Undertale - So Sorry - Addendum

Okay, this has been a long time coming. Unfortunately, I wasn’t aware of threading comments on twitter so mostly I’m just grabbing what I wrote there and stuffing it in a text post to get it in one place.

Okay, hoo, here goes. So, seven months since Undertale. As Toby predicted, I was found in under a week - then found out shortly after. Now people say shitty things to me and about me legit all the time. It stings but, y'know, water off a duck’s back. I’m autistic, I’m fat, I’m poly, I might be NB, I have anxiety disorder, I’m on medication. I’m used to getting things slung my way. And I knew that once the connection was made to me in Undertale, it’d be same old story. We both knew how it would go. Toby warned me, expressed his concerns and asked me if I wanted to back down. I said “its worth it to be part of something I love so much”.

The problem is, some stuff had happened preceding that and surrounding that that kind of hurt.

Firstly, he was cool with me, loved my character, said nice things about me, agreed to a unique room, an encounter, a battle and NPC. Then someone said “hey, Sam’s a freak by the way”. I never was told who, only that someone brought it up to him. Ever after, its been pain. Now, unique area, npc, boss fight, encounter - all that stuff went to another backer, who I’ve since been told is his friend?

I didn’t hear much for two years. I waited patiently, hopeful the bad stuff was over, super excited for Undertale. Then one day he messages me near the end of development and asks if he can just shitcan the whole thing, refund the money. All the fun ideas we talked about got scrapped. I stood up enough to say “no, thats real unfair” and that was about it. In the end, we didn’t even get to see the lovely sprite Tuyo did for So Sorry’s front - we only get the back in the game. I think its probably okay for me to share this now - if she says otherwise, I can take it down, of course.

I love the fight, I love the game, but its all tangled up in so much stress at this point. I don’t feel like a “cool secret” as I was told about. I feel like a skeleton buried under the floorboards of a closet. People keep comparing me to Muffet and its not hard to see why. She’s really cool, I love her design and the battle is amazing. But she’s also an external creation and you HAVE to fight her before you are even ABLE to trigger the So Sorry secret for some reason. That and not even getting my name in the credits with the other monster designers it feels like yeah, he didn’t want anything to do with me.

And I’m done, I’m done feeling hurt about it. I’m done with the naysayers being enabled nothin being countered. I’m done doubting myself for ever wanting to be out in the open. I’m a real person. My life has meaning no matter what.

And it would have been fine if Toby had actually ever directly addressed any of it. Instead, it was “don’t harass my backers, no good will come of it” and “all monsters are good”. No good came of it - for me, at least. It wasn’t all your backers being harassed and they weren’t being harassed for being your backers. It was one developmentally challenged guy who wound up with a weird job on the internet. I’ve tried talking to Toby about it, as has Khato, as have a couple of friends we talked to about it. Toby doesn’t want to make a scene. He’s worried about the backlash I think? But he has nothing to lose and I had everything to lose by being so involved. And I’m tired of losing. I’m tired of being indefensible for existing. I already got hit by the backlash. I’m just tired.

Also Toby isn’t bad, I just think how he’s dealt with me has been kind of, uh, a little dehumanizing. Just all this stuff is really contrary to the meaning and moral of his game since I guess I’m the wrong kind of monster. And I’ve spent seven months dealing with the stress. Its affected my health and my work both and there’s no end to it. It feels good to finally get all that off my chest. Its been a long time in coming but its been killing me, very slowly.

tldr: toby was more invested in me being a secret than me being a cool secret and not standing up for me made me feel isolated and hurt

I appreciate all the well wishing by the way. Its been exhausting and the support means a lot to me (by the time of posting it to tumblr, there’s been an outpouring of it on twitter and oh my god I was not ready for that).

I hope one day people like me and my audience get to just be ourselves in our own little corners of the world without being denied happiness.

I don’t think I’m a great person or anything. I try to avoid hurting people. Some times I do. I know I’m not perfect. I make mistakes. But I’d like to think I’m generally an okay person and I just want to be treated with the same amount of respect as all living things

going forward, I don’t know what to do now. I don’t think I can talk to Toby about it anymore than I already have. It hurts too much. I didn’t want a refund, I just wanted to be involved in something that made me feel powerful emotions and give what I could back.

when the game was being kickstarted, I fell in love with it instantly. I spread the word to every person I knew. I explicitly asked if he’d want to do the fantroll thing and he said sure. When it came out, I spread the game to everyone I knew, everyone I cared about and a bunch of people I look up to and respect because the game means so much to me as it is and I wanted to share that good with everyone who might want it. I worked and saved up as hard as I could to be involved - as best as a low rent commission artist CAN do - and I did it again when the game came out and I saw people itching to play it. It means a lot to me - I have a lot of stuff going on in my life but it made me feel like maybe things would be okay.

but the longer I go on dealing with the stress, the less I’m sure things will be.

some people have asked about what the original plan called for. I don’t have it to hand but it involved him stumbling around his art studio, trying to draw a butterfly that wouldn’t keep still. silly and toothless stuff, but thats all the plan was for. Just something light and fluffy. I commissioned some art from Tuyoki of it at the time since she was open and seemed to want to work with me. We didn’t have a whole lot of interaction, but she never did anything that made me feel intensely alienated or anything. Thats the piece at the top of the post - again if she isn’t cool with me sharing the work, I can take it down from the post.

Finally, someone’s told me it may be even more complex and possibly worse than I was aware of. I won’t say anything specifically until I can find out. I don’t know what the case is and I don’t want to say anything based on supposition, only what I’ve experienced or understand. I guess I’ll make an addendum to the addendum if I find out more.

Thanks for listening, folks, and thank you for the kind words on twitter.

23/04/2016 Edit:

Toby and me have talked about everything and you can find our responses to things here:

Thank you, everyone, for all the support. Please, be sure to show Toby support too - he is a good dog.