Category: Angelic Orbs

Posts about anything related to Angelic Orbs

Character Introduction: Tia

Character Introduction: Tia

Name: Tia
Age: ?
Angel


“But it’s okay. It’s what I decided when all this began… if I can at least do a little to undo the damage, then that is all that matters.”


Tia is one of the four protagonists of Angelic Orbs, an angel fallen from Heaven who is determined to look for ways to right the mistakes that put her into exile. Kiyoshi discovers her shortly after her arrival on Earth, and quickly becomes her guide in a world mostly unknown to the sheltered girl.

Young, hot-tempered, and inexperienced with the human world, this girl would not at first glance seem like someone capable of causing world-changing calamities, and the exact circumstances of what happened is something she keeps as a close guarded secret. However, in spite of her shortcomings and doubts, Tia is strong-willed, good of heart, and eager to make things right at any cost.

Angelic Orbs – Character Introductions

Angelic Orbs – Character Introductions

It’s been a while! Although this place has been quiet for a while, work on Angelic Orbs has still been ongoing. As can be seen on the (almost) weekly art streams, a lot of this work has especially been going into sprite art for the different characters in the game.

Which means, it’s about high time to start letting you all know what these characters are even all about!

Apart from a few general overview posts about the game itself, I haven’t been talking much about what the story of Angelic Orbs even is, or who you will be taking the journey through the game with. To rectify this, I will very soon start updating this blog with introduction posts about some of the more important players in the story, and try to keep them coming somewhat regularly.

So stay tuned!

AO: Fallen Star progress update

AO: Fallen Star progress update

It’s time for a more concise report on how work on Angelic Orbs: Fallen Star is going. (For those not entirely sure what the deal is with this game, head over here for a general overlook at what it is.)

Anyway here we go, as this is the first one, it will be a bit long…:

Script:
The script itself has been done for quite a while. There has been some trouble with gaining a reliable editor, but outside of that it should be pretty much done, bar a puzzly section that I think needs some cropping down to become less frustrating for players. Development focus is therefore now on creating art assets, as well as coding all parts together.

Art:
I have been working on sprite sets for the main characters of the game on livestreams lately, and have more than half of the most important ones done so far.

In the case of how many poses and variations each sprite gets, I’ve gone with the same general principle as I did with Blue Rose: The core set of main characters get at least 2 different base poses each with their own set of variations, while less important side characters get just one to keep things manageable, unless something really demands an extra for story reasons.

In reality this means that for almost all of the core characters, actually 3 poses are needed. There are many action-based scenes in Angelic Orbs, and outside of normal poses and variations, one is needed for such confrontations as well. And let’s not talk about someone like Tia, who requires different sets of clothes, wings and disguises as well…

If you’re interested in how I do these things in practice, feel free to hop by my stream on fridays where I always work on game art, or have a look at the archive of previous art streams.

I am thinking of making another blog post on the nitty gritty of sprite creation as well, or at least of how much I know of it, in the future.

I have started work on a few of the scene illustrations as well, commonly known as CGs. Mostly those needed for the prologue of the game, with the aim of having some mostly-finished version of that to use as a demo. Some of these have also been made on stream, though at some point I imagine that a lot of these will have to made offline, so as not to spoil future events. There is still a lot of work to be done here.

But then what about backgrounds? So far all I have are placeholders, quick sketches made by myself to generally indicate what needs to be there, so I can get an idea of scene setups as well as what I’ll need to have as finished background art in the end. I will almost certainly be outsourcing this, as drawing and colouring character art is already taking a sizeable amount of time, and background art is not my forte either way. Hopefully I will soon be able to start reaching out to other artists for this.

Sound:
Music is another thing I wish to outsource for Angelic Orbs. Composing is something I am most definitely unable to do, and while there are many great sources for free music to use in indie games, I still believe that one of the best choices I made for Blue Rose was to get an original soundtrack. I hope to be able to gain something similar for Angelic Orbs, creating a personality of its own.

There is still no composer connected to this project, but this will be what I reach out for next, after work on backgrounds has been settled.

As you can see, Fallen Star still has a lot of work ahead of it. Having a script ready is important as it is what sits at the heart of any visual novel, but is still far from a finished product. I’m aiming for this to be the year where I can hammer most of the bases of the game into place, and finally see things coming together properly.

In terms of art and sound, a lot of this will also set the base for the next Angelic Orbs games to come, even if those will also have bucketloads of new assets to be made. But especially because of this, I feel that it’s important to get these fundamentals in place, so everything can come together as a great whole.

Here’s hoping we can create something great for you all in the coming months!

What is Angelic Orbs?

What is Angelic Orbs?

Seeing as the game is taking shape and many changes have been made since my original announcement of this title, it is time to take a closer look at what exactly AO is and hopefully give a clearer idea of what is coming:

Angelic Orbs is a planned series of three visual novels, telling the story of a group of misfits, travelling through a world that is headed towards change. Fallen Star is the first of these three games.

