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#yaoijam and The Kickstarter

So sorry I’ve been so horribly neglectful with updating our actual main site.

We’ve been really busy behind the scenes. We’ve been working on Talk to Me’s kickstarter, which is currently at 53 %. If you wanted to have a look at that, here’s the link. We still need all the help we can get! We have 13 days to go and we’re still a bit off quota. You can find out more about that project on the link, along with a bunch of updates and art previews.

Yaoi Jam Introducing Heatwave

We finally have a name for our Yaoi Jam game.

Presenting:

heatwave_logo

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Talk to Me Development Blog # 1

The Writing Ohh, boy.

I started writing Talk to Me in November, actually, as part of Nanowrimo. Except I didn’t set out to write a novel — I recently had and I was a bit bored with the story-telling limitations of one. Some heavy shit was going down in my personal life. And I was really into Alterego, which I’ve always been into anyway, so I wanted to try to tell my own choose your own adventure kind of story.

I’ve always been into dating sims, too, but when I was growing up, they were full on misogynist fuckfests. I played Katawa Shoujo when it came out and I found it pretty bad. The writing isn’t terrible or anything, I liked the inclusive nature of the work, but it fell flat. Or rather the idea of it being an inclusive visual novel — I’m sure enough has been written about the problematic nature of it. I also played a couple of dating sims growing up where part of scoring points with the targets was about giving them the right presents or dressing them up the right way or saying exactly the right thing. And saying exactly the right thing was always incredibly predictable and incredibly boring.

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Our Yaoi Jam Project

Because we don’t have enough things to do, we decided to take on Yaoi Jam.

What is Yaoi Jam? I’ll let the site speak for itself.

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Talk to Me

You Can Talk to Me is a Visual Novel experience in the style of a dating simulator. Please note that it is not, in fact, a dating simulator.

There are no typical “bad” endings or “good” endings.

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Talk to Me: Development Blog

(This content originally appeared on my site, here)

Step 1: The idea

I have wanted to write a game for the longest time, but to be honest, it’s always felt quite difficult and intimidating. I started writing this story based on an idea in a different game. I liked the concept of being able to choose the outcome as the reader.

Because of this, I chose to create a dating Sim.

Step 2: The process

Step 1: Writing

Writing anything is already emotionally exhausting. Writing while learning a programming language is probably twice as bad.

The first step of the process was finding the right engine. At first, I was using Inklewriter. It was fine for interactive fiction, but I wanted to be able to do more with variables. I moved on to ADRIFT, but I found that pretty hardcore. The documentation for Inform felt difficult. I ended up using the newest version of Twine after using the Games are for Everyone resource.

After I finished the writing and had the skeleton of something I thought would be good, I turned to the most valuable resource any creative has.

Step 2: Community

A. A little help from my friends

A friend kindly offered to proofread. I reconnected with someone I had collaborated with previously and he helped me with programming issues – which trust me, there are still a lot of. I asked one of my best friends if I could use her music. I turned to communities I belong to and asked for thorough feedback.

B. Making new friends

The world of literary fiction and game development don’t seem to mix that much. That meant that some of my main target audience – gamers, not readers – were people I simply had not idea about. But game developers usually get into gaming because they love doing that, so I reached out to some of them on Twitter and Facebook. I also asked people who weren’t my friends, but were peripheral to my friend circle, to have a look at the alpha of the game. The feedback I got from this process was invaluable.

Step 3: Everything else

With a book, you have to get it proofread, edited, beta read, etc. When you write a game, you have to do all of that and you have to make sure it’s also fun. And there are no bugs. And the interface is cool. And the art is awesome. And the music fits. And it’s obvious that the ending is the ending, because the player may think that they have just hit a brick wall and there’s some sort of bug (yep, that’s happened.)

Right now, I’m on the very last phase, where I’m working on multimedia elements.

Some of them are the character design, which I hired an  amazing illustrator for. I found her on Fiverr. My artist friend will be doing the room designs, you can check out his bloghere. Hopefully, my next dev blog will have some more specific news.

For now, basically, get. excited.

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