So, I’ve been promising this since last year, haven’t I? Well, I figured it was probably time that I started talking about my projects a little more rather than just mentioning them in the round-ups.
Which brings us to this post.
As you may know, I’ve been working on a visual novel. It’s a long ol’ process. BUT…I’m moving quickly. I’m going to go through some bits about the project, then finish it with a preview pic.
What’s It About?
The VN is currently untitled but will be a short, linear horror story. My current estimate is that it will be a 30 minute or so playthrough, so expect it to sell at a price that runs in line with that.
The story follows four friends who sneak into their school over the weekend and perform a ‘fear ritual’. They think it’s all just a bit of fun, but of course, things take a nasty turn.
In many ways, this is a typical me project. What that means is that, while romance is involved with the setup, it’s not the focus. No, the focus goes to the actual story and the horror elements in this one. You can also expect LGBTQ representation in the cast, because, well, that’s what I write.
What’s Done Already?
In terms of what is already done, this is where I’m at.
Script: This is pretty much done. It’s written, and it’s annotated with specific background images. I need to give it another pass of editing to make sure that the speech flows correctly, but at this stage, that won’t take long.
Backgrounds: Unless something comes up during the process of setting the actual thing up in the software, these are done. I sourced the images from Uncle Mugen. He’s super awesome and gives away pre-rendered stuff, as well as some 3D buildings that are completely free for you to modify and use as you wish.
A lot of what I needed was already there, but I did need to do some editing for minor things like changing the tie fo day, opening windows, and adding some additional items. The bigger task related to the school internals as I needed to take a scroll through his pre-rendered school building and take screenshots to edit. They are done though. So, yay!
Characters: Okay, this was fun. I built the character models myself in VRoid Studio. This is basically free software that allows you to make anime-styled 3D models that can be exported, animated, or posed and exported as pictures. A lot of it, such as eye shape and position, is fairly intuitive. The hair takes some getting used to though as you have to draw each individual section.
When it comes to clothing, your initial choices are limited. The trick comes in exporting texture files and modding them to change designs and shapes. For example, when you see the preview picture below, the jackets worn by the characters started life as white, ankle-length dresses, believe it or not.
Anyway, I’ve built the characters, posed them, and exported the necessary images. Each character has two outfits: casual and school uniform. The shot below shows the casual clothing. I’ll do some proper character introductions in a separate post.
What Needs Doing?
So, what does that leave to do? Well, obviously, I need to put the actual VN together in the software. Once that’s done, I’ll move on to sourcing music and sound effects. The one thing I’m not sure about yet is whether I’ll include a full voice case or just leave it as text-based. Both routes are technically viable, but I don’t know. I’d want to pay any VAs I use, and my budget for this isn’t huge. If you think I particularly should or shouldn’t include a voice track, let me know in the comments below, though!
Anyway, that’s about where we’re are. Like I said, I’ll do some proper character introductions another time. For now though, I leave you with a shot of the core cast outside their school, wearing their casual clothes.