Today, there are various subjects I’d like to talk about, so bear with me for the moment (development updates at the end of the post)!
Rondo Duo and the future of visual novel
I already lightly touched the subject on my personal blog (French only, sorry :<) but I really wanted to talk about Rondo Duo in more details.
As you might know it, Rondo Duo ~Dawn at Fortissimo is a japanese visual novel that’s been released by doujin group Tinkle Bell last Halloween. Plot-wise, it has little to no importance (it’s a nukige, so don’t expect more than lots of H-scene) but from an artistic perspective, it’s very interesting. In fact, Tinkle Bell uses an handmade Flash engine to make everything animated. Whereas rival japanese companies (like Windmill Oasis who introduced it first with Witch Garden back in 2012) primarily uses the « Emote » system as a light gimmick, this new system does reproduce the illusion of movement pretty well. The art is gorgeous and coherent with the animation, and the sound effect really adds a lot too. In short, the cinematics are great.
Seeing the intro scene of Rondo Duo makes you wonder what it’d be like if visual novel with a real plot used cinematics like that. Of course, I’m not speaking of a full-animated visual novel, it would be expensive as hell for indie creators. Tinkle Bell itself took 6 years to finish their game (it was announced back in 2008) and there was like two or three people working in the team during all that time (I don’t think they were working full time on this though). Not bad for a doujin group but you see my point. What I’m really curious to see is a visual novel with ponctual cinematics like that, done only for key scenes. I have the feeling it would add a lot to the experience. I’m sure every visual novel reader had seen moments where static pictures weren’t enough to convey the right emotion (like fight scenes or dramatic scenes).
It’s clearly not within everybody’s range (my team would never be able to do that, for example XD), but maybe the biggest visual novel developpers can try it out. I would be very curious to see that. What’s your opinion? What visual novel do you think could include such cinematics?
Game dev updates
Nearly a month went by since last time and it only feels like yesterday. Developping visual novel makes you kinda disoriented: since you’re working on the the same things over and over again, you can easily lose track of the time…
We’ve been progressing surely but quite slowly on the next part due to everybody being busy. The truth is that Episode 4 is way bigger than Episode 3, so it’ll take longer to finish it, especially with the number of CGs (there are a lot of action scenes in this one, I’m sure you’ll love it !).
The good thing is that almost all the backgrounds are ready to enter coulouring phase! I hope the work on the sprites (mostly colouring) and the chibis will also be over soon, in order to be able to complete the script. I’m hoping to send it to translators in December, so let’s cross fingers!
Milk put aside, we did work on other things. For example, we released Being Beauteous on Desura in mid-november and we plan on doing the same for Ambre when the time’ll be suitable (read: after the crazy month of December where everybody is broke and most AAA games are published). We’re really proud to be able to make our visual novel more visible to a larger audience, I hope it’ll go on ^^.
Speaking of Being Beauteous, we also realized we never released its new soundtrack. Since Roganis did such a good job, it would be a shame not to share it, right? That’s why the Being Beauteous Soundtrack will be available on Bandcamp next Monday (1st December) on a « Pay what you want » basis (the OST is so short we felt it wouldn’t be fair to ask for a definite amount). You can get it for free or give him a little tip to support his work. I’d be you, I’d definitily give him a few bucks, the guy deserve it ;).
And after the release of the Being Beauteous Soundtrack, Roganis will also publish his new album on Bandcamp. For those who couldn’t get it at the last Japan Expo convention, it’ll be your chance! So, as usual, follow us on social networks to be the first one informed o/.