Belated Thanksgiving dinner in Mikaela’s room

November 29, 2017 at 9:30 am | Posted in Artwork, Backgrounds, Commissions, Plans, Progress | Leave a comment
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Hey folks! Hope you guys had a great Thanksgiving last week (to those who celebrate it). As for me, spent most of my time at work – my job is one of those 24/7 establishments and therefore working holidays. I guess it kind of goes both ways, take a day off and spend time with family, or come to work and receive holiday pay. Eh, can’t really complain I guess (though my last several Thanksgivings were spent at work).

Anyway, let’s celebrate a belated Thanksgiving with new BG art! Let’s go inside Mikaela’s room, but remember that she doesn’t like it if you touch her stuff 😉 Click to view larger:

Mikaela's bedroom

Decided to go for a green color scheme, as it’s her favorite color. 🙂 While she may not look like it, one of Mikaela’s hobbies include sewing and fashion, as shown here spools of thread and some other sewing materials. In fact, her sewing hobby plays a bit of a role in the story, her past, and her personality. I’m a little tempted to post here as to how she picked up the hobby, but I’ll leave it to you to find out when I release a demo. Lastly, of course, she uses this room to, uh, study – her grades are already bad enough that she needs some time to herself to concentrate!

As for character sprites, it’s been slow this month; my sprite artist is on hiatus for almost a month due to college. Hopefully she’ll return soon and we’ll see some Julia in the next post or two! On my end, as I wait for artworks I’m still in the tedious process of planning event CGs. It’s not that bad, only have to be mindful of the time of day, what the characters are wearing, backgrounds, and whatnot. We don’t want the girls inadvertently wearing swimsuits while working in the café, right? 😉

Anyway, happy belated Thanksgiving. Thanks for sticking around and following my projects, despite progress being slow. As cliche it may sound, it means lots to me, and keeps the project going! Hope you guys stick around long enough to see CMD’s completion.

Thanks again!

-Ryne

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Celebrating my birthday in Anna’s house

October 26, 2017 at 9:56 am | Posted in Artwork, Backgrounds, Birthday, Commissions, Plans, Progress | Leave a comment
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Good morning! In last month’s post we saw the exterior of Anna’s house. And now Anna wants to invite you inside to celebrate my birthday today (and have some cake)! ^_^

Living room of Anna's house

First, a comfy living room / kitchen (as almost always, click to view larger). This is where Café Memoria days start, where Anna and Elena spend time having breakfast before work. And, on their days off, lunch, dinner, as well as watching a movie or documentaries together. BTW, that red thing next to the flat-screen is not an ashtray, it’s a fragrant candle! This is a non-smoking household. Care to have some bread from the basket?

Anna's bedroom

Now, let’s go to Anna’s room! Decided to go with a pink and white scheme. Anna loves nature, so there’s a few potted plants and pictures of such. I think the woody texture of the furniture makes it more nature-y, while keeping it somewhat modern. And of course, Anna bought a laptop with the money she makes at Café Memoria. It’s an, uh, Acer laptop powered with a Core i3 + Windows 10! She’s not a gamer, anyway; she mostly uses it for schoolwork.

What do you guys think of these interior BGs? I think my BG artist did a marvelous job!

Backgrounds aside, this month has been somewhat plagued with computer problems. Some of them include a minor malware infection, to an automatic update breaking some of my software. Fortunately it wasn’t that bad thanks to scans and backups, but it did take hours to fix.

Despite the above setbacks, I tried my best to get stuff done! Among them include planning food artworks. Unlike the first Café Memoria, CMD will not be using any food stock photos, but instead will be drawn (still debating if I should hire a separate artist for this).

I’m also in the process of planning out event CG artwork. Of course this will be done by my character artist. How does one plan out event artwork anyway? I have quite a bit of CGs, and I can only gather so much references. Maybe the BG art will help a bit, for the artist to get an idea of the environment? For example, there is a scene where Ryne and Anna are studying in the latter’s room – I’m hoping the BGs will make doing CG art less complicated!

You know, I kind of regret not commissioning an artwork of Anna presenting a birthday cake. Though, at the same time it’s probably best if given from the thoughts of others, and not expecting / asking for anything. Perhaps one of the most important things I learned in my life is “it’s the thought that counts.”

Enjoy! I think I’ll celebrate my birthday by relaxing a bit today.

