kaleidofish

Jul 272016
 

It feels like everyone and their mom has a Patreon. Why not me, too? 😉

patreon2

Now you can support your favorite kaleidofish with a monthly donation. We’re close to hitting our $25 goal where I’ll start doing some livestream writing/coding sessions & podcasting about projects I’m working on. While the Patreon may seem geared towards Redwood Crossing, my serial fiction series, there’s plenty there for fans of my VN & IF work.

See below!

patreon chart

I don’t want to jinx anything, but I think my hiatus will be ending soon. I had to take a breather to get my life sorted out post-graduation. On top of that, time became a premium. I’m looking forward to being back as soon as things calm down.

Thanks for supporting my work over the years! This is my way of saying “thank you” in more ways than just that.

Palette Swap Released! & XYZZY News

 Interactive Fiction, Planet, Serial Fiction, Visual Novels  Comments Off on Palette Swap Released! & XYZZY News
Apr 132016
 

On April 11th, we released our game for Nanoreno 2016, Palette Swap. If you enjoyed Fairly Dangerous, I think you’d like this one, too! Like Fairly Dangerous, it’s a dark comedy, only this time it’s a lot more strange. A girl gets trapped inside of a painting and has to find a way out of it.

We have a thread on the Lemma Soft Forums where you can find more information. Show us some love.

On a slightly unrelated note, Xyzzymposium 2014 has started. Venus Meets Venus was featured in the first post about the titles that were nominated for the “Best Story” 2014 XYZZY Award. It’s a fantastic post. Warning for spoilers on all the games that were featured in it!

First round of voting is open for the 2015 XYZZY Awards. Only games released in 2015 are eligible. Check it out here. Voting will end by May 1st.

The thirteen chapter of Redwood Crossing will be released tomorrow on its website. Hope you’ve been enjoying it so far.

Podcast

 Planet, Serial Fiction, Visual Novels  Comments Off on Podcast
Feb 042016
 

Hey!

Two short things.

One, a few of us that worked on Fairly Dangerous were featured in the first episode of IndieRomp. We got to talk about what it was like working on the game and with each other. If you’re interested in our creative process behind that game, definitely give it a listen! It’s spoiler-light for anyone who hasn’t played it yet.

IndieRomp is a new podcast dedicated to indie games that’s hosted by r-bit, the Editor of Saving Zoey. You can find IndieRomp on r-bit’s site here. There’s a newsletter sign-up form where you can subscribe to be notified of new episode postings.

Two, Redwood Crossing is on its fourth chapter now. I’ll admit that it’s been difficult writing on such a short deadline every week, but it’s been rewarding all the same. This week’s choice is a particularly impactful one, so if you haven’t been reading along you should so you can place your vote.

Redwood Crossing

 Interactive Fiction, Planet, Serial Fiction, Visual Novels  Comments Off on Redwood Crossing
Jan 162016
 

Redwood-Pic

Redwood Crossing is my senior capstone project that I’ve been mentioning on this blog. It’s also one of the reasons why most of my WIPs have to take a backseat for the time being. This is the story that The Girl in Red (a project I started way back in 2012) spun off into, so if you were looking forward to that, you’d definitely be into this.

Chapters are posted every Thursday. At the end of every chapter, readers are presented with a choice on where they’d like to take the story. Think of it as an interactive serial fiction. The choice with the most votes wins. Voting ends Sunday at 11:59 PM EST (GMT-5).

The first chapter is out now. Help shape the beginning of the story!

Since I won’t be updating this blog every single time a new chapter goes up, your best bet at staying up-to-date with it is to subscribe with the form below:




Thank you to everyone who’s been reading it so far. I appreciate all the views, votes, and comments and I’m grateful for all of your support.

2015 Retrospective

 Interactive Fiction, Planet, Serial Fiction, Visual Novels  Comments Off on 2015 Retrospective
Jan 012016
 

2015 saw the releases of Fairly Dangerous, the second version of The Mishka Effect, and Nowhere Near Single. The former two titles were ported over to the Google Play Store (and even have HTML5 versions over at Sandbox Adventure). The latter ranked 14th place in the 2015 IFComp and won me a spectacular pair of pajama pants.

Thanks to Kailoto’s assistance and proofreading, Everything Around a Bridge is on the very edge of being released…if I’d just let go of the project already. After all this time, I’m still the only thing that’s preventing it from getting out there. I’ve got some personal reservations about it.

