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Interview: No One But You

Written by Zakamutt

Today we have an interview with creator and programmer Kyle Tyner of Unwonted Studios, who are currently running a Kickstarter for their VN No One But You. The Kickstarter’s ending in about 46 hours, so let’s get straight to the interview:


For those who may be unaware of the project, could you tell us briefly about No One But You?

No One But You is a visual novel that I believe is very unique as opposed to other visual novels. The story revolves around the misadventures of a boy named Hideaki throughout his high school years in the city of Okutama. The player is able to establish relationships with the predominantly female students at his school, but it all comes with a twist.

The game follows Hideaki, who has moved from his small village to a much larger town, Okutama. He struggles with life day-in and day-out until he arrives at Wanko High, his new school. Upon arrival, he is presented with many choices that will ultimately affect the final outcome of the game and even reveal some hidden secrets.

He discovers fate, and runs from it at the same time.

Will you run from it?  

Or will you accept it?

Can you discover the hidden secrets?

Once you discover them,

Will you bury them, once again?

Will you find your way, even with the help of friends and family? Can you make the right decisions leading to happiness?

How did you first get the idea for No One But You?

You see, I was sitting on the toile-

Not really. For a few years now, I’ve been particularly interested in the idea of creating a visual novel. After some thought, I began drafting ideas for characters, plot, and mechanics that made up the backbone of the initial project.

When I looked at your plot summary some days ago, I was (honestly) immediately reminded of the plot of more than one translated visual novel I’ve read before. Do you plan to add any unusual spin to it, perhaps something more associated with Western stories?

I can’t say it will have anything to do with western stories or japanese stories in particular, but it will definitely have my own spin on it. Expect to see something you haven’t seen before in a visual novel.

What made you decide to set the story in Japan?

There are certain geographic features associated with the setting of the game that would require it to take place in an island much like Japan. Plus, I wanted to use Japanese names; using Japanese names in an American setting would be strange, at least for me.

What would you say were your influences when writing No One But You, whether VN or otherwise?

InvertMouse was undoubtedly one of the most influential facets of this games development, though there have been countless visual novels that have influenced my work in one way or another.  Most of my influences have been on the darker side. Consequently, I tend to write very dark and depressing stories.

I spotted a really pretty event graphic of Yui sitting down in one of your Kickstarter updates, which got me thinking. In the past we’ve seen quite a few OELVNs with less-than-perfect art, but recently I’ve seen some examples of art approaching the standard set by recent Japanese works (the other one would be Cursed Sight.) Do you think the quality of Western VN art is improving?

Yes, very much so. I genuinely hope that the OELVN industry will become even more popular in the West.

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Yui professing her undying love of benches.

At $7000, you reached a stretch goal to include “non-pornographic love scenes”. I’d consider romantic scenes quite a normal part of most VNs with character routes – were you initially going to focus on the more mysterious aspects of the setting only?

No One But You focuses on a myriad of aspects. Although mystery was a key element in the development of the story, one would most likely see this game as a “slice-of-life” kind of experience.

How long will No One But You be?

So far, we have estimated that No One But You will be somewhere around 60000 words.

There are a lot (that spreadsheet is slightly outdated, but not very) of Kickstarted VNs out there that have been severely delayed or downright cancelled for one reason or the other. Are you doing anything special to keep the same thing from happening to you?

Well, I can guarantee this won’t happen to us. Our team is dedicated to finishing this game on-time and pushing out the best product we possibly can. We have already completed much of the game. All we need are a few remaining assets and we should be ready to ship in December!

You say you’re aiming for a December release. How will you having reached the stretch goals for additional routes affect the planned release date?

Having reached our stretch goals will not interfere with our projected release date whatsoever.

How did you come into contact with MangaGamer and Sekai Project, and how have they helped you out?

If it weren’t for my nagging persistence, they most likely wouldn’t have given me much attention at all. The first to lend a hand was Sekai and then Mangagamer. I am a very persistent person.

You mention a part two for No One But You (to be sold at a 15% discount to backers.) Did you always plan to make this an episodic series, and how self-contained will the episodes be?

I never really expected the first installment to be so popular. The installments to come will remain a surprise for now, but expect something great.

Have you decided on what you’re doing for your $11k stretch goal yet?

No, not really. I never expected to get to $11K!

A more personal question: Shiro interests me especially because I play acoustic guitar myself. I’ve always considered it a bit jarring when characters play music in-game and you don’t actually hear it – are you planning to do anything on that front?

Shiro actually plays a lot of songs involved in her route! She uses music as a type of escapism that you’ll hear very often.

Sweet Memories, one of Shiro’s songs:

Do you have anything else you want to tell us?

