June 2018 Progress Report
Hello to all 2,000 of you beautiful people tuning into the June progress report for Hiwata no Nadoko! (I'm sure there's even more of you tracking development. This is just our YouTube subscriber count!) I’m Pip, the PR leader, and I wanted to personally apologize that I didn’t get a progress report for you guys up in May. With class terms coming to an end, and many people graduating, the team simply didn’t have time to put together a progress report. But, that doesn’t mean that progress wasn’t happening! You guys get a double helping today, and I hope you’re ready for it!
For the past two months, our writing and visual design teams have been hard at work, creating and refining character designs for the students and teachers at Yamamura. Back in January, we announced that we were designing about 100 unique students, but we decided that wasn’t nearly enough. There are three year levels at Yamamura, and each of these is split into three different classes of about 20 students apiece. This means a little more work on our end, as we were originally only planning to have 12 students in each class. Bumping that number up to 20 makes a more realistic school atmosphere. But this means we will have 180 unique students wandering the halls of Yamamura.
This includes our main characters, background characters, and the key students I mentioned in the last progress report. Today, I’m going to tell you more about some of these key students!
In our community server, many of you have been asking what happened to some of characters from the Yandere Simulator mod version of Hiwata no Nadoko, especially Ino Rite and Takeshi Mija. Ino was written to be Ijimi’s former best friend, who stopped talking to Ijimi and stole her boyfriend, Takeshi. In the mod build, you could choose to either forgive Ino and Takeshi, and let them be happy together, or literally stab them for how they stabbed you in the back.
Back in August of 2017, the Bullied Team parted ways with former coder, KGFTBZ. Because Ino is a character of KG’s creation, he asked that she be removed from Hiwata no Nadoko. Though Takeshi was a character of Luke’s, we couldn’t make his story work without Ino, and didn’t want to just wedge another girl into her place. Instead, we scrapped his character and the storyline entirely.
That said, there are similar characters in the new version of the story.
Reika first met Kanera Takumi in primary school. Kanera had always been really hard-working and serious, even since she was young, and a lot of the other kids used to pick on her for it. Reika was the first person to stand up to them, and she and Kanera have been best friends ever since. Throughout junior high, the pair was inseparable. But something happened to drive them apart, and they are no longer on speaking terms. It’s up to the player to figure out what happened between them…
This handsome young man tying his shoes is Daichi Okumura. When Reika started attending Yamamura High School, she met Daichi in class. The two became very close, and Reika was happy to have someone to talk to, since Kanera had been placed in a different class. Friendship soon developed into romance, and Daichi and Reika became one of the star couples of the school. However, something drove them apart as well. You have to figure out what happened.
Playing through Kanera and Daichi’s storylines will be completely optional in the full release of the game. While you’ll be able to encounter both of them in the demo, you will have to wait until full release to figure out what happened between Reika and each of these characters.
As of right now, we can’t give more thorough descriptions of the rest of the key students without spoiling gameplay. That said, you can check out the official HNN wiki for a full class roster of all of Yamamura’s students. We’ll be updating the descriptions after the demo release, but in the meantime, we’ll let you try to figure out who plays a part in the storyline.
If creating 180 different students wasn’t already enough work, our design team also created a staff of fourteen teachers and administrators to keep Yamamura running.
The faculty of Yamamura strive to help students become the best that they can be.
Ms. Izumi Kaede is the school counsellor. You can touch base with her during the school day, and she’ll keep track of how you’re doing. She serves as the in-school save point, and may help you with certain eliminations. Be careful, though, or she might bring you to see headmaster, Yasao Mitsuki.
If you hit a rough patch, you can always stop in and see Nurse Iyuri Shinasu. She’ll get you back on your feet in no time!
Many of the teachers offer extra-curricular tutoring outside of class time, which can help you develop all sorts of skills!
Taking lessons with the history teacher, Osamu Yamamoto, will teach you all about Yamamura’s history, including where you can find old maps of the school and keys to get into secret areas and shortcuts around campus.
Maya Iwakuma is the science teacher. She’ll teach you how to make fun things like smoke bombs. Just remember, what you do with them from there is not her responsibility.
When Itsuki Touma isn’t teaching literature, he oversees the manga club. His favorites are true crime manga. Just… don’t get any ideas.
Coach Akiha Kimura might put you through the wringer, but working out with her is so worth it. It makes you faster, and builds stamina when doing heavy lifting.
It’s kind of surprising that the math teacher, Masao Kurasugi, doesn’t have Coach Kimura’s job. He used to be a drill sergeant, and will make you run laps if you can’t solve your equations. At least this helps keep you tough!
The computer teacher, Ms. Kusanagi, is a little weird, but she’s crazy intelligent. She’ll teach you all sorts of coding, and cybersecurity measures. But this is all to keep your own information safe, and not to get into anyone else’s, okay?
Penelope White came all the way from America to teach English at Yamamura. Her tutoring lessons give you better mental fortitude, and just a delight to be around in general, so that lifts your spirits, as well!
If you stop and see Nonoki Shuya, she’ll give you extra help on your sewing projects from class. It’s always good to know your way around a needle. You never know when you’re gonna have to fix your uniform!
No need to worry if you forgot your lunch box. Chef Fumiko Shima will teach you how to make all sorts of good food to keep your strength up!
Shoji Kano teaches Yamamura’s art program, and loves to foster all sprts of creativity. If you stop in after school, he might let you play dress-up with some of the Drama Club’s costumes.
Because of your involvement with the orchestra, you’re probably most fond of Nenosuke Kondo, the music teacher! Rehearsing with him after school will help tune your ears, and give you a better awareness of your surroundings.
Again, if you keep an eye on the Wiki, we’ll be sharing concept art of these teachers, as well as more detailed explanations of their buffs as we lead up to the demo release. (I'll probably also be tweaking the character page on the website some. Just gotta figure out what we want to do with it.)
On the more technical side of things, Sugar’s been working hard on getting the character model rigged as she has free time. Since sharing this video with the team, she’s polished it even more! As soon as she’s done with this, we’ll get started on creating custom character animations for each of our characters! We’re really excited, as this is a major step towards having something that’s actually playable, instead of just having a bunch of ideas on paper.
As of right now, we only have two modellers, one texture artist, and one animator on the team. If you’re interested in helping us out in any of these areas, you can contact our Visual Design leader, Generica, at the tag listed here! With our large cast of characters and complex environments, we need all the help we can get.
John’s also brought another coder onto the team to help him with programming! I’ve never understood how to do any of what they do, so even the smallest things blow me away. As they iron out everything under the hood, we get closer and closer to having something to share with you guys. All 2,000 of you!
We’re so thankful to have each and every one of you as a part of our community. We’d love to connect with you and get to know you, so please come join us on the Discord server! (There's a link to it in our footer!) That way, it’ll be even easier for you to keep up with development, especially if I can’t get a video up to our YouTube like I did last month. It’s really important to me personally that you guys are kept in the loop. Even through the dry spells, you’re always so supportive. We’d keep working on this project even if it was just for ourselves, but we’re so excited to know that there are so many of you who are as enthusiastic and passionate about this project as we are. So thanks for watching, and as always, thank you so much for your support of Hiwata no Nadoko.