So… yeah (CMD is being rewritten)

July 29, 2020 at 9:38 am | Posted in Characters, Plans, Progress, Screenshots | Leave a comment
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So, it’s been a year since I’ve released the Café Memoria Deux demo! I’ve got a bit of a lengthy important announcement that will impact the future of the project. To be honest, I’m a little reluctant to share, but it must be said.

CMD - Anna screenshot mockup

Just a mockup screen, not actual gameplay, ahaha

You can only do so much to make things perfect, right? Well, long story short, about two years ago I gave CMD’s script another read, just to have a bit of a refresher. I wasn’t exactly planning to make any changes since it’s the final draft and such. However, I started having second thoughts as I noticed a number of problems (including, but not limited to):

  • Julia and Aurelia’s character development look pretty weak
    • Adding to the above point, I have quite a bit of great ideas not only for those girls, but also the others as well, that are not in the script
  • Alden feels like he’s just there, not really supporting the plot
  • Compared to the first Café Memoria, the parts where they discuss eating the food felt like it had corners cut
  • Second week of the story feels like it’s just filler without much development
  • Feature creep

So… it came to the point that the script needed to be rewritten. That’s right, I’m in the process of rewriting the whole script. I must admit that I started re-outlining right after the release of the CMD demo, followed by rewriting the script since April (~4 months ago). The shutdown allowed me to get a chunk of it done, and now I’m currently in the middle of writing Tristina’s route as of this blog post (which means I’m a little more than halfway through the rewrite).

There you have it, folks. I’m very sorry if I haven’t been showing much progress in CMD lately – I’ve been working my tail off the past months (or year) on that. I guess one can say that I’m a bit of a perfectionist and therefore things are not getting finished. However, I believe that this rewrite is very much necessary – not only the old script didn’t really turn out to be something I envisioned, but I also feel that it’s not exactly my best work.

Gotta admit that I felt sick at the prospect of discarding months / years of writing (FYI, I’m not actually gonna delete them; more like archiving). But going forward, this is best for the project (albeit a bit of a risk). Café Memoria is a place where “your stay will be memorable,” and I want CMD to be a memorable VN with memorable characters.

Why haven’t I “gotten it right” in the first place? I try not to compare my projects with other peoples’ stuff, but I think playing several other VNs influenced me on what makes a “quality VN”. I feel like my standards have changed quite a bit over the years. It’s not about achieving “Fate Stay/Night” (FSN) or “Doki Doki Literature Club” (DDLC) levels of popularity; it’s more about letting your passion show in your work, watching it grow into something you’d want it to be. There’s also that sense of satisfaction in the end when people play your game and enjoy it. 🙂

Also a little tweet I posted months back that is somewhat relevant to this post:

I’m gonna get the whole script re-edited once I’m done writing. Thankfully artworks (sprites, BGs, food art, etc.) won’t need to be redone, but CMD’s site needs to be updated to reflect the changes. I’m considering creating another demo with the new script, too.

Also a reminder, if you have any suggestions for the project do let me know in the comments (or send me an email)! I highly encourage you to play the CMD demo and/or the first Café Memoria if you haven’t already.

Thanks for your patience folks for still sticking around, and apologies if I disappointed any of you with this setback. I know you all want to have a great story, and I’m still pouring my heart and soul into this; I still got plenty of gas left in the tank. 🙂

See you all in next month’s update!

-Ryne

Late winter beach party

February 26, 2020 at 9:38 am | Posted in Artwork, Backgrounds, Commissions, Plans, Progress | Leave a comment
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Hey folks! I’ve got more CMD artwork to share, and here’s some beach BG art~ Yeah, it’s still winter and too cold to go to the beach. But spring is just around the corner and I guess it’s time to warm things up a bit (at least in the northern hemisphere). ^_^

Beach, day

Click to view larger, as always. This was done about a year and several months ago (in 2018), and I haven’t shared this until now. The painterly quality of the work gives it a nice relaxing feeling, kind of like what you would expect a beach to be, no? I guess it would be kind of difficult to create this with 3D models (like the other BGs).

