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Games

Megatokyo Gets a Visual Novel Game 88

Posted by timothy
from the excessive-is-all-in-the-eye-of-the-beholder dept.
TheSHAD0W writes "It's been over a decade since Megatokyo was mentioned in a Slashdot story. Fred Gallagher, author of the long-running webcomic, has launched a Kickstarter for a Megatokyo Visual Novel Game. The KS has fared very well, funding its basic goal in less than four hours and covering most of the posted stretch goals in the first twenty-four. Fred also posted a half-joking stretch goal at a half-million dollars to include'"excessively romantic content,' wink wink nudge nudge. He may have been kidding, but there are some indications it might be reached."
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Megatokyo Gets a Visual Novel Game

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    It's like his drawing skills never evolved.

    • If you actually believe that, try actually comparing his earliest comics with his latest ones, and see if you still think so.
      • I like Megatokyo, but to be fair than same comparison would show much more significant changes in any other webcomic, even in XKCD.
    • His style never evolved much, but his drawing skill certainly did. His technique has shown vast improvements over time. I'm not certain how someone can claim otherwise, other than to troll.

  • by Animats (122034) on Thursday June 20, 2013 @02:43PM (#44064029) Homepage

    I used to read Megatokyo, but when the artist lost his writer years ago, the plot also got lost. Then the updates became so infrequent that it became a joke. Read the Wikipedia entry.

    • With two months in between strips for a web comic, I wouldn't hold out much hope for a game.

      • by Orne (144925) on Thursday June 20, 2013 @03:00PM (#44064181) Homepage

        > With two months in between strips for a web comic ...

        Having a heart operation will do that to a person.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Nyder (754090)

          > With two months in between strips for a web comic ...

          Having a heart operation will do that to a person.

          Will it? Seems to be drawing doesn't take much physical energy, and if you are laying around in a bed all day...

          But I'm not an artist, so I wouldn't know. But I'm pretty sure the long pauses between comics was going on before his heart surgery.

          I haven't checked recently, but last time i did, there wasn't much new stuff in a 2 year period. And that was at least a year ago.

          • by Colin Douglas Howell (670559) on Thursday June 20, 2013 @03:25PM (#44064471)
            It wasn't the heart operation itself that was the problem, it was the heart condition he needed the operation for. He'd known about it for a long time, but had previously believed it to be harmless. Actually, it had gradually been getting worse. While the long pauses between comics had been bad for quite a while, his situation really became terrible the last half year, because he was *completely* sapped of energy. That's when he saw a doctor and found out the state of things, which led him to have the operation. Sounds like he's been feeling vastly improved.
            • by Nyder (754090)

              It wasn't the heart operation itself that was the problem, it was the heart condition he needed the operation for. He'd known about it for a long time, but had previously believed it to be harmless. Actually, it had gradually been getting worse. While the long pauses between comics had been bad for quite a while, his situation really became terrible the last half year, because he was *completely* sapped of energy. That's when he saw a doctor and found out the state of things, which led him to have the operation. Sounds like he's been feeling vastly improved.

              Okay, i stand corrected. Having had blood clots clogging my system I can understand the sapped of energy part. I guess it's just frustrating when artists (counting authors here also) start something then take forever to finish it/update it/write the next book.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by TheSHAD0W (258774)

          As will having your wife come down with cancer, and having to take care of the online store and your autistic child yourself.

          But I wouldn't bother protesting these opinions, trolls feed on the tears of others and you're only encouraging them.

          • by Lendrick (314723)

            Those things will certainly do that, but Megatokyo updated infrequently long before any of that happened.

            • by Mashiki (184564)

              The whole "updated infrequently" was pretty much the only reason I stopped reading it. That was probably 5ish years ago, maybe 6 years ago. Though I did enjoy the comic itself.

              • Updated infrequently doesn't matter when you read it in huge chunks.
                As a one man band starting off without decades of experience behind him you cannot expect something to come out as frequently as "Girl Genius".
                • by Mashiki (184564)

                  Updated infrequently doesn't matter when you read it in huge chunks.

                  Here's the thing, the premise of drawing a crowd in order to sell something of yourself only works when you have it. No one is going to stick it out if you keep turning around and saying "well, it'll be available next time." Or "watch my amazing assistant as he fills in for me..." on whatever reason. Same reason why sinfest has recently started losing readership, people don't like the misandry that's been going on with the strip for the last few months.

