Renpy Free/Donation/Patreon Earth Girls Update 11/12/2020

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Re: Renpy Free/Donation/Patreon Earth girls are Update 9/19/

Postby lydia02 » Fri, 19Sep20 19:34

MaxCarna wrote:
Lydia,

Great improvement, your images are getting really nice.


Means a great deal coming from you. Thanks to yours and Elena's guidance, and lots of hard work, I have various images that I'm proud of. Apparently some sets render better than others. For example the Calc classroom and the pool render well. However the school hallway doesn't render very well. Trying to think of a good work around for using something else for these shots for future content.

I saw that you started to try some animations too, that is really good.

The first one is nice, but in the second I saw a light variation, check if one of your lights is changing along the timeline.


Good eye. One of my images for the Calc fantasy kept rendering dark so I added more light to it. I hadn't planned on creating the animations at this point and didn't think the lighting difference was as noticeable as a separate image. When included as part of the animation, it does stick out more.

The aliens addition was very nice,

Thanks. I enjoyed writing them and have various other stories that I plan to add for the video game.

I think that next step should be adding more sexual content.

Adult content for a dating sim format and just meeting most of the girls has been a challenge. I've used fantasy material as a work around. The adult content is reached through player choices. So the player could see anywhere from 0 to 3 scenes with V 0.03. So how would I determine if there's a good amount of adult content for each version? Considering each player has their own preferences as to what they are looking for in a good, it's difficult to know what to offer.

You can start to think about adding some sounds, a background music.

Good idea. I've had my hands full with various learning curves thus far so haven't tackled music yet. Now that things have settled down a bit, I can see if I can find some good options.

I would recommend use larger text, more colorfull maybe, for choices. Options like "close" the journal are too discret, I think.

B


So you are suggesting larger fonts for the menus and perhaps a different color? One of the changes I made to the interface changed the menu text and I wondered if it might be a bit small. I'll work on a larger font size and see how it looks. Didn't realize that the close button would be hard to find. Would the close button need say a different color so that it would stand out? Thanks for your input.
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Re: Renpy Free/Donation/Patreon Earth girls are Update 9/19/

Postby MaxCarna » Sat, 19Sep21 06:04

lydia02 wrote:So how would I determine if there's a good amount of adult content for each version? Considering each player has their own preferences as to what they are looking for in a good, it's difficult to know what to offer.

As I once told you, I don't think that is about the amount of sexual stuff on each version, but will need at least one "show room". To show users what kind of reward they will receive after spending time on your game.

I guess nobody wants to spend hours fooling around, sometimes solving puzzles, and in the end there is nothing good to see.

Some devs put these kind of sample, right on the beginning in the format of a MC dream for example. In your case I would add some hot scene with the alien's store lady, as it doesn't seems that she is someone that you will pursue later. Says that she is training you, to you know to use the saber, for example.

lydia02 wrote:So you are suggesting larger fonts for the menus and perhaps a different color? One of the changes I made to the interface changed the menu text and I wondered if it might be a bit small. I'll work on a larger font size and see how it looks. Didn't realize that the close button would be hard to find. Would the close button need say a different color so that it would stand out? Thanks for your input.

Yes, they don't seem very intuitive to me, the options kind of merge with the rest of the texts.

About the close button, normally the first corner that we look to close a window is the up right corner, for the X right?

You put exactly on the opposite way, the left down corner was the last place that I search for. First I clicked on the V arrow, because it popped first, the stats pane disappeared but is was like the game had frozen. Just after some seconds I brought it back on with ^ and finally found the "close"
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Re: Renpy Free/Donation/Patreon Earth girls are Update 9/19/

Postby lydia02 » Sat, 19Sep21 17:44

MaxCarna wrote:As I once told you, I don't think that is about the amount of sexual stuff on each version, but will need at least one "show room". To show users what kind of reward they will receive after spending time on your game.

I guess nobody wants to spend hours fooling around, sometimes solving puzzles, and in the end there is nothing good to see.

Some devs put these kind of sample, right on the beginning in the format of a MC dream for example. In your case I would add some hot scene with the alien's store lady, as it doesn't seems that she is someone that you will pursue later. Says that she is training you, to you know to use the saber, for example.


