A thoughtful article about Yandere Simulator

An opinion columnist named Anastasia Wythe has written a thoughtful article about Yandere Simulator: http://www.gamemoir.com/lgbt-gender/yandere-sim-abuse

I enjoyed the article. It was very eloquently written; Anastasia certainly has a way with words, and articulated her thoughts very well. She did a fine job of describing the game’s mechanics in a neutral and accurate way, demonstrating that she researched the game thoroughly before writing an article. That’s journalistic integrity! As you might expect, I didn’t agree with every word, but I certainly don’t think it’s a bad article. It’s her opinion, and she’s entitled to it.

I don’t think it can be said that Yandere Simulator “sanitizes” harassment, suicide, or sexual exploitation. The player is punished harshly for being caught performing unethical actions. If the player chooses to eliminate their rivals through bullying, the player will have to witness the psychological effects of bullying firsthand. The player is rewarded for taking panty shots, but the game’s characters will express disgust and anger if they catch the protagonist doing so, and if an authority figure witnesses this behavior, the result is an instant game over.

Yandere Simulator’s objective is not to “reveal a new look” or “present a new perspective” or “explore the psychology” of anime tropes; the game’s only goal is to provide enjoyable gameplay and lots of replayability, along with unusual themes, uncommon scenarios, and unorthodox methods. Yandere Simulator is not intended to be satire, but it is certainly tongue-in-cheek at times (have you seen the easter egg that makes a toaster appear in the protagonist’s mouth?) and certainly isn’t meant to be taken seriously. One day in the future, I might eventually make a game about the social issues I feel strongest about (crime prevention and public safety), but Yandere Simulator is not meant to carry a serious message.

It’s true that Yandere Simulator “trivializes” significant social problems. However, it is necessary for video games to over-simplify certain aspects of reality that would be too complex to program, or simply aren’t fun when portrayed realistically. “Super Mario Bros” trivializes jumping; Mario doesn’t bend his knees before he jumps, and he can jump four times his own height. Grand Theft Auto trivializes murder – something far more abhorrent than bullying. Video games must simplify many aspects of reality; everything from physical limitations to the wanton deconstruction of human lives. If video games can trivialize everything from jumping to murder, I can’t see a reason why social issues would be an exception.

I’m extremely relieved to hear Anastasia say that she feels developers have the right to create the games they wish to create, as this is one of my most strongly held beliefs. I’m very pleased to know that Anastasia would never ask a developer to remove a feature that she personally finds distasteful. As long as she doesn’t suggest or advocate censorship, I don’t see a problem.

In a forum post, Anastasia suggested an interesting idea; the idea that students should behave differently after the death of a suicidal student. This is logical; if you bullied someone until they took their own life, you might be less likely to bully someone else in the future. It would just be weird if Yandere-chan was able to repeatedly convince students to bully people, even after those students learned firsthand that bullying can make them responsible for a person’s death. As a gameplay mechanic, this would prevent the player from abusing/exploiting one method to effortlessly beat the game. Also, having students talk about recent events (such as suicides) would make the game world feel more “alive”. In the end, I gained a few potential ideas that might improve the game!

While Anastasia’s article was critical of the game, it was also respectful, so I appreciated it.

I’m interested in hearing what you think, too! Do you personally believe that Yandere Simulator takes anything too far? (I’m not going to cut any features from the game because someone finds those features to be distasteful, but I still want to hear your opinions on the matter anyway.)

E-mails and Blog Comments

Yesterday, I was unavailable to answer e-mails, and so my e-mails piled up. Today, I was answering e-mails from 8:00 AM until 12:00 midnight. I didn’t even get to write any code for the game today. Just when I was about to go to bed, I remembered that I forgot to check the blog.

The blog has 103 new comments since the last time I checked.

I usually try to read every blog comment and answer every question, but I don’t think that’s going to be possible anymore. At this point, if I read and answered every e-mail AND answered every blog comment, I would have literally no spare time left over to actually work on the game.

Please, ONLY e-mail me under the following circumstances:

  • You are reporting a bug.
  • You are making a business inquiry or proposition.
  • You are a talented 2D artist, 3D artist, or 3D animator (or a programmer who specializes in the Unity game engine) who wants to volunteer to help me develop the game.

