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View Poll Results: How should characters be associated with Pokémon types?
With their signature Pokémon (if any) 4 30.77%
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  #1    
Old October 10th, 2015 (6:40 AM). Edited May 24th, 2016 by VisualJae.
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Announcement: Prologue Demo v1.0.2c is LIVE.
Download Page
Spoiler:
Demo notes/info:
Big file due to images.

IMPORTANT:
For those who have previous demo versions installed, you must start over from the beginning of the game in order to play this demo in full. Many internal variables were changed, added or removed, impacting many parts of the game. If you attempt to load an old save file, it is highly likely you will encounter bugs or your game will crash.

List of changes from 1.0.1c:
- Many prologue scenes were rewritten.
- One new scene added to the prologue.
- Several prologue scenes were overhauled or extended.
- Numerous animation transitions fixed; some may still exist.
- Various GUI elements streamlined.

New content in 1.0.2:
- New scenes that carry on through the first day of classes.
- New characters and CG art implemented.
- Huge number of alternate dialogue paths based on choices.

Estimated demo game length:
Approximately 3 hours per character route.

PLEASE REPORT ALL BUGS!


READ:
Any questions that can be answered by reading the description/FAQ will be ignored.
We took the time to write, so do us a favor and take the time to read.
No one likes answering the same questions 20 different times.
Thanks! Much appreciated!






Ask Me Almost Anything Series:
January 2016 Edition
February 2016 Edition
March 2016 Edition
April 2016 - N/A
May 2016 -

ATTENTION: Writers & Aspiring Writers
We are recruiting! Please see here for more information.

INTRODUCTION
Pokémon Academy Life is a visual novel that takes you into an alternate Pokémon world that doesn't send 10-year-olds off to fend for themselves. Familiar characters from the core series games are placed in an academy setting, where you take on the role of a student.



GAME DETAILS
Characters in Pokémon Academy Life are mostly based on their in-game counterparts and will be older (15-18 in the beginning). Not all character ages are based on their canon counterparts.

The majority of your time will be spent in the Kobukan (koh-BU-kahn) region, located fairly equidistant from the six regions. As Red (or custom player name), you are the dynamic protagonist who will interact with a plethora of characters. The story will progress in different branches depending on who you choose to talk to, who you try to befriend, pursue as a romantic interest, who you choose to help, and much more throughout your three years at the academy.


CHARACTERS

Not all characters are included in the image.

Not every character will be included, but there will be characters spanning all existing core series games. A complete list of included characters will not be provided. You'll have to find out yourself!

FEATURES
Core is slice of life, school life. However, as the protagonist you have your share of opportunities to participate in all sorts of different story arcs with the characters you interact with.

Because this takes place in an academy, you will take on the role of a student. This includes socializing with your classmates, studying and taking exams, participating in extracurricular activities and other school-related events. Outside of school, there will be many random and scripted events depending on the characters you choose to engage throughout the story.

Features currently implemented or in development include:
- Personal stats system
- Branching storylines
- Pokémon battling

We are also planning out how to implement Pokémon catching.


FAQ

1. How many characters will be featured?
Currently, there are over 80 characters in the works. All the core series' playable characters will be featured. How prominent a role each will play depends on your actions. One thing to note is that not all of them will be present in the same year. This is intended to hopefully grant players the desire to progress, either to build on the existing character relationships or to unlock new ones. And lastly, not every character in the games will be included. Unfortunately it'll get to the point where some just become pointless filler and we don't want to treat them that way. Better off they just don't show up on screen than show up and be waste of space. Out of the current characters being worked on, some already are borderline filler/fan material and we have to pick and choose who to use. If we get to the point where there's bandwidth (mostly up to the artists involved) to shove in more characters, then it'll be considered.

2. Why is Blue not named Green?
Since this game is directed toward an English-speaking audience, we're going with his official English name (i.e. how he's represented in the English versions of Gold, Silver, Crystal, their remakes, and in Black 2 and White 2's Pokémon World Tournament). Fun fact: we originally had him as Green in our character outlines.

3. Then why is Leaf not Green?
Again, we're going with English names. Considering her character doesn't have an official name and her commonly accepted fan-name is "Leaf" (even in Japanese where her name is based off "Rifu" a.k.a. "Leaf"), that's what we went with. It also helps that Leaf is one of her default names in FireRed/LeafGreen.

