Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Come to me

Good day, dear reader.
Since i am, cometodaddycome, the only artist of our project I have the honor to cover all sides of the artistic component of our mod.

Along with the development of the plot the characters appearance changes as well: their drawing, body structures, color selection, etc. I think it’s time to finally officially explain about changing Rika’s hair color and making smaller Saki’s breasts than in the original artwork.

When I was just invited to the project there was only one Rika draft and cute ħomk’s sprites.

I didn’t ask why Rika’s hair became dark-blue because nobody was even bothering about this in the beginning. Then I thought that maybe it’s for the best because the less resemblance to 4ls characters, the more changes are made and therefore it’s more original! But with increasing publicity about the mod and because of some controversial comments, we had to conduct a survey, where most of the people decided that we should follow the canon. We didn’t disappoint those people so we took into account their wishes. Rika became with white hair again but we’ve decided to leave eye color neutral – almost brown, because the question of her albinism is still open.

Speaking of Saki, I want to say that her appearance was changed as well: haircut became much longer, breast size was decreased (in fact, it’s an aesthetics question – she just looks better this way, as some of the developers think so), eye color was changed, but only for a short moment.

Probably someday I will stop experimenting and go full canon, but in the process of developing you really want to change something, add something from yourself, and not just follow the tutorials of 4ls artists. Yet I’ve learnt something so my work would be more fitting in Katawa’s surroundings.

Summing up I shouldn’t forget to mention that even though sprites are steadily being created, backgrounds and CGs are not, because we couldn’t find appropriate artists for that task and of course because I forgot how to draw pictures with a background about 7 years ago. So we would really use some help from an animator, who would create videos for each route. But the problem is that our mod doesn’t have a completed first act, so we don’t have a translated version, only a Russian one. This is why we may need some people with a good knowledge of Russian, so they’ll understand what’s what. If such people are still there, they know where to write:

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Что нам стоит рут построить?/Where there's a will, there's a way

Sup, fellas, its ħomk and Freon here — authors of Rika’s and Saki’s routes respectively.
When you find something new on the Internet, first thing that comes to mind is “and what’s it about?” I’ll try to answer this question about our mod.

First of all, why Saki and Rika?

Basically, because they have a fan base, and it’s a sin not to use it. Those characters are familiar to the players… well, in one degree or another. They have fanfics written about them (Rika, Saki, both), they have appearance, story, anyway, they have a start.
There’s a downside as well: how much Cat’s Paw may deviate from original characters? As a result of intense debates the solution was made: leave the characters as they were created by 4ls. Saki is a cheerful girl with spinocerebellar ataxia; Rika looks in my opinion as an impudent, but mindful girl with a bad heart. We don’t have a consensus about her albinism yet; however her appearance will be preserved.

I had to create Saki almost from scratch. And I probably wouldn’t have accomplished this without my comrade Steel. Initially we had a fanfic on our hands that developed the 4ls idea further to almost complete first act. But in process of creating Saki only things that were left: scraps in form of prepositions and punctuation marks. Saki’s behavior had to be completely rewritten, and with it all the text was slaughtered.

Third girl, that we’re planning to add as well, is still a mystery to me. Steel and Freon are doing something with her, but don’t show anything. Oh well, it’s going to be a surprise even for me.

And another question pops up immediately: good, stories and girls behaviors are preserved. And what with the style of the mod? Could I understand that I'm playing Katawa Shoujo?

Tell you the truth: I don’t know. Let’s sort it out.
  1. Music:
    Our beautiful composer has written an entirely new part of the music for Rika and I think it’s fitting to the novel awesomely good. It’s a bit more complicated with Saki, and I can’t promise anything but yeah, I would like to see new quality compositions. I think Cat’s Paw will support me on this.
  2. Graphics:
    It turned out that it’s extremely difficult to find an artist, and apparently the graphical part would require the most time. Anyway, appearance of the mod would match with the original. Someday.
  3. Storylines structure:
    Well, no comments here yet, here’s why. I have a couple of ideas about making the gameplay more natural and diverse; I’ll lay them down in future posts. Need some time to think them over.
  4. Story:
    I’m aware of a huge base of fanfics, I’ve read some of them and going to read some more. But routes are going to follow a new story and there are several reasons for this.
    First and main reason: I don’t think you can just pick other people’s ideas, compile them together and show as your own creation. However, I think it’s valid to observe plot twists of other authors, maybe even seek for cooperation. For example, first act grew out from themocaw’s fanfic , heavily changed, but still following his story somehow.
    Second, equally important reason: readers are familiar with existing works. Third: creation is a process of self-expression rather than creation of work. And I like to work.
  5. Dates:
    By the end of summer – beginning of autumn we’re going to release a mod for the first act, probably with some unimportant bugs. I wouldn’t suggest waiting for main storyline though. Why? We don’t have enough experience in game developing, even for such genre as visual novel. Work will go for a long time, and let the full release of mod be a surprise or some unrealizable process, rather than pointless and empty promises like “wait a little more”.
And something else. It was a pleasant surprise for the whole team that artwork of our artist spread out through the forums. Thank you guys, I guess. Therefore we’ll delight you more with arts than posts in blog.
By the way, if everything goes well, soon there will be music.