A Very Important Date: Otome/Visual Novel/Romance Sim
A Very Important Date: Otome/Visual Novel/Romance Sim

Alison (default name) Sunderlund considers herself to be an average girl from a small Ohio town.  By day she can be found working as a server in a local café and by night she takes care of her house and family: her dad and younger brother.  Though she doesn't have a lot on her plate, the life she has gives her very little free time.  But Alison's life changes one night when she decides to play a game before falling asleep, and wakes up the next morning sitting under a tree in a strange new world.

Confused, Alison sets out to discover more about her new surroundings.  When she meets a few unsavory sorts, she flees through the unfamiliar town, escaping onto the breathtaking Arkwright estate... where she trips the security system and knocks herself unconscious.  Luckily, she's found by the mansion’s kind owner, Gwyn Arkwright, who takes care of her wounds, listens to her tale, and offers Alison a job at his café, The Looking Glass. With this world being so different from Earth, Alison sees very few alternatives and accepts Gwyn's offer.  Everything's peachy except...  now Alison must choose which of The Looking Glass' five café employees will train her! 

Will Alison stick with what she knows and remain a server?  Will she a cut a new path as a cook's assistant? Will she wipe away her past burdens as a low-level dishwasher?  Will Alison ever figure out what strange world she's in?  Will she ever return to her old life? 

Will she want to?

This demo consists of our game's prologue, where we introduce Alison, build the wondrous town of Mimsboro, and give players a glimpse of the Looking Glass crew.

To pull up the in-game menu outside of the main menu, press P or ESC. Note: some programs render the ESC key inoperable when running in conjunction with other programs, this demo included.

We plan to update our demo shortly before our Kickstarter campaign. Upcoming features include:

  • Save/Load
  • Fast Foward
  • More in-game content
    • Gwyn's First Chapter(s) with choices
    • Emil's First Chapter(s) with choices

All stories* are written by Noëlle Hyzy, the winner of Voltage Inc.'s 4th Annual International Script Writing Contest for Romance Apps.

  • 5 suitors
  • 12 chapters for Main Stories
  • 3 possible endings per Main Story
  • 3 chapter Epilogues
  • 40+ hours of content across all stories
  • At least 6 CGs per Main Story
  • Episodic content
  • Available in English
  • Available for iOS and Google Play
  • Available for Windows and Mac**

* Unless written by a Backer at the Red Rose Tier.

** If Greenlight is successful on Steam

Okay, so you've seen the previews and met the cast, let's get right to this Kickstarter's feature presentation:  the awesome Backer rewards!  With these rewards, not only are you helping make this otome/visual novel game possible, but they also help us provide you wonderful people with the ideal Important Date experience.  And best of all, our rewards start with just a single pledge of $1! 

$1 USD

Thank you for backing us!  With this tier, you get access to our Backer Only Updates!

$5 USD

On top of the Backer Only Updates, you will also get 5 Kickstarter Exclusive Character Wallpapers and your name/screenname/handle* will be featured in the Special Thanks of our credits sequence!

*Inappropriate names/screennames/handles will be asked to change for a more PG audience.

$10 USD

With this tier, backers will receive all the items from the previous reward tiers and 1 Main Story and Epilogue on Steam!

$15 USD

At the Lotus Tier, you will receive all previous rewards and a Kickstarter Exclusive Important Date PDF Comic Book!

$15 USD (limited to 50)

At our first limited edition tier, you receive all rewards found in the $20 Tulip Tier, but for $5 less!  That's all previous rewards, but instead of 1 Story Set, you’ll get 3 Main Stories and Epilogues on Steam!  But act swiftly because this tier is only available to 50 backers!

$20 USD

Like we said in the Bread and Butterfly Tier, the Tulip Tier will give you access to our Kickstarter Updates, your presence in our Credits, 5 character wallpapers, a PDF Comic Book, and 3 Main Stories and Epilogues on Steam!

$25 USD

At our first $25 tier, you gain access to our PDF Art Book that shows off our beautiful character and background art along with all previous rewards!

$25 USD
At our second $25 tier, you'll gain access to our Kickstarter Updates, your name in our Credits, 5 Character Wallpapers, a PDF Comic Book, and 5 Main Stories and Epilogues on Steam!

