[dropcap size=big]W[/dropcap]ingdaria Destiny is one of the latest visual novels on Kickstarter and is one deserving of more attention than it has received thus far. Although it does not (currently) have the backing of increasingly popular publishers such as Sekai Project, it presents a tale very much worth experiencing. The game stars a man by the name of Evan. When he lived on the streets people harassed him due to his blindness. This was before Princess Aria saved him from a troubled life and gave him a home in her castle. After years of living together, they’ve become quite close. Unfortunately, the time has finally come for Aria to fulfill her duties as a royal and marry a Prince for political reasons.
But what of the feelings Evan has for her and she for him? Will they be enough to break them free of these rigid societal obligations? We certainly don’t find out in the Wingdaria Destiny demo, but it does provide a surprisingly enthralling glimpse into what the full visual novel storyline will be like. In as little as 5 to 15 minutes, we’re introduced to Evan and Princess Aria and the reveal of Aria’s upcoming arranged marriage. At least in my case, I only needed these few minutes to like both characters and want to see them together. This is most definitely a testament to some serious writing talent! Alongside lovely anime-style artwork and English voice acting for Aria, it’s obvious that Wingdaria Destiny is on the path to becoming a great new title for the visual novel genre.
Have you, like me, fallen in love with Wingdaria Destiny? If you’re curious to know more about the game and its development then you’ll be excited to see we were fortunate enough to get an interview with A.M. Joy Jørgensen. Read on to learn much more about this upcoming visual novel.
Cliqist: When did the idea for Wingdaria Destiny first come up? Was it planned as a visual novel from the very start, or did you also consider other genres or even mediums (books, comics)?
A.M. Joy Jørgensen : Wingdaria Destiny first came to life, as my friend, needed a story for his interactive storytelling and programming course. He had to make a short Visual Novel-like experience and thus, asked me if I had a story he could use for his project. Since I’ve been writing stories for as long as I can remember, I looked around in my folders and found the unfinished tale of Wingdaria Destiny, which at that time was named: “See with your Heart”.
I had written the opening of the story a few years back in order to challenged myself in writing something very descriptive. A story that would be highly dependent on the interpretation of sounds. I wondered how I could do so, but I realized that this could be achieved if I took basis from the perspective of a blind person. This person, is Evan, the protagonist of our story.
As my friend finished the project, the idea of turning it into a full fledged Visual Novel sprouted in our heads. He’d program, and I’d write. Then the long process, of finishing the story started. It took me about 3-4 months to finish it and write its different routes and at this point, I’m still adding additional content to the story to give the characters and setting more depth.
Cliqist: Unlike many romantic visual novels, it appears that the protagonist Evan is not guaranteed a future with Princess Aria. Did you feel it was important to give Aria a sort of narrative autonomy over her fate?
A.M. Joy Jørgensen : I felt that it was important to show players that all actions have consequences. And especially for Princess Aria, who is conflicted between her personal wishes and her duty to support her country, it’s important that the player doesn’t just act for himself, but for both of them. Aria as a character, might be a bit naïve and unknowing, but she is also capable of acting on her own. She will, throughout the story, decide if her fate is to be together with Evan or someone entirely different.
Cliqist: How has the reaction to the Wingdaria Destiny Kickstarter pitch and demo been thus far? Having played the demo myself, I found myself surprisingly hooked in the minutes it took to play through.
A.M. Joy Jørgensen : I’m very happy to hear you enjoyed the Demo. Truth be told, we were very worried that it was too short, but the overall reactions so far have been quite positive. We even had a backer saying that the length of the Demo was very suitable, and just enough to get the player interested in the story without spoiling too much of the plot line.
Additionally, we had a fresh Let’s Play’er named Aaron, play the Demo on his gaming channel. His reactions while playing the Demo were quite satisfactory as I watched him agonize over Aria’s arranged marriage. This proved to me, that we, during this very short opening, had created characters you could sympathies with, which is a crucial factor for a game such as Wingdaria Destiny and gives you a reason to keep playing.
Aaron’s Let’s Play can be watched here.
Cliqist: Do you expect the full version of Wingdaria Destiny to include dialogue choices as frequently as in the demo, or was that just to ensure folks know this is not a “kinetic” visual novel?
A.M. Joy Jørgensen : Wingdaria Destiny will be full of frequent choices, that all have an effect on how the game progresses and how your relationship with Princess Aria evolves. I wanted to give the player freedom to act as he sees fit and let him take responsibilities for his actions throughout the game. As of now, we probably have a minimum of 6 choices per chapter. Some of them, leading the story down completely different paths, but with the same goal in mind.
Cliqist: You’ve placed a complete game estimate at somewhere around 15 hours. How long might it take to complete a single route? How many routes are planned at this point?
A.M. Joy Jørgensen : As of now, a single route takes around 5 hours to get through, although this is also highly dependent on which route and how your relationship with Aria evolves. I wish to write additional chapters to lengthen the enjoyment of the game, but we will have to see how the funding goes and how much I can contribute with from my own pocket to fulfill this wish.
We currently have 3 different routes to travel down. 4 different (good) endings that all change depending on how you played the game. Additionally, depending on the bond between you and Aria, you might experience different reactions from her side. This leaves the player with plenty of replay value to explore the many choices.
Cliqist: What are some of your creative inspirations (books, films, other visual novels, etc)?
A.M. Joy Jørgensen : My inspiration highly comes from video games such as Final Fantasy and other popular JRPG franchises. Mostly because I find that the storylines of these games are stronger and more in depth than the ones you can find in other types of games. I’ve also played a few Visual Novels in my past that have inspired me towards working on this project. Otherwise, the best inspiration comes when I stroll, draw or simply relax and give myself time to think.
Cliqist: Why should folks back Wingdaria Destiny? Please share those key points about your game which will make it a lovely addition to visual novel fans’ libraries.
A.M. Joy Jørgensen : People who are looking for an interesting story line to get soaked into, both strong and lovable characters, multiple routes to explore, and for something different than the high school romance setting, should definitely consider backing the project. I’ve had a few people look over my story, and they have both been surprised and intrigued by its progression, so I hope potential backers will find our concept interesting and help us finish the game. Our team of artists and musicians have worked very hard so far and if the project gets funded, it is without a doubt, that we will give it our all to deliver a quality game and make it as enjoyable as possible.
Wingdaria Destiny is currently funding on Kickstarter. If you are unable to support it monetarily, consider giving the game an upvote on Steam Greenlight. Thank you A.M. Joy Jørgensen for participating in an interview!