What I would like to know is how you see this integrating and what you would like to see come out of the gameplay in the most ideal scenario?
randomly spitballing in the zombie thread, based on what's featured in the demo...
gameplay summary: time/resource management, story progression based on met milestones and attribute development
producer's work boils down to two areas:
- choosing his own schedule (two per day, "day" and "evening" slot)
- choosing girls' schedules (one per day, "day" slot)
translates to ~20 decisions during the demo's 5 week period (weekends off, some days potentially reserved for fixed events)
producer's daily activity can be one of:
- looking for business deals
- closing deals
- composing songs
producer's evening activity can be one of:
- composing songs
- 'team building' i.e. spending some time with one of the girls
activity may need multiple runs before it produces tangible results, e.g. 2-5 runs to find or close a business deal, 5-10 runs to write a song
"look for business deals" activity generates tasks which, if completed, grant combination of resources: money, popularity and prestige(prestige gain can be also negative, for particularly sleazy deals) Money is used to run the agency and finance upgrades and services (actual dance instructor or better equipment, extra advertising, quality of the unit's outfits, etc) Popularity and prestige are gained by the unit and reflect how well the unit is known and perceived. Certain deals may require specific levels of popularity, prestige and/or number of known songs to appear.
"close the deal" activity converts selected deal into valid one, which the girls can then (attempt to) complete. the concept here is to provide simple gambling mechanics and have the player decide whether they use their time to secure what they have available, or risk spending their time on further "looking for deals" actions, in hope of getting something better. Deal offers which aren't closed quick enough can expire.
"composing songs" activity creates new songs the unit can practice and perform.
"team building" increases strength of bond between the producer and the selected girl. This parameter can be used to gate progress of the storyline, and/or order of scenes. E.g. spending time with Mika can be used here as tutorial/introduction of the mechanics, where the player needs to select spending time with her as activity, in order to unlock the follow-up scene and gain a song for the unit's inventory, in turn unlocking ability to practice it.
each girl's daily activity can be one of:
- dance/singing/unit cohesion practice
- fitness training
- contract/marketing activities
these are pretty self-explanatory, and examples appear in the storyline of opening chapter. "practice" activities improve how well the girls perform in the given areas. 'fitness training' as activity becomes available after Aki's "team run" scene. Scenes like the ones which deal with completion of flyer distribution are played if the 'marketing activity' are selected and repeated enough times over the course of the game. "contract activities" also include fulfilling deals secured by the producer's own activities, e.g. the photoshoot and the first live concert in the demo storyline.
attributes and resources generated through gameplay can be used to modify the storyline scenes and their outcome. Taking the demo storyline as example, the mention of event attendance could depend on whether enough flyers were distributed using "marketing activities" in girls' schedules. The girls' individual 'self-doubts' rather than play all one by one could be triggered for these with not high enough level of attributes gained through practice and/or fitness training, and whether they can actually shake off these doubts determined by the strength of 'bonding' achieved by "team building" with that particular girl. Also smaller scenes like Mika failing to find her position (and Nemu's save) could hinge on achieved levels of skill and unit cohesion. Finally, the outcome of the event itself (failure, passing success, 'great success') could be determined from these smaller individual checks and the overall achieved unit's skills.