4. Will there be a female playable character?
Not for now. Creating a female playable character effectively doubles all of our work. We'd have to do a female POV version of all the dialogue and scenes. Perhaps after the game is 100% complete, we can revisit this. And yes, doing so would basically turn this visual novel into an otome game.

5. How many endings will there be?
This one is a little more difficult to answer because we haven't finished writing all of them yet. But there will be at least two endings per main female character ("heroine"). There will be other closures for individual character arcs that will not end the game. For example, some character arcs may end in the first or second year, but the player can continue to play through the third year. We have a few non-romance related endings planned out as well, for the players who aren't interested in the romance aspects.

6. Will there be Pokémon catching and battling?
We intend to develop a simple battling system at the very least. Catching may be a different matter because the main setting is in a school environment. To incorporate the opportunities to go out and catch Pokémon may pose issues with scheduling. It's something we would like to keep in mind and try to implement if possible. If not, we'll find another method to diversify the Pokémon options.

7. Will I be able to visit the different regions (e.g. Kanto, Johto, etc.)?
Yes. Many character arcs will involve traveling at some point or another to the regions we know and love.

8. It seems the game is more focused on relationships with the female cast. Will there be platonic relationships?
We do fully intend on allowing the player to befriend other characters without pursuing romance. In addition, we do plan on allowing the player to shape relationships between the characters themselves. This would mostly be done through individual conversations or group activities with the characters in question.

9. What about male love interests?
Currently that is not in the works. At most the relationship levels will be geared toward "bromance." We're not ruling out the idea, but based on our current roadmap, it is not the priority.

10. When will this game be released?
We have no idea. Not anytime soon.

11. Will this game have voice acting?
Too early to decide.

12. Will this game be released in languages other than English?
Too early to decide.



CREDITS
I am more than welcoming of volunteers or partners. Seriously.

Spoiler:
Production
toriko09
VisualJae
zygarde

Storyboard and development
VisualJae

Lead writer & character designer
dmjh93

Additional writing by
BluechanXD
VisualJae

Background artist
moonmachine

Additional art by
Gato Hayakawa
mark331
Saitoki

Calendar system template by Zetsubou
Programmed with Ren'Py
Music by Braxton Burks (Pokémon Reorchestrated)
Original music composed by Junichi Masuda & Go Ichinose

This project will be under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 U.S. license.


SCREENSHOTS































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Tags: pokemon, pokemon visual novel, visual novel, dating sim, social simulator, slice of life, fan game
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  #2    
Old October 11th, 2015 (4:37 PM). Edited June 7th, 2016 by VisualJae.
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6/7/16+
Currently working on:

- Two new writers are now on board to assist with writing
- Battle engine in continued development
- Pokémon and additional NPC artwork

Postponed:
- Promotional video (~60% complete)
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Old October 11th, 2015 (5:06 PM).
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My hype levels are overflowing. Any idea of some sort of release date yet? I want to get this right when it gets released XD
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Old October 11th, 2015 (5:31 PM). Edited October 11th, 2015 by VisualJae.
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No release dates planned at all, unfortunately. I'm a ways away from the finish line. However, I can guarantee working on this on a daily basis, but since the story is meant to span three years, it'll take a while before it's completed.

I'm pretty much getting the boring part out of the way first (day one prologue partially seen in the alpha demo video). After that it's full on story time.

Currently working on getting as many character arcs and routes down in writing.
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Old October 11th, 2015 (10:32 PM).
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I will keeping a very close eye on this, I've always wanted to see something like this.
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Old October 11th, 2015 (10:36 PM). Edited October 26th, 2015 by VisualJae.
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Apparently the artist was not satisfied with Leaf's expressions so he redid them last night.

Honestly, I can't tell the difference, but here's the current version of Leaf in her casual outfit... and a bonus swimsuit MistyTsundere-chan (yes, she will be on a swim team) for closet pervs:
Spoiler:


FYI, I listed Leaf's hometown as Cinnabar Island in the character briefs in the OP. Plot reasons. That's all I can say right now.

P.S. How the heck do you wrap text around an image here?
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Old October 11th, 2015 (11:09 PM).
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VisualJae View Post
-Snip-
If you mean "floating" then I hope this is it:
http://www.pokecommunity.com/showpost.php?p=5329093&postcount=27

Also I'm really liking where this is going. It's quite amazing think about how much time you've probably put in this game and it really shows. All the people, all the paths you can take, not many people can pull off what you're doing. I'm definitely excited for this.
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Old October 11th, 2015 (11:23 PM).
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Quote:
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If you mean "floating" then I hope this is it:
http://www.pokecommunity.com/showpost.php?p=5329093&postcount=27

Also I'm really liking where this is going. It's quite amazing think about how much time you've probably put in this game and it really shows. All the people, all the paths you can take, not many people can pull off what you're doing. I'm definitely excited for this.
Yep! That does get closer to what I want to do. The images I post will usually be rather large so it turns out wrapping doesn't help all that much sometimes. Still useful stuff, though.