I simply want everyone to enjoy this game as much as I enjoyed making it!!


If you’re interested in No One But You, the minimum pledge for a digital download at completion is a measly $3 on the Kickstarter page. Getting the love scenes requires pledging $10, though. They may be a bit different from the usual.

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“When around Hideaki, Megumi goes from energetic to an overjoyed puppy.” Seems to be an accurate description.

About the author

Zakamutt

Writer of irreverent VNTS commentaries, editor-in-chief of the Fuwazette, Swedish, ambivalent toward meatballs. Brave Fuwanovel Skype Group memeber, technically a reviewer, FuwaFM podcast regular, chronic everything staller. I am all these things and more, but mostly I'm really lazy.

Loves yuri, reading, chocolate, and quality sugar-free colas. Hates gameplay VNs and long walks on the beach.

10 Comments

  • Already a backer, but if Unwonted is listening they should send a link to this interview to backers. I learned a lot of new info from this and I’ve been following the project since early on. Thank for the read

  • Great interview.

    I hadn’t listened to any of your sound clips to-date, so when I played the song I knew I needed to go back and bump up my pledge to snag that OST : P. Good luck! Crazy that you’ve got < 2 days to go.

  • I’m really not fond of the crowdfunding model for game development for various reasons, but in particular I don’t like not knowing what the finished product will look like. These “love scenes” in particular leave much to the imagination. As an eroge fan, when I see words like that I expect H-scenes as depicted in the types of games Mangagamer and JAST USA releases. If Zakamutt hadn’t specified “non-pornographic” in the question, I wouldn’t have known what to expect just looking at the Kickstarter page (other than being guided by the knowledge that Kickstarter probably wouldn’t have allowed an eroge to be funded on their platform).

    Also, kudos to Zakamutt for the Kickstarter project spreadsheet link. That’s a neat little treasure trove of information on the financial risks associated with investing in these OELVN projects.

    • Be aware that it’s no longer being maintained; the last update was on feb 15th or something. I think it’s still a great illustration of the situation, though; new projects start all of the time, after all.

    • That might be an interesting topic to explore. I’m not a huge fan of crowd funding, either (mostly because of Kickstarter’s take; I’d rather a dev get 100% of my money), but I think crowd funding is one of the newer and more effective tools the devs are using to combat piracy and/or convert would-be pirates to backers. Even if the would-be pirates only pay the minimum for the game, the dev is recovering a lot of potentially lost income.

      • I discussed this at length with a friend. I proposed 2 models that satisfied my sense of social justice.

        1) Aaeru-style “open-source” crowdfunding: Backers back as usual. When the project is finished, the resulting product is freely distributed to any and all.

        2) Investment crowdfunding: In addition to backer rewards, all backers are awarded a financial “stake” in the project. Each backer gets a cut of the sales of the final product (e.g., on Steam) in proportion to how much funding they contributed. In the end, backers would end up with some pre-defined split (e.g., 50% of profits from sales go to backers, the other 50% go to the team that made the game).

  • That was close. Without you I wouldn’t know about such interesting projects. Still I’m a bit worried about the statement “Consequently, I tend to write very dark and depressing stories.”..
    To be honest I’m the type of person who never played a VN without a walkthrough – some may argue about the point in me reading VNs, but I don’t care! I enjoy VNs very much, not the decision making but the stories themselves (and the different routes). Depressing and slightly dark stories are ok as long as I get a happy end.
    What I really don’t like is being forced to read bad ends. I hope I can avoid that in this VN or at least I don’t have to skip to much. Well I pledged anyways, I’m quite interested in the music sheets.

    • (Shhh. Don’t tell the Unwonted guys, but as Fuwa’s pretty famous for its walkthroughs, we have a dastardly plan to start bugging them almost as soon as the deadline hits. Hopefully we can work something out with them to get a walkthrough ready by the time the game launches (or shortly thereafter). We can’t let them know, though — we’ll spring our trap *after* they’ve taken our money.)

      (Mum’s the word.)

      • (Wooot! My lips are sealed as tightly as a marmalade glass you can’t open. て言うか – I already used quite a few of Fuwanovel’s walkthroughs. :3 ..)
        By the way, did you know how hard it is to get a Jinbei in Germany? I saw one in an Anime and I really wanted to wear one.. In the Internet I couldn’t find any for reasonable prices that deliver to Germany, yesterday I found some in Munich. Currently wearing one, it’s so comfy!
        Meeh to stay on the subject – the art is quite appealing! And it’s amazing how the pledged amount shot up in the short few hours left since I pledged myself. It suddenly went up to a bit over 18k I pledged at 13k @ less than 40h. (:

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