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Jackkel Dragon

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A member registered Sep 01, 2017 · View creator page →

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I'm afraid I can't really give an estimate unless I know when the next update for Ren'Py will be stable. I think there may be a prerelease version now, but it's not usually a good idea to release games made with a non-stable version of the engine. I also can't be sure if the fix works until I put out the new build, since I don't have any other devices to test on.

Short version: Depends on when Ren'Py 7.4.3 comes out and whether or not it actually fixes the issue with Samsung displays.

It's strange that it's happening on a non-Samsung device... It's my understanding that Ren'Py currently has a known issue with newer Android phones, but I thought it was a Samsung-specific issue. Hopefully Ren'Py is updated to fix the issue soon, because I'm not sure if there's anything I can do on my end to fix the issue faster. I may need to just rebuild the Demo v5 APK once the issue is fixed in Ren'Py...

That looks like it might qualify as a newer phone. Based on a quick search, that was released in 2019, while my phone was first released in 2017. So it's probably part of the issue that was mentioned in the thing I read, which means it will hopefully be fixed in the next Ren'Py release. On the downside, this means I can't actively do anything to fix the issue myself, since I'm not familiar with the code Ren'Py uses to make Android files. I may have to figure out a way to re-build the APK version of Demo v5 once the Ren'Py update fixes the issue.

What kind of device are you playing on? I've read that the current version of Ren'Py doesn't display properly on certain types of devices, but the details were vague beyond "newer Samsung devices". I only have one device that I can test on, and I don't ever get the newest phone...

What kind of mobile device are you playing on? The orientation shouldn't have changed between v4 and v5, so I'm a bit confused as to what might be happening. (Phones are still using portrait mode, while tablets will approximate landscape. The aspect ratios have changed, but not the basic layout.)

Also, I read that some people with the newer Android devices can barely get Ren'Py games to run after the 7.4.0 update. The developer of Ren'Py is working on a fix for 7.4.3, but since 7.4.2 just came out it's going to be at least a week or so before the hotfix comes out. Sounds like I may need to come up with a way to re-package v5 when that patch comes out... (I've already started implementing changes for v6, but if the game isn't playable then I should try to put a playable version out, one way or another.)

Thanks for the comment, I'm glad you enjoyed the game!

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Nightshade

  • Writing and Design: Jackkel Dragon
  • Character Designs: Hiragi-HOUX

Made with Ren'Py

  • Character Illustrations by Nii
  • Background Graphics by Minikle
  • Additional Outfit Designs by Jeroz
  • Font by Denise Chan
  • BGM sourced from TAM Music Factory (Demo v4 and earlier)
  • BGM by JadeVater (Demo v5 and later)
Blooming Nightshade community · Created a new topic Credits

Nightshade

  • Writing and Design: Jackkel Dragon
  • Character Designs: Hiragi-HOUX

Made with Ren'Py

  • Character Illustrations by Nii
  • Background Graphics by Minikle and rakatb
  • Font by Denise Chan
  • BGM sourced from TAM Music Factory
Eldritch University community · Created a new topic Credits

Nightshade

  • Writing and Design: Jackkel Dragon
  • Character Designs: Hiragi-HOUX

Made with Ren'Py

  • Character and Event Illustrations by Nii
  • BGM by JadeVater
  • GUI Design by Re.Alice
  • Background Graphics by Badriel, Minikle, mugenjohncel, and rakatb
  • Sound Effects sourced from Taira Komori
  • Logo Fonts created by Lauren Thompson, Salman Boosty, Kotonoha Kuju, and Dharma Type
Eldritch Academy community · Created a new topic Credits
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Nightshade

  • Writing and Design: Jackkel Dragon
  • Character Designs: Hiragi-HOUX

Made with Ren'Py

Versions 1 and 2

  • Character Illustrations by Daphinteresting
  • Event Illustrations by Nii and Margaret Chylak
  • Monster Illustrations by emihaumut
  • Additional Illustrations by Misaki
  • Background Graphics by rakatb, kimagure After, and Minikle
  • GUI Design by potouto
  • Playtesting by Chronicles, Blackcross, and Zelan
  • Logo Fonts created by Lauren Thompson, Salman Boosty, and Kotonoha Kuju
  • Sound Effects sourced from Taira Komori and Freesound users (GameAudio, Sergenious, JoelAudio, debsound, klankbeeld, InspectorJ, supafrycook2, dkiller2204, alonsotm, sypherzent, Vendarro)
  • BGM sourced from SENTIVE.NET (SLOS)

Version 3

  • Character and Event Illustrations by
  • Monster Illustrations by emihaumut
  • Additional Illustrations by Misaki
  • Background Graphics by rakatb, kimagure After, and Minikle
  • Logo Fonts created by Lauren Thompson, Salman Boosty, and Kotonoha Kuju
  • BGM by JadeVater

As a further update, I've finished the first draft for the Orino scenes that were fully outlined. With not enough material to bang out the rest of the route, I'm starting to consider leaving a "To be continued" at the end of the current content again, even though it meant resurrecting some deleted code.

