Interactive Map, School Atmosphere, and Intro Cutscene Progress

Interactive Map

I’ve begun to design the layout of Yandere Sim’s high school. I’m planning where the classrooms will be, where the bathrooms will be, where the faculty offices will be, etc. To facilitate the process, I’m using a three-dimensional “grid” to place rooms and corridors and stairs. I’m currently trying to decide the exact dimensions that rooms and corridors should use.

I call this (4x4x4). The corridor is 4 units wide and 4 units high. The ceiling looks like it’s way too high.

This is (4x3x4). The corridor is 4 units wide, but 3 units high. I think that the height of the ceiling looks more realistic here.

And this is (3x3x3). The corridor is 3 units wide and 3 units high. Does it look better with uniform dimensions?

Which do you prefer? It might be easier for you to decide if you are actually able to run around inside of the school and see it for yourself, so here’s a playable, “interactive map” of Yandere-chan’s high school!

http://drive.google.com/uc?export=download&confirm=swRV&id=0B8Xb4Pl1gykjNExfbnh4VE91M00

Controls:

  • WASD to move
  • Mouse to look around
  • Hold Left Shift to run
  • “1”, “2”, or “3” keys to switch between (4x4x4), (4x3x4), and (3x3x3), respectively.
  • “M” key to activate a minimap (it impacts frame-rate).
  • “L” key to turn off lighting (may help you if you’ve got a low frame-rate).
  • “N” key to play music
  • “R” key to return to the entrance of the school

Notes:

  • It’s really easy to clip through the walls and fall out of the map. The purpose of this .exe is to judge the scale / dimensions of the school; it’s not supposed to be a fun gameplay demo.
  • There’s a Easter Egg hidden somewhere in the level! Can you find it?
  • This is not the final layout of the high school, it’s just a mock-up.
  • This .exe has Xbox controller support. Left stick for movement, right stick for camera, hold LB to run.

It would be extremely helpful to hear your feedback on what scale / dimensions the high school should use. What looks best? (4x4x4), (4x3x4), or (3x3x3)? Please vote in the poll below:

http://strawpoll.me/2991756

School Atmosphere

I’ve discussed this subject once before, but now I’d like to demonstrate it visually.

In terms of gameplay, “School Atmosphere” refers to the way that students behave and react as a result of the amount of blood and corpses that they have discovered. If the School Atmosphere is positive, it means that students do not feel threatened or endangered at school. If students begin to find dismembered limbs or dead bodies, they will realize that there is a serial killer on the loose in their school, and they will become paranoid. Their line of sight will increase, because they are on the lookout for trouble. They will investigate suspicious noises, because they are suspicious of every sound they hear. If your reputation is low, they will never turn their back to you, because they fear what you might do if they are not looking.

If you perform suspicious actions – such as theft or trespassing – your reputation at school will drop. But if you perform suspicious actions while School Atmosphere is low, your reputation drops even more than it normally would, because the students are looking for any excuse to identify someone as a culprit.

School Atmosphere is restored slowly over time, or by framing someone for murder and getting them arrested. If someone gets arrested for murder, the students will think that the serial killer has been caught, and they will relax.

When the School Atmosphere is high, the game looks like a cheerful slice-of-life anime, but when School Atmosphere is at the absolute bottom, it starts to look like a horror game:

What do you think of this feature? Cool? Lame? Let me know in the comments.

Intro Cut-scene Progress

I initially began working on the game’s intro cut-scene as a way to communicate how I’m going to be presenting the Senpai-customization and uniform-picking features of the game (as a dream sequence, and as Yandere-chan trying to remember what her school uniform looks like). Now that I’ve got some momentum going, I decided to just continue animating the intro of the game, even though the rest of the game’s intro is not interactive.

I’m worried that the story / dialogue are a little “cringe” at this point, but I’m actually pretty proud of my progress. What do you think of this video? I want to hear your thoughts.

Rate of Progress and Future Updates

A lot of very talented people have reached out to me to express their desire to help me out with various aspects of developing Yandere Sim! I spent a lot of time this month talking with people about the game’s music, environment models, weapon models, character models, character rigs, character animation, art style, GUI design, HUD design, branding – you name it. I’m super grateful to have so much help with the game. I haven’t established a formal “team” or assigned anyone with an official role yet, because I understand that they are only volunteers who might have to stop contributing to Yandere Sim at any moment, if their school life / work life takes priority. However, some of these people are so incredibly talented that I really hope they continue to work with me for the duration of the entire project!

When the day finally comes for me to form an official “team”, I’ve come up for a name – “Yanderu Software”. Yanderu is a Japanese¬† word that means “to be sick with a mental illness”, and I think it’s a fitting name for a team whose first game is going to be about a serial-killing schoolgirl. I actually tried my hand at designing a logo for the future team; here’s how it currently looks, although it is definitely subject to change:

Because of all the people I’m working with and communicating with, I’m starting to take on more of a “producer / director” role than a programming role. I haven’t had enough spare time to work on gameplay mechanics lately; that’s why this update was mostly about visual stuff.

When I’m not working on Yandere Sim, I’m a freelance programmer. For the rest of this month, I’ll be busy wrapping up a project, so I don’t know how much progress I’ll be able to make on Yandere Sim over the next couple weeks. If I don’t get much spare time, then the next update might just be about the rest of the game’s intro and the high school layout again. Hopefully I’ll have lots of free time in December, so that I can get back to implementing gameplay features. I hope it’s not too disappointing when an update goes by with no mention of actual gameplay.

