It’s the start of classes again, as far as yours truly was concerned, and although I did wake up in the expected time (that is, around nine in the morning), I still ended up getting to the campus slightly late. The plan was, of course, to leave around an hour before twelve, but in the end I still left around forty-odd minutes before noon. Why this happened was because I suddenly remembered the voice recorder my father mentioned a few months back, and I thought it might be helpful with regards to the lectures in the class. So I (and eventually my father) spent some time digging through the detritus sitting in my sister’s bedroom, but when the recorder was found, I didn’t spend too long trying to puzzle out the functions (or read the manual for that matter), and unceremoniously slid it into my pocket after putting in the triple-As that came with it.
So after a short bus ride (well, as short as you can get close to the mid-day rush hour), I found myself at EDSA station with about ten minutes to noon… Which didn’t really mean much, as the train from Baclaran took its sweet time in getting there. The ride to DLSU once a train did arrive was quick, but it was already a little past twelve when I got to the campus. A brisk walk to Miguel Hall later, and I was at the classroom that was listed on my Enrollment Assessment Form.
Only there was no one there. Apparently the class had relocated to a screening room one floor down, so with your expected amount of panic I rushed downstairs.
Incidentally, despite going to classes there for almost two years, I’ve never really poked around Miguel Hall, so actually finding the screening room the class had relocated to took another extra minute.
Thankfully though I was able to find the room, and with just a bit of embarrassment I let myself in. The lecture hadn’t started in earnest yet, so there wasn’t any problem for a late-comer, but I did have to lead the class in prayer… Anyway our professor this time around was really soft-spoken and, in a word, relaxed, though he does seem to have this habit of staring at a particular person in the eye… Or maybe that was just my impression. Anyway, he’s an industry veteran, as is expected in these sorts of classes, but is more into doing non-mainstream works these days, and doesn’t seem to be bothered much by the strictures of screenplay writing that were hammered into our heads last term.
As for the class itself, it was more of a refresher than anything else of what we learned during the previous semester (which meant that the recorder wasn’t really needed). We watched some movies in between the lecture (because our professor admitted that he’d be hard-pressed to fill the three hours our class was allotted), including a set of ten-minute long shorts (one by Bernardo Bertolucci), and talked about which screenplay we would use for the duration of the workshop. There was a lot of groaning (I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s slightly embarrassed at the output from last term), but in the end most of us decided to stick with the screenplays we already had, rather than start something from scratch, although there were those who bit the bullet and opted for a rewrite. Brave souls, those ones are.
Since our previous professor so enthusiastically forwarded our screenplays to our current one, we’ll be going with the final version of the so-called first draft. The rate should be around two to three screenplays per session (the better to spread the embarrassment around!), picked randomly of course. I am so looking forward to seeing mine read and critiqued, so so much (read the sarcasm in my tone).
Anyway, after that there’s little really to say. It started raining a little after class ended (relatively early I might add), so obviously I was more than a little soaked once I got home, and after a perfunctorily look at Twitter and Pixiv, I went to bed for the afternoon.
Now enough of this real-life nonsense. I’m awake, not doing any drawing right now, and don’t have Skyrim open for a change, so I figure it’s about time for me to boot up Katawa Shoujo (かたわ少女) and devote some hours on it.
For those who’re not familiar with it, it’s something that’s been a long time in coming, and anticipated by more than a few folk in the circles I’m part of. What started as a thread on the (in)famous 4chan turned into a sprawling project to create a Visual Novel in the usual Japanese style of the genre… And here it was, finally completed five years later, after who knows how many staff changes and whatnot, nevermind the internal politicking that darned near torn the project asunder. The fact that it’s distributed free online does not diminish how tremendous an achievement this was. In the words of the much-esteemed 2DTeleidoscope (in the interview by the Otaku Journalist):
“Think of every novel that never gets written, every Internet community that dies in flames. Realize that Four Leaf Studios endured five years of rewrites, revisions and personal drama to produce this product, shuffling through staff like cards in a game of Old Maid. And yet the idea survived. The work is done. This is great and worthy of our admiration, no matter what you think of romance with disabled girls.”
I’m not sure we can call the culmination of the project as the Great Western Visual Novel, but it’s a momentous achievement, and it’s one that deserves playing… And sharing. And don’t let the fact that the girls in question are disabled (lets not mince words here), or the fact that the games isn’t ‘all-ages’ (something that’s easily remedied in the game options), turn you away. Give it a chance. It’s quite the gem.
As for me, I think I’ll take my sweet time on this. Oh yes.