Thanks for the clarification. The store girl is a good choice as she's not a main girl. Dream or training are both good suggestions for the scene.

MaxCarna wrote:Yes, they don't seem very intuitive to me, the options kind of merge with the rest of the texts.

About the close button, normally the first corner that we look to close a window is the up right corner, for the X right?

You put exactly on the opposite way, the left down corner was the last place that I search for. First I clicked on the V arrow, because it popped first, the stats pane disappeared but is was like the game had frozen. Just after some seconds I brought it back on with ^ and finally found the "close"


I'll look at changing the font size and the close button. Thanks for your feedback.
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Re: Renpy Free/Donation/Patreon Earth girls are Update 9/19/

Postby Sumatan » Thu, 19Sep26 07:41

Will there be a APK version of the Game aswell?
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Re: Renpy Free/Donation/Patreon Earth girls are Update 9/19/

Postby lydia02 » Thu, 19Sep26 19:16

Sumatan wrote:Will there be a APK version of the Game aswell?


Thanks for your post. You are referring to an Android version, correct? The only versions that I know how to create using Renpy are for Widows & Mac. I'm still learning how to use Renpy so hopefully I will be able to provide an Android option on future versions.
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Re: Renpy Free/Donation/Patreon Earth Girls Update 11/19/201

Postby lydia02 » Wed, 19Nov20 20:47

Version 0.04 is now public. I would appreciate constructive feedback. I hope that you like the update.

Pc: https://mega.nz/#!TR8RTLTB!qpWIK0ut-XBX ... RcCML87OIs
Mac: https://mega.nz/#!iZ8EDKBB!3BZhz1qXR4-W ... plUrJTLtIU

Changelog V0.04

*Aubrey 2 scenes.

*Halia 1 scene.

*Julia 5 scenes.

*Abby 1 scene.

*New Interface 1: Added icons to replace text for player stats. The icons stats are now part of a bar
that can be displayed or hidden using the stat bar button. A description of each icon will appear when
you place your mouse over the icon. This was very time consuming to implement. But does represent
a large improvement in the appearance of the interface. I hope you'll like the new look.

*New Interface 2: Transparent text box. Revised the text box mod to increase the size of the text.

*Moved the close button on the journal in response to player feedback.

*Revised the intro again to address feedback.

*Rewrote various Britney scenes to address feedback.

*Revised various content throughout the game to address feedback.
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Re: Renpy Free/Donation/Patreon Earth Girls Update 1/07/2020

Postby lydia02 » Tue, 20Jan07 16:56

Version 0.05 is now public. I would appreciate constructive feedback. I hope that you like the update.

pc
https://mega.nz/#!2ctWAKbZ!TDO7MVVvU76-4NQdQq_YewqDVF_bToC5tzPIr0vcaY8

mac
https://mega.nz/#!3dtCWSLa!QDfhx-WCEUPu3tONU30UxUry26k1VqqNUC6Ycup-eu4

Image

Changelog V0.05

*Nicci 2 scenes.

*Lincy 2 scenes.

*Charlie 2 scenes.

*Foreign exchange students 1 scene.

*Martin 1 scene.

*Extended day 1 Julia scenes to address feedback.

*Edited the entire game text and made various revision to address feedback.

*Studied how to improve my renders to address feedback. Please see the Charlie
saber scene and the foreign exchange students(deduction skill >0) for examples
of these improvements.
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Re: Renpy Free/Donation/Patreon Earth Girls Update 1/07/2020

Postby tlaero » Wed, 20Jan08 06:58

Hey Lydia,

I just played Earth Girls Are... for the first time. (I played v0.05)

The writing is considerably better than what I've seen in most of the erotic games out there. You've spent a lot of time on your plot and characters, and it really shows. There's some real story here, the characters have histories and apparent motivations, and they come across as different people. And the dialog, especially with Julia, is great. Nice work!

It can be a bit hard to follow, but I'm hopeful that it's one of those kinds of things where, as the reader learns more, it all falls into place and makes sense. From what I've seen of your writing, I have more faith in your ability to pull that off than most people.

(It's very cool to be able to have a "second order" discussion about the writing with you. This feels like we're discussing calculus where with most people I need to explain addition.)

