Project Name: Undead Darlings ~no cure for love~

End Date: 7/29/2015

Goal: $50,000

Undead Darlings Logo 001 - 20150629

What is it?

Undead Darlings Key Visual 001 - 20150629Undead Darlings is a PC game by developers Mr. Tired Media. The project is a fusion of visual novels and classic console RPGs, set in the aftermath of an apocalyptic disaster. It’s a tale of mystery, adventure, and zombie waifus.

You read that right: zombie waifus.

Undead Darlings places players into the shoes of Reginald “Reggie” P. Happenstahnce: a traditional everyman who wakes up to the hangover to end all hangovers. To make matters worse, the world has been plunged into chaos by a viral infection. Society’s begun to crumble, as humanity begins its slow and agonizing metamorphosis into a horde of walking dead.

As fortune may have it, Reggie’s father devised a cure for the zombie infection. Its location is a mystery, though, so our intrepid hero must venture forth into the apocalyptic horror that was once the planet Earth. Finding the cure won’t be easy. Ruins of the world prior have crumbled and decayed, to form labyrinthine mazes. Zombified survivors and crazy mutants stand at every turn. And, most important of all, there’s lots of loot to collect!

He won’t be going it alone, though.

Not all of the infected have succumbed to the slavery of the hive mind, though. A number of zombies, though their bodies have grown cold, have managed to keep their warm hearts and sharp minds about them. Whether this is a blessing or a curse is up for debate, but it ensures that the wasteland won’t be entirely bleak.

Reggie’s childhood friend Pearl is one of those special shamblers, and the first of many unique zombie girls that Reggie will meet in his travels. Together, Reggie and his ever-growing clan of zombified companions will search high and low for the one thing that can save humanity once and for all.

Notable Reward Tiers

  • $5: Digital Wallpapers
  • $25: Digital Copy of Undead Darlings, Digital Wallpapers (Limited, 250)
  • $30: Digital Copy of Undead Darlings, Digital Wallpapers
  • $55: Digital Copy of Undead Darlings, Soundtrack, Digital Art Book, Digital Wallpapers
  • $70: Digital Copy of Undead Darlings, Soundtrack, Physical Art Book, Digital Wallpapers
  • $110: Digital Copy of Undead Darlings, Soundtrack, Physical Art Book, T-Shirt, Digital Wallpapers, free upgrade to physical copy (if PS4 goal reached)
  • $165: 32″ x 32″ Wall Scroll, All rewards in $100 tier
  • $250: Design a wall texture, All rewards in $165 tier (Limited, 50)
  • $500: Signed, unique print by character designer Hitsukuya, All rewards in $165 tier (Limited 10)
  • $3,000: Mr. Tired will fly backer to their headquarters and cook him/her dinner, All rewards in $165 tier (Limited 2)
  • $5,000: Custom vocal song in-game, All rewards in $165 tier (Limited 1)

Notable Stretch Goals

  • $80,000: Partial voice acting by Bang Zoom!
  • $100,000: PlayStation 4 version of Undead Darlings
  • $125,000: Full voice acting
  • $150,000: Undead Darlings PlayStation 4 Theme
  • $160,000: Full trophy set for PlayStation 4 edition, including Platinum
  • $175,000: Free DLC Character
  • $225,000: PlayStation Vita version of Undead Darlings
  • $250,000: Physical PlayStation 4 release with Vita voucher
  • $350,000: Union Voice Acting

Why Profile This Title?

Undead Darlings CGI 001 - 20150712While the name “Mr. Tired” isn’t exactly well-known in the gaming industry, the company’s two leading members certainly are. Ryan Phillips and Nick Doerr are well-versed in the gaming industry, having originally worked at NIS America. Phillips oversaw numerous production aspects as the company’s Community Manager, and Doerr worked as a script writer.

Doerr, in particular, is known for his work on titles like Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2.

That said, a pedigree and a name aren’t exactly enough to justify an automatic pass. We’ve seen high-profile creators buckle under the weight of poor planning and overly optimistic budgets.

The concept is a bit offbeat, but it seems to embody that tongue-in-cheek take on the apocalypse that we’ve seen in titles like Fallout 3. They call it the “Funpocalypse,” for crying out loud! The artwork is generally appealing, and the project as outlined is reasonable for a 12-month turnaround.