In addition, I'm really iffy on the BGM placement in the game thus far, and I'm very close to simply ripping the music out until I can take the time to do it properly. I've not committed to that plan, but it's in consideration. (Other factors that helped create this idea include the fact that I usually do testing with sound muted unless working directly on audio elements, and my growing interest in finding a new source for the music tracks.)

Overall, what is left for Demo v4, at a minimum, is:

  • Revision pass on Kiku's route
  • Revision pass on Orino's route (so far)
  • Art implementations for Orino's route (so far)
  • BGM placement or removal

I'll try to post another update when more of these are finished, but we'll see how things go.

Since not everyone here is going to be seeing the Twitter updates, I decided to make a few notes here.

Firstly, the initial draft of Kiku's route is pretty much finished. I still want to do at least one revision pass, but the story should be complete.

Second, I'm waffling on whether or not to finish Orino's route before putting out Demo v4. I want to at least finish the events that I've outlined, but I'm still working on a very loose plan for the last third of her story, so I don't know how quickly that can be finished.

Third, there are going to be more GUI updates/changes in the next build. Hopefully most of them are positive, but some are a bit more drastic than originally planned.

Lastly, Kiyomi/Atsuko/Shiori routes are not going to be until v5 at the earliest, since I'd like to get something out before the end of the year and I can't promise I can finish those routes soon.

As a bonus note, I'm torn on whether to submit to the Yuri Game Jam again this year. The rules are lax enough that I might do so to get some visibility, but I have no idea how much work and/or how many releases I'll actually have in October...

At any rate, depending on how I handle Orino's story for Demo v4, it's possible that the next build may be coming soon. We'll have to see how things turn out and hope they go smoothly.

There's still no way to estimate how much longer the rest will take to accomplish, but I've been able to do a number of things that might make future progress easier. I'd like to at least finish the first draft of the routes for Kiku and Orino before the next public release, especially since the system I had in place for the "to be continued" message no longer works in the current build.

Ideally, the rest of the story for Kiku/Orino will hopefully come out this year. The other three main routes and any bonus stories will take longer, especially since some of them need new outlines. (In particular, Kiyomi's route was nearly finished when I realized I didn't like how it turned out, so that needs to start from scratch.)

Short version:

  • No promised dates yet
  • Kiku/Orino next, hopefully by end of year
  • Kiyomi/Atsuko/Shiori next year
  • Non-Himeka routes after main routes finished

I'm afraid I don't really have a good metric to determine an estimate. Progress can range from drafting half a route over a weekend to having no idea how to proceed for weeks. In theory, I could probably put out a route every week, but I don't think they would be very well-written if handled that way. (The dramatic changes for the existing routes between v1 and v3 are a testament to this.)

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This is a list of what is currently playable in the game so far, as of the latest public version.

Stories (Routes)

  • Prologue | Complete
  • Izumi Kawano | Complete
  • Kiyomi Ito | Complete
  • Nanami Kobayashi | Complete
  • Atsuko Aoki | Not Available
  • Kiku Moritani | Complete
  • Shiori Goto | Not Available
  • Orino Murakami | Complete
  • ???
  • ???
  • ???

Features

  • Textbox Background On/Off | Complete
  • Font Style Toggle | Complete
  • Translation Setup | Complete
  • Nudity Toggle | Complete

I'm afraid I don't have a specific time frame for when the missing routes will be added. I don't like the results I've seen when I try to rush or force things, so a lot of things are unfortunately set to arrive "when they're ready". (For instance, Kiyomi's FN route was almost done when I realized how much I didn't like it, leading me to scrap it and start over.)

In the meantime, I suppose I should note which routes have been added to the game so far. Looking over the main page, it doesn't look very clear...

I can't say when a full release will be, since the development schedule for the game has been so irregular. It's most likely that, like with Blooming Nightshade and past updates to this game, I'll release updates as they reach a point where there is new stuff playable and progress is slowing down. (For instance, if one of the existing routes is finished or one of the missing routes gets a good chunk of story added.)

