A downloadable game for Windows and macOS

Release Date:  December 2017


~Preface~

"There is a legend among our people--That if one were to swim through the deepest, blackest, most crushing depths of the sea, on the other side of all that darkness...there is light."

Long ago, the goddess of the sea drowned the world in her tears, but took pity upon the mortals that walked its surface. The four faces of the goddess became four separate peoples, but from that day they have scarcely met, each knowing the other races exist only from legend.

Far in the north live the Nenet, the representation of the sea's storms and unfathomable wrath and power.

In the shallow kelp beds live the Mu'etti, the representation of the bounty of life to be found in the ocean.

Deep deep below the water's surface are the Loremna'tat, the representation of the sea's mysteries and how no mere mortal can ever hope to comprehend it.

And among the warm tropical islands live the nomadic Ame'sol, the representation of the winds of change and that only those attuned to the winds may ever even get an inkling of what the sea might do next.

But for as different and spread apart as these peoples may be, they all share a common foe: the Pena--creatures that have been corrupted by the essence of fear itself. In these dark times, four runaways find themselves thrown together. Each has a personal reason for wanting to see the Pena menace done away with for good, and fueled by the belief that they were divinely chosen to end these monsters once and for all, they head out into the deep unknown to save the Four Peoples from the shadows that haunt them.

But before these four strangers can ever hope to defeat a monster, they'll have to figure out how to just get along with one another first. Though they all speak the same language, there seems to be an awful lot lost in translation going on around here.

The winds of change are upon us. Let the hunt begin.

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Genre: Friendship/Adventure

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~Features planned for the full game ~
-It'll be free! And you get a bonus internet hug from me for taking the time to play it!
-Very simple stat system for relationships and survival skill points
-7 Bonus scenes complete with CGs for maxing these stats.
-Completely optional romantic 'love confession' scenes that can be added onto any 'good' ending if the conditions are met--Because why not? Or everyone can just stay friends and there will be a scene and CG for that too!
-No 'one right way' to get the best ending, there are lots of combinations to get you there, every person will have a different experience playing through.
-Should be ridiculously easy to 'win'--This is my first game, I don't want to give myself a headache so I won't give you one either.

-Nine chapters long, the first two chapters are what comprise the demo.

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~NOTES~

--Take caution with the music volume, especially headphone users. A few of the tracks I've selected pack a punch when they start.

--The full game will have a lot more choices to make, but the first two chapters are still setting the stage for all of that. They do contain the two types of choices that will occur most often: how Makani will spend her time--potentially raising her survival skill and relationships, and how Makani will react to the cultures of the other characters--potentially raising/lowering relationship points.

--The demo includes some backgrounds I made earlier on in the project but they should/will be updated for the game's full release.

--If someone is willing to test the Mac file to see if it works and then tell me what to add it to the installation instructions, I'd really appreciate it (I know no one that owns a Mac, sadly).

--Warnings for mild violence, mentions of blood, and flippant threats of cannibalism. Full game will also include scenes of the characters hunting, which may bother some of my fellow animal lovers.

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~For Feedback~

After playing this demo, I'd love to pick your brains some! You can either comment here or contact me via whatever website you know me from.
For best results, please write down your initial thoughts before you look at/answer my questions below.



Done? Okay!

--Anything unclear that you wish had been better explained or would expect to be explained as the story goes along?

--What expectations do you have based on the premise, description, and demo?

--Do you like Makani? Is she a protagonist you're willing to root for?

--Got a favorite character?

--Would you want to play through the rest of the story?

--Anything that just needs fixing?

Install instructions

Windows

1. Extract the zip file and put it somewhere easy to find. I, for example, have a folder on my desk top where I drop all the visual novels I want to play!

2. Find the 'Application' file within titled "The_Deep_Unknown_Demo" and double-click.

Mac

--Uncertain

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Changelog

Download

Download
The_Deep_Unknown_Demo_v.2-win.zip 48 MB
Download
The_Deep_Unknown_Demo_v.2-mac.zip 47 MB

Comments

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I'm pushing the release date to December to give me a little more room. Working on this game and  trying to finish for November has been hurting my performance at work, and as I don't make a lot of money right now, I need to realign my priorities.  I hope you all understand.

