Saturday, May 22, 2010
Hey, all. Ayu here. I've gotten a lot of questions and comments about this, so here comes a long and open letter meant to confirm rumors and deny misconceptions. It's taken me a long time to come to this decision, and please know it's not something I randomly decided to do one day. Let me start with this, so that there's no misunderstanding:
Sakevisual will continue to produce FREE visual novels.
There. Feel better? Now for the other question everyone's had. Jisei, will, in fact NOT be free. It will premiere at A-KON 21 and afterwards be available online for $15. Wait, what? Didn't I just say- Yes. Yes I did. So why does Jisei cost money? Let's backtrack a bit.
I love free games (Who doesn't?), and I love making free games as well. But the simple truth is that making any game of quality takes a lot of time and resources. I have had the good fortune to meet some incredibly talented people who have been willing to volunteer their time and abilities for free, but projects on a volunteer basis take a lot of time. Artists, composers, and programmers occasionally need to eat. And when the need to eat arises, they will do things that yield monetary results so they can continue eating (or wearing clothing, or driving, or living indoors). That means volunteer work gets put on the back burner, and the completion date gets pushed back further and further. If I could give money to the wonderful people who helped make these games, games would get done faster. On a regular schedule, even! I could even include even more nifty features like more CGs, longer stories, or voices instead of having to cut corners! We all like that, don't we?
And that's where Jisei comes in. Sakevisual needs money to stay alive and to continue to produce free games, and I want to offer a good incentive for people to help us out. I've seen a lot of webcomic artists who offer special wallpaper or sketches as a thank you to people who donate a certain amount of money. In the case of sakevisual, I'd like to offer visual novels. Once it's complete, Jisei will be the first of sakevisual's "Green Tea" line of VNs, a collection of visual novels meant to thank people who support us financially. Money will go to things like website hosting and paying artists, composers, and programmers.
If you don't have a job/can't afford it/promised all your money to orphans with cancer, don't fret. I'll be holding contests and random drawings to give away copies of Jisei as well. And before you ask, our in progress games Ripples and hanamix2 will both be free. Promise.
In short: I will continue to make free games for as long as I live. But if I don't have any money to buy food, I probably won't live for very long.