Our Life is a nostalgic Visual Novel where you create your own character and grow from childhood to adulthood with the lonely boy next door. It's currently in development by GB Patch Games.
Our Life is divided into four different time periods or "Steps": Step 1 Childhood, Step 2 Adolescence, Step 3 Teenaged, and Step 4 Adulthood.
Price: Free-to-Play, with optional paid DLCs that add events and Love Interests
Rating: 16+, for swearing, crude humor, and suggestive content during adult-aged portions of the game
Release Date: Summer 2020
Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, Steam
A slice-of-life story with comedy, romance, drama, and many wonderful memories to make.
- 4 different periods of life to experience; childhood, adolescence, teenaged, and adulthood
- Name, appearance, personality, and pronoun (he, she, or they) customization for your character
- The option to change your character's details however you like as you grow, including transitioning to new pronouns
- A choice-heavy Visual Novel with frequent opportunities to shape your personality, feelings, and preferences
- 1 main love interest, Cove Holden, whose personality, interests, and appearance will develop in a custom way over the years based on his experiences with you
- Decide for yourself how quickly or slowly the relationship develops between you and Cove by setting a unique dynamic that can change over time
- 6-8 hours of content that's free for everyone, plus optional paid DLCs that increase playtime
- Light animation effects. The sun shines, characters blink, and more (animations can also be turned off)
- Partial voice acting
- A voiced name feature. Choose one of the options on a 400-name-long list and hear that name said aloud by Cove throughout the story
The demo is available through Itch.io for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android! It's 31,000 words long and features scenes from childhood and adolescence. You can also Wishlist the game on Steam!
Our Life is a pure Visual Novel. The only interaction with the game is selecting options. Though, there are ways decisions are used that we think are worth elaborating on.
The protagonist of Our Life is highly customizable. You’ll decide their name, appearance, gender, personality, interests, relationships, and what becomes of them in the future.
The physical look you've set for your character is referenced through text during game events. The game's perspective is first person as though it's through your eyes. A character sprite for the main character isn't featured in normal scenes and they don't appear in CGs. To make the design clearer and easier to decide on, a simple approximation is shown on the customization screens.
Each time the character grows into a new stage of life you'll have the option to change their details, including the pronouns they use and first name they go by. It isn't possible to choose a new last name after that's been decided.
The customization set up included in the demo is a limited proof of concept. The character creation screen is currently being reworked with more options for the categories and entirely new categories to pick from for the full version of the game.
Some of the in-progress updates are letting players choose the shape and color of their eyes, deciding what type of clothing they're comfortable in (pants, skirts, and/or dresses), allowing multiple "extras" to be applied instead of just one, and more.
The options on the character creation screen aren't the only ways you'll get to customize your character's appearance. Choices related to the overall body will come up during certain events. What you select will then be referenced later in the text, especially when physically interacting with someone else.
Our Life is choice-heavy with near constant opportunities to determine what your character thinks/feels. The choices you make in one period of life will have an impact on what happens in the next stage.
The regular event choices are centered on developing your protagonist and Cove as people, rather than what they think of each other. For example, if an in-game choice appears with the options of teasing Cove or comforting him, teasing won't lower your closeness and comforting won't increase your closeness. Instead what you pick will have a hand in influencing your personality and the kind of man he grows up to be. There are no bad endings in Our Life and Cove will only refuse to take an interest in you if you choose that specifically. So pick anything that feels right.
In many cases the game will allow you the freedom to pick what you want rather than making assumptions. But there are times when Our Life will remember what you've chosen in the past and the script will automatically change to suit those preferences.
One example is swearing. If you choose menu options with curse words in them then that will become a part of your personality. Narrations and non-choice dialog will start to have swears pop up in them as well. If you always avoid the choices that have your character swearing then curse words won't appear in the narration or default dialog. The only difference between some choices will be whether or not the MC curses, so you won't miss out on anything regardless of your opinion on cussing.
Another example is where tension comes from. If you determine that your character is struggling with summer assignments then their difficulties related to school could be an issue brought up later. Or if you decide to be doing perfectly well education-wise, it could be stress over the need to live up to expectations that rears its head in a future event. The strength of your relationship with your family, personal feelings of self-worth, and others are also areas where difficulties can arise based on your choices. But there are always ways to find support and improve the situation when challenges do come along.
