That Which Binds Us [GxB, Otome][Modern Fantasy / Mystery][RELEASED]

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Mikomi
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That Which Binds Us [GxB, Otome][Modern Fantasy / Mystery][RELEASED]

#1 Post by Mikomi » Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:58 am

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Idris is a bonds man- a special bonds man. While most of his clients need to bail loved ones out of jail, a few are looking for a reprieve from someone they once knew. For Evalise, all she wanted was to get a bail bond for her boyfriend, when Idris surprised her with a simple but confusing question.

What if you could make him forget all about you?



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Story

Evalise's boyfriend has a bit of a wild side... and a bit of a knack for being caught. She arrives at a bail bonds place run by a man named Idris- however, while working out a bail bond, he springs a question about a different kind of bond- a memory bond. With his knife, he's able to sever any ties a person has with someone else, permanently, making the other person completely forget about his client. With one small cut, she'd be able to leave her not-so-great boyfriend behind and move on...


Characters

Evalise Adams
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Our protagonist, Evalise. She's 26 and works a regular retail job with a not-so-regular boyfriend who's a repeat petty criminal. Eva isn't the bad girl type, so her friends don't see why she's with him- but to her, it's just a matter of convenience. She was in a car wreck over a year prior to the start of the game, and ever since then her memory has been blurred and she's slowly distanced herself from her friends. So, finding any kind of person who'd show her a bit of comfort- even at the price of having to bail him out of jail a few times- was worth it to her.

Idris Whitcher
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Idris is a bonds dealer who also runs a lesser-known side business of severing the bonds people have with others. He's 28 and likes seeing movies the night they come out, playing with his shelter rescue labrador, and taking long walks on the beach- at least, that's what his dating profile reads. He takes an immediate interest in Evalise, but hasn't exactly tried the whole "dating" and "relationship" thing in a while.

...And many more characters in-game!

Details

You may be asking, Miko, why? Work on Asterism, your main project! And I would say in reply, not yet. I just had to enter one more jam besides Ludum Dare for the year before working on Asterism again semi-fulltime. This game was being made for the Indie Game Maker Contest, a month long game jam held by Degica to make a game in any valid RPG Maker engine. I was hoping to finish this game, but alas, I was only able to get a demo finished. So, now I've ported it to Ren'Py and am finishing it, extending it in the process!

The concept for this game came from something quite visible in the key art- the red string of fate. While it's not present in the game, it does give a good idea about what the game is about, as it focuses on the bonds forged between people and fate. As it was a starting point for me in development of the story and is an item most people can identify, I placed it front and center in the artwork.

The current demo is about 15-25 minutes long.

Demo

Download it on Itch.io!

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Last edited by Mikomi on Mon Jun 25, 2018 3:44 pm, edited 10 times in total.
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Re: That Which Binds Us [GxB][IGMC][Modern Fantasy / Mystery][DEMO]

#2 Post by LeonDaydreamer » Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:33 am

That's cool Miko! I like that the character descriptions seem quite fleshed out.
I'll check it out when I have some free time ( * - * it's been a while... ).
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Re: That Which Binds Us [GxB][IGMC][Modern Fantasy / Mystery][DEMO]

#3 Post by Mikomi » Sun Nov 26, 2017 11:56 pm

Hey guys, feel free to rate the game on the official jam entry page and send any feedback here on on the comments there! Since I'll be finishing this after the judging is over, I'd love a lot of feedback on it! Reminder that the demo is free to play in-browser, no download required.

Rate it here!
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Re: That Which Binds Us [GxB][IGMC][Modern Fantasy / Mystery][DEMO]

#4 Post by Nori » Sun Dec 03, 2017 9:15 pm

Well... I really should not play demos because now I want more! :lol: This is such an interesting visual novel so far! The story looks very promising ( And considering that the demo ends just as the plot thickens I really really really wanted to know what happens next! :P ), the characters are very interesting ( for me it is very important for the main character not to come across as too bland, which definitively did not happen in this case with Evalise!) and the character art is awesome!

That being said, although I love the idea of interacting with the background/space, I think it would be more fiting to the visual novel, if of course the plot and the progress of the story do not depend on the character "moving" as much as examining the background, to have a more point and click feature. For example having background images and examining certain objects
such as the letters in our case if I remember correctly
. I am thinking more like a Phoenix Wright examination of the background type of thing (if you have any idea what I am talking about :P ) I think it would fit better with the sprites and the fact that this is a text based game. I hope I make sense :P . Of course in any case this is just my personal opinion and just the fact that you decided to have that type of gameplay is very refreshing and unique!

In any case keep up the good work! I believe that the game will turn out amazing! :D

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Re: That Which Binds Us [GxB][IGMC][Modern Fantasy / Mystery][DEMO]

#5 Post by Mikomi » Mon Dec 04, 2017 9:19 pm

Nori wrote:
Sun Dec 03, 2017 9:15 pm
Well... I really should not play demos because now I want more! :lol: This is such an interesting visual novel so far! The story looks very promising ( And considering that the demo ends just as the plot thickens I really really really wanted to know what happens next! :P ), the characters are very interesting ( for me it is very important for the main character not to come across as too bland, which definitively did not happen in this case with Evalise!) and the character art is awesome!