Undead Darlings Screen 003 - 20150629What we’ve seen in the initial reveals, from the presentation to the somewhat spartan first person segments, is generally realistic for a title of this magnitude. The artwork is mostly handled already, and core mechanics like the battle system appear to be fully implemented and ready for the battlegrounds of Quality Assurance.

The rewards are fun, and satisfy many of the popular wants. Items like soundtracks, art books, and a physical copy of the game are all on the table, and commonly requested by backers. Likewise, Mr. Tired flying two fans in to cook them dinner and play video games all night is just plain offbeat, but incredibly charming all the same.

The $50,000 goal, while steep, is fiscally responsible. The total accounts for major taxes, fees, and overhead that will arise from the drive itself, in addition to costs of staffing and development. The importance of a fiscally sound project was echoed by both Doerr and Phillips, who noted their experiences in starting a company by “bootstrapping”, or without external input.

Intro Video

Creator Interview

Note: Minor edits made for clarity.

Anime Herald: For those who haven’t yet heard of Undead Darlings, could you tell us a little bit about the project?

Nick Doerr: Alright, yeah! Players take on the role of Reginald P. Happenstahnce. His buddies call him Reggie. And he wakes up in a world that’s been taken over by zombies.

And in this world, not all of the zombies are, you know, shambling embarrassments, as the half-zombies call them. The half-zombies make up the main cast of the game. And, on the quest that players embark upon, Reggie wakes up and he’s told that his father left a mason jar of the zombie cure, just in case something happened to his father, who created the cure. You know, so that way Reggie can go and mass-produce it, and fix the world!

And these girls that he meets who are half-zombies, he can’t just use the cure on them instantly, because he doesn’t know the dosage or the method. So he doesn’t know if they need to inject it, or drink it, or splash it on their face.

So that’s the main premise of the game, is getting someplace safe, where they can mass-produce the cure and, you know, save the world? Question mark?

Ryan Phillips: Or, at least, save one of them.

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Anime Herald: Out of curiosity, how long have you two actually been working on this? I mean, I remember the first interview I received from you (Ryan) when you started up Mr. Tired. That was, like, early November (2014), and I remember you mentioning that you were working on your own original project.

Ryan Phillips: Yeah, we actually, well, we were originally going to just do a visual novel. And that idea started in, I guess it was late 2012.

Nick Doerr: Yeah, October-ish.

Ryan Phillips: Yeah! And I was already at NISA for a full two years, and Nick was there for a full four years. And we, you know, we started working on it on the weekends while we were working there. Just on Sundays, we’d get together and talk about the characters.

And originally, we were just going to put it on Ren’Py1, and then kind of just put it out there to see how well it did. And, you know, as we kind of developed the characters, and we got the character artist onboard, we were like “Wow! This could turn into something. If we build the engine in Unity, then technically we might be able to put some RPG elements to it.” So that’s kind of the direction we decided, and that was in 2013. And then, we knew at that point we would have to leave the publisher.

Basically, we started making plans at the end of 2013, and by mid-last year we both had let. We’ve technically been working on the game since 2012. But full-on working on it, it started last summer. And programming-wise, we moved up to Washington. I moved up last September, and then Nick moved up. December 1st, he was up there last year.

So basically, we were here just a couple of weeks, then it was holidays, and immediately we started. We found some programmers to help us, who are really awesome guys. And we’ve been kind of programming since.

Nick Doerr: It’s been kind of crazy!

Undead Darlings Screen 002 - 20150629Anime Herald: I can definitely imagine! Wow. That’s a heck of a time to build up.

Ryan Phillips: Yeah. We did a little bit of contract work. So you may have seen a couple of emails from other small indie developers for some of their titles. And that was kind of just there to kind of pay some of the bills while we were developing the game until we were able to actually announce the game.

So, for the most part, we’re going to stop doing a lot of the contract work, working for other folks, just because we’re going to be really focusing on this game to get it done. Especially, hopefully we’ll get the Kickstarter done, and we’ll owe it to everyone to finish it off. So, that’s kind of what we’re doing.