Besides making choices in the events of the game, you also get to decide what events you watch. Steps 1-3 consist of an opening scene, a closing scene, and a selection of Moments.
Moments are memorable experiences of summer during a specific stage of life and they can be played in any order. Once you finish an event you'll go back to the screen to pick another. Or they don't have to be played at all. Whenever you're ready to move on to a new time period you can click the "Summer Ended" button in the bottom right.
Step 4 is special. It has a very brief opening scene and then just one Moment per Love Interest to choose from. The Moment you pick will determine which guy's final story you'll see. After choosing, you'll get a long series of events that's the culmination of the choices you made in Steps 1-3. Then the game will come to a close, instead of going back to the Moment selection screen.
The free base game has five Moments available in Steps 1-3. There are DLC packs that unlock more.
The main relationship of Our Life works in a unique way; you get to decide directly how Cove and you feel about each other. Using a special screen and a combination of Comfort + Interest Levels you'll design a custom connection.
What you decide on the relationship screen will determine the tone of your interactions with Cove. Comfort sets the way you generally speak. With bold clarity, or awkward hesitance, or something else. Interest determines what you think of Cove. You can feel something special, or not care at all, or something in between. For Cove's part, he'd like to get along if that's possible. So he responds in kind to positive attention and interest given to him. If there's no effort or feelings on your end, there won't be any from him either.
Then at the start of each new stage of life you'll have the option to change your relationship with Cove. Your previous relationship will have an impact on your new relationship. If you went from being friends to having a crush that will be different in some ways than if you always had a crush.
Through Interest Levels you can make a slow burn romance, starting at "Disinterest" and having the feelings grow over time steadily until Love is reached only at the very end. Or you can be entirely into each other from the beginning. Or you can always stay just good friends. Or something else. The experience can be further customized by trying out different Comfort Levels and experimenting with the various ways Cove and the main character can develop.
There are also two other love interest options who will be available through paid DLC.
Derek Suárez & Baxter Ward. Romancing them works differently than Cove. They don't have a relationship screen associated with them. Instead you can interact with the two however you like through choices during Step 2/3 and the romance starts if you select their Moment in Step 4.
If a romance is pursued with Cove or one of the other love interests, you'll get to control the amount of physical contact. There will often be choices that let you decide when and how the characters touch. And, after a while, your guy will try to understand your preferences without you needing to say so. For example, if you keep choosing to have the romantic lead take initiative, he might kiss you or hold your hand on his own- without you having to make a choice to tell him to. If you're less sure about touching or clearly don't want it, he'd respect those boundaries and wait for you to make a determination before ever acting.
This comes up in some ways with platonic relationships as well. It's possible to be a touchy-feely pal who enjoys hugs and being physically close to your friends/family. And it's also okay to want your personal space preserved.
Cove Holden is the other main character of Our Life along with your own, and he is also changeable. As a child Cove's features are consistent, but once he begins to grow there are multiple directions his looks, interests, and personality can take. Your actions will have an impact on him, though you won't know in what way. While making choices that determine the course of events there’s little way to tell how the experiences will shape him in the long run. You'll just have to see what he becomes once time moves forward.
Cove's physical appearance is based on layers with multiple options for each layer. Hair, shirt, and pants create the basic look. What you get is based on certain choices. You might end up with Hair 1, Shirt 1, and Pants 1. Or you could get Hair 3, Shirt 1, and Pants 2. Or some other combo. On top of that he has various accessories; different glasses, bracelets, necklaces, and more. You may get one, none, or multiple extra pieces to his appearance.
And in Step 4 Cove's lifestyle options can be so different from each other that he even has two body type possibilities. One with muscles and one without.
The free version of the game includes many pieces for Cove, even more can be unlocked with DLCs.
Cove's inward traits are also based on separate pieces being combined together to create a unique whole. His sociability, way of talking, hobbies, opinions, relationships with people other than the main character, and so on can be influenced individually.
It's a gradual process. With each Step the parts of Cove's personality that can change and how they can change increases.
Though Cove isn't an empty bay, so to speak. There are aspects that remain no matter what. His honesty, the way he smiles, his deep love of the ocean. Even if on the whole he changes drastically from how he acted as a child, you'll still be able to understand who he is. He'll always feel like Cove.
