Red Embrace [BxB][Vampires][Drama, Romance]

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Dovahkitteh
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Red Embrace [BxB][Vampires][Drama, Romance]

#1 Post by Dovahkitteh » Thu Jan 18, 2018 2:37 pm

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Now available on Itch.io, Steam, and Google Play!

Follow us along in the development of our next games:

Twitter | Discord | Tumblr



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"There are lots of predators out there... stalkers who'd just love to have a taste of someone like you..."

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Plot Summary

The graveyard shift at a dingy diner in San Francisco -- that's where MC's story begins. It's just another normal night, or at least it seems to be.

...That is, until a certain mysterious customer stops by, bringing the dangerous attention of a few people with him. When it rains, it pours,
and suddenly MC finds himself in the middle of a war he didn't even know existed... between vampires.

How does MC react to the dark, violent world that opens up before him? That's up to you!

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Development Background

Red Embrace was conceived as a short, experimental game mainly targeted at the Android marketplace. Developed in only a few months, it features a number of aspects we haven't tried in our previous games, such as a renamable/flexible MC, routes that can be picked regardless of choices, and dynamic dialogue based on MC's personality.

We're planning a fourth route that will be available for free (at some point after release), assuming players show interest!


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Genre: Drama, romance, dark modern
Rating: PG-13 (language, violence, sexual themes)
Length: ~43,000 words
Endings: 6 (3 good, 3 bad)
Platforms: Android, Steam, Itch.io
Commercial: Yes (estimated price ~$4.99)
Release Date: February 2018

► Changable MC personality & interests
► Different dialogue & choices based on personality
► 8 track OST with a dark, urban vibe
► 11 CGs featuring the romantic and the sexy


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Ash has been stuck in San Francisco for most of his life. Even though he dreams of becoming a famous artist
(whether in music, digital art, or writing is up to the player!), he currently works the graveyard shift at a run-down little diner.

He's wry, tough, and determined by default, but his personality changes and grows throughout the course of the game!

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Despite his intimidating appearance, Dominic prefers to keep to himself. A man of few words, he rarely offers
any insight into his thoughts, but his silence suggests a deep conflict going on beneath the surface.

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Isaac reeks of "unscrupulous businessman," and makes no effort to hide it. He seems very out of place among
the rough, unrefined types who hang around San Fran's seedy parts, though there's a good reason for the company he keeps.

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Wild, impulsive, bloodthirsty, and Dominic's polar opposite, Rex wears his vampiric nature like a badge of pride.
It's a wonder he's lived as long as he has, considering his reckless nature and insatiable appetite.

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(GUI still a work-in-progress)

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► Do you like vampire-focused games? Do they appeal to you in a romantic sense?

► What are your thoughts on a MC whose personality and interests are swayed by you, the player, and evolve throughout the game?

► What are your thoughts on frequent dialogue changes based on the MC's personality? Would this motivate you to play routes multiple times to see different dialogue?

► Which character appeals to you most? Why?

► For players of mobile VNs: Do you prefer the freemium/"story ticket" format, or pay-per-route?

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Thank you very much for reading, and we look forward to hearing your thoughts/feedback!
Last edited by Dovahkitteh on Thu Feb 15, 2018 4:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Red Embrace [BxB][Vampires][Drama, Romance]

#2 Post by sonnenblumen » Thu Jan 18, 2018 5:25 pm

► Do you like vampire-focused games? Do they appeal to you in a romantic sense? Yes, and yes! As long as they are well-written, I'm happy. :')

► What are your thoughts on a MC whose personality and interests are swayed by you, the player, and evolve throughout the game? I think that sounds nice! If the player feels engaged and like their choices do make a genuine impact on the character(s) and story, it always help with immersion.

► What are your thoughts on frequent dialogue changes based on the MC's personality? Would this motivate you to play routes multiple times to see different dialogue?
I'm not the type to replay routes (more so, only specific scenes or chapters that I liked strongly) -- but I imagined this would motivate a lot of players, particularly the "completionists".

