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InvertMouse

Backgrounds are sometimes overlooked when we play visual novels. I for one am guilty of this, so today I would like to, well, I guess you can say repent.

When you have multiple illustrators, there is always a chance your art styles will clash. The easiest solution, of course, would be to feature a single artist in your project. In reality, however, other concerns come into play. Schedules, motivation, workload—there are many factors to juggle.

In The Last Birdling, I have opted for a relatively safe route. That is, to feature different artists for the backgrounds and characters. Since these elements are quite separate, it makes clashes less likely.

Tooaya is The Last Birdling’s artist, while Juliestorybored is our background illustrator. As the assets trickled in, we first put together a test to make sure the elements fit:

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Lighting changes based on the time of day, so we must have all our bases covered:

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Once the test is complete, we can proceed with production:

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I prefer not to use language like “my team” or “my artist”. Once someone joins the team, we are in this together. When it was time to design Tayo’s village, Julia took the lead and did a great job:

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The Last Birdling has been in production for two years. During that time, I often study other visual novels for inspiration. The Starcraft VN caught my interest back when it first released. I was particularly awestruck by the city nightscape that animated into place:

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My previous project, Cursed Sight, featured backgrounds painted by the talented Tooaya. However, none of them animated during the game:

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As I learn from other creators, I apply those lessons into future projects. In The Last Birdling, I have coded CGs and backgrounds that contain parallax animations, which work especially well for long distance shots:

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Sometimes I am tempted to say my ideas are my own. If I ever claim that in the future, you can call me out for being a liar. I am a fan as much as anyone, so I will always be a student first.

Thank you for reading!

InvertMouse

I would like to begin by quoting from Akashic Records: Case Studies of Past Lives:

“During Lemurian times, we referred to the different kingdoms as The Wolf People, The Bird People, and so on.”

(Source: http://akashicrecordsreadings.blogspot.com.au/2011/07/hummingbirds-speak.html)

Back in 2005, I worked on a story that required me to learn about Lemuria as well as Atlantis. That was how I found out about the Bird People. Myth or history? No one knows, but I used this knowledge as a loose inspiration for The Last Birdling.

Here is artist Tooaya’s sketch of Bimonia:

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Once Bimonia came to life on paper, plenty of questions surfaced as a result. Why would the Birdlings and humans speak the same language? Where did they get those clothes from? At the start of our tale, these two races have already shared a long history. While no one enjoys info dumps, there should at least be hints to these answers.

Tooaya brought up some excellent questions as well. If Bimonia’s wings are too big, wouldn’t she be crushed by her own weight? Since Birdlings need to carry that extra load, how would that affect their height? Perhaps ironically, a fantasy setting is the one place where we cannot explain things by magic.

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Visual novels feature sprites that can be reused throughout the script. That said, it is important for the characters to be expressive, preferably never showing the same face for more than a few lines.

Or in Tayo’s case, have a change of clothes:

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I started Persona 5 recently. Ann and Ryuji have been in school uniforms thus far, so when they show up in casuals, my engagement level goes up because of the fresh look.

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In Cursed Sight, we followed Gai and Miyon from childhood to adolescence. The pattern repeats in The Last Birdling, and while this is for story reasons, it also provides an opportunity to showcase new sprites.

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Though it can be hard to notice, Sasa does in fact visibly age in the story, too. In retrospect, I should have been more courageous with how much she changes.

Out of all the characters, Bimonia’s mother provided the most challenge:

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Guys, this is where I need to make a confession. The above sketches are fine, especially that one on the right. Instead, we settled on this design:

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Why? Because it is the reality of production. When we present the Birdling mother in a screenshot, she should command respect and not look too dishevelled. While none of my games so far have adult content, by no means am I some snob in a fight to create “real art”. The realities of character attractiveness, especially the main cast, affect me also.

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To finish up, we had to determine how tall each character is compared to the rest of our cast:

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I want to save the surprise, so some of these characters have been greyed out. Since the Birdlings are physically superior, let’s offset that by making them shorter than most humans. Airin is in fact the tallest character in The Last Birdling. Tayo is taller than Bimonia even as a child, so she is on her way to carry her mother’s tradition.

Thank you for reading!

InvertMouse

Hi everyone 8). I have just revamped Unhack 2's website:

http://unhack2.invertmouse.com

I hope you like what is in there, and for your convenience, here is the features list:

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A more mature story:

Unhack 1 was created in 2012, so as a student of the craft, I like to think my skills have improved since then. I am, of course, also a bit older now. While Unhack 2’s characters are still an energetic bunch, I believe the cast goes through more of a mature journey this time around.

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Exploring the human VS AI dilemma:

AI will play a bigger role as the years go on, so this is a good time to explore some of the questions involved. What does it mean to be human, anyway? Is it possible for AI to understand how it feels to be us? I fell in love with the topic during my research for this sequel, to an extent where I would like to explore these issues again in the future. To avoid being preachy, Unhack 2 is still very much entertainment first.

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Puzzle gameplay:

While story takes the lead this time, puzzle gameplay does make a return in Unhack 2. In the original game, players had to constantly pause between slots to read the dialogue, which in retrospect was not the best mix of narrative and gameplay. This is why the elements are separated in Unhack 2. I want to explore other methods in future games, so I hope we can go through this journey together.

Though the puzzles are smaller in scale this time, they are in some ways more complex. Let’s see if unhackers are ready for the challenge. Please note the puzzles can be skipped for those who wish to focus on the narrative.

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More art featuring Rosuuri:

My budget and experience were limited back in Unhack 1, so I was unable to feature the number of artworks I really wanted. In this sequel, I am able to showcase more illustrations (most of which contain spoilers, which is why they are not shown on this page). Our artist this time is Rosuuri. Her works are well-known in the community, and since she is one of the best around, there is a good reason for that.

