[Yuuyake Koyake] Help me populate Hitotsuna Town

edited July 2009 in Story Games
Reference: Map

So, Yuuyake Koyake is a heartwarming little game about henge* helping solve problems that they could normally have solved for themselves if they wouldn't stop acting so ... human. For example, you might be surprised by a young boy, running away from a young girl. Why was he running away? Because he was embarrassed by comments made by school kids and adults about the two of them holding hands. What will you do to help out the boy and girl?

* Henge is a term referring to an animal that can turn into a human.

So, take a look at the map. Who lives there? What problems are they having?

I'll start.

Action: You're hanging out, enjoying the sunny day, when you spot a lonely girl, crying while leaning against a tree.
Reason: She wants to play with her friends, but they always play at a park near the river, and she's scared of falling in.


  • Is there really a glowing crucifix falling out of the sky?

    Action: You see an old man aimlessly wandering around the little neighborhood south of the temple in a suit.
    Reason: He doesn't know what to do - his wife died, leaving a mountain of medical bills, his house was foreclosed by the bank, his children have abandoned him, and he doesn't have a friend in the world.
  • edited July 2009
    Posted By: Jason MorningstarIs there really a glowing crucifix falling out of the sky?
    Happened all the time when I lived there. Just one of those things.

    Action: A housewife sits at home staring dispairingly out the window at the playground across the street as her 3 year old daughter watches Doraemon on TV and slowly turns her brain to mush. Every...single...day.

    Reason: The family is new in town. Mom said something that offended the head of the local "playground mom" group, and now her and her daughter get the cold shoulder every time they go there to play. Now they just sit around at home.

    Ahh, Japan. Producer of electronics, anime, and tortured souls.
  • Action: An old man lives by himself and is especially grouchy towards the kids that play baseball near his house.
    Reason: The old man is actually a retired toy designer, and his house is full of old tin toys. He resents his only son for moving away, and while he is gruff with the children, he's actually worried about him staying safe.

    Action: A strange girl dressed in a futuristic jumpsuit wanders through the woods, alone and afraid.
    Reason: She is actually a time traveler from the future, but her time skimmer broke apart and became lost when she landed. She came to the past because she wants to meet a girl whose songs will inspire hope in dark times, but she knows that she will have to erase the memories of anyone she meets.

    Action: A mysterious man in ragged clothes and a hockey mask, wielding a chainsaw, if terrifying local children.
    Reason: A local boy he secretly keeping a litter of kittens safe, and using his toy chainsaw to try to scare off anyone who comes too close.
    Posted By: Jason MorningstarIs there really a glowing crucifix falling out of the sky?
    I don't know why never I noticed that before, but if I were to hazard a guess, I would say it's meant to be some kind of compass rose maybe?
  • edited July 2009
    Action: A teenage boy beats up his classmates who believe the old temple southeast of the hospital is haunted.
    Reason: The boy is in love with a ghost who resides there, but isn't willing to share her with anyone. He can't communicate with her.

    Action: A ghost, residing at the temple southeast of the hospital, ventures onto the psych ward at night.
    Reason: She is lonely and haunts the site of her death. The only people that understand her words are the people on the psych ward and their pets.

    Action:Cats and dogs tend to congregate near an old man's house, causing a ruckus and giving the man a bad reputation as an animal abuser (collector). The man has no choice but to feed the animals.
    Reason: The man lives alone, still unable to cope with the death of his young bride. He honors her memory by taking care of these new arrivals. They struggle to bring him to his wife, but cannot find a way to communicate.
  • edited July 2009

    So, the word Honobono in Japanese comes out to mean "Heartwarming". One of the themes that the author tries to beat into people over and over again (but were so used to *deep* drama, that it's hard to pull back to simply day-to-day simple drama, simple issues) is that it's GOT to be simple, heartwarming, and not involve:

    Going Crazy
    Psychological Depth or Breakdown
    Death Again
    Teh Emo

    Ewen's are perfect: The old man is "grouchy", not abusive or the like. The time-traveller, while *different*, is still simple.

    The author notes that in his games, or aquaintences' games, everyone finds it really hard to shift gears to this; everyone wants to go for the hard-hitting emo drama (Reasons, etc) to get that heartwarming. But the heartwarming is like Tai Chi; it comes from the abject simplicity of the emotions underneath (well, they can be strong and such, but they're apart from things like death, abuse and psychological reasons).

    This is soooper important for Yuuyake. Including psychological torment, death (that is, being sad because loved one is dead, etc), abuse and the like is out of bounds for the game. It's like saying No Without Rolling Dice in Dogs, or having the players keep secrets from each other in TSOY, etc.

    Play On!
  • Posted By: Neko EwenI would say it's meant to be some kind of compass rose maybe?
    Ah, I was thinking it might be a building on the hill, or a mine or something (the town kinda reminds me of the historic and small mining town of Ashio)... but the arrow at the right side gives it away, the universal sign for "this way is North". North is to the right.

  • I was trying to think of how to explain it, but I think Andy nailed it. Yuuyake Koyake assumes that everyone is basically good deep down, and that while people might lose their way sometimes, it's always possible to make everyone happy again. I'm having a hard time thinking of good examples, but it's grounded in a certain Japanese style of storytelling. It's kind of like Yotsuba&!, in that it's idealized but not sanitized. You don't lay into someone because they're wrong, but show them how to bring out their better (true) nature. So, following Mark's scheme, the Action shouldn't be too over the top, and the Reason should specifically be something positive, or something that can come around to something positive. Basically, the appeal of playing Yuuyake Koyake is that you go into a safe place for a couple hours, and taking a break from your normal life and normal gaming.

    (Though there is a Yuuyake Koyake short story about a widow who recently lost her husband, but the emphasis is very much on a bird henge names Sarah helping her heal and move on with her life. Themes of death aren't totally off limits, but they have to be handled very delicately to fit into the game's tone.)

    Action: A boy known for causing mischief around town starts teasing the daughter of a rich family that just moved into town.
    Reason: He's actually in love with her, but doesn't know how to express it at all.

    Action: A miko (shinto shrine maiden) starts refusing to leave the shrine's grounds, and won't say why.
    Reason: When she was very young, she promised the local god of the forest that they would marry. Now that she's nearly come of age, she's terrified that she'll have to marry a giant spider. In reality the forest god is just lonely, and he'd be perfectly willing to call off the marriage if only he could have some company.
  • Does my first example work within the context?
  • Action: A boy sits to the side of the park, watching the other boys playing a game
    Reason: The boy is small for his age, so the other boys don't let him play with them and pick him last for teams in school

    Action: Every night a boy sneaks out past bedtime with a lantern and a net to catch moths by the pond
    Reason: His favorite aunt who was like a mother to him recently moved to a far-away city. She collected moths and butterflies, so he hopes if he can catch a rare enough moth she'll come back to stay.

    Action: Every afternoon a little girl visits the pet shop and looks in the window for a long time, especially at a little runt of a puppy in the corner. If the owner comes out to ask her what she's looking for, she runs away.
    Reason: She really really wants a pet but her parents say she's too young and forgetful/irresponsible to take care of one.
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