Hi everyone! Hope you are all doing well. It was my birthday a few days ago, so I am still in a happy mood ːexceliaː.
Karousel-k is Vinty's original artist, and she provided the illustrations for both Without Within 1 and 2. This year, due to scheduling conflicts, we have decided to part ways for now. Should we start by thanking her for all the work she has done? Without her art, Vinty and Excelia's stories would not have been the same ːvintywhyː.
Today, I would like to introduce you to our new artist, Arisa-Chibara. Here is a preview of her work so far:
And of course, we cannot let a post pass by without Vinty:
With the extra time needed to find our new artist, I have concerns about releasing WOWI3 before Christmas. Since the story takes place in December, a timely release would be great, but quality comes first, so we will see as the months unfold.
In addition to this, I would like to use this chance to share with you my next project, The Last Birdling:
When I reflect, I realize I have been doing this for five years. Not sure if a nobody like me is allowed to brag about a five year anniversary project, but The Last Birdling would meet that criteria, and Without Within 3 as well, of course.
Hey everyone! Hope you have been enjoying 2016 ːexceliaː.
Well, this is it—I have decided to produce Without Within 3 in 2017. The story this time will take place during Christmas, so I am hoping for a timely release in around November. Please look forward to joining Vinty on her next adventure!
You know, Without Within 2 is not at all a financial success, and I gave this series a lot of thought during my Singapore and Malaysia trip back in 2015. I am thankful for everyone's support, but those Chinese translations pushed the project over budget, so the journey has been difficult.
No, I need to let Without Within end. I love Vinty, but I cannot progress my career with a niche series like this, I thought to myself.
Then one evening, I took a stroll around the streets of Penang, and as I gazed toward the distant beach, the ideas came flooding in. Vinty was telling me that hey, my story is far from over.
Perhaps Vinty meets a new calligrapher in Malaysia? No, maybe she reunites with Excelia first. Is there a new character, and if so, who is this person? Well, maybe this, or perhaps that.
All right, I am sneaking back to my hotel to type this all up.
You folks play a big part in this as well. Most of my other titles are more financially successful than Without Within, but none of them have bonded us together in the same way. One guy messaged in to say Vinty's tale has inspired him to pursue his photography dreams, while another girl is actually into calligraphy as well. There is just no way to tag a price on stories like these.
So yes, this is why I have no choice but to keep going. I know many players have no interest in the sightseeing aspects of WOWI2. Well, I am sorry, but I want to keep sharing my passion with you, so WOWI3 will continue that trend with links to real life footage of Singapore and Malaysia.
It sucks to end things on a downer, but to set expectations early, due to budget issues, it is extremely unlikely that WOWI3 will feature Chinese translations. I am deeply sorry about this, and it is my fault that Vinty’s adventures have not been well received enough to justify the costs involved. Some players have kindly offered to provide fan translations, but this is beyond my control, so I cannot make any guarantees.
Hello everyone ːexceliaː! I will be sharing this on both the WOWI 1 and 2 boards, so sorry about the double post.
A couple of years ago, I found artist Karousel because I wanted to create a mascot for the InvertMouse brand:
Original sketch VS Karousel's render
And so came the birth of Vinty, who later starred in her own Without Within series. The first game was free, which certainly helped with reaching as many gamers as possible. I have never released a title that was loved (and hated!) by so many people before, so WOWI 1 will always hold a special place in my heart. Thank you to everyone who connected with this struggling calligrapher through the WOWI series.
When I heard Karousel wants to focus on her own projects in 2016, I knew I needed to make a post and celebrate the work she has done in the past few years. I wish for her continued success as an artist, so here is her website for those who wish to keep in touch:
If you enjoyed the Without Within series, be sure to let her know! Vinty is not just my character or Karousel’s. At this point, she belongs to the entire community.
