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I often talk about "scene one" or "scene two" but I realized I never openly explained what effectively one of these "scenes" is, or how many scenes it does take to complete the demo for Serenade. I like to call "scene" every small episode that makes the story of Serenade progress. It can be a dialogue or a series of events that starts at a point and has a conclusion. All the scenes I wrote till now present a "problem" or "question" concerning something going on, and before a scene is concluded a "solution" is provided. 

Till now I coded three scenes (apart from the music and some sounds), from 0 (the prologue) till scene 2. To make up the demo it will take eight scenes but I will need to make new assets only for four and a half. From scene 5 to 8 I will only write and code, so it's possible that these scenes will be completed in half the time. This 8-scene-demo (about 15k words) is the very first sample of Serenade I'm aiming to release!

I wanted to make this point clear, but now we can go back to the original topic of this post :D. The first location of the game is the fictional city of Kujikawa. It ideally is situated around Gifu prefecture in Japan, but I prefer to remain vague about its precise whereabouts. It's a very important location for the story itself and its mountain vibe is intended to make a good contrast with the second location of the game: Tokyo. I spent several attempts in depicting this city and I had quite a hard time when looking for the right photographs of the real Gifu area to take as a reference. In the end I kind of collected whatever photograph was good for the mood I wanted to recreate. 

Kujikawa has a modern city center, which is where the Choumugai district is. Apart from that, it's really all mountains and woods. And also some bridges, since the Kujikawa River crosses the whole valley.
I tried to draw Kujikawa backgrounds from scratch last year, but I truly prefer to use photographs as reference and to trace them whenever I have permission (or when I take them myself). The scene above is not far from Kairi's home and on the right side you can see Kairi's high school building.

Second shot is the view of a bridge into the woods :D This reminded me of Austria which I visited many times during childhood. I thought that recreating what I saw there would match the mountain mood quite fine!

Backgrounds are currently being colored. Next week (1-5) I will complete them and work on the third one (the last!) for Kujikawa. Before leaving, I wanted to upload one of those attempts I did for Kujikawa backgrounds that I ended up scrapping D: See you next update!

Backgrounds for Kujikawa location

I'm one day late with this update but, in the end, I relaxed for the whole break so I didn't find any time to turn on my pc and write eheh...

This post is full of artworks to introduce, so let's begin!
First, I finished the sprite for a secondary characters that will make seldom appearances in the story. He's a rather violent punk coming from Choumugaithe red light district. I already had his lineart done from a previous version of Serenade, so it didn't take much to complete him. Anyway I wanted to customize him a bit more and ended up decorating his hoodie : D

His name in game will simply be "Angry man" or "Man". You can find his profile card in the Kujikawa Character Page.

Second. First CG scene is completed. It's part of the second scene of the game. Basically the "Angry man" will get annoyed at something he thinks Kairi has done, so the scene depicts the punk cornering our protagonist. 

By now scene two is fully coded and working. I still have to fix some pauses and timing during the dialogues but I will wait until some friend playtest it so that I can get different opinions about it. I'm eager to show some screenshots here on this blog but it's still a bit early D: I'll complete some more scenes and then I'll surely do it.
In the meanwhile, this is the black screen that opens scene 2, with date and location. 

Today a new week starts (20-28). I'll work on scene 3 for which I already have all the sprites and good part of the writing. What's left are three backgrounds I'm working on right now. I'll try to gather enough reference to draw them.
See you!

A new sprite - first CG - 2nd scene completed!

Time for Teru to show his range of expressions! They are only ten at the moment but I'd like to introduce one more body pose in the future and add some more emotions as well.

As you probably may notice, Teru is rather cheerful and also a bit goofy-looking. Anyway, because of his mistrustful personality, he can also become very annoying as he rarely forgives a lie. The expressions "serious 3" and "glare" will serve this purpose. I plan to change a bit his description in the Kujikawa Character's page with more updated info like this one, and also, I want to change his university major as, storywise, the current one is not fitting very well. I will talk more about it in some future post where I'll explain clearly Teru's role.

Second accomplishment for this past week is the writing and coding for Scene II. As not all the assets are completed, the coding is still missing some parts, but most of the work has been done. This scene is about 1750 words and takes place in Eizono Private High School in Kujikawa City (I'd like to create a profile page for places too, similar to the one I use for characters). Eizono High School will only show up in this scene and in some flashbacks later in the story. The background art you see below was made by my "partner in crime" over three years ago for the first version ever of Serenade. And we're still using it today! I have other backgrounds from those years, I think I will share them someday : D.

Next week (12-15) is very short. I will take a short break from 15 to 19 but I plan to finish scene II completely prior to that. I'm already working on the first CG of the game, then I will need to polish a NCP sprite and code it. 
See ya next post! : D

Teru's expressions map - Scene II

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