Illustration by: いたる (matunoji-itaru) from pixiv

Joining a Game Jam: NaNoRenO 2014 and How We’re Pulling Up (for now…)

It’s been more than two weeks ago since I pitched the idea of entering the famous visual novel game jam, NaNoRenO, to Kyriuki. I thought it was a good place to get our Vocaloid circle known as a name in the indie visual novel scene, sort of like Dischan back in 2012 which appeared out of the blue with their first kinetic novel, Juniper’s Knot. The head writer/musician agreed, but had other plans for our entry:

  1. We have to show that we are a Vocaloid circle, so all those ideas regarding a “detailed senpai-handling manual” or slice-of-life stories were canned to give way to Kyriuki’s “Jun Maeda-ish romantic tragedy” stories based on one of the songs he wrote for the circle.
  2. We have to rake in potential recruits. We’re short of hands on the visuals department, with all the previous members declaring hiatuses or simply expressing their thoughts of quitting. I did decide to pitch in as “emergency visual artist” if no one hasn’t pushed an envelope into our recruiting mailbox.

So far, we’re not doing well. The Philippine education system (which most of the members are following since, well, they live in the Philippines) hasn’t fully graduated the June-March school year format yet. That meant NaNoRenO collided with the final weeks of our classes where most of us had to finish papers and study for final exams. Because of this, Kyriuki had to delay the script thanks to High School graduation obligations, and I was only able to give limited details on our main game’s prologue: You’ll Hear My Voice Someday: YELLOW VOICE.

Now a little about our NaNoRenO entry: Based on one of our circle’s songs, Kimi O Sagasu, he story focuses on the young Len Kagamine who, despite being an excellent student in his senior year, was known for being a delinquent freshman. He was then approached by a girl named “Rin” while he was chilling at the rooftop minding his own business. From there on, Len gets to a serious “straightening-up” phase where he gets his interest in studying back. The story doesn’t end there, so I’ll leave it up to our visual novel to continue the tale.

So, where are we going with only “10%” of coding progress? Practically nowhere, I assume. The fact that only Kyriuki and I are the only two people rowing this boat is quite sad. I joined New Forte thinking that we would have this sort of “family vibe” emanating with every task we set our circle to. But enough moping about, the deadline is closing in and we still have some work to do!

New Forte Sit Rep: February 2014

Hello everybody! It’s been a month since our first post here in our blog and… honestly, not much has been achieved for the month of February. With personal priorities such as school or work stacking up, most of our members have either declared their respective hiatuses or went AWOL. Nevertheless, both the music and visual novel team was able to churn out some stuff for the month of FEBRUARY.

  • MUSIC TEAM
    1. We’re now live on Nico Nico Douga!


      Kyriuki
      recently hoisted up the circle’s first song, Paradise (feat. Hatsune Miku), in Japan’s famous online video platform. No news yet of whether the other songs will be posted there. But hey, we’re in Nico Nico Douga now (and that’s something worth bragging, right?)

      (P.S. – If you don’t see the external player, click here to see our NND video.)

  • VISUAL NOVEL TEAM
    1. We are IN DIRE NEED of visual artists/illustrators!

      Every single artist/illustrator in our visual novel team have suddenly decided to go missing in action (some with valid reasons such as personal issues or workload, while others just disappeared into thin air). So once again, we humbly ask you, a member of the internet, to consider joining us for a chance to showcase your talent and your love for Vocaloid with a masterpiece worth bearing yours.
    2. We’re joining this year’s NaNoRenO!

      Yes, we are not kidding you. Despite the huge lack of visually-inclined hands, the visual novel team has decided to join NaNoRenO: a visual novel-based code jam held for the entirety of March. For this year’s month-long event, we will be releasing a prequel to our main visual novel called You’ll Hear My Voice Someday: YELLOW VOICE.

      The prequel’s plot revolves around Len Kagamine: despite being well-known as an excellent student, he was first labeled in his freshman year as a delinquent. Then everything changed when, one day while chilling at the school’s rooftop, a concerned female batchmate approached him. (We’ll leave the finished product tell you the rest of the story!)

  • Other Stuff
    1. Lots of places to tune in with usAside from our Facebook page and blog, we’ve opened up a Twitter account and a Trello board to post about stuff we want you to see. Rest assured we will keep this up to date from time to time.

That’s it for this month’s sit rep. If you have any questions, comments, rants, suggestions, or testimonies, you can drop us a comment. Thanks 🙂

The New Blog

Hello, and welcome to New Forte’s brand-new blog! This will be the place where we’ll be hoisting up details on projects and new music releases. In addition to that, you’ll be hearing some stuff from the creators ranging from project leaks to personal opinions.

