So for anybody who somehow missed the posts and all the reminders I sent out: Two weeks ago, I opened myself up for any and all questions that you Mythies wanted me to answer. I said that there may be some questions I wouldn’t answer, but nobody put up anything like “what’s your bank account number?” or “who killed Lisa?”, so every single question asked is being answered! If I missed yours, please let me know – to the best of my knowledge, what is listed here are all the questions I received.
Note: There’s spoilers below. Not just for Mythos, but for a 30-year-old TV show. You were warned.
Question: What appeals to you about the low fantasy setting? Is it for comfort as a writer? To keep one foot in the real world so you always have something you can reliably draw on? Is it the notion that there could be hidden elements in our world that we don’t know about? Or maybe just a practical decision for ease of scene-building and rendering?
Nine: There’s definitely some appeal in partial familiarity; both for the author and for the reader. When the story takes place in reflection of the real world, that’s just less exposition that needs to be worked into the story. But one of the big themes about it that I love to explore is magic versus technology: What happens when the humans come up with their own form of magic? Can actual magic keep up? Book One doesn’t get too much into this because the entire thing is serving as an introduction to the Mythos universe, but it’s really a primary focus of the overall setting that will take more of the spotlight in future installments.
Question: Any chance you’d be willing to provide hints or previews about other celestials or supernatural entities that will be showing up in the game? Are you open to suggestions about possible inclusions?
Nine: There’s been a few other celestials shown in Mythos in game as background characters, in the Tales from Mythos, and in some random renders I’ve done with unnamed people. For example, in some capacity, Mythies have been exposed to Baron Samedi and Hera. There’s plans for plenty more: the name of the setting is “Mythos”, after all.
As for suggestions, like many authors out there, I would prefer to not get any. It’s not that I think other people’s ideas are bad, it’s just that I don’t want to include something and have someone say “hey, I gave you that idea!”
Question: Given that Tara can turn in to some sort of doggo, is there something more going on between her, Geri, and Freki? I mean… a 25 year old virgin that isn’t repulsed by sex, and isn’t shy about getting nekkid seems… unusual.
Nine: Oh. Um… no. Geri and Freki aren’t those kinds of companions, and that kind of subject matter won’t even be included “off-screen”. It’s one of the things I will never be including in a story, even in an implied sense. Tara’s unusual in many regards, but she does have her limits!
Question: Is the difference between a werewolf and a person who can turn into a wolf strictly an issue about the methodology (magic versus some kinda…viral curse thing), or is the “No Werewolves” more of a whole rejection of werewolf culture? Or just rejecting the wolf-human hybrid in favor of the either human or wolf model? Mix of all that and more?
Nine: That depends largely on the mythology, really. Like in some stories it’s a genetic curse, in some it’s a magical one. In Mythos it doesn’t matter, since they don’t exist.
Question: When will Rain get her wings?
Nine: Who says Rain has wings?
Okay, but really… early on I did have a mental image of what I wanted Rain to look like in her full fae form. That image in my mind has changed a few times now; I have no idea what it’ll be, or when I’ll even show it. It likely won’t be in Book One, but you never know… the story has already changed a bit from when I first started making the game, so anything is possible.
Making of Mythos
Question: Have you found yourself limited by the technical tools available? Are there narrative ideas you’ve had to abandon because of technical limitations? And is there anything you would change at this point but it would be too much work for technical reasons?
Nine: I think the limitations are more due to my ineptitude with the tools than any flaw in the tools, themselves. Between Daz Studio and Photoshop, there’s really not a whole lot that can’t be done; but that doesn’t mean I know how to do them.
One big thing I’ve had to abandon: Animations. Yes, clearly I know how to do them. However, as a hobbyist that isn’t doing this as a full-time job, the animations take far too long, and mine don’t look good enough to be worth the effort. I prefer textual representations of sexual encounters, anyway – but I know I may be in the minority, there.
