Progress on April & Violet is going well. I’m still aiming for an end of October/start of November release. Currently, I’m going through the Violet sex scene, having finished Dylan’s last week.
However, since it’s supposed to be a mystery game, I don’t really want to post too much about it before release. Therefore, this week, I’m mostly going to talk about Leanna.
Last week I posted a demo of what I was considering using for the new games. In principal, I think it’s a good idea, but there’s clearly some bugs and issues to work out for it. Around 16% of people who tried couldn’t use it. That’s too high for me.
So, I’m just going to use the regular game style until I figure out how to make the new version work for everyone.
As I said in earlier blog posts, Leanna is a TV journalist. She has an hour long morning show on a local TV channel.
I’m also keeping the theme that the player character is a photographer in this one, though I’m leaving it open enough so that you’re not necessarily the same character from The Photographer games, or Maddison, or any of dsp3000’s games.
Way back in February (I think), I floated the idea of taking inspiration from an episode of American Dad. In it, two main characters (Stan and Roger), go on a game show where the aim is to answer questions based on the other. For instance, “What is Roger’s favorite movie?”, then Stan has to correctly guess that it’s Millers Crossing. The main aim of this game is go on a game show like this with Leanna and win.
Initially, she intends to take part in the quiz with Kristen, her personal assistant. Leanna however, is not the nicest of people, and the two have a row, after which Kristen quits and leaves.
The player happens to be there at the time (they’ve been hired to take some promo shots of her), and soon finds out that Leanna doesn’t actually have any other friends. It is then that you can offer to go on the quiz with her instead.
The main body of the plot is the time that you and Leanna spend with each other in preparation for the quiz. You have to get to know as much about the other as possible. You also visit multiple places together and take lots of photos in order to fake your friendship. Obviously, I’m still at the start of production, but locations and scenarios include roller skating, horse riding, a party, and hiking.
Along the way, the player will have many opportunities to improve Leanna’s karma. Initially, she is not a very nice person, and the only reason the player agrees to help her is pity (though I may add some options for the motivation). Make the right choices, and she can gradually become a much nicer and caring person. It’s similar to improving Betsy’s confidence.
If you choose to however, you can also sabotage her ‘karma’, encouraging her mean behavior. Depending on how much you improve or lower her karma, you can get very different endings.
Obviously, April and Violet are the priority right now, so this game isn’t too far along (currently 42 images). I really wanted spend time getting the most of of using IRAY renders. I think I’ve finally nailed it in these image I rendered this week.
EDIT : I’m having some reservations about her face though. With this specific face morph, It’s really hard not to get her face looking weird when she smiles. I may change her face for the final game. Since I’m only 42 images into it (and she isn’t in 12), it wouldn’t be too much work.
I also have the title card up in the coming soon section now. Here’s the larger version if you want a closer look.
Hopefully, Leanna will be finished for Christmas, or very early in the new year.
This weeks poll
I’ve been thinking recently about the idea of doing some comics for the site. Basically just a series or rendered images with speech bubbles. It might mean it takes a week or two longer to create the games, as I will need to dedicate the occasional date to it, but it also means I get to do small, free (and maybe the occasionally paid) releases between. It could be using characters you already know from the games, or completely new ones.
What do you think?
EDIT : For instance, here’s an image from a comic I started working on a little while ago…
The sites have now been moved to a brand new dedicated server. This should mean everything loading a bit quicker, but more importantly no choking the bandwidth when there is a new release. If you were having trouble downloading games from the members section recently, I think this may have been the problem, so hopefully it should work for you now.
While learning about the myriad things needed to get image looking good with daz studio and IRAY, I have now discovered the wonder of shaders. Particularly, how some of my older models can look with them. Here’s what crystal can look like with the new improvements.
I still need to do some more experiments with the setting, but I think it’s likely that Crystal Part 3 will be using something similar to this.