But, yeah. Nick was working on editing some RPGs. You know, Nick worked on the Neptunia series since the first one. And then he actually worked on a bunch of anime as well. He worked on Toradora!, and then Love Live! season 1, and

Nick Doerr: So many!

Ryan Phillips: Yeah, like Zakuro

Nick Doerr: Kimi no Todoke, The Princess and the Pilot… I think there was, like, 20 or 21 titles that I was credited in.

Ryan Phillips: Yeah, so a lot of titles that NISA put out on physical form for anime, he had to work on those. So we did a little bit of contract work with him, but that’s all done. So he’s basically just working on the script for the game.

Nick Doerr: I was writing some of that just a few minutes ago!

Ryan Phillips: Yeah! He was! I’m actually getting the presentation ready for Anime Expo, so, like, I’m kind of interrupting him a little bit to take a look at that. I’m trying to ham it up a little bit, but I’m doing my best!

Yeah, we’re really stoked. Somehow, we got a panel at Anime Expo on Friday night (July 3). So we’ll be doing that, and we’re really surprised! I mean, we really thought that, you know, we’re really kind of the low guys in the industry now. Just two dudes, but we have about 60-plus people RSVP’d, so our minds are absolutely blown. We’re, like, beyond happy that people will be coming to our panel to hear us talk about our game, and have some fun. It’s like 8:45 at night, so it’ll be after a nice long con day. Hopefully we’ll be able to provide some humor, hu-MOUR, and more of a relaxed environment. That’s what I’m going to go for!

Nick Doerr: Everyone will have, like, koozies with their drinks to enhance their relax. Like “oh yeah! I can float in the pool with this!”

Ryan Phillips: Branding. We can make Undead Darlings, like, soda can koozies. You can’t drink in Expo Halls, huh? Yeah.

So, yeah. I used to do all of the limited editions at NISA, so I like making items.

Nick Doerr: I think that’s the first time we mentioned a koozie. I think that’s kind of genius, because koozies don’t exist anymore.

Undead Darlings Screen 007 - 20150712

Anime Herald: Not really, but it could work.

Nick Doerr: It’s a resurgence!

Ryan Phillips: Resurgence? We could make, like, “choose your waifu” koozies! (laughs)

Anime Herald: (laughs) Have your waifu hold your drink!

Nick Doerr: That’s right! (laughs) And that’s how ideas happen.

Anime Herald: And you two are very well known because of your work at NIS America. Like, particularly, your work on titles like Disgaea 4 and, as you mentioned, Hyperdimension Neptunia for translations and scripts that really go above and beyond with a tongue-in-cheek sense of humor and that lack of fear of absolutely demolishing the fourth wall. I was curious as to whether that’s going to be a factor with Undead Darlings?

Nick Doerr: Well, it’s not going to be as heavy of a factor, because a lot of that fourth wall busting was also in the Japanese. So it was… sometimes it was them, and sometimes I would just kind of go off the rails and be like “well, they did it before in that line. Maybe I’ll do it again in this line, because it kind of makes sense to do it here. Which may or may not have been the right call. But Disgaea 4 was actually our good buddy Stephen Carlton, who is still at NIS America. He’s just one of the funniest guys I know.

And, for most of the time I was working at NIS America, it was always like chasing after him. Like, I want to be as clever as this guy.

Ryan Phillips: Yeah, he makes references in Disgaea games for, like, hoping that maybe one person gets it. Like, he ties things in like that.

Nick Doerr: Like the Gin Blossoms lyrics! (laughs)

Ryan Phillips: He just puts lyrics, or he likes pro wrestling, so every once in a while there’s a really random pro wrestling reference. I think in the NPC List, he put the entire Fatal Fury cast. So, yeah. It was really cool to be able to work on that and I think that the one thing that we’re doing in our story is we have an exposition. And the exposition helps to kind of, you know, “Arrested Development-esque” with a kind of comment. A little bit more to have, like, a fourth wall but…

Nick Doerr: It’s not so much the fourth wall is being broken, it’s that the fourth wall is talking to you. So it’s sort of like, if you’ve played Persona 4, they’ll have those little bits of exposition that says, like, “You look in the mirror and your face is very tired.” but we take that to the next step and make the exposition comment on the things that are happening. Like “ya fell down the stairs, ya dingus!” (laughs)

Ryan Phillips: That’s the one thing that we wanted to be able to do. You know, was the creative control and creating basically something from scratch. And we thought that there was a ton of really fun VNs (visual novels) coming out right around 2012, 2013. And it’s just gotten even more, you know, like, the genre has gotten more popular in the west. So we’re just kind of really lucky that the timing-wise, you know, it’s just getting more popular and you’ve got companies really starting to crank them out, bringing them over from Japan.

