soundless - A MODERN SALEM IN REMOTE AREA - [Horror][Denpa][Kinetic][GxG][Free]

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puffinlady
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soundless - A MODERN SALEM IN REMOTE AREA - [Horror][Denpa][Kinetic][GxG][Free]

#1 Post by puffinlady » Fri Sep 29, 2017 11:50 pm

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Now out on
ITCHIO

Official Website

—Despite all the singing around her, her world was soundless.

A small village cut off from the rest of the world, Phada, spends its days slowly, idling away time by speaking with one another, eating with one another, and dedicating all their attention to studying scripture. With a population of only 145, the governing body of the town is the Group, the name of the miniscule clergy that inhabits the church at the top of the hill. They worship a protective God comprised of two halves: the "Barrier" defensive energy and the "Expulsive" offensive energy.

In a town where all you can do is socialize, young Mercy is denied this. Since birth, she has seen the unseen, and was taken in by the Group after losing her parents. Upon turning 10 her vision seemingly became corrupt, causing panic among the villagers. It was decided by the Head Priest and the Holy Woman that the only way to deal with this curse is to aggressively apply the "antibiotics."

In other words, isolate Mercy until she stops seeing things.

Now an empty shell of who she once was, 15 year old Mercy attends school and is constantly bullied by her classmates, some truly afraid of her, but most seeing her as an easy target. The sudden death of the 25th Holy Woman startles the village, causing many to believe Mercy's curse is spreading and for her abuse to become more aggressive. Then, one day, the Head Priest reveals God has given them two young Holy Women rather than one.

When classes end the next day, one calls out to Mercy.

"I can see it, too."

soundless - A MODERN SALEM IN REMOTE AREA - is the debut game for MILK+, a new visual novel studio. We've been working on this visual novel for a year now, and after two delays it's finally been completed. More information about the game is available on the official website linked at the top.

Directed by
Papaira

Scenario
Papaira Again

Artwork (Sprites, CG)
Also Papaira

Programming
The Last Papaira

Backgrounds

COCOON (八色いんこ) + NEO HIMEISM for GAME + BEIZ Graphics + Ayaemo Research Institute + THoE (The Heart of Eternity) + Wikimedia Commons (Joe Mabel)

Sound & Music

Cnoc + Ramine + Abstract Hope + Mama Lisa's World + Taira Komori + Minpoke + THE MATCH-MAKERS + Vita-Chi + Freesound + Freesfx.co.uk
FEATURES
- Kinetic, NVL
- 640x480, retro look & feel (as if it were an early 2000s JVN)
- Full-color CGs
- Short length (3-4 hours, 43k words)
- No ero

WARNING

This game is not suited for

! Those who react poorly to depictions of extreme bullying and abuse
! Those with criminal or narcissistic inclinations
! Those who demonize, idolize, fetishize, or otherwise strip the humanity of minority groups
! Those who soothe themselves with perfectly happy or perfectly unhappy stories
! Those who try and resist the electromagnetic radiation poisoning
! Those with a screen resolution so large the game window is the size of an ant
Last edited by puffinlady on Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Zelan
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Re: soundless - A MODERN SALEM IN REMOTE AREA - [Horror][Denpa][Kinetic][GxG][Free]

#2 Post by Zelan » Sat Sep 30, 2017 12:40 pm

I'm downloading this now!! :D Congratulations on the release!

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Re: soundless - A MODERN SALEM IN REMOTE AREA - [Horror][Denpa][Kinetic][GxG][Free]

#3 Post by puffinlady » Sun Oct 01, 2017 5:26 am

Hi everyone! So far we've raised $20.00 in donations after only 48 hours of release! Let's keep this up!
Zelan wrote:
Sat Sep 30, 2017 12:40 pm
I'm downloading this now!! :D Congratulations on the release!
Thank you so much! I hope you enjoy it!
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Re: soundless - A MODERN SALEM IN REMOTE AREA - [Horror][Denpa][Kinetic][GxG][Free]

#4 Post by andalusian » Tue Oct 03, 2017 2:56 pm

finished it! very good!
i did not read the
extra folder
yet, but felt i should comment now while my thoughts are still fresh.

