AHHH happy pride to you, Otmund and Rein too!!! <3 <3 <3 You are doing so fantastic, I hope you're not pushing yourself too hard but also am excited for the full game!
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"I'm not sweating, you're sweating!"
I've been meaning to play Heroine for Hire for the better part of a couple years, and I'm glad I finally did. The dev has a warm, beautiful way of writing family (Timpani and Lute my beloveds), and the love interests are both darlings. I've finished one route so far, and really looking forward to the next!
Hey, I just wanted to say that this devlog really resonated with me and I've been meaning to write an introspective response at some point. I haven't quite secured enough focus to do that yet though, so for now.... Thank you for sharing your experience in such detail!! You don't know it yet, but it's meant a lot to me. I'm cheering you on in developing BBB. ❤️
This game has nestled itself deep in my heart. I really love both characters, and it killed me to go back and choose the crummy options to see what would happen (but hey the completionist in me had to do it to em.)
I befriended Rein first, and had an absolute blast getting to know them. I was kind of surprised by how hot and cold they became over the course of the route, but I'm a patient bean!! I was able to wait for them to open up and gosh it was worth the wait.
Otmund, meanwhile. WOOF. He was a LOT more receptive to my advances than I expected, he wins the record for playing the best reverso uno card of the month.
Both characters are a joy to spend time with, and I look forward to getting to know them even better. My favorite part was the bathing scene, by far! So much fun no matter what you choose. :D But hecc I was already sweating when they took their cloaks off, you were very kind to give us the shirtless sprites (and those SWEET CGs) as well. Can't wait for more, I wanna see my companions happy and getting along, even if they can't help sniping at each other once in a while LoL.
This game is ridiculously cool. It feels wildly ambitious and yet you did it! I'm amazed you were able to morph renpy into this.
Emberfate is immersive from the start, with a gorgeous selection of music (I was amazed to see it was royalty-free with how well it fit the game's atmosphere - HOW.) and fully functional character creator. I deadass spent several IRL minutes reading through and debating what kind of character I wanted to make, which is an on-point experience for an RPG style game. I really loved the options to be unemployed and self-employed, in particular.
Personally, I'm not a fan of MMORPGs; I played a few years of Final Fantasy only because my partner at the time really needed a healer LOL. The general drama and saltiness of certain players -- especially the passive aggressive dialogue demonstrated by the in-game user Nanami-chan -- is all too real (especially ending with "lol" all the time omggg) and a big factor of why I'm averse to playing these games in real life... but damn it's masterfully captured here, and an absolute blast to experience in a VN.
The artwork is great all around. The UI fits the game perfectly and the CGs are gorgeous - Rem has always had a beautifully expressive way of depicting characters' hands. <3 And speaking of the characters, I already care about them. Every single love interest is interesting and gosh I hope I can help them out even if I'm not actively romancing them. The twist with Chris genuinely surprised me.
The dialogue lines (both from voice and chat) are awesome with multiple instances making me giggle -- heck I knew I was in for a fun ride when they talked about renaming a guildmate to long-lost-dad.
Uhhh yep that's all the notes I took while playing. I'll be patiently looking forward to more.~
Lead writer here!
I'm not a regular member of the Synstoria team - I'm just here for the game jam. :) If you like my writing style, please consider checking out my game-in-progress Herotome.~
To answer your question;
Ayael (the director/Synstoria herself) came up with the original premise wherein a sassy bard is chosen to be sacrificed to a bored vampire. From the beginning Ayael requested two good endings: one where the MC remains human, and one where the MC becomes a vampire and terrorizes the village who sacrificed her in the first place. "Good ending" in this case refers to how the MC (and her love interest to some extent) will never be killed, harmed, or plainly unhappy.
Of course once I got my grubby lil pizza hands on the story, I had to give both leads some humanizing backgrounds by establishing pre-existing connections. Although the game only stars the two characters, I knew it'd be vital to make them *care* about other people. Because if the characters don't care about anyone, why would the readers care?
The Bliss Ends represent the characters, especially Lucius, shedding their care for everyone other than the person they love. Instead, they choose to live quietly by isolating themselves and rejecting the dark realities of the outside world. Abigail and Lucius no longer make meaningful connections, and though they're happy enough staring at cave walls in each others' company, the sense of bittersweetness is definitely intentional. They give up on living, in a way, in favor of the blissful ignorance of focusing only on their love for each other. The vampire end is, of course, more lost in the sauce on this front. Hahahaha.
I want to add that while the last important choice does wear the guise of philosophy, it's also a literal (though subtle) inquiry where Lucius is asking whether or not he should bestow a terrible truth onto Abigail.
