The Berry Guild Development Log by berry

This website is where I'll post my reflections on the work that has been accomplished and created by the Berry Guild team and me, general updates, as well as explaining the philosophies of the Guild projects.

The panda at the bottom redirects to the main website where all my work can be found.

Thank you.


๐Ÿ“ 8.3.2020 / An Exercise in Uncertainty.

Corona-chan is truly the waifu of our time and this report is proof.๐Ÿ‘‡

Recently, the GDC released this report to all attendees of GDC Summer in regards to the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic on the game industry and the long-term/short-term implication of it. And from reading it, it's truly remarkable how this little bug can impact the world's economy, people's mental well-being, and communications in such a short amount of time. There's a lot to unpack from this, and I'll include a link to the full report down below, but the biggest things that you should take from this are the following:

  • This is a pandemic that has impacted everyone from hobbyists, small indie studios, and AAA companies.

  • At least 10% of devs have been laid off or furloughed due to COVID-19.

  • Roughly a third of devs have seen their business decline and another third has seen it increase. And most of that increase has come from mobile gaming.

  • When polled, 1 in 4 devs said that their household income has fallen due to COVID-19 and the pandemic that it has created.

  • When polled, 1 in 3 devs has had a game delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You can count The Berry Guild as part of that statistic.

  • Poor communication, isolation, and lack of access to critical tools are some of the common challenges devs are dealing with right now.

  • 70% of game makers have had to switch to working from home.

  • Nearly half of game makers feel that working from home has lowered their productivity.

  • A third of devs feel that they have experienced a decrease in creativity while working from home during the pandemic.

  • Most devs surveyed don't have children at home; those who do are predominantly handling childcare duties themselves during the pandemic.

  • A majority of devs are making permanent changes to the way they work in response to COVID-19.

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has meant longer working hours for nearly half of devs.

  • Game makers say isolation, lack fo communication, deteriorating work-life balance, and childcare demands are some of the most difficult parts o working from home.

  • Only 1 in 10 devs feel safe going back to work in an office right now.

  • 2/3 of devs surveyed said that their company has a plan to reopen.

This is a lot to take in, but this isn't an easy issue with easy solutions. Fortunately, The Berry Guild hasn't had to lay off anyone, and we haven't had any declines in our business since the pandemic started. If anything, our business has only increased since this whole pandemic started, but that might have someone to do with me being out of school and having more time on my hands to do stuff like this.

I've had to delay the release of IOSB due to some issues that I made with Itch.io's metadata tab and the file sizes of the demos being too large, but those are easy fixes. COVID-19 hasn't really affected my team's ability to get things done. All of our tools are still available, communication is still good, and I still have a communications line between myself and everyone involved with my work. We've got the luxury of having an online studio with workers from all over the world, my productivity hasn't been affected too much by this, I feel more creative than ever, I don't have the issue of childcare our taking care of anyone else, and we have no plans of disbanding.

I understand that I've been put in a very privileged position right now of not being effected too badly despite a global pandemic. Frankly, I couldn't even begin to imagine what must be going through the head of a developer, artist, programmer, or voice actor who's had their career put on hold because of all of this. All of us who attended GDC Summer got access to this report but for the sake of transparency, I have included a free copy below for everyone to view and read. It's important that people have information like this during this unpredictable time.

We've heard everything during this pandemic from, "Oh, it's just the flu," to a prediction that the majority of humanity will be affected because of this virus. Please, take some time out of your day to read this free report and understand the sheer impact that this pandemic is having on this industry. You'll be glad that you did.

Stay safe,
-berry


๐Ÿ“ 7.29.2020 / A Comedy of Errors.

It's been a little over two years since I began production on "I'm Oh, So Busy...: A Week with Yoshimi" and started The Berry Guild, and during all of this time, it's taught me the value of things that I probably would've had to figure out much later had it not been for all this. The biggest thing that I have learned though is the value of patience. It's not a secret that life can be chaotic and that things can appear out of nowhere, and it can be very easy to get annoyed by it, especially during a time when we are so used to having everything at our fingertips. Part of the responsibility that I have carried out as a developer is not only getting things done, but being understanding when things come up either amongst team members or myself.

