If you could write for any other visual novel team, even as a one-off, who would it be?
Sukeban Games or Alice in Dissonance, I guess. I'd be most interested in working with people who really push the limits of what VN's are. When I was younger I would've said 4LS but I'm not really sure who/what exactly constitutes 4LS at this point.
Do you think esports would make a good subject for a visual novel?
If you haven't seen, then: http://store.steampowered.com/app/404480/Overall yes. I'm not sure if it would work as well about a fictitious eSport, but stuff like Starcraft or CSGO or LoL would be interesting to read about, I think.
Have you ever read a visual novel where its routes can differ very wildly genre-wise, such as a decision made may lead to a slice of life, another one leads to mecha-like story and another decision to a magical-like story instead...?
Haven't read any but I know of some. I think it's risky. You don't have a specific target audience unless you can really sell everyone on your characters rather than your story.
Do you ever think that an entire second "secret" visual novel concept will ever used again? (tbh, it would be expensive af and it kinda shows why there's only about 1 or 2 of them that is well known to casual VN readers)
Hmm do you mean like ML Extra/Unlimited with how Unltd is hidden until after you complete certain stuff in MLE? Assuming so then...No probably not. Secret routes, maybe, but having a whole extra (heh) game that you can't really promote or market is gonna be really hard to justify financially.
With the advent of stories that have major popularity (not naming specific examples to avoid explorers) and the nature of visual novels, do you think the idea of surprising the player that the game "remembers" you playing it, is overused? Do you think new ground can be broken in this idea?
I believe it exists but I honestly don't know of any VN's that do this. It's something that I think could be neat to help tie episodic games together (maybe you were referring to TellTale stuff?)
What is your favorite "road not taken" moment in a visual novel? ("road not taken" moment is when the visual novel either sets up a moment that echoes a different route, or sets up a set piece that is ironic to another route)
The "secret" route in Symphonic Rain. Saying more than that would be spoilers.
Are the ideas of alternate realities and time travel different enough to be useful in a visual novel, or are they one and the same? And how should they be used?
I guess philosophically they're the same thing. IMO they should be used sparingly. This is just personal opinion, but I don't like the "protagonist unexplainedly wakes up in a world exactly like his except ____" stories
Best way to handle a story where the protagonist chooses no love interest?
Like when there are romance options but the protagonist doesn't pursue any? I think it would be interesting if that was treated as a valid option with a whole route and stuff, but most treat it as a bad end.
What do you think may allow a break out original English Visual Novel that ends up being translated into Japanese?
Honestly, I don't ever see this happening unless a AAA game dev company were to, for some reason, pivot to VN's and make something with multimillion dollar production values. The VN industry in Japan is dying as it is, and there are many more good games there than what we see here.I'd love to be proven wrong though. It's been a dream of mine for years
Do you think the usage of time loops is overused in visual novels? Do you think that there are new ideas in this specific idea?
In general I think time loops and time travel are interesting but can easily overwhelm the reader. IMO, to do time travel believably you have to dump a lot of info. To do it accessibly, you have to suspend a lot of disbelief. I think there's still room to innovate but it wouldn't be easy to do it well
What are your thoughts on a story with multiple different possible love interests, in which depending on which love interest you choose, the other possible love interests fall in love with very different people?
Very good, and underutilized. It makes the charactera feel more like people and less like they exist solely for the benefit of the protagonist. It's something I'd like to do myself at some point.
can EVN's still get funded on Kickstarter or is it too late?
Boy I hope they still can. There are projects doing well on there right now like Zodiac Axis which I think look amazing. There's not a giant bubble inflating like there was in 2015/some of 2016, but I think the possibility is definitely still there.
Hmmmm that's hard to say, because "best written" could mean a number of things. For instance, I think Lelouch is a great protagonist because he's unpredictable and morally ambiguous. He's the main character, but he's not a hero in the conventional sense, and I think his character is consistently interesting. Similar with Mugen from Samurai Champloo.On the other hand, I think Akari is from Aria is a great protag. You generally know how she's going to behave and respond to things, and she's a clear lens to see into the world of Aqua. She accomplishes a different role than Lelouch, but she's just as effective at doing what she's supposed to from a story perspective.Finally, I'd say Subaru from Re:Zero was a pretty good protagonist because there were a lot of times where we as the audience fucking hated him, and I think that can be a good thing circumstantially. He was unbearable at times and useless for most of it, which is why seeing him grow into an actually half-way competent person is satisfying. So he's more or less a rewarding character to follow, even if he does have bad taste in women. I do think the light-novel hero; self-insert archetype that he fits into is by default not the best, though.If I had to pick my favorite protagonist, it'd probably be Kumiko. She's funny, believable, and relatable. Plus her voice actress does a top-tier job.
Depends I guess? At the time it was released, definitely. Even now, I think parts of it have aged really well. It has one of the best soundtracks from an EVN, and I think certain parts of its writing are among the best. I also think that it did an awesome thing in introducing thousands, if not tens of thousands (probably an overestimation there) of people to VN's and even anime as a whole. Nothing else except maybe Sakura Spirit or Nekopara have done that.I think there are others since then that do better art, better writing, or better music, but off the top of my head I can't think of something that does better everything. And I think it has the best directing overall (tbh, the way Delta directs scenes is a skill I specifically wanted to emulate when I hired our programmer, Kevin). I was hoping Exogenesis would be the new best thing but that hasn't panned out thus far. I guess Lucid9 might be a valid contender, or maybe ACE Academy.
Do you have any games where you are the sole writer? For each game you've worked on, what percentage would you say is your portion?
Nah, I don't like being the sole writer on stuff.For Highway Blossoms I wrote about half, or maybe a little less.HRP I write one route out of 6.Those are the only things I've worked on worth mentioning, I think.