► Which character appeals to you most? Why?
Isaac, omg. Charming, elegant and crafty sounds just like my cup of tea! Atop of that, I love his design (even though the scar and the glasses gave me Harry Potter vibes :p)!

► For players of mobile VNs: Do you prefer the freemium/"story ticket" format, or pay-per-route? Pay-per-route, ahaha. I often get frustrated quickly and give up after a route or two (if I even manage to get that far). However, it's more the stat-raising than the ticket system that pisses me off to be honest. Also, I feel 3 - 4 hrs should kind of be the maximum for waiting for a new ticket. 8 hours just drives one insane when the last episode ended on a cliffhanger. Either way, I know a lot of people prefer freemium/story tickets.
🄵🄾🅁🄼🄴🅁 🄰🄲🄲🄾🅄🄽🅃: cнαsιηg sυммεя

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Re: Red Embrace [BxB][Vampires][Drama, Romance]

#3 Post by bobconway » Thu Jan 18, 2018 8:57 pm

► Do you like vampire-focused games? Do they appeal to you in a romantic sense?
I don't think vampire vs not changes the appeal of a game. I like well-written games with interesting (and attractive) characters, regardless of the setting or nature of the characters.

► What are your thoughts on a MC whose personality and interests are swayed by you, the player, and evolve throughout the game?
I think this is a great benefit if done well. But I also think it's hard to do well.

► What are your thoughts on frequent dialogue changes based on the MC's personality? Would this motivate you to play routes multiple times to see different dialogue?
Relates to the above. I don't think dialogue changes alone are a huge deal -- the personality needs to impact other things within the game too, either around automatic decisions that cause major (or less major) plot branching, or simply changing what options are available to a player during decision points.
I don't think I'd play a game multiple times solely to see different ways of conveying the same meaning and ending up in the same place (P5 is particularly bad at this, for example), but I would if it seriously impacted the outcome of scenes.

► Which character appeals to you most? Why?
Isaac, mostly because I find him the most attractive character at first glance.

► For players of mobile VNs: Do you prefer the freemium/"story ticket" format, or pay-per-route?
I don't play mobile VNs, but in general for mobile games, I prefer games that charge up front and don't put artificial barriers on their content, either in terms of waiting an amount of time, unlocking a certain amount of points, or paying money.
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Re: Red Embrace [BxB][Vampires][Drama, Romance]

#4 Post by MilanaWalters » Fri Jan 19, 2018 9:15 am

i guess ill never see masculine protag in BxB games :P theres always such a big difference between his and his love interests' look, its unbearable. it seems like pedofilia or otome, im tired :(

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Re: Red Embrace [BxB][Vampires][Drama, Romance]

#5 Post by Dovahkitteh » Fri Jan 19, 2018 10:47 am

@ sonnenblumen -- Thanks for the feedback! Totally didn't notice the Harry Potter similarity with Isaac at all... :oops: Glad to hear you like him, though, he's one of my favorites! Regarding stat raising and tickets, I definitely agree; a lot of freemium games have absurdly long wait times. We plan on doing pay-per-route for that reason, among others.

@ bobconway -- Thanks for bringing up the personality choice unlocks! That's indeed one of the features; a certain personality in different routes will allow for choices that normally wouldn't appear otherwise, and have more of an "impact" than the default available ones. It's interesting to hear that they would influence your decision to replay, I've been thinking about adding in more of such choices and your response encourages me to go all out with them!

@ MilanaWalters -- We hear you! Part of our design decisions are based on the market (in this case, namely Android), where there's a definite trend in terms of male appearance. (MC isn't the most feminine boy in RE, though -- the blond in the "other chars" picture will potentially be a love interest ;) ) However, in some of our future planned projects, the MC is more masculine/neutral. There are lots of great BxB games springing up with more manly protagonists in the meantime, though; I highly recommend illuminate's Let's Meat Adam and the upcoming Fate of the Squire!

