So “brindle” has been a WIP for a while now. I started working on it when I was in grad school and the original premise was really dark and creepy. I scrapped the entire thing about two years ago and started fresh with something more lighthearted and fun (and still a little dark and creepy).
And then I scrapped it again in 2018 because it just wasn’t working for me. But I’m giving it one last attempt in 2019. I changed things up and decided to write “brindle” as an interactive novel instead of a visual novel. Half of the battle in 2018 involved me tearing out my hair over the art assets. But with an interactive novel, you can let your imagination do all of the heavy lifting because it’s ALL text. Like a lot of other ChoiceScript games, you can customize your player character’s (PC) name, gender, sexual orientation (which will determine the gender of the romanceable characters so you don’t miss out on anybody), and personality traits.
The demo covers about 4-5 of the earlier scenes in “brindle” and will be available no later than 2-14-2019. My goal word count for the demo is 25-30k.
The PC is a con artist who is captured by bounty hunters after being betrayed by their partner-in-crime. The bounty hunters reveal that the PC has a benefactor who offered to pay them handsomely if they deliver the PC to the ritzy Rollis-Maven Academy. The benefactor is Iris Sabine, the head archivist at the academy. Iris wants to collect information on a certain ancient ritual but needs to find a prophetical hero with a special divine mark to get the access she needs. She makes a deal with the con artist; pretend to be this special hero or go to jail. You are that con artist and this is your journey.
One of the features of “brindle” is that you’ll get to pick from 5-6 heroic backstories to help the PC fake it ’til they make it. Do you choose to be a knight who was banished from their kingdom after failing to protect the royal family? Or the member of a small militia who used the power of interpretative dance to win over the goblins who were terrorizing their hometown? Or the child of piemakers who was abandoned when their parents became groupies and followed their favorite bards on tour? Each backstory will unlock unique situations/conversations. Make sure to stay consistent with your backstory or the other characters (especially the Dark Rituals Inspector) may become suspicious. Or don’t because conflict and chaos are fun.
At its core, “brindle” is a frivolous fantasy dating sim. All of the characters will be introduced in the demo. If you don’t want to smooch anyone, there will be friendship paths available. And if you hate any of the characters, you can pick a nemesis path. You can go to the “Brindle” link at the top of the screen to get a full list of the characters (https://colorfulbridae.wordpress.com/brindle/).
You might notice some weird things happening in the background (possessed daggers, creepy bird skeletons, and unsettling dreams) during your first playthrough. If you make certain choices, the “deep” routes will be unlocked. These deep routes will offer more depth/explanation to the plot and more opportunities to interact with the stranger things. Lachi and Cavriel/Cavrielle each have a “deep” route in addition to their standard route. There is one other major character (Konich) and two secondary characters (Kasimir/Kasima and “Juniper”/Cev who are linked to the “deep” routes. Their main routes will be available in the sequel but there will be some build-up during “brindle.”
I’m going to make more posts this week introducing some of the characters.
And here is the first picture I drew of the cast after I rebooted “brindle” a couple of years ago: