Hypnotica is a visual novel in development by myself and my friend Will Towles. As with Tessa’s Ark, I wanted to combine comic books into a story format where the reader was put in control of the decisions made by the characters, like a role-playing game, with a story that could be serialized into multiple additions. The visual novel format brings the comic book story elements to the game, while point and click style exploration allows for limited player interaction with the story.
The plot of the game is based on a future in which society imposed regulations on itself until the point that freedom became only obtainable by the powerful. In this environment, the U.S. government was able to use it’s vast global wealth to continue the Philadelphia Experiment. They discovered an alternate dimension which ran in parallel to our observable dimension, and with the use of electromagnetic frequency transponder pylons, pocket dimension could be opened connecting an isolated area of this parallel dimension with our own. By entering this pocket dimension, people and objects could be hidden completely from all attempts at detection. This technology also allowed instantaneous travel between pilon stations by connecting individual pocket dimensions to each other. With the ability to move troops and equipment quickly across a large distance, the rest of the world soon fell under the might of the American war machine. Earth is now ruled by a coalition of rich corporations, interested only in profit at the expense of human suffering.
The artwork is drawn with a comic book aesthetic and a scribbly, imperfect, noir look mimicking the hopelessness of the current world. The limited color palette of just red, green, and blue also reflects the bleakness of the world. The GUI and UX design is also set up to be reminiscent of o comic book style and is set up to be accessible with a keyboard and mouse combo, multi-touch screen smart device, or a traditional gamepad controller for display on a wide range of devices from smartphones to traditional game consoles.
The story follows Tim, an urban Private Detective targeted by the government for death due to his family ties to the resistance movement, and his latent ability to perceive the pocket dimensions. He is able to project his astral form to detect the electromagnetic signals used by the pylons to hold open the inter-dimensional network. He teams up with two twin resistance fighters, Sylvia and Silvio, as they attempt to destroy the teleportation network and cripple the government’s ability to move troops around the world at will.