Background art in Katawa Shoujo?

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Radien
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Background art in Katawa Shoujo?

Post by Radien » Thu Feb 09, 2012 1:45 am

While playing the game, I couldn't help but notice a few things about the background art. I have been to Tokyo before, for a 2-month stay, so I have an idea of what some of the typical details of Japanese landscapes and buildings look like. The background art in KS, to my eyes, seems to fit very closely with what I remember about Japan.

This suggests that the artists did their homework, but it seems to go beyond that. The way things are placed, the lighting, the textures, ... it really does feel like they were based very closely on actual photos. I'm almost positive of it. So much so, in fact, that I wonder whether they were created FROM photos, using digital filters and hand-editing to make them look like they are comprised of brush strokes. I do wonder, am I right about that?...

If I am, well... this is still a fair method, since it all seems to work well within the game. But it really leads me to wonder: if the backgrounds really were created from real photographs, who took those photos?... I know KS has had an international development team, but I don't know how many of them were actually located in Japan, and what roles they filled on the team.

If they are based on actual photos, it would be very intriguing to know where those photos were taken (especially the ones near unique landmarks), and what went into the process. I hope I'm not getting ahead of myself, since I may be jumping to conclusions about actual photos being used, but I find it very interesting. :) I hope someone knowledgeable is around to confirm or contradict my suspicions.
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Ted

Re: Background art in Katawa Shoujo?

Post by Ted » Thu Feb 09, 2012 1:55 am

I'm fairly certain most of this is up on the blog.

Guest

Re: Background art in Katawa Shoujo?

Post by Guest » Thu Feb 09, 2012 1:58 am

Providence, Rhode Island. Brown University. One of the park photos I think is in the UK. I don't know who took them.

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Radien
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Re: Background art in Katawa Shoujo?

Post by Radien » Thu Feb 09, 2012 2:14 am

I haven't read the entirety of the blog, as I only discovered the game just over two weeks ago. While reading entries now and then can be interesting, I haven't felt like tracking the history of Katawa Shoujo from start to finish in one go. While I wish I had been around when it was in development, I wasn't, and that's that.

Rhode Island? Well, color me fooled. I'm looking at one of the game's outdoor scenes right now. The street signs in particular didn't seem American. Perhaps they changed the appearance of some of those signs. In any case, good choices of locations that could pass for Japan. Though, I guess it is worth mentioning that while I've visited Japan, I haven't been to the U.S. east coast before. Seems kinda backwards, now that I mention it.
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hickwarrior
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Re: Background art in Katawa Shoujo?

Post by hickwarrior » Thu Feb 09, 2012 4:04 am

Well, IIRC, someone in that Ask! thread posted pics of 'yamaku'. Besides that, I'm pretty sure I noticed while I was reading anyway. Still, it's a good way to make scenes for the game, I'll give it that.
Meh, I just liked how the location sounded in my mind. I'm not really into sailing myself.

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Woody Alien
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Re: Background art in Katawa Shoujo?

Post by Woody Alien » Thu Feb 09, 2012 5:47 am

If I remember correctly from what was said in the blog, only the school and its surroundings are from USA, the rest of the pictures come from the devs' trips in Japan, so you did assume this correctly.
For example, the convenience store is part of an actual chain of Japanese stores with its name changed to "Aura Mart", and so on.

On the other hand... Providence, eh? I bet someone is going to do a H.P. Lovecraft/Katawa Shoujo crossover. It would be awesome.
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Tezzeret
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Re: Background art in Katawa Shoujo?

Post by Tezzeret » Thu Feb 09, 2012 3:43 pm

Oh wow i did not know the school pics were taken in america.

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Radien
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Re: Background art in Katawa Shoujo?

Post by Radien » Sun Feb 12, 2012 6:39 am

hickwarrior wrote:Well, IIRC, someone in that Ask! thread posted pics of 'yamaku'. Besides that, I'm pretty sure I noticed while I was reading anyway. Still, it's a good way to make scenes for the game, I'll give it that.
Aha! Neat, I'll look into it later.
Woody Alien wrote:If I remember correctly from what was said in the blog, only the school and its surroundings are from USA, the rest of the pictures come from the devs' trips in Japan, so you did assume this correctly.
For example, the convenience store is part of an actual chain of Japanese stores with its name changed to "Aura Mart", and so on.
Phew, so I'm not completely imagining things. They actually took a trip to Japan, huh? That's a great thing to do, I just wasn't sure whether they could afford it.

I didn't see an Aura Mart while I was in Japan; must have been a different region. We did see "Family Mart" convenience stores all over the frickin' place, though; they were more common than 7-Elevens are here.
Woody Alien wrote:On the other hand... Providence, eh? I bet someone is going to do a H.P. Lovecraft/Katawa Shoujo crossover. It would be awesome.
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Re: Background art in Katawa Shoujo?

Post by Finiraldi » Sun Feb 12, 2012 7:46 am

Radien wrote:
Woody Alien wrote:If I remember correctly from what was said in the blog, only the school and its surroundings are from USA, the rest of the pictures come from the devs' trips in Japan, so you did assume this correctly.
For example, the convenience store is part of an actual chain of Japanese stores with its name changed to "Aura Mart", and so on.
Phew, so I'm not completely imagining things. They actually took a trip to Japan, huh? That's a great thing to do, I just wasn't sure whether they could afford it.

I didn't see an Aura Mart while I was in Japan; must have been a different region. We did see "Family Mart" convenience stores all over the frickin' place, though; they were more common than 7-Elevens are here.
He means that the name of the store was edited to Aura Mart, as a reference to one of the writers.

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Re: Background art in Katawa Shoujo?

Post by guest2 » Sun Feb 12, 2012 11:43 am

Radien wrote:Noooooooooooo.... D: I don't want any of their disabilities to have been acquired THAT way..........
All disabilities from Cthulhu :(
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Radien
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Re: Background art in Katawa Shoujo?

Post by Radien » Mon Feb 13, 2012 2:35 am

Finiraldi wrote:He means that the name of the store was edited to Aura Mart, as a reference to one of the writers.
Whoops, I misread that nuance. I see.

Wonder if it was originally yet another Family Mart. *shrug*
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homk
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Re: Background art in Katawa Shoujo?

Post by homk » Fri Apr 04, 2014 1:47 pm

Well, anyone know, where was made photo of the road? Something?

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Aura
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Re: Background art in Katawa Shoujo?

Post by Aura » Fri Apr 04, 2014 2:42 pm

The source photos were taken, with a few exceptions, by yujovi, me and crud. The exceptions are stuff from other staff members, even some public domain I think. The exact locations have mostly been forgotten by now, I doubt I could find the actual streets of most of them anymore. The ones from Brown campus especially are not all too tricky to relocate though, I think.

The backgrounds of fullscreen CG art are paintings, made by the staff artists from scratch.
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Re: Background art in Katawa Shoujo?

Post by Silentcook » Fri Apr 04, 2014 2:59 pm

And I can vouch for at least one of those BGs already not physically existing any more. Buildings get renovated or torn down, and stuff changes, as it must. :)
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Re: Background art in Katawa Shoujo?

Post by SpunkySix » Fri Apr 04, 2014 3:16 pm

Silentcook wrote:And I can vouch for at least one of those BGs already not physically existing any more. Buildings get renovated or torn down, and stuff changes, as it must. :)
Aw, that's kind of sad. I mean, not awful, but still.
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