“But wait a sec, don’t you have a Facebook page already?”

Yes we do, and it’s right over here. But as we evolve into something larger than we have ever imagined, we strive to reach our fanbase in the places most relevant to our field of expertise (like SoundCloud and YouTube).

“Enough business talk. We know you just made this blog for the visual artist recruitment.”

Ah, yes. That. Thing is, we need a centralized method to pick up recruits because tracking every thread and post we hoist up around the internet is complicated. You can’t really track them all and sometimes, you might just abandon it because of inactivity. To solve that, we set up the recruitment page (and post) inside the blog to send all of the recruits in one place.

“…and the rest of the blog?”

As many of you who have been with us before the announcement of the visual novel, you may have noticed that our primary means of communication with all of you is through the Facebook page. The problem is that the platform is a bit too limited to add additional things like playlist embeds or signup forms. Plus, as we “venture” into the indie visual novel arena, we have to set up a more formal avenue of disseminating information (and communicate about our works to people who don’t want to touch the dominantly blue social network that seeped out of Harvard, which some of the folks in the visual novel scene are straying away from).

“Have you considered using Tumblr?”

Yes, and no. Though I do like to set up New Forte’s blog in the Yahoo-bought social blogging platform, I do have a hint of loathing for the platform deep down inside me. Sure, we’ll miss out our chances of having posts reblogged around the Tumblr universe and have our inboxes spammed with queries from fans. Then again, I purposely gave the idea of a blog to my fellow collaborators as a formal means of reaching out to the people (and without mentioning the question of whether to use WordPress or Tumblr, so there’s that…)

“So, what now?”

In the following days, I might just leak a few details regarding our visual novel project, You’ll Hear My Voice Someday. Kyriuki just happened to place revision #7 of the script on our desks a few days ago along with designs for Iroha Nekomura from one of our offline illustrators. Then again, we are still in need of creative hands to help us with our project’s art assets, so please do drop by our recruitment post.

Illustration by: bob (biyonbiyon) from pixiv

Illustrators needed for our visual novel project!

Hello! I’m Mikko Saavedra (a.k.a. weetabix), head programmer for New Forte’s visual novels arm (and head PR, as stated in my Twitter profile.) I have been recently notified in New Forte’s “top-secret” online group that we are in need of TWO (2) more illustrators/artists for the upcoming visual novel’s art assets such as sprites, backgrounds, UI, and special event illustrations.

“So, what project will I be working on?”

The project in question is none other than our debut visual novel, You’ll Hear My Voice Someday. It’s about a kid named Kenta Yamada who coincidentally enrolled in a school where Miku, Len, and Iroha are studying. Much more details will be released later on as we work further in the script. (Seriously, there’s a huge gaping hole between the intro and the Miku route. Oh shit, I shouldn’t have said that…)

“But wait a sec, I thought you have illustrators to do the job already.”

Yes we do. In fact, most (if not all) of them have gone to their respective hiatuses for reasons we can’t disclose to the public. In addition, Kyriuki is getting really itchy about the game’s development progress and he REALLY, REALLY WANTS TO HIT THE JULY DEADLINE.

“Great! What are the requirements?”

  1. Experience in creating digital art: By that, we mean someone who has experience in translating his work to graphics software such as Photoshop, Paint.NET, Corel Draw, and GIMP. Trust me, it’s hassling to translate works of paper and pencil to digital format and we really need people with hands made for digital formats. Also, it would be great if you have accounts on deviantART, pixiv, Nico Nico Seiga, or any means of decently providing sample artwork.
  2. Vocaloid fanaticism: Yes. This is a mandatory requirement.
  3. Regular online presence: We’re serious about this too. It is a little known fact that some of our members are active despite not having any means of online communication. Removing that hurdle equals to more plus points to the development process.

“That’s it? Splendid! Where do I sign up?”

Scroll down and you will see a form. Don’t fret if you didn’t get picked, because we might just contact you in case we’ll need your artistic skills somewhere else (like cover art for songs or visual novel omake). In the meantime, the circle would like to wish you the best of luck and we hope to work with you in the future.

“Are you REALLY SURE that’s it?”

Oh, I almost forgot! Let me remind you that your work here will be considered pro bono (in layman’s terms, FOR FREE). New Forte has been operating as a music circle for almost three years with no dinero, and its debut visual novel will be offered to the public at no cost. We hope you understand.