I’m Tori of Matchaa Studio. We’re a four-person team (of friends who live relatively close to one another) who play otome games (yes, we were willing victims of the Cybird and Cheritz games) and VNs (yes, we are also victims of Steam sales). After a couple of conversations about what we liked about VNs and the tropes we’d use if we made our own...we decided to work on a game!
Golden Hour is our second game and first VN, and we’re planning to make it a free-to-play game for iOS and Android. Please cheer us on *u*!!!
A young girl transfers into a new school just as the term is nearing its close. With summer approaching, she is tasked with photographing the preparations for the school’s year-end tradition: a grand festival of lights. With her camera at the ready, she dives into a tangle of friendships, rivalries, courtships and conflicts—but the longings of troubled young hearts can’t be captured by lenses alone.
Golden Hour is a mobile visual novel/otome game that thrusts players into the exhilaration of high school romance to capture the fleeting, vibrant colors of youth. Set over a period of ten days, the game follows the protagonist’s attempts to find her place in her new city, especially through her encounters with four remarkable young men.
Caught up in the currents of their lives, she comes to learn their dreams, joys, fears, and obstacles. As she peers into their worlds, she finds her own horizons expanding with knowledge of the city they all call home: developed and all but controlled by a family of old wealth, the city is as full of gentle light as it is of cloying shadows.
Golden Hour is a story of romance, and coming of age; of finding solace in others and certainty in oneself; of lovers, friends, rivals, and family.
[Player-named], Second Year
Our story’s protagonist is used to switching homes, owing to her mother’s career, but she’s hoping this move is her last for a while. Thanks to her frequent relocations, she’s used to dealing with a wide variety of people--but isn’t too quick to open up, and would rather view the world through the lenses of her trusty camera.
Isanagi Ayara, Second Year
The Ayaras halfway own the city and everyone in it, but Nagi is determined to make his future his own and prove he’s more than just a second son.
Likes: Student council. Literature. Falconry.
Dislikes: His older brother.
Kouya Ibara, Second Year
With fiery hair, a cold glare, and countless cuts and bruises as his signature, Kouya has a reputation for delinquency. But if that was all there was to him, how would he still be around?
Likes: Alone time. Milk and juice boxes. The work of his hands.
Dislikes: Nagi Ayara
Rui Ferreira, Second Year
Although he only recently moved in as well, Rui’s already everyone’s best friend. Best known as the soccer team’s star player, he tries to keep his otaku side hidden deep in the closet.
Likes: Soccer. Video games. His (secret) waifu.
Dislikes: The spotlight.
Solomon Lee, First Year
Born to pious parents, Sol’s love for the arts, especially music, was nurtured throughout his childhood. Reserved, but not without a rebellious edge.
Likes: Tea. Classic rock. His family.
What was his name again..?
The Media and Visual Culture teacher seems a bit.. strange. But not in a bad way. The student social networking system was something he developed to ease the kids’ daily school lives.
Likes: The Internet. Tabletop games. Students developing meaningful friendships.
Entire Cast/Rivals/Minor Characters
The game follows four main storylines that span a few days, each with multiple endings and unlockable CG scenes.
Multiple Narrative Modes
Gameplay happens in blocks of time: morning classes, morning break, midday classes, lunch, afternoon classes...more classes… you get the picture!
Checking the calendar and attending classes diligently gives the protagonist a better chance at hitting her stride in her new school.
The protagonist can also schedule hangouts with friends or go on dates during the weekends!
Ayara High Student Social Network
A place for Ayara High students to take note of school announcements, post about their day, and advertise their club events. Everyone has an account right from the moment of enrollment.
There are a few things that would be nice to have, once we finish with the main storylines!
What happens to everyone else when the protagonist has chosen a character route? We’d like to take a deeper look at the friendships, rivalries, and romances that spring up among the rest of the cast. (ie, if you pick Kouya's route, Nagi will romance someone from the student council throughout the route playthrough!)
[*]That One Teacher...
This is an extra storyline we’d like to develop, focusing on, well, that one teacher.
You know, the one with the weird glasses (someone reeeeally should tell him that Shutter Shades went out of style years ago).
Matchaa is a combination of the Japanese word for green tea (“matcha”) and the Filipino word for tea (“tsaa”).
Balancing influences of the Southeast and the Far East was one of the design challenges we set for ourselves from the start!
Check out our dev blog: http://www.matchaastudio.tumblr.com
Thank you for taking the time to read through!!! Here are some questions from the team so we can improve as we develop the game:
1. Which of the characters catch your interest? Who would you romance (or, for those uninclined, whose story premise interests you)?
2. How interested would you be in the “rival stories,” particularly the romances of the bachelors you don’t choose in any given playthrough?
(ie if you choose Kouya’s route, Nagi will end up romancing someone from the student council throughout your route playthrough!)
3. Any other questions for the team?
[Update 09/27/17]: New sprites and UI screens! + added link to Golden Hour discord for demo
[Update 05/13/18]: Trailer video up, kickstarter in the works, and demo version 2 release!