Hi, this is Driller from the administration team.
As the Chuhou Joutai demo nears completion, I want to talk about the roots of the game and why I created the game. Chuhou Joutai wasn't originally a danmaku shooter, nor a video game at all. It was originally intended to be a web-based Pokémon doujinshi series under the name of Rainbow Girl Kagami (虹色少女カガミ Niji'iro Shōjo Kagami ). However, it didn't get very far into development, as there was no concrete map of Kozankyo (then known as Minecraftia City, as that name was not yet coined until January of 2019).
Kagami was the first OC I ever created for that. She is based on my ex-girlfriend from high school. She was also my first girlfriend, but we broke up after she flunked out and now remains an important part of my memory (I think about her every day). Her hairstyle was very challenging to develop, as her hair color was chosen through process of elimination. After gathering hair colors commonly used on popular anime characters, comparing those colors on TVs that were available in the 1980s, and by placing her on various backgrounds to see what worked and what didn't, she told me to go multicolor on it. This led to her top and bangs being red, her sidelocks being lime green, and the back being pink.
Driller, on the other hand, wasn't originally the game's protagonist, but Kagami was. Before Chuhou Joutai got its name, there was another girl who accompanied Kagami named Shira Katsumoto. She had pure pink hair and was said to be one of the cutest characters I ever created by a friend of mine. Then I created Shira's twin sister, Rikka, who was a lime-haired girl with Hatsune Miku-style twin tails. After that, I created Kumiko Uchida, a blue-haired girl with a ponytail. Kumiko only became a shrine maiden after some experimentation with her name. Kumiko's name, when written in kanji, is 内田 久巫女.
Shortly after the breakup with my ex-girlfriend, the Pokémon idea was cut. It was then decided that it would become a video game. It was a Super Mario Bros. 2/Doki-Doki Panic-style platformer named Crystal Island (クリスタルアイランド Kurisutaru Airando ). At that time, Kagami's younger sister, Yumi, was created. The game had a much simpler, Disney-styled plot. This was the intended story:
- Kagami and Yumi were shipwrecked onto an island named Crystal Island. Upon meeting one of the island's inhabitants, the sisters do not realize they are both princesses, with Kagami being heir to the throne. For too long, an evil maelstrom has been terrorizing the island and feels Kagami is the chosen one against it. If Kagami succeeds in defeating him, she will become empress of the island and peace will be restored.
Again, that plot didn't happen, as I lacked the Game Maker tools to do so. It was then that it would become a bullet-hell shooter, as I was playing a lot of Touhou Project at the time. Seeing the fantasy-based influence of the girls, it was ultimately decided for Kagami to be in the style of one of those characters. The orange sweatshirt, jeans, and boots of the original Kagami Ochiai were soon gone. Leading to the current outfit Kagami wears today on the DLW home page. The name Chuhou Joutai finally prevailed after several scrapped name ideas, including Shinkoku Project, and other names.
I was having trouble trying to come up with the story for the game. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria were at their peak at the time I created Kagami, and I studied about them in high school. ISIS served as a major inspiration for the game's villainous group, SPASDOT. Chuhou Joutai was envisioned as a game set in the middle of a civil war. The backstory for the Minecraftian monarchy actually came when I studied the Cold War. The inspiration of King Soujirou, Queen Consort Kanata, and Crown Princess Konata all came from Lucky Star. I had the idea of Konata Izumi being a crown princess with her father being the king floating around in my head since the very beginning of the high school era.
Still, Kagami was still the game's protagonist. I was told that Driller, the first OC I ever made, be the game's protagonist while Kagami would be cut, as I did not want to create an in-game environment similar to Touhou Project. However, allegations rose that Kagami be a playable character, so a co-op danmaku shooter came to fruition. I decided to set the game in a parallel Gensokyo, with Kozankyo being the main city. I drew inspiration from the land of Erie, Pennsylvania, which Kozankyo is based on during the late Heisei era.
I felt humor should play an integral role in the game, but being funny is actually the hardest part while making the game. I have to go into account of all the different species of humor. Luckily, having had experience with GoAnimate and watching AVGN, it helped a bit. I eventually grabbed more inspiration for humor after seeing Doctor Strange in the fall of 2016. The Mario & Luigi games also helped shape things a bit more well, though this is a danmaku shooter I am making but does incorporate RPG elements except there is no leveling up nor an inventory.
All that being said, the following games, films, and anime inspired the game environment:
- Driller's real name, Susumu Takajima, is named after Susumu Hori from Mr. Driller. The name Driller is also a connection to the source game.
- Driller's hairstyle of spike originally came from Bart Simpson, before he was given Dragon Ball-style spikes.
- Kagami is named after Kagami Hiiragi from Lucky Star and the name Princess Kagami came into fruition as my ex-girlfriend was a fan of the film Frozen at the time.
- The royal family of Minecraftian monarchy also draws inspiration from Lucky Star.
- Hearthcliffe, being a villain with a sense of humor, was influenced by Fawful from the Mario & Luigi series. The Marvel Cinematic Universe also drew inspiration for the game's humor. It's not to be confused with the comic book character Heathcliff, as it is a corruption of it.
- While the game's villainous group, SPASDOT, was largely influenced by ISIS, it was originally called Team Crimson with grunts in a similar fashion to the Pokémon series. Unlike ISIS, the group is based on Shinto ideology and follows a customized doctrine of Maoism.
- Frederic Sam Fawkes is named after Guy Fawkes and is based on the final boss Fred Fuchs from Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures.
- Films such as The Interview was also an inspiration for the game's plot of having to go out and defeat Fred Fawkes.
- Touhou Project is considered as major inspiration for the gameplay and some of the characters.
- The name Kozan (which is the in-game name of Minecraftia, had to be done to avoid trademark issues), is a direct reference to Minecraft, which is what I was playing a lot at the time and I still play it to this very day. Minecraft also played a role in the development of the game too.