Topic: Touhou Mecha VN (Updated Oct 2013)  (Read 12276 times)

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Graph

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Touhou Mecha VN (Updated Oct 2013)
« on: March 27, 2012, 06:40:12 pm »

Chireiden and Parsia, two territories deep within Gensoukyo's underground, are at war.  In order to turn the tide of the war, the hell raven Utsuho Reiuji travels to the Remains of Blazing Hell to attain the power of the sun god Yatagarasu.  This power will allow her to use the AM Yatagarasu, a mecha with amazing power.  However, the sun god isn't the only thing waiting at the Remains of Blazing Hell...

Touhou Mecha is a free-to-download fangame of Touhou Project.  It's an alternate universe of the Touhou Project world with a pseudo-contemporary look, and the cast fights using mecha.

Touhou Mecha is a Visual Novel with short but visual-intensive installments.  It comes with some simple animation that is influenced by Muvluv Alternative, though I also take inspiration from Super Robot Taisen.

Comments and critiques on all game releases and preview material are welcome.  Development progress and Chapter releases will be announced in this topic.


Current version: 2.0, which includes Chapters 1 and 2 and related extras.
Filesize: 87.1 MB
Length: ~2 hours for main story

Downloads
Additional game info
Preview videos and screenshots

     

     

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Story and Art……………………………….Graph
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« Last Edit: October 08, 2013, 07:34:00 am by Graph »

Grand Octopus

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Re: Touhou Mecha continues! (Beta testing stage)
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2012, 09:26:33 pm »
So who's the true route? Kidding.

It's awesome to see this back, even more so in this format. Looking forward to the release.

Graph

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Re: Touhou Mecha continues! (Beta testing stage)
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2012, 03:28:52 am »
Touhou Mecha Chapter 1 is out!  See the blog post for details.

Esifex

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Re: Touhou Mecha continues! (April 3: Chapter 1 is out!)
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2012, 06:24:37 am »
omg omg omg omg omg

You didn't forget about us here YAAAAAAAAAAY \o/

zeruna

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Re: Touhou Mecha continues! (April 3: Chapter 1 is out!)
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2012, 09:39:34 pm »
Touhou+Mecha=Awesome! (゜o ゜)
Hope to see more of this soon. :D

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Re: Touhou Mecha continues! (April 3: Chapter 1 is out!)
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2012, 10:38:07 pm »
OK, so Iced pulled me away from university work for long enough to sit down and play through this.

And I've got to say, it was worth the detour.

Clearly you've put a lot of heart and soul into this project. As someone who has tried and failed to write a visual novel of my own I can appreciate how hard some of this stuff was to pull off, so kudos for sticking to it before anything else.

The writing is solid, and the plot leaves enough dangling hooks to keep me intrigued. The initial infodump is a little slow on the pacing, but given the transition from comic to VN it's pretty much unavoidable.

The animations are a great touch that really make the VN that extra bit more entertaining. Even with basic stuff like the elevator transition were neat little effects that break apart the scenes well. I had to take care not to click too quickly in case I skipped one, but that's a Ren'py limitation more than anything.

So in short - sir, you have me thoroughly intrigued. I'm eagerly awaiting Episode 2.

Graph

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Re: Touhou Mecha continues! (April 3: Chapter 1 is out!)
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2012, 05:14:33 pm »
Esifex: Yep!  I've been pretty reclusive, but that just means I've been drawing.  I'm no less of a Touhou fan than I was a couple of years back.

Rounyanken: Glad you liked it!  I wanted to address the animations bit though since it's come up in another forum.

Quote
I had to take care not to click too quickly in case I skipped one, but that's a Ren'py limitation more than anything.

Actually, I know how to do a hard pause, which means that you can't skip the transition by clicking through, pressing Enter or Space.  You can still skip these by pressing Ctrl or Tab though (hold or toggle fast-forward, respectively).  The only thing is, there's a few transitions that take like 7 seconds (the Chapter title and location changes come to mind) and I don't want players to be frustrated because they didn't read up on the controls in the README.html.  (For that matter, how many people actually read READMEs?)

For those of you who've played, would it help to implement an option to toggle whether or not you can click through a transition?  We'll have to look up how, but it should be doable.  A couple of things that might help in the meantime though...

- For those of you unacquainted with Ren'py, this game features "rollback", which lets you "go back in time" by rolling the mouse wheel up.  Commercial visual novels tend to feature "readback", which simply shows you the previous text... however rollback even lets you view the visuals and animations that came several steps before, and can be used when you inadvertently skip animation.

- For the record, you don't have to click during the game unless the click-to-continue icon is showing (the three blinking arrows in the text box).  In all other cases it will advance automatically.

