Like rocks. Very dead rocks.
Anyway- So the idea for this VN/KN (not sure which atm) is pretty blurry at the moment but I'm hoping to really shape it up.
Here's the menu (which I may or may not have spent four hours on...)
And you write. Daily. (More than I can say about myself)
And as you write, you 'learn' more about 'yourself' as the protagonist.
You fall into the imaginary worlds- you dream of the lands and things that you write- you shape everything you choose... (My flagging will shape up at least...)
And in the end- when you return to reality, it's kind of a bleak existence.
I'm hoping to tie some life lessons into the stories and make the player fall into the role before snapping them out.
I think if I can achieve that well enough, and allow the idea to seep through, the return to reality- with a crippling mental illness might hit them hard enough.
Not enough people understand what it's like to be depressed, and I really want to bring some light to it.
In the bleak reality- 'you' will have the amazingly fun opportunity to attend therapy, buy prescription drugs, take prescription drugs (or forget they exist sometimes, like I do), see 'people', have 'friends' that don't quite understand how you are, visit publishers, struggle to wake up and convince yourself it's worth it, etc...
In this way, I think I can make it more realistic- although I'm making a lot of work for myself in the way of artwork... (Oops.)
I believe I can do a good job- considering I am a writer myself, struggling with quite a few mental illnesses.
While I think making it a KN will work (and make it easier to write) I also feel like it could end up quite boring. (I live for decisions, man.)
I'm hoping the VN stories might allow the more 'stubborn' people to stick around long enough to understand what I'm trying to say/do/portray.
So... Any questions would be great cause it's likely I haven't asked myself.
Also- there are minor tweaks in story-lines between female and male routes... So not everything here may be 100% accurate.
Protagonist- 'YourName' Daniels. Male default "Adam." Female default "Tina."
I can't say very much here, except that you suffer from depression, and you write. Your best friend is Jacob Cullard and you enjoy naps.
The rest is found out through play.
You're fairly plain looking- SORRY. Brown and brown it is, but a nice, chestnut-y hair and chocolate-brown eyes...
(Looked brown on the computer- apparently not...)
The infamous bestie of the protagonist. Works as a model!
Physical description: Lean, 179cm, blonde shaggy hair, green eyes, half-smile. His defining feature is a scar just in-front of and below his right ear.
He is gay- as in homosexual, and was bullied through his school life (in both male and female routes). Because of the bullying, he grew to love himself for himself. He learnt that people would say terrible things no matter what he did, so he was going to be comfortable. It got him a lot of hate at first, but people grew to respect him. He dates more than you, and often tells you all about it. He's quite clingy to you as a friend.
His clingy-ness stems from his own personal experience. You don't actually know this information until way later in the story so I can't actually tell you.
Note- the female and male names will be sectioned by a slash to make up for different gender routes. Most share a last name.
Carmen and Kale Winters (an exception to the genderbend!)
As cold as their names sound.
Physical appearance: Both red-heads. Kale's hair is medium-length, mostly straight with curled tips, Carmen's hair is mid-back ringlets. Kale has grey-blue eyes and Carmen has brown eyes. Their defining feature is their hair.
Red hair will probably actually be red in game...
Graduates of Charles Sturt University, moving from the remote Lithglow New South Wales, these twins work for the local chemists- and don't find it very appealing. While Carmen is outspoken and honest, she appears apathetic to the consequences of her words. Kale is more emotion-based, stubborn, rash and quick to state his opinion. While both reclusive, they rely heavily on one another and have a strong bond. You will meet them when you go to get your prescription filled.
(Optional same-sex relationship with the twin!)
The assistant at the therapist's office.
Physical appearance: Brown hair, grey eyes, Eleanor's hair is always tied in a braid with a green ribbon to try and hide her birthmark. Their defining feature is the aforementioned birthmark- on their neck.
Kindly- the type that will do almost anything asked of them. Born with Cystic Fibrosis, a bout of Tonsilitus resilted in a secondary infection and the eventual removal of a lung. The surgery, recovery and weakness kept them from high-school for a few years, and they currently study Art and Psychology at university. They are a person who will only show their angry side when someone pushes it too far. Quick to apologise and easy to laugh with, especially about cats.
"Laughter is the best medicine, right?"
Top- Eleanor, Alexander.
Bottom- Ace, Tara.
This lad/lass is about the equivalent of five energy drinks and a bucket of sherbet.
Physical appearance: Jet-black hair, sharply cut- Ace's is relatively short; Tara's is pixie-cut. They both have blue eyes and their defining feature is their green-rimmed glasses (and bubblegum!).
Introduced by Jacob, you start seeing them everywhere. They work at the grocery store, and have about as much energy as a happy puppy. Eager to talk, eager to make you laugh- they seem almost infatuated with fun. They always carry chewing-gum, and seem to never stop grinning. But below the surface, it seems there's something amiss. A child who was never wanted found their place in society, and refused to back down.
"Want some gum, sugarplum?"
The strange, mysterious figure who you are handed through to whenever you submit a story for publishing.
Physical appearance: ??
Mr/Ms Hunter is the ‘person’ that kick-starts your motors. Posting you a hand-written letter detailing a contract, your jaw seems to stick open. They want you to write novels. As many novels as you can, about everything that comes to mind. However, it seems they are rather picky. They assure you that you are not lacking in talent, only in focus, and calmly assess your writing. Their disembodied voice seems young considering their status, and you are all too curious about the owner of it.
"I assure you, we will talk again, Ms/Mr. _____."
Mila is a family friend that has been instructed by your parents to keep an ‘eye’ on you. She believes that mental health is just a person’s choice, and evidence of a weak personality.
Physical appearance: Grey-brown hair pulled back into a bun, with a short fringe, hazel eyes. Defining feature- her brown animal-print reading glasses which always hang around her neck by a plain black string.
Sweet in front of others, she is quick to become a real demon when alone with you. She constantly gives you what she calls ‘good advice’ and calls you ‘insolent’ for not improving. While she is on pills for her hereditary arthritis, she is quick to call you a drug-addict for having anti-depressants, saying that you just want a legal way of getting ‘out of your mind’.
Your parents find her charming, however, and have always ignored your pleading to remove her from your life.
Ideas for endings (Honestly if you haven't guessed there are already spoilers everywhere...)
All of them branch off of decisions made in the game- leading to some measure of success (or failure)
Publish a book (secrets for this ending)
Fall in love (straight and gay relationships!)
Friendships (appreciation for the friends you have- //normal love end//)
Improve depression (easy to achieve, if you follow a ‘certain’ strategy).
Continue bland life (THIS ROUTE IS THE 'YOU TRIED' ROUTE- you default to this route if you survive but don't have the right points for another ending.)
And last but not least, there are many opportunities, if your cards aren't played right, where you may die.
1. What do you think of the characters? Are there any suggestions for development?
2. Is the art-style okay? Will it benefit to keep backgrounds fairly shaded and dark?
3. Do you think by using a solid (human) antagonist, the storyline can be pushed? Should there be some changes? [Edit- Mila]
4. Do you think that keeping the balance between battling depression and escaping it is a good topic to focus on?
5. If not, what other focuses could you suggest?
SCRIPT BY Pacermist
ART BY BlackBun
MUSIC FROM VARIOUS SOURCES
Including but not limited to: Alexander Budd and Incompetech.
Other art for Depressed Writer by BlackBun for fun (which she probably wishes I didn't share...)