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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsHoney Rose: UFE (OUT NOW!)
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Author Topic: Honey Rose: UFE (OUT NOW!)  (Read 30426 times)
Pehesse
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« on: July 23, 2014, 06:52:12 AM »

Warning: GIF heavy thread!

GAME IS AVAILABLE HERE:
-on steam: http://store.steampowered.com/app/523680/
-on itch.io: https://pehesse.itch.io/honey-rose-ufe
-on its own site: http://pehesse.fr/honey/en/get-the-game/

--------


OCTOBER 2015 UPDATE, with the current to-do list and general roadmap: http://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=42222.msg1186484#msg1186484

 
For now... welcome to Honey Rose: Underdog Fighter Extraordinaire!

First trailer!


Short version:

Honey Rose is a game about:


...showing off in front of an audience:



...(parallax'd) drama on the ring:



...students trying to achieve greatness at school in only three months (okay, maybe four):



...students kicking each other in the face (okay, maybe not all of them are students):



...making huge decisions that impact your daily life:



...and plenty more! But I'll leave that for you to discover.



ORIGINAL POST
Hello everyone!

Lurker for some time, I finally decide to take the plunge and open a devlog here to present the progress on my project. Without further ado, let me introduce :

(disclaimer : everything shown here is pretty much WIP and subject to changes, hopefully mostly improvements).

Honey Rose UFE is a mix between a visual novel life management sim, and a 2D fighter.
Think Persona meets Streets of Rage meets Princess Maker, with a dose of fantasy luchadores and superhero costumes.

The aim is to help Honey, the titular character, balance her life as she needs to juggle between her daytime at university, and her nocturnal fighting persona. She wishes to reach the heights of fame through a fighting tournament, but she has only six month to do so before the tournament is up and her studies take her elsewhere.

The general flow of the game, as such, is divided into two main segments: the life management, where you decide how to spend each day (training, studying, meeting with people) to raise and manage your stats, both physical, social and academical, which look like this:


and the official matches, where you'll engage an opponent in a 1vs1 fight, where your stats come into play and affect your performance, which look like this.



There are plenty of other tidbits planned, like 1vsMany fights, but I'll show them as they get visible rather than simple ideas on paper!

As far as development goes: this is a mostly one-man project using Construct 2, with some audio help from great composer Morusque. Since it's using C2, I'm targeting a PC release, with possible others depending on how the project turns out/my ability to do so.
I'm an illustrator by trade, and having little to no programming knowledge, I'm more comfortable using graphically assisted programming engines like C2, or Game Maker. The project started as a small technical demo in December 2013 to work on 2D animation, using a game pitch I had developed a few months prior, and since the demo turned out quite well, I decided to make the full game out of it, and here we are now!

The development is still quite early: I have done a first rough (but working) prototype of the main fighting engine used for all the matches, and am now working on having the equivalent for the visual novel segment. Those are quite far along as well, as I'm only missing some special generic segments, the rest being "only" scripting each event that's suppoed to play out, and doing all the assets required to show stuff moving around.

You can see a preview of both here:


(visual novel segment prototype, dated 08/30/2014)


(fighting demo, video of the prototype used to test at the beginning of june)

In this thread, I intend to post updates regularly as I make the assets and work on the game, so an update for each new asset/working state screenshot or video. This is to complement my two other existing devlogs for this project: one on tumblr, with daily updates (which are generally WIP, so you can see every step of the way), and one on Patreon, with weekly updates on everything that happened.

As mentioned above, I'm doing a Patreon campaign to support mainly this project, along with any and all future ones when this will be done. I won't do a kickstarter, as I'm not eligible to do so, so if you wish to support this project, that's the way to go!
As far as when this will be done, there is no definitive date as of yet but I can tell it's not going to be before early-mid 2015 at the very least. It's definitely going to be something you'll know about when I know more about it!


And there you have it! I hope to read your feedback here, improve the game thanks to your reactions, and generally have a trace history of what happens during the development!

Thank you all for reading, and I hope you enjoyed what you've seen here, and what you'll see if you decide to follow this thread, or any other of my sites about this!




What's coming next : back to the fighting segment, and a whole lot more 2D animation!



