A Salem Witch Trial ~ [Short/Mystery/Paranormal/Atmospheric]

A place for game announcements, and for people to discuss games being made.
Forum rules
Please read the sticky before creating a new topic. Linking to Kickstarter/Crowdfunded games requires a demo.
Post Reply
Message
Author
User avatar
Digital Bento
Newbie
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:38 am
itch: digitalbento.itch.io
Contact:

A Salem Witch Trial ~ [Short/Mystery/Paranormal/Atmospheric]

#1 Post by Digital Bento » Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:28 am

Image

Hi guys, I'm Ben and this is my first visual novel I'm making. I'm a professional concept artist who's been working on other people's projects for 8 years and finally decided to make something for my own. I hope you guys can help me on this journey :D Honest critiques are welcome.

Plot:
Set in Salem, 1692, at the height of witch hysteria, a family is found murdered in their home ans suspicion quickly falls to something supernatural behind it all. This is a murder mystery where you will investigate the crime and sieve through the evidence the witnesses provide, deduct an outcome and piece together the bigger picture. There are multiple characters that you can accuse of the crime and will need to be thorough to connect all the evidence together.

What I'd like feedback on:
This is a short game, around 1-2 hours, with multiple endings (only changes with who you accuse at the end). I'm hoping to release this on Steam and itch.io soon. I am a bit concerned that the non-anime aesthetic could mean I don't have a market out there. I'm considering a price of $4, does that sound reasonable to you guys? I'm also curious as to what players think of visual novels with a different art style, mystery genre and short games.

Thanks for looking. Here's some screenshots for ya

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

User avatar
bobconway
Regular
Posts: 115
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2017 12:53 pm
Completed: Whale's Waldo, Xenopathy, YAGS, Earth Boys are Easy, Charles 2.0, YAGS Booty Call
Projects: http://bobcgames.com
Tumblr: bobcgames
itch: bobcgames
Contact:

Re: A Salem Witch Trial ~ [Short/Mystery/Paranormal/Atmospheric]

#2 Post by bobconway » Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:08 pm

This game looks beautiful, and I'm also intrigued by the concept. (One of my favorite board games is actually Salem, which is basically "Logic Puzzle: The Board Game", so thematically this caught my attention right away.)

I like short games, and I don't particularly care what the characters look like as long as they're consistent with each other. Honestly, I also prefer more realistic-looking characters, but I may be unusual in that regard, having not come into visual novels via translated VNs.

Along the same lines of a short mystery game, I really enjoy the Jisei series, although those really get longer in length as you go. (I think Jisei itself is closest to what you're proposing here in terms of gameplay.)
But the series seems to do well, which I assume means there's a market for shorter mystery games. It's also one of my favorite VN series.

In the end though, the thing I keep telling myself is "make the game you want to make, and don't worry so much about whether it sells or not." Someone linked me to this thread, which shows that the majority of VNs don't make much money at all.

So unless you're relying on the game to pay your bills (in which case its commercial viability is absolutely paramount), I wouldn't worry too much about marketability.
Last edited by bobconway on Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Image

See my other games here or find me on Twitter

User avatar
Empish
Veteran
Posts: 221
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2016 9:52 pm
Projects: Efemural Hearts, It Ends With Graduation
itch: empish
Contact:

Re: A Salem Witch Trial ~ [Short/Mystery/Paranormal/Atmospheric]

#3 Post by Empish » Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:08 pm

There's nothing wrong with having non-anime art for your VN. Some people even find it refreshing.

As for the game itself, I find this a very interesting premise and think that as long as you handle it well, it should turn out really great. Because it's so short, I wouldn't recommend putting a price tag on it at all (often making your first game free is a good move because it'll net you more fans and following to go on for later games), or at least making it lower, but the high quality art might allow you to get away with $4.

Anyway, I'll be watching to see how you do.

User avatar
Digital Bento
Newbie
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:38 am
itch: digitalbento.itch.io
Contact:

Re: A Salem Witch Trial ~ [Short/Mystery/Paranormal/Atmospheric]

#4 Post by Digital Bento » Mon Jan 22, 2018 7:16 pm

Thanks for the feedback Bob and Empish. Jisei looks intriguing. I'll have to check it out.
Yikes! That thread about VN sales is scary. I don't know how much to take away from that thread though. From that sample you could say we're all doomed to fail but you then there are games like One Night Stand that looks to be doing well. I know that's not what you're saying but just wanted to chime in :P

User avatar
Digital Bento
Newbie
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:38 am
itch: digitalbento.itch.io
Contact:

Re: A Salem Witch Trial ~ [Short/Mystery/Paranormal/Atmospheric]

#5 Post by Digital Bento » Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:53 am

So a little update... I've put together a trailer.
Hope you guys like it.