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3D-rendered backgrounds:

Due to budget constraints in Unhack 1, I was unable to include proper background illustrations. Helen “Tayola” Schwieger is our 3D background artist in Unhack 2, and she has put together a collection of renders for us to enjoy throughout the game. These 3D backdrops fit our digital theme nicely.

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Brainfed returns as the composer:

(Unhack 1 album art by Hybridmink)

Brainfed (Matt Hamm) provided a fitting soundtrack for us in Unhack 1. He has graciously given his time again for Unhack 2, and thanks to him, this sequel contains another soundtrack that belongs in the Unhack universe. Several tracks may even include nostalgic references to the original title.

* * *

Unhack 2 can be purchased on Steam here:

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http://store.steampowered.com/app/444170/Unhack_2/
 

And, of course, the original game: 

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http://store.steampowered.com/app/340800/Unhack/

Thank you so much!

InvertMouse

On The Last Birdling’s website, I noted the story will feature 21 decisions and 5 endings. Today, I would like to provide transparency on what that means, and this is also a chance to discuss about the topic in general.

The Last Birdling represents all the lessons I have learned in the past 5 years as InvertMouse. By lessons, I of course really mean mistakes. Some games from my portfolio were kinetic, while others had different decision tree systems.

Here is the approach I used in Cursed Sight:

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Note: Images are from early scenes and not actual endings.

Every decision is vital and leads down vastly different paths. This is the ideal approach on paper, but in reality, it can rapidly result in scope creep:

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While this method can spiral into a production disaster, it is manageable if the branches are cut off early enough. In Cursed Sight, they were trimmed too early in retrospect. As my experience grows, I would like to explore this system again and produce larger scaled titles.

To avoid scope creep, I went with this awful style for Without Within:

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Every choice is a trap that leads to a bad ending. I tried to show one wrong decision can destroy your dream, but if it results in a poor experience, nothing can excuse that.

Many games boast about having x number of endings. 10 endings, 20 endings, 30 endings. Most of the time, they are usually quick bad ends like in Without Within. It is easy to misinterpret and end up disappointed as a player.

On The Last Birdling’s website, you will see this decision tree diagram:

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The diagram lets gamers know most of the story is linear, and it branches into five different endings during the final scene. This approach allows me to respect the players’ time and not sink resources on fluff branches.

Let’s zoom in on one of the branches:

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Whenever you encounter a decision point, there is an opportunity to obtain a “feather” for Bimonia or Tayo. These feathers are counted at the end to determine your ending. Whenever you collect a feather, you will see a marker appear on screen:

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Decision points will lead to different events, but these paths will always merge back into the main narrative. On top of this system, references are peppered throughout the script to acknowledge previous choices you have made.

When we play visual novels, we often want to know which path we are heading into. Virtue’s Last Reward, for instance, featured a flowchart system that would benefit most titles. In the past, games have obscure secrets so companies can sell strategy guides. Those days may be behind us, so we want to give players as much control as possible.

In The Last Birdling, gamers can open this progress tracker:

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Through this screen, you can see which endings you have obtained, how many feathers you must collect for each one, and also how many feathers you can collected so far. This progress tracker allows you to see every ending without the need for a guide.

Players are especially savvy these days. I often think in terms of code rather than the stunning graphics on my screen, and I know there are many like me. If most of your endings are in fact instant deaths, should you boast about it? If your decisions mean nothing in the end, let’s be transparent.

Thank you for reading!

InvertMouse

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My upcoming project, The Last Birdling, alternates between Bimonia and Tayo’s perspectives. Today, I would like to explore some of the details behind this system. Your feedback is most welcome, and if you know of other visual novels that handle multiple viewpoints in a fresh way, please let me know!

The Last Birdling is written from a first person perspective, so the viewpoint character’s personality will come through in everything she observes. Her inner thoughts, reactions, they are all distinctly her own. On paper, or on screen in our case, this means different word choices as well as sentence structures.

That said, I dislike making characters act a certain way just to showcase their uniqueness. If you study writing books, you will often be advised to make every character sound different, to a point where you can tell who is speaking even without dialogue tags. Now, imagine a group of your friends. If you closed your eyes, and they all had the same voice, would you be able to tell them apart? I for one would have a hard time. For me, being truthful takes priority above all rules.

Since we are in a visual medium, we may as well take advantage of that when it comes to perspective shifts. Notice how the UI changes to green in the screenshot below:

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This means we have switched to Tayo’s perspective in chapter two. The same concept applies to decision points:

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In the world of traditional novels, shifting perspectives mid-scene is ill advised. To avoid disorienting readers, we want to jump into different heads during a scene or chapter break. The Last Birdling does not feature chapter titles, but there are end of scene cards to signal a perspective change:

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This introduces several concerns in terms of programming. For instance, if players return to the previous scene, will the UI switch back as expected?

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What about loading another saved game mid-session? I hope all the common scenarios have been addressed. We will see if players spot any edge cases after the game’s release.

So why would we alternate between perspectives? Once readers recognize the pattern, it is no longer something they need to worry about, which makes for an ideal reading experience. If the view changes went as follows:

Bimonia, Bimonia, Tayo, Tayo, Tayo, Tayo, Bimonia, Tayo, Bimonia, Bimonia

And so on, gamers would stumble every time we reached a new scene. We want to set up roadblocks for our characters, not our players.