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In other news, our Itch.io page is now published, for those who want to follow along there!
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Re: Red Embrace [BxB][Vampires][Drama, Romance]

#6 Post by Magiriano » Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:33 am

1. Do you like vampire-focused games? Do they appeal to you in a romantic sense?

Only if it makes sense.
For example, if a character is a vampire, werewolf or furry, then there must be at least some differences between his everyday life and the everyday life of a common human. A furry-bird can not be a good swimmer, as it would be difficult to move wet feathers in the water, and it is dangerous for a werewolf to work independently with fire, since soot will spoil the wool, and the fire itself can burn it. If there are no such details, it does not matter who the characters are.

2. What are your thoughts on a MC whose personality and interests are swayed by you, the player, and evolve throughout the game?

It sounds good. But the differences in the personality of the protagonist must be noticeable and at the same time logical. If there is no logic, it's the same as just creating different characters.

3. What are your thoughts on frequent dialogue changes based on the MC's personality? Would this motivate you to play routes multiple times to see different dialogue?

Only if it will strongly affect the narrative and the plot. By themselves, changes in dialogues can not be a trigger for replay. This is a visual novel. This is basically a book. It's not so easy to write a book that is interesting to re-read. However, changes in near and far events, new CGs and very profound realization of changes in the personality of the protagonist could increase replayability. And a lot of good and varied music. Music in games can create more replayability than many developers are able to imagine. But this is a completely different size of the game - much more than those that are scheduled.

4. Which character appeals to you most? Why?

Rex, I guess. But only because of the design and color of the hair. However, Isaac visually differs from other characters. Ash, Dominic and Rex look like brothers.

5. For players of mobile VNs: Do you prefer the freemium/"story ticket" format, or pay-per-route?

I do not play mobile games, but prefer "pay-for-full-game". I know from my acquaintances that many people find "freemium" and "tickets" annoying, as it is too distracting from the game process. So, I think "pay-per-route" is better.

MilanaWalters wrote:
Fri Jan 19, 2018 9:15 am
i guess ill never see masculine protag in BxB games :P theres always such a big difference between his and his love interests' look, its unbearable. it seems like pedofilia or otome, im tired :(
Do you know about the game "Full Service" from Mazjojo & Herculion? If not, then take a look. Perhaps this is what you are looking for. It is not completed, but will be released in the next couple of months.

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Re: Red Embrace [BxB][Vampires][Drama, Romance]

#7 Post by crystalscm » Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:32 pm

► Do you like vampire-focused games? Do they appeal to you in a romantic sense?
Yes! I love vampires. I honestly think there needs to be more vampire-focused games out in the community. Yes, they appeal to me in a romantic sense as well. The romance in any vampire game may be dark, but it's still romance nonetheless. Of course though, there is a line I'd draw in regards to how dark it is, though I think this is where my "sweet spot" lies from the looks of this game.

► What are your thoughts on a MC whose personality and interests are swayed by you, the player, and evolve throughout the game?
That idea sounds appealing, and I've experienced that type of protagonist in multiple games... I think Voltage Inc. does those types? I do like protagonists with a strong character and background, but I also feel like I am only a third-party in those types of games. I feel like if I get to sway his personality more, then it would feel like I am directly in that world and interacting with the other characters rather than just watching someone else talk with the characters.

► What are your thoughts on frequent dialogue changes based on the MC's personality? Would this motivate you to play routes multiple times to see different dialogue?
It depends on how strong the changes of his personality is. If there's a polar difference, then I would definitely be motivated to play routes multiple times to see different dialogue. However, a part of me playing routes multiple times is based on how the game is functioned, which you cover in the last question. Generally, if it's a pay-per-route method, I would definitely play routes more than once, given I liked the story or I feel like I'm curious enough to see the dialogue changes.

