HL: the game

Discussion in 'The Arts' started by NotAPumpkin, Nov 7, 2014.

  1. NotAPumpkin

    NotAPumpkin Game maker and tie breaker


    A Ren'py-coded visual novel (with romance elements?) game featuring the adventures of Hidden Levelers.


    The basic structure of the game as far as I have planned it is: Choose where to go and who to hang out with, which leads to a “route” with that person. There is an overarching story that all the routes tie into.

    People who have expressed interest in the game so far are:

    Mr. LL

    NOTE: There's a ton of people I'd love to put in the game, but I will not assume assent, so if you want to be in it, please drop me a line.



    Okay, except for coding, because Ren'py is kindly taking that burden off my shoulders.

    Well, we can break it down to WRITING as the top priority, and then DRAWING and maybe even a bit of MUSIC if we're lucky.


    I have an UNNAMED PROTAGONIST who is a bit of a schrodingers cat when it comes to their true identity, if any.

    The story involves a sinister plot to take over Hidden Level and the efforts of various forum members to thwart it!


    I have some vague ideas for some, but suggestions and ideas would be awesome!

    Some of my ideas:

    Vark enacts a diabolical counter-strike

    Inex the multi-talented artist has been cursed

    Almonds leads the Hidden Level army to victory

    Triguy the private eye digs deeper into the evil plot

    I think when things are a little more organized it'll be easier to delegate things if needed. So start spawning some ideas, people! Brainstorm warning: in effect. If I have ideas, I'll bounce them around in this thread.

    I'd like to add that this project is inspired by AH's MSPAFA, which had an awesome setting, great characterization, zany hijinks, and was overall excellent.

    I like the way you think Ginge! Because you happen to be thinking the same thing I am thinking.

    ....And it's not “Let's take over the world”. This time, at least.
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2014
  2. Tesseract

    Tesseract Regrets Choices Thus Far

    this is like the fourth time someone's proposed a HL dating sim haha

    please yes
  3. gingerale

    gingerale Dread Pirate

  4. inexpediency

    inexpediency Ruler of this [CHAT]

    sign me right the fuck up
  5. Varkarrus

    Varkarrus I have class

  6. ectocal

    ectocal Hapster

    Anything you need me to do, I'm there.
  7. Almost Human

    Almost Human Mightest of the Drunks Staff Member Bürgermeister

    Let's do it!
    I may not be available 24/7 but if you have the patience let me work around my schedule, I'm in.
  8. NotAPumpkin

    NotAPumpkin Game maker and tie breaker

    Oh man, I'm so glad you guys are interested! I'm gonna spend the next while hashing out details because I want to figure out which direction this is going before I end up spawning some massive thing that will never get done.

    I'm thinking it will be smart to keep things simple at least until the project is well underway. And if you really want to help, man oh man I'm probably going to need it. For one thing, planning. Over the next little bit I hope nobody minds some crowd-sourcing while I bounce some ideas around. Drawing will be a thing that I need help with for sure, but some planning needs to happen before that gets started.

    The primary question right now is what form the game will take. The easiest way to go writing-wise would be the "mysterious newcoming protagonist" one, and you do some choice making and end up on different paths. Thoughts? (I need thoughts.)
  9. gingerale

    gingerale Dread Pirate

    We could go back to Almonds' "Forums are a Strange Hotel" setting.
  10. NotAPumpkin

    NotAPumpkin Game maker and tie breaker


    OP updated. Go read it!
  11. Almost Human

    Almost Human Mightest of the Drunks Staff Member Bürgermeister

    Any ideas, settings or anything else from that adventure are totally up for grabs. I won't be doing anything with them in the foreseeable future, if someone wants to get some use of out of them by all means go for it!
    Also I'm flattered to think that my silly shenanigans could have inspired anyone to do anything, you guys are the best.
  12. inexpediency

    inexpediency Ruler of this [CHAT]

  13. im not terribly active but i can probably input some suggestions n' stuff

    also im for the "faceless protag" because then anyone who isn't us could be like "its a me" or something silly

    you should plan out like, 3 routes first before anything else. write up an outline, decide whether you'll get to make choices and whether those choices impact the story, and if so what are the good/bad endings/whatever etc. etc. etc.

    So something like:

    Intro -> Choices leading up to one of routes -> follow the route/make choices affecting the route -> End[ings?]

