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GENBA no Kizuna [Murder Mystery] - New Demo Available (Aug 26, 2019)

Posted: Mon Apr 02, 2018 2:37 pm
by Gospel

GENBA no Kizuna is an interactive murder mystery visual novel.
It tells the story of a group of rookie investigators tackling their first real case and learning how to effectively work as a team.


When a body is found at the Kaseki Residence, once home to a world-renowned paleontologist,
officers Keiichi Genba, Himatsu Mizu, Rei Shirayuki and Dr. Shinketsu Kikai are tasked with investigating the scene.
Not only do they need to uncover the identity of the victim, but also reconstruct the events leading up to his untimely death...

(Click on a character to view their introduction card)

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  • 4 Playable Characters. Although Keiichi may be seen as the main character, the story will be told through the eyes of all four members of the team, with each one specializing in another crucial area of crime scene investigation.
  • Interactive Gameplay Elements which will change depending on whose role you assume. Whereas one of the officers will take care of interviewing the parties involved, for example, only the medical examiner may interact with the body and try to determine the cause of death.
  • Create Bonds with your teammates by getting closer to them and learning about their pasts and motivations.
  • Digital Notebook which summarizes the story’s progression, provides you with additional information about the case and characters, and which is frequently updated to help you keep track of gathered clues and evidence.
  • Different Endings depending on who you select as the culprit, so be careful with your deductions, as you might end up framing someone innocent!
  • Unlockable Extras including a gallery and more.

Demo Download Link: ... (156.01 MB)
Alternatively, you can download it on


This demo contains the prologue and about 70% of the first chapter.
It amounts to approximately 26,000 words (notebook entries and all investigation comments included),
with a playtime between 2 - 3 hours, depending on your reading speed and how thorough you are.

Its main purpose is to introduce the basic premise and major characters, while giving you an idea of the feel and direction of our new project.
And, of course, to hopefully provide us with some useful feedback in the process!

If you decide to try it out, please consider sharing your impressions down below! Naturally, we are open to suggestions as well!
And if you like what you are seeing and wish to support development of this project, please consider checking out our Patreon:

There, you can get WIP-glimpses at the development process, see early design sketches, download full BGM tracks, read parts of the script,
and even get early access to further demos, in order to help us prepare the game for its eventual public release!

(Click to enlarge)

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Links & Social Media:

Steam Developer Page:

"Thank you very much for taking the time to drop by!"
(Artwork by Silver Hatsuyuki)

Re: GENBA no Kizuna [Murder Mystery] - Demo Available

Posted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 10:03 pm
by saddest-willowby
Passing by to say that the demo was outstanding and really polished! I dig the retro look of the sprites and GUI, the characters and humor were great (esp the tropical detective office), and music was on point - thank you for not skimping out on that! I cried at the cliffhanger :lol: I'm very curious about who the other characters are, and the multiple narrators sounds like an interesting twist.
If I had one critique, I think some dialogue "beats" go on for too long. Consider cutting sentences that are redundant or don't add further value to the script.
Otherwise, great job. I love detective games and Phoenix Wright is basically my favorite series of all time, so I'm super stoked to see this!

Re: GENBA no Kizuna [Murder Mystery] - Demo Available

Posted: Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:34 am
by Gospel
Ah, thank you very much!!

As you might imagine, I'm super happy to hear all of this! We're still early in development, so there will probably be a lot of changes in that regard anyway, but I'll definitely keep the thing about dialogues in mind as I continue working on them!

Again, thank you for not only taking the time to try out the demo but also giving us your impressions!
It's greatly appreciated!

Re: GENBA no Kizuna [Murder Mystery] - Demo Available

Posted: Tue Aug 21, 2018 3:24 pm
by Gospel
It's been a while, so I thought it's about time for a little progress update!

We are currently still working on continuing where our mini demo left off. Writing- and sound-wise, a lot of progress has been made.
There are still a whole bunch of assets missing, however, so I thought I might as well show you a couple of work-in-progress glimpses!

Let's start off with a look at a new background: the Main Hall of the Kaseki Residence where the body is found!
Since we don't want to unveil any specific details in regards to the case just yet, we'll leave you with the "pre-crime" version of it:


Next up, here are some WIP-expressions for Rei and Shinketsu, who will be introduced in the scene following the content of our original demo:



Now, if you're curious about the music, we have uploaded a few BGM samples to our YouTube channel:

Over on Patreon, you can download the full versions of the tracks!

And speaking of Patreon... In case you're curious about the kind of content we provide there, we have made some posts available to the public.
You can check them out here:

Last but not least, we have also published a page for the game over on now, which you can find here:

You can learn even more by checking out the developer's blog on our website, where we continue to post weekly progress updates every Saturday.
Every now and then, we will make a "summary posting" like this here on Lemma, though.

Anyway, guess that's about it for now! If you decide to check out the demo, please consider leaving your impressions, so that we know whether or not we're on the right track, or if anything needs to be fixed! Thank you for your time!