► Which character appeals to you most? Why?
Rex. Well, first of all, I love his hairstyle. Another thing is his personality: that punk and impulsive personality sounds interesting to me. I'm curious as to how the protagonist will deal with him, haha. Also, the moment I read that quote from the screenshot you had of him, I was like, "Yep. I like him already!" I like that CG you have of him, too. He looks dangerously hot.

► For players of mobile VNs: Do you prefer the freemium/"story ticket" format, or pay-per-route?
Pay-per-route. I hate those freemium stories down to the core, though I have a lot of patience, so I can get through it for the most part without getting frustrated. However! There is one game that I liked that was one of those freemium games (not really story tickets, but still a limited amount of chapters per day), which was Ephemeral Creatures by Hunex. Why? Because you don't have to pay a shit ton of money just to get those premium scenarios or CGs or whatever. You can read through a certain number of chapters for free each day (and you don't have to pay for "premium" scenarios), and they have that additional option of paying for the entire route as well. It's two-in-one, so people who don't want to pay don't have to, but paying for the entire route is always an option, and I love how they account for both parties! All in all, I think my top preference is paying for the whole app as a one-time purchase with a free demo or something, though I don't mind pay-per-route.

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Re: Red Embrace [BxB][Vampires][Drama, Romance]

#8 Post by Revenais » Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:30 pm

► Do you like vampire-focused games? Do they appeal to you in a romantic sense?
I like them, but only if they're well developed. For instance, I loved Vampire the Masquerade Bloodlines, but really disliked Diabolik Lovers. I mean, I'd definitely play something regardless of genre if it's a well written, interesting game, but with vampires, I'd love to see something that develops a unique lore. I think there's a romantic aspect to vampires, but there is still that element of horror in their existence.

► What are your thoughts on a MC whose personality and interests are swayed by you, the player, and evolve throughout the game?
Seems pretty neat to me! I can only see this as a positive, really, an incentive for players to get more immersed in the game. In a lot of VNs, I feel like I'm just a passenger and am mostly passively reading along. But this feels like a way to get more engaged.

► What are your thoughts on frequent dialogue changes based on the MC's personality? Would this motivate you to play routes multiple times to see different dialogue?
If the changes were significant, I'd replay. If it's minor tweaks in tone, I might be less interested in doing so. It could be neat if there were totally different scenes based on how you play the MC. Or if there's new CG's or changes in the relationship dynamics based on the personality they have.

► Which character appeals to you most? Why?
From purely a first impression - Isaac and the blue tie suit guy. I don't care for long hair on guys, so the others don't appeal to me much at all. I want to take a pair of scissors and cut the back of MC and Dominic's hair. xD
Based on the character info - Isaac as well. Elegant gentleman is definitely my preferred type. I could see myself going for Dominic, but only if he's got a gentle side to his cold and quiet persona.

► For players of mobile VNs: Do you prefer the freemium/"story ticket" format, or pay-per-route?
Pay per route, 100%. The most annoying thing about a lot of mobile VNs is that the replayability isn't there. It simply isn't worth the trouble. I'd rather pay for the route upfront and then get to play it as much as I want, see the branching dialogue, and so on.

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Re: Red Embrace [BxB][Vampires][Drama, Romance]

#9 Post by Dovahkitteh » Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:49 am

@Magiriano -- Thank you for the feedback! You bring up some good points, especially differentiation between supernatural creatures and normal humans; there are a lot of games where they differ little from each other, I think. I've done my best to try and convey some important qualities of vampirism in RE's world, both physical and social, so hopefully it'll impact the atmosphere positively. :D

@Crystalcsm -- Another fan of Rex! <3 I'm glad to hear that you're more inclined to replay routes in pay-per-route. My hope is for the personality differences to play a key role in that, and make multiple playthroughs feel interesting and unique even if there are only two endings/route.

@Revenais -- Vampire Bloodlines was a HUGE inspiration for me and my absolute favorite game, so I totally agree with you there! I like the portrayal of vampires not only as romantic, sad creatures, but also engaged in a constant struggle with violent/beastly tendencies, and VtM did that incredibly well. It's certainly an aspect of RE~ And it definitely seems like most folks here lean heavily towards pay-per-route, which makes me very happy to hear. Down with story tickets!

