We are now on Greenlight!
Every seven years the seven kingdoms send their best and brightest young people to be their delegates at the Vail Isle Summit, a tradition where seven weeks are spent together to form friendships, alliances and marriages. This year, however, things are different. Since the Great Peace, never have alliances been so close to collapse. The seven nations on the razor's edge of war. What happens at this summit could very well determine the fate of the known world.
You are one of the delegates.
In this world of politics, intrigue and danger, will you find love? Make friends? Alliances? Or will you fail and be forced to watch as the world once again crumbles into destruction and despair?
It is your story and it is not yet written.
Seven Kingdoms: The Princess Problem (or 7KPP for short) focuses on player choice, customization and consequences. Politics and people are the core challenge of the game. (And it is challenging. So much so a story mode has been created for those who prefer their failures to end up less game-endy.)
A fantasy, politics, Otome visual novel with roleplaying and simulation aspects inspired by interactive fiction, Bioware and current English Otome games, 7KPP is not quite like anything that has come before.
The demo covers the first three weeks and has over 156,000 words and over 450 choices. The full game will have seven weeks and be at least double that.
The best way to decide if this is a game for you is by playing the demo. (Note that the demo is not completely representative of the final game. The bonus galleries, some of the GUI and selection screens, for instance are not their final version.)
Detailed Character Creation- Develop your character from infancy to being selected for the delegation. Your story choices influence your starting skills and personality.
Six Unique Backgrounds- Depending on your character creation choices and skills, unlock one of six unique backgrounds. (With three special backgrounds yet to be added.) Your skills, your history, your nation, how people react to you, even your motivation and personal story, all change depending on the background you choose.
Over 30 Skills!- Are you a courageous tomboy who's terrible in etiquette but has strong natural charisma and leadership skills? Are you a conniving politician whose cunning and manipulation can bend people to her will even as she's graceless and clumsy? Are you a brilliant scholar with a great grasp on history with the charm and beauty of a toad? With over thirty skills, your character will have unique strengths and flaws that have an impact on how people react to you, perceive you and how you manage to face the challenges of the summit.
Your personality is unique!- Your choices influence your character's personality. Your character will have different reactions and dialogue based on different personality traits.
Intrigue, Secrets and Danger- With this many important people in one castle, you can bet there's even more going on underneath the surface. Explore the castle and interact with your fellows to uncover conspiracies, secrets and clandestine relationships. Just hope you will be able to survive everything you find.
Build complex relationships- Make your fellows your friends, your rivals, have them hold in you in romantic affection, in high respect, or all four! Your interactions and stats will lead you to complicated, four dimensional relationships with your fellow delegates.
Be careful what you say- All of your choices matter, but especially what you say. Choose your dialogue with care, what you say can make a world of difference and might even end up getting you killed. Of course, not every character will have the same attributes and skills to say or do the same things. Experiment and see if you can find all the options.
Love is in the air?- One of the major goals of the delegation is to form marriage alliances, but no one said those have to be made only on cold political concerns. With ten romanceable characters (plus two hidden options,) you can marry for love. Or love without marrying. Or marry without love.
Manage your time- You might think that seven weeks is a long time, but not when there's so much in the world of Seven Kingdoms to do! Develop your skills, attend events, accept invitations, explore the castle, hunt for secrets, spend time with your fellow delegates and go on dates. But choose carefully, you aren't going to have time to do everything you want!
Become a skilled hostess- Use your money and skills to host weekly events. Plan the events and send out invites. How the events go and who accepts your invitations depend on your talents and relationships. But pull off a successful event and see a huge boost to your reputation and relationships.
Azalyne Studios is a mother daughter team, who are occasionally lucky enough to commission awesome people to help.
Aly is is the writer/designer burdened with an overactive imagination. Her awesome (but prefers internet anonymity) mother is a Librarian by day, business-money person by night. (Or more accurately weekend)
They both love games, genre, books, manga, dramas, and basically any form of story telling. Being able to bring an interactive story to people who don't often get games targeted at them has been an awesome experience for them both.
Seven Kingdoms: The Princess Problem is their first project.
Like most stories, this one starts at the beginning. Aly always loved the idea of creating her own game, since interactive story-telling and media was always her favorite. Unfortunately, she never had any talent or ability in art or programming, so she thought that making a game was something that was always going to be beyond her ability.
Then she discovered the development engine Ren'Py and read lots of guides and did enough trial and error she was able to program *just enough* to make a game that worked. Then through a struck of amazing good fortune, she found an amazingly talented character artist who was willing to work at prices she could afford.
Fast forward a bit and the first demo of the game was released to the world at large. And for the most part the reaction was super encouraging, helpful and positive.
But a lot of people requested features and things that were beyond Aly's ability. And despite the many times she tried wishful thinking, Aly never managed to secure that mysterious inheritance/stumble across the winning lottery ticket to allow her to afford to hire experts to do what she couldn't.