« Last Edit: October 10, 2016, 12:15:43 AM by Pehesse » Logged

ucupumar
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« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2014, 08:49:59 AM »

It looks incredibly awesome! Looking forward for this.
Will it have multiple ending? If it is, maybe you can consider add some kind of Million Dollar Baby ending.  Wink
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Tuba
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« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2014, 09:37:23 AM »

Looks very promising.

I'm curious about the fighting controls, those aren't easy to get right.

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Pehesse
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« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2014, 09:38:10 AM »

It looks incredibly awesome! Looking forward for this.
Will it have multiple ending? If it is, maybe you can consider add some kind of Million Dollar Baby ending.  Wink

Thanks a lot for the kind words :-D

Indeed, there will be multiple endings. The main variables in play for this are your reputation as Honey, and the suspicion others have of your true identity. Win your matches and do good deeds as Honey, and you'll be liked around town, lose too much or act cowardly one too many times, and your reputation will be down the drain - and if you get unmasked, how people see Honey will definitely be a factor :-D

There are other conditions, such as the number of matches you managed to win during the 6 month (you must win 3 different to get the better endings). So, yeah - multiple endings indeed :-D Though some will be darker than others, none will be as depressing as Million Dollar Baby, though :-D

Looks very promising.

I'm curious about the fighting controls, those aren't easy to get right.

Thanks! You're right, the controls are the toughest part, and that's why I developed the fighting prototype first as a proof of concept. There's still a lot to tweak based on feedback, and on stuff I need to add still, but I hope the basis is there enough already.
It's actually closer to how a beat'em all would control, and not a 2D fighter - especially since there'll be actually beat'em all stages against many opponents. Right now the plan is to have both sections control the same for consistency's sake, but I might need to tweak each separately (slower movement for the 1vsMany sections, especially), depending on how enemies will react when grouped together. I won't get on that before a few month though, as right now I'm knee deep in the VN segment stuff and don't want to forget what I'm doing by jumping off halfway through!

And with that said, here's the first update for this devlog : the generic daytime choice events! Each day, you'll get the choice of what to do in each location, and I've begun working on just that. It's a lot of variable checking and event planning, so it's a bit slow to setup, but here are the first working screenshots of the daytime menu for the university :


« Last Edit: July 23, 2014, 09:45:08 AM by Pehesse » Logged

Pehesse
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« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2014, 07:13:33 AM »


Continued working on the default daytime events! You can now store/take out your suit from home and the school locker. Where your suit is will allow you to access and do different things, so you’ll need to transport it around - though don’t forget the risks that represent as well!

The school generic event is mostly working now, as far as I can tell, so I’ll begin working on the daytime one. I’ll soon get working on a basic loop as well, so you can actually spend a complete day, and we’ll have the general flow of the daytime segment working!

Also, a question for you all :

I’m in the mindset of showing as little statistical information to the player as possible, to create an experience based on the feeling of uncertainty and of “winging things” rather than carefully devising plans based on raw maths.
However, I’m concerned this can prove too frustrating for some players which could enjoy the game otherwise, and while I’m pretty confident the experience as I intend it can stand on its own, I’m wondering if it would be an interesting option to allow the player to play in a more “informative” mode, still without clear stats but with more visual cues to help know your general standing.

Right now, during the fights I’m not using a lifebar system, rather a temporary health/status portrait that appears when you’re hit. During the visual novel segments, you can have descriptive information about your stats by visiting Honey’s Room options.

The question is then :

-do you think it’s a good idea to offer the option to toggle more traditional health bars on/off during the fights, or is it diminishing the potential impact/interest of not proposing health bars in the first place (and as for the VN stats, the importance of Honey’s Room options)?

-in that same spirit, is it a good idea to offer the option to toggle an overview bar during the VN segments, with graphical hints as to where you are stat-wise (no raw numbers, though) ? Right now I’m showing the date/location by default, but if I go this way, I might show this and said cues in the “informative” mode, and nothing in the “no info” mode, so the screen can stay clutter free.

Some additional musings : if I go the way of offering choice, I could either offer it at the beginning of the game only, attached to specific difficulty settings, or offer full customization at any point. I could even make something like an achievement if you play the game the way I originally intend it, using vague information and memory/guesswork.