So we’re definitely trying to do something new and, I know that typically these come from Japan. But we’re trying to really capture the art really well. And that was the one thing that we knew when we did the games, that if the art is not good we really don’t have a chance.

So we really, it took us about over a year, or so, of kind of going around, talking to folks, having different character sketches done. And then, finally deciding on one, a style, and two, the artist. So, you know, we’re pretty hopeful and we’ve had a ton of fun working with our artist Hitsu, and she’ll be at Anime Expo in booth A-21. And she does a lot of cool Love Live! stuff, and, I mean, she just is awesome.

She goes to a lot of major cons, she even went overseas this summer to, I think it’s Switzerland or something like that. So, yeah, she’s been awesome to work with, and yeah. So every second we can, we really want to help promote her, because she’s incredibly talented and just an awesome person.

Undead Darlings Screen 001 - 20150629Anime Herald: So, what would you say has been your biggest influence in creating this world, as it is? This whole idea of the, as you call it, the “funpocalypse”?

Nick Doerr: We’re pretty big fans of moe and anime cultures, which kind of comes through in the art. And we just wanted to take that whole concept, and toss it into kind of a satire or parody of all these grim and dark survival horror zombie apocalypse stories that have just been really popular. You know, they’ve just been expanding and getting more and more plentiful in the world. And we wanted to make something that would not poke fun at them, but pay respect and kind of give nods to these different things.

You know, there are Walking Dead jokes, there’s Silent Hill jokes, Resident Evil jokes. Because these are things that are very serious. But when you take a step back and you really look at them, they’re kind of funny! Like, really, a set of themed keys in a police station? Like, how did that come to pass?

Ryan Phillips: Or shotguns! Like, placing a shotgun, but it has to be a specific shotgun!

Nick Doerr: Take the shotgun off the rack and the ceiling comes down! Like, who would do that?

Ryan Phillips: Well who has a shark in their basement? (laughs) There’s a lot of material! And we just felt like, the premise of the game we knew. We’re like “hey, let’s make a thing where you can kind of date zombies!” That was, like, crux idea.

And then, we originally were kind of make them gross. And kind of just over-the-top gross.

Nick Doerr: We even got, like, one or two sketches to that effect, but were like “ummmmmmm~.”

Ryan Phillips: Yeah, it worked. But we knew it was, like, finite. It would have been very, just kind of base visual novel. See if we could kind of get some news out of it. But then we decided, well, after working with the anime industry and the video game industry, especially RPGs from Japan with this style of art, we just know that the market is there if you can kind of make some characters that people would like, and art that they would like.

But we just want to have fun making the game. I think that seriousness is totally fine. I think that’s a direction that we may go with some other series that we’re kind of thinking of making if we can kind of get our studio going. But for now, it’s just being able to kind of make jokes, and make something that people can relax and play the game and not feel, you know, super stressed out is great. And, at the same time, Nick works a lot on the feelings, also.

So, I mean, it’s going to be funny and such, but there are going to be some times that are-

Nick Doerr: Pretty touching.

Ryan Phillips: Like, kind of touching, because they’ve gone through stuff, and they’re having fun, and you’re learning about the girls. So, there’s going to be a little bit of that in there, too.

Nick Doerr: Yeah! I mean, a lot of visual novels, there’s always the girls have some baggage or traumatic past. And, with this one, that’s also true. And one of the most apparent ones is how they became zombies. Like that’s, universally, that’s a traumatic story. Like, it’s never a fun thing.

Like, “Yeah, I was on a carnival ride, a roller coaster, and a zombie head, like, fell out of the sky and bit me! Hahaha!” It’s not like that. It’s, like, serious, terrible things happen to these girls!

