NaNoRenO has finally wrapped up and we’ve survived another March. It was a lot less hectic than last March when we were grappling with the start of a pandemic. I’ve known since before NaNo started that this would be my last big team project that I’d lead, but I didn’t fully know why I felt that way. I assumed it was burnout, but I continued on. Just one last project, it’d be fine.Continue reading “The Road Ahead”
Phew. The year from hell is almost over. I think it’s safe to say this year was not what anyone expected nor wanted. At the time of writing this (December 27th) I’ve moved back home and been in isolation with my parents since spring break in March. But I want this to mention the good things that happened this year, since there were a few happy things!
- Graduated college with a bachelors in computer science from the school of engineering
- Released Enamored Risks
- Started marketing for Virtuality Project
- 1 year anniversary at Studio Élan
- Spoke at VNConf and Crunchyroll Expo
- Had an interview with a AAA company for my dream job
As of November 2nd 2020, my deviantART account is 10 years old.
It’s kinda weird seeing it roll over to double digits- after all, this is my oldest online account (that I still remember, at least). But what feels even stranger to me is looking back and thinking about my different mindsets at different points in time while I was on this site.Continue reading “10 Years”
I just wanted to make a quick update post to talk about the past month, what my next few months hopefully look like, etc. I also just… really wanted to put this down in writing? Namely, this whole “thing”. This whole pandemic. We’re in such an odd, scary time that most people never thought possible. Over spring break, my plans- my future- came to a screeching halt.
We decided to go to the beach, to the Mississippi coast just for a day or two (at this time, there had been no confirmed nor alleged cases in Mississippi). I had been making jokes with school friends on Discord ever since spring break started, but as the days went on things started to get more serious. “What if someone comes back from spring break with it” stopped being a joke and more of an actual future occurrence. The night before we were supposed to leave, all of the US’s borders to Europe (i.e. travel) were closed. Some people a few days prior had joked “what if they cancel school”. Now most of us were hoping they would. The next day, they did.
In one email, our Chancellor gave us an extra week of spring break, ordered all teachers to move to indefinite online learning, canceled all on-campus or campus-sponsored events, and postponed graduation ceremonies. (Exactly a week later he ordered us online for the entire semester, but I digress.) I love college- I love all of the cool events I get to go to and help put on, I love hanging out with friends, I love living down there. I hated high school- I never went to things besides choir trips, I had very few friends, and I just hated it. I’d been working on several campus events, all of which are canceled or slimmed down & moved online.
So, what am I doing now? I’ve moved back in with my parents (something I was planning to do after graduation for a time anyway). My job hunting has basically stopped- as has all my email threads with potential employers. I’m working on school work at home (typically from 12-5). I’ve been self-isolating for 3 weeks now. NaNoRenO has been going strong- there were a few road bumps but we’re still on track. I’ve been working on Asterism some still as well as another script on the side.
That’s about it. I wish I had all day every day to do VN dev, but sadly I still have the same homework load as before… I’m hoping things will pick up but in this climate that’s unlikely. I’ll be working on a few new marketing / dev editorials soon though!
Thanks for reading- stay safe and please don’t go to large gatherings!
2019 has been a pretty good year for me! A lot happened and I’ve met a lot of great people. I’m terrible at remembering things and even worse at remembering things in order time-wise so I’m going to just list some cool things and talk about them- if they end up in sequential order, cool!
- Entered several business competitions (and won some!)
- Got a job on campus at the business school
- Released Paths Taken, Alice in Stardom, Image of Perfection, and Memories on the Shoreline
- Had an interview on Forbes
- Started doing PR for Studio Élan
- Started my senior year of college
For the first full release of the year I released Alice in Stardom, a yuri visual novel made for NaNoRenO. It had by far the biggest team I’ve managed with at least 8 people working on different aspects of it. It was hectic but it was fun, and I hope I’m able to do another NaNoRenO entry this year (granted, I didn’t do much of the actual work on it besides some scripting and directing)! Overall it was fun and the team was great!
A short time after Alice in Stardom, Paths Taken finally (finally…) finished development after a few road blocks and halts. It didn’t come out how I envisioned it when started but I’m happy it’s done. I fell into a bit of a depression once it came out since I felt I hadn’t delivered anything people wanted since it fell short of what we wanted it to be, namely story-wise. Still, I’m thankful for everyone who’s played it and enjoys it!