I feel that, if there's any substantive feedback to give, it's "Show me, don't tell me." There are a number of places where you have the PC describe what happens in parentheticals rather than showing the actual scene. For instance, when you go to the gym and the women are playing tennis, rather than have the PC tell us that one of them is talking trash, or maybe flirting, show us the actual dialog and let us draw those conclusions. I can tell from the dialog with Julia that your skill is up to the task. It's more work, but worth it.

The artwork is good, especially for your first foray into this. Yeah, you'll get better with practice, but I'll leave that discussion to other people. It seems that you're already getting help there anyway. One thing I want to call out, though, is that I'm happy you made the women realistic looking. I didn't see any gravity defying, beachball-sized breasts anywhere in the game. THANK YOU. Yeah, we're in a genre dominated by male consumers, and apparently they like that kind of thing. But I strongly prefer people who look like ... well, people. Great work there. If there's one place I'd focus your practice and learning on above the other things, visually, it would be on facial expressions. The more subtle and not "stock DAZ face poses" the better.

Mechanically, I wonder if it would help to have some kind of visual effect to let us know when the PC is dreaming. In some of my games, Mortze put a blurred edge around the outside of the image to indicate the start of a dream or a flashback. In others he used kind of a photo effect that looked like writing around a negative. Then again, you may be blurring the line between reality on purpose. If that's what you're going for, I hesitate to tell you to change it. I followed it all in the end, but I'm a writer who is more motivated by story than visuals. I'm not sure what other people will think. One spot I'm thinking about in particular was the calculus class when the PC kissed the cheerleader. Would it help to have some sort of consistent visual indication that he's fallen asleep and is dreaming? Or, does the fact that he wakes up make it obvious after the fact? Similarly with the times when Julia is standing in her blue uniform in your room, but then is suddenly in orange and sitting on your bed. The orange is a flashback. Should you add a visual indicator to make that clear, or is it clear enough that she just appeared in a different outfit, so it must be a flashback? I'm not sure. You might think about it, though.

One thing I didn't like was the "fade away" animation when images changed. It kind of reads (visually) to me like the early days of the web where all the pages wiggled and blinked and played midi files. Just because you CAN do fades doesn't mean you SHOULD. I'm pretty sure there was a two frame blow job animation near the end where you faded between the frames. That looked REALLY weird.

I'm also a little worried that you've taken a HUGE bite for your first foray into games. So many characters, so many days, etc. You run the risk of getting better and having the start of the game look considerably different than the end. It's not a bad idea to do a few smaller, experimental games that you can finish, call done, and move on to make better ones. Not that I'm suggesting you stop! But if you wanted to do a short story or two or three (in this universe or elsewhere) to experiment and practice, you could then use that skill on Earth Girls.

Last bit of advice. Please look into jpg compression of your images. The game has just started, it has 241 images, and it's already 700M. If you went to quality level 8 (80%) on your jpegs, they would go to a tenth the size without any human noticeable reduction in quality. The PNGs are also enormous. You might consider combining them into their backgrounds and saving the whole thing as a JPG. I'll bet you'd find that the total size would decrease a ton. To put it into perspective, my last major game, Saving Cloe, has 1766 images, and the total download size is 147M. Not quite apples to apples, since the images in that one were 1000x500, but compression is a good thing. I have a tool you can use to try compressing your files and seeing how they look.

All together, this is a really promising start. Keep up the great work!
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Re: Renpy Free/Donation/Patreon Earth Girls Update 1/07/2020

Postby lydia02 » Wed, 20Jan08 18:29

tlaero wrote:Hey Lydia,

I just played Earth Girls Are... for the first time. (I played v0.05)

The writing is considerably better than what I've seen in most of the erotic games out there. You've spent a lot of time on your plot and characters, and it really shows. There's some real story here, the characters have histories and apparent motivations, and they come across as different people. And the dialog, especially with Julia, is great. Nice work!


Tlaero played my game and likes the writing? This news makes my month. Wait. I must be dreaming or am I being punked? It's wonderful to hear from you.

