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- 04/05 07:05 pm Trouble Loading Images/Sounds from Trello @everyone Just a note to everybody who uses Trello, please consider upgrading the CloudNovel premium and use the CloudNovel cloud storage instead of depending and abusing the free file uploads on Trello. I am sure that the reason that Trello started changing their links to something that prevents their files to be used in CloudNovel engine is because many files that are hosted on Trello.com used for CloudNovel have been draining Trello's bandwidth, and they are all coming from CloudNovel's website. Everybody has a free trial of 100mb on CloudNovel, so I implore everyone to use it, and if you want more storage, please upgrade to our premium, and premium only costs one time payment of $5 (Trello charges $10 monthly subscription per month). The more people use and abuse Trello's free file upload, eventually Trello will just ban their files entirely from the CloudNovel engine, then nobody will be able to use Trello anymore. I don't think anybody wants to have that happen. Our free premium trial gives you 100mb of storage space, please use it instead of depending on Trello as a third party hosting service, we can't abuse Trello for cloud storage because they have to pay their bills too, it's not fair and ethically wrong to just use their cloud storage without using their product for their intended purpose.
- 04/05 11:18 am Trouble Loading Images/Sounds from Trello Trello.com Files Not Loading Are you having trouble loading your files into your game, and you uploaded it to trello? Recently Trello.com has made changes to the way files are uploaded onto their website, and their links no longer work. We recommend everyone upgrade to premium visual novel so you can directly upload files to CloudNovel's cloud storage, so you don't need to worry about where to put your game files online. It is only $5, and doing so will help the CloudNovel staff continue working on CloudNovel, CloudAvatar, and CloudRPG game engines. Everyone's donations help the platform grow bigger and makes everybody happy. That's it! We hope you continue enjoying making your games, everybody!
- 03/31 11:12 am Monthly Newsletter March 2020 Hey guys! We are thrilled to announce that Discovering CloudNovelist is back! @Otometaku will be leading monthly interviews with CloudNovel developers and artists, so stay tuned~ This month, @Otometaku is interviewing OHISASHI from our Chocolates and Sweets Jam. About the CloudNovelist OHISASHI is a CloudNovelist from Hawaii. One fun fact about him is that he loves Shrek! For the 2020 Chocolates and Sweets Jam, OHISASHI has developed the demo of The Rose Vigilante, a mystery romance visual novel, where you play as a detective landed into a city to solve a mystery, starting friendships and romance along the way! The Rose Vigilante was awarded 20,000 points for its quality and content upon its completion, and we can’t wait for what OHISASHI has in store next. Read the full interview here
- 03/31 11:12 am Monthly Newsletter March 2020 Hey everybody, it's Sonya. We added a major feature this month and that was the drag and drop. Now that we have added drag and drop, we are really putting the breaks on engine development for CloudNovel. Back in November 2019, we promised we would focus our time on CloudAvatar. We broke our promise and still added these new features, but now we are really going to put a pause on developing our visual novel engine this time. So with that said, let's recap what we did this month in March: Week 1 First week, we made some changes to CloudAvatar, our dress up game engine. We have raised the price from 250 to 1000 points to create and upgrade to a premium CloudAvatar dress up game. Reason we did this is because now that we are taking a break from CloudNovel, we aim to focus on making CloudAvatar as versatile an engine as CloudNovel. Many of you noticed, we have not updated CloudAvatar since its release in winter 2017, that's almost 3 years that the CloudAvatar engine has been idle, and we've just been so busy working on our visual novel engine (CloudNovel) instead these past 3 years, we kind of left CloudAvatar in the dust. This is going to change, as our sole focus is now on CloudAvatar dress up game engine. If you've also noticed, the advanced search is back for searching visual novels. To go to the advanced search, simply type anything into the search input at the top of the main navigation menu, then on the search results page click on "show more visual novels" and on that second page, you will see the "advanced" option to toggle the advanced search. While we work on CloudAvatar, we will probably add an advanced search to dress up games as well, because right now only visual novels have genres and POV types, etc. Right now, only visual novels have advanced search. Week 2 Introducing, Drag and Drop: We also released a video tutorial on how to create your own cooking mama cooking game: mtOGDYifm_M Week 3 That means after this we are going back to being on hiatus on CloudNovel engine development. We are going to focus our attention on the CloudAvatar dress up game engine, since we did not update that since 2017 hahahaha wow it's been 3 years since we released it and we made no changes to it. It needs a much needed makeover. Anyway we also made an addition to the image bbcode tags in forums: So you can make different sizes of images inside your forum postings! Enjoy this guys!!! Week 4 We have added back the classic scene loading style for those who have long games that spans for hours of game play. This will prevent the game from slowing down due to a bug currently in the latest version of the offline downloadable visual novel engine. Scene and screen descriptions now appear when you hover over your scene name when you are in scene/screen editor: That's it for this month everybody! Thanks for reading our recap!
