A downloadable game for Windows, macOS, and Linux

Download NowName your own price

We are funded on Kickstarter, follow along HERE.

Synopsis:

An undercover assassin is on a mission to knock out her marks, but things turn upside down when a guild of enemy assassins is after her bounty. She runs into two mysterious men along her journey, both claiming to be trustworthy, but their secrets could lead her deeper into trouble.

The Love Interests

The Dust Hunter

It's natural to be drawn to a man with an air of mystery around him, a man that leaves you with more questions than answers—like his face or his name, for example. He's hiding something. And the only thing more suspicious than a man with skeletons in his closet is a man who refuses to admit it.

Despite that, he's quick-witted, cunning, well-versed, and kind. Iris would do well with a partner like that at her side. He claims to want to protect Iris from the guild, yet he can't even reveal something as simple as his name. He certainly finds Iris... intriguing. Can she trust him to guide her out of trouble?

Seth Salazar

Seth is a cold-blooded imperial assassin, Iris's natural-born enemy—not to mention he's sarcastic and often crass. He's a playboy with a devil-may-care way of life, and his sardonic sense of humor is all but obnoxious to deal with when you're trying to outrun the guild and kill your marks.

Despite all that, it feels like there's another side to him that Iris is drawn to. And he, on the other hand, finds her amusing. Perhaps he isn't as heartless as he seems, and if he claims to have the strength and loyalty to stand in as her partner in crime, then maybe he can help her survive this mess?

"I love the Game of Thrones/Shall We Date? mashup feel, vibrantly detailed character design--especially the awesome cloaks/hair design, and the tense narrative with opposing guilds" - Andy Mack

Full game:

  • Journal system with world lore
  • MC is an assassin
  • Villain love interests
  • An anti-fairy godmother
  • Over 10 characters
  • 14 CGS + a ton of item CGs and pop-ups
  • Animated cutscenes
  • 100k + words
  • POV scenes for each love interest
  • Multiple endings
  • Choices that affect gameplay
  • SFX for a fully immersive experience

  • Check out our website and follow us on Twitter for frequent updates!

    Content Warnings: Flashing images, alcohol and tobacco use, sexual references, strong language, mentions of death/murder/war, cartoon blood splatter, flashing imagery, and mild depictions of violence.

    This is a work of fiction. Any similarity to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. All names, characters, locations, events, and cultures are purely from the author's imagination.

    Download

    Download NowName your own price

    Click download now to get access to the following files:

    DEMO-garden-of-seif-2022-osx.zip 720 MB
    Version 1.7
    DEMO-garden-of-seif-2022-win-linux.zip 755 MB
    Version 1.7

    Development log

    View all posts

    Comments

    Log in with itch.io to leave a comment.

    (+1)

    Spoiler alert! I reveal aspects of the game demo that you may wish to experience for yourself. Please skip video and commentary to avoid spoilers.


    What I like about this game: 

    * Character sprite art - the main character's pouty face when her friend Mara tries to recruit her as a bakery helper is just priceless. 

    * Programming - the cinematography is like watching a movie, so professionally executed, it's flawless. From one high definition computer graphic cut scene, you see the main character from bottom to top to end on her face for impact. Then a pan out to see the bigger picture with background details to set the scene. Masterful and brilliant. The assassin fight scenes are cleverly integrated with backgrounds, transitions and sound effects. 

    * Character designs for main character, love interests and even side supporting characters - so much care and attention to detail, truly delightful for the eye!

    * Music - the trailer and just loading the game showcase the awesome sound tracks that accompany this game. Very cool. 

    * Writing and Story - Props to Aeriel (Donut Duchess) for directing such an awesome otome game. The story is unique. I don't see many dark otome games with demo's so well executed. Bravo!

    Deleted 94 days ago

    Yes, the cards lead to the two different routes :)

    (+1)

    I just played the demo and I love it so much!! The art is stunning and I love the music and characters. I'm definitely marking this one down when it's fully released! Keep up the good work!

    (1 edit)

    Edit: **My comment below to the dev team talks about characters and gameplay stuff, so be aware if you click extend and start reading-- as I know some people like to go in blind.

    Hi! I have a really big question! I found this game through the Kickstarter page before the launch date-- just because I like looking at things ahead of time. I'm confused at why you put your demo on here behind a paywall (granted, it's a minimum of $1USD which is almost nothing as a cost). If you were to put it behind any paywall, I kinda would expect it to be labeled as early access rather than a demo. When the Kickstarter launches, will the demo will be free? Do I get anything more in the demo if I pay to see it here for $1USD+?

    I hope asking this/the way I am asking isn't offensive to you as a game dev. I'm just confused between the standard of Kickstarters compared to this itch.io page.

