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A medieval fantasy themed visual novel with emphasis on LGBT characters and people of color
A medieval fantasy themed visual novel with emphasis on LGBT characters and people of color
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1,281 backers pledged $30,835 to help bring this project to life.

Development Update #4

Posted by Marccus (Creator)
39 likes

Howdy folks!  Hoping you had a great Halloween (if that's something you do in your part of the world), otherwise, hoping your last day of October was a good one! 

In September, I dived into the bulk of the character development process, and in October I'm happy to say that I'm very nearly finished designing the rest of the characters you'll meet in the game.  So, today, I'll share just a couple of the newly finished characters from the batch I've completed this past month, and I'll finish up the update by talking a little bit about people's expectations of the content of the game and attempt to clear up some misconceptions.  

So, first, new characters! 

Similar to when I work on character's clothing design, the design of the character's actual appearance is something I like to spend a lot of time on.  Most often when I'm writing character's dialogue, I'll have a vague idea of what I'd like the character to look like, what kind of expressions they'd be likely to make, and try to best match their face to the pre-written dialogue later.  But at the same time, sometimes I'll have an idea for someone's appearance and draw it out completely, then allow just their face to inspire me as I'm writing their lines.   

Eleni (left) and Leitta (right)
Eleni (left) and Leitta (right)

A lot of the time in real life, just by seeing a person you can come up with a pretty good idea of how they're likely to speak and behave, so it's important that character's appearances matches how they're written. 

Enric
Enric

 Of course, you want to create a unique enough face that the same person can easily be drawn wearing different expressions, and not every person's appearance gives away what kind of person they might seem to be.

Laurits
Laurits

One thing I'd been trying to do that initially gave me a lot of trouble is making sure that characters which are supposed to be related to other characters actually looked related rather than just appearing like slightly different versions of one another, but at the same time, still appearing to be similar.  It's just another one of the small details I've tried to work into the game that tend to be overlooked, but are rewarding for people who do happen to notice them. 

Mahika
Mahika

But overall, I've really just tried to capture a range of complexions and features of people that I rarely see not only in visual novels, but in most media. It's been an incredibly rewarding experience to get the freedoms I've had while working on this project already.

Samiya
Samiya

I'll stop the character previews here, but there are many more designed that you'll be meeting in the full game! 

Now, onto the potentially unpopular part of the update.

From the beginnings of the project, a lot of people have preconceptions about what they've expected from the game regarding the romance content, and I totally understand!  The bulk of games with gay main characters and romance content which utilize the visual novel/dating sim/similar formats tend to have lots of sexual content and a heavy emphasis on that feature of their stories, but I've made a point in reiterating that this is not my emphasis as I go about making Eldet.

Although the final game is planned to be 18+, the 'sexual' romance content is going to be more along the lines of what you'd see in mass effect or dragon age, for example.

Does that mean that there's going to be fairly little romance content, or if it is present, it's going to be entirely modest?  Not at all.  I am interested in exploring developing relationships, and there's a large amount of 'special' or CG scenes written in the script; I really don't think that anyone will be disappointed.  My intention is to write and illustrate the scenes both intimately and tastefully--think of what's able to be depicted in other games or television or movies--extraordinarily explicit content isn't necessary, and that's not the kind of game I'm interested in making. 

I mention all of this because I've continued to receive messages inquiring into that kind of content and suggesting/asking for specific things to be included, and I would really appreciate if those kinds of messages stopped. 

Sorry for ending on this note, but I think it's important to explain my perspective as well as attempt to dispel misconceptions.  I hope you all have a happy November! Take care :)

DaniL, Alex Malcolm, and 37 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Alex T. on

      About your "potentially unpopular part of the update" this is actually something that I really want. An adventure story that, should it happen, has adult romance/content. It just feels more realistic this way. When several people who are attracted to each other go off on some quest, something could potentially happen and most games/movies/stories shy away from that "something." So what you're doing is telling a story that has real, relatable characters and I absolutely love that.

    2. Raven Woods on

      Enric looks hot :p

    3. NerdWithABigStick on

      I think the demo sufficiently represented an ideal for romantic subtext, and clearly you intend to go slightly further, so I think your vision is spot-on. I find it much more effective, as a writer, when things are not made entirely explicit. In this era of Internet fanfiction and explicit sex galore, that's not always easy to practice. Why did some sculptors of the classic era leave a leaf or bit of cloth over genitalia? It wasn't because of any prurient concerns - classical societies were hardly Puritanical - it was because the artists understood that sometimes, what you leave the human imagination to fill in is hotter than the reality. In that same way, writing can also work. When you combine art into a story, such as with a visual novel game like this, I think the standard you are setting is the right one. As I've said before, you are on the right track. Keep it up, stick to your vision, and don't be deterred from making the game you set out to, and want to, produce.

    4. Marco on

      Sorry if I missed that, but for what I know the original shipment date has shifted a little. Is there any estimated date for the project to be delivered? I couldn't find the info by myself.
      Thanks

    5. Missing avatar

      BlackCurtains on

      Honestly, there are enough VNs with H-scenes out there and most involving gay characters are rather... eh, not all that romantic. I'm really looking forward to having something different, more creative and more thoughtful.

