Visual novel based on the tabletop RPG. Seven years after an alien attack you will strike back with the aliens' weapons.
- Update and Clarification: All Backer levels at Anchor and above (Ace, Wing Commander, Authority Figure) will receive the upcoming 2nd edition of the Bliss Stage tabletop game in digital format, as well as our expanded tactical rules based on the visual novel.
- Gamelex anunció oficialmente su papel en la traducción etapa de la felicidad un par de días y se puede encontrar la página aquí.
- Gamelex officially announced their role in the Bliss Stage translation a couple days ago and you can find the page here. An English translation via Google can be found here.
- At MiniEnt there is now a story preview of the game. Check it out here.
Bliss Stage will be a visual novel using the Ren'Py engine and based on the tabletop game of the same name. The game will be available for Windows, Macintosh, Linux and Android.Bliss Stage is a role-playing game about teenage pilots fighting back against alien invaders with giant robots made of weaponized love, or perhaps hate. It’s about love and war and the future of humanity.
Nearly every adult in the world succumbs to an alien weapon known simply as the Bliss, permanently placing them in a state of suspended animation. Naturally, civilization breaks down quickly. All the conveniences of modern life rapidly fail
- no more electricity, clean water, fresh food, you name it. Bereft of
adult guidance, many children perish or devolve into savage gangs. Here and there, though, a particularly skilled or
resourceful group of children manage to preserve something like
civilization - although it is very hard, and under constant threat.
The Blissed do not die, or indeed suffer any kind of ill effects from their sleep. Somehow, they are being preserved by their state. Many children have strange dreams in which they claim to have interacted with sleepers, explored strange dream environments, and been terrorized by "nightmare monsters".
Two years after Bliss Day, the next phase of the invasion begins. Alien remotes - probes, tools, weapons in the form of giant machines - begin to appear and busy themselves with destroying the remnants of human civilization. Particularly groups of surviving children and anywhere that they gather together. The alien remotes are invulnerable to what weapons the children possess, and they must live on the run.
Seven years after Bliss Day, a small resistance cell of teenagers lead by a still waking adult has pieced together psychic weapons from the aliens' own drones. You will guide the new pilot, Joshua, as he enters this conflict. Using the ANIMa constructs, pilots are able to explore the aliens' world and fight them on their own terms: when an alien operator is defeated in the dream world, the remote it controls in our world is likewise destroyed! However, the alien dream is dangerous, causing distortion and harm to the pilot's psyche, and inflicting "damage" suffered by the construct as emotional stress echoing through the relationships that power it.
The game play alternates between character interaction scenes and combat against the invaders. Character interactions play like a standard visual novel sequences with a lot of dialog choices and possible results. These interactions build relationships between the characters and provide relief from the stresses of battle. In combat against the aliens the strength and nature of these relationships determine how your ANIMa mech's form manifests. We've worked hard to faithfully port the basic rules of tabletop to a computer game format while also expanding on the combat rules. In fact the expanded combat rules are compatible with the tabletop version and will be made available, including as part of our backer rewards.
Our small team has been working on the artwork, story and coding for well over a year now. We're ready to move out of pre-production and start full scale work on this game but our staff needs pay to do that. We'd like to make this a high quality commercial game but to do that we need money to support full-time work and upgrade and maintain our equipment.
Your support will give us the resources we need to make this a priority and complete production in a timely fashion. We will be to pay our staff for their work, commission voice actors, and replace damaged drawing tablets and audio equipment. We already have an early version of the game working but need your help to see this through. We're asking for $2,000, the minimum we need to make this happen. The more we raise, the more time we can dedicate to this project and get a better product out faster.
Bliss Stage tabletop RPG: http://swingpad.com/dustyboots/wordpress/index.php?page_id=244
What you have to understand about Bliss Stage is that 'leveling up' in this game is a function of character interaction - an interlude between Joshua (or your Pilot in tabletop) and anyone else. The effect that has on the relationship then modifies your (psychic) combat abilities, adding Intimacy dice if you grew more intimate or "HP" if you built Trust.
In the tabletop game as written, there's nothing like that. In the Visual Novel and our tactical rules that we're back-porting, you get special abilities when your Relationships hit certain Intimacy levels.
How 'hackable' is the Visual Novel? If I wanted to create alternate graphics for the units in the combat scenes, is that something that's doable just by dropping in different art resources?
Really, I'm a modder myself at heart. That's how I learned of a lot things. Visual novels don't lend themselves to modding as much as other games but there seems to be some interest in this feature.
I can't promise a lot since making the complete game is priority #1 but I think we can swing sprite replacement. I'll also keep an eye toward making anything that can be user accessible, but as I said I can't go too far out of the way.
How much of the tabletop game rules do you retain for the VN ? Are there dream-mecha fights ? Are they resolved in a way that's related to the original game ? Are your relationships stated with Trust and Intimacy ?
