Liked the art so I decided to check out the demo, and I'm glad I did. Here's my overall impressions as I moved through the demo.
Intro felt way too long for me, too "disconnected". I would have liked the history of everything worked into smaller sections, more naturally into the story. The pacing in the beginning might flow better if the VN began instead with Kymil is on his horse. Kymil remembering a good memory with his uncle to sort of illustrate why he's making his dangerous trek now would have been very welcome here.
Age intro in a puddle of water is weird. Why not just have another character ask? (Edit: there's plenty of characters later, so it's really just not needed here).
"The arches are reminiscent of the ancient grand temples that used to be revered places of worship" I would have liked to see more casual references to the greater world instead of bland ones (or overlong overexposure from the prologue). Revered by who? Where? Did the people or temple locations have a name? Does it remind Kymil of places he's been to? I know it's essentially a throwaway line but this would have been a quick easy place to throw in more detail to flesh out the world.
"I wonder if he's watching me from whatever afterlife there might be." Again, another missed opportunity to flesh out the world. Do these people believe in an afterlife? Does the religion have a name? Was the uncle religious? A few extra words again, could have gone a long way.
Maybe would have liked to see the uncle's note or see a recap of it.
Also hah, running through a strange and seemingly abandoned location. Don't go slowly or check for traps or anything.
Starting to wonder about this place. Why hasn't it been looted or locked up. Why was it so easy to access?! Is distance and the hostileness of the region enough deterrence for all but the hardiest of explorers (and grief driven nephews)?
"This is not what I was expecting" actually what WERE you expecting? Lemme get a look at that note!
If this place is empty who turned on all the lights-is Kymil expecting this place to be unoccupied? What is the name of this place and if it's supposed to be unoccupied why isn't Kymil worried that the lights are lit?
Oh sure, go do blood ritual without any further exploration or knowledge as to what it might result in. I'm sure it'll turn out just fine-it usually does in Dragon Age.
Is blood magic common? Is it commonly seen as a good art or a bad art? Has Kymil done blood magic before? Is he comfortable with it? He doesn't seem to know what he's doing-here would be a few good places to spend a few extra sentences on details like this.
Maybe K should have read ALL the runes before opening the door to hell, dude.
"His voice is deep and thick like an old and neglected instrument, full of dust." What kind of instrument? Drums? Cymbals? Harp? If I'm being serious I'd suggest Cello but since I'm feeling silly I'll say Harp. Also, the description here is mixed- it starts out as a comparison of the way the man's voice sounds to an instrument, and "old" as an additional description could maybe work, how does a voice sound full of dust?
"Who are you and what is this place"? Uhh, shouldn't K have even the faintest idea where he's spend all this time traveling towards? Why does he need to ask this guy?
Is blood magical spirit summoning Demon-eyes-Kyo a common thing? Kymil is taking this spirit summoning remarkably well.
What the hell is a frigid spark? Why not just "a bolt of unease, or a shudder of repulsion/fear/insert reaction here?
Also it's random but funny but it looks to me like the Monk is holding a broom and is about to do the street sweeper song from Mary Poppins.
"It feels like I'm descending into the bowels of the earth" yes, yes you are. That usually happens when you open a portal to hell.
"I'm so far from the rest of humanity no one would ever find my corpse if I died here." Well there's probably no one else stupid enough to wander into a random cathedral in the middle of nowhere and follow the blood magic instructions of some random runes written by who-the-hell-knows for who-the hell-knows what purpose so you're right that no one would ever find your corpse.
Kymil shudders "at the morbid picture" -- at the thought of dying alone in that abyss but not at the prospect of a blood ritual to accomplish a completely unknown end?
"I've been descending for a while...." anyone remember that SCP with the unending stairwell?
"I can detect magic from the door but it's not normal magic" What IS normal magic anyways? Blood magic?
Wait, we get a random "abandon all hope he who enter here" note from some poor dead bastard but we don't get to see or learn the details of the uncle's note that started this whole quest?
"I have to re-read the note a few times to process it fully". Our hero's not too bright, is he? How hard is it to understand "Run bitch, run for yo life, get some help!"? Speaking of brightness, how is our hero able to read the letter at the bottom of a dark stairwell ? A torch? A candle? A magical hand light? Few seconds later it's mentioned that it was "incredibly dark inside the stairwell" so unless he has Tremor Sight or something I'm calling bullshit that he could read that scrap of parchment.
"Concentrate." I just wanted to note here that the screen with the flashing light legitimately made me wince. I might be blind now. Your bill is in the mail.
There's a lot of extra detail in places that doesn't really add anything for me. For instance "The pale flame flickers from side to side as I start to quietly make my way down the stone path". Try adding something else-maybe the way the light wavers throws strange shadows across the uneven surfaces of the walls.
"I can hear scuffling and shouting echoing in the distance" male voices? Female voices? Too faint to tell? Are they shouting in a language he understands? Details damn it!
"My boots practically glide along the icy stone, faster and faster" I'm expecting him to slip and fall any second now, unless he cast a spell of sure footing someplace and I didn't notice. Running to reach the fighters section seems like it goes on a bit too long. Is he that out of shape? A few too many descriptions of him just running-he not even slipping or anything. Get to the damn point! Edit: "this place distorts time in some strange fashion" okay that section makes a bit more sense this time. I would probably add in a line that K has the sense that it's taking longer to get to where the man is fighting the dogs than it should as a little hint because it seems a little sloppy.
OMG a fight scene! Bring on the babes!
"He has a head of long blond hair and a band of cloth over his forehead keeps it out of his eyes" (lol and yet I still see some hair draped artfully quite close to his eyes). In addition, I feel like this description is unnecessary- we can see the character sprite clearly. Some details could be useful- like the fact that he's covered in blood but here the focus should be more on K's impressions of this Zenos yae Galvus look-alike.
