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Experience the unique perspectives of Piro, Largo, and other Megatokyo characters as you play them in an elaborate visual novel game.
4,958 backers pledged $299,184 to help bring this project to life.

Megatokyo Visual Novel Pencil Test

Posted by Fred Gallagher (Creator)

If you are a Beta Tester for the game, you can now go to the beta testing forum and use one of the torrent links in the post to download the pencil test sample to download and review. The intent of this pencil test is to let you sample the look and feel of the game. It does not include any choices or any of the shopping and other variable-changing elements which we stripped out but follows the canon Megatokyo route up to just after you first encounter Seraphim. More information on the pencil test and what the kind of feedback are in the post in the beta forum. We hope that from this pencil test you will be able to get a solid, immersive sense of how the game is coming together. There are Windows, Mac, Linux and Android builds to test.

If you are having trouble setting up or accessing your beta tester account (people with hotmail accounts seem to have particular trouble getting the confirmation emails) please email me directly at and we will manually get your account set up so you can access the forums.

A few other things of note, we were invited by Valve to distribute and sell the Megatokyo Visual Novel game on Steam, including issuing product keys to everyone who has pre-ordered the game and its components through the Kickstarter. If you would prefer to not use Steam we will still be offering other ways of getting your copy the game, so don't worry if you are not a Steam user.

Someone recently commented that I owe everyone an apology for the time it is taking to produce this game. They are right, of course. I do. I apologize for the time it is taking to make this game. I have a great team of people working hard to help pull this game together and they have done an amazing job up to this point, but the sheer amount of writing and artwork that I am responsible for has been the biggest factor in the expanded production time. I appreciate your patience and hopefully if you are a Beta tester you will enjoy the pencil test and have a sense of the game in progress. If you are not a beta tester, you can play the first part of the Kinetic Short story Endgames omake I have been working on here which uses many of the elements and setup we have been developing for the MTVN (see the rant for the downloadable versions, or you can play through the online version) I am currently working on part 2 of this 3 part omake which hopefully I will be able to post in the next few weeks.

If you have been following me on Megatokyo, Twitter, Facebook and other places you already know about some of the difficulties I've faced over the past two years. These difficulties have not only impacted my visual novel work but Megatokyo and other things as well. I have tried my best to mitigate the impact these difficulties have had on things. Please accept my apologies for the impact this has had on the production of this game.

There are other factors, of course, why things are taking longer than I had originally hoped, and some of these are actually quite interesting. First, of course, is the fact that writing and drawing and producing a visual novel is nowhere near as easy as you might think. I have more respect for the studios and people who have made these games than I had before. Also, there is a learning curve. I am a comic artist and writer. It was harder than I thought it would be to write and compose and format the right look and feel of things in VN format.

One thing I learned is that Visual Novels are just that - they are a way of taking a novel (prose) format that describe scenes and events using words and a minimum amount of re-usable art to add dimension and depth to the story. When doing a comic, each and every frame, every expression and every background usually is unique and original, drawn specifically for what the character is thinking or doing. Distilling a comic format where every drawing is unique to a first person experience flow using standardized art was actually very difficult. Many of the times I used drawings to show things I now had to provide lengthy descriptions or change a scene completely from the original comic to make it work.

Of course, my first approach to dealing with this issue was to just draw everything that needed to be drawn and not worry about re-using elements. As you might guess, this quickly showed signs of growing exponentially out of control. Lessons have been learned on this front, and I feel like I now have a manageable (though still very large) amount of resources to produce to get the look and feel I want for this game.

There was one other thing I felt I lacked when I started this project - I was NOT comfortable with my coloring abilities. I had real concerns about my ability to properly color foreground and background artwork in ways that were appropriate to my art style. Since that time, I have actually worked quite hard on developing a coloring style with COPIC markers that I feel fits the look and feel of my pencil work appropriately. I'm probably the only idiot in the world currently drawing and coloring all the artwork for a visual novel by hand rather than digitally, but it is what works best for me AND I think gives a look and feel appropriate to Megatokyo. For a sense of how this looks, be sure to look at the Endgames Omake KN linked at the top of this update.

I should also note that the game we are working on is far more complicated that what I originally planned. It is basically taking almost 13 years of Megatokyo comics, redrawing them and then adding numerous additional story paths. It is amazing how quickly the pathing for a game like this can get very complicated. the flowcharts for this game are huge, and it took an inordinate amount of effort to keep the beastly things under control and yet interesting and entertaining for the player. They were so complicated that our lead programmer actually wrote a stand alone program to coordinate the flow chart events and codebit sections of the game.  I like to think that our efforts in this will pay off.

