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Re: Ask!

Posted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 3:51 pm
by ParagonTerminus
What would KS have been named if not Katawa Shoujo?

And no, "Cripplefuck Simulator" doesn't count.

Re: Ask!

Posted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 5:44 pm
by Aura
We actually briefly considered changing the name when KS first made rounds in the Japanese parts of the internet. All the alternatives we came up with were godawful though (not that anyone spent much time on thinking about it). That, plus that the name was bestowed on the project by RAITA's picture, plus that it'd just be known as "the visual novel formerly known as Katawa Shoujo", plus that we would've had to rebuild our presence under the new name made us give up on changing the name. Even though the name is pretty problematic, I don't mind it too much.

Most suggestions for the new name revolved around heart-related words or (im)perfection. As for actual suggestions, I only remember that someone offered "Coeur", the French word for heart. The logic of wanting to swap a Japanese name to a French one in an English work remains a mystery.

Re: Ask!

Posted: Fri Jan 09, 2015 5:59 pm
by Atario
Aura wrote:someone offered "Coeur", the French word for heart. The logic of wanting to swap a Japanese name to a French one in an English work remains a mystery.
You'd be playing right into Japanese sensibilities. They seem to love multilingual bonus points.

Re: Ask!

Posted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 7:34 am
by cpl_crud
BMFJack wrote:I was wondering how much background information was decided/discussed for background characters like Mutou or Nurse.

Specifically, is Mutou married/does he have kids?

How old is Nurse?
To add to The Hivemind and Aura's comments on this topic already, I would like to add the following thought to the "Did you ever consider background information..." type questions.

Aura has repeatedly mentioned that if something didn't show up in the game (either the final version or our production) then we usually didn't even discuss it.
It is kind of like a reverse Checkov's Gun. Anything that we needed in the story, for whatever reason, was included, discussed and (in rare cases) decided upon. Anything that wasn't directly needed by the story simply wasn't thought of - simply because there was more than enough information that we did include, which left little to no attention span to the finer details.

If we needed it for the story, it was thought of, and almost universally included in the text. Details like number of children or drinking habits of secondary characters simply didn't matter enough...

Re: Ask!

Posted: Sat Jan 10, 2015 7:36 am
by cpl_crud
Atario wrote:
Aura wrote:someone offered "Coeur", the French word for heart. The logic of wanting to swap a Japanese name to a French one in an English work remains a mystery.
You'd be playing right into Japanese sensibilities. They seem to love multilingual bonus points.
Love, yes.

Understand... maybe not so much.

We could have called it "Merde" and they wouldn't have cared.

Also, "Katawa" is pretty much an archaic word, to the point where most Japanese people I have talked to have to stop and think about the actual meaning of the word. I wish I knew this when we were getting precious about the Japanese name...

Re: Ask!

Posted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 3:08 pm
by Atario
cpl_crud wrote:Anything that we needed in the story, for whatever reason, was included, discussed and (in rare cases) decided upon.
What are some examples of things that got shot down in this process (and why)?

Re: Ask!

Posted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 7:18 pm
by Aura
I'm not sure which things crud is thinking about, but at the very least I think he's painting a somewhat generous picture of us. Obviously there's a million things that were considered but didn't work out. The amount of actual script we wrote but isn't included in KS is greater than the amount writing that is in the story. Even on the level of small details as the original question described, I certainly seem to remember many idle discussions concerning whatever random stuff that had no bearing to the story. What crud is totally right about though, is that we never wrote bios for the cast, or (mostly) didn't decide arbitrary details before they were needed for some plot point. It was a characteristic quirk of 4LS's development "model", that despite our strongly distributed working environment (only four of us ever worked physically in the same space, and we were across all the timezones too), we documented very poorly. Instead we depended on a kind of a collective memory and lots of talking to keep "up to date".

Off the top of my head I can't think of that many things that would qualify for the "unnecessary detail that might've slightly fleshed out something but was cut" category.

One that comes to my mind was Suriko's attempt to flesh out Hisao's character by making his life's dream to be a jet fighter pilot (IIRC). It wasn't bad but it also didn't do much for the story, and because it was Hisao I demanded that every writer would've had to use the element. It didn't work out.

There were two side plots, one for Yuuko and one for the Nurse, that ultimately got cut. They're a bit different in that they weren't just random infobits, but actual story elements, but I'm sure they qualify.

On a slightly different but very related note, I actively refused discussing Rin's parents even with other devs, which resulted in the "Rin's parents" shimmie meme. Did you know that Rin is from Osaka? No, because knowing that isn't necessary.

I'm sure there were other things as well.

Re: Ask!

Posted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 7:29 pm
by Atario
Aura wrote:It was a characteristic quirk of 4LS's development "model", that despite our strongly distributed working environment (only four of us ever worked physically in the same space, and we were across all the timezones too), we documented very poorly. Instead we depended on a kind of a collective memory and lots of talking to keep "up to date".
I can fully see how that would be. But do you think that was a (or the?) major underlying reason for why development ended up taking so long?
One that comes to my mind was Suriko's attempt to flesh out Hisao's character by making his life's dream to be a jet fighter pilot (IIRC).
Haha, that's interesting. I'm now picturing Tom Cruise in Top Gun mode as Hisao. And I can now understand why he's got so many girls falling all over him.
There were two side plots, one for Yuuko and one for the Nurse, that ultimately got cut. They're a bit different in that they weren't just random infobits, but actual story elements, but I'm sure they qualify.
If you release what they were, I bet you'll launch a thousand fanfics. (Or at least more comments in the Headcanon thread.)
Did you know that Rin is from Osaka? No, because knowing that isn't necessary.
I didn't know that; do I know that now?

