Elekctra-fied Productions

A Visual Novel Development Blog

Returning

Short post today.  I mostly wanted to touch base with you all.

Yes, the unofficial hiatus is OVER.  Regular updates will now continue!

I know I disappeared from the internet for the past few months.  Senior year can be very busy and full of uncertainty.  (Special thanks to my friends IRL for giving me that extra motivation when I needed it!)  But now I’ve graduated and I have a job now so all is well.  This means a few slight changes in how things will be run, but assuredly for the better.

Along with a lot of exciting updates, expect to see new sprite artwork within the next two weeks.

Yes, that’s right.  SPRITES.  HERE.  Two weeks!  That’s a promise.

I’m super excited to show you my new artwork.

~♥~ Elekctra

 

A Couple Important Updates

Hey, wow~ it’s been a while, hasn’t it?

It’s spring break for me, so I wanted to drop you all a note.  There are a few important things I wanted to keep everyone up to speed on.

Ongoing Projects –I’ve been working on both Crimson Dawn and Contrary on and off.  Ultimately, though, I think I will end up redoing a good bit of both projects.  This will cause some delays, but ultimately for the better.  My art skills are improved and so has my writing.  I’m actually taking another writing class right now, and I’m learning some great techniques that have changed the way I approach writing.

Staffing Changes — In the semi-near future, there will be some staffing changes/additions to the team.  Rather than doing the bulk of the work myself, as has been the case in the past.  I have the opportunity to collaborate with some really talented people on parts of Contrary.

In other news–I attended the regional conference for the Society of Woman Engineers last week.  While I was there, I had the opportunity to listen to a talk by Paul Barnett.  Mr. Barnett pioneered the online gaming industry.   He was involved with the development of Legend of Terris back in the 1990’s.  Terris was among the most popular text-based internet games at that time.  And even though the type of games he works on is a bit different from the otome games that I’m working on, I learned a lot from his talk.  I actually got to meet him afterwards, which was really, really awesome.  It was a phenomenal experience.

As for me, personally, I’m in my very last term at school, and I’m taking a huge (8-hours long) standardized engineering exam in a month.  At this point, I am working through the last few months until graduation and doing long-term planning and directional work for these projects.  We’ll get a bit more short-term and nitty-gritty once May rolls around.  I am very excited to be getting back into the swing of things.

~♥~ Elekctra

PS  Good luck to anyone doing NaNoReNo this year.  I’m rooting for you!

Happy Halloween!~Erm, Belatedly?

Hey guys!

Hope you all had a great Halloween, for those who celebrate it.  Here’s the scoop.  I’m really trying to get back up on the horse as far as writing and making good progress.

This week, I’ve added about 3000 words to the script (and I’m feeling awesome about it!) and revised another 2000-ish.  I’ve gone back through to reorganize and relabel.  The plot line will be changing a fair bit (so the while 100% planned thing is probably untrue now.)  But my muse seems to know what she wants, so I’ll let her run the show for a bit.

The other thing is that my art-style (or lack thereof) is driving me crazy.  If anyone has any suggestions or can share any stories from when they were working on art improvement, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, let me know!   I feel like my techniques aren’t getting me anywhere.  So please leave a comment, drop me an email, send me a carrier-pigeon (do they still have those?) or whatever.  Any suggestions would be really appreciated!

In unrelated (belatedly festive) news, one of my friends sent me this little tidbit for Halloween.

For those of you who can’t see the preview, this guy playing jack-o-lanterns (i.e. as a musical instrument), which is pretty sweet.

~♥~ Elekctra

 

You guys are amazing!

I need to start off with a big thank you to everyone who has stopped by in the past few months.  Lately, I’ve let real-life ‘call shotgun’ for a while.  I haven’t been writing as much as I would like and I haven’t been online at all.

So imagine my surprise when I check my inbox and I find messages from you guys!  There were so many lovely and encouraging notes.  (Let me mention that I was having a particularly frustrating day.)  It was a wonderful surprise.  I really appreciate all the sentiments and well wishes.  It means a lot to me.

