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CDS0039 Dream Idol

By komicer, 31 Mar 2014

CDS0039 Dream Idol

We have been teasing about it for quite a while and it is time to fully come clean with this hush hush project.

As 10k fans on Facebook seem to loom in the horizon, some crazy people within CDS decided to do something totally new for the fans. The Aizawa went well and it is time to top that. Plus if Daiyaku can do it, so can we.

So here we present the totally original, CDS written, illustrated and produced visual novel that, Dream Idol.

#CDS0039 Dream Idol… Not

If you have not suspected it already, yes. Dream Idol is an elaborate April Fool's prank that we started setting up three weeks in advance. Fuyumi was supposed to be cuter but we ran out of time for her. Many thanks to all of those who are involved in this project and managed not to leak the true nature of it. Many thanks too to all of you who shared the videos and gave suggestions on how we can do this. Did you like the idea behind Dream Idol? I really like the idea myself. ^_^ If enough of you guys come forward and suggest how we can go about doing something as large scale as this, we might bring the release date forward by 998.8 years.

Posted by Collateral Damage Studios on Tuesday, 1 April 2014

“Real or fake, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that we’re in this together and let’s do our best!”

So the cat is out of the bag. Yes, it’s April’s Fool! Dream Idol is really ‘April’s First’

In fact, if you take the first few syllabus of the girl’s first name, you get ‘Watanuki’. Which is a fancy way of saying 1st April.

That said, although it was conceptualized as an April Fools Troll, there is a genuine story planned for Dream Idol. Curious about what you did not see? Read on then..

The idea was that rather than do a simple one shot for April’s Fool, we slowly build up anticipation. Everyone would have their guards up on this special day so WaHa wanted to loosen that guard first. And to do that, you need to create hype and anticipation. Not that we are VERY good in that aspect but we tried.

We created a number of mock screenshots featuring bad sprites.

Then on that day, WHAM! We give you a troll PV with bad graphics and memes galore. Something seriously whacky. To that end, I think we probably put in quite a bit of effort. Both good and deliberately bad.

There are many internet speech prepared. But not all mocks are used in the end.

Like its origins, the entire premise of Dream Idol was made on the idea that everyone is put on the path of stardom by accident, by pranks. Haru tricked the protagonist (you) on board. Natsume was at the audition because her sister swapped the dates deliberately. Fuyumi… well, her presence was because the bullies signed her up.

The big sister character (by Geisterstunden) whom you did not meet

Furthering the story, there were supposed to be two more main characters. A big sister character who joined to accompany Fuyumi. She is a character I really like. I envision that for the player to go into her route, you probably will have to get friendly with Fuyumi first. Her character write-up goes:

She joined to take care of shy nerd. She is quite popular in her school, being in the school council as the secretary (she actually rejected the role of president, insisting that she is best in a support role). Tall and beautiful, she tends to have a good following in school. However, she is very protective of shy nerd instead. When she found out that shy nerd has been volunteered to join the idol audition, she decided to join herself to look out for shy nerd. With her looks, she was easily accepted. However, her condition to staying is that shy nerd needs to be in there. If shy nerd quits, then there is no reason for caring onee-san to stay as well.

While she might look confident, she is actually quite insecure about her abilities. Constantly holding back herself from excelling too much.

“Don’t worry. You shall always have my support so now, fly!”

“All my life, I have always played the supporting role. I am not sure if I have what it takes to stand in the front.”

A cute Fuyumi sketch by JUN. Unlike creepy Fuyumi which actually came as a surprise to the rest of us as well. When we saw that, we were almost hoping that WaHa is pulling a prank within a prank.

And the last character: a tomboy who was really a mole for a television production. There was no concept art done for this character which is quite a pity.

Guess what. The entire audition is a prank in the first place. Yes, there were judges. They were really actors (with some experience though)

Trendy tomboy was the daughter of a TV executive of a prank show. Seeing the popularity of idols, they decided to put the entire concept to the test. The intention was to go through the entire auditions and see how many bad contestants they can punk’d for ratings. To act as the control and the inside mole, trendy tomboy was placed within the idol wannabees to find out as much about them as possible.

As it turned out, the attendees were genuinely good. The judges felt that they had potential but however, the TV station doesn’t have the funds to actually fund the idol group. Trendy tomboy wanted to see how far this can go so after learning that the protagonist is genki osanajimni’s agent, forced him to be the agent for the rest of the group as well. At the same time, they operated on a bootstring budget as it is mostly self-funded by the daughter and the TV executive.

She started within as a mole and quite cynical. As the game progress and her stats improve, she has the greatest potential out of everyone. She also finds herself getting attached to this idol group who is not supposed to exist in the first place.

“We should not have existed. But we did. And let’s make the best out of it.”

Another unused screenshot mock up

The entire setup was supposed to be one big reality show prank to see how they can get random people to become part of an idol unit. No one expect the unit to actually succeed (assuming) thanks to your management.

So what’s next from here?

Dream Idol remains an April’s Fool joke.

BUT is Dream Idol an idea worth pursuing? Well… I actually quite like what I wrote. A couple of us more involved in the project were also contemplating if we should actually do this for real. You know, crowdfund it and then work on it.

Some funds will see us be able to add more characters, get backgrounds actually done up and get proper original music for the game. For an idol game, we will need good idol-ish music, yes? With funds, we will be able to engage professional voice actresses to voice the characters. It won’t be your famous Japanese seiiyuus like Hanazawa but they would be decent.

