Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Writing Developments! + CONCEPT ART DRIVE


'Who is this strange ~quadiddly character?', you may be wondering. Well, it's me. I'm the new head writer of Hungry Whispers. Lovely to meet you if we haven't already encountered each other on Skype. Would you like a cup of tea?

I've only recently got more time to pursue hobbies such as writing (context: my studies have swallowed my life for the past three years) but I've actually been a quiet part of the Team Wasabi/Project Whispers crew for a while. I've usually just proofread bits and bobs but now that I have the chance, I've volunteered to be in charge of writing the script for Hungry Whispers in order to really get the ball rolling so we can aim for a full game! Exciting, right?

Well, there has been quite a bit of progress in the past few weeks which I'm going to update you all on now. After ReadCon, Queen Wasabi and I sat down together and decided to finalise the plot/skeleton/structure of a full game. We felt this was a necessary thing to do having realised (in part because of ReadCon) that a) the game wasn't really getting past small beta/demo stage and that b) this was because we lacked proper direction. So, we sat down and we finally worked a direction out.

You can view the fruits of our labours here (it's a Google Doc which anyone can view as long as they have the link).

A lot has changed since you may have last seen this kind of thing. The main characters are all still there - Yu, Kemi, Lotus - but Rage Mom has gone and been replaced by a mysterious old lady with an umbrella (oooh, spooky). There's been a serious reduction in the complexity of the plot because the ideas we had floating about before had begun to get really, really out of hand. We've split it into five key acts (perhaps this is how we'll release it at the stage of completion - an act at a time rather than all in one go?) as well.

Please let us know what you think of the plot! Is it scary? Are there clich├ęs or inconsistencies which we need to work on? All opinions valid and welcome (just don't be nasty because that's unhelpful and immature, yo).

After that, I started trying to write a draft of the script for Act One. The link to it is here (also a Google Doc, but this time one which you have to request to view).

This was an interesting experience for me, because when I've written in the past, it's been in prose form - short stories, magazine articles, opinion pieces and so on. I've never really had to write a script before, never mind a script for a playable visual novel! In the process I've had to play through some visual novels to understand how the interface and gameplay work in order to gear my style to that, and I've also had to relearn how to write at least semi-convincing dialogue. As with any piece of writing, this will require a fair bit of editing and looking over, but this will come in time. I personally am extremely pleased to have got to this stage so far.

As it is, this script are by no means complete - the final product will have the full information on what needs to be programmed, including music, backgrounds and sprites. For now, what I'm working on is the bare bones - the dialogue by which the story moves forward. You artists, you musicians, you programmers - you'll be the ones to give this skeleton the flesh.

This means what I've written may not always read clearly - if this is the case, let me know. You are welcome to leave comments on the draft of Act One too, particularly regarding the gaps where research is needed. I've realised that we need to figure out what Lotus' illness actually is, as well as place names and the names of characters. If you have any suggestions, please get in touch. I will love you forever.

With this script moving forward and ready for your viewing pleasure, we are hoping now to encourage an increase in CONCEPT ART. If you read the plot and script and ideas start bubbling up in your head, put them to paper. There are all kinds of new things which need to be drawn - so get to it!

That's all for now, I think. If you have any questions or ideas, get in touch. Let's get this show on the road!


Saturday, 3 August 2013

ReadCon 2013

Hello! Sorry for the delay in writing this up. I can say that once ReadCon was over, everyone was just mega busy with everything.  Anyway, here's some pictures of what went down in ReadCon!

Early morning set up of the JDWasabi Studios table. Sarah is already at it with the fizzy drinks! 
We were asked to arrive at 9am but since Reading wasn't our usual base not everyone on the Team could make Reading.  While I rolled up at 9am on the dot, Sarah was there since Silly O'Clock and needed the sugar / caffeine to live.

Since this was our first convention, we didn't really have any other merchandise to sell.  We sold £2 worth of art cards but hey! Better than nothing right?!  In terms of promotion, free business cards were still the way forward.  Will need to print more out soon!

My lame attempt and enticing people to come say hi (with free chocolate which didn't mix well in a very warm environment)!
The Team has assembled! Thanks to Nina for taking the picture!
It was a delightful to have so much wonderful support for our project and the Wasabi Philosophy!

As the day went on, everyone got into the swing of talking to the curious who visited our table.  I think we've nailed our cold/hard selling techniques thanks to Nina.