Please, DON’T e-mail me under the following circumstances:

I already have enough programming tasks to last me for months, so I can’t really afford to take on any more requests.

If you can’t get the game to run, please wait until I release another build. If you can’t download the game, please wait until I post new download links. If you can’t extract the build, it’s not my fault, and there’s nothing I can do about it.

90% of the “bug reports” I get are about bugs I already know about, and that’s very unfortunate. 100% of the people who volunteer to help me with the game are appreciated, but only 50% actually include any examples of their work.

This doesn’t mean that I intend to stop paying attention to what players are saying, or that I won’t be listening to any suggestions or feedback from this point forward. It just means that I can’t afford to keep interacting directly with the community as frequently as I have been, or else I’d have literally zero free time left for development.

There are two exceptions to the above rules:

  • You’re welcome to send me fan art, I love seeing it.
  • I’m not looking for any voice actors or voice actresses at this point in time, but if you’re a female voice actress who wants to be contacted once I am ready to include more voices in the project, you can send me your demo reel. If you don’t have a demo reel, then please don’t contact me.

On the plus side, I do have some positive news to report. All of those e-mails I’m so busy with are between me and some extremely talented individuals who are producing some absolutely amazing assets for the game, and I can’t wait to show off their outstanding work. I’m also being presented with some incredible opportunities that I never imagined would be possible for me. Despite all the doom and gloom up above, I’ve actually never been happier, and I’m really eager to share all of the exciting new progress with you guys, as soon as it’s ready!

Thanks for reading this!

Don’t Let Senpai Notice You!

UPDATED APRIL 17th 1:00 AM

The latest build of the game can be downloaded here. However, please don’t just ignore the rest of the blog post…I’ve written some important stuff down below.

The biggest additions to the game this week are male students, and a Senpai that finally walks around like a normal student! What does this mean for gameplay? Well…

I fixed a lot of bugs and added a new feature during the first week of April. Here’s what I got done within the past week:

  • Fixed bug that would make Yandere-chan get arrested if she was carrying a bloody weapon in her inventory when leaving school.
  • Fixed bug that would cause the “Now Loading” image to be permanently stuck onscreen when loading the Photo Gallery.
  • Fixed bug that would cause a fleeing student’s body to move towards the school’s exit during their death animation.
  • Fixed bug that would allow the player to see the “Quit Game?” window at the “end-of-day results” screen.
  • Fixed bug that would cause the wrong “end-of-day results” text to appear under certain circumstances.
  • Fixed bug that would cause the cardiograph monitor to appear at the “Study Points” screen.
  • Fixed bug that would trap students outside of school if you rushed to school too quickly.
  • Fixed bug involving the water bucket that would actually cause the game to crash.
  • Attempted to fix the “Students spin when walking up staircases” bug.
  • Fixed bug that would change the color of the sky at the title screen.
  • Fixed bug that would cause dead or dying students to open doors.
  • Students that die will now stay dead after being killed.
  • Implemented several Senpai-related Game Overs.
  • Implemented male students.

APRIL 15th 3:30 AM UPDATE:

  • Fixed bug that would make Senpai walk in place.
  • Fixed bug that would make the game hang after Senpai witnessed murder.

APRIL 15th 8:00 PM UPDATE:

  • Senpai will no longer “notice” you if you’re having a conversation with a student. (Talking with a student is an inconspicuous activity, so it’s like “social camoflague” that causes Senpai to overlook you.)
  • Fixed bug that would allow the player to spawn the “Quit game?” window at the end-of-day screen, during the Senpai cut-scene, and while using the Pass Time feature.
  • Fixed bug that would cause the Senpai cut-scene to play in slow motion if the player had Yandere Vision active while getting spotted by Senpai.
  • Fixed bug that would cause Yandere-chan to be “insta-killed” by Senpai if she was using the Pass Time feature while in his cone of vision.
  • Fixed bug that allowed the player to activate easter eggs during the Senpai cut-scene or while getting a game over.
  • Fixed bug that would cause the police results screen and Senpai’s reaction to occur simultaneously.
  • Attempted to fix the crash bug that occurs when activating the “Hatred” easter egg.