But it gets even better.  Sometime during my little mini-hiatus, Perfect Chemistry hit over 1000 downloads!  I am so super-thrilled about that.  I know that there are loads of other games much more popular than mine, but for my little project to have done so well….I have no words for how absolutely thrilled I am.

And all of this has been possible because of all of you.  So thank you!  Thank you so, so much.

So here’s what’s going on in Elekctra’s world:  My art style has changed three times during the past two months.  I don’t understand why I can’t be consistent about it.  But you aren’t going to see any sprites until I can get that worked out.  Otherwise, I will have to draw all of them in one sitting (so they look like they belong in the same game).

I’ve been writing and revising both of my projects heavily.  I don’t know how that measures up on the progress bars; I have been following my muse blindly, so I write whatever scene comes to mind, even if I don’t know where it will fit in.  I’ve been trying to move back towards an artistic approach to my writing.  I know That sounds really silly, but I have a tendency to turn things into procedures and formulas (because I’m an engineer) and I’ve noticed that really sucks all the life out of a project.  Anyways, I’m still working on games, I just don’t have numbers or definitive results for you yet.

On a personal note, there are less than 200 days until I graduate from college, so I’m doing all kinds of things like looking for a real job and figuring out what I’m going to do with myself.  Fun times…

~♥~ Elekctra

Back to School

Summer is at an end and I am back at school.  (I think that deserves a sad face 😦 )  I’m a senior this year, so it’s my very last year, thank goodness.  Two days back and I’ve already been assigned three problem sets, a project, and a quiz on Friday.

But now that classes have started, I don’t know how much time I will have to work on Pirates of the Crimson Dawn or Yet Nameless Challenge Project.  I’m going to try my hardest, but updates will probably be less frequent.  Don’t worry, I’m still making game development a priority.

The other thing that is coming to a close is the Yet Nameless Challenge Project.  The month is up.  I must confess that I don’t have anything.   I have a script of 8,000 words and a handful of character sprite sketches.  I have enough that I can justify continuing this project.  But, like I said, I’m still trying to get senior year figured out.

But when I do, you guys will be the first to know.

~♥~ Elekctra

Sorry, I’m a little bit stressed right now.  I thought this year was going to be a piece of cake and I would have plenty of time to do all kinds of things, but it’s looking like I was mistaken.

In other, unrelated, news:  I’ve finally read the Hunger Games.  In three days.  That would be the whole trilogy, all three books, in three days.  While packing and moving back to college too.  I wish I could be as quick about other things.

Hey everyone!

Not a whole lot going on this week.  To be honest, I’m not sure how the next couple of weeks will go either.  I’m getting ready to go back to school–classes start in two weeks.  I have to pack and move back to campus.

At this point, I know what I want to do with this Challenge Project .  I want to try to share these initial ideas with you, but I’m having a really hard time describing things.  (Probably why I usually wait until I’m entirely finished with something before I even attempt to share.)  Please bear with me as I try to get this out.

The setting is a quasi-medieval universe.  Medieval-ish, I guess, and not historically accurate.  This universe does involve magic.  There are a lot of cliches and a fair amount of cliche subversion.

The main character, Larissa, is trying to find and rescue her missing little sister, Chloe.  The two sisters don’t have a whole lot in common.  Chloe is your naive sweetheart type.  Larissa tends to be more brash and emotional–I probably wouldn’t go as far as to say hot-headed, though.  Larissa is joined by three of her friends on this quest/rescue mission/thing.  They’re names are Jace, Ryder and Caden.  I still don’t have their personalities pinned down yet.

That’s all I’ve got for now.  Thanks for listening.

~♥~ Elekctra

 

Writing on Napkins

I realized, yesterday, that I completely forgot to update the progress bars for Crimson Dawn (that is, by the way, the working title for the Pirate Otome WIP).  UI is actually at 50%.

As for the new Challenge Project (I will find a title for this soon, hopefully.),   I am up to three thousand words typed and lots more handwritten on napkins.

Yes, napkins.  No joke.