So her answer generally was "That would be awesome! But beyond my abilities." And they replied "We still want it!" And so Aly asked "Enough to pay money for it?" And there was a poll and a great discussion and eventually the answer was an emphatic "Yes!"
So this Kickstarter is not to ensure the release of the game. The game is coming out one way or another. The Kickstarter is to fund additional shinies for the game that people have requested.
Fans were polled and gave suggestions for what things they wanted added and how important they were and it's based off of that feedback the Kickstarter has been structured around.
The initial funding goal is purposefully kept low, with most of the requested features being stretch goals. This is so that we can add features in as the funding comes in rather than an all or nothing proposition.
The initial goal (if met) will go towards the following:
-Finishing the new GUI (The menu/selection screens/save/load pages/gallery etc.)
-CGs (Ending CGs and at least 1 CG a week)
-Any costs related to implementing rewards
After the initial goal, the money will go towards the new stretch goals (or to help fund a bigger stretch goal further in the unlock process). 100% of the proceeds will go into the game.
Any money raised that exceeds what is needed for this game will go towards future game development.
In order to make sure that most of the proceeds from the kickstarter make it back into the game and not into shipping, as well as make sure there is equal opportunity for fans from all over the world, all of the rewards are digital.
Share the Booty - This reward has changed from it's original description. Now the backer will get a Scholar level tier reward and donate a pirate.
Alpha Access - Alpha access means that you will get to play the game as it is developed with access to a special forum made just for alpha backers. The game will be a work in progress, so there will be errors and bugs (which we will definitely appreciate you finding!) but you will get to help shape the game and play it as major content milestones are reached.
(Alpha access comes with the invitation to the secret fort of the Adorable Army and they are pretty awesome people!)
Note that you will have to sign up for the Azalyne Studios forums and that I will need to connect your account with your Kickstarter pledge for access to the Alpha forums.
*Note that the forums do have expectations of considerate behavior. Anyone who is found to be abusive may be banned from the forums and thus lose their alpha access.
Seven Kingdoms Postman - This reward will sign you up for an email subscription where you get to hear from the characters of the Seven Kingdoms.
Depending on work-load/time issues these might happen leading up to the release of the game or after the game has been released.
Love Letter - For this reward you will need to pick the name you want the letter addressed to and the character in question. Please limit your selection to a character that is romanceable in the game. You really don't want to get hate mail from Blain, trust me.
Note on Customized Content: While we will certainly do our best to accommodate you and respect your wishes, human limitations might mean that the final story/image/chibi etc. do not 100% line up with what you hoped for.
There is also the chance that some ideas/requests may be asked to be changed for story reasons. Time reasons will limit the amount of feedback we can take into account for your customized content.
If this is something that you aren't comfortable with, you might be better off choosing a different reward. Thank you!
Chibis: Chibis will come on a first come first served basis. If you only want a specific chibi please check the list to see if a chibi you want is available *before* you decide on selecting a chibi tier. Otherwise you will have to pick from what is remaining.
For your chibi, you will tell us a little bit about your chosen MC's personality, where they are from, and what they look like. (Reference pictures/art are welcome but not required.) We reserve the right for our artist to take some artistic liberties with the chibis so they match her art style/the world.
Hidden Scene: While you have full freedom to pick whichever 2-3 delegates you wish, but the contents of their interaction will be true to their characters and thus might surprise you. (Also you can suggest which stat you want the scene to raise, but there is no guarantee it will end up being the one we use.)
Aly-Fic: For the fic, you will send Aly the basic details of your MC (nation, choices, personality) and pick who you want to be in the fic with them and what their relationship is. Generally the fic is likely to take place after the summit. The fic itself will follow those guidelines but might end up a surprise. You are free to share the fic (online or otherwise) or keep it to yourself.
Fic's will not be rewritten based on feedback :)
Cameo: The cameo requires the same information as the chibi. References are welcome, but not required (although a description is). You will get your very own copy of your sprite. Details on your character's basic goals and personality will also be helpful.
Unlike the Chibi, the cameo can be a male delegate if you wish.
Bonus Epilogue: This epilogue is in addition to the one already planned (extended or normal depending on the stretch goal success). Unlike the regular epilogues, this is not limited to romance epilogues. If you want to have a bonus hang out and be BFF's with Penelope epilogue, or taunt a bitter Blain with all your successes epilogue, we can do that!
Exact length will depend on the scene but it is planned to be lengthy. Expect at least 2-3 thousand words.
Plan A Murder: Both the murderer and the motive are set, but with this reward you can describe and name the victim as well as plan his murder. (The more clever the murder, the better). You will have to work with Aly though to make sure it's something that she thinks is feasible for the Seven Kingdoms world/technology.