Re: GENBA no Kizuna [Murder Mystery] - Demo Available

Posted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 7:16 am
by Gospel
2018 lies past us and a new year has begun! As such, it's time for a little progress summary and a look at what we have planned for the near future:

Last year in April, we released a short demo for GENBA no Kizuna, meant as a little teaser to give you an idea as to what you can expect from this project.
Right now, we are working on an extended version of said demo, including a lot more content and giving you a better idea of the characters and story.
This extended demo will include more details about the case and the introductions of all four playable protagonists, as well as our four main suspects!


A lot of subtle changes have been made to the current demo's content as well. We have adjusted the GUI, fixed some tiny issues here and there, revised the script a little, and slightly improved the overall presentation! It's still going to be a while before we can release it, however.

If you're interested in this project and would like to support its development, please consider checking out our Patreon. You can head over there now to see the finished sprite sheets for Rei and Shinketsu. Both of these are publicly available, so you don't need to be a patron to take a look at them!

Rei Sprite Sheet:
Shinketsu Sprite Sheet:

If you're interested in how the soundtrack is coming along, we have also uploaded some more BGM samples since last time:

Our biggest hurdle right now is the fact that we are still in the earlier phases of development, which means that the majority of our time is spent working on assets. This is especially true for the character sprites. There are a lot of characters and all of them need a nice variety of poses and expressions. Once those are taken care of, however, everything should start unfolding at a much quicker pace!

We are going to talk in more detail about our exact plans for 2019 in our next weekly update, so if you're curious about that, keep an eye on our website:

With all of that out of the way, the only thing left to say is: thank you for reading and Happy New Year! Let's make this a great and productive one!


Re: GENBA no Kizuna [Murder Mystery] - Demo Available

Posted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:32 am
by Gospel
Alrighty, time for another little progress update, summarizing the last couple of months!
First and foremost, work on the assets has continued and significant progress was made, especially in regards to the sprites:


All the sprites for our fourth and final playable main character, Himatsu Mizu, have been finished (at least the ones that will be featured in our extended demo). If you're curious, you can check out her sprite sheet over on our Patreon page (it's publicly viewable, so no need to pledge)!

Himatsu Sprite Sheet:

We have also worked on the sprites for our four main suspects, meaning that we can finally introduce Raptor Pack Productions, a tiny group of indie filmmakers, working on their first movie titled "Warriors of the Mesozoic - Episode I: Attack of the Clone Raptors":


You can check out the character introduction cards for each individual member of the group in the first post of this thread. I have just added them under the "Characters" section. There are still some more characters that will appear in the game, but I guess with this, we have finally unveiled the most important ones: our four main investigators and our four murder suspects.

So, what else is new? Well, we have also worked on the CGs and backgrounds some more. If you're a patron, you can actually get some early WIP-glimpses at them. Our composer has also finished another new track, and if you're a patron, you can download the full version here:

There is a 30-second preview of the track available on our brand new Instagram account, too:

Right now, there isn't too much going on over there, but more content will be posted very soon.
So, if Instagram is your social media platform of choice, be sure to keep an eye on it!

Anyway, that's more or less it. I guess the next time I will update this thread, it will be to announce the release of our extended demo!

Re: GENBA no Kizuna [Murder Mystery] - New Demo Available (Aug 26, 2019)

Posted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 1:44 pm
by Gospel
It's finally time! As of today, the extended demo for GENBA no Kizuna is out in the wild!

It adds almost 20,000 words to our initial mini demo, providing a playtime of 2-3 hours, depending on your reading speed and how thorough you are.
This demo now introduces all four main characters, as well as the four suspects in our dinosaur-themed murder case.

If you want to try it out, you can download it at ..., or alternatively, over on


I have updated the opening post accordingly. You can find the download links there as well, along with a couple of new screenshots.
Now, if you have played our original mini demo and you're curious about all the minor changes we have made ever since, here is a little overview:


In celebration of the extended demo release, as well as the anniversary of our first VN project, the murder mystery SHINRAI - Broken Beyond Despair, I'd also like to share this month's artwork here. As voted by our patrons, SHINRAI's Kamen Eiga has dressed up in the GENBA police uniform to arrest you!


If you decide to try out our demo, please consider leaving your feedback and suggestions here, so we can further improve the experience.
You can also hang out with us on our newly launched Discord server and share your opinions there:

Re: GENBA no Kizuna [Murder Mystery] - New Demo Available (Aug 26, 2019)

Posted: Thu Sep 05, 2019 5:21 pm
by Impulse
This looks really promising and good. I'm a big fan of the art style and GUI. I'll let you know what I think once I've played the demo :D Are you looking for any specific feedback?

Re: GENBA no Kizuna [Murder Mystery] - New Demo Available (Aug 26, 2019)

Posted: Fri Sep 06, 2019 6:07 pm
by Impulse
Hello. I just wanted to say that I played the demo and overall really liked it. The story is interesting so far and I'm really looking forward to seeing how you handle multiple protagonists, especially since you seem to keep track on whether a character is alive or not. I'm super curious if the characters can die due to your choices and if that would affect anything (not holding out hope though since I can see that being a huge feature to add)?