All good :) Take care of yourself!

Hey there!

I've played the game around 300 days ago (commented before), and I can't wait for the full release haha! I've seen the other comments so I know  the planned date, but I wanted to ask you if you've updated the demo since the moment I've commented, because if there's new content, I'll gladly replay!

Thank you, and good luck with the remaining work!

Ah yes, hello again!  

The demo was last updated in March--mostly fixing little grammar/spelling/art errors, but I did add close to 8000 words worth of additional content from Chapter 3.  I'm not sure whether or not you would count that enough for a replay or not, but it's there if you're interested :)

And thanks!

Oh! Of course it's worth a replay! I'm so happy to hear that, thank you!

(Edited 1 time)

Aaand replayed it!

Don't have any real updates on the questions so I won't answer them again, but it was definitely nice to have some more story to play - with this, I should be able to wait until the full version releases! It was really interesting to see the beginning of the actual travel, not only the characters hanging out in the First Sea. It showed a bit more of the mechanics and hierarchy of the group, and I'm eager to see how it'll evolve.

It makes me realize I didn't ask about the endings before. You say it should be easy to get the best ending, so I take each character has at least a "good" and a "best" ending or something. But did you also put some bad endings in, even if you'd have to do it on purpose to get them? It would be fitting since well... their quest IS dangerous because of the Pena AND because of the boys fighting and all that stuff - it seems it can easily become pretty nasty between Riu and Kameckt, and I can easily see it getting worse. But at the same time, not all creators want or can make bad endings for their games, for one reason or another, so it's always good to know, I guess?


On a side note I MUST say it again - I love Riu sooo much I can't even get over it. I liked him since the very moment I saw him and I kept liking him more and more along the first demo, and now I just like him even more. I can't help but think he's extremely cute - it may sound weird, but in my opinion he's the cutest of the three boys - and I'm not talking about looks. Though he's also the one I like the most physically speaking - he's such a beautiful creature. First seeing him was so breathtaking! And those eyes!

Speaking of that, I believe I didn't say it when I first commented on the game, but I really like how inhuman the boys actually look like. They're clearly not your typical "regularly handsome" sea-folk (Kameckt would get a pass in that category I guess, but oh well) - and I love that fact. I don't have anything against pretty mer-people with pretty human faces and pretty fish tails and  all that stuff, but I'd rather have creatures like Riu and Vane anytime - their kind of beauty is different, and oh so fitting for a sea setting.

There are two sets of endings:  Set 1 is the overall bad/good/best ending that wraps up the plot.  Set 2 are the romantic/non-romantic endings.  These can be combined in different ways (unless you get a bad ending, in which case you never get to see the Set 2 endings).  

There's a scene that will be added into early chapter 3 that explains the 'gameplay', so to speak.  Basically it comes down to in order to avoid a bad end, you have to spend time with all three characters.  Putting all your attention on one guy will leave the other two without the sparring/hunting experience they need and they WILL die in the final battle if they don't have that experience--ending your adventure prematurely (about a full chapter before the game is 'supposed' to end).  Even Makani is killable if you aren't careful enough with your choices.
So yes, bad endings aplenty :P

Oh Riu...he tries so hard not to be cute XD  I'm glad you like his appearance too!  I thought it would fit to make him look a little more fabulous striking since his color scheme is essentially monotone as opposed to Vane and Makani's bright, warm colors that help them stand out from the cooler backgrounds and Kameckt's contrasting black, white, and gold.  The races have all been really fun to design, and I wanted to do something different with my merfolk since they're based more on actual sea life than mythology.  I've had a blast world-building for this story!  

Thanks for playing through again!  I'm working on getting the final game out as fast as I can!

I really like the fact that you'll have to spend time with the three characters. It's a mechanic that could be frustrating or annoying in some games, but in this case it's perfectly logical in the story!

I think each time I'll get a choice like that, I'll try the three options and choose my favorite event from the tree, and try alternating haha!


