A Broad Semester - ver0.01.5 Released! (Updated 5/17/24)

Hi everybody! I’m eleeeckseye from over on DeviantArt, and I’m excited to share my project with you all!

It’s a visual novel called ‘A Broad Semester’ that takes place on, as you might’ve guessed, a college campus and the surrounding town.

In addition, Firelord-Iroh (also over on DA) is collaborating with me on the dialogue and stories that you’ll see in the game! He’s been a huge help and he’s got lots of great ideas.

If you’ve played other visual novels like Filling Up My Roommates or D.I.E.T. (which was my main inspiration once I got comfortable using Virt-A-Mate for character models) then you’ll understand right away how this game functions.

The first update post-ver0.01 is now here! And while ver0.02 (which will contain Natalie’s story chapters) is coming along smoothly, it’s still a little ways away. Because of that, I’m putting out an interim update that has some new content to enjoy in the meantime until the bigger update is ready!

Currently implemented features include:

  • Custom player name entry which will be referenced in-game
  • Ability to play as either male or female
  • A main menu/hub which will allow you to progress multiple storylines in whatever order you choose at your own pace
    *** Player Weight Gain/Loss mechanics (NEW in v0.01.5!)**
  • Explore campus in between story chapters and see what happens!

Future updates will include:

  • Additional characters with dedicated storylines to follow
  • A likely increase in visual quality/flair as I become more familiar with coding the game in Ren’Py
  • Varied events/scenarios beyond the traditional realistic/grounded setting of college weight gain
  • Music (probably, once I figure out how I want to go about this)

Version 0.01.5 is now available for download on both PC and Mac, so please try it out! Version 0.02 will add in Natalie’s story chapters (her design is up on my DeviantArt page if you haven’t seen it already!) and more characters will come after that as well.

Naturally, I’m also looking forward to any feedback and comments on the game once it comes out, or even teasers I post in between updates as well. Thank you all!

  • eleeeckseye

Download:
Here’s the link to download v0.01.5!

I also want to give a shoutout to CoastalBunny personally, who provided me with tremendous help in getting the necessary tools to put together the character sprite files for this game. Without that help I probably wouldn’t be nearly as close to making this project happen.

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Welcome to weight gaming @eleeeckseye.

If I understand you correctly the storylines and subsequent additions are planned to be contained narratives that start and end sperate from one another correct?

Looking forward to seeing what you have in store for your demo.

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That’s correct! Though currently even in the first initial build, there’s an instance where the game recognizes whether or not you’ve progressed beyond a certain point with another character (despite those events just being placeholders at the moment).

If you’ve only moved forward with the first character’s story, then the next dialogue exchange will play out one way, but if you’ve gone forward with anyone else, it will be slightly different. So while the storylines will be mostly self-contained, they may reference each other a little in minor ways to add to the immersion, if that makes sense!

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This sounds great! I really liked D.I.E.T and Filling Up My Roomates, very excited about this!

I do think that going the way you and DIET did of self containted stories that are in the same world is a great way to go an a little underexplored here. I also like the option of playing as a woman and possible player weight gain in the future. Looking forward to the release of the first playable version, whenever that is!

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Thanks for the comment! I’m targeting a release next week at the pace I’m going with creating the visuals, since it’s just me doing the coding and models I’m trying to work at a sustainable pace so I don’t get burned out.

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Version 0.01 is now available for download! I hope everyone enjoys the story in this first build, and please leave any feedback/bugs here or on the DeviantArt post for the release so that I can make improvements as we work on Version 0.02!

Edit: There was a bug found where the published links did not include several image files for one of Donna’s endings, this has been rectified and the files now should include all necessary images.

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I’m having trouble downloading the game, it says there’s an HTTP error

That’s strange, the links seem to be working and going to Google Drive as expected from what I can see. Have you tried following the link from the DeviantArt post as well as the one here? Are they both giving you the same issue?

Yeah both weren’t working. But it seems like it’s working now. Sorry to bug you :+1:

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Really liked the game! Donna’s story was sweet, can’t wait for future updates (and potential player weight gain)!

