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Everything posted by InvertMouse

  1. A love for older VNs

    Yeah, I noticed the post. Really need to give them a read sometime .
  2. Doom 1 is my all time favorite game, and Quake, Shadow Warrior, Duke Nukem 3D etc mean a lot to my childhood. The name InvertMouse hints at how much FPS mean to me. But recently, I have been burned by bad port after bad port (not FPS but in general). Mafia 3 in particular stung, because I had looked forward to that so much. This is why I picked up a PS4. As time becomes more precious, I want to be able to hit a button and know it will run. But man, I suck ass at FPS on consoles! I love the new Doom, to a point where I bought it again on console as a training tool. Last night, I gave it a shot, and my performance was almost worthy of tears. Played on the lowest difficulty and nearly ran out of ammo, not to mention almost died. I have beaten Doom, Quake etc on nightmare with ease on PC, so this hurt. The tips I have gathered so far: 1) Line your crosshair with strafing for that final bit of precision aim. I do this on PC as well but it looks like I need it even more on consoles. 2) Actually look at what is inside that crosshair. On PC, I can flick the mouse and know where it will land, but on console, not so. Anyone else been through the same journey and has tips to share? Even if you have never been a PC gamer, but you are just really good at console FPS, I could use some help. Is it possible to become as good as a keyboard and mouse user? Even if I can get close, I will be happy. I am no pro-gamer, just need to be good enough to kick ass in campaigns. Secretly, I hope to be able to beat Doom on Ultra Nightmare (1 life only) someday. On PC it is already nuts. Console, I wonder if it is physically possible. Since I do not own a powerful PC, Doom loads much faster on the PS4, so I do enjoy that part of the experience. Thank you!
  3. My journey into console FPS (seeking advice)

    Thanks, that is good to hear . I will spend more time with it, and if all else fails, I will go with Fiddles' idea.
  4. My journey into console FPS (seeking advice)

    Thanks for the response ? I have auto aim turned off at the moment because I am a PC elitist . Is it possible to play well without it? Well, I guess it is, but this is all in comparison to keyboard and mouse for me.
  5. The Last Birdling: Race design

    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: 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. 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: 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. 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. 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: 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: 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. To finish up, we had to determine how tall each character is compared to the rest of our cast: 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!
  6. The Last Birdling: Race design

    Thanks Narcosis . I can see you have put a lot of work onto that page of yours!
  7. JAST: Eiyuu Senki 18+

    Thanks for the heads up . I saw this when it first came out. How is the gameplay and story? For VN x game hybrids, I loved the first Utawarerumono so hopefully that provides a bit of a reference in terms of advice. Thanks .
  8. A love for older VNs

    I will be happy to see that shelf .
  9. A love for older VNs

    Thanks for the replies! Yeah, most of them probably suck in retrospect. I will admit that . Something about that style just appeals to me so much. I think when I see it, it brings me back to a time when all I had to worry about was homework, so it puts me in a safe place.
  10. Unhack 2

    Four years after the Motherworm’s death, a masked AI known as Program X is threatening to throw cyberspace back into chaos. With virus numbers back on the rise, the unhacker decides to open Smash Security once more. This time, a new AI named Neonya is there to battle by his side. Victory should be guaranteed with a superior AI like Neonya, but with signs of malfunction showing, the risk of her going rogue is ever present. She merely wishes to be accepted as her company’s official AI, yet the unhacker finds himself unable to crown her. After all, doing so will mean dethroning his former companions, the ones he still thinks about to this day. But there is one thing that terrifies the unhacker above all else—why do Program X and her minions look so much like friends from a distant past? Hello people! I still remember sharing Unhack 1 with everyone here back when Fuwanovel was new. Some of the folks from back then are now my closest mates on social media. You know who you are. Thank you for always supporting me through the years. A few months after I closed off Unhack 1, the idea for this second game had in fact already crossed my mind. I held off on production to avoid sequelitis, and to tell the truth, I wanted to keep people waiting for a bit as well. I feel like now is a good time to at last unveil this project. Unhack 2 will have no gameplay like the first title did. I tried so many times to blend story with gameplay, and despite my best effort, the results were only average. Some of you who are kindly following me already know I am moving away from gameplay in general. With that said, Unhack 2 will feature password puzzles that will at times require players to break out of the 4th wall. For instance, there might be a passcode hidden on Unhack 2's webpage. These puzzles can be skipped for those who prefer to focus on the narrative. Here is the game's website: http://unhack2.invertmouse.com There is a demo build available, so please feel free to have a look: And as always, I could use your support on Steam Greenlight: Thank you so much everyone!
  11. Unhack 2

    Hi everyone . I want to let you know I have revised Unhack 2's website: http://unhack2.invertmouse.com Here are the features I have listed: 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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: http://store.steampowered.com/app/444170/Unhack_2/ And, of course, the original game: http://store.steampowered.com/app/340800/Unhack/ Thank you so much everyone!
  12. Symphonic Rain HD Remaster and official English release