So the upcoming secret end, much like opening Pandora's Box (referred to as "Hesoid's Jar" in the game), will begin on a painful note but is ultimately hopeful: celebrating the connections they've made along the way, and helping Abigail and Lucius move forward together (while still being very much in love, of course).
To a small degree this is siphoned from my personal experience, from when I didn't know how unhealthy it was to prioritize one's romantic partner to the point of valuing little else. I'm always eager to take the opportunity in my writing to reflect the things I've learned in life.
Hope that answers your question! <3
Lead writer here!
I'm writing the story behind Lucius's exile right now, it'll be in the upcoming secret ending (which will be unlocked by choosing the currently grayed out choice "I'd rather be curious, even if it hurts at first."). Thank you for your support, I hope it you'll like what we have in store! ❤️
Lead writer here!
The only time the game branches is after chapter 7: There's the choice when Lucius takes you downstairs (where you can get the Departure End), and then a few more choices after you accept the romance (variations of the Bliss End). :) All the choices in chapters 1-6 have no long-term effects and are more cosmetic than anything, but I hope they're still fun. ❤️
Well... you sure stayed true to the Category, huh. :^)
I really did enjoy it though, I loved how there's a small variation depending on whether you talk to Amaro or to Vivi first - I had to start a new game just to try it the other way around. I loved discovering more about the protagonist, what she's done and what she's been through (and she has such a beautiful name).
Thank you for taking the time to make and share this game, I hope more people get the chance to play it.
edit: Thank you for fixing it for Chrome by the way!! I also tried it on my android phone and it worked fine there as well.
Hi, I was pretty engaged and I like it so far!
However, at the part that starts with "The sun is barely out of his hide[...]", the page is really long and there isn't a scrollbar, so I couldn't click anything to continue... I can't zoom out either, the page just cuts off at "It's another girl."
I'm not sure if it's just my set-up or the fact that I'm using google chrome, but I figured I'd let you know! I'll try again on some other browsers in the meantime. :)
AaaaAAAAAHHHH I can't believe I'm 24 hours late to commenting hello!! On the trailer: The music is SO charming and sweet, I loved how it seemed to take us along the journey of interviewing each character. <3
And when I saw Vanessa -- hewwo?? What an adorable new face, how have I not seen her before? And the exchange with Lydia about being on speaking terms... my heart.
"I think it's super dope that we're featuring a sport that doesn't come up often in video games?" YES LANGSTON! And then Ryan getting flustered because of Billie ahhh. You did such a marvelous job Gemini, I cannot WAIT to play the new demo. :) Thank you for your hard work and dedication!! I see you!
CONGRATS on 500 downloads, you absolutely deserve it!!! :) I'm sorry to hear you've had a rough few weeks, and I hope life eases up on you sooner rather than later.
I'm filling out the survey post-haste. VERY excited to play more before the end of the year. <3
The animated gif thumbnails are so wonderful 😭😭😭 I love that the title header has some spunk to it now -- it'd be awesome if you posted a tutorial/overview of how you do the little sparkles and such!
I'd love to add more gifs/images for the home page, but I also want to be mindful of those who use self-voicing when browsing games (and can't pick up on text on images).
As for this -- some pages I'm interested in emulating are Arcadia Fallen and Experiment: Isolation; maybe they will inspire you as well :)
You've made such exciting and enormous progress, thank you for the update <3
Well -- I actually just finished a book with a major misleading plot point (the proposed love interest turns out to be a traitor and animal abuser *insert Britta meme here*), so I can tell you exactly how that made me feel.
I was nearly screaming. I cursed the author's name and jumped in my bed - causing quite a bit of concern to my cat. When I calmed down, I propped up my pillows and kept reading until the book was finished.
The twist did its job: it displeased me, but it kept me hooked.
Misleading the reader is a tool; I believe there is no 'good' or 'bad' metric to its use, only effective and ineffective. I thought it was effective enough when I played The Remainder, but when a hook induces a reader to read more yet there is no more to read, the reader's only options are to scream in the comments or to wait quietly for the next part. I believe while some readers may have quit early on, they may very well return when the story is complete and the mysteries are available to unveil. Of course it makes it difficult for a dev episodic releases, but it takes patience on both sides, I think.
I personally am waiting for more Remainder to be done before jumping back into the eel whirlpool. :^) I loved getting one of the very first looks at the game, and look forward to how it shapes up in the future!
Thank you, I'm glad you think so!
I was so sore at Mystic Messenger when they suddenly showed my chosen love interest kissing the default MC. 😂 I was like, "Who's that girl?!" This feature exists solely because of that experience.
(It'll be easy: choose the clammy woman in the prologue, then choose as many distrustful/panicky/anxiety-ridden dialogue options as you can - refuse to connect with people and push away everyone who might try to help.)
