Thursday, December 17, 2009


So for anyone who's wondering what kind of art I do:

Paint Tool SAI is God. I've been using Photoshop Elements for my art for the longest time, and while I've managed to get comfortable with it, SAI is just MADE for art better than Photoshop is. I love the pressure sensitivity and the crisp and easy inking. I'll NEVER go back! SAI forever!

Another portrait of a mysterious blue haired girl... She's been seen before in fairy form on my deviantart.

Still developing my technique to have great art for my game projects - for now I'm just playing around with my tools and working on getting a respectable DevArt up and running!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

"One of the Guys" - Ran Kamoike

After hours of dedicated playing, I finally got my first ending in Edelweiss - Ran Kamoike's.

The following post will contain little to no spoilers as to the actual route and won't be able to compare the ending to any others, as I'm stilling working on my second. But I think it'll still be an interesting look into the trope that Ran represents - the "one of the guys" girl.

Ran is interesting in the fact that, between all the heroines, she is probably the only one to have feelings for Kazushi from the beginning. Ran's rather upfront about her affection for Kazushi, often teasing him sexually and acting coy. Kazushi, however, doesn't pick up on it very well. Why? Because Kazushi, in my opinion, just sees Ran as "one of the guys".

I can't recall a single scene where he referred to Ran as even beautiful or attractive. Ran is the one to instigate their relationship - Kazushi just sorta goes along for the ride.

Which brings me to the core of this post - the trope type. Ran isn't a tsundere by any means. She's witty and greedy, but she's not cruel or abusive. In fact, she's a rather sweet girl, if you're willing to pay for kind treatment. What Ran is, however, is easily obtainable. Not to say that her ending is any easier to get than any other ending - I'm talking about the writing. Kazushi could have had Ran from the beginning, so when the two finally pursue each other, Kazushi has to put in very little effort. In fact, most of the story is about Ran and her deep feelings for Kazushi.

What disappointed me the most about this story was the deep lack of feelings I felt on Kazushi's part. It almost made me sad, even though their ending is definitely a happy one. I felt as though Ran was into Kazushi far more than Kazushi was into Ran. Ran is the one who has to make all the sacrifices for the man she loves.

There's one scene that sticks out prominently to me - at one point, Ran says "I love you" to Kazushi and Kazushi literally doesn't know how to react. Even though the two are dating and sexually active at this point in the game, Ran's sweet declaration of love is met by Kazushi simply being shocked and stumbling over words. And never is there a chance for Kazushi to reveal that he has developed deep feelings for Ran.

I definitely get the feeling that Ran and Kazushi are sexually compatible though. The two seem to have pretty amazing sex together, and they do it a lot. Pretty much wherever, whenever they get the chance. I haven't played the other girls' routes yet, but, to be honest, a vast majority of Ran's CGs were H-CGs, leading me to believe that she has more sex scenes than any other girl.

So what do I gather from this relationship? It's sad, but I think, at her core, Ran will always be "one of the guys" to Kazushi. He just never seemed to be very much in love with her, which, in my opinion, is tragic on the part of Ran. And on the part of every other girl who has always felt like she's just "one of the guys".

Ran certainly isn't "true ending" material. Too bad - she's a smart, wild, and sweet girl. I think she needs to move on and find a guy who realizes just how amazing she is.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Spirited Heart is a commercial original english language raising/dating sim developed by Jack Norton over on the LemmaSoft forums. It's an addictive little game that I've just started playing - and am loving so far. And so is the rest of my hall here at school.

Formal review coming later when I finish all the content. For now, just know that the marriage endings are far superior to the career-woman endings. I fear for feminism. D8

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Edelweiss Thoughts

As many of you probably know - is a relatively new entrant into the field of commercially translated VNs. Despite being a fledgling company, they've developed partnerships with relatively large VN studios, most notably Overdrive and Circus.

I'm currently working through my first Mangagamer title - Edelweiss.

The summary on the Mangagamer website is completely inaccurate and displays the title as nothing but a pointless sex romp. Such myths have been debunked via BBS and forums, but the misrepresentation is a little upsetting. Still, I, being female, am not a fan of the sex romps, so I was actually happily surprised by the sheer narrative content that Edelweiss offers.

The translation is horrible. No holds barred. This was Mangagamer's first title and it shows. The game is riddled with grammar, spelling, punctuation, and sometimes even blatant translation errors.

Still, the game is playable to the point where you can still enjoy the story. It's very episodic - generally funny (sometimes naughtily so) episodes of the hero (Kazushi) and his three doofus friends make up the main content of this game. There are few choices, and I've heard that only one really makes any difference as to your ending. I've yet to test this, as I'm still working through my first playthrough.

I'll update when I'm done - give you my thoughts and whatnot.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

It's Gotta Have a Purpose, Because Every Blog Has a Purpose

For anyone reading this christening post of Magical Girl Studios, welcome and thanks for visiting!

At this moment, this blog is ridiculously sparse. Default template, no profile image, no fancy header. It's kind of ridiculously bare bones. But considering Magical Girl Studios is very bare bones right now, I think it's appropriate.

What is Magical Studios? To put it bluntly: a one woman visual novel/Ren'Ai game development team.

A couple of years ago, I discovered Ren'Py, a visual novel engine created by PyTom and written in Python. Ren'Py is hardly a plug-n-chug engine - it requires basic knowledge of Python. Luckily, if you're code-tarded (like I am), there is plenty of assistance to be found via tutorials and the LemmaSoft forums.

I'm currently developing my Bishojo title in Ren'Py. Slowly but surely, the game is getting finished.

I do it all - art, writing, coding, the works. And pretty much strictly as a hobby. My goal in creating original English language freeware is to spread the influence of these games, get more people interested, and more games brought over the west and translated into English from Japan.

I'm a HUGE fan of these games. Visual novels, Eroge, Dating Sims - any Ren'Ai game is pretty much a hit in my book. So when I'm not making vague posts about progress/art/whatever, this blog will definitely be devoted to any VN I'm currently playing.

Hopefully the blog will also get a bit spiffier in the future.

Thanks so much for reading! Hope exciting things are in store for MGStudios!