As we proceed, I could find a new artist for Vinty and her games, but the truth is, I too am looking to change up my formula starting from 2017. During my Singapore and Malaysia trip last year, a new adventure for Vinty did cross my mind. Unfortunately, I am unsure when or if this story will be brought to life.
If I were to continue the WOWI series, I want to continue that travel novel trend from the second title. Vinty visits a new location, and there will be real life footage scattered throughout the adventure. I have a deep love for places, and I enjoy sharing this passion through the WOWI games.
However, according to most of WOWI 2’s negative reviews, many people do not share this sentiment, which is totally okay. I tried my best to mix storytelling with sightseeing, but perhaps I did not do good enough of a job, as some gamers thought the plot was lacking compared to WOWI 1. Most people enjoyed WOWI 2, but the feedback does shake my confidence to continue this series in the tourism direction.
Next comes the translation costs. Both WOWI 1 and 2 are available in Chinese as well as English. I barely broke even with WOWI 2’s development costs, and the translation fees played a huge role. If I ever produced WOWI 3, I doubt I would be able to feature another Chinese translation. This sort of thing happens even for larger titles, but the potential disappointment from players does frighten me quite a bit.
I am keen to share Vinty and Excelia’s next adventure with the world, but I am trying to grow this brand, and I think the market dictates I should venture in a new direction. Definitely not closing the books forever just yet, though.
Thank you for reading through this! Please feel free to share your thoughts ːvintysmileː.
Hello everyone! It has been a while since we last talked here in this group.
I was working on the first Without Within around this time last year. When the game hit Steam, it received mixed responses initially, but I am grateful those who connected with Vinty really showed some serious support. Thank you so much for that.
Back in 2014, I had no intention of creating any sort of sequel to Without Within. To be honest, even if people asked for it, if no story idea came to mind, it would be hard for me to budge. But you folks really were so kind with all the requests, and a new adventure started to brew, so I decided to give it a shot. This sequel exists thanks to you, and it is very much a game that belongs to the community.
Juggling Cursed Sight as well as WOWI2 this year proved to be pretty challenging, but now, as we head toward the final month of 2015, I am happy to share this launch announcement with you. Without Within 2 has just been released onto Steam:
Vinty is attending a calligraphy event over in Melbourne. At last, she will be able to meet Excelia, the world famous calligrapher. Determined to study and mimic her idol's every move, will Vinty end up losing her identity?
Early this year, I published Without Within onto Steam thanks to people's kind support on greenlight. In truth, the game started off very poorly. People hated how short it was, and many just loathed visual novels and anime in general. A lot of you gave it a chance, though, and that makes me really grateful.
Though still thin by VN standards (shorter than Cursed Sight), Without Within 2 will run at around five times the length of the original. It will be a kinetic novel without choices, as I no longer wish to sprinkle in contrived choices again like I did with the first game.
This sequel is also a "travel novel" of sorts as well. Throughout the game, players will see links that will take them to various videos of Melbourne Australia, which is where the story takes place. I hope players will enjoy the sights in these optional videos.
Hello everyone! Hope you have been doing awesome. I wanted to share this progress image of Without Within 2 here today. The game will be in full color, so not to worry! Just trying to act all mysterious ːblushː.
I need to release Cursed Sight before I launch Without Within 2. At this pace, I am hoping for a demo version to be released in September. A kickstarter and greenlight campaign will go up at the same time. September is Animaga as well! I have a booth there, and I will be doing some research over in Melbourne.
You know, I like to make money, and I want my projects to be loved by players. Nothing new or special about that. With WOWI, those desires are still there, but I have a different wish as well.
You see, through this sequel, I hope I will be able to connect with people again. Let's face it, calligraphy is a niche hobby, but if WOWI pushed people to continue their photography, art or YouTube careers, it hardly gets more awesome than that. No agenda, though. A fun old time first and everything else is a bonus.
It does help that the first game is free, because it has helped me make more friends than my other releases. It has been really cool folks. Thank you tons, and I will be in touch again soon ːthankyouː.