Thanks! I'll try to keep things going on these games.

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I hid/removed all versions of v9 except the PC version for now because I think the later versions are better overall. The PC version of v9 is up so that people can see the stuff that was removed from the later versions.

If you want the latest version, the v11 PC-MAC joint build should work on almost any compatible computer. (Use the EXE on Windows, SH on Linux, and APP on MAC.)

An idea that I think has been mentioned before: I'd like to be able to create a single without moving to a second floor of rooms. My idea for this is to have any single dragged onto the player when there are no placed staffers get a 1 value for the missing elements. (Example: If you don't have a choreographer, then the player does that task at level 1.) A potential related side feature would be to allow dragging a single with finished elements back onto a staffer with better stats to replace the stat on the single. (As things are, you can simulate this by deleting the single and starting over.) The first part would help the early game move faster (or at least have more variety than constant photoshoots), while the second part can add to the complexity of strategies.

From a modding standpoint, I'd also be interested in having some of the traits of staffers be moddable. For instance, being able to change the gender of staffers or give them a different pair of skills. The player's influence skill probably has to remain hard-coded, but maybe the others can be mixed a bit. (It would also help with the composer, who is currently hard-coded to be male. Makes idols that become composers seem a bit odd, unless they are meant to be implied as crossdressers or transgender.)

Since it was made in Ren'Py, I probably can export it as an APK. The current UI is not very flexibly coded, though, so Android players would have to deal with a UI designed for PC. I suppose I can release an experimental Android build to see if there is interest and work from there.

An idea I had while testing out portrait modding: a button to clear the portrait cache within the settings menu. This could be helpful for those with less knowledge of where the cache is saved in the file system and save time for modders trying to test iterations of a mod. However, as I don't know how the cache is saved, I'm not sure if that would be easy or difficult to include.

Interesting... I wonder how much of the internal code has changed since then. Personally, as a coder, I'd love to mess with the time buttons to see if I could make a turn-based mod for the game. However, I don't know if there's any way to re-compile the dll without the original source code, so I might be stuck with wishful thinking and/or making a similar system and playing with that.

A mini-suggestion I came up with while trying to keep up with fast mode: A pseudo turn-based mode using a new time passage button. (In addition to the pause/normal/fast buttons we already have.) Making a truly turn-based variant of the game logic would probably require too much rework to be viable as a toggle at this stage of development, but it would be cool to have a button that would advance to the next "turn" (day? week? configurable?) while keeping the timer paused after the button press. A fringe benefit would be that those who continue to play in real-time mode would be able to quickly skip through slow periods of production or other empty weeks.

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Dating

How is the dating mechanic handled internally? I've seen some seemingly inconsistent behavior from my gameplay (mostly in Beta 14), and I'm curious how the mechanic is meant to work. My observations:

  • Idols under 18 cannot be flirted with, and no dating information is displayed in their bio. However, they can enter into relationships with NPCs or other idols, which can be commented on by other characters and appears in the "Bonds" list. (However, it still doesn't show in the dating section of the bio.)
  • For those who don't know the meaning of the "mysterious reason" tooltip, it seems difficult to find out if someone has started dating since the last flirt attempt without major negative consequences. (Example: Three successful flirts, followed by the idol starting a separate relationship, and then the next flirt causes a huge friendship decrease.) Personally, I feel like the idol should explain the situation rather than get so upset. (Affected by traits? Reset the flag if the relationship ends and a different one starts?)
  • Is there any plan to extend dating to staff members? (Particularly for idols that become staff members.) This might be something possible to hack together through mods, but I'll have to take a closer look on how the current editor handles dating values.

Graduation and General Modding

Are there any plans to expose the game logic that handles things such as graduation? For instance, having events cause idols to move their planned graduation date (or remove it entirely). This could also help in editing the text for the existing system, since I'm not sure what makes an idol's graduation "good", "bad", or "average" for the epilogues.

In general, how much of the internal logic is planned to be moddable? Based on previous devlogs it sounds like this is a very low-level concern until the release version, but I figure certain things might have to be done now to make it easier for them to be moddable. (For instance, alternate balance mods would likely require a lot of the game numbers to be set as constants and the file with those constants be loadable from an external file.) Therefore, knowing what kind of things can be modded could help in understanding what kind of mods would even be possible.

