Over the past year, I have started to work on what will be my first Visual Novel. This post is a compilation of the updates that have transpired since I started. This Visual Novel is going to be titled "Coming Home", a story about a former soldier having left the military after serving during war time and returning to his hometown. There he is greeted by his childhood friends, eight in total, varying from a human female to a post-op trans mouse (male -> female). But this is more than just a dating sim. It explores a variety of issues, both on the social level and psychological one as each and every character has some sort of issue, as well as those issues surrounding the main character.
A soldier's struggles do not end after war.
So with that being said, this is my first update on the VN. I myself am not the most competent artist, so all backgrounds right now are stock placeholders. I will be commissioning for art and music after I finish writing and coding the VN's dialogue, transitions and choices by putting up a kickstarter for the money needed to cover those expenses.
As of two days ago, the prologue is finished. This includes a arriving at the airport, a van ride to the welcoming home party, and a ride from the party to the new house. Within this prologue are three sets of choices: where in the van you want to sit (which gives you two characters to converse with in each choice), an option of who you want to sit next to at the party, and which friend or friends you want to get a ride to your home from. This third set is going to influence some dialogue in Day One.
The main cast is as follows:
Robert Riven - A human male who completed his tour of duty and served in Operation Iraqi Freedom. This is the main protagonist of the VN. He must try to adjust back into a civilian life while still living with the memories of what he went through with episodes of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
Carolyn Woulas - A human female. She went to middle school with Robert at St. Joseph. Her father is a very controlling and abusive cop.
Lilly Vixani - A female vixen who is 100% blind since birth. She moved to North Wolfhaven when Robert was starting high school.
Tara Savoie - A female red panda who was Robert's early childhood friend. She suffers from Bi-Polar disorder.
Freya Sekhmet - A female wolfess who focuses on kickboxing and bodybuilding. Befriended Robert in early high school along with her best friend and rival Terry.
Yosuke Kuro - A male white domestic feline with black hair and a blue streak. A former exchange student from Japan who recently immigrated to the US.
Terry Krauser - A muscular male black puma who has a passion for wrestling and acting. Closeted bisexual, submissive when it comes to romance.
Nikky Lupa - A twinkishly feminine bunny male who is transgendered in mind. Flirty, plain spoken, but very reliable and sound-minded.
Taylor Lynn - A mouse boy who, after winning the CT lottery, used that money to undergo a sex change operation, becoming a full female. She is rather shy and a bookworm, and she is very caring for her friends. She is often meek around strangers and can frighten easily.
Prologue day one and two of Coming Home has been completed in dialogue and coding. Your choice in the prologue as to who you get a ride home from directly affects the main scene in day one. Only one set of choices given in Day One, which will have another effect down the line. Days from main Day 1 on forward will have two chances to go about and spend time with the eight potential partners, save for major events.
~Main Day 1 is complete, containing 3 areas to choose from during the day, and 3 areas to choose from during the evening.
~Meeting with Lilly gives you some insight into some of her interests, as well as some background on what an average day living on a military base is like.
~Meeting with Carolyn gives some background on what drove her to become a pilot, as well as the strained relationship between her and her father.
~Meeting with Freya gives some background into her interest in kickboxing and what she wants to achieve.
~Meeting with Taylor and Yosuke explores Yosuke's desire to translate his works from Japanese to english, and gives some background on Yosuke and some tidbits on Japanese culture.
~Meeting with Nikky and Terry, You get to see Nikky's pub in action and Nikky's love for crossdressing. You also get some backstory about the troubles her ex boyfriend has been causing him. You can choose to spend more time with Nikky or play some pool with Terry.
~Meeting with Tara, Tara talks about her new job and how she doesn't know what she wants to do in the future. They go and explore the woods to find an old fort they built as children.
* Prologue Day 2 is complete. The segment where the protagonist must tell everyone the events that happened in Iraq and in the car of the one who drove him home the previous day is slightly different depending on who it was that drove him home.
* 3 choices presented of which of three characters to ask for a ride to the Veteran Affairs building: Freya, Carolyn or Taylor. This determines the events of Day VA, which will sit between Main Day 2 and Main Day 3.
*Main Day 1 is complete. Day starts off with the Protagonist waking from a night terror, a nightmare displaying visions of those he could not save back when he was overseas as a medic.
* Morning Day 1, 3 Choices: Meet Lilly in the Park, Carolyn at the church, or Freya at at the School Track.