AO is not a visual novel focused on romance – it is a fantasy adventure story told in third person, following the group as they unravel the events that are happening on their path, and only eventually allowing the player to nudge the story towards one of a few different resolutions.

image

Who is the main character?

At first all four of the main characters will serve as eyes and ears of the player, though as the series progresses, it will focus more on the viewpoint of Kiyoshi.

So, are there choices?

There are choices, though in the first of the three games, they will have minimal impact on where the plot ultimately goes. Instead it will offer the player an occasional choice between viewpoints, showing different things that happen or could happen.

How many endings are there?

For the first game, only one. However, as the trilogy progresses, this might change in the titles to come…

Is there no romance at all??

In Fallen Star you are not playing through the eyes of one specific character, and as such you as a player are not able to directly romance anyone. That does not mean that different kinds of relationships won’t form between the main characters, though!

Does each game stand on their own?

All three games go together to tell a greater story, but it is the aim to give each one of them their own resolution, hopefully enabling them to stand on their own and not leave the player feeling cheated. I would like to say that there is no reason to wait for all three to be finished before diving into Fallen Star.

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So what is the story, then?

A calamity has struck heaven and the angels have been stripped of most of their magical powers. These powers are trapped in small glass orbs, and one night a shower of lights are seen on the sky as these orbs are scattered and fall to Earth.

As he journeys to search for the truth behind what happened that night, Kiyoshi finds the girl Tia, who also appears to have fallen from the sky. She claims to be an angel on a mission to retrieve the orbs and right the wrongs she has caused. Hoping for a miracle of his own, he decides to go with her…

As they continue their travels they run into other allies and enemies alike, and it turns out that Tia is far from prepared for what her mission might bring with it.

That’s cool, but I have more questions.

You’re welcome to ask them! If you are curious about Angelic Orbs, or have other things you’d like to know about White Cat and my games, feel free to shoot them to me on twitter, and I will do my best to reply.

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Here’s to hoping this will manage to clear up the nature of the upcoming games, and that it has piqued your interest, if only just a little!

Onwards to a new year

Onwards to a new year

I hope you’re all having a merry Christmas and a happy New Year when we get that far!

This is the time of year where most people do a lot of reviewing and looking both back and forth in what they have accomplished, and what they hope to do. 2014 has been a generally quiet year for White Cat on the outside. Most noteably is the fact that we managed to get Blue Rose Greenlit on Steam, something that I am still terribly excited and grateful for! Unfortunately I have not been able to make the Steam release itself happen this year. If you are interested in what changes are happening to the game that causes this wait, you can read about some of them here.

Of course that isn’t the only thing that has been going on. But rather than go on about that again, I’d rather mention some of those things through the goals for 2015. These are the ones I’m quite certain that will be completed in the following year, in expected chronological order:

– Blue Rose Steam release
– Finish Angelic Orbs: Fallen Star script, shift focus to other game assets
– Redo Broken Memories script
– Finish AO: Fallen Star editing

It is still not certain whether AO: Fallen Star will be ready for release next year or not. It is my general goal for it to do so, but most of it rides on how things go when production of the game’s other assets can properly begin. I have considered options such as Kickstarter and Patreon to improve the odds, but this is not yet set in stone.

I would also very much like to go through with the remake of my first (and very unpolished) visual novel, Broken Memories. This should hopefully bring it up to a more enjoyable level, and to give an idea of the things to come in the bigger game. While I create bigger, commercial games now, I do like the idea of still having smaller things to offer on the side, and I think this little side story still has some potential for you all.

In general I hope 2015 is a year where you will be able to see more come out of White Cat, and I really do look forward to sending Angelic Orbs out in the world, be it in one or both forms. Here is to a great new year 🙂

 

The past or the present?

The past or the present?

writing

I just stumbled across this article, that puts light on something that bothers me about me current project. It discusses how, in time, some authors in printed literature began to drift away from using third person past tense, to use third person present tense, most likely because they were inspired by the style of writing screenplays. The article then goes on to touch on how those two different ways of writing have a different impact on the way your story is perceived, and that you should choose one depending on what you wish to achieve. This is all when discussing traditional novel writing.

How does this come out when writing for the visual novel format? They are usually a mix between choose-your-own-adventure stories and comics, making them very different when approached from a writer’s angle, sometimes more than you’d think.

The script of most visual novels are written with a first person POV, putting the reader in the shoes of the protagonist. He’s seeing things happen, he makes the choice as they come up. Present tense lends itself well to this type of story, as you’re supposed to be there, experiencing all this, in a story where no one knows the ending yet. It is part of what sets visual novels apart from reading book or a comic.

In comics themselves, this issue most often does not exist, as there is no descriptive text – only dialogue. The rest is something you see happen, it’s not told.

The voices in my head, duking it out.
The voices in my head, duking it out.

Now what if you want to write a third-person visual novel?

