Ten Questions With… Taosym (Lupiesoft)
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The debut Steam release by Lupiesoft, The Reject Demon: Toko Chapter 0 — Prelude, surprised us with its unique visual style, fascinating characters and interesting story. To find out more about the visual novel and the studio behind it, we reached out to Lupiesoft for some answers.
Can you give our readers a quick introduction of yourself and the studio?
I’m Taosym and I’m the creator of Studio Lupiesoft, as well as the artist and director. We’re a new studio that was born 2 years ago with the creation of our Kickstarter for Dizzy Hearts. Since then we’ve been building our team up on smaller projects to build confidence with fans, to secure game revenue so as to make sure we can absolutely finish that game, and deliver it in the way we want it to be.
What prompted the choice to focus on the visual novel genre?
The visual novel genre is very new, I stepped in when it was just me by my lonesome and after a very lightweight VN engine called Ren’py, a Python based engine, became popular. Since then we’ve been learning and building how to make visual novels. It’s something that I personally enjoyed playing for a number of years, and VNs have a number of storytelling advantages that I like.
What are the games/media that influenced you and how?
My favorite games are things like Disgaea, Tactics Ogre, Fire Emblem, the original FF Tactics and the advance version. Games by Liarsoft. As well as Monster Hunter. A lot of artists from these games influenced me both as a designer and as an artist. Artist wise my favorite artists are Quinton Hoover, Kev Walker, a bunch of Wizards of the Coast/MTG artists. Takehito Harada, George Kamitani, Uno Makoto, Shirou Miwa and several other artists. I admire them for their safe work and their adult work.
What has been the biggest challenge with creating The Reject Demon: Toko?
Probably the technical side of it towards the end, we had to delay the game because there wasn’t enough time to get the scripting to where we wanted it to be. There is a lot more to VNs than most people see, and one of those is stuff like transitions, sprites coming on and off stage, going line by line and making sure things fit. Even though the writing and art were mostly done at that point, the scripting takes time and is incredibly monotonous work. But when we see people playing the game and loving it, it makes that effort worthwhile.
Is there anything you would have liked to add to the game if time/money wasn’t an issue?
I would love to panel out action scenes in the game. That would mean that some scenes would have dozens of images for them. Everything would have to be coded on when it came in or left, sound effects, visual SFX. We’re pursuing more towards this with the later versions, we don’t know exactly how far we can go, but one thing we will be doing is having way more instrument sound effects, made from recordings of real instruments.
The Reject Demon features plenty of interesting lore, is this something we can expect from all future Lupiesoft titles?
I’m primarily a world building writer, that’s one of my hats on the Lupiesoft team, coming up with the ideas, the concepts and the things that occur. Toko is a very zany off the wall sort of concept. In our titles like The Menagerie (adults only) or Dizzy Hearts this world that it’s set in is a bit more proportional, with far more emphasis on culture. We believe that for the Dizzy Hearts universe, fans will enjoy seeing things like lore books coming out in the future.
What has it been like working with Sekai Project?
It’s been great, I made the announcement that Dizzy Hearts would be teaming up with Sekai very early in the kickstarter’s life around 2 years ago. Companies like Sekai Project, MangaGamer, JAST. Sites like Fuwanovel that used to be pretty below the board now going legit. We’re all moving into a burgeoning industry now where VNs are more and more ‘legit’ both for importing/translations and for original studios.
What are the future plans for Lupiesoft?
The Menagerie, Dizzy Hearts, The rest of Toko, there are game ideas in our minds but after that? Who knows? We want to keep growing for as long as we can.
What is the most unusual thing on your desk right now?
Nothing really out of the ordinary!
Anything else you would like to add?
Not really, thanks for having me.
We want to thank Taosym for taking the time to reply to our questions. The Reject Demon: Toko Chapter 0 — Prelude is available right now on Steam for a low price, along with its soundtrack dlc. Anyone unfamiliar with this visual novel can read our review HERE. Remember that Lupiesoft also has a Patreon, so check it out if you want to support their work.