* Evening Day 1, 3 choices: Meet Taylor and Yosuke at the library, Terry and Nikky at Nikky's Bar, Tara at the Store. At the bar, you can choose to play pool with Terry, or go and listen to Nikky's troubles.
* Main Day 2 is complete.
* Day 2 Morning, 3 choices: Meet with Carolyn and Taylor at the Library, meet with Lilly at the Store, meet with Tara in the Forest.
* Day 2 Evening, 3 choices: Meet with Freya and Nikky at Nikky's Bar, Meet Terry in the Park, meet Yosuke at the Church.
*VA Day is done. Choosing to be driven by Freya will lead to a flag that will open up the Terry/Freya poly romance. Carolyn's route gives a more in depth look at Carolyn's past. Taylor's route has a split towards the last third of it, one path holding a trigger to open the option for a Taylor/Yosuke poly romance.
~Main Day 3 is complete
~Morning 3: You can choose to head to the Baseball Park and spend some time with Terry and Freya. There is a split where you can spend some alone time with either one, and if you asked Freya to give you a ride to the VA earlier and choose to spend time with her here, the option to have a poly romance between you, her and Terry opens up on her path. You can choose to head to the store to meet up with Tara and Yosuke. There is also a split here to earn some bonus affection with either one, and a bit more background on Robert in Yosuke's part. You can choose to head to the Riverside Mill and meet with Carolyn and her sister Christina, with a bit of time talking about the impending departure.
~Evening 3: You can head out to the forest to meet with Lilly. Here she confides in you of her parents intending to move, her worries, a bit more of her past, and how cherished the player is to her. Perhaps one of my favorite pieces written so far. You can also choose to head to the mall with Taylor and Nikky. Here there is a triple split, and one of those splits opens up the trigger for a poly romance between you, Nikky and Taylor.
~Morning day 4: Two places you can choose from. Visit the church to meet with Carolyn and Lilly. Something doesn't seem to be right about Christina not showing up, and both the girls are concerned. You can also visit the park, where Yosuke and Terry have a little back and forth, only for Terry to over-react to a tease. You can follow Terry and learn about the side he's trying to hide, or stay with Yosuke and discover that he's starting to take as much of an interest in guys as he has in women. If either of these two are high enough in affection, you can get an early sex scene with Terry, or a confession from Yosuke (Only in the NSFW version).
~Evening day 4: Two places you can choose from. You can visit Nikky's bar, where an old 'flame' has come back with his gang and starts to cause havoc. Once the situation diffuses, you can either talk to Freya, who's frustrated with herself and what happened, or spend time comforting Nikky. After spending time with either, they realize how late it is and Nikky offers them to sleep upstairs. You will sleep on the couch, however, if you have high enough affection with either one, you will get an early sex scene and sleep with either Freya or Nikky (Available only in the NSFW version).
~Beach Scenes are complete! The day starts with you choosing which of the eight you want to spend your day with. The first third of this focuses mostly on spending time with the one you choose, delving a bit into each characters personality and story, as well as more humor. The second section brings everyone together for some fun around the soon to be bonfire on the beach. the last third falls back into spending time with your chosen friend, dancing and sharing a bit more of some heartwarming dialogue before everyone is driven back home.
~Major event part 1 is complete: Tragedy strikes in the early morning, and Robert rushes to the hospital.
~Major event part 2 with branch opening. The aftermath of the major event. At the end of this, any character you have up to at least 5 points of affection with will be selectable. There is also a default selectable option for in case you somehow manage to get no one to 5 affection and up, in case you want to do an early end and not choose to romance anyone.
At this point, I am going to purchase some royalty free backgrounds, as well as royalty free music and sound effects. Once these are done, I will open it for playtesting. Only once I have this playtested, made any adjustments to this main section of story prior to the paths, I will then open up a kickstarter to cover the cost of art for the characters, scenes, perhaps some custom music, and set some stretch goals for animation segments.
So overall we have Prologue Day 1 - Prologue Day 2 - Main Day 1 Morning/Evening - Main Day 2 Morning/Evening - Veteran Affairs Day Event - Main Day 3 morning/Evening - Main Day 4 Morning/Evening - Beach Day - Major Event Day 1 - Major Event Day 2 . Beyond this, the romance paths will start. Only those who's affection you have brought up to at least 5 points will be available to select, aside from an early ender that chooses no one. Each path will have 3 to 4 days, and tehre are multiple endings for each, including some poly relationship endings for certain characters, plus an aftermath day that tells of the lives of those you did not end up with.