Ryan Phillips: Sounds like Final Destination or something!

Nick Doerr: Yeah. Final Destination 8: The Zombie Rain! Some stay dry, and others feel the pain! (laughs) And there we go! This is what we do. Literally, like sometimes when we need a break from it all, we just end up kind of just, you know, literally this kind of stuff. Just bouncing dumb ideas off each other and just laughing, so….

I mean that’s what’s really gotten us through one, not having a lot of money and two, just all the learnings you have to go through and, like, kind of woes of development, and moving. Positive attitude trumps all.

Moving when you’re all alone is tough! (laughs) That’s a lot of stuff!

Undead Darlings Key Visual 002 - 20150712Anime Herald: Chasing this angle, I’ve seen some screenshots, and I’ve seen the little teasers of gameplay in the trailer. I have to say, this hits me right in the childhood. I mean, that battle system looks like it could be ripped out of Phantasy Star IV, with some Persona elements added.

Nick Doerr: Yeah! I love Phantasy Star IV. It’s one of my three favorite games of all time, and we went with that aesthetic in the visuals for battle, because it also works with the story. Because in the story, Reggie’s human, and when they’re exploring these places, the girls want to protect him, because if he gets infected, he might turn into one of the brainless undead. So they’re up front and you, as they player, are behind them.

So it works, even in the story. So it’s not just an homage, it also works in the story!

Anime Herald: And, speaking of Reggie, is his body ready?3

Ryan Phillips: I don’t know, did we make any sort of reference to that?

Nick Doerr: No.

Ryan Phillips: I don’t think we did, because it’s too easy, I think. We’ll have to go back and make sure now that we’ve said that, but…

Nick Doerr: I don’t think we did. I’m not really into using memes, which is kind of funny considering Neptunia. But that’s because that game’s based in internet culture and whatever. So that’s why memes are in there in Japanese, too. But, yeah, this one not so much. It’s all trying to go for original lulz.

Ryan Phillips: We do make a Bloodborne reference, though. That’s been a game we’ve played an incredible amount of, both of us. We both Platinumed it.

Nick Doerr: Oh man, that’s good!

Ryan Phillips: Yeah, you’ve gotta love Bloodborne! But there will be video game references in there, for sure, though. And Walking Dead, and They Live, right?.

Nick Doerr: Yeah, there’s some They Live. The girl with the red pigtails, Jordan, she loves cult classic movies. So we get to make a lot of cult classic references like, you know, Evil Dead, They Live, and I think I even threw in a Dick Tracey.

Ryan Phillips: Yeah! Good old Warren Beatty and Madonna. I’m a little bit older than Nick is, so I have all of the early ’80s references down. So I kind of give that angle for him.

Nick Doerr: I have to try and go back to watch these things that I missed because I was too young! It’s like, I only watched They Live like four years ago, and it just blew my mind.

Ryan Phillips: Now that I’m older, I appreciate that 40 minute fight scene in the alley! That was amazing!

Nick Doerr: It still is!

Ryan Phillips: I wish we could have a 40-minute fight scene in ours, but, you know!

Nick Doerr: One step at a time! (laughs)

Ryan Phillips: One step at a time! No motion capture or anything like that! I don’t think I’d look good enough in one of those suits. It wouldn’t complement my body type!

Nick Doerr: It’d be like “he’s a spider, right?” (laughs)

Ryan Phillips: (laughs) Exactly!

Nick Doerr: He’s a very tall guy!

Ryan Phillips: With long appendages. Lanky is my game!

Undead Darlings Screen 008 - 20150629.jpgAnime Herald: I’ve got the visual! (laughs) I noticed that you have a PS4 stretch goal. I have to ask: How have talks with Sony been? I know they typically require some sort of review process.

Ryan Phillips: Yep! We’re all signed on with Sony. So we’ve gone through, showed them the game. And that was before the Vita was going to be rendered a legacy console.

So we’re looking to pop it on Vita if we can make that stretch goal, but for the PS4, I’m definitely confident that we will be able to get it on there if we can make that goal. For having all of the stuff that we need to get it done, we have that already as well.

Nick Doerr: Yeah, we have all of the stuff we need. Sony’s pretty much on-board.

