AFTERLIFE DATING SIM
Still Hearts was originally made for my Senior Game Project class in the spring of 2016. I worked with Sierra St. Onge, Richard Hui, and Joseph LaConte on this project. My main role was creating pixel art for characters, environments, and UI elements, as well as some writing, editing, and music.
It is a dating-simulation game in which the player gets to know multiple characters and eventually chooses one to pursue, unlocking different story paths. Rather than being purely a visual novel, Still Hearts allows the player to walk around in a top-down perspective.
The main hook of Still Hearts is that all of the characters are dead, and reside in the afterlife. The player comes to possess an item which can resurrect them and one other character of their choosing, leading them on a journey to decide who is worthy of accompanying them back into the world of the living.
The original version of Still Hearts was finished up to a demo state during the semester in which we worked on it, with a large portion of the writing and assets finished. We do not currently plan to continue work on the game.
Artwork that I made for Still Hearts. Click on the images below to enlarge them and view captions.
Clare is the default name for the player character. All of the characters are dead, but only this one has an angel-like theme in their design.
Flynt is a shy, thoughtful plant person who tends to spend time alone by the lake.
Iblis is a demon with a desire to see what living human society is like. He is outwardly nice, but may betray you in certain circumstances.
Callie is a playful ghost with, perhaps, a somewhat immature idea of the afterlife.
Ariel is a tough, jaded gal who became part cat in the afterlife. It takes some work to earn her trust.
The UI had a desaturated blue theme, but I wanted to give the text window a unique look. The veins are reminiscent of an actual heart, and the halo matches the logo. The wing emblem bobs up and down to indicate when the player can advance text, and it's also similar to what's on the player character's back.
Borris is a stoic, dragon-like individual who watches over the afterlife town, and guards the cemetery. No one (except Borris himself?) is quite sure why there is a cemetery in the first place. He is never seen actually moving in the demo version of the game, so we didn't need more than one sprite of him.
Includes a lot of the same elements as the other UI assets, but in a "giant 3D pixel" style.
Romance the Fish was our team name for Still Hearts. It came from one of our rejected early ideas, which was a dating sim/fishing game, in which you caught fish and then tried to win their hearts.
All of the water is actually animated in the game.
The river is animated in the game, as is the blue patch in the top left. It's actually grass, not water - a few things in the town of the dead have odd colors to give the feeling that something is "off." The edges of the image only extend so far in case the player gets close to the edge (as the camera in-game is more zoomed-in), but only the area inside the fences can actually be walked in.
The map is on a couple different layers, so the player can walk under the awnings. The grass (not water) in the middle is also animated. Again, only the areas within the fences can be explored. This is a popular hangout for most of the characters.