Beyond these challenges, I also faced the challenge of finding the right people to work with and staying committed to the project for over four and a half years.
I did not possess all the skills needed to create a visual novel, so I had to seek help from others, but no one around me was interested in the project. I ended up turning to the projects section of a DeviantArt forum, posting a help-wanted thread that solicited a few private messages from some users.
Despite how none of had ever made a visual novel nor completed a project to this scale before, we still managed to complete it together in due time. The process took 4.5 years because the story developed into something more layered and detailed than originally anticipated—our team decided to let it organically grow and continue working on it as long as we could. Over this period of time, our problems evolved from establishing a completely remote method of collaboration to maintaining steam on progressing through the story, artwork, and programming.
Building my team from that forum became the most significant factor of my learning experience and growth.
It was my team members that taught me how to set proper goals and deadlines for myself, how to communicate ideas with people across different disciplines, and how to work well together despite being fully remote and never once meeting at the same time. Making Nova proved to me that working with others will often create something bigger and better than what one person can do alone, giving me a much greater appreciation for teamwork and collaboration. Ultimately, this small group of people motivated me to continue working on this project for so long. I wanted to be accountable for starting it, and I became determined to have our hard work come to fruition.
In managing the project and leading the overall direction of the game, this is what started my interest in the product field in the tech industry. It gave me direct experience in creating and releasing a product from start to finish, working with a team and dipping into every facet of the product development process, and managing it all under a personal timeline while still being a full-time student. Furthermore, although I did not have a design role for this project, designing certain game features with the user in mind, creating content for social media posts, and seeing the work of my artists influenced my own interests and desire to be a designer and work in product.