A video game where you play a gay college guy who just came out of the closet. A dating sim with suspense, humor, & erotic situations.
What Is "Coming Out On Top"?
"Coming Out On Top", is a video game where you play a college guy who finally comes out to his best friends. The night of your announcement, you meet a mysterious stranger who wants your number. Of course, things aren't so simple, and it's just a matter of time before all hell breaks loose.
The game could be called a dating sim, a visual novel, or an interactive story. By making choices, you affect your relationships and determine the ultimate outcome of the story.
The story is a comedy with a touch of romance, lots of drama, and laced with erotic situations.
You Can Play the Demo. Now.
At the moment, the demo only contains part of one relationship. Nevertheless, it's still a wild, crazy ride! Though the game is at heart a comedic dating sim, the demo does contain erotic content so you must be an adult (18+) to play.
Note: the art is censored in the demo. The full game will not be censored.
Visit here to download the demo. (Windows, Mac, Linux)
Although the demo's gotten great reviews and people love the characters, story, and dialogue, you can see that it YEARNS EVER SO LONGINGLY to be made into a full game, with more dating options.
Why A Kickstarter?
A successful Kickstarter will allow me to make the full, commercial-quality game. I've spent a few thousand dollars on hardware, software, illustrations, and unpaid time off of work to create the demo. I'm hoping for additional funds to take it to the next step. This is the breakdown of where Kickstarter funds will go:
- $1000 programming
- $2000 backgrounds
- $500 music
- $1000 event illustrations
- $500 Kickstarter and Amazon fees
Note: if you're new to Kickstarter, the way it works is that you can donate to the project using your credit card, then pick a corresponding reward(s). Your credit card will only be charged on the last day of the project (January 20th, 2013). Until then, you'll be able to change the amount of your pledge and your reward at any time.
What's In the Full Game?
The full game will feature three new guys to choose from, each with his own gut-wrenching, funny, and suspenseful story.
- a highly unpredictable metal/punk musician
- a young marine being pressured by his politician father
- a religious football quarterback deep in the closet
A concept sketch:
*note: these characters sketches are works-in-progress & will be refined and altered over time. And yes, concept sketches all start off shirtless in my house.
But that's not all. The full game will also have:
- an unforgettable plot line with your buddy Ian (worth the price of admission alone!)
- the continuation of the Alex storyline, with more fun scenes
- a more polished look and interface
- better music, better backgrounds
STRETCH GOAL ABOVE AND BEYOND $18,000 (12/17--NEW!)
It's my dream to bring you this game--and you're helping make it possible. No matter how much is made from this Kickstarter, every cent of it will go back into fulfilling your rewards and developing the game or add-ons. Each new donation above 18K means I can offer more options and features to you, the player: more paths, more storyline, & more delicious surprises. It will also help me pay for more artwork, more programming, and also give me some much needed development time to work on this project and implement all the new features.
I still want to meet the game's deadline though, and not make promises on any new features that might delay the ship date. So as a small but added bonus, if we reach 18K, for every additional $4000 above it, I'll add an additional Brofinder date in a free add-on pack to all backers. So now all backers will be receiving the full game and possibly a harem of new boys and dates, depending what the final number is for this Kickstarter.
Since these guys will largely be suggested by members in the forum (which will open after this Kickstarter's end date of January 20th), there might be a very good chance you'll see your dream hookup--or nightmare, depending--come to life. Remember, these aren't full relationships, but unpredictable one-time dates. They can be sweetly chaste, stunningly awful, or amazingly hot.
(By the way, these add-ons will be staggered after the release of the initial game. The first one will be due 6 months after the ship date...and there are already at least 3 in store for you! Additional dudes will be released in packs of three in the months following, with an estimated ship date of every six months.)
AMOUNT RAISED ---> TOTAL # of BROFINDER DUDES
$22,000 ---> 4 dates UNLOCKED!
$26,000 ---> 5 dates UNLOCKED!
$30,000 ---> 6 dates UNLOCKED!
$34,000 ---> 7 dates UNLOCKED!
$38,000 ---> 8 dates
And after that...OMG. That's a lot of additional boys, people! (*sweats*) I'm cutting off our Brofinder dudes at $42,000 if by some miracle we reach that point, okay? I think we'll hopefully be able to cover a good number of body types, ethnicities and er...'quirks'...this way! And after 9 new boys, I'd think you rather have me either working on a sequel or new game, right? RIGHT? (Just say yes.)
STRETCH GOAL AT $18,000
HIGHER RES-VERSION. For those of you with giant monitors, get a higher res version of the game!