To round things off, The Last Birdling follows the journeys of Bimonia and Tayo from childhood to adolescence. By the time these two reach their teens, they have suffered through an awful lot. To reflect both their physical and mental shifts, the UI will also update accordingly:

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Find out more about The Last Birdling via:

http://birdling.invertmouse.com

The website contains a demo version, which illustrates how the perspective changes work. Please feel free to have a look.

To finish things off, I am happy to say The Last Birdling has been approved for publication on Steam several hours ago. Thank you so much for your support!

Hope to see you again soon :vinty:.

MoonStar

Hey everyone! My name is John Valentin (aka MoonStar) and you’re probably wondering why I’m here on Patreon. Well like many of you, I’m a huge fan of video games and visual novels, and over the last year I’ve been working on developing one, it’s called Tears of Yggdrasil.

One of the things I wanted to do was make a game that really broke away from your traditional romance story set in a Japanese high school. So I asked myself, what if we went away from that, and mixed in Norse mythology? And that’s where Tears of Yggdrasil was born (at least mentally).

The World Tree is dying, and your character is pulled into this world to save it. You have to journey through all of the different branches, from our world in Midgard to the highest branch of Asgard, and down to the lowest branch of Muspelheim. Each world has a different problem facing it, and only by uniting all of them, can you save the world tree.

So why am I on Patreon? Well to be entirely honest, I’ve reached the end of my limited funding. I’m more of a writer than an artist, and if I want to move forward with the game, I’m going to need to get the art up to a good standard. The money from Patreon will go towards producing more art for the game, and eventually bringing it to a level where it could go on Steam!
So please support Tears of Yggdrasil and let’s make something great together!

Patreon

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Aizen-Sama

Hello. Just want this post to be as brief as possible.

I’m glad to announce the release of our first patch as a newly established group. I hope all the time we invested on it was worth it and that you guys enjoy it. We’d like to hear some feedback, so please once you guys get to play the patch please leave up your comments on it here.

I personally want to thank everyone involved in the Majo Koi team who is or was involved and took part in some way or another to get it out. Thanks, everyone!

I won’t drag this further, simply go to our downloads page and follow the instructions mentioned there.

By the way guys, important stuff here: Only the “Primary” font option should be used and the other ones will lead to issues (Otherwise you’ll have to change that manually if the exe was started before the patch was applied, or delete the save folder in that case). Just use the primary font, otherwise issues will stack up.

Anyways, thanks for reading and enjoy!

PS: This is a patch for the trial version of the game released by Qoobrand, you can download said trial for free.

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MoonStar

The new name of the visual novel has be officially changed to Tears of Yggdrasil.

Everything and everywhere has be updated if i missed a place tell me.

The cover art has be updated with the temp new logo if you like tell me in the comments if not tell me how you think it should look and i may consider it. Also if you think you can do better send a example in my inbox or post it in the comments.

 

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Aizen-Sama

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Hello guys. This is going to be some long ass post because there are several things that I need to inform everyone who follows both our current project (Majo Koi Nikki) and the people who follow the Witch’s Garden project.

First of all, the people who follow the latter know that Witch’s Garden suffered a major setback some time ago, meaning that they would stall the project. Well, not anymore because we’re taking over. From now on Luna Translations will work on two projects at the same time, the second one being Witch’s Garden, we basically merged with the last team working on it and we’ll oversee the operations from now on.

Now, I’ll brief everyone regarding what will happen from now on and how will we handle this project:

1. First and foremost, what we noticed before we agreed to help here is that their main problem was TLC progress. This means that ALL of our focus will go into TLC primarily. The translator who was in charge before us had a line fail rate of around 20% , so heavy TLC will be needed.

2. Progress and updates will be given WEEKLY, just like we do with Majo Koi Nikki.

3. The editing done so far in their project won’t be used by us, since we believe it doesn’t possess the quality standards we want, so we’ll scrape it off. Our editing progress will be steadier and faster than the last team.

4. This one might get some people salty, but we intend to take down the prologue patch that the old team released. The quality of the translation in it is poor as well as the editing. In exchange, we’ll be releasing a longer partial patch, which will contain Prologue + Common or part of the common route+ translated interface, that’ll be decided later though.

5. I’m still setting up the team to work on it, although we will start fairly soon once we set up the scripts correctly. If anyone is interested to help all positions except editors are open (QC, Proofreading, Translation and TLC).

6. Expect a very high quality end result.

Anyways, I’ll present the current team roster:

Aizen-Sama (Coordinator)

Unnamed (Translator)

Forte (TLC/Translator)

Rime (TLC)

Hellcat (Editor)

Porygon (Interface/ Hacker)

Tymmur (Hacker)

*This is NOT the final team and we’re still recruiting people.

Anyways, I think that’s a quick brief for now. If you guys have any questions just post a comment below and I’ll try to answer all of them.

Have a nice day.

Hasa

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Well, there's not much to say this time.

Having finished translating and editing everything that our first patch will cover, we're now mainly focused on TLCing and QCing. 
The prologue should, according to my rough count, be 2 hours long or so.

Okay, now I'm out of things to say, so here are the numbers from this week!


Progress

TL: From 11% to 12% - (5014/40394)

Proofread Prologue Scripts: (12/20)

Nahilys
Hi everyone,

This month welcomes the start of a second year for Lekasoft Studio and its original members. We all learned a lot and are very happy to be part of the indie game development community.
To be honest, it took us quite a long time to find the right members that would fit our mindset and approach of game developping.  Indeed, most of us are students or have a job on the side which means we do have a more passionate approach that do focus more around teamwork and passion rather than money and commissions. Although that policy does have many flaws, it is very important for us to be able to create a great game following our beliefs.

