It's the triumphant return of our Kickstarter Spotlight! Each week, we trawl the depths of Kickstarter to show you what truly deserves your investment. This week, we have Dysfunctional Systems, a visual novel series by Dischan Media.
Dischan currently has two products under their belt. The first of which is a free kinetic visual novel called Juniper's Knot. This game started as an entry into NaNoReNo 2012, a competition where devs have only one month to create an entire visual novel. The result is a short, sombre story with great writing, art and music. It's definitely worth the download and serves as a fine example of what the team is capable of.
Their second game, however, is the reason we're here.
Released in April 2013, Dysfunctional Systems: Learning to Manage Chaos is the first part of an episodic visual novel series following Winter Harrison, who is a Mediator in training. Mediators travel between different worlds, trying to resolve the problems that plague them. Learning to Chaos chronicles the events of Winter's second mediation, and its consequences. I won't go into spoiler territory here, but I will say you definitely won't see either ending coming.
Dysfunctional Systems and Juniper's Knot both feature the music of Kristian (CombatPlayer) Jensen, and the art of Saimon (Doomfest) Ma. Both the visuals and the sound are noteworthy in their own rights, and beautifully complement the work of the writers, Jeremy Miller and Terrence Smith. While Juniper's Knot did not feature choice, Dysfunctional Systems does, with tough moral decisions and unique character dialogue depending on how you want to play. Do you want Winter to be the complacent observer, or to fight for what she believes is right? Both are valid options, and can set you on your path to two separate endings that will leave you on the edge of your seat and wanting more!
Learning to Manage Chaos was a huge hit with those who discovered it, lurking in the depths of Steam or the group's online store. However, it was priced far too low for the quality of work, and the studio were unable to continue with the project, going into hibernation until they could fund the next part.
But, a combination of fan response and pure determination on the developer's end led to the decision to give Kickstarter a shot. The team has taken on a new artist, Ryan (rtil) Miller, who will continue the project in Doomfest's stead, and production is well and truly underway.
At time of writing, the project has 19 days left on its campaign, with a goal of $49,000 (Canadian). There is a great variety of donation tiers, with $5 netting you a free copy of Learning to Manage Chaos, and $30 promising the entire series, along with plenty of other reward tiers. The team is also regularly adding updates to the page every 48 hours, giving people a sneak peek into development, including concept art, music, and a look into the history of the company. With their proven history of quality work, we at GameLuster definitely recommend giving Dysfunctional Systems a try!
Notable Rewards - GameLuster's Picks
Value: $5 - A copy of Dysfunctional Systems: Learning to Manage Chaos
Recommended: $30 - The entire planned Dysfunctional Systems series (or $25 if you already have Episode 1)
Fantastic: $75 - The entire series + Digital Sountrack, Digital Artbook, Exclusive Desktop Backgrounds.
Lustful: $300 - Everything above loaded onto a custom Dysfunctional Systems USB Drive + Your name in the credits, Dysfunctional Systems Poster, and 3x5 foot Flag from the game.
Juniper's Knot - Free Download
Dysfunctional Systems: Learning to Manage Chaos - $5 on Steam
Music by CombatPlayer: Planck - $7 on Dischan Store