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gimymblert
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« Reply #60 on: December 02, 2015, 04:33:12 PM »

No that's still too much lol, What I meant is "what your game is actually about" what the fundamental concept, we a collection of concept and justification but you don't convey a strong underlying experience. The overarching theme. I did in my answer a quick but concise brief of the gameplay (time progression stuff) that's all was needed.

It's a bunch of character doing random stuff in a random context as now!
And because you have multiple character it weaken the "dating" frame. Look at how people react immediately once you define the character as they could relate to the goal, they could identify how they position themselves to the concept and offer wealth of opinions, in turn you could strengthen your position by pointing at what you really wanted.

Right now I feel that you have a tons of wants and features but not a single clear vision to unify all that, it doesn't invalidate the concept, but it mean that the core is not well define as you focus more on details than the big pictures. I'm sure its because you are passionate and that you really like those elements, but having a well define core do help too.

So far we have a multiplayer high school students in a loose dating settings.
Like monster highschools?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monster_High
It deal with their struggle with love, social life, schools mark and not be outed as monster to human.

like monster musume?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monster_Musume
A boy live with several half monster girl who compete for his attention, he struggle to keep harmony and manage drama with the housemate while helping them to deal with the real world.

What makes the relation matter? or the setting matter in your specific case? What type of tension your character have to deal with? finding a prom partner? like in Prom week?



Other game that might be relevant, princess maker 2 (abandonware), tokimeki memorial.

Think of it like advertising, what's the selling point? what's the experience? give me the "brief".

Like the yawhg isn't enough an answer Wink

Quote
In six weeks, something terrible is going to happen. The characters you play as don’t know this, but you do. And so you guide their lives, and their destinies, with that knowledge, trying to build them into people who can make the most of what’s left after the disaster. All of this has happened before, and will happen again. But hey, maybe you’ll be a doctor rather than the town drunk this time around.
Which game is this? Wink
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BeautifulGlitch
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« Reply #61 on: December 02, 2015, 04:55:51 PM »

JIMYM GIMBERT: Uhm, I see... do you mean like a pitch? I have a short and a long pitch.
Sorry, I didn't understand you were refering to this!

Here's the short one:

Quote
MONSTER PROM: SHORT PITCH
There are only 3 days left until prom! Go through all kinds of absurd and funny situations to seduce one of your classmates. Beautiful art, witty dialogues and hard choices are the main ingredients of this competitive/cooperative (1-4 players) dating sim.
Do you know how to conquer a monster’s heart? Grin
(it doesn't say you're all monster because the idea is to pair this with a promo IMG that will clearly show you're all monsters!)

It was this what you were asking for? :O

Thanks for the references! I'll study them!

And the game on your quote is clearly Street Fighter 2.


EVERYONE: here you have the first char w/ outlines. I wanted you to tell us which version do you like the most:
> Pose/Expression 1 (left) or 2 (right)?
> Black or colored lines?

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« Reply #62 on: December 03, 2015, 03:50:41 AM »

EVERYONE: here you have the first char w/ outlines. I wanted you to tell us which version do you like the most:
> Pose/Expression 1 (left) or 2 (right)?
> Black or colored lines?



2!

1 seems more "standard". It's as if you weren't taking any risk. But 2 shows a more distinctive personality, and that's cool. It's true that playable characters have to be neutral so the player can lead them in the direction they prefer, but still is nice to give them some slight caracterization.

Hard to tell between the 2 types of lines. The difference is too small. Maybe the black ones. Not sure, anyway.
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BeautifulGlitch
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« Reply #63 on: December 03, 2015, 08:42:19 AM »

RAFA: Thanks! Your reasons to prefer the v2 are truly legit! And yeah, at this size is hard to tell the difference between line types.
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BeautifulGlitch
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« Reply #64 on: December 03, 2015, 04:03:36 PM »

Here you have the other chars with outlines!