Oooh it IS similar to the Sheikah symbol!
I don't remember exactly what I was thinking for crying eye, but if I had to guess... I probably got the idea from Hisoka (HunterxHunter). I remember looking up a bunch of eye symbol designs - mostly Illuminati and various Greek evil eyes - and I mixed and matched from there.
Most of his design was inspired from Esmeralda's skirt from the Hunchback of Notre Dame though. :D
edit: And also YuGiOh... Hisoka, Esmeralda's skirt and YuGiOh.
Hello, the default font at present is Open Dyslexic, which is open source and free for commercial use. I will be implementing Open Sans as an alternate font - which should be straightforward, but I need to dedicate a few hours to it.
Is there a reason you recommend Dyslexie specifically? I do think it looks nice, but they charge a steep yearly license fee for commercial use.
I've been meaning to play High School Daze for a long while now - and I like it!! This game is an adorable, wholehearted slice of life. Although the love interest introductions were very brief, I was making heart eyes at April on sight and - indeed - stared after her longingly. I really want her bee shirt, too.
I'm most curious about what could have happened with the ex best friend Lydia, and if there might be some reconciliation on the table - I'm also curious about the role Billie will play as the current best friend, although I can already tell she's going to be supportive when I decide to kiss someone. Also the protagonist is on the weightlifting team, which is literally one of the coolest character traits ever? Ever.
Your list of fears seem like they apply to the actual character routes not included in the demo, so it's a shame I won't be able to assuage them - but I already can tell that each character will have a unique dynamic with the protagonist. Thank you for sharing your hard work with us, I look forward to getting to know the cast. ❤︎❤︎❤︎
I'm interested in how you coded the body language thing!! It sounds like an accomplishment you are proud of, and I would love to hear all about it :D
Happy pride, thank you for the update! <3 <3 <3
Hello again!! Wow! I saw Vampire Ltd at a glance on my dashboard and didn't give it a second thought; but I noticed today that it was created by YOU, the same person who made Vampire Time!
I was a bit put off at first by the ">go north"/"look crowd"/"inventory" style of gameplay, but I thought "ahhh what the hell, I loved the last game so much I should try this out" and I was not disappointed. The controls are fairly intuitive, and my very first successful action was closing my umbrella in order to kill myself on purpose. Good times.
Your writing and sense of humor are both stellar, as always, and it comes through with brilliant characterization. Nero's vindictively petty inner thoughts are great. Hadrian was a blast (figuratively, literally, etc). Even the minor NPCs have an ideal amount of assigned personality; while it was riveting to eventually attack the workers in the office, I did feel quite guilty for going after the receptionist (who was much nicer to me). I'm now going through your developer notes and trying to catch up on everything... for no real reason, really, it's just nice to read your writing.
I'm looking forward to this, ah, 90s professional wrestling game you have in the making? I hope it's still in the making, anyway. It's a far cry from vampires, but I'm interested in just about anything you have to offer. Best wishes. :)
Hi I know I replied on tumblr already but thank you so much for the detailed and very kind review!
I'll answer your question first. I discussed the idea a bit more on this post but tldr; the game is currently planned to be free-to-play. I have some ideas for paid bonus content that can help offset some development costs, but I want the base game (including endings and CGs) to be accessible and available to everyone for no cost.
I'm glad to hear it's come across as grounded overall. That lines up with my way of thinking and how I tried to approach the worldbuilding. While Herotome has definitely has(/will have) elements of an escapist fantasy, one of its first fulfilled fantasies is just getting a job offer and moving out LOL.
Warden would be flabbergasted (and flattered, of course) to know that he's made any sort of top ten list. :D I have quite a lot to reveal about him, and hope he doesn't disappoint!
While I'm stoked for the update, the part I'm happiest to read is that you've been feeling better lately. :) ❤︎
I may or may not come back to scream about the game in the comments later. Thank you for the new chapter; I'm always cheering you on to write stories that you enjoy and want to tell!
Every observation here is shrewd and on point, I feel seen in a very good way. ❤
Part of Warden's characterization does draw inspiration from my years in the trenches of Superman youtube rant comments. I'm honestly not sure how else to respond other than "you're right" on all accounts - even on Dang being the optimal prologue fave. Under all the bluster and cigar smoke and terrible landlordship, he does care about your well-being. He'll even catsit once in a while. Meanwhile our... TILF......... 🤣 has indeed done an unforgivably Bad Thing™. 0/10 would not trust to catsit.
Thank you so much commenting. I hope the next part will be equally engaging, if not more!
I have been seriously considering how I can put in a kiss option for every single NPC... which should definitely include Katie, come to think of it. If I don't allow you to smooch that kitty by the next update, please get on my case. ;)
Thank you for the comment!