In the picture above, my black cat. It was the first one of my pets to be included in a game of mine. He is “Black” the cat in Heileen 1-2. We call him Batman, but for obvious copyright reasons I couldn’t use that name in Heileen games! 😀
Incredible how time flies. It was October 2010 when I made a blog post where I was thinking about doing a third (and very likely last) episode of my Heileen series. And now, almost one year later, I’ve decided to make it for real. Last year I was dubious because the main artist of the game (and of all my early visual novels / dating sims) Rebecca Gunter, is now working fulltime as webcomic author (it has always been her dream) and last time we spoke she said that unfortunately she doesn’t have a minute of free time, since she is busy working on THREE webcomics at once (she reminds me of a certain indie author who has several running projects…lol).
So I started asking around, since in theory I have all the sprites needed to make the story, what I’m missing are the ending scenes. However, talking with other indies and customers, everyone agreed that is enough that the style is similar and the CG scenes should be fine. CG scenes are the one displayed as the end, as “prize”. It occurs to me that none of the Heileen games had ending scenes with custom art, because at those times was just starting and had a much limited budget for each game… but Heileen 3 will have them for sure, since is the last chapter I want to make something very good.
As replacement for the CG scenes I’m going to use Loren RPG artist (who is working right now on the last scenes for that game). As you can see from the image below, the style is very similar and should be fine 🙂
Reading again the old post, I had lots of ideas. Obviously I’m not going to do them all, but all I can say is that Heileen 3 won’t be a normal visual novel, like the previous ones. I want to add at least a simulation gameplay element, after all at the start of the story we are in a pirate ship, so… plenty of interesting options for Heileen, don’t you agree? 🙂
I would also like to keep the idea of the Good and Evil choices that was present in the second episode, so that you get different endings based on what you do, on how you behave towards other people and which moral/ethical decisions you’ll take.
Similarly to my most recent games, I plan to have both straight and homosexual relationships. In previous episodes of Heileen, you couldn’t pursue many love interests, but this time I’ll try to expand the number. For the straight GxB endings, Marcus and John are the ideal candidates, and for the homo GxG obviously Marie and… surprise 🙂
Beside improving romance, I want also to do a management section with all the characters present in the story. Each character would have a role on the ship and give you a bonus. The main idea is this: you start your search to find the other missing people, and as you get them, they join you aboard and give you gameplay bonuses. For example “recruiting” Marco will give a bonus to cooking, Jack will increase woodcutting and maybe also will give a hand during struggles… and so on. I want to keep also the quest system present in the first two games and have more variety of quests. It looks almost like a RPG, but in reality I think is more accurate to say it will be a dating sim with island exploration/colonization. Something like that, I have yet to define the details!
For the Visual Novels “purists” don’t worry, I will include also a “super mega easy” playing mode, so that basically you’ll be able to play it almost as if it was a standard plain visual novel!