There is an issue involving the tracking distortion visual effect that is causing it to max out CPU usage. To be sure it was the effect, I discovered that the main menu does not include the effect when exiting to it after you start the main story. Once the effect is turned off, the game resorts back to normal CPU usage.
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I wrote a test scene, playing around with the latest background and sprite. I am fairly happy with a lot of it, still a few things I would like to tweak or play around with, such as the sprite transitions.
Oops, forgot to mention along with the drawing work, I also added support for in-line format changing to my text. This was also a pain to get right but I am happy with the results of near pixel accuracy when checked against a word processor. Best of all, I can do my formatting IN a word processor, without any markup language and my content processors and importers do the hard work now. Just another thing to take for granted when writing your own engine.
Work for Seriously Senpai I GOTTA get that Seven Senior Suitor Story! STAT!! or more simply, Seriously Senpai! STAT!! began in 2016 as an intended project for Yuri Jam, an annual jam hosted with the intention of creating more games about relationships between women. I had been working on a bigger project within the Seriously Senpai series and had many characters designed but was far out from completing a game. I was convinced to take what I had and to try to create a smaller prequel game that would serve as an introduction of my characters, in hopes that it would garner interest into my bigger project. It was also my intention to use the experience to improve my skills in development coding.
Fortunately, the character designs very quickly got the attention of many talented people who wanted to work on a game. So talented, that the work they were producing for it started to feel wasted on such a small project. My desire to get more use out of their work grew and in time, Seriously Senpai! STAT!! grew in scope too large for the jam. Although most of the rest of the team were able to finish up what I had asked them in time, we decided it would be okay to delay the game until I had completed something that I felt best utilized the assets they had made for it.
Life Comes At You Fast
What was meant to be a small, month or two delay became an ever increasing multi-year delay. I went on a personal bad luck streak that involved costly repairs and replacements of living and work utilities, injuries to both legs keeping me from being able to walk properly for nearly a full year, getting into a car wreck and eventually being forced to evacuate my ever deteriorating home. It's not that I never got to work during any of this but there was a lot of stop and go and outside stresses were leading to a lot of quick burnouts. Several months were taken off at a time and when I returned to work, I was often unsatisfied how I had previously left things. Worse yet, the longer I left everyone waiting on the game, the more I felt I needed to justify the now ridiculous amount of delaying, creating an endless cycle of expanding the scope and further delays.
It finally came to a point that I had to make a decision, either cancel the game or move it from a free game meant to market a larger commercial game, to being a more fully realized commercial game itself. No longer a prequel but a proper part one of a two part story. Deciding to take my chances, the first thing I did was negotiate backpay with everyone else who had worked on the game. Once that was done, I discussed with them if they were interested in returning to create more content for the game. To my delight, almost everyone involved in the jam, so many years ago at this point, were able to commit to finishing up this new and final version of the game.
Refocusing on my original desire to become a better developer, I decided to take head on the jumbled mess that my game engine had become over the years of start and stop development. Rearranged, refactored, renamed and rewrote. Whatever didn't fit, I took a cleaver to. I acquired the habit of commenting all of my code, so I would never again be left wondering how something I worked on two years ago was even working or worse, accidentally reinvent a component that I had already made but never got around to using.
It took a while but the yields were worth it, as I was finally able to tackle some of my engine's deficiencies and wishlist and got them done in a far more timely manner than I had ever been able to.
For the rest of the team. this year we ran a successful Indiegogo
campaign for the game (it was a fixed funding, all or
nothing campaign). Everyone has been at work since, creating new and
re-imagining old assets. It is all coming along very well; they too
are coming to this with more years of experience and improvement. I couldn't be happier with what they have been showing me and I hope to be able to show everyone more as we get nearer to release.
Over the last couple months, my artist have been hard at work on scenes involving the bedroom of the main character of this story, Miley PJ Clarke. This has been considerably difficult, as this particular room has required a coordination effort between four people, while half of us live on a different hemisphere. The sprite work for these scenes is different from the rest of the game and involves more flexible parts, to create a more intimate and lively scene between Miley and the player. The background and CG both have their dynamic elements, as well, which will evolve as you play the game. Coordinating these elements together was a really difficult process but this work is nearly done and I am very happy with it. I think the player will appreciate the extra efforts as well.
Myself, I have spent a good part of the year polishing up my game engine. While the full game mechanics are in a bit of a limbo state between a mostly realized concept and actual beta implementation, the engine itself doesn't need a much of any work to implement whatever the final rules of the game will be. Making it all fun and rewarding is what I would consider to be the biggest challenge remaining.