But because of that, I'm wondering about the romance part. I understand the Set 2 endings thing (and it's a cool idea, BTW!), but if you can't favor one guy over the others, does that mean nothing remotely romantic or hinting at romance happens before reaching Set 2, or some of your choices when spending time with someone would lead to a more romantic relationship, and you'd have to get enough of that romance "points" to unlock the Set 2 ending of that character?

Ah, I'm asking so much - if you think it's too spoilery, feel free to tell me so and not answer that!

You're fine.  They're fair questions to ask.  I don't consider them that spoilery, myself, since I'm planning on making some sort of guide anyway since I feel like it sounds more complicated than it actually is.

Yes, this set-up does mean that nothing blatantly romantic will be happening until the very end.  Romance has never been the point of this game, it's always been meant as a bonus.  I understand this is odd for a VN, and perhaps I should be more clear about that in the game's information so that players aren't disappointed if they were expecting more of a dating sim.  One of my personal goals for writing this story was to practice writing the development of friendships, and so that's what the core of this story is--the tale of four people learning to get along and be friends.

If you're concerned that this means the romance will be shoe-horned in right at the end, it may help to know that the Set 2 Endings are a sort of epilogue with a beginning, middle, and end all their own, and are about 9000-10,000 words a piece to give the blossom of a romantic relationship some believability.  

To get a romantic ending, a character late in the game will ask Makani whether or not she is in love, and if she responds in the affirmative then the character will hint at how she can move in the right direction towards which guy she likes.  You do need a certain number of friendship points for the romantic ending to initiate, but you should have little problem reaching that since practicing with the guys also raises this stat in addition to their survivability, and there are scattered other dialogue options throughout that often raise the friendship stat of more than one guy at a time.  Nothing depletes the friendship stat, and there are other rewards for filling it up other than just getting a Set 2 ending ;)

I had a lot of fun with it! I love stories with interesting creatures and cultures clashing together, and reading the interactions between your characters was a lot of fun! I  like how different the characters are from each other - they're all very distinctive and unique and will no doubt create some very interesting conversations with each other haha. 

I hope you don't mind, but I have few questions too!

Where’s the best place to check for updates?

How’s the production going so far? 

How do you pronounce all their names? 

-Anything unclear that you wish had been better explained or would expect to be explained as the story goes along?

Not really. There’s obviously a kind of mystery going on, but I’m sure that’ll be revealed eventually.

-What expectations do you have based on the premise, description, and demo?

Hmm currently its giving off this awesome cross country/ocean trip with four strangers from wildly different places haha. I love characters that are different species and have unique cultures!

-Do you like Makani? Is she a protagonist you're willing to root for?

I like her. She’s responsible and thoughtful, but I think her flaws are especially interesting in that she’s also reckless and fiercely independent (which can also be good things in my book, just maybe not when taken to the extreme).

-Got a favorite character?

Vane and Groriu are my current favourites. Loremna'tat as a species seems like the most interesting (I love deep sea creatures haha, plus the whole matriarchal thing going on is super cool) and I've always had a soft spot for dudes with a bit of attitude lol. His perceptive side is unexpected but extremely welcome! Vane reminds me of a princess but I think that’s cool! He’s obviously intelligent, if a bit pessimistic haha. I'd love to find out more about his family and species!

Kameckt's enthusiasm is endearing but he’s just a bit too pushy for my taste. But I'm willing to give him a chance! I think he could be a good friend to have if he ever starts considering other people’s feelings before charging in lol.

I love how all the characters have flaws with strengths that balance them out. They’re an interesting cast that I'd love to spend more time with!

-Would you want to play through the rest of the story?

Yes yes yes!

-Anything that just needs fixing?

Some sentences read a bit awkwardly but it doesn’t take away from the enjoyment of the vn. You’re doing great!

Thank you so much for playing!  I'm glad you enjoyed it!  A cross-country ocean/road trip is basically exactly what this is, and Vane is absolutely my sea slug disney princess XD  I'm always excited to hear that people like the characters so far.  I've tried to keep the cast balanced between the different personalities.