I’ve got another project that is just about done and is going through some finishing touches. It’s more of a mini-game type of experience – something light and silly. I made it for school over the summer and my classmates thought it was funny, so… trooper6 was nice enough to clean up the code for it, and Jojo from leveretta dev.’s making the GUI for it. Anyway, I’ll write more about it when it’s closer to release!

Our NanoWinter project, SNO Place Like Home, from around February 2015 hit some snags, but we’re pulling it together. It’s not abandoned. I haven’t given the project the attention it deserves so that it can be finished. Getting it finished in time for the end of Winter 2016 is a nice thought…

Other projects grounded to a halt. There wasn’t any significant progress done on any of my longer-standing WIPs. 2015 was a busier year than I expected it to be. It was also the year that I’ve started to come to terms with certain things I may touch on in a later blog entry. I struggled a lot with self-doubt about whether or not I can “make it” as a creator/writer, and if this is something I’m still capable of pursuing after all this time.

As a result of those things, I only managed to get one full visual novel out there. Since I’ll be working on Redwood Crossing, my interactive serial, I’m expecting that I’ll have even less time than I did in 2015. The team from Fairly Dangerous plans on reuniting for Nanoreno 2016, so you’ll see at least one visual novel again from me in 2016. I’ll also make more of an effort to keep this blog updated this year. I can’t believe I only updated it twice last year!

Thanks for the support, everyone who’s reading this. And if you haven’t yet, be sure to subscribe to Redwood Crossing so you won’t miss the release announcement. New chapters will be released weekly. At the end of every chapter, readers will be presented with a choice on where to take the story next. RWC should be starting mid-January, so see you there when it starts!

Senior Year

 Interactive Fiction, Planet, Serial Fiction  Comments Off on Senior Year
Oct 032015
 

My senior year of college started a couple of weeks ago. Yay! Almost to the finish line. One of my graduation requirements is the completion of a capstone project. I plan on writing a serialized story for it. I’m still finalizing the release schedule and the size of the releases themselves, but I’ll be releasing installments online for everyone to read.

If you remember The Girl in Red from way back, this is going to be a serialized revival of that game. It’s going to be fun (and a challenge) for me…I don’t write prose on a regular basis anymore, so I’m glad to be doing something that forces me to do that.

IF Comp opened up for judging on October 1st. I contributed roughly 1.8% of the entries. Check out the competition here.

I’m also looking for a GUI artist and a programmer to bring a short comedy game to completion. For those interested, please see the recruitment post here. Thanks in advance! :)

Ouroboros Connect is currently transitioning from its old name to its new name of Kaleidofish Studios. Same studio, same kaleidofish, but a new name that is easier to remember/pronounce. Check out our new logo made by r-bit.

The Fairly Mishka Dangerous Effect

 Planet, Visual Novels  Comments Off on The Fairly Mishka Dangerous Effect
Jun 212015
 

Hey all!

I haven’t updated this blog in a long time. The easiest way to stay up-to-date with what I’m working on is to follow me on Twitter, where I’m always available for a conversation. Earlier this year, most of the crew from The Mishka Effect and I started working on a Snowpocalypse-themed visual novel for the Winter Nanoreno jam. Since our scope grew, we’ve had to take extra time on it, but it should all be wrapped up before the end of this Summer.

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During March, we worked on Fairly Dangerous for Nanoreno 2015, a game about a group of paperclip-sized fairy friends trying to survive in a human’s apartment. It’s a dark comedy featuring the high possibility of death from things like mouse traps, microwaves, glass bottles, and more. It was released in April, and can be found here on itch.io, here on Google Play, and here on GameJolt. Special thanks goes out to my team for making this release possible.

tme_screen1

Today sees the release of the long-awaited second version of The Mishka Effect. The update includes better timing for some of the jokes, a FLOWCHART, better graphics, improved animations, and more! You can find the new version over here on itch.io and download it here on Google Play. This is a comedy time travel visual novel, which was originally made in one month for Nanoreno 2014. Thank you to everyone who made this happen! Couldn’t have done it without you guys.

Will update more about the other things I’m working on soon. :)

Dec 312014
 

*blows the dust off of the Ouroboros Connect blog*

Hey, everyone! Happy New Years. Inspired by other developers doing the same thing, I thought it would be a good idea to take a look back on 2014. Our output this year was definitely better than 2013’s. At the start of the year, I wrote a post where I said, “I want to diversify what I can do and really grow as a writer this year. On the visual novel development side, my challenge will be to release 3 things in 2014.” Did that happen? The first sentence did, but the second one…not quite.

