Detective Butler - Now on STEAM GREENLIGHT!

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Kinjo
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Detective Butler - Now on STEAM GREENLIGHT!

#1 Post by Kinjo » Sun Aug 11, 2013 2:26 am

Detective Butler: Maiden Voyage Murder

Now on Steam Greenlight! Vote for us!

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STORY

In 1962, a popular cruise ship went out of business after the accidental deaths of two of its passengers. Ever since, the ship has been rumored to be haunted by ghosts, becoming an attraction for tourists interested in the occult.

50 years later, the ship has been revived by the owner's grandson, and will set sail on its maiden voyage. The CEO of a wealthy company takes the executive board members on board, as well as his son Gilligan, to celebrate their company's success.

There, Gilligan happens to meet a young man by the name of Butler. As the two of them delve deeper into the ship's past, another incident occurs on board... and it seems only Detective Butler will be able to solve it.
FEATURES (version 1.2)

-Almost 40,000 words
-Roughly 3-5 hours of reading
-A locked room mystery to solve
-Dynamically-updating journal for clues
-9 event CGs and CG Gallery
-26 Songs and Musicbox
-3 textbox options
-Blinking sprites with tilting heads (can be turned on/off)
-Screenshot button (F2 stores them in C:/ProgramData/Butler1/)
-Additional bonus content (unlocked upon completion)
-New ending, epilogue, and improved writing

DOWNLOADS

Windows/Mac/Linux/Android Download (228 MB)

CREDITS

Kinjo - Backgrounds, Music, Programming, Writing
Shadilyn - Final Character Design, Sprites and CG
Meta - Early Concept, Additional Music
Chocojax - Early Character Design
Ozaki - QA Lead
Last edited by Kinjo on Sun Feb 12, 2017 2:35 pm, edited 9 times in total.

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Re: Detective Butler EP1 [KN][Murder Mystery]

#2 Post by MaiMai » Sun Aug 11, 2013 2:29 am

Congrats on your release! This looks fun and the video is awesome as well.
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Re: Detective Butler EP1 [KN][Murder Mystery]

#3 Post by azureXtwilight » Sun Aug 11, 2013 3:23 am

I've been waiting for this for a long time! Gonna download~
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Re: Detective Butler EP1 [KN][Murder Mystery]

#4 Post by Akitsuki » Sun Aug 11, 2013 8:17 am

This looks interesting! I'm downloading it now, I'll tell you more later ^^

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Re: Detective Butler EP1 [KN][Murder Mystery]

#5 Post by gulabji » Sun Aug 11, 2013 8:37 am

This looks awesome :D downloading now, I'll give a review later!

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Re: Detective Butler EP1 [KN][Murder Mystery]

#6 Post by merdeamour » Sun Aug 11, 2013 8:46 am

This. Looks. Utterly. Amazing.

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Re: Detective Butler EP1 [KN][Murder Mystery]

#7 Post by trepiechick » Sun Aug 11, 2013 11:15 am

The art looks amazing! Downloading right now!

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Re: Detective Butler EP1 [KN][Murder Mystery]

#8 Post by Kinjo » Sun Aug 11, 2013 5:28 pm

Oh wow, thanks for all the comments everyone. A lot more than I was expecting so soon!

Definitely looking forward to hearing people's thoughts/opinions afterward.

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Re: Detective Butler EP1 [KN][Murder Mystery]

#9 Post by goat » Mon Aug 12, 2013 2:42 am

You guys have no idea how much work has been poured into this. Better give it a read, I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

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Re: Detective Butler EP1 [KN][Murder Mystery]

#10 Post by Xuan » Tue Aug 13, 2013 7:17 am

This definitely beats most of the VNs posted here. You seemed to be heavily inspired by Higurashi and Umineko - especially Umineko I think - because I believe the style is nearly completely similar. Detective Butler's peculiar habits could be referred to Holmes, although he is obviously a lot more compassionate. However, this is still definitely a good quality VN that deserved a read for its somewhat interesting story and consistent good art/music.