-Ryne

Let’s go to Anna’s house

September 25, 2017 at 9:24 am | Posted in Artwork, Backgrounds, Commissions, Progress | 2 Comments
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Hey folks! I’m very excited to show you a BG sample of Anna’s home.

Anna's house sample

Click to view larger.

Let me introduce you to Café Memoria Deux’s BG artist – Lavinia, aka GlassHeart / Selavi. I think she’s done a wonderful job so far! Look forward to seeing her work in this project. Do check out her portfolio, she’s pretty amazing 🙂

Elena (Anna’s mother) makes a good chunk of money by running the cafe, so the house is a little on the high-end side, being a little large and double-story. And of course, there’s lots of plants / flowers, with several specific varieties of flower. I gave it some thought as to which ones to put around her house (as well as the other girls’ homes). In the end, the flower meanings of irises and lavender fit Anna’s personality very well and how she develops in the story. I’ll leave out the meaning of those flowers here as it’s kind of spoiler-ish.

(Okay, a bit of a confession, I’ve been playing this browser game titled “Flower Knight Girl” the past several months, and it made me a bit of a, uh, flower maniac. ^_^; )

As for rest of the project, I’ve been kicking up the pace and working on the system and GUI, mostly the food selection and feedback screens. It’s mostly done and working properly, although I’m having issues with dissolve / fade transitions – for some reason side images are transitioning twice between interactions. And calling a screen with transition gives errors, despite the Ren’Py documentation saying you can. >.>

That should be it. Next post, hopefully new sprite artwork!

-Ryne

Don’t slander your waitress

August 30, 2017 at 9:18 am | Posted in Artwork, Plans, Progress, Screenshots | Leave a comment
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Modified rating system

Hey guys! I bring to you CMD’s rating system, making a return from Café Memoria. Looks mostly the same, right? Sure, I might’ve copied and pasted old code and assets into the newer, but there’s quite a bit of changes:

  • Removed the yes/no questions: “Did your waitress do something exceptional”, “Would you like to come back here again”, and “Did you like the waitress overall” – I feel these don’t offer any flexibility in the girls’ reactions
  • Added a 1-10 rating: “Tip amount” – yes, you can tip your waitress now 🙂
  • These remain the same: “Friendliness”, “How quickly food was served”, “Food quality”, “comments”
  • In the previous Café Memoria, each girl had three possible reactions: “bad, neutral, good”. For flexibility, CMD offers five possible overall reactions: “bad, mediocre, neutral, good, best”
  • Above reactions have an impact on your relationship with the girls. Relationship gained / lost varies between girls as well, e.g. relationship gained from Anna’s “good” rating is different from Aurelia’s “good” rating.
  • To prevent hair-pulling in getting the girl you want, there’s a hint box you can open, as to which words to type in the comment box. Sample words you can type in:
    • “Negative” words: irk her with words like “bad”, or ruin her day with words like “incompetent”
    • “Positive” words: put a smile on her face with words like “good”, or make her love you with words like “vivacious”
    • Each word has a varying weight to her overall reaction score
  • There’s also various major changes to the system’s backend you probably wouldn’t care about, just as long as it functions as it should, right?

I think this way, the rating system is simplified a bit, but at the same time a little more flexible. GUI would have to be reworked a bit, though.

Lastly, quoting from previous blog post:

There’s a chance I’ll be doing some recruiting next month.

Well, it’s not going to happen. Mostly because I did some scouting and I found someone for the job. Yes, I’ve already found a background artist for Café Memoria Deux. Apologies if any of you were looking forward to working with me and doing BGs, but I’ve been eyeing this BG artist for quite a while already, and waiting for her spots to be open. Her style is really what I’m after.

Note: My BG artist and character / sprite artist are different people – I say that because I know some character artists out there do BGs as well (and vice-versa)!

With that said, I hope you look forward to seeing her work for CMD! I plan to reveal the name of my BG artist and hope to have some samples by next month’s post.