So then, what are your thoughts on all this?
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« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2014, 07:27:10 AM »

Personally the more options there are in a part of the menu that is unobtrusive, the better. But that is just me. I am loving all of the art, even if it is wip. It would bring me great joy to see this on vita, the Gravity Rush cutscene controls would suit the VN segments well.
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Pehesse
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« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2014, 07:45:52 AM »

Thanks!

I'd love to be able to make the game for Vita, to tell the truth, but I wouldn't know where to start, and I'm not sure using C2 would be a good idea for that goal. For now I'll focus on PC, but if I get the chance, then Vita is definitely my top priority.

I played Gravity Rush, too, but I can't remember the specifics of special cutscene controls you mention? Was it the motion controller that enabled to view the pictures through different angles? I hadn't considered that at all, but that may indeed be a pretty cool idea!
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« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2014, 07:54:24 AM »

Hmm yeah. I think the easiest engine to export is Unity now that they have added support.
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Pehesse
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« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2014, 08:20:06 AM »

Unity does Vita export now?! I really should take the time to give it a closer look... but all the times I've tried, it proved to be a too complex to use for me. I'd need a dedicated developer to make it work on Unity, I'm afraid, and for now I don't have the means to hire one, nor want to engage a team on that project. Once the game is complete, I'll look at how feasible a Unity port would be, more likely :-)

Would you happen to know if Stencyl can do Vita export/intends to make it so? That's another engine I'm considering using...
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« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2014, 10:41:24 AM »

I'm not usually a fan of visual novels or 2D fighters but I love everything about this! Fantastic concept and visuals. I can't wait to see how it develops.

I also use C2 due to a lack of programming muscle so I'll be especially interested to see how you overcome any hurdles with the engine.
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Pehesse
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« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2014, 11:00:29 AM »

I'm not usually a fan of visual novels or 2D fighters but I love everything about this! Fantastic concept and visuals. I can't wait to see how it develops.

I also use C2 due to a lack of programming muscle so I'll be especially interested to see how you overcome any hurdles with the engine.

Thanks a lot!

The biggest hurdles so far were related to the fighting segment, but I'm sure I'll encounter more stuff in the future that'll be hair-pull inducing :-D I especially remember the whole collision between player/enemy box thing... It's still not completely solved, actually, even though it mostly works now - I'll have to put the finished touches to it eventually to have the right feel. If it's of any interest to you, then indeed, stay tuned :-)
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Savick
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« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2014, 12:05:12 PM »

Female Luchadors? Hell, I could do with a fighting game about that and skip the life sim business. To be fair, I've never played many life sims. So, maybe when this has a demo I'll try it.
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Pehesse
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« Reply #12 on: July 25, 2014, 01:01:13 PM »

Female Luchadors? Hell, I could do with a fighting game about that and skip the life sim business. To be fair, I've never played many life sims. So, maybe when this has a demo I'll try it.


Indeed, this doesn't aim to be a high-level focused fighting game, more of a Player vs. IA brawler, and the fighting engine I made would mean little witout a life management side to complement it, as it's entirely stat based - I hope to bridge the gap between genres that might not be joined too often, and speak to people who might otherwise think they wouldn't enjoy one of those specific genres :-) So who knows? Maybe you'll like the VN here! :-D

I definitely want to do a demo, I just don't know when it'll be (definitely not before the game is feature-complete, so I have many months to go still) and what exactly it'll show (straight-up beginning of the game, or a specific retooled slice ?), but it'll certainly showcase those two aspects! One of the demos I loved recently was the one from Gunpoint, and I'll try to take cues from that one.
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Pehesse
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« Reply #13 on: July 26, 2014, 03:29:26 AM »

Progress on the daytime front! Now the complete basic loop is working and you can spend complete days, with the calendar updating accordingly. Not all daytime options actually do something, though, so that's one of the next goals to complete. When everything will work, I'll get to adding some visual flair to all that, for dynamism's sake.