STILL NEED TO DECIDE IF ADDING A "ZOMBIFICATION" DETAIL



STILL NEED SOME LAST MINOR CHANGES






Next steps on the art department:
  • Closing the 4 playable chars (the standard models)
  • Mock-up of the map. Then, the map
  • First 4 location illustrations

And, btw, I wanted to thank you. We love to see all this feedback! So useful and so beautiful! (:
« Last Edit: December 03, 2015, 04:52:56 PM by BeautifulGlitch » Logged



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« Reply #65 on: December 04, 2015, 01:52:28 AM »


Ey guys!
Really love the art style!

Also love the The Yawhg reference. Great game xD


Looking forward to see more!!
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« Reply #66 on: December 04, 2015, 12:03:44 PM »

Dude, zombie is looking stellar! Question -- would you be opposed to adding blood in the wounds? I didn't realize that he had gashes until I sat and seriously looked at them.

For the outlines, I really dig the smoothness of the color-lines. As for the Zombie girl, I also agree with option 2. I feel a lot more of the happy/unabashed/upbeat energy you were using to describe her early on!

Also, +1 for Jimmy. I enjoyed reading both your extensive walk-through of the game-play progression as well as your short-pitch.

Based on your descriptions, the game play of Monster is SUPPOSED to be short. The highlight of the game is playing through it multiple times, yes? I assume there are going to be quite a few characters? Or is this aimed at being a quick, quaint VN? Nothing that drolls on for an exceeded amount of time. It sounds as though the characters will be extremely like-able (I mean, if Archer is a reference, they HAVE to be). Would there be an opportunity for an extensive, highschool, monster VN experience?

I know I'm jumping the gun here (the object is to finish ONE game before thinking of another), but I am curious!
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« Reply #67 on: December 04, 2015, 07:07:51 PM »

UPRISING STUDIOS: Thanks, guys! We love The Yawhg. Its creator is helping us by giving us some advice and feedback. Such a great guy.

M4UESVIECR: Well, the main issue is to keep the main colors, so we can't go with red. Because of that, the wounds are kind of green. I must clarify (to you and to everyone) that these models will only appear probably in the "choose your char" menu. But yeah, we need to keep the wounds clear so they seem monsters. And it's not a Zombie Girl! It's a version of Frankenstein's Monster's Wife, you know?



Yup! Very short sessions. Really similar to The Yawhg. It's not necessary that the game has to be played multiple times. It's more a social game, meant to be played by 3-4 players. By design, it feels different each time that is played. We will try to give it a good level of depth so it can be played several times before it starts to feel the same. But if I have to be honest, I think that is not about that, but about having something interesting when friends vist you. It's something that shines when shared, you know?
What scares me is the new devolution thing from Steam, since it makes no good to shorter games, that can be played, ended and returned.
Not that much!
4 playable characters. 6 Love interests. And that's that. Our objective is too go all in with those 6 NPCs so we can create a lot of cool and funny situations. So the idea is to aim for a 45-90' experience. Like watching a (interactive) TV show/movie together.
What's a VN? :O
What do you mean at the end of your message? You're talking about DLCs, sequels and so? Yeah, one of the strengths of the concept is its high escalability:
> DLCs with new locations and love interests
> Sequels with new situations (University, Summercamp, etc)
> Other games that use the same mechs/structure but with new art and themes

Now I almost finished the GDD (Game Design Document), so I started the Biz Document. As you say, my main focus here is to produce ONE game. But yeah, sure, I love planning ahead.

As a gift, I will share the biz doc index here:

INDEX
> The company
> Production
   -Elements
   -Timeline
> Crowdfunding
   -A note on funding
   -The Kickstarter Project
   -Content (text)
   -Content (visual)
   -Video
   -Reward tiers
   -Stretch goals
   -Reaching an audience
> Marketing + Publishing
> Communication + PR
   -Social media
   -Media
   -Youtubers + Twitchers
   -Events
   -The potential viralization
> Biz opportunities
> Escalating the biz
   -DLCs + Sequels
   -New games
   -Creating games for clients
   -Monetizing the game universe
     

Also I thought I could share part of the GDD.
Let's go for the LONG PITCH

Quote
MONSTER PROM: LONG PITCH
“Monster Prom” is a game meant to be played from 1 to 4 players (but trust us: the more, the merrier!) that mixes “choose-your-own-adventure” stuff with dating sims’ mechanics.

