Officially released: Our first demo game!

Hello all! It’s the writer’s team, Jyuuguchi and Laramie Castiel writing on behalf of Team Precatio!

Yes, it’s here!

After so many months of waiting, we’re very excited to share the first trial of Kokorogawari!

We have decided to release two different trials so that you’ll be able to experience what Kokorogawari has to offer as much as possible. We feel that it’s very important for everyone to get a good grasp on what we have to offer, as we want you to love our game and let it be a proud addition to your visual novel collection.

With that aim in mind, we’ve released the first of our two trials. This trial will cover the first chapter of the game’s common route. Here’s what we you can expect:

– An introduction to one of the three love interests, Koga Shinichi.
– An insight into our protagonist Matsubayashi Asami’s feelings towards love and relationships in general. It’ll also explore how she shows a different side to different people.
– A golden opportunity to get a feel for the interface, as well as seeing our Dictionary function in action!
– Mac and Linux users, come and join in on the fun- we’ve got you covered as well. =)
– By our estimate, the trial will be about 45 minutes worth of playtime. However, this could end up varying depending on individual reading speeds.

Please play it and tell us what you think. If you enjoyed it, we’d be so thankful if you could recommend your friends to give our first demo a go!

If you really, really enjoyed it, don’t miss out on our special Trial Promotion pre-order prices, which are US$22 (normally $25) for the standard edition and $32 (normally $35) for the deluxe edition.

Also, we have even more great news: we will be presenting a special gift for all pre-orderers. Not to worry, early bird pre-orderers- this includes you as well. The special extra will be available for download once we’ve fine-tuned it to perfection!

You can download our free demo via Kokorogawari’s itchi.io page here: https://precatio.itch.io/kokorogawari

Thank you very much for your continued support and encouragement. We are eagerly awaiting your comments!

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6 thoughts on “Officially released: Our first demo game!

  1. Reblogged this on じゅうぐち: and commented:

    After so many months of hard work, the first trial is finally here! After sacrificing many otoges and much of my time, I’m very glad to see the first trial being sent out to everyone. So if you have been following us for some time, please play the trial and let us know your thoughts on it!

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  2. Sorry if my thoughts are a little jumbled as I kind of just left a document open as I was playing and wrote things down. Here’s my feedback on the first trial/demo:

    I like the dictionary you guys created for Japanese words. I feel like that would be a very helpful tool to people who aren’t as familiar with some of those things. Besides defining Japanese words, you may want to consider also defining (other cultural) terms that not everyone may be familiar with. In college, I learned a lot about the aging society/lowered birthrates in Japan so I know about parasite singles, but I didn’t know what that was until I took classes so I’m not sure if it’s a widely used term that everyone would recognize so that might be something else you’d want to define.

    I know you have to balance English with Japanese and not change it around too much, but sometimes I felt like it there were some inconsistencies when Japanese and English were used. For example, sakura/cherry blossoms. I think most people would probably know “sakura,” but it felt a little unnatural to read “cherry blossoms” in one sentence and then “sakura” in the next. Plus, “sakura” is a Japanese word that was not defined using your cool dictionary thing. I don’t really have a preference for which is used, but it’s just a matter of keeping it consistent. Another thing I noticed was differences in how people are addressed. Asami calls her mother “mom,” but everyone else seems to be referred to in the Japanese way (eg. “Tanaka-obasan” “Asami-chan” or like how Shinichi calls Rika by her last name).

    One thing I really appreciated about Asami is that I could really relate to what she was going through. As a more concrete example, I wouldn’t say I “liked” the situation with the goukon (because honestly if I had a friend like Rika trying to push me into going after signing me up to attend without my permission, I would’ve been royally pissed hahaha), but I liked that I was able to sympathize with her as a result of what was happening to her.

    Not sure if this was a bug, but after the scene turned to night when Asami was out getting supplies/groceries and the eyecatch of Asami passed, it went to her room, the living room, briefly showed her mom there, and then switched back to her being outside at night in the rain.

    Also, I didn’t think there was a clear transition between the night scene with Tanaka-obasan and Asami going to school. I was confused when I first started playing because at first I thought she was on a bus at night but then I realized she was going to school the next day so it felt very abrupt.