Thanks for reading! (PS: Don’t slander your waitress, even if you don’t like her! 😉 )

-Ryne

Julia in July… not really

July 27, 2017 at 9:28 am | Posted in Artwork, Characters, Plans, Progress, Screenshots | Leave a comment
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Hey folks! Hope you’re all staying cool this summer (or at least to those living in the northern hemisphere!). Here’s what I’m up to lately with CMD:

Tristina and Aurelia screenshot

Just playing around with the GUI, and testing out Tristina and Aurelia’s sprites. Let me know how it looks, I’d like feedback if anything can be improved! In regards to coding, I’m having this weird issue with side images – here’s a snippet of Ren’py code:

    show tristina irritated at cu_center with dissolve
    
    "And just like that, Tristina shows up."
    t "What are you looking at?"
    #"She looks to the side, and sees..."
    
    show aurelia crazy at cu_right with dissolve
    
    "Oh great, it's Aurelia."
    u "Ahahaha, who wants to play with Aurelia? Don't run away now~!"

“t” is Tristina’s character; “u” is Aurelia. When line 4 transitions to line 7, Tristina’s side image transitions out with a dissolve, even though I have no exit transition defined for side images. Here’s the weird part – uncomment line 5, and it’ll work as intended, Tristina’s side image disappears with no transition. I’ve been banging my head against the wall for hours the other night. I did try upgrading my Ren’Py but it didn’t help. Sounds confusing? Don’t worry about it 😉

There’s a chance I’ll be doing some recruiting next month. I’ve been spending the last month planning it somewhat extensively (okay, maybe the past several months). Part of the reason I’ve been holding it off for a while is that it can eat up a fairly large part of my budget. I had to prune parts of the project without breaking the story. I’m deciding, will this work out without so-and-so? Can it be substituted with this and still work out? I’ve been feeling a little hesitant as there’s quite a bit of risk to it and requires extensive planning – but hey the project has to progress eventually, gotta take the risk.

Lastly, Julia’s sprite is currently in the works. I know this post isn’t really about her, but I just had to give it a title relating to July and Julia, since they look and sound similar in a way. Her birthday isn’t in July, though; it’s in February 😉

Sooo, yeah. This month’s been pretty hectic, both project-wise, and at work. Look forward to the next post!

-Ryne

Radiant Aurelia

June 28, 2017 at 9:26 am | Posted in Artwork, Characters, Commissions, Plans, Progress | Leave a comment
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It took several months, but Aurelia’s sprite artwork is finally done!

Aurelia's Outfits

Click to view larger. What do you guys think of her? How about in her swimsuit? 😉 It’s practically summer here and it’s getting hot. So hot that Aurelia wants to cool off with you under the umbrella at the beach. Who doesn’t want to hang out with such an attractive, yet airheaded, girl at the beach? Most guys at her school would want to. Be aware that she can get a little, uh, crazy. 😉

Sprite artwork aside, I’ve been doing some more BG art planning. Gotta admit this process is more complex than planning sprite art. I mean, there’s quite a bit of exterior / interior design involved. How should the area look like? What objects are involved? I imagine it being very difficult for a BG artist if they’re given just descriptions but no picture references. So my references are mostly just to give an idea of what an area should look like, and the objects within, as opposed to just copying it exactly. I think the process applies similarly to sprite art – designing the waitress uniforms involved Google image searches and mixing and matching elements from various waitress outfits, as well as the other outfits. It’s interesting designing your own outfits, and thinking about the design of the characters’ rooms ^.^

An update on that, uh, lollipop-themed small VN – didn’t really work much on it since I’m focusing on getting sprite art done, planning BG art, GUI, and organizing the CMD project folder, as well as planning out event CGs. But I’ll give updates on it once significant progress has been made.

I realized that it’s been two years since I’ve released the first Café Memoria. We’ve come a long way, right?

Thanks for reading!

-Ryne

Still Alive, and Happy Café Memoria Day

May 29, 2017 at 9:34 am | Posted in Artwork, Characters, Commissions, Plans, Progress | 2 Comments
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Hey folks! Good news – I received a message from my artist that she’s doing well and back to work, after a month’s hiatus. You might also have heard about this on my twitter as well. Not only that, but thank goodness for having recovered.

Here’s a more recent Aurelia progress, since artist coming back. Not showing her face just yet 😉

Aurelia Teaser 2

BTW, I’ve been kind of working on a smaller VN project the past month, largely because of last month’s artist hiatus, and in anticipation of CMD being stalled for several months. But now that my artist is back I’ll continue working on CMD. Though, I’m considering continuing working on the smaller VN at the same time. It’s been almost two years since I’ve released a new VN (since the first CM), and I’d like to get a refresher in releasing another – CMD is a pretty big VN and of course is taking a while!

