About this project
We updated this Kickstarter every 48 hours! Here are the results:
Sunday, March 23 Update - The Final Campaign Update, The Last Day (+Character art!)
Saturday, March 22 Update - Dischan Development - Ryan "rtil" Miller
Thursday, March 20 Update - Two Kings Promotional Art
March 18, 2014 - FUNDED
Tuesday, March 18 Update - Stretch Goals!
Sunday, March 16 Update - The Final Week
Friday, March 14 Update - A More Concrete Impression of Episode 2 (+Earth information?)
Wednesday, March 12 Update - Final Music Track for the Kickstarter Campaign!Monday, March 10 Update - Promotional Image and... Earthlock?
EDIT: The promo image has been updated! Update Post HereSaturday, March 8 Update - Another Update, Another Song!
Thursday, March 6 Update - Playable Character Concepts + Gameplay Info!
Tuesday, March 4 Update - Two More Pieces of Music!
Sunday, March 2 Update - Bouchard Concept Art!
Friday, February 28 Update - New new NEW Art Style + Expression Sheets!
Wednesday, February 26th Update - Music!
Monday, February 24th Update - New new Art Style!
Dysfunctional Systems is a visual novel series created by Dischan Media.
The series revolves around the adventures of Winter Harrison, a student mediator from a utopian world. "Mediators" in Winter's world are those who travel between chaotic worlds, attempting to resolve the issues plaguing them.
Currently, there is one episode of Dysfunctional Systems available subtitled "Learning to Manage Chaos". It has been released for Windows, Mac, Linux and iOS. Links to purchase are available from its official website. It's also worth noting that it is available on Steam and was also the first pure visual novel available on the platform. This first episode takes only about two hours to complete, but quite a few people like it, so go ahead and give it a read!
The purpose of this Kickstarter is to fund the remaining two episodes (we had originally planned for five, but decided to scale back to have a more reasonable goal). These episodes will be made available for PC, Mac, Linux, and iOS platforms and will also be available through Valve's Steam service.
Dysfunctional Systems: Learning to Manage Chaos Teaser Video
Dysfunctional Systems: Learning to Manage Chaos Gameplay Video
Here's our stretch goals! We've reached the third, which has made our ideal state of the series possible. Thank you! The rest of the goals will merely give the series more! Missed goal funds will go right into the betterment of the games.
NOTE: The full game WILL have multiple endings by default. We aren't sure how many, but it definitely will.
The second episode will serve to wrap up the events presented in the first, as well as to introduce Winter's world in more detail. There will also be opportunities to go on mediations as other characters, and we’ll learn more about what it means to be a mediator in general. We've always wanted to give players more freedom than they had in the first episode, and with a good budget we feel we can accomplish that.
We intend for both games to play a bit different from the first episode. Episode 2 will take place over a month, starting just after the end of episode 1. For most of the week, you'll be playing as Winter as she attends school, studies, and hangs out with friends. It was decided that Winter would not be participating in weekend shadowings for a while to allow her time to recover from... the incident. Therefore, on weekends your perspective will change to the new characters Ayo, Irie, or Jack as they go on their own shadowings. Unlike episode 1, you will have control over where you go, who you talk to, and what you interact with. We hope that this will lead to a more free and immersive experience. Hopefully these changes hype you all up as much as they do us.
The second episode’s mediations will mostly concern the city of Bouchard. Known as the city of two kings, it is the capital of the Proulx nation, the most powerful and influential nation on the world of Makarios. Having just resolved a long, drawn-out war which bore no fruit, veterans return to Bouchard surprised to find it rife with crime and corruption. The streets are dank with theft and tears, and the government threatens to collapse. It will be your job to stabilize the government and give the people hope for the future.
As for the third episode, it will serve to wrap up the narrative up to that point, bringing the trilogy to a climactic and satisfying conclusion. We will likely restrain ourselves while making the second episode (to ensure that we'll have money for the next), but for the third we'll know that we can pour our entire hearts and budget into making it in an incredible experience.
We'd also like to mention that we plan for both episodes to be much longer than the first. Currently, we're loosely estimating a 12 hour play time for episode 2, at least.