Wouldn’t you want to spend time at the beach with the Café Memoria girls? Spring break anyone? =)

Speaking of background art, I’ve been having a bit of a setback. I haven’t heard from my BG artist in a long while, meaning I’ll have to eventually hire a new one. Not right now, but eventually. It’s gonna be a challenge finding someone who can at least match the style of what I have so far for CMD’s BGs. I’ll post more details when I decide to recruit!

Otherwise, I’m still working on CMD, albeit progress has been somewhat slow. Spent like a week or two trying to figure out this lag problem on my new PC. I can’t really work on projects if the system lags – it’s mostly when I access stuff on my data drive (separate from OS) and my mouse stutters. But, I think messing with the drive’s settings alleviated it quite a bit (it’s configured as RAID 1).

But yeah aside from that, some new artworks are in the works. Updates to CMD’s site to include Alden’s profile aren’t ready yet (due to the above). But yeah look to more updates next month!

-Ryne

Alden’s New Years

January 27, 2020 at 9:42 am | Posted in Artwork, Characters, Commissions, new year, Plans, Progress | Leave a comment
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Hello folks, it’s time to start the new year (and decade) with the last bit of CMD character sprites. I’d like to share another of the game’s male characters, Alden!

Alden's outfits

As always, click to view larger. If you can’t tell from the hair and eye color, he’s Aurelia’s twin brother. While he does get excellent grades like his sister, he is a bit of the opposite in personality to her. He’s not as airheaded, and is a bit uncomfortable around the opposite gender (sister aside). Also, Aurelia inadvertently embarrasses him in public, especially when it comes to him and girls. He hates it when people tell him how hot his sister is, often receiving inappropriate comments about her (I’ll leave it to your imagination, ^^; ).

I must say that I had a bit of a slow start to the new year. I somehow got the flu around new year’s, which took slightly less than a week to recover from. And of course as a bit of a late Christmas / New Years gift I bought a new computer, or more like built a new one. My old one was showing its age with serious problems – like freezing up for 2-3 minutes then unfreezing, and of course randomly corrupting files (mostly my music and anime pics library).

Thankfully it didn’t touch any project files (and thank goodness for backups), but I didn’t want to take any chances with that and bought a new one. And since Windows 7 went EoL might as well upgrade to Win10.

It took a bit of while to resume working on projects, because of the above plus transferring my files to the new PC. I will update CMD’s site to include Alden’s character profile, hopefully next month (plus probably more updates!).

Hope your new year is going well so far!

-Ryne

AWCG v2.0 Release Date Announcement

November 25, 2019 at 9:38 am | Posted in Artwork, Characters, christmas, Commissions, Plans, Progress, Side Projects, Site, Voice | Leave a comment
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Heya folks! As you might have known from my Twitter and previous posts, I’ve been reworking my Christmas VN the past month. Most notably changing up the visuals (BGs and GUI) and of course adding voice acting. And now I’ve made enough progress to show off these changes!

Before -> After (click to view larger)

AWCG - Before AWCG - After

I’ve hired Milena Olivson to do the game’s BGs and she’s done a wonderful job with them! Although she works pretty quick, she doesn’t sacrifice quality at the same time. A huge improvement over using filtered photographs as BGs.

Oh, and of course I’d like to introduce Natalia’s voice actress – Katelyn Hamilton! She gave Natalia the personality I was looking for, with her outgoing and cheerful voice. I’ve updated AWCG’s site to include voice samples if you want to listen. 🙂

With that out of the way, I’d like to say I’m aiming to release v2.0 of “All I Want for Christmas is a Girlfriend” on December 20, 2019. Most of the things I’ve wanted to update have been implemented, but I don’t want to rush things. The GUI needs a bit more work, and of course debug, debug, debug. Aside from that, I hope you look forward to Natalia bringing you some more holiday cheer this season!

Thanksgiving is coming up, hope you all have a great (and safe) one. And thanks as always for sticking around!

-Ryne

AWCG – Voice Actress Recruitment

October 28, 2019 at 10:00 am | Posted in Artwork, Characters, christmas, Plans, Recruitment, Voice | Leave a comment
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2019/11/5 – Closed! I’ve found someone to voice Natalia. Thanks to those who applied!