                  • by Lendrick (314723)

                    Yeah, Sinfest is unfortunate. When 'Nique got her "Important Haircut" (see tvtropes), the whole comic changed. Sinfest used to be even-handed about making fun of things (and it certainly made fun of misogynists long before the style change), but now it reads like a preachy radical feminist tumblr blog.

          • by Golddess (1361003)

            But I wouldn't bother protesting these opinions

            No, please protest them. Were it not for this thread, I would have been unaware of his wife having had cancer, and of his child being autistic. Puts a new light on the infrequency of updates that predate his recent heart problems, surgery, and subsequent recovery.

        • Yeah, that did sound a bit assholish. Be that as it may, a kickstarted game effort isn't going to magically reverse these issues.

        • by Golddess (1361003)
          While that is true, the infrequency of updates has been going on for far longer than during his recent heart problems, surgery, and subsequent recovery. So I think it a fair criticism.

          That said, TheSHAD0W does also bring up a couple other reasons that I was unaware of.
      • by dm (8144)

        > With two months in between strips for a web comic

        In 13 years, there have been 1362 strips --- about two a week. In the past two and a half years (strip #1300 was posted in Feb 2011) it's still been a strip every two weeks. I know, these numbers surprised me, too. It's seemed like a couple of months between strips to me, too.

        What's been truly glacial is the development of the plot(s). The strip's almost 1400 pages really only cover a couple of months of story-time.

    • by gman003 (1693318)

      Agreed. I even held out on it for quite some time, but it really just completely lost its way. The plot split into dozens of unconnected threads, the writing went to shit, the update schedule made Valve look timely, and even the art went downhill (too pencil-y and ill-defined, lacking detail or clarity).

      And honestly, even during its prime, it was never that great. The humor relied too much on "lolrandom", and the characters always suffered from "same person with different hair" syndrome. And somehow it went

    • I thought their writer left like a year into it. When I came across it, there was a huge archive. I started reading at the beginning, it was pretty hilarious, and thought "Okay, this is going to keep me busy and unproductive for a while." But not too long into it, there was no humor, so I had to find other excuses to be unproductive.
    • The co-writer, Rodney Caston, a.k.a. Largo, left in 2002 after just two years. He and the artist, Fred Gallagher, a.k.a. Piro, had a falling out over creative differences, though it sounds like it was amicable, despite some outsiders claiming otherwise (e.g. Scott Kurtz of PvP). Rodney was never the sole writer, though clearly his influence was no longer present shortly after his departure, since the story became much more involved. The plot, at least to me, didn't get lost until quite a few years later, bu

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I sadly lost interest in this comic a long time ago around about when his partner left. None of the characters are distinguishable from each other and it's way over the top in meta "humor". I'm sad to say one of the oldest comics I used to read has long since stopped being worth reading and I am most certainly not interested in a "visual novel game" from this author.

    • Same. It's not like solo artists can't make long-running webcomics (just look at Jeph Jacques' Questionable Content [questionablecontent.net]) but it's fairly inevitable when a comic starts as a decent balance between two creative individuals that it's going to lose something when one of them moves on---especially if it's because of overreach from the other partner.

      And lose something it did; I own physical copies of the first two books, and it's already clear by the end of the second book that it's losing its way. I really, really

  • -_-;

    h8as gotta h8.

    • by DrGamez (1134281)

      I was wondering what kind of person would still use the tagline, "relax, we understand j00", and then you come along and use numbers in your words as well.

      • by scrain (43626) *

        That tagline is from like 1999. You know you were still eating square pizzas for lunch then.

        • by DrGamez (1134281)

          And I also had "All Your Base Are Belong To Us" on my backpack.

          In ten years things can change! I get my pizza in circles now.

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      well.. what did you expect? did you look at the video / demo material?

      visual novel my ass.. I'll go back to watching youtube reruns of sam&max.

  • Some of the greatest Visual Novels I read were made by a couple of kids in their basement over the span of summer holidays.
    Why is a financing campaign needed?
    • Because kids in their basement have parents paying for their expenses, while Fred has a family to provide for? Did you realize Megatokyo has been his livelihood for years?
    • by pshuke (845050)
      Care to state which VNs you consider the greatest? *Puts on weeaboo hat* Looking at the top list at vndb ( http://vndb.org/v/all?q=;fil=tagspoil-0;o=d;s=rating [vndb.org]), the majority of the western audience predominantly considers the greatest titles to be those produced by big companies like Key and Nitro+ -- hardly a couple of kids in their basements. Higurashi and Umineko are doujin titles, but they were hardly slapped together over a summer holiday.

