Helix Felix [LGBT][R18][Sci-Fi]

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briarbun
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Helix Felix [LGBT][R18][Sci-Fi]

#1 Post by briarbun » Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:57 am

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Plot:
Have you been playing Moeroge games like Nekopara, Wanko to Kurosou, or Nekonin and thought to yourself: "Why are there slaves everyone seems okay with, and where do they come from?"

The year is 2054 and Helix Scientific is here to answer your (and my) long overdue call for cute cat people. For an exorbitant price you too can have your own Felix, a lovable (f*ckable) humanoid cat of your very own. Grown from trademarked DNA entirely within their facility, you can rest assured they will come to you ignorant and naive of their place in society. These Felixes are grown and raised with cutting edge technology and attention to detail: these are limited edition luxury products, so place your order soon.

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Itch Page
(This version is 6 months outdated and I've heard it has crash bugs, so take it with a grain of salt.)


An advertisement from Helix Scientific for the Felixes

The story is told from within the walls of Helix Scientific through the eyes of Addison, a trans Felix who had to be taken off the sales list "so not to confuse the costumers". He is now the Staff Companion, meaning he knows a lot of people very intimately, especially Dr. Kronauer who loves to pull Addison aside and dote on him. He is happily living his life, taking care of his siblings yet to be adopted and spending down time on his art and coloring. However, not everyone likes his "companionship". The newest staff member, Dr. Moore, seems quiet and even grumpy at times. An even bigger surprise is his brother Pumpkin has been pulled off the sales list as well! Addison will have to juggle his schedule to try and open everyone's heart to healing.

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Themes:
I wanted the game to be overly sugary and cute to mirror the neko games of the past and to somewhat highlight the themes of abuse and sex work. This is an R18+ game. I've always been captivated by the strange worlds of "catgirl" games. In these worlds a whole new species lives alongside humans as second class citizens. They are unable to live independent lives, unable to go outside alone without identification or leashes, unable to hold most jobs. They are sentient property to be owned.

Abuse, negligence, and the true nature of this dystopian system is often hinted at in these games, but never truly explored. I wanted to change that. Humans created this species to be it's plaything. To be an aesthetically pleasing and kink fueled slave.

However dark, I wanted to play within the rules of the universes already created for me (with a few minor exceptions, to aid realism.) In my "reference" games, owners manuals say things like "Pills to induce heat are strictly prohibited." and MC musings let us know they were created with genetic engineering entirely from cats. The legal system can't call then human if there's no human DNA.

My inspiration for this story spans easily a decade, from Maximum Ride novels (2005), Chobits (2000), Tokyo Mew Mew (2002), and Wanko to Kurosou (2006), to Nekopara (2014), Nekopara (2016), and Nekopara (2018).

Characters:

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as well as a handful of side characters.
test0.gif
test0.gif (2.78 MiB) Viewed 1284 times
(My first test at Live2D sprites. Right now I am redoing the sprites, but they won't be animated.)

Team:
I am a one-person team currently under the dev name Bikkuri Bunny.
All art and writing has been done by me.
Programing help from Tanix.
This project has moved from Tyranobuilder to Renpy.
Backgrounds are modified CC0 licensed photography from Unsplash and other free image sites, or personal photography.
Music currently not custom, but I've grown quite fond of my curated track list.

If you feel inspired to join me with this game with any of your talents, please reach out!
Here's another topic I started asking for help:
viewtopic.php?f=59&t=57135

I do not have a budget though. The best I can offer is a promise of a free release.

Progress:
There's a lot I'd like to do, and it's hard to keep everything straight. However, I'm really quite proud of myself and my progress. In the six months it took me to put together this demo/proof-of-concept game, I've learned quite a lot, including bettering my figure art substantially, how to work efficiently in Live2D, how to work Tyranobuilder (and its limitations), how to make decent backgrounds, what good writing is not, and a lot more. As a visual aid; this is really how I feel:

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Things can only get better from here!

Right now you can play the final Tyranobuilder build to see a heavily abridged version of the first arc of the storyline, as well as to check out my current art assets. Check the Itch link if you would like to do that!

For the Tyranobuilder demo
[DONE]13 backgrounds
[DONE]7 static sprites
[DONE]Rough play through of first story arc
[DONE]12 CGs
[DONE]1 live2d sprite
[DONE]4 endings


For the final game
Rewrite the entire script, (25/75k)
[DONE] Migrate to Ren'py
[DONE] 23 backgrounds
[DONE] 8 redone sprites
60+ CGs (20/60)
Calendar function in GUI
Draw pictures in-game to give to other characters
6 endings

Links:
Itch Download
Ko-Fi

Thank you for over 100 beta downloads!
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Audience Questions:
Do you think the premise of the game sounds interesting?
Would you want a game like this to simply explore the world, or to have a moral lesson?
If it is interesting to you, why?
What would you hope for in a game like this?

Thank you everyone for being an amazing forum! This place has already helped me so much!!!
Last edited by briarbun on Thu Jan 30, 2020 2:32 pm, edited 27 times in total.