Ryan Phillips: I will sing their praises on how indie friendly they are, and just how open they are. The process was really good, and it just, even some of the folks that we know are kind of rooting for us. It’s been great working with Sony, so…

Nick Doerr: It’s all pretty much down to just being able to get the game done so we can get it onto there.

Ryan Phillips: Yeah, because the PC is kind of the first goal, because it’s the most feasible for that amount. And then, if we can get a little bit more, then the next tier is going to do a partial voice. We’d love to go down to Bang Zoom! because Nick has years of experience of going down there and working with the voice direction, and we’d love to bring on at least one talent, as well. Nick’s all about that.

Nick Doerr: Always all about finding new voices out there!

Ryan Phillips: Then, the big $350,000 is for just going to union voicing, is just a gigantic jump in cost. But it ends up, if folks really want that, then it’s a thing that we’re looking to do as well! But yeah, we’d love to get it on PlayStation. I mean, once we decided we were going to go RPG we were, and still are super gung-ho about getting it on there. But we decided that PC might make the most sense to put that first, though.

So, that’s kind of where we are. We just decided we’re going to do DRM free, and we’re going to go through the Greenlight process.

Nick Doerr: So we’ll have PC and Mac.

Ryan Phillips: We definitely want to make sure that we can take care of everybody in the PC crowd. I’ve been a PC gamer ever since I got my Packard Bell 46 DX2 in, like, 1994. So that was before Pentium came out. So I had to load, like, the original Duke Nukem 3D with a boot disk, and then it would start up in MS-DOS before Windows. And that’s how I’d play it!

Nick Doerr: That’s how my first computer was, too! What did I have? Where In Time Is Carmen Sandiego?

Ryan Phillips: Ooh! Carmen Sandiego! I almost caught her once on the original Apple ][ GS!

Anime Herald: So, if this is funded, how long can fans expect to spend wandering the lands of the “Funpocalypse”?

Ryan Phillips: Currently, text-wise, I think we’re around 20 hours, or so!

Nick Doerr: Yeah! We’re pushing around, I’m doing a really conservative final estimate of 100,000 words, which will probably be a lot more than that. But for comparison, I did a little word count for Neptunia Victory, and that was 150,000 words.

Ryan Phillips: And that was definitely a text-heavy…

Nick Doerr: That was the most text-heavy of those games, thus far. It’s very much a visual novel, I guess, first? Because that’s what we started with, and the dungeon crawling RPG is going to be a lot of extra content. There’s, like, 6, 7 dungeons, 20-plus floors.

Ryan Phillips: It’s tough because we’re making a first-person dungeon crawler in buildings that first person dungeon crawlers usually aren’t. You know, like, making it into a mall versus…

Nick Doerr: A magical abyss!

Ryan Phillips: Abyss, yeah! Or it’s, like, a warehouse! It’s very static, or tunnels, or sewers, or…

Nick Doerr: Yggdrasil, the mystical tree that has mazes everywhere!

Ryan Phillips: Yeah, so that’s been really… the level design and keeping the levels, making them kind of seem like the area you should be moving around in is kind of another thing we’ve tackled. The development side is definitely a big challenge for us, just because we have the business side of video games. Experience in that, just because I did the PR and marketing, and also helped with the online store of NISA.

So, like, I helped do the Danganronpa limited editions, and basically every limited edition that they started making once they moved to free shipping. So, like the Neptunia, I made all of the playing cards for those, so… we kind of have a backend experience, but we’re just really learning a lot of development right now. And, yeah, so we’re definitely excited. It’s just been one heck of a year, I guess!

Anime Herald: Speaking of the development side, what would you say is the biggest lesson you’ve learned just by diving into this over the past year?

Nick Doerr: Development-wise? For me, since I’m the project manager for kind of overseeing all of the work, it would have to be the level design. And, since we chose, the genre will ultimately dictate what’s going to happen with the development of the game. So, you know, I’m glad we kind of tackled something a little more difficult first.

