Big Update and Character Info
Hi guys, I hope everyone is having a nice Friday. Anyway it's time for another update for Reach for the Stars =).
To start with, writing for the game is going a bit slow at the moment due to dealing with a few things. The past month has been a bit better, but things are still kind of stressful for me from school to finding a new job etc. However on a good note, I've finally been able to find a therapist and am hoping she can help me out a bit, even if it's only a little. Now I bet a lot of people have been wondering when the new demo is coming out and I am happy to say soon. I'm estimating in a couple of weeks it should be done. Like I've said the demo will consist of the entire common route, so it'll be a bit long. Also I'm planning to get my Patreon up to date, so hopefully in the next update I can get that to you guys
As with music, I'm happy to saw we have a new addition to the team Josh, and he's already been working on the music for the game =D. Kei's theme is finished and now he's going to Emily.
For the art, things are going nicely. All but one main girl is done and so I can now code more since the last girl won't appear till later in the common route (she's a special character). For now we're working on the first few CG's to show you guys. After they are done I'm hoping to finally get the Chibi art done for you guys. I just want to get a little bit more done for the demo first.
Anyway here's an example of Chris's and Kei's first CG in sketch from
As for the rest of the update, I'd like to share some info on the girls. I thought it would be a nice treat since the main cast is nearly done. It's a bit of a read, but I think you'll like it. Also you'll see some of the new art for the final three =D.
Abby is a friendly and kind, but also quiet and slightly negative girl. She is the second most mature in the story however and can be seen as the voice of reason. As you can see from her design, Abby is different from a lot of main character you see in visual novels as she is on the bigger side. This was always intentional as I wanted to add something new to the visual novel scene. However her weight doesn't really play a major factor in the story nor is it her character. She's just someone who looks different. What was hardest for her design was finding an artist able to draw her big due to this body type not being easy or people just not wanting to draw it. However as you've seen with both versions of her, Aya and Thai Chau have done a really good job with her body. Now I know some will be put off with her as a main character, but I do think a lot of people will find her cute as you guys have. If it works out I hope to make more characters (both male and female) bigger in size
In terms of her story Abby suffers deeply from depression despite her happy appearance. I thought giving the main character that would be a nice touch as I know many people like me suffer from it. However she won't be depressed all the time, but I feel like it's an issue that should be touched upon. In terms of why she's depressed it's hard to say without spoiling things, but I will say it's due to her mom, new step dad, and being bullied back at her old school. Lucky for her she has her sister, but even Abby knows Riko isn't the most truthful person in the world.
As for her growth, I'd like to have Abby learn to be more confident in herself both in looks and how she excels in something. In a way she is a positive force for bigger people, so I don't want her to come off as negative. However she will struggle in every route as she's someone who doesn't always handle problems well. But the love she has for her friends is what keeps her going. I think writing her is pretty easy to and fun. I admit I'm trying not to make her shy cause it's used often in Yuri, but maybe at least a loner.
Abby's likes are pretty simple. She enjoys writing (thus being the writer for the play), video games, swimming, and of course sweets which she makes. I'm hoping her cooking will be one of things that Kei often wants as those will make for some really cute things. As for romance she's not someone who really sees gender but rather how a person is and what they do, so she'll fall in love with a girl or guy.
Abby's childhood friend and my second favorite character. She is a spunky, energetic, and outgoing girl who is well known in school for her friendly nature. She is the one to make Abby feel welcomed and help show her that it's good to make new friends. Kei does have a bad habit of being a bit overbearing though and you'll see that throughout the story. She also can be a bit selfish when it comes to her dreams and may not always think of others from time to time. With her design, I think the blue hair fits her just like the green. I wanted it to be an odd color since she's a rocker girl and longs to be a musician, so I think her old and new style work well. As you can see though she now has a cat as a barrette instead of a skull. Truth is the cat was a really cute idea thai chau came up with and I agreed with her that it looked nicer =D.
In terms of her character, Kei is someone I think many would want as a friend. She's loyal, fun, and always trying to encourage others to go far. As I said though she can be overbearing and those scenes will be the more comical parts with her. Her route though is kind of basic, but I think many will relate to her. She longs to leave home and become famous as a musician, but her father is keeping her done. Her route isn't as depressing, but what'll make it dark is her relationship with Abby. You see though Kei is the most positive, she also is someone who hides her negative side and doesn't like dealing with her personal problems. She cares deeply for Abby, but holds some negative feelings towards her. The romance between them will be fun to write though and I think the'll have some really cute moments.
Now like I said I think many will be able to relate to her and her problems. I also think (or rather hope) that readers will really like her as a character. Funny fact though, originally I had Mara as the main love interest but changed to Kei due to her being easier to write and having better compatibility with Abby. I think the pair are actually very good for each other =).
The kind of tsun of the group. Chris is a competitive, rude yet capable girl who strives for perfection. Her meeting with Abby isn't the best and the pair don't get along right away. Chris is easily annoyed by thing and at times comes off as a bit of a jerk. However unlike Kei, Chris is someone you can rely on not only to get the job done, but have it done nearly perfectly. This is why a lot of her teachers admire and trust her. Unfortunately the same can't be said for her fellow piers and she has a few friends.
