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Ellis Kim

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A member registered Jan 15, 2016 · View creator page →

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Aw, thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed it and related with Sam so much. I'll definitely be considering a larger, expanded story for the eventual version 1.0 release.

aw thank you :)

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Hi!! Thank you so much :) I'm glad you've enjoyed it so much!

Yes, Hallie is the only "datable" npc, I didn't write anything for Katey; that might change in a future update with how many people seem to really want to see that. 

So in-game its actually called the Bail Ending. You get it by first "confessing" in her dream, then rejecting the offer for Hallie to replenish Sam's drink, and also triggering a flag at one of two places (and if you triggered it before, you can potentially undo it at the second juncture): Select "Answer her directly...?" triggers the flag, and "Its nothing special. Katey's mom can do it better." You can select any other option before, but you need to select "Its nothing special," otherwise "Its nothing, but yeah, I can do that." undoes the flag. You'll be given the option to "Confess," but Sam winds up not doing so.

So to give a full rundown:

Game Start > You're beautiful. > No > Free choice > Free choice > "It's nothing special. Katey's mom can do it better" > Free choice > Look around. > Stick it out > Confess

Also, I literally just found a programming mistake that doesn't put the correct Katey sprite for the last line of dialogue... so before you go and follow my instructions for that last ending, let me go fix this and upload a new update, haha. Version 0.93 should have the fix in the next half hour.

Thanks again!

Thank you :)

Are there any plans to make the code for this game open source? :)

Aw, thank you! <3

There are 6 endings total:

  • Confession
  • Chicken-out Confession
  • Restroom
  • Awkward Restroom
  • Neutral
  • Bad

The Confession endings require that you say no to Hallie's offer for another drink, but the true confession requires that you also have the dream sequence by "confessing" at the beginning of the story. This is followed by choosing more optimistic and voluntary choices throughout the rest of the game for both confession endings to reach them.

The Restroom endings require that you accept Hallie's offer for another drink and stay positive through the rest of the story, which will lead you to the restroom. There you are given the choice of either awkwardly pushing Hallie away by telling her you need to use the restroom, or tell her that you appreciate her.

The Neutral ending is easy to achieve by being occasionally negative and not accepting the drink, but sticking it out to the end.

The Bad ending requires you to trigger a depression flag either at the beginning ("I'm just a depressed idiot"), or in the middle ("No, Katey's mom can make it better"), and then proceed to leave the cafe when Hallie gets up to use the restroom instead of sticking it out.

Everything else is largely flavor text in terms of dialogue choices, so feel free to explore and try playing the game with different mindsets of how Sam feels and wants to approach the world.

Let me know what you think of the game when you play it :)

Hi Mark! Thank you so much for your kind words <3 Which devlog forum? I think I posted it around in a few places.

To clarify since I can't think of which post you're referring to, I had begun working on my webcomic, Time Fiddler, before Life is Strange's announcement trailer, and not this game, lol. I wouldn't say it was super insanity driving but more a surprise that someone was almost making something similar to me (as far as teen girls with time travelling abilities with some drama and romance is concerned), and quite honestly waiting until the season was done (and more importantly I had completed a large chunk of my comic) before playing it was super rewarding because it honestly felt like someone had gone into the deepest parts of my brain and made the thing I wanted without me putting in the effort; like it had been made just for me. So I loved it, honestly. It helped that I had fleshed out my story a good amount before consuming theirs so that I had a clear direction and goal with mine that was unaffected by their art :P (at least not too much).

The more of that type of thoughtful content and pacing we have the better. Time Fiddler was born out of a perceived lack of it on my end, whether that's true or not. 

I'm glad to hear that you liked the writing. That's the one thing I have zero point of reference to for whether or not its good. I still feel like its clunky in places and constantly tweak it when I go through it.

Thank you so much for playing the game and enjoying it! :)

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https://elliskim.itch.io/before-they-leave

This is my first game/visual novel I've ever made, and I honestly started it on a whim after randomly visiting itch.io (which I almost never do), and saw that the Yuri Game Jam was running. I proceeded to spend the next month and a half crunching and making a ton of art, learning how to write in Harlowe 2 in Twine, learning how to script in RenPy, and throwing it all together x_x

Its a short story that takes about 15 minutes to play through depending on how fast you read, following the slice-of-life style of storytelling like Life is Strange in terms of tone. Thematically its about handling depression while hanging out with friends and slipping away from the normalcy that might have existed within the context of high school. Its also about crushes.

It's also a prequel to my webcomic Time Fiddler, which you can read online for free: 

http://timefiddler.com/post/160613634505/

https://tapas.io/series/timefiddler

------

If you happen to play this game, please let me know what you think!

Downloadhttps://elliskim.itch.io/before-they-leave

So I just learned that if anyone had downloaded the previous Twine version, the itch app doesn't auto update to the newer renpy version.

rip. Oh well.

I also just realized I haven't made a devlog on everything that's happened since the last post, and also since the deadline.

So basically I finally got music in the game from my friend Lillian, who you can find here: https://soundcloud.com/lillianwy. She's super awesome so be sure to follow her on there :)

I also spent a shit ton of time just working on tweaking the sprites and proportions for all of the characters, though mostly Hallie. First draft, the proportions on everyone was super wonky. Second thing I did was attempt to work on backgrounds, including two different versions of the bathroom; I wound up going with this one:


I'm relatively fond of it. It was a lot of work Dx. But I ran out of time for the remaining backgrounds and wound up both taking photos and taking google image search results and doing a bunch of manipulation.

