I began developing Yandere Simulator on March 31st, 2014. This means that today is the 9th anniversary of Yandere Simulator’s development. Nine years have passed, and I am still developing the game. What do I have to say about that?
A lot, actually. In fact, this blog post is over 7,000 words long; yes, I have that much I have to say. It might be the longest blog post I’ve ever written. I have a feeling that I’m going to be linking people to this blog post fairly often, since it’s contains a lot of direct responses to the questions and remarks that I hear the most frequently.
If you’re interested in reading my thoughts and feelings regarding Yandere Simulator and its development, please scroll down past this phenomenal artwork by Momo Fujimi and click “Continue Reading.”
Over the course of this blog post, I might say some things that you disagree with. However, let’s start with a statement that you probably can agree with: There are many different types of games in this world.
Some games are only made available when they are 100% complete, and do not receive any updates after they are released. For decades, the majority of games were like this.
Some games are made available in pieces. For example, The Walking Dead was released in “seasons,” which each contained a set of “episodes.” It took over 6 years for every season to be released.
Some games are an “ongoing service” that is routinely updated with new content. For example, Genshin Impact receives new characters, new locations, new events, and new story developments every few weeks. Some games, like Final Fantasy XIV, have been periodically updated with new content for over a decade.
Some games are made available while they are still incomplete – sometimes for free, and sometimes for a price. Minecraft, the highest-grossing video game of all time, started out as a free download. Eventually, the developer started charging people money to play the game, even though it wasn’t finished yet. However, millions of people were happy to pay money for an unfinished game, because even in an incomplete state, Minecraft was still worth playing. This business model is called “Early Access.” For several years, Minecraft was just a sandbox game with no pre-defined goals – but, gradually, objectives and bosses were added to the game, and it eventually became possible to “win” Minecraft. It continues to receive updates to this day.
Traditional games, episodic games, live service games, early access games, single-player games, multiplayer games, skill-based games, story-focused games, free games, paid games, linear games with a clear objective, sandbox games with no objective…
Whether or not you agree with the rest of this blog post, I hope we can agree on this one thing: There are many different types of games in this world.
Now, here’s where things get a little more complex:
The types of games I listed above are not the only types of games that exist. There are also games that don’t fit cleanly into any previously-existing category. There are games that fit into multiple categories. There are games that begin development in one category, and then gradually transition into another category. There are even one-of-a-kind games that exist in their own category.
Yandere Simulator is one of those. It’s a game that is difficult to categorize, since it doesn’t fit perfectly into any pre-existing category.
Yandere Sim’s main story mode is about eliminating 10 “rival” characters. Each of those characters will be released one by one, like episodes for a TV show. So, is Yandere Sim an “episodic” game like The Walking Dead? Kinda, but not really. The majority of the game’s development has been spent making improvements and additions to the sandbox gameplay, not the putting rivals into the main story mode.
Yandere Sim is regularly updated with new features and content. So, is Yandere Sim a “live service” game like Genshin Impact? Kinda, but not really. It doesn’t have microtransactions, or any kind of payment model centered around monetizing each new addition to the game.
Even though Yandere Sim is not finished yet, you can do a lot of different activities and mess around in it like a sandbox. So, is Yandere Sim an “early access” game like Minecraft was? Kinda, but not really. I’m not charging for access to it yet.
Is it complete, or incomplete? It’s both, since 1980s Mode is complete, but the main story mode is not.
Is it a prototype? A demo? A v-slice? What the hell is it?
Well, it’s a free sandbox game that receives multiple updates every month, which contains one complete story mode, one incomplete story mode, and many different side-activities.
There, that was easy. It’s actually quite simple to describe Yandere Simulator. The hard part is getting people to judge Yandere Simulator based on the many hours of fun content that the game offers, instead of judging Yandere Simulator exclusively by the number of characters who are not yet in the game.
As I developed Yandere Simulator, I realized that it could offer more value than just being a game where you just kill 10 girls and watch the credits roll. I decided that expanding the game to include as much content as possible was more meaningful than just implementing 10 characters. So, I switched my focus from the main story mode to regularly updating the game with new features and activities. And, honestly, I feel like there is nothing wrong with making that decision.
Some games are periodically updated with improvements and additions over a long period of time, and I think that’s okay. Some games focus on providing the player with fun sandbox gameplay rather than a story mode, and I think that’s okay. Some game developers update their priorities when they realize that their game has the potential to become more than it was originally planned to be, and I think that’s okay.
For these reasons, I never feel shame or embarrassment over the game’s lengthy development time, and I feel that the people who attempt to denigrate Yandere Simulator for being in development for 9 years are missing the point of the game.
I’ve been playing video games for around 30 years. I’ve played several hundred different games over the course of my life, and some of the most fun I’ve ever had came from unfinished games that were available as Early Access titles.
Minecraft, The Forest, Project Zomboid, Mercenary Kings – I played each of these games for dozens of hours, and I had a fantastic time with each of them, even though they weren’t “finished” when I played them. This feels like proof that a game doesn’t need to be complete to be fun. I firmly believe that a game doesn’t need to be finished to have value.
So, where does the value of a game come from? For me, this is the easiest question I’ve ever had to answer in my life:
The value of a video game comes from whether or not it’s fun, rather than whether or not it’s “finished.”
Think about it! Which would you rather play: a crappy game that is 100% complete, or an extremely fun incomplete game that you can play for many hours without getting bored? I think that most people would pick the 2nd option, right? For proof, look no further than Minecraft, or any other Early Access title that achieved widespread critical acclaim even while in an incomplete state, such as Hades.
Of course, that begs a very important question: Is Yandere Simulator fun?
Fun is subjective. Something that is fun to one person might be boring to another person. You can’t turn “fun” into a numerical value. There is no way to “measure” or “quantify” how fun a video game is…
…but, you can find evidence that there are a lot of people in the world who are having fun with a game.
Over the years, I’ve received hundreds of e-mails and DMs from fans who wanted to thank me for making Yandere Simulator. Some of those messages were short, while others were long essays about how Yandere Sim helped them get through a difficult time in their life, cheered them up when they were going through a period of depression, made them pursue game development as a career, etc.
I could post a bunch of screenshots here showcasing the dozens of positive messages I’ve received from fans who have gotten plenty of enjoyment out of Yandere Sim throughout the years, regardless of its status as “incomplete” – but, I would be a little uncomfortable doing so. A lot of those messages were deeply personal, and were probably meant for my eyes only. Posting a bunch of fan mail would feel way too “self-congratulatory.” And, besides, you could just accuse me of faking all the screenshots, anyway.
So, if I wanted to somehow “prove” that Yandere Simulator has a large and active global fanbase who are getting a ton of enjoyment out of the game, how would I do it? Well, you don’t have to look very far to find the evidence. In just the past month…
I released the third chapter of the Nemesis manga, and within days, fans had translated it into 13 different languages, proving that there are people all over the world who are still actively interested in the game.
An artist drew a 24-page manga featuring Yandere Simulator’s characters, proving that there are still dedicated and talented fans who are willing to spend weeks making elaborate creations that are inspired by the game.
Another fan of the game drew the dozens upon dozens of illustrations necessary to make a parody of a famous music video using Yandere Simulator characters.
Someone created an extremely elaborate mod that changes the game’s tutorial sequence to be more comical. The humor is quite vulgar, but I can still recognize how many hours of work had to go into creating the mod.
Numerous extremely talented artists produced a massive amount of absolutely gorgeous Yandere Simulator fan art – as they do every month – such as this piece by momchyan04:
Additionally, multiple cosplayers dressed up as Ayano, which is always one of the greatest honors that a developer can receive:
Once again, it’s important to mention that all of these are recent. These are not examples of fan activity from years ago; these are examples from last month.
I’ve created something that people enjoy. I’ve created something that people play for hours. I’ve created something that inspires people to draw art, wear costumes, and make videos.
