Undead Darlings: A Visual Novel RPG for PC and PS4
Explore the funpocalypse with a unique half-zombie crew of girls in this Japanese-inspired Visual Novel Dungeon-crawling RPG hybrid!
Journey with and learn more about a crew of half-zombie girls through visual novel sequences and as you crawl through dungeons, beating up twisted creatures that were born from the fall of society in fast-paced turn-based RPG combat, and ultimately deliver the only known cure for what ails your party members to a place where it can be mass produced!
The visual novel portion contains a multitude of branching dialogue paths that, based on the choices you make, gives deeper insight into the different characters, whereas the RPG portion of the game uses a familiar but refined turn-based battle system with unique twists. Both of these gameplay features are contained within a dungeon crawler, meaning dungeons are explored from a first-person perspective in four cardinal directions, with the dungeon itself built like a maze and filled with traps and hidden paths.
- Explore a multitude of complex post-apocalyptic dungeons—a total of over 20 huge floors to explore! Discover loot, secret event scenes based on your current battle party, and more!
- Become invested in a novel-sized epic adventure—a script of over 300,000 words and more branching dialogue choices than you can shake your boomstick at await! The adventure is filled with comedy, slices of romantic life, and the horrors associated with surviving the zombie apocalypse from a zombie’s perspective!
- All character art has been specifically drawn inverted as well, so you never get pulled from the story because someone's scar magically switched shoulders (inverted art vs. mirrored art—never spoken of because it is hardly ever utilized...until now!)
- Key events give you the chance to grow closer to the girls, and by doing so, you will access specific character story arcs that come with gorgeous HD images of the characters for you to unlock! Over 20 unlockable images in total—gotta collect 'em all!
- Six playable, awesome half-zombie girls lead the charge!
- Nine endings based on your choices and how close you grow with the characters!
- No currency or stores exist in the post-apocalypse, so you will need to fill up your war chest by finding loot in dungeons. Be careful, though—weaponry will break if used too much!
- Loot system supplies you with armor, items, and weaponry. Weapons come in both Common and Rare varieties—but both come with durability counts that indicate how much abuse they can take.
- Rare weapons may have Skills attached, adding a bit of flexibility in balancing out an effective battle party!
- Exploit multiple enemy weaknesses simultaneously in the unique Exponential Exploitation battle mechanic! Increase your damage multiplier and utilize it for a one-time attack that can deal tremendous damage!
- Set up custom battle strategies with the Macro function! Use this wisely in tandem with the EE System to create efficient tactics against your current roster of foes!
- Enjoy an optional post-game dungeon to unlock a secret, super cool (totally OP, you guys) character who will carry over into a New Game Plus save and help to speed you through subsequent adventures! Many of the wall textures in this optional dungeon will be designed by YOU!!
- When all is said and done, you will enjoy a 50-hour adventure unlocking everything!
The tone of the story being told in this 300,000-word visual novel is a balance between the familiar and lighthearted fun experienced in many JRPGs and powerful emotional revelations about the characters and their world. The main characters adhere to classic Japanese archetypes upon first blush: the childhood friend, the contrarian ("tsundere"), the class president (a straight-laced leader), the athletic tomboy, the buxom ditz, and the mysterious delusional girl ("chuunibyou").
Our goal is to infuse those core characterizations with contemporary twists and meaningful dialogue inside of a comedic shell that will enhance their complex and often tragic backstories. These characters have suffered a lot—both before and after their undead infections—and some of their experiences may hit close to home for some players.
During visual novel scenes, players will often be prompted to choose one of several choices to remain an active participant in the unfolding events, which can end up changing the conversation completely—not just a one- or two-line difference, but an entirely unique conversation!
The story of Undead Darlings ~no cure for love~ revolves around Reginald "Reggie" P. Happenstahnce and his journey to take the cure for the zombie plague someplace safe; somewhere it can be mass-produced. His father—one of the scientists purported to be involved in the outbreak's inception—created this cure and left it behind before leaving on his own for the same purpose.
The game opens with Reggie waking up from an alcohol-related coma (courtesy of his own father, no less) and being told by his childhood friend Pearl that society had crumbled due to a virus outbreak that turned most everyone into zombies while he was sleeping. This includes Pearl herself. However, Pearl has managed to hold onto her human conscience, and she relates that she is not the only one this has happened to. As with every half-zombie Reggie will run into, she may be undead, but her heart is still human.
Your role as Reggie is to be the girls’ loot donkey and carry the things they find in dungeons. Since Reggie is a human, the girls will prevent him from getting infected by fighting in the front lines! Go them!
While on this adventure, you will learn more about the undead girls' lives from before the outbreak, but whose tale you will hear is based on the choices you make during the visual novel scenes. Perhaps one of them will connect with you, open up about their hardships, and maybe even develop romantic feelings... The ultimate result of these interactions will determine whether or not any of these girls trust you enough to take the biggest risk of their undead lives—volunteer to be the first test subject for your father's cure!