There have been a lot of challenges in getting this game ready for release; everything from a failed Kickstarter, personal issues, and everything in between. But through it all, we've still been around, we haven't disbanded, and we're still planning to have it out real soon. Being understanding of the needs and issues of your team is very vital, as you'd want them to understand you if things go south. Shoutout once again to Dodo (dodobro.co.uk) for agreeing to get the coding done for this visual novel. I am absolute grade-a trash when it comes to coding, so it's nice to have someone on the team who's willing to help out and teach me how to do it properly.

Also, IGDA put IOSB on their 'Member Games' list. So if you want to go take a look at that, go to the member games page at https://igda.org/game-showcase/. Pretty cool.

This one's for Darrell. I've still got your six.

-berry


๐Ÿ“ 7.28.2020 / Staying Homma for GDC.

Turns out that staying homma being under house arrest does have some perks to it. I will be participating in this year's Summer Game Development Conference between August 4th and 6th. It's my hope that this event allows me to gain a better understanding of the global game industry and meet some interesting people along the way who share the vision of The Berry Guild. It'll also be interesting to see who'll win at the Independent Games Festival and the Game Developers Choice Awards.

If you want to connect with me during this event, I can be found GDC's Swapcard page under "The Berry Guild" and will be available all week. As always, my is berryswebsite.com and my email is still theberryguild@gmail.com. Looking forward to it!

Stay homma. ๐Ÿก (Yoshimi AI gaming channel coming soon.)

-berry


๐Ÿ“ 7.23.2020 / Los videojuegos son una industria global.

Ahora no es el momento de estar inactivo y al margen. Los problemas globales requieren soluciones globales.

And thank goodness that we have the fiber-optically connected world that we call the 'internet' to do just that. It's a platform that allows the free flow of ideas and information that has led to so many innovations within the gaming industry, so it's always a pleasure to learn about what other studios and their members are working on. Earlier this week, I attended an event hosted by ProColumbia, an agency owned by the Columbian government that manages non-traditional exports, tourism to Columbia, and international investment. I got to see presentations by various small video game studios based out of Columbia and what they were seeking from foreign investors and publishers.

Colombia currently has the fourth-largest economy in Latin America, has experienced significant declines in poverty over the past 30 years, and was experiencing a historic economic boom before the COVID-19 pandemic occurred. This is a country that has seen massive gains in the gaming industry, and an explosion of independent developers and studios who want to bring their ideas and projects to the global stage. It's good that we have events like this that bring together developers and studios from all over the world.

It's events like this, along with wit The Berry Guild, that allow me to understand international markets and cultures better. There are very few things that can cross cultural boundaries and bring people together, and video games are no exception. At a time when uncertainty in the future is high, we need outlets such as this to serve as beacons of productive expression. I have great respect for the Colombian gaming industry and its members and I am looking forward to more events in the future.

-berry


๐Ÿ“ 7.5.2020 / It's Happening.

It's happening...
It's finally happening...

The culmination of over two years of work, diligence, and raw, creative spirit is finally about to be realized.

Expect to see more of that blonde-haired face later this month on Itch.io and Steam.

In an era where freedom of expression is being neutered for widespread appeal and advertiser-friendliness, where the typical meme has a shelf life of a few weeks, and where algorithms attempt to do our thinking for us.

In love and in spite, here is Yoshimi.

-berry


๐Ÿ“6.24.2020 / I'll be at Indigo this Friday.

Nothing major to talk about today, but the title says it all. I will be attending Indigo this Friday and welcome anyone who will be attending to connect with me if they'd like to just chat or form a partnership. You'll be able to play the games for seven days at home through Utomikโ€™s platform or watch them play on streams. There will also be talks where experts of the game industry share their experiences. I'll be on MeetToMatch as well. My website is still berryswebsite.com and my email is still theberryguild@gmail.com.

Cheers,
-berry


๐Ÿ“6.22.2020 / Furry Friends

Got some more fresh commissherinos. Fresh out of the oven.

>tfw you go from a 90 to 95 lb. deadlift.
[by @skotlastika_]

>tfw no tendies [by Chosuit]

Yoshimi using social media to find companionship. Once again. [by Chosuit]

Thank you to everyone!

