What's coming to Behind Closed Doors 2.0!

Published on April 29, 2018

behind closed doors, dev

Last week, a groups of friends and I released a visual novel to the public on the web: Behind Closed Doors.. Build for the web with Monogatari, Behind Closed Doors brings messages of redemption, hope, and love while telling a unique story. While this visual novel is intended as a project for religion, my friends and I are beginning work on the next version of the game. Here’s a rundown of what’s to come soon!

A note about developer updates

We always make developer updates as quickly as possible. Usually, we make about a new build a day, packing new features and changes every push in the day. Our code is publicly available on GitHub and our developer updates are usually rolled out in the staging branch.

To accomodate for the preview versions of our game, we’ve made an app the same way we did for our stable game on Heroku. You can use the link below to take a look at what’s to come:

http://alcayde-redemption-staging.herokuapp.com

Please note that these changes in the staging builds are not stable and may cause the game to not function as intended.

A splash of material

The main game interface

Our new update, dubbed the Material Update (2.0) will continue to build upon the basic interface changes we made when initially releasing the game. Using the Materialize famework, we’re bringing a Material Design-inspired user interface to the game, from the dialog boxes down to the settings. This interface overhaul provides a fresh look to our game and put the focus on the content rather than the details.

The settings screen on iOS

This update also scales nicely with mobile devices like the iPhone and Google Pixel. We hope to bring more interface changes within the next few weeks to make the best visual novel experience yet.

Messages galore

A message from Delilah in the introduction

We’re also introducing a new feature to add more immersion into the game: messages. Messages are simple dialog boxes that appear in-game and act as email messages. These messages appear in-game after a “push notification” is sent inside of the dialogue. These messages are sent from characters and can often add backstory or a transition into a new scene. While we have yet to make messages feel a bit more interactive or realistic, we hope this brings a nice addition to the game!

Special routes and story line expansion

A new special route in Chapter Two

Of course, we also wanted to have a bit of fun while making subtle additions to the game. Thus, we started creating something unique: special routes. Special routes offer a different story depending on who you type in as the name. We think it’s a fun addition, and we can’t wait to expand this more. For now, we’re working on the story line based on the name Monika; give it a try in the latest staging builds!

A completely-new Chapter Two scene The original story line in Behind Closed Doors feels a bit basic, and we are working to improve it a lot with more scenes and characters to shape it up. We’re adding completely new scenes into the game that offer backstory, provide action, or provide new story points. We hope to expand this game even more with individual scenes for each character; we might even introduce a new character into the mix! Here’s a rundown of some of the brand-new scenes we are including:

  • Waking up (Intro)
  • Breakfast with Delilah (Chapter 1)
  • Programming club panic (Chapter 2)
  • A friends’ day out (Chapter 4)

We’re also expanding and re-writing some of the chapters you are already familiar with:

  • Introduction reflection scene - now with dreams (special-route enabled)
  • Delilah’s incident - now with secondary characters on screen and a longer argument (Chapter 3)

Snappy builds

Snapcraft

When we first created Behind Closed Doors, we took advantage of web technologies to reach millions of users all over the world. However, games are best played when they don’t rely on an Internet connection.

Starting with the 2.0 release, we plan to make desktop builds of Behind Closed Doors available, and we are starting with Linux through Snapcraft. To test out the Electron version, just use the command below in a terminal:

snap install behind-closed-doors --beta

This isn’t over!

We’re planning to add more things, too! We can’t wait to see how Behind Closed Doors 2.0 works out! Stay tuned.

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