Or, Habeas Corpses
Or, Invisible Attorney
It doesn't quite qualify as a visual novel since the current plan is lacking, well, visuals, but I'm posting here to track my progress, and because I find it easier to keep on track when I'm talking about it with others and making promises. That said, if this is inappropriate for this forum, let me know and I'll find somewhere else to keep track of it. If it helps, in an ideal world I'd like to eventually expand it to a visual novel, maybe even a full game, so you can consider this a prototype or demo for a VN.
Legal games can get complicated, as you have to follow convoluted logic, catch people lying through their teeth, and reach for ever-moving goalposts of physical and circumstantial evidence. Fortunately, there are certain constants you can rely on - when it comes down to it, everyone is human, and has human limitations.
Well, not in this case. In a world of monsters and magical creatures, you have to keep in mind not only the laws of the courtroom, but the laws of nature, and the laws of the fantastic. Is your werewolf client accused of tearing someone apart on the new moon? Is the prosecution presenting a headless horseman as an eyewitness? You'll have to keep your wits about you, and possibly a string of garlic or a holy symbol... just to be on the safe side.
In this case, you are defending a silent golem accused of murdering a talent agent. Two witnesses incriminate her, claiming a meeting about representation went sour. You specialize in pro bono cases for artificial and experimented-upon beings, and you are determined to exonerate her.
An invisible person, Leslie Nutting was originally experimented on by a mad scientist and escaped. They fought for their own legal recognition, and dedicated their life to helping other experiments/creations, who even in freedom are often poor, homeless, and downtrodden.
Undecided whether Leslie will be explicitly non-binary or intentionally ambiguous in game. Leaning toward ambiguous player stand-in for this demo/prequel, explicitly NB if I ever expand into a full game.
A golem named Rina Clay. Unable to speak because of the scroll in her mouth that animates her, she can still sing wordlessly, though it exposes her scroll. It is unusual for golems to do anything besides hard labour, but as a free golem she was trying to get representation from the victim to be a professional singer. According to the prosecution, an disagreement ensued and she strangled the victim then fled the scene. It's hard to imagine such a shy, sweet girl commiting such a violent crime, but golems are known for not knowing their own strength. Communicates using sign language or chalkboard.
I've broken it down into the following tasks, which may be further broken down as I work on each one. (* indicates something optional that will not be worked on unless I feel like I'll have extra time)
90% : Basic Twine
70% : Modify Twine Layout
30% : Press/Present/Object
00% : Publishing
Characters (conceptual, no art)
95% : Defense Attorney
90% : Defendant
80% : Prosecutor
50% : Witness 1
90% : Witness 2
60% : Victim
80% : Judge
60% : Broad outline
40% : Gameplay plan
00% : Detailed outline
00% : Writing
50% : Visual layout
This is currently a solo project by me, Author X. I'm not soliciting because I haven't done a project like this in a long time (aka since school, and I wasn't great about deadlines then either), so I can't guarantee I'll be able to stay on task or even that I won't get bored/frustrated and walk away. With that understood, if someone wants to collaborate with me on art or music, I will be happy to do so.
As a straight, cis, able guy I would also welcome input on the character aspects I might represent badly, though I'll be doing research and minimizing how much they come up in this short trial. Specifically, having a NB main character and a mute secondary character.
The plan is to work exclusively on this for 2 hours each weekday, and 4 hours each weekend-day. I will be counting direct research, including playing PW games (taking notes), in addition to creation of production artifacts. The main rule is, I must be putting my undivided attention on the project - no unrelated video games, no TV or podcasts on the side, only music. No tumblr, twitter, plurk (unless I'm reading something I already wrote - like previous brainstorming - or a post that qualifies as research, like "monster" info).
1h : Writing and organizing NaNoRenO post
1h : Reviewing past notes/brainstorming, created Google Doc for notes, Researched names for golem
1h : Replaying & Notetaking PW first cases
goal not met
1.5h: Submitted intent to enter to Spring Thing, brushed up on Twine and researched Twine 1.x vs 2.x
goal not met
1h : Twine research, decided on name for golem
goal not met
2.5h: Twine research
2h : Twine + css
1.5h: research (writing + muteness)
.5 h: css styling
2h : character research/brainstorming
3h : twine
1h : characters/plot
1h : characters/plot
2h : got inventory displayed