Undead Darlings ~no cure for love~ uses a 3-member turn-based battle system that allows you to have full party control. Aesthetically, we are paying homage to Phantasy Star IV (a personal all-time favourite of NickyD's) by showing battles from behind the visible playable characters (as Reggie, you would be standing behind them, after all).
Using the battle system's features wisely will help you to target enemy weaknesses—perhaps even multiple weaknesses at once—which is vital because of how this will take advantage of our unique EE (Exponential Exploitation) System!
What makes the EE System different from other turn-based RPG systems is how it emphasizes exploiting several of an enemy's vulnerabilities at once to pump up a stored damage multiplier. This stored value can be used with a chosen command for increased damage one time only based on the amount multiplied (a multiplier of 4.00 = 4x the damage)—save it up and use it when you need that extra oomph to decimate your foes! But be careful, because if you use an attack that the enemy is not vulnerable to, the damage multiplier will be reset!
The system rewards you with a significant increase to the multiplier when you strike at more than one vulnerability with a single attack. How does one accomplish two things with a one attack? Imagine that you are facing off against a Rad Zombie, an enemy weak to both “Fire” and “Slash” attacks. Instead of having two characters attack at each vulnerability separately, they could make use of certain Skills that, when chosen together in battle, may activate a “Linked Skill” that combines the two attacks’ individual attributes.
More details about the battle system are found on our Prefundia page.
Mr. Tired Media loves dungeon crawler RPGs, be they older Wizardry titles or modern-day incarnations like Legend of Grimrock, Demon Gaze, and Dungeon Travelers 2. The love and genre familiarity is why we chose to adopt this style of RPG for players to experience along with the visual novel story. There are an estimated 20 sizable dungeon floors to explore and this number will only increase as stretch goals are achieved!
Most of the screenshots and footage seen here were taken in the Shopping Mall dungeon. We plan to have a playable version of this dungeon ready for PAX Prime, since time and budgetary constraints prevented it from being ready in time for crowdfunding. While this has been frustrating for us, we just keep in mind what the great Shigeru Miyamoto said (and we tweak a little here), “A delayed [demo] is eventually good. A rushed [demo] is forever bad.”
Other planned dungeons include a police station, hospital, Japanese-style school, and more that must remain secret for story spoiler reasons!
Dungeons include several maze-exploring gimmicks, such as one-way doors, pitfalls, and a variety of icons to denote different events and threats:
Undead cupcakes represent the "set encounters" that you will run across while exploring. These exist in tandem with random encounters and often guard shortcuts or loot points. Difficulty can be estimated based on the color:
Green indicates a common encounter
Pink indicates a challenging encounter
Purple denotes something as tough as (or may even be) a boss!
- Exclamation icons indicate that there is a visual novel event for you to view. These may sometimes be hidden because certain sub-events require specific members of the party in order to activate, while other times they will lead you to scenes that will advance the main story.
- Treasure icons denote loot points!
No game would be complete without music! We have a few tracks below for you to check out. Have a listen!
Battle Theme 1!
Boss Theme 1!
Shopping Mall Theme!
And below is the current voice cast lineup! The little audio samples are just to give you an idea; they're taken from the line reads the VAs submitted to us.
We are developing the game for both Steam (PC/Mac/Linux) and PlayStation®4. We have already been Greenlit on Steam and we are already approved Sony developers. All we need is a finished game to submit to both!
We are also partnering with MangaGamer (site may be NSFW!) for the title's release on Steam and in order to bring you a physical version of the game for PCs! With MangaGamer's support, we will be able to rest easy knowing that our game's page on Steam will be properly maintained and physical versions properly handled on their storefront while we continue to focus on development and efficiently resolve any issues that are encountered via Steam.
MangaGamer is not funding our game's development, nor is there any impact on the game's scope, vision, or content. They are helping us in the retail and marketing end. We're super grateful, but we also want everyone to understand that there is no agreement in place where MangaGamer funds our title in any way. They will help us only if this crowdfunding campaign is successful, so let's really make it happen!!
In addition to adding items to your pledge piecemeal, we are very pleased to offer a unique set of add-ons for backers! Backers who pledge $150 (USD) or more are eligible to receive a custom voicemail message by one of several of this game's voice cast (based on availability and volume of message requests).
These can be in-character for Undead Darlings or as one of their many popular characters! Since this is a super kind thing of them to offer, we have to ask you to not ask for anything inappropriate, and understand that some characters may not be available for legal reasons. As such, we are unable to accommodate any Riot property requests, sorry!!
Voice cast available for custom voicemail message:
*Incurred shipping costs will vary based on the backer tier originally chosen.
**PS4 digital codes will only work on the NA PS Store!!
When we reach the $150k Stretch Goal together, backers who wish to upgrade their game experience to a physical PS4 disc can do so via an add-on that will be added to this list at that time.
Hitsukuya: The genius mind and talented hands behind the characters of Undead Darlings ~no cure for love~, Hitsukuya has been a mainstay at Anime Expo's artist alley for years, among an almost unbelievable number of other conventions she visits around the world each year.
Mark Hamrock, Owner of Hamrock Music
A California native, Mark spent his youth in the city of Whittier where he began taking violin lessons at the age of four. Soon after, he studied classical piano for six years before pursuing the guitar full time.