Scandal Points

Nearly forgot to ask about this, so I decided to edit it in. Aside from gaining these from events and the potential to use them to fire staffers without paying them, what ways exist to manage these? They get listed as a "resource", but I feel like it's only a resource for a cutthroat gameplay style. For those who don't want to fire staffers to hire better ones, they only cause negative effects with no apparent way to get rid of them aside from using cheat mods. So here's a few questions about how they work right now:

  • Do they decay over time, or do they have to be "spent" to go away?
  • For Scandal Points attached to specific idols, do they disappear if the idol is fired or graduates?
  • When using them to fire staffers, how is it determined which points are spent?
  • Right now, it seems like idols don't acknowledge being seen as scandalous. Is there any plan to have them behave differently when a lot of Scandal Points get attached to them?

I'm not sure if this is a suggestion or a bug report, but I noticed that if you hire a graduating idol as a staff member, they do not appear in the "graduated" list for idols. I figure they should still appear there, perhaps with a note that they were hired into the company in their bio. (It would also be cool if their mini-portrait could use their idol appearance instead of the generic staffer type, but I'm not sure if that's something that can be modified easily.)

Also, it would be interesting if idols who were dating a graduating idol (who then becomes a staffer) could continue dating. It felt funny to see "X lost mental stamina for a mysterious reason" when X's (ex-)girlfriend was her new stylist.

As a side note, I feel like this is out of scope for the intended tone and gameplay of the game, but I sort of feel like the game eventually starts to limit players who choose to maintain a low number of idols, and I feel like it would be interesting to have a mode that focuses more on a smaller group size. (Smaller max building size, less emphasis on multiple projects happening at once, etc.) The new Relaxed mode is a great help for a casual player like me to play in that manner without a game over, but a lot of features are based on much bigger groups after the first year or so. That said, I feel like my ideas would be better for a mod or a different game, so I'm not holding out hope on a small-time company mode.

The mobile version of the game should be 2:3, while the desktop version is 4:3.

Thanks for the feedback. A few responses to your points:

I didn't see any sprites except two of MC's in the start of the game.

The portrait art was not complete when Demo v1 came out, so only the first scene has portrait art.

And maybe without jumping week or  two week further with each scene?

Some of the story beats are still in flux when it comes to what will or won't be in future versions, but the plan remains to have major events take place each month in-universe, similar to how the first game had events take place each week. With 11 playable (non-prologue) months and 6 characters, that's already 66 events to write.

No CGs :(

For the moment, CGs are not planned for the game. Since the game has two different aspect ratios (2:3 on phones and 4:3 on desktops), figuring out how to handle CGs might be difficult.

The gameplay of demo ends on "July 2020" screen, right? After thet it feels empty and not filled.

Some routes went almost all the way to the end in Demo v1, but the weekly intro dialogue was not written for every week. As such, those text boxes would likely appear blank.

In addition to all of the above, I'd like to mention that progress on this game is going a bit slow right now while I work on the v10 update for Blooming Nightshade. I also feel like I'm going to take some of the design decisions from that update and apply them to this game. (For example, the player will get a chance to see each of the characters in the prologue and first month or two, but the game will then lock you into the route you pick for the rest of the playthrough.) Because of the reworks involved, Demo v2 will probably still only have Izumi, Kiyomi, and Nanami routes available (with the rest being pushed back to at least v3).

Hopefully that answered some of your questions. Let me know if anything still sticks out.

Thanks for pointing out that bug! It looks like there was a typo in Shiori's jealousy code, so it never actually could set Nanami as the person she found out about. (And since Nanami has a higher chance of triggering the conversation, I missed that during testing.) It should be fixed in the next version!

As for when v9 will be ready, I'm afraid there's not really a solid timeline yet. So far I've only written one of the afterstories and outlined two others. I'm hoping to be able to finish them before the year is over, but I don't have any specific date set at the moment. Hopefully they can live up to your expectations!

(As a side note that may hype them up a bit, the afterstories will be a bit longer than normal scenes from the game. Many scenes are between 200 and 500 words in the main game, but the afterstory that has been drafted is ~1200 words. So hopefully these stories can give an additional sense of closure, beyond the ending of the main game.)

At any rate, thanks for the comment/bug report! I'll keep your interest in the afterstories in mind and hopefully get around to those soon.

Since no other bugs have been reported yet, I went ahead and created a new release build fixing this issue. I didn't increase the version number since the issue was fairly minor to begin with. The new build should be available later today or early tomorrow.

