Archive for the ‘The Duke’s Daughter’ Category

The Final BTW Released!

April 26, 2011

The very last BTW has been released! Grab your copy of BTW #10, April 2011 here, and check the Teacup for discussion.

I made the cover and worked on the layout of the zine. Plus there is one article by me, but it was released pretty much unfinished like much of the last issue. I suppose BTW was so dear to anyone that we wouldn’t have been satisfied with any possible degree of polish, though, so it isn’t really a bad ending – we just decided that we have to get it out by the end of April, and that is what we did. The cover is rushed, the layout is simple and some of the articles rough, but even so, it is the ending of our beloved BTW.

My feelings on the matter are depicted graphically as follows:

I feel that I learnt a lot from writing for BTW and from the feedback that I got. Thanks for everyone who has supported us over the years!

Although I’ll definitely miss BTW, I agree with mikey that it’s also a child of the era it was born in, an era when many of the staff members (including me) felt they had no proper place to express their thoughts and opinions about VNs and the community around them. Now that we have The Teacup, there is no need for BTW: after all, should we want to discuss something, we can just go make a thread. This is better in that we can get more people exchanging their opinions and we don’t have to think about our writings being part of a zine. Articles are forever in a way, and this makes it a rather stiff format for creating discussion, which I believe was one purpose of BTW.

As the era is over and better methods for achieving the purposes of BTW have arrived, it is time to let go of our beloved brainchild. I’ll miss you, BTW, but I’ll always remember you with warmth.

In other news, I have been busy with studies all spring. In the summer, I’ll be making graphics for my and N437’s project, The Duke’s Daughter, to be released in The Teacup Visual Novel Festival 2011 in August (we’re still accepting participants, by the way!). After that, I have another big project booked, so I’ll be busy with the things at hand for a while.

For patient readers who have read this far, here’s the BTW 10 cover without text other than my signature.

The definite guide to making visual novels by an individual who has finished many

June 10, 2010

It has drifted to my knowledge that some people on the Internet are wondering why so many visual novel projects die and very few are completed. As such, here is a helpful guide for beginners and advanced visual novel hobbyists. Its aim is to aid people with their project from start to finish by specifying the different stages and difficulties involved in the process. This is the method with which my visual novels to date have been finished, so I dare say I have proof of its effectiveness. The guide is mainly for writers, but as a being with a brain, you should be able to see how it applies to other positions. Please enjoy!

1. Work. Don’t dream; don’t talk; don’t blog and post on forums all the time; don’t “plan”, “research” or “design” as a guise for procrastinating. You may do all this, but it’s part of your fun time, not your work time. The more you do it, the more you’ll have to work to make up for spending your time at these activities. Work like a working person does.

2. It’s probably a better idea not to mention the details of your project anywhere. This is for several reasons.
Firstly, revealing your ideas to others tends to result in a horde of suggestions, corrections and critique, which are very nice things to have – after you have finished the script for them to comment on. In the beginning, these are naught but obstacles to your personal flow of ideas and are likely to be off anyway, since your plans may change during the process or the style of presentation might make some things good on paper bad or vice versa.
Secondly, less embarrassment if your project actually fails, easier to move onto the next one, which you will finish even if you failed once. Often ingeniosity is success only gained after a dozen failures. But do you really want to show those failures to everyone?
Thirdly, especially if you aren’t an experienced commercial game maker looking to advertise their game prior to release, the idea of showing off your unfinished project is just wrong, wrong and wrong to begin with. You might want to do some honest self-reflection: why do you want to talk about this idea? Is it to get yourself an artist, for example? Why would you want to do that before your script is finished? (If you start to look for an artist before having started your script or anything else, you are doing a huge disgrace towards the artist!) Is it to get praise? Why would you need that? It’s not like your creativity runs on the fuel of popularity, and if it does, you’re doing it wrong. Is it because you are a dreamer, just trying to present a good idea instead of doing any work, which is a bummer? Work, you slacker, work!

3. Be considerate towards your fellow makers, all the more so towards your collaborators, and let them have creative control. I know of people who think that the writer should be some director who takes control of everything. These people, without fail, have always succeeded to drive away the poor artist. As an artist or musician, on the other hand, you should try your best to make pieces befitting to the atmosphere of the writing. And work. Preferably so that you actually complete stuff. That applies to everyone, though. Never forget to work on your project.

4. Don’t think about the chances of your project (I can tell you, however, with zero work, they are zero); don’t think about people’s reactions to it; don’t wonder where ever can you find an artist/programmer/musician when you don’t have anything utterly and completely done; but make the visual novel. This does, however, imply that one must work on it.

5. Lastly and most importantly, finish the darn thing. Go work on it. Now. If all else fails, try deadlines, caffeine (e.g. coffee) or some other, preferably legal, drug of your choice: but go work on it, whatever it requires. Having a hard time at school, work or hobbies or whatever is no excuse for slacking. Sometimes you seriously need a break and are overworked, but approximately 95% of the times when people say they’re too busy to work on a visual novel, they got 3 letters wrong. They’re too lazy. Don’t be one of them; work.

However, even as nice it is to help the readers of the blog in the complex and beautiful ways of making a visual novel, I’ve got some work to do, so off I go. To work. To finish the thing. The thing, this time, is called The Duke’s Daughter, by the way. I’m doing some graphics again.