Elena’s day off

April 24, 2018 at 9:22 am | Posted in Artwork, Characters, Commissions, Progress | Leave a comment
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Hey folks! Let’s meet Café Memoria owner (and Anna’s mom), Elena!

Elena, casual outfitClick to view larger. Okay, she’s not in her business outfit, as she’s still a work in progress (or it’s her day off), with more outfits on the way. Do you guys like how she turned out in her casual outfit? You know, she kind of looks like she would be Anna’s big sister than a mother. But she does look good for a mother in her 30’s. =)

Elena loves to tease her daughter, which likely contributes to the latter’s shyness and insecurities. But it doesn’t mean she doesn’t like her – she cares for Anna dearly, being her only child. While Elena’s teasing is a way of bonding with her daughter and having fun with her, Anna doesn’t like it especially when done in front of Ryne and his friends. However, Elena can get serious when the time arises, especially with employees and bad customers. I can’t wait to show you guys how she deals with, uh, problem waitresses, like Mikaela 😉

I think we’re making good progress towards a demo, step-by-step!

Just a little heads up – I’m taking a planned two week hiatus from my projects starting April 30th to May 12-14. When I get back, depending on the situation I’ll either post more artworks of Elena or maybe even something else!

Enjoy!

-Ryne

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Let’s go to school

March 27, 2018 at 9:52 am | Posted in Artwork, Backgrounds, Commissions, Plans, Progress | 4 Comments
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Hey folks! Hope you’re doing well. Let’s go visit the CMD world’s school.

School, day

Click to view larger. This is a (fictional California) high school where the characters go. While the game takes place in the summer and therefore most are in summer vacation, there are characters who are taking remedial summer classes due to poor marks in the regular semesters. Like Anna and Mikaela – their grades tend to be poor compared to the other three girls. There’s also some club activities during the summer as well, like the cooking club, and is visited in-game (I do have a cooking club BG planned but that’ll be done later).

(sample snippet of script of Anna and Mikaela studying with Aurelia)
Aurelia: There! Isn’t that easy?
Anna: Waaah, I-I’m so confused!
Mikaela: Stop going too fast, dammit! I guess Relia can’t relate to our struggles, Anna.

Yes, Aurelia is the perfect girl to study with! Especially during summer vacation 😉 Well, unless you’re Mikaela or Anna, you’ll only be more confused.

Aside from that, I’ve spent most of this month working on another small side project. No, not the lollipop VN, but something different. Depending on how things go, I -might- be able to release it sometime this year! A little hint on its content – no connections to my Memoria projects (or maybe so in subtle ways?), but it’s a romance VN that explores a problem one might face when looking for a relationship.

Of course, again I’m not neglecting CMD. I do have more sprites being worked on, namely Anna’s mother Elena, and one of the male sprites. I’m sure you ladies out there would like to see some of Café Memoria male characters =)

See you next month!

-Ryne

Julia’s Love

February 26, 2018 at 9:32 am | Posted in Artwork, Characters, Commissions, Plans, Progress | Leave a comment
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It took months, but Julia’s sprite artwork is now complete! You can tell how happy she is, all colored up and ready to serve you!Julia's outfits

Click to view larger. Julia is noticeably shorter compared to the other girls – well she is the shortest of the five girls – but that doesn’t stop her from trying to give you great service! And also a small girl with a big talent for cooking. She’s in her school’s cooking club and people often ask her for help with cooking, including the club president 😉 And don’t you love how her glasses give her character? She’s not the strict student council president / class president type, but more of a sweetheart to her friends and everyone around her – well, maybe not as much as Aurelia but she makes a great (girl)friend nonetheless!

What do you guys think of her? Let me know!

In addition, I’d like to say all BG art for the demo is done; might post some more of them in the coming months. As for food artwork recruiting, still working on it! I will post an update on Twitter and here when I’m ready. Don’t want to end up commissioning artworks I won’t eventually need, and breaking the budget. Was kind of tempted to rush in and start recruiting, but going through the checklist and script already revealed that several are nothing more than just taking up space >_<

We’re getting there, right? I can’t wait to see the rest of the characters done! I really would love to see Elena done next. Because I know we would love to see an attractive business owner, and uh, mother. Ahaha. ^_^

Enjoy, and see you next post!

