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Step into the world of Luminaries, a character-driven story where the charm & vibrancy of idol life-sims meets the suspense & grit of detective mysteries.

Socialize, make friends, and unwind over coffee, or focus on solving the case in your free-time. Can you maintain the safety of your town?

Taichi no overlay

Play as Taichi – a 19 year old detective working under the wing of Eiji Hoshiko, a world renowned detective known for solving the country's toughest cases. Your agency is hired to take on a case involving an idol's disappearance, days before her eagerly awaited concert.

As you dig deeper into the case things are not what they seem. A sinister underbelly of corruption reveals itself within the idol industry, accompanied by a chilling presence lurking in the shadows.

Through each revelation, you’ll be drawn further into the twisted world of the entertainment industry, where fame and fortune come at a deadly cost.

Will you be able to solve the mystery?

Will you be able to protect those you love?

1. Choose Where You Want to Hang Out

During your 'free-time' you will be able to choose where you want to go. You can hang out at various locations such as a gym, cafe/bar, or park.

Alternatively, you can focus on unraveling the mystery in your office.

Each location will have an impact on your stats (sanity, health, personality, intelligence).

2. Make Friends

By spending time with characters in these locations, you can build up your relationship meter, however, what you say matters, and will greatly influence whether the character likes you or not.

Each character is unique and will respond differently to what you say.

3. Explore a Branching Storyline

Your choices and stats will determine your path

Every choice you make matters.

4. Event Randomization

Free-time events are randomized in order to spice things up and add replayability. No two players will end up with the same playthough.

5. Sit Back and Enjoy the Story

At the end of the day, there’s no wrong way to play the game.

You can focus on being a detective hunting down criminals, or enjoy a relaxing life through your daily interactions with other characters.

How the story plays out is up to you.

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Hey everyone!

It's been a while since our last update (life gets in the way sometimes), but now we're back and better than ever!!

I'm super excited to finally show off what we've been working on lately.

Demo v2 will be out soon and here's what to expect:

What is Whispers of the Luminaries?

Whispers of the Luminaries is a detective game where you must solve a mystery haunting the idol entertainment industry. It features cute idols, thrilling suspense and many dark secrets lying hidden in this glamorous world.

Gameplay is a mixture of visual novel format with free-time events, affection & trust system, point & click investigation gameplay and Danganronpa/Ace Attorney style gameplay.

Website: VR Heaven
Mailing List: Join the Luminaries Mailing List
Discord: Luminaries Idol Fan Club
Steam Store: Wishlist Now

Improvements to the Game (tl;dr)

  • New Detective Gameplay: The Evidence List – you can now choose what you want to investigate + some Danganronpa style gameplay
  • Improvements to the story: More suspense, more mystery, more characterization (overall plot is still the same)
  • Improved camera techniques/cinematography
  • Improved music selection + no more placeholder soundtracks
  • Multiple endings
  • New Save/Load System
  • Lots of art – CGs, character art, extra poses, costumes and more

*This article was reposted from: Vrheaven.io

New “Hearts” UI

I legit brainstormed for a whole month on how to do the hearts UI and this is what I came up with:


Instead of just a heart, we tied in the theme of idols and made it a clef in the shape of a heart.

The “Harmony Hearts” ^^

BEFORE & AFTER

New Detective Gameplay and Save/Load System Save/Load UI

Having a save/load system will allow us to implement multiple endings to the story – there’ll be bad endings for picking the wrong choices which wasn’t ideal before with our autosave system.

Danganronpa/Ace Attorney Gameplay:

This was something we’ve been wanting to add for a while, and now it’s finally here:

As you go through the story you’ll encounter important clues which will appear here. These will be indicated by a clue sound effect (those of you who’ve played the demo will have heard it before).

  1. Whenever you visit your detective office in your free time, you’ll be able to choose which piece of evidence to investigate. This will lead to certain discoveries, which can affect the outcomes/endings.
  2. There’ll also be Danganronpa/Ace Attorney style gameplay, where you’ll be able to select contradicting pieces of evidence. (Example: select the piece of evidence that contradicts this statement OR select 2 pieces of evidence that contradict each other).

This will add a lot more fun and thought into the gameplay and I’m really excited about this!!

Refined Story

After polishing and rewriting the script, it’s so much better now! You’ll get to see the fruits of our labor in the next demo!