-berry


๐Ÿ“6.21.2020 / ๐ŸŽตComfort in the Reflection๐ŸŽถ

Game development (at least in the way that I've been doing it for the past two years) really is a solitary undertaking. Of course, you have the collaboration and communication that comes with working with others over a screen on your phone and desktop. But after you turn off your screens, you're left with only the culmination of everything that you had thought of left at your own disposal. You are in charge of what you decide to commission for work, what musicians you decided to bring along for the ride, and what voice actors/actresses you decided to give a chance to. But that's part and parcel of taking on more responsibility.

Yoshimi spends much of the game in a state of introspection. It looks like she has everything that one could ever want out of school (except for socialization and other people to commiserate with), but as the story goes on, you see her falling more and more into those bad habits that she's trying to get away from. Let that serve as a message: Just because someone has a lot of stuff at their disposal doesn't necessarily mean that someone is happy. A lot of the cutscenes involved these close-up or long shots of Yoshimi partaking in things that provide some level of comfort in her own solitude, such as cupcakes, Cinnamon, her phone, and various other things. It's a temporary escape for the fact that she spends almost all of the visual novel by herself.

When I chose the soundtrack for IOSB, I chose it with ambiance and reflection in mind. Every song that comes up for a different scene of a different chapter serves as a reflection on Yoshimi's personality and mood for the time being. It also adds to the diary aesthetic of the game, from the menus to the logo and all the way into the textbox.

-berry


๐Ÿ“6.19.2020 / Come meet me @ Indie Game Business this August!

Call me selfish, but there's a part of me that almost doesn't want this quarantine to end. Had it not been for everyone being forced into house arrest, I probably would've had to wait another five years or so to have this much access to this many industry professionals at one time. Having said that, I will be participating in the Indie Game Business online conference this August from the 4th to the 6th (facebook.com/IndieGameBusiness). Unlike some of the other events that I've attended in the last few weeks, this is an event that is much more widespread and has a lot of smaller studios compared to the others.

If you are a developer that is in need of a high-quality publisher who can expand your game's reach to the Western market or are interested in English localization or co-development, all of my information is available on MeetToMatch under the "MeetToMatch IGB" tab. I'll be available to connect and talk further about your goals and mine. I can be reached at "theberryguild@gmail.com" and through my main website at "berryswebsite.com".

Cheers,
-berry


๐Ÿ“6.17.2020 / Two Years of Mimi

It's a shame that I didn't start this development log sooner this year. Amidst all of the chaos, this March was the 2nd anniversary of The Berry Guild's founding. To celebrate, Dodo and I decided to get this image commissioned by Erickiwi of our OCs enjoying the spoils of their new hobby: Going to anime conventions and juicing unsuspecting simps for everything they've got. I'm glad that simping is now a part of the mainstream internet zeitgeist, it gives me more room now to experiment with the kind of character that I was planning to make Derek (you'll learn more about him later). Yoshimi isn't very astute on socializing, but Poppy serves as a good influence (or at least, a decent pest, but more on her later).

IOSB's writing process started back in November of 2017 at the end of my sophomore year of university. I never would've imagined in a hundred years that my creative pursuits would've taken me to where I am now. Here's to two years and many, many more!

-berry


๐Ÿ“6.16.2020 / Some things that I learned from participating in Game Dev Career Days & PocketGamer Connects Digital.

When I had signed up to participate in PocketGamer Connects Digital, I never would've imagined that our studio's logo would be on the front page of the login screen. Perhaps it's just me or something to do with developing IOSB for two years, but getting to see your studio's logo on the same page as all of these other large and small studios feels like a big accomplishment. It's the little things like that that inspire me to keep going. But that's not why I'm writing this blog entry. This post is to talk about some things that I've learned from participating in my first gaming conference. It was a conference that allowed studios large and small to network with each other and understand new trends in the industry, and there were many things to learn.

  1. "Sleeping cats catch no mice." - We were using a service called MeetToMatch to get meetings set up. Because all of us come from different parts of the world, communicating to get the meetings set up was only half of the battle. The other half came from making sure that you knew how to convert one timezone to another. But in order to make deals happen, you've got to be willing to talk to people and put yourself into new circles such as this one. I've never seen a sleeping cat catch a mouse.

  2. "No man is an island onto himself." - Science has proven that there is no such thing as a lone wolf, which is a marketing ploy that was invented to sell rugged individualism to the Western public. I do like my independence and being able to do stuff like make games, but I've never known anyone who built a studio by themself. Collaboration is something that many developers and publishers that I met hold in high regard, and is something that The Berry Guild will continue to hold in high regard into the future.

