I’ve been cruising the internets when I’m not busy with mirror moon, work, or writing my own story, and I have stumbled across (with the nudge from Peorth and Graus) about Katawa Shoujo.
Katawa Shoujo (goddammit, I keep typing ‘Kawata’) is the biggest (known) Original English Language Visual Novel (more commonly known as OELVN) project to date. I believe they are approaching the 200,000 word mark, which is pretty big, considering it’s almost a third of the size of Tsukihime, quite hefty itself.
It is an eroge and is under development by Four Leaf Studios. KS was partially inspired by a thread on 4chan’s /a/ board, which is fairly amazing in my opinion, as you have to have balls of steel or lack of brains to take a page of doodles, character descriptions and ideas, scenarios and somehow compile it into a visual novel.
Katawa Shoujo’s main quirkiness (apart from the easily-typoable name; did it again :/) is that all of the main characters are disabled in some way. The main character you play, Hisao, has a heart condition; some are blind, some are without legs, and so on. The story is set in a school for the disabled. I thought it was initially odd at first to have a visual novel full of cripples, I gradually warmed up to the idea, as it brings out the idea that disabled people have feelings, too.
I have seen some of the character designs and I am definitely already liking some characters more than others (so sue me). Also, the backing music is composed by NicolArmarfi, and after hearing a sample (namely Romance in Andante II), I would have to say the music is probably one of the main things I’m looking forward to in Katawa Shoujo.
A demo is being worked on, although estimated time of completion is unknown.
I’ll be keeping an eye on this project, so I guess I’ll keep people posted.