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Neoshaman

Romance game project LOVE REVOLUTION

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Hello 5 or 4 years ago, a man called Tralu starts an ambitious project called LOVE REVOLUTION. That was an ambitious one which want to be the first English ren ai sim game that could compet with the japaneese one and bring the genre to westerner. I join the team first as an image artist but as the project got problem i have slip to management on the late. Unfortunately it was too late and the team was too much dissolve to continue having faith on the completion of the project. I have made everything i could, from starting organization of data, building a gamedoc, formalizing process, there was no people to follow them on the end. However i have deliver an audit of the project. From the audit, the biggest mistep on the project was incomplete design and fuzzy organisation. The fuzzy organisation was partly solve by bringing an online site to assemble all data about the project for easy acess ( find the site here Loverevo management site ). But there was no one left for completing the design ( here are the design notes doc Loverevo gamedesign not1.doc ). (Here is the audit of situation Loverevo fixing.doc ) That's why i'm Posting here, to Start a discussion on what should be done to complete the design (green marks in the design notes). The idea is to find idea to fill hole using the KISS principle (keep it simply stupid) to make the design coherent and useable. The design was the BIG problem since no gameplay engine could be done, hence no game. Please help me to bring that game out! You can also join me here: Ether.n.aile@gmail.com

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I like reading honest post-mortems; this is a good first step, but you might be better of trying to list what went right / what went wrong. What are the 10 things you'll take with you to your next project?

Odin

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I did a quick scan through the website.. Here's a couple of things that seems to have gone wrong:

- It's BIG.. it's a huge game, and the sheer amount of assets would kill you. 4000+ character portraits is insane, even assuming that you can hide a lot of work using layers and PSD tricks. You would have been better of build a first level that only contained the first 2-3 characters, with a smaller subset of outfits and emotions. With that as a 'game prototype', you would have had a much easier time making the rest of the team motivated, and given a clear path to alpha.

- No art-bible. There was a lot of concept-art from different characters, but there wasn't a clear art-director, nor a clear art direction. This meant that a lot of the work that got done never made it into the actual game, which is very depressing to artists.

- No clear Producer. On an online/remote game development project like this, a producer is absolutely necessary. Someone should be tracking everyone, and making sure they followed through on their tasks. From the website, someone WAS putting a lot of thought into standards (which was good), but you still kept loosing staff, and people 'stopped responding'.

- Lack of measurable progress. There wasn't ever a real build of the game released (as far as I could see), and so people lost faith, and left. I'm a big proponent of daily builds, incorporating the latest improvements to the game. Even if you can't get it done daily, weekly builds are an absolute minimum. You should also have external builds (either for a closed group, or for public consumption) : this would help you schedule your long-term milestones, and drive a lot of internal moral issues. Everyone likes to be told they've done good work, especially by people they admire.

- Hard dependency lines. You had a situation where 'code couldn't be built because the design wasn't complete'. In reality, though, 90% of the design WAS complete, the only stuff missing was related to 'Going on Dates'. The Tech guys could have gotten the rest of the renai engine up and running, which would have been an added incentive to everyone else to contribute to the 'first build'. Instead, the dependency was allowed to fester, and stop all work towards code.

I'm sure there's more stuff, but that's the ones that jumped at me.

If you want to get the game back on track, my honest advice is to scale it down, establish a clear look-and-feel for character, UI and background, then using that to drive a small complete prototype (what EA likes to refer to as a 'vertical slice'). The concept is that once you have ONE scene that plays coherently, with final-level quality, you've basically removed 90% of the technology and art-bible risks, and can start focusing on 'full production'

Allan

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As i said, art is not a problem, wether drawing or writing. In fact, we DID manage to fufill them quite easily when it was necessary. Art are very waterfalling in production, it's a very straightforward process.
As soon as i had formalized the art aspect (writing by creating a generic profile and drawing with the guideline) we got a boost in quality and quantity.
However gamedesign and programmation need a more agile like process.

Ok it's big, but big project can be scale down using only a fragment of it, and it was the case, only a fragment was developped for production purpose and it was enough to test the game.

I was the "producer" but i came in VERY late on the project, that's why it die with the previous team, there was no one left to listen to me. I have set up the dependancy, actually art score low, game design and "gameplay engine" score high.

Speaking of engine, actually i had suggest that a "from scratch" engine is not the way to go. From experiance, i know that the tedious and longer aspect to code are the "make up", interface, rendering engine and the kind, and the least useful for a game dev in an ealy stage, howevere most amateur ALWAYSD focus on the make up, this is the killer of most project and then loverevo.
What we need is not an engine that show things (which we already had) but a gameplay engine that run and let'us test the game (no need for graphics, just indication that the core run smoothly, if the core runs, the graphics is only a pleasent interpretaion of it).
And without complete design with a seamless gameplay flow, we can't do that.

Actually we did have a working prototype... but without the core gameplay, which is useless.

That's why i have post here, i need HELP to complete the whole gamedesign in order to start the production of a core gameplay engine. As soon as those elements are build up, everything else will be pure cookie, trust me!

So, let's discuss about the gameplay :)

What, according to you and the history of the project, IN THE GAME DESIGN is relevent or not, what things could enhance, and what are pure junk??

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