HECK YEAH YOU CAN. Below are some assets from the development of the first episode, as well as some new concepts for our proposed sequels.
Art From Episode 1
New Style Concepts
Older Concept Art
Conservation of Matter
i don't know
Dischan Media is a group founded in June 2009 by Jeremy Miller. Our original purpose was simply to make a visual novel called Cradle Song and have fun doing it. Cradle Song taught us a lot about game development, but most of all it taught us how to have reasonable expectations. It was far too ambitious for the resources we had available to create it. Eventually we decided to put it aside and work on smaller projects.
The first of those projects was Juniper's Knot: a free and short kinetic novel for Windows, Mac, Linux, and iOS. It is available for download on its official site and its App Store page. We highly recommend you try it out, as it is a good introduction to visual novels and a good representation of what we are capable of.
Next we decided to try our first commercial project, and that project ended up being Dysfunctional Systems: Learning to Manage Chaos. A more detailed history of our company can be read here.
The Dischan Team
- Project Lead, Writer, Programmer: Jeremy Miller [Dev Interview]
- Writer, Sound Design: Terrence Smith [Dev Interview]
- Composer: Kristian (CombatPlayer) Jensen [Dev Interview]
- Lead Artist: Ryan Miller [Dev Interview]
Dysfunctional Systems: Learning to Manage Chaos has been quite successful considering the challenges that faced it. Despite its obscurity and niche genre, it was able to muscle its way onto Steam through Greenlight and achieve decent sales.
However, Dysfunctional Systems: Learning to Manage Chaos has not really been a financial success. This is largely because we priced it too low, and were forced to continually give deep discounts in order to promote it and attract attention. This left us without enough funds to make the next episode as planned. We've accepted these mistakes, and because of that we know they won't happen again.
In any case, the numbers speak for themselves, and it is obvious that a more properly marketed sequel would do well if we had the funds to create it. Therefore we have turned to our fans and Kickstarter, in the hope that backers might give us the support we need to see the completion of the story we set out to tell.
Most of the budget will be spent on writing and art. The rest will be spent on audio, administration, and implementation. The graph below shows our estimates of these costs. Please note that these costs are not all-inclusive, but they are the only things we will spend backer money on.
Risks and challenges
All projects and companies face challenges. Most notably for us, we recently lost our art director, who helped create "Juniper's Knot" and "Dysfunctional Systems: Learning to Manage Chaos". We have already found a new artist to take over his position (who has created most of the assets on this page), however this does speak to the fact that nothing is certain when undertaking a project.
I do not treat the idea of accepting backers money lightly. It is not "free" money as some believe, but money that comes at the cost of trust and reputation. I cannot guarantee the quality of the final products in the worst case scenario, but I can guarantee that I will devote my entire efforts to their completion. When I first started Dischan, all I had was myself and the wish to make something, determination got Dischan from here to there, and it will get episodes 2 and 3 from here to done.
- Jeremy Miller
Director of Dischan Media
The art style is changing because we lost our original art director. We could have our new artist mimic the old style, but we feel it would be a better use of his talents if he could draw in a style he is more comfortable with.
The new style concepts may not be the final style though, and we are open to modifying it based on feedback. If you'd like to leave feedback on the new art style, please use our contact form on our site: https://dischan.org/contact.php (note: although we may not reply to all messages, we do read them all).
Before doing so though, please take some time to truly consider whether you dislike this art style objectively, or if you simply dislike it because it's different from the original.
Digital rewards will be fulfilled via our website at dischan.org. If your pledge tier includes a copy of the game, you will receive it DRM-free for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. If the episode is on Steam, you will receive a Steam key as well.
Please note that Apple does not allow us to generate large amounts of keys, so we cannot offer iOS copies of the game.
The size of the USB drive will depend on the size required for the digital rewards to fit on it, as well as what size seems reasonable when we produce them (which will be around a year from now). I would expect them to hold at least 8GBs, but possibly more.
Actually, on release both episodes will cost $15. We're giving a $5 discount on episode 2 for Kickstarter backers. Originally this was posted in the description, but it seemed too unfocused and we removed it.
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