Soulless Wonder (Monster Girl Visual Novel) - Kickstarter


#1

Join Lantz as her journies out into the monster lands on an epic quest to break a curse and save his soul… by dating monster girls! We’re kickstarting a visual novel that takes place across hours of gameplay with artwork by a past Marvel and Dark Horse comics artist that you may know! Rod Espinosa, creator of The Courageous Princess is on board with us! The game features a huge variety of monsters that each have detailed back stories.

We allow a lot of interaction in our game by giving players the choice to decide what Lantz should say at times throughout the story. This can either win the hearts of the various monster girls, have them become friends with our hero, or even drive them to hate Lantz entirely. We encourage players to continue to play through, regardless of the outcome of each chapter. Multiple endings are planned for the game as well.

We also have some basic gameplay to show off as well, but please keep in mind it is bare bones. In the full game we plan to have lip sync and potentially Live 2D animation integrated as well!

Any questions? Please ask! I’m eager for your feedback.


#2

I’m about to give you a pretty harsh critique. If it softens the blow, I’m part of your target audience, my opinion is only one, and without any changes I might play this game anyway.

“Very pretty for a maid” - “Dirty scullery maid” - these kind of lines make Lance sound like a douche; that only works if you’re trying to give him an arc. The major plot device where Zarwyn abuses him by ripping out his soul, then sends him out to seduce monster girls to get it back, makes me uneasy. The art and voice acting are both adequate but could stand to be better - you could work with what you have and add audio editing and shading to sharpen the quality, but if you have the time, I’d do another pass on the basic sprites. They look a little unfinished.

The actual twist, though, is that our characters have depth, personality, and they are dealing with real issues faced by real people. Life is funny, sad, difficult, thrilling, crushing, unfair and uplifting. You’ll run into all of that in Soulless Wonder as you meet the diverse cast who each face their own demons… metaphorical demons. There may also be actual demons who themselves have metaphorical demons. You… get the idea. We will look at serious topics such as grief and loss, bullying, transgender issues, asexuality, same-sex relationships, mental health, and more.
^ All of this description from your Greenlight page sounds promising, and like it overlaps with what COG players are interested in. A lot depends on how it plays out, and how you handle it. Some demo videos of later scenes would be helpful for you, if those plots are where your game stands out.


#3

Interesting assortment of girls, and the prospect of trying to date a Great Old One is… interesting. Not to mention how dating a Zombie works! Fox Girl, Genie and Goblin Girl sound the most interesting to me anyway.


#4

Thanks Sashira! I do very much appreciate your feedback! You are very right. Lantz especially at the start is a complete moron. The title actually comes from one of our early readings when we joked about him being a “Brainless Wonder” specifically because of just how idiotic he is at the beginning. Even Zarwyn’s lines calling him a dumbass were ad-libbed by her voice actresses growing frustrations with Lantz’s character. As he continues on in his journey, he quickly becomes a LOT more grounded. Lantz does suffer from anxiety and some mild religious OCD which quickly becomes something he needs to focus on and overcome after losing his soul. A lot of this gets him thinking a lot more seriously about what is going on in the world and how casual he has been about it all.

In the first chapter he meets up with the fox girl. The two of them together allow us to develop Lantz and get to who he really is as a person, rather than just the care free idiot we see him as back in the kingdom.

I’ll certainly see what we can do about getting a later scene drafted up in engine to show our progression. I do assure you that this game is very much about what you’ve quoted above. While it is light hearted on the surface, Soulless Wonder is a game that takes many issues seriously. We’re not making this game to preach, but rather develop stories based on these important topics.

I admit too, the audio is rough. It wasn’t until we started recording Lantz’s lines that we were set up properly with our new equipment. Artwork wise, full shading is an option and it is something we are strongly considering due to fan feedback such as yours as quite a few others so far. It isn’t a problem and Rod has tons of experience digitally coloring his own art.

Thanks very much again! This is exactly the kind of dialogue I wanted to open up on here and I’m glad to be able to share more about our vision.


#5

Thanks as well derekmetaltron!

The fox girl is the first “monster” Lantz meets out in the wilds. She’s definitely an interesting character since she’s trying to deal with the loss of her tribe. The Paladin Queen lead an all out war against the fox people just weeks beforehand and our fox girl is doing her best to stay positive even though she’s completely alone now. She’s less than thrilled to meet Lantz but soon comes to accept his company when she realizes he isn’t a threat.

Meeting the genie girl is one of the chapters I’m most proud of that takes place late into the game. Lantz rides off with the genie tribe into the desert on a wild adventure to try and reclaim their token artifacts that keep them immortal (like a genie’s lamp for example) from the goblins who stole them. The character Lantz is trying to create a relationship with in this chapter is very much an independent warrior who enjoys his futile attempts to fit in with them. Picture a city dwelling bard being dragged along with Khal Drogo’s tribe in Game of Thrones (just obviously without all the sexual content).