I've received some negative feedback on my writing on previous versions of Earth Girls Are... and have worked hard to address them. So I'm very encouraged to hear that you do like the writing. Julia is the MC's bf and has a secret love for him. So I feel it is important to show the player their relationship. I'm glad that the relationship comes across well. I received some comments on V0.04 that Julia didn't seem to have a relationship with the MC and that she was rather bitchy for deserting the MC for Chet. Never mind the little thing about Julia being under mind control at the time. So I did add text to various scenes with Julia to address these comments.

It can be a bit hard to follow, but I'm hopeful that it's one of those kinds of things where, as the reader learns more, it all falls into place and makes sense. From what I've seen of your writing, I have more faith in your ability to pull that off than most people.

(It's very cool to be able to have a "second order" discussion about the writing with you. This feels like we're discussing calculus where with most people I need to explain addition.)


Thank you for the kind words! I hope I didn't make the intro too confusing. I wanted to create a sense of mystery with the girls and give the player some points to wonder about. For example, that Lincy has come from far away(foreign currency) and seems to be running from something. She's old fashion(doesn't have a cell phone). And the phone booth has become something of a life line to her to a foreign boy named Shends. The MC overhears Nicci talking to herself about filling in someone else's shoes who should be there. And the day 2 scene with Nicci where she tells the MC she is studying medicine. But the saber scene with Nicci shows that she is devoted to Art.

So I do plan to show players the stories of each of the girls to fill in the missing pieces of the puzzle if you will.

I feel that, if there's any substantive feedback to give, it's "Show me, don't tell me." There are a number of places where you have the PC describe what happens in parentheticals rather than showing the actual scene. For instance, when you go to the gym and the women are playing tennis, rather than have the PC tell us that one of them is talking trash, or maybe flirting, show us the actual dialog and let us draw those conclusions. I can tell from the dialog with Julia that your skill is up to the task. It's more work, but worth it.


Great point and example. I made a game called Dartmoth Manor that received feedback that there was too much text and it made it more like a novel than a game. So I'm probably overly cautious to try and not include too much writing. Having Abby trash talk and flirt with Charlie would make the scene much better.

The artwork is good, especially for your first foray into this. Yeah, you'll get better with practice, but I'll leave that discussion to other people. It seems that you're already getting help there anyway.


Thanks. I've been fortunate enough to get a lot of help from wonderful people such as Max, Ehlanna, a game maker from another forum, etc. I'm pleased with several of my latest renders such as the foreign exchange students in V0.05. I still spend a bunch of time reading articles and watching vids to get better.

One thing I want to call out, though, is that I'm happy you made the women realistic looking. I didn't see any gravity defying, beachball-sized breasts anywhere in the game. THANK YOU. Yeah, we're in a genre dominated by male consumers, and apparently they like that kind of thing. But I strongly prefer people who look like ... well, people. Great work there.


I don't find huge breasts to be a good look either. I chose models who I feel have cute faces. I have run into a ton of troubles using older models skin tone due to a change in Iray.

If there's one place I'd focus your practice and learning on above the other things, visually, it would be on facial expressions. The more subtle and not "stock DAZ face poses" the better.


Great point. I've had a lot of trouble finding expressions that I think look good on the models. I've noticed that the models in the sample images on various sites tend to not show much expression. And I've discovered that several of my models mouths tend to deform when I use standard expression poses. I need to practice more to develop a better idea for what makes a good expression. Please let me know if you have any suggestions.

Mechanically, I wonder if it would help to have some kind of visual effect to let us know when the PC is dreaming. In some of my games, Mortze put a blurred edge around the outside of the image to indicate the start of a dream or a flashback. In others he used kind of a photo effect that looked like writing around a negative. Then again, you may be blurring the line between reality on purpose. If that's what you're going for, I hesitate to tell you to change it. I followed it all in the end, but I'm a writer who is more motivated by story than visuals. I'm not sure what other people will think. One spot I'm thinking about in particular was the calculus class when the PC kissed the cheerleader. Would it help to have some sort of consistent visual indication that he's fallen asleep and is dreaming? Or, does the fact that he wakes up make it obvious after the fact? Similarly with the times when Julia is standing in her blue uniform in your room, but then is suddenly in orange and sitting on your bed. The orange is a flashback. Should you add a visual indicator to make that clear, or is it clear enough that she just appeared in a different outfit, so it must be a flashback? I'm not sure. You might think about it, though.


