Today marks the day, 1 year ago that I officially started Dizzy Hearts. So I decided that since it was coming up, I might as well draw something for it, and then talk a bit about the project itself. And how I started it.
When I started, the project was nothing more than an idea in a notebook. Barely more than a couple pages, which actually contained a bulk of Dizzy Hearts "story". Since then i've torn through stack of notebooks. A few websites, and ideas, and I even began to learn what it means to promote. Before then I had never really used Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, or much social media. I was pretty introverted and typically just wrote and played in tabletop campaigns with friends. The interest is Japanese media was mostly my own thing.
The decision to make DH what it is, essentially a love story about a human and a futanari girl was something that survived from the very beginning. And it was a story that I had wanted to tell since I was young. I had gotten involved in reading, watching and writing erotica at a very young age. In those years I had gained what I think is a tremendous understanding, and respect for fetishes. The why's and how's and why it was so interesting to people who have them. Now everyone has a fetish, regardless of whether they admit to it or not. I myself had to acceptthat you can't really get rid of a fetish once you have it, especially if it's a pretty strong one. Depending on what it is, you have to feed that fetish safely, and accept it, or it will destroy you. Socially or literally.
My interest in futanari started when I was 12-13 when I first watched Parade Parade. Which is about a idol singer who is a futa, and her relationship with her manager, and their whole story. To me even now it's uncommon to see many 'porn stories' try to take a fetish like futanari/hermaphrodites and make a love story out of it. Since then I had a strong interest in yuri and futa, and specifically romantic related futanari. Sadly the amount that actually exists and is genuine is very small. Futanari as most people see it is an extreme fetish filled with monster penises and rivers of semen. I too have drawn it, because that is what people like, and what they commission for. But in comparing, now and then. You absolutely can tell a "normal" love story about futa (by normal I mean, something reasonably human). But people just don't know about it anymore, it's not something they're exposed to.
I've always tried to capture a story like that in my head. And part of the reason why I have been so belligerent in working on Dizzy Hearts, even when no one is there to back you up. Is because I believe in the project. Because I feel i've captured what I wanted to show people. What is generally considered to be obscene, perverse, and extreme doesn't have to be that way. And it generally means risking a lot of manhours, time, energy, effort and good-will to push for a game that no one but you and a precious few believe in.
Truly I wish I could do more to develop interest in the project. But as I said at the beginning. You could summarize the story of Dizzy Hearts in a single page. But what happens in the story, is based on the interaction of the individual characters. I hope Dizzy Hearts to be a bit more dialogue based. More natural, to give the reader a feeling that you are reading a normal conversation, and normal dialogue rather than something that seems bizarre, with forced drama. There is plenty of drama on tap already. One girl has a dick.
When I first conceived of Dizzy Hearts, it was completely different. A while back I was inspired to keep the game familiar, to have people transition with comfort into the game based on pre-existing stories. The game was set in a more pre-existing world(changed to protect me). And instead of just elves, Mercilia and the rest of the characters were Drow.
Now when I first talked about DH, I brought it to 4chan. Mostly because I had been going there for many years and I believed in the creative and collaborative force the website had, that could be tapped if one tried hard to. Katawa Shoujo proved that much. Surprisingly a lot of the comments were positive, with insightful critiques. Critique that I honestly had never really felt before, and it honestly moved me and the project far farther than anything else ever had.
Perhaps the biggest changes to the game came from that one user. Who inspired me to change DH. First being that the setting. The Drow would bog the setting down, it would be more about the accuracy of the setting. If I pulled it off incorrectly, the community expectations would backfire. How the Drow act compared to the Drow that they know. It would seem fake and it would attract people expecting one thing, but receiving something utterly different. As well as other changes. Including the scale of the game, which was too large for a semi-solo project. etc. Of course i'm paraphrasing here as I am not as succinct as it was. It was then I decided to scale back the size of the game, and then scale up the shell of the game.
I decided to remove all expectations about the races, the cultures, the civilizations, the world etc. and do something I wanted to do every since I was a small boy reading Tolkein and build a world myself. I was never a gifted writer, I struggled to learn English due to mild dyslexia and other learning disabilities. even as my first language, and I am not skilled at it now. But I loved drawing (even though I also have deuteranopia color blindness). But when I decided to put my feet completely into Dizzy Hearts I knew I had to start practicing my art and so I could draw for the game and do justice for it. Instead of making it look ugly. A year ago, I put out preliminary concept designs of the world, the characters and began to write and draw. When I felt I really wanted to draw DH stuff again, I began to redo the designs. And work on them as sprites. What you see now are not complete however. Sprites will of course need final passes before I feel they are ready to launch.
The rest are much the same.
You can tell fairly quickly how much changes went into each design, as well as my feel towards each character. Though Seriva, Mercilia and Nail changed the most in terms of appearance and character. Aunyrae and Irraere changed only in design.
As you can understand it causes me considerable physical pain to show these old designs off. As I always try to take two steps forward, always seeking to surpass every picture with something better. Mixed with considerable amounts of self loathing. These I feel are keys to building a better story and design..
What started with a simple unknown rock in space to a living world. I've done a lot of writing and changes surrounding the Dizzy Hearts story. I have filled notebooks with etymology, anthropology, culture, civilizations and topology. Some of the most numerous changes to Dizzy Hearts have been in response to the design of the world. I spoke a little bit about it in Concept pt.1 (there is a pt.2 on the way). On /vg/ I received a lot of responses that were deeply motivating as before. But insightful not only to me from others, but by me to myself. In terms of realizing flaws in the concept and design. As I had said, Dizzy Hearts is many parts completely made up. While topology, climate and discussing the concept of tidal locked planets is interesting to me. These are simply concepts, the scaffolding around a world to hold it together. There are many reasons why such a world should not exist, from solar winds, to proximity to the sun. But as in many stories where fantasy is the focus. Magic, or at least "A wizard did it" ideas are necessary to keep the model from collapsing on itself.
But despite that, there is much more to talk about in Concept pt.2, where I will talk more about Elven society, the topology and changes to rest of the world. Though I am going to focus mostly on things relevant to Dizzy Hearts
Understandably, this seems a bit much for a "porn story" I'd agree that maybe going through this much effort for some fap time is a bit much. But I hope to continue drawing, and writing long after Dizzy Hearts. I don't want to constrain myself in what stories I liked to tell. It could be erotic, or it could be something utterly different. But I don't necessarily consider erotica to be the nail in a coffin. That sex is a strong part in human culture. It's a huge part in elf culture. Not from a pornographic perspective, but from a real one.
Realistically I am motivated to tell the story of Dizzy Hearts, which in itself, is the story of Mercilia. In a sense she is the main character the story revolves around, even though you play from the perspective of Seriva. I hope that people become interested in the game, the concept. Enough to support the game, and not simply write it off as a "dumb futa game" to which no member is giving any serious effort to completing.
Thanks to everyone who's supported Dizzy Hearts, or has shown an interest in it, I love you all. And I have always shown deep appreciation to anyone who's been interested in my works, few and far between they are. You guys are the foundation everything is built on!