I really like the artstyle and GUI. Aside from some slighly awkward poses the sprites look very nice and compliments the feel of the narrative. They also nicely blend in with the backgrounds and GUI. Because of the different coloured text for talking and monologue, it was easy to follow what happened. The dinosaur slowly coming out of the egg was also a nice touch.

My main complaint is that there is a lot of idle chit-chat/banter that go on for a very long time but don't seem to add much to the story or plot. I don't mind a little smalltalk as "spice", but it was a little too much for my taste. Same with the internal monologue. It felt like an info-dump with a lot of unneccesary information. This discouraged me from exploring the environment/interviewing the people in each room and reading the notes in the DPA. This is just my personal opinion, but I'd rather not have the option to explore something, than to have that exploration feel meningless. An example is the scary coat closet. The player gets the option to click the door, but they never get the chance to go inside. Instead the game tells us that "something" might be behind it, but the protagonist is too scared to go inside and look. As a player this made me feel a bit cheated since I didn't get a say in what to do. I'd much rather that part wasn't included at all than to be told "you can't do this". I guess what I'm trying to say is that I want every line of dialogue to be meningful in some way otherwise it feels like filler that takes away from the experience of the game/novel.

I'm sorry if my critique sounds harsh. I truly enjoyed the demo and I see a lot of potential in this VN. Apart from what I mentioned, the writing is good and intriguing. I like the characters so far, my favourite being Shinketsu (or Dr Snip Snip as I nicknamed him), and I think there's a lot of interesting things to explore about the setting and story so far. Keep it up. I'll definitely be keeping an eye on this one :)

Re: GENBA no Kizuna [Murder Mystery] - New Demo Available (Aug 26, 2019)

Posted: Sat Sep 14, 2019 6:54 am
by Gospel
First of all, sorry for the delayed reply! Second of all, thank you so much for playing the demo and leaving some feedback!

Obviously, I'm very glad you liked it overall! The banter being too much at times is something that has been brought up before, so I definitely want to work on it a bit more and see how I can strike a better balance. Ironically, it's something I often criticize myself in VNs, but for some reason, it's a bit more difficult to tell when I'm going overboard/it becomes too much in regards to my own writing...

As for the closet scene you brought up, maybe it's just the fact that I already know the entire story and what happens later on, but to me, it never was about finding out whether there is something inside the closet or not. The only reason this scene exists is to establish/highlight a character trait of Nobuhiko that is going to be brought up again later on in the story. In a sense, you could call it foreshadowing to some degree.

So, from my perspective, the scene does have meaning. But of course, unlike the player at this point in time, I can already put it into context.
Either way, I definitely don't want anything to feel meaningless, much less discourage players from investigating, so I'll keep your words in mind!

Also, could you please give examples of the poses that struck you as slightly awkward? I'd naturally like to try and fix that!

Re: GENBA no Kizuna [Murder Mystery] - New Demo Available (Aug 26, 2019)

Posted: Sat Sep 14, 2019 5:17 pm
by Impulse
Gospel wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 6:54 am
Also, could you please give examples of the poses that struck you as slightly awkward? I'd naturally like to try and fix that!
I'm glad I could help :)

There were two poses that stood out to me as being a bit awkward. The first being Genba's forward facing pose with arms to the side. I found it a bit stiff and too symmetrical (the fact he's facing straight forward makes this very apparent). For some scenes that would be fine (like when he's being nervous in front of his superior), but most people don't stand like that for long periods of time. Compare that to Hazama's forward facing pose, which looks much more relaxed and natural. I'd advice making one of his arms more "active", either placing it on his hip, across his body, in his pocket etc. to break up the symmetry and make it more dynamic.

The other pose I noticed was Hazama looking to the side with his body facing forward. I don't really know myself why I find the pose awkward, so I'd suggest getting a second opinion from an artist who is more knowledgable than me. But I think it's the angles that makes it look a bit stiff. His body faces straight towards us, making us feel like he's approachable, but his head faces away at a pretty steep angle and he isn't keeping eye contact, which makes him seem unapproachable and uninterested (or like he's staring at the characters next to him instead of at you). These mixed signals might hint at a character trait I just didn't pick up on, but it gave me a uncanny feeling I can't quite put my finger on. It might also just be his mask giving the illusion that his neck is really big and long compared to the rest of the characters, further adding to the unease, but without seeing him without it I can't say for sure. I think changing the intensity of the angles or just adding eye contact might help.

Re: GENBA no Kizuna [Murder Mystery] - New Demo Available (Aug 26, 2019)

Posted: Sun Sep 15, 2019 1:30 pm
by Gospel
Okay, in Keiichi's case, I was actually going for the "Danganronpa pose", so you could kinda say that it looks awkward on purpose :lol:
It's not going to be used much anyway, but I guess I can still try to make it look at least a little less symmetrical then!

As for the Ryuunosuke sprite, that was the one that gave me the most trouble to draw and I guess you can tell...
I actually drew him without the mask first and then put it on later, in order to ensure that the proportions would be fine.
Guess I have to play around with it a bit more.

Anyway, thank you again for the input and the detailed feedback! It's much appreciated!