That is my “win condition.” That is my “I’ve won!” criteria. That was my life’s goal, and I’ve already achieved it.
All that, and the game isn’t even finished. What does this indicate? It means that whether or not a game is “finished” is completely inconsequential. The only question that matters is, “Does it make people happy in its current state?” And from what I’ve seen – week after week, month after month, year after year – it looks like the answer is “Yes.”
I said it last year, and I’ll say it again: It’s more important for a game to be fun than to be finished.
I would rather be able to say,
“I updated a game for over 9 years, and lots of people were actively interested in the game and having fun with it the entire time!”
Instead of saying,
“I released a game where you can stab 10 girls. People played it for a week and then moved on.”
And that is why, no matter how many people e-mail me or DM me to insult me for working on the game for 9 years, I can’t feel any shame or embarrassment over it.
I don’t see anything wrong with continuously updating a game that people love with additions and improvements. I don’t see anything wrong with prioritizing “fun” over the completion of the main story mode.
So, after hearing all that, you might be thinking…
My answer remains the same as the last time I answered this question: No, I don’t want to develop the game indefinitely. I want to finish making additions/improvements, complete the story mode, call it “done,” and move on to other projects. There are many different reasons why I want to hurry up and finish this game already; the out of all of those incentives, the biggest one is my extremely strong desire to work on other game projects.
“Okay, but why not put the rivals into the game first, and work on the other features afterwards?”
You know, when people ask me this, I feel like they don’t realize what they are actually asking for.
If there are 10 rival girls in the game, but there aren’t a bunch of fun ways to eliminate them, then the game won’t be any fun. Therefore, it makes the most sense to primarily focus on implementing all of the game’s planned mechanics and systems, and not begin working on rivals until the rest of the game is feature-complete.
If there are bugs/flaws/exploits in the game, the player would get frustrated by bugs while trying to eliminate the rivals. Therefore, it makes the most sense to spend a bunch of time focusing on fixing bugs/flaws/exploits, and not implement the rivals until all of the bugs/flaws/exploits are removed.
If there is absolutely nothing in the game except for rivals and elimination mechanics, then the game would feel barren and devoid of content. Therefore, it makes the most sense to add a bunch of fun features, minigames, and side-activities to the game, and only implement the rivals after the game is content-rich.
Also, I need money to finish the rivals. If I ask for money, but the game has a bunch of problems, then nobody will have any faith in me or want to donate money. Therefore, it makes sense to spend time making the game as balanced, polished, and refined as humanly possible, and only ask for money after making the game as close to “perfect” as I can get it without needing money.
No matter how I look at it, no matter what angle I examine the situation from, no matter how much time I spend thinking about it, I always reach the same conclusion: The smartest course of action is to completely ignore the rivals until every other aspect of the game is finished/fixed/polished. It just doesn’t make sense to rush the rivals into the game first and then make the game fun afterwards.
Don’t you remember No Man’s Sky? Don’t you remember Cyberpunk 2077? Have you learned nothing? If your game has issues, it’s better to delay the game and keep fixing it until it’s ready, rather than release the game in a broken and disappointing state and fix it later.
By the way – for people who want to play a story mode that contains 10 rivals, I created 1980s Mode. It has 10 rivals and a complete story with a beginning/middle/end. If the only thing that matters to you is killing 10 rivals, then there is already a mode in the game that was created specifically for you.
So, after reading all of that, you might be rolling your eyes and thinking…
“Oh, God. He’s completely determined to work on everything except the rivals for as long as possible. He won’t start working on the rivals for a few more decades.”
No, you couldn’t be more wrong. Why? I’ll explain:
In my most recent YouTube video, I said, “After the release of 1980s Mode, I made a list of improvements that I wanted to make to Yandere Simulator.” This was misleading. What I should have said was,
“After the release of 1980s Mode, I was contacted by hundreds of players who provided me with a massive amount of extremely valuable feedback: criticism, bug reports, suggestions, and requests for improvements. All of the observations that players shared with me were extremely valid, so I compiled all of their feedback into a list of improvements that should be made to the game before moving on to the next stage of the game’s development, the crowdfunding campaign.”