  3. People want to work with you. - Look at the number of studios that are in that photo posted above. Those studios aren't participating in events like this for no reason. There are people out there who are willing to help you publish your work, co-develop and assist in developing projects, and help to fund projects. But you've gotta go after it.

  4. It's a global industry. Globalism or no globalism. - Regardless of what you think about globalism from an economic or political sense, gaming is something that crosses cultural and physical borders. I'm proud that I've been able to communicate with people from all over the world and build an international studio. But you've also got to be mindful of basic courtesy and decency when conducting business.

  5. English is the de facto language of business. - I've met developers and publishers from Ukraine, Indonesia, Japan, and Spain. But the one thing that was the same for everyone that I met was speaking in the English language. It seems to be the standard language for conducting business and commerce. On one side it makes communication on my end easier, but on the other hand, it kind of does put four years of learning Spanish at uni on the backburner. Such is life.

  6. Out of the chaos comes order." - Now is a very turbulent and uncertain time. But the good thing about it as that we have the most incredible tool at our disposal to get through this: the internet. The hate machine, the love machine, the machine powered by many machines. It's a medium that we are continually growing and helping to grow on us. It is a tool that allows us to find order amongst the global chaos.

On July 1st, I will be participating in LUDICIOUS X, a virtual version of LUDICIOS โ€“ Zรผrich Game Festival. This is an event that will happen next month, but if you are participating and would like to meet virtually, please send me an email at theberryguild@gmail.com and I'll message you back as soon as I can.

All of this is just based on my own experiences and won't be the same for everyone, but I do hope that this post can be of help to fellow developers who are interested in participating in events like this one.

Stay home and stay safe,
-berry


๐Ÿ“6.10.2020 / Come Join Me @ Game Dev Career Days & PocketGamer Connects Digital!

The good thing about being in an international industry such as this is one the sheer amount of networking, cooperation, and mutual respect that you can find. Because all of us regardless of our creeds and backgrounds have a similar goal of bringing quality interactive entertainment to the masses, for better or for worse. I've been a member of the International Game Developers Association [igda.org] for two years now, and in those two years, I've been fortunate to be apart of such a caring and supportive community.

This week, I will be attending the PGConnects Digital Conference [https://www.pgconnects.com/digital/] and the GameDev Career Days Virtual Conference [https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/game-dev-career-days-tickets-103739724308]. These will be the first events that I'll attend since the first annual IGDA Leadership Summit last year. If you will be attending this event as a fellow developer, programmer, writer, or publisher, please hit me up at theberryguild@gmail.com or at my website at berryswebsite.com. I'd love to meet you and learn about what you and your studio are up to! All proceeds from GameDev Career Days will be going towards GamesForLove.com, a 501(c)(3) dedicated to easing suffering, saving lives, and creating sustainable futures for children. So you'll get to network and expand your career and support a great cause too! COVID-19 doesn't have to be the end of the community that we've built together.

-berry


๐Ÿ“6.5.2020 / Gone Guru

Besides Sprinkles, Cinnamon, and a few shadowy figures in the background, Yoshimi is the only human character that appears in this game. Besides budgeting like a madman, there's a reason for that. And it has to do with existentialism and introspection.

A lot my own philosophy - and Yoshimi's philosophy - is rooted in the school of existentialism. I'm of the belief that we as human beings are only given once chance to make something of ourselves and our abilities while we are alive. This is not a tutorial, this is not a journey, this is not a rehearsal. The only reason that I see for why people latch on so hard to the prospect of an afterlife and/or a continued life in the hereafter, at least amongst the Western democracies, comes not from a religious context, but from a context of intense nostalgia for a simpler and more care-free time.

One of the most poignant classes that I took during my undergraduate career was a philosophy course on 'Media and Narrative Ethics'. Before going into this class, I was one of those armchair-revolutionaries who thought that the media and advertising were turning us into selfish and nihilistic husks. It seems that a more likely rationale to our plight in the Western democracies comes more from a sense of insecurity and an intense desire to fit into the broader culture and feel valued for what the individual can contribute than McDonald's brainwashing us into buying more McNuggets.

