Spring Cleaning, Part 6

Tonight, I only managed to take care of three projects, because reading through the documents for each of them took a long time. But since all three had something funny about them, I still feel compelled to write a little blog posting… at 8:30 AM. I should also spring-clean my sleeping schedule, but right now it’s useless anyway because someone is doing repairs on the attic at this unfortunate time. Sigh.

I won’t be going into too much detail with explanations, because there would be a lot to say and it likely would be more confusing than interesting since you don’t know many of the characters. Also, apologies for the lack of accompanying artwork. Two of the projects are from 2015 and 2017 respectively, so the drawings are too awful to share “orz

Project #1 (Webcomic, 2015)

This document took me a loooong time to read… about 2 hours in total, for 57 pages with about 27000 words. It’s basically the “origin story” of Tsukasa and Setsuya, my duo of unlikely brothers who always stick together, and it was supposed to have 2 manga-length volumes. But with this amount of planning and attention to detail, it might as well have ended up spanning 3-5 volumes. (I mean, that document already has 57 pages, but it actually only details the first volume…)

Now, despite how happy and dorky Tsukasa comes across in Tenkei Tales, his and Setsuya’s origin story is freaking tragic and I really put both of my sons through the wringer there. Battles with sad outcomes, poison and bloodshed, betrayal and sacrifice. There’s plenty of action and scenes that would’ve required elaborate monster/machine design, and the latter is something I struggle with to this day. I definitely wouldn’t have been able to draw this project back in 2015; at least not in a way that actually looks cool. But I still love this story a lot, and even though the 2nd volume hasn’t been properly planned, I remember most of the important plot points and the ending has been set in stone for a long time.

What’s funny about this project, though? Well, I realized how freaking interconnected everything is. It’s not uncommon to find references towards other storylines in my planning documents, but this one is particularly impressive, setting things in motion you’d never expect. The third project in this list also has big connections to a grand total of 4 other storylines which all had their own games planned. I really don’t use memes very often, but looking at this web of connections, I kinda feel like this dude:

Random trivia I feel like sharing: Tsukasa and Setsuya aren’t related by blood, they just stick with an old lie they once told to get someone to help them. Since they’re basically inseparable and genuinely do feel a brotherly bond, it just works out for them. Meanwhile, I have a different pair of pretend-brothers who would gladly clear up the misconception, but are forced to keep up the charade. Funny how that happened.

Project #2 (RPG Maker horror, 2017)

This document wasn’t quite as bulky, with only about 12000 words across 18 pages. While the story is very much complete, the big hurdle here would’ve been the map design and stuff like puzzles/challenges. Both setting- and plot-wise, it’s a pretty surreal experience from start to finish, with a grand total of 21 endings that either help you figure out what’s going on, or just confuse you even more. Probably the latter, because the only way to get real explanations is the canon ending and the subsequently unlocked bonus story.

Now, while this game didn’t have much in terms of romance, it still had some undertones here and there. Otome undertones. Only that, at some point, I decided to turn the female protagonist into a male protagonist. You might think that this is a result of my recent otokonoko obsession, but I typically don’t change a character’s gender out of the blue – I just create a new character if needed. But in this specific case, keeping the character as-is while only changing the gender was beneficial for the story and added some small bonus intricacy and surprise to a few plot points.

The funny thing is just… I knew that I wanted to do this for quite some time, but I really, genuinely thought that I had never written those plans down. So when I read all the way to the end of the document with the intention to add this change tonight, I was super surprised to find that I already had written a few paragraphs about it – I just didn’t remember.

Pictured: My older self being proud of my younger self for taking care of important otokonoko matters so reliably. (Note that I never watched Love Life, so I have no idea what this scene is actually about.)

Project #3 (BL/Slice-of-Life VN, 2018)

15000 words across 20-ish pages (split into 2 documents), I think. It’s a bit difficult to tell, because I copy-pasted a bunch of stuff at one point, so part of it repeats. This was a story I came up with on a cold December night, when I felt very disheartened about the state of my projects, and my life in general. Somehow, all the despairing and lamenting I did on the balcony that day gave birth to another project, and while the protagonist isn’t a self-insert by any means, his story took some inspiration from my own grievances.

I came up with basic goals and gameplay mechanics, structured the romance part around those and sketched a dozen backgrounds. There were plans for one of those typical romance VN calendar schedules, requiring you to balance responsibilities with skill improvement and the quest for love. The protagonist’s apartment was supposed to be shown in isometric view on some menus, and I still like that a lot… I always wanted to make an entire game in that style.

This game really wasn’t special in terms of story or gameplay, but what I found funny was… this:

I don’t remember if I posted this to Twitter, but yeah. I was seriously torn about starting yet another project and clicking that “Create New Project” button in Ren’Py, to the point that I drew a tiny comic about it and called the file “struggle.” Of course, both the game’s protagonist and his love interest would encourage me to click, even though the former didn’t have much hope that it would work out. Well, what can I say? He was right “orz

And that concludes this somewhat weird posting. I wish I could go to sleep now, but it’s still noisy… “orz