[Locked] Katawa Shoujo Developer Q & A

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    Aura Posts: 218
    May 12, 2009 at 3:39 pm
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    Are Emi's panties Pink or Orange?

    So Jacob asked me if I would be interested in doing a question and answer session about the game, and I thought, "Why not?" Maybe people want to know what the project is all about, give some suggestions, or just ask funny questions.

    So hello. I'm Aura, the head writer of Katawa Shoujo. Katawa Shoujo is... well.. it's a western-made free doujin eroge (hentai game) centered around disabled girls. I figure this puts it pretty much right into the interest zone of FAKKU, and from what I gather, many of its visitors. I know the concept sounds really really strange when put into words, but most people agree that it's much better than it sounds.

    At its core Katawa Shoujo is actually a Japanese idea; the game is based on a single concept image for a disabled girl dating sim done by doujin artist RAITA. This image sparked attention on 4chan of all places and a project spawned to actually make the game RAITA described. A few years (and many misadventures later) we released the demo, which came out a few weeks ago. Keep in mind the demo has no hentai in it, it is fun for the whole family-rated. Katawa Shoujo as a whole aims to be more story and character driven than most visual novels, but hentai will have its share of screentime in the full game.

    There has been a lot of positive feedback and support from people who have played the demo. And despite many being rather skeptical about the origins and theme, we have managed to peak most players curiosity. At its heart KS is a community project, but the development has been somewhat quiet and closed from the public. So this is a good opportunity for people who want to know something about the long journey from concept art to where we are now, or for that matter anything about the characters and the developers.

    So in this thread: Questions and Answers from a Katawa Shoujo developer!

    Feel free to ask anything you want (but don't be surprised if a particularly silly question, or one that I can't answer, gets skipped). I will be fairly tight-lipped about anything related to the content of the full game, and asking when it's out is futile. Anyway, if you have a question that you would like answered after this ends, visit the project forum or IRC channel.

    It is almost 10PM right now where I live (GMT + 2), so I will stay awake to answer questions for as long as I can. If I stop replying it is only because I fell asleep and I will answer the rest when I wake up. Our sound designer will also be participating in the thread, Blue123, so if you have any questions about the sound or music he will be answering them.
    Mike Classy Admin Posts: 1,490
    May 12, 2009 at 3:39 pm
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    Hello! I hope I don't have too many questions, but here goes.

    How much of Katawa Shoujo is actually complete? I read that once you guys started organizing yourselves things picked up quickly. Is there an estimate on the final release yet?

    How many H-scenes are planned for the final release? Will it be one scene per girl, or multiple themed scenes for each?

    I read in your blog that you and crud went to Japan and took some photos. How was it? Do anything interesting?

    When creating music for Katawa Shoujo, did you have any influences from previous visual novels or anime?

    I know this is getting a bit ahead, but does Four Leaf Studios have any plans for the future? Katawa Shoujo's popularity is rising(for good reason) and I'm sure we would all love to see Four Leaf Studios create more games.

    Lastly, does Rin give a mean footjob?

    I love the game to death already and I would like to thank you and everyone over at Four Leaf Studios for their hard work. Thanks for your time!
    tsuyoshiro FAKKU Writer Posts: 1,420
    May 12, 2009 at 3:48 pm
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    Awesome game, although I only have one question. Out of all the girls in the game, which one is your favorite and why? Do you relate to her in some way?
    Palmas Posts: 594
    May 12, 2009 at 3:49 pm
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    The Katawa Shoujo blog mentions two other early ideas(for dating sims?) that RAITA had, besides Katawa Shoujo.
    What were they, and are there any plans to work on them in the future?
    Ramsus Posts: 2,678
    May 12, 2009 at 3:50 pm
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    Yo nice to meet ya, here have some questions (free of charge!)

    Will there be a threesome scene with Misha?

    Will we ever get to know why exactly Misha is at the school?

    Will other classmates be introduced as side characters?

    If you work on any future projects will you have them open to the public with people throwing ideas at a wall you you did earlier on for this one?

    On the history blog it's mentioned that "T and F are fired from 4LS" but not specified why. Any comments?

    Not really a question but I wanted to say I really liked how you guys made the characters not entirely stereotypes. That is to say that each of them showed more depth of personality than I've seen from other hentai VN.
    Gelmax Posts: 212
    May 12, 2009 at 3:50 pm
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    Hey there, and thanks for coming here and doing this, especially this late at night (for you). Got a couple questions from a friend of mine, and a couple questions of my own, though I'm sure I'll think of more later as I only just found out about this.

    The friend wishes to know if you, personally, have written anything else. He also is curious as to how many drafts the script of the demo went through before it got to this point.

    I'd like to know, how hard was it synchronizing the writers' styles, and how well do you think it went? Especially Act 1; how difficult was it getting everyone to work together on a single path, with a single script, and a single style?
    Aura Posts: 218
    May 12, 2009 at 3:52 pm
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    @ Mike

    It's not possible to estimate how much of the game is done, as pretty much is subject to change and it's fairly hard to project how long things will take in the end. Very little beyond Act 1 is in "final state" as of now. There will be multiple H scenes in each path, and some paths will have more than others.

    Japan, the real Japan is a very interesting and weird country. I went to Comiket 74 last summer, and it is probably the maddest event I will ever see in my life. It's really crazy, with the thousands of visitors packed in Big Sight and more doujins than one can read in a lifetime. I didn't meet RAITA though, despite him being at the same event.