This is where Yoshimi comes into the picture. Yoshimi is an only child who's spent all of her life up to this point in the custody of her parents. She's never had many friends, no boyfriends, no close relationships, or many associations of any kind. Because of this, she goes into the realm of independence the same way that a child goes into a pool with floaties. She spends most of her time trying to relive the activities and vices of her past, all the while constantly falling back into bad habits and hedonism. It's a toxic mix that usually ends in calamity. By only having Yoshimi on the screen, you get a more intimate view of this character's life with the chatter of the outside only coming through in mumbled voices and shadows.

Every background in the game takes place in the city of Boston, Massachusettes in areas that are typically associated with liveliness and activity such as airports, gyms, offices, apartment buildings, streets, etc. With Yoshimi only in the midst of these places, we can get more of an understanding of what's going through her head (in places that we took for granted before being put on house arrest). Remember these feelings of solitude when/if things reopen.

All backgrounds were made in Blender by the talented Fuyu No Kawa, and all cutscenes were made by the talented Erickiwi_Art.

โšก๐Ÿง B I G B R A I N E N E R G Y๐Ÿง โšก
-berry


๐Ÿ“6.4.2020 / All it Takes is One
As we have seen from the situations arising from COVID-19, police brutality, and the power of the internet to organize and rally people around certain ideologies and causes, all it takes is one person or one event to kickstart social change. Even in our personal lives, all it takes is one 'a-ha' moment or one life-changing event to shift how we view ourselves and/or the world around us.

I created this game at a very uncertain time in my life. I was in the middle of my undergraduate studies and was working and living in D.C., amongst the routine and unchanging culture of the public sector. Not to say that I didn't enjoy what I was doing or my time away from my campus, but this was the first time that I was really living and working on my own in a capacity that didn't involve campouts. When you get time for yourself where it's just you and your own thoughts, you get a lot of time to figure out the things that are really meaningful and valuable to your life (#OnlyChildGang, wya?), and that's something that I've grown to appreciate as I've gotten older.

I brought my desktop with me on this trip, and in doing so I found myself listening to a lot of music, which led me to this song shown below. 'Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, pt. 1' by the Flaming Lips is a song that inspired much of Yoshimi's personality and life. Just as the girl in this song is described, both of them work for their cities, both of them know martial arts, both of them are on journeys of self-discipline, both of them have to take medications to fix their own health issues, and both of them have to deal with 'robots'. But in my case, Yoshimi's robots are more self-imposed robots brought on by her own poor decision-making skills. Pining for a time that evokes intense nostalgia, all the while participating in bad habits and addiction.

There's a small part of Yoshimi that I feel lives inside all of us, or at least those who are apart of Gen-Z like myself. Those who go through life with dreams of grandeur, all the while being tempted with the vices of the world. It's a constant battle between virtue and vice that I'm looking forward to exploring more into as the series goes on.

Be nice to each other.
-berry


๐Ÿ“6.1.2020 / k n o w l e d g e

Do you remember those YouTube ads that featured that bearded guy that was in his garage flexing his new Lamborghini and had all these bookshelves behind him, talking about how he values k n o w l e d g e more than his Italian sports car? Those ads were weird, but in that ad, I did see some remanence of truth. Maybe it's my own bias from recently graduating from university, but that line of his about knowledge being more valuable than material positions resonated with me then and still does. IOSB started off as inspiration from my time working and living on my own for the first time, as well as inspiration from a well-known song that I'll talk about tomorrow, but it was acquiring the appropriate skills and knowledge about how visual novels are made that has led me to this point (shoutout to 'A Twist of Otome' for their article on what's needed to make a visual novel and the Lemonchan Discord server, they helped me out a lot when I was just starting out).

Back in the summer of 2018 when I was studying in Toronto, I picked up a copy of 'Blood, Sweat, and Pixels' by Jason Schreier. I read it during the flight to Toronto and during my stay in the city, In that book, I learned about the creative and technical logistics that go into game-making that never crossed my mind before. Many of the concepts that Jason talked about in the first chapter are things that I've thought about with my own games and studio, such as:

  • Games Being Interactive: While Jason talked about video games not moving in a single linear director, IOSB is a kinetic visual novel with only one storyline. They'll definitely be more games in the future, but that's just how I've liked telling stories. Even back when I just wrote stories for fun. And even then, many of the concepts of cinematography and storyboarding went into designing the backgrounds. But the game engine does keep track of actions through the ability to save spots and keep track of dialogue history.

