Posts Tagged 'White Cat'

Blue Rose Steam Release Date – April 23rd 2015

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The Blue Rose steam version finally has a release date!

Barring no issues, Blue Rose will finally release on Steam on April 23rd 2015. That is, in less than a week!

The steam release will contain an updated script, a few corrected event CGs, as well as achievements and trading cards. Those who have already bought the game directly through the White Cat website will receive keys following release for activation on Steam itself.

The game on White Cat’s own website will of course also be updated to reflect the changes and improvements in the steam version, though there will be no achievements or trading cards.

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AO: A question of linearity

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As mentioned earlier, it’s hard to share information about a game that is still only in the phase of having its script written. Not only do I not have many flashy pictures to show, but there is still so much that could change about the script itself that even sharing that is not really an option.

But now that the first draft of Angelic Orbs: Fallen Angel is finally finished (note: only the first draft), I will instead try and go in depth about another topic that tends to come up when working on the writing itself: and that is the matter of having the player affect the outcome of the game.

Those who have followed the sparce details about Angelic Orbs since its announcement would know that this game is not advertised to have differing endings based on choices. Instead it is officially planned to give you, the ‘observer’, different ways of seeing things unfold as they lead to an inevitable outcome.

However, that is not to say that there are no chances of things turning out differently. Since I began serious work on AO, possibilities and openings for making this into a game with mulitple (maybe very different) branches and outcomes tend to come up. It is something I’d definitely like to do if it turns out to be feasible, and as such it is one of those little things that like to gnaw at a creator’s mind and demand attention.

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Advertising the game as linear has been the most sensible and safest way to go so far, I believe. There is still a very large possibility that this is how the game will eventually turn out, and in that case I do not want to disappoint people by delivering something less than promised. Chances are, no matter how much I mention it, there are someone out there who will still be disappointed.

To be honest, I am already worried about making this post at all, in the fear of giving people false expectations, or the idea that the first option would merely be the loser’s version of the second. But here we go, into the brave unknown.

To help understand why all of this is so uncertain, and why it sometimes nags so much at me personally, I will try and go through some of the considerations that could stand in the way of of a truly branching Angelic Orbs:

– Workload

I am of the belief that if AO has to go multi-ending, it has to do it properly. Which means it won’t just be minor variations of the outcomes, but proper, branching stories that are very different from eachother. I want to make this game the best I can be at this point in time.

Considering the general theme and direction of the script, as it looks at this very moment, there is potential for two, maybe even three distinct branches, that will determine how the story evolves and, ultimately, ends. Angelic Orbs is not a small story to begin with. This means that the amount of script that would need to be written and illustrated/adapted into VN format would see a massive increase. It would most certainly push back release, and increase not only expenses, but also the risk of creating this game altogether. (The “risk” part is something I wish didn’t matter this much, but as a lone, starving artist this is sadly a big issue.)

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– Continuation

Angelic Orbs consists of more than one game. The early branching would happen already in the first part, and the transition into the continuation would have to be handled properly.

I already mostly know how to handle the question of whether a player has savegames or not, but there is also another point in this that may affect people’s impression of the game. Chances are that the first part will not have any major differences to its ending, even if your choices so far will still have major impact on what happens further ahead. Considering people’s reactions to to things such as the first episodes of Telltale Games, this is worth keeping in mind, I feel. It’s no fun to finish something that is supposed to have a beginning and an end, and not knowing if what you did actually mattered or not.

This point is still up in the air however, as it can’t really be said how it would work until more of the script would have been completed.

 

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– Balance

Making sure all branches feel worthwhile.

It goes without saying, but all of these possible turns of the story would also have to be of acceptable quality, and feel like they were worth going through. The best possible outcome is if one player ended up only going through one of the paths, and still felt like they experienced a full, enjoyable story, and not something that was merely tacked on and lacking in substance. I would be glad to see different players have their reasons to choose different outcomes and journies as their favourites, rather than only having one true story that made sense to them. If thelatter was true, I’d rather stay on a more linear path, and keep at telling the story I originally had in mind.

While the existing story of Angelic Orbs is mostly sorted and ready for writing, I must admit that these possible variations are still just very vague ideas and concepts in my mind. And I only want them to be there if they end up working out.

This, of course, links back to point one – workload.

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I hope this gives some insight in the challenges of working this kind of game/script, be it one like AO, or a traditional romantic visual novel where the creator has to decide between staying with the three original routes, or maybe adding two more that fans wished were there. We would all love to do the second, if the circumstances are right for it.

(To see more concepts and other art-related news more frequently, feel free to visit my tumblr!)

Angelic Orbs: Fallen Star

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Time to talk a little about what was introduced earlier – White Cat’s next visual novel, Angelic Orbs: Fallen Star.

Angelic Orbs is the story about Tia, an angel who is unable to return home, and the three people she meets who feel just as lost in the world as she does. Together this unlikley group begins a journey to correct the wrongs she has done, and learn the truths of the world they live in.

