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

Thanks for Everything

November 28, 2016 at 9:30 am | Posted in Artwork, Commissions, Plans, Progress, Story, Writing | 6 Comments
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Hey folks, just a few CMD updates!

I hate saying this but Tristina’s sprite is still not finished yet, artist has been busy with other things. Though, I’ll post a teaser here for now 😉

Tristina Teaser

There’s some big strides made in regards to the story. Editing is pretty much complete, and I’ve read through it once more to make sure there’s no more silly little spelling / grammar errors. I’d like to thank Anna (aka LegendEx) for editing my script. She’s helped me looked at the script in ways I would have never imagined. Thanks to her help, the script is pretty much where it should be now. Oh, and do check out her blog and her amazing writing samples.

So… the final word count for the script stands between 52k-56k, if anyone’s curious.

Oh, and I’ve pretty much determined which backgrounds I’ll need for the game. As I’ve read through the script I’ve also payed attention to the time of day and how each scene will play out. You know, I could’ve gone the lazy route and say I’ll need all day variations of Mikaela’s room. Or a variation of a beach background taking place at a different spot. However, BG art can get expensive very fast (depending on artist). So I determined which BGs I’ll really need, and which ones aren’t really needed. That also includes time of day variations, i.e. there are BGs where I need evening variations, but I don’t need a night variation. Yup, it’s called “responsible budgeting.” :p

I’m planning to hire a BG artist, next month the earliest and hopefully around January the latest. Still need to finish up gathering references for BGs. You know, I could go around town, take photos, and use them as references, especially the local mall and duck pond ^.^

Hope your Thanksgiving went well. And thank you for sticking around and following my projects, they mean lots to me and give me motivation to work on them, even if progress is kind of slow (especially with artworks). I’d also like to give my thanks to everyone who worked with me in my projects, both past and present. You’ve all been a tremendous help. 🙂

-Ryne

Progress, Editing, and Birthday!

October 26, 2016 at 9:20 am | Posted in Artwork, Birthday, Characters, Plans, Progress, Story, Writing | 2 Comments
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Good day everyone! Okay, I know you’re probably expecting new sprite artworks of Tristina (or Aurelia or Julia), but she’s still being worked on as of this post. I hope to post her sometime next month though! In the meantime, here’s a sample CMD screenshot:

CMD sample screen

Been working on the GUI a bit. It should be mostly the same from the previous Café Memoria, with a few new tweaks thanks to Ren’Py 6.99.11’s new GUI system (can’t wait for Ren’Py 7!). Of course, there are several things from CM1’s  GUI that could use a makeover and incorporate it into CMD. Like the Options / Preferences screen – looking back at that I think it could use a bit more effort.

How do the sprites look in the screenshot, btw? 🙂

Also, editing work is mostly complete. All that’s left now is to give it one more round of reading through and find anything needing refining. Also during that process determine what backgrounds I’ll need. Speaking of which, I’m in the process of gathering references for BGs, which… might take a while. Especially the ones involving interior design, not that great at it XD

Yeah, I know I posted this on my birthday today. But I just had to! ^.^ Not really fond of the thought of getting older, but ah well. Time to make the most of this day with friends and family, and of course progress~

That should be it. Thanks for looking and stick around for next post!

-Ryne

Moe moe tsun~

September 26, 2016 at 10:00 am | Posted in Artwork, Characters, Commissions, Plans, Progress, Story, Writing | 2 Comments
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Good day everyone, hope you’re all doing well! Me? Even though it’s nearing the end of September, it’s still pretty hot and humid. And here’s some new artwork of Mikaela. 🙂

Mikaela's Outfits

Click to view larger. So, what do you guys think of Mikaela’s new look? Does she look pretty cute and tsun-tsun? I think so!

So who’s next on the drawing board? Tristina?

While progress has been a little slow as of late, at least we’re taking a step at a time! Must admit it’s a little tough replying to progress from my editor. I have to read through the edited script (in a few batches of documents at a time), making sure stuff reads right and the tone of the story isn’t lost. And with each editing progress I receive, I need at least ~30min-1hr to read through them (just for one pass; I do multiple passes), and my surroundings as quiet as possible – yeah, stuff like barking dogs and leaf blowers break my concentration >.< Thankfully, it’s not that hard to find the right time to go over them.

Editing work is more than halfway done. When the script is done being edited, I’ll give it a full read through, and let my editor know of anything that’s missed, and whatnot.