  • Technology Constantly Changing: Ren'Py was the only visual novel engine that I knew when I was just starting out. I'm glad that I've been able to adapt and get assistance in managing the more technological aspects through friends and those online who've been willing to help out. But other than a few updates here and there from technical bugs, the technology for this project hasn't changed much since 2018. I'll talk to my artists and voice talents the next time I contact them to ask if anything has changed for them.

  • The Tools Are Always Different: I've only used some physical notebooks, Ren'Py, and social media to make IOSB a reality from my end. My artists and voice artists have all sorts of software and fancy equipment that they use. This is something that I'll have to ask them about as well. The tools might be unique, but not much has changed in the two years that IOSB has been worked on in terms of the tools being used on my end.

  • Scheduling Is Impossible: This is something that I agree 100% with Jason on. There were so many times that I would be up until the crack of dawn to communicate with my background artist from Russia or my friends from Europe to make this game possible. Much of the direct communications and planning that still happens only comes from when others are available to do so. We all come from different backgrounds, creeds, and nationalities and I am respectful of who everyone is. But even then, trying to schedule everyone at once is like trying to pull teeth.

  • It's Impossible to Know How "Fun" a Game Will Be Until You've Played It: That might be true if you are making a game in a more sophisticated engine like Unreal or Unity, but with how this game's story is styled along with the linear gameplay, it's been pretty easy to tell which parts were enjoyable and which parts needed work. But a part of that might come from having people to help edit and critique the story (Shoutout to DefeatedSanity).

All in all, this is a valuable book that all aspiring game-makers should pick up and read. I'm looking forward to future books by Jason and learning more about the industry.

I'll touch more on the inspirations for Yoshimi tomorrow, including that song.

-berry

[My apologies in advance for any spelling errors. It's been a busy day.]


๐Ÿ“5.30.2020 / Fan-Art and Commissions Galore
These are all the commissions and fan-art of Yoshimi Adelina Hertz that have been created since March of 2018 with the tags of each artist. You all are the best.

-berry


@CowardlyMajor

@GamerGirlKat94

@EiScreamu (Yoshimi's voice actor)

@miki_the_creep

@Karasz_Arts

@ToonarsContent

JuanFox

I couldn't find the tag for this artist. His/her account name must've changed. But if you're out there, thank you.

-berry


๐Ÿ“5.29.2020 / "GUI?! What's that?"
I had no idea what GUI meant going into this project, I didn't know much about Ren'Py, and my knowledge of coding, in general, came from my more youthful memories of reading about people using code for the lulz like DerpTrolling, LulzSec, and back when Anonymous actually did hacktivism instead of being a conspiracy YouTube channel that talks about chemtrails and "muh NWO". But if IOSB was going to become a reality, I knew I'd have to adapt and adapt quickly. One of the best skills that I have learned from this project has been building up my knowledge of Python and understanding the importance of collaboration and reaching out to others when you need help. Collaboration has been at the heart of this project since the beginning, and I'm thankful to have such as devoted and caring team.

I wanted to make the GUI resemble a journal and reflect the busy life that Yoshimi and a lot of us have in the developed, neoliberal democracies of the world (Unless you're a NEET, and even then you're probably getting NEET-bux. Take those NEET-bux and help a developer out. Please and thank you.). If you look at the title screen and the logo, you'll see that it's filled to the brim with scribbles and activities that reflect Yoshimi and what she does with all of her time. So many of our lives are preoccupied with work, school, money, and our own perceived social status that we can forget sometimes to take a step back and enjoy the local communities that we have near us.

But I'll go further into that another day...