It is not without flaws though. One of the biggest problems I have with your work is the closure. While the twist in the end was sudden, it wasn't exactly described well and I had a hard time understanding the culprit.
The sudden insanity or explosion of malice
simply felt subpar and cheap that I'd rather you not put it in there because ultimately the story definitely could have done without it.

And then there was Butler
predicting that the culprit would run for their car and planting a homemade bomb in the engine.
Let's state what exactly is so wrong about the whole thing. One, what Butler did was basically terrorism and absolutely illegal. He was lucky he did not
kill the culprit with that ridiculous stunt of his, and from the looks of 'engine exploded into flames' 'car swerving completely out of control' he VERY nearly became a murderer himself. It'll make far more sense if he just punctured the tires instead. Two, if we go by your logic he had managed to concoct the chemicals with the stuff Celica brought him, searched and found the car, broke it open and planted the explosive in. That's in my opinion a pretty damn short timing window where absolutely anything could go wrong.
Not even Sherlock Holmes at his time was THAT insane, so to speak.

The ending was the story was unfortunately not satisfying. It ended way too abruptly without explaining properly the various reactions of the related passengers after the mystery was solved. Also, for a state-of-the-art ship when the
boiler room exploded into flames, the fire alarms REALLY should've rung even when we suppose that there are no sprinklers at the place. What's even more mysterious was that no one seemed to give two shits (or not written in the story that they cared) about a freaking fire in the ship and one of the bodyguards shot and possibly dead. Even the protagonist seemed to have forgotten completely about it and just... left the dude to burn in order to chase the culprit.
In short there were various common-sense-errors that were really jarring, all for the sake of creating a compelling drama which, didn't really turn out that great at the end of everything.

In the end it was still a good kinetic novel, and I'd really like to see more in the future. Hopefully by then your writing skills have steadily matured, and we could expect far more and better mysteries to be read and devoured. :o

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Re: Detective Butler EP1 [KN][Murder Mystery]

#11 Post by Kinjo » Tue Aug 13, 2013 3:04 pm

Xuan wrote:This definitely beats most of the VNs posted here. You seemed to be heavily inspired by Higurashi and Umineko - especially Umineko I think - because I believe the style is nearly completely similar. Detective Butler's peculiar habits could be referred to Holmes, although he is obviously a lot more compassionate. However, this is still definitely a good quality VN that deserved a read for its somewhat interesting story and consistent good art/music.
Thank you for playing; that's quite good to hear!
Xuan wrote:It is not without flaws though. One of the biggest problems I have with your work is the closure. While the twist in the end was sudden, it wasn't exactly described well and I had a hard time understanding the culprit.
The sudden insanity or explosion of malice
simply felt subpar and cheap that I'd rather you not put it in there because ultimately the story definitely could have done without it.

And then there was Butler
predicting that the culprit would run for their car and planting a homemade bomb in the engine.
Let's state what exactly is so wrong about the whole thing. One, what Butler did was basically terrorism and absolutely illegal. He was lucky he did not
kill the culprit with that ridiculous stunt of his, and from the looks of 'engine exploded into flames' 'car swerving completely out of control' he VERY nearly became a murderer himself. It'll make far more sense if he just punctured the tires instead. Two, if we go by your logic he had managed to concoct the chemicals with the stuff Celica brought him, searched and found the car, broke it open and planted the explosive in. That's in my opinion a pretty damn short timing window where absolutely anything could go wrong.
Not even Sherlock Holmes at his time was THAT insane, so to speak.