One way I have been looking at this project is that it will be as close as we ever get to there being a Megatokyo anime. This "Visual Novel" is really more of a "Re-Visual Presentation of a Graphic Novel." A Visual Novel is an attempt to take a story that is in words only and add a layer of visual and sounds to it. What we are trying to do here with the Megatokyo Visual Novel is to add a layer of experience to a graphic novel. This has been a challenge, and I hope that you be able to enjoy the game as an expansion of the Megatokyo comic, not just a re-telling of it in visual novel format.

Regarding physical rewards, we had hoped to ship out rewards with the finished game, but given the time it is taking to produce the game we are going to look at starting to ship out rewards sometime next year so we can ship them with a 2017 MTVN Calendar to those who wanted that extra. We will be emailing you before we ship anything out to make sure that you have updated your address under your Kickstarter account.

Once again, I apologize for how long this project is taking to finish. Hopefully when all is said and done, it will be worth the wait.

Fred Gallagher

Sunday - September 20, 2015

joey_picus, Jaime Kennedy, and 61 more people like this update.


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    1. Steven Fluet on

      I tried to get a handle on the progress of this project, and was told that this was no longer the place to get updates, and was directed instead to, which seems to be a forum for russian spambots. I'm trying to figure out if the project is still happening, or if this is just a VN version of Unsung Story.

    2. Missing avatar

      Wistrel Chianti on

      Hi Fred. as a long time follower of MT back when it was "a cube" (I seem to remember the 3rd dimension was implied ;) ) you won't be surprised to hear I never expected this project to be even remotely on time when I backed it. In fact I expected it to be even more remote than that!

      This said, September was an awfully long time ago (or approximately one month in the future depending on how you look at it) and there are a lot of backers who probably don't get what gives with a project that doesn't even update for a year let alone deliver.

      Far be it from me to ever give you a hard time but I think for the sake of all the others it might be at least polite to say something even if it is just a piece on how you work etc.

      Hope you are ok with these comments
      Kind Regards

    3. Artemi on

      As long as I get a Ping route then you'll have fulfilled everything I could possibly want from this game!

    4. Robbert Michel on

      Hi, no complaints... just wondering where we are right now. It's been a while since the last update.

    5. Silver Shoelaces on

      I expected to wait this long. I don't mind waiting longer. I have faith that the result will be worth it.

    6. Curtis Wilson on

      I'm a fairly casual reader and follower of megatokyo and knew it'd be years until the game is ready.

      Honestly, even the people that will make noise about the game being late every day until it's done would rather it take five years and be beautiful than be on time and thrown together. They may not realize it until it's in their hands but....

    7. Francisco Rosario on

      Considering how much of a problem you have even keeping the regular comic updated on schedule, i full expected it to take this long lol.
      Hopefully its worth the wait

    8. Valeriy on

      "One thing I learned is that Visual Novels are just that - they are a way of taking a novel (prose) format that describe scenes and events using words and a minimum amount of re-usable art to add dimension and depth to the story."


      Does someone sill think VNs are games and not a literature nowadays? Well if they are games than "Interactive Fiction" at most. Writing is crucial and everything else just serves to amplify the story tenfold.

    9. Missing avatar

      Jay S on

      Thanks for the update Fred. I am really looking forward to the finished product. Sometimes things take longer than we would like and life puts speedbumps in the way, but I can't wait to see what you give us once its done!

    10. Missing avatar

      CharlesA on

      @Chris Cato, did you read the update? He already mentioned when the physical rewards would be shipped out:
      "Regarding physical rewards, we had hoped to ship out rewards with the finished game, but given the time it is taking to produce the game we are going to look at starting to ship out rewards sometime next year so we can ship them with a 2017 MTVN Calendar to those who wanted that extra. We will be emailing you before we ship anything out to make sure that you have updated your address under your Kickstarter account."

    11. Missing avatar

      CharlesA on

      Fred, I'm fine with waiting. I've already backed some kickstarters that have got way beyond the deadline they set initially and still haven't delivered. I would rather wait for a quality product than have a "rush job" as others have said. Take all the time you need. I knew this was going to be a huge project when I originally backed up, but I've been following MT for ages, so I know how it is. Good luck!