That would have been a lot more accurate – and sounded a lot smarter – than “hurr durr, me made list.”
Ever since the release of 1980s Mode back in October of 2021, I’ve been going down that checklist, adding player-requested features, and making player-suggested improvements. It has dominated every day of the past 16 months. My everyday routine became, “Open the checklist, pick a task, and work on it.” It’s been that way for so long, I’ve almost forgotten what it’s like to live any other lifestyle.
…however…I’m looking at that list right now, and…uh…
…guys, there’s only, like, 10 things left on the checklist. The scrollbar is gone. The scrollbar is just gone, guys. The list doesn’t have a scrollbar anymore. I…I don’t have to scroll to see the whole list. I can see every remaining task on one screen. All at once. That has never happened before. The thought of completing the list feels so tangible, so attainable right now. This is a “light at the end of the tunnel” moment.
It’s…it’s kinda scary to me.
“Going down the checklist” has been my life for the past 18 months, but, soon, it won’t be…because the checklist won’t even exist anymore. I will have completed every item on it. And then, I will do what I’ve been talking about and daydreaming about every day for the past 16 months: I’ll return to making videos on my primary channel, and then I’ll launch the crowdfunding campaign.
I get kinda nervous when I think about it.
When you’ve had the same daily routine for 18 months, and then you realize that it’s about to go away, you feel a sort of “fear” – or, rather, uncertainty – about what your new life is going to be like. Will my new daily routine be less stressful than my current daily routine, or will it be more stressful? I’m not sure. But, either way – whether I’m scared or nervous or afraid or not – it’s happening. With each build I release, I knock out more checklist items, and in the near future, I’ll be completely done with the list.
In case I’m not spelling this out clearly enough, I’ll summarize: once that checklist is complete, the game will exit its “regularly updating with new content” era, and enter its “actually trying to finish” era.
I hope you recognize how significant it is that we’re so close to the end of that list that I can almost count the number of remaining tasks on one hand.
“A…a checklist of tasks? At this time of year, at this time of day, in this part of the country, localized entirely within your computer?”
“May I see it?”
Sure, but it’s a little outdated, and I haven’t updated it with little checkmarks denoting what has been completed and what still remains:
So, is there anything else to say at this point in time? Yeah. A lot, actually. Keep reading, if you’re interested.
Hitman versus Yakuza! Am I describing an epic battle between two career criminals? No, I’m contrasting two different types of video games.
Hitman is a game where you assassinate targets.
Yakuza is a game where you play baseball, go bowling, throw darts, shoot pool, play golf, go fishing, play table tennis, play air hockey, play shogi, play pinball, get a massage, serve noodles, throw snowballs, do stand-up comedy, race chickens, slice canonballs, chop wood, play rock-paper-scissors, bet money on wrestling matches, talk with cute girls through a telephone, talk with cute girls over the internet, talk with cute girls at a bar, serve alcohol, work out at the gym, shoot sharks with spears, coach a baseball team, race drones, collect litter, take school courses, watch movies, race go-karts, manage companies, make robots fight each other, do skateboarding tricks, box, join a biker gang, play every type of gambling game from roulette to blackjack to poker to mahjong, play classic Sega arcade games, sing karaoke, become a pop idol, disco dance, heal wounded people in a clinic, drive a taxi, hunt wild animals, buy and sell real estate, and also beat up bad guys.
As you can see, Hitman and Yakuza are very different types of games. Hitman is a game with a singular focus and a primary gameplay objective, and Yakuza is a game with dozens of side activities and minigames.
Ask any Yakuza fan why they love the Yakuza games, and they will gush about how fun it is to do goofy stuff like singing karaoke. That’s what people love about the game.
