Developer Blog

How (Not) To Make a VN

One year ago today, I released the first demo of Detective Butler to the world. And one month from now you'll be playing the final version. (ironic how I said the same thing a year ago...)

Anyway, it's times like these that make me feel a bit nostalgic. I've compiled a small variety of screenshots to demonstrate just how far the game has come.

Those are just the visual aspects, of course. The story's taken quite a lot of changing and so has the internal code and various interactive portions. We've had two musicians come and go, and only one of four artists' work will be used in the final version. Word count is somewhere around 40-50k; I'm not entirely sure, but it still takes a few hours to read in full (comparable to my Umineko fangames, but don't quote me on that). The game will remain free, and will most certainly feature an opening video -- it's actually almost finished.

So, what remains to be done? Lots of beta testing and debugging. I've gotten several people to download it and test what I have. There's also just a small bit of writing left to do. I'm primarily interested in getting people's thoughts and opinions on the mystery portion, so I've excluded the solution from their beta demo. The one unfortunate thing is that the Butler Hints idea is totally out the window. Either they ended up fitting into the story or really had no place in it, so it really just resolved itself.

Anyone who played the previous demos will notice that the final game is VERY different. I hope I made the right choices in what to change and what to keep. Either way, what's done is done, and I've learned a lot from this experience.

Should be a busy few weeks -- after all, Comiket is my self-imposed deadline!


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