User avatar
Ulalaria
Regular
Posts: 145
Joined: Thu May 29, 2014 11:45 pm
Completed: Faust: Scene II, Queen At Arms, Rosewater
Projects: The Owl-Woman Oracle
Tumblr: meagantrott
Contact:

Re: A Salem Witch Trial ~ [Short/Mystery/Paranormal/Atmospheric]

#6 Post by Ulalaria » Tue Jan 23, 2018 8:12 pm

This looks rad! As a non-anime artist myself, I'm always really excited to see non-anime visual novels. I think there's a market out there for it. Moacube's Cinders did pretty well.

User avatar
VimislikArt
Regular
Posts: 61
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2016 6:50 pm
Projects: King of the Cul-De-Sac
Deviantart: vimislikart
itch: vimislikart
Location: Rochester, NY
Contact:

Re: A Salem Witch Trial ~ [Short/Mystery/Paranormal/Atmospheric]

#7 Post by VimislikArt » Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:15 am

That's a great looking trailer!

As far as the price point, you can try it, but like a few others have said, it's worth using your first game to build an audience and make a name for yourself. You mention "One Night Stand" as a successful VN, but keep in mind the original release was a free game; the longer, commercial release wasn't until almost 7 months later.
Check out my VN, King of the Cul-De-Sac, currently in beta production! Try the demo HERE!

User avatar
Digital Bento
Newbie
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:38 am
itch: digitalbento.itch.io
Contact:

Re: A Salem Witch Trial ~ [Short/Mystery/Paranormal/Atmospheric]

#8 Post by Digital Bento » Sun Jan 28, 2018 3:11 pm

Soooo I'm cramming to get the game together for release... Also got a Steam page set up!!! Setting a release in a few weeks!!!!
Check it out in this link:

http://store.steampowered.com/app/78874 ... r_Mystery/

User avatar
Zelan
Lemma-Class Veteran
Posts: 2147
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2016 7:23 pm
Completed: The Dark
Tumblr: evns
itch: Zelan
Contact:

Re: A Salem Witch Trial ~ [Short/Mystery/Paranormal/Atmospheric]

#9 Post by Zelan » Wed Feb 07, 2018 5:42 pm

This looks cool, I like your art style a lot. (The non-anime artstyle means that certain groups of VN players might pass over your VN, but it doesn't mean that it's doomed to fail.)

I've always been interested in the Salem witch trials. It looks like you're including some historical figures into the story, which is awesome. c:

What is the main character like? Do they have a set personality? Do they have a personality at all? Do we get to choose their name and/or gender or is that already set?

User avatar
Digital Bento
Newbie
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:38 am
itch: digitalbento.itch.io
Contact:

Re: A Salem Witch Trial ~ [Short/Mystery/Paranormal/Atmospheric]

#10 Post by Digital Bento » Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:18 am

Thanks Zelan!
The main character is a blank slate. With the writing I had to dance around direct references to the character's gender so that the character can be anyone. Was a bit tricky but I think it works.

DirkB
Regular
Posts: 47
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2017 3:25 am
Projects: 7th Goddess
Tumblr: 7thgoddess-vn
Contact:

Re: A Salem Witch Trial ~ [Short/Mystery/Paranormal/Atmospheric]

#11 Post by DirkB » Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:09 am

I am one of those who don't really like the classical style of anime novels. What I like about visual novels is having many choices, immersive graphics like if you are walking around 3D environments (a bit like tell tale games), stories dealing with large threats.

I wouldn't spend more than 1$ on this one I think, but I do love the art. The trailer is fantastic. Great music too. I like the story idea, and if this witch trial would be like the introduction to a story about a dark ominous force threatening the entire world, then that would really capture my interest :)

User avatar
Treladon
Regular
Posts: 40
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2016 3:20 pm
Projects: ToMaG, Feinted Game
Organization: Kuehler-Corrada Productions
Deviantart: Journie
Contact:

Re: A Salem Witch Trial ~ [Short/Mystery/Paranormal/Atmospheric]

#12 Post by Treladon » Fri Mar 23, 2018 2:05 pm

Dude, this looks awesome! Personally, I wish there were more non-anime, non-dating-sim style games. Rad trailer by the way. Really nice. Super impressed. Can't wait for the release. It's looking really professional.
WIP: The Tasks of Messengers and Guardians - Progress Page Here!

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users