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Purple Hybrid

PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2015 7:26 pm
by Scaveleon
NOTE: Any post regarding in-game story or content NEEDS to be put in a spoiler
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As a story heavy game, please respect your fellow posters by keeping the topic completely free of unmarked spoilers. Thank you.

Please play the game on a computer that supports 1920x1080 resolution. The game works on lower resolutions when forced (like mobile) but this is not tested or supported.

001 page for download

Purple Hybrid is an OEVN (Original English Visual Novel) developed exclusively by me and only me. It is also a Kinetic Novel, which means that the it doesn't interact with the player, there are no game-play choices and the story is set in stone. The game focuses on storyline and character interactions. This is explained in greater detail in another section.


The game lacks some controls that are standard for the visual novels, so here is a list of those that made it in:
  • Mouse click/Enter: Progresses the messages.
  • Mouse scroll: Log window. Scroll up to browse back, scroll down to browse forward. Mouse clicks also browses forward on the log window if open. When on the most recent messages, further scroll downs/clicks closes the window.
  • Escape (hold for 1 sec): Quits game. Hold down the escape button for one second, then release.
  • Left CTRL: Skip button. Hold down the CTRL button to skip dialogue quickly, release to stop.
  • Space: Hides the message box. When hidden, press space again to show the message box.

In regards to saving games: The game autosaves your progress (and clears the message logs) at various intervals. Once you've reached the end, the save progress is deleted and you will read from the start again.

If you're not familiar with visual (and kinetic) novels, here's a brief summary from me:

A visual novel is a story-driven game with emphases on plot. Visual novels does not include traditional gameplay elements outside of minigames, and is closer to interactive fiction and adventure games - it is the evolution of choose-your-own-adventure on a computer format. Most visual novels has the player make choices that affect the story, causing branching storylines and different endings. Visual novels make up a big part of the Japanese PC gaming market and many Japanese games of other genres do storytelling similar to how visual novels do.

Purple Hybrid is a kinetic novel - a subgenre of the visual novel that is devoid of interaction, meaning the player makes no choices - the story is set in stone for the player to experience. It's classifies as a OEVN - Original English Visual Novel. By definition, Purple Hybrid doesn't technically qualify as a video-game with the complete lack of player interaction, but it's not important anyway.

I figured I may as well answer some questions that may pop up in advance. I'll add any if I ever feel like updating this topic.

Q: The game seems to behave oddly, like character sprites fade in when they talk?
A: Most of the things implemented are intended, however the game is programmed with the assumption that I didn't have to cut content. In that specific example, most visual novels have different character sprites with other faces to express mood or emotion, and due to time constraints I had to cut that out. It is programmed and scripted to work, I just don't have the sprites ready.

Q: Why is the game black and white? Especially when the title includes a color?
A: I didn't have time to color the game, and the priority then became to make a working release.

Q: I don't understand what's going on in the story, can you explain what's happening?
A: This is one-half of the first chapter of the game - at least according to my plans. That's why so little is explained, what you've experienced is a very incomplete product.

Q: When is the next version?
A: The short answer is that there won't be one. The makings of a Visual Novel needs strengths in areas I don't have, so making this was incredibly difficult - and the reality is that a pure Visual Novel doesn't satisfy my ambition to make a great game.
Beyond that, my plans and the future of this particular game is still undecided - however, the project (to make a game) as a whole, would likely last me a lifetime. I want to make something greater than this and it will definitely be in with some rendition of these characters and in this universe. I definitely want to tell my story through a visual novel system, because many JRPGs already do this and it works really well, but they're not categorized as VNs (even if they have some elements of it) because they're RPGs first and foremost. That's just how those genres work.

Q: Why is the artwork so incredibly inconsistent?
A: It's definitely my weak-point. Doing artwork, I've seen myself improve and prefer new things, trying out new styles and there has definitely been an evolution. But I'm still learning.
More specifically, backgrounds are either filtered photographs or sketches done on top of photographs. Anything done with a filter is a picture taken by me, so there is no copyright issues there.
Finally, the male character was made as band-aid for the release. In other words, I didn't put much effort into him at all.

Q: How much of this did you really make yourself?
A: All sound effects present, the font and some of the frames (window borders) for the messages boxes and menus are NOT by me and have been credited. Absolutely everything else is made by me: writing, artwork, music, programming and whatnot.

Q: There's some bug with how the font works for the letter Q and R?
A: It bugs me too :P Anyway it's not a punny thing to fix :P because I have to edit the pun-t :P itself and I use this pun-t :P in 4 different sizes. It's low-priority so I didn't bother.

