Click Here to check out a working demo that covers most of the first act. Fully polished art assets are being developed and there is still work to be done, but it's a great way to see what has been accomplished thus far.
I was also invited to write a short update entry on my experience as the director and how I went about directing "A More Beautiful World." Check out my thoughts below:
I was excited when my friend Amber asked me to handle the task of directing the latest visual novel she’d been hired to cast, but I was also uncertain of what to expect… and exactly what I’d got myself into. I've worked on a handful of visual novel project with Amber before, but as an actor or content editor. No two projects have been the same so far, and it’s always helped to know some of the common anime tropes and other quirks that come with non-Western content. When I got the script for “A More Beautiful World” and saw the note that it was inspired by “Spice and Wolf” I knew almost immediately how I could start to direct this project.
“Spice and Wolf” was to me, an homage to western low fantasy. There is a lot of emphasis on the practicality of the world building and every facet is strongly rooted in logistics, but it is still a story that hints at the fantastical and spiritual. “A More Beautiful World,” captures that sense immediately - there was a lot of time and effort put into building a world that could stand on its own and the people that populated it felt like they could live there. However, the presence of the magicians hints at deeper dimension to this world, though it has impressed me how magic is never directly shown, at least in the first act.
Amber had cast “A More Beautiful World” before passing the script over to me, but I knew she’d put together a talented group of actors that would offer the dynamics we wanted quickly and effortlessly. While directing Act I, I wanted the human characters to feel real and grounded to the world they lived in, while allowed to acknowledge the occasional ironies and even the melodrama of their lives.
Violetta was probably the most difficult to direct as she is a tremendous contrast to nearly all of the other characters, including the other magicians we’ve seen so far. We ultimately decided that as intelligent as she was, that her title as “Witch of Everlasting Journeys” very directly contrasted with her real world experience and that most of her comments are made in a genuine, though often blunt, ignorance of the world around her. To balance this, we tried to make it clear that those she interacted with could still sense her genuine desire to learn and grow, rather than taking her questions or comments as an affront or insult. To me, this manifested in the way the Merchant teases her, and the honest answers both he and the Head Healer give her questions about their world and life.
Moving forward, I hope that these small quirks and details continue to enrich the experience of reading and hearing the story that “A More Beautiful World” offers it’s audience. It’s been a pleasure to work on this project so far!