FREE BROFINDER ADD-ON FOR ALL BACKERS. Six months after the release of the full game, I'll release a downloadable add-on pack (free to all backers) with at least three more guys you'll meet via Brofinder for some extra good times. I'll take suggestions for the type of date and kind of guy from the forum. If any of them are popular, and if people are craving more, I'll feature him in a Coming Out On Top sequel so he has his own compelling story line. And possibly star as the main character himself!
STRETCH GOAL AT $13,000 - UNLOCKED!
ILLICIT AFFAIR. Out of the many secondary characters in the game (most of them yet to be introduced), you'll be able to engage in a torrid tryst with one of them. Are you savvy enough to figure out who and how?
MORE OUTFITS. Let's change those clothes. Everyone currently has a single outfit. Let's give the main character and all of his romantic options at least another outfit so you get some variety as you play the game. (Additional outfits will be voted on by those in the developer's forum.)
STRETCH GOAL AT $8,500 - UNLOCKED!
MORE WAYS TO "PLAY". Let's talk versatility, guys! So, you know those intimate scenes? Yes, those. Right now because of our budget, you're restricted to how you roleplay those scenes because they all require more time and money for art, writing, and development. I'd like to add at least another "option" for you in nearly every one of those scenes, that includes a matching scene illustration. Now you'll be able to take control of the situation (or not)!
HAIR MOD. Fans of smooth, fans of hairy, weep no more. Each guy (including Mark) has a "default" level of hairiness. A hair mod will allow you, the player, to make a guy hairier if he's smooth, or less hairy if he isn't. And don't worry, the guy's chosen hairiness level will also show up in the scene illustrations as well, not just the character models, in order to maintain continuity. Nobody wants to see that nice scruffy dude suddenly appear hairless in a kissing scene, or vice versa.
GOOD LORD. HAIR MOD UNLOCKED!
Is This A Yaoi Game?
I'm unfamiliar with yaoi games (gay romance games primarily for the female market in Japan), so I couldn't tell you. I know I don't use the uke/seme dynamics that are common to those games. I also know the men I draw seem a lot burlier. Regardless, I think if you're a fan of yaoi, slash fiction, or gay romance and erotica, there's a good chance you may enjoy this, if not love it. I'm fairly certain our interests intersect. ;-)
*A Note On The Tell-All Digital Book Reward ($30)
Not only will it contain the things mentioned in the description, but also have a personal journal covering the highlights of this Kickstarter campaign. Kickstarting a project is a fascinating process--and running one for a gay dating sim...well, it's pretty amazing. Might be helpful or illuminating (or just plain entertaining) if you're a Kickstarter geek or you're interested in running a campaign yourself.
*A Note On The Brofinder Reward ($40/$80)
Contributors at the 40 dollar tier will get their first name and a headshot in-game, as depicted on the left. This will be shown in-game if you decide to browse the app.
Contributors at the 80 dollar tier will get their photo and a full profile (as shown on the right.) This will be shown in-game if you decide to browse the app.
(You can use a real photo or cartoon or pretty much anything for your headshot or profile picture, as long as its not somebody else's copyrighted material. Names and profiles can also be totally fictional. Have fun with it! It's just a fun, cool thing you and anybody who ever plays this will be able to see in-game.)
Note: And as mentioned in the video, you cannot contact yourself and try to hook up with yourself in the game! (I know, I know...wouldn't it be great though? Maybe this should be a high-tier reward? Hmm.) - edit: now it is!
* NEW TOP-TIER REWARD! Brofinder Hookup ($1500)
Are you super-rich and bored? You can get set up a one-time unforgettable date with the main character and well...yourself if you choose. (Or if you desire, set him up instead with the man of your dreams.) You can even suggest the type of date to me. See the bottom-most reward to the right.
Note: it's up to you if you want the date to be featured in the add-on to all backers or not. If you'd just like a personal copy for yourself, and wish to share it with your close friends, that's totally up to you.
(In no particular order)
Boy Howdy Podcast (at hour 3:21:14 of episode 63)
I hope you love these characters as much as I do and want to see them live on. If you decide to back my project, thank you from the depths of my heart! If you want to help but can't provide funding, you can definitely make a difference by publicizing this Kickstarter to your friends and other places on the internet! Thanks for your support!
P.S. If this Kickstarter starts approaching its target, I'll be announcing awesome stretch goals.
Where to find me:
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
One problem I might have is getting enough funds for all the artwork I'd like done, especially if artwork isn't quite "right" for the scene or the scene needs to be rewritten for numerous reasons. When it comes right down to it though, I'll draw it myself (I did all the character art in the game), though it might ultimately take me longer to do than a seasoned artist.