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Re: Helix Felix [BxB][R18][Sci-Fi]

#2 Post by parttimestorier » Mon Apr 22, 2019 3:04 pm

This sounds like a really cool idea! I'm definitely interested in seeing some of the social commentary aspects of the story. Are there any specific other catperson games or media that you're planning to satirize, or is it more just the general concept?
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Re: Helix Felix [BxB][R18][Sci-Fi]

#3 Post by briarbun » Mon Apr 22, 2019 3:27 pm

parttimestorier wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 3:04 pm
This sounds like a really cool idea! I'm definitely interested in seeing some of the social commentary aspects of the story. Are there any specific other catperson games or media that you're planning to satirize, or is it more just the general concept?
Honestly the only one I really know of is Nekopara- the general concept is more universal though, ingrained in anime culture. I knew about cat-people when I was 10 (maybe through Tokyo Mew Mew, but most likely just through osmosis) but only found Nekopara 15 years later.

I'd love recommendations of others to look into for satire fodder. I think Loveless is the only one on my look-into list at the moment.

As far as social commentary, I think just a look at the cast shows I'm trying to draw parallels to LGBT+, Trans, and racial structures/discrimination. But I want to do it really... Correctly. It'll be a hard line to walk, since I don't want the story to come across as a satire, but I also don't want it to glorify the kinds of relationships and behavior that I'm "parodying". Really I want the story to be real and meaningful, but to really dig into and explore this dystopia that others have created (see: Nekopara) but never addressed.

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Re: Helix Felix [BxB][R18][Sci-Fi]

#4 Post by parttimestorier » Mon Apr 22, 2019 5:23 pm

briarbun wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 3:27 pm
I'd love recommendations of others to look into for satire fodder. I think Loveless is the only one on my look-into list at the moment.
A couple other catgirl VNs I've heard of (but haven't read, so I'm not sure how useful they'll be to you) are Neko-nin exHeart and Let's Meow Meow. You might also be interested in ebi-hime's Sweetest Monster for another more critical take on that trope. Good luck! I'm looking forward to seeing more updates.
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Re: Helix Felix [BxB][R18][Sci-Fi]

#5 Post by briarbun » Sun Aug 04, 2019 12:25 am

Huge update with progress, screenshots, and more! I hope I can get some thoughts/feedback before I open the beta/demo

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Re: Helix Felix [LGBT][R18][Sci-Fi]

#6 Post by FerventWriter » Mon Aug 05, 2019 7:11 pm

Do you think the premise of the game sounds interesting?

Yes! I think this is definitley a unique take on the genre, and am excited to see how you mold the world and lore of the game! It's exciting the demo is coming out soon :)! The themes you have going is something I've never really seen a VN take on, so it'll be interesting to see how it goes.

Would you want a game like this to simply explore the world, or to have a moral lesson?

I think in a game that covers topics of sex work and transphobia that it would be important to cover moral lessons during the game. Simply exploring the world and not going deeper into the issues presented wouldn't be great for story telling in my opinion.

If it is interesting to you, why?

I'm part of the LBGT+ community, so anytime a game pops up on the forums that has LGBT+ themes or characters I try to check it out. That, and the serious topics that you're trying to present interest me too, especially because of the lightheartedness of most of the characters and art so far.

What would you hope for in a game like this?

I'd hope for all the topics to be regarded seriously, without jokes at the expense of sex workers or trans people, but also I think I would want our main character to be likable and relateable too-that would definitley help those who aren't necessarily connected to either of your main topics understand the game as a whole a lot better.

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Re: Helix Felix [LGBT][R18][Sci-Fi]

#7 Post by briarbun » Tue Aug 06, 2019 12:30 pm

FerventWriter wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 7:11 pm
am excited to see how you mold the world and lore of the game!

I think in a game that covers topics of sex work and transphobia that it would be important to cover moral lessons during the game. Simply exploring the world and not going deeper into the issues presented wouldn't be great for story telling in my opinion.

I'm part of the LBGT+ community,
Welcome!! I'm so glad you're interested! This is really helpful advice. As part of the LGBT+ community myself I would never want to make jokes at anyone expense, but thank you for bringing it up. You never know when someone might make a mistake or a cruel joke.

I'm not very good at stories with morals, which is why I asked. I'll make sure I put extra effort into subtext and plot. My strong point is world building and ideas: not so much on plot. It's been challenging to make the story feel the way I want it to, and not just "Moeroge, but weirder."

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Re: Helix Felix [LGBT][R18][Sci-Fi] [WIP Demo Live]

#8 Post by briarbun » Sat Aug 17, 2019 7:39 pm

WIP Build just went live for the 6th month development anniversary! Also I'm done with tyranobuilder and /so excited/ to rebuild with ren'py.

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Re: Helix Felix [LGBT][R18][Sci-Fi] [WIP Demo Live]

#9 Post by Zelan » Wed Aug 21, 2019 6:48 pm

I remember seeing this in the NaNo forum, I'm glad you're continuing with it! ^_^

I really admire your goal with this story, catgirls are adorable but stories involving them always tend to make me vaguely uncomfortable because, like you said, they tend to be treated as second-class life forms by the other characters, or at the very least as naive and overly sexualized characters.

Will definitely be looking forward to your progress on this!

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Re: Helix Felix [LGBT][R18][Sci-Fi] [WIP Demo Live]

#10 Post by Piper » Sun Aug 25, 2019 10:49 am

I've tried out a few of the catgirl visual novels, and I have to concur with Zelan: there's something that's uncomfortable about how they're usually presented. Seeing a premise that looks directly into that particular issue is really interesting. I wish you the best of luck. :)

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