You are a student at a monster highschool. Being a monster can be hard, but getting a date for the monster prom is even harder!

You will have a limited number of turns to explore a school full of weird and amazing events that will let you meet 6 of your classmates. Each event (full of beautiful art and funny dialogues) will lead you to an absurd bifurcation where you will have to make a choice. Each event will let you raise or lose your stats and improve or mess with your relationship with your classmates. Choose wisely! Are you charming enough to go with a certain answer? Are you bold enough to follow a specific choice? Each option can be a potential success or failure.

Try to do your best at each situation and enjoy the ride… but don’t forget that, in the end, prom night will arrive and you will have to go all in… but with whom?

It surely can be the night of your life… but that will depend on you.
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gimymblert
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« Reply #68 on: December 04, 2015, 07:35:05 PM »

To be frank if you want the monster type of your character to read well, you need to shoot for the iconic tell.

Frankenstain is define by the head scalp scar and the head screws

It's hard to tell a zombie with so much clothes to hide all the visible part, I would give him bare chest so bare you see his ribcage. Or go for the deep green skin with heavy eyeshadow.

Red has good obvious tell although I don't know the type of monster

I don't know what yellow is at all.

I mean like advertizing you don't want to be subtle, you want to be interesting. Interest is brought by contrast. Don't be afraid to push idea far or too far.

googling handsome zombie:
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« Reply #69 on: December 04, 2015, 08:24:24 PM »

i agree with Jimym, i didn't know that the Blue girl was supposed to be a version of Frankenstein's monster bride.


eastpak zombie ads as a reference for your zombie.
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« Reply #70 on: December 04, 2015, 09:08:24 PM »

BAKKUSA y JIMYM GIMBERT: nah, no big need of that (the reading well thing). But yeah, I understand what you say anyway. She's not exactly Frank's monster, but Frank's monster's wife. Her biggest tell is probably the white thing in the hair. But yeah, she's not exactly a monster very "monster-y". So we wanted to also add tells from Frank's monster. Because of that we added the screws on her neck and the scars. Still some people can't tell who is she. I told the artist to add some scar in the head, probably. So, let's see how it ends!

But as said before, it is not exactly a priority. A lot less regarding playable chars. Why? They carry no narrative weight because the need that every situation works the same for every playable char. But we're exploring those possible changes, sure. Just as when we shared the "zombification" thing, you know? But we won't go with a shirtless option since it kinda breaks plausibility. The eyeshadow thing seems like a good idea! (:

RED is an Efreet!



YELLOW is darkness

Yeah, that zombie is rad! I'm discussing all this with the artist to see if we do changes or leave it like this! :x


NEXT: we had some sketches on how the "event illustrations" will work. Also next GDD thing I can share is TONE, STYLE AND REFERENCES.
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« Reply #71 on: December 04, 2015, 09:21:37 PM »

they still have narrative weight, they embody the tone and theme, even though they aren't "deep character". That's why I mention nintendo character on one of my post. You still need a definitive "tell" to convey that, if you can't use direct tell, use indirect one, like pattern on clothes for example (skeleton and brain for zombie?), apparently you still want your player to say "I Choose the zombie one" right?. But ultimately that's you who decide.
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« Reply #72 on: December 05, 2015, 02:01:19 AM »

Wow, gorgous art of Red there (efreets yay!). Handsome zombie is handsome, hope it's traits help in making green look zombyer Smiley
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BeautifulGlitch
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« Reply #73 on: December 05, 2015, 07:45:55 AM »

JIMUM GIMBERT: Sure, but tone and theme are closer to the high school theme than to the monster theme, so it makes perfect sense they're closer to seem "teenagers" (actually more like young adults who are supossed to be teenagers, like in the high school movies) than monsters. What you say it's completely right, but then you bring it in a direction that is not entirely the one of the game. As an example, if you tell me "OK, choose, I can make the zombie look more like a zombie or I can make the zombie wear a cooler/edgier outfit" I'd choose with no hesitation the second option. Obviously, It'd be great to have both (and because of that we're still experimenting on zombie and Fr's Mstr's Bride), but it's important to point out that these aren't monsters that look like young cool people, but young cool people that look like monsters. I've shared some references before, and none of them are related to monster fictions, but to teenagers/young people fictions.
Best example is that when studying references for chars, the one that was most useful for the zombie wasn't a zombie but Lindsay, from Freaks&Geeks. On how the green jacket conveyed she was an outsider with a "I don't care" cool vibe. Then, obviously, we went from there and the jacket ended looking a lot different, but that was our "compass" on that design. The "too cool to care".