I especially liked how it wasn’t too long, but was still long enough to get attached to Donna and have a satisfying story. I think you got the length dead on.

I also think you made a good choice of location, a university/college campus is a great kind of hub location where it’s easy to cross over stories and meet a lot of different people without it feeling contrived.

For hopes for future content, this is unfounded but I’m hoping eventually there is a lindsay story where she feeds the player, that would be neat.

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Liked what was on offer. Can only ask for more! hopefully more food for Donna as well

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This was really enjoyable! D.I.E.T. is one of my favorite games, and this definitely was another great game in the same genre while still feeling like its own thing and having its own character/personality. I think my favorite part here is that this is really a CYOA game where the character can end up with a number of different sizes and almost completely different storylines depending on them. It is a fun difference compared to D.I.E.T, which has a much more linear gain with different scenes to get there.

The renderings are very nice! I really liked Donna in the sweatpants for the dining hall date. Overall these looked quite nice. There were one or two that looked a little bit off (the cameo shopping looked off to me). But overall these were really good and I’m sure will get even better as you do more. The writing is also quite strong! A couple of typos, but absolutely nothing that hinders the enjoyment of the piece. I also REALLY liked Donna as a character. She was well written and made for a great intro character for this piece.

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‘A Broad Semester’ will be getting a surprise ver0.01.5 update ahead of the ver0.02 release! This should be coming very soon, so look out for it! The update will not only include some added polish and fixes, but two new game mechanics and some new scenes with a side character who I wanted to give some more attention to, more details to come!

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Version 0.01.5 has been released!

As always, thank you all for the support and please notify me of any bugs you might encounter. I will do my best to address any game-breaking issues ASAP and update the shared build to reflect those fixes.

Update v.01.5 brings two new mechanics to the game:

  • Player Weight Gain/Loss
  • Campus Exploration

If you want to experiment with these new ideas on your own, feel free! But if you want to get a deeper dive directly from me into how they work right away, read on!

Player Weight Management:

The player can now gain and lose weight during the game. This operates on a simple value that’s determined by how you act during the game. Some events (for the sake of realism) will force a weight gain/loss of a small amount.

The player can gain weight up to 5 stages, each time you eat at the dining hall you will gain weight, and each time you choose to walk around campus you will lose weight (more on this in the Campus Exploration section). Since I know not everyone wants to play a gainer-character, I made it so that losing weight is easier than gaining.

There are some dialogue instances and narration lines that will only play if you are above or below a certain stage, and yes, there are specific lines for being at the highest stage of ‘Fatness’ as well!

Campus Exploration:

When you finish the first chapter for both Donna and Natalie (hers is still a placeholder for now) you gain access to the main hub menu. A third option is now available, allowing you to walk around campus. When you pick this, you can randomly encounter someone you’ve already met, or you might not see anyone. If this happens, you get the chance to walk around a bit and go home, or go to the dining hall. Going to the dining hall will make you gain weight, and walking around will make you lose weight.

Once you encounter someone by walking around, they will not show up again until you complete their next story chapter. Natalie can be encountered, but her text is just a placeholder to show the system working as intended.

Encounter details:

You can encounter Donna in between each of her chapters, except for right before her final chapter. She does have an encounter as well for after you finish her story. This will also apply to Natalie, and any additional characters as they are added.

Once you’ve progressed through Donna’s story, you can also encounter Lindsay once you meet her.

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EDIT: A hotfix was put into place 5/18 to fix an error when playing as a female character during a line of dialogue early in Donna’s chapters, this should be resolved now. Also a couple of typos were addressed as well.

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I had an absolute blast playing through v0.1.5 as well! These little bits of added flavor make the world seem so much more alive. Having a player weight that impacts the dialogue makes for so much more engaging dialogue/events. I love it. It has so much potential for future chapters.

I also enjoyed the encounters as well. The last one with the baking scene was particularly a fun one. Again, these definitely help make the world feel more alive. If I might provide a small critique here though, it would be nice to have some idea on whether you have hit all of the random encounters for a level before progressing with the main story or not. Right now, I keep having to hit it a number of times before I’m confident there isn’t anything else.

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this game looks very promising! great work!

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