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A sneak peek of the scene I'm currently programming:

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For those interested in the dev side of things, I decided to use a paper-dolling method for expressions in RE compared to the static expressions used in our previous projects, Requiescence and Chess of Blades. It allows for much, much more variance and lots of neat little changes, and I would definitely recommend it for those who are working with a limited budget or # of expressions. I used the very helpful TransitionConditionSwitch to add a nice dissolve between expression changes.

Here's a code snippet:

Code: Select all

    image ash:
        ypos 820
        Transform(LiveComposite(
                (720, 1280), 
                (0, 0), "images/sprites/mc/mc.png", 
                (0, 0), TransitionConditionSwitch(Dissolve(0.2, alpha=True),
                    "ash_eyes == 'neutral' ", "images/sprites/mc/eyes_neutral.png", 
                    "ash_eyes == 'closed' ", "images/sprites/mc/eyes_closed.png", 
                    ...),
                (0, 0), TransitionConditionSwitch(Dissolve(0.2, alpha=True),
                    "ash_brow == 'neutral' ", "images/sprites/mc/brow_neutral.png", 
                    "ash_brow == 'angry' ", "images/sprites/mc/brow_angry.png", 
                    ...),
                (0, 0), TransitionConditionSwitch(Dissolve(0.2, alpha=True),
                    "ash_mouth == 'sad' ", "images/sprites/mc/mouth_sad.png", 
                    "ash_mouth == 'smile' ", "images/sprites/mc/mouth_smile.png", 
                    ...),
                (0, 0), ConditionSwitch("ash_blush == False", Null(), "True", "images/sprites/mc/blush.png")
                ), size=(473,840))
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Re: Red Embrace [BxB][Vampires][Drama, Romance]

#10 Post by Marblo » Fri Jan 26, 2018 5:49 pm

Wow! A new visual novel from you guys! Nice!
Since i played requisience and found out Chess of blades i had my eye on you, so i created an account here xD! Been playing this kind of games for a long time now, Hopefully, my opinion will help you :3 my english is very basic and i do spell it wrong somethimes but i hope you can understand ;-;

► Do you like vampire-focused games? Do they appeal to you in a romantic sense? Well, it's a bit cliché nowadays but, if well written, can be a very fresh idea. A good writting and great character planification can make this awesome! even if at first glance most games seem like not. Personally, i do like vampires. Had this soft spot for a time now;; If in a romantic sense then better! BUT i do not like the s/m thing that comes sometimes with them...I mean, not because they're vampires they always need to do those kind of stuff y'know? A vampire can be gentle and romantic too, more so if they really love the person! Love changes ppl! <3

► What are your thoughts on a MC whose personality and interests are swayed by you, the player, and evolve throughout the game?
I think is GREAT. And i mean it, you can relate more to the character and felt more inmersed in the game as stated above. It is difficult, tho, to make it a well done job, as every person is different but not impossible. Take wilder from example. They made something similar, you can choose as you please (just 2 options tho) without affecting directly the story, with just some important answers that DO determine the ending you get. With this, the characters in the story can see you, more or lest, and answer to what you really think as a player. Just thinking of it in a bigger scale tho. Not so sure if that is what you're suggesting but i would definetly go for something like that. Just to break of that stuff where you actually have to bee always the GOOD and compasionate dude or girl, not doing anything bad at all;; I want to laught and be sarcastic, get mad and things that humans do, ya'know?



► What are your thoughts on frequent dialogue changes based on the MC's personality? Would this motivate you to play routes multiple times to see different dialogue? Hell YES! im not personally one to....you know, complete all games and go for all options but, if it depends on personality, then that changes. I mean, they're times when you feel bad ass, and times that you feel this philosofic vives, so, depending on that or maybe just for plain curiosity, i would do it. Maybe i would end liking better other answer than the previous one xD!