One thing I have been in sorely need of and could only recently implement was a new sprite and shader effect sorting system. I've finally been able to remove myself and human error from the way thing are drawn per frame, along with greatly reducing GPU stress (yes, I realize this is not an intense looking game but I have my pride and scalability will be important in future games).
In my latest build, I have implemented FMOD for music handling. This is currently on an experimental basis and might not make it to the final product. That said, I am impressed with what I have seen (or heard).
In future devlogs, I might get a little deeper into the formation of the engine (it's not THAT deep) and why I personally prefer to work on it rather than ready made engines for story centric games and visual novels, such as Ren'py or *Maker engines.
Hello, Dev here! I came to itch.io because of its developer friendly tools and terms and am hoping to participate more in the community now.
I am the creator of the Seriously Senpai series, which are dating-sim-like games focused around the yuri genre, or lesbian centric in other words. My team and I are currently running a funding campaign for our first game of the series, the campaign can be found over on Indiegogo, which is about 2/3rds funded as of this writing. You can read more about it at either link.
Aside from creating the series and characters, I am the coder of the game. I am writing its engine using the Monogame framework. I do not personally draw, I let my talented team of artists handle that. You can find them here, here, here and here!
We missed the deadline but the game is still in development. No demos, as the game didn't really lend itself to being split as such. Hopefully a release (beta or full) will be out before December.
And rework it we shall. We're dropping the RPG side style stuff, which honestly disappoints me but is also a realistic expectation for a project of this size being done in this time frame. I'll have more info on what this all means soon but it shouldn't affect anyone's current assignments.
Felicia doesn't need her hat when in uniform, it was an efficiency thing that she ended up with it on the concepts we released. Keeping in mind on drawing her is that her most prominent feature is her smile.
Jessica, I guess the shorter fringe would allows for more expression. Although, I'm kind of conflicted on that since she's kind of cold and unexpressive to begin with. I'll defer to the opinions of others.
Chief's general shape and pose feels more like Natalia, Natalia being a shorter though. I imagine the chief as being a bit more filled out, broader in shoulders, a less lean waist. If say, hypothetically our MC were to surprise her and jump into her arms in a CG, I'd like her to be convincingly be able to hold her. Then you know it's not an accident when she drops her for saying something foolish.
Her 2nd pose is very cool but I think she should be more upright and forward facing, more respectable. Closer to http://imgur.com/a/7mFDt
As of now, it's more of a cool, picking up girls pose and that's basically Natalia 24/7.
MC, I'm a bit conflicted on. It's a great poser but also a bit more punctual than I see her, at least by default. I was thinking she should be more laid back and carefree and have a secondary pose for the actual interview process. I was also thinking she would use a cell phone as a mic to record the girls talking and then transcribe it later, so her pose would be holding out the phone towards the interviewee. But, scribbling down on a note pad could be viable too. I'd like to know what others think.Finally, I'll just say in general to not be too afraid to exaggerate things in this story's universe, especially expressions. There is an over-the-top line but it's a relatively animated setting where silly things can happen.
My last 48 hours have gone pretty sour, I'm going to try working out some outlines and plans come tuesday/wednesday that I meant to get done yesterday and today. Sorry everyone for the silence, please keep tight!
What I was thinking was, you would interview each girl a couple of times in regular VN style and then once you got friendly with them, they'd invite you somewhere they like for the final interview. Rhaelyn would take you to a poolside, Dee would get you backstage to one of her concerts, Natalia would take you to a nostalgic drive-in restaurant, Chloe to an arcade, Jessica to her estate, Felicia on a picnic and Kiki out shopping or something else. General ideas anyway.
Yes, I would like one or two with the club president (who I've been calling "Chief" in my head all day). You've got the right idea on their relationship, with the MC being the fumble minded one, I don't know if it needs a CG but I can picture it too. I think I also want some sort of good ending with the two of them that is suggestive towards a real relationship between them, either subtly or direct in a comedic way.
That was my idea anyhow.
>I think, considering they're minor characters, it's not something to worry about too much about(?).
More or less.
Well, if I can adjust the hues of the hair colors and skin tones, along with two different uniform types, I think that wouldn't be too problomatic? More so than hairstyles and colors, everyone being the same general height and weight would be a bigger problem I think. This was noticeable in cherry tree, where all the adults were the same height as the students. Circumventing this might end up making too much work.
On the other hand, a walking animation one direction vs three. If we really had to, a profile walk can even be animated dynamically.
That's how I see it, at least.
In general, I am fine with this breakdown of the work load if you two are. I want to iron out the details of what needs to be done however, as I am still undecided myself.
I do agree that letting the facial expressions do most of the work for the VN sprites.