Now, imagine if someone spoke to the developers of Yakuza and said, “Why are you wasting time working on side activities and minigames?! Stop it!! Just work on the main plot and the boss battles!!” That would be pretty stupid, right? Yakuza is a beloved franchise precisely because of all the side activities and minigames. That’s the charm of the series. That’s the allure. You don’t hear anyone complaining that the developers should just release the main story first and then release the side activities later with an update. The entire point of the game is to provide the player with a massive city full of fun activities; that’s the type of game it is…
…and that’s the type of game that Yandere Simulator became; the type of game with a bunch of minigames, side-activities, and alternate gameplay modes. It started out as a Hitman clone, but I changed course and turned it into something else. Now, it’s more of a “big sandbox with a ton of activities” game rather than an “eliminate your targets” game. It’s more of a Yakuza-like than a Hitman-like. And, I don’t really see anything wrong with that. I think it’s okay to change course partway through your game’s development and change your focus, if you want to.
Come to think of it, there are a bunch of other games that use the exact same format, and nobody ever ridicules those games for it…
Hey, have you ever heard of “Dwarf Fortress” ? It was a super well-known game about 20~15 years ago, but I understand if a lot of young people have never even heard of it before.
Dwarf Fortress was made available for public download in 2002, while it was still in an incomplete state. Over the next 21 years, it has regularly received updates and new content. It was released on Steam late last year, and it was even updated earlier this month.
I don’t hear anyone saying “Damn, that game STILL isn’t finished???” whenever Dwarf Fortress gets an update. People just understand that it’s the type of game that is permanently in development, permanently receiving updates. Hell, a bunch of other games are the same way:
Minecraft was made available for public download while it was still in an incomplete state, and has been regularly updated ever since. It still continues to receive updates and new content, as recently as last month.
Genshin Impact was made available for public download without having a complete story, because it’s the type of game where the story will play out across dozens of episodic updates over the course of multiple years. It is regularly updated with new locations/characters/events/story chapters every few weeks, and it will continue to be updated for the foreseeable future.
Yandere Simulator is simply one of those types of games. Released while incomplete, regularly updated. Describing it as being “developed slowly” or “stuck in a pre-release state” or “trapped in development hell” is inaccurate and misleading. There are many games that use this “format” of development, and none of them are hated for it. It became an Internet meme to regard Yandere Sim’s development negatively, but in reality, the development format of Yandere Sim is no different from that of numerous other highly successful games. It just doesn’t make any sense to ridicule Yandere Sim for what many other games are also doing. It doesn’t make any sense to call it “slow.”
No, seriously. I’m not letting go of this. Let’s really analyze this. Let’s go super in-depth here.
When someone calls Yandere Simulator’s development “slow,” I feel like they are making an invalid statement. I’ll explain why I feel that way.
Something can only be “slow” or “fast” in relation to the speed of something else. A space shuttle is fast, compared to a car. A car is fast, compared to a human. A human is fast, compared to a turtle. A turtle is fast, compared to a snail. A snail is fast, compared to a sea anemone.
But, of course, when deciding whether something is “fast” or “slow,” you have to compare it to something in the same category. How would you determine if a cheetah is a slow cheetah? You’d have to compare it to other cheetahs.
The average running speed of a cheetah is 65 miles per hour. Now, picture a cheetah who can only run at 10 miles per hour. That cheetah would be considered “slow,” compared to the other cheetahs.
But, let’s imagine that there is only one cheetah on Earth, and he runs at 10 miles per hour. You can’t really call him a “slow” cheetah, since there are no other cheetahs to compare him to. He is officially running at the average running speed of a cheetah, since he’s the only cheetah in existence. He is establishing the standard speed of a cheetah when he runs.
Yandere Simulator’s development speed cannot be compared to any other game, since no other game is comparable. You can’t compare it to FNAF, because Yandere Sim is not a horror game where you sit in a chair. You can’t compare it to Undertale, because Yandere Sim is not a top-down RPG. You wouldn’t compare the development speed of Pong with the development speed of GTAV, would you? That’s right – because they are two very different types of games, with very different levels of complexity, and different circumstances surrounding them.