2019/11/4 – I’ve extended the audition period to this Thursday (11/7)!

I need a female voice actress for a short romance Christmas-themed VN, “All I Want for Christmas is a Girlfriend” (AWCG)!

Learn more about the project: VN site

Character that will be voiced

Natalia
Lines: ~26
Words: ~262
Personality: Friendly, outgoing, a bit flirty
Pitch: Somewhat high
Audition Lines:

  • “I’m so glad I passed my calculus final! Thank you so much for tutoring me! I feel like I finally understand the material!”
  • “Aww, that’s so cute, you’re blushing~”

More information

I released this VN last year, but without any voice acting. I’m in the process of reworking this project, hoping to improve the visuals (mainly BGs and some GUI), and of course seeing Natalia’s personality come to life!

  • This is a non-commercial project.
  • Budget: ~$30, negotiable. Payment via PayPal.
  • Deadline: While this is a short VN, everything will need to be completed within a month (last week of November / the 30th). I’m aiming to re-release this project about a week before Christmas this year (week of December 16).
  • Format: .wav – to allow for post-processing.
  • Motivation, reliability, proactivity: very important

How to Apply

Email me here with your audition and demo reel.

Please send submissions as links to your portfolio (soundcloud, dropbox, google drive, etc.), not as email attachments. Also if selected, I would greatly appreciate it if recordings are sent via links as well (zipped up). Sound files (especially .wav’s) eat up my account space quick >.<

I will be keeping this open for at least a week, or until I find someone. Let me know if you have any questions / comments / concerns. Looking forward to hearing from you, thanks!

-Ryne

Anniversary illustration recruitment

August 30, 2019 at 8:56 am | Posted in Anniversary, Artwork, Plans, Recruitment | Leave a comment
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PixaelSoft Logo

2019/09/01 – Closed! I’ve chosen an artist. Thanks to those who applied!

Hey folks! Just thought I’d give a heads up that PixaelSoft / Project Memoria is nearing a 10-year anniversary on September 27. I’d like to commission a piece of artwork to celebrate, and reaching out to anyone who would love to do it!

What I’m looking for:

  • What: A beautiful hi-resolution (1080p) anime-style CG illustration of one of my female characters, wedding-themed
  • Deadline: This will need to be finished on or before September 25th
  • Budget: ~$150-$200, negotiable. Payment via PayPal.
  • Ability to do some ecchi-ness is a plus
  • Motivation, reliability, and proactivity: very important

Art style:

I’m looking for something in the style of Love Live! and Idolm@ster or similar / close to it.

Interested?

Send me an email here with samples of your work. Note: Please send samples as links to your portfolio (DeviantArt, Pixiv, etc) not as attachments.

Also be aware that I’ve posted this right before leaving for work – I’ll respond ASAP when I get back! Still, do contact me if you’re interested.

I’ll be keeping this open until the evening of September 1 (Sunday) or until I find someone. I look forward to hearing from you! I hope I can make this a great anniversary for my studio. 🙂

-Ryne

Ryne’s demo days of summer

August 26, 2019 at 9:10 am | Posted in Artwork, Characters, Commissions, Plans, Progress | 2 Comments
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Wow, I can’t believe it’s been at least a month since I released the CMD demo. I hope you all enjoyed it 🙂 No stopping there, because I have more art to share (pun unintended) – Ryne’s sprite art is finally completed!

Ryne's outfits

As always, click to view larger. The protagonist of the game who receives a summer discount card from Anna, because he helps her so much with her problems (especially with school). Speaking of which, while he does help the girls with the problems they face, he does have some problems of his own. Namely, the pressures of school, and his anxiety when it comes to Julia. While not touched upon in the demo, one of his hobbies include working with computers, and will gladly fix any malfunctioning computer.

BTW, I updated CMD’s site to include images in his profile, in case you want to check it out.

Apologies if I didn’t have his sprite in the demo (time constraints). But if I decide to make some more demo versions, then yeah he’ll definitely be in it!