Replying to art progress? That’s significantly easier, just go over the artworks with your eyes and see if anything didn’t turn out the way you want it to – doesn’t require intense concentration, I think. 😛

So… yeah. VN creation (or games in general) is a time consuming progress. I’m so tempted to rush things, but I remind myself – take your time, otherwise it’s not going to turn out the way I want it to be.

That should be it for this post. You know, it’s been a little over a year since I began working on Café Memoria Deux, when it was just a simple MS Word document with concepts. Now it’s slowly being fleshed out ^.^

-Ryne

New Artist, New Artworks

August 23, 2016 at 10:04 am | Posted in Artwork, Characters, Commissions, Plans, Progress, Story, Writing | 3 Comments
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Okay folks, it’s time to reveal some new artworks from my newly chosen artist!

Anna's Outfits

I’d like to introduce Bianca, aka Ryuushiro / WaffleMeido as Café Memoria Deux’s artist. Do check out her site, her works are very lovely. 🙂 So what do you guys think of Anna’s new look? I think she looks pretty cute! Click to view larger.

Mikaela is currently being worked on as of this post, so look forward to that. 🙂

And, let’s not neglect the story! It’s currently being looked over by my editor, with several documents already edited. Pretty interesting how I read over the script before sending it to be edited, and it looked fine to me. But reading my editor’s comments opened my eyes on how the script can be improved. Ahaha, I must admit, English wasn’t my strongest subject during my school years. But yeah, I’ve learned quite a bit from my editor.

With sprite artworks and editing work being done, perhaps it’s time to consider background artworks for the game. I’ve already started planning which BGs I need, maybe something in the style of the original Café Memoria. Oh, the GUI needs some planning, too.

Hope you guys are staying cool in the summer!

-Ryne

CMD – Editor Recruitment

July 18, 2016 at 9:08 am | Posted in Recruitment, Story, Writing | Leave a comment
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2016/07/26 – Closed! I’ve chosen an editor. Thanks to those who applied!

Now that I’ve hired a new artist for CMD, it’s time to hire a script editor! It’s been nearly a year since I’ve started working on this project, outlining and scripting the story. And now here it is, ready to be looked over and edited!

Overview of the project

What you’ll be looking at

  • A script spanning 41 documents
  • Word count between 50k-55k
  • Genre: BxG, comedy, romance, slice of life
  • PoV: First person
  • A story structure spanning the month of July, with branching points
  • 9 characters: 1 main, 5 heroines, 3 sub characters
  • 6 endings: 1 normal + 5 heroine endings

What I’m looking for

  • Improving the style and consistency of the story and its characters, and make sure writing is clear, concise
  • Fixing any typos and grammatical errors
  • Additions / ideas to the story are welcome, as long as it fits within the goals of the story
  • Try to keep it between 50k-60k words
  • Reliability
  • Motivation and commitment!

Requirements

  • Someone who has a good knowledge of the English language, specifically American English.
  • Some experience in:
    • Creative writing, amateur or professional
    • Writing for other VNs
  • Writing has to touch on the senses, specifically sight and smell, as there are scenes involving food.
  • Must be comfortable reading / writing some suggestive themes and some foul language. There’s no sexual content, however.
  • Editing period is within two and a half months / 9-10 weeks, with weekly updates; minimum of 6000 words a week. See “Budget” below.

Budget

Compensation is around $500-$600, depending on word count of final product, at 1 cent per word. Willing to pay on a weekly basis, at least 6000 words a week ($60), via paypal. Open to reasonable extensions, and negotiable.

Recruitment Process

During the recruitment process I will be selecting a few people to edit a test sample of the script. From there I will decide who gets to edit the script.

If interested please inquire via email, with samples of previous works. Note: please when sending samples don’t copy / paste it in your message, but send as link or attachment. Of course let me know here if you have any questions and concerns. Thanks for looking and I hope to hear from you!

Application Deadline: July 26 (may be extended)

-Ryne

A Very Hot CMD Summer

June 27, 2016 at 10:24 am | Posted in Artwork, Characters, Commissions, Progress, Story, Writing | Leave a comment
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Last week was extremely hot (like 100+F)! It’s cooled down a bit by now, but I think that’s an indication of long, long days of extreme heat in the following weeks x_x It’s okay, though, let’s cool off with full-body artworks of some more CMD girls!

Aurelia's OutfitsJulia's Outfits

Click to view larger. What do you think of them and their outfits? Aurelia still likes getting into others’ personal space, so if she does so in her swimsuit… yeah. She’s still her flirtatious and airheaded self, as always. 🙂 As for Julia, she’s still working hard at the café with Aurelia and the other girls, and enjoying her summer vacation with her friends. I think they came out very lovely. 🙂

Artwork of Elena, Anna’s mother, is currently being worked on. From the progress I’ve seen, she just looks… stunning. Something to look for next month!