-berry


๐Ÿ“5.28.2020 / Many Mimis
Last year, I gave an interview to GameCuddle.com, an online gaming publication operated by N.W. and Stephanie Sanderson; a very nice couple who owned a video game store and then became amateur journalists. Anyone who wants to read a publication by gamers, for gamers should check these guys out. In the interview that we did, I mentioned some of the rough drafts that I did of Yoshimi before deciding to work with Erickiwi (deviantart.com/lizbeat), but they didn't show up in the article. Here's a link to the article for reference. [https://gamecuddle.com/our-interview-with-developer-berry-about-his-visual-novel-im-oh-so-busy-a-week-with-yoshimi-2/]

Pictured below are some rough drafts that I did of Yoshimi back in January of 2018 with an app called, "Avatar Factory". I was interning and studying in D.C. during the time when the idea for Yoshimi was really starting to come together. I wanted to create a character who represented the unchanging rhythm and professional culture in Washington and the public sector that I was working in at the time, as well as the lifestyle of the typical college student that we see so much of in contemporary Western culture (partying, Greek life, my own introversion, excessive drinking, brunch, etc...). But I didn't have the know-how to do digital art myself, so I looked to find someone who would help the Guild out to make my vision a reality. After much searching and negotiation, Erickiwi joined the team and has been a great friend and teammate over the past nearly three years.

It went from sweet and bubbly this...

To maximum waifu material the skinny legend we have today. And Cinnamon too, but that's another story.

-berry


๐Ÿ“5.27.2020 / Internationale Clique
The Berry Guild is beholden to no sovereign country. While my area of expertise is on western philosophy, we are an international studio that has united around a shared interest to tell stories that serve to critique and examine the modern world using the realm of internet culture. All of us have various tastes in music, fashion, food, literature, and art. We are ordinary people like you who understand the need for a healthy community in an ever fast-paced world where people become more concerned about the number of likes their posts get in the short-term then they are about their friends and acquaintances in the long-term. International problems require international solutions. ๐ŸŒ๐ŸŒŽ๐ŸŒ

From Mexico, South Africa, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Russia, Canada, Denmark, and Venezuela, we have built a wide-reaching studio that I hope will continue to expand as time goes on.


Wash your hands,
-berry


๐Ÿ“5.26.2020 / Can't Let Mimi Starve:
Making a visual novel is still a lot of hard work, but the story of Mimi must be heard! Especially since she's got rent to pay. In the past few months of my absence from this blog, a lot has transpired in the production of 'I'm Oh, So Busy...: A Week with Yoshimi' that makes me confident that it can be released this Summer to Itch.io and later to Steam this Fall. Such things include:

-The finalization of the IOSB Soundtrack. I was planning to get CYGN on it but couldn't due to some disagreements with his label on the pricing on his beats. Everyone else who is on my soundtrack as in independent producer, but most labels that you work with want payment upfront to keep away the clout-chasers and scammers. But Danish producer Axian was so kind to produce an original song for IOSB. Check out his work at (youtube.com/user/homelumsen) and support his work if you can. Go support CRAETION too if you can at soundcloud.com/craetion); he gave me his entire discography to work with and I can't thank him enough.

-All of the game's hundreds of sprites have been coded into Ren'Py. As well as the new dialogue and sounds. It took quite a bit of time and a lot of patience, but now it's done! Shoutout to Dodo for the support and help (dodobro.co.uk).

Other than these two big things that are now done, all that needs to be completed now is the game's GUI and the game will be good to go. The original plan was to get the game out by my graduation from university a few weeks ago. But due to Corona-chan being a disease-spreading thot about it, all of my classes and work switched to the online format. The good news now is that with the whole world on house arrest, it gives me more time to meet with team members from around the world to get things done in a more timely manner.

As of now, the goal is to get IOSB out on Itch.io by the end of the Summer, but by June if possible. After that, I'll put the game out on Steam and will begin work on future Guild games and writing the next chapters of the IOSB saga. As of now I feel very optimistic and will use this website as a way to log my progress and share with all of you my background, philosophy, and reasons for making visual novels. And I hope that all of you will join me on this journey.

Stay safe,
-berry


๐Ÿ“12.31.2019 / The Long Game:
Making a visual novel is a lot of hard work. I'm thankful to have such a supportive and hard-working team by my side. Every day that I load up my computer and communicate with my team, I always learn something new. Perhaps that's just something that comes with the positon of being a first-timer.

-berry


Berry's Resume


Founder and Lead Developer - The Berry Guild
March 2018 - present


Story, Script Editing, Programming, Development, Music Production, Art Direction, & Voice Casting - "I'm Oh, So Busy...: A Week with Yoshimi"
March 2018 - August 2020


The Berry Guild ยฉ 2018 - 2020