Friday, January 4, 2008

One Year Anniversary

Yet, there is something unstoppable behind this project now. We have a fairly solid team, and every day there is some contribution to the project. I take great pride in seeing new posts on the forums, or seeing people discuss the characters as if they were from any other VN or anime series.To the public, it may seem that we are a dead group. We haven’t released anything in quite some time, but that is by design. You can put the blame for that solely on myself.

It’s almost three am, and my laptop is starting to burn my legs.

Just what the hell am I doing?

Oh yeah, that’s right. I’m writing for a VN.

I flick across to the VN’s staff, and then public IRC channels.

[2:44am] <@Losstarot> Happy anniversary!

[2:44am] <~cpl_crud> you're shitting me

And this is how we celebrated the anniversary of our VN, Katawa Shoujo.

It’s now been one full year since that fateful sticky on /a/. A sticky that lasted almost a week, and attracted as much attention as a strobe light in an epileptic ward.

No, I don’t get that last comparison either.

The game then spent about three months gestating on a free invision forum, fuelled by the ideas and aspirations of /a/. Names, backgrounds and personalities were discussed, voted upon, challenged, and discussed again. The setting of the game changed every minute or so, and vast rifts broke out amongst the supporters.

Whilst some progress was made, the numbers slowly dwindled, and it was quite obvious to all that the project was, for all intents and purposes, dead.

It became apparent that the current way of doing things wasn’t working. In an extreme act of self-sacrifice, the “core team” (as it was known then) committed suicide, and left TcDohl and myself in charge.

We have seen very little of them since.

The “new” forums brought with them new hope. There was a plan, there were motivated people, and there weren’t any spambots.

Still, progress was slow. People disappeared. The motivation to actually do something didn’t really translate into action. But, like a freight train, the project started to gather momentum, and has been rolling on ever since.

That isn’t to say that we haven’t hit a few bumps on the way. We’ve lost a number of artists and writers, but each and every time, we’ve powered on.

There’s been internal fights. We’ve had to sack people. People have stepped down from their positions or been hit by trucks.

I think we have accomplished something good.

As of the last report, the game stands at a little over 130,000 words of gameplay, and most of the paths are only about a third of the way through their scenarios, if that. I’m not sure of the actual record, but I do believe that we are rapidly approaching the title of “largest OELVN ever.”

For a project that the vast majority of people think is finished, I think that’s pretty impressive.

Anyway, this is valuable writing time that I’m wasting here, and I know that my editor, Losstarot, eagerly awaits something else of mine to polish from turd to gold.

So, to all of the staff of the project; those that have put up with me any my absenteeism, moodiness and “out of left field” calls, you have my heartfelt thanks. Looking at the internal alphas gives me this strange rush of blood. Not an erection. I thought I should clear that up.

To all of the fans, thanks for your patience. I know that I’ve kept you all in the dark since that original Act 1 demo release, but please, realise that this is so we can make you the best game possible.

We’re still picking up speed. We’re still hitting bumps. But, even if I have to learn to draw and code and play music and edit myself, I’m not going to stop until we finish this damned thing.

Unless, of course, I get hit by a truck.

Happy anniversary!

Cam "Cpl Crud" O'Neill


4LS Katawa Shoujo Project