Rakit Studios

Home of Rakit Studios : Creators of Convenience Wars


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Convenience Wars – Update Post – Redesign of everything?

Hi guys, it’s been a long time, several months in fact. We are back! Seems that life kinda just got in the way of everything, as seems to happen. However it turned out to be a very good thing. The entire Rakit Studios team has come back together and been working hard for a week on a redesign sprint. We’re not totally finished yet, but we’re finished enough that we wanted to share a few things with you.

User Interface
One thing we hadn’t worked on at all before was the user interface. We had discussed it many times, but decided as a team that working on the content of the game was more important. However, after our hiatus, it seemed very important to us to create the look’n’feel that players would experience. Cue AliasVegas, bringing in the designing guns and firing out a fifty calibre design. We’re all totally stoked about it and it inspired us not only to rework the logo, which secretly I was the only person who seemed to like it, but to decide that we had completed our logo. The GUI was designed around being app like, bubbly and simple to use. There was a great focus on a fresh feeling. Since our VN is about two convenience stores, it sort of fit that we would go for a stylish, clean and very over produced GUI.

Take a look at some of the screenshots below:

Title Screen GUI

Title Screen GUI

In Game GUI

In Game GUI

Preferences GUI

Preferences GUI

Save Load GUI

Save Load GUI

Logo
The logo was reworked after the Main Screen had been designed by AliasVegas. The colours and feel she had chosen were worked in to the logo by cbx33 (me). I felt it was important to maintain the same look’n’feel in the logo that was present in the GUI and the team seemed to agree. After the initial logo concept, we actually went through only very minor changes. That in itself was proof to us that we had finally hit on the right logo for our VN. I’ve often found in design work, though I’m no designer, that a design is finished when you add something and decide the design is better off without it.

Logo Design

Logo Design

Characters
Though we’re only giving you a brief preview today, all of the Convenience Wars characters have undergone major redesigns. This isn’t to say the original characters were bad at all, but through the break period, AliasVegas, our Art Director, really began thinking a lot more about character design and how to make them feel more real. As we reveal more of the characters you will notice how different they are and hopefully see that we’ve dolloped an extra amount of care and attention this time around too.

Yukito Redesigned

Yukito Redesigned

CG Backgrounds
Well. What can I say here. We’ve had a huge change of direction here. I previously posted about using the Edge Detection node setup that we were using in Blender for the outlines. Turns out that during our break, Freestyle was integrated into Blender. Freestyle is a much more configurable way of introducing edge lines in Blender. I toyed with this for a few weeks, but during the sprint, we decided that we didn’t actually want to use outlines in our backgrounds at all. That was one of the biggest shifts in the design work and coupled with taking a more realistic approach, we ended up with an image which is completely different from the original.

Classroom Old

Classroom Old

Classroom Redesigned

Classroom Redesigned

We spent a large amount of time on the lighting, working on just the right setup to get the shadows plus the bloom effect on the window areas. sbx34 and I worked together for several hours producing render after render. As it turns out, the new way of rendering our scenes turns out to be a lot less compute intensive that previous, so bonus all round then! We also made the decision to upscale the game from 1280×720 to 1366×768. We did consider HD, but for this VN, we’ll be sticking to the latter. We didn’t want the possibility of the game slowing down on older machines and so decided against HD. sbx34 has been becoming very well acquainted with CG trees. We need a forest. I think he hates me.

So as you can see a very very busy time. All of the GUI work, redesigned Yukito, rendering, basically everything discussed in this post was achieved in a week. We’ve really worked flat-out and I think proven to ourselves that we definitely have what it takes to make Convenience Wars a success.

Let us know what you think – we’re gonna take a break for a few minutes

cbx33Project Coordinator

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Character Friday: Kurisu Yamada and Yugo Sagasu

Yay! It’s time for another Character Friday, showcasing another character from our upcoming Visual Novel, Convenience Wars. The idea is to whet your appetite and get you going all gaga over the awesome artwork that aliasvegas is producing. Today it’s the turn of Kurisu Yamada and Yugo Sagasu.

Kurisu is 17 years old and Yugo is 18 years old. They both work at Yuudai-Mart along with the others. Of course, they are in love and on a day to day basis they can only be seen together, in each others arms. Most of life slips past them without even catching their attention. Being so in love, Yugo is understandably over protective of Kurisu and so he and Satoshi don’t exactly hit it off well, because of course, Satoshi is interested in Kurisu…..or at least, that’s what Yugo thinks.