    4LS doesn't have any plans on what to do after KS, but some people are idly working on small side VN projects which probably get released before KS full will.

    Rin's footjobs are mean indeed.
    Snigendepind Posts: 4
    May 12, 2009 at 3:54 pm
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    After looking at the girls star sign on the webpage for Katawa Shoujo, I could kinda see a relation to them and their personality. Did you base their birth date out from their personalities?

    Also, who painted the mural in RL?
    Tsujoi Am I a Moderator? Posts: 8,940
    May 12, 2009 at 3:55 pm
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    It sounds like you guys went through a few character revisions, was there any major changes personality wise from the start of the project to the version we see now? If not, were there any major revisions to the characters physically?

    Was there anything scrapped from the storyline from the previous versions that you wanted in the final version, but had to get rid of for whatever reasons?
    Blue123 Posts: 166
    May 12, 2009 at 3:55 pm
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    Mike wrote...

    When creating music for Katawa Shoujo, did you have any influences from previous visual novels or anime?

    Good evening to you (at least, where I am). Nicol, the other composer who worked on the project stated that his main influences for the project were Initial D and Chopin. You can really hear the Chopin part, especially in pieces such as "Romance in Andante".

    As for myself, I actually really can't say. I prefer to read a script or description of a setting, and then imagine what fits to it. When I have something I think is good, I begin to write it down.
    Ramsus Posts: 2,678
    May 12, 2009 at 3:55 pm
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    This occurred to me after asking about the Misha threesome....
    any chance of there being an Emi + Rin threesome scene?

    How was Rin's personality thought up and how amazingly hard is it to write her?
    Aura Posts: 218
    May 12, 2009 at 3:56 pm
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    @ Tsuyoshiro
    My favourite character is Rin, due to her being my own creation and me being the one who writes her into existence. She's special in that way. However, I don't relate to Rin much, apart from the few sides of her personality that have been borrowed from myself.

    @ Palmas
    The other two ideas were Armor Girls (a game about girls who are wearing fullbody plate armor all the time) and Drill Girls (a game about girls whose hands and arms have been replaced with drills of various types and sizes).
    Jonoe Posts: 2,370
    May 12, 2009 at 3:57 pm
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    Aura, it is a privilege to be in your presence. What caught my interest in Katawa Shoujo was it's well worded dialogue and clever analogies. My question is, does your group plan on complementing the dialogue with voice actors? If not, would you still consider it? If yes, would you hire English voice actors or Japanese voice actors. Or maybe just for the sex scenes?
    spalose Posts: 1,766
    May 12, 2009 at 3:58 pm
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    Thank you for your time Aura, if you could please, like your first post mentions, can we get the color of each girls panties, or any other taste details of there unmentionables ^_^
    studlytheknight Posts: 191
    May 12, 2009 at 4:00 pm
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    What was the original language of the work?

    Where did the idea for rin's personality come from and why would you decide to give the armless person this distinct personality?
    Haruhi Suzumiya Posts: 169
    May 12, 2009 at 4:00 pm
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    Why isn't there a mentally retarded girl?
    Ramsus Posts: 2,678
    May 12, 2009 at 4:02 pm
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    I really enjoyed the subtle humor in many of the scene names. I found that many of them had more than one layer of meaning to them. Did any of the scene names end up inspiring some of the writing of a scene or where they all done afterward?
    Drewin41788 Posts: 8
    May 12, 2009 at 4:03 pm
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    Heya. My roommate and I at college have been keeping track of the game's progress for over a year now and I was really excited when you guys released the demo. Being it was from 4chan spawn, I was expecting to get a laugh out of it, maybe like a character or two, but you guys have really blown me away. I played the demo to 100% and all of the characters are very well developed even in the demo. The music is pretty great, fitting the mood and characters well, and I like the overall presentation of everything in the game. The simple yet effective art style, the use of actual photos for backgrounds, the writing is very well done, and the humor in the game is great. I really look forward to the full release.

    My first question applies to Kenji. How did you guys come up with his personality and his absurd way of thinking and his conspiracies? The character is pretty hilarious and I was not expecting anything like what happened if you get stuck hanging out with him for the festival.

    Next, how did you decide on each girl's personalities? I feel that a lot of the characters didn't have the personality you expected them, too, and it gives the characters a little more substance. Hanako was the only one I got exactly what I expected from in the demo, but she was still well built and her type of character is always a necessity I feel in these types of games.

    What were some of the challenges writing scenarios for this time of eroge?

    Lastly, which of the girls is your favorite?
    Lord_Helmchen Posts: 618
    May 12, 2009 at 4:04 pm
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    After hearing, or to be more exactely after reading over Katawa Shoujo for the first time, i had my doubts. A Virtual Novel resolving around disabled Girls (by 4chan...4chan...4chan^^)? Considering that the standard Anime Characters try to look as perfect as possible (Big Eyes, slender Body, well shaped Breast... you know what im talking about) i couldn`t imagine somebody to use characters with disabilities.
    Well after playing the first Chapter, my doubts are gone. I really like your Project and want to see the final Game.

    So my Questions for you:

    How did you keep yourself motivated, or was that never a problem for you?

    Your Words of Wisdom for people that would like to follow your Path?
    rawrlol Posts: 2
    May 12, 2009 at 4:04 pm
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    What extras, if any do you plan to release with the game? I saw the vid you had with Melty Blood, and I thought it'd be interesting if something like that could be included. Or at least some high quality versions of Katawa Shoujo parodying other eroge OPs.
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