Breakfast Cult is a mystery visual novel set in a magical high school where occult science is dangerous and your classmates are worse.
It combines cosmic horror themes with a bright visual style and a little dark comedy, with a unique setting that draws inspiration from tabletop horror games, high-school adventure visual novels, and supernatural anime.
You play as Pinky, a former delinquent trying to start a new life at the prestigious Occultar Academy. While dealing with the usual high school problems—drama, friendships, near-omnipresent surveillance, homework—Pinky uncovers an occult mystery that could bring down the school, and struggles to solve it without getting betrayed by the classmates they trust.
This visual novel is based on the Breakfast Cult tabletop RPG, our previous project and a Kickstarter success. Since its release Breakfast Cult has seen great reviews and over a thousand copies sold, and now we'd like to bring it to a wider audience. It was partly inspired by visual novels, so why not bring things full circle?
By the year 209X, occult science has revolutionized the world. Much of it is thanks to the Foundation, a research institute devoted to everything from occultech to science education. Their greatest project is Occultar Academy, an island school where talented students learn sorcery under their watchful eye.
Breakfast Cult tells the story of "Pinky" Pinkerton, a returning student. A long time ago, Pinky was a fearsome delinquent who was expelled from Occultar for making too much trouble. Now that they've mellowed out, the Foundation has offered a second chance.
As Pinky, you'll get to know your classmates, learn the occult sciences, and try not to get kicked out again. With the Foundation's penchant for surveillance and the Headmaster breathing down Pinky's neck, it won't be easy. But that's not the real problem.
Occultar has secrets. The Foundation is up to something in the Forbidden Sections beneath the library. Outside forces are infiltrating the island. Even Pinky's classmates have skeletons they'll do anything to keep in the closet. Can Pinky unravel the mystery that links everything together and survive until graduation?
Breakfast Cult's main story is linear, but the choices you make will affect how it plays out. Depending on who you trust, characters can reveal different clues, unlock new scenes and dialogue, or just stab you in the back. As you deal with the problems that come your way, you'll have to figure out who you can rely on, when things are getting dangerous, and when you can break the rules without getting in trouble. So regular high school, really.
Between investigations, you'll get to choose how Pinky spends their free time. You can hang out with other students, pester teachers for advice, visit the Foundation offices and check how they feel about you, or just surf the web. It's a fun breather between the investigations and horror!
We'd like to make Breakfast Cult into a visual novel. For that, we'll need money so we can afford to dedicate time to development. Once we're funded, we'll use 2017 to develop the visual novel and launch a Steam Greenlight campaign for it. It will be released for Windows, Mac, and Linux, and backers will get a copy on the platform of their choice.
Our funds will be used for:
- Art: Commissioning sprites, CGs, backgrounds, and GUI elements.
- Writing: Covering living expenses through the game's production.
- Audio: Sound effects and music tracks.
- Editing: Hiring someone to edit the text and make it as good as possible. (I edited some of my own work on the tabletop game and that did not work out, let me tell you.)
- Buffer: Held just in case, so we can cover any problems that arise. If there's money left over at the end, we'll put it into commissions.
- Administrative: Kickstarter fees and Steam Greenlight fees.
Any additional funds will be put towards improving the Breakfast Cult game with more assets, new features, and other upgrades.
If you'd like to check out the original Breakfast Cult tabletop game, we've also made it into an add-on! Once you've pledged, you can increase your pledge by AU$10 (approx. US$7) to receive a DRM-free PDF when the campaign closes. (Dice and people to play with are your problem.)
Paul "Ettin" Matijevic (http://breakfastcult.com/) is the creator of Breakfast Cult and the author of the tabletop game. His previous writing credits include Retrocausality and the Fate RPG adaptation of Inverse World. Owns a copy of The Complete Book of Elves signed by Sportacus.
Maddi Gonzalez (http://maddigzlz.weebly.com/) is a cartoonist. Her previous credits include work for Boom Studios and the Breakfast Cult RPG. She'll be bringing the characters to life with sprites and CGs.
Caio Prugner (http://cprugner.com/) is an illustrator and RPG enthusiast. He produced interior art for Breakfast Cult and its expansions, and now he's painting the world of Occultar Academy as our background artist.
Risks and challenges
The biggest risk to this project is that unexpected problems could come up and cause delays. We should be able to complete development in the time we've set, but we have lives outside Breakfast Cult and we can't predict the future. If anything happens, we'll keep everyone informed and work to complete the project as quickly as possible. Our previous Kickstarter can back us up: neither snow nor rain nor heat nor my motherboard bricking because I bent the CPU socket pins like a big doofus will stay us from getting this done.
Another risk is that this VN is also our first commercial non-tabletop project, and video game development has its own unique challenges. However, the art and narrative skills we've honed in the tabletop realms are transferable, so we're not going in blind. Adapting Breakfast Cult into a VN is something we've wanted to do for a long time now, so if there's something that needs to be learned, we're invested in doing what we have to to make this work.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)