At first, we were all inexperienced in game developping as well as how to work as a team, but were finally able to get through all the troubles we had until we found our current character artist Vaatry who marked the real start of the project in September 2015. Before that, we lacked a lot of organisation and planning, but we were all very passionate about this game that we needed a few months to find out what mistakes were made and start thinking about how to repare them. Unfortunately, we also went through a dark period where the project almost got scammed by someone, making us loose our first ever character artist. Lekasoft Studio's leader would like to thank everyone who was there at the time, who trusted him and his leadership, which made him able to get rid of the scammer and keep going.

The second boost for the team was the arrival of Mock Off, our new composer, whom we already contacted at the start of everything. His experience in Visual Novel development was really helpful for the rest of the team. Since then, we decided to work on a quick demo that would show our skills as well as our capacities to work as a team and it ended up pretty well, releasing our 1st public Developer Demo on the 24 of April, 2016. We have received a few amount of comments with a total of 81 downloads on itch.io up to this day, helping us taking some decisions concerning the game and the team working on it.

As a matter of fact, Lekasoft Studio welcomed Bagel  as a new writer and レモン for backgrounds art to the team. Indeed, the feedback on our Developer Demo released made us notice some flaws in the team skills and direction that we  believe will be solved by adding those two new talents to the roster.
We are aware of the amount we will have since changing our writer, be everyone believes it is for the best, as it will make us create a way better game than expected.
Our previous writer Dave Burns will still be a part of the team as a support on the story and an idea bouncer and part of a trio with Bagel and Nahilys. On an other hand, we will be working with DJ Horn for editing who will only focus on wording and pacing.
レモン will be working on backgrounds as well as CG together with Vaatry because of her better experience on those.

Lekasoft Studio is happy to welcome again all of those new members and we're proud to be working with them in the future on a revamped version of the story and the rest of the development time we will be spending together.
 
 
Aizen-Sama

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Hello guys! This will be the first of the weekly updates I'll be doing on the Majo Koi Nikki Project. Since a lot of updates will be posted, this will be my last one in the Developers Update Blog in order to avoid spam. From this moment updates for this project will be posted on a blog I'll make.

Anyways, let's start with the good news: the translation gods have given us their blessing, and the team has been able to recruit 2 translators to help us, as well as another tech support to help us with the issues that will appear here and there! Another translator is being tested as I'm writing this, but for now he won't be mentioned because he still isn't officially in the team. Thank you for joining us @Sanzy_Bones (translator),@RaurosFalls(translator) and @tymmur(tech wizard)!

So, because we managed to reach our goal of at least three translators, new positions have been opened for other roles, especifically: we are in need of an Editor and a Proofreader, because if not I'll be burdened with too much work to handle (PM me if you're interested in any of the two).

About our website, the server has crashed so it won't work for several days, but I'm working as hard as I can to fix it as soon as possible. A new youtube video will come out this weekend to keep showing our progress. After seeing the poll results, it has been decided that we will reduce the font size (image above has font size and font changed).

And now the real topic of this post, the progress. Well, since it's been our first week the progress has been slow, but now that we have new translators it will skyrocket. Anyways for now we have:

TL: 768/40394 - (1,9%)
Edit: 648/40394 - (1,6%)

Any questions? Just let me know and I'll answer everything. 

Anyways, I think this is all I can come up for. Have a nice weekend!

 

 

 

Aizen-Sama

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(Nope, we're not dead)

Hello guys! I know it has been long since something about this project was posted, so I decided to make this thread in order to update you guys on the progress about our team in general and the project itself.

The tools have been made and the text has been extracted, so the project has officially started! The game text is contained in one long script, inside of it it's divided into the Prologue, routes, and the ending, there are in total more or less 39K lines.

Before going any further I'll present to you the current team roster:

- @Hasa: Project Leader and Lead Translator.

- @Porygon2: Hacker and tool developer (thanks for your help!).

- @Aizen-Sama: Lead Editor.

- @Aleister: Image Editor.

Okay, so without further ado, let's jump in with the usual questions asked in these kind of projects:

What will be the ETA of this project? If we recruit no additional translators it will be a year, but hopefully we will find some in order to shorten it.

Will there be a prologue patch? Yes, we'll release a prologue patch containing the entirety of the game's prologue that contains around 11K lines.

Where can we keep up with the progress? Even though I'll be posting weekly progress here and on social media (the last one is still in development) you can check our website and keep up with everything. Our website acts both as a blog and as a recruitment/main team's website, if you have any constructive criticism about it please let me know, I'm always trying to improve regarding website design. This is our website's URL, be sure to check us out! http://lunatranslation.net16.net/

Additional progress will be shown weekly in youtube from now on. Check us out!

About recruitment: Even though it will sound cliché, we'll be always looking for new translators (even though it's an almost impossible task, lol). And if by some miracle or lottery we manage to recruit 2 more a new slot for an Editor will be available. Once the prologue it's finished we intend to recruit a Proofreader and a QC, but for now those roles won't be asked for.

If you have any questions please let me know and I'll just answer as best as I can. Anyways, thanks for reading guys. See you around and have a nice day!

If you want to check out the original project thread here it is! 

 

Dergonu

Hello everyone!

 

The past 11 days have been quite interesting. I managed to calm down a bit after I closed the project, and got some time to think about what happened. (And finally got some proper sleep!) 

My biggest problem with the project was that I wasn't really at all experienced with this type of thing, and I was unable to organize and lead the team in the proper way, which resulted in people doing their jobs differently from how I wanted. It meant they had more to do, and that I was getting more and more stressed out. 

The idea of someone else looking at my translation did make me a little nervous, and when the TLC then suddenly finds fault with essentially every line, I started panicking. But after going through the edited scripts afterwards, I see that he was doing not only his own job, but the editor's as well. Heck, even the proofreader, correcting small comma mistakes and adding additional words / changing the sentence to make it read better in English. 

