From the beginning I knew that I wanted a game in the style of a visual novel. I’ve never liked intense gameplay, and I’ve been drawn to story over memorizing attacks. I think that VNs provide an immersive world because it takes root in your imagination. Everything is deeply personal, which also makes for a great vehicle for engagement. The combination of music, solid character design, and the element of choice in decision trees allow for not only a singular game, but one that branches until you reach 100% completion and understand the world around everything.
Originally, I thought what would be interesting to play through and experience? I’ve always liked mythology, especially Greek mythology. After talking with Dr Kayler, I got more excited about this idea. I could tie a country or region’s mythology into its modern issues. For example, Baba Yaga kidnapping children. However, this required lots of research and to be honest, it was too nebulous of an idea to execute. Then I thought of Shakespeare, and how decision trees can change anything in them. But what would this game accomplish other than making Shakespeare fun (which is better done live than virtually)?
Maybe history? The story of Julius Caesar is as compelling as any, especially if you add the options of character choice- Brutus, Julius, or Antony? But again, what would it accomplish? Just another fun game, thinking of how choices have extreme consequences.
I had been having so many issues with pinning down exactly what I wanted to do and how I wanted to do it. I actually had a long conversation with my boyfriend this weekend, trying to work out my struggles until he asked me
“Well, what do you want more people to know and understand?”
It’s funny how I hadn’t thought of it like that before, but now that it was asked I had no doubts.
“I want them to know about bisexuality. Its validity and existence as a sexuality in its own right, not just tacked into an acronym.”
And here we are, to the most personal and important of lessons. The visual novel format would work well, seeing as it’s the classic dating sim layout. You would start with the choice of being a boy or girl, and then progress through your life as a bisexual wo/man met with daily challenges. There would be plenty of ignorance and dialogue choices, giving light to a wide spectrum of opinions of bisexuality.
I plan on talking to Dr Kilmartin, a gender psychologist, about what he knows on the subject. I will also be looking for any studies on bisexuality and acceptance, as being bi can be looked down on in both straight and gay communities.
I don’t imagine that it will be easy to put this game onto paper because it is so personal. I have had plenty of bad experiences in the past, but I think that it’s important for me to even get a game like this into prototype.
I mean, it worked for Depression Quest.