A traditional visual novel set in a fantasy setting inspired by medieval Japan.
Now on Kickstarter! Scroll down for demo link.
The story involves a team of youngsters of the privileged class travelling around a fantasy empire. This empire was once frequently plagued by demonic and other supernatural forces interfering with mortal life, but under the reign of the current emperor, such supernatural forces have begun to settle down, and the people turn more toward conflict with one another.
Eminent clans and monasteries have been asked to send their brightest and best youths to accompany a pair of magistrates on a journey to the many corners of the Empire. It's part propaganda for the youths of these clans, and part recruitment drive and training for those that might one day become imperial magistrates themselves.
At the same time, a cabal of anti-Imperial conspirators has heard of the magistrates' plans, and will try to subvert the hearts and minds of these young men and women, and turn them against their magistrate mentors and the ideals of the empire. Which side will you take? Which side will your friends take?
The game revolves around a "guided tour" of the fantasy setting, focusing mostly on conspiracies and class struggles, as well as some supernatural hauntings and other spiritual phenomena! There's a focus on young people struggling to decide what is morally right and just, and whether they will accept the same order the older generation, or reject it for new ideals.
The main point of view character is Shouka, a bookish young man from the large Ohtori family.
As Shouka, you'll have chances to talk to and form relationships with as many as 10 characters, though our upcoming demo only introduces 4 of these characters. Most of these characters are the young men and women around Shouka's age with whom he's travelling, but some are also mentors or other characters. Most of the stories and endings involving these characters will be romantic, but some will focus more on political alliances or platonic mentorship.
We'd really like to include an option to play female Shouka, but we're first going to see what time (and funding) allow for.
Characters introduced in the demo:
Kyoko is a fiery young woman, short of stature, but full of justice. She was raised in a family with a strong warrior tradition, and believes strongly in codes of honor and in defending the common folk. Men are not usually allowed to touch her horse.
One of the two magistrates that will mentor the team of young samurai. Though he is a highly skilled investigator, Jojima's obsession with tracking down his arch-nemesis lends him a cool, dispassionate air.
An enigmatic beauty, Sayuri prefers to stick to the court rather than the battlefield, dueling with poetry rather than swords. A political crisis caused her to be traded to Genji's family in a hostage exchange. She puts on the air of a proper noblewoman from her birth family's tradition, but could she have been secretly corrupted by her host family's dishonorable ninja training?
An incorrigible playboy, Genji is a veritable fountain of light hearted innuendo and suggestive banter. Raised by Sayuri's cultured family due to a hostage exchange, he insists he was raised an actor in his host family's tradition, not as a ninja as his birth family would have wanted. The throwing knives he carries and the mask he frequently wears make this story hard to swallow, and he doesn't seem to mind if you don't believe him.
For more info on characters to come, you can check out our website!
Core team, Leading Scientists Games:
Character Art, Project Lead - Melissa Strickbine (DA: ArtistMeli)
Writer, Programmer - Dustin Rice (that's me!)
Writer - Derek Meurer
Backgrounds - Fateline-Alpha
Music and Audio - Reckoning Storm Audioworks
Please feel free to ask any questions, make any suggestions, or anything else.