Friday, December 28, 2007
With the holidays and all, real life has hit the members of the project. Despite that, there has been some progress. On the writing side, we've got a new Lilly storyline that we're hammering through, as well as a few new scenes submitted. On the art side, we're finalizing some of the designs that our new artist silentkyon has submitted. I'll also be overseeing a new set of Basic Information documents. Nothing really much to report on, really. No rant or musing today. I kind of had one, and I put a lot of thought into it, but as I was writing it, I kind of saw how stupid it was. So let's turn this around then. Let's put the reader in the spotlight. What is the reason that you work on this project? If you aren't a developer, why are you one of the faithful?
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Despite the finals and whatnot, some stuff has been happening, mostly in the writing department. Paths are coming along and so is editing in parallel despite the head editor losing his computer a few weeks ago, causing the Act1 be stalled for some time. Beta testing begins as soon as he gets the edits done somehow. Delta works his magic with the engine, the looks of the game are going to be pretty nice.
We finally completed the writer team with the fifth member, Suriko, and luckily because of some quirks in the game flow he isn't even much behind. Due to private reasons, Syureria had to give up artistry, passing the torch to silentkyon.
No rant today, lazy.
Aura, courtesy of KS Minister of Propaganda.
We've started taking the game logic of Act 1 throught it's paces.
Monday, December 17, 2007
Emi: Mai Nakahara
Rin: Fumiko Orikasa
Shizune: Rie Tanaka or Houko Kuwashima
Hanako: Chiwa Saito
Lilly: Ryoko Shintani
Misha: Ami Koshimizu
Friday, December 14, 2007
Which is why the project greatly benefited when we cast off the original boards, the original "core team", and got the creative talent from the original group and made it into a leaner team that could get stuff done. We actually, started *gasp* producing the game when we got our act together. Writing scripts, producing art, making code. But as the game progressed (albeit at a snail's pace), so did the project organization. I saw a comment somewhere (I think it was on the Lemma Soft Forums) on how the team was organized and how we were "very bureaucratic" and too focused on "job titles" which then turned into a leaner operation with people who previously sat at the top of the ivory tower (myself included) took on multiple tasks, playing on their individual strengths. However, the pitfalls of a collaborative effort came about. For example one of our (now errant and former) writer was hit by a truck, the artist who had pretty much defined the visual look of the characters quit. People were falling off the boat with not enough people to man the oars. The project lost quite a lot of momentum as a result of some key people disappearing and quitting. At one point, it was mentioned that the project couldn't be salvaged. It's funny though. Around that time, there was a resurgence of interest in KS, infusing us with new blood and energy to keep going.
So. What's going on at this point? Well, if you've been following the blog, you see that we've got a new artist. She may not be able to produce art right now due to her being very busy right now (as she's turned pro), we're very hopeful that we'll have something to show around... next year. We're also chugging along with the writing. Here's the lint report we have at this point:
The game contains 8986 screens of dialogue.
These screens contain a total of 117435 words.
For an average of 13.1 words per screen.
The game contains 26 menus.
If I'm not mistaken, that's probably one of the biggest word counts ever produced in an OELVN. And that's only slightly more than 1/5th of the total planned length of the game.
Keep in mind that though the project has been only around for a year, but we've only been really hardcore about making the game since the summer.
Sunday, December 9, 2007
First, we have the eyecatch for Act 1, entitled 'The Bundle of Hisao', it features art by lulz.
Next, we demonstrate the user interface and provide an explanation of what the title means.
Edit, updated with links to higher-res versions.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
I finished writing Act 1 and the preliminary design for the choices that decide which path the player is dropped on the end of the act, so after editors and delta are through with their part, the (hypothetical) beta testers can have their fun with it. Now I can finally get back to path writing as well. Apart from that, our character artist is too busy drawing pokemon and furry porn to regularly contribute, one of the writers quit his job so he can write fulltime and all the students in the dev team are clogged with exams and other coursework for a while.
ETA for Katawa Shoujo is a funny thing to speculate on. Since we now got a full team save for one writer, if no more disasters happen the bottleneck will be the script (despite the ridiculous amount of art) and more accurately, the slowest path to be completed. Delta estimated release date at somewhere in 2020 based on current writing progress, but his zero point was the new years while writing didn't actually begin until June. A more realistic ETA based on current progress was somewhere in 2009, but hopefully we manage to release before the next year is over.
