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

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

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

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