April 2018 Progress Report

Hey gang! Pip here with the April Progress report for Hiwata no Nadoko! I just got back from class, so I’ve only got a quick second to update you on things before I gotta go. I’ll be out celebrating my birthday on Saturday, so count this early update as a present for all of us. If you’re watching this on April 21st, pop into the community server and wish Melissa a happy birthday. She’s 17 today. April’s been a busy month for a lot of us on the Bullied Team, with finals around the corner, but we’ve still been getting a lot of things done.

Probably the most exciting thing that’s happened this month is that Sugar came back to the team. She’s always been one of our best animators, and has jumped right back into things and started rigging our character model! So we should have polished animations to show you guys in no time.

A lot of what we’ve been working on is story-based, so we can’t really show you anything right now without spoiling the demo for you guys. I can, however, be super vague, and tell you that each target will have three paths for their storyline, and that the storyline of each target plays into the next. This makes our storywriting process super complex, but it’s been a lot of fun to bounce ideas off all the other writers.

For each target, the target can choose whether to reconcile with the target, or to enact retribution, whether that’s through sabotage or through violence. Whether the player chooses to make nice with the target, or ruin their lives, or make the target physically suffer, each of these choices influence how the story progresses. In the full game, how you deal with Michiyo will affect how Aiko’s story goes, and Aiko’s story will affect how Tomiko’s goes, and so on and so on and so on.

 

With this in mind, we’ve been discussing how the game’s conversation system will work. While you’ll be able to chat with most of Yamamura’s students, certain students will be key in completing different storylines. Similar to a visual novel, each student would have conversation optioins that will lead you down a certain path. The player will have certain objectives, depending on which path they choose to take. If they were trying to sabotage the target, they might try getting dirt from students that they know.

Each of Yamamura’s students has an opinion of Reika. This means they may be sympathetic, indifferent, or hostile towards you. Trying to get help from a hostile student wouldn’t work nearly as well as getting help from a sympathetic student. Conversations with key students influence the whole course of the story. If you say the wrong thing, you may not be able to continue down the path you’re trying to take, so every choice is very important.

On the PR side of things, I’ve been doing lots of little tweaking. Our YouTube channel has been updated, and I’ll be trying to use our Reddit, Twitter, and Tumblr a lot more consistently. In case you missed it, we also launched an official Wiki! I’ll be keeping this up to date with detailed pages of our characters, settings, and other key aspects of the project. We chose to launch our own, rather than using the existing fan one to ensure you guys are getting the most reliable information.

We’re also looking into making merchandise avalable! This isn’t cuz we want to get our grubby little hands on your money. Any profit we make from this would go to cover operating costs, such as keeping the website live, and hiring professionals who can make things happen that we can’t do on our own. We’re choosing to do merchandise rather than a GoFundMe or something, cuz we don’t want to take your money without having something to offer in return. On our Discord server, we’ve shared a poll with some ideas that we have for merch, just to see what you guys might be interested in actually buying.

I know I’ve been talking about our Discord a lot. If you’re not already a part of it, we’d love to have you there and get to know you! I just heard Hubs get home, so I gotta go, but before I do I want you guys to know that you are so awesome. Without your support, this project wouldn’t be where it is today. So, thanks so much for watching, and thanks for your support of Hiwata no Nadoko! We’ll see you next time!

Paige Guttormson