Hot topics in the past week:
-Name for Act1 is still undecided, no it will not be "Parties Unknown"
-Romance vs. everything else, is the period before love-love stuff too long and boring?
-Fetishes and the appeal of H-scenes, should someone be into BDSM?
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Anyway, the discovery of these side-effects by our writers raises several interesting questions, a few of which I'll try to touch on now...
Can Hisao 'Get it up?'
Off of his meds? Most likely, yes. Except that the strain of having sex could very well kill him, leading to a rather humorous 'Bad End'. If he were to continue taking his medications, he could conceivably sustain an erection, but more than likely not. One humorous suggestion from one of our team has him almost having sex with one of the girls, but failing because of the medications, then after he realizes that the medications are causing his...problems, he stops taking them and tries again, only to die for his trouble. I think how it will be set up is depending on the amount of points he has with the given girl, he'll either be able to go off his meds long enough to get it up, and give it to her, or not, and he'll die.
Another effect is the possibility of hallucinations and nightmares; which would allow us to experiment with something like what happens in Max Payne, how he has all of those trippy nightmares and shit...Something like this: Hisao's standing infront of the urinal, then he finds out that he's in a eroge...and he's all like 'DO NOT WANT!!!!!!'
Well, that's it for now, stay tuned for more as it's available.
Your Katawa Shoujo Minister of Propaganda.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Friday, November 23, 2007
'A bit of new text has been written over the week, but that's not interesting. Anyway, now that we got three editors, we aren't actively looking for more but we still accept applications (or the equivalent). We also might need more editors sometime in the future (not to mention quality checkers and beta testers), so let's get back to the subject in the future, possibly next week or the week after that, when text-only version of the upcoming demo should be done, unless something terrible happens to me and if our lovely programmers manage to transform the train-wreck of a script into a working game. Lilly path writer position is somewhat open still, hopefully not for long. Writing talent needed. With that out of the way...
I don't like visual novels.
I came to this conclusion yesterday when I was playing Yume Miru Kusuri. While admittedly it's not the apex of the genre, but more of an average sample of its brethren, it serves the purpose of my rant better than an orgasmically stellar perfection like Narcissu. I have been suspecting that visual novels just aren't made for me before, having only completed three VNs ever, the two other being the pair of very short kinetic novels; aforementioned Narcissu and Planetarian. Some of the characteristics of a typical visual novel (forcing the reader to assume the role of one of the characters, the endless amount of words used for nothing interesting, painful replays) and their consequences (or causes) annoy me to no end. Now that I am writing one myself, I realize that many of the things I don't like about reading visual novels are nigh-impossible to avoid when making one. Or perhaps more accurately, hard to avoid in the archetype we picked for Katawa Shoujo. It seems (and should be somewhat evident when you think about it) that a visual novel is a genre of literature of its own, not just a novel with music and pictures, thus you can't write a VN like you would write a book, or anything else for that matter. When viewing the world through Hisao's eyes and mind, or thinking of how the story will branch, or writing a scene about (superficially) insignificant slice-of-life event like a school lunch, i am being sucked into the same habits that everyone else has too. Especially the strict first-person P.O.V. combined with the main character being the alter ego of the player are somewhat constricting. Anyway, this could be why I have had a hard time reading and rereading the script of the game since the hate reaction is immediate and I constantly want to rewrite everything, until I realize that
*This is how it should look like*.
I wonder why nobody has tried porting a visual novel into an actual book. There are manga and anime series based on VNs, so why not books? Unless I am ignorant and just didn't know about the flourishing unvisual novel market in Japan.
There, six uses of parenthesis in one post, should be enough.'
Would write some additional content, but I'm fighting off a Turkey-fueled coma, so I'm not in the mood.
Will probably edit this later when my dinner has had time to settle >_>;;
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Likes : Fuzzy little animals, Old paintings, tea
Dislikes : Mayonnaise, low quality oil paints
Likes : 1st place medals, sports, beef stew
Dislikes : people calling her 'undeveloped child', sore losers, children
Likes : Traditional dresses worn on various countries, tai chi, Hanako
Dislikes : Stinky people, garlic, greasy food
Likes : Kind people, flower arrangement, rocky road icecream, high places, quiet places, Lilly
Dislikes : Places with a lot of people, eyes looking at her direction, pepper, her cooking
Likes : Fast food, sexy underwear, whiskey, Misha
Dislikes : Annoying people, ugly people, fat people
Likes : Shizune, sexy underwear, cosplay, onigiri, Shizune
Dislikes : Anyone trying to get close to Shizune, Anyone she thinks is a potential threat to her love for Shizune
Friday, November 16, 2007
This image shows approximately where visitors to this page are located at, and how many times they've visited (larger dots=more visits). I'm rather awed at the amount of people that're following this blog..floored, really.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
An omake scene located here about an intimate moment between Lilly and her best friend has evoked quite a lot of discussion, enthusiasm, and disgust recently. One wonders what kind of H-Scenes will end up in the actual game; after all, they are the most eagerly anticipated element of it. (On average, at least, pleasantly enough, some people still seem to care about the plot over the porn...thank god.)
