Hello Aura, I am not worthy and so forth
Was (re)watching an interview with thehivemind recently wherein he talks of various arguments during development - in terms of the 5 routes, which plot point, scene or character in your opinion caused the most vociferous disagreements and was it something/someone that was kept in or taken out?
Man I have no idea. We went back and forth about having flash-forward endings for a while, and wound up deciding not to (and then doing one anyway), and side characters were a point of contention for a long while (art assets being a precious resource and all, a lot of nameless students or students who only showed up for a scene got cut or changed to someone else), but the only time things got so bad that I, at least, had to walk away for a while was early-ish in Emi's development when the others pointed out that I'd written myself into a corner and had failed to provide any sort of, you know, plot. Which was true, of course--one scene in particular was the worst sort of filler, hinted at a Nurse-Meiko relationship far more than anything else we kept in, and inadvertantly defused all the ghosts of conflict that had somehow managed to make it in. I was so frustrated by the backlash and, admittedly, mortified by how badly I'd bollucksed up the whole show that I stepped out for like two or three months to reassess and, with the help of Crud and Silentcook, come up with a new scenario outline that worked better (or at least I hope so).
Being one of the few North Americans on the dev team, I probably missed a lot of arguments in the chat, but that's the big one I remember. And, of course, it all worked out in the end.
Also I recently found videos of the 3 beta uber-dark Hanako endings (spewing blood, train in the face and death partly by snoo-snoo) as well as the the equally grim bad Shizune ending (wherein the narrator changes to Misha). How close to final release did the total death toll drop from several to just 1? Was there a team-wide decision made to not go that dark or did the individual stories just turn out that way?
Wait, we killed someone in the final version? I don't remember that happening.
It's inaccurate to label the Hanako endings as "beta" because they were scrapped years before the final product. Same goes for Shizune. Discussion of the paths sort of led to deciding that going full on killing sprees was... a little too melodramatic, even for a game that has not one, but TWO scenes involving breaking down in front of graveyards/accident scenes.
Edit: just thought of some more - was the notion of Hisao having a rival for any of the girl's affections in one of the routes ever tabled? Is the thing with Emi and the track captain a remnant of this?
The track captain was always gay. He was an excuse for Hisao to doubt his abilities to get up in Emi's sugar pie walls--Hisao's insecurity was going to be a larger plot point initially, but it got phased out because entire scenes of Hisao hemming and hawing are, as it turns out, super fucking boring to read.
And is Shizune already hot for Hisao fairly early in Act 1 (i.e. pre-festival) or is it all about getting him on the Student Council?
All the ladies want to ride Hisao like a Harley down a stretch of bad road from day one, except for Rin.
And finally who named the convenience store 'Aura Mart'?
Delta, I think? I'm probably wrong.