The actual mistakes, like incorrect translations, were a lot less frequent, and most of the time, rather trivial. There were of course certain mistakes that I had made which needed to be corrected, but the overall result wasn't as bad as I feared. 

And so after closing the project, and after thinking a bit, I managed to collect my thoughts. 

I asked myself, why am I doing this? 

The answer is of course, because I really, really want to. It's fun, it's exciting, and I am learning so much. 

So, then why the hell should I stop? Sure, I'm busy right now, but in just a month or so, my exams will be over, and I'm free to translate several hours a day. 

 

So what does this all mean? 

 

1) I will NOT be adding any additional people to the team until the translation is done, or until at least 1 script is 100% done. The reason for that is that I am just making myself uber paranoid and stressed out when people are looking at my translation as I am working. That stress then affects my current work, and the patch itself can suffer from it. So all TLC, editing and proofreading will be done AFTER the translation of at least the common route is done, and possibly even after the entire project is translated. 

 

2) I am not going to take this so incredibly serious anymore. I am doing this because I want to, not because I have to, and that means I shouldn't be too stressed out about what people think. Will the translation be slightly below average? Probably, yes. It wont be super bad or anything, but it most certainly wont be at the same level as patches made by those who are completely fluent. Of course, I will do my very best to make sure the patch is as good as I can make it! What it also does mean though, is that I am 100% convinced that this time I will finish the translation. All hail yuri! :Teeku: 

 

3) Progress will depend on how much time I have, which means that currently, progress will be slow. Once we enter late June / early July, progress will pick up. But I will be making weekly updates, every friday instead of sunday, (because apperantly the previous updates didn't fit very well with the VNTS schedule, and made it seem like I wasn't making any updates at all.) So, don't consider the project dead if there is nothing more than 1% or so for a week. It is simply because I have a lot of other stuff to do at the moment, like school etc. 

 

So, with that, the project is back on. I can't give an ETA on when it will be done, but I will be working hard to get it finished. Thanks for reading. As promised at the start of the project, here is the prmo of the translation of the opening script, (do note that this patch was made with unfinished tools, and some of the text will not be displayed 100% right as a result. There might also be typos and similar issues, that will be fixed before the final release.) 

 

Arcadeotic

Firstly, this'll be the last BiMan blog post in this feed because I doubt you all want me to flood this feed with these updates, and it'll be reverting to its original place of original, my personal blog.

 

Anyways, due to some fairly unfortunate circumstances,  I didn't get that much done. Such is life, but there's nothing to be done about it.

Soon my tests for my final courses this year start, so the progress might get more minimal, but hang in there, it'll get done eventually

From this point on I'll be putting the rest of the progress bars (Edited, QC, etc.) on her along with the translation progress, so look forward to that


Translation: 5/8 script files finished, 6th one 23% done (~72%)

Editing: 6,4%

QC: 0%

Proofreading: 0%


 

That's all for today, see ya next time.

Black Sands Entertainment
Producer's notes: This new addition is  to explain the questing mechanics in Black Sands. While it is a visual novel, there will be a lot of team management involved and you will have to solve mysteries and defeat enemies with your mental skills above all else. Are you a competent leader?
 
QUEST MECHANICS
 
SCOUTING – Scouting will consist of Base stats checks. Check will be made by the system which is specific to the area you wish to scout. Examples include…
 
  • Having high enough wisdom to read ancient writings, letting you know of a secret passage.
  • Having enough strength and agility to climb a cliff side.
The danger in scouting is minimal however scouting takes time. Most of the time, it is best to send one person out per mission but occasionally, you may decide to bring a couple. Checks are usually solo checks so if one is incapable of passing it but another is, then it is a success regardless.
 
INVESTIGATION – These quests are somewhat dangerous and can fail if you lose the element of surprise. Investigations tend to be for smaller groups, if not solo, and they can lead to valuable information regarding important locations or characters. Examples include…
 
  • Examing the corpse of an ancient Anunnaki.
  • Trying to find a Devic artifact.
Your awareness is the most critical factor when it comes to investigations so keeping your awareness at peak performance is critical. Things that can lower your focus is triggering a trap, fighting, etc. Sure, you may be able to survive such things but you then become paranoid and miss things you might have previously not.
 
TRACKING – Tracking missions are extremely difficult. They offer amazing rewards and events but also have extreme skill checks and timed decisions. Tracking missions are also limited response missions. It can only be attempted once before the mission is gone. Examples include..
 
  • Something has been indiscriminately killing everything that comes across its path.
  • These tracks are not of this world.
These missions will test your mettle at on the spot decision making. Only the best trackers will unlock all the potential rewards from capturing or slaying the most elusive in the Rift.
 
EXPLORATION – Sometimes curiosity gets the better of you. Sometimes you don’t have time to play it safe. Either way, you have no idea what to expect. Explorations are dangerous because everything is unknown. You may unlock new quests or run into an enemy you can’t defeat. Examples include…
 
  • An ancient facility that is opened due to an earthquake but lava is going to consume it in 3 days.
  • I saw something in the distance with a metallic reflection. We should check it out.
These missions are fun and can leave the heart pounding. Make sure you have your supplies incase the ish hits the fan.
 
CASUAL – These are relaxing events where you get a lot of choices to effect the relationship you have with the others. Whether its training, swimming, or enjoying one of the only sunny days you get in the Rift. Every day is special.
 
 
Main Story – These quests are long and can have multiple parts. It is best to do anything related to the quest prior to it to have the maximum chance of defeating it.
Dergonu

(This is a pretty long rant, sorry about that. Please, try to read it all so you can understand exactly what is going on and where I am coming from.)