There’s no way to say this without it sounding like I’m bragging or boasting, but I’ll say it anyway: Yandere Simulator is a world first. Nobody else has ever developed a third-person social-stealth sandbox-based serial-killer-simulator set in a school, featuring over 100 different features+mechanics+systems, using a “released for free while incomplete, periodically updated with new content” development format, while also simultaneously creating YouTube content for the majority of the game’s development cycle.
Nobody knows how long it should take to complete a game like this, because nobody has ever tried before.
Imagine that a man announces that he’s going to build a skyscraper, by hand, brick by brick. 9 years later, he’s still building that skyscraper, and people call him “slow.” They call him “slow” because they are comparing him to construction companies, or comparing him to people who have constructed log cabins. That just wouldn’t make sense. It doesn’t make sense to compare his project to other projects of different scales and different circumstances.
The truth is, nobody knows how long it would take for a single man to build a skyscraper, because nobody has ever been crazy enough to try it. And nobody knows how long it should take someone to build Yandere Simulator, because nobody else has ever been crazy enough to singlehandedly build a game as large, complex, and ambitious as Yandere Sim.
…what? You don’t think that Yandere Simulator should be described with those words?
Yeah, add that to my list of problems. Most people do not recognize or acknowledge how large, complex, and ambitious Yandere Simulator is. They see an anime girl stabbing students in a school, and they think that’s all the game is. They ignore the wealth of content, the myriad of features, the sheer number of different mechanics. I do have a plan for a video that would visually demonstrate how complex the game is, but you’ll have to wait several months to see it.
“Toby Fox made Undertale in 2 years! So, why has it taken you over 9 years to finish Yandere Simulator?”
Because the two games are in completely different categories, and it’s unreasonable to expect two games with nothing in common to share the same development cycle. That’s like expecting a skyscraper to be built as fast as a log cabin. Yes, they are both “Buildings,” but they are completely different types of buildings which each require a completely different process to be built.
A linear, story-focused game will be developed faster than a sandbox game with tons of activities. Honestly, this really should be common sense.
Speaking of skyscrapers…
Imagine that, 9 years ago, I announced my intention to build a skyscraper and put 10 chairs inside of it. 9 years later, I’ve built a massive structure, and one of the chairs. However, instead of acknowledging the skyscraper, people just say, “You’re so slow! You spent 9 years building one chair!”
No, I didn’t spend 9 years building one chair. I spent 9 years building a place you’d actually like to visit and sit inside of. The chairs are less important, so I won’t focus on building them until after the skyscraper is fully functional. I could have built the 10 chairs first, if I’d wanted to, but then they would just be 10 chairs sitting in an empty construction site.
Get it? …no? Okay, let me try explaining it differently:
The objective of Minecraft is to kill an enemy called the “Ender Dragon.” But, imagine if Notch put the Ender Dragon into Minecraft first, and didn’t add mining and crafting until later. It wouldn’t be very fun to kill the Ender Dragon without being able to mine or craft anything, would it? Nobody who plays Minecraft really cares about the Ender Dragon, anyway; the fun part of the game is gathering resources and building things, not killing some stupid dragon.
The objective of a game isn’t as important as whether or not it is fun to accomplish that objective. Putting fun features into your game is more important than putting a final boss into your game. The final boss should go into the game last, once the rest of the game is confirmed to be fun. That’s how I feel about the rivals.
“It’s been 9 years, and you still haven’t finished your game!”
Well, yeah. It’s the type of game that regularly gets updates, not the type of game that gets “finished.” But, even if you put that aside, I still don’t think that your remark is valid.
1980s Mode contains 10 rivals and a complete story with a beginning/middle/end. It took me 3 months to make. If I wanted to, I could easily implement the remaining 202X rivals within 3 months, and call the game “finished.” I’ve already demonstrated that I can do it by releasing 1980s Mode, so it doesn’t make sense for the “YandereDev can’t finish the game” narrative to persist.
My objective is not to say, “Look at me, everyone! I made a finished game!” My objective is to make the game as fun, balanced, and polished as possible. I feel that this is a higher priority than working on the rivals – and I feel that it’s pointless to implement the rivals until the rest of the game is as close to perfect as possible – so, I’ve chosen to ignore the rivals until I feel the time is right.
