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------ TL;DR kind of a post ------
So... it's already been about a year since the last release for our game Memories. So I thought I'd give a little update as to where we are on that.
This post is basically just a rant/reflection/update on our future plans for the last chapter of Memories. For those interested in making their own sim date/flash game, some of the content here might get you thinking about how to go about your own game (emphasis on "might because I can't guarantee anything.)
Let me answer a few questions in the shortest, most honest way possible:
Q: Are you finally releasing the next chapter??
A: Uhh... no...
Q: But you said it would be out at the end of last August!
A: Yes. Yes, we did. Circumstances prevented us from working on the game... But those are excuses saved for later.
Q: Are you working on it at least?
A: Uhh... Not quite...
Q: Will you ever finish it?
A: We sure hope so.
Yeah, I know those answers didn't really clarify anything. This is what this long post is for. It's mostly excuses but I think you'll kinda have an idea why this is not moving along as well as it should.
First of all, I really need to stop announcing dates prematurely. Secondly, I really need to stop putting up updates for our "conceptual" progress. See, the two goes hand-in-hand. Basically, we reach some conclusion as to what or how we're going to do the third game and we put up updates just to show that we are actually still working on it (or at least, it's floating in our heads). But giving updates on conceptual progress is actually false progress (at least it is in my opinion, there's no scientific basis for what I'm claiming here, so don't go researching whether I'm politically correct). Just because we make a decision to do something,doesn't mean it'll actually happen. So I sincerely apologize for giving incorrect information in terms of our progress.
So where exactly are we in the creation of the third game? Well, we're still juggling with conceptual issues such as gameplay changes: Should it be more like a visual novel, where the storyline diverges with each choice, or a sim date, where stats has more importance? What are the requirements to reach an ending? Should it be experience based, where the player racks up points by choosing the "right" answer? Or should it be conditional where a certain ending can only be met if certain conditions are true? Before making every decision, we have to consider how we're going to implement it and whether we can do it at all.
Every now and then though, I work on the script (though quite honestly I have not even worked on it since August, which was the beginning of the new semester). But even that is extremely slow. When I first wrote the original script 4 years ago, I finished Kakeru's entire story in 30 pages, which was something I was quite proud of. The entire prologue of is actually about 10 or so pages of the actual script and after playing it, it was--without a doubt--too short. Which is why the script for the First Arc was completely rewritten. And the script for that First Arc ended up being about 20 pages. So when you think about it, 10 pgs for Prologue + 20 pgs for First Arc = 30. That's the entire script... But the story hasn't ended yet, and in fact, it's no where near close. There are many issues, old and new, that still needs to be addressed. Addition of characters is necessary to make the story more interesting, but those characters all must have purpose and roles; their lines in a script need to be written. Tying all the characters together is actually quite difficult to do. There is also the issue of the timeline, as in I don't know what should happen when and whether we should have dates at all; but this is really just a minor problem and can be solved as soon as all the events are in place.
Moving on, did I mention in a previous update that there is a second (semi-)dateable guy? Yeah, well for some weird reason, his story was occupying my head more than Kakeru's and that's B-A-D. I'm sure some people would love a new guy but people wanna know what happens to Kakeru too right? That's the assumption anyway... What worse is that generating ideas for "dates" with Kakeru is getting seriously difficult. Those who played the first arc till the end should know why. We used up a lot in that almost last scene... coming up with something new that is not repetitive is a real challenge.
In any case, we decided to resume the project...sort of. NO GUARANTEES. Being a college student who aims to go to professional school, academics take most of my time; and the little time I have left is used up in doing other responsibilities. But I recently rediscovered pieces of the script for the Final Arc and the flame to finish the game is once again alit.
The game is still very premature and much work needs to be done since we're practically starting from scratch. We've decided to switch from Macromedia Flash to Ren'Py for the game media. When I decided this, I knew NOTHING of Ren'Py programming language and in fact, I still don't know anything about the programming language minus the most basics. So why did we decide to switch anyway? Personally, I would prefer to work in Macromedia Flash; I have experience in using it and I was barely starting to learn the more complicated codes (like that loading bar!). But, file sizes become an issue in Flash. Simply put, none of our computers are powerful enough to run a .swf file that has over 300 imported pictures in it's library. Animations also make huge files, even those simple fade in/fade out transitions. But take those effects away and the game becomes blander. Ren'Py would allow us to work with large number of files simply because the game itself is just lines and lines and lines of code. The graphics are kept in a separate folder that need not be imported. This eliminates issues about the size and allows a more professional looking game.
Speaking of professional looking, the GUI must also be designed. Since ksetsuni is not a graphic artist, in addition to being script writer and coder, I also design the extra elements that are not necessarily part of the story. This includes the buttons, the textbox, the options menu, character sprites, etc. They may seem insignificant and people might take them for granted because they're just... there but time must be taken in creating, designing, and drawing it.
