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An ambitious indie visual novel, blending romance with futuristic sci-fi and thriller elements
An ambitious indie visual novel, blending romance with futuristic sci-fi and thriller elements
An ambitious indie visual novel, blending romance with futuristic sci-fi and thriller elements
1,406 backers pledged $47,993 to help bring this project to life.

About

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The Human Reignition Project - An English Visual Novel

$47,993

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There's also an Android version of the demo available, though it's experimental and may have some slight bugginess.

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At its core, HRP is a boy x girl visual novel made in the vein of classics like the Grisaia series and Ever17. We love games that require you to replay and go down different routes in order to get the full story, rather than a "one and done" approach.

What we've set out to create is a titan of a VN, with an estimated count of almost half a million words. At average reading speed, that's nearly 30 hours worth of story to read, with as much replay value as we can stuff in.

The game's set in Japan, in the relatively near future. Still this century, but a couple decades from now. Advancements in fields like robotics have made a lot of jobs redundant, and nearly omnipresent devices like smartphones have the done the same for face-to-face conversation. HRP as a game examines the impact that technologies like these have on our lives and relationships. Within the story, the Human Reignition Project is a small group formed by one old lecturer; a relic of a more personal generation. He'd like to see things go back closer to the way they were.

We're not trying to teach a lesson or anything like that, though. It's setting and flavor, instead of a moral approach. We also blend in some light science fiction elements, and even some aspects of action/thriller stories, as a shadowy organization on the outside begins to make their presence known.

 Not everyone in our story has such questionable goals, though. The main cast of the heroines are really, at their core, just a bit lonely. Check 'em out.

We're working with extremely talented artists to help bring our game to life. In order to maintain such a high standard throughout the rather beefy duration of the game, we're looking to raise upwards of twenty thousand dollars. Every penny earned goes to making The Human Reignition Project even more visually and audibly stunning, with stretch goals for an expanded CG count, extended soundtrack, and even full-motion video.

We've made it this far through the gracious assistance of our publisher, Sekai Project, who supported us financially to help complete the demo. Now, we're turning to you to help us carry that on. Those of us at Alienworks have already invested significant amounts of our own savings into the project, and will continue to do so as much as we can. The fact of the matter, though, is that we're all college students or retail workers, and our personal funds are pretty limited. The writers of our team have opted against taking a share of the funding raised in order to allow everything to go towards improving art and sound. Plus, Pytom's famous Ren'Py engine, upon which our game is built, makes coding a snap.

The funding goal of 22,000 is what we anticipate it'll cost to complete the game to our minimum standards. That's about 60 unique backgrounds and roughly 15 CG's per route, once fees and reward fulfillment have been accounted for.

One of the prints we'll be selling at Anime Expo, by Rosuuri
One of the prints we'll be selling at Anime Expo, by Rosuuri
Anime Expo poster print by Shiyun
Anime Expo poster print by Shiyun

Alienworks formed in late 2012, inspired, like many others, by the surprise hit VN, "Katawa Shoujo." We've grown a lot from the starry-eyed bunch of amateurs that we were back then, and now make up one of the most talented Western visual novel development groups. I'm probably a little biased though.

Anyway, we've been working on the Human Reignition Project for the better part of the last two years, though frequent hiccups and changes in staff left our initial progress slow. It was around the time of July 2014 that we started making some serious overhauls to the writing team, and when we changed sprite artists towards the end of that year, HRP began to turn into something pretty special.

Now, we're working with people whose talent can't be overstated, with the goal of creating the best Western visual novel to date. We hope that you believe in us, too.

Music Samples:

Still Life:

 Concrete Jungle:

 Old Spice:

 Lost:

 One Day:

When searching for artists, we looked to build a team that's both cute and eye-catching, and that would help us stand out from the crowd. To that end, we have three CG artists: Rosuuri and Shiyun, whose work can be seen just above, as well as Hibiki, who did our campaign header image . Our resident master-of-moe, Myuto, is behind sprites, a few CG's, and also the cute graphics that you see accenting this page.

Additionally, backgrounds are currently being handled by zydaline, who's working hard to really bring the city to life. Backgrounds for the demo were created by Jake Bowkett/Tempus as well as Badriel, who are both also phenomenal artists.

First draft of Zydaline's work
First draft of Zydaline's work

One thing that we're really proud of is the level of immersion that we've achieved. The main character uses a Contact lens that works a lot like a smartphone, and its functions are actually represented on-screen to simulate what Ken himself is seeing.

The Contact marks a location on Ken's map
The Contact marks a location on Ken's map

We're really excited about the different rewards that we'll be offering. Besides the basic digital copy of the game, we've included digital add-ons for both your eyes and ears, in the form of an artbook and soundtrack. The artbook will feature concept art as well as full-color illustrations, from both our staff artists as well as a few guests.

Looking for something a little more tangible? Well, for one thing, we're offering physical copies of all three of the items I just listed. The game itself will come in a hard, DVD-sized case, while the soundtrack will be in a traditional jewel case. The artbook will be hardcover, and measure roughly 9 by 11 inches. Physical copies of the game will include a Steam key.