In April, we completed Nanoreno 2014 and released The Mishka Effect, our time travel adventure-comedy. Then, the weekend of Halloween, we participated in Asylum Jam 2014 to finish and release Saving Zoey in 48 hours. Both of those projects were triumphs for different reasons. I’ll forever be proud of both of them. A second version of The Mishka Effect is still on course to be released some time in 2014. We haven’t forgotten about that, don’t worry!

To prove my skills as a writer, I started getting into interactive fiction writing. At the end of June, I participated in a narrative game jam and released Draw Everything You See That’s Mine and Yours. It was surprisingly well-received, managing to get #3 overall in the jam. A month later, I made a solid attempt at a genre outside of my comfort zone for IntroComp. It was called Mount Imperius and honestly, it didn’t do so hot. You win some, you lose some.

Taking what I learned from those two Twine attempts, I decided to enter the 2014 IFComp. I gave myself a rule: don’t hold anything back. Write whatever comes to mind, no matter how horrible it might be. This resulted in Venus Meets Venus, which pulled 13th place out of 42 and the unofficial Silver Banana of Discord (second highest standard deviation of votes). The response for Venus Meets Venus has been amazing. It made it onto Forest Ambassador (and won Best Numeral Exegesis, haha), was mentioned in a podcast, was described as a champagne and tiramisu breakfast (yes), got praised by one of my IF idols Emily Short, and continues to receive nice feedback. I read every review I can find.

It may have been emblematic of the problems that many people have with Twine but people seemed to enjoy it despite that. IFComp was truly a wild ride. I think you have to have a thick skin to participate in it. It can be tough to see your work get completely trashed. And believe me, VMV had its fair share of getting dumped on. The thing is, you can’t take any of it personally. You have to look at the negativity & the criticism, and learn something from it. Focus on the most useful parts of the criticism.

What I’ve learned is that if I do IFComp in 2015, I’ll be creating something with more interactivity and a little less poetry. I’m also going to start and finish my project much sooner than I did with VMV. Who knows? Maybe I can start practicing with some parser projects throughout 2015 so I can throw my hat into the parser ring. We shall see.

Overall, I’m proud of what I did throughout 2014. I didn’t release 3 visual novels, but I released 2 visual novels and 2 pieces of interactive fiction (Mount Imperius was only an introduction so I’m not counting it). I survived 5 jams/competitions. Wow, I just realized that I only released works that were meant for jams or competitions. Oops. Well, they’re good motivators for finishing things!

2015

The problem with doing all of these things was that it came at the cost of my works-in-progress. I’ve got three that are definitely in the pipeline for 2015.

Everything Around a Bridge: this was a project that was meant to be done in 2013, oops. The writing has been finished since then and hasn’t been touched. I think it’s under 6000 words total? The artwork’s all done. The GUI might need to be revamped. Sprites need to be coded into it. If I wasn’t so hesitant about it, it could have gotten released around November. There’s just something that it’s missing. I think I have to get over myself and release it already.

7 Months in Between: the first draft of the writing is all done. Both routes have gotten alpha feedback. The sprites are finished. It needs GUI and an extensive amount of photography done for the BGs. There won’t be any CGs because I can’t afford them. Editing is 0% done unless I’m forgetting something. In that case, it might be like 3-5% done. For some reason, I have a lot of issues with this project. The other day, I actually ranted on Twitter about needing a personal assistant to see it through. If I got my act together, this project could EASILY see the light of day late Summer 2015.

Besides, how much longer can we deny the world of Gus?

In This Dream of Ours Remake: Honestly, I dropped the ball on this one. The sprites are done. Haven’t started on GUI designs, BGs, CGs, or any of that. I’m taking way longer on the writing than I thought I would. I think I underestimated the amount of work required. Turning it from a KN to a VN took a tremendous deal of effort. That being said, it’s the longest visual novel I’ve ever worked on to date. I’m pretty sure it’s going to more than double the word count of 7 Months in Between when it’s all done.

YEAH! Cheer us on, Yasahiro, as we make it across the writing finish line!

Game Jams in 2015?: I’ll be doing NaNoWinter 2015 with some of my The Mishka Effect teammates so expect to see something new from me by February 1st. Nanoreno 2015 will definitely be happening, so that’s something else for April 1st. I’m expecting to do IFComp 2015 as long as I have the time for it. Other than that, I’m not sure! I’ve definitely got to get EAB, 7MiB, and ITDO ’15 out the door so they’re going to be taking higher priority.

