i honestly don’t even know why i’m still writing this but whatever i guess. it picks up from here if for some reason you care https://twitter.com/rikofanvnwhen/status/943255926705762304
anyway, i no longer really cared about Missing Stars because it was just a shell of the project i’d started off really passionate about, and also the other people working on it and their attitudes changed and just… yeah it was No Bueno
but there was Alienworks, and HRP. through SP we suddenly had access to all these connections that I’d never really imagined were possible. famous japanese singers, artists, voice actors… people who you don’t really dream about working with, because it doesn’t even seem like a conceptually feasible idea. a dream is generally something that has a nearly impossible, but tiny chance of actually happening. for a random english vn dev, working with someone like Sasaki Sayaka seemed farfetched even as a dream. but here we are. or were. or at least i was. you probably weren’t.
to me, i wondered if people felt about alienworks the same way i had once felt about missing stars. did they see what they were doing, and then redouble their efforts in an attempt to match us? did they follow our social media, hoping that maybe one day we’d want to hire someone with their skillset? i felt like we were the best, even without releasing a game, and then when highway blossoms came out that just confirmed it.
but the cracks were starting to show. we were hemorrhaging hitomi writers. our art style was inconsistent. a lot of cg’s were off-model. most of us were suffering from burnout. i realized that for the most part, we (or at least I) were just getting hyped off our own potential, rather than our own accomplishments. the hrp demo was… okay? our reworked stuff is… pretty good? but it’s not amazing. basically everything that had gone wrong with missing stars was kind of happening again, or at least starting to.
so i decided to start elan. i’ve said before that i don’t intend to leave alienworks after hrp, but i don’t know if i’m telling that to myself or to the rest of AW or what. i’m not really sure who would care, honestly. but i digress. with a new group came of course new ideas, and with new ideas came new potential.
it’s extremely arrogant of me to say, given that, once again, we don’t actually have any released games, but i feel the same way about elan now that i felt about alienworks for a while. that we are, and will be, the best. a huge part of that is SP and the support I’ve received through them, which made things like working with namie possible. but i hope that part of that is also myself.
i’m not sure if it’s generous or narcissistic, or perhaps both, but i enjoy giving people their “first shot” so to speak. i guess in part it’s because i appreciate the appreciation, but also because i think back to how i felt when i first got asked to write for missing stars, and i want other people to feel that way about elan. i think maybe that’s what i was getting at with this whole thing.
i want to recreate that magical feeling of self-certainty and potential, but without the dropoff and the burnout. i want a team that feels like a team, not just a bunch of people working on the same project. i go out of my way to hire people that i think will get along with each other, rather than just who i think is objectively the most skilled at a particular thing. nothing makes me happier than hearing that elan folks dm each other, chat, etc. outside of the server chatrooms. i want people to be friends and work for each other’s sake, not just mine or their own. i think that, if nothing else, i’ve succeeded at that fairly well. i want both that chemistry and that talent to be obvious to people on the outside; people who in turn want to be a part of it themselves. i want everyone who is part of studio elan to always feel the same way i did when i first joined missing stars, and i don’t want that feeling to fade away. i want people to feel proud that, out of all the dev teams and projects out there, that they got picked to work for elan. i don’t know if that’s noble or if that’s arrogant. maybe both. honestly, same.
and i want to do that while still making better games than anyone else. sorry syon.