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.
I won’t lie, the past couple months—well, past year—has been hard due to IRL family health issues. I’m not going to go into those since that’s the purpose of this, though.
I’ve been unhappy with my works (“my” as in project I write, not ones I direct) for the past couple years. That’s not to say I think they’re bad, but rather that I’m unsatisfied with them—I’m not wholly “proud” of any. This is something that I’ve had in the back of my mind for months. But this March I’ve finally realized why.
A little backstory on me—I got into game dev over half a decade ago as a way to tell stories when I realized comics weren’t for me. I thought they’re a great mixture of art, writing, and user input. So, I started making games with the express intent and purposes of learning how to make games so that one day I could bring my dream game to life. The game is a visual novel RPG about a pseudo-goddess attending an academy for witches and regaining her memories to figure out what transpired 1,500 years prior that caused her to live a prolonged life.
That’s always been my dream. But at some point, the road I was on started to take detours and wind around. The destination has always been the same, but the path to it became odd. At some point very early on I started gravitating towards dating sims and slice of life VNs. Don’t get me wrong, I like all kinds of VNs and dating sims—but slice of life dating sims are a far cry from the destination I had in mind.
Somehow, I started to focus on making dating sims and other general visual novels rather than making games similar in tone to what I really want to make. That is, darker VNs with a focus on action and have tragic & chuuni elements. I’ve been working on a lot of VNs with others as a director but not really a creative lead—when I let others write I tend to be passive and let them decide the flow and tone, which has led me burned out. I want to focus on making games with the themes I like most, but importantly I also want to focus on my own writing.
There’s a few things I want for my studio going forward:
- To focus on my own writing, not other people’s.
- To focus on the themes I enjoy most, namely fem-aligning dark fantasy shounens.
I’m currently wrapping up Asterism, and after that I’ll be charging through Drops of Death. I still want to write & work on dating sims in the future (as DoD is one) but for now I want to write my own action dramas. These are thoughts on my own games and studio, keep in mind, not anything freelance.
I’ve been making VNs for around 6 years now, but still haven’t found what I’m looking for… I’d like to find that in the next couple years, though. So, in wrapping up, I’ve felt burned out the past few months in regards to what I’m publishing so I’m going to focus on my own writings for a while.