Hello everyone. Today I have some pretty bad news. I'm going to have to put a stop to the Tsui Yuri translation project, at least for the time being.

I think a lot of people probably knew this would happen. As for the reasons…

So, the past month I have been working on this translation project, that I myself started.

I guess I just really wanted to give something back to this extremely awesome community that I have grown to love over the time I have spent here.

The past few weeks I have had a lot of things on my mind surrounding the project and my own translation. It has gotten quite bad, to the point where I would be unable to sleep at night. I would just lie there, thinking to myself like an idiot.

There has been a lot of reasons for this. First of all, I am currently the most busy I have ever been in school. I have exams, midterms and all sorts of crap going on. In addition, I had a significant amount absence previously this year, which I am still trying to recover from.

On top of school being way too much, I've started to question whether or not I can actually do this. A lot of small factors have started to add up, and it finally dawned on me that I have simply put way too much work on my shoulders during a really, really busy time of my life.

My TLC gave me a little bit of a "scolding" yesterday, saying that I have a decent chuck of grammatical errors that just should not be there. This probably come from a number of factors, but I think my stress IRL has probably rubbed off a bit into my work.

Also, going back to the start of the project, I remember Arcadeotic and Kiriririri telling me not to start the project. It was basically a friendly way of saying I probably wasn't ready for it. I knew that they were right, but still went through with it.

And I kind of came to a conclusion when Decay once again explained why my project wasn't being added to the VNTS. This was such a tiny, tiny little detail that made me realize I just was not ready for this project. I quite simply don't have the time to invest into such a time consuming thing right now.

 

Like, I guess everyone already knew I wasn't ready for a full on translation project from the beginning, but I still wanted to start one.

I have been learning Japanese for quite some time now, and I have spent a lot of time here on fuwanovel, watching people make translation projects, reviews, blogs, whatever. People do stuff to make give back to the community, and I want to do something as well.

Translating is what I am going to do once I finish university. It's my dream job, believe it or not. I mean, whether it will be translating games or books or if I end up being an interpreter in a company somewhere, I don't know. All I know is that translating is what I seriously want to do, one way or another. It's been something I have wanted to try out for so long, and this experience, though short, has just helped strengthen that wish.

I mean, this past month has been unbelievably fun for me. I have learned so much about making a team, how the translation scene works, and I have also had the chance to actually translate something for real, to see a little what that is like. And it was so much fun!

But ... Yeah, I just ... Am not ready to truly start a project I guess.

I still have a while to go before I can truly start translating a full visual novel. I mean, my translation isn't wrong. And it isn't super bad. It's not that. It's just that, when I have to spend several minutes concentrating on every line, to make sure I don't miss small key parts of the sentence in order to make it a proper translation, it's obvious that I am not quite ready for a real project yet.

 

I would like to just apologize to the whole community. I truly had nothing but good intentions when starting this, and so many of you encouraged me along the way. A bunch of people showed an interest in helping out, (like, I really got a lot of applications... I never would have thought someone would actually be interested in working on this project with a scrub like me :wahaha: )

Guys, really, I'm so grateful for all the support and all the help, and I am so, so sorry for letting everyone down. Hopefully no one really had any massive hopes for this one. Hopefully people will just be like, "oh yeah, that new kid wanted to translate something and failed. Hah, saw that coming."

Anyways, I truly want to get into the fan translation scene again as soon as possible, and hope that this hasn't completely shattered my reputation forever. I just have to take a step back, re-think some stuff, finish all my exams and take a breather. Then, I'll come back and start translating yuri VNs again. (Because let's face it, yuri is love, yuri is life :makina:

On that note, if anyone want to jump on the team as a translator, or to take over, feel free to PM me. At the moment we have closed down the project, however we can re-open it again easily enough, so if you are intersted, then don't hesitate to ask.

There is a chance I'll come back to this again myself later, maybe in a few months, but at least right now, it just isn't the right time for this.

 

Thank you for understanding, and let me just say one last time, I am sorry it came to this.

 

Arcadeotic

Another update, this time, one day early because I might not be around to make the update tomorrow.

Anyhoo, I'm pretty hyped to finally having gotten the 5th script file done. The final three script files are the last stretch in this project. 6th and 7th script files are really small, like little under one-third of the 5th one, but the final script file is quite a lot larger, second largest in the game. 

By a rough estimate, the overall progress of the translation is now about 70%

Progress thus far: 


Week 15: 5/8 script files finished


 

By a rough estimate, the overall progress of the translation is now about 70%

See ya next week, everyone!

Nahilys
Hello everyone,
 
I announced that we were working on a Developer Demo a few weeks ago, and I am happy to announce that we released it on the 04/24/2016. :)
 
 

DOWNLOAD LINK

 

 1 - What is a Developer Demo ?

First of all, I have to admit that I have made some mistakes when talking about our incoming Developer Demo, so we were misunderstood a little bit.
A Developer Demo is a Demo that shows Developers skills and creativity. This way, the community can have a first look at the current game quality potentiall. On the other hand, developers can have a better idea of players expectations and desires towards their game.
A Developer Demo is meant to establish the opportunity of a dialogue between both parties and make sure everyone is happy with the result. In the end, I believe the community still has the upper hand.


2 - Why release a Developer Demo ?

Lekasoft Studio is a very new team and Lost Winter Nights is a first project for most of us. As a matter of fact, we did not have a very clear idea of how an English Visual Novel was expected to look like. We did not want to copy Japanese games from the start so we tried to inspirate from them but still make something closer to our culture.
As we worked one, we started to wonder if our direction was going the right way, and the best way to make it sure was to ask the community. This is why we had the idea of releasing a short Developer Demo before we keep working on it.