    Thanks for the heads up! I have some happy memories of this one .
  13. Hi everyone . Thank you again for letting me post my blog entry here: This time I talk about the choice systems I have used in previous games, and the method I plan to adopt in The Last Birdling. Hope you like it! A few points I would be happy to hear thoughts on: 1) If a choice has no impact on the ending, is it better for the game to be linear? I played Akiba's Trip recently, and I imagine a lot of those choices had no effect on the ending, but some of them were hilarious so they never bothered me. See, I always had this theory. If it has "attitude", you can get away with almost anything. 2) Is it dishonest to boast about x number of endings if most of them are just instant gameovers? This doesn't offend me, but when it is being done all the time, it results in a "yeah let me guess" type of reaction. 3) For those who have played it, how awful did you think Mass Effect 3's ending was? In terms of player agency, maybe it is a travesty compared to older titles like Star Wars KOTOR. That said, back in the days, cutscenes were less expensive to produce (well I wouldn't know a thing about that). Is it really possible to produce multiple vastly different endings when you know most players will miss a bunch of that content? 4) More branches means longer game length. Does it also risk potential fluff routes and less editing time (spellcheck, skim read once and call it a job done)? 5) What is the point of multiple paths if there is a true ending in the end? Though I want to be edgy and say it's pointless, I actually like true endings. Not those everything is magically okay ones, but it's good to have something that tells you yes, this is indeed the end. 6) Does it bug you when choices seem nonsensical, and you are forced to look up guides? 7) I wonder why visual novels often have multiple paths, but it's much less common with traditional novels? Of course, we have the choose your own adventure books. Maybe having to turn to a particular page is just a pain. Thank you!
  14. Transparency with decision trees (The Last Birdling)

    I try to get better with every project so I would love it if you could give Unhack 2 (my latest game) a chance, though it does mean you will have to put up with the first game beforehand, which is mediocre in my eyes at this point. If not, then I hope you can wait for The Last Birdling . Cursed Sight is subjective but thankfully those who like it like it a lot. I still like that one, but if I got to remake it today, I know I would do a much better job. Thanks Clephas!
  15. Transparency with decision trees (The Last Birdling)

    Thank you so much! Some of the older ones are pretty bad, but they are a part of my history so I had to include them .
  16. Your dream VN magazine

    Even in this YouTube generation, I enjoy reading gaming magazines like GameInformer, Retro Gamer, Edge etc. Today, I just want to rave about what my dream VN magazine would be. I love old school things. Sometimes I post about stuff from ONE ~Kagayaku Kisetsu e~, Sakura Taisen and the like, so I would love to follow a VN magazine that focuses on titles from the 80s and 90s. Maybe every issue highlights one game in particular and explores behind the scenes details. The pages will be designed professionally for that quality finish. Man, the things I would do to read an issue on Ever17, ONE, Sakura Taisen, Utawarerumono, 999 (not that old but hey) and so on. I cannot start that type of series because game development takes up most of my time, and also: 1) Old school VNs are too niche perhaps. 2) Not enough of an audience compared to video materials. Does anyone else sub to magazines? I for one hope they never die out. What would your dream VN magazine be like? Even if no one starts a series, we can at least dream about it. I am secretly hoping someone does do it. Can't imagine how it can survive honestly except out of passion, but I would show my support on Patreon for example if the presentation is up to par. Thanks for hearing me out .
  17. Transparency with decision trees (The Last Birdling)

    Great thoughts Clephas! Thank you for sharing .
  18. 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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!
  19. Grisaia Double Release

    Cool, thanks Decay
  20. Grisaia Double Release

    Thanks for the heads up :). Do you need to know the original Grisaia to play Phantom Trigger?
  21. Here it is friends : The full entry: http://invertmouse.tumblr.com/post/160040463084/devotion-to-one-character-kawana-misaki I got this fandisc several years ago via an online auction. Chances are, it was originally produced for a Comiket from many years back. It makes me think, I wonder how often this sort of thing happens today? A fandisc over a single character, real life meet ups, sharing desktop accessories for fans to enjoy. It feels like such simple times, and I like that a lot. I have never had a chance to attend a Comiket before. From the outside, the crowd looks intimidating, but when I browse through discs like these, it makes me think, yeah, I would like to attend at least once. We all know about the porn, but what is the atmosphere like? Happy to hear stories of Comiket and any other fandom stories that transcends the games. Thank you!
  22. Devotion to ONE character (Kawana Misaki fandisc)

    Thank you for the responses! Yeah, it is hard nowadays with the flooded market but once I am locked in I am loyal . Time does play a matter though what they do within that time plays more of a role for me.
  23. The Last Birdling: How to handle perspective shifts

    Thank you Fiddle! Real talk though, that last point about inflating lines hurts me so deeply .
  24. 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: This means we have switched to Tayo’s perspective in chapter two. The same concept applies to decision points: 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: This introduces several concerns in terms of programming. For instance, if players return to the previous scene, will the UI switch back as expected? 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: 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 .
  25. Man, I am already cringing . Some of you recently gave me permission to post about my projects more often, so I am going to do it. I will do everything I can to write quality content rather than just going me me me. As advised, I have posted a blog entry on how to handle perspective shifts in VNs, using The Last Birdling as an example: I want to use this chance to ask if anyone got examples of VNs that handle perspective shifts in unique ways (visual or word wise)? Many VNs are written in first person, which can make readers stumble during viewpoint changes. I know in An Octave Higher, the game shows the new POV character standing alone on a black background first. Mind sending me some more examples? I want to use this opportunity to say The Last Birdling has been approved for publication on Steam as of a few hours ago. Really thankful for the votes guys. Thank you so much !