At first, I was intrigued by the idea of a pattern for the clothes that communicated he's a zombie. It's a smart move. But then I realized that while bringing him closer to the "it's a zombie!" reaction it also pulled him out of his character zone. Patterns and illustrations on clothes just break character. Maybe a hipster can go with a pattern t-shirt and a swagger with a cap with an illustration. This guy -so far- is a "too cool to care" character, like Lindsay or Joseph Gordon Levitt in Mysterious Skin. What suits best is a plain black or white t-shirt. As a matter of fact I recently talked to a guy who expressed to me his clear preference of plain black or white t-shirts as only kind of t-shirts. And the way he argumented that sounded perfectly as the thought I'd expect from this character. Is like "other thing would seem too 'tryhard'", you know?
Still I like your idea as a different way to convey the monster nature. I've make some research and best I can think is like an old t-shirt. I saw bits of Mysterious Skin again. Sometimes he wears an old museum t-shirt with an inscription about some Egyptian exhibition or something like that. The character doesn't break thanks to the general reading of "I have this t-shirt because they gave it for free and who the fuck cares? It's a t-shirt and that's all what I need". So now I question myself, can we create a piece of clothing that can subtly say "zombie" (not literally) but also convey this message? I will look at that.

And absolutely not. I don't care on player saying "I choose the zombie one". I want them to say "uh, that one looks cool, I want to be that one!". As said before, both thoughts are interesting and I'm trying to go for the "cool" vibe and still make them look a bit more like monsters. But the order is that one: "high school/cool youngsters" and then "monsters".

TAMMIDEV: last image was obviously not ours DDD:
I hope you were referring to the one that is ours :3
The prob with handsome zombie is that its design is over-complex and make us to re-think GREEN from scratch. Also, to me always seemed more like a "black magic" thing than a zombie.
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« Reply #74 on: December 05, 2015, 07:54:20 AM »

You fooled me XD *very naive sometimes, most times, always* Well I was thinking that maybe you could make the zombie a bit thinner/ anorexic near its mouth/ nose. Might help with the zombie indication Smiley I think it's cool that the build of your zombie looks sturdy, like a football player. 
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« Reply #75 on: December 05, 2015, 09:14:55 AM »

TAMMIDEV : xD
Eh, the "thinner" thing with the mouth and nose can work. Let us try that!

btw, some references on humor and such









Talking about a baby, if I recall correctly






















MAN SEEKING WOMAN: Spiral Eyes

MAN SEEKING WOMAN: what to text her

MAN SEEKING WOMAN: Trailer

MASTER OF NONE: Social media

MASTER OF NONE: Trailer

SNL: Almost Pizza

LOUIS CK: Dating

LOUIS CK: Perversion

LOUIS CK: Never rape anyone unless you have a reason
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« Reply #76 on: December 05, 2015, 09:27:10 AM »

I would say that's the challenge with design in general making things that are opposite work together. I'm not advocating for pulling full monster but then you have 2 character that fit that bill, the eefreet and darkness are full monster readable. So even though they are high school kids first and squid monster second, the second part must still be readable in some way. Maybe my proposition fails to pass your check, but the design is currently still not working. The clothes was just a proposition that happen to rise from analysis, you kind of push "tell" into zone that aren't readable, most area are covered with clothes so solution is either to remove clothes or put it on the clothes. But other implementation would work too. Maybe you could go with shorter sleeve and show a skeleton arm, or have one hand as skeleton or have flesh work like fingerless glove, etc ... General tell that preserve the character is a hole in the jaw that show bone, big hole either on the forehead or the chest, ribcage, skeleton showing in the arms, legs, forearms, etc ..., missing or dangling eyeballs, blank eyes with no pupils (or faint pale blue) ... it's obvious there is some that aren't possible but can be suggested through accessories, pattern (subtle or in your face), etc ... there is options.