I'll check it out.
>Personally I would vote against voice acting - I find it tacky, plus it would be a lot of extra work.
Low priority anyway, so I doubt it was going to happen.
Anyone else having a heck of time with this forum? It's very laggy and a lot of my key presses go unregistered. Also, sometimes when I hit backspace, it send my browser back.
If anyone else is having problems, perhaps another option should be used.
>That's a lot of art!
It really is, so I'm very open to cutting it down and reducing work load in creative ways.
>though it'd depend on how detailed/complex the scene is.
I think we'll be forgiven if they aren't super detailed. I'd like to brainstorm on efficient ways we can present things.
>I've never done CG specifically before, but I assume it's similar to illustrations?
It's just a full screen image, with background and all.
>each person will have one sitting and one standing pose?
Undecided. I was looking at this earlier for reference, #2: http://www.wikihow.com/Film-Interviews
They don't show a lot of body, maybe too little but I can't really argue with the wisdom. It would be less to draw.
>I'm curious too, what kind of art style do you want?
I think more anime/cartoonish. My universe is quite animated and exaggerated. This would give more emote for facial expressions, which I think will be important here.
>Also, what are you doing for background
Undecided but I'm thinking there might only really need to be one, fairly basic background for the VN style (the interview room). If we use VN models anywhere else, we can just dim the RPG screen when they're talked to.
I've posted two new threads, one asking about aspirations, where we can discuss what our goals for this project are and get in line with each other. Another talking about the work I estimate needs done. There's a lot there but I think it's better to ask a lot now and scale down as necessary.
I will work on game design, plot and more threads as we start to get things gelling.
I'd like to know what everyone wants to bring to the project and get an idea of what is realistic for the scope of it.
I have my own engine that I am mostly comfortable with its stability and usability for this.
My writing skills are fairly novice but I do feel I can put a story together and I have a fairly decent idea of the plot I would like to do and how I would like for the story mechanics to work. I've also conceptualized most of the characters that will be featured in the game, as well as the setting.
I have a rough idea of how I want to make the game that I'll put in a separate thread.
Obviously we'll need some music, how much I am not yet sure. Ideally I would have a few themes for different moods and situations. For sound effects, I think we might be able to get away with some creative commons resources but if someone feels differently, I'm all ears. It would be great to have voice acting but I think that's probably outside the realistic scope here, as I don't even know if that's something that will be in the main game.
For my full intentions, we would have 3 art sets for this game, divided up amongst as many or more artist. VN Style characters with multiple poses and expressions with background art, RPG style walking sprites and decor and finally full CGs. This will be a lot of work, especially with the 8~9 or so characters I'd like to include, so it is something I am prepared to scale down on all fronts.
Part of the reason I'd like to have an RPG walking around element to the game is that I think people will be more forgiving talking to small sprites that aren't very expressive than talking to VN style characters who aren't doing much expressing. Also, since there's only two school uniforms, two generic bases with some swappable hair and colors could fill up 99% of the school. This would allow us to talk to minor characters without having to do a full VN scene with full drawings for everyone. However, this element of the game could be cut if it is deemed not feasible.
For the VN characters, I think I've already got an excuse to keep them from reposing too much. Since the game is about interviews, the characters will likely be in a camera or in front of a mic and would be asked to sit or stand naturally, most people aren't particularly animated in this situation, I think. My feeling is that we could get away with 1 to 2 poses and X amount of facial expressions if we plan out appropriately. Still, with 7+ interviewees that could still be ~14 bases, so let's try to figure out what's feasible here. As for our main character, I think we can get away with a bust or maybe even higher, if we keep her down in the lower corner of the screen. She should maybe have a wider array of expressions since we'll be seeing her a lot.
Full CGs may be the biggest pipe dream but if possible, I'd like to have one for each of the 7 interviewees plus 2~3 more. This is mainly to give the girls something special/fun to do on their last interview session without having to create a bunch of 1 time use assets for the other art set. This is certainly something that can be cut.
So to recap, my estimations are
7 bodies based on my characters with up to 2 poses a piece and X facial expressions.
1 bust of our main character for the game.
Two uniform bases, walking up, down and left.
Generic head with X hair styles.
Skin Hues and Hair Hues that are adjustable.
About 10, with 2 characters a piece.
Please discuss with me what's too much here, what's too little. These are just my estimates.
In addition to this, we will need some GUI work and design.
Let me know anything I missed and what you feel you could contribute.
I'd like to know what everyone has in mind to get out of this project. For me personally, this is a learning experience in producing a game, an opportunity to get something released and an effort to bolster interest in my future project set within the same universe.