April 17th 1:00 AM UPDATE:

  • The camera will no longer “fall through the floor” if Yandere-chan is noticed by Senpai on the second or third floors of the screen.
  • If Yandere-chan loses more than two-thirds of her Sanity, she loses the ability to speak to students until her Sanity is restored.
  • Fixed bug that would cause the game to hang if Yandere-chan had her camera out when getting spotted by Senpai.
  • Yandere-chan can no longer trigger responses from NPCs or Senpai during “End of Day Results” screen.
  • Students will no longer agree to follow Yandere-chan someplace if she is covered in blood.
  • The game now tracks the number of murder weapons in the school properly.

Does it seem like I didn’t get much done over the last 2-week period, compared to most two-week periods? Well…

Rate of Progress

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make as much progress with the game as I wanted to over the past two weeks. Ever since the game got a huge boost in publicity, a large chunk of my time has eaten up by answering e-mails and comments about the game, so recently, I haven’t had much free time to actually work on the game.

It’s really important to me to interact with the fans, so I read every e-mail / tweet / blog comment that I get, and I try to respond to every inquiry. However, this takes up a ridiculous amount of time; now that there are so many comments to respond to and questions to answer, my productivity has been reduced to a mere fraction of what it was in previous months.

Regrettably, about 90% of the messages that I read are asking questions that I’ve already answered, reporting “bugs” that aren’t actually bugs, or making suggestions that I’ve already shot down countless times.

If I ignored the fans completely, I’d get a lot more work done and make a lot more progress. However, I don’t want to ignore the fans! So, to make things easier for me, please don’t ask questions that I’ve already answered dozens of times, please don’t write unhelpful bug reports, and try not to suggest features that don’t suit the game, or are far outside the scope of a one-man indie game.

Remember: Every minute I spend answering a question on the blog is a minute I’m not spending developing the game. As a result, you can speed up the game’s development by not asking me questions.

Fortunately, not all of the messages I get are unproductive. Over the past few weeks, I’ve received countless e-mails from very talented people who are generously volunteering to help with Yandere Simulator’s development. I’ve been speaking with 3D modellers, 3D animators, 2D character artists, sound designers, musicians, voice actors, and even singers. This is both a blessing and a curse; I’m blessed to be in contact with so many talented individuals who want to help me out, but answering so many e-mails means that I only have one or two hours left in the day to actually work on Yandere Simulator.

So, even though I don’t have very much new content to show off this week, please don’t think that the game’s progress is slowing down. I’m starting to amass some REALLY cool 3D assets that I can’t wait to plug into the game, but they require a bit more polish until they’re ready to actually show off. You’ll start to see some really cool stuff in the coming weeks, as the new volunteers send me all kinds of awesome things for the game.

As always, thanks for your interest in Yandere Simulator’s development!

April 6th, 7th, and 8th Bug-Fixing Update, and How a Bug Became a Feature

LAST UPDATED APRIL 8th 3:30 PM

The latest build can be download here, but I hope you read the blog post below, too.

You guys have been keeping me really busy with bug fixes! I’ve been updating the game daily over the past 6 days. Usually, I only post two updates a month…but this month, I’m already up to 6! I wasn’t aware that there were so many different ways to exploit the game…

Here’s a list of what’s different this time around:

April 6th

  • Fixed a bug that would cause permanent Yandere Vision if the player ctrl+alt+deletes out of the game and then goes back into the game.
  • Fixed a bug that would cause Yandere-chan’s feet to create splashes of blood, even when she wasn’t stepping in a puddle of blood.
  • Fixed a bug that would cause Yandere-chan to snap into incorrect animations when pausing the game while crouching or crawling.
  • Fixed a bug that allowed Yandere-chan to clip into the furniture in her room, or clip outside of the boundaries of her room.
  • Fixed a bug that could cause an item to be launched into the air by trying to set it down near the incinerator.
  • Fixed a bug that would cause schoolgirls to fall through the ground on the way to school.
  • Fixed a bug that was preventing Yandere-chan from interacting with students.
  • Fixed a bug that would activate easter egg music from the pause screen.
  • Added “Cinematic Camera” mode.

