Errant Heart is a
Visual Novel game. It currently has a word count of approximately 120,000, which we estimate would yield somewhere between 3-8 hours of reading depending on your speed. It contains approximately two dozen event CGs, dozens of backgrounds by the talented Owen Carson, has had story editing provided by the insightful Lillian Diaz-Przybyl and is partially voiced with almost 800 lines of spoken dialog thanks to Apphia Yu.
Our cast consists of:
Jill Harris, Karen Hayman, Matt Shipman, Kevin M. Connolly, Brittany Lauda, Karen Kahler, Bryn Apprill, Devon Talbott and David Lyons.
The general theme of the game is slice-of-life mixed with supernatural suspense.
Version 1.0 has just been released to the public. Check back regularly and/or check our Twitter or Facebook or our website for updates to the build.
Errant Heart takes place in a fictional 1940's European city (sans Hitler and Nazis) and follows the exploits of a young painter, Lira Moretti. As she leaves home in order to establish herself as an artist in the cosmopolitan mainland city of San Moritz, she has a bizarre encounter with a street urchin which leaves her with a gap in her memory.
As she settles in to life in San Moritz, Lira struggles to choose between starting her painting career or following up on the bizarre circumstances that she encountered upon her arrival. Eventually, after having apparently been followed by the street urchin, Salima draws Lira deeper into an extraordinary world where the passage of time takes on new meaning—a world which runs parallel but utterly unseen to the eyes of the banal.
How much ya got? No, seriously.
We're offering Errant Heart free of charge. Or, perhaps it would be more accurate to say, we're offering it as a "pay what you think it's worth" model. So why would we do this?
First of all, Errant Heart represents our first foray into the world of Visual Novels. You could say it's an unproven product. We don't really know if people will enjoy it. And unlike some individuals who believe artists
deserve to be paid for their work, we do not necessarily hold that as an immutable truth. Instead, we believe artists deserve precisely as much as their patrons are willing to give them. Besides which, being an unproven product, we're more interested in spreading the word and upping the visibility of Errant Heart. What better way to do that than to let people try the game for free? After all, art doesn't do much good if others can't experience it.
Secondly, this iteration of Errant Heart is roughly one quarter of our total vision. This incarnation reflects just how far we can take the project with only our free time and with the backing of a modest Kickstarter. We believe it is still a full, complete game—even if it does end on a bit of a cliffhanger. However, there's so much more that we'd like to do with it.
As such, we hope that the "pay what you want" model will not only encourage people to play and enjoy Errant Heart, but also encourage them to make a modest monetary contribution if they like what they see and would like to see more. Additional story arcs, more sprites, more backgrounds, more event CGs, more music, more special effects, and perhaps even a few additional surprises—these are some of the items that your contributions will help fund.
We're a two-man-crew who, for the last decade, have been working under our studio name, Pseudomé Studio LLC. We've worked on animation projects, webcomics and print comics. If you want a succinct overview of our last project (
Van Von Hunter), you may want to consider checking out the Wiki.
First and foremost, we are ardent believers in good, robust story-telling and compelling, interesting characters. For the longest time we knew about the medium of Visual Novels, but we had always assumed that they were just vehicles for dating simulators—something in which we had little interest.
It wasn't until we happened across a title called
Tsukihime that everything changed. It showed us that the format of Visual Novels could indeed be used as a means of robust story-telling. It could indeed contain interesting and compelling characters.
Of course, we followed and consumed as much
Type-Moon content as we could in the intervening years—Kagetsu Tohya, Fate/stay night, Fate/Zero, Fate Extra, Fate/unlimited codes, Unlimited Blade Works, Kara no Kyoukai, etc. And along the way we came across other studios with a similar penchant for unique story telling through Visual Novels, like Nitro+ and titles such as Saya no Uta and Steins;Gate.
So that's a long-winded way of saying that Errant Heart was created in the tradition of Visual Novels from those sort of studios.
A secondary reason why you may be interested in playing Errant Heart has to do with the visuals. Something we dislike, but is incredibly common in Visual Novels is static artwork. Find a random visual novel title and find a Let's Play on YouTube. Now scrub the search bar and watch the little preview window. Does it take minutes-on-end for the imagery to change? I'll bet it does.
background in comics and animation, we wanted to avoid that. So we've built Errant Heart in such a way that we hope it plays more like an animatic than a boring slide show.
To that end we have implemented myriad techniques to help keep up visual interest, such as multiple character poses, outfits, hair styles, lighting effects, zoom levels, set props, camera panning and other special effects.
Please feel free to check out our
YouTube channel for sample videos.
And if you're so inclined, please leave a comment below, or consider visiting our subreddit to post about any issues you may have come across, any thoughts, criticisms or questions you might have in regards to Errant Heart.
A note about installation
Installation is straight forward. Simply select and download the version of the game which corresponds to the type of computer you use. Then, unzip/unpack the download to any location you like and run the .exe from the root directory.