I also wound up spending two entire days working on Sam's sidesprite. I don't know if it honestly contributes much to the experience of the game because you see so little of her through the whole thing (she only appears during dialogue), but the thought of making her more persistent may be worth considering in a future update once I figure out how in the hell to customize the dialogue box.

There's certainly enough art of her :/ Photoshop literally lags because of all the layers. I honestly didn't plan the layers and folders very well, but its something I have to live with.


This whole process of working on this game, from inception to semi-completion, has been both incredible and awakening. Planning the story out in Twine, hammering out the kinks along the way, dealing with the difficulty of learning two scripting languages (with a shit ton of help along the way), successfully implementing ideas of what I want, and putting in all the hard work for what I need out of the story and characters to convey emotion has been really something. Its working literally day-in, day-out, getting a few things accomplished, seeing the growth of the game and watching it come together... yeah. 

I just don't know if people like the game or not, or how it stacks up. I don't know where I need growth as a storyteller, what's weak, what didn't work.

There are already places where I've come to understand through feedback that people really like certain characters or they want to see the secondary characters talk more. Its something I'll have to consider. The game was meant as a short story, and both Julia and Emily talk much more depending on which path you take. I wonder if I should expand the scripts laterally just a tiny bit more. Or if I should just move onto the next thing I need to work on (which there's been a lot stacking up, including commissions and my comic).

Also, people really, *really*, like Katey. People who both play the game and read Time Fiddler like Katey a lot, lol. It's given me something to think about.

Finishing and uploading the "deadline" build, and then going around and doing a shit ton of promotion on all of my feeds, has left me coming to this mental space where I feel like I'm desperately grasping in the darkness for the next thing to do. Working on the game had very clear steps and goals for things I needed to learn and implement on a weekly/daily basis. Now that I've "finished" the game, I'm left having to guide myself back to normalcy and other priorities in my life that I need to deal with.

Its been weird.

As of today, all character sprites are complete, though I am considering working on adding a side sprite if I can find time.

Things still on the docket:

  1. 2-4 backgrounds (restroom, outside cafe, bedroom, suburb)
  2. All GUI design
  3. Side Sprites for main character
  4. Paint a dozen CGs
  5. Clean up code/find out if you can force shift layer order of sprites
  6. Make the game page look way nicer

This is so funny XD

I made some new art. Finally finished the main background art, though I may make a few cleanup tweaks. The bottom image is of the main love interest, who's name I've since changed from Cheyenne to Hallie from the Twine version. I just wanted to put together a mockup of her, and may not be the final sprite.

As of last night, I successfully ported Before They Leave over to Ren'Py, making a text-complete barebones version that's ready for art and other assets.

I'm both excited and vaguely nervous, lol....

I anticipate.... a programming nightmare going into the GUI stuff......


Made another change.

I'm in the middle of learning Ren'Py, but got distracted and wanted to fix the bad initial drawing of Sam's sketch that I had drawn a few days ago. I like the new posture better; the old one was stiff and was in this awkward position of standing upright but still vaguely hunching over? I finally addressed it. Also feeling wishy-washy on whether or not to include the sweater ribbing.

Yaaaay, also fixed white spaces!

Alright, I think I fixed it up! It should be better in terms of sticking to Sam's POV and actions than it was before.

https://elliskim.itch.io/before-they-leave

Version 1.0 is complete! Before They Left is script-complete for Twine.

 Now I'm gonna be heading into learning Ren'Py and tackling that nightmare.

I'm sort of happy with the script, but really its more like I'm happy that its done at all. Writing so many different branches of text is so much work. I have a new level of appreciation for people who make adventure games and visual novels. 

Please play it and tell me what you think! If you come across spelling errors and grammar problems please let me know! I'm sure I have some past/present tense problems everywhere.

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Hi, my name's Ellis (I'm timefiddler on the discord server). I draw a yuri webcomic called Time Fiddler and I'd been meaning to start learning and making games with Twine and Ren'Py... and had planned to put it off if it wasn't for the fact that I made a chance visit to the itch.io home page and saw that this game jam was happening! Surely, its a sign :P

I'm making this: Before They Leave, a short twine story about depression, friends, and weird crushes.


I tried to think of a unique story that was unrelated to my comic, but I wound up doing something of a prequel exploration of depression. I'd wanted to touch more seriously and explore the subject better in my comic but I'd been having a hard time thinking of a good way to tackle it outside of prose, as I generally avoid thought bubbles. 

I've spent the past two days (though mostly today) working on what's effectively a pseudo demo, or first leg of a story using and learning Twine. (Big shout-outs to Leethe and DensetsuNoGomez on the Discord for helping me out a bunch!)

Man, trying to do specific things in Twine is way harder and more confusing than I thought it'd be with how people tend to talk about the program! But Leethe has been a huge, HUGE help! :)

I'm planning and hoping to move my outlining on Twine to Ren'Py once I'm happy with the script. The "demo" i have right now has one path that got super heavily written out and a bunch of nubby ends that I tied up quickly just so I could put it online and go to sleep, haha.

I don't imagine there's honestly much to react to right now; I tend to be a slow burn writer, and this is basically a first draft at my first attempt to write and use Twine :S

Typo for Ana in "The water stirs slightly as Ame does something behind you to close the door, and the movement sends darts of colour flicking across its surface. The mirror images of the cables sway gently in the ripples."

Yoooo, Spike/Scarlet is bae! <3 Persephone sucks! No one hurts my precious Spike D;

Also, I like one of Mikey's dialogue branches is bugged. The dialogue box disappeared for me after clicking "Running?"