Western visual novel fans have some strange tastes, and I’ll be the first to admit that. However, I was recently caught off guard, which is rare for me, when I saw a Kickstarter project for a title called Mein Waifu is the Führer that aimed to tell a World War II story with Hitler and high ranking members of the German army as anime girls.
The project was launched by DEVGRU-P, a developer and publisher of visual novels in the west. Noisy Pixel had the opportunity to interview DEVGRU-P’s founder Wardaddy in order to learn more about them and their upcoming projects.
Azario Lopez: So let’s talk about DEVGRU-P for a second, prior to the launch of Mein Waifu’s Kickstarter, you’re also an active visual novel publisher working on various projects. When DEVGRU-P was created, did you want to be a publisher or a developer? And is it tough to take on both roles at the same time?
Wardaddy: I think it’s far better to do both, at least for us. I’ve always been involved in marketing and promotions, and after completing Panzermadels and seeing the success it had within the English Visual Novel (EVN) community I wanted to give back. That’s why we initially went into publishing, I saw so many great games fly under the radar because they either had trouble with crowdfunding or just couldn’t get a solid marketing plan going. I hated seeing these awesome games fumble, and that’s why I stepped into the publishing side of things.
I find that it’s actually beneficial, not only am I able to help out some really awesome devs bring their vision to life, we hire a lot within our own network, so in a way, it’s a big family of people who work on each others’ games in addition to their own.
AL: When it comes to Mein Waifu is the Führer, how did the idea of this project come to be?
W: We’ve always had a pretty big interest in the years leading into World War II and the war itself. Generally, I like to write and develop things that I have a solid grasp of so that it’s genuine and not just a collection of facts skimmed from a Wikipedia page.
AL: What work went into studying Hitler to produce the most anatomically correct anime girl version of him? Do you start with a naked picture of him and then start removing and adding some parts?
W: Clearly, the first step was to move the mustache down about three feet. We worked out from there until the art was complete. In a way, the mustache radiates the very essence of this (wo)man no matter where you place it.
AL: You’ve used Kickstarter in the past to fund a few of your projects, have you had a positive time using the crowdfunding platformer and what feedback have you learned in the past that you’ve brought to this new campaign?
W: Kickstarter has been an amazing platform for us. We’ve always had a great experience working with them and I personally think they’re one of the best forces in the EVN community. The biggest thing we’ve learned is that communication is key. More than anything else, you have to constantly keep your backers informed, far too many devs think it’s acceptable to go months between updates. We like to keep everyone on the up-and-up of what’s going on here at DEVGRU-P HQ.
AL: You mention that this game is a parody, but was it difficult to move forward with the project knowing what the source material is?
W: Not really, it’s too funny of a jab to pass up. We’ve never been afraid of causing a bit of trouble. Anyway, Stay! Stay! DPRK was a far riskier proposition considering the North Koreans are more likely to hunt me down than some 98-year-old guy from World War II. On that note, we actually did receive some threatening messages when we made Stay! Stay! DPRK which was hilarious.
As a marketing plan, we sent copies of the game to North Korean embassies around the world to try and get them mad. Nothing would have made us happier than North Korea levying a diplomatic complaint at the United States over a parody visual novel.
AL: There is also an adult version of the game in development, so we’re assuming the player is capable of developing a romantic relationship with anime girl Hitler, as strange as that is for me to say, I’m sure it was even stranger for the scene writers and illustrators. How did you approach the relationship scenes in the story?
W: In a funny way these sort of games sort of write themselves. It’s so driven by just the absurdity of these characters and the humor that develops by letting them interact naturally on the page that these romantic relationships aren’t forced at all. They feel natural, if not a little absurd based on the circumstances.
AL: Hitler failed as an artist in real life, which is fairly well known for anyone who took a world history course, but will those who have a deep understanding of history be rewarded with some nodes to real-life events, even if they are foiled by Anime-Führer in long run? More plainly, my question is, does the writing take into account real historical events or does all that begin and end with the characters being turned into anime girls?
W: Hitler’s art career is actually an extremely interesting topic since his art wasn’t actually bad, on the contrary, he was rather talented and I think he would have been a relatively well-known artist had he been admitted to the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. He was far more of a traditional painter though, while the “in fashion” art was Expressionism. I could go into this for hours but suffice to say I know way more about these topics than any sane person should, and so yes, this thing is going to be loaded with both history and comedy.
AL: After you open this box of turning historical figures into anime girls are you afraid that it can never be closed again?
W: There is no stopping it now. All must submit to the Waiführer.
But no, there’s no going back from this. It’s not like we mind though since we like writing parodies and we do them well. Everyone has their niche, even if it’s lewding historical politicians. Sorry, Karl Marx, you’re next.
AL: Is there anything you’d like to say to backers of the campaign and also those who are intrigued by this idea?
W: I have some amazing ideas for these stretch goals so if we can hit them, I promise, you won’t be disappointed. I mean who doesn’t want to meet waifu Stalin and Mussolini?
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