Swan Grimoire – Character Introduction

As promised, now that I have finished the last concept, I can introduce the main cast!

Swan Grimoire is an otome visual novel we have planned out that will be released in two separate parts. One part will focus on the city, and the other on the woods. These two parts will be woven together and when played will give a wider view on all the characters and events. The story focuses on a young witch that has come to a new city in order to help them with the monster that lurks in their woods. This monster has killed countless people, but the situation is more complex than she imagines and there is more to the people she meets than first expected. Because everyone has a story.

The first thing to mention is this game is in pre-production, so we haven’t started work yet. This means I’m VERY open to feedback on the different character design, so please feel free to tell me what you like or don’t like, or if you have any suggestions :) Apart from the characters either belonging to the city or the woods, they also come in pairs. They act as foils for each other and their stories are interwoven and contrast with each other.

So let’s get started (click on the image for a bigger version):

AZALEA

Azalea

Azalea is the main character, a witch who is coming into her craft and decides to help out a city in need. She is a bit of a spit fire, with confidence and curiosity to spare. She is naturally outgoing and friendly, and she will stand up for what she believes in. Her mother was a Hearth Witch, and while she herself is not, she was taught many tricks of the trade. Her own magic is quite powerful and when combined with her hard working personality, she can achieve a lot. She can be a little too nosey for her own good, but she cares for the people in her life.

FAKHRI

Fakhri

Location: City
Foil: Kenton

He is a descendent of royalty from the far south. Because of his connections with his homeland, he is able to procure rare and exotic goods no-one else can. One of his most popular acquisitions is a vivid blue dye, the like of which has never been seen on the continent. Due to it’s cost and rarity, it’s become a symbol of status and nobles buy the blue cloth whenever they can. While a noble, Fakhri loves the business game. He is very wealthy and extremely charismatic.

ORSON

Orson

Location: City
Foil: Rowan

Orson is a knight of the city and is considered the Prince’s right hand man. He original came from one of the small isles to the west, the son of a farming family. He has a good head on his shoulders and is a natural leader. He’s charming and brash, but there is something about him that doesn’t quite ring true. There is also something in past, something he did that he never denied, that has caused the whole city to despise him.

ZHI

Zhi

Location: City
Foil: Almos

He is a mage that has taken up ‘residency’ in one of the towers of the city library, much to the head librarian’s annoyance. She get’s particularly pissy when he hex-locks the door and the cleaners can’t get in. He is perpetually grumpy about everything and he hates you. It’s nothing personal, he hates everyone. He has an obsession with studying magic and other people are major annoyances for him. He doesn’t tolerate their ‘stupidity’ so well.

THEODORIC

Theodoric

Location: City
Foil: Casimir

This is Theodoric, also known as the Golden Prince. When he was younger, he lost his right eye to the monster that terrorises the woods. On the night he lost his eye, a number of other people were also killed, including his father, the King. While he has long since come of age, he refuses to take the throne as King until his father is avenged and he can secure the safety of the city. He is very well liked by the people, being seen as kind and generous. In person he tends to seem very distant though. It is also said that he is haunted by night terrors and spends most of the night awake. There is some concern amongst those closest to him that he is running himself into the ground.

ALMOS

Almos

Location: Woods
Foil: Zhi

Almos is a lord of the oldest and wealthiest of the noble houses. He has been spoilt by his mother ever since he was young, and while it has given him a rather warped view of how the world is, it hasn’t made him selfish. He has a good heart and he is generous with his wealth and friendship. He’s naive and that tends to get him in trouble on a regular basis, though the situations tends to just roll off him and never seems to dent his positive outlook. He’s an avid fan of magic, despite having no skill with it himself. As such, he’s become a regular visitor to the library tower to bother Zhi, who has no problem kicking him out. Forcibly. Now, the only question is why is a young lord sleeping in a monster infested forest?

ROWAN

Rowan

Location: Woods
Foil: Orson

Rowan lives and hunts in the woods and only comes into the city to sell his kills. He… doesn’t talk much and seems to avoid people when he can, so getting close to him is more than a challenge. He’s an excellent hunter though, and he knows the woods like the back of his hand. As such, he might actually know something about the monster that is meant to lurk there. He has a thing with Orson, and by thing I mean he seems to hate him even more than everyone else does to the point of murderous intent. Orson on his part does his very best to rile him up every time they meet.

KENTON

Kenton

Location: Woods
Foil: Fakhri

This is Kenton, a wood and stone carver living at the old mill within the woods. He comes from the warm coastal area of the south, and so he is a long way from home. He is completely mute, but somehow manages to have more sass than anyone Azalea has ever meet before. He’s lively, friendly and very creative. He is aquatinted with Fakhri who both helps supply him with material and also buys his goods to sell on to others. Because he is mute he hasn’t had very good experience living in cities or towns and so choose the solitude of the wood instead.

