Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Voldemort Visual Novels?!

The summer's over, and I'm moving back (home!!!) into student housing tomorrow, but I wanna blog. So I'll go pack the playstation, and in the meantime, you read HiddenWings07's adorable (but spoilery!) review of TCAST.

You back? Coo. To the blog!

So I made up the term "Voldemort Visual Novels" to describe a certain type of VNs. They're not, like, Voldemort/Harry slash VNs or something. (Though that might be disturbingly awesome.) Remember how in Harry Potter everybody called Voldemort "He Who Must Not Be Named" because, well, saying his name scared them? And they thought things would go wrong if they said it, or summat?

A Voldemort Visual Novel, as I call them, is a game too early in development to be spoken of because there's such a high chance of it floundering. But the developer is obviously starting to work on it and they're excited about it, and the temptation to talk about it is too great, even if they have more stable and developed projects in progress.

The difference between a Voldemort VN and a regular unreleased VN is the non-Voldemort game has a significant amount of work in it and a moderately reliable promise that it will be eventually released.

Or am I the only one who tries not to talk about games before a lot of work has gone into them? I totally facepalm whenever I see a project in the Lemmasoft WIP board that's like "0% complete! 8D" (Especially if they're recruiting...) I understand that people may need encouragement to complete something, but it's awful to watch an interesting idea go to the WIP board to die. o.o

But here I am! And I wanna talk about my Voldemort VNs! Because... well...
lordcloudx's fantastic title image for the game!

Let's talk about Darlings Lost, my upcomming (non-Voldemort) game, for a minute.

You may have noticed that I haven't posted any blogs about Darlings Lost. There are several reasons for this.

1. Work is coming kinda slowly on everyone's end, mine included. No one is at fault here, everyone has circumstances and other projects. Except me. XD I could be working harder on it.

2. Darlings Lost is kind of a spoiler intensive game, which makes it hard to talk about.

3. The honeymoon period for this game... is waaaay over.

I'm still working to make it a good game, and I'm still excited to have you read it, but I wrote the first draft of it in summer 2009. Which means it predates the TCAST draft by three or four months.

That may not be that long ago in terms of how long it takes to get out a visual novel, but in that time I have changed a ton as a writer. I've taken creative writing classes, the writing subjects that interest me have changed, also, I've discovered tvtropes.org. I've also changed a lot as a person. I started college, left Christianity, come to terms with my genderqueerness, and my self-esteem has considerably improved.

Frankly, Darlings Lost doesn't inspire me anymore. Which is fine and normal, because those fuckers who say 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration are 100% accurate.

So, yes, while I'm powering through Darlings Lost, my brain is floating off somewhere else in a happy land of ideas. Namely I'm dabbling in Voldemort VNs and pondering which is going to be turned into my next big project. And I'm going to do my best to talk about them without talking about them! Here I go!

1. Start Date: November/December 2009
Type: Dating Sim
Current line count: OVER 9000!!! (For reference, TCAST is about 2000 lines.)
The script for this is probably a third done. I love this game very much. I've spent so much time with these characters that they're my homies. I think it will be a very interesting dating sim, and it certainly will stand out a lot, but I'm not going to say anything else about it. I have no intentions of giving this one up, but it's too early to announce it or bring any artists in simply because it's so massive. It may be another couple years before I even have a draft. The reason it may not be the next game I do is because in the meantime it'd be a lot easier to write and develop another TCAST-sized game in between Darlings Lost and this sucker.

2. Start Date: January/February 2010
Type: Visual Novel/Short Story Collection
Current line count: 0.
This is a very weird game that I am very excited about. I have it outlined out, (which is more than I can say for any other game on this list) but I haven't started on it yet. I'm not sure how big it'll be until I do start it, but it will probably be in a league with game 1 rather than TCAST. I tend to think of game 1 and game 2 as a pair, even though the tone, structure (and possibly the audience) will be vastly different. They're kind of like the ying to each other's yang. They both deal with the same themes from very different perspectives. But 1 has much more work in it, so it takes precedence over another visual novel of comparable size and themes.