-Ryne

Step One to Releasing a Demo

January 30, 2018 at 9:46 am | Posted in Artwork, Backgrounds, Commissions, new year, Plans, Progress | 2 Comments
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Hey folks! Hope your new year is going well so far! As for me, it was going well early and mid-January. And ever since last week came down with a cold that’s been keeping me from working on CMD. In fact I’m battling a headache as I type this. x_x (I guess I need a break from the project a bit?)

One of my goals this year is to release something, before the end of this year (December or earlier). It could be a CMD demo, or a Lollipop VN, or even both! Because, you know, showing words and pics on this blog are just… well, words and pics, and I know you all want something from me to play with. 🙂 Note that I said it’s a goal for me to release something this year – I can’t really set a concrete release date if other factors of the project get bottlenecked. But I’ll make sure this project and the team stay motivated!

In the meantime, let’s take some more looks at the world of CMD (aka: more BG art):

Path to school, day

Here’s an urban area, or path to school, complete with a strip mall and such. This is where characters stop by to have a cup of tea (or coffee, I’m not a coffee person BTW) on the way to school. Yeah, there’s always Café Memoria, but they need alternatives, right? 😉

Lastly, some things that are coming soon:

  • Julia’s sprite is nearly finished. I hope to show her next month!
  • Depending on the situation, might be doing some recruiting within a month or two – yes, this is for the food artworks.

That’s all for now. This is only step one (corresponding to the first month of the year), hopefully leading up to a release sometime this year!

-Ryne

PS: I really hope this headache goes away…

After Christmas Dinner

December 26, 2017 at 9:40 am | Posted in Artwork, Backgrounds, christmas, Commissions, new year, Plans, Progress | Leave a comment
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Morning folks, hope you all had a great Christmas, and spending time with family and friends! I hope Santa Aurelia brought you lots of hugs, loves, and gifts, because she, uh, gave me some nice presents 🙂 And here’s some art progress as a little gift! (click to view larger)

Ryne's room, day

Let’s spend some time at my the protagonist Ryne’s room! One of his hobbies include computers, more specifically building and troubleshooting them (hardware / software-wise)! He’s not much of a gamer, but he built his computer with a, uh, Core i5 + GeForce GTX 1050, along with a somewhat high-end monitor. He’s also a bit of an anime fan (but not as much as Tristina… just wait until we get to her room!), with various figures in the cabinet – can you make out some of them? 😉 And like Mikaela, his room is of a green color-scheme. What do you guys think?

Considering the slow pace of Café Memoria Deux, I’m considering picking up my lollipop VN project and refining it some more. No, that doesn’t mean I’m cancelling CMD, more like multitasking on those two projects. Because you know, it’s been a couple years since my last VN release (the first Café Memoria), and I kind of feel things are going… stale. I need a refresher working on a smaller project and releasing it. The slowness is a little beyond my control, but might as well use that time to work on another project, as other aspects of CMD get sorted out (like Julia’s sprite art, event CG planning, etc).

Can’t really recall if I mentioned it before, but the lollipop VN will have a connection to the Café Memoria series! I hope to show some content in the next year. Especially some art of the lollipop protagonist, Li-, erp, don’t want to give out her name just yet! I think she’ll be a welcoming addition to the list of Memoria girls: Anna, Mikaela, Tristina, Aurelia, Julia, Elena, and ???.

That’s it for now. Another year has come and gone. Once again, thanks for sticking around my projects! Hope to see you again next year, and hopefully we’ll see significant progress.

-Ryne

Belated Thanksgiving dinner in Mikaela’s room

November 29, 2017 at 9:30 am | Posted in Artwork, Backgrounds, Commissions, Plans, Progress | 2 Comments
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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

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

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

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