A couple years ago, Notome Games hired me to write three of the six character routes for their upcoming visual novel, Pipe Dream. Having only worked on solo game projects in recent years, it was such a great experience getting to work with a larger team on a narrative-driven game.
While I was writing my part of the game, there was so much else being built and planned - the user interface, the music (every character has their own theme) the artwork, and more. Notome Games funded this entirely out of their own pockets - this is their first release as a publisher and developer - but for the final year of the project, they needed crowdfunding support. And thanks to over two hundred wonderful backers, they got it!
What's more, two stretch goals were reached, providing prologue and epilogue stories for each character! I'll be returning as a writer for Gary, Elliot and John's epilogues and prologues. I'm thrilled to have the chance to give some closure - and some insight - into the backstories of the relatable, diverse cast of characters that the protagonist, Robin, meets on her personal journey.
You can play a demo of Pipe Dream on Itchio or on Steam, though backers will be getting exclusive access to an even longer demo - the entire common route section of the game! While the full, backer-only demo is finalised, the team will also be hard at work completing the remaining assets, writing and voice recordings funded by the Kickstarter. You can follow along with the team's progress on the Kickstarter page.
Is Pipe Dream a game for you? Essentially, Pipe Dream is a visual novel following the protagonist's first year of college - her first chance to begin following the path she wants for herself, not the path that had been previously dictated to her. Your choices impact on how the story goes, and also who Robin winds up dating, as this is a story about romance along with finding yourself! However, not everyone has Robin's best interests at heart, and you would be wise to take careful note of the underlying motivations of the rest of the cast.
In a month or two, I'll be posting a blog post summarising my experience writing for the game, but until then - check out the demo, and wishlist the game on Steam if you enjoy it!