    (1 edit) (+1)

    Hi! Since our original demo release in 2020, we have enabled the option for players to donate. It is appreciated by not required at all, and you can simply choose "no, thanks take me to the downloads." (If this option is not showing for you, please let me know and I will get that sorted out.) It's unfortunate that itch.io is very tricky with their placement of the donation button and I wish that it was less deceptive.

    As a small studio led by myself, this project has been self-funded for many years.  I did not know if I would launch a Kickstarter, and it was only going to happen if we felt far enough in development, which is now. Donating on itch.io has no relation to the upcoming Kickstarter.

    I hope this response clarifies the situation for potential players. I stand by the notion that demos should be free and that was the intention of the Garden of Seif demo, so I hope this doesn't make anyone feel inclined to donate.

    I want players to have the option to freely play the demo and see what it has to offer because I think the demo as is will show that the full game is worth purchasing.


    (1 edit) (+1)

    It's no problem! I think the issue was with itch.io a couple days ago. I was in a Discord call with some friends when I was looking at the download button and I went back to ask them if they saw the prompt or not. A couple confirmed that they also didn't get the "No thanks, just take me to the downloads" link. I hope my initial comment didn't come off as too disrespectful or harsh on the possibility that I missed something. I also tend to be hesitant putting my money towards paid services if a demo is under a paywall because I've seen it happen a handful of times; It's not common but happens.
    ---
    I looked through your website and saw your blog post with the 4 questions and wanted to do a kinda review/critique and answer some of those as I go. I hope that's ok here! 

    Also, I got through playing the demo and it's really well written (with no spelling errors which makes me incredibly happy)! The language and format you use is fluid and rich from what I normally read-- which is a good thing! The "tickle my toes and feed me honey and lemons" was one of my favorite lines in the demo for sure.  The facial expressions go well with the tone you set. I would maybe add a bit more focus on how you shade characters when you put other characters in the same window that have conflicting light sources (i.e., "elite loiters about fifty paces south of us" scene). The only thing that seems to be really missing is just the highlights on the sprites, which might be why I feel like the gameplay art is a little incomplete. The shading and detail you have for certain scenes in the game (i.e., Iris at the beginning of the game, Iris jumping on the bar, the motion blur while fighting, etc.) are pretty much perfect from where I sit. I would just love to see that quality in the standard sprites. The music and audio you put in kept me focused and I never noticed when the audio cycled. I'm honestly just letting the music cycle while I write this because it never breaks my focus.

    Two things that seem really silly to point out are the colored names for Duran and Seth. I'm not sure if it's a personal preference of mine, but assigning the same color to two different characters makes me draw a line between both characters naturally. It's noticeable that the character's name color tends to relate to their appearance and clothing (Seth, Mara, Dust Hunter, Malzahar, Roxi). The only colors that don't align are Duran's red name and Iris's pink name. Maybe that's intentional, but I'm not sure. And the last scene I want to mention is the one with Duran in the desert where you see Seth and the loiters looking at you from afar. When you go immediately from Duran to the group, it felt a little jarring. Maybe if you added simple bodies in the background and then went in for their half-body shots, that would feel a bit more natural to the eye. It's a very small suggestion, but I think that would be helpful in keeping that scene fluid. Maybe adding those sprites might come in handy in future scenes depending on how you envision the end product.

    Regarding the Journal, I would love it if the journal could be added to the game menu. That's a big suggestion in offering a feature that I feel is kinda necessary for immersing the player. I also think having a full map of Zalstar in it's respective chapter would be really helpful in showing the player where the places are so they can piece together the geographical and political landscapes visually. You did it in the sections for The Laithen Empire, The Kingdom of Askar, Nohiria, and Jarisii.

    The only bug I really found was when I played through it a second time while writing this review/comment. If you've opted to skip unread text while your first playthrough or replay with skippable text and skip to the "He stands up and offers me his hand. I stare at his palm, dumbfounded...", when you scroll back manually, it presents you with a black screen when Seth and Iris are talking about roses. I believe this is solely because it never triggers the transition from Seth's close-up to a half-body shot while sitting down. The text goes so fast that the visuals register when you're skipping and then scrolling back.
    ---
    Here's a simple breakdown that I came up with so far based on the demo:

    Story: 9 (you have me drawn in-- keep going with it)
    Animation: 8 (the shading/highlights need some work, food/drink images need more work to feel more appealing)
    Sound: 10 (distinct, runs well, transitions well-- loved it all tbh)
    Characters: 9 (it's obvious that the mc, Iris, is developing along with other characters)
    Overall: 9 (as long as the art stays consistent, has a bomb soundtrack/sounds, good character flow, I'll be in for the Kickstarter)
    ---
    The biggest thing I desire from VNs is character development. Being able to create a fully developed person from the start of the story is my favorite, compared to creators/devs who create a "base" character that doesn't feel like a flushed out person. Creating a character's perspective, values, and beliefs at the start and watching them be challenged and changed is so incredibly intriguing to me as a person and player. The question at the start around "do vermin deserve to live" tells me a lot about both Iris and Seth. So far, you guys have done a good job in giving the mysterious characters a sense of identity and personhood without disclosing too much as to who they are.