Aside from that, we’re nearing 10 years of running PixaelSoft / Project Memoria (on September 27)! Has it really been that long since then? I hope to show something nice next month, to celebrate. But yeah I hope you guys still stick around!

-Ryne

Café Memoria Deux site up! Demo release date!

June 10, 2019 at 8:49 am | Posted in Artwork, Commissions, Plans, Progress, Site | 2 Comments
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Hey folks! It took a while, but I finally opened the “Café Memoria Deux” site! ^_^

Café Memoria Deux

Click on the banner above to visit. Do check out the various pages, and learn more about the game and its story and characters, and even view some screenshots. 🙂 Note that I don’t have chara art of Ryne just yet, he’s still being worked on as of this post. Also, if you haven’t seen it there already, mark your calendars: I’ll be releasing the demo next month, which is Friday, July 26, 2019. In the meantime, I’ll be cleaning up the game a bit so the code’s all nice and tidy for release. I hope this hypes you all up!

If you folks want to take a look, I’ve also took the time to redesign the PixælSoft site. The old layout was more of a quick and dirty version with not much effort put into it (I kind of rushed it while simultaneously working on the first Café Memoria site). I’m not sure what I was thinking about going for a ~750px wide layout (which is too narrow for my needs)… I hope it looks much nicer!

Check out the updated site here!

While I’ve tested them as much as possible, do let me know if anything’s broken with the sites (broken links/images, layout, etc.).

If everything goes to plan, I will be releasing the CMD’s demo on said above date. Look to it!

-Ryne

Anna’s Birthday

January 28, 2019 at 8:18 am | Posted in Artwork, Birthday, Characters, Commissions, Plans, Progress, Writing | Leave a comment
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Hey guys! It’s Anna’s birthday this month, so let’s celebrate the beginning of the new year with new title artwork of her! Okay, well I might be a little late celebrating (her bday is the 21st), but it’s okay!

Title Sample - Anna

Click to view larger. How do you guys like her dynamic, yet somewhat flirty pose? I think that considering her shy and insecure personality, it’s her way of forcing herself to be more open and outgoing not only towards her customers, but to everyone else, including her friends. Of course that doesn’t stop her from being so clumsy and tripping, making her drop all the food and losing confidence.

A great way to seeing her other side, right? 😉 More title artworks of the other girls soon to come!

Aside from that, now that the holidays are over and after releasing my Christmas VN, it’s now back to work on CMD. I’m still rewriting sections of the script, but hopefully a demo will be out this year! There are still plans for releasing smaller projects if time persists.

Let’s make 2019 a great one! Thanks all for following me and sticking around, as always 😀

-Ryne

Mikaela’s birthday present

October 26, 2018 at 9:30 am | Posted in Artwork, Birthday, Characters, Plans, Progress, Screenshots | Leave a comment
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Hey folks! It’s my birthday today, so I’m sharing some significant progress of Café Memoria Deux!

CMD - in-game screenshot

Mikaela: “H-happy birthday! I-I’m not saying this because I like you, you know!”

Click to view larger. Here’s a preview of an in-game demo scene, in its full glory with sprites and BGs! I’ve spent the past weeks copying the script to Ren’Py code, in particular the first in-game day. It’s mostly done, I just need to do a run-through making sure all the script is there, some debugging / improvements, and of course adding in the food artworks. Then I have to do the second day, as well as hangout days exclusive to Anna and Mikaela (and waiting on some title artworks, ahaha).

Also, Ryne’s sprite artwork has not been done yet and therefore will not be in the upcoming demo, as well as some rating stuff (that could change though). But nevertheless we’re inching closer towards a demo release! I’ll announce it once I feel confident about setting a definite date.

For those wondering, Mikaela and Jacob are not sister and brother! They kind of look like it, yeah, but they’re not related. Though, I’m sure Mikaela would dread having a brother like Jacob; saying he’ll piss her off on days end is an understatement.

Now, I’m going to take the rest of the day off and celebrate my birthday with family. Work will resume tomorrow! In the meantime, look forward to more significant progress in the coming months!

-Ryne

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