Happy belated birthday Team Wasabi! Deliciously made by Nina- Thank you again!
We were so focused on ReadCon that I totally forgot that it was Team Wasabi's 2nd birthday on the 7th July >_>. What better way to celebrate our achievement of being part of the amazing ReadCon experience and working together for over 2 years with some home made cake?

The original Team Wasabi members stabs the cake.
A new friendship is born!
We met loads of amazing people, especially these fellow indie game developers of Tengu! Check out their Facebook here :)

The time had come to our hour long panel session. I was really nervous since this was the first time doing anything like that and I honestly had no idea what to talk about.  I had talked about what we did in less than five mins to everyone visiting our table so there was no way I could drag that out for an hour!

The three of us headed up to the empty panel room making small talk about what we were going to do.  No one turned up which we anticipated and took the opportunity to chill in the room.  Thankfully the room was like fridge compared to the trader rooms which was incredibly hot in the summer day!  A few people popped into the room so we started setting the laptop up and I recited what we did to get things moving along.  In doing so, people kept coming in and wouldn't stop til we had a full room! It was an amazing and unexpected experience to see a room full of people attending your panel session and from the discussions we had, it was very successful!

I recognised many faces of those who were keenly interested at our table and we ended up having a very enjoyable discussion of game design, our experience as gamers in horror games and what made it great. From what I heard, our panel was one of the most popular sessions at the convention!

Chillin' at the Maid Cafe.
The hard part was over so the guys holding down the fort took a break at the Maid Cafe. Despite the seriousness of this picture, the topic of conversation was not!

Closing ceremony / cosplay masquerade!
ReadCon was finally coming to an end and after packing our table away, we attend the Closing Ceremony and Cosplay Masquerade!

Job well done! Congrats again Team Wasabi!
And finally a full team photo to end the day! But did the day end? Nah.

Celebratory pizza time!
Lesson learned. Conventions will make you hungry. Very hungry. So we feasted on pizza and cider! (for some of us).

And collapsed on the grass.

Thanks again to everyone who made our experience so enjoyable - the Team, the organisers, and the con-goers! For those still interested in working with us, do feel free to drop us a line / comment and I'll get back at you!

Thanks for reading!

Our original intention was to show case our latest beta demo but unfortunately due to some technical hiccups, we needed a little longer to make it work.  Don't worry! It'll be up soon once we're happy with it. Stay tuned :3 -Wasabi

Friday, 26 July 2013

Yu's new sprite design!

Check out some new sprite concepts done by Saiko-Akarui on DeviantArt! We've playing around with some potential sprite ideas and seeing whether we can emulate the rotoscrope style of animation used in the game Hotel Dusk.  Feedback is appreciated as usual, but so far it looks like it's been successful :). 


Wednesday, 17 July 2013

ReadCon Aftermath and HW Update!


It's been a while ;D

First up, I want to say a huge THANK YOU and CONGRATULATIONS to the Team Wasabi members who attended ReadCon! To summarise, it was amazing, inspirational and very, very motivating! Pictures and a detailed blog entry will be uploaded soon!

I have mentioned that we will be uploading the beta that we were currently working on in celebration of ReadCon but unfortunately due to some issues, the Beta is in Limbo until the Team and I decide what to do with it.

On a the other hand, we've have been working on a new and refined plot outline for Hungry Whispers! Which means that we now have a bone structure of a FULL GAME!

Apologies with this really tiny update, much has happened which means a big writeup!


Wednesday, 1 May 2013

It's Q&A time with The WASABI GOD!

From here.


Apologies that it's a bit quiet here! :devJDWasabi-Studios: is busy preparing the next part of our Beta demo for ReadCon 2013, Reading's first anime convention on Saturday 13th July!

Ticket prices are:
Standard - £7.50 (advance), £10 (door)
VIP - £13 (advance), £15 (door).

 If you're around, do come visit to say hi!

 We also have a panel session and you know what? I've no idea what to talk about (LOL) so if you've got any random questions to ask, throw them our way! They can be about the game, horror, media, design, art, music, experience, the game industry, life, favourite flavour ice cream, anything (be sensible guys ;) )because I'm all ears :D.

 I'll probably make a transcript or something and post them up online after the event ^_^.

