Whoops, we’re not very good about posting consistently on here, are we?
On the 13th of October, we as a dev team celebrated our fourth birthday. October 13th, 2012 was the date that a bunch of random people on the internet all responded to a Reddit post with the vague intention of making a visual novel. Of the initial bunch that responded, only Mondonater and I (Josh) remain, and even I quit for the first year before returning. No matter when we joined, AW has grown to be one of the biggest parts of all of our lives. Some of us wanted to take the chance to look back and say a few words regarding our time on the team. Thanks to you guys, the fans and readers, who have been with us along the way: Whether it’s from the beginning, since HRP’s Kickstarter, Highway Blossoms release, or somewhere in between.
This post also sorta doubles as our Halloween post, and we won’t be putting anything up at the end of the month. So, please enjoy the super cute art by Kätzchen at the bottom. Stay safe and have a happy Halloween.
“Even though I’m not one of the few members of Alienworks who have been around since the very beginning, October does mark the end of my second year with the group I’m always extremely proud to be able to call my friends. In that time together we’ve managed such ambitious things that have consistently surprised and impressed me, and together I think The Human Reignition Project is shaping up to be something that we can all be proud of, and that our backers and fans will enjoy. I’ve worked with several AW members on other projects before this, but the difference between those projects and this one is worlds apart. Despite huge timezone differences, despite being separated by oceans, we all worked so well together right from the start, and we’ve only gotten better at it. But of course, Alienworks couldn’t have gotten this far without the support of all of you, and I don’t deserve the luck I’ve had in finding such a wonderful team to be a part of. Thank you, and here’s to the four years and as many more as we can get.”
-OrangeShavings, Aya Writer
“I haven’t been a part of Alienworks as long as most of the others, only two years now, but that doesn’t mean that I feel any less integrated into the group. What makes this project way more special to me than any others that I’ve worked on till now is how open it is in the sense that there isn’t only one person like the head game designer that I continuously communicate with and don’t get the chance to talk to anyone else working on the game. It’s fun to talk with everyone about things that aren’t directly related to work, to joke around with them and to get to know them better. Others have already mentioned in their posts as well how the other members of Alienworks became their friends and aren’t just mere workmates. And I think that’s the secret of Alienwork’s success. As well as the memes of course. I think to succeed in doing things we all need a little Hiroto in our lives. Please quote me on that. Over the course of these two years I was able to improve a lot which is also partly Mondo’s “fault”. Especially in the very beginning he was very helpful and explained everything to me patiently and I’m very thankful for that. I’m really glad that I was able to become part of Alienworks and get to know all these people. Looking forward into the future I know that HRP will be a huge success and I’ll continue doing my best!”
“Like most 4 year olds, I really only remember the last year or so, so that’s what I’ll talk about. It’s weird to see such a ragtag group of internet friends stick together to do as much as we have, but here we are after all of this time. I knew we had something special when we could post an idea, talk a little with whoever was around, have everyone work individually, and then come back with something close to perfect. It’s not often you have a team that more or less shares the same vision without forceful leadership, but I guess that’s the magic of AlienWorks. After all, this is the team that lets me write terrible meme references and leave them in the game. I couldn’t get that anywhere else. It’s also the only team that could get you a group of friends that spans the globe, yet feels like they’re right there with you. It’s the only team around that will find a musician, ask him to be a programmer, and then trust his opinion on his first time out. It’s the only team that would invite a friend out to the other side of the country and make him feel like he should have been there his whole life. No other team would do these sorts of things, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
-Kevin Turner, Programmer
“Four years, huh… It feels like so much has happened since that fateful October 13, 2012. I know it’s only been four years, but it feels like I’ve known these guys my whole life. I’ve met so many amazing people, developed a career I never knew I’d love, and even found myself moving across the country, and for all that I can genuinely thank my experiences and time spent with the great folks of AlienWorks. When I was young, my mother and father used to tell me that I should follow my dreams, and though I couldn’t have understood the weight of what of those words at the time, it was through working with AlienWorks, in both good times and bad times, that I would learn what it really meant to follow the unbeaten path and to do what made me happy rather than just what was easy, convenient, or conventionally “smart”. It was after a few years of learning computing alongside working on the early iterations of the Human Reignition Project that I realized that computers and programming didn’t make me happy. Instead, it was the simple things: hearing even the most basic of feedback or positive response to my music or writing gave me a satisfaction I knew I could never replicate elsewhere. I knew at that time and ever onward that I had found what I wanted to do in my life; I eagerly embraced the irony of finding a calling during college vastly different from anything I had actually signed up to study, and time and time again I would find myself reinforcing my love for development. After each major milestone or even simple times spent hanging around with everyone, it cements in my heart that I’ve made the right choice; every time I finish a track, or write a scene, or even just try to piece together Hiroto’s weird sentience, I know deep down that I have no regrets. The members of AlienWorks are more to me than co-workers, or even close friends. AlienWorks is a precious family to me, and nothing anyone could say or do would ever make me think otherwise. It’s been an unforgettable four years, and I wouldn’t trade any of that time for the world.”
-Mondonater, Musician & Shion Writer
“I was invited to join Alienworks at what was probably the most frustrating period of my life thus far. Looking back, I think the timing was perfect. At a time when I wasn’t really sure if the whole visual novel thing would work out (has it worked out?), I was offered a position as a writer on HRP. In all honesty, I didn’t think we’d go a fraction of how far we’ve come. It sounds rather harsh, but when I joined I wasn’t hesitant to say we would even be able to successfully put the demo out. But somehow, my low expectations were annihilated, and after two or so years on this team, I finally understand it was because of the hard work and dedication that is instilled literally every member on this team. Since I’ve joined, Alienworks has become more than a last ditch effort—it’s become my motivation. Its mere existence has given me a platform for creative pursuits I thought would only stay in my head. And furthermore, it’s given me the drive to make sure the people I am so truly proud to call my friends can pursue theirs, too.”
-Syon, Highway Blossoms Director and Setsuna Writer