The ending was the story was unfortunately not satisfying. It ended way too abruptly without explaining properly the various reactions of the related passengers after the mystery was solved. Also, for a state-of-the-art ship when the
boiler room exploded into flames, the fire alarms REALLY should've rung even when we suppose that there are no sprinklers at the place. What's even more mysterious was that no one seemed to give two shits (or not written in the story that they cared) about a freaking fire in the ship and one of the bodyguards shot and possibly dead. Even the protagonist seemed to have forgotten completely about it and just... left the dude to burn in order to chase the culprit.
In short there were various common-sense-errors that were really jarring, all for the sake of creating a compelling drama which, didn't really turn out that great at the end of everything.
Definitely a valid criticism. The ending is certainly the weakest part of the story; I had difficulty in finding a way to resolve the plot I had conjured up. However, I think it partly worked, and I'll explain why:
Part of Butler's character is the willingness to do anything for the truth, and another part is his desire to do what he wants regardless of the morality. He wouldn't care how illegal something is so long as he gets entertainment out of it, which is quite the opposite of a normal detective, who usually has a moral ground. Correctly predicting Gilligan's stupidity, which he's done quite a lot in the story, wouldn't be anything out of the ordinary.
But yeah, the end also suffers from my own writing problems.
I tend to forget about the common-sense details, such as EVERYONE ELSE ON THE BOAT! Really inconvenient for a closed-circle mystery, but I had to stick with it, as it's part of the setting.
That said, I didn't want a story which ended immediately after the mystery, but would instead give closure to the characters. I did write an epilogue discussing what would happen to each main suspect, although beta testers felt it was too out of place being juxtaposed right after that ending sequence. Nonetheless, if you're really interested, the journal updates one last time after the credits roll, and each person gets an incredible two lines of exposition.
Xuan wrote:In the end it was still a good kinetic novel, and I'd really like to see more in the future. Hopefully by then your writing skills have steadily matured, and we could expect far more and better mysteries to be read and devoured. :o
Excellent to hear you're looking forward to more. I'm certainly interested in writing them!

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Re: Detective Butler EP1 [KN][Murder Mystery]

#12 Post by pyongtaro » Wed Aug 14, 2013 12:28 pm

Finished the game today. I can tell a lot of effort was put into this; liked the original musics, the character art is nice too
Umineko-ish down to the credits!w Certain parts of the dialogue even felt like a reference. Doesn't stop this from being able to stand uniquely on its own, of course. Now, onto the storyline-related thoughts...

The scene with Gilligan and Butler, before Gilligan got into a fight with Galvano, I thought it was a bit sudden and too overdramatic. I don't remember feeling this way when I read the demo (though I don't remember if anything changed in that scene either). Gilligan went outside and suddenly got into an angsty mood. A transition between that and the peaceful tone before would be nice, though I guess it went nicely with the fight afterward.

The overall mystery itself was simplistic, but solid which I think is a good start (for the series).
When it was mentioned in the journal that [the culprit] ordered a vodka, I immediately placed my suspicion on [them]. Howard saying [they] were the one who first found the elevator key was an even bigger giveaway, though at that time I was sure Cecila was an accomplice w I think it's fun that we're given a chance to solve this, too. Considering how Umineko-ish this is I was a bit disappointed that the motive was pushed to the last chapters, as if it has the least importance in the scheme of things. It turned out to be a pretty dull motive though--but the twist on [the culprit]'s character was still nice, glad it wasn't an accident. Thooough the ending could use more. It was slightly anticlimatic, I think;;
Mystery might be the focus but the lack of an epilogue explaining what happens to them after that also disappointed me a bit.
...Especially since all the characters but three disappeared at the climax. Also, it seems like Blythe really hates Eliza, but is Eliza really this cunning fox she's saying, or is most of it delusion from Blythe's hatred?
Mmmmm but I'm the type who likes having answers served in a silver plate over using her imagination, so I guess this is a better-ignored complaint.

Butler and Cecila were interesting though, and I hope this isn't the end for Cecila~ Butler... and a maid! Gilligan could make a fitting harem out of them cough wait that's a different genre.

