Crud wants everyone in the dev team to try their hand at a blog post, so I guess this is my turn to do one. I'll try to keep it short, I'm not really very good at these.
Lately, I've been thinking more and more about the final game.
Specifically, the expectations people have for it that I can see based on the reception to Act 1 and what people have been saying about their expectations for the full game.
I'm a little disappointed people don't like Shizune as much as I'd hoped they would, but I had a feeling she would end up being disliked. Aura joked that she was the antagonist of Act 1, something I found kind of disturbing.
It's weird to say that now, because I don't really like my characters as much as I think the other writers do. But I try to make use of this and write them objectively with flaws.
Suriko and Crud have gotten some ribbing from the dev team because they love their characters a lot. Lilly is more or less Suriko's ideal woman and Crud was putting all his favorite fetishes and quirks into Hanako.
It seems to have paid off, because they're doing well as far as popularity is concerned. Maybe that is the route I should have taken. It really is limiting to write a character who can't speak, and one who is supposed to have a very forceful personality.
I'm soured on the tsundere archetype in general, because I think it is basically making apologies for bitchiness. So I tried to make Shizune not really a tsundere, just strong willed. The problem is that when there's character interaction there usually has to be conflict to be interesting, and Shizune ended up being a character at the center of some of this conflict.
Looking at this as I write it, I realize I sound a little bitter, but I'm not. If I could, I don't think I would do things differently. This is a visual novel, and I think that in this genre, it's best if the girls are divisive. The beauty is that there is a girl for everyone. Frankly, I think it is bad if you like them all. That means that the characters are generic, and written to be as wholesome as possible. That is kind of boring.
You should be able to make up your mind that you like a girl, or hate her, almost immediately. Either is good. At that point the game should cause your love of a character to grow, or your negative opinion of them to change.
There's nothing wrong with a moeblob type character like Hanako, which I see is the most often used criticism against her. It's fine if the relationship deepens, and she can become more.
And along that line, I'm fine with the fact that people do not like Shizune. I hope that when the full game is out, they will grow to like her.
Let's face it, these games are all designed around hooks. In that way, KS is not innovative outside of it's concept, but few VNs are.
The point is that while most VNs are formulaic, they are all built around their characters, even the story-driven ones like FSN and Tsukihime.
Stories, you see, must end, and speculation of them can only go so far. But characters and the feelings people associate with them are forever.
Because of this I'm proud of how we have handled our characters, and their interactions with each other and the player, and it will be interesting to see how they are received in the final release of the game.
I guess to close this post, which turned out longer than I expected, I want to talk about Molly, the cameo character featured in the classroom CG.
Me and Climatic, the artist who did the paintings and Rin's mural featured in the game, wanted to make a short game somewhat in the vein of KS to pass the time, and he designed Molly for that game, Measuring Shadows.
Around this time the classroom CG was being done, so Molly found her way into it. A cameo character for a game that is practically vaporware, pretty weird.
The reason I'm talking about it is partly to announce it. Molly has her own game. But for the most part it's to ease Climatic's asspain, because he has been bawwwing about Molly being in KS for months.
Normally I hate plugging anything, but Aura thinks that by announcing it, it will motivate me and Climatic to work harder on it. That's good because recently he just threw out all the sprites. Fucking Climatic.
So, since I'm writing this too, I hope that when it's out, you will enjoy it, although it will probably be some time for that as well.