Chris's design I wanted to be unique. I really liked her blue/white hair, but I admit the pink suits her more. She's also a bit tanner to add some diversity in terms of race. Not much I can say besides this, but I hope she does have a unique appearance for you guys as it's also a part of her story. In terms of her route, I think Chris's is one of the more sadder ones. Like with Kei, I think many can relate to her relationship with her family and how she feels like the black sheep. It's due to their treatment of her that she strives to be perfect and to out beat everyone. Unfortunately doing this has isolated her more from her family and classmates. I think Chris will have one of the strongest relationships with Abby in her route as they do share something in common. As both come to rely on each other, they'll find a part of them that had been missing. However like I said, Chris's route is sad and her 'happy' end may not be so happy. She will have some good funny moments though as Abby's is often clumsy around her due to fearing she'll upset Chris somehow. Also she and Yoko have some real bad chemistry, but I think their friendship will be seen as something interesting. As for Kei, they are complete opposite, but she does care for her. Chris actually like that Kei is often out there.
Writing her should be fun I think. I've got a lot of good scenes between her and the other girls, with her striking up a friendship with Riko since they have a similar hobby. I hope people though can relate to her family problems and how she deals with them. Like Kei though, she doesn't always handle things in the best of ways.
A cold and distant girl who is hard to read. Emily is the youngest of the group and is a grade lower then the other girls. She comes off as someone who doesn't want to be talked to and even frightens some of her classmates due to part of her face having a burn mark. She is often bullied by others in her class, but isn't someone to play the victim. She takes the abuse and spends her time reading and playing with animals in order to help her cope. Though cold, she is a lonely girl who has lost faith in the words 'friendship' and 'love'.
In terms of her look, Emily looks pretty much the same. The only thing different is her classes which suit her I think. I admit I do love the scar in both her versions and I think it adds to her beauty (is that odd to say?). Like Yoko she hasn't had much of a change, but unlike the others she has two alternate outfits.
As a character she is my favorite as we share something in common, being bullied. I know Emily is someone a lot of people can relate to even if they've only been bullied by others a little. Emily's route is likely the darkest of the story given what happens. Now I know some told me they were a bit worried about how I will handle the bullying scenes due to them maybe bringing back some bad memories, so I'm not going to do something really graphic. However I do want to show how bullying can really mess someone up, so some of the scenes may be a bit dark. However I also want to add hope in her character and this shows up early in the common route when she becomes friends with Abby and the other girls. Her story (spoiler alert!!!) will have death in it though, but it brings her closer with Abby. Honestly she's the cutest of the girls and I think a lot of people will not only like her as a character, but also her route.
A rich girl who is half Japanese and half American. Yoko is a bit of a snob and vain, while also having a deep love for money. She also has quite the mouth on her and doesn't like being around those she finds annoying. However Yoko is very good with business and wants to take up her dad's job once her retires. It should be no surprise that she's popular in school and admired by many. In terms of her 'fans' she's actually quite kind and cheerful. It's when dealing with girls like Chris and Kei that she shows her short temper.
Like Emily, Yoko's design is exactly the same. Nothing has changed at all about her except for her swim suit. She gives off that rich girl vibe, which I intended from the start. Now I'm hoping her design isn't generic or her character, but I've got t admit she is the second most prettiest girl in the game XD.
Her route, in my opinion at least, is quite dark. I admit not many may be able to relate, but I wanted to create a story for her that focuses more on someone who thinks money is everything to realizing love and friendship is. Her route gets darker though due to the weakness her body has and how things really change for her. In terms of her family I think she gets along with them pretty well and admires her dad for him being a hard worker. I think Yoko will be the hardest to write though in terms of making her story interesting, but I think what I've got people will really like. I will say that one of the things her route does focus on besides her health is also racism from her extended family. She'll also have the biggest family in the game.
The older sister of the group and Yoko's best friend. Mara is likely the most mature character due to her calm nature and motherly presence. She is someone who cares deeply for others and tries to keep things calm, like Abby actually. However she is also one of many secrets and actually suffers from a mental disorder, but keeps it secret from most. What I like about Mara's personality is likely her gentle and mature nature. It says something when she's more of an adult then Riko, whose like seven years older.
In terms of design I think Mara had the biggest chance not only in looks but also personality. She's less meek then I had originally had her and her story has changed a bit. In terms of her looks I love the purple hair honestly and I think it gives off that mature aura. Another thing I like are the eyes. They are beautiful but also intense, showing how she is someone who you do not want to make angry.
Mara's route is definitely dark and may be the most dramatic out of all of them. I can't give much away due to me still planning her story (yeah she's been hard to do DX), but I think I've got a good story. One thing though I can say is she is someone who has many masks and may not be a good as she comes off. Remember my comment about the eyes?
Fun Fact-Mara's name is actually from a game I played. It means 'Goddess of Love' in the game. It's up to you on whether or not you think she suits this name as you go through her story.
Abby's fun and laid back sister. Despite her age, Riko isn't the most mature of people and she has a bad habit of being a bit lazy. However when it comes to doing her sculpting or even painting, she is shown to shine. Similar to Kei, Riko is a positive force for Abby and tries her best to keep her little sister happy. However, she herself is also someone who keeps secrets from those close to her and has a bad habit of stretching the truth.
Though she doesn't have a route, I really do enjoy Riko as a character. In a way she's based off my own sister as both are strong, passionate, and caring towards others. I did change her up a bit giving her a slightly lazy side, but I think that suits her. Though technically a sub character, I actually think Riko plays an important role as Abby's support and someone she can go to when in trouble. I haven't decided which route to make Riko most needed in, but I think Chris will be a good choice given their love for art.
I hope you guys enjoyed this update =D. I'm planning on making another once the demo is more done. I'll also introduce the secret character to backers. Again I'm really grateful for the patience and support from you all. I'll do my best to make this game fun for all of you =).