I unapologetically believe that “make a game fun” and “make a game bug-free” are more important objectives than “implement a complete story mode,” and I don’t understand how anyone can disagree.
If I saw a developer who released over 25 new builds every year to update his game with new content, features, and fixes, I would conclude that he is a dedicated, committed, determined developer, rather than conclude that he’s a scam artist who cannot or will not finish his game.
It just doesn’t make sense. It’s the interpretation that you would choose if you were trying to draw the most negative conclusion possible in order to facilitate your hobby of gossiping on the Internet, rather than the conclusion that you would reach if you were using logic and common sense.
Speaking of releasing new builds and fixing bugs, I want to share some information with you…
A Russian fan wiki for Yandere Simulator keeps track of every bug I fix. According to their count, I fixed over 1,150 bugs in 2022. When I heard that number, I refused to believe it. I figured that they had counted wrong. However, the more I thought about it, the more true it seemed. I released 51 builds in 2022, and most of them contained over 20 bug fixes. With that in mind, it actually seemed possible for that number to be accurate.
After I expressed my shock at this number, multiple people volunteered to manually count my bug fixes from 2022, and they came up with the same number. Apparently, I really did fix over 1,150 bugs in 2022. (Of course, that’s not counting all of the other stuff I did; adding new features and making dozens of miscellaneous improvements to every area of the game.)
Over the past few weeks, bug reports have really slowed down – now I only receive 1 or 2 per day, and most of those reports are for bugs I’ve already fixed. It seems that the game has reached an extremely stable and nearly-bug-free state. I’m very happy about this! It means that, in the coming weeks, I can spend more time focusing on my checklist tasks, and less time fixing bugs.
Speaking of things that would help me focus more on the checklist tasks…
Since 2014, I’ve posted a new build (or a development status report) every 2 weeks, on the 1st or 15th day of every month.
If I have a task that I know will take 10 days to complete, and there are only 5 days left in the month, I know that I shouldn’t begin working on that task, since I wouldn’t be able to finish it in time for the next build. In these situations, I look for other, shorter tasks that I know can be finished in 5 or less days.
Sometimes, that can screw with my productivity. If I really, REALLY want to work on a specific task, but I know that I won’t get it done in time for the next build, and I have to force myself to work on some other task that I’m less enthusiastic about, it’s super hard to feel motivated. I get distracted more easily, I become more likely to procrastinate, my work output decreases, and then I start feeling guilty that I’m not making as much progress as I was making previously.
Perhaps, if I stopped holding myself to this arbitrary “2 updates per month” schedule, and I worked on whatever task I’m currently most excited about, regardless of how long it’ll take to be completed, I would actually start making progress faster. It’s something I want to consider, but it’s also something that I’m afraid to do, since I anticipate that people would say, “Oh my god! Updates are further apart! That means he’s slowing down! That means he’s lazy!” and other crap like that.
“Why do you let those words bother you?”
Because if my supporters see people saying stuff like that, and they actually believe it, then they’ll lose faith in me, and then I’ll lose the support that I need to finish the project. So, as much as it sucks, I have to keep in mind what “the haters” will react negatively to, because their words could eventually affect the supporters, who are the people that actually do matter.
Speaking of haters…
3 years ago, drama YouTubers spread misinformation and false accusations about me that caused me to receive an avalanche of abuse and harassment. The harassment never really went away; it’s still a daily occurrence 3 years later. When you have access to a large audience, and you brainwash your entire audience to believe that someone is an evil villain, you are signing that person up for a lifetime subscription to permanent, daily mistreatment. It really sucks.
With that said, every week or so, I get an e-mail from someone who says they want to apologize for participating in hate and harassment.
These people often mention that they were at a young age (12, 13, 14) when they heard the accusations, and that as they grew older and matured, they realized how wrong it was to participate in Internet witchhunts, dogpiling, and mass harassment, and feel remorse for their actions.
