With the completion and release of Touhou 2: The Story of Eastern Wonderland NES Demake, I guess it was that time to write another development story. After Drillimation managed to get Kagami Ochiai from Chuhou Joutai into a Touhou Project fangame for a game jam, it was time to have Kagami appear in another Touhou Project fangame, this time being one from Drillimation Systems, the original developer for Chuhou Joutai.
Fun fact: This game was finished an hour and a half before it even released. After the conclusion of Touhou 1: The Highly Responsive to Prayers NES Demake‘s development, I felt it would be necessary to demake another PC-98 Touhou Project game. The same graphical style and sound chip were used, as with Drillimation’s previous titles. The good news was we could use the same engine from Chuhou Joutai. All we just needed to do was input some new gameplay mechanics.
The game began development in May 2020 just three weeks before Chuhou Joutai was released on Steam. We originally expected it to release it in August, but we had a whole bunch of obstacles that caused us a lot of waiting. The first one was the new version of GameMaker Studio 2. When we heard rumors of GameMaker Studio 2.3, we immediately set out to make a new game with it. After Chuhou Joutai released, we immediately began drawing the character graphics and shifted to a new art direction using VRoid Studio. I was so happy when I found VRoid as I’ve been struggling for years to create realistically-looking anime-styled characters. It’s awesome, and I love it.
The first step was designing the character stage graphics. This was then followed by designing the sprites for enemies and characters, followed by the character portraits. When I built my new gaming workstation and got a touchscreen monitor along with a fine-tip stylus, we could now complete artwork jobs faster and more efficiently. Before the art started being conceived, the soundtrack was composed first. Luckily, I had a player from Singapore help with one track, being the victory theme.
The game’s programming job didn’t start until August 18, 2020, and around that time, I had just moved back to the Hurst, where Drillimation Systems is based in, after a five-month hiatus thanks to the coronavirus incident. We blocked out five days for each stage. This also included having to program the cutscenes before and after a boss fight for each stage. We used a nifty tutorial from YoYo Games to create the dialogue system. We made .ini files for both English and Japanese. Since the NES’s hardware had a limited number of space for tiles, only Hiragana and Katakana were used. This make sense since the demake was tailored for a younger audience. The game’s development didn’t finish until the day before it released on October 15, 2020. The beta released two weeks prior and didn’t contain the extra stage yet. We do hope to remake the next game within the next year and such.