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.
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.