And thanks. It's a rather large endeavor, but it's a lot of fun to do. I may end up stalking some of those always heated shipping threads for potential ideas

It certainly helps that the artist (my brother) tends to work very fast. Now if only I can get my background artists to do the same...
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Old October 11th, 2015 (11:32 PM).
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Originally Posted by VisualJae View Post
Yep! That does get closer to what I want to do. The images I post will usually be rather large so it turns out wrapping doesn't help all that much sometimes. Still useful stuff, though.

And thanks. It's a rather large endeavor, but it's a lot of fun to do. I may end up stalking some of those always heated shipping threads for potential ideas

It certainly helps that the artist (my brother) tends to work very fast. Now if only I can get my background artists to do the same...
Haha. I wish I could help, but as a person with no abilities whatsoever, I couldn't do much other than cheer from the sidelines. Just curious though, I'm assuming the -deres will be in this hack?
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Old October 11th, 2015 (11:37 PM).
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Just curious though, I'm assuming the -deres will be in this hack?
I'm not sure what you mean by hack as this is being created from scratch via Ren'Py and Python language... however!

You're looking at one of the -deres above. And she's not the only one of that type. Coincidentally the other one also happens to be a redhead.

I'd like to try using tropes only in moderation, but it's just so tempting sometimes. All in good fun, though.
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Old October 12th, 2015 (12:01 AM).
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Originally Posted by VisualJae View Post
I'm not sure what you mean by hack as this is being created from scratch via Ren'Py and Python language... however!

You're looking at one of the -deres above. And she's not the only one of that type. Coincidentally the other one also happens to be a redhead.

I'd like to try using tropes only in moderation, but it's just so tempting sometimes. All in good fun, though.
Ugh sorry bout that >.< I frequent the rom hacking section more, so it's like a habit calling something a hack.

Oh! I just noticed that you added Misty. It's gonna be quite funny to see how you make each character's personality. But like I said, this is amazing and good luck with it and I'll definitely swing by once in a while to see the progress.
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Old October 12th, 2015 (1:34 AM). Edited October 26th, 2015 by VisualJae.
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Magical girl Sabrina.

...I wish.
Spoiler:


All I'll say for now is that she's not going to be much of a talker.
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Old October 12th, 2015 (4:32 AM).
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I feel like they all have the same face just different hair and clothes
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Old October 12th, 2015 (8:34 AM). Edited October 12th, 2015 by VisualJae.
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I feel like they all have the same face just different hair and clothes
Hmm. I'll have to say that's literally the first time I've heard that one.

Edit: Yep, not sure where you're coming from. I duplicated the expressions layers for some of the characters and swapped them with each other and the results are clearly different. If you want to point out the specifics, by all means share the details so I can pass them along to the artist.
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Old October 12th, 2015 (11:26 AM).
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Don't know why, but Sabrina looks more flat-chested in that school uniform :D
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Old October 12th, 2015 (11:41 AM). Edited October 12th, 2015 by VisualJae.
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Don't know why, but Sabrina looks more flat-chested in that school uniform :D
Edit: Artist's explanation is that the casual outfit is skin-tight, which would accentuate the bust more. On the other hand, the school uniform is multi-layered so it's natural that the same "roundness" doesn't come out.

I can confirm based on the art assets I have that the anatomy did not change, only the outfits. It'll be less apparent in the game when you don't see both the casual outfit and uniform versions side by side.
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Old October 13th, 2015 (3:48 PM).
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Added brief character route descriptions in the OP. I'll update them usually after I feel it's in an "okay" place (meaning I am thinking about using the idea as a game route).

A couple of things to note. The first is that they're very vague descriptions. I wish I could include more details, but I feel that really spoils the effects of discovery so I'd like to keep that to a minimum, even while under spoiler tags. Another thing to note is that none of the content is guaranteed to be used. They're here mostly for feedback purposes and as notes for myself. If I think I can do better, I'll make changes without hesitation.
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Old October 13th, 2015 (10:20 PM).
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Sounds interesting! I haven't seen any visual novel games with the Pokemon cast, and this looks like a good amount of thought is going into it. The art is also pretty nice - are you guys making everything? The backgrounds look really polished.

