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9 months ago (Nov 1st, 2018) by Hirei

A Quick Look Into Hyourin – A New Digital Distribution Platform for Light Novels and Visual Novels

Hello, temp blog poster Hirei here! Tbac is currently on a well-deserved vacation and will be back with percentages and various other bits in two weeks.

Did you all hear there was something special we announced at Kumoricon 2018? We thought it would be best if one of the members of the project, SpudManTwo, gives everyone some insight into Sol Press’ new digital distribution platform, Hyourin!

Hey guys, SpudManTwo here to explain some stuff and answer questions regarding Hyourin. I can’t begin to tell you guys how excited I am about this project and I hope that you all share my enthusiasm.

So, what exactly is Hyourin?

It’s Japanese for “the moon”. To be more accurate, it’s a brand new distribution platform and marketplace that some of the engineers at Sol Press have been working very hard on. It will have both a webstore and a downloadable dedicated client. The dedicated client has a long list of features that are going to be implemented as time goes on. Some of these features include but are not limited to: a built-in light novel/manga reader, profile customization, a dedicated in-client store, and of course, a client-wide dark mode that even allows you to use the reader in dark mode so you don’t burn out your eyes with the light of a thousand suns.

With all that in mind, making a client is hard and takes a long time. Because of our dedication to quality, not all of these features will be available at launch, but they will be implemented as soon as they’re ready, and in a way that we think you’ll be happy with. In this fashion, the client will also update itself when new features and bugfixes arrive. For the super nerds out there, we’ll be including versions and patch notes as you wait for the updates to download and finalize.

At launch, we are only targeting the Windows platform, but you can expect Mac and Linux clients to follow shortly after. The Mac and Linux clients may not initially have all the features that the Windows client will, namely running visual novels, but we will be hard at work to keep all the versions in step with one another. Additionally, Hyourin will use its own account system to help keep track of you and your content, meaning you’ll be able to migrate across platforms.

As we continue to develop Hyourin, I’ll try to keep you all up to date with what’s going on. In the meantime, allow me to answer some frequently asked questions.

Ugh, are you guys really making yet another Electron app?

Nope. The Hyourin dedicated client is not built on Electron at all. It’s been a point of contention throughout the project, but we have settled on making the client from the ground up in Java. We are doing this in the hopes of being able to get it up and running on all platforms as quickly and safely as possible. Java allows us to not have as many security concerns while making sure that whether it’s the Mac, Linux, Windows, or maybe even a mobile version of Hyourin, you are getting exactly the experience we want you to have.

What will I be able to purchase on Hyourin?

Our main initial targets are visual novels, light novels, and manga. However, as Hyourin expands and raises its power level, we’ll be adding more and more content to the store portion of it. An example of what we’ll be adding to the store over time would be official merchandise like physical books/games, wall scrolls, and maybe even dakimakuras (gotta get that Mahiru body pillow, amirite, Bango?).

How will this affect the development of OniKiss/Sakura Sakura/etc.?

Short answer, it won’t. Longer answer, it might even expedite it over time. With us having more control over our own platform, we can make sure launches go smoother there. This means that we won’t have to wait on third parties for approval. Not to mention that the people directly writing the code for Hyourin aren’t the same people as the ones engineering the visual novels (sorry, Doddler-senpai). Fortunately for you, that means any slow-downs on the visual novel side of things are entirely the fault of those parties and not of the engineers working on Hyourin. So please don’t harass the Hyourin team over things they aren’t involved in or vice versa (please, we love you!).

Why not just release on <insert other distribution platforms here>?

This digs directly into a lot of why Hyourin is going to help us in getting our products into your hands. When we make arrangements with other companies, there are sometimes expectations and requirements for us to release on certain platforms. Not to mention that when we run a Kickstarter and promise you to be on Steam, we’re not just going to give up that easily. Aside from this, not all platforms meet other legal requirements that we need for us to release on them. Beyond this, not all platforms are created equal and some aren’t quite as amazing as we’d like them to be. Releasing through multiple channels is something we’re keeping open. This can actually be seen in how many different places we sell our light novels. In no way is this just a cash grab because we are creepy, evil overlords. We’ll leave that job to anime villains.

Sorry for being so long winded, but we’re just really, really excited. If you have other questions regarding Hyourin, please feel free to ask away. We’ve got a wonderful Discord with a cool “#talk-to-the-staff” channel that a lot of us at Sol Press check up on regularly. Alternatively, you can always reach out in the comment section or email us using our email form on the Contact portion of our website.

Keep a close eye on our blog and our Twitter and Facebook for more exciting updates on Hyourin in the future!