Another problem I might have is losing one of my team. Though this would be difficult, I was able to make the earlier version of this demo on my own (though it was very unpolished.) Thankfully the engine is open source and enough people seem interested enough in the project to want to sign on.
In conclusion, I think everybody who has followed me since the beginning knows exactly how much passion and commitment I have for this game.
There was another version of the demo that included the complete Alex storyline, with rougher art. It was also PG. It was pretty much my initial project using RenPy, the game engine, and my first attempts at digital art. It didn't include any of the other boys. Promotional material and references to the older game still exist here and there on the net.
In your Kickstarter you cite some pretty precise figures, some of which seem a bit low to me (500$ for music, in particular): do you already have agreements with artists, programmers and musicians that let you say you're going to spend just that much?
The figures for the art were put together from the estimates I received from my current artists. If I'm short on art funds, I'll either do it myself or try to find a work around for the backgrounds (like buy a license for a pack of them) and shift the remaining money towards the illustrations, if need be. The music will be done by someone who specializes in video game music. He actually was willing to work on the project gratis, but I want to give him at least something for his contribution! The programming is also done by someone who is willing to work for free (or for trading work), but I wanted to give her at least something as well. I aim to give the team something for their amazing job!
In short no, unless they want to start selling games with erotic content. ;-)
If I'm able to fund the game, a digital copy will sell anywhere between $17-25 retail, depending on how many assets get put into the game. The way the Kickstarter seems to be running so far, the retail version of the game looks like its going to hit the $20 mark soon...!
As of this moment you'll be able to get the digital copy for $10 if you back the project.
No, this game is currently only for Windows, Mac or Linux.
That's a very valid criticism!
When I first started making this game (back when fewer people knew about it) I drew for myself. I found that yaoi had a preponderance of lithe, pretty men, and bara had lots of hairy, burly guys, so I simply drew the guys I wanted to see but couldn't find. Who was gonna play this anyways, right? And honestly, I was far more concerned with representing non-white dudes. Body types, not so much.
As this game has gotten more attention, people have been asking for more types of men. I would love to do it, but I don't feel comfortable kicking out or dramatically changing the existing men. One of the upcoming stretch goals would be the introduction of new characters. They won't be full-fledged relationships due to the deadline for this project, but they should offer more variety, and hopefully (?) launch an eventual sequel so they could be given the proper time and attention, with their own developed story arcs.
I would love for you to be able to do this too! There have been some great suggestions on how to do this. As some of you know, the main challenge is getting all the scene illustrations customized to match whatever your main character would look like. Because this game is 2D, this is actually quite a bit of work. At the moment I'd like to devote all our resources to making and polishing the existing game. Hopefully after the full game is complete, we can return to this idea.
I love the idea of voice acting. A way to do this might be possible due to some generous and creative individuals. The challenge is the amount of time it needs to be done well (and trust me, you don't want anything less than the best voice acting!) I'll be looking into this option a bit more after the full game is released. As for now, time and effort will be put into the existing game.
Scheduled for December 2013! The ship date for the add-on is scheduled 6 months after that.
The version going to the backers will be DRM free. I'm not 100% sure about the retail version, but most likely it won't have DRM either.
Yes...this is a feature common to lots of visual novels. Someone suggested making it a stretch goal, but it was going to be in the game anyways. XD
You don't get charged until the very last day of Kickstarter (January 20th), and then it takes some additional days to process.
Currently Ren'Py (the game engine) has this odd quirk where if you run the game on some Macs, the game's icon will sit in the dock and look like it's active, but no actual window will open.
To run the game just double click on the game icon that appears in the dock. The game window will open.
Yes! As long as it's not somebody else's name or image, or its not copyrighted. It can be any manner of object too. It can even be the good 'ol headless abs you see in actual apps like Grindr, or even perhaps another body part of your choosing. Have fun with it.
I truly wish I had time to do this. But alas, I cannot.
Note that you can use a photo, drawing, or even just an object as your image. If the photo ends up looking "too real" for the game, we may filter it a bit so it doesn't.
I may possibly open a special Paypal account once this Kickstarter ends, but there are various issues that make it difficult. In the meantime, an alternative is using a prepaid credit card.
Note: if you use a prepaid credit card, you'll need to add at least ONE EXTRA DOLLAR to the card on top of your pledge, because of the way Amazon processes prepaid credit cards. (So if you're pledging $10, make the card at least $11).
If you're in Europe, you may be able to do the following:
- use a Visa Debit or Visa Electron with Amazon
- buy a Ukash voucher, convert it into a Ukash NEO pre-paid Mastercard. This reportedly works with Amazon.
