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Posted by : Kuna (admin) Tuesday, November 20, 2018

(Week 98-99)

...Of course the title is a joke! 😇 But there's a kernel of truth too, as there are many titles I was inspired by to create Pitch Black Serenade's story and gameplay. (There are also a handful of books actually). So this is what today's blog post is about.

I am not the kind of fan who like everything about a series of a genre. Most of the time I like part of it, or maybe a certain feature. And I enjoy analyze how this feature works and why it can entertain me this much.

Pitch Black Serenade wasn't entirely a 'spontaneous story'. I felt like writing a story about a certain topic, but then I had to build every piece of the scenario with a calculating mind. But I guess that this is nothing new to story creation, right? 😅

However, let's cut it short! Here are the games I took inspiration from and the reason behind it!

Kingdom Hearts.

Photo from 2011 😌

I grew up with KH and this series contributed in large part to define the kind of stories I want to write. Even before PBS I had tried to create a story that had that certain feature I found so cool in the KH series!

So what did I enjoy this much about KH? The fact that there are many different chapters with parallel stories and that linking all the pieces together is up to the player! 

The first time I had noticed about how much I enjoyed this feature was right when I was playing Kingdom Hearts II. Being able to collect pages of a mysterious diary linked to events happened elsewhere felt incredibly exciting! (...And this is also probably why back in the days I'd tried to draw a comic where the reader could find random diary pages once reached a certain scene... But this is another story...! 😌)

Final Fantasy Type 0.

Talking about Square Enix again, I enjoyed this title a lot, too. To be honest, after all this time I don't remember the details of the story but I do remember well what I found really interesting/shocking.

And it is that in Type 0 universe, when someone dies, their memory is erased from people's minds and no one would remember about them anymore. This is none other than the way the Crystals use to have soldiers less scared of risking their lives in war. But this was also one eerie story device that made the characters' development incredibly strong!

Yes, there is something similar in PBS, too. When people are abducted under some mysterious circumstances, their memory leaves families and friends' mind. It's not the work of the crystals, of course, and it doesn't involve death. It has some other meaning and it's part of the mystery the player is supposed to solve. I chose to be inspired by Type 0 because I simply found it very creepy!

Persona 2.

Persona 2 is my favorite Persona game among the ones I've played/watched. The game mechanics and the immersion in the story felt very cool and it's the game that started me on the whole create-a-visual-novel thing. You know who to blame for the perverse presence of Kairi in this world now!

What I found cool about this game was the 'talk with the demons' part. Aside from being a funny feature, it was a cool alternative to the classic RPG battle as well! For once, instead of bullets and spells, a player could use lines of dialogue or everyday actions in the hope to convince the demons in cooperating with them!

I took inspiration from it to shape the 'purple choices' in PBS, in the aim to have choices that the player would use to pursue a goal.

Dramatical Murder.

Everyone on the net was so into it, that I decided to give it a try.

Actually there's nothing about the story and the characters that was truly inspiring, but the interface and the coding was! The menus, the BGM, the packaging are truly stylish! And before those, the coding of the game was the real inspiration for me!

Until this point, I'd only experienced visual novel with few animations. Just going trough the common route in DMMD, I could see action scenes and a way of telling characters and expressing dialogues that was totally new to me.

This game is probably the reason why PBS got 'lively' action scenes.

The Witcher 2.

The Witcher 2's choice system and choice options in general are among the most inspiring ones I've ever experienced! In this game, Geralt possesses an "intimidating skill" which he can use to convince other characters to do whatever he asks. Translated in UI language, the choice menus have normal choices and choices that use this skill. To sign these particular choices... different icons representing an eye are placed right before the choice text!

Yup, I used an eye icon for Kairi's choices too. While playing The Witcher 2 I couldn't stop thinking how greatly that icon would convey the 'power' of the special choices, so I thought about using a similar device in PBS, too.


That's all about my thieving activity! 😇 Now you know something more about Pitch Black Serenade! Or maybe you just landed here and now are curious to try it? 😸 

If you haven't yet and you'd be interested in a mystery visual novel with a smart-ass as a main character, please follow the link below to get to the itch.io page where the demo is available for download!
Thank you for reading! 🙌💜

✨Download the demo!✨


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