How has everything been going?
A downloadable visual novel for Windows and macOS
Arha lives a simple life as a shrine maiden at a long-forgotten temple finding joy in her worship, tending her small garden and occasional trips to the nearby village.
Then, one day, the sun does not rise…
It soon becomes apparent, though, that the now-erratic sun is the least of their problems. The wells and rivers are drying up and crops wither in the fields.
The villagers demand answers, but the gods, as ever, are silent. After a night of desperate prayer, Arha awakes – and she is not alone.
Three young men have appeared in the temple, finely dressed and impossibly beautiful, and, what is more, they claim to be gods. Powerless and confused, the four decide to travel to the First Temple to try to restore the balance of Heaven before it is too late.
Accompany three fallen deities on a journey across a dying world, where hope is all man has left.
Arha (name can be changed)
A foundling raised by the temple monks, she is generally kind, understanding and utterly devoted to her gods, though conversation options can allow for more rational, emotional or insolent personality traits.
Three of the seven Nakami, comprising of Tai, the strict, commanding Sun God, Suiza, the tempestuous, passionate God of Water and Kien, the gentle timid God of Nature.
Full game will feature:
- 150,000 words
- 40 atmospheric backgrounds
- 30+ CGs
- 3 romance options
- 9 possible endings
Projected release date: TBC
Price: £11.99 (approx $16)
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Things have been going well enough, I believe. Work on Heaven's Grave slowed down a little in December since I was working on the Thorns of War demo, but I have a major update planned for the end of this month where I hope to give the word count for Kien's finished route and possibly reveal of one of the new sprites that I commissioned for Kien and Suiza's routes.
Thanks for taking the time to drop me a line ^_^
How's the game been coming along?
Good question. I haven't put a progress report up for a while as I only like to announce when the larger goals have been reached, but here is where we are currently.
I had written Kien's route first and it was okay - I wasn't 100% happy with it, but I couldn't put my finger on what I didn't like, and since I don't tend to like anything I do (which I'm told is pretty standard for anyone who writes, draws etc) I chalked it up to that. Then I started Suiza's route and I was having trouble - getting writer's block a lot and just generally not feeling it. Then something clicked and I realised what I'd been missing all along. So I finished Suiza's route and began Tai's, but Kien's route was still not what I wanted.
I looked it over again and realised what needed to change, so now I am now halfway through of doing a complete re-write of Kien's route.
The word count is currently 117,000. I hope to finish Kien's route in the coming week or so and then return to Tai's.
Also, I have commissioned the original artist to create sprites for the four NPCs that can be met in Suiza and Kien's routes (two Npc's in each). I was going to fill the roles with the 'extras' sprites I have commissioned but when their parts grew larger, I decided I would have them drawn as unique sprites. Once they are completed, I'll post them here for people to see.
So that is where we are! I know that it is taking much longer than I had anticipated or hoped and it is, in turn, delaying the other projects I am working on, which is frustrating (not to mention financially crippling >_<), but I want to produce a game I can stand behind and know it was the best I could make it with the resources I had at the time.
Once I have a solid idea of when the game will be finished, I'll put out a release date. Thanks for checking in! ^_^
That cliffhanger was very well placed. So far, the music, writing, sprites, backgrounds, and even the font worked well for me. It's also refreshing to see a VN that's not set in school or have gimmicky characters. (I've played a fair amount of VN's, not all VN's, but they still pop up a lot.) I want to save up for the full version of this!
Hello, OEblogs, and many thanks for the feedback - I'm glad to hear you enjoyed the demo and are looking forward to the full game.
Thanks for playing
I am very excited for this game. I will have to wait a little while for my finances to allow me to get it, but I will definitely get it.
I do hope we get another mention of Aki. I know he is not a romance option, but since Chiyo managed to get away, I'd like to get a line later about his death.
I'm happy to hear you are looking forward to it and I hope you enjoy it when you get the chance to play it.
Aki is certainly mentioned later, though I'll refrain from saying in what context ^_^
Thanks for playing
Amazing work so far! The backgrounds and character sprites look beautiful. I'm looking forward to the full release! And I'll definitely be checking out The Rose of Segunda in the meantime. ✦
Hello, Alstroemeria, thanks for the feedback; I'll be sure to let the artists know ^_^
It won't be long now before Heaven's Grave is released, but I hope you have a fun with The Rose of Segunda while you are waiting.
Thanks for playing
I enjoyed the demo a lot! The sense of isolation for the MC was readily apparent, and I found the descriptions of the absurd crises exciting. The tension in the writing for both the scenes and characters really came through.
One of my favorite things about your games is that they allow for the MC to respond in a variety of ways to give them a sense of personality, without it being a simple right/wrong choice for development of the narrative. It helps me dig into a game and enjoy it to the fullest.
I'm looking forward to the completed game, and thanks again for getting it to work properly for Mac users!
Hello, Desrin, thank you for the feedback and I'm glad you enjoyed the demo. I'll be finishing and releasing Heaven's Grave once I am done with The Rose of Segunda, so it shouldn't be long to wait.
I'm playing on mac, and get this message when I try to open the zip file: "Unable to expand "Heaven's_Grave-1.0-mac.zip" into (folder I'm trying to open it into).
(Error 2 - No such file or directory.) Do you have any suggestions? I haven't had this problem with other downloads of your game demos.
Hmm, strange. Sorry to hear you are having trouble.
I wonder if something has happened to the file behind the link. Is this the first time you tried to download it, or is it a reoccurring problem?
I'll rebuild and re-upload the file - it should be available for you to test in the next hour.