"I can already tell he's someone who lives south of my homeland" Also, where is K's homeland and where in what "south" region is he assuming this person is from? Does it not have a name? How far from this location is this cathedral?
"His fine outfit, his regal posture... he's certainly a Noble of some sort." The outfit I'll give you. Would probably save the regal posture bit (having trouble imagining that, actually) until after he opens his mouth.
"How in the sky's name did you get past Bella?" Silly. I didn't read those awful vampire books.
"I've traveled for a year to get here. I am not going back" K traveled for a whole year and didn't give a single thought as to finding anything out about the place while on the way?
"I tense. A long story by this man's definition would kill me before the cathedral could." I giggled.
"The strange, abrupt transition from a massive hall into an icy cave" uhh, it made sense to me. Didn't he go down an endless staircase and then enter the icy cave? Nothing seems strange to me, that the blood magic runes-monk-spirit-cathedral has an unfinished basement.
Damian: "Perhaps they're borne of a magic known only to old wizards with their noses buried in ancient, dusty tomes." At this point I'm saddened because while Damian seems to know a bit more about this place by trial and error it seems he's about as clueless as K. Getting annoyed by all these questions without even a suggestion of a few possible answres. Maybe they could discuss a few ideas about what might be the cause or the history of this place-they don't have to be right but it's something I would like to hear at this point.
Ohh, illusions! I like it!
Damian "Of course. I had to blemish my perfect complexion with a cut in order to sate the damn thing." Oh, goddamn it, there is more than one great idiot in this universe, who will just bleed because some runes said so. Actually he seems a bit worse than K - using the word complexion kinda implies to me that he cut his face instead of his arm or hand or something.
OMG they're actually taking a moment to discuss all this magic stuff!
"I know piss all about magic but I think it's wise to be careful around these things". Ah yes, I TOTALLY see how submitting yourself to a random blood ritual is playing it safe. ".... this sort seems especially fishy". BLOOD MAGIC IS FISHY?! You don't say!!!
K: "My eyes drift closed and I let myself linger deep in my thoughts" I actually like this section, I just wish there was a little more detail there: which people aside from his mother is K thinking of now? Why did some locations leave an impact on him, what experiences did he have there, that he is remembering them now?
Damian; "I mean you look rather unseasoned, you know? There aren't any hairs on your chin, even." None on yours either, D. Also, this doesn't sound as posh and highborn as D was being described earlier.
D "... you've traveled a year, but for what exactly? Do you even know why you're here?" OMG rashness doesn't excuse traveling alone for a full year without a care for what lay at the end of that journey!
"You can read Peccatum too?" OMG the runes do have a name! That would have been nice to know at the beginning in the first scene with the runes.
K "I'd better be careful or I'm going to wind up with a scar" Yeah, don't worry about the blood magic ritual or anything, at least you won't have a scar! I didn't get the impression that K was vain.
K and D "Should we really go through with this?" - ".... I'm not sure we have a choice" You freaking idiots had every chance not to choose to go through with this!
K "I never went to a mage school, but I don't think they encourage blood rituals-" OH I WONDER WHY!!
D "Well the last altar didn't have any horrible consequences" -Yet. That you know of. And you had no idea that would be the case before you two started with blood magic shenanigans.
"A wiry man with dark hair, standing near the door with his arms folded over his chest." Again, we can see this characters sprite so there isn't a need to describe him again, since for the most part we can see what K sees. In addition it sorta contradicts what we see here - this character doesn't look very wiry to me at all. He looks brawny, substantial. Does K have a different idea of "wiry"? In what other ways does his perspective differ?
?? "I'd like to give you a slow painful death, like every spellslinger deserves." Well, if you don't, K's stupidity might take care of it.
D "Chopping our heads off? Hang on a bloody moment!" Since when did D become British?
"I've heard tales that some regions aren't fond of mages but this seems extreme." What tales? Which regions? Where? What are their names? Why is there a mistrust of mages? No need for an essay, but an additional few lines like, "the last king of xxx had been assassinated by a mage, and the distrustful sentiment still lingered, even ten years following the event" could really flesh out the world here.
??? "Very few people know that this place even exists." How? Why not?
K "His height means it only takes a moment for him to be standing a couple feet in front of me." What I get out of this sentence is that he's crossing the distance between them by taking long strides. If that's the case I think it could be worded a little better here.
Kaul "You needn't worry while I'm around. I'll make sure he doesn't try to stick the point end of his blade where it doesn't belong." Ahahahahahahha~ innuendo!
C "When we're done with this ridiculous alliance, I'll cut it off and shove it down your throat." Easy, C. He's very easily provoked, isn't he? He's coming off as a bit too one note here for me at this point but I suppose there's time for that to change."
Kaul "Carrault hates all mages. A bitterness that lingers from his time living in Nahor." OMG a place with a name!
If Kaul is blind maybe it could have been mentioned a bit before that when he turns towards other people he's not looking directly at them- a mention here and there would help set this up for this reveal.
Kaul "Little of what I know is certain. I could only glean information from old history books and hearsay." I wish SOME PEOPLE had tried to do the same before showing up at this blasted cathedral.
K "I'd rather know something than nothing at all." Then why did you get here so unprepared?!
Interesting visions, went on the Kaul route.
Backgrounds look suitably creepy, a decent number of different looking ones
Nice lighting effects
An interesting set up for the story, an intriguing mystery to unravel.
The frequent use of dark backgrounds make them all sorta run together in my mind.
Takes a little too long for any basic information about this cathedral to be revealed.
Basic world detail is lacking in a lot of areas.
Would love some more information about Kymil and especially his uncle.
I'm glad I decided to check this out. I'm definitely interested in seeing your next project.