Elliot Belser(slightly edited by Casey Loufek): The visual novel is an extremely faithful adaptation of the tabletop game. For the most part, the only differences are expanded, optional rules.
Stats are measured in Intimacy and Trust, ranging from 0-5 in each (the only method for getting a 0/0 relationship is by breaking a relationship through stress or betrayal). You can gain 108 Bliss with no effect, but getting close triggers the endgame and if you've been wasting time, it's a standard Game Over to get that 109th point. Same with your 7th point of Trauma, but that DOESN'T trigger an endgame; it just makes your available responses more erratic and/or violent when you get to 4 Trauma.
Intimacy 5, with non-family, requires characters to have a sexual encounter, which is implicitly (but not EXPLICITLY) shown - Sara and Josh hold hands on her bed and talk about exploring each other, fade to black, open with Josh brushing Sara's hair the next morning. Or similar. Intimacy 4 could involve a romantic kiss, a broken jaw, failing to prevent someone from being shot, a blood transfusion, or someone completely comfortable with changing in front of you. Trust just requires... trust.
Combat is resolved with Fudge dice as in the tabletop game; but we've added a Waypoint system (movement in the Dream, a la Exalted: The Fair Folk's excellent dream combat system) and powerful relationships get additional activated special abilties. Just as an example, Meredith's gauntlets can pierce shields (she's disarmingly kind), and Gabriel's sword can pierce armor (she's... honest).
Joshua is initially statted as a Rising Hero from the main book. Technically it should be an Eager Young Soldier, I know, but the needs of a tabletop one-shot are different than those of a visual novel: he's less Shinji and more Ayato Kamina from RahXephon. More social, but as introverted.
How much does the game cost? How many hours of gameplay are there? How many routes are there? How difficult is the game -- how high is the difficulty curve?
Elliot Belser: That's four questions. That said:
1: The demo coming out this Summer (fingers crossed) is free, and includes the first two missions of the game - or rather, the first two cycles of breifing-interlude-mission. That's two weeks of in-game time; by convention, one cycle is one in-game week (among other things this mean the game will end the week of New Years in universe, which was completely accidental and cool.)
The full game will cost $15 online or TBD as a physical product with some extras, and it will be 12 b-m-i cycles long - assuming that you don't get bad dice rolls that fill you full of Bliss, and even then the game is winnable. On average, that's twenty-thirty some-odd Interludes, as well.
2: Playing through what we have so far takes roughly an hour or two. I'm guessing a playthrough will take 15 to 20 hours. Getting every strategic victory much more.
3:Hard to answer because we're trying to make this game branch wildly horizontally, instead of having very linear paths. That said, there are three strategic victories, and five romantic partners (Sara, Derek, Meredith, Anna and Gabriel) as well as secondary characters. I'm aiming for high replay value and sidequests.
4: There is some luck involved, but completing the game as Meredith or Sara's love defeating the aliens should be possible even on a run where you don't quite know what you're doing the first time. If you want to do side quests, the difficulty is going to ramp up: Gabriel's sidequests in particular.
I've recently heard that there may be a new version of Bliss Stage coming out this year. Any chance of striking a deal with Ben and including a pre-order in one of the backer levels for the kickerstarter?
Yes, all Backer levels at Anchor and above (Ace, Wing Commander, Authority Figure) will receive the upcoming 2nd edition of the Bliss Stage tabletop game in digital format, as well as our expanded tactical rules based on the visual novel.
Is there any site or blog where we can stay in touch with the developers and follow their progress on the project?
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Test Pilot Level. You will be listed and thanked on the website for the project and have access to early test versions along with game-related icons and wallpapers.
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Pilot Level. As Test Pilot level, plus a copy of the full game in digital form and you will receive special thanks during in-game credits.
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Anchor Level. As Pilot level, plus .pdf version of the Bliss Stage tabletop rules and expanded combat rules for the tabletop game based on the visual novel gameplay.
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Ace Level. As Pilot level, plus a physical copy of the game, including game CD, manual, audio CD, and poster. INTERNATIONAL BACKERS: Please contact us before backing so we can determine additional shipping costs.
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Wing Commander Level. As Ace level plus an online interview (voice or text chat, your preference) with the developers, PLUS we'll work with you on the design of a Nightmare drone to appear in game. Bring a monster from your own Bliss Stage tabletop game to the visual novel. Obviously we reserve some creative control but will do our best to bring your creation to life as you desire. INTERNATIONAL BACKERS: Please contact us before backing so we can determine additional shipping costs.
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Authority Figure Level. As Wing Commander level, plus a custom pilot suit. We'll create a pilot's uniform in the same style that the visual novel pilots wear, just for you! INTERNATIONAL BACKERS: Please contact us before backing so we can determine additional shipping costs.
- (30 days)