Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Five Stages of a KS Dev

Stage 1: Enthusiasm

Making KS is a blast. Seriously, it's pretty damn fun. Applying yourself to something with other people is a great pastime, and all the side effects of it, like the great community that's built around KS, or getting our work in events like Comiket are just frosting on the cake. I like the people in 4LS, and talking and theorizing and working with them. I think they like me too, most of the time at least. Sometimes, simply taking a step back and realizing "holy crap we are actually doing this" is a big motivation booster.

Stage 2: Frustration

Making KS is hard. We've had to climb over a whole bunch of totally unreasonable hurdles to get stuff done along the way. The goals we have set for ourselves are completely unrealistic, and it's taken way too long to get there. The amount of stuff we've scrapped from KS could be bigger than the amount of stuff that is in the final product. The ways things can go to hell have surprised us time and time again. These kinds of things wear people out horribly, but this still is just the beginning of the descent to madness that is visual novel development.

Stage 3: Desperation

Making KS is suffering. The dumb shit we've had to go through with this project is unimaginable, a whole bunch of it self-inflicted. We aren't a well-oiled machine by any means, and sometimes some cogs don't work well at all. Getting the 4LS engine to work properly is a constant uphill battle including surprises, fights, begging, threats and bribery. The people who have to fight that battle go to some pretty ridiculous lengths sometimes. You wouldn't believe me if I told you.

Stage 4: Scorn

Making KS is the worst thing ever. Everyone has a point where they just can't take it anymore. The final straw will land on your back, and it will snap. Everyone reacts to this kind of stress differently. A22 rolls on the floor, delta yells a lot, and so forth. However, because we are professionals, we usually get over this pretty quickly and move on to...

Stage 5: Acceptance

Making KS is worth it. Because if it wasn't, we'd have called it quits years ago. To hell with the questionable artistic merits or a cripple porn visual novel, the adoration and wrath of all our fans, the massive though untapped potential that our project has built up and all that. There is worth in simply being together in this for so long and trying to reach that elusive goal. Once you realize that, you feel awesome, at least until the project kicks you in the nuts or ovaries the next time. Because rest assured, it will.

And I guess the kicker here is that once you reach stage 5, you don't stay in that blissful state. Nope, you go back to stage one, and the cycle goes on from there, again and again and again.


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