Friday, May 25, 2012

We won an award, hurrah~

Something not visual novel related?... le gasp!

First, for the non-Dutchies; We regularly visit some conventions in the Netherlands to sell our stuff. Last week we were at Animecon, which also organizes the annual Dutch Manga Awards. These are basically awards which can be won by amateur manga artists who self-publish their stories.

As you can see from title of this post, we happened to win in the category original story with our book The Lost Angel Arianna. This resulted in us getting a cool, shiny, super professional(ly handmade) trophy and some moneyz!

Hell yeah.

Actually, we didn't think we would win. It's not that we're not confident about our work, but more the fact that two of the three jury members had a great interest and history in western styled comics.

Yeah, that didn't reassure us much; since people like that usually show a clear preference to a more western style, and our style is totally shoujo. What didn't help either was that another person was nominated in this category with a story using a pure western comic style, and that one of the jury members said he didn't like manga.

As you can imagine, we prepared ourselves to not be butt-hurt after that guy won, only... he didn't. The importance of style did turn out to be an huge discussion point among the jury members, so at least our fears were justified. Also, now I can complain without looking bad~

Anyway, enough gossip about behind-the-scenes Dutch mangaka politics (man, what a sentence). As for the actual convention experience, it was a little different this time. Unlike conventions in America and such, Dutch conventions never had an Artist Alley (or as they say Avenue) before. Instead they just put the artists between the real dealers and shopkeepers.

However, this year they did separate the groups and thus we got our own Avenue. Yes I find it amusing writing this. As expected, sales went down and what didn't help either was that it was placed after the dealerroom. You know, the place where people spend money? Still, it wasn't that bad and if they make sure people realize we're there, then I think it will work out more smoothly.

At the very least, we had lots of cool conversations with our neighbours into the wee hours of the night. Please, accompany us again next time, we still have to convince you to make more visual novels <3.

So, that was our con-report. We had a lot of fun there and will now resume pushing our trophy into people's faces. I'm off! /o/

Next post will really be about Locus Magici, I swear!

~Anna

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Resource management

It's already been a month since NaNoRenO, so that's enough time to recover and pick up our work on our latest project; Locus Magici. However, since we haven't done anything else yet save for writing more of the story (Anna is working hard on that one), today's post will instead be the return of the tips section! Brought to you by me, the ever mysterious K-chan.

First, let us move back to 2010, when I was putting Firefly together. Not planning ahead on how to handle my resources, I pretty much threw everything together in one image folder with a few exceptions for stuff like the title screen images. The result?


Yeah... I kind of regretted that one. Some problems that arose thanks to this:
  • Obviously, it was harder to find specific images.
  • It was harder to get an overview: How much sprites characters had, which background had handmade evening/night versions and which could go without, etc.
  • More descriptive names were needed to be able to find them, result in longer names to type out.
  • All of these problems were tenfold once I hadn't memorized the locations and character's names  anymore.
When it was time for Nanolife, I decided to turn things around:


There, much better. Characters, backgrounds, fades, and various parts of the system all get their own folder now, making it much easier to work for me. Also, the names used in Nanolife were rather short, but otherwise I could have also worked with three-letter abbreviations (like kee/smi.png for the image path, instead of keeffe/smile.png)

I talked mostly about images now, but the same goes for scripts. Instead of putting everything in one master document, I like to split it up in multiple scenes, sorted by number. For example, '1.lvn' or '1-description of scene.lvn'. Like images, it is easier to find and edit a specific scene, or see whether a scene is too long in comparison or not.

This seems like a pretty simple concept, but it saves quite a bit of time, at least in my case. At the very least, it's enjoyable to see oneself developing tricks like these. Well, until next time, where hopefully we'll have something to show related to Locus Magici :).

~K-chan