Katawa Shoujo will be relatively light on porn, probably…maybe. We ended up with an approach that tries to avoid the two common mistakes that games of this genre usually fall victim to: Using the awful plot as a thinly-veiled excuse to shove masses of h-scenes into the viewer’s face, or slapping unrelated porn on top of an otherwise perfectly good game. The reason? The hentai in Katawa Shoujo is not going to be the critical original content, save maybe for some quirks related to the uniqueness of each of the heroines. Even so, I’m fairly certain that someone, somewhere (probably in
Nevertheless, there will be both fanservice and H-scenes, when we get around to doing those, I think they’ll be great fun. I believe that most of our creative team is somewhat new to writing/drawing porn, so we’ll have to see what happens (Incidentally, our artist, Shu, recently drew her first penis ever a few days ago…how cute….The fact that it was a futanari pic made the occasion slightly….less happy, though.)
If, and I’m not saying whether or not it will, or will not happen, just if) we feel like venting steam after the game is complete, we’ll look into writing some fanservice scenes or convert scenes written by other people into game format and release a ‘Fun-Disc’ of sorts.
- Katawa Shoujo Minister of Propaganda
PS: here's some extra lovin' from the art department
Monday, November 12, 2007
That's that for the interesting topics, now for something completely different.
Anime physics is a concept that isn't intuitive for most people with an eye for detail. A while ago, someone, I can't remember whom, but he obviously didn't like catgirls, complained that the premise of KS is completely unrealistic and stupid. The problem with this logic, as it has been pointed out over and over again, is that fiction is not supposed to be realistic. KS is based on the fact that Yamaku High exists, just like Tsukihime is based on the fact that vampires and Mystic Eyes of Death Perception exist. Maybe we are in the uncanny valley between realism and fantasy where almost everything in the gameworld could be the everyday life of someone, somewhere. Except the slight implausibility of the setting, which then jumps straight to the face of an intelligent observer. Hisao's disability too, is a variant of anime magic aids, a condition that has only minor consequences to the life of the character except when the plot calls for sudden heart attacks...
Well, at least two of the paths in game actually deal with his illness from different perspectives, so all is not lost.
Of course, one could argue if the existence of Yamaku High is possible in any setting that tries to be logically consistent, much like one could argue the plausibility of any fictional institution. One could also consider if characters like Hisao and Hanako even should be there, if such a place existed.
At any rate, the picture Raita drew back then was the source and the inspiration that was chosen to be the foundation of the game, and that set a lot of things that are the groundwork for our own little world.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Also, I'd like to say that there was a faked KS thread on 4chan's /a/ board today, this, again was fake and not posted by us, it caused us a rather lot of discomfort, heh.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
- Syureria joined the dev team as character/cg artist
- More of the main story was written, and Act I may be up for revision
- Delta is doing something really geeky/technical to the game code that eludes me, so I just shall say he is doing something and leave it at that...
- We are planning to release a proper demo, the one that has previously been seen on RapidShare and the like is really more of an internal dev tool, but it'll take some time, please, be patient, it's coming, it's just going to take a little while.
- We could really, really use some editors, as in people that read our lovely texts and tell them that it sucks ass and offer helpful(ish) suggestions. Someone seeking to apply should have a good grasp of the English language (Americanized, preferably) and be able to back up every bit of critique they have regarding their edits. For details, contact people on the forum or IRC channel (#zettai-shoujou @ irc.rizon.net)
- Finally, a path-writer position (For Lilly) might be open...It's a lot of work, tens of thousands of words, but, if you like to write, and would be serious about it, why not give it a shot?
Monday, November 5, 2007
Anyway, in this blog, we'll be discussing developments on our project, 'Katawa Shoujo' (Disability Girls), expect more to come, this is just a post to see what everything does, etc... >_>