April 7th

  • Student NPCs now stare at their phones while walking into school, and can’t react to murder or be murdered until after they have entered the boundaries of the school.
  • Fixed bug that would cause Yandere-chan to become responsive if pressing the escape key while ending a conversation with an NPC.
  • Fixed bug that would prevent Yandere-chan from picking up items that were dropped in the “go to class” portal.
  • Fixed bug that would allow Yandere-chan to clip through her furniture or climb over furniture in her room.
  • Fixed bug that would cause the camera to wig out when pressing the escape key while talking to an NPC.
  • Fixed bug that would allow Yandere-chan to climb on top of her kidnapped victim.

April 8th

  • If you kill a girl, leave her corpse lying around, and then attend class, her corpse is no longer teleported into class. (In the final version of the game, though, Yandere-chan wouldn’t allow herself to go to class if there was a corpse lying around.)
  • Fixed bug that would cause some of Yandere Vision’s post-processing effects to remain onscreen after Yandere Vision has become de-activated.
  • Fixed bug that was preventing outlines from appearing around students after their deaths, or after they witnessed murder.
  • Removed button that would transform schoolgirls into nightmare-inducing Lovecraftian eldritch monstrosities.
  • Fixed bug that prevented NPCs from running at their normal speed when following Yandere-chan.
  • Added a smartphone into the hands of schoolgirls who are still walking to school.

How a bug became a feature

I always prefer to “show” rather than “tell”, so here’s a video about the game’s newest feature! Enjoy!

By the way – if you only see a pink screen when you try to run the game, try pressing ctrl+alt+del and then returning to the game. Let me know if that fixes the problem.

First Promo Artwork

Hey, everyone! I’ve just received Yandere Simulator’s very first official promotional illustration. Take a look!

If that image is too “Yan” for you, you can find a more “Dere” version here. And, if you’d like to see these images at the highest resolutions possible, check these out:

High-resolution Yan Version

High-resolution Dere Version

The artist who illustrated these wonderful images is the amazing Joakim Waller!

April 3rd, 4th, and 5th Bug-Fixing Update

“DISAPPEARING SCHOOLGIRLS” BUG FIXED. DOWNLOAD THE NEWEST BUILD HERE.

LAST UPDATED: APRIL 5TH 5:40 PM

As usual, my bi-monthly debug build was full of bugs. Here’s a new build that contains a bunch of bug fixes!

April 3rd Bug Fixes:

  • Fixed a bug that would cause Yandere-chan to become unresponsive if the player paused the game while the camera is re-positioning itself after exiting a conversation with a student.
  • The “Witness Reaction Camera” at the bottom-left corner of the screen will no longer display other characters who are extremely far away.
  • If you accidentally kill a girl inside of the “Kidnapping Room”, the game will no longer lock you inside.
  • It is no longer possible for the Reputation Marker to leave the boundaries of the Reputation Bar.
  • It is no longer possible to make multiple “Easter Egg” music tracks play simultaneously.
  • Fixed bug that would cause tranquilized girls to spawn pools of blood.
  • Added new sponsor to the game’s logo sequence and Sponsor screen.
  • Added “Main Menu” to the list of options at the Heartbroken screen.
  • Removed the April Fools cut-scene from Yandere-chan’s room.
  • Fixed incorrect school subject description text.

April 4th Bug Fixes:

  • If an NPC witnesses murder while the gate is open, she will run out of the gate. If an NPC witnesses murder while the gate is closed, she will run out of the emergency exit instead.
  • Added up/down and left/right prompts to the School Subjects screen to make it more clear how to use the screen.
  • Fixed a bug that would make the camera get stuck in one spot after Yandere-chan takes out her smartphone.
  • Fixed bug that would cause the police results screen and the class screen to display at the same time.
  • Made a couple of adjustments to the “hateful” easter egg.

April 5th Bug Fixes:

  • Yandere-chan should now have an easier time picking up objects that she is standing on top of, or opening doors if she is right up against the door.
  • Yandere-chan can now walk up the stairs leading to the gym building, instead of needing to run to make it up the stairs.
  • Yandere-chan will no longer levitate into the air when running into a corner or running alongside a wall.
  • The camera no longer jitters back and forth when Yandere-chan is running into a wall.
  • Yandere-chan can no longer leave the boundaries of the school.
  • Yandere-chan no longer slowly slides down stairs.

Most of the April 5th bug fixes were made possible thanks to the assistance of my friend, SaracenOne!

Be sure to scroll down to answer polls, read information for newcomers, learn how to submit better bug reports, and also watch the April Fools videos!