I don’t actually have a habit of drafting on napkins.  Normally, I type everything.  I work so much better on a computer.  But I was at this conference last week– some circuit design lecture-thing that I went to for work.  One of the sessions finished early and I had an hour before the next one.  Perfect time to

Except I didn’t have my notebook.  I almost always have my little notebook, but I took it out of my bagthat morning (because why would I ever need a notebook, right?).  So I grabbed a stack of napkins from the refreshments table, poured myself a cup of coffee, and picked out a quiet table with plenty of sun.

It sounds so silly, but it’s really an incredible feeling.  We hear all these stories about authors or play-writes drafting on the backs of napkins in secluded coffee shops.  I think it’s something every writer needs to try, at least once.  I would recommend, however, numbering your napkins.  I should have, but I didn’t.  You can probably imagine what happened there. 🙂

One week down, three weeks to go.  Hopefully we’ll get somewhere.

~♥~ Elekctra

Challenge Accepted

Hi everybody!

Two big announcements for today.

Pirate Otome Project (I really need to get a working title for this…)

I’ve really pushed the UI development along.  See side bar for current progress. 🙂  I’m going to hold off on the screenshots for now, because a music room with no tracks is really silly.  Preferences screen is done too.

At this point, the script is about the same length as Perfect Chemistry was–the word count is close to 16K.

Challenge Project (Also still nameless)

Has anyone here ever participated NaNoRenO?  It’s sort of like NaNoWriMo (National Write a Novel Month).  Okay, acronyms aside, the Ren’Py community has the challenge of creating a Ren’Py visual novel from scratch.  This takes place during the month of March–a bad month for me as far as school work is concerned.  (I’m pretty sure I had five or six major exams (college midterms) last March… :()  But I’ve seen other people make all sorts of really awesome projects as part of this–so it’s totally do-able.

On Friday, one of my friends challenged me to do a project “NaNoRenO-style”.  I totally wasn’t going to do it…but since I’m not going to be able to participate in the REAL NaNoRenO this year, I figured now might be a good time to try something like this.  So, Challenge Accepted.

My goal for the end of the month is to either finish a game or be close enough to completion that I can tell you how many weeks I need to wrap it up.  If I can’t give you an accurate estimate (in weeks) of how long I will need to finish, or if I know I will need a lot more time (months), then I will put the challenge aside and go back to work on the Pirate VN.  (Unfortunately, this means that all work on the Pirate Otome Project will be deferred during this time.)  And at the worst, I’m wasting a month, but hopefully this means a new VN’s for you sooner.

Wish me luck!

~♥~ Elekctra

Save Screen

Oh my gosh, this post has an image!  Gasp!  🙂  I figured it was about time I gave you guys something to look at. So the preview looks kind of blurry, but if you click on the preview and view it in full size, it actually isn’t pixelated–at least not no my screen.

I’ve been working really hard on trying to master UI customizations and screen updates.  It took me so long to figure what code does what.  But here’s the new save/load screen.

What do you think?  Let me know: ‘Like’ this if you, you know, like this.  Your support means everything.

As far as next week goes, I’m not sure if I want to try to wrap up two more UI screens (the preferences and music room screens are almost done also) or if I want to put some more time into the script.  I miss writing and I’m kind of sick of looking at code.  But I’ll keep you posted.

Thanks, as always.

~♥~ Elekctra

 

 

Screen Language is Yucky!

True statement:  screen language is yucky.

I needed a little bit of a break from writing, so I set out to do two things this week.

First, I worked on the plot and the storyline.  This is now at 100% completion.  I also looked at the descriptions of all the characters and I think I need to revise this–it doesn’t really reflect the characters accurately.  The problem is, I’m not sure what I should say about Sarah and our pirate boys.  If anyone has any suggestions or questions or anything to get my creativity flowing (really, really anything…I’m at a loss here), let me know.

The other thing I worked on is the UI.  I was trying to figure out how to do the button customizations and menu layouts and all that good stuff.  I’ve been using the awesome tutorials by Aleema and Camile on the Lemma Soft forums.  The tutorials are excellent, but screen language is yucky.  It took me 4 days to get the hang of it.  I kind of know what I’m doing now, mostly.  But I don’t have anything to show this week.  I’m kind of at an in between stage.  Next week, though, I should have something to share with you.

~♥~ Elekctra
PS  There is now a music room.  I’ve been working on that too.

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