► Which character appeals to you most? Why? Mmn....Dominc, yes. He seems like the quiet type. And i LOVE the quiet type, quiet and smart lol. Aaaaand Rex, like the rebel type. You see? Oposites, somehow. But i do like those two! I mean, i love them all! it would be a difficult choise, but out of these, average long hair is...my cryptonite lol. So those two stand out the most for me.

► For players of mobile VNs: Do you prefer the freemium/"story ticket" format, or pay-per-route? Pay per route definetly! It's annoying to wait for tickets or time to keep reading, nowadays we don't have much time either, so most ppl would like to advance as much in the game as they could. That's enough suspense for me xD!

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Re: Red Embrace [BxB][Vampires][Drama, Romance]

#11 Post by Dovahkitteh » Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:12 am

@ Marblo -- Thank you for the feedback! I'm especially glad you like the idea of the personality changes, hearing enthusiasm makes writing all the little nonlinear branches very worth it XD

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A few GUI updates:

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We're currently looking at a February 15th release date, with beta opening to our backers around the 9th; stay tuned for more updates~
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Re: Red Embrace [BxB][Vampires][Drama, Romance]

#12 Post by illuminate001 » Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:40 pm

February release?! Wow, didn’t you only just announce RedEmbrace, Dovahak? Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good thing!

I can’t believe it’s coming out so soon, does this mean it’s a particularly short VN at all?
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Re: Red Embrace [BxB][Vampires][Drama, Romance]

#13 Post by Zelan » Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:12 pm

► Do you like vampire-focused games? Do they appeal to you in a romantic sense?: Echoing bobconway here: I don't particularly care one way or the other for vampires, I really just want to see well-developed characters and story. However, I do like urban fantasy as a genre!

► What are your thoughts on a MC whose personality and interests are swayed by you, the player, and evolve throughout the game?: I think it's a bit harder to get right than an MC with a set personality, but it's worth it if you can pull it off.

► What are your thoughts on frequent dialogue changes based on the MC's personality? Would this motivate you to play routes multiple times to see different dialogue?: Maybe, but I'm usually more focused on getting every ending, rather than every line of dialogue. More likely, I'd play each rotue with a different personality.

► Which character appeals to you most? Why?: Isaac. I have a shameless glasses fetish.

► For players of mobile VNs: Do you prefer the freemium/"story ticket" format, or pay-per-route?: It looks like I'm in the minority here, but I prefer the "story ticket" format. I've got time enough on my hands, after all, and not nearly as much money. cx I like the way Choices uses this mechanic in particular; the "diamond choices" are sometimes annoying, but you can earn free diamonds at a fairly reasonable rate.

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Re: Red Embrace [BxB][Vampires][Drama, Romance]

#14 Post by Dovahkitteh » Sat Feb 10, 2018 11:19 am

illuminate001 wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:40 pm
February release?! Wow, didn’t you only just announce RedEmbrace, Dovahak? Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good thing!

I can’t believe it’s coming out so soon, does this mean it’s a particularly short VN at all?
Yes! We were working on it back in August during COB's production, but didn't pick it up again until recently.

It definitely is shorter (~45k words, no VA), but I'm hoping the variable dialogue and choices will give it replayability and lend itself to more hours that can be enjoyed :D

@ Zelan -- Ahh, it's interesting to hear another viewpoint on the story tickets vs pay-per-route method! It would really be great to incorporate both if possible, as I'd like to make some games available wholly free, but also allow people to outright buy the stories if they wanted. If we manage to set an outside server up to handle the logistics for story tickets later on, I think it'd be a worthwhile investment :D

======

RE beta was just released to our Patrons! We're still aiming for release by the 15th if all goes well!

Behold, what secrets are there to uncover~

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JBShields
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Re: Red Embrace [BxB][Vampires][Drama, Romance]

#15 Post by JBShields » Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:34 pm

Hi, I was wondering how much does it have "sexual themes" / to what degree?

I was wondering how clean is it.

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