Our Life will be released as a free game for anyone to enjoy. The non-commercial version will have five Moments in Steps 1-3 and one long Moment in Step 4, plus special opening and closing scenes for each Step. The only romance option will be Cove Holden. All together that's what we call the "base" game. The estimate content amount for the base game is 6-8 hours worth of scenes. How long each individual person will get out of it will vary based on reading speed, choices made, events watched/skipped, and if they replay the game to try new possibilities.
Along with the base game, there will also be various pieces of optional paid DLC. Two New Love Interest DLCs and Three Cove Expansion DLCs.
The two optional love interests are Derek Suárez & Baxter Ward. When romancing them you can still play your character however you like, but the guy you're pursuing will remain consistent. Derek and Baxter don't have changing personalities or appearances in the way Cove does. Their storylines will have 3-5 hours of content each and add multiple new CGs.
The Cove Expansion DLCs increase the amount of content for Cove generally. New Moments, more CGs, additional possibilities for his personality and appearance, and so on. There will be three Cove Expansion DLCs and each one will add an estimated 2-4 hours of playtime to the game. The DLCs are "Step" based. There's a Step 1 DLC, Step 2 DLC, and Step 3 DLC. They all unlock 5 Moments, for a total of 15 additional Moments if all are purchased.
During this Kickstarter the DLCs are bundled together, but when the game releases every DLC will be sold separately.
The DLC Moments are on average much longer than the free-to-play Moments. If the entire collection of DLCs is purchased the game will more than double in size.
Our Life will have partial voice acting for all the characters, besides the playable one. Casual sounds such as laughter and small voiced phrases will be used throughout events to give a sense of their feelings.
Along with that is a special extra feature, the voiced name screen. When initially creating your character or when updating their info later in the game you can choose to open a list of preset names. Choosing one of the names on that list will make it so the name is voiced aloud by Cove! The romantic lead will actually say your name in the game as you play the story, if you want him to. All the supporters who select a tier will have the option of their name being added to the voiced name screen.
Usernames, joke nicknames, and names of other people or fictional characters you know can’t be submitted for voicing. We do reserve the right to refund backers who misunderstand the voiced name screen and want to add something really wacky as a bit of a gag. With that said, you don't have to use your legal first name. If you go by something else as your real name that's perfectly fine to send in.
We expect the full game to have at least 400 different voiced names to choose from.
For players who don’t have a custom name submitted or those who want to use names other than just their own, it is possible to change the spelling of a name that’s on the preset list. You could, for example, choose the voice “Grey” then once you’ve returned to the character creation screen you could retype the name as “Gray’. The voice will still play without issue.
If none of the names on the voiced name screen appeal to you or you don’t want Cove to say your name, it’s also an option to not use that feature. And voice acting can always be turned off entirely from the config screen for players who don’t enjoy it.
Right now we've gotten two fantastic voice actors on board to play Cove during different stages of his life. As time goes on the cast list will expand to include the rest of the characters in Our Life!
Our Life has made good progress with much already being done. We have a few parts that don't need funding, such as the soundtrack and voice acting. But we won't be able to finish the game without additional assets. For that we need some support!
To show our appreciation for the support we have an array of rewards to choose from!
In Step 3 the MC has moved out of their child-aged room that was decorated by their parents into a bigger room with a look that's better suited to their own personal taste. There will be a few preset appearances for the room that players can pick from, but those who back at the "Lasting Memories" tier can fully personalize the space.
The empty version will be shared with you and you'll straightforwardly get to tell us what it should be filled with/how it should all be arranged. It can be busy or minimal, messy or clean, muted or bright, something in between, etc. We'll make your ideal bedroom a reality, send it in for approval, and then put it in the game as one of the options.
The same concept applies to the Alternate version, but there won't be a room base. The entire wedding background will be planned from scratch by you!
Copyrighted or hateful material can't be included.
For those interested in potentially getting their own character, we've got some additional details! When a custom character is created we'll ask you various questions about what you'd like for their design, personality, and relationships. Your character can be friends with the MC/other people, or a relative like a cousin, or something else. Except, custom characters can't be romantically linked to any of the other characters in the game.
When we've got the info on your character a sketch will be made. That can be tweaked, if needed. Once it's approved the sprite will be fully colored and you'll have another chance to give your approval before it's considered ready to go. All sprites will have multiple expressions and blinking animations.
The character can also have partial voice acting, if you'd like! Though, we would do the casting for the VA.