    My experience with visual novels is fairly limited but I imagine that's about how it goes.

    You'll want to keep it small for now and then as stuff gets done and planned out then slowly start adding to it but be OK with culling the weak because you don't want it growing TOO much/fast. I'd also help with the "code" side of things/using Ren'py but I've never used it so I can't actually help outside of theoretical stuff.

    Ugh I had something else that might've been important to add to this post but I can't remember what it was. If I ever remember I'll pop back in.
  14. NotAPumpkin

    NotAPumpkin Game maker and tie breaker

    Thanks, LL! Your vote for the faceless protag is fortunate, because I've written a little bit already with that premise in mind.

    I think you're right about starting small. Trying out a couple of fairly short routes before getting into anything too crazy seems like it would be for the best. Choices are going to be a thing, but I want to keep them simple and straightforward. Probably something like one good, one bad end, for now.

    Ren'py is luckily pretty user-friendly, and so far I've got basic scripting, adding images, and making simple choices down. I'm sure I'll run into difficulties along the way, including the tedium of coding things to go the way I want and wading through my vastly inefficient organizational methods.

    I'm going to add you to the list of project people, if that's okay. If you want to keep popping by or help out in any way that would be awesome!

    Haha. Yes. This is so usable. At the very least it would make an interesting "Bad end". Or a really wacky route.

    I wonder if Swari wants in...
  15. ectocal

    ectocal Hapster

    About that! I've heard of this: http://twinery.org/

    It might be useful maybe?
  16. Varkarrus

    Varkarrus I have class

    I think, before we start literally ANY individual plotlines or stuff
    we need 2 things

    A) a location
    B) a zero timeline (basically a list of events of what would happen and when, assuming the protag sits on their hands the entire story and talks to nobody)
  17. NotAPumpkin

    NotAPumpkin Game maker and tie breaker

    Handily, I lay down an idea for a plot earlier. I like the idea of an overarching story tying the routes together, and then there can also be scenes common to all routes, which also might make writing easier.

    Then again, I've never made a game before, so advice is appreciated.


    I have the rough outlines for a story that may be revised at the suggestion of anybody, or my own better judgement.

    It involves sinister forces conspiring to take over Hidden Level, and the forumites efforts to stop them. Everybody fits into the scheme differently, and hijinks may ensue.

    And I guess I'm basing this off a throwaway line in the AH's MSPAF: FA, but every story does need a villain:

    I might also do a "man behind the man" kind of thing.

    Okay, a rough outline:

    Part 1: (Common)
    Arriving at the forum

    Part 2:
    Hanging out with whoever you feel like

    Part 3: (common)
    Some kind of event involving everyone that branches off into the chosen route.

    Part 4:

    The route you're on gets tied into the larger plot

    Part 5:

    Typical "sorting out your issues" stuff going on

    Part 6: (Common)

    Everybody teams up to get ready to save Hidden Level
    Whoever's route you're on determines what role you will play

    Part 7:

    Foiling evil plots yaaay

    Edit: Rejoice, citizens, for I have mastered the art of using if statements to code menus. At least until the next time I have to do it. I'm drafting my route in order to get used to Ren'py, and so far it's going okay. It's giving me flashbacks of the programming course I took once.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2014
  18. Almost Human

    Almost Human Mightest of the Drunks Staff Member Bürgermeister

    I started flipping through my adventure to see where I'd written that and holy fuck I think I broke my own mind. I can't believe I was sincerely worried while writing this that the "plot" was too linear and predictable.

    More on topic, that sounds like a good, broad outline. I don't know much about Dating Sims, since I've only played the one with the pigeons and the one with the dying melting robot sex, but I'm interested in the 'sorting out your issues' bit. Is that in relation to your character or your character's relationship with their partner? Because I don't know why but for some reason I find it hilarious to think about a faceless protagonist having an existential crisis while choosing which flavour partner to hunt.
  19. Triangle Man

    Triangle Man Cautiously Optimistic

    Never. Fist. The Android.

    As alluded to earlier, I would like to give this a shot. Do my best, etc.
  20. Almost Human

    Almost Human Mightest of the Drunks Staff Member Bürgermeister

    I was super unsettling! The robot dude was all falling apart and dying but his last wish was to have sex with you and it showed him falling apart and made gross squishy noises and honestly I haven't been able to go back to dating sims ever since.
    I may be scared.

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