This year I focused more on experimenting on mechanics and VN game types, trying to figure out what people wanted to play and what I wanted to make- finding a sweet middle ground between those two. Image of Perfection was a project written by a friend, Omega, as both a way for me to experiment with a small horror-esque RPG and for her to work on a full project. I think the game came out fine, though I was under a fair amount of stress (due from Paths Taken having just wrapped up, RPG Maker giving me a ton of problems- basically myself causing my own problems).
Onto the last release of the year, Memories on the Shoreline! As with every project, I learn at least one thing and regret two more. But really, my only regret with this project was not giving it more time. I say that, fully knowing I was spent on time during the development of it, as the semester was wrapping up and I was (and am) working two barely part-time jobs.
As before, I was not the writer on this project, that was instead the talented Keiru! We met on Discord and it just so happened she was lovely to work with. I don’t have much else to say for this one… I want to add an additional scene to the game sometime in early 2020, so look out for that. As you can see I didn’t do the artwork, only character designs- the sprite artist was ChocoBerryInk! (personally, I think their sprites came out super cute)
I didn’t really set any definite goals last year for myself other than “release more games” and “learn more about marketing”, and this year will be somewhat the same.
- Draw more full art: I want to get back to doing more full pieces! Nothing dramatic, just trying to draw faster by doing one fanart or original piece a month or such.
- Sketch traditionally occasionally: My aunt gave me a sketch book for Christmas, so I might as well use it. I’m actually unable to draw half as good traditionally as I can digitally since I just don’t draw traditionally anymore, so this’ll be a good way to get back to that.
- Release Asterism: Not much to explain here. Asterism will be in development for 3 years come this February, it’s time for a release.
- Slow down a bit on projects: Last year from April-November I was releasing a full game almost every other month. I have a lot of ideas for future projects after Asterism (some of which have already been started) but this year I want to spend a bit more time involved in the dev process of each game.
- Graduate college: Last but not least, this is my last semester of college! By May I should have a Bachelors in Computer Science.
There’s a few more goals like “learn more about marketing” and “meet new devs” but these are the ones I’ll be focusing on the most. Thank you guys for your support, I hope this is great year and decade for all of us! ♥
As Vast as the Sea
That Which Binds Us
I Saw Him Today
Crossed Paths:Connected Worlds ~ At First Sight ~
♦ 2018 Resolutions ♦
- Publish all the games I’ve started. Now, this one comes with a bit of a catch- basically, I want to publish something from every project I’ve started. I want to finish That Which Binds Us, upload the update for The Witch in the Forest, finish a side project, and upload a demo for Asterism (as I’m shooting more for summer of 2019 now). That sounds like a lot, as you also have to include all three Ludum Dare games I hope to make in 2018 and maybe other side projects, but I’m nearing completion on a lot of projects right now, so publishing 5~ games this year isn’t out of my scope at all.
- Get faster at writing. In 2017 I started writing much more heavily, and thus got better at it as I went along. In 2018, I want to focus on writing better and faster.
- Get better at marketing. Yeah, I’ve learned marketing is super important this past year. So, in 2018 I want to get better at it.
Publish all the games I’ve started. Haha…. yeah…….. I definitely did only half of this……… I’m not close to a full demo yet for Asterism, but I did publish a demo for Paths Taken! So…. close…….
Get faster at writing. I’d say this one was accomplished, since That Which Binds Us was around 60,000-70,000 words long and only took me around 4~ months to write it while the original draft for Asterism was only about 45,000 and took me over half a year to write.
Get better at marketing. I’d like to say this one is accomplished! This past year was a bunch of reading, studying, asking questions, and researching, and now I’m freelancing as a marketer for other visual novels. So, I’ve definitely learned a thing or two about it.
♦ 2019 Resolutions ♦
- Publish Paths Taken and a demo for Asterism. This… is a big one. Paths Taken is currently about 60% done, with the route divergences being written and coded right now, so I’m hopeful we can have it ready around the summer. Asterism, on the other hand, is a very different story- the RPG sections are giving me trouble but I plan to, for now, code the entire game in VN style (as you’ll have the ability to pick between playing it as an RPG with VN sections or as a pure VN), send that to testing, and then finish the rest. There’s a lot of assets still needed so I’m very unsure of what percentage of the entire game is done.
- Market further. I want Asterism to be a success so once I’m nearing the demo stage I’ll be amping up my marketing. I’m really hoping to get it into some festivals and competitions as well as share it wherever I can.
…That’s really all I can think of as major goals go. There are some I’ve mentioned here that I consider “smaller” such as entering more competitions both at school and online and hopefully paneling at my local convention, but these are the main ones I want to work on.