After the experience of working on Covox Park we wanted to do something similar. The concept we had in mind was to create a Visual Novel as fast as we could, and the result was really interesting. The game is really cool because the script can be understood in so many different ways. Mixing that script with graphics that seems to be done by a child was a great success.
This game was a really nice experience for the players, but how was for the developers?
The main issue was to create really simple graphics and the idea that Noisechip developed was to draw like a five years old kid. So, is the game designed for children? No, the way the script was written aimed for a psychological story. To design the different aspects of the game we mostly used the same Game Design as our previous project. The main difference is we added a choice at the end of the game that can lead the player to two different endings.
It was our second step as developers, using Covox Park as a reference helped us work in the ability for the game to reach young and mature players. This was the point that makes the game really interesting. Do you think was it planned like this at first?
The inspiration for the story comes from a bad experience Noisechip had in the past, he tried to express his feelings about how he was depressed and had no more dreams for the future. The result is an ambiguous story, there's no specific way to look at this game, everything depends on the player since everyone can understand it in a different way. The script was developed after having some graphic tests completed. When approaching the end of the story we decided to add a choice at the end to increase the feelings that the player gets from the game.
The writer was really surprised to see the comments from the players, he realized that he accomplished something without even trying to. He just tried to express his feelings about his experience, but the game turned into something that could be understood in many different ways.
DatBoiBryan was in charge proofreading the script and he did a great job, Shiftypixlz helped with a first run through and proposed a lot of cool changes. We did great work that increased the quality of the script.
Noisechip first searched for a color palette that could fit into the "made by a child" style that he had in mind as Game Designer. The palette gives the feeling that he wanted. There are not a lot of colors in the palette but that it was a good choice. The graphics for the scenes were done in one day, if you play the game you will understand that it was not hard. Following the scheme of the Japanese animation we used the main character body and just changed the eyes and mouth to create different expressions. The same images are used in different scenes since it was planned that way. The point of designing the graphics was to try to create a strange feeling in the player, mixing cute and simple graphics with a mature story.
We succeeded in creating the feeling that we wanted, even though some people can think that the graphics are bad and could reject the game just because of that. The Advertising Design was the second work for the Team. With Arseniquez, having so much talent in digital art, the result was really good. One interesting point of the logo for the game was to put the word "crayon" inside "aka", at first the game was planned to be named Red Crayon but we decided to change it. This is the first time that Noisechip felt that he did a good job with a proper logo design. It is simple but good enough.
We thought that we took the correct decisions, but was the music a good choice?
Advertising Design with Logos
We aimed for retro style music, we wanted something really retro so we used the 1-bit version of the program PixiTracker. Even also in the Mastering, Shiftypixlz wanted to keep the sound as close as he could to the original raw files composed by Noisechip. The result has some controversy, it was not a good choice for most of the players and we got some bad comments about it. We decided to go for a style that would be a good fit for people, but we failed in aiming for the general public. Even knowing this after publishing the game we decided to keep the original soundtrack. It can help increase the feeling of the mix of the graphics and the script having "strange" music in the background. Like in Covox Park we implemented the songs into the game not as a loop and we needed to solve the same problem of Mastering.
Noisechip was realy surprised at the work of Shiftypixlz in Mastering, he found out his real talent in this process listening to the final version of the songs.
Having Covox Park as a reference made the coding the game was a lot easier because it mostly shared the same structure. It was the first time that we used a custom cursor because of the choice in the game that needed a mouse pointer that matched the graphics of the game. Game Maker Studio 2 worked really well to create the Html5 and Android version.