While not knowing exactly how ‘extreme’ the visual novel, Gender Bender DNA Twister Extreme, is going to be, the internet has taken notice. In less than 24 hours of posting their indiegogo page, the two man team of David Kerr (Canadian) and Lachlan Snell (Australian) had already more than made it’s modest $5,000 goal, and was already well into stretch goal territory. Now with only 6 days left on their game, C$23,705 raised thus far, and almost every single stretch goal met, this game has the potential to be not just the first ever crowd funded game of it’s type, but also one of the best.
The two did extensive research on forums trying to find out exactly what people wanted out of their traditional gender change manga, anime, and games.
“Surprisingly, we found that a lot of people didn’t like the traditional TG story set up with the clueless main character, so we tried to write a TG story where the characters acted believably, and not like complete idiots.” – Lachlan Snell (co-writer/ programmer)
The team is made up of: David who came up with the original concept, the title, as well as the art, and Lachlan who also works on the script and programming. It was also pointed out to me during an interview with Lachlan, that “a member from Farhads* going by the name ‘Nukei’ wrote the Rei and the 7th Character routes as well, because we thought bringing on another writer would add a lot of diversity to the game, and Nukei was really good at writing a traditional style VN, so it was a perfect match for the Rei route.”‘
I got to do a full interview with Lachlan via direct messaging him on TGcomics’s* forum.
Sean: You recently showed the first male love interest, and had previously shown 4 female interests. Will the characters be able to end up with anyone, or will it be a much narrower choice?
Lachlan: It’s going to be fairly narrow, at least for most characters. The love interests are specific to each character, e.g. Yael is the only one who can end up with Winter, Rei is the only one who can end up with Andrew, etc etc. However, it’s not like this with all the characters. For example Dan/Din can end up with one of three different people.
Sean: Speaking about love interests, will any of these new girls ultimately be able to date each other?
Lachlan: Two of the characters might end up dating… Shh…
Sean: An 8th playable character has been added thanks to a backer. Will all of the original assets be used for them, i.e. backgrounds, love interests, etc, OR will there be new things added such as a love interest for them?
Lachlan: There’s actually going to be 6 additional characters thanks to backers, 1 from the stretch goal and the other 5 from $2500 mega backers. These character’s stories are still set in the same town, so there will be some old assets used, we’re really trying to make it so all the stories feel interconnected, but for the most part they’ll feature entirely new locations and love interests.
Sean: It’s easy to compare this game with the X Change series, but how does it differ from other gender change visual novels?
Lachlan: X Change always felt like a bit of a missed opportunity. The main character would be turned into a girl, but then the story would focus entirely on sex and more often than not rape. Having an adult story would be perfectly fine if it focused on the relationships, but it doesn’t. It’s not very realistic and although I did like X Change Alternative, I think there’s a lot of room for improvement.
The biggest difference GBDNATE will have to X Change is that the reactions will feel more realistic, from both the TG’d characters and other people. There will still be adult scenes, but they’re going to come into the game at a realistic pace, rather than introducing a magic rape bus for the sole reason of having a sex scene.
Sean: Will there be graphic sex scenes in this game, or are you shooting for more of a Pegi-13 rating?
Lachlan: There will be adult scenes, but it won’t be graphic. I don’t think we’d be PEGI-13 because there is nudity and some other more adult scenes, but it’s not going to be on the same level as the X-Change series. And personally I think that’s for the better.
Sean: Are you taken aback by how successful the crowd funding has been, and knowing that your game has already gained such an audience is there added pressure now?
Lachlan: Taken aback? Absolutely. We had about 100 sketches ready before we launched the indiegogo so that if we didn’t hit 2k we’d at least be able to release something. Going in, we thought we had a 50/50 chance to hit the 5k goal, and even then it was a stretch. But hitting 20k, and it’s still rising? It’s insanity, and I still can’t believe it’s happened.
As for the pressure, I’m actually feeling better now we have more assets to work with. The stories are going to be longer and have more choices and endings, so I think that people will be happier with the amount of content. I’ve got a lot of writing ahead of me, and DK has a lot of art to do, but being able to work on something this big is really exciting. So I am a bit nervous, but I’m really enjoying it too.
I’d like to thank Lachlan for the interview. I would also like to note, that it has been mentioned on forums as well as SGVY.com’s facebook feed that characters from the webcomic Sparkling Generation Valkyrie Yuuki will be making cameos in the game.
I personally made sure to donate early on, and I know I can’t wait to play the finished product.
*above links are not suitable for work, and are intended for people over the age of 18!!