Going more Visual Novel style.

I kept brainstorming about how I was going to make the player feel like they were following someone’s love story (chronologically), and at the same time, still walk around and do stuff like talk to towns people.

In the end I realized, I just can’t have both. And because the romance had always been the most important part of Tailor Tales, I’ve decided to cut that part out. It’s not an open world anymore, I’ll be going into a more Visual Novel style instead.

No, there won’t be any drawn background. It’ll still be an overview of 2D sprites. But instead of walking around the town, you get an image map where you can select which part of the town to go to. Once you do that, you’ll be transported to a map and then some kind of pre-planned event happens. You can’t actually walk around yourself, but instead it’s just a scene. Maybe a love scene, who knows.

At least this way, I can control the story and have it advance chronologically.

This also means I’ll have to think about how I’m going to do the tailoring part, but that’ll be for later. First comes the romance! I’m actually writing Neil’s story at the moment. Considering he has 4 endings, this is going to be a lot of writing.

Clothing styles

After the last post, I’ve decided on four main clothing styles that you can create. These are:

  • Cute
  • Glamour
  • Casual
  • Cool

There’s a lot of C’s in there! Anyway, I made them pretty generic sounding, as each of these categories can hold a bunch of styles. For example, “Cute” can be feminine, girly, everything frilly, or even lolita. Whereas “Cool” would be things like goth, punk, emo, rock etc. “Glamour” would be anything sexy and bling-bling, and “Casual” gets reserved for basics and anything else that doesn’t fit the other categories.

I really hope I can create a nice dress-up game for you to play. Of course, this is something that won’t happen until I’ve actually managed to write the story down for at least one guy. The tailoring system comes secondary. Plus, I’ll have to wait until RPG Maker MV comes out, and then I can commission someone to write me a Javascript plugin to help with the dress-up game.

Also, I’m thinking of making each clothing item unique. By that I mean, you can’t dye them in all colours. For example, the same amount of ingredients (2 woolen cloth, 1 woolen yarn), but with two different dyes, would produce two completely different clothing items. You might think “But that’s more work!”, but it’s actually less work, because then I won’t have to create each clothing item 7 more times to have them be in all colours available. I mean if I have over 200 pieces of clothing, I’ll have to multiply that by 7 …

Oh, and for other parts of the dress-up game, like hair and stuff, you’ll have to go to a hair salon to change it, and shop for shoes yourself. You cannot make these things.

Another mock-up

Since the game will be made on RPG Maker MV, that means the screensize will be much bigger.

I think I’ve settled on a text window for now. And this time, you can see Joselina as well!

(again art styles and whatever can be changed and aren’t a final version)

Also, Joselina in the new style! With an upgraded summer dress, of course. Here’s a nifty comparison with all of her other designs.

Should I turn Neil into a fullbody portrait as well? Instead of the bust-up I currently have? I think I might stick to this graphic style I’m using. It’s very simple, but efficient enough for me to create more art without burning out.

Oh and here’s a quick poll, I want to know which kind of fashion styles you guys like to see! If you don’t know what a certain style looks like, just google it :)

An actual avatar

This is something I wanted to do back in the beginning, but decided NOT to due to the sheer amount of work that was needed to create all of the different combinations. What am I talking about?

Your avatar, of course! The main girl you play – which has been Joselina all this time – should of course, reflect what you want her to look like. Whether she looks like you, or your own original character, doesn’t matter. It should be possible! It’s however not possible to have different body shapes, because that would quadruple my work amount, and I do need to draw a limit somewhere.

This means you can not only dress her up, you can also change her eyes, her hair, her skin – she’s yours!

(note that this is not final, hairstyles and heck even art style can be changed)

You’ll be able to change hairstyles in-game if you’ve got the money for it, and dress yourself with your own clothes. Skin/facial features can only be done once in the beginning though.

Sample with clothing on.

From city life to farm life!

I really wanted the new Tailor Tales to be set in a city, as it gave me a lot of options as well as ideas. But on the other hand, I really wanted a way for the player to farm items (to make cloth, not actual Harvest Moon style crops), and that would mean I needed a smaller, rural town with farmers. A few characters I had in mind wouldn’t be possible in a big city (like Zack, the sheriff).

And then it came to me: I’m not confined to one city, duh!!

The player should be able to travel from the city to the town using some sort of public transportation.

The city is where all the exciting business ventures are, as well as your own store. Not to mention the amount of date opportunities (the movies, pool, game arcade etc.) to go to with your guy. The town should have the farmlands for the crops you need.

No, you don’t grow them yourself, but you can pay a farmer that does it for you. There are a ton of new things. For example, I don’t think I’ll have a running time system anymore, I think instead I’ll have certain Action Points you can use throughout the day. The day will be divided into 3 sections, morning, midday and evening. These will transition based on how many action points you’ve done. So if you went to the store in the morning (1 point), and then made some clothing yourself (I dunno, 3 points?), the morning will end and transition to midday. I still have to work out the new mechanisms and how it ties to the overall story.

It will also be made on the new RPG Maker MV (I had known about this for months, but I couldn’t say anything about it until a couple of days ago when it was announced) … which will have mobile support! I know some of you really wanted to play on your phone.

Oh, and a new mock-up:

I’m not entirely convinced by it. I might just turn it into something a lot more modern (the windowskin), what do you guys think?

New mock-up

So, this is just a mock-up (what you see is what I have, purely graphical). I wanted a more modern twist, and I guess I decided on a new art style for portraits. Meet Neil in all of his pompous glory.

I should really just get back to writing his story though.

Yes, that is a typo.


I’ve actually outlined Neil’s storylines, and divided them into chapters, with 13 chapters total.

Unfortunately, this means no more marriage component. Because visual novel style was the most popular, it seems people would rather follow a good storyline with a whirlwind romance, so making the game end at the end of a story seems like a good way to part.

I will still keep the ‘talk to him daily’ part, of course. You can still walk around and meddle with townsfolk.

In between each chapter, your bachelor will reference things that have happened in the previous chapter, or will talk about future things that will happen in the next chapter. So that it will seem continuous and chronological. If there was one thing I hated about Harvest Moon (aside from their repeating dialogue), it’s the fact that heart events never got acknowledged. They were a one time event that was never mentioned again. So, I want to make sure that when you play, you’ll really feel like you’re getting to know the bachelor, follow him through his daily life, and experiencing romantic events with him.

Basically, I want you to fall in love with the bachelor, and him with you. This is not something HM ever did well, with bare dialogue and personalities that were as hollow as a cardboard cut-out.

But, I’ll try. You’ll experience romance by basically talking to the bachelor every day, until the next chapter starts. And again, there are no wrong answers, so pick which ever one you like most!

I think my new goal would be to simply have three chapters finished of Neil, and have a working tailoring system. Everything else can be added later (including art).

Also, I really do like the idea of a rival tailor character! It’d be even cooler if you can decide their gender, and have some nice girl x girl romance going on.