CASIMIR

Casimir

Location: Woods
Foil: Theodoric

I present the last guy, Casimir, monster of the woods. No-one knows who he really is, what he is or where he came from. All that is known is that he came to be in the woods over a hundred years ago and people started to die. The one time he was captured, the King ended up dead and a young Prince lost his eye. The choice to take him on could be the end for a witch. Will Azalea take the chance to find out who the man is?

And that’s the full main cast. Again, feel free to hand out your opinion, I would love to hear them :)

Chiaki Sorata

chiaki

It’s been almost two weeks since the last blog post and I’ve been thinking of what to update the blog with. I think that, of course, Auro’s art posts are the most exciting since most people like visuals and there’s not much excitement to checking in with pure wordcount updates. (though for those wondering, we’re currently sitting at around 110,000 words) It dawned on me that, unlike a lot of other VN development blogs, we haven’t done any character introduction posts.

So! Since BCM is supposed to be finished hopefully sometime in December, I’m going to do a series of blog posts about the characters so you can all get acquainted with them before the game comes out. Of course, I’ll still post important updates to the blog, as well, but right now Auro’s working on CGs and I’m furiously coding/writing, so honestly there’s not much of interest to report.

I’ve decided to start with Chiaki, who is the third most popular character according to our ongoing poll. (making him the most popular character who isn’t a playable MC)

Chiaki Sorata (空田稚空)
CV: Kamiya Hiroshi (we wish)
Birthday: April 19th
Age: 18
Blood Type: O

Chiaki lived with his grandparents for most of his life and due to their house being close to the Amamiyas’, he played with the Amamiya siblings often when they were all growing up. To this day, he’s Natsume’s best (and possibly only) friend. Chiaki is a hard worker, though if you asked him, he probably wouldn’t be able to tell you what his future goals and aspirations are.

He possesses a dry wit and constantly teases and nags those who are close to him; they’ve all come to realize that it’s how he shows his affection. Chiaki is generally pretty good at playing it cool, but easily loses his temper when his height or Natsume are involved. Never ask Chiaki how tall he is. (for the record, he’s 151cm) He is very loyal to his friends and won’t stay silent if someone he cares about is being mocked or taken advantage of. Chiaki’s biggest weaknesses are that he’s fairly indecisive and tends to assume the worst about things involving himself. These can paralyze him when he’s faced with a scary situation and many times Chiaki will choose to take the easy, cowardly way out rather than be honest with himself and others.

The main theme of BCM is that of “family” and Chiaki’s character arc follows suit. In it, learns some reality-shattering things about his past and struggles to come to terms with where he came from, the person he is now, and the person he’d like to be in the future.

When going after Chiaki, it’s very important to be persistent. Even if he tries to give you the cold shoulder, that’s just his way of being shy, so don’t be too put off by it. Chiaki can be very passive (to the point of total inaction) if you let him, so don’t allow him to set the pace of the relationship if you want it to go anywhere. Due to his pessimistic nature, it will take time for him to believe in your feelings and really feel accepted.

Sprites Finished!

Height chart

The above featured image was the very first sketch I did for BCM when Camille had just commissioned me, over a year and a half ago. It was the beginning of everything.

Recently I have spent over a month editing the current sprites for BCM into something I was more pleased with. We should have some new screenshot and or videos to show off soon, which should be very exciting :)

The editing took a while, but it really was something worth doing. Though it could have been avoided and I fully intend to learn from my lesson and not do that ever again. So much has been learnt over the process of doing this project and not doing the sprites first is one of them. Trust me, by the time you get near the end of the project, you are not going to be happy with things you had drawn at the beginning.

It couldn’t really be avoided this time round. I didn’t have the experience for one. For another, BCM was a different beast when I first started, when there were just going to be the five boys with 2 outfits. Now they have two poses and 7 outfits with a cast of about 15 others. I don’t think either of us expected things to work out how they did, for us to hit it off, form a group and start really getting into creating visual novels.

So basically I ended up having to edit a lot of what I had drawn, and in some cases completely redraw stuff. Masa, Shuuki and Natsume pretty much got redone. I also took the opportunity to add in some new outfits as well. Overall I’m pretty proud with how they turned out. They aren’t perfect, but they are a definite improvement.

Natsume

Shuuki

Masaharu

Chiaki

Yukinari

Camille and I have also been having huge discussions on how to deal with them, how to get certain things to work, what to do with the layers, file size vs quality. Since Camille is the one handling the exporting and coding of the sprites, I try to make it as easy as possible for her to do it. Which freaks me out when I’m staring at a sprite that is over 2GB in size. However it’s gone way better than expected and she has managed to get through them quite fast with the help of a Mac App called Slicy, which helps exports layers. We have had a couple hiccups that I will need to fix, but overall not too bad, especially considering the number and complexity of the sprites.

Now I’m getting started on the CGs, after many many months. I’ll be setting things up, editing some text boxes and doing plenty of planning before I start on them proper, hopefully at the end of next week since I will have some time off. We have some interesting things planned so I hope everyone looks forward to it :)