After graduating Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Music Perfomance Degree, Mark focused his abilities on touring internationally and performing with various acts, including Jazz Legend Larry Carlton, Tim Reynolds (Dave Matthews Band), and Dave Mason with Traffic. As a Producer, Recording Engineer, and songwriter, Mark has worked with many bands and artists including Brooks Wackerman (drummer for Bad Religion, Suicidal Tendencies, and Tenacious D), Solomon Grundy, Breakfast with the Mayor, The Pickups, as well as many others.
The Undead Darlings 3D Asset Team:
- Nick Berg
- Derek Moore
- Brian Van Horn
- And all the others who wish to remain unsung or unseen heroes...
Through a series of kind sacrifices, both personal and external, we at Mr. Tired were able to pay our contracted workers for just enough work to be completed to get us to this "prototype" stage. We went this route because we feel it is the best way to give backers a more accurate feel for what it is that we are making by completing an entire "chapter" of the game.
But...planning for worst-case scenarios is one of the things you learn to do as a developer. Because the game doesn’t have all of its game features incorporated yet, we’ll forego a playable version and instead continue to work on it throughout the campaign, upload videos of us playing the builds, and discuss where we are currently adding more polish or flair. The worst thing I feel that we could do is give you something to play that does not accurately reflect our vision for the final product, and since many gameplay functions are still being worked on, this seems to be the smart choice.
Instead, we want to get a playable demo ready for PAX Prime. Having a successful crowdfunding campaign would be a real boon when it comes time to submit our game to them, and we would still be creating a demo that we'll make available for everyone to enjoy once it is polished enough to reflect the entire game's contents!
Also, we were Greenlit by the Steam Community in a single week! We know this game has a unique concept and there is plenty of interest already, and who are we to deny gamers something fun to play?!
This chart lays out the remaining costs associated with getting this game into a completed state. If you'd like more information about this breakdown, a detailed description of each slice can be found on our main website. It's a lot to read, so we felt it best to keep it basic on here but give you the opportunity to really dive into it should you feel the urge!
A Nod in our Credits:
We’ll have a special section of our staff roll dedicated to all Kickstarter backers. Everyone who pledges gets this perk!
Certificate of Undeath:
Something tangible right from the get-go! We will mail you a certificate thanking you for your pledge and welcoming you to the undead fold. It’s a fun, unique way to give you something that you can show off outside of the game itself. We will also cover the shipping cost for US residents. For other areas, we will cover most of it!
Another tangible gift! The koozies will feature line art of the characters in Undead Darlings (3” x 3” maximum size, ratio varies by character). The character you receive can be requested, but once a character is sold out (based on shipment quantity and demand), the person who you get will be random!
This poster features our game’s main key art and measures 18" x 24". Since poster tubes are a bit more expensive to ship, this item does boost the shipping costs a tad, but it's worth it! Gorgeous key art.
A digital copy of our game’s soundtrack. The size of the soundtrack will grow as we achieve Stretch Goals!
Digital Art Book: A digital copy of some never-before-seen pieces of art for the game, sketches, concepts, commentary, and a variety of the game’s unlockable CG images.
The physical form of our game’s soundtrack, for those who enjoy embracing their new purchases in their arms! The size of the soundtrack will grow as we achieve Stretch Goals!
Physical Art Book:
The physical form of the art book and the best way to display your undead pride! The dimensions are 8" x 11" and will be approximately 32 pages.
We will decorate the walls of our dungeons with your submitted graffiti! This can be a signature, a phrase, or a simple design—we only ask that you not create anything objectionable (T for Teen). Feel free to send us a complete design, or send us a basic draft of what you want and we'll take it from there!
Design Wall Texture:
We will use all submitted and approved designs in our post-game bonus dungeon! While it may seem like you are doing work for us, this is for a bonus dungeon made possible because of your submissions! Give us your best—or worst—designs!
Become the Undead:
Our enemy artist will take 5 submissions and create an enemy from them. While the idea is for you to send us in an image of yourself, perhaps in a wacky battle pose of some sort.
Risks and challenges
After funding, there are a few obstacles that we may need to hurdle ourselves over. Most are standard fare stuff and we are equipped to handle them:
-Reward creation may take longer than planned.
-Shipping costs may vary based on backer location, which may eat into the Operating Costs section of our breakdown.
-Using contract workers, availability is always in flux. With successful funding, we can move more workers onto a temporary full-time contract, but it's always possible someone will be unavailable when we need them. This could delay certain portions of the game, or the implementation of certain features. But a delay is better than the removal of a feature, so as long as we are patient, the game will not be compromised.
-Format QA with Sony may bring to light bugs and build errors not experienced in the PC version for the PlayStation 4 version. Added costs may be experienced if we require significant debugging and additional programming. We are equipped to handle this scenario, but again, it may cause a delay in release for the PS4 version.
-Working with a third party for the Steam version means we will be forfeiting control over the Steam game page and customer support to a certain degree. The challenge here is making sure that we retain enough control to deliver the product, fixes, and answers to your questions in a timely manner through that third party.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)