So this is a work in progress, but it does run on android devices. Yes, for the moment, I am too cheap to pay the 25 dollar android store fee (that may change tomorrow). It is a little background, but not so bad. All you have to do is plug the android device into the computer, drag the .APK file onto the android device (I put it in the "Android" folder). Then on your device, open the file manager, go to the folder where you dragged the .APK, tap on it and choose "install". You may have to change the security settings to allow installation from sources other than the google play store. But hopefully it works and isa little easier to see and play around with.
I have updated the menu choices when starting the novel, so that the reader can decide where to start. At the moment there are only two pieces of the story coded. (The option to follow the man's story will just end abruptly). But it is a start.
I updated it to the music now works and there is a jump to a menu at the end of a chapter which allows you to choose where you want to go next.
Making some progress on Chapter "2". I am a little reluctant to call it number two because I want the order to change. Maybe I will just use the time stamps (and place stamps).
Anyway, here are some screen shots from the chapter thus far.
I also added a "completion" feature (which was ridiculously hard for me since I was being stupid) so that you can see at the end how much of the story you saw.
Right now I plan to do each chapter as a separate renpy file or project, then figure out how to put them together.
I also want it to record which chapters you complete, and then at the end it will build a time line, filling in only the pieces of the timeline corresponding to the chapters completed. Possibly I could do the same with a world map.
I found two characters from blend swap under a creative commons license that lets me modify and distribute (even commercially). They are originally from Manual Alvarado (http://www.blendswap.com/blends/view/19794).
OK, this is the final mock-up. As in I know the art isn't very good and maybe better sound effects, but I am happy with the story and the options and everything seems to at least work.
So the general idea is that you click on objects on the screen to reveal more narration or more explanation. There is only one story path, but I do want to eventually have it so the reader is able to choose the order in which they go through the chapters. (Including 2 paths to start as chapter 1.)
So I may have made some updates and at least do not have any more blank backgrounds. I see want to hide some of the narrative of the latter half into the point and click options like it is in the first half.
I should be able to polish up those last bits and maybe learn some better blender techniques to make it prettier. Though my ultimate goal here is to get some money to hire a real artist.
So for a couple of reasons I think I want to try a visual novel. One reason, Jonathan isn't really into fiction novels and it is a medium which he prefers, and I am sure he is not the only one. Reason two, writers seem a little bitchy to me, my goal is to do something different and when I talk to writers the impression that I get is that I have to write something conventional before I can write something avant-garde. I get that they take the craft seriously and want other people too, but it seems like writers follow all these rules but then all the books I love do not follow those rules. It seems that when making a game, I have a better chance of fining an audience that wants something different. Yes, there are bitchy gamers, but they will not read this because it isn't a "game" to them. Reason three, it allows me to do what I wanted all along which is to have the reader choose what order he experiences the story and there can be visual clues which will not have to be written out. Reason three, half the critiques I got said they wanted more detail and half wanted less. Personally I think they just wanted to write my story for me (as well as for everyone else too). This way you can click on the backgrounds to get more detail if you want, or just leave it alone.
Below is a partial mock up of the first chapter. The mock up is not finished, all the backgrounds are not complete and all the options are not programmed in. Also, since I am not an artist, you will notice none of the characters have faces, that is why I call it a mock up. I am spending a lot of time on it, even though I know I can not complete any of the scenes at my present skill level, but I wanted to express the idea, and in order to do that I felt I have to put a great deal of effort into showing what I am thinking of producing and showing what I can and can't do on my own. All the music and backgrounds are in the public domain and are free to use for any purpose. Though, when I figure out how, I will put up credits. The images are from pixelbay.com (including the textures), except for the Mars XRD, that is from NASA. the music is from bensound.com.
About this story. Here is some spoilers:
I want to have the story be the first and most important factor, but there are certain underlying themes: The meaning of control over a sentient being, from a government control over a people to slave-owner over a slave, what does it mean to control someone? You can never rule their minds, even if you did, you could never know for certain. My goal is to explore this through the idea of slavery at its worst, also through comparing two cultures. One culture appears very controlling, yet there is no attempt to control thoughts. The other culture has less interest in daily activities yet more interest in controlling thoughts and feelings. This is explored through imagining an alien life form that is akin to a slime mold. A creature with different segments and one consciousness which would be biologically incapable of understanding human consciousness is separate from itself (also that humans brains work more like a committee of separate consciousnesses). The end of existence, is it sad to stop existing? Or is it a nonsensical thought to consider since you will have thoughts once you no longer exist? In short, we occupy a time and a place, we seem to accept that we can not occupy all space readily enough (though perhaps the drive to explore counters this somewhat), many people are not driven to exist in all parts of space. And yet many people feel a drive to exist in all time. I want to explore this through characters having a literal heaven where they can exist for most of time and choosing either heaven or to stay behind with characters that are banned from heaven to explore and occupy more of space. The third theme is hard science. Though science fiction and story-driven, math and science are there own characters in the world and play important roles mostly through how characters interact with them. The characters who understand the world through math and science will have accordingly different behaviors than those who reject the ideas. There is a strong atheist theme throughout, which I found unavoidable, but I do not want to be heavy handed with that. I also don't want to imply through my atheist and pro-science themes that those two must go hand in hand, it just happens to be that way for my work.
I appreciate any feedback and suggestions on how to make this better.
I am considering swapping chapters one and two. I think that perhaps chapter 2 grabs more attention and that the flashbacking for chapter one won't be as irritation as I thought.
This is a draft of a fantasy/science fiction book. Please leave feedback..