A lot of them are able to demonstrate a tremendous amount of self-awareness. They’ve explained to me that, when you’re a young kid, and you make a nasty remark about someone online, and for the first time in your life you get a massive spike of positive attention, way more than you’ve ever gotten before, it conditions you to think that you’ve found good and rewarding behavior that you should continue participating in.
It becomes impossible to resist, like a drug, or a powerful addiction. You keep doing the thing that got you positive attention, even if it’s wrong and bad to be doing it. Upvotes, likes, retweets, whatever it is – as long as those little numbers keep going up, you keep repeating the bad behavior, since you’re constantly being rewarded for it. You don’t realize until years later how fucked up your actions actually were. You stay in the hate community for years, festering in a cesspool of hate with other hateful people, until you eventually realize how awful it is to be doing what you’re doing.
In a way, it’s kind of a relief to learn that the people who spam me with harassment messages are not intelligent adults; they are young children who have absolutely no idea what they are actually doing. Once you realize that the hate and abuse you’re receiving is coming from little kids, it becomes extremely difficult to take their words seriously.
Ultimately, if someone is the type of person who joints a hate cult and participates in abusing and harassing others over the Internet, there are only two outcomes:
- In a few years, when they become adults, they’re going to grow out of it, and feel really guilty about the phase of their life where they participated in destructive behavior.
- They’ve already become the person they will be for the rest of their life; they will never grow, they will never mature, and they will remain the type of person who engages in abusive behavior forever, which is honestly more sad and pathetic than even the most embarrassing thing I’ve ever done.
This is a topic I virtually never discuss, but as I get older, it’s an inevitability that this is eventually going to become more relevant.
Over the past 4 months, I experienced three separate health problems. Fortunately, all of them were temporary issues and not permanent ones. However, that kind of luck doesn’t last forever. Between my unhealthy diet, lack of sleep, the amount of stress in my life, and the likelihood that I have a certain hereditary disease from my dad’s side of the family, it’s only a matter of time before I develop permanent health problems that prevent me from being able to update the game at the pace I’ve kept for the past 9 years.
There are several things that I think I really, really should see a doctor about, but then I think about how seeing a doctor would take time away from development, and less development means less progress, and less progress means that more people feel justified in calling me lazy and harassing me. In other words, visiting a doctor will result in me receiving more harassment than I already do, so I just stay home and never go see the doctor about things that probably 99% of people would tell me to go see a doctor about.
The thing that sucks the most? If I ever had to announce, “I have to take time away from the game because I’ve developed health issues,” the anti-YandereDev hate community would accuse me of lying about nonexistent health problems in order to give myself an excuse to be lazy, which would convince people to stop supporting me, making my income drop even further than it already has. So, I’m effectively not allowed to ever stop working, even if I’m constantly experiencing physical reminders that that the nonstop work is killing me.
I really hate that.
In the future – most likely sometime later this year – I’ll be doing something I’ve never done before. What is it, exactly? I’m not ready to formally announce it, but I’ll show you a big clue:
(Yes, I realize that the lights aren’t supposed to be that far forward. I only pushed them closer so that I could fit all the equipment within one photo.)
Sometimes, when you’ve got something to say…you just have to say it.
With almost 100% certainty, I can say that the pre-crowdfunding checklist will be finished sometime this year. Optimistic estimate: within the first half of this year. Pessimistic estimate: if a million obstacles pop up and slow me down, it’ll happen sometime within the second half of this year.
It is extremely tiresome to work on the same game every day for 9 years, and I desperately wish that I could ask the fanbase for a vacation, or permission to split my attention between Yandere Sim and a side-project. However, I feel that if I were to do so, I would only validate the, “He’s lazy, he’s a scam artist, he’s never going to finish!” conspiracy theories. Plus, it feels wrong to consider slowing down my pace when I’m so close to the next “stage” of the game’s development. So, I’ll just do my best to keep up the pace I’m currently going at.
Thank you for following the development of Yandere Simulator.