Demo and Release Considerations

I’m very excited to demo Serafina’s Crown at the upcoming Six-Pack Demo Night at Earthbound Brewery on February 18th. Demoing one of my games will be a new experience for me. I’ve had friends play the game while I watch, which is a blast, but that’s quite different from presenting it to total newcomers in short bouts of play-time.

The challenge with show-casing a visual novel, of course, is that it’s a heavily story-based game, and most of the “playing” aspect comes in the form of reading large sections of text. So how should I present Serafina’s Crown in a way that’s quick and accessible, but still gives the player a good sense of the story and overall feel of the game?

The best plan I can formulate right now is to include a video at my demo station that provides a general idea of the story and play style – in other words, a trailer:

Then, the sections I will open for demos will be the Duma Debate sections, which involve using the Divinity Dial to pick numbers that will beat your opponents’.

I am excited to demo the game, and in addition to that, I’ve started to think seriously about my release plan for this title. I’ll be frank with any of you reading this: I don’t make enough money from my games or books combined to support myself. That’s probably no huge surprise. Although I’ve had successes here and there, I’m far from producing a massively popular hit. I don’t charge much money for my books or games, and some of them are completely free. That’s because I want my creations to be accessible to a wide range of people, and also because these days, a lot of players and readers expect to get things for free. So it’s often the only way to get exposure.

But I’m nearing a crossroads of sorts. With Serafina’s Crown, I need to start making enough money to legitimize my company as a sustainable business, or I need to focus on a full-time job (or lots more freelance work) and set this aside as more of a hobby. It pains me to say that, but otherwise I just can’t justify spending as much time and effort on projects that pay me next to nothing in return.

With my re-release of Serafina’s Saga, I added in-app purchases in the form of costumes. These have provided some revenue, but nothing significant. So that leaves me to wonder whether I should continue to add more in-app purchases, perhaps in the form of story content such as additional plot paths, or whether I should abandon that model altogether and sell my game at a set price. It’s going to be a difficult decision. And if you’re reading this as one of my players, or perhaps a fellow game developer, I hope you’ll give me your opinion.

Character List (Voice Actors Needed)

Below is a list and summary of the most significant characters from Serafina’s Crown. I am excited to announce that this visual novel will have voice acting, and I am currently searching for VAs for everyone on this list except for Arken, Kallias, and Serafina. If you’re interested, go here for more info and audition lines for each character.

odell

Odell Perin

Odell never wanted to live the life of royalty in Castle Krondolee, even though her mother was an important House Leader. She hates politics and prefers to explore the world with no attachments.

When Queen Belatrix dies and Odell’s mother steps down as House Leader of Perin, Odell has no choice but to assume a role of utmost importance in the Darzian government. How she handles her duties depends upon you!
arken

Arken Jeridar

Arken has a dark past, including betraying his own family and raising Serafina Elborn in secrecy. But he has repaired old bridges; most people in the Darzian nobility respect him now, and he serves as an adviser to Odell when she has no one else to turn to. For a reason he’s not eager to share, however, Arken seems intent on preventing Serafina from taking the crown of Darzia.

Learn the full truth of Arken’s past in the free novella, “Grand Traitor.”

 

serafina

Serafina Elborn

Serafina has come a long way since her childhood in the Darzian jungle. Now she is married to Reuben Jeridar with children, and the crown of Darzia is within her grasp.

As rebels calling themselves the Red Scarves cause trouble throughout Darzia, Serafina seeks the crown so that she can  spread peace and reform. But her husband, Reuben Jeridar, may have a different vision of their future together.

reuben

Reuben Jeridar

Reuben is a man who uses flattery, seduction, and lies to obtain what he wants. A close descendent of Mallion, a god of chaos, Reuben can also change water into wine (literally). He rose from rags to riches and now sits two chairs from the throne of Darzia. The question is: what does he want now that his wife might become Queen?

Many people suspect that Reuben secretly arranged Belatrix’s assassination to free the crown for Serafina. It will be Odell’s responsibility to uncover the truth.

kendal

Kendal Terrace

Kindal is a talented diplomat. Otherwise, he likes to spend as much time lounging or playing relaxing games as possible. In truth, Kindal is a spoiled aristocrat who simply believes that poor people deserve to be poor and that the noble class is truly superior to the lower class. But his desire to have fun and indulge himself can be highly contagious. He survives solely on his friendliness, charm, and ability to diffuse situations by helping people relax.

 

roza

 

Roza Pajari

Roza is a powerful warrior, leader of a House secretly affiliated with Belazar (god of wrath). She has no patience for bull shit, but she does enjoy a good challenge. She believes that strength and aggression are the keys to survival, and she would be lost without clinging to such traits at all times.

Roza is determined to prove that Reuben assassinated Queen Belatrix. Might she have her own reasons for wanting to see him fall?

 

kallias

Kallias Jeridar

Kallias is known to most as the greedy, careless king who led Darzia into economic ruin because he valued gold over natural resources. After his downfall, however, Kallias spent several years secluded on an island with as much gold as he desired. He realized that gold meant nothing without other people to believe in its value. He has now decided to abstain from gold for as long as he can and put the people first. He returns to Darzia a very changed man.

