A great read!
A Post Mortem w/ More Advice and My Experiences (VN)
To start off this post mortem, I wanna say thank you for the downloads on PUQFFAL!!! It's almost at 100 and that's really crazy :0 I'm pretty sure some people downloaded three times on accident somewhere... But still, thank you :D
Spoilers for Myx's Bittersweet Musings (MBM)
Introduction and Generally Making MBM:
The visual novel is about another relationship-type thing and how some may think of their past. My main goal this time was to make the dialogue and actions between the characters better than the first VN so you'd feel more immersed in what they were doing. I already knew the general story of Myx's Bittersweet Musings (MBM), but none of the middle shenanigans (yes, everyone is correct the middle part is the most difficult to write).
When I joined Winter VN Jam, this helped with my problem of developing the atmosphere of the VN. Not only would it be to gain more publicity, but I also had a theme to work around! It wasn't a very specific theme either; "Winter". It made me feel warm and cozy at times while writing certain scenes :D
Because of that... I did not envision it would turn out to be a creepy-horror-y kind of game 😂😂😂😂. I loved it, if not, even more!!! I loved making every bit of it.
But I can't tell you whether or not I liked writing that part or the cute parts better... My own game made me scream, cry, and go "yes!" and "aww" for the characters sometimes.
If your OWN game doesn't evoke any emotions out of you or realizations, maybe you should either rethink why you're making a story-based game in the first place or get your writing together. "Why should people care about THIS specific game/story/characters?"
I personally make games since it gives me the chance to tell a fun and interesting story WHILST cramming a bunch of lessons into them. This game focuses on (spoiler) bad parenting, something I've been thinking and hearing about these past few months, and it's a twist where the MC is the bad one. At first, the story structure seemed like it was going to be similar to PUQFFAL, but since I really didn't want that, I made my adjustments! Hehe...
Sound and Visual Effects:
I didn't do any of this in PUQFFAL!!! since I was new to Ren'Py, the VN engine, so I really wanted to experiment with them in this second VN! I was thinking of making my own sounds, but the time was ticking for Winter VN Jam, so I couldn't and used a royalty-free website for the sound effects instead (download the VN to find the link :>). All the visual effects were made by me, I found you don't need too many vfx to create... discomfort. For sfx, you need a LOT of sounds. I ended up reusing some and only using certain ones once. Maybe my advice for this part is to do all the sfx at the end, but that's up to you! I totally followed that rule after all... I don't believe I innovated when it comes to horror-esque effects due to the time constraint, but maybe I will in future games :D
I apologize for the characters' sprites at the beginning and end being the same as PUQFFAL's, but there's not enough time in this mortal human life to focus on them. (I said that in my previous post mortem as well. Time is important for everything!) The next game will get all new sprites though, so that's exciting :D
I started trying out this thing called layered images in Ren'Py AFTER I had 50% of the game done. I thiiink it was worth replacing everything because it definitely made tweaking little anatomy mistakes and smudges a lot easier for the sprites. After changing the 50% of sprites already coded in, I made a key that I could easily copy and paste
Here's an example of the key:
show mm front normaleyes smile
show mm front normaleyes smiletalking
show mm front normaleyes frown
Now, just multiply this by about... I don't know, 70? Now you've got the number of how many variations my sprites have.
I love making the sprites have expressions for almost every single line of theirs since it breathes a lot of life into them. Sprites have expressions to express themselves! It takes a lot more coding, but whenever I go back through the VN, it makes me feel like I'm watching a movie!
Problems and Issues and Worries and--
Near the end of the Winter VN Jam, I felt a little bit stressed. It's near Christmas after all, and I wanted my game out possibly BEFORE Christmas (I personally will less likely holiday-themed games after the holiday since the spirit is no longer there XD, that's just how I am). Reaching out to others helped motivate me and validate that the VN I was making was on the right track along with constructive criticism, and that gave me the strength to try a little harder to get it out on time :D
Another problem which is the funny thing-- MBM was originally called Myx's Melancholy Musings, and that's actually a much better title than MBM because (spoiler) there's not much bittersweet about what happened. It was sadder. Not too big of an issue, but still lingers at the back of my mind.
A worry of mine is that people will play the first game since it's part of the series and then never give this second one a chance. This might be some creators' worries as well, and we're all learning! It's true, hehe, since I don't think others should worry about this, I think I shouldn't feel too bad about this either.
Another worry is the way people may interpret the game, and if something is offensive somehow, I'd really like to know. My point for making my games (I cannot stress this enough) is to literally educate on what's offensive, what's bad, what's "bad", and problems we have in relationships, society, and media. (Maybe some things in my game could be changed now without harming the overall intention of the game, but that will come another day.)
