Devlog 1: Concepts, Brainstorming, and how ideas are made.

I'm Rhea Manuel, a web developer-in-training. I love nerding out over technology, so you can imagine when I heard about the Web Monetization Challenge, I was immediately interested.

The tech stack for web monetization is fascinating. I spent a good two hours trying to wrap my head around how it works. However, implementation is fairly straight-forward so it didn't take me long to figure that aspect out.

Now, I started to brainstorm ideas for what a game that utilizes it should be like. The first idea that popped into my mind was a Visual Novel.
For those who are unfamiliar, this is the definition of a Visual Novel:

A visual novel (Japanese: ビジュアルノベル, Hepburn: bijuaru noberu), often abbreviated as VN, is an interactive fiction video game genre, which originated in Japan, featuring text-based story with narrative style of literature and interactivity aided by static or sprite-based visuals.
From Wikipedia

I considered several other types of games, but kept coming back to Visual Novels for a few reasons:

  1. Web-based Visual Novels are a unique concept. Most Visual Novels are download-only, for PC or mobile. While there are definitely some good Visual Novels for the web, the concept is generally quite unexplored. I wanted to make one and see how it turns out.
  2. Monetization for Visual Novels are largely unexplored. While there are quite a few good examples of Visual Novel monetization on mobile devices, a lot of them feel intrusive and don’t seamlessly integrate with the rest of the gameplay. I wanted to try making something that did.
  3. I love Visual Novels. Okay, this is pretty biased, but making something you love is pretty important, don’t you think?

After the theme “secrets” was revealed, I began brainstorming ideas for a Visual Novel that incorporated it. I also wanted to submit the game to the GitHub Game Off jam, so the second theme was “moonshot.” So, I landed on an epic fantasy adventure with a mind-blowing twist simmering between the surface.

I realized to make this happen, I needed to form a party of my own. I recruited Esther (who is a very talented artist) and kidnapped asked my friend Elm (an incredible writer) to help out.

Soon, we began fleshing out the idea for the story. I realized the story would work well with some RPG mechanics thrown in, so Elm & I discussed how best to integrate them into the story.

We landed on unique skills that would affect the story for each battle and add a lot of replayability, as the skills can be mix-and-matched for a crazy number of variations that best suit your playstyle.

This will be very important when you play the game, so choose wisely.

I wanted to talk about the tech stack in this devlog, but it’s already gotten pretty long so I’ll be leaving it at this. But feel free to hit that “Follow Rhea Manuel” button at the top right if you’d like to know immediately when the next devlog is out!

Twitter: @rheactdev


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