3. Start Date: Early July 2011
Type: Dating Sim
Current line count: 200.
Very early developed game. Not sure if/where this one is going.

4. Start Date: July 2011
Type: Kinetic novel/Short story collection
Current line count: 0.
This is probably the second shortest proposed idea here, which makes it one of the most promising. I'm considering holding this one off for NaNoRenO.

5. Start Date: July 2011
Type: Kinetic novel/Short story collection
Current line count: 250.
Unlike the other short story collection ideas up here, this one is an anthology that I would bring in other writers to do short stories with me. This is the shortest proposed idea, or at least, my part would be. ;3

6. Start Date: August 22, 2011
Type: Kinetic novel
Current line count: 500.
I came up with some dramatic tension that really interests me, however, I'm not sure how to resolve it... I like this though. This would probably be about TCAST-sized or a little longer.

7. Start Date: August 24, 2011
Type: Kineticish novel (It may have choices, but I don't see the replay value being that high 'cause I don't think it will have very different endings... or maybe it should have different endings... *game gets bigger*)
Current line count: 150.
THIS VN IS DEPRESSING AS HELL. I need to figure out if this whole thing is going to be too angsty to continue. (I struggle with most of my games dissolving into boring amounts of angst... ^-^;;) But I think it has the promise to talk about some ideas that really interest me... This is another one that I see being about TCAST sized or a little longer.

I didn't know Voldemort was in Titanic...
As you can see, I came up with five of these since TCAST came out. I think interacting with the community and getting great feedback is what inspired me so much. Oh yeah, the hypothetical TCAST sequel is totally one of those five. XD Not saying which though! It's too early! It still might not even happen! I see you raising your hopes, you shoot those down!

Because NOT ALL OF THESE GAMES WILL BE FINISHED. That's the way Voldemort Visual Novels are. I would probably be here for another six years trying to finish these, and spoiler alert, I will come up with more ideas in between then and now.

I guess the reason I typed this up is mostly for myself--just to take a step back and see which ones I should take seriously. I'm especially excited about the last two because they're fresh to me, but maybe I need to sit down with number 1 and just crank that sucker out? But that will take so much time maybe it makes sense to do something smaller in the meantime?

If any of you out there feel like commentin', let me know, what do you think about Voldemort Visual Novels? If you do VNs, how do you manage them? If you don't do VNs, what do you think about other people talking about their barely developed games? Do you like my name for them? o.o Should we make that a thing?


Entropy said...

[This is Kura, bein' a stalker, whoo.]

I'm exactly the same way! I've yet to finish any visual novels, but I have ~20 Ren'py files started and ~8 VNs that I'm seriously considering finishing. I've waited until I decided to really dedicate myself and *commit* to one (and write half the script and have at least one preview image) before publicly announcing it--which has only happened once.

Actually, I'm not exactly the same, I'm worse. :P Because I'm not really one to "power through" creative processes. I work when I'm inspired and if I'm not inspired I just put it down until the next time I AM inspired (which might mean months, or might mean it's never picked up again). So the Voldemort VNs just pile up. And I have "announced" some of them, but only with short blurbs on a page of my website, so it's not much to get anyone excited about (since they probably won't amount to anything) and nobody's going to see it unless they're already curious about what I'm doing.

I'm totally stealing that term, by the way. If I have anything to do with it (which I don't), it is to become A Thing.

As for other people's Voldemort VNs, I still like to hear about them. Even if the thing never gets finished, I like hearing about plans and ideas. I always like when someone has on their website a little "these are some things I may or may not be working on!" post/page.

Soooo, is your current ~magical mystery project~ one of these? :D

Very intrigued by the first two--really just the fact that you're working on the same "thing" (same themes, same tale, whatever it is) as a dating sim and also a "very weird" thing has me super curious.

The idea of an anthology VN with contributions from several writers sounds really cool! I hope that one happens. I thought about organizing something like that myself once (a collaborative VN about bullying and homophobia to release on Day of Silence) but I figured I should make a VN myself first before trying to organize a big collaboration, haha.