Because everything in a first-person dungeon crawler, you move on a grid, and everything’s built to a grid. But the kind of negative part about that is that it’s very exacting and the map, it’s very math-oriented. Luckily, our team definitely has it down. It’s just, you know, when you make the walls, then you have to put some things to make them a little more 3D. Otherwise, you look kind of like you’re moving through that Windows 95 screen saver, where you kind of move around in the tunnels, and it switches upside down, and it goes for a while, and you see the icon. And you’re like “Oh, there it is!” and Windows is like “nope! We’re just going to do it again!”

I mean, that’s the biggest thing for me. And the one thing we’ve been pretty good about is paying everyone at the right rate. And I know that we’ve kind of done a lot of research, and seen some of the other startups, and seen some of the things that they’ve had difficulty with. Like overpaying for talent is definitely one of the things that we’ve been pretty good about so far, because we’ve had to bootstrap everything.

So, up to this point, before the Kickstarter, everything was coming out of our pockets, so we’ve been scrutinizing every expenditure, down to buying creamer for our coffee and stuff like that.

Ryan Phillips: It is a must, though!

Nick Doerr: Yeah, we find it on sale! Yeah, lots of coffee, though. Coffee’s important. That’s like my biggest thing in development, is I can’t work without coffee, I think. I have an east-coast accent, so every once in a while, my Philadelphia accent comes out!

Anime Herald: Yeah, as a software engineer myself, I can definitely attest to that one! (laughs) And I have just one more question for you two. Is there anything that you’d like to say to our readers?

Ryan Phillips: In regards to just anything?

Anime Herald: Yep!

Ryan Phillips: Yeah! For me, I’d like to thank everybody that has supported us. I know that sometimes, it’s tough to put money down, so just spreading the word about our Kickstarter would be awesome. We definitely want to continue making stuff. We made a cool really engine to be able to make visual novel stuff, so Nick and I have some crazy ideas for future stuff. So, I I appreciate it, and literally any support is absolutely amazing.

And we just love working with folks that like anime, and kind of games from Japan. And that’s why we’re called Mr. Tired, is we really are two western guy who are trying to keep a Japanese aesthetic but still make games over here!

Nick Doerr: I pretty much would echo what Ryan said. Just “thank you” to anybody who supports us. Even if you’re not really feeling the project, it’s not something you quite want to back, just spreading the word is more than we could ever ask for. It’s so appreciated just to tell a friend who may be more into it than you that this is a thing, and to look into it. That’s amazing.

Ryan Phillips: We want to be in the waifu business. And we feel like we have the power, so it’s our first project, and that’s kind of the most important when you’re first starting a game studio is kind of getting the first one done and out.

We know it might not be our “magnum opus,” but I think that we’ve built all of the base systems and being able to make a better game next with, like, 3D models, things like that. These are all things that we definitely want to do. But, yeah.

It’s like that evil thing called “money” that’s always rearing evil head.

Nick Doerr: It’s like throwing change into the gears, instead of a wrench!

Ryan Phillips: We need zombie heads with money in their mouths falling from the sky

Nick Doerr: While we’re on a roller coaster!

Ryan Phillips: There ya go! I dunno, this is what happens and we always end up just derailing from every conversation!

Nick Doerr: I just want folks to see that we can also create memorable characters, and I hope that, this may sound super cheesy, but I hope that they can find someone that they like in our games.

Ryan Phillips: Yeah! There’s little pieces of Nick and I in the characters. It’s interesting, you know? There’s a lot of cool things that we’ve seen, a lot of different characters out there in the anime and game world, but there’s a lot of pieces of ourself, because we saw it all come to fruition from our ideas, and writing it down on the character sheets, and then having it drawn and having things changed a little bit, and kind of coming to where we are today.

Nick Doerr: It’s kind of amazing.

Ryan Phillips: It’s like your children!

Nick Doerr: Yeah, it’s like children! With all of the work we did, fleshing out their back stories, it does feel like I’ve known them for a very very long time, because I know so much about them before this game takes place. It’s kind of fascinating, and I want people who play it to feel that way, too, when they’re done. Like “oh yeah, I feel like I’ve learned about that person from their childhood through the end of this game.”

  • 1 Ren’Py is a popular, open-source visual novel engine.
  • 2 Unfortunately, this was a case where my research failed me. D’oh! Sorry, guys!
  • 3 I am so, so sorry. Thanks to Nick and Ryan for not groaning at my lame attempt at levity.

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