These days, it is so easy to tease and tease, and by the time the game is released, you have seen way too much. I will share just the above sketch of Excelia, but we are definitely making progress over here. For those who are kindly following me in general, I am working on another game named Cursed Sight, and that project takes priority.
I have also been expanding to more social media platforms. They will all offer different content, so if possible, I would love to have your support on these sites:
I would love to emphasize the Tumblr account in particular. A number of you have kindly messaged me to say Without Within has inspired you in your endeavors. It is a story about an artist, after all. My Tumblr account contains entries about my journey, so I hope I may connect with you on that platform.
Though these sites provide different content, I hope for them to carry the same spirit present in this InvertMouse brand, if I may say that. As for what that attitude is, I think players should be allowed to decide for themselves. Hopefully your impression is a positive one.
Hello everyone! A lot of you have kindly asked for it, so here it is. Above is a teaser image for Vinty's new adventure. Though we still have months of production ahead, I wanted to reveal that there is indeed a project in the works. Where will this new journey take place? If anyone recognizes that building in the backdrop, that might give it away.
The first draft of the script is 17,000 words in length. Compared to the 4000 word script of Without Within, hopefully this will be a meatier experience while remaining succinct. The script will further evolve in these upcoming months.
At the moment, this new story is a linear one. In the original game, quick bad ends were written to express some of the painful choices artists are forced to make. This time around, I feel like there is no need to repeat that process. Rather than potentially dividing my focus, I hope to tell a single story with maximum clarity. This might change as time progresses, but for now, hopefully you guys will be on board. Please feel free to voice your thoughts, though!
Has anyone here played Shan Gui or Go Go Nippon? I like calling those games "travel novels". When I travel, I often develop a love for new places similar to the way we connect with people. Without Within will always be a series about Vinty's struggles as an artist. However, I also wish to share my joy of visiting unfamiliar places in this new story. I hope we will be able to connect.
Earlier, I mentioned releasing this new story as a DLC, but with my current schedule, it will be well past July before I have any real chance of closing this thing out. If the dates are far enough apart, perhaps it might be more appropriate to put this new title up for another round on greenlight. We will see how things play out.
So, what else is on my plate? Months before Without Within came out on Steam, I have in fact been producing a new project named Cursed Sight. The game has just been announced earlier today, so I really hope you could consider checking it out. All the details are available here:
Hello everyone. Thank you so much for supporting Without Within on Steam. I really appreciate all of your feedback!
Not everyone enjoys visual novels in the community, so I knew there would be some negativity involved in this release. However, when I read reviews of folks enjoying the read, then feeling bummed out that it ended so quickly, I really felt like I had disappointed them. It is like we talking on the phone, and just as a cool topic starts, I suddenly just hung up. I really regret that.
Before some of my titles appeared on Steam, I had a small community of supporters. Without Within was my little gift for those kind people. Once the game hit Steam, even if it is a free title, perhaps it needed more substance. Though I have always preferred being succinct over padding out content, I have absolutely taken everyone's feedback on board.
Even before Without Within arrived on Steam, a few people have kindly asked for more of Vinty's adventures. In response, I do in fact have a new story planned for the end of this year. At the moment, I am working on another project around 40,000 words in length, but it is unrelated to Vinty.
I had wanted to keep this new Vinty adventure a surprise for Christmas of this year. Now that Without Within is on Steam, the situation changes a bit. Should this new adventure be added as a DLC? Or should I return to Greenlight and showcase it as a new title? I will aim to write a more expansive tale, but I have no plans for this to become some sort of epic. In that case, perhaps this new story does not warrant being its own title.
The timing is a big worry I have. DLC releases can be relatively quiet, and if I lose touch with you folks because of this twelve month wait, that would be so unfortunate. I do post updates on Facebook, but I hope to avoid hounding people to like my page 24/7.
So those were some thoughts that I wanted to share with you all. Thank you so much everyone ːthankyouː!