Indie Interviews

Indie Interviews: Eclipse- Both Sides of the Moon by KyunSoft Japan

Indie Interviews is Corecade’s series of interviews with independent developers. Birthed from the death of Steam’s Greenlight, Corecade listens to the innovative, lesser-heard voices.

Eclipse- Both Sides of the Moon is a Horror-Mystery visual novel in the same light as Corpse Party and Higurashi When They Cry. It revolves around a junior high-school boy named Kichiro Inoue, who recently got into an accident late at night and landed him a trip to the ER. As he regains consciousness, an unnamed detective came in to question him about the events that transpired at the Shingetsu High School in which he was recently enrolled in. Trying his best to recall his fragmented memories, Kichiro explained to the detective the events that unfolded a series of serial killings and missing persons cases that was orchestrated by pure jealousy and insanity.

[Corecade] KyunSoft decided to cease development on Yandere: A Tale of Love and Gore and remake it under the name of Eclipse – Both Sides of the Moon. What caused you to make that decision? 

The decision was made due to the origin of the name “Yandere: A Tale of Love and Gore” and our previous company name of “Yandere Interactive”. We named our game and company that specific title in tribute to YandereDev, the developer of Yandere Simulator. Our two founding members met in a Yandere Simulator blog site in which YanDev posts statuses and updates about his upcoming (and now released) game. We created “Yandere: A Tale of Love and Gore” as a Love Letter to people who supported the Yandere Sim development but cannot run the game itself due to hardware limitations.

We decided first on an RPG Maker approach, we wanted our RPG game to closely resemble Yandere Sim’s story and gameplay mechanics while converting it to 2D. The problem was that during early development of our game, after hiring a few key staff members, YanDev himself approached us saying how annoyed he was and how insensitive we are for trying to “take away” most of his fan following. While our intentions were pure, YanDev seen it as a sign of competition and we got into a heated argument with each other. The argument caused the game titled under “Yandere” to be on hiatus for a few months. During those few months one of our staff members got into an accident and we were at a loss as to what we can do to get back up to be able to continue moving forward. The decision was made and we sent YanDev a lengthy message saying how we should just let bygones be bygones and continue working on our own separate games.

After our staff member recuperated, we decided to start the game anew, with different mechanics, a much more detailed storyline, and a more horrifying atmosphere that has been rarely seen in visual novels in a while. With this change, we started fresh… Not only with a new company name, but also a new game name: “Eclipse- Both Sides of the Moon”.

Specialising in the horror and visual novel genres, how does KyunSoft inject fear and suspense into its narratives? Have there been any times during development in which you’ve thought you’ve either gone too far with the gore or horror elements?

As much as horror games nowadays use jumpscares, sound effects, and darkness to pull off a decent horror game, we thought that this way of making a horror game is very clichè so we decided to create a formula of atmosphere and innocence to lure the player into thinking that everything seems normal at first. The story progressively becomes more disturbing and dark, the game will play with the player’s mind…

For a visual novel there isn’t much we can do with that, but the tools provided for us are enough to ensure that we achieve that goal. We wanted a game in which even after playing, the player will be looking behind his back at night, turning lights on, and possibly causing them to lose sleep. Our goal here is more of a shock treatment, something that etches into the human psyche and will ensure that the most memorable moments of the game will not be forgotten. We want our games to feature Psychological Horror, games that will both leave the player hanging on a thin line of suspense, while dangling over an eternal abyss of mysteries. Inside that abyss? who knows. We recruited some of our best writers with the sickest of minds, and while we don’t claim superiority or flawlessness in our genre, we are sure that we will do a good job at it.

There is never a line where we said “Alright, this is too far, remove this.” Rather, we try to minimize that effect while maintaining a non-scandalous way of giving our players the emotion and dread that we planned for them.

How does KyunSoft differentiate from other visual novel developers? Have you found new ways to expand on the genre and create non-linear mechanics?

​We don’t separate ourselves too much from how other visual novel developers work, but we want our game to be as open as possible for the player and make it as non-linear as possible while still being able to retain the outcome that each player decided for themselves. The game will focus on their choices, not only in dialogues, but in everyday living as well. They are the authors of Kichiro’s fragmented memories, and every decision they make from what time to wake up to what drink they will buy from the convenience store, will be recorded by the game and will be “remembered”.

The game will borrow some well-known mechanics in past games from other companies such as “Sanity Effects” from Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem with the exclusion of the sanity meter, and Psychological Profiling used in Silent Hill Shattered Memories and games such as Michigan: Report from Hell to determine the player’s position in events based on every single thing they do. The game is open world, so the players are free to take classes, skip classes, go to anywhere in town, and speak with anyone around town with full voice acting for all NPCs. All bundled in one visual novel.

Aside from PC, are there any platforms you are looking to publish your future games on? With Steam’s upcoming closure on Greenlight, are you considering reaching out into handheld markets which thrive on visual novels and Japanese-influenced games?

We are currently developing a PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation Vita cross-buy version. We plan on extending the reach of our games not only in the Japanese market through cosplay events and free demos, but we also plan to popularize it in the west by developing a Third-Person/First-Person version of the game available for PC after the game’s release, developed in Unreal Engine 4. As of writing we are already mid-way through the development of the story for Eclipse 2, so keep an eye out for that. We would like to extend our reach to handheld consoles such as the 3DS and the Switch, but only time will tell if we will be able to pull it off. We’ll have to wait and see if the game does well first.

Due to budget delays, natural disasters, and time constraints… The game will be out Q3-Q4 2017 as a best case scenario. But if things go south, expect the game to be delivered Early 2018. But no worries! A Demo will most likely be published soon, so stay tuned via our IndieDB page announcements!

-Kyoren [Lead Programmer and Project Manager @ Kyunsoft.]

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You can follow KyunSoft on Twitter. Alternatively, you can view their IndieDB page.

DEVELOPER’S NOTE: ALL IMAGES ARE FROM IN-DEVELOPMENT SCREENSHOTS AND CONCEPTS THAT MAY NOT 100% BE REFLECTED IN-GAME. REGARDLESS, ALL OF THEM WILL STILL BE SEEN IN-GAME, ALBEIT MORE POLISHED.

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