Kurisu+Yugo

That’s it for now. More details to come soon 🙂


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Character Friday : Yukito Kitsune

Yay! It’s time for another Character Friday, showcasing another character from our upcoming Visual Novel, Convenience Wars. The idea is to whet your appetite and get you going all gaga over the awesome artwork that aliasvegas is producing. Today it’s the turn of Yukito Kitsune.

Yukito Kitsune is 17 and attends Kito-Oka High School with his sister Sakura. Yukito also works at Yuudai-Mart, along with his sister, Oni and Satoshi. He’s a fun lovin’ kinda guy, who’s always up for a laugh, particularly if it’s at Satoshi’s expense. He’s always embarassing his sister, Sakura but doesn’t dare cross Oni. He’s a pretty good drummer and like Satoshi loves playing video games. He’s often asked to fix peoples computers, something which annoys him to the core. Except if Risa asks him, as Yukito harbours quite a soft spot for her.

That’s it for now. More details to come soon 🙂


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Character Friday : Kazuko Urashima

Yay! It’s time for another Character Friday, showcasing another character from our upcoming Visual Novel, Convenience Wars. The idea is to whet your appetite and get you going all gaga over the awesome artwork that aliasvegas is producing. Today it’s the turn of Kazuko Urashima.

Kazuko Urashima is 16 and attends Kito-Oka High School near Akihabara, Taito. Kazuko works at the neighbouring convenience store, Ryou-Store. She’s bossy, rude and a like Oni, likes to get things her own way. Her first impression of Satoshi is not what you would call good. She finds him lazy, stupid and entirely unfit for “The Meet” that happens every Tuesday. Though she’s bossy, Kazuko is a great leader. She looks after her friends and though Satoshi has yet to see it, she has a soft side that she keeps closely guarded.

That’s it for now. More details to come soon 🙂


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Character Friday : Oni Osamu

Yay! It’s time for another Character Friday, showcasing another character from our upcoming Visual Novel, Convenience Wars. The idea is to whet your appetite and get you going all gaga over the awesome artwork that aliasvegas is producing. Today it’s the turn of Oni Osamu.

Oni Osamu is 15 and is in her first year of High School. She too attends the Kito-Oka High School near Akihabara, Taito. Oni works at the Yuudai-Mart but she’s not like the other workers. Oni’s father Mr. Osamu owns the store and Oni is in charge of the rosters and employees. She takes no nonsense at all and her first impressions of Satoshi are lasting. She’s a little hot headed and incredibly comptetive. Oni also has to get things her own way. Seriously if things don’t go her way, everyone is in trouble. Thankfully, for the most part her requests are simple enough, even though they are sometimes a little ‘out-there’. She’s loyal to her friends and a lot of fun, just ask Satoshi.

That’s it for now. More details to come soon 🙂


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Character Friday : Satoshi Kobayashi

Yay! It’s time for another Character Friday, showcasing another character from our upcoming Visual Novel, Convenience Wars. The idea is to whet your appetite and get you going all gaga over the awesome artwork that aliasvegas is producing. Today it’s the turn of Satoshi Kobayashi.

Satoshi Kobayashi is 17 and recently got a job at the Yuudai-Mart, where he works with Yukito and Sakura Kitsune. He’s the protagonist in Convenience Wars and in all honesty, he’s kind of a goof. He moved to Akihabara to live with his Aunt and since he eats….a lot….she made him get a part-time job to help out with the expenses. He enjoys gaming, his favourite game being Dragon Kung-Fu Master 12. Strangely enough he’s often misunderstood. That could have something to do with his best friend Yukito who is always getting him into trouble. Satoshi, often called Toshi by his close friends attends Kito-Oka high school along with most of the other workers at the Yuudai-Mart.

Sakura Headshots

That’s it for now. More details to come soon 🙂


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Character Friday : Sakura Kitsune

That’s right folks, it’s Character Friday. Every friday, assuming yours truly remembers, we will be showcasing a character from our upcoming Visual Novel, Convenience Wars. The idea is to whet your appetite and get you going all gaga over the awesome artwork that aliasvegas is producing. Today it’s the turn of Sakura Kitsune.

Sakura Kitsune is 17 and works at the Yuudai-Mart with her brother Yukito. She’s a little shy and reserved and gets embarrassed about things rather easily. As she is such a model worker, her job is to greet people upon their entrance to the store and to show new employees around and make them feel at home. She’ll always try to keep the peace but she won’t stand for any nonsense, something she shares in common with Risa, one of the other employees at Yuudai-Mart. Most of the other workers at the convenience store go to the same school as Sakura, North Hill High School, or Kita no Oka. Oh, and her favourite food is Taiyaki.

Sakura Headshots

That’s it for now. More details to come soon 🙂