Oh, sorry! I should have mentioned I was having the same problem, after multiple attempts to re-download a new copy of the file from here. Thanks for checking on it.
I wasn't sure an edit would give you a notification, but I'm still having the same issue with the zip file. I also tried it on another Mac as well, but no luck.
Sorry, no, I wasn’t notified that there had been an edit to your previous post.
Okay, can you send me some screenshots of the errors you are getting to email@example.com please?
Also, are any other mac users having a problem? There have been over 100 downloads for the mac version, so I hope this has not been an issue for everyone.
In the meantime, I will try to find someone who has a mac who will let me use their computer to run some tests.
Sorry you are still having trouble
I'm not good at giving constructive criticism or anything, so i'll just say this. I loved the demo, and i can't wait to see the full release. Keep up the good work!
Hello, G4m3rG1rl365, and thanks for taking the time to let us know you enjoyed the demo. Full release will be this spring, so you won't have too long to wait. ^_^
That demo was way too short. I absolutely loved it. I was immediately drawn in by the story, and can`t wait for the full release. ^_^ Will all 7 gods be romance-able characters? Or only three that you first meet? I see that only three is listed above, but I was curious if you had plans to add more if the game is popular enough.
Can I just point out two small spelling errors that I happened to notice?
When Mistress Aya is talking about Yumi when they are first introduced, she says "Yumi is healthy as an ox, the best of her village, and am blessed she made the journey..." I believe it should be "...and I am blessed..."
The second is when the three gods appear. The MC is saying "...I imagine the priests at Great Temple in Otani will know if it." I believe that it should be "...I imagine the priests at the Great Temple in Otani will know of it."
Hello, Koryuu, and thank you for the feedback - I'll be sure to get those errors corrected, so thanks for letting me know. I did check the demo myself, of course, but I'm sure there are loads more mistakes, so I'll be getting a proofreader/beta tester to check the script closer to launch. ^_^
To answer your question, it will just be the three gods you meet in the demo who are the romance options. When I began this game, I wanted to see what I could do with a smaller cast of sprites (the other longer game I was working on at the time was BFF with ten romance routes >_<) and one of the themes of the story is supposed to be a sense of isolation, though that probably doesn't come across much in the demo.
Well, I'm glad you enjoyed the game so far - sorry it was too short - and I hope you enjoy the full version on release.
I just finished it and what I love the most about this game so far that I've seen is the MC herself! Which is so rare for me to say since protagonists in this sort of games tend to go to bland, annoying and/or overly-Mary Sue-ish, but this game's MC is anything but! I just love that she's strong enough to withstand all of the gossip and ill-remarks from the villagers and yet be compassionate to still care for them! And also the fact that she is clever to immediately deduced that the three were gods. I really like her!
And for the three gods, I can't really say much about them. I must admit, they were a little unsympathetic to the MC and the villagers' problems, but then again, they are gods, so I can't really fault them for that. I just hope they develop more as the story progresses.
A little thing I noticed also, since the MC was (spoilers) thrown stones at by the villagers and it clearly said that she was wounded and bleeding, I find it strange that she was fine the day later and no mentions of it were further made??? Is it a continuity error or was I missing something?
To sum it all up, I really enjoyed this demo and I can't wait for the full game! I wish you the best of luck!
Hello Choe-chan. Thank you for the feedback and well wishes - I am glad to hear your like the MC.
As for her injury, well, it was a minor one and I guess it was all forgotten about in the wake of what came directly afterwards, but I will look at adding a line the next morning to tie up any loose ends, so thanks for spotting that. ^_^
I hope you enjoy the full game once it is released
It has been a nice introduction to the MC and her background, it also gives a fair characteristic choices dispite her profession as a temple keeper who is often associate with "too pure for this world" traits; which tends to be Mary Sue problem in some otome ^^;
Although, sometime it's a bit cringe-worthy when I can't look to the NPC while I talk to them, and there isn't enough distinct separator for the God's speech (If I didn't pay attention to the name and their slight different reaction while speaking, I would never know which one is Tai and which one is Kien ^^; )
Anyway, it's worth for me to keep it in my waiting list ^^
Thank you for the feedback. I’m happy to hear you enjoyed the introduction of the main character.
As for the other issues you raised, I do not believe there will be anything I can do about the sprite-less minor characters at this stage without dramatically increasing the game’s budget, but I will certainly pay close attention to the ‘voicing’ of the gods, when I do my next bout of proofing. ^_^
THIS IS GOOD! It's nice to see side characters that give color to the story, it's those small details that makes a story stand out. Keep the choices coming! I like that even if this is only the demo there's alot of things, us, the players can pick to slowly build the personality of our MC. JUST WHEN IT WAS GETTING GOOD YOU HAVE TO KEEP ME HANGING WITH A CLIFF HANGER ;;
Thanks for the feedback, namjean - I'm glad you enjoyed the demo. I wanted to include a lot of choices in the game which allow you to build your character, as it were, without having to worry about 'earning points' with whoever you might be pursuing romantically.
And sorry for the cliff hanger >_< I hope the wait won't seem too long before the full game is released (it already seems terrifyingly short to me. ^_^)
It gives us players freedom if the choices are given that way which also lead to be more invested especially the MC without putting character development at risk in a way it feels forced. If that's how you put us building a relationship with the LIs, I think I would be readying myself to be emotionally invested to these three gods. Really, kudos to that!
WELP IF YOU PUT IT LIKE THAT I'm already getting giddy for the full release! I just saw it will be on Summer 2018, I'll be patiently waiting then! ^^