Otherwise, being as Mythos is urban fantasy, there’s no huge story beats I’ve had to change due to lack of resources. If there were, I’ve forgotten them, so they couldn’t have been that important…
Question: Do you plan to include more of the characters from the game in the Discord role selection poll?
Nine: I will as future games go live; the polls primarily serve as a way for me to see who should get more screen time in the game. Like if a character proves to be grossly unpopular, I will reduce their role somewhat.
Question: When did you first think of Mythos?
Question: Where did you get the inspiration for Mythos?
Nine: These questions are pretty similar so I’ll group them together.
Mythos as you know it is a culmination of a few things. First was just my love of urban fantasy, naturally. Then came my own story ideas, where I thought “what if supernaturals from our stories did exist among us?” In an age where misinformation is rampant, how accurate would our ideas of the supernaturals be? How would they avoid being found out when everyone has a camera in their pocket?
The main story of Book One (who killed Lisa) came about when I found out that a friend had died, but I’d lost contact with her many years before. She’d moved far away in that time, so I had no mutual friends to ask what had happened. The curiousity clung to my mind, and that’s the mindset I wanted to put into Kylie at the start of the game. Note that in the novel version (that the game is based on), Kylie was only a former friend of Lisa’s, which changed the dynamic in that story a bit… but there were many more differences that I don’t wanna get into here.
Question: Will you ever release the original version of Mythos?
Nine: When it comes to the original novel that the game was based on? Probably not. Some changes to the story have been made as I make the game that make the story much better. Now I may at some point release a novelized version of Book One that includes a bunch of stuff that’s not in the game, but I dunno how popular that would be.
Question:Have you found a consistent way to fight off burnout? It seems to be a big issue for single or small group developers.
Nine: Consistent? No. But a lot of things you see me do are direct results of me fighting burnout: Character Interviews, Ask the Cast, Ask the Dev, and Tales from Mythos are all ways for me to take a break from making the game while still keeping myself in the world and mindset of the game. It’s very difficult to not be burned out, particularly for a solo dev who has to work full time. These past two months have been a real struggle, as I’ve detailed in my Friday Updates, but the key to it is really not to bash your head against it if you don’t feel like doing it at that moment. If you try to “force through” when you’re feeling burned out, you’ll just end up despising your own creation, and that’s when games get abandoned. From my experience, players are willing to give you the time you need so long as you still show interest in the project.
Question: For someone who is starting out in the Visual Novel scene, is there anything to could recommend to lend tips and tricks whether it’s with Daz or Renpy?
Nine: The smartass in me just wanted to say “don’t do it!” But this has been a great journey, really. I’ve learned a lot, I’ve gotten people interested in my world, and I’ve even made some friends!
That being said, my greatest piece of advice is to talk to other devs. I don’t just mean asking them how to do something, just talk about processes and what they do. There’s an enormous amount of potential in both of these tools, so you don’t even know what you don’t know. In talking to other devs, one of them may casually mention something you didn’t even think was possible! Most of us love talking to each other and sharing ideas – for the most part, we don’t view it as a competition or anything. We’ll give as much help as we have time for, usually.
Question: Would you say there is a certain level of hardware needed, if one could afford most things, to get good performance out of Daz and make it easier to learn?
Nine: So full disclosure, here: I’m an idiot. I don’t know hardware super well, so I just went with “big numbers must mean more better”. I knew my previous computer couldn’t handle Daz at all, so I bought a whole new system with a 3080 and that does all I need it to do. I think you can get good results with less, but… yeah, I’m really not the right person to ask! I’m an author, not much of a techie.
Question: What knowledge can you give upcoming developers, artists and writers of this community to help gain longevity in this industry?
Nine: For me, it’s all about engaging with the audience. For most of us, we’re not exactly making huge titles with big advertising budgets here; we’re indie folks and we hit our stride by having a community. Word will spread if you treat your community well.
Question: What would you do differently now that you are considered a more seasoned developer if you had to go back and change anything?
