ANNOUNCEMENTS

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Would you still read DC if it moved away from a traditional comic format? (There would still be art.)
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DC 2.0 Progress Update 4

July 6th, 2019, 11:00 am

I Say...

Hazumirein says,

Alright, I realize this update is a bit later than usual, but that’s because I wanted to have some actual screenshots of what this thing is going to look like to show off.

I guess this is kind of the big announcement--I have figured out the new format. DreamCatcher: Reflections will be presented in the format of...*drumroll*...a visual novel!

Well, sort of. Technically it qualifies as a “kinetic novel,” as there will be few, if any, choices to make or different paths to go down—it’s still a linear story.

For anyone unfamiliar, a visual novel is technically a type of video game, but with pretty limited “gameplay”--usually just hitting the “next” button to further the story. The use of character sprites is common, often interspersed with illustrations like the screencaps above.

I’m hoping this satisfies those of you that were iffy about DC moving away from a comic format in that it’s still very art-heavy, and there will be plenty to look at..but I don’t necessarily have to draw out every word I’ve written. It’s also going to leave me with a lot of reusable assets, like character sprites and backgrounds, that I can just plug in when things get dialogue-heavy instead of trying to figure out a billion different ways to draw a bunch of characters sitting around talking. However, it also leaves plenty of room for “show, don’t tell” scenes where I can just draw out an entire sequence of, say, Luna drop-kicking a monster in a pseudo-animated format, because that’s more exciting than a paragraph of text. Finally, I can add music and sounds effects! DC can have the soundtrack I’ve always wanted it to ;)

In order to head off some questions, I’ve put together a fake Q&A of some things I think people might be wondering, but feel free to ask additional questions in the comments below.

1.) Where will this be posted?

The plan is to have my own website for DC where chapters will be made available for download as they come out.

2.) How often will updates come out?

Ideally, a full chapter will drop every 1-2 months. Some will be longer than others, but all in all they should be mostly similar in length.

3.) How is it being created? Why full-chapter updates?

I tossed around a few different ideas to try to keep the weekly updates, like doing a browser-based thing, but the options available for that didn’t seem to afford me the creative control that I wanted, and I couldn’t even begin figuring out how to design a website around it (I’m sure I could pay someone to do it for me, but...eh. Maybe someday). Anyway, I’m using a software called Ren’Py to create this thing, or at least the first chapter. The game files will be available for download on any computer. It’s possible I will find a better option in the future, but this is it for now.

4.) I can’t download things/want to read on mobile/can’t read visual novels for some reason/want more frequent updates.

Fear not! I still intend to make use of SmackJeeves and possibly Tapas as mirror sites, where the still images from the chapter (like the above screencaps) will be posted in sequential form after the “game” version is released, probably in more of a regular weekly update. Obviously it’ll be lacking the sound, transitions, animation, etc., but it’ll be another way for people who have accessibility issues to read the story, and also serves as a quick way to recap if you ever need to. I will work on a better solution for reading on mobile devices; I’m sure there is one, but in the interest of not pushing back the release date too much, I'm not going to focus on it right away.

5.) Will there be branching paths, dialogue choices, etc.?

Not really. DC is still a linear story and is intended to be told as such. I may occasionally offer dialogue choices that lead to some extra conversations to drop additional character or worldbuilding info, but nothing that’s going to affect the plot. Flavor text, if you will.

6.) How will I know when it updates?

I’ll try to announce release dates in advance via the site and social media, and probably the mirrors as well. But otherwise, just keep an eye out ;)

7.) When is this thing starting?

My target is to release the first chapter in mid-late August, though I’m not going to put it out until it’s DONE, so...if it takes until September, then so be it. I’ve got a pretty good start on it, but there’s still a lot to do, and I don’t want to put something out that’s half-finished and poorly thought out like...the first several chapters of the DC comic were |D I hope you all understand that while this is taking some time to put together, it's in the interest of it being smoother sailing later.

8.) So, what’s changed about DC?

A few things! The format change will come with colored art, sound effects, and music, for starters. The story is starting a few years later than it would have originally, in 2009 as opposed to 2006. Therefore, the characters are a bit older and there are some slight personality tweaks that come with that, but all in all no one has changed drastically. I’m doing my best to tighten up the writing, and while the base plot will be pretty much the same and a most major events will play out similarly, a lot of details are getting adjusted as I work my way through. Sometimes it’s just changing the way a conversation goes, other times it’s wholly new scenes, chapters, or even new characters. I think you’ll like it!

Anyway, if you would like to see the full versions of the above screencaps, here they are:

Screencap 1
Screencap 2
Screencap 3

That's it for now! I will check in again in a few weeks, hopefully with a release date!

And You Say...

dracone says,

Sounds interesting, will this be a step towards making something like an RPG type game in the DC world?

I would love to play in the world of DreamCatcher, it would allow for an exploration of the lore of the series outside the lens of the official story, plus we could see some monsters and the like you wanted to add in but decided weren't appropriate to the story

Birdz555 says,

Ahhh omgosh I never expected this! This is a really cool shift - I'm so excited!!

Hazumirein says,

@dracone: I would LOVE to make an RPG set on Sanvolae, there are definitely other stories that could be told there (in fact I have another one that takes place in a different part of the world than DC), but that would require... significantly more help and funding than I have at the moment haha.

@Birdz555: Thank you! I never expected this to be the option I went with either, but it ultimately seemed like the best one for what I wanted to do with it. I am excited too!

dracone says,

@Hazumirein I know what you mean, putting anything together is a lot of work. I'm actually working on a new RPG at the moment, and have been this past year, and am currently in the first phase of testing with some players online.

It's probably less work, even if by a slight margin, to write things out a supplement for an existing system than build one from the ground up. That said, building the system from the ground up means you are able to tailor the game towards your ideas of how things should flow and have rules specially crafted for everything in the game and its world.

Lunar Eclipse the Umbreon says,

I am with ya

I don’t care what you change I have liked what you made so far and hopefully won’t stop now. So no matter what I will stay with ya

Comments, anyone?