art:
* the high-contrast pictures with white jumbled mess in place of faces, were very effective
* the character sprites are very expressive, i especially liked Claras hands
* i very much like the look of the UI
misc:
* window title changing throughout the game was very effective
* the text often shuffles from left to right when upon a new line, in an ugly manner (a common problem with visual novels made in renpy)
plot:
i dont feel like I managed to decode much of what the story is about. the only one of the 5 inspirations listed in the credits that i have read or seen, was madoka magica, so perhaps i lack genre awareness. but some random thoughts:

* ink&paper = drawings&writings = fiction? the church and town collapse to ink, so they were probably never real, just a metaphor for home and community

* in Yieas speech before she falls down the stairs, she blames MC for letting "get us captured". perhaps Yiea is a part of MCs persona, and when Yiea punishes the MC, it is really the MC punishing herself. self-harm? Yiea is an inner persona based on MCs mother, who punishes and soothes MC depending on what the MC herself thinks she deserves?

* but at other times, Yiea seems to be direct stand-in for MCs mother, such as when the Head talks crudely to MC about Yieas death. perhaps it was always just the MC herself who hurt the MC, instead of Faust and friends - "i hit myself with my pencil"? and Yiea (as stand-in for MCs mother) is angry because this leads to people wondering that not everything is alright with their family and home. she does not like that kind of scrutiny, and calls it the MC letting "get us captured"

* Yiea = Aula&Nyn. the MC creates Aula and Nyn because she is no longer able to think of Yiea as a single person, because of her mood swings. ... or Yiea = real mother, Aula = foster mother?

* the MC is in some kind of abusive relationship, but i dont think it is the GxG kind. singing a song is more like something that a mother does to daughter, which is also mentioned at the beginning. the MC speaks of "marriage" to the angel, but perhaps that just means that she feels herself as part of the marriage (of her parents, or of a single remaining parent)? the abuser used to sing to MC in a way that endeared the MC to her, which is something a mother might do to a young child - and then later stopped singing and became more demanding, which is something a mother might to do a child as the child grows up. also of the 3 pairs of stranglers (Aula vs Nyn, Head vs Yiea, mother vs father), the mother and father pair is the one which is conspicuously absent from the VN, so that is probably the most "real" one

* in the strangling scene, why did the Head strangle Yiea, but the Mother strangled the Father? the Head = religious psychosis? then Yiea is abused by her religious psychosis, and abuses MC and her father in turn?

* the river and the contamination of the river seem to be crucial, but i have no idea what that is about. best guess is just alcohol

... perhaps all this kind of meaning-searching is wrongheaded?
EDIT:
nevermind, i guess "the MC is just imagining everything" is not a good fit. when Yiea accused MC of letting "get us captured", it seemed to suggest that, because otherwise the statement is difficult to make sense of... but i probably overstretched it :D

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Re: soundless - A MODERN SALEM IN REMOTE AREA - [Horror][Denpa][Kinetic][GxG][Free]

#5 Post by puffinlady » Wed Oct 04, 2017 1:14 pm

Hello everyone! We've made $81 so far and have just a few more days to go! Please consider donating; it's for a good cause!
Also, some may have missed this, but when we reached the $50 mark, a special treat was revealed on Twitter.
andalusian wrote:
Tue Oct 03, 2017 2:56 pm
finished it! very good!
i did not read the
extra folder
yet, but felt i should comment now while my thoughts are still fresh.

(snip)

EDIT:
nevermind, i guess "the MC is just imagining everything" is not a good fit. when Yiea accused MC of letting "get us captured", it seemed to suggest that, because otherwise the statement is difficult to make sense of... but i probably overstretched it :D
I'm glad you enjoyed it!
And
I suddenly feel incredibly bad for putting you on a wild goose chase, aha. As you've probably already figured out, the story is more face-value than it seems,
and the metaphors are a lot simpler.
You should definitely try out Subarashiki Hibi and wait for Sayonara wo Oshiete's English patch to come out. They're both lovely games and were heavier inspirations than PMMM. If anything, it was more of a "Gekidan Inu Curry inspired me" than "Madoka Magica inspired me" sort of thing.
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Re: soundless - A MODERN SALEM IN REMOTE AREA - [Horror][Denpa][Kinetic][GxG][Free]

#6 Post by peanutbuttter » Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:52 pm