      As far as western VNs go, the most popular is probably Katawa
    • by dbIII (701233)

      Why is a financing campaign needed?

      Turtle Power!
      A bit of daytime TV exposure and subsequent funding saved a low budget, small print run comic from the Shredder.

  • I'm disheartened by the mostly negative comments I'm seeing on Slashdot on this. The comic itself isn't bad. The art, while heavily influenced by manga, is nice and unique and has evolved since he started, which is something you don't see much in anime/manga these days outside of something like One Piece. The story wandered a bit but flows better when you aren't reading the page a month that it now updates.

    Yes, Fred and his wife have had health problems preventing frequent updates and I am not going t
    • The art is fine, what he needs as a stretch goal is another writer and an editor. Megatokyo hasn't had a detectable trace of plot in at least 5 years.

  • by chemiclord (2958343) on Thursday June 20, 2013 @03:58PM (#44064753)
    I first would like to introduce myself. My internet presence is largely chemiclord, but my real life name is Thomas Knapp. You will see my name in the credits of the kickstarter page as a writer and path developer for the upcoming MegaTokyo Visual Novel project; along with many other names of very talented people. This actually isn't my first foray into the MegaTokyo world. Before Fred's health took a veer off course, I was working with him on his Endgames game world. I'll have a good chunk of my hand in this project as well, primarily handling alternate paths and the secondary characters. But to make a meandering point on target, Fred isn't doing this alone, and with the help of the team he's put together, we have all confidence that we can produce and deliver this game promptly and with the highest quality we can muster. No stretch goal needed there. :-p
    • by Xenious (24845)

      Thanks for posting this. I'm really surprised by the negative comments here. Yes the updates have been infrequent of late but MT has a big foundation with the same spirit as Slashdot from its roots. I'm excited about the project (and backing it myself). While a Visual Novel may be a bit unfamiliar here in the US I'm interested in how the different story arcs will play out and am excited for it more as a 4 dimensional representation of the published MT books. W00t!

    • by firex726 (1188453)

      Could you say where the budget is going?
      It's normally SOP to breakdown where the money is going on these sort of projects.

      Since it's using an opensource program, will it all be going to salary?

      • Well... just because Renpy is open-source doesn't mean everything in it will be. I know that they want to use a font that requires a license (I believe it was about $1000 for a mass distributed game), for example. There could be other content licenses we have to cover as well (though I personally don't know what those are or what cost those would be). There's also some of the attached swag to the larger donation packages (T-shirts, art books, an imprinted flash drive, and custom artwork are some examples
  • > "a Megatokyo Visual Novel Game

    Is that like an action MMO on a console? Because apparently that's the only thing anyone wants to buy anymore, according to big game companies.

    A new D&D and Marvel online "action MMO" came out this week. Action MMO! Obviously if it isn't an action MMO it must suck.

    I assume game designers got together a few years back and sang a Beatles song:

    All we are sayyyyyyyyyy-ing
    Is give Action MMOs a chance.
    All we are sayyyyyyyyyy-ing
    Is give Action MMOs a chance.

    Shake that butt

  • I've done a Kickstarter and watched quite a few Kickstarters. One thing I have learnt is that you should NEVER trust Kicktraq's projections in the first week or so; it is ALWAYS overestimating by a hell of a lot. It doesn't matter if you're a little campaign with a goal of $2400 [kicktraq.com] or a big one with a goal of $700,000 [kicktraq.com]. You will get a tiny fraction of what Kicktraq estimates in the first few days.

    • by bluemonq (812827)

      Except that it's already at 4x the pledge goal.

    • by bluemonq (812827)

      Whoops, replied to the wrong comment.

    • by TheSHAD0W (258774)

      Ssh! Quiet! I still have hope! I want to believe...

    • by mdenham (747985)

      Assuming that 90% of people who donate will donate in the first ten days, and that it'll hold its average to date over that time period (through exposure to new people), it's still on track for over $330k. "Half" is not "a tiny fraction" last time I checked.

      But yes, expecting less than what Kicktraq is projecting is otherwise appropriate.

  • I still haz the tshirt.

    andy

  • Piro knocked out Largo, and it happened : http://megatokyo.com/strip/51 [megatokyo.com]

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