Writing Mistakes

I recently came across a Reddit comment on r/writing, which offered a useful piece of writing advice I’d never seen before. I read a lot of books on writing and this piece of advice was very interesting:

Writing Mistake:

When each description is the writer’s first thought, rather than their third or fourth (or fifth or sixth)

So, like, the angry characters are always clenching their fists, and the steak is always juicy, and the main character has long, curly hair

Whereas with a better writer, the angry character will react with that anger and lash out with a stupid action that is not in their interests…

Even though it’s only a guideline and not a hard rule, it’s something you have to consider when writing.

Here’s an example of how it can apply to dialogue writing:

Person A: How are you?

Person B: Doing fine, what about you?

My first thoughts in writing a response to this would be a simple “doing fine, how are you.”

This is okay if you’re looking to “flow” or create something cozy/atmospheric with the music. However, for something more interesting with more spice and personality, it’s better to skip the first, obvious response that comes to mind and come up with something else like this:

Person A: How are you?

Person B: Just watched a damn seagull snatch a bagel out from my hands. How are you?

So even though there’s no “right” way to do things, each serves their different purposes and it’s something to always have on your mind.

Rewriting the “Weak” Portions of the Script:

As I was going through the script again with a fresh mind this time, I realized a few things:

  • Too many pointless scenes early on with exposition dumps
  • Having placeholder music and art didn’t help
  • A few of the characters can be written better

✓ So instead, I’ve refined the script so now there’ll be more mystery and suspense intertwined into the earlier scenes to keep the story engaging. In fact, the mystery is presented right off the bat.

✓ There’ll also be more in-depth characterization and you’ll get to learn more about characters like May, which we avoided in the demo due to fear of pacing issues.

✓ Overall, the story gets really exciting at the end of the prologue and onwards, so I’m excited to finally start building those scenes.

Cut/Cut/Cut

Another writing improvement I did was cutting out extra redundant details. In particular, during scene transitions.

For example, instead of saying “It was getting late, and Taichi decided to call it a day and visit Starlight Sip,” we cut that part out entirely and skip to the next scene. The reader will make the connection. No need to waste words on something redundant like that.

✓ Overall this makes the script more professional and improves the pacing a little bit.

Learning Cinematography From Anime

We now have a new system that’ll allow us to implement better camera shots, angles and movement.

Our facial expression system is already fantastic and really brings the characters to life, but now, with these camera changes, it will make our visual novel feel more like an anime!

I’ve been studying how anime/movies handle cinematography and seeing if I can implement it to visual novels.

A lot of techniques from anime can’t be applied to visual novels, since they require new artwork for every shot, however, I’ve found some simple techniques which we can use that will make the game more engaging.

I’m really excited to showcase these in the next build.

Art & Music

On the art side of things:

✅ Detective Eiji Hoshiko character sprite 🕵️ – he’ll be implemented into the final scenes of the demo.
✅Idol costumes 🔥
✅ A cute CG of the idols
✅ More poses and facial expressions for the characters

More characters to come soon…

Music:

✅ Placeholder tracks have been replaced
✅ Improved music selection
✅ More atmospheric scenes

We’re also working on improving the sound design.

More Free Time Event Choices

More choices is always a good thing right? In the extended demo, there’ll be more free-time events.

Developer Thoughts

Our goal has always been to make something special. Not just a good or great game, but a masterpiece, full of drama, suspense and mystery.

I know that’s a tall order considering it’s our first game, however, thanks to the demo, we’ve gathered a lot of feedback and learnt from our mistakes. It was very important to get insight on what was working and what needed fixing. And we got exactly that :)

Thank you to all you passionate fans who are still following the development of our project despite the setbacks and delays. Hopefully 2024 will be our year!

Look forward to the next demo build!

If you haven’t already, you can get more updates like this and many goodies (like behind-the-scenes artworks, and character backstories) by signing up to our mailing list.

Whispers of the Luminaries - New Cover Art and Major Updates!

Whispers of the Luminaries - New Cover Art and Major Updates!

News

Dive into the heart of the idol entertainment industry and uncover the dark secrets lying beneath this vibrant, fantasy world.

Exclusive interview with Miyuki, an idol from the group "Luminaries"

Exclusive interview with Miyuki, an idol from the group "Luminaries"

News

For the upcoming weeks, the Luminaries band will be doing a Q&A session so you can know them better. Today, Miyuki, the lead vocalist will be taking the...

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