That being said, although I love the idea of interacting with the background/space, I think it would be more fiting to the visual novel, if of course the plot and the progress of the story do not depend on the character "moving" as much as examining the background, to have a more point and click feature. For example having background images and examining certain objects
such as the letters in our case if I remember correctly
. I am thinking more like a Phoenix Wright examination of the background type of thing (if you have any idea what I am talking about :P ) I think it would fit better with the sprites and the fact that this is a text based game. I hope I make sense :P . Of course in any case this is just my personal opinion and just the fact that you decided to have that type of gameplay is very refreshing and unique!

In any case keep up the good work! I believe that the game will turn out amazing! :D
Wow, thank you so much! :D I'm glad you liked the characters, I tried to make them different from the usual cast of VNs.

The walking around mechanic is actually because this was made in RPG Maker MV, as it was a requirement for the game jam for the game to be made in an RPGM engine. I'll definitely be improving the mapping, though!

Thank you again! Rewrites are already underway to expand and enrich the game, so I hope you like the finished version when it comes out!
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Re: That Which Binds Us [GxB][IGMC][Modern Fantasy / Mystery][DEMO]

#6 Post by Mikomi » Sun Dec 17, 2017 2:27 am

Update 12/17:

The first draft for the rewrites script is now complete! Feel free to look at it and make suggestions if you'd like. Now, I'll start reworking and finishing some assets.
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Re: That Which Binds Us [GxB][Modern Fantasy / Mystery][DEMO]

#7 Post by Mikomi » Sun Jan 07, 2018 4:00 am

Update 1/7:

Tons of stuff to cover in this big update! For one, That Which Binds Us is now being finished in Ren'Py! I just can't stay away from you long, Ren'Py. Why the change? Well, I wasn't utilizing anything in RPG Maker, and it's going to be a lot easier to finish it in Ren'Py as well as add nicer GUI. But, let's look at some art!

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Here's the finished main menu art, featuring Evalise and the logo.

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And here's some in-game shots of the first scene with Evalise and her co-worker, Ciera!
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Re: That Which Binds Us [GxB][Modern Fantasy / Mystery][DEMO]

#8 Post by Empish » Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:27 am

Looking great, Miko! I'm glad to see you came back to Ren'py, hehe.

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Re: That Which Binds Us [GxB][Modern Fantasy / Mystery][DEMO]

#9 Post by Mikomi » Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:33 pm

Empish wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:27 am
Looking great, Miko! I'm glad to see you came back to Ren'py, hehe.
Thank you!

Well of course~ I just can't stay away from Ren'Py for long
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Re: That Which Binds Us [GxB][Modern Fantasy / Mystery][DEMO]

#10 Post by Mikomi » Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:08 pm

Update 1/14:
Sprite updates! Evalise now has multiple outfits as well as new poses! ...Now, if I could just get around to making a version of her new clothes for the new poses...
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Also, now that I'm going a less kinetic "route" of writing it and adding choices, the second draft is now up to 22k words! I'm aiming for 35k- hopefully I can make it!
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Re: That Which Binds Us [Otome][Modern Fantasy / Mystery][DEMO]

#11 Post by Mikomi » Fri Jan 19, 2018 12:40 am

Update 1/18:

Not as big an update as last time, but still some good progress! The script is at almost 25k words long, and I'll be starting the new game+ section (aka the second route) shortly- it won't be as long as the main game, but I do want it to still be worth a replay to finish. Here are some writing excerpts from some of the newer dates, with "Evalisenar" being Evalise's narration tag, not her evil twin sister :lol:

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Next update might include... sprites? CGs? GUI? Who knows, so stay tuned!
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Re: That Which Binds Us [Otome][Modern Fantasy / Mystery][DEMO]

#12 Post by Mikomi » Wed Jan 24, 2018 11:20 pm

New screenshot ingame, featuring the textbox buttons, slightly improved transition, and new outfits! Next up, writing the second playthrough route!

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Re: That Which Binds Us [Otome][Modern Fantasy / Mystery][DEMO]

#13 Post by Mikomi » Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:50 pm

Update 1/28:

The new demo on Ren'Py is now released! Feel free to download it and send any feedback on it my way- it's only about 10-15 minutes long!

Download it on Itch.io!

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Re: That Which Binds Us [Otome][Modern Fantasy / Mystery][Updated Demo]

#14 Post by Mikomi » Tue Feb 06, 2018 1:19 am

Update 2/5:

Work on the extended demo has begun! Here's a little shot of what's to come~

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Re: That Which Binds Us [Otome][Modern Fantasy / Mystery][Updated Demo]

#15 Post by Zelan » Thu Feb 08, 2018 5:54 pm

The main menu screen is absolutely gorgeous! This is a really cool concept. ^_^ I've definitely never seen red strings of fate used quite like this before.

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