3 - What is next ?

As we get reviews on our Developer Demo, our team is discussing about them and is thinking about what adaptations to be made to insure the sucess of our game. Although we are very strict when it comes to making a game that we all like as a team, we are totally aware of the important of the community. We will always be very open to them and every comment they make on the game.

Feel free to download Lost Winter Nights Developer Demo on itch.io and comment about it there or on our website. You can also contact us on social medias to discuss about the game, we will happily do so.
 
 


~ Nahilys
 
ittaku

Tamanee.png

I'm pleased to announce a new beta patch for the fully translated, 75% edited To Heart 2 translation project.

After a marathon effort by Fred the Barber, editing the Tamaki, AKA Tama-nee route in a very short time span, I've performed a quick play-through of her route and committed some fixes, ported the H scenes to the memories mode and created a new beta patch. Tama-nee, being voice acted by Shizuka Itou while she was still doing H voice acting, is one of the all time favourites of this game being the big sister character and still infamous in anime voice acting today. Fred the Barber has also kindly offered to edit the remaining unallocated route for editing, the twins. so that means all routes now have been edited or have an editor allocated. Below is the translation project thread with links for downloading the patch.

The recruitment drive since the last blog update has been quite fruitful with a new editor, one proofreader and one graphic editor. With the progress being made in this project now I'm tentatively going to give a final release date as late 2016. I'm quite excited by the project despite managing it for the 8th year running. I'm still looking for help, and if you have anything to offer, drop me a line so we can put this baby to rest. Below is the recruitment blog post.

 

Arcadeotic

Another update.

This week the progress is pretty small, but to compensate, my team and I have been doing some things behind the scenes.

Anyways, not much to say, progress here:


Week 14: 4/8 script files finished, 5th one 78% done


See ya next time

Arcadeotic

So, sorry for this horribly out-of-date update, I have been dealing with my own problems as of late.

Now firstly, I’d like to thank Rillania for covering my prologue path onLewdgamer. Huge thanks for the coverage, appreciate it greatly.

Onto other things. Firstly, I will now finally compile my team together this week. If you still want to be a part of this project, message me this week and you have  a shot at it.

Secondly, I was talking about a revamp of progress. What does this mean exactly? Well, I’ve been using the maximum kilobytes the script folder holds, but after inserting the prologue scripts back into the game, I’ve noticed that this is is horribly inaccurate, so I’ll be doing a revamp of the system I use. This won’t mean that any progress is discarded, it’ll only be altered in a different system, so fear not.

The system that I’ll be using is the completion of the script files. A rather simple one, but still more accurate than before. Also do note that the first script files are the biggest, so keep that in mind. I won’t be able to give out an exact progress percentage, but this most likely will be for the best.

Progress thus far:

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Progress: 4 script files/8 script files completed | 5th one 69% done

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

See ya next week

Diamon

Here it is, already less than 24 hours before Inciting Incident's release. You might have noticed thatour steam page is already available, though it is currently set as "coming soon". I have quite a lot to say, so this post will probably be a bit lengthier than usual.

First of all, and to tell the truth, we're all very excited and very anxious regarding the release: it's the result of two years worth of effort that we are finally presenting to the world. But we believe that you, readers, should be the only ones deciding whether our work is something that will stay as a memorable story or not. We've done pretty much all we could to ensure that Lucid9 would be of the best quality possible, and we don't have any regrets regarding that.

Whether you've followed our project for a while, or whether you've just stumbled upon it a while ago through one of our numerous announcements (by the way, big thanks to Sekai Project for helping us spreading the awareness about Lucid9), I believe it would probably be a good idea to summarize all the stuff you should know about tomorrow's release. I'm most likely only going to repeat stuff that was already said, but I want to avoid people starting to read Inciting Incident with false expectations. And maybe you'll be able to appreciate our work even more by knowing our circumstances?

Things you should know about the game in general:

  • Tomorrow's release is the first part of Lucid9's story. I guess you could consider that Lucid9 is somehow episodic. If you're more familiar with how VNs work, Inciting Incident can identify as a common route, though unlike most VNs, this common route has a self-contained story and is actually plot driven. The next release (which should be a patch to the current release) should continue directly onto the different heroine routes, though we're still a long way to go.
  • Inciting Incident is free, and the entirety of Lucid9 will be free as well. Though I can't swear that I'm a hundred percent sure it'll stay that way. The chances remain very high still, it's just that if it happens that going commercial is the only way to lead Lucid9 to completion, we might consider it.
  • The voice acting patch is scheduled for 2017. We've been repeating that everywhere, but just to make sure, recording the lines of the voice actors is a lengthy process, especially when considering that all the voice actors are doing it for free as well, we can't expect them to put the recording sessions as one of their priority, which is only natural. Currently, nearly all of the lines for the first in game day has been recorded. We'll make sure to share progress regularly with you about that.


Things you should know about the team:

  • The creation of Lucid9 so far has been achieved with a $0 budget. While we're not exactly bragging about it (maybe a little), it's more of a reminder so that you can set up your expectations more accurately, and understand better our limitations. Basically, we have to work with what we have, and the people who agreed to offer their skills for our project. Beggars can't be choosers after all. Though I'm not one bit dissatisfied with how the end result turned out, and tons of people with amazing skills joined us in order to create a memorable and enjoyable game.
  • We are all hobbyists working on Lucid9 in our free time. Which ties in directly with the previous point: for such a large scale game, we had to compensate our lack of available time involvement by more manpower. Which in turns can cause some slight issues, mainly some inconsistencies. Inconsistencies in art (male and female sprites), music, writing (though that won't be the case for Inciting Incident, since there was only one writer for 95% of the writing). Some people will argue that we could just have made a less ambitious game, shorter, with less characters, so that it could have required less assets. But to be honest, that's not what we wanted to do. And I believe that precisely because we were ambitious that we managed to interest and gather so many skilled people around us (though there's also luck factoring in the equation).


