Wuh-oh. You might want to make sure that's okay with the devs before paying somebody to do KS art. Or at least, pay them in something other than cash. Maybe offer to help them move or something.Eurobeatjester wrote:I'm trying to commission one of my artsy friends to do some character/CGesque drawings in the next month or so
I have a "casual outfit" design for Iwanako I've wanted to see in sprite form for a long time, but I don't think its ever going to happen for that exact reason.
Anyway, I really liked this chapter; even though I've been through the Yamaku Festival about a thousand times, it's interesting to see new authors putting a unique spin on it. And, to some degree, I think you've done that; there's certainly parts where you go over familiar territory (by now, we're pretty familiar with Hisao's attitude at this point in the timeline, and Saki's influence hasn't set in on him quite enough for his outlook to be especially different,) but the additional element that Saki presents is unique enough that it's still a compelling story. And your voice when writing Hisao is very close to the normal tone of Act One, in a good way. I could actually see myself reading the VN, going through these chapters.
(As a side note, I do like how your take on Saki's route has a very "Easter Egg" feel to it. I feel like it'd be the kind of thing you'd only stumble on accidentally unless you were looking for it, and since you skipped around a lot during Act One it really does kind of feel like she only makes a handful of appearances until the Festival. I automatically contextualize all KS fanfics into VN format, it's my curse.)
One thing I do notice about your Saki is that she's an incredibly down-to-earth character, almost to a fault; i.e., there are characters in Katawa Shoujo with more ostentatious personalities alongside whom Saki would seem out of place, since her personality is significantly more subdued. It's because of the very mellow nature of your writing (which I envy; my own stories always seem to drip with bitterness and resentment.) One of the qualities of the girls in Act One is that their personalities are all a little louder than they are in their own routes; their personalities get firmly established early on, and then sort of evolve over the course of the story, but since Saki is such a relaxed character, comparatively, at this point in the story I still kind of find myself wondering what Saki is really like. I don't feel like I have a firm grasp on her characterization yet. I hope to see that change over the course of the story.
Hmm, then again, maybe that's the point? Much is made of how Saki is a soothing presence, and perhaps that's why she doesn't have an over-the-top element to her personality. When Hisao is around her, there's not this upwelling of primal sexual desire so much as there's this sense of the two of them being completely comfortable around each other early on in a manner that's unique to this particular route; there's still a sort of distance needing to be crossed in the canon Act One finales, but here they already seem to have an almost familial sort of closeness. Like Hisao is just more himself when he's with and directly after he's around Saki. But conversely, I don't necessarily feel like that wholly goes both ways; Saki's outreach to Hisao still almost seems more like a generosity than anything. Like, there's obviously a sense of attraction there, but it feels mostly like Saki is still just trying to "help" Hisao.
Also, I'm not sure what you're doing with your supporting cast. Again, the mellowness of your writing (which is a strength) comes into play here. I don't really know what Chisato is like, or even if she's meant to be important. (Part of this is probably because this is a story, not a VN, so I can't tell how many art assets she's been given to help clue me in...) Right now, she's not much more defined than Aoi or Keiko, which I know isn't the point, but I don't really know what to think about her yet. Same goes for all the other characters you introduced here.
Anyway, those comments aside, this is a real filet mignon of a story, and I'm looking forward to seeing how it develops.