Grand Octopus

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Re: Touhou Mecha continues! (April 3: Chapter 1 is out!)
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2012, 06:13:06 pm »
Colour me impressed. I was already familiar with the setup from reading the comics, and you made the transition to VN almost perfectly. I agree on the effectiveness of the animations at keeping the viewer's attention.  If I had to complain about something, Utsuho's tÍte ŗ tÍte with the Yatagarasu felt slightly rushed / unsatisfying, but it's a minor point.

More importantly, when do I get to romance Satori? Kidding... I think.
For those of you who've played, would it help to implement an option to toggle whether or not you can click through a transition?
It doesn't really seem necessary, particularly given the comments you made on the 'rollback' feature. Though I'm speaking as someone who's fairly familiar with Ren'py.

Bardiche

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Re: Touhou Mecha continues! (April 3: Chapter 1 is out!)
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2012, 01:35:27 pm »
Oh, it's out. Knowing nothing of Touhou, I'll take the plunge anyhow. :V I'll report back how much I was confused liked the story.

EDIT: Also, Great Thing's avatar makes me confused as well; should I frown at them for playing that, or should I frown at myself for knowing what game it is from in the first place...?
« Last Edit: April 08, 2012, 01:38:47 pm by Bardiche »

Graph

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Re: Touhou Mecha continues! (April 3: Chapter 1 is out!)
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2012, 04:00:35 pm »
Quote
I'll report back how much I was confused

Please do!  Even if I usually identify myself as an artist, I'm still a writer.  And I'm trying to make the story comprehensible to people who don't know about Touhou or even the webcomic version of Touhou Mecha, even if they don't know why the hell I'm using a flaming hell raven.  Well, unless you read it while drunk or something.

You don't seem to be new here though.  You really know nothing of Touhou?...
« Last Edit: April 08, 2012, 04:05:01 pm by Graph »

Bardiche

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Re: Touhou Mecha continues! (April 3: Chapter 1 is out!)
« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2012, 11:29:19 pm »
I was invited for the Mafia, and remain here to this day chiefly for Mafia. I've had the progress on this in my eye for a while, though, given I like mecha, and the quality of the work seems solid, at least so far as the polish on the graphics and the dialogue is concerned.

But no, I know virtually nothing of Touhou past a few memes involving Cirno and endless 9's, and whatever random tidbits I read from lurking Rumia's Party Games' IRC and occasional text adventures (most of which lose my interest due to being completely Touhou-centric! Argh!). Suffice it to say that "Utsuho", "AM Yatagarasu", "Gensoukyou", "Aya Shameimaru" and whatnot mean nothing to me in the slightest.

Kasu

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Re: Touhou Mecha continues! (April 3: Chapter 1 is out!)
« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2012, 02:00:33 am »
You have no clue how long I've waited for this! :3

Anyway, took awhile since I didn't want to post until I'd finished it, and now that I have I'd like to say that I wasn't expecting the animated portions of the VN!  I thought that was pretty cool when those came up.

I also thoroughly enjoyed how you pulled off the battle sequence using the animations.  Can't wait to see what comes our way in Chapter 2!

Wasn't expecting the inclusion of Tewi in this, but that just makes things better (and more devious considering her role). :3

Apparently, Thomas the Tank Engine isn't one to take crap from anyone.

Bardiche

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Re: Touhou Mecha continues! (April 3: Chapter 1 is out!)
« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2012, 02:50:19 pm »
I've begun reading and so far, it seems not knowing Touhou does not impede my ability to understand what is going on; perhaps things as gods, youkai and humans would be more easily understood and their relation to each other, but I've only read up to HEAT BARRIER and the writing seems solid. Rather, it's writing that makes me want to read more because questions are arising that I hope to see answered! I'll continue when I get time to really finish the story, but it's fantastic so far. (the production values seem super high as well)

Graph

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Re: Touhou Mecha continues! (April 3: Chapter 1 is out!)
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2012, 04:55:01 pm »
Bardiche: That's an interesting case.  If you liked the story regardless though, that's great!  I'd like for folks who don't know too much about Touhou to enjoy this game too.

We've got a quick update for you guys before moving onto Chapter 2-- Touhou Mecha 1.1.  Downloads and the changelist can be found on the Downloads page now.

The main reason for this update is because we recently discovered an image compression technique used by developers in the Renípy community called JCC compression.  The size of the Windows download was reduced from 83.8 MB to 43.3 MB! If you haven't tried this yet, now's a good time.  Basically, it lets us use JPG images instead of PNGs while keeping the ability to use transparent pixels, something the JPG format isnít normally very good at.

Of course, there's traces of JPG artifacts if you look closely while playing the VN now, but I think it's barely noticable, especially when sprites start moving about. If this change goes over well enough, we'd like to make the compression technique the standard for the VN package. If the demand is high enough we may release an uncompressed version when the final Chapter is released.

