A Journey Without Me (7)

Afterwards, we kept discussing where to put Yuki’s ending in the scenario.

There was nothing wrong with the scenario itself, but if we were to leave the story with a normal ending, there was the downside of ‘A Journey Without Me’ leaving a weaker impact.

‘A Journey Without Me’ had different endings based on the heroine’s rate of accomplishments of events throughout the game. In the scenario Yuki suggested, however, it was important to achieve a ‘letter’ item had nothing to do with accomplishing events.

“I’m thinking of leaving Yuki’s ending as a ‘hidden ending’.”

“A hidden ending?”

“An ending that can be seen only when some conditions are met.”

“Then is it a happy ending that can be reached only after one has gone through hell?”

“I think users will empathize with Yuki’s ending better if they can see it after their heroine dies.”

“Then how…?”

“Let’s say… if they go for a second try after the heroine has committed suicide, give them a choice section where it says ‘write a letter for her’.”

“So what you’re saying, Director, is that we should make Yuki’s ending into a two episode element.”

“Yes, that’s right.”

Hayashi then interrupted.

“Just a sec, Director. I’ve been formatting the whole script as a one -time episode but if there is an element like this added on, it needs to be set on a completely different script. Do you understand?”

Of course I did.

For writers, this was simply adding on an event to the script, but by adding another choice category, but it becomes a lot more complicated because we would have to bring in other two stage elements for the script. And as a result, ‘A Journey Without Me’ would end up facing another problem…

“You’re lacking cartridge storage, aren’t you?”

“Yes, that’s right. To be honest, I’m not even sure we can add Yuki’s ending to what we have. You have to remember we need to insert the BGM as well.”

I couldn’t help agreeing background music was an important element to a digital story like this. And it wasn’t that I could ask Mr. Morita to make her art assets lack in quality.

“There are too many events for one heroine to deal with until the third episode. Wouldn’t we need to make amends here and there? Or we can rotate three characters for the same event.

“No. Since all the heroines are in different age groups, there is a need to change up the atmosphere for every event scene. Otherwise, the project will only look like it lacks in quality.”

“Then what are you plan to do?”

At Hayashi’s question, I became lost in thought, my hands on the table.

I was starting to get confused whether it would be better to decrease the visual quality of the characters and make the scenes look better, or to prioritize improving the art asset over the quality of the event scene.

After seeing the illustrations of the characters Morita had brought, Yuki spoke up.

“Wow.. three heroines? These characters come out on the first episode, is that right?”

Then, Morita answered,

“That’s right. Starting from the left, one is older, one is a friend of the same age and one is younger than the main character.”

Yuki seemed to catch on that the heroine who was supposed to be a friend looked like herself.

She face Morita and asked, “This character… was she created based on me?”

“Ah, yes. That’s right. Her name is ‘Miyuki’ and she’s childhood friends with the main character.”

“Really? But she’s so much prettier than I… and also.. “

She judgingly glanced back and forth at Miyuki’s chest and her own and let out a small sigh.

Why was she comparing her chest size to that of a 2D character?

I almost burst out in laughter as I watched.

“Anyways, all three of them are very pretty. The glasses especially seem to suit the older heroine very nicely.”

“Ah, I’m pleased that you acknowledge the charm of one wearing glasses, Ms. Yuki.”

“Also, the younger one is very cute. Honestly it’s almost to the point all of these three can be heroines in separate projects. It’s somewhat a pity all three of them are used in one project.”

‘A pity that all three of them are in one project?’

At that moment, a frighteningly simple but also a very sneaky marketing plan flashed through my head.

‘Yeah… there was no reason for us to get rid of the storyline, art asset or BGM when they are all important elements.”

I cleared my thoughts and said to Morita and Hayashi,

“We should improve the quality for our project.”

“What?”

Morita and Hayashi simply looked at me, looking astonished with my reply.

Of course, it was understandable for them to look at me like that, since we have just been arguing about lack of storage, and now I was asking them to improve the overall quality..

“As for you, Mr. Morita, feel free to increase the bitmap storage.”

“What? I mean that will make things easier for me, but Director, what are you trying to do?”

“As for Mr. Hayashi – I’m sorry, but I plan to radically fix the storyline of the heroines on the first episode.”

“Excuse me?!”

Hayashi turned white as I overturned the tables on him, as some directors do.

That is, of course, because all of his hard work on coding would end up being good for nothing. For Hayashi, my current decision may seem more scarier than my finale of the heroine committing suicide.

Perhaps that was why Hayashi, who had always been keeping a stern expression now looked as if he was going to burst into tears.

“Dir … Director? Why are you doing this to me all of a sudden?”

“I realized it was ridiculous for us to compromise with amount of storage while expecting Mr. Morita to make art assets of high quality. I’m sorry, Mr. Hayashi. But I’m sure that this will end in a good result for the users, as well.”

“You’re not thinking of selling episodes 1, 2, and 3 on separate cartridges, are you?”

“No. That will be a stretch on the storyline so we can’t do that.”

“So? What in the world are you thinking then?”

“I’m thinking of giving users a chance to choose the heroines they want to use from the beginning.”

Morita, Hayashi and Yuki looked back at me, confused.

They didn’t seem to understand what it meant to allow the users to choose their own heroines from the start. I looked at their reactions for a brief moment and continued.

“The ‘A Journey Without Me’ released on Pentagon Software is trying to sell a separate version for each heroine. Therefore, each cartridge contains one heroine each”

“What? Are you saying you want to make sell each heroine in its own cartridge?”

“Yes, that’s right.”

“Wow…”

Now that it is thrown out there, should I direct a limited version of a three – heroine bundle edition?

I plan to ask Morita to make a limited edition of a photobook and start planning on its format.

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