Six months ago, Aspen Draper’s elderly neighbour, Mrs Leigh, died of a heart attack.
Aspen was the last person to see Mrs Leigh alive, and she was the first person to find the old woman’s body.
After this unfortunate discovery, Aspen becomes something of a celebrity in her
dreary seaside home town, Scarborough. She’s bombarded with intrusive questions about
Mrs Leigh’s death at school, and everybody is insatiably curious about the incident.
No matter how Aspen tries, she’s unable to move on from the past... even as time begins to pass.
The winter months segue into the summer, but Mrs Leigh’s home remains unsold.
Eventually, her home is boarded up, and rumours begin to spread that it’s haunted by her restless ghost.
Then, during a sleepover with her friends, Aspen is made to confront her fears all over again.
Aspen’s best friend, Pippa, dares her to break into Mrs Leigh’s old home on a search for the elusive ghost,
and Aspen is too weak-willed and anxious to refuse.
Under the cover of the night, Aspen once more enters the home where her most unpleasant memories dwell…
But what she discovers inside the old woman’s home is beyond even her wildest imagination.
Aspen is the unwilling heroine of this story.
She’s an awkward teenage girl, and she has difficulty expressing her true feelings.
Shy, and something of a pushover, Aspen caves easily to pressure, and is easily manipulated by her best friend, Pippa.
When she was younger, Aspen studied ballet.
She quit before she started secondary school, however, and she hasn’t practised in a long time.
Althea is a mysterious girl who Aspen encounters inside Mrs Leigh’s old home.
Aspen has no idea why Althea is so intrigued by Mrs Leigh home, or what connection she has to the elderly Mrs Leigh…
But she has quite the vested interest in Aspen.
Cheerful and irreverent, Althea is quite the charming companion…
But she’s fond of twisting the truth to suit her own means, and she always tells lies.
Pippa is Aspen’s best friend. The pair met in primary school, and they’ve known one another for a decade.
Though Pippa and Aspen are close as can be, they’re polar opposites.
Pippa is loud and boisterous where Aspen is quiet and reserved, and Pippa
has no qualms about speaking her mind.
Though Pippa could be described as the life of a party, she’s also something of a bully,
and she can turn nasty when she doesn’t get her own way.
Lakhi is another one of Aspen’s friends.
She was born in India, though her parents moved to England when she was a young child.
Mature for her age, Lakhi is cool and aloof. She acts like a princess, and expects to be treated as such.
She doesn’t always approve of Pippa’s rowdy behaviour, and the two sometimes butt heads.
Character art: sinsystem
BG art: Ruderoo
Rituals in the Dark is a kinetic visual novel with no choices/branches.
It’s relatively short (about 50k) and has only one love interest: Althea.
The story is also written in third person.
Though the story is mildly creepy, there’s no overt horror, nor any jumpscares.
The story is more atmospheric than downright disturbing.
The writing is entirely finished, and so are the character sprites and BG art.
A handful of CGs still need to be completed, as does the music.
I’m hoping to release the story in late October, around Halloween.
This story does not involve any 18+ content. It’s suitable for all ages.
The story will be commercial and should cost around $6.99.
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