Hey, I just wanted to tell you that I really, really loved your game! Right as I started playing, I was instantly absorbed - I was just itching to know what would happen next and empathized so much with Mercy, and as a result played all the way through in one sitting. I also really enjoyed the visuals,
especially during Mercy's hallucinations and at the end, when Auma goes into paper angel mode (the face switching was so unsettling omg). Also, I wanted to say that the scene where Mercy is stabbed by Faust and bullies was particularly poignant - for someone who's not squeamish around blood and has worked in the hospital, I cringed and felt a little sick. While I can't say I enjoyed the scene, I think you did an amazing job of painting it with your words and art.
That being said, I feel like the art is super effective for the tone you were setting, and with the music/sound effects and the writing, it all just sucked me into the story. It would be so cool if you made more games stemming from this installment. I honestly can't wait to read more of your writing and see what other stories you're planning. ^_^

On a side note, I felt simultaneously terrible and amused when
Clara was stuffed down the trash chute. I was just like, 'oh shit!' but also something about it was just really funny, and I couldn't help but let out a satanic laugh.
Also I would love to make fanart for your game because boi your characters hit me right in the feels

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Re: soundless - A MODERN SALEM IN REMOTE AREA - [Horror][Denpa][Kinetic][GxG][Free]

#7 Post by puffinlady » Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:35 pm

The relief donation period has ended! We raised $81 dollars! You can read the full post about it here.
peanutbuttter wrote:
Wed Oct 04, 2017 8:52 pm
Hey, I just wanted to tell you that I really, really loved your game! Right as I started playing, I was instantly absorbed - I was just itching to know what would happen next and empathized so much with Mercy, and as a result played all the way through in one sitting. I also really enjoyed the visuals,
especially during Mercy's hallucinations and at the end, when Auma goes into paper angel mode (the face switching was so unsettling omg). Also, I wanted to say that the scene where Mercy is stabbed by Faust and bullies was particularly poignant - for someone who's not squeamish around blood and has worked in the hospital, I cringed and felt a little sick. While I can't say I enjoyed the scene, I think you did an amazing job of painting it with your words and art.
That being said, I feel like the art is super effective for the tone you were setting, and with the music/sound effects and the writing, it all just sucked me into the story. It would be so cool if you made more games stemming from this installment. I honestly can't wait to read more of your writing and see what other stories you're planning. ^_^

On a side note, I felt simultaneously terrible and amused when
Clara was stuffed down the trash chute. I was just like, 'oh shit!' but also something about it was just really funny, and I couldn't help but let out a satanic laugh.
Also I would love to make fanart for your game because boi your characters hit me right in the feels
Thank you so much! I'm glad you enjoyed the game.
And I'm sorry I made you feel a little ill!
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Re: soundless - A MODERN SALEM IN REMOTE AREA - [Horror][Denpa][Kinetic][GxG][Free]

#8 Post by BunnyAdvocate » Sun Oct 08, 2017 3:44 pm

Reading this VN felt very much like watching Evangelion. There's a vast plot going on in the background you only see glimpses of, lots of religious references that turn out to be window dressing, and you've no idea what's going on half the time; but at its heart is a great emotional arc about one person's internal struggle.

Reading through the unlocked files at the end, it seems like the VN just covers the first route of a much more complex story? It's a shame more of that material didn't make it into the core story, as some of it is really tragic and would have really made me care a lot more about some of the characters.

There were a couple of parts in particular I thought were really good.
The battle royale segment was suitably terrifying, especially where Clara finds you in the locker. I almost screamed with that transition from all black to her smiling face. The updating title bar of the window was a nice touch too, some of the later updates were really creepy during the final arc with Auma.
Overall, I really enjoyed it, you've definitely got a flair for writing horror. I'll look forward to trying your next VN (:

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Re: soundless - A MODERN SALEM IN REMOTE AREA - [Horror][Denpa][Kinetic][GxG][Free]

