4th Aniversary Dreams of the Skies Art and Writing Contest

Four years ago, a small English visual novel was released by a no-name man with little to his name other than fleas and a scanner from the early 90s. That first pathetic visual novel, that first drug into the world of VN creation, were the humble beginnings of one of the most egotistical EVN makers to plague the world. As we sit on the anniversary of that first game and the upcoming releases of some of the most ambitious projects imagined, I think it is time for a little celebration of how far we’ve come. With this, I’m happy to announce the start of the Dreams of the Skies 4th anniversary art and writing contest!

 

For those of you who have never played Dreams of the Skies, shame on you. You can download the story from here. http://www.idhasstudios.com/?page_id=8 The story is only around 30 minutes to an hour long.

 

Plot: Tobias is a 23 year old one winged angel. He’s lived his whole life shunned by the angelic society for being a freak and by human society for being the member of a society that nearly destroyed itself ten years ago in a war that engulfed angelic society. However, all of that is about to change. Following an ancient legend, Tobias is about to regain the wing he never had and claim the heritage that was denied to him. All it will take is one simple thing, murder.

 

This contest is two sided, a separated art and writing contest. I’m not an artist myself (the orignal version should highlight that), but a writer. Both writers and artists are welcomed in this contest.

 

Theme: Past, Present, and Future

 

Prizes, what you all are interested in! Both the writing contest and art contest have identical prizes. Now, I’d like to give out more than large cash prizes, so if there are any donations to our contest, I’ll welcome them. If the winner doesn’t have Paypal, I’ll send your winnings via DA points, though I have no idea what you could do with 16,000 pts.

First place: $200 USD via Paypal

Second place: $100 USD via Paypal

Third place: $50 USD via Paypal

That’s right, there is a whopping $700 of prizes in the pool, making this the largest contest IDHAS has ever ran.

 

Deadline: October 25, 2012

Results announced: November 1, 2012

 

Judging: All pieces will be judged on creativity, originality, and plain old awesomeness (writing will also be judged on grammar). All pieces will be reviewed by the dynamic IDHAS trio: Chief Editor Komi and his two bumbling assistants. Depending on the number of entries, we might include a fan vote in there as well.

 

Art contest rules:

  1. You must have 1 Dreams of the Skies character and 1 non-DotS character. It can be your OC or a fanart. For the DotS character, you can use any character from either the original or remake.
  2. Proper credit must be given to all characters!
  3. You must include the theme in some way, shape, or form.
  4. You can submit up to two pieces for both contests total. Meaning you can put two in the art contest, two in the writing contest, or one in each.
  5. Keep it under XXX rating. IDHAS has never been a family friendly studio, but let’s keep the smut out of this one. You can toe that line, just don’t cross it.
  6. Also, for the your submission, you can either comment me a link on this entry or send it to my e-mail, chief@idhasstudios.com
  7. All entries will get featured in a later blog. Not so much a rule, just something to note.

 

Writing contest rules:

  1. See above
  2. Length must be between 1,000 and 10,000 words.

 

Characters:

Tobias, our protagonist:

Josh, the sidekick manipulating everything behind the scenes:

Winy, the victim of a cruel fate and future:

Kat, the nerdy best friend trying to stop it all:

Qrinz, a character who was worked out after the original and replaced by Kat. Qrinz did get a graphic retooling, but long after her role had been replaced:

Doc, an evil character egging Tobias on from the fabled unreleased version 4:

 

As always, I’m here to field any comments, questions, or concerns! Remember, have fun!

I forgot the video of the post!

Rising Angel lookback #1 pt. 1

I’ve been promising this for a while. I normally do a lookback for my sake one month after a game as been released. While this may only be an Alpha version, it is still the longest IDHAS work released to date, so it gets a lookback. Since I haven’t done anything on here lately, I am going to put up my thoughts. Today, I will be doing the major lessons we’ve learned. Tomorrow, I will be putting up our reactions and changes we will be doing to Rising Angels. After that, I think we’ll do some sort event for the Dreams of the Skies anniversary. As our first game released to the public, I like to do something to remember it.