I'm also more of a writer than a visual person. But I do follow your points. It would be good to have a visual way to help tell players that a scene is a dream. I need to learn techniques such as the blur you mention. I did have the angel/devil portion of the Calc scene. I had the wings with a blue and an orange background for Julia & Britney to show it was a dream. But the classroom background is part of the Britney portion, so I'll need to see if I can learn some techniques in Daz to show a dream sequence.

One thing I didn't like was the "fade away" animation when images changed. It kind of reads (visually) to me like the early days of the web where all the pages wiggled and blinked and played midi files. Just because you CAN do fades doesn't mean you SHOULD. I'm pretty sure there was a two frame blow job animation near the end where you faded between the frames. That looked REALLY weird.


Renpy does have a variety of effects available. Would you find a different transitional effect to be a better look? Or are you suggesting that I not include a transition?

I'm also a little worried that you've taken a HUGE bite for your first foray into games. So many characters, so many days, etc. You run the risk of getting better and having the start of the game look considerably different than the end. It's not a bad idea to do a few smaller, experimental games that you can finish, call done, and move on to make better ones. Not that I'm suggesting you stop! But if you wanted to do a short story or two or three (in this universe or elsewhere) to experiment and practice, you could then use that skill on Earth Girls.


Thanks for your concern. I imagine the early bits of Earth Girls will look different as I continue to learn along the way. Smaller projects would be a good way to work up to a larger game. Sadly, I tend to go with the grand projects. My Dartmoth Manor game has over 30 endings. But it was with a different game engine and has photos instead of renders. I hope that I'm able to grow along the way in making Earth Girls and that players will be pleased to see the improvements. I might be tempted to go back and fix old bits, but then I'd never finish my game. I feel very grateful to the wonderful people who continue to support my stories and hope to be able to share my vision of Earth Girls with them.

Last bit of advice. Please look into jpg compression of your images. The game has just started, it has 241 images, and it's already 700M. If you went to quality level 8 (80%) on your jpegs, they would go to a tenth the size without any human noticeable reduction in quality. The PNGs are also enormous. You might consider combining them into their backgrounds and saving the whole thing as a JPG. I'll bet you'd find that the total size would decrease a ton.


Someone did create a compressed version of my release on another site. The file size was much smaller but I haven't looked at the images to see the quality. I still need to look into image compression as I don't know much about it. The site did mention several compression software but I have no idea which one might be the best option for me to try.


To put it into perspective, my last major game, Saving Cloe, has 1766 images, and the total download size is 147M. Not quite apples to apples, since the images in that one were 1000x500, but compression is a good thing. I have a tool you can use to try compressing your files and seeing how they look.


I would appreciate your suggestion of the compression software that you like. Are there certain things I should look for in the compressed image to determine if I compressed the image too much?

All together, this is a really promising start. Keep up the great work!
Tlaero


Thank you again for your feedback, advice, and encouragement.
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Re: Renpy Free/Donation/Patreon Earth Girls Update 1/07/2020

Postby tlaero » Wed, 20Jan08 21:08

lydia02 wrote:Tlaero played my game and likes the writing? This news makes my month. Wait. I must be dreaming or am I being punked? It's wonderful to hear from you.


<smiles warmly>

Julia's love for the MC is evident from the very beginning. It's okay that he doesn't see it. That's a common failing in MCs. But by the end you'd BETTER have a path in there somewhere that lets the romantics of your audience guide the MC to come to realize this and have a true, non-saber, relationship with her. (-: The other girls are fine. Some of them are even compelling. But she's the one that REALLY matters.

That said, tell the story you want to tell, the way you want to tell it. Don't worry about people who say, "There's too much text." If you give them less text, they'll just complain that you don't have beach balls and tentacle rape. If you want to write a game with a lot of story, by all means, write that game. I've had people tell me that my "feminist agenda" (competent females) ruins the game for them and they refuse to play. And I've had people tell me that my "crazy prudishness" (no cheating on the main path) makes my games boring. But I've also had people tell me that, while they like the sex, it's the story they really come back for. Clearly I can't please all of them. The only way forward is to write the game you want to play and please the ones that like that kind of game. I'm one of the ones who likes your kind of game.