Nine: “More seasoned developer?” Who in their right mind would call me that?! I still consider myself a newbie (if not an outright hack).
If I had to change anything, though… Tara’s hair. She shoulda had the braid from the start.
The Future of Mythos
Question: Plans for the future? I mean, will you make a new game when the current one is finished?
Nine: Oh, yes! It’s called “Book One” for just that reason! But it’s not just more VNs; I also will be putting out more stories and even a tabletop RPG! I haven’t talked too openly about the RPG plans, but I’ll expand on it here: It’ll be powered by the FATE Core system (no struggling with the OGL for me), and when I put it out I plan to personally run a game on my Discord.
Question: Will Mythos: Book 2 feature the same protagonist and cast? Or is it new cast?
Nine: Right now, it looks like Book Two will still have you controlling Kylie (or Kyle). However, I don’t want to say anything more about the main cast because I don’t want to spoil who lives through Book One…
Question: Any plans for a Steam release?
Nine: Yes! When I finish Book One I will put it on Steam, both an adult and a non-adult version.
Question: Would you consider selling Mythos merch if people make art/drafts for it?
Nine: Selling merch? Yes, I would consider doing that if there were enough interest in it. As for other people making the art, I don’t know about that part; I’d rather do the designing myself (or have Morgana do it).
Question: What prompted you to identify as non-binary? And what does that mean to you?
Nine: What’s kinda funny is that making Mythos may have lead to me eventually identifying as non-binary! For those who were around at my humble beginnings, I wasn’t always like this. It’s hard for me to say exactly what really prompted it, though. I’ve always had dysmorphia issues, but I never felt like I should be the opposite gender so much as I didn’t really feel comfortable as either. As I interacted with more non-binary people, it made me realize that I didn’t have to be either gender. With me also coming to terms with being asexual, it just sorta fell into place.
Question: I had a question that was just a disguised short joke as I seem to remember you saying that you are short. Then I remembered that I had a cheeky vodka russian earlier and am very tired so the humour may not translate well so i didn’t post it.
Nine: I’m not short, though! You may have me confused with Morgana, who is 4’10”. Also this isn’t really a question, but I included it anyway because it’s funny.
Question: I can’t help but notice that there is a lot of purple around. Is that purely an aesthetic choice, or is there something more to it? (To be more specific, I’m curious if it has anything to do with pride colors.)
Nine: It’s actually not a Pride thing, strangely enough – my personal colour scheme has been purple, gold, and black ever since I played Saint’s Row. The fact that they’re the “ace colours” is a wonderful coincidence.
Question: Do you like adult games? If so, which are your favourites?
Nine: Adult games? Ew! Who would play one of those?!
Hah, kidding. I do play some, though not as many as I’d like because I really don’t have much free time (mostly because I’m making one, now). Come Home and Bare Witness are obviously high on my rankings, since we have this weird kinda three-way crossover between those games. I also love Price of Power, Light of my Life, Single Again, Panacea, Tales from the Unending Void, Power Vacuum, and Unleashed. However, it’s important to note that I’m probably way behind on all of them.
Question: Do your friends know you’re developing a game?
Nine: They do, actually! Some may even have a way to help me advertise it, though that’s a very recent development.
Question: What is your job in real life?
Nine: I’m a District Operations Manager (or, as someone likes to always point out, “DOM”) for a builder supply wholesale company. It’s very repetitive and boring and that’s exactly what I love about it.
Question: How similar are you to your avatar?
Nine: The original avatar for me (which is now used for the Waitress) was made by another dev based on some photos I sent. The one I use for “Nine” (the black/purple hair and glasses) looks… less like me, but it’s really the same avatar with a hair colour change.
Question: Does the Nine of Swords have any special significance to you or did you just pull a random tarot card for your dev name?