Anyway, the point is making and developing a game takes time and it's time I don't have. Nonetheless, we'll try to work on this, even if the progress is slow. At this point, I still can't promise it'll be completed but the hope is that we can. So cross your fingers ><
As expected, this just turned up to be a long winded post about... well I'm not even sure... Thanks for reading it, even if it it didn't make much sense.
From: Xiumi (Shem)
script writer, coder, graphic designer, music director for Artist Academy Sim Date
If you're interested on what's going on for the third game, you can read new updates from this link: http://fav.me/d7hsq9i
We're currently discussing some ideas concerning the game development for the third game. Though we have the main plot already decided, there are still many parts in the game (especially Ayano's interaction with Kakeru) that we've yet to come up with. So we kinda wanted to ask you guys... What do you guys think? Any suggestions for the third game?
Here are the questions we want some answers to:
- What did you like about the second game? As in, which features do you want to remain in the third game? I feel like this is not a very fair question to ask considering not all features are actually out but please do your best to answer.
- What new content would you like to see implemented or wanted to see but haven't seen yet?
- What would you like to see Kakeru do in the third game? Fantasies, daydreams, anything? I know Kakeru's not very daydream worthy lol...
- Any thoughts on the BGM of the game? Some people have suggested to choose catchier tunes or ones more pleasing to the ears, but since my BGM database is limited to Flashkit, it's kind of difficult to come up with free, good quality music... Do you guys know any website where we can find free sound loops?
I know a lot of people were asking about a saving system in the game. I'm currently working to develop an effective saving system so please bear with me; even as I say that, I can't really promise that there will be a saving system in the third game :/ We mostly want suggestions about the plot content of the game, and not so much the gameplay. But if you guys have any good suggestion involving either plot or gameplay, feel free to leave it in the comments ^^ I can't promise that all the suggestions (if there will even be any, haha) will be implemented in the game, but I promise we will seriously consider all of them. -- xXshuemaraXx
P.S. I said we'll seriously consider all suggestions, but we can't consider anything if no one leaves a comment, so... Leave a comment!!! ... Please?
Need I say more? Go and play the game XD Enjoy.
I already have the complete version of the game (without the extras). All I'm waiting to do now is to fix the bugs and errors that my beta testers find, it should be too long before I publish the game :)
I finished the soundless version of the game (it's still incomplete in that the extra features are inaccessible but the main game is complete); are there anyone who are interested in beta testing it? to help find bugs and such so i can fix them before i publish the game.
I have some good news and some bad news...
Good news is, I'm almost done with the game. I already finished putting the main ending in the timeline. All I need to do is add the alternate endings and the sounds. We decided that the initial release of the game will not yet include the extras (because honestly there isn't enough time) but the extras should not affect the actual gameplay.
Bad news is... I might not finish putting it all together by Sunday x_x I'm so sorry that I keep pushing back the release date for this... but I do like to have some down time during my vacations because I'd probably go crazy if all I looked at were ActionScript codes and frames. That said, I may or may not get it released by Sunday. If I work hard enough, I could probably finish the alternate endings by Sunday, but that would mean it won't have any sounds.
Nevertheless, I'll try my best these next two days to finish the game. Once again, I'm so sorry... =_= especially to those who played the game like 6 months ago.
This is the new interface for the second game. i just wanted to show that i'm actually working on the project and not just goofing off on my break XD the longer i work on it tho, the more worried i get that i may not finish by jan. 13 :/
in addition to the new interface, there are actually other new features as well... such as the "Trust" meter and other things that i cannot mention at the moment... the gameplay is still fairly simple but slightly more complicated than the first game and the allocation of trust points might be a little hard to understand... so i'll just include a more in-depth tutorial in game which will most likely be located under 'Extras' or 'About A.A.'
Nuf said XD i hope to get it out by Jan. 13 >< i just hope i make it
I'm so sorry that we havent uploaded the game at all, the semester was really busy and I couldnt find the time to actually work on it...
the semester is almost over \(ˆ▽ˆ)/ that'll give us at least a month to work on and release the part 2 of artist academy i promise i'll try to get it out before january 13.
Thank you so much for your patience and support it really means a lot to us.
Here's a little something from the next part ;) (and no Kakeru doesnt have a twin)
so sorry we haven't released the next part to artist academy memories; please know i'm trying to do my best to work on it but i have to juggle college also and its really delaying my working time :/ right now, i calculate the tentative release date to be around thanksgiving but depending on my schedule it could really fall earlier or much later than that. if i finish it earlier, i'll try to get it out as soon as possible. sorry for the inconvenience x_x
hey guys, I'm actually new here and as you can see, i recently just uploaded a new game which is a collab between me and my sister xXshuemaraXx. its the 1st part out of 3 so its a little short but check it out. any type of feedback is welcome. let us know what we did right and what needs to be improved and we'll try to see if we can fix those things before we release the 2nd game :)