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47048 No. 47048
Hello everyone! I've been working on a series of stories with a friend of mine for a while now. We both really loved the Power Ponies, and wanted more, so we began to develop the world of the Power Ponies in our own little episodic stories. But I decided it's time they were fleshed out to a medium everyone can enjoy.

That's why I'm looking for artists, and even voice actors (Though primarily the artists) to help develop a series of episodic visual novels about the adventures of the heroes of Maretropolis, not just the Power ponies. Full of characters like The Iron Chef, Watcher, The Silver Star, Dragon, Chromatomic, and plenty more.

It's all being done in Ren'py, a very simple and basic engine for VNs. If you're interested, feel free to contact me by email, or just reply here. Samples of your work are preferred, and I'd be more than happy to answer any questions you have.
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>> No. 47122
It's been over a month since your post, Knitcap. How is development going? If you need help, then please post here, or on Lemma Soft, or a relevant sub-Reddit such as r/vndevs or r/MLPLounge.
>> No. 47164
Hey there! Thanks for the continued interest. As it turns out, I have actually decided to take the project in a slightly different direction. The visual novel medium is nice for storytelling and dialogue, but it didn't end up meshing well with the style of action you're used to from comics. So I decided to try something different:

A semi-animated video series! Now, what do I mean by semi-animated? Quite simply, it will be like a frame-by-frame comic, but with more active effects, voice-overs instead of speech bubbles, and small transitions for minor-changes (IE: Same "camera angle" but different character talking, or swinging a punch, etc.)
I've waited a while to even mention this because I've been working on some basic (and crudely drawn) Storyboards

As such, I'm still looking for pretty much the same cast of artists (animation background not necessary but certainly helpful) as well as voice actors. I'll post more details about auditioning for voice-acting roles, but in the meantime feel free to send anything (and I mean ANYTHING) to my email, and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.
>> No. 47169
Hmm, what does make a visual novel different from this? The typical screen element layout? I am intrigued on how you plan on doing this.
>> No. 47172
VNs are nice, but mainly when they're diologue and decision-driven. I've decided that adding decisions to the story was an unnecessary complication, for starters. The semi-animated allows me to set the pacing, timing, and have all-around better "Story control". Could it still be done as a Visual Novel? Of course, but I think this way is not only easier, but also more accessable. After all, not everyone has even heard of a visual novel before, let alone played one. But anybody can load up a youtube video and watch it all get played out. The "Semi-animation" is not meant as a cop-out on fully animating it, but because it still gives the vibe of a panel-by-panel comic.
>> No. 47173
I realized I didn't address the "How" of your question. My plan, once I find an interested artist, is to simply plan everything out as a storyboard, and send them to the artist. Once they complete the frame, I'll add it to a simple video editing program, and use basic transitions to piece the story together. Once the "animation" is done, I'll overlay the audio from the voice actors. Thankfully, there's no real need to worry about synching up the mouths of the characters, since the style simply calls for the mouth to be open for whoever's talking
>> No. 47174
You logic seems to be:
No choices -> Use video

Why that? You say that there is an increased accessibility. I have to agree, but is it all there is? You do lose something: the manual advancement.

You highlight the need for controlled timing, but is that really needed all the time? It is hardly difficult to have a few parts tightly timed, while leaving the rest as manual advancement. You discuss having various effects, but can't the effects be done on manual cues as opposed to time cues?

I feel that the reader will have a closer experience just from the fact that advancement is manual. It just isn't the same experience somehow.

There is also the benefit of file size. Correct asset reuse easily outperforms video there. Just the simple fact of storing text as text is a massive saving. But the real gain comes from storing characters just once. A simple multipart character setup reduces the size even further. There is also the option to do the same for audio. Music is key for setting the mood, but the simple act of separating music from voice in the data allows both to be compressed better.
>> No. 47178
You do make several good points, and I did consider the sort of additional immersion that the reader gets because of the manual advancement they have, but in the end, it came down to the way the story itself was developing. While I do try to keep it dialogue-based, quite simply, there's a lot more to the "comic book" Setting than two characters on either side of a screen can convey. There's combat, explosions, and lazers flying everywhere. To properly convey it all, there would need to be a long of splash/action frames without the usual characters on either side of the screen, so in comparison to the video format, not much work is saved on the artist's behalf.

Does this mean I'm one-hundred-percent sold on this format? No. In fact, I may as well put it this way. The project could go one way or the other, I'll still need an artist either way, and since they'll be the one doing the work in that regard... I'll simply leave the option up to them. At this point, it's taken quite a while to find a proper artist, so I'm not really in a position to be picky for work they'd be willingly doing, haha.
>> No. 47200
Thanks for keeping this project alive, Knitcap. There are interesting comparisons to be made between reading a comic and reading a VN. I can think of two examples that might bridge the two media forms: "Quartett!" (fan translated) and "Little Witch Romanesque" (about to be officially translated). Both of them use a system called Floating Frame Director that does not rely on character sprites or a text box. It instead relies on varied graphics and speech bubbles.

I'm interested in seeing how this limited animation will turn out. Is it reasonably easy to create? Does it help the pacing of the story? Finally, do you like it as a way to tell a story?
>> No. 47214
Thank YOU for your continued interest! Overall, I've been working with both to try and determine which I like better, and so far, I'm preferring the limited animation approach. But I'll definitely have to look into the VNs you mentioned

From a technical standpoint, the art is fairly easy to make (though, I can't say this firsthand, I'm just speaking from my understanding of how it works). If a character is talking then moves their head, the artist simply needs to make the "End frames" of mouth open, mouth closed, then the turned head, and I use basic transitions (Fades, dissolves, or just a quick-cut) based on the movement that will take place. occasionally, to better express movement, some still-frames of objects will "Slide" Slightly across the scene, but I am trying to keep that to a minimum because if used incorrectly it can be visually jarring.

Unfortunately, as it is now, progress is still very slow. I have one artist on-board, but his time is limited, so he really is still in just the "concept art" stages, even though I believe I have several 'seasons' worth of story written for these characters.

For example, the hero in the pic of this post is "The Watcher" One of the main protagonists of these stories. A blind pony who shares a telepathic bond with animals and can see through their senses, favoring his two birds: The Falcon, Spotter, and the Owl, Sentinel (not pictured).

If you or anyone you know is interested in joining the art team for this project, please don't hesitate to contact me, I'd be more than happy to bring them aboard. The same goes for anyone interested in creating audio (background music, sfx or voice work)
>> No. 47215
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Whoops, mentioned the pic but forgot to attach it.
HERE'S The Watcher

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