We've also released another trailer, this time of the intro sequence (first 4 minutes or so). It should give a good idea of the VN's plot.  As before, the framerate and picture quality of the videos arenít as high as they are in-game, so be sure to pick up the VN itself as well!

Bardiche

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Re: Touhou Mecha continues! (April 10: Version 1.1 is out!)
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2012, 11:51:59 pm »
Apparently I saved just three lines before the end and only just now finished. :V

What I like were, of course the art, but also the writing and most importantly the style thereof. Dialogue-based story-telling seems so much better suited for this type of thing and I was happy to see absolutely zero use of narration aside from the infodump at the start.

I understand the purpose of the infodump, but I can't help but find some parts of it hopelessly unnecessary, such as "Gensoukyou, world between boundaries"... which made absolutely no sense to me. Which boundaries? (Don't answer it, the info dump'll be lost on me.)

Similarly the talk about when Utsuho and her friend joined the military didn't strike me as interesting to the plot, so I consider it the weakest point in the story. (Small nitpick: Aya going "our newest flying Onbashira" might work better if you just make it "our new flying Onbashira", since it implied they had multiple flying Onbashira and for a moment I derped and thought the Yatagarasu was an Onbashira)

The rest, though, was rather excellent. I really liked that I could follow the story effortlessly despite knowing absolutely nothing of Touhou.

Graph

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Re: Touhou Mecha continues! (April 10: Version 1.1 is out!)
« Reply #15 on: April 16, 2012, 06:16:48 am »
Thanks for the critique, Bardiche.

Quote
but I can't help but find some parts of it hopelessly unnecessary, such as "Gensoukyou, world between boundaries"...
Now that you mention it, the boundaries bit can probably be omitted for now.  This part is indeed a piece of the Touhou Project backstory that I carelessly took for granted.  If I need to mention the boundaries I can bring it up later.

Quote
Similarly the talk about when Utsuho and her friend joined the military didn't strike me as interesting to the plot, so I consider it the weakest point in the story.
I'm not too sure what to do with this one yet.  I actually added that bit during beta testing because we had testers saying that Utsuho and Rin haven't really gotten enough development; and I'm not sure whether we can really help that or if it's because they're pretty ordinary youkai until Utsuho becomes the sun god.

Quote
"our newest flying Onbashira" might work better if you just make it "our new flying Onbashira"
Well... I checked both 1.0 and 1.1, and Aya says "new" instead of "newest" in both.  Do you have a screenshot?  (You can take one in-game by pressing the s key, and the screenshot will appear in the same folder as the .exe.)

Bardiche

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Re: Touhou Mecha continues! (April 10: Version 1.1 is out!)
« Reply #16 on: April 16, 2012, 01:35:18 pm »
Quote
Well... I checked both 1.0 and 1.1, and Aya says "new" instead of "newest" in both.  Do you have a screenshot?  (You can take one in-game by pressing the s key, and the screenshot will appear in the same folder as the .exe.)

I'll be durned, you're right. How the heck did I misread it that way? Consider it entirely retracted, I'm just silly.

Quote
I'm not too sure what to do with this one yet.  I actually added that bit during beta testing because we had testers saying that Utsuho and Rin haven't really gotten enough development; and I'm not sure whether we can really help that or if it's because they're pretty ordinary youkai until Utsuho becomes the sun god.

I think backstory isn't necessarily development; development is when a character changes over the course of the story. For Utsuho, she does change, from what seems to be an ordinary soldier into a flying death god, but I'm not so sure the mention of her history adds much to either her character. Maybe it'd be an idea to make such info dumps less direct, and imply the bits in small comments; things like knowing how to use her flying Onbashira, for example, already show she is experienced at handling machinery and, thus, must have spent some time in the military or using those things.

I admit I'm a huge fan of only talking explicitly of important details and leaving unimportant things to background, implied things - I think it was mentioned in the story that Utsuho and her friend were attached to the military so that should already show enough of the particulars, and the length of their stay hardly seems to add. This may just be me, though.

Graph

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Re: Touhou Mecha continues! (April 10: Version 1.1 is out!)
« Reply #17 on: April 16, 2012, 09:06:48 pm »
That's some good insight.  Actually, that made me remember something that I glossed over in the transition from webcomic to Visual Novel-- how much AM training Utsuho has gotten so far.  Chapter 3 of the webcomic shows she took a bit of a crash course, though of course they're rushing to get the AM Yatagarasu activated.  I think it would be more relevant and possibly natural for them to talk about that at the beginning.

Will add that to the next major update of the game, probably 2.0.