This is what I’m currently doing, and it’s proving surprisingly challenging. You’re no longer “in the shoes” of one person who sees all this unravel – you’re not making choices of what one person in particular would think or do. Adding to this, I’m trying to lean more heavily on the visual side of things, mimicking the original comic roots of the story I’m writing. But that’s for another day.

I soon realised, that when returning to third person, I naturally wanted to revert back to past tense as well, as I used to do. It’s what I’m used to reading, and writing. And it’s something people might be more used to reading as well, as the article puts it. This is something I’m struggling with quite a bit at the moment – as a reader you’re still put directly into the action, you’re still making choices for these people on the screen and impacting their lives as you go – should it still not be present tense?

eri_blushingwhilereading
“Omg, the writing is so bad! What was she even thinking!?”

I think the evidence still points towards the latter, though I still have to be careful with not falling into pitfalls of old writing habits. But the subject interests me.

What are your thoughts on the subject, as readers and writers?

#¤!@(/&!

#¤!@(/&!

Arrrgh I hate CSS @_@ It’s so confusing! It was so much simpler back in the days when I just had to write some simple HTML code! (almost)

I have been wasting most of the day trying to fix some things I wanted changed on my website, after updating the comic. In the end I finally managed to set up a horizontal menu in the top like I wanted to – it looks like crap, but at least it’s there now 😛
Now I just need to figure out the other couple of things I wanted.

If I was just to use the page for my gallery, it would be fine the way it is now. But I want to make it easier for people to read my comic there.

In the end I should probably just have used Comicpress or something for that.

I wonder if it would be best to some day get a seperate domain name for Angelic Orbs? Looks like most webcomics benefit from having their own page like that.

Ah, it’s all so confusing…. I think I’ll try and watch Aria now instead.

Shades of Grey

Shades of Grey

I have earlier brought up the question of whether I should continue shading my comic pages, or just upload them as pure lineart.

To be honest: the one thing I dislike the most about drawing AO is the shading. Putting the story together and struggling with lineart and backgrounds can get annoying and frustrating, but in the end I still enjoy it. It’s the moment the page gets scanned, and I have to sit in front of the computer to finish up the page with shading and lettering that things start to really get on my nerves.

It’s a shame really, since I like how the page turns out with shading. Especially pages like this one really has a lot to gain with proper shading. As a result of the first blog post, I decided to keep shading the pages, and instead cut down on updating. Now the comic updates only once a week instead of twice, and I still miss an update sometimes, even though all pages for part 2 are actually drawn.

But after working with that schedule for a while, and a short discussion I had on Gaia online, I have decided that maybe I should change this after all. I am seriously considering that after part 2 of Angelic Orbs ends, I will begin updating with black and white pages. I will most likely also go back and repost a batch of pages from time to time with finished shading, but this will only happen when I feel like it and have the extra time.

If I do this I will most likely be able to speed up the updating schedule to twice a week again, and that results in me being able to do what I want most right now – get on with the story! Unfortunately it will also break consistency a bit. Besides, the shading helped bring up my lousy lineart by a notch 😉

As a reward for reading through all this, here is a small preview of a page from part 3 that I have been working on:

Now back to the game…. and remember, next thursday a new character will finally be introduced in the comic! Hooray!

Progress Report

Progress Report

gw_zyra.jpg

NaNoReNo is soon coming to and end, and it’s time for another progress report about the Angelic Orbs game.

When the NaNo month started, I decided to use the deadline to hopefully get the art for the game done. Unfortunately this is not possible. The last few weeks a lot has happened in this house, ultimately resulting in the posibility that we may have to move. Because of that I have been forced to move all my stuff away from where I usually draw, and retreat into my own room until the value of the house has been estimated. And… well, let’s just say that this is a very small room. And it’s hard to draw and colour details with your tablet lying on your lap instead of on the table.

That doesn’t mean that no progress had been made, just that things are going a lot slower than they are supposed to. Here are some stats showing how far things are progressing with the art:

CG lineart: 21/27
CG colour: 14/27
BG: only 1 missing….

A couple of CG’s have been written out of the script. I felt they looked too much like earlier CG’s in the game, and that it would be a general waste. Therefore I have decided to use sprites in those scenes instead. On the other hand that has resulted in Tia’s sprite set growing even bigger, since a few of them needed to be changed for the scene – she’s the character with the most sprites in the game, since she has a few variations.

That last BG is really annoying me now. It is so hard to find a photo matching the last room in the game! Please, if you find a photo free-for-use of a light room, without huge windows and tables in the middle then tell me ^^; It wouldn’t hurt if it looked a bit like a place where one would exhibit things. Oh, and it is inside a mansion….

As for the music, things are going really well. It will probably be finished before the art is!

New stuff

New stuff

And so I actually went ahead and added the Lemmasoft blog links 🙂 Go check them out! Some of them have some really great stuff – better things than what you’ll find here, at least.

I also added a seperate page for Glass Wings, since that is primarily what this blog is for now. You can find the link up in the banner. There’s not much interesting stuff to read atm though, especially not if you already know about the project….

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