Comments from Developers
Sayako initially began as a random idea cooked up between Evileagles and I,when we first heard about the Mystery Contest. We decided to venture in a genre where I had personally never written or designed for before, so the prospect was definitely interesting. Early on, we planned to bundle the 3 stories which will make up the main trilogy together in a single game, but given the time constraints of the contest, we ended up deciding to go for a trilogy of 3 isolated yet spiritually connected chronicles.
When do things actually go as planned though? lolol.
After a 3 weeks development hell, deciding on very rough plot events, and in-between life occupations, we go 5 days back in time before the deadline, this game literally did not exist. I had scripted some (very) buggy systems, and EE had finished the tilesets and most basic charsets, but we were far from an actual game yet at this point. I'll be the first to recognize Sayako is an ambitious bet, given the time-frame and all, and the build we finished for the contest wasn't entirely to our liking, however, it was the one we were able to put together literally in the course of 4 days, when we decided to actually do submit something for this occasion, and the process was quite fun~
It was definitely a new learning experience for me, as I had never before attempted to event cut scenes and systems akin to those featured in horror games, nor write "horror" stories. Playing with lights, sounds, sudden graphic changes, and the like, I'm not sure how well people will like it, but it was quite fun for me to work on. Writing wise, well. there isn't much time to proofread, when your submission deadline is in 48 hours lolol, and oh boy, time sure flies when you're making and debugging several cutscenes. In fact most of the errors you'll find dialogue/System/graphic wise, will find their roots over rushing to meet the deadline. Please continue to keep an eye over future updates on Sayako~ EE and I will definitely revamp this sooner than you think.
When I first heard about the theme of the contest which is about "Solving a Mystery", my brain automatically thought of survival horror genre. Not saying the 'Mystery' genre should always come with 'Survival' or 'Horror', it's just that they always come together in my mind and in my opinion are actually a great combination.So I sat back and recalled the most recent Mystery/Horror game I had played, which was an iOS game named 'I Found You', in which you play as the leader of a journalist team, sent to investigate an abandoned hospital which is rumored to be haunted by an obviously Japanese inspired ghost (the type with ridiculously long black hair that covers the face, typical worn out white dress and a fucking terrifying set of blood-stained claws). Basically as soon as you and your bros enter the hospital, the whole party will be completely separated from one another, and you, as the leader, have to roam around the place, solving puzzles to rescue your bros and get the hell out of the hospital safely.
I thoroughly enjoyed that game and I thought the idea was pretty cool, from the ridiculously typical setting to the gameplay. It wasn't anything new, but I still believed they would definitely work out for me. Not because they have always worked, but also I thought this might be a good branch-out from our regular RPGs made with RPG Maker.
So I decided to go with that idea, alone, at first. Then Elements showed up, and was like:
<Elements> Dawg we should do something
<EvilEagles> lol k sure
Aaaaaaannnnddd it started just like that. We started discussing our ideas and integrating them all together. And the more we discussed, the better I realized that even though I thought the original idea was cool enough to stand out, we could actually modify and add in quite a wide range of features, which is a very good thing!
So in the middle of the excitement as our ideas finally took their last shape, Elements asked me to consider doing custom graphics for the game. To be frank, I chickened out at first, but then Elements brought up Ao Oni's example (which is a very good game actually), with a rather simplistic YET functional custom graphics. So I thought "okay what the hell let's do this shit! It's definitely worth a try".
Thus I started doing exactly it. Everything I started with wes pretty simple, but as I continued to make more graphics, they kept getting more and more detailed. Not to boast or anything, but I think I got a little too carried away and our graphics standard actually surpassed Ao Oni's, which is ANOTHER UNEXPECTEDLY GOOD THING!
So yeah, time flew as we worked. Though, we lost a little bit focus when the extension happened, and like Elements said above, we got a little cocky and had to pay back by spending a good majority of our time during the last 4 days just to make up for slacking off, or rather, not working hard enough before that lol. In those last 4 days, my daily schedule was absolutely nothing but GAM MAK - EAT - POWER NAP - GAM MAK - EAT - POWER NAP.
And STILL it wasn't even nearly enough! There were still like a shit tons of features I wanted to add in but couldn't because of the time limit. So we decided to roll with the most basic features we came up with on the very first day. And despite that, we barely made it in time before the deadline closed in.
In conclusion though, this was in fact a very interesting journey. I was exposed to new and exciting ideas which the old me was never able to see, I had a chance to learn more about serious things that happen in real life, and more importantly, I was pushed to break my own limitations which I've gloriously done. And because of these facts, I am willing and ready to continue with Sayako and make it a remarkable game with everything I and Elements have planned. So don't think for two seconds that everything is complete and over, because the Sayako tragedy has only just begun. Stay tuned!