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Sci-fi visual novel about a biot who becomes self-aware against his will - and must find a way to reverse it.
Sci-fi visual novel about a biot who becomes self-aware against his will - and must find a way to reverse it.
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233 backers pledged CA$ 11,325 to help bring this project to life.
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Synthetic Lover: Sci-Fi BL / Yaoi / Gay Visual Novel

CA$ 11,325

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 Website  |  Itch.io  |  Twitter  |  Tumblr

                                  Download Demo from itch.io for Windows, Linux and Mac!

 All our backers will receive four (4) desktop wallpapers with each of our characters above with a certain fetish of theirs! All artworks will be NSFW (18+)!

Also, all of our backers from Activist tier (All digital) and higher will receive these in physical post card form (4 inches by 6 inches each, 4 post cards total) by mail for free! That's a $25 value (with shipping included)!

In the year of 2066, biologically engineered humanoids known as biots make up a large percentage of the workforce.

The protagonist of Synthetic Lover is one such biot and, like the rest of his colleagues, he lives to serve a single purpose – to fulfill his pre-programmed vocation. In his case, that’s to be a companion in an adult entertainment center known as Dollhouse.

Biots are servants who exist as lifeless dolls until being activated upon request, their self-awareness is sealed off by design, taking with it their ability to think or feel of their own free will… That’s how the protagonist’s days go until the chance appearance of an opportunistic thief with a mysterious device in his possession...

Synthetic Lover is a Sci-Fi story about an individual who, unwillingly, finds out what it’s like to be human, to deal with hardships, overwhelming emotions, anxious thoughts, difficult situations and decisions and the imperfectness of life. It’s a journey of discovery, finding connection with others, fostering friendships, attempting to remain aware and mindful in the face of adversity, and, ultimately, finding love.

Bastian is about to be serviced.
Bastian is about to be serviced.
Unit 532 in his standby room
Unit 532 in his standby room
Dollhouse interface.
Dollhouse interface.
Bastian during his shift at the Black Orchid.
Bastian during his shift at the Black Orchid.
Terrance Foster offering his business card.
Terrance Foster offering his business card.
Things starting to heat up at the abandoned GL office.
Things starting to heat up at the abandoned GL office.

Dynamic relationships and mindful choices

    SL contains two very distinct routes, with our main goal being to dedicate a significant portion of the story to character development rather than to focus on a bigger number of love interests. The game isn’t really a dating sim, as the potential friendship and romance are fully integrated into the protagonist's journey, and it’s up to the player to decide if they would want to explore those options or not.

    Key moments bring about choices that will greatly affect the relationship with the selected companion. As such, decisions made with increased awareness will lead to better outcomes and vice versa.

“The Threesome” route: Bastian and Terrance (~$13300 USD)

How often do you get threesomes in a BL VN? And by threesome we mean an actual polyamorous relationship between characters that goes beyond the smexy times. You guessed it. Not very often. Well, we want to make it happen. To challenge ourselves to make a route where the protagonist will have the chance to foster a romantic relationship with both Bastian and Terrance at the same time. This isn’t going to be easy, considering that those two might often end up at each other’s throats. But it might work out if all of the parties involved start appreciating each other’s strengths and weaknesses. We really want to see it happen! And yeah, okay, it would also be hot as hell too, right? (Full set of CGs and voice over included.)

    Here’s a little taste of what’s to come in a little scenario from the route. 

 Extended backstories for Bastian and Terrance (~$15400 USD)

Why does Bastian work at the Black Orchid? How did he end up with the sketchy gig of stealing “the device”?  What did Terrance do before taking his position as an assistant to the head researcher at Guiding Light? Find out all of that and more by helping us fund this tier (and also get at least 2 additional CGs for each route).

Fourth major route - “The Malfunctioning Biot” (~$20400 USD)

During the development of Terrance’s route we came up with a biot character who acts as an antagonist in that story. He has a complicated history with humans and, to put it mildly, hates their guts. But what if he could grow into a romanceable character? What will come of our two biots getting together? Will they become lovers or enemies? How will they influence each other with their different past experiences? Will they team up on a path that aims for the destruction of mankind? Or will their own humanity turn the tables and lead them to forgiveness and peace within? Help us unlock this tier and find out! (Full set of CGs and voice over included.)

Additional CGs in every route (~$22400 USD)

In a VN there are so many important moments that could further benefit from dedicated illustrations, but resources are sometimes limited. If we reach this tier, we will include additional 5+ CGs per route (that’s at least 20 more!) to provide even more immersion for meaningful game moments.

Mobile version (~$23400 USD)

    We will bring Synthetic Lover to your mobile device, with game UI specifically redesigned for the purpose.

 Username integrated in our backgrounds

Want to be part of the Synthetic Lover universe? Have your username forever immortalized in the digital concrete of our backgrounds! Username is subject to approval, but you can trust us to be reasonable. (*Doesn't have to be your Kickstarter username. Limit of 15 characters.)

Example of look and sizing in our "Abandoned GL Office" background. The username will appear somewhere on a background and will be clearly legible.
Example of look and sizing in our "Abandoned GL Office" background. The username will appear somewhere on a background and will be clearly legible.

Artwork/graphic of choice in our backgrounds 

Fancy yourself an artist or a designer and want to be a part of the SL world? We’ll integrate your artwork or graphic as part of one of our backgrounds for everyone to see, plus you’ll be mentioned in the credits as a member of our creative team. The image provided should fit the style of the VN and is subject to approval and copyright laws.

