By Diego Hernandez / November 3rd, 2020
In the wake of Kickstarter season, several projects have come and gone, but none are like Girls! Girls! Girls!?. The exceedingly promising visual novel by Myosuki has been on the crowdfunding platform for three weeks already. In that time, they’ve managed to accumulate north of $40,000 USD getting them super close to funding. To clarify, they need at least $50,000 USD for the game to be a reality. The campaign is far from over and this writer, who is in love with the demo, has many questions. As such, Operation Rainfall reached out to Myosuki to get additional information regarding the origins and future of the project. The following is a result of such conversation with the head of the studio who was so grateful for the opportunity. Please consider reading and pledging towards the campaign! You will not regret it.
Introductions are important, please tell us who you are and what have you done leading up to this grand crowdfunding campaign.
Hello, I am Toffee San, and I am the Founder and CEO of Myosuki, a brand-new startup visual novel studio based in Tokyo, Japan. Our main goal is to become a well-established brand in the western market, known for creating heartwarming stories with compelling art, and touching soundtracks. Even though we are a brand-new startup, our team consists of industry veterans, who have been working on multiple major projects over the years. So, we have a lot of experience onboard. We are currently developing our first visual novel, “Girls! Girls! Girls!?”. A visual novel about friendship, crossdressing, and romance with four adorable, charming “girls” in maid costumes. We are doing the crowdfunding project, to help us secure the necessary funds so we could continue the development and produce a high-quality experience, which will be in loved and be memorable for years to come.
Before I go into details about the campaign, I want to know more about the game itself. Stories about cute maids in cafés have several iterations, but yours has a hidden surprise. Beautiful girly boys with a range of personalities that cater to everyone. How did you and the team decide to work on this kind of game? Furthermore, what do you find so magical about them?
We do get that question a lot and we have a simple answer to that. We love maid cafés, and we like otokonokos! Thus, we bring them together, and boom, Girls! Girls! Girls!? is born! But the reality is, we have been always fascinated by maid cafés and what a unique experience it brings whenever you visit one. But that is on the surface. Under all those glamour and fun and quirky attitudes of a maid café waitress, there is a person, who has their struggles, difficulties, and dreams. We wanted to explore that human connection and showcase a different perspective that is not usually shown in other similar games.
Not only the waitresses, but also the struggle and ups and downs the café management goes through as well. The main characters being femboys brings that extra uniqueness and wow-factor that gives us a bit more complexity. This sets us apart from the competition. The “girls” are complex characters, with deep lore and backstories, which the players can get behind, and fall in love with them even harder. This makes them quite magical. Also, the industry lacked visual novels featuring cute crossdressing boys, so we felt obliged to fill that gap too.
When you play the Girls! Girls! Girls!? demo, you see many colorful backgrounds and character art as well as very expressive Live2D models. In short, this is a visual novel with a lot of assets. In fact, this is an industry level visual novel which undoubtedly comes with industry level costs. I understand how much you love otokonokos, but making the financial evaluation couldn’t have been easy. Did you always plan for this to be a ‘go big or go home’ type project?
It is funny you mentioned the term “go big or go home.” We used to say this term a lot during the first initial phases of the development and when we were deciding on the scope of how major we wanted this project to be. But from the very beginning, we knew we wanted to do something big and something unique to everybody else, so we knew he had to bring our very best and blow everyone away. An example I can remember a few months ago when we were discussing animations and how amazingly costly it would be to implement. I remember, the producer, Jun said, “Hey, we go big or go home. Let’s do this!”.
Indeed, it turned out to be true and the project is quite costly. Time and effort aside, we have also invested a great deal of our own money to bring this project to where it is today. We have industry level cost, and the Kickstarter will definitely help. Frankly, $50,000 is still not enough to fulfill the greater vision we have for this project, such as introducing full Japanese voice acting, more robust, and unique animations. So, if we reach the stretch goals, or get additional funding from the fans later, we may be just able to do that.
On the subject of art, it’s certainly solidifying itself as the selling point of the game. What was the scouting process like that led you to your current team? In addition, once you found them, what instructions did you give to really bring these characters to max cuteness?
That is an interesting question. The most important aspect of developing a visual novel, is to find the perfect artist. Believe it or not, we first met the artist, tommydashen, by complete chance when me and the producer Jun, was visiting the Comiket 94 back in 2018. We came across the artist’s stall randomly as we were roaming and completely fell in love with the art style right there. The team knew he would be the perfect artist for Girls! Girls! Girls!?, so approached him, shared our visiting cards, and the rest is history. We already had made PowerPoint slides with the character concepts, and we sent it over to him and he loved it and started working on the character design. All credits go to tommy for making the “girls” adorably cute.
As we approach the halfway point, I want to discuss something I’m really passionate about: NSFW content. I will avoid telling the full tale for spoiler reasons, but in the demo there’s a teaser of great things to come when it comes to lewd action. What can fans expect from Myosuki’s writing and art team when it comes to the acts of perversion? Will we see animated scenes? Will our character be on top or bottom? These questions and many more need answering, so please tell us all about it.