Regarding facial expressions. I'm pretty sure that Mortze dials them in himself rather than using preloads. I suggest going to a site with a whole lot of pictures of people and really looking at their faces. Look at one that makes you say, "She looks happy" and really study mechanically what's different than someone who doesn't look happy. What's the position of her eyebrows? Are her eyes wide open or partially closed? What are her lips doing? Can you see her teeth? Which ones? Etc. As humans, we are hard wired to recognize emotions in people's faces. But that means we do it subconsciously. And THAT means it's hard to consciously create those expressions ourselves. You've got to teach your conscious mind what your unconscious already knows so that you can consciously turn the appropriate dials in Daz to get something your unconscious mind likes.

That, and go for subtly. People who sell expression pose packs make them bold so that you see a wide variety and say, "Yes, this is worth it." If they were subtle changes, you'd say, "This pose is the exact same as that one, with just the eyebrow raised a tiny bit. Why am I paying extra for it." But, in reality, that subtly raised eyebrow speaks volumes in a way that the major changes don't. When Mortze approached me and offered to be my artist, the thing that REALLY stood out to me was the subtly of his rendered expressions. Had he used standard Daz poses, I probably would have turned him down.

I think the blur that Mortze does for flashbacks/dream sequences is done in Photoshop after the fact, not in Daz.

As for transitions, I'd prefer no effect. Just jump from one page to the next without a fade or transition. The transitions just slow the game down and look weird. That said, do what you like the best here. It's your game and I'm going to enjoy it regardless.

Here's a quick tool I wrote to do JPG compression.
http://www.mediafire.com/file/4qoq5nom5 ... v.zip/file

There are a couple of ways to use it, but the easiest is to set the quality level and drag a bunch of files to the window. Try 75, 80, 85, and 90 on a bunch of files and see which ones have the right tradeoff between file size and quality for you.

Be careful that it also converts PNGs to JPGS. So don't send PNGs if you need them to overlay on other images (JPGs can't be translucent). However, I DO suggest you not overlay PNGs on JPGs. You should instead combine them together in a graphics program and save them as a single JPG that you compress.

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Re: Renpy Free/Donation/Patreon Earth Girls Update 1/07/2020

Postby lydia02 » Thu, 20Jan09 17:38

tlaero wrote:Julia's love for the MC is evident from the very beginning. It's okay that he doesn't see it. That's a common failing in MCs. But by the end you'd BETTER have a path in there somewhere that lets the romantics of your audience guide the MC to come to realize this and have a true, non-saber, relationship with her. (-: The other girls are fine. Some of them are even compelling. But she's the one that REALLY matters.


Great to hear that Julia's love for the MC does come across. Some feedback I received made me think I was being too subtle. I have the MC start as clueless to Julia's feelings for him and their relationship. But I also plan to have gradual awakenings such as the MC's attempt to free Julia that start to make him aware of how he feels for her. I also believe that Julia is a vital character and she'll definitely have a romantic ending option. The Eternals have blocked the memories of the girls & the MC's, so he's at square one in relationships with them. I hope to build up the stories of each of the girls so that they can hopefully become characters that the players are interested in.

That said, tell the story you want to tell, the way you want to tell it. Don't worry about people who say, "There's too much text." If you give them less text, they'll just complain that you don't have beach balls and tentacle rape. If you want to write a game with a lot of story, by all means, write that game. I've had people tell me that my "feminist agenda" (competent females) ruins the game for them and they refuse to play. And I've had people tell me that my "crazy prudishness" (no cheating on the main path) makes my games boring. But I've also had people tell me that, while they like the sex, it's the story they really come back for. Clearly I can't please all of them. The only way forward is to write the game you want to play and please the ones that like that kind of game. I'm one of the ones who likes your kind of game.


Thanks. It's encouraging to learn that even successful game makers like yourself run into this issue. And find their audience while making the kind of games that they enjoy creating. I just need to keep working at my game so that I can find my audience.

