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Torn between making a touhou fangame or an original IP.


Heffmoney
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I've sort of been working on my third indie game. The first two were done in RPGmaker...I consider them "successful" in that when I sold them for a dollar, sold enough copies to recoup the Steam fee and the cost of RPGmaker.

For a third game I toyed with the idea of making an action RPG in RPGmaker but ended up having to use so many plugins that it became "might as well use a 'real' engine". So then I rebuilt the project in Godot, and it's turning out a *lot* better than I imagined it would. However, I'd call it more of a 'top-down shooter' with danmaku inspirations now.

Well while this 'learning to code more betterer' was going on I had youtube music in the background, Bad Apple came up on the playlist and you know where that leads you.

TL:DR - I'm past 'entry level' but still barely know what I'm doing. I'll probably need a few more games under my belt before making anything good.

 

Anyway, in a few comments about some 2hu things I joked about how Reimu is the real villain and any day now the Hakurei Shrine's offering box is going to go tsukimigami from all the neglect it's getting. And then some other people joked if that was a game they'd play it.

And well...I haven't made much of the art yet. So far I've been using circles and arrows in place of sprites so as to focus on technicals and mechanics. I could easily skin what I'm making into a 2hu game...I could literally make the game I joked about. Maybe.

That is except in terms of quality - it might be fair to say at this point ZUN's the only one still allowed to use bad art in 2hu. The market seems to be at the point where 2hu fangames are made by small but professional publishers with people whose training and education match their jobs. Which I'm not. And then there's the issue of getting ZUN's permission and licensing...I know of at least on indie game maker who found it hard to meet the 'you must publish on a platform that carries canon 2hu works' part of the rules because he was outside Japan, but that might be easier now since 2hu games are on Steam now. Albeit the guy seemed to be a bit of a whiner.

I still like the plot and characters I originally had in mind. If humor is my selling point then it doesn't matter if I'm using my own characters. Plus it frees up the music and the art I could use - might give some indie music maker a chance to shine. Plus if I'm using ZUN's characters I have to defer to his wishes for the characters, while if I'm using my own I am free to take them in the direction I want to.

But on the other hand - building a brand is difficult, using an existing brand is easier. And it's not exactly 'leeching' when 2hu is built on fanon. Training under a 'master's IP is a good way for an apprentice to gain experience. If it has 'touhou' in the title and is priced cheap - that's a couple thousand easy sales that could pay rent for a couple months. (And yes, I want to sell the game and make money, even if it's just a little. I did charity too many times and got burned for it. I will *never* do a selfless thing again, on principle.)

TBH I put this to print for my own decision-making rather than the community - so far it seems I have 4 reasons in favor of original IP, 2 in favor of 2hu fan material, and 2 that don't matter either way. So unless I get a flood of replies saying something to the effect of 'I wanna fight the tsukimigami offering box', I think I'll go with my own IP. The characters I have in mind are equally as ridiculous anyway.

 

Also, I offer no apologies for posting this here, since this is the most appropriate place on the internet for this discussion. 4chan is too anonymous, sleezy, and chaotic; while Reddit is too full of rules lawyers and control freaks. Besides it's probably better this site gets traffic than not, so I'll just click the 'submit topic' button.

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  • 1 month later...

Do whatever brings you the most inspiration - that’s what ZUN does. The guy’s rich, famous, and happily married just by working on his passion project.

That being said though, I’d totally play it if you made a Touhou fangame. Good luck!

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It really depends on how much balance of passion project and business project you want it to be. If you really want to build a brand it's probably easier to gain a crowd using an IP such as Touhou, then separating into more of your own thing later. I'm no expert though, but this is just observation of other creatives.
I have the exact same dilemma when beginning animating, in the end I started work on my own thing because I had more ideas for it and making a name for myself wasn't a priority. I've decided if I want to be more known, I'll start doing Touhou shiz.

Either way, I'd love to see what you make. 

PS maybe you've got the art covered, I dunno. But, if you need a graphics or design artist for anything, I'd be willing to do stuff for v cheap.

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