- 03/28 02:52 pm Chocolate & Sweets Jam Result Thank you for your wait! The jam result is now ready to be announced. Without further due, let's get to it. ※ Asset Resources Entries Reviews※ (Music) Sweet Metal Music by @SpringMetal4316❝ Starting off with the first piece, MR. Baffun, the background music collection by SpringMetal was not what one would expect for Valentine's day. However, as the songs continued, we found ourselves nodding to the beats! It’s very catchy and a lot of fun to listen to, especially when you want to incorporate these songs into the more intense moments in your visual novels. The next song, Watching The Stars, is the antithesis of the first. Listening to the song, we could almost imagine two characters under the stars, marveling at the speckled sky. The final song, Main Menu Sweet Metal, is also very beautiful and appropriate to be used in the main menu, with repetition mixed with subtle variety. Overall, the intricacy of these pieces is very impressive, especially with the creation of three long-lengthed songs during the window of Chocolate & Sweets Jam. We enjoy your composition, SpringMetal4316, thus we will award it with 3,000 points. ❞ ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ (Character) Sombee by @Xhrystal ❝ Sombee by Xhrystal is a character sprite asset of a Zombie Pastry Chef. Haha, love the wordplay on Sombee and Zombie. The lineart is crisp and clean, with a more dark and muted shade of valentine colors. Even though Sombee is just a sprite as of now, we could already imagine what sort of characters she would be as a visual novel character, given her dynamic expressions and poses. She’s. So. Cute! This entry will receive 4,500 points. Thank you so much for letting us see Sombee, Xhrystal. ❞ ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ (GUI) Chocolate GUI by @foleso ❝ This free GUI is cute and aesthetic, with textured buttons and half-transparent textbox. We loved how realistic the chocolate and donut looked on the textbox, and the buttons definitely popped with the attention to detail in its white outlines around the words such as “auto” and “load,” allowing the GUI to be compatible with all sorts of backgrounds. Something we love about the GUI is how readable the fonts are, even when one scale buttons down by a lot. This is important because these buttons are often small, and the users should be able to read all of the words clearly. Congratulations, foleso. We will give this entry 5,000 points for this work. ❞ ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ (GUI) Sweet Chocolates VN GUI by @MagykalMystique ❝ The Sweet Chocolates VN GUI is elaborate and pretty. In particular, the color palette makes the GUI consistent and professional. There’s a lot of detail, from the laces around the textbox to the patterns and highlights on the chocolates. We can see this GUI be used in lolita styled games or just games with valentines and sweet themes overall. Stunning work! :D As a thank you for uploading a stunning GUI work, we will give this GUI set 8,000 points. ❞ ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ ※ Visual Novel Entries Reviews ※ By The Heart of My String by @FurNFeather ❝ The story revolves around a furry boy named Laz who takes pity on a poor boy, Ezekiel who does not have enough money to buy a donut. This sparks a relationship between the two as they start chatting and interacting with each other. They start with small talk such as their class schedules as romance driven by more and more curiosity blooms around them. Because there is no music in this game or sound effects, for those who have a short attention span it may be difficult to keep on reading. If you are the type that needs background music to keep focusing, we recommend you to open a Youtube or Spotify to listen to music while playing this game. Also, other than one mention of a donut at the very beginning of the game, there are no hints of any themes from the jam in this game. The character sprite and background are originally drawn by the creator but as far as the user interface goes, we feel like some improvements can be made. There is a custom textbox but there are instances where the message text overlaps with the character portrait on the left. This clearly shows that the message width has not been adjusted to accommodate the presence of the character portrait and it can be really distracting when it overlaps. The creator also chooses to use serif fonts for the message and sans serif for the speaker. We recommend switching it around - serif for the speaker and sans serif for the message. This will make it easier to read. We would