Re: Ask!

Posted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 7:57 pm
by Aura
Atario wrote:
Aura wrote:It was a characteristic quirk of 4LS's development "model", that despite our strongly distributed working environment (only four of us ever worked physically in the same space, and we were across all the timezones too), we documented very poorly. Instead we depended on a kind of a collective memory and lots of talking to keep "up to date".
I can fully see how that would be. But do you think that was a (or the?) major underlying reason for why development ended up taking so long?
It didn't really hinder us much. Way bigger factors were that in the beginning we simply sucked at making things, and that that it wasn't a job so the time and effort spent on developing was very variable.
Did you know that Rin is from Osaka? No, because knowing that isn't necessary.
I didn't know that; do I know that now?
Well, you really don't know I guess, if you subscribe to my view that none of the replies in this thread are necessary truthful, or at least that we reserve the right to change any facts at any time. Only the story in KS is indisputably true, this thread relies on (at the oldest, soon a decade old) memories from different people with different points of view.

Re: Ask!

Posted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 9:25 pm
by cpl_crud
Aura wrote:I'm not sure which things crud is thinking about, but at the very least I think he's painting a somewhat generous picture of us. Obviously there's a million things that were considered but didn't work out. ... What crud is totally right about though, is that we never wrote bios for the cast, or (mostly) didn't decide arbitrary details before they were needed for some plot point.

This was pretty much what I was getting at - pretty much everything that ended up in the script was required for the script - everything else was either idle discussion without a decision, or never discussed at all...

If the story needed a detail though, it was included, otherwise we would have ended up with endless chapters going into useless details that never had any bearing on the story. Thus there is little to no "hidden" head-canon; it's either in the script or it doesn't exist...

Re: Ask!

Posted: Mon Jan 12, 2015 9:32 pm
by TheHivemind
Atario wrote:
There were two side plots, one for Yuuko and one for the Nurse, that ultimately got cut. They're a bit different in that they weren't just random infobits, but actual story elements, but I'm sure they qualify.
If you release what they were, I bet you'll launch a thousand fanfics. (Or at least more comments in the Headcanon thread.)
We never wrote them out entirely, because we cut them. In fact, most (if not all) of the material in question is still floating around in the game script itself, particularly in the case of the Nurse (that's not true, there was one scene in particular that would've made everything clear as crystal, but it was part of the...second draft of the Emi path, I think(?) which I don't have any copies of. Poor Yuuko never got resolution even in early drafts). Plus, the Nurse's role in Hisao's story got replaced by Mutou (or Misha, depending on how you go about it), so the planned dialog for that also got tossed out the window.

If you want bullshit straight from the...bull's ass (stay with me), you can find some staff-authored fanfiction that lays a few things out. I might have mentioned that before.

Re: Ask!

Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 1:15 am
by Kon22
Well, it's obvious that a lot of script and sprites were cut/replaced by newer versions but, was this the case for some CG? Or, by the time you got them drawn it was already clear which scenes were definitely gonna be on the script and which weren't?

Re: Ask!

Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 9:30 pm
by TheHivemind
Kon22 wrote:Well, it's obvious that a lot of script and sprites were cut/replaced by newer versions but, was this the case for some CG? Or, by the time you got them drawn it was already clear which scenes were definitely gonna be on the script and which weren't?
I might be wrong, but CGs were such a time-intensive process that I don't think we cut anything once production was well and truly underway. At the most, existing CGs were touched up or re-drawn, but that's it (also all the prototype art got tossed, because we changed artists).

Re: Ask!

Posted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 10:36 pm
by Valjean Lafitte
TheHivemind wrote:
Kon22 wrote:Well, it's obvious that a lot of script and sprites were cut/replaced by newer versions but, was this the case for some CG? Or, by the time you got them drawn it was already clear which scenes were definitely gonna be on the script and which weren't?
I might be wrong, but CGs were such a time-intensive process that I don't think we cut anything once production was well and truly underway. At the most, existing CGs were touched up or re-drawn, but that's it (also all the prototype art got tossed, because we changed artists).
According to Raemz there's this unused Hanako CG from 2008 or 09. She said it was from when Hanako was still "suicidal and weird". Does anyone remember anything more specific about how this picture would have been used?
cpl_crud wrote:If the story needed a detail though, it was included, otherwise we would have ended up with endless chapters going into useless details that never had any bearing on the story. Thus there is little to no "hidden" head-canon; it's either in the script or it doesn't exist...
Would you say that Kenji being an avid bowler is a "hidden" dev head-canon? In your "Final Finale" fic you wrote about Hisao bowling with Kenji, Yuuko and their daughter, and in Suriko's recent Miki fic he wrote a whole scene of Kenji ranting about how no one seems to get that it's the greatest sport.

Re: Ask!

Posted: Wed Jan 14, 2015 3:55 am
by Mirage_GSM
That's not really hidden. It's also right in the VN itself.