Chapter 0:


Path of Pandora – My Worldbuilding System

The gaming industry experienced a massive boom in both player numbers and games created when the first Virtual Reality Game-Development tools were developed.

VRGs for short, allowed users to create lines of code using only their brain waves. This was shorty expanded to include models, animations, audio, and many other things, that any gamer would need to make their dream project come true.

It took less than a year and the gaming industry was full of millionaires, most of whom began as solo indie developers. Corporations went bankrupt, as their abused and overworked employees quit to create their own corps, run by passionate artists and video game fanatics.

Beyond all these success tales, there was one man, whose name lived on as a legend in the VRG developer community. His name was Hachiro Tanuki.

Tanuki was a nineteen years old NEET. His two main passions were art and games. He applied for art school after graduating, though every college refused his application. The reason being: they thought he wasn't good enough.

His dreams being shattered into pieces, Tanuki lost all hope in life. That was until he heard of VRGs and the possibilities they provide.

With a newfound goal, Tanuki set off to create the perfect game, one that would be enjoyed by anyone, no matter the taste. He tried to use an MMORPG basis, while also incorporating other mechanics from games such as FPSs and others. There were roguelike elements, tower defense parts, shooter mechanics, and a bunch of different systems inspired by other genres.

Tanuki spent countless nights learning about video game design. His game was meant to be so complex, he kept a large diary about every detail he wanted to add, half of every page detailing different solutions to various problems that might arise.

He was committed to creating the perfect game to ever exist. There was only one detail he forgot: why such a game hadn't existed before.

Of course, while his ideas were great in theory, they were impossibly hard to execute for someone with no previous game-making knowledge.

"Shit! Damn it!" These sentences were yelled constantly, as every new feature brought another error with it. "This shitty code just won't work!"

Despite how agonizingly slow it was, Tanuki didn't give up on his dream. From 8 A.M. to 8. P.M., he wore his VR headset every day, hell-bent to create the perfect game. Sometimes even while cooking.

"Goblins should be perfect tutorial enemies for low-level players." He sniffed the air and took his headset off. "What is this smell? Oh no… my pancakes!"

Though both his friend and savings were rapidly diminishing, Tanuki's willpower carried him towards a righteous goal.

"I'm going to be the richest game-developer!" He cried out happily, once he finally managed to program a day and night cycle. "Get ready, world! Hachiro Tanuki will shine bright like a star!"

Month after month, he kept going with ever-strengthening will. But as seasons changed, something happened…

"That building goes there, then that bar goes there… achoo!" He sneezed. "Then that weaponsmith goes there…"

He stopped. It took him a few moments to register what just happened. He took off the VR headset with wide eyes. The computer screen beside him was coated in saliva.

"When did I catch a cold?"

What first began as a simple sneeze quickly evolved into a fever. His body temperature grew to dangerous numbers and he found himself too weak to get up from bed.

"This… is bad…" He looked at the phone on the other side of the room. "I'm too weak to get up and call an ambulance… shit… at this rate, I'm going to die…"

In his last moments of lucidity, Tanuki equipped his VR headset. He opened his perfect game and continued to work on it.

"I should… put down some flowers…"

After a few seconds, Tanuki passed on.

This is a cautionary tale VRG developers tell their fanatic colleagues. Whether it is true or not, they don't know and don't care. It's just a fun legend, after all.

But what they don't know is that Tanuki's story didn't end there, but rather just began…

[ Hachiro Tanuki gained 'Blessing of the Developer'! ]

[ Reincarnation begins in 3… 2… 1… ]