Also, I know this was an offhand comment, but I couldn't help noticing your mention of being genderqueer. ...damn, there's more of us around than I thought! So uh, awkward semi-mandatory question about your pronoun preference goes here.

carosene said...

Hi Kura! :D Please be a stalker. o.o You seem like a swell stalker.

Yeah! XD Billions-of-unfinished-projects high five! I am excellent at not finishing stuff, so I have to power through if I ever want to finish anything. ^-^;; And then I do finish things and abandon them anyway. o.o *coughDarlingsLost*

Please help me make that A Thing! XD I've always wanted to start A Thing, and I was so proud of myself for coming up with this name.

I like other people's ideas too, but they depress me so much as I go "Oh my god, that's enormous and you'll never do it." o.o Maybe that's why I'm so against them, other people's depress me.

Oh yes, #4 is in development, and then a larger one, which was sort of on here, but it's description now looks like this:

8. Start Date: October 2011
Type: Kinetic novel
Current line count: Unknown, because I keep scrapping and rewriting, but I think I'm on to something! 8D
TCAST sized game.

Not talking about it anymore, because it's too Voldemorty. ^-^;;

Oh yes! XD I love those two stories so much, I'm like, bursting to tell you about it, but I'm like "CARO REMEMBER YOU JUST WROTE THIS POST ON VOLDEMORT VNS" and then I'm like *slinks back into corner with laptop*

I'll just tell you this: o.o They both take place in alternate universes, and the theme for both is gender.

A Day of Silnce anthology would be awesome! :O I'd totally get behind/contribute to that!

*genderqueer glomp* Woo! XD Team GQ! Or something! I'm always surprised to see us too. XD I'm always excited because I realized I was genderqueer after reading about it online, so whenever I run into GQ people outside of the online GQ community I'm always excited because it's like "There are real people out there like me! :D" Very excited.

Psht, not awkward! I'm happy to talk about it. ^-^
My preference is that I don't have a preference. ^-^;; My personal favorite, as a genderqueer person and as an English nerd, is Spivak (the "they" without the "th", so like "Ey went to the store and bought emself eclaires with the card ey stole from eir boss, until the cops came and took it back from em.")

But I can't teach people a new pronoun just so they can talk about me. ^-^;;

He and she are fine and equally right and wrong. Singular they is fine, zir or hir is fine. If there's another third-gender pronoun that you know, go ahead and call me that and I'll figure it out and answer to it. :)
So yeah. XD My preference is I have no preference. Whatever comes to mind first when you type is fine.

What about yours? :)

Entropy said...

I think a swell stalker is the nicest thing I've been called lately. :D

I like the way you word that, "excellent at not finishing things". And, hey, from what I can tell Darlings Lost doesn't really count for being abandoned. D;

I ALMOST used the term Voldemort VN on LSF when talking about one of mine, but then I realized it sounded weird without noting the origin of the term, and I was going to link to this blog but I figured my post was already wordy enough that nobody would want to read a blog post to figure out why I was talking about Voldemort. XD Oh well, give it some time.

Oooooh the two peculiarly related VNs have a gendery theme? *flail* I will personally give you cookies if these are created! Um, not that I would know how to get cookies to you. But I'd find a way.

Haha, same! I found out that genderqueer was a thing through my school LGBT group, so whenever I meet genderqueer folks in places that aren't specifically queer I go "Oh yay there's genderqueers in the real world too!"

Nifty, I've never seen "ey" before. I mostly feel the same way; "any pronoun you like". I've been experimenting with using zie for referring to myself, though.

carosene said...

Late reply is late! X( Sorry!

You are a swell stalker. X3

Awwww! XD Oh well. I will give it time, then!
Yeah, the problem with the term Voldemort Visual Novel is it's not obvious what it means. ^-^;; Curses. o.o

Yup, they do. :D I promise myself they are next after my two current Voldemort VNs. o.o (Damn, this will take so long. XD)

Entropy said...

Yeah, unfortunately the automatic assumption is probably Harry Potter fan VNs. D;


carosene said...

I was going to post a "MY BODY IS READY" picture and write under it "for cookies."
But it didn't work. o.o

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