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Aug 26

Weekly Update #158: One Year Later

And here we are, one year later. On August 26, 2016, our very first visual novel project, the murder mystery SHINRAI – Broken Beyond Despair, was officially released on Steam and itch.io.

Today, exactly a year ago, I was sitting here, overcome with an indescribable mixture of feelings, ranging from anxiety and nervousness to pure excitement and joy. Even the entire week leading up to the release, I was happy to finally reach our goal, but also worried about so many things. Would the release go smoothly? Would we run into any troubles with Steam? With itch.io?
Did we fix all the typos and bugs? Or would players discover something we had overlooked, which would dampen or even ruin their experience? And most important of all, even without any bugs, would people actually enjoy SHINRAI?

Of course, we had already received a lot of very encouraging feedback from our beta-testers. But despite their positive reactions, I couldn’t shake off those worries. Even now, whenever we get a new review, just like today, I’m incredibly nervous and a little scared of actually looking at it. There is always that fear the person might not have liked it at all, haha.

However, so far, the reactions have all been positive. Way more positive than I could have ever imagined them to be. Over this past year, we have received a number of positive reviews, but also a bunch of comments and even direct messages or e-mails of very kind people who simply wanted to let us know that they enjoyed our visual novel. And you have absolutely no idea how much that means to us.

There is nothing better than waking up to a message of someone simply wanting to thank you. Wanting to thank you for something that you have created and which they have enjoyed. It’s been a year now, but it still feels so surreal. To think that we managed to create a visual novel, release it and now… people are playing it. They are reading the story I have written and they are even enjoying it. And not just the story, but also the characters and the mystery. It’s so weird and sometimes, it still feels like a dream.

It took a long time to make this happen and the journey towards the release was littered with countless hurdles and way more hours of frustration than fun. But when I look back at the path we have traveled, I am glad we chose to follow it to its end. And I am extremely proud that we have made it there.

Granted, there are still some issues with SHINRAI. Especially quality-wise. It is very obviously an indie game created by two people who had to do everything by themselves. Nevertheless, people still enjoy it and I couldn’t ask for more.

As I said, it wasn’t always fun and I often had to neglect and miss out on many other things. Developing a VN and having to do everything with such a tiny team is like having two full-time jobs. But in my eyes, the end result was certainly worth it. So much in fact, that I’d like to continue doing this for the rest of my life. That’s how I’m feeling right now. And that’s why we have begun working on GENBA no Kizuna and SHINRAI’s sequel Withering Without Hope.

I’ve already said it many times before, but I honestly cannot stress this enough: thank you. To each and every one of you, whether you have followed us on our journey ever since the beginning or just found out about us recently, whether you eagerly awaited SHINRAI’s release or discovered it over the course of this past year and decided to give it a try, whether you reached out to us personally or left us feedback in the form of comments or reviews… thank you. Thank you so much!

It’s really hard to properly put these feelings into words, but your support really means the world to us. I’d quite honestly like to give a personal thanks to each and every single one of you, but sadly that’s impossible, I guess. So I hope that you’re at least reading this right here.

Also, a special thanks to those of you who even told us that they cannot wait for our next projects. It’s simply incredible to hear such a thing and it is precisely what gives us the motivation and strength to continue working, even against all odds.

We’ve been quite busy with a lot of things over the past few weeks, but rest assured, we’re continuing to work on our newest projects. A few days ago, I even posted a little glimpse on my personal Twitter account. Throughout September, I will be able to focus much more on GENBA again, so please look forward to more news and sneak peeks! Our top priority is still to get a little demo done for later this year.

But yeah, I really just wanted to use this opportunity to once again say thank you. If you haven’t played SHINRAI yet, it will be on sale for the next few days, so maybe now’s a great time to check it out. And if you decide to do so, we truly hope that you will enjoy it!

Until next Saturday, take care! :3

2 comments

  1. Xolf

    Hey, as someone who found out about SHINRAI semi-randomly (I think it was flagged up on /r/visualnovels one time it went on sale) – thank YOU so much for creating the story; it was a gloriously enjoyable surprise to go into it without really knowing anything, and to find such an entertainingly crafted tale.

    I definitely look forward to seeing future Gosatsu VNs 🙂

  2. RAS

    Man, loved your game! You were able to create a really interesting mystery story that had a great pace, leading us to some surprises and confusing moments, with also giving us the right amount of information to solve the case if we had payed attention to the details(not like some confusing plots that show a ton of information, so the viewer get lost and don´t have a way to figure the mystery themselves, or some parts of it at least) . I must confess I got it wrong the 1st time =/ but I could see how I let myself miss some details, and with a little more attention i could get closer to solve the mystery. Thanks for the amazing experience that was playing this game and I´m waiting for the sequels.

    I’m sure I´ll get next one! It´s a challenge!

    ᵠ(`V´)ᵠ Akukukukukukukuku

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