Graph

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Re: Touhou Mecha VN (May 12: Database preview)
« Reply #18 on: May 12, 2012, 05:20:27 pm »
A preview video of a feature that'll be included with the next Chapter update is up!  It's the Touhou Mecha Database, which contains information on the various mecha, characters and terminology that appear in the story.  Some of it is a recap, and some of it is information that wouldn't fit into the story, such as performance stats and equipment info for all the mecha.  We're planning to include it with the release of Chapter 2.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PcM2C1rBmuE

The Chapter 2 story proper has started, as well.  No release date info yet, though.

Graph

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Re: Touhou Mecha VN (May 17: Testing...)
« Reply #19 on: May 17, 2012, 04:37:29 pm »
I've added a demo for the TM Database to the first post.  Feedback on this new feature would be appreciated.

Graph

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Re: Touhou Mecha VN (Updated Jan 2013)
« Reply #20 on: January 25, 2013, 08:32:38 pm »
After a long hiatus, I'm back!  We're now at Touhou Mecha 1.5, which includes:

-An added Extras section which includes the TM Database, Music Room and Hellcat Corner.
-A rewritten first half of Chapter 1, including a new battle scene.
-A shift from 4:3 screen ratio to 16:9. The art and GUI have been updated accordingly.

TM Database contains info on the mecha, characters and concepts of Touhou Mecha.
Hellcat Corner contains some commentary and insight to the creation of the Touhou Mecha, as well as discussing the story from a developer point of view.

You can check the first post of this topic for more info... or you can head over to the blog for the downloads.

OverCoat

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Re: Touhou Mecha VN (Updated Jan 2013)
« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2013, 11:08:25 am »
Bump  :3

man this VN is so much better now. Can't wait for more chapters.

Graph

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Re: Touhou Mecha VN (Updated Jan 2013)
« Reply #22 on: February 03, 2013, 10:54:18 pm »
Question: is there any interest for a YouTube version of the Touhou Mecha story?  It occurred to me that some folks might not like the downloading.

There's a couple of things that will be different if we go that route:

1. Some animations will look a little more choppy, since the last time I checked there's no reliable way to upload 60 fps video to YouTube.  It'll probably be in lower resolution too, so that I can run the game and the recording software at the same time smoothly.
2. The Music Room and TM Database won't be shown in video series, since there's no autoplay function for those and I won't know how long to spend on each entry.  However, Hellcat Corner skits can be shown in video format.

Other than that, the medium for presentation doesn't really matter to me, so let me know what you guys think.
Re: Touhou Mecha VN (Updated Jan 2013)
« Reply #23 on: February 05, 2013, 11:26:45 pm »
You know, considering the incredibly small file size of Touhou Mecha, they'd likely consume more data watching videos of it on youtube than simply downloading it. Though there are other reasons that people watch things on youtube rather than download them, so pay me little heed.

OverCoat

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Re: Touhou Mecha VN (Updated Jan 2013)
« Reply #24 on: February 08, 2013, 10:58:56 pm »
Yeah, it's for convenience. I mean, this entire demo is downloadable and everything, including the music, fits into 64 kb of space. But I still watch it on youtube :P

OverCoat

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Jmyster

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Re: Touhou Mecha VN (Updated Mar 2013)
« Reply #26 on: March 25, 2013, 08:55:54 pm »
Ha! Mecha and Touhou. It's like a dream come true.

Props guys. I'll definitely be keeping an eye on this from now on.

A little late on the youtube thing, but I usually prefer to download and read VNs. Youtube can be choppy and makes me feel more disconnected. I know it's just an option, but I'm not sure it is worth the time.

Prime32

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Re: Touhou Mecha VN (Updated Mar 2013)
« Reply #27 on: March 28, 2013, 02:06:37 am »
If there's one thing that disappointed me, it's that you turned Aya's fan into a shield instead of one of these. :] (it also works great as a nosecone)

Graph

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Re: Touhou Mecha VN (Updated Mar 2013)
« Reply #28 on: March 28, 2013, 03:00:36 am »
If there's one thing that disappointed me, it's that you turned Aya's fan into a shield instead of one of these. :] (it also works great as a nosecone)
It actually is a weapon, though I've been lazy about using the additional weapons of many mecha other than the Yatagarasu (the artillery cannon of the Arachnes and the pistol of the Angels come to mind too).  Eventually I'll add more poses with those attacks and revise the early Chapters accordingly.

Lately I've been making more weapons that don't have to be held in the hands, which should cut down on having to draw a new sprite from scratch just to use another weapon.  Gotta play smart!

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Re: Touhou Mecha VN (Updated Mar 2013)
« Reply #29 on: March 28, 2013, 04:30:48 am »
Just wanted to say I played through the latest release recently and eagerly await more! :] Can't wait to find out what's happening next.
 

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