      Your art is truly beautiful. I can't wait to meet these people :)

    6. Gabriel Guimarães on

      Too much erotic content would be boring. The demo had little erotic elements, but I got hooked by it.
      If you're aiming to a similar blend between story and erotic content as in Dragon Age, I'm totally fine with it. I did play two of the games and the feeling of an off topic reward of sorts is good. But still off topic, because the story is really awesome by itself.

      I hope you have a good time developing it!

    7. Marccus Creator on

      @ablach, just to clarify, my invoking of dragon age/mass effect wasn't meant to say that the romance scenes themselves will proceed like they do in those games, I'm speaking more broadly about how explicit/how erotic the scenes in the game may potentially be. No paths in Eldet will include romance scenes which take place in the same location between different characters, or involve any same scripting. My apologies if that was unclear. I'm well aware that those series are their own, I just wanted to move reader's line of expectation away from heavily erotic visual novels and towards something done with more subtlety.

    8. Missing avatar

      Abhlach on

      I broadly agree with the other commenters who are satisfied with the direction the project will take, but I'd like to add a note of caution, which is that while Dragon Age and Mass Effect are worthy models to look up to, they already exist in their own right. If folks want the DA experience of romance, they'll play DA. Take what works from that approach, sure, but make something new out of it and be mindful of the associated weak points or pitfalls (I won't list them all, but by way of example, slow-motion wrestling matches and fade-to-blacks do not an engaging experience make, nor does scripting much the same scene/behaviour to characters as different as, say, Alistair and Zevran). I'm sure you're already aware of all this, and this isn't intended as a criticism of your plan. I'm very much looking forward to following a story in which there is some erotic content, rather than an erotic story per se. Just adding my two cents.

    9. Howard Kistler
      Superbacker
      on

      Gorgeous portraits! All those faces do seem to have distinct voices and personalities tied to them. You're doing a marvelous job!
      As for the romantic content, the course you've chosen seem perfectly fine to me. I find narrative romance much more immersive and rewarding than explicit hentai-styled antics. So I'm glad you are making it a natural part of the game world and integral to the story. Thank you!

    10. Tom van der Spek
      Superbacker
      on

      Thank you for this update!
      I love these character previews, you almost make them alive and yes, looking at these faces, these are really different people. Well done!
      About your last remarks in the update, I agree totally! I want to play an adventure with a rich story and as a cherry on the cake, there will be some erotic content there as well. The demo of the game impressed me very and I feel I won't be disappointed when I will play the full game!
      Cheers!

    11. Alex Malcolm on

      I am so happy that you're making your game with the same structure as Dragon age/Mass Effect (in terms of the romance aspect) because I love that. It shows that you actually have a story for this game and the romance is an add on. With VNs, while I love them, get really irritating when the only goal is "get the guy/girl" and then you "win". I love story and I'm so glad that's what you're focusing on! The characters in this update are beautiful too! Ahh you actually made some of the characters look older too which is a pleasant surprise! Not everyone can be young and spry at the same time the story takes place so thank goodness you actually have a mind to break the mold of typical VNs.

      I'm so excited for next month's update already. I know you're gonna do great things and please don't let tumblr bully you into doing anything...they want too much and this game is YOUR creation, not theirs. If they don't like it, they can make their own. You're already doing everyone a huge favor just by making this in the first place. Take ideas and criticism of course, but don't lose sight of the goal!

      You're awesome (๑♡⌓♡๑)

    12. Missing avatar

      Rob F on

      First, I'm so glad I got in on backing this project in time. I've narrowly missed the opportunity with others. I'm in the very beginning stages of planning (and trying to decide if I can actually commit to) a VN of my own. Your passion for this is both inspiring and informative. Having watched COOT, and now your responses and preemptive explanations of your vision, I see that there can be a conflict between the vision or technical input of the author and satisfying the desires of backers and customers. I'm glad you're keeping closer to the art side of the spectrum instead of going more into the commercial design philosophy. I think when you try to conform to too many expectations a project can become bland and unsatisfying for the artist/designer. I appreciate authors like you sharing this process so I can set some of my standards this early on.

      As to the specifics of the prominence of eroticism in Eldet, I really don't think anyone should be turned off or seriously disappointed. Your story is obviously a rich, high-quality narrative, and the demo was obviously not a porn game. Frankly, I'm glad you're creating such a long and involved story to explore. I don't expect to play-through in one evening, which is great! It seems to be a challenge to balance the right amount of narrative and pacing between story and 'rewards'. I've seen one game with the first 'reward' about 5 minutes in, which made me roll my eyes. In another, it was just before the final battle of the game, and by that point I was a little burnt out trying to figure out how to unlock whatever was going to happen and was more preoccupied with being equipped well enough for the endgame. Your storycrafting in the demo shows a good balance of peaks and lulls that I trust in your narrative pacing. Also, the more I know the characters and feel involved in what they've done and what they'll do, the more satisfying the 'reward' scenes are. I find many of the men you've created to be very appealing, and I'd be disappointed if engagement with them lasted as long as a Tic Tac.

      So, I just wanted to share my thoughts, encouragement, and trust in your skill and vision. I appreciate your in-depth updates almost as much as I'm anticipating the actual game. I'm sure it will be immensely satisfying.