And following Hurricane Sandy, he focused in on one in particular: a game engine for visual novels.Kreyling was creating an interface for narrative-focused video games — games with static characters over static backgrounds that often give players dialogue choices.
In it, players take the role of a high school teacher in a near-future Canada where — unknown to the students — the teachers are able to read the private messages students send to each other.
The game's story ends up addressing issues of privacy, sexuality and relationships that exist both online and in the real world.
Kreyling was worried, but hoped the deal would allow him to finish the engine and give Palumbo more time to write her script.
In July 2013, Namco Bandai — under its Shifty Look subsidiary — announced the game as , Kreyling started his own company, Date Nighto, and brought some of his friends on board the project. Another roomate, Yuko Ota, then came on as an artist.
They worked on the 20 person content team at What Pumpkin, while Kreyling handled all the programming himself. "Mostly, [Kreyling's] whole MO is 'I shouldn't be setting the limitations on you,'" says Panagariya.
"'You should be forcing me to try to explore new areas of development.' And I think that does come from a place of being surrounded by creative people or people in different fields, because you get that sense that he's trying to help people push their boundaries a little bit." But as they got further into the game's development, and assets from the artist and text from the writers started to come in, it became apparent that integrating them into the game was going to be a full job in and of itself.
And luckily for Kreyling, she was looking to change jobs after completing work on an animated feature film.
So Woods became Date Nighto's first employee, besides Kreyling.
Woods was the art director of a small independent animation studio in Manhattan at the time.
She was also someone Kreyling had frequently gone to for ideas and advice on html VN since she was well versed in Japanese visual novels.
Once at the office, he convinced building security to let him in, grabbed the computer, left his bike behind and hitched a ride on one of the few remaining evacuation buses.