University of Indianapolis senior software engineering major Melanie Moore sits at her computer and edits the scripts for her game, “Danganronpa: Avenging Hope,” in preparation for the release of the prologue at the end of April. Moore said she has been working on this project since August 2020.
The game is based on the visual novel series “Danganronpa,” which follows a group of talented high school students that are forced to murder each other. According to Moore, her adaptation of the series will be set in the same universe, but have a new setting and original characters.
“So [the characters] are now placed in this facility for an indefinite amount of time until they find out who is writing this letter. But in the process of that, they find out that the facility has been taken over by that same person who was targeting them in the first place,” Moore said.
According to Moore, the project stemmed from wanting to see the concept of the series she loves in a different way, but she also has wanted to make a video game since she was a child. She said that currently, game design is just a hobby for her, but she could see a potential future in designing video games for a career. However, according to Moore, the process has been difficult. She said creating a video game has not been covered in her software engineering classes, which meant she had to teach herself.
“I’ve looked into different game jams and how other creators and indie game artists make their games and I look to see how they make their scripts and what their processes [are] and then I see ‘Okay, can certain things of this apply to my process to make it more effective?’” Moore said.
According to Moore, the process for making the visual novel began with designing the characters and learning how to draw digitally, which she was not familiar with. Then she worked on the scripts for each portion of the game, and created the music because she did not want to use any copyrighted material. Finally, Moore said she worked on the actual software of the game using RPG Maker MB to make the characters come to life. While Moore did create the game herself, she said she had help from her boyfriend Dericq Freeman, who is a senior digital art and video effects major at Flashpoint Chicago, a campus of Columbia College Hollywood.
“I support her love… [the] fandom nature that she has for it. And I thought it was a pretty cool project and I could help whenever she needed the help,” Freeman said.
The game will be released on Game Jolt, which allows for people to release fan games and smaller indie games, according to Moore. She said she plans to promote the release of her game via social media as well as in different forums that are meant to allow people to discuss fan games and provide support for those creating them.