Interview: Venuchi (September 2017)

Interview: Venuchi
This month our interview features the cricle Venuchi who creates great RPG "Girls and Dungeons"!! We hope you enjoy the read!

1. Thank you so much for this interview! To start things off, could you please introduce yourself to the DLsite.com users?

Hello everyone, I'm Ayumu from the Venuchi Circle. Nice to meet you.

2. How did you come up with your Circle's name "Venuchi"?

Ah, it is basically just an assembled word, composed of the terms "Venus" [ビーナス] and "chiisai" [小さい] or "chibi" [ちび]. Venus stands for the goddess of love and erotic - and I think combining it with chiisai makes the name smaller and cuter.

3. How did you find about DLsite.com?

I stumbled across DLsite long ago when I saw that other befriended Japanese artists offered their amazing content there.

4. What led your path to becoming a professional game creator? Was there something that specifically triggered your desire to begin programming?

(laughs) That is a good question. I never really got much into professional programming at all – As I am more of a visual learner and artist, I was always terrible at maths and abstract methods. But of course I always loved games. I grew up with the Gameboy and NES [Famicon] and soon discovered my love for Japanese games. I think Final Fantasy 7 (years later) impressed me the most. I fell in love with the idea of game-making as a form of expression and entertainment. But it was not before 'RPGMaker' which I actually made my first attempt at digital game crafting. Of course the first ones were really bad – but I think I did it better... after a few years of practice.

5. How many people were involved in the creation of "Girls and Dungeons"? Would you please tell us a little bit about your team?

I feel like there were a lot of great people that contributed to Girls and Dungeons in reality. Everyone who believed in the project and gave encouraging support in stressful times. All the patient and attentive test-players reported the crazy bugs and spelling errors…But I think you probably refer to the creative contributors. The main content is made by me, but I wanted to outsource some of the work to more talented artists. So I basically hired friendly and skilled freelance / hobby artists from around the globe to assist with the project. -Krobayaka (aka Umbra) for the ecchi scenes - illustrations. Their bright, colourful style really spoke to me. -Pop-Nebula-Dreamer for special sprite work as I wanted certain sprites to look more unique and detailed. -Coding-Kitsune helped out by creating a custom code for more attractive, personal battle screens. -Seakul made us an awesome personal song - "Kagami Biraki". And Ackure was a great inspirational supporter from the beginning – as was LewdLogic from lewdgamer.com.

6. "Girls and Dungeons" is a tremendous success. To what do you attribute your success developing this product?

I think everyone's support played a major role in this accomplishment. Also, all other indie game developers who already had released their games were great motivators – seeing their works in webstores made me push myself to do my best and to keep on going.

7. The style of illustration is "moe" which is very popular among Asians especially Japanese users. When you were planning and creating this product, were Asians part of your intended audience? Please tell us about the style of illustration of this game.

Asians certainly were part of the intended audience, but I think it also speaks to the passionate otaku audience in general. The illustrations are based on our small sprites and avatar sprites as well as sketch references made by me. The sketch references gave our artist ideas for the poses. But I generally let the artist use their free will to interpret my requests. (laughs) Umbra then provided me with relatively detailed sketch to check – sometimes it wasn't what I had in mind – but most of the time, it worked out right away. I think Umbra has great talent and skill for Japanese "moe" art.

8. Your information tells that you reside in Germany. What kinds of impressions do people in Germany have of Japan and of Japanese pop-culture such as animations and games?

Hmm, as far as I can tell, Japan is still considered very foreign for most German people (sadly). But there also exist a passionate and dedicated fanbase of Japanese pop-culture. There is a manga section in every large bookstore - however the majority of translated manga seem to be of the "shoujo" or "shonen-ai" genre. So I suppose, most enthusiasts of manga in Germany are probably female. Of course there are also the main "shonen" series like One Piece and Naruto. Those series do also run on German television. Some Japanese game series get released in Germany quite regularly ever since PS2 generation - like the "Tales of-" and the "Atelier-" series. Also the game tie-ins of popular manga series like Dragonball / Naruto etc. Generally speaking, the Sony consoles are the ones famous for featuring Japanese games, while Microsoft consoles generally feature more western games.

9. Recently, the product registration from Germany is increasing. Is creating indie games a popular movement in Germany today? Please tell us about the trend of this field in Germany.