    Another thing is, I think the text would look better a little bigger. Proportionally, I think it looked kind of small. In particular, the text for “Chapter 1” was very tiny. Since it’s a heading, it would look better bigger so the page doesn’t look so empty.

    This might’ve been just me (and maybe it was affected by the fact that I used earphones?), but I found the sound levels to be a little inconsistent. Everything started off super loud to me, so I adjusted the volume based on the SFXs and OST from the opening scenes to be much lower, but when Shinichi’s theme song came on it startled me because it was louder than the previous songs. I also found the SFXs with the voices to be a little distracting most of the time. I understand that you want to capture the busy atmosphere before class and during lunch time, but it was more distracting for me than anything else. I feel like it might have been more effective to introduce the scene with the SFX to place the scene but have it fade out once the game’s main people start to talk. I notice it did end up doing that near certain parts (like when Asami was alone with Shinichi or when the BGM changed) but it could’ve been done earlier.

    Having said all of that, content-wise I find the game very promising. Asami is, like I said, very relate-able and even if I didn’t necessarily agree with a lot of the characters, I found them to be fairly realistic representations of people I could meet in the type of setting they’re in. The BGMs, sprites, CG art, and background art are all very appealing. I love the colors. I think the programming is pretty well-done too. Besides the bug and the one missing transition scene things I mentioned, the transitions felt pretty smooth and I liked the movement of the sprites. Looking forward to the next trial!

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    • Thank you so much for the feedback, Sena! We’re still debugging the game and we received a few comments about how loud the SFX was so we are definitely looking into that! We will release a trial patch or updated version soon.

      Thanks again for the detailed feedback and please look forward to the second demo! 😀

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  3. Hi! I finally got around to playing the demo and it’s proof enough for me to follow this project on Twitter, but my comments are too long so I’m posting here. I really like what I see, and not just because I felt a sisterhood when Asami said she wanted to “be a smashing career woman and live with mom.” (And resists romantic relationships. Aw yeah.) Long story short, I like how much of it is already polished, from art to music to GUI to the writing. I felt all the characters had “heart,” even the side character Tanaka-obasan, based on Asami’s interaction with them–and that even though she has the cool or aloof image, she’s not socially inept. Props to you guys.

    Some suggestions I have for the GUI:
    – Enlarging the font for the textbox options (save, load, etc.).
    – Within each love interest’s CG gallery, perhaps consider the ability to right-click back to the main CG Gallery menu (as opposed to finding the “Back to Gallery” link). It helps when moving between different galleries.
    – Are you considering colored speaker tags (either the box itself or just the name)? I often look away from the textbox to check someone’s expression as I advance text (and reading previous blog entries, that’s going to be an emphasis in this story) and when returning to the textbox I have to check who’s speaking now. Rereading the names every time (especially with an eyeful like “Matsubayashi”) broke the flow for me during the cafeteria scene, but it occurred to me that speaker tag color changes in my peripheral vision would improve a lot on that. Pardon my belching that paragraph, it’s a minor feature I didn’t appreciate in (Japanese) VNs until a rare English one when I can read twice or thrice as fast.

    Not sure if this was addressed yet, but one error I caught: on the bus when Asami didn’t get a reply from Koga, text says she “turned left” but in the CG, she’s sitting on his left (so she should be turning to her right).

    That’s all for my spiel. Thanks again for a promising demo; I look forward to the next one and the progress of Kokorogawari.

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    • Hi SJ,

      Very glad for your feedback, thank you!

      Regarding the GUI issues, we have already sorted out those after a few comments by other players. We felt that coloured tags will be kind of distracting so we will not be using it. The names will definitely be shorter in Japanese Kanji but since their surnames are important in Japanese culture we left them as it is.

      I’m very glad you like the characters, I did spend lots of time crafting each of them and writing the entire common route so it makes me happy as an author and as a dev. ^^

      Regarding the CG… Koga was supposed to be sitting on the left and Asami on the right, but the artist drew the CG based on what suits her vision and it would be brutal to get her to redo it so we left it as it is. We didn’t notice that the text hadn’t been changed, thank you for pointing it out; I think we will have to make changes to the text in this case.

      Thanks for playing! We hope you support us by preordering the game and helping us spread the word 🙂

      Like

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