Who's more important to save: your friends, or yourself?
For around a year or so now, I’ve been working on a visual novel. After a lot of writing, re-writing, re-re-writing, working out asset requirements, programming, testing, designing, and more, I’m proud to publicly announce the game: The Many Deaths of Lily Kosen, for PC, Mac, and Linux. A public demo of the game is planned to be released within the next week or so.
Blood stains your hands. You gather your strength and stab the knife into the demon’s flesh, hoping that this time it will stay dead.
But you already know that it won’t. Because you’ve killed it before. You’ll kill it again. All that you can hope for is that your streak of luck continues, and that you continue to survive…but you know that sooner or later, death will catch up to you.
When did it all go wrong? Was it when you and your friends arrived at the local lake and realised that nobody was there? Was it when you discovered that your car had broken down, trapping you all there? Or did it all start a long time ago?
Whatever the cause, everything’s gone wrong. The actions of a mysterious group have summoned a demon, and that demon wants nothing more than to kill you and your friends. If you can keep your cool you can stop it for now…but what will you do when it returns next time?
The Many Deaths of Lily Kosen features an immersive story in which you and your friends try to work out how to survive for long enough to stop the demon permanently. You’ll try to keep yourselves sane, stop others from getting caught up in this mess, and work out what the hell is going on. Good luck - you’ll need it.
If you’ve played a visual novel before - especially one made in Ren’Py - then you should know what to expect here. The majority of gameplay will consist of you reading through text boxes while characters talk to you, and from time to time, you’ll be asked to make a decision that will affect the story.
These decisions are where things get interesting. Unlike a lot of games, where your decisions will usually consist of what action you want to take, in The Many Deaths of Lily Kosen your choices consist entirely of which of your friends you want to talk to during lulls in the game’s story. You see, whether they realise it or not, all of your friends - and you - are severely stressed. By taking the time to talk to them about what’s going on in their lives, you’ll help them feel a bit better.
So, why should you do this (aside from the fact that it’s a nice thing to do)? You and your friends’ survival is tied to your stress levels. If you’re too stressed when the demon shows up, you won’t be able to act decisively, and you’ll die. Better take some time to talk about yourself, get some things off your chest, and be more prepared against the demon! But wait - if you talk about yourself too much, then your friends’ stress will build up. Are you willing to guarantee your safety at the cost of their lives? If you try talking to everyone equally, will you get everyone through the events of the story fine, or will you just end up spreading yourself too thin, leading to everyone dying?
If anyone other than you dies, the story will still continue. The characters will lament the loss of their friend - or friends, depending upon how many people died - and try to continue on their journey. As such, while the overall story is the same with each playthrough, who you talk to can lead to some altered events and different dialogue, as well as vastly different information that you’ll learn about your friends. It is, of course, possible to finish the game with everyone alive, but nobody said that it was going to be easy.
One more aspect of talking to your friends is that when you do so, you’ll get a chance towards the end of a conversation to choose what you want to say to them next (or, if you’re talking about yourself, you’ll get the chance at the start to choose the topic). The amount that the conversation helps to destress your friend will depend upon what you want to say to them, so choose carefully! Note that this feature won’t appear in the upcoming demo, so as to create a more streamlined experience and to give players something new to look forward to when the full game releases.
Cool, calm, and collected, Gabriel is the perfect leader. He’s always got one plan or another for what to do, and he’s good at listening to his friends. But how will he handle things when he’s unable to find a solution to his friends’ problems?
The oldest member of the group, Victoria is hot-headed and impulsive. She tends to act first and ask questions later - if at all - and can always be relied on to be unpredictable. She’s handy in a fight, but what good is that when your foe can survive all that you throw at them and more?
Some events in Hannah’s past have left her somewhat shy and withdrawn, and she’s not always the best at saying what she wants. She’s smart and tries to be a useful asset, but she rarely takes the initiative. Will she be able to help the team, or will her hesitation lead her to an early grave?
The Many Deaths of Lily Kosen is estimated to take around 4 - 8 hours to complete, depending upon how often players choose to reload their game and whether they decide to replay the game to view all available dialogue.
In addition, the game’s script has been fully written. While it will no doubt undergo further edits beyond what has already been done, doing so reduces the remaining development time significantly.
Programming, Writing, Directing: Harry Sewalski
Character Sprites: Jin Amber (Twitter | Instagram | Youtube | Website | Discord)
Backgrounds: Ariq Althaf Fauzan (Instagram)
Music: Cody Webberley (Website | Instagram) and Soroush Abedi (Instagram | Facebook)
Logo: Tegan Gower (Instagram)
Sound Effects provided by https://www.zapsplat.com and https://mixkit.co.
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