A more personal problem is that creating this game distracted me a little from real life, which is ironic since this game is about paying attention to real life and your relationships. Was this a good/bad thing if it made me feel more for the characters? Yeah, probably bad. For the first time, I didn't get any presents for anyone during the holidays all cooped up in my room. Don't do this. I don't plan on doing this again either. Make sure to get out there and take healthy breaks and talk to people while working!
And my last issue tying to the previous one, I tend to work all over the place. I find the NEED to jump around from place to place to keep my brain engaged, and I could do that within the VN, but ONLY the VN. I didn't have any other projects going on, so I felt a little restricted. The VN started to feel like a giant school project, albeit a fun school project though. If not another project to jump onto, maybe have something else interesting going on in your life while developing or doing anything. Focusing on one thing for too long is for robots (Digit not included :P) and not humans. Don't become a slave to your own project, got it?
I think that's all I have to share for now!
My next game will likely come out during NaNoReNo 2022, but I have no idea what I'm gonna do yet lol
If you want, here's a little comic I made of a deleted scene from MBM:
Thank you for checking out my post mortem and I hope you have a good day :D
The game if you're curious (it has spoilers for PUQFFAL!!! though):
PUQFFAL!!! (the first game):
PUQFFAL!!!'s Post Mortem:
Get Myx's Bittersweet Musings
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100 download on puqffal is good i think ? not sure how much download a game or a visual novel gets usually.
a little touch of horror is fine
what's that about this :
"If your OWN game doesn't evoke any emotions out of you or realizations, maybe you should either rethink why you're making a story-based game in the first place or get your writing together. "Why should people care about THIS specific game/story/characters?"
does anyone actually don't feel any emotions towards their characters in their own game ?
i can understand this ==>
"My own game made me scream, cry, and go "yes!" and "aww" for the characters sometimes."
you look pretty good to me about using ren'py ( way better than me too :D)
and yes i believe the more expressions the better :)
maybe you can change the title if you feel better with calling your visual novel Myx's Melancholy Musings , after all it is your creation :)
i do not see any harm in your visual novel
talking with other people is a good thing as long as there good ones to talk to :) but yeah locking ourselves up is not always the best thing ,i guess it's depends on how far it goes
i like that picture story :D
i do hope more people will give comments in the coming weeks :)
That's a big post!!! Just read it all :0
"does anyone actually don't feel any emotions towards their characters in their own game ?"
- Yes I think some people do which is unfortunate. Some may do it for the money/fame. We should feel things for our characters and what we create!
"you look pretty good to me about using ren'py ( way better than me too :D)"
- Thank you! :D I didn't know you used Ren'Py too
Everything you say is very true! Thanks for commenting and reading it all :D
Another thing, idk if you feel this way, but don't feel obligated to comment on every VN or RPG or post you play/see Anwynn 😅Personally, one comment is enough for me :3
i'm sorry if i write too much i hope it does not bother you . yes we should have feelings for our characters :)
um yes about Ren'Py i started to use it .. i want to test making a short visual novel but i'm not sure yet if i'll succeed making it ,i don't want to get ahead of myself.. rpg maker is hard enough already. having ideas and being able to make them is two different things, not giving up yet though :)
i don't often stay silent about replies to posts , i'm a weird person i hope it does not bother you
i'm a quiet person in life except when it comes to talk about games and /with people i like
Hey dude, (Sorry for butting in out of nowhere) I am sure you'll get the hang of renpy. If you want a recommendation, I would gladly tell you to watch this girl: https://m.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLJgbnTkC4bkCj2_8ZUg1o4CafLcRH0rAX I haven't really watched it all, but there are some pretty good tutorials in there. (Plus I prefer hearing someone instead of reading the renpy documents)
Whenever you make the vn, (if you do end up doing it, no pressure) I will definitely play it! I just haven't really played your rpgmaker game since my potato pc went nuts the last time I tried to play one lol
Good tutorials!! Thanks for the share :D
(And you didn't have to be sorry about the rating lol, in fact, thank you for it!)
Hi Ony :)
thank you for the link i'll have to watch it
different engine gives different problems on computers yes , mine does not like too much unity and cloudnovel games
No no you didn't write too much at all. I enjoy reading posts like this! I was just hoping you didn't feel pressured to type a lot... I hope that makes sense!
About Ren'Py, you can do it!!! So far, everyone I've seen try Ren'Py succeeds/has had a good time with it. Ony gave some good tutorials, I think I've followed some of her stuff before.
I've also wanted to try RPG Maker but idk where to start D: RPG Maker seems harder to use than Ren'Py...
hi Mint :) thank you i'm relieved that it does not bother you :) the only pressure i could feel is not being able to put into words what's on my mind which can happen
thanks i hope i'll be able to :)
rpg maker is difficult for me, i'm kinda bad for anything about computers anyway , yes at first i didn't knew where to start with rpg maker , in my version of it there is a tutorial on a few basic things and the others things i know is either if i understand tutorials from someone or finding something when i was not expecting it
in a way you right it's harder to use than ren'py