Sunday, May 23, 2010

Hanako Games: Date Warp

by Hanako Games and Spiky Caterpillar.

So, before I begin my demo review (there's a special discount offer for those who do - we poor college students appreciate said discounts!) - I want to say a bit about Hanako Games and Indy Developers in general.

Hanako Games is run by the lovely Papillon, a female developer who has created such games as Cute Knight, Fatal Hearts and the latest release, pictured above. Fatal Hearts is one of my favorite OELVNs - it's really innovative in terms of gameplay and writing and in general is really fun to play. I found myself playing for HOURS on end to get all the endings - it's a great game and pretty affordable in price nowadays. If you haven't picked up a copy, you should.

This is going to sound really sycophantic, but I really admire Papillon and her studio. I'm sorta trying to emulate it with MG Studios. Not necessarily in the types of games I put out, but in the professionalism and care that Hanako shows in each of their projects. I also really admire Papillion as a female game developer. No surprise, most game developers are men. The Eroge/Ren'ai market is dominated by men, and it's to be expected, as the audience for most of the material is male. But to see a lady come out of the woodwork and create her own VN/Indy Game/Ren'Ai influenced studio is really inspiring. There's nothing more exciting as a hopeful developer than to see someone who came before you succeed. That goes double as a female developer.

Also, in general, Papillon rocks for taking a chance and developing games in this niche genre. The OELVN community deserves some awesome contenders and I honestly believe Indy is the gateway to commercialism and wide-spread popularity. Anyone ever heard of this little Indy MySpace DJ "Owl City"? Nah, didn't think so. He's only like super famous or something with them thar Fireflies song.

So yeah - in short, Hanako Games rocks, buy their stuff, I'm a suck-up, but I am HONEST in my love, go me. o_ob Read on for the review.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I Get By with a Little Help

Magical Girl Studios is a one-woman studio. ALMOST. I have an editor who reads through my scripts and gives me opinions/corrections. She's indispensable as I'm a pretty horrible editor myself - I've turned in papers for school after a simple "spell check" just because the prospect of editing intimidates me intensely. Having a second opinion on my writing is VERY important.

Last night, as she was editing Project G and I was writing Project O, she turned to me and said:

Editor: "Besides editing, is there anything I can do to speed up the process? It seems like so much work."

To be honest, I had no idea how to answer her. I am the sole writer, artist, and coder for this project. All of these are skills I've been developing for years outside of the VN medium.

But she's right - I could use more help. But what kind of help? I have no idea. Any ideas readers and developers? What kind of help are you looking for in your VN projects?

Friday, May 7, 2010

Writing Out of Season

It's May!

That's wonderful news for a lot of people, especially students. I'm a Freshman in college and I'll be flying home to Los Angeles a week from today. It's exciting, to say the least. One paper is separating me from summer break. Said paper will be written this weekend. HUZZAH!

So I finished two of my other classes' work yesterday. Both were extremely stressful, for the record. But now that those are done, I can get back to all the vapid, relaxing stuff I love to do. Read: writing dating sims.

But Project "O" is currently taking place in winter. That's right - the dead of winter. On the East coast. Meaning SNOW and freezing temperatures. And I'm finding it strangely tough.

All I want to do is draw my characters in pretty sundresses and swimsuits, but I'm stuck at the end of December. SAD, I know. Snow is pretty in its own right, but I love summer as a season SO much more. So when I look outside as I'm writing a scene that takes place in three feet of snow, I can't help but feel my inspiration zapped a bit by the pretty outdoors.

I wonder if that's normal. For an author to feel zapped of inspiration writing a story that takes place in weather so different from their own. It would be so much easier and more fun to write a story about kids sitting out in the sun, soaking up the rays, a glass of lemonade in hand...

Aahhh...summer break, here I come. <3