$30 USD

The Hibiscus Tier takes the aspects that separate the two $25 tiers and puts them into one convenient package!  With this tier you'll get access to our Kickstarter Updates, a Special Thanks credit, 5 Exclusive Character Wallpapers, a PDF Comic Book, a PDF Art Book, and 5 Main Stories and Epilogues!

$40 USD

The Camellia Tier gives you all previous tier rewards and our Official Box Art Style Poster!

$40 USD (limited to 25)

At our second limited edition tier, you receive all rewards found in the $50 Aster Tier, but for $10 less!  You get access to our Kickstarter Updates, a Special Thanks credit, 5 character wallpapers, a PDF Comic Book, a PDF Art Book, our Box Art Style Poster, 5 Main Stories and Epilogues on Steam, and our Official 2” Metal Keychain!  But be quick, because this tier is limited to only 25 backers!

$50 USD

At the Aster Tier, you’ll earn everything from our Camellia Tier and our Official 2” Metal Keychain based on A Very Important Date’s icon!

$75 USD

Our $75 Orchid Tier gives you all previous rewards plus 5 Kickstarter Exclusive* Acrylic Charms!

*Physical rewards are ordered in bulk.  Items that remain after they’ve been allocated to backers will be sold to recoup funds.

$80 USD

The Snapdragon Tier features the same rewards found in the Aster Tier plus our Kickstarter Exclusive Important Date T-Shirt!

$100 USD

The Zinnia Tier takes the exclusive items from the $75 and $80 tiers and combines them!  At this tier, you’ll get everything in the Aster Tier plus the 5 Exclusive Acrylic Charms and the Exclusive T-Shirt!

$175 USD

At the Daffodil Tier, you’ll receive everything in the Zinnia Tier and you’ll get to choose 1 Official Dakimakura (Body Pillow Cases)!

$475 USD

Backers at this tier get everything at the Zinnia Tier and all 5 Official Main Cast Dakimakura (Body Pillow Cases)!

$650 USD (Limited to 8)

The Oleander Tier comes with everything at the Moonflower Tier plus the you’ll work with us directly!  Backers at this tier will help us Design Alternate Casual Clothing for the Principal Cast!   Once your designs are selected and approved, they will be given to our amazing Sprite Artist so the outfits can be adapted to fit into the game!  Because of your contribution, your Special Thanks Credit gets upgraded to Alternate Outfit Fashion Designer!

Each backer at this tier will be given only one character for which they will be designing outfits.  The first backer at this tier will be designing clothes for whichever principal cast member character they choose.  Subsequent Backers will choose from the remaining characters on a first come, first serve basis.  It is recommended to have at least 3 outfits designed for us to choose from after you’ve been given your character selection.  Outfits will need to fit the character and the game’s lore.  This might necessitate slight redesigns for implementation into the game.

$750 USD (Limited to 3)

At the Iris Tier, Backers will get everything at the Moonflower Tier and you’ll work along with the team to design the appearance of our Very Important Side Characters!  Once your design is selected and approved, it will be given to our amazing Sprite Artist so the character can be adapted to fit into the game!  Because of your contribution, your Special Thanks Credit gets upgraded to “Character’s Name” Concept Designer!

Each Backer at this tier will be designing only one side character and their base outfit.  The first Backer at this tier will be given the choice of which side character they wish to work with and subsequent Backers will choose from the remaining characters on a first come, first serve basis.  Appearance of these characters will need to fit the the game’s lore.  This might necessitate slight redesigns for implementation into the game.

$1000 USD (Limited to 3)

Backers at the Amaryllis Tier earn everything at the $475 Moonflower Tier and get to have their story idea turned into a Side Story!  Once your synopsis and story outline is approved, our writers will take it and turn it into a 3-4 chapter Side Story!  Because of your contribution, your Special Thanks Credit will be upgraded to “Story Title” Prompt and Concept Creator!

Each backer at this tier will be creating a story idea, synopsis, and outline with one of the Main Cast as the lead role.  No extra side characters, sprites, or backgrounds will be created for this story.  All characters and backgrounds that can be featured within these stories must already exist within the Important Date world and lore.  The content of these story ideas must be able to fit under the “T for Teen” rating.  For story ideas that are too graphic or those do not fit with the already established lore of this game, the Naïve Sprites writers will discuss story restructuring or rewrites with you before they move to the writing process.