#9 Post by Awiola » Sat Oct 14, 2017 12:29 pm

That was... interesting and all but I'm not really sure what was exactly going on.
Especially when it comes to Auma. I mean - did she really ate Nyn or was that just MC seeing things? If she did then that means their nanobots affect each other and she receive some kind of double [full?] power but not explain her weird [true...?] paper form she used in the church. Maybe it wasn't true at all, what's still possible, however even so-called God can't have escaped after that from his bunker. And why only Angelica can do this? It's another bug which Head wasn't know about or just can't have fixed, something like with Yiea?
Moreover what with all these changes in the city? It's just because of the water [she must have drunk something after all]? Coming to think of it, MC can't going near the river and Auma was destroyed by some kind of barrier after crossing the path near to school. Then it's radiation? [If yes - Lilith must have been something in the village {if's she isn't as immortal as Head. Oh well, even if she is, mutations are still possible, it's too dangerouf for her to just passing around} and Mercy must have died soon after leaving the town.] After all those years this must still exist even so proto-villagers somehow manage to build this whole town.
It's just... oh well, I don't even know what to think about all this. And ink.
I agree with previous people about general idea and title changes, though I'll be looking forward for your next game just because I'm curious about Lilith's story and flugelite..
My english is pretty horrible c:

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Re: soundless - A MODERN SALEM IN REMOTE AREA - [Horror][Denpa][Kinetic][GxG][Free]

#10 Post by puffinlady » Mon Oct 16, 2017 4:13 pm

Hello everyone! We've finally sent in the donations. Here's the receipt as proof, and once again, thank you to everyone who donated!

Furthermore, in case anyone's interested, the creator (me) wrote a post-development thoughts post. Spoilers ahoy.
BunnyAdvocate wrote:
Sun Oct 08, 2017 3:44 pm
Reading through the unlocked files at the end, it seems like the VN just covers the first route of a much more complex story? It's a shame more of that material didn't make it into the core story, as some of it is really tragic and would have really made me care a lot more about some of the characters.
You would be half-correct! My intent is to make all the games readable stand-alone, but connected. Soundless was in a bit of a tough spot, though, because of the circumstances in the story. But I couldn't really imagine starting with any other story but Mercy's, especially since her character arc is short and straightforward enough for a short kinetic novel; something I decided would be better off for a beginner like me.

I'm hoping in the future I can remake Soundless with routes so that it feels more complete on its own. And I'm glad you enjoyed the game!
Awiola wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 12:29 pm
That was... interesting and all but I'm not really sure what was exactly going on.
I apologize for that!
I meant for the after-info to not include exactly what logically happened at the very end and whether it was real or not. I hoped leaving it out would make people focus more on Mercy's development into someone stronger. In retrospect, maybe I should have given better hints? But the logical side of the story will all be answered in the game with Lilith and Flugelite. For now, I will tell you two things:

Mercy caused it all. She is still alive.
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Re: soundless - A MODERN SALEM IN REMOTE AREA - [Horror][Denpa][Kinetic][GxG][Free]

#11 Post by Awiola » Wed Oct 18, 2017 3:09 pm

Well, adding more hints of course make some events clearer but isn't necessary. In fact that sounds a bit as a bad idea. At this moment I'm seriously curious about the mystery catastrophe and what caused it. Even if you explain other things [what you eventually can do in the remake] it's still better actual way.
Or so I think.
Let's suppose you somehow suggest us that Mercy isn't healthy. What do you'll think as a reader about all events that happened? Probably wouldn't take them seriously - that's what. After all in horror games sometimes you want not to know about some things or persons. It's just for mystery-atmosphere sake.
Maybe I just overthinking things or misunderstood your intentions [about which things you mean to explain] but meh.

But always good to know that MC is alive and our questions will be answered in future.
I also readed your post.
Maybe you changed Delilah - she isn't a bad person in heart - however probably because of Head's exorcism practice she looks a bit asshole, not the hero of justice. At least on the beginning. And in the middle... Just being always justified [not only her - all bad characters] by Mercy was kinda fishy.
And, indeed, Phada seems a bit eerie [like typical small town in scary-something].
And yes, I know I'm annoying with all these comments and bad english.
My english is pretty horrible c:

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Re: soundless - A MODERN SALEM IN REMOTE AREA - [Horror][Denpa][Kinetic][GxG][Free]

#12 Post by puffinlady » Sun Oct 29, 2017 8:01 pm

Soundless has been updated to version 1.1.

If you're in the middle of playing it, feel free to download and extract the new version and you'll be able to continue where you left off.

If you've already finished it, please view the update regardless, as there is a minor update to post-game content.
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