Regarding facial expressions. I'm pretty sure that Mortze dials them in himself rather than using preloads. I suggest going to a site with a whole lot of pictures of people and really looking at their faces. Look at one that makes you say, "She looks happy" and really study mechanically what's different than someone who doesn't look happy. What's the position of her eyebrows? Are her eyes wide open or partially closed? What are her lips doing? Can you see her teeth? Which ones? Etc. As humans, we are hard wired to recognize emotions in people's faces. But that means we do it subconsciously. And THAT means it's hard to consciously create those expressions ourselves. You've got to teach your conscious mind what your unconscious already knows so that you can consciously turn the appropriate dials in Daz to get something your unconscious mind likes.

That, and go for subtly. People who sell expression pose packs make them bold so that you see a wide variety and say, "Yes, this is worth it." If they were subtle changes, you'd say, "This pose is the exact same as that one, with just the eyebrow raised a tiny bit. Why am I paying extra for it." But, in reality, that subtly raised eyebrow speaks volumes in a way that the major changes don't. When Mortze approached me and offered to be my artist, the thing that REALLY stood out to me was the subtly of his rendered expressions. Had he used standard Daz poses, I probably would have turned him down.


Thanks. Like you say, I can see an image and get an impression of their expression. But I need to learn what are the details that make up that impression in order to do the same for my images.

I think the blur that Mortze does for flashbacks/dream sequences is done in Photoshop after the fact, not in Daz.


Thanks for the info. I only have Gimp, but I hope it can do something similar. I'll look for some videos to see if they have any suggestions as to how to create such an effect.

As for transitions, I'd prefer no effect. Just jump from one page to the next without a fade or transition. The transitions just slow the game down and look weird. That said, do what you like the best here. It's your game and I'm going to enjoy it regardless.


I hadn't given them much thought, so I'm glad that you mentioned them. I'll play around with the options and see if there is something I like. If not, I can easily remove them.

Here's a quick tool I wrote to do JPG compression.
http://www.mediafire.com/file/4qoq5nom5 ... v.zip/file

There are a couple of ways to use it, but the easiest is to set the quality level and drag a bunch of files to the window. Try 75, 80, 85, and 90 on a bunch of files and see which ones have the right tradeoff between file size and quality for you.

Be careful that it also converts PNGs to JPGS. So don't send PNGs if you need them to overlay on other images (JPGs can't be translucent). However, I DO suggest you not overlay PNGs on JPGs. You should instead combine them together in a graphics program and save them as a single JPG that you compress.

Tlaero


Thanks for the tool and the suggestions on using it. I do have some overlays, so I'll need to keep them in mind. I haven't compressed images before so I don't know how much it might change the image. I imagine a close up image of a character would be the most noticeable as to quality level.

Thank you again for your help.
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Re: Renpy Free/Donation/Patreon Earth Girls Update 1/07/2020

Postby tlaero » Thu, 20Jan09 21:04

Re "too subtle." There's a problem that all writers face. And you can see it very clearly in this video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQ5idZHWVn4

It's not in the video, but on the album he starts by saying, "See if you can spot this one."
In the first second, he plays a few chords and a few people clap. They got it instantly.
Then at 35 seconds, he starts singing, "What will you do if you get lonely?" and more people clap. They just got it.
Then at 55 seconds, he sings the chorus, "Layla..." and the rest of the room gets it.

There are people who will know that Julia is in love with the MC from the first scene with her.
There are other people who won't realize it until the saber-dream scene when MC is rescuing her from Chet and she talks to herself about kissing MC.
And there are other people who won't understand that she's in love with him until the eventual sex scene when she comes out and says, "You dolt, I've been in love with you since the 4th grade!"

There's nothing you can do about this. Some people like Eric Clapton so much that they'll figure out an unplugged version of one of his songs on the first two chords. Some people like romance stories so much that they'll see the unrequited love right away. And there's a whole gamut of people at differing levels of observance who will get it after it gets more and more obvious. You can't write for the least observant, because the observant will find it too obvious. And you can't write for the most, because the least will never get it. So you have to do what you did, make it subtle at the start and slowly make it more and more obvious so that, eventually, everyone gets it.


Re JPG compression. Closeups will likely compress well. The thing that you'll notice compression artifacts on is gradients. You should try a bunch of levels and see which ones you like. I was convinced that 70% was perfect. Mortze wanted 90%. We compromised to 80%. At 80% though, images are 1/10 the size, so it's significant.

