Life after 4LS

I have been thinking about this post for a while.

Something always comes up, something is always more important, and sleep is always more attractive than writing.

It’s now been more than a year and a half since the day I spat the dummy and left 4LS. And that was pretty much what it was; I was at the centre of yet another shitstorm, life had changed, and I was just over it.

I won’t go into the details. In fact I’m sure that no-one will actually remember the details, nor will they care.

However, I am now graced with the ability to view 4LS from the outside. . Before you start salavating at the concept of inside gossip or spoilers, I should warn you that there probably aren’t many. 4LS is a pretty tight-knit team. Most of the time they can get through the shitstorms and come out with a better project.

Okay, back in the room.

I think of Katawa Shoujo as my baby. I helped it to be born into this world, I helped it learn to walk, sent it to school, basked in the glory in it coming first in class… and then let go.

For a while it was a scary prospect; I released three years of hard work into the hands of others, but I think it was time for that. I burned brightly but reached the limit of my ability, and so it was a good time to pass on the baton.

I look at some of the great things coming out of 4LS and the KS fanbase ocasionally and think… wow. It’s like I can bask in the legacy of something that I’ve done before I’ve even done it. I know that the remaining 4LS members are still doing the hard slog in order to get this game up, and I still celebrate the little victories, but I am no longer a part of that world.

I am sure that KS will be released soon(er or later). Behind the hubbub of the public forums there is a constant stream of development activity that I am still privvy to.

Honestly, I wish I could write more. I would love to fill my travel blog with some of the places that I’ve had the good fortune to visit. I wish that I could use what little time I have to be able to pull a coherant story together… but I can’t. At least not with any conviction. There are only so many hours to the day, and writing is not a quick process.

I’m not sure how this ties into my original “Life after 4LS” topic. An hour ago I had a head full of ideas, but then I realised that most of them were really just useless.

Let me finish on this thought. The one thing that bugged me the most about 4LS has probably had the greatest effect on my life. When I first joined 4LS I was at a low point. At the time I thought it was a good time, but really, it wasn’t. In so many ways I had sunk so low in so many areas that I was little more than a maniac. I was living with an actual maniac at the time, and we got along fine (until he tried to kill me). I had given up on any professional aspirations, and was basically living from payday to payday. I even selected jobs based on the related payday so as to maximise my cashflow. Whilst I was still a professional, I wan’t acting like one.

4LS reminded me in so many ways that you just can’t accept crap and try to sell it to people as gold. I don’t read OELVNs because I know a lot of them don’t realise this. Your OELVN creation circle should challenge you at every turn to become a better artist/writer/director/musician/editor/whatever. If it isn’t doing that then you are basically doing nothing more than masturbation. Releasing your own self-satisfying spunk into the world and asking people to heap praise upon you for doing so is nothing but the worst form of narcolepsy.

I hope you rot in hell, Samu-kun,


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