--I don't have a place I post updates very regularly, I'm afraid.  That's a part of the game development process that I haven't figured out how to handle, yet.  As I get into these last few months before I plan to post the game, I'll probably post more art updates on the lemmasoft WIP forum for the game, but most of the work I've been doing in writing (though it literally just occurred to me that I could be sharing that too, but I haven't been.  Perhaps I should start).  


--I'm writing the rough draft of the last chapter and a half and then I have some unfinished ending scenes.  I've begun work on the remaining sprites (figuring out good poses, and about half them also have lineart), and I've programmed up through half of chapter 3.  I've also changed some of the GUI layout and have some plans to fix up the main menu so more. 


--Makani [mah-kah-nee]
Groriu [groh-ree-oo]
Kameckt [kah-mekt]
Vane [vayn]
Ruim [roo-im]
Tilka [til-kah]
Nikan [nik-an]
Noken [noh-ken]
Kaial [keye-ehl]
Nareen [nah-reen]
And the rest of the cast for the sake of future reference:
Alita [ah-lee-tah]
Enoch [ee-nokh]
Tember [tem-berr]
Nigauti [nih-goo-tee]
Somufe [saw-moof]
Hylli [heye-lee]
Logai [loh-geye]
Yujezu [yoo-jeh-zoo]
Pena [pen-aw]
Thra [thraw]
Arun [a-roon]
Carab [car-awb]
Elval [el-vahl]

Thank you for the reply! Can't wait for the full game :)

I've just played this little demo, and I must say I really love this game. I really like games set in oceanic worlds, (I love, love, love stories of the sea~) can not  wait  for the  full game to be  released

Thank you for playing!  I'm glad you enjoyed it!  I also love the ocean!  It's part of what's made writing this so fun!

When will the final game be released?

By November is the plan.

Thank you! I can't wait for the final game :)

Hello there! :) I just saw this on LSF. I think it looks very interesting (I love, love, love stories of the sea~) but unfortunately, I can't play it because I don't have Win. Is there any chance you'll be releasing this on Mac, too? :)

(+1)

I'm happy to hear you are interested :D I do plan to release on Mac eventually, I'm just waiting for one or two people to get back to me and make sure it works. There have already been some issues with the Mac version that I wasn't aware would be a problem, so I didn't want to release it until the little wrinkles get smoothed away.

Alright, I'll be waiting! :)

I've just played this little demo, and I must say I really love this game. I really like games set in oceanic worlds, and unfortunately, this isn't something I come across very often. It's also nice to see how different are the main characters one from another! I like the different shapes, sizes and all that stuff.

The story seems very cool so far - got me very intrigued, and I want to know what'll happen next!


As for your questions:

--Anything unclear that you wish had been better explained or would expect to be explained as the story goes along?

Well, it seems pretty clear to me so far - of course some things are a mystery yet, but that's not unclear, simply not explained yet, like what is Riu's backstory with the Pena, since he said he wasn't involved with one "directly" and stuff like that.

--Am I too wordy? I know this is a problem I've had in the past (look, I'm even rambling now!).

I don't think so?

--Do you relate to Makani? And even if you don't relate to her, is she at least a protagonist you're willing to root for?

I don't really relate to the characters I'm playing in games, but yeah, she clearly is a protagonist I love and root for. She's really great! You know one thing I hate? When visual novel creators want to make a "strong female protagonist" at all cost, and she ends up being a cold badass capable of anything, wich is just as flat as the dense clumsy maiden. Here the protagonist is a warrior, sure, but she's well balanced and I like it.

--Got a favorite character?

Riu! He's so cool and cute in a way! I loved him since the moment I saw him!

--Would you want to play through the rest of the story?

Hell yes!

--Anything that just needs fixing?

Some minor typos and things like that, I believe. But I can't say for sure for all of them since my english isn't that good.


Overall that was a great experience, and I'll be stalking this page for future updates and new chapters!

Thank you for making such a nice game!

Thank you so much for the feedback! I'm really happy to hear that you enjoyed the demo!

The characters were a lot of fun to design, I'm glad you like them! And I'm really happy to hear that you think Makani is a balanced character (we don't want any boring flat protagonists around here!). I'll go back over the code and script after November, a few people by now have told me on other sites that there are some typos to fix and there are some other details I need to clear up and polish I think too.