Maybe you’ll forgive me if I let you run around in a spooky corridor?

http://drive.google.com/uc?export=download&confirm=swRV&id=0B8Xb4Pl1gykjRFlRS2s2NTJ0bDA

By the way, this dark, foggy corridor might be the setting of the game’s tutorial. Before the first school week begins, Yandere-chan has a dream where she learns about all of the different gameplay mechanics; killing, disposing of bodies, cleaning blood, taking panty-shots, using Yandere Vision, etc. If the player wants a bloodless “pacifist” run, and killing students is part of the tutorial, then their pacifist run would be over before it could even begin; that’s one reason why the tutorial should take place in a dream (similarly to how designing Senpai takes place in a dream).

Donation Inquiry

Last April, I swore not to accept donations until I had produced a playable demo. My reasoning is that I don’t want people to think that I’m a scam artist who is only doing this for the money, and I don’t want people to regret donating if the project fails / game turns out differently than they expected.

Back in April, I was very secure financially, and I didn’t have to worry about money. However, without getting into details, my financial situation has changed a lot since April, and now it’s getting pretty hard to uphold my principle of refusing donations.

Nothing I’ve made available so far qualifies as a “playable demo”, so I still have to stand by my word and turn away anybody who offers to give me money (which makes me feel like I’m a jerk). However, I’m curious to know if you feel that opening donations would actually be acceptable at this point. Hopefully, I’ve proven by now that I’m not a scam artist trying to steal your money, or an “idea guy” who can’t actually develop a video game, and hopefully it’s clear what kind of game I’m making at this point.

Hypothetically, if I was to open donations, I suppose there are multiple ways people could contribute: PayPal and Patreon. If you’re not familiar with it, “Patreon” is a service that allows you to support someone by sending them a specific amount of money every month. You get to chose how much you send them; if you want, you could just send them $1 per month. You can cancel anytime. Some people ridicule Patreon, saying that it’s a website where “people beg you to give them money for existing.” I think of it more like an “online tip jar,” but to each their own, I suppose. How do you feel about it?

If I allowed PayPal donations or opened a Patreon, would it mean that I’m a greedy money-grubber who broke the promise he made in April? Or would it actually be acceptable? Please vote here:

http://strawpoll.me/2991736

Thanks for taking the time to read this lengthy blog update! I hope that I don’t let you down!

Interview with TechRaptor

Yandere Sim is finally starting to get some exposure! TechRaptor asked me for an interview, and I was happy to comply.

http://techraptor.net/content/interview-man-behind-yandere-sim

I wonder how much media attention this game is going to get. Will most mainstream sites ignore the game because of its violent content? Will extremist feminists and overzealous SJWs attack the game because of the panty shots and lewd school uniforms? If people start posting articles about how offensive and outrageous this game is, will that hurt the game’s reputation, or will it just provide lots of publicity?

New Cutscene System, New School Uniforms, and New Environment Models

Cut-Scene System

I decided to build a cut-scene system so that it’s relatively easy for me to construct cut-scenes. The result is this video, which chronologically occurs after Yandere-chan’s dream:

I’m not very proud of this video. To be honest, I think that this cut-scene looks like garbage. The animations are all placeholders, and some of the models are missing textures. It looks extremely amateurish; there were early PS2 games with better-looking cut-scenes than this!

On the plus side, the cut-scene system is a success; it works perfectly, and it’s very easy for me to tell cameras, characters, and props when and where to move. When I finally have polished animations and fully-textured models, I should be able to put together some nice impressive cut-scenes using the system I’ve built.

Perceptive readers may have already noticed the new feature that briefly appeared in the above video:

School Uniforms

At the beginning of the game, Yandere-chan rushes to her closet and grabs her school uniform. The player decides what uniform comes out of her closet,¬† which determines the outfit that Yandere-chan and all of the other female students at school will be wearing. The player can choose to dress her like a middle schooler, a high schooler, or just put her into a totally unrealistic costume just for fun. I think that the “just-for-fun” costumes should have to be unlocked before they can be worn. What kind of high school uniforms are you hoping to see Yandere-chan wearing?

New Environment Models

I purchased some high school environment models from the Unity Asset Store and dropped Yandere-chan into them.

It’s great to finally see Yandere-chan in a fully-modelled, fully-textured high school environment!

However, I’m not really happy with these assets. The textures don’t match the anime-style aesthetic of the character models I’ve been using so far. The 3D models have a sensible polygon count, but they’re scaled to strange sizes, so it’s difficult to construct an environment using these models. These models might help me to rapidly build a simple prototype environment that looks better than a bunch of white cubes, but eventually I’ll need to ask a 3D modeller for environment models that are custom-made to my exact needs.

On the subject of the game’s environment, I’ve begun to research Japanese high schools and learn more about their layouts and designs. I found some blueprints for real Japanese high schools, but they are all labeled in Japanese, so they’re not easy for me to use. I’m going to check out a few different games that feature Japanese high schools (Persona 4, primarily) and learn about all of the different rooms typically found in a Japanese high school, and how they are laid out in real life. By the next update, I may be able to present the schematics for Yandere-chan’s high school.

I mostly spent the last two weeks working on the cut-scene system and researching Japanese high schools, so I didn’t make any progress with gameplay this time. I’m sorry! Hopefully, this update isn’t too disappointing.

I usually only post one update every two weeks, but this time I’ve made three posts over the past two weeks! In case you missed them, please check out the box art parody post and the DLC post.

If you’re the type of person who cares about this sort of thing, I finally made a Twitter account. I’m not sure if I’ll actually be using it very often, but it’s there if you’re interested.