like to applaud for your great effort in making the art! The load screen is cute with the fluffy clouds but we’d recommend making the color and font of the buttons (‘back’ ‘continue’ etc.) fit with the load screen and the textbox a bit more so it looks sleeker. The same goes for the choice box. As for the writing, it is very obvious that the writing is not written for a visual novel. It is more likely to be suitable if the creator aims for novel writing but it does not work the best for a visual novel. There are a lot of descriptions in this visual novel so it does more telling but does not show us anything visual. In a visual novel, it is important to show more than telling and the easiest way to do this is actually by using less descriptive lines and utilizing more dialogues and monologues. Animate an action whenever it is possible. For example, instead of describing that a character is so shocked - like an earth-shaking shock, you can use shake animation on the character to express how shocking it is. There are around 3,000 words in this demo but only a part of it has been animated and has assets. It is disappointing but we look forward to what you will have stored for this game in the future. We still appreciate your effort to join the contest, therefore we decide that we will award this effort with 7,500 points. ❞ ※ Staffs off-topic comments ※ ❝ Kazuna: In the later scenes, it is just the sprites without a background. I definitely look forward to seeing what kind of endings the choices can lead to and anticipating the background and sprite come together! DAX: Ezekiel is cute but I would recommend you to play more visual novels to grasp how writing in visual novels work. That aside though, someone should create the Ezekiel Protection Squad. How dare of them trying to bully Ezekiel! Sonya: I hope Ezekiel ends up with Laz, their budding relationship seems like a great start to a cute love story. ❞ ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ A La Patissierre by @BeriiCreations ❝ Right off the bat, we are impressed that the creator decided to use traditional art using watercolor and paper for its visual. All of the art assets used in this visual novel are traditionally drawn and what makes it even better is that they actually look really good! However, of course, this choice does have its drawback which in this case, the artist cannot make all the expressions sprite for a character consistent as we do with digital art. Every time a character changes to another expression, there will be slight changes in their sprite. Therefore, there are not a lot of character expressions in this game. None of the user interfaces in this game have been customized. It remains with the default look provided by CloudNovel except for the main menu and choice box. The height of the choice box, however, is a bit too high. We recommended the height of a choice box to be around 40-75 px. Story-wise, this game makes you play as the main character (MC) with a customizable name, who just began your internship in a bakery. It does mention, though, that you have several work experiences before you are accepted to work with the bakery. Unfortunately, there are times when MC acts like this is your first time working without any work experience so we get a little bit confused here. It is still enjoyable to read, nonetheless. Does this game fit the theme of Chocolate and Sweets Jam? Yes, it does. It is still a bit lacking though but so far, this entry has the most interactions with sweets compared to other entries. We really appreciate the effort. Congratulations, BeriiCreations. We will give you 10,000 points for this work. ❞ ※ Staffs off-topic comments ※ ❝ Kazuna: This is a VN that is very fit for the Chocolate and Sweets Jam! I especially like the writing style in this game, it is descriptive and clear. DAX: I wonder how the rest of the staff look like and I would love to see more sweets in this game. So cute. Sonya: The hand-drawn art is very special and unique, I haven’t seen anyone do it before, so really, great job on being the most unique visual novel! ❞ ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ BobaLove by @Astara ❝ If we have one word to describe this visual novel, it will be absurd. Not in a bad way - in a weird way! An excellent weird way. First of all, as soon as we load the game, we are greeted with a rather unique and interesting graphical user interface. We are absolutely loving the idea of handheld console game GUI. The downside of this GUI though, we are not used to it so it takes an effort to learn which button is functioning as what. Well, not that much of effort but no