Another thing you can do is to try a couple at an outrageously high compression rate, like 40%. That will show you in an extreme way what the compression is doing. It might help you look for it at the lower rates and help you decide between them.

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Re: Renpy Free/Donation/Patreon Earth Girls Update 1/07/2020

Postby lydia02 » Fri, 20Jan10 19:20

tlaero wrote:Re "too subtle." There's a problem that all writers face. And you can see it very clearly in this video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQ5idZHWVn4

It's not in the video, but on the album he starts by saying, "See if you can spot this one."
In the first second, he plays a few chords and a few people clap. They got it instantly.
Then at 35 seconds, he starts singing, "What will you do if you get lonely?" and more people clap. They just got it.
Then at 55 seconds, he sings the chorus, "Layla..." and the rest of the room gets it.

There are people who will know that Julia is in love with the MC from the first scene with her.
There are other people who won't realize it until the saber-dream scene when MC is rescuing her from Chet and she talks to herself about kissing MC.
And there are other people who won't understand that she's in love with him until the eventual sex scene when she comes out and says, "You dolt, I've been in love with you since the 4th grade!"

There's nothing you can do about this. Some people like Eric Clapton so much that they'll figure out an unplugged version of one of his songs on the first two chords. Some people like romance stories so much that they'll see the unrequited love right away. And there's a whole gamut of people at differing levels of observance who will get it after it gets more and more obvious. You can't write for the least observant, because the observant will find it too obvious. And you can't write for the most, because the least will never get it. So you have to do what you did, make it subtle at the start and slowly make it more and more obvious so that, eventually, everyone gets it.


Thanks for the incredible example. I recognized the song after the first few chords. You're so right. Some players will be like the MC and have to be hit over the head to catch on to how Julia feels. I appreciate your encouragement that I am writing their relationship in a good way.


Re JPG compression. Closeups will likely compress well. The thing that you'll notice compression artifacts on is gradients. You should try a bunch of levels and see which ones you like. I was convinced that 70% was perfect. Mortze wanted 90%. We compromised to 80%. At 80% though, images are 1/10 the size, so it's significant.

Another thing you can do is to try a couple at an outrageously high compression rate, like 40%. That will show you in an extreme way what the compression is doing. It might help you look for it at the lower rates and help you decide between them.

Tlaero


I like your idea about using the 40% rate to get a feel for the effects of compressing an image. Once I have an idea of what to look for, I can make a better decision about which compression rate looks best. Is compression mostly about file size for downloading? A smaller file does download faster and the trade off would be a small reduction in image quality.
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Re: Renpy Free/Donation/Patreon Earth Girls Update 1/07/2020

Postby tlaero » Sat, 20Jan11 06:57

Download size is the biggest reason for Compression. Not everyone has superfast internet, and not everyone has unlimited. So, if you can reduce your game size by 90% without humans being able to see a difference, it's a win. To a smaller degree, there's also size on disk. We've all got big SSD cards these days, but when I'm cleaning up, I'm more likely to throw out the game that's 1/256th of my hard drive than the one that's 1/2560th.

And, even with a relatively fast internet, some download services rate limit to slow down downloads and encourage people to buy their "premium" services. I literally stopped playing Starship Inahana because I was annoyed at the time it took to download compared to the number of pictures.

And, for you, some download providers will limit how much bandwidth you're allowed to use before they charge you. Compressed images potentially would let 10 times more people download the game.

Then there's places like NewGrounds, which have a size limit on games you upload to them.

Finally, if you have a "play online" (not download) option, there's a better chance of your animations being jerky if the images are huge and you have to download a large number of them to see the animation.

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Re: Renpy Free/Donation/Patreon Earth Girls Update 1/07/2020

Postby JFR » Sat, 20Jan11 09:07

Lady T it is good to "see" you again. It has been awhile. And returning to help a new developer. Just makes it even better.

I do need to tweak you just a little about misspelling the name and title of your own game. ;)

Relevant to the discussion at hand I have been a part-time professional photographer for years. I pretty much always compress my images to 8 or 9 for display - unless they are being sent in for publication. Then they go to 10, or even 12 (Photoshop will do that.) Photo editors can be picky slave drivers. [img]images/icones/icon10.gif[/img]

Again, glad you are around a bit and hope things are well with you and the family.
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