$2000 USD (Limited to 1)

The White… oops, I mean Red Rose Tier will net one backer everything at the $475 Moonflower Tier, and they will get to work alongside the team as Guest Writer for a Side Story!  Once your synopsis and story outline is approved by our writers, we’ll hand you the reins so you can write your own Very Important 3-4 Chapter Side Story!  Because of your contribution, your Special Thanks Credit will be upgraded to Guest Writer!

The Backer at this tier will be writing a story idea, synopsis, and outline featuring one of the Main Cast as the lead role, and once that is approved by the Writing team, you can write your story.  No extra side characters, sprites, or backgrounds will be created for this story.  All characters and backgrounds that can be featured within this story must already exist within the Important Date world and lore.  The content of this story must fit under the “T for Teen” rating.  If your story is too graphic, breaks continuity, or does not fit with the already established lore of this game, the Naïve Sprites’ writers will discuss story restructuring or rewrites with you.  The Writing team will help you as you write your story if you need it.  Once your story is finished, the Writing team may still need to edit your submission slightly for sake of continuity.

Here's a helpful chart that breaks down the contents of each tier for easy reading.

If we achieve our initial goal, we have Stretch Goals in place to enhance A Very Important Date.

  • Mobile Device 2-Day Sale: At this moment we're not sure if we'll be able to give the mobile stories away to our Backers.  We want to and are trying to think of ways to implement this into our mobile version.  Google Play does allow In-App Promo Codes, but limits this to 500 per quarter and Apple doesn't allow Promo Codes for In-App Purchases.  To fix this, we have decided to do a 2-Day sale everytime a Main Story is released. 
  • Boy Love Side Story: This will be a 3 to 4 chapter side story featuring our characters.  We don't want to give too much away so not to spoil the surprise!
  • More Poses, More Expressions: We want to allow our characters to express themselves as much as we can.  This goal will provide us the money to add more expressions and poses to not just the main cast, but also supporting characters.
  • Connor's Complete Route: With this goal achieved, Connor, one of the bouncers at The Looking Glass Café, will have his own Main Story and Epilogue.
  • More CGs for Main Stories: Want more art of the guys and Alison? This goal will allow us to add 2 CGs per Main Story including the 3 Stretch Goal Routes.
  • Julianna's Complete Route: Julianna will be our first same-sex route in our game, which we hope to have more in the future.  How is she connected to The Looking Glass crew?
  • Physical Art Book Upgrade: For those that have pledged at $40+ will have the choice to upgrade their PDF Art Book to a physical copy.
  • Lowell's Complete Route: You have one of the twins, why not both?  With this goal, Lowell, Connor's twin brother and the other bouncer at The Looking Glass Café, will have his own Main Story and Epilogue.
  • Boy Love Main Story Upgrade: Remember our second listed Stretch Goal?  The Boy Love Side Story will be upgraded to a full length Main Story with 12 Chapters and 3 Endings.  It will also get the same number of CGs as the other Main Stories.

At certain Stretch Goals we will unlock our Add-Ons one by one.  By adding the additional amount to your original pledge, you can receive these items.

Naïve Sprites is an indie otome game group that’s currently developing our first visual novel. Our goal is to make stories that all of you wonderful people want to read. We hope to shake-up the visual novel market with more westernized stories, while still retaining the beautiful anime inspired art of the otome genre's roots.

A Very Important Date started as Noelle's passion project in June 2014.  She'd grown to love visual novels and the otome genre and felt that it was time to tell one of her own stories.  But ambition took over, and the Important Date lore grew to the epic story that it is now.  So to help reign in the project, Noelle found other like-minded individuals along the way to make sure that this big game got made.

Noëlle Hyzy: Project Director, Executive Producer, Lead Writer, Character Concept, Background Concept 
Justin V: Co-Writer, Editor, Art Editor, Background Concept, and GUI Artist
Joe "Bonesy": Marketing & Advising
kooriesque: Character Concept Artist
darkenmarr: Sprite and CG Artist
furude: BG, GUI, and Game Icon Arist 
lordless: BG Artist
IchBinJager and Wolfborg: Programmers
Geoff Moore: Composer

Like with any project, a lot of time and effort is going into creating A Very Important Date and strange town of Mimsboro.  At the time of writing this we have:

...43 gorgeous backgrounds, with around 20 more still to go!
...nearly 60% of scripts for the initial 5 Main Stories and Epilogues finished!
...roughly 80% of the GUI art finished!*
...about 70% of the main cast sprite art finished!**

*bearing any changes needed for implementation.
**bearing any slight changes needed for aesthetic continuity.