BTW, I’m preparing a recruitment post for a script editor. I think I’ve self-edited the script so many times already, that the project needs to go forward and have another set of eyes look at it. Should be ready within a week or two, from the time of this blog post (tentative). Also possibly coming soon: recruiting a background artist.

Edit: 2016/06/28 – Something came up that will delay  progress of CMD quite a bit. I’ll try to have a blog post this Friday explaining the details.

Edit: 2016/06/29 – I guess I must let it out here, but due to some issues, Ezri, my artist, will be unable to work on CMD. It’s unfortunate as I’d like to keep her because she worked on the first Café Memoria. But I must respect her position, and let her go.

So, I’m planning to hire a new artist. I’m hoping have a post up this Friday with details, so stay alert!

Stay cool this summer, folks!

-Ryne

Magica Memoria

May 23, 2016 at 10:04 am | Posted in Artwork, Characters, Commissions, Plans, Progress, Story, Writing | Leave a comment
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Checking my email and seeing new artworks always excites me. I hope you’re excited for some new artworks as well! Here’s some Mikaela and Tristina in their various outfits.

Mikaela's OutfitsTristina's Outfits

Click to view larger, artwork by Ezri. What do you think of them? I know, right? I must admit designing Tristina’s magical girl outfit was a little difficult. When you think of magical girls, you might think of something very elaborate and colorful. And coming up with such a thing is hard, as in I had to sift through my anime pics folder for ideas, looking at magical girl anime, and such. But in the end, I passed on my ideas to my artist, and she came up with that, and I must admit she came out pretty cute. 🙂

Why Tristina’s in a magical girl outfit? Without spoiling things, at one point Café Memoria Deux explores an anime titled Magica Memoria. You will learn how it relates to Tristina and the issues she’s going through.

And what is Mikaela up to? She’s just living out her life as usual, working at the café, getting her grades up to par, and as such. She’d rather go to the beach and have fun, than take summer classes. 🙂

As for project status, it’s going pretty good! While the script’s been self-edited / proofreaded several times, it’s almost time to hire an editor / proofreader, probably next month or July. And as of now I’m making a list of what backgrounds I’ll need before commissioning a BG artist. Oh, and event CGs are being planned out as well.

More character artworks in next blog post!

-Ryne

Anna’s CMD Artworks

April 25, 2016 at 10:16 am | Posted in Artwork, Characters, Commissions, Progress, Writing | 2 Comments
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Hope you’re all doing well, because CMD is progressing very well! I present you artwork of Anna, in her various outfits. 🙂

Anna's outfitsClick to view larger, artwork by Ezri. What do you guys think of Anna and her outfits? I know, right? Can’t wait to go to the beach with her, right? Mikaela is currently being worked on as I’m writing this post, and will be posted in the next update (along with other characters).

As for the story, it’s going well! I’m spending time adding suggestions from the critique, self-editing / proofreading. It’s so tempting to rush through it, but I’m taking it a step at a time. That means going through the script sequentially, day-by-day, not jumping around as that’ll mess me up. CMD is fairly big, but still manageable.

Oh, did I say I’m doing grave shift again? Yes, that means more irregularities in my schedule. I’ll still do my best to work on the project, fighting fatigue and whatnot. I don’t know how long it’ll last, but I hope they’ll hire someone soon, and not take six months to do so, just like last time. Because really, mixing grave and day shift in my schedule really kills me x_x

Look forward to next blog post!

-Ryne

CMD Script Progression

March 30, 2016 at 9:26 am | Posted in Progress, Story, Writing | Leave a comment
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Thanks for those who participated in critiquing Café Memoria Deux’s outline, it’s very valuable!  I’ve started writing the script. Okay, I have a minor confession: I went a little crazy and started writing the rough draft of the script during that critique session (like a month ago), and finished it less than a week ago. I don’t know, it’s kind of like I found lots of motivation inside. I’m seeing all these ambitious visual novel projects around me, and if they can do it, so can I. 🙂

Fear not, I will consider your suggestions for the story. Now it’s going through the process of self-revisions / self-editing, after which it’ll be open to others for editing, maybe within a month or two. Next month might be a little busy for me though, one of my co-worker’s is planning to take a vacation >.< If you have suggestions for the game, do let me know!

I’m hoping to have some new CMD art commissioned next month, so sit tight! Progress is a little slow, yeah, but it’s taking small steps at a time. 🙂

-Ryne

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