Honeymuffin wrote:Yes, yes; it could be argued that a few of the current KS cast members already have a mental disability,
Sure, I'm only two and a half paths in, but from what I've seen so far, KS is as much the story of the wide range of psychological problems people with physical disabilities may have as it is the story of those disabilities themselves. For example ...
her story is more focused on the psychological trauma she suffered as a result of losing her father than it is on either the psychological or the physical problems she developed as a result of losing her legs
her entire path is purely psychological. Psychological issues that resulted from a physical one, yes, but still only psychological problems. Also: half of her psychological baggage would still be there even if she hadn't been burned, considering how much she beats herself up for being the reason her mother (if not also her father) died.
I don't expect this trend to let up, either. I very much expect Rin's, Shizune's, and Lilly's paths to be as much about the psychological side of things as the physically disabled side.
But I see what you mean. You're wanting to explore a game which focuses on things like anterograde amnesia, dissociative identity disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, and so on.
Honeymuffin wrote:So, would you play a VN with a theme like that?
I can promise I would at least try it, especially if it were a free, legal, and relatively small (filesize-wise) release just like Katawa Shoujo
was. There'd be a lot of hurdles for such a game to overcome, though. Perhaps the most troubling one of all is the setting. The likeliest place that you would find all manner of exotic and mundane psychiatric problems is a psych ward. However, I think the idea of an eroge set in a psych ward is just a little
too off-putting. Yamaku was a high school and Hisao never felt like a sexual predator preying upon vulnerable girls as some critics of the project have argued they perceive him to be. But if you had an eroge set in a psych ward, that
would strike me as a little hmmmmmm.
That you've got this guy who is committed (if a patient) or else who gets assigned there (if a nurse or doctor) and who then, in less than a year, starts up a relationship with one of five patients there. If you chose not to have the setting be a psych ward, then the question would have to be: where else? Where are you going to find a girl with DID, a girl with bipolar disorder, a girl with OCD, a girl with ADHD, etc all in the same place? If it were only the sorts of things you might find in any typical high school -- anorexia, ADHD, Asperger's -- then I could buy the setting being a regular high school. Throw in one
exotic disease (e.g. DID) and I could still buy it. Maybe. (Though with DID, I'm not sure that they wouldn't be home schooled or privately tutored.) But throw in two or more
exotic psychiatric diseases and I'd start to have problems suspending my disbelief. Yamaku High worked because we all know that there are schools for the blind and so it's only a hop, skip, and a jump to imagine an academy which caters more broadly to the needs of physically disabled students, in part because by doing so they create a diverse student body which in turn is passively therapeutic for the students who attend. But I'd have a hard time imagining a "Psychiatric Yamaku High." I don't think society would want to put all of those students into the same classroom. It'd make it incredibly
difficult to teach them properly. While the KS students all had their own psychological issues, none of them got in the way of higher learning. Problems like DID, ADHD, and OCD would.
And they would get in the way of higher learning in very different ways.
If you want to write a VN with girls who suffer from psychiatric disorders, one thing to consider (if you have not already done so) is to play a number of the most popular VNs which feature one or more such characters. You might be able to take some inspiration from what others before you have tried. By no means is the idea of a VN with someone who suffers from split personalities a novel one, so seeing how others have done it first might better help you to imagine how you would try to do it in a harem-style game like Katawa Shoujo.The most important thing of all, though, is to be tasteful.
That is what KS has been so far through and through, and it's what allows the excellent writing, music, and artwork to shine brilliantly, unsullied. If you write a game starring girls with various psychiatric problems and it comes across that you haven't done your research, that you don't know what it's really like to have that problem or to deal with people who have that problem, or that what you've written is insulting, that'll sink your project immediately. It's one thing to want to write a story with someone in it who has a psychiatric disorder. It's another thing entirely to do so in a way that is so tasteful that the people who suffer from that disorder say to you, "Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for making this game."