Nine: I wasn’t always going to be “Nine of Swords”. When I first came up with the idea to put Mythos out there, it was going to be under the name “Ninetails Studios”, and the symbol was supposed to be nine fox tails fanned out behind a triangular fox head. The tails ended up looking like blades, and I remembered that the Nine of Swords in tarot represents stress and anxiety. Being as I am always stressed out, and I’m made of anxiety, I thought that would be a fitting name for my “studio”, so I just gave up on trying to make a cute little fox icon.
The Nine of Swords logo you see today is the first draft. I just left it alone after that.
Question: What’s your favorite pie?
Nine: This is tough, and it depends on my mood. Though the two that come to mind are pretty similar; lemon meringue and key lime. I could do without the meringue, really… so basically just lemon or lime pie.
Question: What is your favourite werewolf movie?
Nine: Oh, you’re a funny one, aren’t you?
Question: What is your favourite vampire movie?
Nine: Dracula: Dead and Loving It
Question: What is your favourite fantasy movie?
Nine: Star Wars, which is 100% absolutely not science-fiction. (Pretty sure this was only asked because my position on this is well-known)
Question: Who is your favorite Urban Fantasy Author?
Nine: Jim Butcher! Anybody who’s read the Dresden Files can probably see some influences in Mythos. I also really love Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, and naturally his collaboration with Terry Pratchett (Good Omens) is high on my list.
Question: If you could have one feature or spell from D&D, which one would it be?
Nine: Every time I’m asked a question of which supernatural power I’d want, the answer is always the same, and exists in most settings that have magic at all: Invisibility.
Question: Will you finally accept the fact you’re talented?
Nine: I… accept that people may think so? Even if I did believe it, I wouldn’t say it, though. Humility is important to me.
Question: If you had to pick between:
- Admitting yours is one of the best games in the industry
- Joining Coldplay on their 8 months long world tour as the storyteller running their “Werewolf” game
…would you get a commemorative t-shirt for Morgana?
Nine: … kinda wondering if these two questions are from the same person. I don’t know what measure is even being used for “best games in the industry”!
Question: Is there a story behind your burning hatred of Coldplay?
Nine: There’s no underlying meaning, and it’s not because it’s a popular thing to hate Coldplay (which apparently it is? I wasn’t aware!). I just don’t like mellow “chill out” music. I was a professional driver in the early 2000s when they were getting big, so I was trying to stay awake behind the wheel and the radio stations keep playing “Yellow” and “Clocks” which are simultaneously infuriating and boring.
From the sounds of things, Chris Martin himself may be a good dude, but I hate the sound of the band’s music.
Question: How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?
Nine: Probably like two.
Question: What would be on the Mythos: Book One soundtrack?
Nine: This is based on the assumption that Mythos wouldn’t be a musical (which it totally would be):
- Lost Again – Dance Hall Crashers
- Kill This Love – Blackpink
- Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong – Spin Doctors
- Try This – Pegboard Nerds
- She’s Crafty – Beastie Boys
- Ace of Spades – Motörhead
- She Blinded Me With Science – Thomas Dolby
- Pink Rover – Scene Queen
- Building a Mystery – Sarah McLachlan
- Welcome to my Parents’ House – Ninja Sex Party
- Fighting Trousers – Professor Elemental
- Americana – The Offspring
- Punk Rock Girl – Dead Milkmen
- Everybody Wants to be a Cat – Dimie Cat
- Living Dead Girl – Rob Zombie
- The World’s Address (Joshua Fried Remix) – They Might Be Giants
Question: 9 > 13? (The answer is yes.)
Nine: … um… no?
Question: Was your family murdered by werewolves?
Nine: My family is still mostly alive! My grandmother recently passed from old age. Before that my great-aunt died of a heart attack. Oh, and there was my uncle who slipped in the bathtub and accidentally had his limbs torn off and got disemboweled. All normal deaths.
Question: Did your family murder a bunch of werewolves starting a generations long blood feud?
Nine: If they did, I wish they’d tell me so I could help them out!
And that’s all the questions we got for this round! Thanks to everyone who asked me stuff, and I’ll be sure to do this again after Chapter Four releases!
Keep the legends alive!
– Nine ♥