    Personally, I adore Seth's personality more than the Dust Hunter because he feels a bit more realistic and thorough. The Dust Hunter feels like he's of royalty, or at least of classic power/wealth, but also looks more appealing because of how symmetrical his attire is. I will admit, I really do like his hair. It reminds me of the art from a manhwa called "Villains Are Destined to Die." It's a really charming design choice that I've found more appealing-- which is the only reason I point it out. One character I would love to give more attention to is Malzahar. They look so soft and wholesome. Like a beignet. Maybe it's his demeanor and purple look.. with the rings... and the earrings... but he's attractive to me nonetheless.
    ---
    For Kickstarter rewards, I would love to see:
    ● Digital wallpaper(s) **Also allow for stretched image(s) if possible for 2 screens
    ● Discord role (heavily recommend having a dev and/or game Discord if you don't already; this post is so long, I'm scared of closing this tab to check, so I'll check in a bit lmao)
    >> Something not mentioned much is having Discord emotes that can widely be used on other servers. It can generate attention when people use appealing ones in different communities. It's what I do to branch out games I've backed.
    ● A (digital) artbook
    ● Soundtrack
    ● Mini guide (unless hidden routes are important)
    ● 1-2 week early access
    ● Add Garden of Seif: Curse of Gravehollow Peaks (either full-priced or discounted if a bundle is decided)
    ● (Maybe) Add a DLC (or after-story) if a certain goal is met
    ● Beta key

    *Add-ons are a hit or miss depending on how big of a following you get, so you can offer stickers, pop sockets, pins, etc. that you would see on other projects as ideas. 

    Honestly, I think I gave this demo a good look over, but I really hope all of this helps. It took me a couple hours. ^^;
    But good luck! I can't wait to see what the finished project looks like!

    (+2)

    Just played the demo for the first time - this is such a beautiful game! 

    (+1)

    Thank you for your wonderful comment! :) 

    (+2)

    Just played the extended demo omg i love EVERYTHING so farr!!!!

    Thank you so much for the feedback! :D

    (+1)

    The demo was great, I really enjoyed it!

    Thank you for your feedback! :)

    (+3)

    are you planning to release the game on mac? 

    Yep, that's the plan. 

    (+1)

    I just played the demo! I never knew i could be so hooked so quickly! The music and CGs so far are simply amazing! Keep up the good work! 

    So glad you enjoyed it! 

    (+3)

    Hi! I just wanted to say I'm really looking forward to this otome! The artwork looks beautiful!

    (+1)

    Thank you! We are so happy to hear that!

    (2 edits) (+1)

    Hi, hi! Is this still in development? Edit: I just found your Twitter and you devs are still active 😆 I'll change this into:

    Hope you all are alright and happy and healthy, devs!

    (+1)

    Yes we are (: We will be making an announcement soon. Thank you for your support!

    (+4)(-2)

    Hi, is the full version gonna be free?

    (+5)(-1)

    Hi! We plan to have the full version downloadable for a price. We haven't decided on what the price will be just yet.

    (+6)

    The Demo is great! looking forward to playing the full game! Keep up the good work and take care ^_^

    (+2)

    This Demo completely sucked me right in. It was very intriguing and had me on the edge of my seat the entire time, love the art style and the story so far. I can nearly wait to see the rest of it!

    (+2)

    Oh wow this game looks so stunning! I'm so happy I found it and I can't wait to try it out! 

    (+2)

    I absolutely adored the demo and can't wait for the finished product.: the graphics, plot, and characters left me wanting more. Seth is certifiably crazy and  Iris is badass.  Nearly had a heart attack at that cliffhanger.  Keep up the good work! <3

    That's exactly the reaction we were hoping for :) thank you!

    (+1)

    Hey! I just played the demo and the game is amazing! I love everything about it, the artstyle, the music and the storyline. Thank you for creating this. 

    I just wanted to say, maybe put more saving Slots in the finished product? Because *I* love to save many special moments :)

    I am waiting for more~

    Hi! I'm so happy to hear that! And we will make sure that there are more save slots for the full release :)

    Thank you for this feedback, it means a lot! 

    Will this be available on Mac? 

    It looks amazing

    (+1)

    Hi! Thank you! 

    Yes, the demo will also be available for Mac soon, but we are currently having it bug tested.