Friday, December 14, 2007

Almost one year since the KS sticky. What's happened since then?

Hi. TcDohl here (who isn't the KSGuy, by the way). It's come to my attention that the one year anniversary since the famous KS sticky on 4chan's /a/ board came about. The following is a personal account of what's happened since then. I remember that it was around New Year's and stuck around for about a week before dying. I remember that I came to what was then known as the project about two weeks after the sticky. Back then it wasn't much of a project at all, quite often just a bunch of people throwing their two cents into the bucket and leaving, not making much of a commitment to the project. I've always wanted to do something like this, a collaborative project to make something like this. I thought, I've played a lot of visual novels and bishoujo games so why not contribute? However in retrospect, no matter how committed people are in making the game, it was never going to see the light of day the way it was back then. It was quite disorganized, and no one really knew what to do, other than put in their two cents. I also remember when the character traits, names, and even the main character's name and disability were voted on. No one could decide on the main character's name for months. If people couldn't decide on the name for that long, how could the project take a single step forward in producing the game? In short, it was in failsville, doomed to die in a whimper.

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.