Our Goblin Girl was a fun character to write as well. She’s sick and tired of her clan, but it’s the only people she knows. Meeting Lantz is the thrill of her life since she gets to learn so much of the world beyond. Living in a huge society of goblins deep in the mountain caves makes it an excellent chapter to explore their lifestyle in our world while still developing another relationship story.

The Lovecraft inspired monster is quite an interesting story. I don’t want to spoil too much about all that but the Eldritch Horror has possessed an detective girl that Lantz meets up with. Basically the possessed human form and Eldritch being have become one person now and that’s who he needs to get along with. The chapter itself deals a lot with psychology and I am huge fan of Lovecraft’s writing. If anything I’d say the most inspiration for this episode comes from “The Color From Space” and “The Dreams In Witch House”.

We do plan to have some bios as time goes on with the campaign as well.


#6

Sorry too Sashira, I wanted to address this in my first reply to you.

In regards to Lantz seducing the monster girls, that isn’t the angle we’re going for. Our use of making them “fall in love with him” is quite literal. There’s actually a conversation late into the game where Mina, Tandy and Lantz are discussing the zombie girl. The two hunters misunderstand what Lantz is asking about her and they become horrified when they mistakenly think Lantz has been seducing all of the girls up to this point. Lantz quickly explains that isn’t the case.

The game really is about developing relationships. It’s the goal of the curse to encourage an actual feeling of love for the cursed in order for Lantz to start to regain his soul. While this is the goal of the story, it’s not necessary to win each of the girl’s hearts in each chapter. We actually encourage gamers to continue on through the story with the results they get. Each of the characters can either fall in love with Lantz, become friends with Lantz, or become his enemy.

We do have mild sexual references with the characters flirting with each other at times, but in general the game is quite tame and the CG scenes are cute and loving rather than being of a sexual nature. We really are looking to create a dramatic story rather than a tale of sexual conquest. The curse is really about actual emotional love, not anything sexual.


#7

Sounds well thought out and interesting! You mention on the Kickstarter you have Telltate Games in mind as inspiration, so that means a air bit of dialogue and a good array of Choice and Consequence, right? Also since you mention you can get the girls to fall for the character and you have a specific order of stories in mind, does that mean you might have multiple women in love with him and liable to be a tad scrappy with each other? Part of me feels like it would be better if players could choose where to go first and who to meet, but that’s just me.

And the lovecraftian girl sounds interesting along with the rest! Long as poor Lantz doesn’t have the threat of giant tentacles or Innsmouth residents trying to drive him coco, I’m sure it’ll be fine. :slight_smile:


#8

That’s right derekmetaltron, we do have a focus on choice and consequence throughout each episode. Take the fox girl’s chapter for example. Lantz has just come from the kingdom where he was literally singing ballads about the death of the fox girl’s people. If the fox girl comes across Lantz’s songbook it’s going to take a LOT of explaining for him to convince her that he’s not an entirely horrible person at that point. That can go one of three ways. Either completely destroying their relationship and encouraging the fox girl to completely hate him, losing her interest in Lantz and at least keeping them as friends, or showing that he is beginning to understand how wrong he was and strengthening their relationship together.

The reason we have an order to the characters you meet is because of how Lantz’s journey progresses. While Lantz is moving further away from the kingdom toward the eastern coast of their lands, Zarwyn is preparing for all out war to destroy all monster kind. That’s actually partly why the two hunters, Mina and Tandy, meet up with Lantz so often. They’re out on a scouting patrol across the lands and since Lantz is still technically the Paladin Queen’s boyfriend, they’re doing their best to look after him when it’s convenient.

This does create the issue of multiple girls being in love with Lantz at the same time. While he feels horrible for doing it, especially as he develops feelings for them too, he’s also deeply obsessed with breaking the curse so he plays along with Zarwyn’s instructions. In general the monster girls are left behind as Lantz is whisked off to each new chapter, but that doesn’t mean they won’t show up again.

I’m looking forward to the Lovecraft chapter as well. The down side is Lantz really won’t be able to keep his sanity well and he quickly doesn’t know what to trust as real or not.


#9

We’ve received quite a few requests from gamers who want to have the choice to play as a female version of Lantz. In response we’ve actually changed our first stretch goal to accomodate that addition as well as highlighted the option in our first update!

If you’d like to take a look, you can find more info on that here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1293262989/soulless-wonder-a-monster-girl-dating-game/posts/1845093

I’m also still around to answer anyones questions. Please, feel free! I’m eager to discuss the game.


#10

One thing I was wondering is if you’re releasing this episodically (like the fox girl chapter first) or all as one game?


#11

We’re planning to release everything all as one game, but if the Kickstarter does fail but we do get greenlit, we may create episodic releases instead. The only issue we’ll need to work out is carrying over choice results since those will matter later on in the game.

If we do that, the intro will be a free release. There is actually quite a lot more besides just the scene in Zarwyn’s bedchambers. She speaks at the festival that’s celebrating her conquest over the fox people. Also we get to meet Mina and Tandy, Zarwyn’s two most trusted hunters.