Sorry for being long-winded. Anyway it was a nicely-wrapped VN and I'm looking forward to the next episode!

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Re: Detective Butler EP1 [KN][Murder Mystery]

#13 Post by Lishy » Wed Aug 14, 2013 11:06 pm

This oozes of Umineko vibes. I love it!

Will read it later.
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Re: Detective Butler EP1 [KN][Murder Mystery]

#14 Post by Kinjo » Thu Aug 15, 2013 9:30 pm

pyongtaro wrote:Finished the game today. I can tell a lot of effort was put into this; liked the original musics, the character art is nice too
Umineko-ish down to the credits!w Certain parts of the dialogue even felt like a reference. Doesn't stop this from being able to stand uniquely on its own, of course. Now, onto the storyline-related thoughts...

The scene with Gilligan and Butler, before Gilligan got into a fight with Galvano, I thought it was a bit sudden and too overdramatic. I don't remember feeling this way when I read the demo (though I don't remember if anything changed in that scene either). Gilligan went outside and suddenly got into an angsty mood. A transition between that and the peaceful tone before would be nice, though I guess it went nicely with the fight afterward.
Thanks for playing! Oh, so you played the old demo? Yeah, others have said it was kinda sudden -- I had cut a lot out to help with the pacing, so that might've acted as a double-edged sword.
pyongtaro wrote:The overall mystery itself was simplistic, but solid which I think is a good start (for the series).
When it was mentioned in the journal that [the culprit] ordered a vodka, I immediately placed my suspicion on [them]. Howard saying [they] were the one who first found the elevator key was an even bigger giveaway, though at that time I was sure Cecila was an accomplice w I think it's fun that we're given a chance to solve this, too. Considering how Umineko-ish this is I was a bit disappointed that the motive was pushed to the last chapters, as if it has the least importance in the scheme of things. It turned out to be a pretty dull motive though--but the twist on [the culprit]'s character was still nice, glad it wasn't an accident. Thooough the ending could use more. It was slightly anticlimatic, I think;;
Mystery might be the focus but the lack of an epilogue explaining what happens to them after that also disappointed me a bit.
...Especially since all the characters but three disappeared at the climax. Also, it seems like Blythe really hates Eliza, but is Eliza really this cunning fox she's saying, or is most of it delusion from Blythe's hatred?
Mmmmm but I'm the type who likes having answers served in a silver plate over using her imagination, so I guess this is a better-ignored complaint.
Yeah, I was going for something simple enough for the first episode (yet still holds up as an interesting puzzle). Again, the ending was... sort of rushed? It had gone through several rewrites, though, and I'm content with how it worked out. Another thing I didn't mention in my previous post is that most conventional detective stories really don't give much resolution to the characters once the mystery is solved. I tried to subvert that by adding something at the end, but it seems people wanted a bit more. Still, nothing too unexpected from a mystery story, so I'm okay with that.

Also, I'm the type of author who likes to let the reader think about things themselves (if that wasn't obvious from the mystery). I think I've let the characters speak their minds and opinions on certain matters. Whether or not you believe them is up to you.
pyongtaro wrote:Butler and Cecila were interesting though, and I hope this isn't the end for Cecila~ Butler... and a maid! Gilligan could make a fitting harem out of them cough wait that's a different genre.

Sorry for being long-winded. Anyway it was a nicely-wrapped VN and I'm looking forward to the next episode!
That's fine; I like long posts! :D

Well, each episode will have a different cast of characters, but that doesn't mean old ones can't make cameos here or there.
Lishy wrote:This oozes of Umineko vibes. I love it!

Will read it later.
Have fun!

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Re: Detective Butler EP1 [KN][Murder Mystery]

#15 Post by Giki190 » Fri Aug 16, 2013 12:33 pm

I knew if I lurked around this place for a few minutes I'll find something interesting! I dug out my old account so I could review later on (I might put up a video review when I get my new youtube channel up and running) :wink:

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