Archive for December, 2013

ESR : The state of the game

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

This update is somewhat late, so the first thing I want to state is we haven’t given up on the project. It’s still moving along, and while we’ve had our problems with jobs and other real life events slowing things down, we’re still doing our best to finish things. So you don’t need to panic about us quitting.

When we started making ESR we had six writers and four artists. Most of us were in college. Now we have one artist and two writers, and all of us are doing various work. The change has slowed us a great deal. Now that we’re all settling into our lives we’re getting a lot more actual writing done. I personally am trying to get 15000 words a month into ESR and LT is keeping apace despite his schedule. Still we can’t keep up the same level of writing we used to, much less meet what we’d originally planned.

To be fair, our original plans were terribly unrealistic. We wanted six plots with ten endings, AND four subplots on top of that, in a open enviroment where players could interact with characters in any order. That didn’t work even with our original team, so we cut down the script and made it less open ended.

Now that we’re here near the end with so much more to go before our script pieces become a game, it’s obvious that our cuts just weren’t enough. So while it’s painful, we’re going to take a knife to a lot of our original ideas, including some of the ones that appeared in the demos.

So what’s on the cutting room floor? Probably the entire Youmu subplot. It just didn’t fit well, and honestly many other doujin writers have done it better. We also had a ridiculously complex finale for the Gensoukyo 5 planned out… and I’m sure Graph will be happy that we’re making it less insane. The Harem route is dead. Sorry. And I expect a lot of unneeded detail work is going to get sliced away.

On the other hand our drive to keep moving is also giving us some new ideas we’re looking forward to writing down. Getting events to chain nicely into each other is something of an art, and we’re putting what we learned on the project earlier to good use in that field.

Hopefully out of this massacre and rebirth of ideas we can get a set of good solid endings that we can use to transform our game from a lot of scripts into a game that you’ll all enjoy. When will that be? Given how far 15000 words goes in our endings, I’m not sure I can give a good estimate still. Especially since we’re still considering what should be cut for brevity and what we need to keep the game amusing and consistent. I know that’s not really inspiring, but it’s the best I can give.

Graph’s still going to be putting out Touhou Mecha, which you all should read, and we’re going to keep working away at this project. I admit to being tempted to quit, but the good friends I have on the dev team keep bringing me back. I’m sure all our staff feel the same way. We’re gonna keep scripting words, and hopefully someday soon we’ll have more upbeat news to give.