Skip to content

Mailbag #1: “What is Kavaya?”

in hello girl, gamot’s at war. they have been for some time. torn apart for the greater good, it’s a story of sacrifice. all the men are away fighting and, this, this is what’s left. a handful of women trying to make things work. how can you find peace in this world with so much conflict, evil, cruelty? hello girl says that you just have to be far away from it. so far away there’s nothing to feel. your thoughts fill the space, if your hunger doesn’t already.

it’s no secret that war is an interesting backdrop to me. war may be awful, but it drives conflict. it’s a good excuse as a writer for things to happen in the story. in our youth we found connection through the currculum. school life contextualized everything around us. one might somewhat brashly say that this is the foundation of VN as a genre. as adults, we have work. we give away a part of ourselves for that good old dollar. so that we can live. to a more extreme degree we have the military industrial complex, where many pour themselves into to varying success. if you’re born in the wrong time period, you’d probably end up dead for some economic interest and be none the wiser about it.

poor ana, she doesn’t even know why her sister’s fighting.

what does the other side of that conflict look like? gamot’s just a small player in this world-spanning conflict. we were too busy zooming in on the small fry that we never had the the opportunity to tell about the larger picture. what are the northern provinces? what kind of people live there? it’s described a cold place, where demons feast on the blood of the righteous people of gamot. or so yuno thinks, anyway. there’s only one place worse than gamot, and it’s that darn NP.

kavaya local maximum's title screen, work in progress

it’s probably a place you’ll never get to learn the true story of, not from a gamotian, anyway. you’re not immune to propaganda.

slow_gear.wav - demo from the ost

what’s really going on in the northern provinces? we’re in a time of great optimism. a new source of energy has been discovered. one that will go on to underscore the next decade. it might be unreliable now, but once a generalized solution is found it will be the envy of our forebearers. that’s why it’s more important than ever that you enlist.

mezzanine and nadya

dialogue history, work in progress

kavaya local maximum is a reincarnation of a past project, which knew many names, but perhaps for the longest it was simply called “border point 53”. mentha described it well as “a cold, cold borderpoint exists between two certainties in life”. it was my attempt at writing about a cosmology myth. what happens to souls after we die? who are the people that work there? it was an appealing concept, but i struggled finding a good hook.

a very early iteration of kavaya

^ this ‘good morning’ style of writing is still really appealing to me, but i ultimately chose to depart from it

hello girl kind-of changed everything. there was now a context for everything. rabbit zero, she was mentioned so briefly. it is one of my great regrets that i never got to told her story. i immediately started pulling layers away and adjusting things so that they’d fit.

there’s a lot writing that i’ve done in the past that needs to be recontextualized and reconsidered. i’ve developed a lot since i first set out to make border point 53, so it’s been a bit of a challenge, but i’m starting to see the outline get clearer every day.

girl with cigarette. a screenshot from kavaya local maximum, work in progress

ranka and dutch receive orientation

we’re approaching this game with small goals in mind. we’d like to get a demo up and going of the first 20-30 minutes of the game using temporary assets and somewhat-finished writing. try and moodboard it as much as possible. we’re confident that the rest of the pieces will fall into place as we get the ball rolling. my vision is clear. i am confident that this game will blow everyone away. i hope i can get that vision out a bit more so collaborating becomes easier.

what does kavaya local maximum have to say about war? i hope by the end of it you’ll despise it more than ever did before.

– meri & team

This newsletter was originally sent out to our mailing list. If you'd like to receive these posts as they come out, you can sign up here.