Q: What would this project have looked like had it not been a Visual Novel?
A: I chose a VN because it would minimize the need to program and maximize my artistic nature, but this release has definitely taught me that even I have my limits in that department, and as such it was a mistake to make a VN and I'm quite disappointed in myself.
Anyway, I highly considered making a pixel-art game, and in fact I even considered pixel-art graphics for this visual novel, similar to titles such as PoliceNauts and Eve Burst Error. Go look up their graphics on Google because the retro VNs represents the epitome of insanely great pixel artwork.

Q: The game just closed on its own, what's going on?
A: Assuming you or your computer didn't screw up? Then that's the end. Thank you for reading, I hope you liked it.

Q: How did you program the game? Will you release the source?
A: Source remains mine and mine only. A Visual Novel is not hard to program in 001 at all. If you can't figure it out, then in my opinion you aren't ready. Very elitist of me to say that but that's what I've honestly begun to think.

Q: Can I ask for your help in my projects, possibly work for me?
A: No.

Thank you for your continued interest, and fellow members who have shown interest despite no official announcements up until release. It matters so much that people care, you know who you are.

- Character moods represented through sprites: smiling, angry, unamused, etc.
- Basic sound effects: in-universe like doors, reaction sounds and menus, etc.
- Next scene

Reminder: This project was developed while I freeloaded at my parents. As I've started in university to study Software Engineering as of September 2015, I cannot promise any updates at all - it is a full-time job and should be treated as such. Beyond making a polish update (very much a maybe), I have no plans to continue the game in its kinetic novel genre - in other words, the project's future may take a very different direction than being a kinetic novel.

After writing this piece, I mentioned how it's important that a game presentation involves the narrative. I still stand by that - as a rule of thumb - but I am going to straight up be a hypocrite and contradict myself as say this: As a story-heavy game, I don't feel this is the right choice for this particular game. I want the player to experience the story without prior introduction to story and characters. I wanted to let the game speak for itself, because only then will it attract the right audience.

The project began in December 2014 as a result of frustration of various things: dropping out of a terrible education, parents gradually divorcing, and in regards to 001 the lack of (in my opinion) extremely ambitious games, and in a much bigger perspective I think that modern game developers do a terrible job at not only good game design but also narrative as an artistic expression, when the technology to do so obviously is there. The game was in the planning for several months (vlog from Februrary: and even as plans became closer to reality, the game constantly evolved.

During this time, I had lots of free time to do whatever I wanted to. And so I had to ask myself: I do want to make another music album, or make a game? This project is my answer.

Working on it for a almost a year now and looking back, I'm actually a little disappointed I didn't put in more effort and time. I had to cut lots of content, even for this short release. However, realize that even a one-hour long simple visual novel requires a much higher level of artwork and music to set the atmosphere right, and while the systems the game uses weren't difficult to make, there's still loads of (admittedly) easy scripting because all dialogue is carefully done by hand. Furthermore, developing the systems and optimizing and fixing its flaws when dialogue already exists and depends on it - it is essentially no different than improving a house while people still live inside it. The strengths in this game are not representative of my strengths as a indie game developer - I'm not an experienced high-res artist and this is my first time doing this kind of artwork.

Ever since I've found 001 nine years ago, I've wanted to make a video game. A good one I can be proud of. I may have to spend the rest of my time on planet Earth trying to do so, I've come to terms with that. I may have to abandon 001 in favor of eventually doing the software myself since I study Software Engineering now. But I think this is the way for me, and I honestly couldn't ask for a more worthy pursuit in life.

Again, while I did almost everything on my own, thank you so much for the support over the years. I'm truly grateful and happy to present you the results of my work.

Further links and reading:
This is my blog, it covers three topics in general: development processes, articles on game design, and project updates and real life interferences.
You can listen to my music here. My SoundCloud page does not contain the full soundtrack of my game.

External credits:
Paul Lloyd, "Imperator" (Main font)
Amin Sughayer of 'Sughayer Foundry', "Vintage Frames" (Font, HUD/GUI)
'luffy', "Record Needle Scratch" (Sound Effect)

Re: Purple Hybrid

PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 5:59 pm
by Danny
I downloaded and played or should i say read your novel. I really enjoyed it and the story was great until it suddenly ended (Didnt crash just story ended) why did you have to leave me on a cliff hanger!! :( Anyway i hope you make further chapters in the near future. Nice job :)