matter how mighty is our Empress DAX, she has a weak memory so she keeps forgetting. Congratulations to her for making it until the end. You play as the main character (MC) who is not given any name but the enter-your-own-name MC, trying to muster the courage to confess your love towards your crush, Boba Boy. Before you make your move, however, you are intercepted by your friend, Glaze whom you think will be absent today. Nervously, you start to chat with Glaze and he shows you the support you need and prepares you for the move. Wonderful! Now, all we have to do is confess and invite him to the festival, right? Well, not exactly. What happens next takes us by surprise. Even until now, we are unsure what kind of endings we got. Is it good or is it bad? One thing for sure, it is a rather interesting experience. Now, let’s talk about art. The aestheticism of this game that uses a limited, pastel color palette turns out a rather good choice as it works really well in this game. Despite the cool-looking UI though, not everything has been customized. The load screen and settings screen remains with the default look. Great job, nonetheless. We found the music is used very well in this game. The background music is not distracting and the SFX sound when hovering a button is cute enough to not be an annoyance. Kudos to the creator for finding the right music. It fits the atmosphere and the vibe really, really well. To thank Astara for giving us such a unique experience, this game deserves 10,000 points. ❞ ※ Staffs off-topic comments ※ ❝ Kazuna: The UI!! The UI is amazing!! The character designs are really interesting and unique, and the animated sprites make them look even cuter than they already are. I love how you have multiple endings depending on what choices you choose - personally I got the blubbering goof ending on my first try. DAX: There are actually times this game reminds me of Undertale but not really. This game is unique on its own and I look forward to what Astara will bring to us more in the future. Sonya: AAAAAAH The UI is brilliant and gorgeous! Great job with this, the sound effects are amazing. ❞ ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ Heart-Pounding OPS by @Persephius ❝ Instantly, we are given a very good impression on the main menu. It has nice music and cool looking buttons that glow if you hover on them. It is simple but works. It makes us feel excited to try this game. In this demo, we play as Mr. Spark, or later on known as Aiden. Aiden lives with an android called Nautilus who easily blushes blue. Later in the story, we find out his blush is blue because android blood is blue which is actually a metal substance that runs through their body. Although Nautilus seems to be fixated to February 14th, Valentine’s day, this game only mentions Valentine’s Day and sweets several times only. We cannot really determine that this game is about sweets or Valentine's Day because clearly it is not. This game is more like a slice of life of Aiden’s daily life as most of the dialogues are about Aiden’s pondering about his life and how he should fix it but nothing really happened. The textbox in this game is huge. The design is stunning but the height should be lowered. Other than that, other screen interfaces such as load screen and settings screen remain with its default look. There is an additional page that deserves to be mentioned which is the Chapter page. It is looking good. The music on the main menu that leaves us with a good impression from the start has been used again and again through the demo. It does not necessarily make us feel bored and tired of it but we believe there are scenes that are not suitable for that music such as when Priscilla visits and starts talking about a case and androids. The dialogues are toned seriously but the music is too upbeat for serious scripts. We believe this scene can be improved if the creator uses more calm music to give it a more serious talk vibe. The first part of the first scene is also too silent. Maybe, with a sound effect, every time [???] speaks, this can be better. The last scene of the demo is perfect. The CG, the music, the atmosphere are just perfect. Kudos to Persephius for ending the demo with a beautiful moment. Anyway, we enjoy playing the game and we agree to give 15,000 points to Persephius. ❞ ※ Staffs off-topic comments ※ ❝ Kazuna: Without spoiling the story, I wanted to share my favorite line without context: ‘I have also noticed an increase in the amount of underwear you’ve been putting on the washing device.’ DAX: In the game, it is said the metal substance in android blood is copper but copper in normal states is reddish-brown and it will turn blue if it oxidizes. Does it mean android blood carries oxygen like human blood? If so, how interesting is that! Sonya: I am in love with the UI! The glowing typography is just gorgeous! ❞ ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ The Rose Vigilante by @OHISASHI ❝ The story starts off with our main character, Karis Papillon being down when he thought he was getting demoted from his old department and had to move out to a new city for his new post. He started his day by visiting a cafe where he met a gorgeous guy named Ray. Later on, he went to his new department only to find out his so-called demotion was actually a promotion. Of course, the new workplace was not complete if there were no interaction between new coworkers including bantering with them as well. This visual novel is supposed to be a mystery visual novel but the demo does not cover the mystery just yet. However, the creator has cleverly teased us with a hint of mystery so it is not hard to guess what will be the main object of the plot. That said though, the visual novel does not revolve around the main themes of jam which are chocolate, sweets and Valentine Day despite the fact that it does mention sweets several times. However, the sweets only take a very small part of the demo to be considered that this is a visual novel about sweets. As far as art, we have no complaints. The character and background arts are absolutely stunning. This game has a very distinguishable art style that cannot be mistaken for others. The graphic for the user interface, though, is not complete as it only has a custom main menu and a custom textbox. The rest, however, still use the default look. Those that have been customized look superb, not lying. We are absolutely entertained with the music on the main menu. It is rare for a music asset in a visual novel to be accompanied by a singer’s voice unless it is a theme song (which is only used for Opening and Ending movies) but it really suits the main menu. Therefore, we are looking forward to what other music could the creator choose for the next scene and the other parts of the game (which currently doesn’t have any BGM). The visual novel ends somewhat abruptly but that is understandable as it is only a demo. It does leave us wanting more which is a very good job. We will reward this amazing work with 20,000 points. Thank you for the experience, OHISASHI. ❞ ※ Staffs off-topic comments ※ ❝ Kazuna: The art style for the sprites is very unique - and I want to point out that the background art is also completely original as well as the GUI. You can see the effort put into the game by seeing the details such as the chapter name change on the top right corner of the game or the change in the bedroom BG when you close the curtains. DAX: Yeah, hit it, hit it. C'mon on, c'mon on. I am in love with the main menu BGM. Who is my bias? It is the main menu BGM. I am sorry, Ray but the main menu BGM is too attractive and cannot leave my head alone. Sonya: This game has the most interesting writing and best-drawn character art!!! Aaaaah I’m in love with all the characters!!! ❞ Finally, we have a staff entry. Top Choice by @Otometaku ※ Staffs off-topic comments ※ ❝ Kazuna: Otometaku is back producing cute visual novel games! Love the cover art and the sprite art you chose to use as Liz and Peter. I look forward to seeing more of your writing and VN! (Can’t wait to see more of Erica as well :3) DAX: I cannot believe how far her art has improved. I love the characters they are sooooo cute! Sonya: The art has improved immensely, I LOVE the new art style, great job Otome!!! ❞ And, we are done. Thank you so much for those who participated in the jam. We hope you enjoy reading our review and each staff personal comment. Also, this is a final reminder from us. Only completed entries will receive their points. Most of the entries are demo and ongoing so you will not receive the points right now but as soon as you completed the entry, please contact us by PMing or messaging us on the site or Discord. If you completed your entry, please ensure you have tagged the entry as completed. For those who enter with asset entry will be receiving your points soon. Again, thank you so much for joining the jam. I hope we can see you soon in future jams. P/S: Currently, the world is experiencing turmoil with the ongoing cases of Covid-19. Therefore, CloudNovel would like to take the time to remind you to take care of your health. Love yourself and your loved one. We wish you the best and we can overcome this soon. Stay hygiene and practice social distancing.