Although we intended to make this game somewhat SFW, with “occasional bulges” and fan-service scenes, we soon realized we’d be doing the majority of our fanbase a great deal disservice, since they also wish to have some sort of lewd scenes with their favorite “waifus.” So, we knew we had to go to the best in this field for advice. We partnered up with a major hentai publication company, PUSH! Publication, to help us make the adult patch for this game. PUSH! will be providing the technical support and will be producing the NSFW content for this game, while the core team will focus on creating a solid storytelling experience.
So, we can assure you, the NSFW scenes will be top-notch and the best the industry can offer, since we are bringing major expertise on board. For the question of will there be animated scenes, the answer is, yes, but not for all of them. Only some major scenes will have animation. As for who will be on top or bottom, we will leave it out for you to guess, as you would have to find it out playing the full game for yourself.
A couple days prior to the writing of these questions, a Q&A event happened on your Discord server. Many meme questions and genuine concerns are present, but one fashionably stood out for me that was promptly answered by your writer. To clarify, I’m talking about the possibility of playing either as a male lead or a female lead. Seeing as how we just came off the NSFW question, I must ask if this is something that’s being considered for the full release as it would add layers of intricacy.
To be honest, we intended to have the protagonist predominantly a male character. But a lot of fans, especially our female fans, have reached out to us and expressed their wishes to have an option for a female lead. Our lead writer later proposed that there is a possibility we could implement this. Right now, we are taking this just as a consideration, and we cannot say for sure that we will have that option in the final version of the game. But there is a high probability. We must make a lot of changes and modifications to core game mechanics, the scripts, and the engine itself too. We must also take the NSFW scenes into consideration.
So, for now, we have a long discussion with the team ahead of us before we come to a solid conclusion. So, what I will say, is that stay put for now. We will let our fans know our final decision in near future.
Finally, let’s talk about the campaign itself. You need $50,000 to make this game a reality, that is a huge number when you consider what visual novel campaigns are earning on average. How confident were you and the team in reaching this number prior to the launch versus now at the halfway mark?
We were quite confident. We had the support of PUSH! Publication, since they are a veteran in running successful Kickstarter campaigns. Our initial target was to reach 50% of the funding goal within the first 72 hours, which we did. As of right now, we have reached more than 80% of the funding goal and we still have 10 days left. So, we are confident we will reach our funding goal, and maybe some stretch goals. It is always unpredictable till the last day. We are thankful to all our backers who backed this project and shared it around.
They say major campaigns like this one are a real learning experience. With this in mind, I want to know what you have learned, whether analytically or simply, about your fans during this period of time? Furthermore, how much of this knowledge is currently influencing the direction of your game?
We learn a lot from doing a major project like this. The team gets valuable feedback from the players and backers and use those feedback to consistently make ourselves better. We have built this community in Discord, where we connect with our fans and they give us feedback, send well wishes, and overall have a great discussion on various topics. We have asked the fans what kind of rewards we could offer in the Kickstarter, and they have given us thoughtful suggestions, which we have added to our Kickstarter campaign. Not only that, but they also gave us suggestions on where to go and promote our game, or which influencers we should contact, etc., which is quite helpful.
People voiced their wishes of having a female lead there, so we are considering that. This way the community is direct participation in the development of this game. The feedback from fans, from all our social media, Discord, and Kickstarter combined, just helping us make a better game and we are just thankful and blessed to have such a wonderful community.
Sometimes I need to remind myself that real people are working on these games. How have you fared mentally and physically over the course of the funding period? Any bad habits being developed, or has it really been smooth sailing from start to now?
We are indeed living in very challenging times, with the pandemic still going on. Everyone is working from home and trying to stay safe and motivated as possible. Seeing the project so close to reaching its funding goal does make us quite happy, and reading inspiring comments from the fans saying how much they loved playing the demo motivates us a lot. Personally, it has been quite an emotional roller-coaster for me, as it is a bit worrisome and stressful to monitor the Kickstarter all the time. But as the project reaches its funding goal, it is making me a bit more relieved each day.
One bad habit would be checking the email and Kickstarter page consistently, seeing for any changes or comments, checking Twitter and Reddit every few minutes. But that just comes with the job. Overall, the experience has been quite rewarding so far.
Lastly, the final question is here. What would you say to potential backers, your current backers, and anyone else either in between or on the fence with regards to your game? What are your plans moving forward?
Girls! Girls! Girls!? is our first visual novel, where we have put our hearts and souls into. It is a heartwarming story about friendship, crossdressing, and romance, with four adorable, charming “girls” in maid costumes. We are currently doing a Kickstarter project to help us make this project a reality. We also have a short demo now playable on Steam and itch.io. So, we invite you to come and play our game.
If you already played the demo and supported us on Kickstarter, you have our eternal thanks and gratitude. We also thank you for sharing the game around with your friends, and for giving us valuable feedback and reviews. We promise we will make an unforgettable experience for you and the Girls! Girls! Girls!? will be a visual novel you will cherish for years to come.
If you like what you see, once again, consider trying out the demo. For more updates on the game’s development, keep an eye on here and Myosuki’s Twitter. Operation Rainfall wishes Myosuki the best of luck in getting the rest of the funds for their ambitions.
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