Merry Christmas!

December 24th, 2011 by Graph

Hello everyone, this is Graph. I Hope you’re all enjoying the holiday season so far! For those of you that haven’t noticed, we have a new logo that I designed at the top of this blog page and the forums. Just a little something to help get DSD’s name out there in our future game releases.

This year our holiday present is an update on Touhou Mecha; we’re making some good progress here. I mentioned in the previous update that I was considering making the battle sequences using sprites; I’m happy to report that it’s going well for the most part (just have to figure out how to avoid making Ren’py slow down with the large Yatagarasu mecha sprite). As it’s a one-man show as far as artwork goes, don’t expect animation on the level of Super Robot Taisen, but I think I can pull off something close to the mecha scenes of Muvluv Alternative (VNDB info link).

Unyu

They must have hats.

Stupid Bird!

Evil Eyes?

Yatagarasu's plasma rifle

Our progress so far is as follows:

Character sprites: 100%!
Backgrounds: 70%
Mecha sprites: 40%
CGs: 5%
Music: Pending…
SFX: 80%
GUI programming: 90%

Provided I can figure out what to do about music soon, I think we’re looking at a January or February release for Chapter 1. Again, unlike Eastern Starlight Romance, Touhou Mecha is going to have periodic Chapter releases so this release will be considered more or less “finished”, rather than a demo (though we might retroactively update sprites or add new ones later).

Also don’t worry about ESR. The writers are still working on it. It’s just not as exciting to talk about random pieces of scripting. We’re just lucky to be at the point where we can work on both without sacrificing quality on either.

2 years of DSD!

November 9th, 2011 by Graph

We’re proud to announce that as of today, it is 2 years since the founding of DSD! What started out as a random idea blossomed into a wonderful project. We’re happy to have stuck together this long, and we’d like to thank everyone who’s come along for the ride. We’re in writing crunch now, so we’ll probably be quiet on that front for a bit, but we’re doing our best to get ESR completed.

Meanwhile, I have an update for Touhou Mecha.

Touhou Mecha dialogue1

Touhou Mecha dialogue1

Touhou Mecha dialogue1

Touhou Mecha dialogue1

Progress

Sprites: 70% Still need to finish Utsuho’s and Rin’s sets, and do a couple of small sets.

Backgrounds: 50%

CGs: 4%? Currently, I’m looking into how to implement the battle sequence using sprites, so many of the CGs will actually turn into mecha sprites and cavern backdrops.

Music: 0%, hopefully getting started soon.
SFX: 0%
GUI programming: ~70%

Touhou Mecha continues

September 26th, 2011 by Graph

I’m here to announce the project we hinted at in the previous blog entry. I’m making my webcomic project, Touhou Mecha, into a DSD production!

See the new info page here.

Touhou Mecha dialogue1

Touhou Mecha dialogue2

Touhou Mecha CG1

Onward towards the final version

September 17th, 2011 by IcedFairy

I’d like to thank everyone again who looked over our demo. With that we’ve got good feeling moving forward. We writers are pushing on, though with the routes branching we’ve hit the bulk of our workload. Still it’s a fun job, as we finally get to wrap up all those plots we tossed into the air.

Art and music wise most of the work for ESR has been done. Graph’s still putting the finishing touches on things of course, and there’s a few songs Mixtape still has in the works, but a lot of that work is all wrapped up.

What does that mean for you? It means we’ve got some things starting up alongside our ESR work. We’ll let you know more about it when things become a little more solid.

Demo 2.0 Released

July 2nd, 2011 by IcedFairy

We’re proud to announce that the second demo for Eastern Starlight Romance is now available. We’d like to thank our beta testers, supporters and players for their presence and comments. Please wait warmly as it downloads, and we hope you enjoy it.

Windows download: here
Multiplatform download: here

Manual/Readme, with screenshots: here

Notable additions:
# Demo now goes up to the second festival.
# Marisa portrait added.
# All artwork reshaded, most artwork redone.
# Music looping reworked. Added several new tracks.
# Music Room added.
# VFX added for danmaku scenes.
# Title screen altered.
# Options menu edited.
# Several script segments edited for clarity and brevity.
# Koishi advice edited to be more useful.

Beta Testing Round 2

June 11th, 2011 by IcedFairy

So now that all of us have escaped our various obligations we’re working as fast as we can to get the demo together for testing. Which means in the near future we’ll need testers. In fact given the increase in size we’ll probably need a number of testers.

