Devil's Door is a horror visual novel set in the charmingly terrifying town of Marbrooke. It features an ensemble cast of creepy characters, brought to life by a team of seven voice actors. I talked to the solo dev, Yamyolks, about their background, their process, and how the heck they managed to produce a fully voice acted visual novel in under a month.
How did you get involved with the Spooktober VN jam?
Spooktober was the first jam I’d ever participated in, while looking for a chance for a collaborative visual novel project through Lemma Soft forums.
How did you come up with the concept for Devil's Door, and how did the final version of the game differ from the original concept?
Originally, the concept was based on a classic trick or treat system - only that everyone at the door were real monsters. It was meant to be a very cute and light run through a town filled with vampires, dullahans, and devils.
Devil’s Door then expanded to a horror drama as I invested more time in certain characters and the stakes were raised in terms of plot while a darker tale began to unfold.
How did your background in art and storyboarding affect your process?
The best part about creating a visual novel is designing the characters - and that’s where lots of my energy went to during this process. I also imagined it closer to a movie than a book so adding in animated accents were a must.
What was the most challenging aspect of this project for you?
By far, learning to implement voice acting was the most challenging part of the whole project. I’d never done it before or even played very much with audio and thus didn’t realize the amount of hours of listening to takes, splicing and snipping files, and inputting them in their correct positions would take.
Devil's Door is completely voice acted. Why did you choose to use voice actors, and how did you select them? How does using this level of voice actors change your process in making a visual novel?
Originally, I only planned to have the main monster voiced at all! But then as more and more skilled voice actors came on the project to lend their time, I realized it would be best to have the full game voiced. In fitting dialogue with audio, I even redid some sprites to match the energy that my fantastic voice actors put forth!
What did you learn from your experience making Devil's Door?
The lessons I’ve learned from completing Devil’s Door are invaluable. It is my first finished project and to imagine so much work was done in a month is insane to me. More than anything, I realized the importance of maintaining balance and a good schedule on a project so as to not run yourself into the dirt on crunch time.
What can you tell us about your future projects?
I have a visual novel I’d been working on early this year that will be given a huge makeover with everything I’ve recently learned. Rebranded as “These Wicked Schemes”, it’s a passion project for which I aim to turn into a full fledged, fully voiced, and partially animated journey through a land full of magic and wonder. My dream is to one day push forth a funding campaign that will grant “These Wicked Schemes” the opportunity to become a grand project many will be able to enjoy and return to time and time again.