Saturday, July 4, 2009

Waldo World Arena

Hey guys, delta here. For those who don't know, I'm the technical guy ("programmer", if you will, even though I don't actually do a lot of that) of this project, which means I do the engine side of things, installers, websites, etc. I also do most of the actual scripting of the game, as in cueing sprites and the like, which we call "directing". Crud apparently wants everyone in the dev team to try their hand at blogging, so here I am. Since I don't know if anyone would like to hear about some dreary technical things, I'm grabbing one of the good general topics before anyone else does (also, I can't really think of anything substantial to say, apart from how the pseudo-ban kerfluffle regarding eroge in Japan is a good thing, which would just lead to a shitstorm). If you still want to be bored with technical things, feel free to ask, and I will address them in a later post. Maybe.

Anyway, I'll talk about something people have been incessantly wondering about, much to our surprise: The infamous classroom CG. Now, I'm not going to explain it fully, because the writers will strangle me for limiting their options of rewriting everything once more, and also because people blogging after me need some emergency thing to write about too. But I will start with a bit of general info.

Now, the classroom CG. It has a rather interesting history. It wasn't even in the originally planned CG specs, but it became apparent soon enough that it would be one on top of the list of CGs to be done after the first batch. So the artists drew up a plan, added some old scrapped characters, some new ones, and a couple of cameos, and made a draft. It turned out that that was a good idea too, because in directing it turned out that scene without a CG at this point would have been very lame.

However, because the unofficial motto of KS is "we can't have nice things", the next step was the realization that drawing so many characters is actually a lot of work, and the CG was, in that order, scrapped, replaced with another one, and then finally after some heated discussion done after all. But that's just an anecdote, it turned out fine, a couple of people disagreed with a couple of cameos but in the end pretty much everyone thought that it wasn't a big deal at all, and we saw that it was good and used it. For the record, there is not copypasting of anything external involved in that image.

Then we made a fatal mistake: We released a demo.

Suddenly, everyone was wondering who those people were (that is, when they were not wondering what Misha's disability is. But that is a story to be left for another day). There were many speculations, some of them right, some of them wrong, all of them baffling to us. Why did people even CARE? It's not like we really had plans for any of them. Still people were mistaking original characters for cameos, cameos for original characters, cameos for other cameos, and so on.

That got us thinking. Maybe it wasn't such a bad idea after all to at least establish who these characters are, if not for plot reasons, then at least for universe consistency and flavor? So we sat down one afternoon, put our official KS Bad Idea Slippers on, and got brainstorming. And I can now announce that somewhere in the deepest recesses of our internal reference material is a list of who they are and what they're doing in Yamaku. And as soon as we had them, suddenly fanart started cropping up. Funny how that works. Maybe we'll even actually use them in the game again, but don't bet on it.

Well anyway, here's two of them.

This is one of our originals. Naomi Inoue. She's sitting in the back row, second from the left. The reason she's in Yamaku is that she has a rather dramatic form of epilepsy, which means that most of the time she's rather normal - except when she's not. Friends with Natsume, who sits beside her. To her right is Hanako, but in practice that's no different than sitting next to an empty seat or a wall. Her looks are based on an ancient design that's been floating around in the dev channels for ages, and I won't go into detail what it is. You know who you are.

In the same row, second from the right, is a girl with a distinctive hair ring. Now that one's an interesting one. She is, in fact, a cameo of Ritsu from K-On, but she wasn't always. She started out as Aoi, who was a friend of Miki from the front row, but when it came to sorting out the classroom list we were really tired and couldn't be bothered to come up with more. Since she looks so similar to Ritsu (even though she was designed looking exactly that way long before anyone had ever heard of K-On), we gave up and just made her a cameo. A retcameo, if you will. The first time I ever heard of such a thing. Who said KS wasn't original? And I can almost hear someone starting a tvtropes page about retcameo now.

Well that's pretty much it for now, hope you weren't bored too much by this. If you were, blame the people who ask so many questions, not me. Or just blame crud. Because that's what we do.

-- delta