Patron: One of the saddest parts of interacting with all the lovely amazing fans who are most passionate about the game is that many of them are young students without a big budget to spend on entertainment that they care about. It breaks our hearts when people are sad the game is ultimately commercial because they don't think they will be able to afford it.
Which is why the idea of a patron tier made us so happy. Even if this game isn't your cup of tea but you want to support indie games, or visual novels, or games targeted at a female market, and have the money to do so, the patron tier is for you.
All stretch goals were created from the feedback, suggestions and requests from the fans. We tried to balance the features with the highest demand coming first with some adjustments made for cost on some of the bigger items.
Reaching a crown will unlock a special bonus for everyone to help make the wait for the game easier.
Now on to the shinies!
Extended Epilogues: With extended epilogues, under the right conditions you will be able to unlock a bonus scene after the end of the game, featuring your character and their romance living life after the end of the summit. (Making sure you both survive that one long is one of the conditions)
*Note not every romance will have an extended epilogue
POVs: (If you don't know what a POV is, you can unlock several in the demo already)
(*) Unlocks POVs from more characters (At least two each for Penelope, Gisette, Jarrod, Avalie and Cordelia + any future unlocked new romanceable characters)
(**) Unlocks 1 more POV from all POV characters
(***) Unlocks 1 more POV from all POV characters plus POVs for the three hidden romances
New Romanceable Characters: More details will come in a separate update if we manage to reach the base goal. But the ideas, we has them and they are neat! (At least we think so)
Backgrounds: Hiring an artist to do art backgrounds of all the locations in the game (like your room, the castle etc.)
CGs: CG's are art that illustrate specific moments in the game. We plan to balance both relationship-focused and plot-focused CGs The more money we raise, the more we can afford to commission to put in the game.
Group Patron - As a group we donate alpha-testing copies (and final copy) of the game to students who can't afford to buy it for themselves. Interested parties will have a sign up and winners will be randomly chosen. (How many copies we can give away will depend on 1) interest in free copies and 2) total funds raised)
Bonus OCC Epilogue: As discussed in our initial discussions, a chance to prank/horrify/tease/call out (OCC) all the characters. Because we love them almost as much as we love to torment them. This will not be a canon scene and will optionally play after your second time beating the game.
Main Theme: As requested, hiring a composer to make us a custom main theme song for the game. Special Blain Path: The ability to unlock extra Blain-centric content in new games after reaching certain milestones.
Special Scenario (1-3): Unlocked by completing multiple playthroughs, the scenarios will (if all unlocked) continue the same story, accessed from the bonus menu. (Modern AU scenes anyone?)
Customizable MC Profile Silhouette: Because of the way the game is set up, a totally customizable MC is not in the cards, but there was a great suggestion to be able to see a customized silhouette in your profile page. (Details depending on what the hired programmer/artist can manage)
Guaranteed Sequel: What it says on the box, a promise for Azalyne Studios to release a prequel game in the same Seven Kingdoms World (Seven Kingdoms: Kingmaker - set over 20 years in Wellin) All backers will get a discount on the sequel.
A unlockable bonus where characters flub their lines, go off script, demand to know their motivations and otherwise argue with Aly.
LM has been a certified Myers-Briggs trainer for over 20 years. Together with Aly, they will create a fun 7KPP themed version of the personality indicator test for fans to take.
Anyone who has spent any time on the #7KPP tag of late will know using dollmakers to make their MC has been a big trend. With this stretch goal we will commission a doll-maker specifically for 7KPP MCs. (These dolls will not go in the game.)
Main Screen Updates:
If you have ever played the lovely visual novel Cinders, one of the coolest things about it is that the main page is constantly updating to reflect your endings. With this stretch goal 7KPP will do something similar
Dual-Routes in Prequel:
While the main prequel story has been developed with a female MC in mind, this stretch goal would allow for a male MC to have their own route. They will have a separate beginning and see/interact with the events from a different perspective.
A fan defined canon MC of the opposite gender will be involved in the other route's story.
"Story time- when i first played your full demo, i had just made some pizza to enjoy while playing. It was hot, so i decided to create my character first. Next thing i know, it's 3am, my pizza is cold and i'm crying over a bunch of fictional characters because FEELS."
"7kpp gave me severe fangirlitis, which is steadily getting worse- it started as headcanons and ideas for fanfics and fanart and evolved into full-blown daydreaming with occasional squealing and flailing about. Some of my responsibilities have been neglected and yet I REGRET NOTHING. (Zarad, Ana and Emmet set very high bars for any potential IRL romantic partners tho, so i may die a virgin)"
"I'm just obsessed with this game. It's amazing in every way. The best part is how we are allowed to create our characters so freely."