Things you should know about the story: 

  • Inciting Incident will be mostly linear. Still, the choices that you'll make can lead you to a bad ending. Those bad endings are quite interesting, and we'd recommend you to try reading one or two.
  • You'll have lot of in game choices, but since we didn't want to make the process too tedious for the reader, most of the mystery related sections are forgiving and the choices are set up in a way so that you never get stuck (except for two special instances that we'll let you discover yourself). Some of the choices are more important, as stated previously there are some moments where making a bad decision (or a series of bad decisions) will lead you to  a bad end.
  • You'll be able to unlock in-game achievements: we hope that it will give some replay value to the game, though we made sure that the achievements wouldn't be too tedious and wouldn't require 10 different playthroughs to complete. We're not really fans of completion achievements, so you'll nearly only find choice related achievements, which ties in with the choice system we opted for in the mystery segments: you'll be rewarded with achievements if you don't end up picking the wrong choices during the investigations (and here is an additional challenge from us, try to earn those achievements on your first playthrough!)
  • It has a Japanese setting. And we know that it will probably annoy a lot of people, and even probably instantly repulse some others. "Why not go for something more original?" some people often ask. Well, mostly because at the time, we wanted to make something that takes place in (fictional) Japan. And at the time (though it's still true now), what mattered wasn't what our possible audience would want to read, but what we wanted to do. And the more we progressed with our story conception, the more bothersome and difficult it became to change the setting, so naturally we never really questioned it. I won't deny that us being influenced by Japanese VNs played a big role in deciding the setting. But in the end, a setting is only a setting. At the end of the day, it's only a location, a language, a currency, and maybe a slightly different social system. Lucid9 could have happened pretty much anywhere without many big differences, though if I was given the chance to remake this choice, I'd probably think twice. But if some people want to judge our work and dismiss it solely based on the setting and without actually trying out the actual content, it'll be their loss I guess, they will just forbid themselves to experience our story because of their narrow-mindedness. 


Pfew, that was quite the wall... Let's take a break, shall we?

384990_orig.jpg

Yahiko doodle, drawn by Elphaze

For the last section of this blog post, I'd like to write some special thanks to the whole team who made Lucid9 became a reality. Everyone has been working very hard, executing and following all the different requests I had. As a leader, I'm very lucky to be surrounded by such skilled and amazing people who work like me everyday to make our dream come true. I can't thank you all enough for believing in the future of this project, and I hope we'll all be able to lead Lucid9 to its completion.

There are two people I really want to thank in particular in regard to the colossal amount of work they dedicated for the release of Inciting Incident:

  • Luna Chai Li, who is the main writer of this release, and who directed Inciting Incident with me for nearly two years. She's been one of the most important member of the past two years, and her contribution to the game can be seen nearly everywhere. She is also probably the person who dedicated the most amount of time working on Lucid9, writing for it nearly daily in order to reach the nearly 200k words that is Inciting Incident (without even counting the numerous rewriting she had to do). Unfortunately, even good things must come to an end, and she had to leave the team for her own reasons a few weeks ago after finishing her part on Inciting Incident. Without her, Inciting Incident wouldn't have been even half as amazing as what it is now. I dare say that maybe it would have never gone to fruition without her, and probably would have gone into development hell. If you have one person to thank after reading tomorrow's release, it's undoubtedly her.
  • TheCodeCat, our main programmer, who gave life to our project in the form of a concrete Visual Novel on ren'py. Not only did he put an absurd amount of time into converting the script and all the assets into a real game, he also gave an extraordinary amount of care to the details. Every time we had an idea or something we wanted to implement in the game, he would always do it in a flawless way. Not once would he reply "It's too complex", or "I don't have the time". Even better, he'd always go out of his way to implement some amazing animations that we didn't necessarily ask for, making sure that the scenes were as good looking as possible, and that the screen would remain as dynamic as it could. His work really granted a high production value to Inciting Incident.


That concludes this long pre-release post.
We hope you'll enjoy reading Inciting Incident tomorrow as much as we enjoyed creating it!

Arcadeotic

Well, after 2 days or about 11 hours of intensive fiddling, I finally got the prologue patch completed.

Huge thanks to the original Finnish translator for the tools to pack this up.

Anyways, this patch covers the short prologue of Bishoujo Mangekyou, and it translates all the menus in the game. Picture editing is done by me, and I will make them a little nicer to look at in the final release unless someone else wants to take on that objective for me.

I purely made this patch for showing some proof for my project and for something for my followers to chew on. Meanwhile, I'll be continuing my translation.

 

Link: https://mega.nz/#!X49wlRKJ!9ISQPzy9VOxqyoP8ahZY2sHA9RG3qh94kfApL4AVibc

 

On another subject, I'll be gone for the whole weekend and will not be able to make an update then. The next update will be up either late Sunday or at some point on Monday.

Adieu.

Edit: I updated the link as a fix one line, which I typo'd to only have one word instead of a sentence (I wrote it like this: "Don't see through me on our first meeting, thank you very
"much...", instead of: "Don't see through me on our first meeting, thank you very"
"much...". These formatting typos can be such a pain).

Edit 2: I updated the link because  I noticed some things untranslated, so I fixed them in this version and added some new features. My deepest apologies for the inconvenience.