I’d like to repeat my 2014 resolution for 2015: release three things in 2015. Here’s to 2015 being even better than 2014 was!

Hot July

 Planet, Visual Novels  Comments Off on Hot July
Jul 022014
 

Sometimes, I feel like that Solomon Starbuck animation from Ace Attorney 5, where the spaceman’s fiddling with imaginary space dashboard controls. He’s turning things, pulling levers, and pressing buttons that aren’t there. His face is sweating, his cheeks are puffing out. The guy’s struggling. Mayday, mayday. Call Houston, call starport, call every damn Terran out there in and out of Starcraft land. Things are whirring and before you know it, the tube to your oxygen tank’s popped off and, and, and —

I’m getting too far off-track.

I don’t think I managed to hit a single bulletpoint for the month of June. I spent most of the month struggling Starbuck-style. I wound up giving myself a break and doing a Twine piece for a game jam. You know what? This is going to sound stupidly obvious, but finishing and releasing things feels great. It feels like I’m back in command of the starship.

If you’re feeling stuck on a project – be it visual novels or something else – try something new. Write in another medium. Check out Gamemaker. Attempt that SHMUP. Make that collage. Create a silly blog about rice bowls from the 1700s. Do the thing; score the point. We’ve all got our own ways of getting out of ruts, and I think I’m safe enough to say that this is one way I can get out of mine.

I’m still aiming for a July release for The Mishka Effect version 2. HEY! Did you see Martina Mendez’s fan translation of the double chocolate triple bananabutter crunchwich recipe? She was nice enough to put it into Spanish. Thanks again, Martina! You can read the recipe here.

You can read the Twine storything I made here. Warning: it’s a hard R (yep, thar be situations) BxB story about how two guys’ relationship goes from casual to more. I’m more glad that I was able to finish it in time than anything else. It wasn’t what I originally set out to write but at least it got done. Now…back to work on that Plan of Action. 😛

Plan of Action

 Planet, Visual Novels  Comments Off on Plan of Action
May 302014
 

Hey everyone! kaleidofish here. You know, the kaleidofish that supposedly sticks to updating her blog weekly. School’s heading towards Finals week so I’ve been hit with a lot of work and presentations to prepare for. Because of that, I haven’t been updating as diligently as I should. I should be back in the swing of things by mid-June. I’ll get about a week for break, and then after that, it’s school again. I’m unsure what my workload will be like, but hopefully it’s easier on me than this one has been.

I’ve decided on a plan of action for the rest of this summer.

JUNE:

  • Finish the second version of The Mishka Effect. Get it ready for a July release (hopefully). August if unlucky.
  • Write board/social game reviews and prepare them for a Friday queue. Do this over break. [low priority]
  • Get a significant amount written for In This Dream of Ours. At least 2 endings by the time June is over!

JULY:

  • Focus on editing 7 Months in Between based on alpha readers’ suggestions. Get the writing all done.
  • Wrap up as much writing for In This Dream of Ours as possible.
  • If lucky, get an Editor to look over 7 Months in Between to make sure it’s all okay.

AUGUST:

  • Should put finishing touches on In This Dream of Ours.
  • Get feedback on ITDO’s alpha script if it all gets finished.
  • Continue smoothing out 7 Months in Between. August means that it’s approaching nearly a year in development!

I’d like to have the scripts for both 7 Months in Between and In This Dream of Ours 95-100% complete (as in edited, proofread, etc) by the time September hits. 7 Months in Between is much closer than In This Dream of Ours. Starting September, I’ll be working heavily on another project that I’m staying silent on for now.

Somewhere during these months, I’ll also be working on a collab with my new team. Well..not exactly new, since we already worked on The Mishka Effect together. News about that will come later. 😀

Last weekend I got a chance to write a lot for ITDO. And, hey, look! 5 choices!

“The game contains 756 dialogue blocks, containing 11,764 words and 62,365
characters, for an average of 15.6 words and 82 characters per block.

The game contains 5 menus, 0 images, and 12 screens.”

I like the way that the new story is shaping up so far. Because of the new scenes, ITDO 2014 could be double the size of the original version. I’m not even a quarter of the way through the old script. By my next blog update I’m hoping to add another 3000 words to that total. I want to stay on track with my “3 releases in 2014” goal. I believe I can do it!