“H-have you got here through a hole?”
“I’m afraid she’s not the rabbit you’re looking for.”
Just a little quote joke. Nijowari is full of them. Yes, if you were looking for Lexy, she calls Nijowari home. But here’s the backstory.
The Making of …
They say ‘begin at the beginning’. They say ‘write about what you know’. They say on Amazon, ‘You gots to stand out from the crowd.’ Or something like that. And they want everyone to overhype their story!
And you end up with a crowd, eh?
So. A long time ago, in another universe:
“What the hell was that, just walked into the pub?”
“Oh. Him.” the barmaid said. “Newspaper columnist. gossipmonger, self-styled critic. I’m surprised he gets away with some of the stuff he writes.”
“Huh. His appearance explains a lot of that, surely.”
Aha. The germ of an idea, Suppose … there’s a girl who traveled the world with her father, a brilliant engineer and “fixer”. She’d learn a lot just listening to him and he always hires tutors for her wherever they go. By the time they return home, dad realizes she’s so far removed from her peers.
“I’m enrolling you in public school, Lexy. You won’t learn anything; you’re so far ahead of them. What you need is socialization with your peers. Protective colorization, you don’t want to be the green monkey.”
Lexy developed a well-rounded and stable personality and uni in engineering was a foregone conclusion. Until a uni revue and a road less traveled …
The story almost wrote itself. It was 1995 and I was just a week into the internet and discovered an online magazine with also a paid subscription print version. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. I rather thought my localization would be a little ‘off’ but they loved Lexy and it was published and I got paid.
I really thought the techno trick would be possible in the not-too distant future. Golly gosh, was I wrong. And lucky, because the story is as fresh now as it was back then.
Since the big project is going to appear Real Soon New, Lexy gets to debut first. Making her part of the big one cried out for a slight rewrite, a little flavor text to convey the ‘feel’ of Nijowari.
The original story file will be included in the project.
Now we’ve covered the story. The turning into VN comes next.
Yikes! Where do I start?
Hold on, don’t panic. Think. Some time back, Kyoki advertised for artist(s). And got ten responses within an hour. With portfolios. “No mas!” Calling a cutoff and dealing with what we have was pretty easy.
Kyoki made his choices, I agreed. One individual for sprites; a studio (!) for CGs. I also had an alternate that looked like someone with promise based on his portfolio. Kyo sent me his email address and I contacted him.
You didn’t make the cut but I like your character designs so I will give you first option on a small project later. Fine.
Well, later became sooner.
When all the experts were saying we should devote all our time to grinding social media and marketing, we’re doing 24/7/365 perfecting our product (International time zoaes are such fun.)
Time for Plan B.
Assemble the assets. I send the story to my artist, he agrees it’s a nice tale that will lend itself to VN treatment. Lexy is first assignment. Meanwhile we are delving into the arcane subculture of free background ‘art’.
The composer has gone missing because he’s doing a course on JavaFX.
I’m paying for sprites, one at a time. It’s the preference of freelancers. I do pledge to cover the PayPal fees as well. (What sort of business model expects one’s employees to cover a fee to collect their pay? Commonsense ain’t rocket science.)
The composer surfaces and several tracks are discussed, Lexy and the two faces of Colin. Now we have more music than story, ahaha.
Two special TV impression visuals are cobbled together by me.
Finally all is packaged and sent to our Slack collaboration account. Now, our coder is giving it the premium treatment, same as the big project. Waiting is.