Well, let’s get this started!

Lesson #1: Just because documented evidence proves that people love the shy girl doesn’t mean that she should be the ONLY character available for the first release.

-Okay, an addition to that statement should be that Lenna Edeck should NOT have been the first release. As a reoccurring main character, I’ve seen how the audience has reacted to her before. It’s always been night and day. One person hates her guts with an undying passion, the next thinks she’s a wonderful character. Either way, she shouldn’t have been sent out there to stand on her own against the audience. The original plan was for Lenna, Jade, and Kika Act 1s to be released as a group. That would have been the SMART plan.

 

Lesson #2: While I hate descriptions and what I refer to as fluff, everyone else likes knowing the backstory of the universe. Dropping them in cold turkey is bad, m’kay?

-A sign that you’ve been working in a series too long is when there’s nothing more you hate than having to reestablish the setting. I know it. I’ve wrote it for nearly a dozen other works. However, you all don’t read my works, so I need to do it again… and again… and again… and again… it annoys the hell out of me. But… I’ve got to do it. I doubt I will ever really like writing setting over character interaction, I think I can try it one more time.

 

Lesson #3: The audience has no clue what they want.

-Half of you hate the cast, you find them mean and annoying. The other half finds them interesting and diverse. Half of you hate the art style, the other half adores it. One person says the females are undersexualized and boring while the next one says they are oversexualized. Every single time I start trying to develop trends in what everybody wants, it gets thrown in complete disarray. Almost every aspect of the game went 50/50 with people’s feelings. I could accept that, if it wasn’t for the crowd wasn’t perfectly divided hate/love on all aspects. Nobody liked/hated the same things. In the end, I feel it is safe to conclude that there are almost no trends I can draw from the audience.

 

Lesson #4: But the one trend I DID find was that everybody hates kinetic novels.

-I don’t know why everyone dislikes kinetic novels so much. To me, it is just like a play. To all of you, I’m committing a major sin of interactive fiction. Let me be quite frank: I don’t like the standard choice options most visual novels give you, mine included. 99% of you will only give the answers you think the character you are trying to romance wants to hear. What’s the point in giving options in a story if I already know which one you are going to pick?

 

Lesson #5: File size is going to hurt.

-It is. It has always been pretty staggering due to the resolution I work with, but I’m starting to think that other distribution methods might be needed for the final release.

 

Lesson #6: Don’t talk about expenses.

-The only person who cares about my costs is me. While this information could be useful to others, this will be the last time I talk about studio expenses. My forecasts were used against me, and I do not intend to let that happen again. IDHAS always has budget problems due to artists bailing out with money in hand, but I’m going to try and minimize how often you hear of it.

 

Lesson #7: WIPs early on are a bad idea because things are always changing.

-Anyone who has followed us since our initial start-up in June of last year knows that this project has undergone so many changes. There was one point where we were working on an RPG setup. Then we had mini-games. Now, we are falling back to a traditional visual novel. I have my reasons for everything I do, and I accept that I can’t do everything I want to do, but it hurts the fans. I suppose many of you thought I was going to do a traditional otome, despite deciding against that very early on. Some thought it was going to contain high amounts of sci-fi, despite that the Foxes of Luck series has always been light sci-fi at best. The sad fact of the matter is that the way IDHAS operates doesn’t permit any sort of public display until late development, after we’ve worked all the bugs and bad ideas out.

 

Lesson #8: Update

-Yeah, I need to do my updates more often and keep information up-to-date. The fans would have less jarring surprises if I helped them understand more about what the story is about. The reason I don’t do it too often though is that I get more comments from spam bots than I do humans. Heck, sometimes all I get are the spambots. That is NOT motivational gotta say. Still, I need to push past that and do it anyway.

 

That’s it! Basically, I need to start timing when I shut my mouth and when I open it. See you all tomorrow for what we are going to do to make Rising Angels the best damn story you’ve ever played!

And the video of the post is a good one. ;)