In addition, we have a handful of other physical goodies that you can add on to your pledge. Keychains of our heroines will be made, and available individually or as a set. We'll also be producing a series of body pillow covers, or dakimakura, featuring our heroines - PG13, not adult-rated. We'll be posting the designs and rates for those as soon as possible.

Designs for the keychains, by Rosuuri
Designs for the keychains, by Rosuuri

We'll also be offering some limited prints and posters, exclusive to Kickstarter. In other words, these will be different from the ones that we/Sekai Project will be selling at particular conventions. 

If you're fast, it's also possible to score a drawing of you or your own character, done by one of our artists.

On top of all that, we have a few limited, very special rewards for big supporters who want a more intimate reward.

Our print series reward tiers are for the ultimate fan and collector. You'll receive 6 one-of-a-kind posters, one for each heroine, with a corresponding seasonal theme. The posters will measure roughly 24" by 36" - in other words, full-size. No one else in the world will have these prints, and it'll be up to you if the rest of the world even sees what they look like. Currently, these are planned to be drawn by Rosuuri.

Additionally, our highest reward tier is the Executive Producer tier. Not only will you be credited by title within this game and all others, but you'll be privy to the development process along the way. We'll keep you updated on what's going on through personalized emails, and you'll also be able to access different builds of the game as we assemble them, as well as getting sneak peeks at assets as they're created. If you have thoughts or input on the direction of the game, or suggestions for what you think could make it better, we'd be glad to hear them. At this pledge level, you're not just a backer - you're part of the team.

Add-Ons

Keychains will cost $7 each, or $30 for all 6. The prints, for which we'll include designs soon, will be A3 sized and be $10 a piece, with one print for each heroine. You can also get the set of 6 for $55. If you're interested in the exclusive prints, dakis or keychains, please pledge an additional amount based off the rates listed above. We'll get in touch post-campaign to find out which characters you want.

If you'd like to tack on a physical copy of the game, artbook or soundtrack, please also include an extra amount in your pledge. A game copy is $50, the artbook is $30, and the soundtrack is $20.

 $30,000 - Expanded resource budget. More CG's, more music, more sprite poses, more everything! The minimum budget forces us to be very selective in which scenes deserve CG's, which side characters get sprites, and other limitations. By expanding our base asset budget, we have more freedom to diversify the visual aspect of our game. It also helps with purchasing new software and sound packs for our musicians, to get a richer and more full audio experience.

$35,000 - Opening theme. At this point, we'll have the funds to commission an opening theme from professional Japanese musicians, on par with what you see at the start of most major VN titles and anime. We're currently looking to work with a well-known doujin circle, though the prospect of hiring a specific singer isn't impossible either.

$50-70,000 - Animation. At this level, we'll collaborate with Collateral Damage Studios, famous for the Internet Explorer-tan video amongst other things, to create a fully animated opening sequence for the game. This will be used in conjunction with the previously mentioned opening theme. If we can afford it, we'll also add in more video to highlight key parts of the story or as introductions to the routes.

Risks and challenges

Since almost all of us work on the game as a hobby, rather than full-time or as a source of livelihood, there is the potential of us not meeting our estimated completion date of mid-2017. Given that we have a strong team that communicates well, we're comfortable that any setback caused by scheduling will only be a minor thing.

Our funding goal is higher than a lot of projects similar to ours because we're striving for a higher quality and density of visual assets. We know that we're running a risk by asking for such a high amount, since if we fail to meet it, we get nothing. One way or another though, this project will be completed. We've all invested too much time, money, and passion into it over the past year to let everything go to waste. Funding here allows us to keep everything looking just as impressive as it does in our demo.

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    Work with our team to create and develop alternate outfits for the character sprites. They can be enabled or disabled at will within the game.

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    In addition to physical copies of the game, artbook and soundtrack, receive an exclusive set of 6 posters, one for each heroine, with a theme of Summer and Summer outfits. These will be one-of-a-kind items, with only a single copy of each being made and never reprinted.

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    The Autumn Series

    In addition to physical copies of the game, artbook and soundtrack, receive an exclusive set of 6 posters, one for each heroine, with a theme of Autumn and Autumn outfits. These will be one-of-a-kind items, with only a single copy of each being made and never reprinted.

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    The Spring Series

    In addition to physical copies of the game, artbook and soundtrack, receive an exclusive set of 6 posters, one for each heroine, with a theme of Spring and Spring outfits. These will be one-of-a-kind items, with only a single copy of each being made and never reprinted.

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    The Winter Series

    In addition to physical copies of the game, artbook and soundtrack, receive an exclusive set of 6 posters, one for each heroine, with a theme of Winter and Winter outfits. These will be one-of-a-kind items, with only a single copy of each being made and never reprinted.

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    Executive Producer Tier

    Receive a copy of all the physical media that we're producing, as well as the opportunity to follow along with every step of the game's development. Not only will you receive credit as an executive producer, but you'll also be provided with personal emails updating you on progress, plus sneak peeks at assets as they're developed.

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Funding period

- (30 days)