Here I am once more interviewing an interesting person leading an interesting game developing company manned by an interesting staff with interesting ideas. This time I will be interviewing Lupiesoft‘s Lead Artist/Director, Taosym as we discuss Lupiesoft’s upcoming yurirific visual/kinetic novel lineup for 2016 and 17 and some other topics. Enjoy the read.
1: Tell readers a bit about Lupiesoft as a company.
Taosym: Lupiesoft was a company that was founded in early 2013 for the purpose of making alternative games for alternative audiences, our games are very niche and weird and for that we’ve attracted a big audience that wants to see these kind of games get made who’s never really had people cater to them before.
2: What motivated the company to create titles with yuri and sometimes futanari yuri protagonists?
Taosym: No one else was making the kind of games we wanted to play. We’re very open and direct about our sexualities in a society that demonizes people like us, a huge portion of our audience is queer/trans who want erotic or sex without the squick. Expansive universes, diverse characters etc. we also like that too and it’s the niche we’ve found and honestly what makes us unique in the VN scene we think.
3: How did the entire Lupie-Verse (Lungarde) come to be?
Taosym: Just ideas mostly, formulated over several years. Eventually I decided to compile these thoughts, ideas and link them together into a coherent story. While the DH-universe is meant to feel more natural, the Toko-verse was a chance to embrace the weirdest ideas I’ve had, which people will see as the Toko series expands.
4: Do all Lupiesoft titles take place in the same galaxy/planet/dimension?
Taosym: Toko is its own separate thing. Hardcore fans of ours have already noticed the DH-verse is divided into periods or ages. It will take many years to get to those other periods.
5: Dizzy Hearts is shaping up to be Lupiesoft’s biggest project to date alongside the currently ongoing episodic title The Reject Demon Toko. After many ups and downs throughout the past few years DH is getting closer to its completion. Tell us a bit about the challenges revolving around Dizzy Hearts’ production.
Taosym: Dizzy Hearts is a huge story, starting with a human named Seriva who’s people live primarily in underground cities to avoid the sun. She goes from a side of the world that always faces the sun, to the side that always faces the moon. It’s been difficult because of the amount of characters in the game, and the depth each of their stories has, to not lose focus on the big picture. The game is primarily about Seriva and Mercilia, a sort of absentee elvish princess who’s been shirking most of her duties as princess.
It’s quite late, but with the recent release of Mghty #9 it’s confirmed our internal feelings that late and good is better than late and underwhelming, it will mean nothing if we rush Dizzy Hearts now.
6: Give readers a preview of what they can expect from Dizzy Hearts.
Taosym: It’s a coming of age story at it’s heart. But it’s also the story about love and the great and terrible things it can do to people. It’s also about a duty and how this duty reflects on every character in there story, how they feel about their lot in life and the abraision that comes between two characters of conflicting view points. But ultimately it’s a love story about a human and an elf. And by the way some elf girls also have dicks.
7: It has been mentioned that The Menagerie and Dizzy Hearts take place in the same continent. Will there be references to Alabast and/or cameos from Menagerie’s cast in Dizzy Hearts?
Taosym: Cameos no, references yes. These places are seperated by great distances and only a small few have ever traveled such distances, Seriva is one of the few travelers to cross the Rift.
8: The Reject Demon Toko Chapter 0: Prelude will soon be receiving a DLC add-on that will include some new content along with fully voiced dialogue. How did this come to be? (Also an estimated price)
Taosym: There will be a free patch that updates the sprites and the UI for the game, a couple images, adds a CG or two and up-resses the game to 1440p. There’s going to be a separate DLC for $4.99 that adds full voice acting.
10: How did the entire concept of Toko come to be?
Taosym: A love of music in all it’s forms and genres (or many of them), and stereotype that music is satanic and demons invented Rock n’ Roll. I took all the ideas and inspirations for Toko to their logical extremes. Toko starts off fairly normal, but through the chapters you’ll get to see how crazy the world can be.
11: Will there be other yuri pairings besides Toko and her sweet honey Nadia in the upcoming chapters (1-3)?
Taosym: Kind of? There’s more gays in Toko definitely, but some won’t be as direct as Toko & Nadia and some will be, but Toko/Nadia’s relationship is central to the story of Toko.
12: Give readers a preview of what they can expect from Stargazers.
Taosym: Stargazers is based on pulp sci-fi, mecha anime, art styles like art deco and retrofuturism. It’s about a ship stationed in deep space on one of the arms of the Milky Way Galaxy, part of a wing of the military called the Allied Defense Force Signals, and a group of pilots called Stargazers Squadron. The goal as Signals is to come to this part of the galaxy, establish FTL communications with home, scout for potential colonies, chart it and defend it if need be.
13: Two of Stargazers’ three leading ladies are already in a relationship. How does the third protagonist fit into the equation?
A: There’s some initial conflict and jealousy but that doesn’t go away over night, it’s a polyamorous yuri story, we’re going to be adding erotic content and sex scenes to the game. There will be friction but there’s also going to be them coming together as a poly couple.
14: There are mechs in Stargazers. Without giving too much away how much “robattle” action can we expect in the story?
Taosym: It won’t be in this game, there are missions the girls go on in their mechs, but no mech battles in this story. If people feel they want more Stargazers we’d certainly like to see more of the universe. But we didn’t go into this saying it’s definitely going to have chapters. If the story ends, readers shouldn’t feel bad, but if it continues there is a LOT of room the story can grow, and that includes mech battles.
The story can accept battles, but we also are inspired by the likes of Star Trek which were more cerebral or had more socially centered stories and not just space battles.
15: What does the future hold for Lupiesoft after all big titles had been released?
Taosym: Who knows, there’s almost too many places we could go, we’re only scratching the surface of the DH universe and we could potentially do anything, go anywhere we wanted after Dizzy Hearts.
16: What veteran advice do you have for up and coming visual/kinetic developers out there?
Taosym: Make your own community, don’t be afraid to fuck up or too scared to share work you think is bad. Don’t get bogged down in people’s hot takes, listen to the sound advice of people who offer it to you. But ultimately getting good at something means to start very bad at something, and get progressively better at it until you’re great.
VNs are becoming increasingly more accessible, but we unfortunately have a western VN community with no interest in propagating the medium, one that thrives on drama and crucifies mistakes made by beginning devs until they quit. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, it’s how you learn to do anything.
17: What other pastimes do you have when not developing games or doing other work?
Taosym: I write and catalogue story lore/ideas, plan out worlds. I play Pen&Paper, MMOs, Hearthstone when I have free time. Try to finish Commissions of which I owe a few people. But honestly my work schedule is almost my entire day.
18: Before concluding the interview, what last message do you have for readers?
Taosym: Surround the world in happy elves.
Thank you very much for accepting this interview and I and many others are looking forward to Lupiesoft’s lineup for 2016 and 2017 which includes:
- The Stargazers
- The Reject Demon Toko Chapter 1
- Dizzy Hearts