Watercress Developer Blog #10 - TuttyTheFruity

Hi guys, I'm TuttyTheFruity. As mentioned in an update in February, I'm part of the new wave of additions to the Writing Team. I work under RazzMaDazz as an Assistant Writer, though the particulars of my assignment are a little hushhush as it stands. When Avitus is out, all will be revealed, so there's something you can look forward to! I'm also on the writing team for our NaNoReNo project. There's a lot going on, suffice to say.

About me? I'm a 22 year old university graduate, double majoring in public history and clinical psychology. A common thread between the two majors is the sheer amount of essays that you have to convincingly research, argue, and produce in a timely manner. Outside of my select fields of interest, I've been engaged as a creative writer. Like so many others in Watercress Studios, I'm passionate about visual novels (my first, Umineko no Naku Koro ni, stands out as among my favourites), particularly indie products.

My longterm dream is to adapt a few particular stories into visual novels. There were a few obstacles, the primary one being unfamiliarity with the dev process; how do you go about organizing such an effort? That dream largely inspired my decision to apply to Watercress's writing team (they were looking around on the Katawa Shoujo subreddit; I had joined reddit not long before then). I kept myself sharp as a writer through roleplaying with friends and, between that and honing my writing ability through countless last-minute essays, I felt I would be an asset to the team and learn something to develop my own VN in the future. After submitting my application, I felt a lot of anxiety, truth be told. I was already picking at the work I submitted, and it was a long time until I received a response. But that made the moment I was contacted by Razz to join the team all the more awesome.

The timing was great, the first writers meetings were underway not even a day later and I mingled with my new compadres immediately. Turns out, we were all greenhorns in VN dev, and we were all eager to learn, to cooperate, and to push each other to produce the best product possible. I made a point to do my part to jump right in and match the pace and example set by the bright minds already working hard toward that goal.

When looking at the VN dev process from the inside, it definitely speaks to my experience and commitment in public history. As a public history student, my main takeaway was the experience of cultivating a broad skillset, a willingness to cooperate with many people with different capabilities and backgrounds towards a common goal, and in particular, the need for an organizational structure and plan that ensures progress is constantly being made. I have seen much of that behind the scenes at Watercress. So many people are working on this project, and it's not hard to see why. Between the stories that have to be weaved, the art assets, backgrounds and sprites that must be prepared, the sounds and music to be composed, and the nitty gritty of coding and bringing all these components together, there's a lot of skills involved in putting together a VN, and with so many people that have to communicate each others, it can get rather hectic.

I've been happiest working with my peers in this environment. There's a very casual and jovial atmosphere when hanging out with people and discussing their contributions, built on mutual understanding of our various commitments. Even then, we are driven to contribute and make an impact. I've worked the most closely with my direct superior Razz in terms of our assignment (gotta stay hushhush though!!), but I haven't shied away from seeing what the entire writing team has brought to the table. It's really a thrill to be a part of, and I've learned a lot in the process. It's looking like I'll be here for the long haul, and I'm excited to see where we go from here.

There's a lot to do, and we have incredible people around to make it all work. If you're looking to develop a VN, joining a development group is maybe the best way of getting a grip on the process involved. Who knows, Watercress would probably be interested in having you too. You won't regret the experience, believe me, as long as you're committed and willing to go the extra mile.

Looking forward to what lies ahead! Thanks for reading my stream-of-consciousness.