A known bug that was reported to me from somewhere else:

A Ren'Py error may occur during an event on the first day of Act 3, should the player choose to partner with Kagami. You can ignore this error without having any lasting effects. (It happens because of a bad ATL transition call, so you may not even see it if you are skipping text.) This bug should now be fixed in the development build, and the fix should eventually be rolled out in a patch. (Timeframe to be determined by any further bug reports.)

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If you've played everything except the hidden ending, you should have all of the bonus content available except for some scenes and a CG in the gallery pages. If you're having trouble finding the "Aftermath" content, go to the title screen and check the bottom-right. If you've finished at least one true ending or the normal ending, there should be a new button there.

As for the hidden route/ending itself, the requirements aren't necessarily intuitive. Here's how you get there:

  • You must have seen the true ending for each of the three character routes. (They must appear in the ending list.)
  • From a new game, spend exactly one "date" event ("spend time with") with each girl and two events alone. Partner events ("partner with") don't affect this route.
  • If you meet these requirements, an alternate infirmary scene will play at the end of Act 2. From here on, you're locked into the hidden route.

Hopefully that helps you find the last ending. Let me know if you have any more questions and I'll try to help.

Thanks for taking a look at Eldritch Academy, I hope you like it!

For this game, the "PC" build should work with Linux, from what I'm told. (The Ren'Py distribution builder says that it should work on both Windows and Linux. When it packages for just one or the other, it uses "Windows" or "Linux" as the build name.) That said, I have no Linux devices to test on, so it could be helpful to hear if this is true.

Eldritch Academy
(click to go to the game page)

Solana Academy is a prestigious all-girl boarding school in a remote corner of Japan. Despite its distance from major cities, it never wants for students or funding.

However, the ideal school life at Solana Academy is disrupted by the sudden appearance of grotesque monsters from the formerly sealed-off old dormitory. A chance discovery of magical “petals” leaves four students as the only line of defense against this threat. But as the girls investigate the old dormitory for a way to be rid of the monsters, they begin to uncover a sinister truth regarding their school…

Eldritch Academy is a Romance/Paranormal Thriller visual novel. The choices Yue makes during her investigation determine who she becomes closest to; leading to friendship, romance, or heartbreak.

This thread is for collecting bug reports in one place. If the game crashes or a glitch occurs, this is the place to bring it up. Before you post, it's a good idea to see if the issue occurs more than once. Bugs that cannot be replicated are difficult to fix.

I can't figure out a way to hide potential spoilers from others who look at this page, so I'll have to leave some of my comments out. Overall, I like the premise of the game. The pacing is a bit uneven, though, with the ending in particular seeming more ambiguous than I think was intended because of that. (Even just rewording the last few lines or adding another line might help with that one.) There are also some typos that might need to be addressed, though I didn't think to write them down. (A lot of them were misused homophones rather than misspellings.)

The short play length made it hard to fully differentiate between the characters, but I don't know there's much that can be done there. I have some thoughts about the character who I feel got the most development, but it may be a bit too spoiler-heavy to write here.

As for the content listed in the warning, the level of detail does feel a bit gratuitous. However, that might well have been intended, as a sort of Corpse Party-esque guro. It makes me think of slasher films, so I think that sort of audience would be the best target audience.

While I mostly focused on pointing out negatives and opinion-based things, I think it was a solid game for the most part. Going into the game, I expected a sort of supernatural horror story but instead got a more sci-fi or even cosmic type of horror story. It feels kind of like a B-movie due to the limited character development and graphic gore, but it's the good sort of B-movie in that it's still interesting to play.

If you make versions past v1.00, I'd recommend maybe looking into some of the typos and the final few lines. Also, it might be a good idea to prompt the player to save as the final scene begins, to keep people from losing a lot of progress by not realizing you can save during the scene.

At any rate, I hope some of these comments help, or are at least interesting to read. If there's somewhere where I can comment about the game without potentially spoiling new players, I also have one or two specific things I might have some thoughts about.

Glad to hear you liked the game so far! I'm particularly glad that the lack of character art wasn't too upsetting, since I've been too busy with my other project to try to get the character art made for this game. (Hopefully I'll be able to get everything finished for this game eventually, but I'd like to get my main project done first.)

It's also nice to hear that the Android version is getting some play. Part of the original design goal was to make a GL romance game for Android, since there was next to nothing of the sort on Google Play in 2017 (aside from a few PC ports of other Ren'Py games).

At any rate, I hope you like the rest of the game.