A while ago, I used RPG Maker XP to create a somewhat generic dating simulation called "Emo Boys and Moe Girls." My first draft was okay, but tough to edit. My second draft was easier to edit, but by the time I reached a stopping point, I realized that it had grown too ambitious. I figured that six characters was probably twice what I could handle. Furthermore, I was barely ready to create a game about just one year of school life. So I began asking myself, "What do I really want to create? And what tools will I use?"
Before starting "Fangirls," I attempted a few new projects as I tried to sort out what I want. It took a while before I had one that I was ready to discuss. My writing began in August 07, and stalled in late September. I decided to finish it by November 1.
Yes, I'm still looking for people who might be willing to provide art, music, and feedback.
Working title: Among the Fangirls
Genre: boy x girls harem/romance/comedy
Game system: Ren'py
Available characters: 3
Setting: present-day Tokyo school
Content: references to gay sex within a fictional game
The story begins as the male player character Shusuke attempts to join a club. His goal: refine his game-making skills so that he can use them in the real world. He ends up in a club consisting of several girls who are making a boys love doujin game. He had intended to work with a game-making club that consisted of guys who were making a fighting game, but they turned him down. This was his second option. It turns out to be an awkward but positive choice, since he gets to write the game's story. He will have about two and a half weeks to do this, and then the game will be packaged and sold at [a festival very very similar to] Comic Market.
In this game, no earth-shaking plot events will occur. Instead, Shusuke will go to the club each day. He will choose the way in which he will write the story that day. (In my rough draft, the choice was always "will he focus on characterization, plot, or buttsecks?" In the end-of-October draft, the game-within-a-game is thoroughly described.) If he writes the game in a way that appeals to one of the club members, and if he pays attention to that particular girl, then she will begin to notice him. My original goal was to create date events for one or two Sundays. However, the end-of-October draft takes place across only four days.
It may be possible for Shusuke to become too stressed from all his duties. There will be a generic "we were all just friends" ending. The challenge, therefore, will be to figure out what one of the girls like, to put a good amount of that thing in the game, then get that girl's attention, and slowly get close to her. If the player can do that, then there will be a good ending.
Meant to be an honest, sympathetic main character. Starts out the story feeling kind of stressed and busy, which is why he's unattached. He tells the girls that he would rather not write yaoi, but that he wishes to improve his skills. He's willing to help the girls even if he doesn't get together with any of them.
#2 -- Rika Tanaka.
A very enthusiastic yaoi fangirl. Rika seems to be an extrovert. If she's lonely, then she doesn't talk much about it. She is in charge of programming and testing. If Shusuke begins to date her, then he will learn how she became a raving fan, and why she is committed to that genre. [In my early draft, this character would rant about her fellow fans. I decided that I didn't want that in my October draft.]
#3 -- Yue Sugimoto.
A take-charge girl who acts rather cold and distant. Though she and Rika are old friends, and though she formed the club along Rika, the two of them don't seem to talk much. Yue took her club members' plot ideas and made a rough outline from them. She asks Shusuke to call her by her title -- Project Coordinator. If he begins to date her, then he will learn why she is so authoritative and closed-off. [In the October draft, she is working with a tight schedule, and so she isn't quite as suspicious of the protagonist.]
#4 -- Chiyomi Aibara.
She looks like an athlete and a tomboy, but she's nervous and shy. She found it difficult to make the transition from junior high to high school. Like a number of families in Tokyo, hers is not entirely Japanese. Chiyomi is in charge of character design. If Shusuke begins to date her, then he will learn why she is full of fear, and how she is trying to deal with her family conflicts. [Eliminated her family/background conflicts in October draft.]
#5 -- Honoka Kamishiro.
Chiyomi's friend. Currently dating her friend's brother. She can be open and friendly, but sometimes she uses her deadpan humor in order to keep people at a distance. She likes boys love, though she preferes girl x boy stories. She is in charge of art and promotional material. [Only a background character in October draft.]
Right now I'm using Ren'py 6.3. Since this game has a few simple simulation elements, I believe it might work with DSE.
I planned to make this game straightforward and free from complicated ideas. The three available girls are each interested in one aspect. I will try to make it clear what their interest is. For instance, the one who likes characterization will be the character designer and also an introvert. (In the future, perhaps I'll consider a game involving complex characters.)
Originally, I wanted to make half or more of the days in my game to be simply "I went to club. I decided to write __. It was cool." That's what happens in simulations: there are days when the main character is just building statistics. It didn't work out.
Not many of my ideas are original. I admit that a good number of them are drawn from a few "modern visual culture" sources. I'd certainly like to consider making something more creative, but I think I'll wait until I've finally *finished* at least one game.
Why did the game originally take place during two and a half weeks? Reason 1 - I wanted to make a short, simple simulation. Reason 2 - I wanted to give the characters enough time to grow close.
If you're willing to help me as I work on this game, please let me know.