I have noticed how Dinosaurs are represented in the media by video games like Primal Carnage and movies such as Jurassic Park. While I do not question the entertainment value of these, the Dinosaurs in them are very often represented inaccurately. Facts such as how most Dinosaurs had feathers are usually ignored. So, I have decided to use the visual novel format to spread knowledge of the real animals, not the monsters popularised by Hollywood.
Gameplay would be pretty standard for a visual novel. But rather than the choices determining the actions the characters take, they require the player to identify different dinosaurs through observation researching in-game fact files. If a particularly dangerous Dinosaur is misidentified it will be game over, while less as dangerous ones rack up points. The score the player gets from this at the end will determine the ending.
In a future time, it has become common for prestigious schools to use wormhole technology to send drones back in time, and study history. But human time travel is known to be dangerous. The further back in time someone goes, the greater the risk of serious injury, insanity, or even death.
However, a student at Tokei Academy, a school for exceptionally intelligent girls, has developed a vaccine. If someone travels repeatedly in small doses, their body will become adjusted to the stress of time travel.
Three students at this school, all with an interest in one of the most famous animal clades in history, the Dinosaurs, are chosen to be the first humans to travel back in time and walk with these remarkable creatures.
Makoto Sato, a teenage girl attending Tokei Academy, has always loved Dinosaurs. When she and two of her classmates, Kaname Masahiro and Midori Takami, are chosen to go back in time to study these creatures under the callsign Team Gingko, they think it's the trip of a lifetime. But things don't go as expected when their time travel devices malfunction and the girls are steadily sent farther and farther back in time. Things are further complicated by the arrival of a villainous ten-year-old time traveller, who aims to make life even more difficult for them. Team Gingko's journey will encompass all three periods of the Mesozoic era and beyond, the time when Dinosaurs ruled the Earth!
The Characters Makoto Sato
A shy girl with a lifelong love for dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures, Makoto is the most enthusiastic about the assignment. She is initially overwhelmed by the danger of the Mesozoic era, but comes to enjoy it after a while. She can recognise most Dinosaurs without the help of a guidebook.
Despite being a top student, Midori has little interest in the academic purposes of the assignment. Instead, she wants to experience danger and excitement. She will sometimes lead the others into a dangerous situation with little idea of how to resolve it. She appoints herself as leader of Team Gingko.
Kaname is renowned as the smartest student at Tokei Academy. She is friendly and intelligent, but rarely holds an opinion of her own, preferring to follow others and making her easily manipulated. She is an avid bird-watcher, making prehistoric avian dinosaurs of great interest to her.
Half Japanese, half Russian, 12 year old Sakura is a computer prodigy. It is her own program that controls temporal teleporters. She runs the temporal computers, but is often made fun of for her age.
President of the Time Travel Club. She likes doing everything without help. Though she will adamantly deny this, she has a crush on Fabien Hardy.
Momo is cartographer for the Time Travel Club. She looks up to Akari Fujimato as a role model, but is not afraid to stand up to her if necessary.
Fukuri is a mathematician who devised the "Temporal Vaccine" through experimentation on lab mice.
Faculty Advisor for the time travel club and government appointed official witness to Team Gingko’s mission. Originally from France, he is popular among students for his kindness, good looks, and accent.
Julian Manhouse IV
The story’s villain. A young aristocrat time traveller, currently stuck in the Mesozoic era. He has a childish dislike of girls and enjoys bullying the girls from Tokei Academy when their paths cross.
An app developed by Tokei Academy students to catalogue the dinosaurs encountered by Team Gingko. She has limited artificial intelligence.
So, would anyone be interested in playing this? I have not seen that many educational visual novels, but I have designed this to be accessible and marketable. The popular concept of "cute girls doing cute things" being adjusted to "cute girls doing cool things" has a lot of potential, I think. Billing it as educational might turn some people off from it, but what else could it be called? A documentary?
Already, over a thousand words have been written for it. I plan on writing this in my spare time when not doing more immediate projects for PaperDoor, such as One Night of [Snow] and Cult of the Lily. Character and Dinosaur designs are being done by myself, but I would love for someone else to do the final art. Of course, I have almost no money to fund such a project, hence why it is being kept in the Ideas thread.
If anyone is interested, everything I have written so far is attached below the terror of Tyrannosaurus.