I don't see a contact email anywhere here, or on Patreon..
It's been almost a year since I read it now. I had a breakdown afterwards. Sure, there were a couple of other things in play as well, but Echo was a big part of it. I'm still digesting what happened to me, tbh. I was seriously forever changed by reading a VN. It's for real.
Thanks for your response, and for taking it so well. I feel like I might have been a bit harsh, as I said. Sounds good, and I'll check back to see how it's going every once in a while. Best of luck with it!
Just wanted to join the chorus in saying - this VN is awesome!
I really feel the characters coming to life, and I thoroughly enjoyed playing!
Don't feel guilty about being depressed and not getting as much work done as you'd like. So many people have issues with depression, especially creative people. I hate to say it, but the pain is, an will always be part of the whole. I've used my covid-isolation suffering to write some songs as a musician, but I can't take much more.. Anyway let's not sulk, it'll be ok.
I don't think requests like these are realistic. I saw one the other day, this guy was really unhappy that his favorite VN was not in Russian. Many - if not most - of these projects are made by just one guy, who in many cases outsource the artwork. Imagine him having to pay someone to translate every dialogue to another language (without being able to check if the job was well done or not), and then replacing every line in the game with the translated ones - manually of course.
You think it would ever get done? :)
I am honestly so thankful for these visuan novels, I LOVE them!
Oh and I am not from an English speaking country. I think we have to accept (at least in the west) that English is the language of the Internet.
You remember how they tried to drive out of echo in the van, right? (In the Leo timeline)
I too made the decision to break off with Leo, because he's become psychotic. I had a feeling it might take away his hope and purpose, but I just did not want to lie to him. It was his decision to stay behind, after all, and the relationship had already died at that point, and taken a backseat to pure survival. It was heartbreaking! But as such, a good example of the writing that nearly broke my mind, although along with other things I was experiencing as well, at the time.
Oh no.. that's horrible. Did he survive?
Yeah, leaving Leo behind was gut wrenchingly awful, and it broke my heart. I really appreciate how realistic the break was, and the conversation that happens two years later - it felt real, not like something out of a Hollywood movie.
Well, the train was sent through echo, and unrelated to the crisis. 'It' wasn't trying to escape echo, but just passing through, therefore it was able to do so. At least, this is how I perceived it, and I accepted it without too much effort.
Why didn't they attempt to snap Leo out of it, tell him to his face that he was hallucinating?
Well, I think they reacted in a realistic way considering everything that was going on, and how traumatized they were. I was feeling a similar desperation like you - Why the hell can't chase or Kudzo just tell Leo he's going crazy?
But you know, they all were. I think we'd be surprised with our own inabilities if we were in the situation they were in. We all act differently, but we don't know how we will act. I've been through things myself, where I've gone into shock, and I can attest to this.
I was sort of assuming they talked to Leo though, when Chase was in the trailer with Kudzo and Jenna.
Ok I didn't really do Flynns route, tried, but I thought he was too much of an asshole. I've only done TJ's, and Leo's route. If I ever feel like having another mental break, I'll come back and check it out.
It's not even funny anymore! It's these characters, man. You come to care about them so much, and then it all ends in tears. And for me, it's also the intense yearning to get to know them IRL, which is obviously impossible, creating some sort of mini disassociative psychosis. Holy shit man - and from a f...... VN. No doubt I am a very sensitive person, which I guess you'd have to be, to get hit so hard by this.
Even now, I want to go back and read more, but I have to stop. I'm starting a new job in less than two weeks, and I feel like I damn near had some sort of breakdown. THAT'S how much this story affects you. Or at least me.. I've actually become fearful of reading other stories now. HAH! It's patheticly, morbidly funny, when it isn't happening to YOU!
Oh, is Sam the voice that speaks to Chase? I guess I missed something, but it's up for interpretation if it's some sort of demonic version of the characters themselves, which is part of their personality, or if it's something else entirely. Spooky. Are you seriously hearing a voice in your head? If that's the case, then that's really scary. If it continues, please talk to someone about it, no matter how silly it may feel.
Honestly, this is a warning to anyone wanting to read this story. I was so engrossed in it, I think I've gone a little insane for a while, like actually slightly psychotic.
Granted, I've been under huge pressure from other things at the same time, but this story.. I could never have imagined the impact.
I'm not used to having feelings for guys, being bi and never really explored this side of myself outside some alcohol fueled nights. Now I've explored this side of myself through this story, and I'm left having lost touch with reality a bit. What have you done to me? Just to put things into context I'm 34, and honestly never expected to be this affected by a story.
Totally baffled, and obviously a huge hats off the the creators, but fair warning - it really is true when people say that this story isn't for the faint of heart.
This story... It grabs you.
I did TJ's route, and I don't know if I can do another.
Of the VN's I've been reading/playing over the past week, this was the one that felt the most real. Some of the others really touched me as well, but this one.. Boy. Is it just me, or does it feel like betrayal to go through the story again, with another character?
I have a lot of love for this, even if it was emotionally difficult.
EDIT: I went through the Leo timeline.
Why does this story hit me so hard??
Is it the medium, or the story, or both? Holy shit.
I want to know what happened in the other timelines, but I can't take any more.
Man I can only imagine the pressure you might be under. Maybe it's better with a looser schedule? Like "Release X coming in week X", and then aim for the first day of that week, giving yourself some buffer room. Yeah people get upset when the new version isn't there as promised, but I imagine it hurts you more than us.
Cute story, and I was enthralled by the characters. I do have some reservations about the A.R.M.A. though. It's a good plot device, and I see how it can propel the story, but it does seem distinctly unscientific, and yet extremely advanced at the same time. It's hard for me to believe that Iliff, a student, would have bene capable of creating some sort of advanced human-machine interfacing AI, it with all it can do. It does seem like the story is slightly cognizant of this, though.
I'm thinking of the bit about the unexplained energy. To detect something, you would have to have a detector made in the first place, and know what to look for. I don't think it makes sense to have a general detector that can detect anything and everything. The MC does make a note along those lines.
Maybe you have plans for this.
In any case, that's just my opinion, and I could still enjoy the story in spite of this.
I wish you all the best going forward!