AO is planned to take part over three or so ‘episodes’ or ‘chapters’. Fallen Star is the first, and will contain a story that hopefully works well on its own, but also leads into the greater scheme of things that follow in the next chapters. This is done because AO in general is a much bigger story than Blue Rose was, and because I plan to try out a number of new things in the way the story is told and the visuals are presented. Splitting the story into well-sized chapters will make the completion of each of them easier to accomplish, and let me get a game out there earlier to see if this kind of projects works well with its audience. And for the things that do not work, I should be able to improve that so much more for the following chapters.

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Angelic Orbs is not BxG or GxB – the player is not a narrator but an observer, and the ways you can interact with the story are shaped, maybe limited, around that. There will be times where you can change the point of view on the story that unfolds, and a few occassions where you can interfere with the with the circumstances that the group finds themselves in.

At the time of writing another kind of interactivity is also planned. Whenever the group finds themselves in a situation where they have no choice but to fight, you will be able to control these battles in a turnbased rpg-like manner.

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At this point however, the game is still very early in its production. It is currently in the writing phase, with the first draft of the first four parts of the chapter written so far. Many of the concepts about player mechanics and even art presentation are therefore still up in the air, and many things can yet change before the final game sees completion in the distant future. I will most likely return with several different blog posts about this, while also trying to gauge people’s thoughts on different ways of handling these topics.

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The sad part about this point of the production is that there is so little to show! Therefore we will have to make do with these little concept sketches for now. If I can set some time aside for it, then hopefully I will have some more visual things to present at some point, and maybe do a more indepth presentation of the world and the characters that this vn will be about.

So see you next time!

Valentines sale!

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To celebrate Valentines Day, Blue Rose is 30% off until February 16th! Go get it now for your friends or dear ones, or take this chance to get it cheap if you were holding out!

For the full version of the Valentines artwork, go here.

What’s brewing?

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Time to finally talk a little about what is currently going on with White Cat!

It’s been almost half a year since Blue Rose was released, and I’m very thankful for the nice reception of our Visual Novel so far! Even with private and open testing though, there will almost always be hiccups with the script after release. ome of you have sent in your corrections and comments on these, a few of them very detailed as well, and I really appreciate it. They will all be taken into consideration, and a future patch for the script will take all these things into consideration. Feel free to still send me a mail if you run into something bugging you!

Remember that the game is also still up for voting on Steam Greenlight, should you wish to show your support there.

Now for what is currently on the drawing table for White Cat. Those who have followed my twitter or tumblr, you may have already noticed me mention one of these projects in passing a couple of times. I have been reworking and rewriting Angelic Orbs from the bottom up for a little while now, our company’s next big visual novel title. Some people might know the title from our first free vn from years back, while a very few might even remember its roots as a webcomic from even longer ago.

The first vn of this title was a kind of sidestory, while this project is a complete telling of the original story from the ground up. It will also be different from Blue Rose in a few ways, one of the most noteable ones the fact that this is not a first-person story. The reader will not step directly in the shoes of a protagonist and aiming for romance routes, but will instead follow a small group of protagonists and influence their journey over the course of the story, sometimes even choosing what POV to follow in the coming events.

A few other features are in mind for this title, that I won’t speak of yet however. The script is in the middle of being written, as well as general character and world designs being made. Hopefully I can show you something more of this soon, though the game itself won’t be done in a while.

At the same time as this, I am also working on another project of a very different kind than Blue Rose and Angelic Orbs. It will be cute and deadly. But that is all I’m going to say about it so far.

And that is mostly what is going on at the moment! After our first big release we are hoping for 2014 to be another good and productive year, coming closer to bringing you great storytelling and entertainment.

And in the future if the support for it is there, I might return to this lonely folder on my desktop named “Blue Rose 2″…

Blue Rose best Romance of 2013!

Blue Rose best Romance 2013

VN’s Now! announced their winners for the 2013 Best Of’s, and Blue Rose got the spot for Best Romance!

A big thank you to the site that has also given the game and White Cat a nice bit of attention with their review and interviews!

And of course a congratulations to the other winners on the site, especially Muesli and Dischan for winning “English Visual Novel of the Year” and “Studio/EVN Circle of the Year”!

Here’s to hoping we can all keep it up in the new year!

Blue Rose Characters – Tobias

(Now that Blue Rose has been released, let’s get the last two characters introduced!)

It’s time for Tobias’ introduction:

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Tobias is a young hunter who lives alone in the forest. He finds and saves Lena, but in the end they don’t get along very well.

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Don’t underestimate rabbits!!”

Tobias prefers to be alone and generally dislikes soldiers and everything else connected to the war going on in the world outside. As a result he finds it difficult to accept the presence of someone like Lena.

He is also the only chase-able male without some sort of amazing combat skillz.


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