- use a virtual Visa Card. More info here: http://www.visaeurope.com/en/cardholders/virtual_cards.aspx
Again, remember to add at least ONE MORE DOLLAR to the card than you are pledging, due to the way the funds are processed. In other words, make the card $11, and pledge $10 (not $11).
You can also wait until the game is released (ETA December 2013). The third party vendor I use will most likely use Paypal as one of their payment options.
seconds to go
Pledge $10 or moreYou selected
COPY OF THE GAME. A digital copy of the game for Windows, Mac, or Linux. Thank you!Estimated delivery:
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SOUNDTRACK! A digital copy of the game + original downloadable soundtrack! By a real composer.Estimated delivery:
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CLOSED FORUM ACCESS. All of the above, and access to the closed development forum, where you can contribute and offer suggestions for the full game, vote on important issues like underwear color, and get a sneak peek at development. The forum will open as soon as this Kickstarter ends.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $30 or moreYou selected
RAUNCHY TELL-ALL BOOK. All of the above and the Coming Out On Top Journal--a digital art book with game secrets, extra art not released in the game, super secret developer's notes about naughty subjects, outtakes, and other miscellany.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $40 or moreYou selected
30 backers Limited (170 left of 200)
BROFINDER HEADSHOT. All of the above + your headshot and first name available for viewing in Brofinder (an in-game dating network spoofing Grindr). See section under Brofinder Rewards. Babefinder also available for the ladies. You can also use an alias and drawing, as long as it's original (not copyrighted) material.Estimated delivery:
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59 backers Limited (91 left of 150)
PHYSICAL COPY OF GAME. All of the above and a special physical Kickstarter copy of the game and the soundtrack, signed by me, with my deepest thanks! Will include a CD album cover featuring Jed's metal/punk band.Estimated delivery:Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
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29 backers Limited (21 left of 50)
BROFINDER PROFILE. All of the above + your full screen profile available for viewing in Brofinder (an in-game dating network spoofing Grindr.) See section under Brofinder rewards. Babefinder also available for the ladies. You can also use an alias anda drawing, as long as it's original (not copyrighted) material.Estimated delivery:
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10 backers All gone!
HEAD PORTRAIT. All of the above + digital portrait of you (chest up) done by me. You can choose to have it done in the game's character art style or the more sketchy, looser style I use for concept art. I'll need some photos of you emailed to me for reference. I'll send a signed 8x11 print of it to you as well.Estimated delivery:Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $200 or moreYou selected
10 backers All gone!
HEAD AND BODY PORTRAIT. A digital portrait of you (or someone of your choosing) done by me in the game's character art style or the more sketchy, looser style I use for concept art. And yes, I'll need photos of you or chosen person emailed to me for reference. Nudity is ok! (And I can only draw the human body...I'm not good at backgrounds or objects.) I'll send a signed 8x11 print of it to you as well. You'll also get all the above rewards minus the $100 portrait reward.Estimated delivery:Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
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2 backers All gone!
Are you wealthy and bored? Be a ROCKSTAR. All of the above + appear in the game as a member of Jed's metal/electropunk band. You get a cameo appearance and an option to use your real name or an alias. You'll also be able to vote on a name for the band. Your album cover (featuring you) will be shipped with the physical Kickstarter copy of the game. Be immortalized as a rock legend...at least in the game's local indie scene. Drummer, bassist, guitarist? Choose your instrument on a first come, first serve basis.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $1,500 or moreYou selected
1 backer Limited (3 left of 4)
BROFINDER HOOKUP. You. Yes you. Are you a wealthy patron of the arts dying to be in the game? Dying to...date yourself in the game? Or are you dying to see a certain type of guy in the game...maybe with a certain look or a mild fetish? Put yourself or your ideal man in the game as a Brofinder hookup. Mark will now be able to meet him in a one-night stand. You get to suggest what the dude should look like, as well as your idea for how they'll pass the time. It can be witty banter over coffee...or something racier. Your hookup comes with: one character model, two illustrations and one background illustration. If there's something special you'd like to see in the scene let me know and I'll try to accommodate you, but I can't guarantee it if it doesn't fit the game's atmosphere or story. Note: the date's looks cannot be based on an existing copyrighted character, or on another person. They can only be based on yourself, or somebody from your imagination. Though it won't be a full relationship, I will do my best to make what happens an unforgettable night. This hookup will be offered as a special download add-on to all backers 6 months after the full game's release, and sold along with the retail version. (In addition to this reward, you also get all lower tier rewards, minus the $500, 200, and 100 rewards.)Estimated delivery:
- (55 days)