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

Tristina still here and working

June 29, 2020 at 9:02 am | Posted in Artwork, Characters, Commissions, Progress | Leave a comment
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Hey folks! How is everyone doing? Things have been a little hectic on my end – that is, being back to work and among other things. Anyway, here’s a chibi of Tristina this time!

Tristina's chibi art

Tristina sure looks a little happy to serve you! She struggles a bit with male customers, but she’s trying her best to give the best service possible. I mean, with times like these, she can’t afford to drive off potential guests – she’d likely get fired if she did that, ahaha. Again, she’ll react differently depending on how you rate her service. Rate her terribly because she treated you unfairly? Or she actually treated you fairly (shock!)?

  • Bad: Doesn’t care that you rated her terribly ù_ú
  • Mediocre: Irritated / “yeah whatever” ò_ó
  • Neutral: She did alright, not exactly reacting to your rating ō_ō
  • Good: Trying not to smile, she actually likes you é_è (not sure how to express that here ^^;)
  • Best: A rather silly expression, shocked that you gave her the best rating; also, hearts in eyes Ô_Ô

She has the anger vein thing going on for her “bad” expression (like with Mikaela), but it’s cropped off =X

As far as CMD progress goes, I’m still working on it! I must apologize if things seem a little slow. I’ve been doing quite a bit of writing as of late (as well as being back to work as stated before). Speaking of which, I’m planning to make a bit of an announcement next month, which is related to said writing.

That should be it this month. Take care everyone!

-Ryne

Mikaela keeping calm during these times

April 27, 2020 at 9:14 am | Posted in Artwork, Characters, Commissions, Progress | Leave a comment
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Another month has passed, and that means an update! Here’s some new artwork, that is, a chibi of Mikaela! I hope you all are staying well and safe =)

Mikaela's chibi art

She might not want to work, but Mikaela’s helping to keep Café Memoria open, along with the other waitresses. Like with Anna, Mikaela will react differently depending on how you rate her service – do you think she deserves to be rated terribly because she can’t keep her temper in check? Or she’s just misunderstood, and is just putting forth the effort into her job?

  • Bad: Angry b/c you rated her terribly, but it’s justified as she couldn’t keep her cool ò_ó
  • Mediocre: Trying not to blow up at you ù_ú
  • Neutral: She did alright, better than her flipping out on you ō_ō
  • Good: She’s such a model waitress >=)
  • Best: Are you trying to win her over? (submissive looking smile)

Note that she has an anger vein thing going on for her bad and mediocre expressions, but the cropping cut it off =P

I probably should update the game and test drive the rating system with the chibis I have now. And probably give the game’s engine an update (Ren’Py 7.0 to 7.3.5). Because I’ve been out of work for at least a month now (due to the virus), I’ve spent the time developing ideas for new VNs (possibly including CMD side projects). But the shutdown also means budgeting accordingly, meaning I can’t hire new team members at the moment. But… I’ll try my best. 🙂

That should be it. Until next month’s updates, take care everyone!

-Ryne

Anna keeping Café Memoria open

March 24, 2020 at 8:58 am | Posted in Artwork, Characters, Commissions, Progress | Leave a comment
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Hey again folks! I hope you’re doing all safe and healthy, especially with the coronavirus going around. I’m out of work for a while, and can’t get out of the house due to that fact. Thankfully, I’m fine health-wise, and I’d like to share a new piece of CMD artwork: a chibi of Anna!

Anna's chibi art

Yes, click to view larger. Anna’s here to lighten things up a bit in times like these, by keeping Café Memoria open (take out only for now, like where I live). Remember the rating slip / form / etc? Depending on how you rate her service she will react with a different expression. Do you think she’s too clumsy to be a waitress and deserves to be rated badly (true to her character, she’ll cry)? Or you find it endearing, and that she’s trying her best? ^_^ There are five levels of expressions:

  • Bad: About to cry ;_;
  • Mediocre: Flustered ó_ò (not sure how to express that here)
  • Neutral: A neutral expression, she did okay
  • Good: Happy to be of service =)
  • Best: So happy you think she did an excellent job ^_^

Other characters’ chibis are in the works, so stay tuned! By the way, I managed to update CMD’s site to include Alden’s profile. You can check it out here. Will update the site later to include the chibis as well.

But yeah that should be it for now. In the meantime, stay healthy folks!

-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

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

Cafe Memoria Deux demo released!

July 26, 2019 at 7:48 am | Posted in Artwork, Demo, Progress | Leave a comment
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Café Memoria Deux

It’s been several years since I started this project. But the Café Memoria Deux demo is now playable! Thanks to those who helped me get to this point. It’s been a wild ride putting this together!

Demo version 0.1 contains:

  • A focus on the characters Anna and Mikaela
  • All characters make a return from prequel + two new characters
  • A return of the food selections + rating system from the first Café Memoria
  • Note there’s no sprite art of the protagonist, Ryne, just yet, as he’s still being worked on as of this post.
  • As someone pointed out in the comments of previous post, no, there’s no voice acting. But depending on how things go, there might be in future versions!

Screenshots (click to view larger):

Café Memoria Deux 0.1 can be downloaded here:

Windows, Linux (84 MB) / Mac (67 MB)

As always, let me know if there are any problems and/or bugs. Questions, comments, constructive criticism are welcome!

I really hope you guys enjoy! It might’ve took several years from the birth of this project to a demo release, with some setbacks in-between. But I consider a demo release a major accomplishment.

Thanks to you all for checking out this demo, hope you all stick around for the full version 🙂

-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

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