Played Gulam

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It’s been a while since I’ve played another visual novel! This time, it’s an entry for this year’s NaNoRenO entitled Gulam by Aracade. You can find the game’s thread in the Lemmasoft forums or download it in itch!

Gulam is about a red-headed girl named Abby whose mom left for work one day. Bored and alone, Abby searches for a way to survive another lonely night by reading books, drawing, eating and the like, until she found a creepy, talking book in her mom’s room and a demon pig that appeared out of nowhere! Things started to get weirder, with Abby wondering what kind of secret her mom is keeping from her.

oh my j abbey

Chained  book with sharp teeth and weird symbols? Don’t use the key, alright.

The art has a lovely style, the story concept will definitely pique your curiosity, and the dialogues make the characters real! Gulam is a great game for NaNoRenO 2017!

What I somehow find unsatisfying is the lack of answers to questions that readers will definitely want to know about. It’s definitely a short visual novel, knowing it’s for NaNoRenO, and so I definitely get that the developer might lacked some time in completing the story solidly.

The story revolves around the book that Abby found, and the demon pig that she accidentally summoned (this is why I don’t ever read things aloud).  But more than that, Abby’s mom plays a big part in the mystery, but the readers don’t know how. This could also lead to the bigger background story of Abby’s dad, which is, another thing that the readers don’t know why. The thing is, the story is completely unfinished in my opinion.

But NaNoRenO doesn’t really have strict rules about updating the game after the deadline is met! I just checked the game on itch and it seems Aracade updated a new version of Gulam. I will be checking it out later on, but since I’ve got not much time nowadays, I decided to make a blog post about Gulam or else, I may end up procrastinating and worst, I might finally not be able to make a blog post about it ever! So for now, I’ll just update this post once I have gotten the other endings.

whats going on

If I click the choice of wanting to know what’s happening, this is so far, the very ending that was a bit closer into unlocking the other mysteries.

In my opinion, releasing a game without completing all the story’s ending is a bit risky. People who may have downloaded the game might not be able to re-download it again in cases where they might be busy with other things in life that they might not find time to play it again, or if they found another visual novel that they wanted to play so they forgot about re-downloading the game, or if they are not notified that a newer update of the game is released. I actually found out that there was a new update as I copied the game’s itch link to this post!

Overall, it’s a satisfying game if the endings are all completed and if all questions are answered (and I will just assume that it is completed with the new update). And when I play a visual novel, I always want to unlock all endings no matter what, that’s why I can tell that I’ll definitely be re-downloading Gulam again. A walk through for Gulam is also encouraged and highly requested XD

Since I made a challenge to myself that I’ll be doing some character fanart for some of the visual novels that I’ve played in order to improve my own drawing skill! Here’s my very first fanart below:

Gulam

It doesn’t look much like the characters and I’ve missed to put some details (such as the weird marks written on the book’s cover), but I like to imagine this scene where Abby goes with Gunter for their allegiance. Gunter, the demon pig, is a very cute character by the way!

Congratulations to Aracade by completing his/her very first visual novel! I look forward to the more visual novels that you’ll make in the future and good luck!

NANORENO VN FINALLY FINISHED!

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I can finally kiss the sleepless nights goodbye!

For those of you who don’t know, I have a list of goals I want to achieve as a visual novel creator, and one of them is to make a visual novel for a NaNoRenO event!

There’s a lot of things I learned in making my first ever NaNoRenO VN. 

  • I learned that I can make a visual novel within 15 days. Sure, anyone can make a VN even within an hour. A very, very short VN at that. But this Encanto VN was made on March 15 and I ended it on March 29, 15 days to be exact. It has 6000 words, 3 character sprites, 5 CGs and 6 endings. With that, I had to do the visual novel everyday, be it by the drawings or the script.
  • One should be aware of the resources that they’ll use on their visual novels. I made an itch.io account and with it, there’s an option in which the readers can donate money for your VN. There are a lot of free resources to use on the internet but the question is, are they suited to use in terms of licenses? For example, I may gain profit from the VN if someone got blinded by the crappiness of my VN and accidentally donated, but won’t I get sued if the license of my resources indicates that I shouldn’t use it for commercial purposes? Fortunately, I only used Kevin MacLeod’s music and some other sound effects for the VN. Some of them are fine to use for commercial games. It’s a good thing to research first before doing anything, really.
  • I learned that the new Renpy software is a pain in the ass. Seriously 😦 Some codes such as the CG Gallery from leon doesn’t work anymore 😥 But anyways, one should expect that the software is changing for the better, and so codes are also changing. The problem is, not much new code has been posted for the new software. Everyone’s still new at it, I guess?
  • No matter how crappy my VN is, some of the very few people notice it. No matter how bad you think it is, go ahead and release it to the public! One out of the billions of people might read it, and you’ll be happy they did. Even though the person doesn’t like it. Because that single person endured the 15 minutes of gameplay and even bothered to download it, that’s enough to make me happy.
  • Don’t wait for your hobby to die. If you’ve been neglecting your hobbies, you will soon be lazy to do it again. That’s what I felt when I released my first VN. I felt successful because I was able to make my very first one but then I forgot about making visual novels and never progressed from there. Because of this NaNoRenO event, I focused on releasing my second visual novel, and my drive for making visual novels is back once again! One should keep on doing what they like everyday but I’ll make sure to be organized and have time for other things.
  • My sweetie’s patience is this long >//w//<  Even though I’m too busy to even chat because all I do is visual novels and eat and no sleep and visual novels, he’s still patient and keeps on waiting for me to finish this! And it makes me appreciate him even more!
  • It was worth it.

For those who are interested how crappy this VN is, you can download it on itch.io and see the discussion, if there ever is a discussion about it on this Lemmasoft thread.  To unlock all the game’s endings, you have the walkthrough here. Getting all endings makes you unlock the Author’s Notes where you can read some nonsense there.

And since my first NaNoRenO is done, I guess I’ll tick off my goal #5!

Goal 5 done

Now…

What else should I add as a goal?

Made an itch.io account and Encanto nearing completion!

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I finally made my itch.io account! Of course there’s nothing uploaded there yet. But I’ll soon upload my visual novel for the NaNoRenO 2017.

Right now, my visual novel Encanto is almost done! I only have to add the credits and the main image. I played the visual novel to test bugs and after successfully testing, I’m like “what crappy shit visual novel this is lol” but a friend tells me to finish what I’ve started and another one tells me that she can’t trust my judgement because I’m always negative when it comes to what I do 😥

There are a lot of struggles that I’ve encountered for my second visual novel. For example, the code that I used for the CG Gallery on my first visual novel, Raven doesn’t work anymore. Could it be that the new Ren’py software doesn’t work with the old code? I made a thread about it on the Ren’py Questions and Announcement section in Lemmasoft but no one seems to have the solution for it. I might just the ditch the CG Gallery. My CGs aren’t really that great, too, so we don’t need to have a CG gallery. But I think it’s still worth it to learn any other code about Galleries for my future VNs.

Another struggle I’ve encountered is that I forgot the code, or I didn’t write the code on my Notebook that’s why it is lost forever and I can’t find the article I got the code from. There’s a lot of disadvantages when you don’t know how to code. But still, with the Lemmasoft forums and Ren’py making life easier, I’m still grateful. I really need to keep codes to remind me about them so maybe I’ll blog about them some other time.

I’ll probably upload the game on the 28th or maybe after March is done. I need sleep and school stuff gets in the way. I guess releasing it earlier than April 1 should be for the better.