BCM update

Long time no update! Auro and I took some time off to recover from finishing two VNs back-to-back, but we’ve recently started working full steam ahead on Break Chance Memento again. I had some computer trouble—well, that’s a bit of an understatement. My iMac flat-out went kaput and I had to buy another one… I lost everything on my hard drive, but luckily I backed up most everything VN-related, so I just lost my music and some other miscellaneous things. We had a bit of a scare because I had also lost the PSDs for our games’ GUIs, but luckily Lazcht and Auro had kept those saved, so everything ended up being okay and we didn’t lose anything work-related.

As you can see from the image to your left, Auro’s been busily working on the BGs after basically finishing the sprites. She intends to touch up the sprites a bit—particularly the main cast since their sprites were done so long ago—but the hardest work has already been done. She’s also got a couple more BGs to do before she’s done with those, as well. Auro should be completely finished with the sprites and BGs by August, which is when we’re doing our second round of beta testing. Then it’s time for CGs and promotional art!

Writing-wise, I’d been suffering from massive writers’ block that really wasn’t helped by my computer issues, but I’ve been getting back to work steadily over the last couple of days. I finished doing revisions on the earlier chapters and fleshing out Masaharu’s character arc so that he gets more chances to shine. I do want to do a bit more revising still, but I think that finishing new chapters is more important than fixing up my old ones for now. I will eventually have to stop editing this script and release the game to the general public… I have to learn to let go. ;_; Anyway, I’m now back to working on Yukinari’s character arc, which is chapter four out of six for Shuuki’s story. I will finish Shuuki’s half of the game script by the time beta testing starts and hopefully get some more of Natsume’s done, too. I haven’t looked at Natsume’s chapter one in months, so it might also need some heavy revisions before I start on the rest of his script. @_@

The game is pretty set code and GUI-wise. There’s one more GUI that we need to commission from Lazcht later (we’ve already discussed it, but put it off until we get to that part of the story) for Natsume’s half of the game, but every other feature in BCM has basically already been coded. It’d be nice if I could tidy up the time travel coding a bit, but it works well the way it is now, so that’s not really a top priority.

One of the things we’ve done recently is add in cultural notes! Golden text, when clicked, will lead to a page that quickly explains the term used. While a lot of people who play visual novels are also anime/manga fans and might already know a lot of these terms, VNs are getting to be more popular recently. These new fans, coming from more of a general videogame background, might not know as much about Japanese culture or understand words that the rest of us often throw around. I’ve tried not to make this feature too intrusive, so hopefully the notes are more helpful than not. :3

We’ve also cleaned up the GUI! We had some comments about how the textbox was too fancy and made it hard to see the art, so we scaled back on the ornamentation and I moved the click-to-continue icon to a fixed location. The textbox is a lot less intrusive now and the side sprites went in pretty easily! Had a bit of trouble with where to put the side sprite name box, but we think this works pretty well. Oh, we’ve also changed the font from PT Sans to Calibri. Not a huge transformation, but we think it looks nicer this way… We used PT Sans in our other games, so it’ll be a nice change from the norm.

That’s about it for now! Now that Auro and I are both back with our noses to the grindstone, we’ll try to update this blog more often with our progress. The BCM website is overdue for a huge update… I’ve got a friend working on making a spiffy new design and hopefully the website will be a lot more user-friendly and nice to look at once the redesign is complete. ♥ Thanks for reading!

How Ristorante Amore was born

A story/timeline about how RisAmo came about… Some snippets from our discussions and whanot. Spoilers for the game follow! Beware of tl;dr! (more…)

Creating Backgrounds from Photos


This time I am going to give a bit of a walkthrough on how I created backgrounds from photos for RisAmo. Since my primary aim was to get these done as fast as possible and I had several I needed to get done I decided to fall back on photos and photo filtering techniques, majorly inspired by OokamiKasumi :) This is only an explanation of my personal process, it is not a definite guide. These things work best if you take away what you want and mix it in with your own personal preferences.

I’m going to walk through the Restaurant one since I spent the most time on it and I changed it the most so it is a better example of this technique than the ones I rushed through. I use Photoshop CS5 and a Wacom Intuos 3 tablet.