Kidnapping, Polls, Newcomers, and Bugs

If you want to download the latest debug build, click here! The next build will be uploaded on April 15th.

Did you guys enjoy the April Fools videos? I sure hope you did!

The newest addition to the game is something that I teased two weeks ago: kidnapping!

Here’s a list of all of the new additions to the game:

Kidnapping-Related Additions

  • When you go to class, you will be given the opportunity to allocate “study points” in certain subjects. If you increase your Biology grade, you will be able to use a tranquilizer under the right circumstances.
  • You can increase your reputation at school by talking to students and complimenting them. If your reputation is high enough, you can ask a student to follow you around school.
  • If you increase your Biology grade, steal tranquilizer from the nurse’s office, lead a girl to the gym storage room, close the door behind you, and stick a syringe into her, you can knock her out and stuff her into a case.
  • After tranquilizing a girl and stuffing her into a case, Yandere-chan will automatically transport that girl back to her home, and the girl will become a prisoner and appear in Yandere-chan’s basement.

Misc Improvements

  • Added a “Sponsors” screen before the title screen to acknowledge people who are helping significantly to fund the game’s development.
  • Changed the wording at the pink screen that appears before the game loads.
  • Added a placeholder school nurse (that the player cannot interact with).
  • Modified the appearance of the game’s HUD. (Artwork not final.)
  • Added “Ask Favor” menu when interacting with students.
  • Gave the player the ability to open and close doors.
  • Added the ability to compliment student NPCs.
  • Gave NPCs the ability to open and close doors.
  • Made reputation persistent across week days.
  • Added a really crappy-looking nurse’s office.
  • Added a gymnasium to the school grounds.
  • Added one unfurnished classroom interior.
  • Added a grim, dark, edgy Easter Egg!
  • Added a new title screen.

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed bug that would make the pause menu get stuck onscreen if the player paused the game right when the police timer hit 00:00 or school clock hit 06:00.
  • If you are talking to an NPC while bloody, you will not recieve a reputation penalty while you’re conversing with them.
  • Fixed bug that would occur while pressing the Escape key at the Send/Save/Delete photo screen.
  • Fixed bug that would cause the game to recognize a pool of blood or a corpse behind a wall.
  • Fixed bug that would allow the player to take a “moving photograph”.

Polls

I’m extremely curious to find out more about the demographic that is interested in Yandere Simulator. Please take a moment to tell me a little about yourself!

How old are you?

What is your gender?

What do you want the MOST from Yandere Simulator?

Thanks for your help!

Information for Newcomers

A lot of people learned about Yandere Simulator last month; the blog received more traffic in March than in every month of 2014 and 2015 combined. As a result, there are a lot of newcomers who don’t know much about the game. I don’t want to sound ungrateful, but every day, I read dozens of e-mails and  comments that ask me questions I have already answered countless times. I would strongly suggest reading the FAQ, and scrolling down the WordPress page to read about all of the features that are planned for the game. You can also learn a lot about the game by reading the interviews that I have taken part in. (That last link is NSFW!)

Bug Reports

Ever since Yandere Sim started getting lots of attention last month, I have been receiving TONS of bug reports. Most game developers have to pay money in order to get this much bug-testing help for their games! I am very grateful for all of the support and assistance that newcomers to Yandere Simulator have been showing me!

With that said, I have some bad news to share. About 90% of the bug reports that I get are unhelpful. Every day, I read far too many bug reports from people who are:

  • Reporting bugs that I already know about and choose not to fix because they are low-priority at this stage of development
  • Reporting a missing feature as a “bug” because the feature has not been programmed yet
  • Reporting bugs that result from debug commands (which won’t be in the final game)
  • Reporting bugs that result from Easter Eggs (which won’t be in the final game)
  • Trying to play the game on a platform that is not yet supported (Mac)
  • Reporting bugs from old, outdated, obsolete versions of the game

Before you report a bug, please check the list of known bugs on the Downloads page (updated periodically). By reading the “Known Bugs” list, you can learn whether or not I already know about the bug that you’re trying to report. I’m starting to worry that nobody actually reads any of the text on that page…

Every time you send an unhelpful bug report, a yandere girl loses her senpai. Please, think of the yandere girls.