    12. Chris Cato on

      Fred I have tried contacting you or your staff through the forum, email and Facebook about not receiving any merchandise after pledging you $140. I appreciate how time consuming delivering the game is but am quite pissed off I have had NO response regarding the aforementioned issue.

    13. Missing avatar

      Sem Vanmeenen on

      I fully expected a long wait when backing this project. So, don't worry about the delay. As most comments said, better a complete game later then a rushed disappointment now.

    14. Brandon Myers

      Thank you for the Update Fred, very much appreciated.

      If i may ask though, the physical rewards that will ship next year, will the USB Drive include just part 1, or will it include parts 2 and 3 as well?

      thank you very much, and best wishes

    15. Missing avatar

      Alan Sparrow

      You owe none of us an apology. Any Megatokyo fan worth their salt knows that A) it can take a long time between strips (so we should be used to it by now! ^_^ ) and B) the wait is always worth it. I know that'll be the case with this game as well. Your fans and supporters know you and we all know that you don't want to give us an inferior product. Keep chugging along with that in mind. We'll be here for you.

    16. Missing avatar

      Robin Doughty on

      I didn't buy into this expecting a quick release. I KNOW what you're like. I knew it'd be a long haul until it's actually released.
      I just want it DONE, I'm not fussy about when. Much like with the comic, just make sure you, y'know, actually finish it.

    17. Lambor

      I'd much rather have the game MegaTokyo deserves than a rushed job with corners cut to just get it out. Take your time, do it right and good luck.

    18. Jason Berg on

      Megatokyo Visual Novel! Coming 2020! Maybe!

    19. Missing avatar

      Goci Nicole on

      I figured on delays and since I'm following you on facebook I can imagine what you go through.

      Just keep doing your best and you can be sure that everyone will be happy in the end!

    20. Vaughn Drinen on

      Don't worry about the delays. We know once its finished it will have been worth the wait.

    21. Missing avatar

      Michael Brennock on

      Don't worry about the delays. You are still working on it, despite the family problems. I know how much that can weigh a person down, especially when one does creative work for a living. Keep at it!

      I'm glad go hear that work is progressing, and I like the Endgames omake as a small taste of things to come. I look forward to seeming more when it's done.

    22. Jai Nelson on

      No need for an apology, I knew full well this was going to be an epic project when I backed it. Glad that you are not sacrificing either quality or quantity. The longer we wait, the better it's going to be in the end.

    23. Silentwatcher on

      What do you take us for? Assasins Creed's or COD fans that need a fix every other month? Fred, you take your time. Don't you dare sacrifice quality or content to rush out this thing.

    24. Jazz on

      Things are taking time, sorry about that, blah blah blah...

      Look, man. This wasn't a thing I backed expecting it to be out in a month. In fact, my survival as a human being isn't hinging on this game either. It'll be awesome when it gets released, of course, but my life is rolling along just fine until it does. Keep doing your thing! I'm sure it'll be great. Thanks for the update, anyhow! :)

    25. Missing avatar

      Cameron William Sanders on

      Fred, I have been following the comic since before you were releasing them as physical media. I was aware when I helped fund this project that I wouldn't see a product for a few years and I was okay with that. Do you know why?

      Because I know you won't compromise the quality of your work. I still look forward to the VN and will patiently wait for it, because I know the end project will meet your fairly high standards. I wish even a small amount of game developers would take the time to do things right that you are taking now.

      I am comfortable knowing that the VN will be out when it's done. Thank you for the hard work you've put into it, and I hope when it comes out on steam that it gets the success it deserves.

    26. Missing avatar

      Rob Miller on

      @chris: email fred at for problems with accessing the beta forums, and he'll get you fixed up.

    27. cris willis on

      hey fred, I still haven't gotten my confirmation email to use the site. if you could help me with that, I would be really grateful

    28. Christopher G. Stanton on

      Thanks, I've got in contact regarding access to the beta stuff.

    29. Missing avatar

      Joleen White

      So excited and happy to wait for a product that you are proud of.
      In the meantime, grateful you introduced me to this game format. I've been playing a lot of different genres.

    30. Sean Hoyt on

      Still waiting patiently for finished game, am beta and will jump on this.
      Android was an awesome surprise, ill be able to vn on my tablet as well as my linux laptop!!

    31. Missing avatar

      joey_picus on

      It's Megatokyo, I think anyone who backed this knowing how the comic works knows they're in for the long haul. :) I have faith it'll be worth the wait, you keep doing what you're doing Fred, illegitimi non carborundum and all that!