That really depends on demand. If we actually do this for real, how many people actually want it? During the course of the ‘building up hype’ period, we’ve got plenty of people telling us that they are keen on seeing the end product. That’s nice and I’m really sorry that we need to give non-committal replies then. Sorry for trolling you all despite your support.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this crazy ride with the rest of us! We MIGHT sell some of the generated artworks as prints at Doujima. They are quite nice after all…

Happy April’s Fool!

From here onwards, it’s back to the old post

You, the protagonist, has never been interested in idols. However, when your childhood friend ask you for a favor, how are you going to reject her? Before you know it, you are in charge of the idol unit your friend belongs to. From where they perform to which song writer to hire, they are now your responsibility as your actions determine the fate of the young idol unit.

Can you do it and make your idol unit the best in Japan?

What is an idol unit without the idols whom you groom and date? Meet the idols under your ward!

Watamori Haru

“It is my dream to stand on the stage and sing my hearts out. And with you by my side, I’m confident that we can do it!”

Impulsive and cute, your childhood friend, Watamori Haru has always love singing and dancing. Becoming an idol seems to be a natural step for her to pursue her dream. Of course, coming from a family of high flying doctors and lawyers, her parents oppose what she is doing, claiming that she is breaking a time-honored tradition and bringing shame to the family.

When she discovers that there is an idol audition coming up, what is she going to do? She does so in your name and thus getting you into this whole mess in the first place.

What will happen when her family does find out about what she has done? How will you stand by her dream?

Introducing Watamori Haru

I personally quite like this version of the character PV which we included voices. So there it is in its original glory. Many thanks to pickle131 for helping us so much with the voices! It has been fun plotting the lead-up to the troll video.

Posted by Collateral Damage Studios on Saturday, 5 April 2014

Nuihara Natsume

“I’m only here for yo- I’m only here for the experience. If it doesn’t work out, I will quit immediately!”

Nuihara Natsume never wanted to join an idol unit. She had originally signed up to audition for a local theatrical opera but due to a prank, got the dates mixed up and ended up in the audition for the idol unit instead. Although she easily excel in the auditions, she only reluctantly accepted the offer because you convinced her that joining the idol unit was a way of gaining experience in stage performance.

She is still very much into ‘higher forms of music’ such as opera and THAT other theatre production will be having their auditions soon. Now she’s insisting that her career is your responsibility. What exactly is she going on about and what can you do about it?

Introducing Nuihara Natsume

Introducing Nuihara Natsume. How many of you have watched the PV? This is the original version when we included voices in the introduction. Of course, by now, you would have known that everything was a lead up to a troll video. Did you wish it was for real?

Posted by Collateral Damage Studios on Saturday, 12 April 2014

Kitaoka Fuyumi

“To stand on this stage would be to expose myself to more ridicule. Can you promise to protect me?”

With her shy and quiet nature, Kitaoka Fuyumi has been an easy target for bullying. The bullies know that she will never be able to oppose them directly. As their latest prank, they have signed her up for the idol auditions and spread the word around the entire school. Unable to reject them and bracing herself for humiliation, Fuyumi went for the auditions reluctantly.

No one was more surprised than herself when she was accepted into the idol unit. It seems that the judges were quite impressed with her vocal range.

Just because she is now an idol doesn’t mean Fuyumi is off the bullies’ radar. Someone will have to protect her and stand up to the bullies with her. That person will have to be you.

Gameplay

Idol management will be an integral part of what you need to do. You can choose to let the girls decide on whatever they want or micromanagement like a boss from hell. Your options include choices such as performance location, where to market them, their costume designer, their script writer down to where they go to after work. After all, if they are going to be tailed by the paparazzi or fanboys, it might as work to your advantage.

Each of your choice will affect how the girls perform, their skill points and even their motivation. Don’t slack off but pushing too hard will also cause them to rebel!

There is of course the dating sim element in which you will learn about the background of the girls and become more involved in their life. During the course of our management, you will have the opportunity to interact with the girls and even go out with them. As the girls become closer to you, their performance will even increase!

Be warned though, if you do start a love rivalry within the unit, you might set off cat fights and a overall decrease in effectiveness.

All your efforts for good or bad culminates in the end at the Idol Festival where the idol unit will perform before the entire population of idol fans! With your management, will your unit excel to conquer fandom or will they fizzle out in an orgy of cat fights and scandals? Is there going to be a happily ever after for your own personal love life?

That is for you to make it happen.

The Team

Behind every story, there is also the team that brought the story and characters to live for you.

While WaHa is the lead character illustrator for the visual novel, each main character is designed by a different artist. Haru was first designed by Geisterstudden for the upcoming Doujima. Natsume was designed by GreenTeaNeko while Fuyumi was conceptualized by JUN.

JUN is also the one who designed our logo and GUI for Dream Idol.

Space Penguin is our illustrator who will be designing the various original backgrounds that we will be using within the game.

Komicer was both the writer and the producer of the visual novel.

Haru is voiced by the talented pickle131. If you recall, she is also the one who voiced the DOUJIN soundpack for Inori Aizawa.

Fuyumi is voiced by Samantha Chan, a writer/voice actress from Lemmasoft.

Finally, Natsume is voiced by someone tsundere close to us, bringing her natural tsundere-ness to the character. My personal favorite.

Various other backgrounds and the music has been sourced out from Creative Common sources.

Are you ready to lead the girls to stardom?

Well, are you?