That said, there are a few things I find odd. Firstly, do you have permission to use the Pokémon Reorchestrated music? You also really shouldn't be using official music or sound effects. An original soundtrack, or royalty-free music/effects, would likely suit it better.

Quote:
I'm going to mainly focus on male characters that the protagonist will be close with and the female character(s) that the protagonist decides to pursue.
Erm, does that mean there won't be any focus on platonic friendships with female characters? Also, you can't pursue male love interests?

Lastly, it doesn't sound like there's much emphasis on the Pokemon, which is a shame since this is taking place in the Pokemon world. You don't necessarily have to incorporate catching and battling imo, but it would be nice to have to cultivate relationships with Pokemon as well. It would be pretty fitting with the slice-of-life nature of the narrative, and I personally always like seeing the relationships between humans and Pokemon.


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Don't know why, but Sabrina looks more flat-chested in that school uniform :D
Probably because there's a bow over her chest?

Good luck,

~Psychic
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Old October 13th, 2015 (11:46 PM). Edited October 14th, 2015 by VisualJae.
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Sounds interesting! I haven't seen any visual novel games with the Pokemon cast, and this looks like a good amount of thought is going into it. The art is also pretty nice - are you guys making everything? The backgrounds look really polished.
Thanks! I'll do my best to answer every point.

Right now it's just me writing everything and coding everything, though I occasionally do get some volunteers who pitch in some ideas. My kid brother is doing all the character art and I have a couple of artists currently working on backgrounds. The vast majority of the current backgrounds used are placeholders.

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Firstly, do you have permission to use the Pokémon Reorchestrated music? You also really shouldn't be using official music or sound effects.
The Reorchestrated tracks are fan content themselves and are licensed under the CC (NC/ND) for reuse without sale/modification. I've paid for the music myself because I fully support the creators.

As for any official-sounding music in general, it's under Copyright Disclaimer Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, under "fair use."

Biggest caveat is that this project is not for profit and "fair use" leans heavily in favor of non-profit endeavors. Same applies for most fan content, despite some occasionally getting C&Ds. It just happens. Considering this isn't bringing any profit, does not charge, does not put TPCi or Nintendo in any negative light, I personally don't see too much risk in pursuing this. But as always, no one ever really knows.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Psychic View Post
Erm, does that mean there won't be any focus on platonic friendships with female characters? Also, you can't pursue male love interests?
For the former, I fully intend for the player character to befriend without romance involved. For the latter, the farthest I'm going with it is bromance for now. If I have time toward the end of this project, I can always squeeze in more scenarios, but it's not in the works at this time. I have a few ending scenario ideas that don't involve romance at all and are based on friendship, camaraderie, and all-around "warm feelings."

It's a topic that has come up quite a few times already, though, so it's something that I will keep in mind as the project develops. And if—big if—the project turns out to be popular enough in the future after completion, if there are any programmers who wish to continue the work, I will be more than happy to help create an option to play as a female character, which would more or less turn this into an otome game (or yuri-jam, however you want it). But that's definitely not in the works at the present time.

Quote:
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Lastly, it doesn't sound like there's much emphasis on the Pokemon, which is a shame since this is taking place in the Pokemon world. You don't necessarily have to incorporate catching and battling imo, but it would be nice to have to cultivate relationships with Pokemon as well. It would be pretty fitting with the slice-of-life nature of the narrative, and I personally always like seeing the relationships between humans and Pokemon.
Currently planned are a series of general activities you can participate in during your "free time." Most involve personal stat boosting through events and challenges, relationship building with characters, and exploration. I'm certain I can fit interactions with Pokemon anywhere on that list. For example, one way to increase affection points with other characters is for both members to own a Pokemon of the same species. That's a good excuse to place the Pokemon up front and center.

That's a good idea in general, though, so thanks for that.

I'm currently wrapping up the prologue, so once I get into the meat of the game, it should be interesting just how much I content I can stuff in during the initial development phase.