Although done is better than not done anyway as pointed before Wink
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« Reply #77 on: December 05, 2015, 05:09:58 PM »

JIMYM GIMBERT: yeah, sure, the general thought through all the message was that we're trying some of the stuff you commented to see if it works. But we haven't a lot of time left since we're trying to be as effective as possible and we've started to do mock-ups of the event illustrations. When we start to go for the final arts, we will have to keep the designs as they are. This is a speed project. Art should be ready in 10-12 weeks. Same for dialogues/texts. Then 4-8 weeks on programming. Technically best thing would be that both things happen at the same time, but truth is that right now I have 2 programmers interested in coding this. They're OK since it's relatively easy, but one of them is closing a project and won't be available until February. I'm meeting the other one next week. So not sure if programming will happen during January+February or February-April. What I was trying to say is that still now we're trying some stuff on the playable chars (I asked the artist to do some changes on RED's hair+forehead to see if the result is better. We were also trying stuff on GREEN and BLUE. But there will be a moment pretty soon when we will say "ok, let's see what have worked the best so far and let's keep that!".
But I'm taking care the artist read all your suggestions. Some of them are pretty interesting.
Thanks for the support!


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« Reply #78 on: December 05, 2015, 05:10:13 PM »

Quote
TONE, STYLE AND REFERENCES

The game has a witty, funny and sometimes even absurd tone.

It mocks both monster and highschool tropes. It exaggerates and parodies them without doing an active commentary on them. It is not about making a point, but just about going to common places of pop culture in order to make the player laugh.

When reading the dialogues it needs to feel smart. We go to these common places and then we need to do an unexpected twist. The goal with this is being funny while surprising the player. But by doing this we let the player identify the trope, which makes him/her feel clever. It’s one of parody’s biggest strength, to get the player to think “hehe, I get this one!”.

The game has no shame on laughing about everything. It’d be cool if sometimes it just feels wrong. We can go for more controverted issues such as sex, drugs, porn, murder, etc. Let’s celebrate post-modernism!

Another feeling that empowers the perception is seeing the game as wildly modern. Let’s think on how love, flirting and sex have changed. It’s not about how all this is different now from last century, but about how all this is different now from 2-5 years ago. When a TV show or a movie (or any pop culture product) references the latest social/tech trend, social network, app or cultural craze it definitely feels really cool.
Make being edgy one of our goals!

And other super important goal is that the game NEVER takes itself seriously. It has to be aware of its own parodic nature and it has to be able of laughing at itself.



REFERENCES:

Night in the Woods” and “ChickenSword” seem to have clever, well-written and funny dialogues.
Saturday Night Live” manage to be edgy, funny, absurd and clever.
Master of None” and “Man seeking Woman” both talk about love, flirting and sex in our modern days. They also explore all this through absurdity (at different degrees)
Archer” and “Rick&Morty” are as funny as wrong. They’re pretty bold.
South Park” has some really excellent episodes that manage to comment on current issues in an absolute funny, wrong and absurd way.
AHS”, “Glee” and SPECIALLY “Scream Queens” excel at being self-aware, avoiding taking themselves seriously and laughing at themselves. Ryan Murphy is a genius, damn.









MAN SEEKING WOMAN: Spiral Eyes

MAN SEEKING WOMAN: what to text her

MAN SEEKING WOMAN: Trailer

MASTER OF NONE: Social media

MASTER OF NONE: Trailer

SNL: Almost Pizza

LOUIS CK: Dating

LOUIS CK: Perversion

LOUIS CK: Never rape anyone unless you have a reason







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gimymblert
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« Reply #79 on: December 05, 2015, 05:24:23 PM »

Thanks, I don't want to pressure you off, I have no stake in this and you better follow what's best for you.
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