 

 

picard

Picard

Picard is technically the god of joy, but don’t let his title fool you. Being joyful does not equate to being nice.

Picard is playful and silly, but he is also sadistic, as well as masochistic. He loves sex and he also loves torture. He’ll try to squeeze pleasure out of any situation. And if something fails to amuse him (rare but possible), he will destroy it. Because he now possesses the power of an ancient deity, who can influence the flow of the winds and the movement of the sun, he’s quite capable of destroying whatever he wishes.

lorenzo

 

Lorenzo Dugarek

Odell falls in love with Lorenzo when she meets him on her travels away from Darzia. Lorenzo appears to be little more than an idealist Vikand chief who likes swordplay and women. But there does seem to be something special about him, especially once he gives Odell a precious gift in the form of a magical necklace…

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Serafina’s Crown – Released!

Serafina’s Crown, the sequel to Serafina’s Saga, is now released!

Download Chapter 1 free as a Demo

Google Play

Released on Steam!

The sequel takes place seven years after the end of the Serafina’s Saga visual novel. Grand Prince Robil Feldren dies of illness, and a few weeks later, Queen Belatrix Grandil dies in in the midst of a “hunting accident.”  Serafina Elborn and her husband Reuben Jeridar are posed to take the throne, except for one big problem: many nobles suspect Reuben Jeridar arranged the assassination of Belatrix Grandil.

You play as a new character, Odell Perin, who is unwittingly thrust into a position of power amidst the chaos of court. Due to her neutral stance, Odell Perin is elected to serve as Regent long enough to settle the ongoing disputes, and therefore determine who will become the next King or Queen of Darzia. The gameplay will feature a dynamic debate system that allows Odell to argue certain points in court based on her accumulated stats.

General walkthrough

Key Features:

  • Branching Narrative: Every decision made as Odell will change the story — whether it’s getting closer to finding the murderer, stabilizing the kingdom, or helping the next monarch rise to power.
  • Stats Management: Odell’s decisions will affect her stats, which will help her debate her beliefs in court.
  • Debate Mini-Game: The game features an entertaining mini-game where Odell (with the help from the stats she’s earned on her journey) will debate a variety of topics to uncover new, important information.
  • Girl x Boy / Girl x Girl Romances: Just because Odell is ruling a kingdom doesn’t mean she won’t save some time for romance
  • Voice Acting: Serafina’s Crown features a cast of talented voice actors that bring the story to life.

You’ll see many familiar faces in Serafina’s Crown, including Reuben, Kallias, Arken, Nikolaos, and–of course–Serafina. You’ll also meet many new characters, as well as Picard, a major character from the Ashes of Dearen novels.

newCharacters

***

CREDITS:

Voices:
Odell: Carol Mertz
Arken: David Dixon
Kendal: Matthew Curtis
Roza: Amber Leigh
Serafina: Rachael Messer
Reuben: Jacob Anderson
Kallias: Andrew Graffham
Lorenzo: Miguel Moran
Picard: David Dixon
Nikolaos: Drew Becker
 
Writing: Jenny Gibbons and Malcolm Pierce
Art: Jenny Gibbons
Sound Design: Drew Becker
Music: Jenny Gibbons
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Serafina’s Saga Visual Novel

See the animation where the story begins…

Serafina’s fate is yours to determine.

Young Serafina has spent her entire life alone in the jungle with only her guardian, a mysterious man named Arken, as company. When Arken is captured by a group of soldiers and carried away, Serafina must venture outside the forest to save him. On her journey to the heart of the kingdom, Serafina discovers a whole new world beyond the shadows of the jungle. She will also learn the dark truth of Arken’s past and thus her own. How she chooses to use this knowledge will change the fate of the entire kingdom.

Download Free Version     Unlock Costume Pack 1 (Pay what you want)

This interactive novel–approximating 50,000 words in length–features a custom score of 20+ music tracks, 50+ backgrounds, and more than 10 possible endings. As the story unfolds, the reader can choose how to interact with other characters, thereby forming or breaking romantic relationships that will shape the story’s conclusion.

Rated Medium Maturity for strong language and sexual themes.

View Walkthrough

Download for Android devices

Google Play

Click here to visit “Serafina’s Saga” on the Google Play store, where you can download and play the app on your mobile Android device.

Download on your home computer

Download the FREE version to download the game with default costumes.

Download Free Version

Purchase the game with Costume Pack 1 unlocked for just $2.99 (or more if you’re feeling generous!) to change the costumes to the style of your liking!

Unlock Costume Pack 1 (Pay what you want)

The downloadable zip files contain builds for PC, Mac, and Linux. Once downloaded, extract the files into a folder you can easily access later. On PC for instance, one of the extracted files will be the “Serafina’s Saga.exe” application with a small game icon. Just double-click to start the game. Open up preferences from the main menu to change settings like Full Screen, Music Volume, etc.