Again, thanks for the feedback and for asking.
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Old October 14th, 2015 (4:28 PM). Edited October 26th, 2015 by VisualJae.
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Flannery art done!
Spoiler:


Her character is meant to be on the hot-headed side. But as a nod toward her in-game character, she's making an effort to just be herself. Whatever she feels, she expresses.
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Old October 14th, 2015 (10:43 PM). Edited October 14th, 2015 by Biogoji.
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*Comes into thread and sees Kris is going to be in the game*

You sir have made my day, And even through I'm not much of a Flannery Fan I like her art.
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Old October 15th, 2015 (12:26 AM). Edited October 26th, 2015 by VisualJae.
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*Comes into thread and sees Kris is going to be in the game*
Johto crew will be there

And...
Spoiler:

Plop. (she's not supposed to be upside down but I did it anyway; don't ask)


Side notes: Finally got the class selection scene out of the way. That thing ate up so many hours it wasn't even funny. I probably took a roundabout way of coding it, but at least the job's done. Prologue is officially 99% complete. After some tweaks and updated art, I'll likely be able to release a public alpha demo showcasing that portion of the game.
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Old October 15th, 2015 (12:50 AM).
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Just waiting for the release eagerly , take your time I know you want to give everybody a fine game.
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Old October 15th, 2015 (12:50 AM).
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Looking foward to it. And Skyla's looking good as always.
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Old October 15th, 2015 (8:24 PM).
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Thanks for the fast response! I also wanted to apologize for my tone in my earlier post - I was tired at the time, and really could have been more polite.

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Originally Posted by VisualJae View Post
Right now it's just me writing everything and coding everything, though I occasionally do get some volunteers who pitch in some ideas. My kid brother is doing all the character art and I have a couple of artists currently working on backgrounds. The vast majority of the current backgrounds used are placeholders.
That sounds pretty impressive. I like that it's your brother doing all of the art - it's a cool family project, and it's nice that the art style will be consistent.

Quote:
The Reorchestrated tracks are fan content themselves and are licensed under the CC (NC/ND) for reuse without sale/modification. I've paid for the music myself because I fully support the creators.

As for any official-sounding music in general, it's under Copyright Disclaimer Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, under "fair use."

Biggest caveat is that this project is not for profit and "fair use" leans heavily in favor of non-profit endeavors. Same applies for most fan content, despite some occasionally getting C&Ds. It just happens. Considering this isn't bringing any profit, does not charge, does not put TPCi or Nintendo in any negative light, I personally don't see too much risk in pursuing this. But as always, no one ever really knows.
I admit that I don't know the legality of these things, but it sounds like you've done your research. That said, seriously be careful about using copyrighted material, since TPCI did go after that PAX party (supposedly) just for using artwork. That said, I think it would still be worth telling Skotein "hey, we love your music and want to use it in our game," so you can get his blessing and make sure everything's kosher.

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For the former, I fully intend for the player character to befriend without romance involved. For the latter, the farthest I'm going with it is bromance for now. If I have time toward the end of this project, I can always squeeze in more scenarios, but it's not in the works at this time. I have a few ending scenario ideas that don't involve romance at all and are based on friendship, camaraderie, and all-around "warm feelings."

It's a topic that has come up quite a few times already, though, so it's something that I will keep in mind as the project develops. And if—big if—the project turns out to be popular enough in the future after completion, if there are any programmers who wish to continue the work, I will be more than happy to help create an option to play as a female character, which would more or less turn this into an otome game (or yuri-jam, however you want it). But that's definitely not in the works at the present time.
Fair enough, I'm sure making more romanceable characters is very time-consuming. If it's a time constraint thing, maybe consider sacrificing one female character as a potential love interest so as to include just one guy who can be romanced?

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Currently planned are a series of general activities you can participate in during your "free time." Most involve personal stat boosting through events and challenges, relationship building with characters, and exploration. I'm certain I can fit interactions with Pokemon anywhere on that list. For example, one way to increase affection points with other characters is for both members to own a Pokemon of the same species. That's a good excuse to place the Pokemon up front and center.

That's a good idea in general, though, so thanks for that.

I'm currently wrapping up the prologue, so once I get into the meat of the game, it should be interesting just how much I content I can stuff in during the initial development phase.

Again, thanks for the feedback and for asking.
Those sound like neat ideas for activities. But hm, maybe instead of having to have Pokemon of the same species (which might be difficult for players to pull off and is a bit limiting), maybe it has to be of the same evolutionary tree, or just the same element or egg group? That gives players a bit more leeway, especially if they want to increase affection that way with multiple other characters.

I'm glad the idea is helpful! Building your relationship with your Pokemon would definitely be very unique for your game and could be a big draw for people who aren't as interested in the human characters, but like the game mechanics.

~Psychic
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