To be honest, I don't know about it. I am surprised to hear that. (laughs)

10. From where do you draw your greatest inspiration to create your products?

Well, Girls and Dungeons actually had 3 main sources of inspiration. The 1st one was from "Mediax Mook 39 BRANMARKER のすべて"- which is an old guidebook for the Japanese PC ero/hentai- RPG "Branmarker." I bought the book when I was still quite young (laughs) and I was absolutely fascinated by it - even though I never owned the actual game. The book contained character profiles, a walkthrough with maps and cut scene artwork with commentary. It was very precious so that I still keep it. The 2nd inspiration came from a game named "Ar Tonelico 2" – At first, you won't see any similarities between this and my game, but the game's unique combat system fascinated me. The character's roles in combat are very clear and are designed to complement each other. I wanted to try to create a similar experience in a very minimalist / simplified way. A character who relies on the support of his party members. The 3rd inspiration was from a game named "Criminal Girls Invite Only", a quite simplistic looking jRPG on PS Vita. Its simplicity and premise impressed me. It features a male protagonist who has to help out some spunky / naughty girls. It was very amusing to me and I think this was the final ingredient which lead me to the creation of Girls and Dungeons. Ultimately, I think I am inspired by an amalgamation of different media and added my own ideas to these themes and characters.

11. What is the most important consideration when you are developing your products? What element is the most important to you?

I am very passionate about art, so that the visual representation is a very important element for me. The artwork, visual design, especially the character design – I want these to be as original and as good looking as possible. Cute female characters are also a must for a healthy product. (laughs)

12. As a popular Doujin (indie) game creator, what do you think about recent movement/popularity of Doujin(indie) culture?

I am very impressed – the internet made this possible. I am glad to live in time and environment where self-made products can be shared with the world so easily through the places like DLsite. The desired target-audience cannot always be found close to you.

13. What tools or software do you use when you are creating your products?

For the pixel-art, I use any pixel-based graphic program. As I am not very versed in coding and don't have an affinity for it, I use RPGmaker (RPG Tkool) for the games. It is very intuitive and allows you to dig deeper and discover ways to create quite original processes and events.

14. How do you enjoy spending your time when you are not working? Do you have any hobbies or special interests?

I like urban exploring, visiting friends and travel. I also have a love for BJDs. My dream is to own one large BJD~.

15. Have you ever purchased any products from DLsite.com? If so, who is your favorite artist/creator and what are your favorite products?

I think my favourite artists on DLsite would be: P.D Chump,http://b.DLsite.net/RG16735/ (incredible forms and designs), 18monkeys, http://inono.b.DLsite.net/ (Inonoさんis a very nice and professional artist, I met him once at comiket), microdat,http://www.DLsite.com/maniax/work/=/product_id/RJ163602.html (Mimudaさんis also a very nice and friendly artist with a uniquely sexy-cute style and cult following)

16. So many users are enjoying your games, and they are curious what you have in the works for your next project. Can you provide a preview of what you are working on now for future release? Also, please let us know your goals for your future.?

(laughs) Thank you. It is too early to make any disclosure yet. But I am planning to work on a future release. Right now, we're still at the conceptual phase.

17. DLsite.com is popular all around the world; what do you think contributes to DLsite.com's popularity and success?

The site name is very easy to remember (laughs) - and ever since DLsite opened the market to foreign audience and added English translation, the site obviously became more attractive for the global audience. The site offers quality products of unlimited creativity– it's a kind of freedom that is also very appreciated by the customers.

18. You have been so very successful in this field. Do you have any advice for new developers to help inspire them?

Thank you very much, but I was quite surprised myself. The first item I added to DLsite was a folder that contains some ecchi illustrations with a bit of story (many years ago). Barely anyone downloaded it at all. I would have forgotten about it if CuriousFactory hadn't send me email every few months, reminding me of its existence... even though the first product made no profit (laugh). But then I created "Girls and Dungeons." Our beta-testers seemed to like it; so I added it to DLsite to see if anyone else would be interested. Fortunately, the effort paid off! So, yes. Develop your game with your passion, test and fix it with patience, upload it - and also don't forget to advertise.
You haven't tried their works yet? Then check them out now!
Venuchi
Title Girls and Dungeons
Circle Venuchi
Genre
Price : 756 JPY
$6.72 / €5.70
(estimation)
See product details

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Last Modified: Oct 15

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