 You can also post questions on our social media if you can't think up of any questions just yet :V

 I think what really makes JDWasabi Studios / Team Wasabi special is the fact that it's open and that people are free to join and help us make a game.  I've learnt so much and developed many skills working with amazing team members.  Members may not be the best in their respective technical field, but what I love about Team Wasabi is the enthusiasm of everyone. The ability to work together, to push each other further and to improve / develop personal skills makes me want to push myself and everyone even more. We're definitely the coolest dudes on the block ... go go go Team Wasabi! :P

 Many thanks,

Monday, 25 February 2013

Kemi Design Contest Entries

I thought it would be nice to showcase the wonderful entries into our first contest.  Now that we've a deadline to aim for (and that our programmer is slowly coming back) we're able to focus on the game side of things again. Yay!

By RoseLuna
By RockerHam
By DatTigris
By LiteAngel
Not too sure when the actual results will be posted up since I've many things to.

So far:
Finishing our Beta2 demo for July, which includes
- Rewriting some of the script / adding to it
- Defining any new assets based on the script - which could be new artwork (cutscenes), animation and music
- Project manage it in such a way for the other members to work on it either by helping me with the 3D backgrounds / texturing or translating the script into code and perhaps more.
- Creating said assets.
- And perhaps more than I can currently think of.  Thankfully I've a great programmer helping me with the technical stuff so my plate won't be too crazy XD.

When I get round to it, I plan to recreate Kemi's sprite within the game and I'll use that opportunity to have a look at the entries properly to judge.  Apologies in advance that I am incredibly slow with this kind of thing.  I want to give back as much as possible to you guys who have supported this project for so long and I'd like to at least give you an amazing game in return!

But hey, working on this on top of work is going to be great and an awesome portfolio piece for everyone. I'll probably grow crazy by living on my computer to churn out new written scenarios, artwork, concept art, animation, music, not to mention using my computer for work - it's going to be fun ;).


Thursday, 21 February 2013


Hi everyone!

Sorry we've been a bit quiet on our blog!  Everyone's been busy, busy working on other things apart from Project Whispers so everything's going a bit slow unsurprisingly.

Good news however!
I'm please to announce that JDWasabi Studios will be having a table and a panel at the Reading's first anime convention later this year.

If you're around Reading, UK on Saturday 13th July, do drop by to say hi and jam with us :D
More information can be found on the official website. Tickets are sold here.

In other words, here's a sneak preview of our animation trailer which we're working on.  I'm uncertain if this will be ready in time for ReadCon2013 but we'll see.

Credits: Pierre Duchon (3D), Nina Martin (textures)

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Kemi Design Contest now has Prizes!

Hey everyone! It’s less than a week for our Kemi Design Contest deadline!

But that’s not it, RandomRobskii has kindly offered not one, but TWO premium memberships as prizes for this contest!

Check out http://randomrobskii.deviantart.com/#/d5rwvgk for more info. :D

Spread the word :D Woo!

Friday, 11 January 2013

An interview with JDWasabi, Founder of JDWasabi Studios

A slightly old update but I (JDWasabi) did an interview for an Original Character group on DeviantArt.

This should hopefully give newer members and those who are interested in our Team Wasabi roots a better understanding of our origins!

Remember that our Kemi Design Contest is going on, the deadline is 28th January!

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Kemi Costume Design Contest & More!

A plethora of updates today!

First up, we've a little contest happening!

More details can be found here!

I've been meaning to give Kemi's character a little make over for a while since I feel we can improve her character design and showcase it better.  I figured a fun way to do so would be to involve the community and supporters with this contest.  Looking forward to seeing our entries (if any XD).

Next up! The art/3D/animation/sound department are busy working on an animation trailer for Hungry Whispers, while the programming department work on fixing up the bugs found on our Beta2 demo!

Here's a sneak preview!

As with everything else, the game itself is also being slowly worked on.  Results will show in due time as I really want this project to be a success and rush anything.

Keep an eye out for updates and creative opportunities! Now that we're working on an animation, we've discussed involving voice acting (more info soon) and there's also an opportunity fo Team Wasabi to attend at least two conventions this year.  Exciting stuff!


Tuesday, 1 January 2013

2013 - Happy New Year!

It's New Years in the UK!

Can't believe that Project Whispers was started all the way back in 2011, how crazy is that?! How time flies lol.

As with everyone, I think this year has been both good and bad. The best bit is still working on Project Whispers and meeting wonderful, supportive people through it. I hope Team Wasabi's work will continue to inspire everyone as much as you guys inspire me. I know I'm being selfish in my dream of forming a studio/team and making games but sharing it with others is what really gives me a buzz.

So THANK YOU dear reader, I hope to continue kicking ass with you through 2013 .

Much love!
- Wasabi