That “secret project” has connections with Café Memoria. More details next month if I decide to take it up as a small summer project. Oh, this tweet is a hint of its content:

Lastly, to those who live in the US, have a great, uh, Café Memoria day. Thank your waitstaff in restaurants for providing great customer service. And thank them for being able to deal with unruly customers in a calm, professional manner.

But on a more serious note, Happy Memorial day. Do remember and thank those veterans for their service!

Thanks for reading!

-Ryne

Thinking about her

April 24, 2017 at 9:26 am | Posted in Artwork, Commissions, Plans, Progress | Leave a comment
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Hello folks, hope you’re doing well. I’ve got a bit of shocking news, especially in regards to CMD’s artist:

I was about to email my artist to inquire about progress, but I decided to check my tweets beforehand, and I see this. I thought, “tell me this is a joke.” It really bothered me so much that I had trouble concentrating while at work, and even while working on Café Memoria Deux. I’ve worked with Bianca (Waffle) since July of last year, and we’ve made so much progress on the project.

I can’t really do much about this, except pray for her recovery. I hope you guys will do the same as well, because she’s a joy to work with.

What does this mean for CMD? Well, that means my artist on hiatus indefinitely. But I’ll try my best to pump out new content and progress in the following months. I know, I know, progress is being slow as always. But it can’t be helped. It’s so easy for me to give up on the project because of the slowness and setbacks. But no, I won’t give up on it. Even after the release of the first CM, I’m still learning the process of VN creation (or games in general). Situations like this test how well you handle it – will you give up on the project, or be patient and stay positive? Likewise, please, don’t give up on the project just yet!

Lastly, to end things on a positive note, here’s some art progress from weeks before. Yeah, I know it’s Tristina again (Aurelia’s still unfinished), but her waitress uniform collar needed adjustments. Does it look better, no?

Tristina's updated watiress outiftFor comparison:

Tristina's outfitsThanks for sticking around!

-Ryne

For the Love of the Project

February 27, 2017 at 9:26 am | Posted in Artwork, Characters, Commissions, Plans, Progress | Leave a comment
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February is the month of love. While I’m not exactly fond of Valentine’s, I did try to make the best of it on that day; I hope you guys did as well, regardless if you have a significant other or not. Anyway, let’s show some love for Café Memoria Deux by showing some progress!

CMD - Main menu GUI

Yeah, it might not look like much, I’ve been pretty busy working on CMD’s GUI. The main menu screen looks good, I think. There’s also other screens I’m working on, namely the Extras and Options screens, which is taking quite a bit of work; might show in next post. The GUI is looking so far to be huge overhaul from the first Café Memoria, right? 🙂

Aurelia Teaser

Also, while Aurelia’s sprite isn’t finished yet, here’s a teaser of her. 😉

Lastly, I’m preparing for BG artist recruitment, *hopefully* posting about it around next month! Excuse the delays in that, because something (related to BGs) came up unexpectedly at the beginning of the year – kind of waited on it and stuff never really materialized. So yeah, no more waiting on that, I’ve already dealt with enough setbacks; don’t need any more delays.

I’m hoping that, as well as more sprite artworks in the coming month. Stay tuned!

-Ryne

New Year, New Artworks

January 24, 2017 at 9:42 am | Posted in Artwork, Characters, Commissions, new year, Progress | Leave a comment
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Hey guys, hope your New Year is going well. For me? It’s alright, a little slow and lots of rain lately. In fact said rains make driving to work all the more treacherous – all those flooding and mudslides x_x

And… this might have taken several months, but Tristina’s sprite art is now complete! 🙂

Tristina's Outfits

Click to view larger. What do you guys think of her? Especially Mahou Shoujo Tristina, aka her cosplay for the in-game anime Magica Memoria? She’s dressed up as the character Shizuka, the main character of the anime. You know, I should commission some artworks of Shizuka, and make some posters of her for the in-game “advertisements” for background art. I have a bit of an idea how she’ll look like – while she does wear the costume Tristina is wearing, maybe she’s a fairly short girl, short black hair, shy and quiet? I haven’t really gotten around to her design much, but she and Tristina have a bit in common.

Who’s next on the list? There’s Aurelia + Julia remaining, and three more characters.

As for background art, something came up and my recruiting post will be delayed a bit. I apologize! And I have to apologize for the slowness in art progress once again. Well, I guess games do take time to work on and finish.

Enjoy!

-Ryne

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