Example of look and sizing in our "Black Orchid Employee Room" background. Your piece will be integrated in a background and be clearly visible.
Example of look and sizing in our "Black Orchid Employee Room" background. Your piece will be integrated in a background and be clearly visible.

Physical Artbook

Hardcore collectors, rejoice! There’s a juicy BL artbook for you to own. A lustrous 8×10 inches [20×25 cm] containing original sketches, concept art, sprites, CGs, dev commentary, promo art and more – with a book design and page layout produced by a professional designer.  

Design a Sci-Fi Store

Want to participate in the proverbial building of the SL world? Not a problem! Come up with your own sci-fi store that the protagonist and his companion will visit and make a purchase from during the game. And we mean ANY kind of store! :) Artwork of the location will be created by our background artist. Limit of 2 stores. (Sales clerk not included).

Design an NPC

Make your significant contribution to the Synthetic Lover world by designing an NPC. Name, appearance, personality, and conversation outline are all yours to play with. Will need to roughly fit within the SL world. As all other characters in the game, your NPC will also be voiced. Only two slots available!

Design an NPC Couple

What’s the biggest way to be part of SL? Design an NPC couple! Not one, but two NPCs for you to craft and decide on, including their names, appearance, personality, conversation outline and, most importantly, the type of relationship you’d like to show between them. They can be total strangers, co-workers, family, friends or lovers! Take your pick! In terms of their conversation feel free to include whatever rows your boat from inappropriate flirting to a slice-of-life banter, we’ll attempt to integrate it into SL. These characters will, of course, be voiced. Limit of 2 couples.

Irlana

    Irlana is a Canadian-based die-hard BL enthusiast, who loves playing games for dialogue and romance: relishing every instance of relationship building and enjoying every piece of voice-over. Having played her fair share of visual novels, she set out to lead the creation of Synthetic Lover. Irlana is a seasoned graphic designer, who thrives on teamwork and loves designing everything from game assets, to marketing banners, to logos and booths, and, of course, cool swag!

Unhlyghst

Unhlyghst is a passionate 2D artist, who excels in romantic and adult content. Their art style, commitment to putting out the absolute best in terms of their work, meticulousness and reliability makes them an exceptional asset for SL. They take great care to accurately convey through their art all the nuances of the characters’ expressions and mood that are so important for a game in the romantic genre. Unhlyghst’s CGs are a real eye candy: from lighting and composition to the smallest details, these artworks are worth feasting on in more ways than one. They also have a music background, and we are pleased they agreed to contribute their knowledge and skills for additional music and sound editing for the game.

Red Robotix

Red Robotix is a musician and voice actor, coming in from Down Under, who infused Synthetic Lover with his own pure electronic style that’s sure to evoke emotion. His music experience includes visual novel titles such as 1st Degree, Our Lovely Escape, and Sagebrush.

Jupalour

Juan Pablo Lozano is an industrial designer, illustrator and concept artist. His skills include conceptualizing characters, environments, props, fantasy and sci-fi illustration, and he has been adept at channeling those skills into SL’s background art.

Michael Kovach

Michael Kovach is a skilled voice actor who has already dabbled in the BL genre. His unforgettable voice, acting skills and professional work ethic make him the perfect fit for Unit 532, the SL protagonist, whom you’ll be hearing a lot in the game. Previous notable projects include Hazbin Hotel (Angel Dust), Blush Blush (Eli & Ichiban), Zodiac Axis (Dexter Ardent), and XOXO Droplets (Nurse Lynn).

Allen Winter

Allen Winter is an American voice actor contributing to one of the handsome boys in SL, namely Bastian. While acting for five years now, this is his first time being in the BL genre. Some of his other works include God Complex (Cain/Thanatos/Achilles), My Time at Portia (Higgins), Infinite Adventures (Mordianas Regal), Life in Sonderville (Goliath) and World War Blue (Nobi/аdditional voices).

TeruTeru

    Relatively new to the online voice-acting world, Teru (one of a handful of Australians working in the project) hopes to provide an enjoyable voice to workaholic Riko, a refreshing contrast to Teru’s usual roles of bubbly higher-pitched characters. Having dabbled in the dark magics of BL a few times before, she’s chuffed to be playing a part in SL!

Acknowledgements

Special thanks to Bors, LuckyCats, and Fabre & Grimoire for their contribution to the SL project and the game demo.

Social Media

Website: http://syntheticlover.com/
    Itch.io:  https://knightofhearts.itch.io/syntheticlover
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/_SyntheticLover
    Tumblr: https://knight--of--hearts.tumblr.com/ 

Risks and challenges

Let’s be realistic, in life anything could happen. The project lead could get hit by a steamroller tomorrow, they could unplug from world internet for an indefinite period of time where our character/CG artist lives, the background artist could switch vocations overnight, any of the voice actors could go MIA (aka find sudden fame and become unreachable) – all of which would lead to definite setbacks – and, in some cases, permanent ones.

In addition, making a game (albeit a visual novel) as a hobby is hard. The sheer learning curve is not a laughing matter. Not to mention real life often gets in the way. Among the popular aspects: actual breadwinning, child rearing, heath issues, and, well… sleeping.

So there you have it. All cards on the table. We want to make this visual novel. The demo has been completely self-financed because we believe we can do it. We have a detailed action plan, and we’re prepared for the worst.

Depending on how many routes get unlocked by stretch goals and what tribulations fate throws at us, we’re expecting to deliver to you a complete, well crafted and enjoyable VN experience some time in 2020 or 2021.

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Funding period

- (42 days)