The upside of getting the beta will of course be that you get to see the demo early. The downside sadly is beta testing is a little more intensive then just a normal playthrough. We need people who can catch our internal contradictions, point out where we’re just wasting words, and clearly explain why they feel the way they do about our characters. In addition, since we’re working on the late game now, this is probably the best chance to change the direction of the scripts. Some things we’re doing by design (Flandre’s story is very strong early on, while we’re planning on Alice’s end to be very involved) but if characters are too much in the background we need to know now. Our playtesters will have the first shot at giving us that info.

So if you’re interested in being a beta tester please drop us a line at
beta@dsd.faceroll.net . Things to include in the e-mail:

- Your member name on the DSD forums if you’ve registered there.
- How much time you think you can spend testing.
- Any other reasons we should pick you.

If you get chosen we’ll send you info on how to acquire and comment on the demo as soon as we finish all the tweaks we’ve been working on.

UI Changes

May 8th, 2011 by IcedFairy

Marisa emotions

We’ve spent a lot of time fixing things up after our first demo. Graph pretty much redid all of the artwork. Mixtape and Strato tweaked and added a bunch of songs. Kirby’s prettied up the UI. And of course us writers have been editing the script (in addition to pushing on towards the endings). Most of these started as soon as we got player feedback in.

Some ideas however just sort of popped up. One of them was LTs on and off idea of giving Marisa some screen time. Of course this was usually set aside, both because it wasn’t common practice, and because Graph had enough on his plate.

However some time opened up right as we started finishing up the 2nd demo artwork, and so we decided to try it out. And we all liked it. It helps us show Marisa’s personality, and opens up the stage for a little more comedy. So you can look forward to seeing Marisa in more then just a few CGs.

Music part deux

April 16th, 2011 by Mixtape

Hello again. It’s me, your friendly neighbourhood musician.

Last time around I brought up problems related to composing for visual novels, and to an extent all games. Today I return to encourage other musicians to take the leap and join a project. I’ve also got a challenge to you composers out there, and last but not least: The premiere of my YouTube channel, with a new track from ESR.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Gensoukyo 5

April 1st, 2011 by IcedFairy

Sorry we keep falling behind on blog posts. Fortunately we got together something perfect for this first of April.

Many Touhou fan works have featured Marisa, but we’re trying to do something a little different. We’ve tried to stay true to Marisa’s character quirks, and personal oddities. We also have tried to bring up things that were mentioned in official works and usually forgotten by fans. Like her work on an immortality potion, her family situation and her interest in the outside world.

In addition we’ll be interpolating from some more distant things like Kotohime’s PoDD ending.

Thus enter agent 7. International woman of mystery.

Of course it would be boring to have Marisa acting as the mysterious agent 7 all by her lonesome. That might work for a Touhou ending, but not for a VN like our own. She’ll be teaming up with several superheroes from around Gensoukyo, all working together for a common goal. The overthrow of the corrupt elite, and the advancement of the oppressed classes of Gensoukyo.

And of course where would a bond parody be without a bond girl?

Who are the other stalwart heroes? We’ll leave you to find that out, but the rich shall tremble when they hear of the Gensoukyo 5!

Of course, Kotohime will make an appearance as well, to put down this populist wealth redistribution, though sadly that’s outside of the scope of the next demo. Still the actions of the Gensoukyo 5 should add a good dose of ACTION! to Marisa’s romantic endeavors.

Introduction to Ren’Py

March 19th, 2011 by SleepKirby

Hello, programmer SleepKirby here.

I’ve mentioned in an earlier post that Eastern Starlight Romance runs on the Ren’Py engine, but perhaps it would be interesting to show what’s involved in coding a basic Ren’Py game.  Ren’Py is a visual novel engine, based on the programming language Python. One of its strongest points is that it’s easy to make a basic visual novel with it.

Here’s a simple example.  The code for a line of dialogue looks like this:

ma "Not bad, Alice. I didn't think you were that devious."

The part in quotes is the dialogue.  “ma” indicates that Marisa is speaking.  ma is a Character object, and it’s a shortcut so that we don’t have to type the full name “Marisa” every time Marisa speaks.

Here’s where the Character object is defined:

define ma = Character('Marisa', color="#FCEC7C")

With this code, the speaker’s name is shown as Marisa.  Using Character objects, we can also customize the dialogue box based on who’s speaking.  In this case, we make Marisa’s name show up as the color FCEC7C.  That happens to be a shade of yellow.

That’s Graph’s new Alice and Mystia, by the way!

In the future, I may make more posts about Ren’Py.  My main purpose here isn’t to advertise Ren’Py (though I do recommend trying it out); it’s to give examples of the inner workings that make a visual novel come together.