"I encourage everyone to give this demo a try. The story line is great and the game is very well done with an absolute boatload of variables. In challenging mode it is really difficult to optimize your character so it is lots of fun and very re-playable. Even if Otome games might not be the genre you typically play, this is one of those games that is transcendent. The demo is available in Mac and pc. Even old guys like me like it!! (Otome might not be the best description, I think of it more as an RPG where the main character is female)"
"I have to put this out there, I just stumbled upon your game yesterday and my sister and I are IN LOVE. The amount of character customization is absolutely astonishing - it's everything I've always wanted in an otome game. Thank you so much for all the effort you've put into this, it's so, so brilliant, and I much anticipate the full release."
"Just wanted to say that I really enjoy your sense of humor! 7kpp has made me laugh more often than I had expected :)"
"I have played the demo through approximately 10 times now and I can't WAIT for the full game. This is quite possibly the best otome game I have ever played, and I have played a great many. THANK YOU for creating such an interesting, compelling game with which I can waste many an hour on."
"I'm currently playing the full demo, and I'm already so in love with it! It's so easy to get hooked with the world's history and politics, and the characters are so interesting and diverse, with beautiful designs! It's also so nice that we're able to have characters as friends or enemies, not just as romantic prospects..."
"Wow, so I just started playing, but I'm already blown away. It has the delicious taste of something you can really sink your teeth into."
"I played the demo a while ago and I was immensely impressed. I offer my sincerest compliments :) I thought it was beautifully unique, exceptionally intelligent and refreshingly unpredictable;my favourite combination!"
"My conclusion is that this is not a story to be taken lightly; it needs to be approached carefully and thoughtfully, and will not be satisfactorily completed in one sitting. I am totally captivated by it; everything about it, and I plan on spending many hours fully exploring the many, many choices."
"I am in love with your game. It's the most amazing visual novel I have ever played, to tell the truth. I'm looking forward a lot to see the different outcomes based on your choices."
"I cried my eyeliner off.."
"when people say an otome protagonist is a "blank slate", this is what should be done. It's so fun seeing the stats change according to your choices, it really feels like /you/ are in the game. Anyway, sorry this is getting too long, but this is the first time in a while that I've been so excited for an otome game, so I just want to say that keep up with the good work! I'm so excited to play the full game!!"
"Well, this past two days I was captured by SK ( just like a certain character, I even forget to feed myself...) and i'm truly impressed how deep and exquisitely twisted a plot can be."
" I've been enjoying this game so much, I still can't quite get over the fact it's only a demo yet and we're not even halfway in the set timeline! "
"Overall, this is a good visual novel. A very good one. Maybe even a godsend for the visual novel genre..."
"This combines everything I love: interactive fiction, visual novels, politics, intrigue, pretty pretty boys and girls. I told my boyfriend he might have some competition for my affections from fictional characters (Hamin & Zarad mostly) and he went off to sulk epically in a corner :3"
"YEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! Period princess detective political intrigue game, yeeeeeeesssssss! -sobs of sheer joy- I love you, I love you, I love you, I love YOUR GAME! Squeeeeeee! My dreams are reeeeeaaaaal!"
"I have so much love for this game. The demo has more replayability than most full commercial games, and we're not even halfway through the ride. And it's an impressive ride. Assassination plots, political turmoil, dastardly motives and the quest for sassy romances keep me coming back for more."
Thanks to takayama-sou, TEAM7KPPMODs, sillyracconknight, Ira and Lia for the promotional images.
And a very special thanks to all the fans from tumblr, the forums and email for all the suggestions, feedback, fanworks, encouragement, support and the many many threats of throwing money at me. This never would have happened without you guys. Long live the Adorable Army (of Sadists)!
I don't know what I did to get so lucky, but thank you. You are literally the best.
Risks and challenges
So this is the section where we talk about all the things that might go wrong.
While we are 100% committed to making sure whatever happens the game gets finished and released if we have learned anything through the various demos and beta processes for the demos is that 1) there will always be a new bug (and typo) and 2) game development is even more unpredictable than life.
So, as far as we are concerned, the big question is time. While we were initially planning to have the game done by the end of the year, the more complicated the the things we commission the more time things take.
Testing has also already proven to be an unpredictable, time consuming process.
Add that to the fact that any creative endeavor is hard to keep at quality on a strict deadline and there's lots of room for things to be delayed.
Which is why for the kickstarter dates we have picked April of next year. We are mostly confident that the game will be done/ready before that, but want to make sure we have enough breathing room that we aren't over-promising and under-delivering about release.
We very much value honesty and transparency with the process. Everyone will be kept informed with the progress of the game and all development news and issues as they arise.
The good news is that the game already has a big chunk complete. Probably about 40% of the game (save any new features to be added thanks to the kickstarter) has been written and programmed and all the character art is done. From everything we have done and learned we are confident we will be able to deliver a finished, quality game (hopefully on schedule).Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)