With all that said, the scope of A Very Important Date is very big, and there is still a great deal left to do, such as CG Art, aspects of the game engine, music, and emotion, pose, and outfit changes for the characters. Since the beginning of development, Noelle has been using her own money to fund this project, including much of the winnings she earned from the Scriptwriting contest.  Justin and Noelle have both abstained from being paid for their work until the game’s release unless funded to unexpected levels, but they don’t want there to be any hindrance in the game’s development due to funding concerns.

This is where Kickstarter and you, our wonderful backers, come in.  Though we have already paid for a great deal of assets for the game, like what was already mentioned above, the $11,000 we’re asking Backers for in this campaign will be used to cover what is still left for production.  Our funding breakdown looks like this:

Our largest chunk of funds will go towards Character Art at 30%.  This involves CG art, character pose and emotion changes, alternate outfits for characters, and side characters.

The second largest piece of funding is Marketing at 17%.  This goes towards advertising A Very Important Date and this campaign through media outlets, convention appearances, and whatever else is needed to boost attention to this game.

The 16% chunk of our funding pie will go towards our Background Art.  At the moment we have paid for and created nearly half of our backgrounds and we’ve deducted that from the needed funding percentage above, but as we’ve said earlier, we still have a lot more to go.

Our next piece on our chart is your wonderful Kickstarter Rewards at 15%.  We want to give you the very best merchandise possible to match the quality we look forward to in our story.

The 10% chunk on our funding chart goes towards Kickstarter Fees and other related fees.  If a Kickstarter campaign is successful, a creator must pay Kickstarter and processing fees that can total up to 10% of all earned funds.  This is something that is unable to be modified.

We’ve planned to set aside 7% for our composer and music production.

Any sort of problems that occur during production falls into the last 5% of our funding chart.  This will be used to pay for extra things that come up that were missed in the course of development, like a missed CG or character emotion, or if there’s a sudden hardware failure.  This will also be used to cover any unexpected changes in international shipping costs of physical rewards that arise during the time of the game’s development.

With help and pledges from fans, we can make sure that we’re able to implement key features, finish needed art assets, and complete the game in a timely manner.  Kickstarter gives us a platform to push Alison’s stories even farther with the Stretch Goals we have in place.  Backers and the influence of Kickstarter itself provide us an outlet where we can build a strong, active, and engaged community that can bring A Very Important Date to areas we never imagined.

Risks and Challenges

The biggest possible challenge that Naïve Sprites faces when making A Very Important Date is time  Though, our Background Artists are producing backgrounds quickly, our Sprite and Character department is strictly one person.  She works lightning quick, but we don’t want to overwork her especially when she already has a full-time job outside of this.  Also, though we have two writers working together, they are also working on other aspects of production while they write.  We hope this doesn’t cause any sort of delays, but that is always a possibility.  As it has proven to do before, life can also find a way to be an obstacle.  However, as fans that have been with us for a while will know, we are very active on our social media outlets and update you about our progress regularly.  So if there are any delays that pop up during production, we will inform everyone as soon as we can.

Another challenge we face is hitting our Stretch Goals.  Don’t get us wrong; we will be ecstatic if we’re funded and, if we reach them, the fulfilment of the Stretch Goals will be our top priority.  However, adding some of these extra features into the game could add more time to production.

One potential risk we face is the manufacturing and shipping of physical rewards.  We’ve determined manufacturing prices when we made our funding breakdown, but these prices could always increase on us unexpectedly.  Postage for international shipping can change which could cause an increase in the actual shipping of these items.  Our 5% Wiggle Room is meant to cover this if necessary, but there is always the off chance where that might not be enough.  This could lead to a slight slowdown in shipping while we find funds to cover it.  But fret not!  We will inform Backers as soon as possible if there will be any delay in shipping or manufacturing.

The largest possible risk that we face is not getting funded.  If this were to happen, though development wouldn’t cease, it would severely slow down and the quality of the final product will most likely take a massive hit.

 

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