It is finally finished!
My second game took a lot longer to complete than I was anticipating. At first it was another small project, but somehow I ended up writing a lot more than I’d intended. Fritter clocked in at less than 1,000 words of dialogue and just under 100 screens. Let’s Playing English has almost 6,000 words of dialogue and 430 screens. That’s a big leap!
In keeping with my apparent theme of offending every demographic I seem to be a part of, this game is about coming to Japan to teach English… And finding it not quite what you were expecting. It is in no small part based on my experience of coming to Japan a few years ago, with many things inspired by real-life occurrences, and a couple that are identical. I won’t spoil it for you, but I really did get taken to a home goods store on my first day and asked to purchase everything I needed then and there without ever setting foot inside my apartment. I hope I captured the sense of sheer bewilderment about coming here as an English teacher or ALT.
Obviously, plenty of people I know won’t find that this experience was confluent with theirs. I don’t mean to paint the life of a foreigner living in Japan in a bad way – after all, I’ve stayed for five years – but rather a tongue-in-cheek “simulation” for people who might be expecting something a little unrealistic. Or, alternately, an ex-pat joke we can all find some amusement in one way or the other!
I drew character portraits for this game. That was a learning experience and a half! I think I am taking this square-brush theme I seem to have developed and applying that to pixel art in the future. I like it, it feels sort of more personalised and “me” than simply recreating pixel art in a colour-by-numbers fashion. So far I have tested the game on my housemate, an English teacher here in Tokyo, who seemed to enjoy it and not be instantly offended. In fact, so far playing the game has induced many anecdotes about similar experiences, which is exactly what I’d like it to do really.
I apologise in advance for any mistakes in the Japanese. I really put that in with the intention of people who don’t speak Japanese playing the game, but I know that plenty of people who are Japanese-speaking foreign teachers of English will play the game. Those errors are entirely my fault!
Music is by Kevin MacLeod, whose awesome tracks I used in my previous two mini-games. I think this will be my last experiment in Ren’py for the moment, as I’m going to try out some different frameworks next and make something other than a visual novel.
Hope you enjoy it! Download the game from the link at the top.