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A digital choose-your-own-adventure story (visual novel) told from the perspective of a survivor realizing she has PTSD.
An interactive story (visual novel) told from the perspective of a survivor realizing she has PTSD.
An interactive story (visual novel) told from the perspective of a survivor realizing she has PTSD.
316 backers pledged $4,418 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$4,418

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Trigger is a digital choose-your-own-adventure story (aka visual novel) about a woman coming to terms with her past and how it has wreaked havoc on her life in the present.

The game is a piece of realistic fiction tinted with horror that depicts PTSD and trauma survival from the perspective of the survivor. It has a branching story path and several endings. Each ending illuminates different parts of Wendy’s history, rather than having a “win” or “lose” condition. The game is designed so a single story path can be completed from start-to-finish in one sitting, depending on your reading speed.

The completed game will be sold on itch.io for $5. We will go through the Greenlight process to potentially get the game onto Steam. All backers that give $5 or more will receive a DRM-free copy of the game upon release.

If you want to mention this campaign on your website, you can make use of our press kit. Send us a message too and let us know!

Trigger is built in Ren'Py, which has cross-platform support for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Update! If we get at least $800 above our original funding goal, we will release the game on Android and iOS. $800 is the bare minimum we can squeak by with extra dev time and app store fees.

 You can download a demo of the game here.

Amy Dentata is a writer, game designer, and performer who has released a number of notable free indie games, including A Night in the Woods (here's a great writeup, archived for now), 10 Seconds in Hell, and Rock Bottom.

Stolencomputer is an artist that loves working on arty, story-driven games, and painting in a colorful, illustrative style.

Wendy is a 30-something housewife struggling to pull her life together. Due to financial troubles, she just lost the house she grew up in. Although she feels depressed and listless most of the time, she remembers being edgy and carefree as a teen and wonders what happened. 

Rick is a military vet who somewhat regrets his time in the service. He was looking forward to a peaceful, predictable life of work, love, and videogames right before they lost the house. He's not sure Wendy is the same person he married.

"I was blown away by the craft and nuance of each storyline. None felt 'better' or more 'complete' than the others, but each revealed just enough of Wendy's trauma to feel resolved by the end."

"It's really good. I don't think I'll be sleeping anymore tonight."

"You're really good at ripping feelings out of people."

The story and story scripting are completed, and most of the music and sound effects are done. Stolencomputer is working on gorgeous 720p graphics for the game. Meanwhile, I will finish composing and mixing music and sound effects, incorporate the graphics into the existing script, polish the final experience, and test the game to make sure it runs on all platforms.

Here's an outline of what's completed and what remains:

Funding from Kickstarter will allow Stolencomputer and myself to dedicate ourselves to the game without worrying about bills. This game has been an off-hours "passion project" up until now, but I want to pay my artist a fair rate for his work, and allow myself to finish the game without taking contract work on the side.

The funds from this campaign will be divided between myself and Stolencomputer, to pay for living expenses while working on the game. My artist will take approximately three months to get the rest of the graphics finished. After that I will work for a month to add final polish, put the art assets into the game, and publish.

The soundtrack (a backer reward) will take a month longer for me to finish and release after the game is released. I will do that work pro-bono (it's not included in this budget). Since these are digital releases, they will not incur shipping or materials costs.

Here's a breakdown of our funding allocation:

I believe in visual novels as a potent storytelling medium and I'd love to see their audience and range of expression expand. I also believe this is a story that needs to be told, that can help a lot of people. With your assistance, we can make it happen!

Risks and challenges

Since the game is completed except for artwork and some music, code, and polish, there are minimal risks involved.

The only complication is scheduling, which we have worked out. I will be working on another game as part of an accelerator program called Stugan, which runs from June 22 to August 16. During that event I will communicate with my artist to direct art production. When Stugan ends I will work fulltime on Trigger to finish the game during the final month of production in September.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    THANK YOU!

    (Backer updates)

    Our sincerest thanks for helping out! You'll also get access to private backer updates.

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    COPY OF THE FULL GAME

    (Game)

    A digital copy of the full game upon release, DRM-free.

    Everything from the previous rewards.

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    EXTRA CREDIT

    (Game + extra credit)

    Your name (customizable) included in the "special thanks" section of the credits.

    Everything from the previous rewards.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    THE SOUNDTRACK

    (Game + extra credit + soundtrack)

    A digital copy of the soundtrack, including bonus tracks.

    Everything from the previous rewards.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    WRITING ON THE WALL #1

    (Game + extra credit + soundtrack + special appearance)

    One scene at the end of the game has a bathroom wall with graffiti written all over it. You get to claim a spot on the wall, and write or draw on it!

    (We reserve the right to request changes. This is a bathroom stall so good taste is not necessary; however we do have some practical hard limits we will discuss if necessary. We don't judge!)

    Everything from the previous rewards.

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    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    WRITING ON THE WALL #2

    (Game + extra credit + soundtrack + extra special appearance)

    One scene at the end of the game has a bathroom wall with graffiti written all over it. You get to claim a LARGE spot on the wall, and write or draw on it!

    (We reserve the right to request changes. This is a bathroom stall so good taste is not necessary; however we do have some practical hard limits we will discuss if necessary. We don't judge!)

    Everything from the previous rewards (except "Writing on the Wall #1").

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    PENPAL

    (Game + extra credit + soundtrack + extra special appearance)

    After completion of the game, you will receive up to five hand-written letters from Wendy, over the course of three months, detailing major life events after the game ends. You can write back to offer her advice, which will affect the decisions she makes.

    This exchange will be published online after it ends, though your responses will be fully anonymized (typed out and any identifying information removed).

    Everything from the previous rewards (except "Writing on the Wall #1 & 2").

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Funding period

- (30 days)