If you want a video of the whole process, you can see one here :


...and possibly even in this thread if I managed to figure out how to embed it (is that even possible?)
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Pehesse
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« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2014, 08:35:38 AM »



Moving forward with the default events! This time it's the downtown default actions I'm tackling, though it's largely the same principle as for the school events.
I've even linked correctly the events from the main room, so selecting either option (school/town) brings you to the correct place, and I've begun adding the required checks for random events (none of which are scripted for now, but at least their placeholder appear).
And finally, you can rest/skip days from your room now, if you so choose! Unless Honey isn't tired. In that case, you'll have to go do something, I suppose.
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Pehesse
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« Reply #15 on: July 28, 2014, 06:30:33 AM »



So in the end, I decided to prototype a quick and dirty test for the status bar idea mentioned previously/above. Here it is! What it currently does :

- you can toggle it on/off using the “change stance” button, normally unused in the VN segment

- the stats represented are : Honey’s current tiredness, strength, defense, speed, proficiency in biology, linguistics, math, where her suit currently is, her reputation, and the suspicion people have of Red being Honey. For now, everything a neat brightly coloured placeholders, for testing purposes, but since everything seems to be working, I can move on to making actual icons/animations for everything.

- the stats are updated in tiers, relative to your current game progress : for instance, Honey will be satisfied with having 20 STR in February, but that’s going to be a little short come April. What the icon represent are Honey’s satisfaction with her stats, not the stats themselves, so there’s still a degree of vagueness.

- by default, the possibility of toggling the bar on/off is deactivated. If you choose to activate it, you lose on some direct rewards at the end of the game - you’ll be able to get them by some other means, but it’ll be a bit more work!

- if the option have the status bar appear is on, you’ll be notified of any stat change through little animations on the stat icons (cf. second gif). If the bar is currently displayed, the animation will play out, and if the bar is hidden, it will show the bar before playing the animation, and then retracting the bar!

So all in all : in works in practice! Now to see what it looks like with finalized icons/animations, and test if it adds something to the game, or diminishes the experience!
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Pehesse
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« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2014, 11:12:13 AM »



...and now for the finished thing!
In the end, it really adds quite a bit, or at least in my eyes. I find playing around the VN prototype a lot more fun with it on (or actively toggling it on and off). We'll see if testers feel the same way!

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Savick
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« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2014, 12:00:45 PM »

I can't make out the text below the cute portraits? Otherwise, they are super cute. Like the 5th one? Oh man, so cute.
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Pehesse
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« Reply #18 on: August 01, 2014, 12:08:59 PM »

I can't make out the text below the cute portraits? Otherwise, they are super cute. Like the 5th one? Oh man, so cute.

Thanks for the feedback!

Yeah, the text is a bit small indeed... I'll have to see if that needs to be addressed - after all, it's not critically important information, it's only the name of the stats and you identify them through many other means (and in full screen mode, the font is a bit more readable)... but I'll definitely admit it's a bit of a stretch I tried there, and I'm not sure it'll work.
If it doesn't, I'll find somewhere else to write this :-)

Just for information's sake : from left to right, they're "Strength", "Defense" and "Agility", your three main physical stats that affect the fighting segment, and the three after that are "Biology", "Linguistics" and "Mathematics", which are the three main classes/tests you need to be taking and balance with your physical stats. Far left is your "Energy", or "Tiredness", far right are the reputation and suspicion gauges, and just to the left is where your suit currently is - so in that gif, it's currently in transit, in your bag :-D

And yeah, I had a lot of fun making that 5th icon animation :-D I hope it makes players want to reach that status on every stat :-D
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Pehesse
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« Reply #19 on: August 02, 2014, 08:58:21 AM »




So in the end, I've mostly finished implementing the status bar! That means a lot of plugging holes, fixing bugs and whatnot.
And since it works, I’ve added the option to toggle it inside Honey’s Room as well, and it… works! (as expected) - even through the pause menu (that was more of a pleasant surprise)!
The bar sees if it was opened or closed (or anything in between) on scene transitions, and restores itself to the correct state on scene load, too!

So now, back to scripting : I’m now back to working on the downtown part, specifically the Sport Center generic training events. It covers a wide range of possibilities : depending on your current fatigue level, you won’t get the same event pools, and that means different dialog/stat effects - and that's without touching on random entry events when you get there, which can vary depending on current day, your stats, and plenty of other factors! Random events, random events everywhere!
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