Step 1: Childhood is already complete, so custom characters will appear in Steps 2, 3, and/or 4. You'll get to decide when they'll show up!
Copyrighted or hateful material can't be included.
Along with our standard reward list, we’ve also got some fun optional add-ons!
You can buy yourself the ability to design a custom hair front and hair back for the character creation screen in Our Life, making a style all your own! And you can also back for a game key (Itch.io/Steam) or the soundtrack from one of our already completed projects.
To get one of these you only need to choose the reward tier that you want and edit the amount to be higher by however much the add-on costs.
For example, choosing the $20 USD “Growing Fondness” tier and adding on $15 USD for a custom hairstyle in Our Life. The overall amount would come to $35 USD and you would be given all the Growing Fondness rewards plus the option to design a hairstyle for the character creation screen.
You’re welcome to get in touch with us if you have any questions!
Our Life will have the funding it needs to release in our time frame with all the promised features. And not only will there be new content made, but there will be various improvements to what's currently in the demo version. Such as additional editing for the script and new art pieces.
We’ll be able to include additional cut-in CG images, background alterations, and other details to make each scene more lively and unique.
In both art and writing. We'll fill up the customization screen with more options to design your character with. And the script of Our Life will grow to give an even higher amount of attention to the unique aspects of your character. Extra choices, new alterations, and an overall more in-depth experience.
Most of the script additions will be in the later steps, once the character has had time to grow.
A new feature that will unlock after beating the game once. You’ll gain the option to create your own ideal Cove at the start of each Step instead of not knowing what he'll turn out to be like! You'll have the ability to choose every aspect of his appearance and personality directly from a list of options in a way similar to designing your own character. This feature will be entirely optional, if you'd prefer his development to be a mystery.
Not every option is available in the free base game and those will be locked unless the associated DLC is purchased.
Our Life: Now & Forever. You’ll get another chance to grow up with your special someone in a brand new free game. This time with two lead romance options; a boy and a girl! We may still have a Kickstarter campaign in the future to fund DLC expansions. But no matter what the free version will get finished and released.
Backers at every tier will get vote on what location/season/theme the game will have!
A sixth optional DLC will be released for Our Life! This will be outside of the normal Steps and take place slightly further in the future than the rest of the game. It’ll be all about the frantic fun of planning a wedding. You’ll get to choose the venue, your outfit, decorations, formality/casualness, and so on. Then the special day will happen and you’ll get to play through it all coming together.
Every backer is going to receive the DLC as a bonus part of their rewards! It’ll be sold commercially in the future.
This DLC will come out later on, rather than with the initial release.
Our Life will have an original song created! We’ll work with musicians, lyricists, and singers to have the custom theme created. It would play during the credit sequence to end the game on a high note. All backers would receive a download file of the song!
The final goal. Our Life: Now & Forever will need around two years to be developed. Pre-production wasn’t going to begin until the original Our Life was done. With this goal met, however, the early development stages of the game can be worked on simultaneously with the first OL. That head start will let the game release months earlier than planned!
This won’t slow down production of Our Life: Beginnings & Always. A separate team would be formed to work on the second game.
GB Patch Games is an indie game development company with a growing library of projects to our name. We've been around since 2015 and love Visual Novels! The team we've got consists of a diverse array of people. Having our projects reflect that and feel inclusive to players is a definite priority.
Our games are markedly different from one another in terms of style, tone, themes, and just about every other way. We enjoy expanding our horizons, trying new things, and sharing those experiences with others. The team here with GB Patch appreciates so much all the support that has allowed us to continue creating these stories.
Campaign Graphical Assets by Sitraxis, Cove Voice Acting Art by kyotemeru, Thank You art by vswd_, and Add-On art by Erii-chii
Risks and challenges
This is far from GB Patch’s first experience with crowd-funding. Our company has had four previous successful Kickstarter projects. We’re definitely familiar with what’s required in releasing a Visual Novel and fulfilling rewards. The main risk is the unexpected. OL is a collaborative effort with multiple writers, artists, programmers, and so on. It helps keep progress moving at a brisk pace, but we can never know with absolute certainty what might come up along the way for everyone. If someone might have to take a break, or leave the project entirely for personal reasons. It's difficult to plan for all the unknown events that could potentially happen to our team. But we have people who can take on more of the project if needed and we’ve included some extra time in our estimate release schedule to help mitigate the possibility of future delays.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)