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I'm part of Studio Élan. We just released a demo of our yuri VN, "Heart of the Woods."

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I'm Josh, the founder of the Studio Élan. I'm also part of Alienworks, the group that released "Highway Blossoms" and is working on "The Human Reignition Project." With Studio Élan, we just released a demo for our first game, "Heart of the Woods." It's a yuri game through and through, although I primarily consider it to be a fantasy game with romance elements, rather than a romance game with fantasy elements. I've copy/pasted the synopsis for the game below. The demo is available on Steam for PC only, and it's on Itch.io for PC/Mac/Linux. It'll be on Denpasoft probably next week, and we'll also update the Steam version with Mac/Linux versions around then too. There's a free patch to add in the adult content - for the demo, this is just one scene. The character artist for the game is Rosuuri, whom I also worked with on HRP and HB, but who's best known for her gorgeous fanart, especially FGO. This will be her first ever time drawing adult content. Hope you like the game, please let us know any comments or feedback you have here or on the respective store pages.

And please, before anyone else asks: no, we're not concerned by the recent Steam takedowns and don't think it'll affect us (backtracking or not).

Steam Link: https://store.steampowered.com/app/844660/Heart_of_the_Woods/

Itch.io Link: https://vnstudioelan.itch.io/heart-of-the-woods-demo

Adult Patch Link: https://vnstudioelan.com/hotw-r18patch/

This demo is a sample of the full game and contains a selection of scenes from across the whole story. We've hand selected the scenes in order to give a taste of the game without spoiling too many of the major plot points (we figured it's a given that Maddie and Abby end up together). To help fill in some of the blanks though, there are demo-exclusive chibi versions of Maddie and Tara who will help fill you in on what's happening along the way.

Heart of the Woods is a fantasy yuri visual novel about paranormal investigation, ancient mysteries, and a love between two girls that transcends life and death.

Maddie Raines, manager, editor, and general business-handler for her best friend Tara’s popular paranormal vlog series, is swept up in a dangerous supernatural crisis when she’s dragged against her will to the remote European village of Eysenfeld. A strange young woman named Morgan has promised them undeniable proof of real paranormal phenomena, and what she has to offer eclipses anything they’d ever seen before.

However, out of all the strange occurrences the three of them bear witness to, one in particular captivates Maddie in a way she’s never been before: the ghost of a young woman. This woman is Abigail, the victim of a centuries-old injustice now bound eternally to the forest surrounding Eysenfeld. Drawn to Maddie in a way she can’t explain, Abigail reveals herself to another person for the first time in more than 200 years.

While Tara and Morgan investigate the mysteries surrounding the village itself, Maddie begins to form a bond with Abigail that grows to be more intense than any bond she’s felt before. As she learns the truth about Abigail’s death and imprisonment, she realizes that it falls to her and her friends to break the curse that has ruled over Eysenfeld for centuries. But more importantly than that, it falls to her to finally free the woman she loves.


-Chibi characters to fill in the gaps between scenes

-Incredible character and CG art from Rosuuri -Fully original backgrounds and soundtrack

-Multiple accessibility options

-Extra features including a music room, CG viewer, and guest art gallery

-At least one really, really gay ghost

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Paradoxically, I never feel the need to play the demo when a game looks this promising. After all, I will buy it anyways so there's no reason to spoil myself on any part of the experience (unless the demo has some exclusive content, what barely ever happens in VNs). 

Anyways, enough rambling. Good luck with the development, I'll surely grab this as soon as it comes out. :)

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May I ask what is going on with the Human Reignition Project?

It is disheartening seeing you guys work on different projects (Heart of the Woods and Highway Blossoms Remaster) when there is no visible progress on the Human Reignition Project, a game that you had a sucessful Kickstarter campaign for almost 3 years ago. I mean for the past year you have been talking about producing an new Demo on you Kickstarter updates, with nothing to show for so far.

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Whoa! The art is pretty colorful and eye catching! The theme of the game revolving around paranormal investigations aside from the oblivious Yuri action elements really pique my interest since I dabbled into such practice myself whenever time allows it, although mine is more is on the occultism side :maple:

Nevertheless what I see before me is a very promising Visual Novel! :sachi: 

Wish you all the best in your endeavors in manifesting your projects into reality! :mare:

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Thanks for the kind words! The demo actually does have some exclusive content (the very first scene, as well as the chibi stuff, although the first scene might be included in the full game from the extras menu or something.)

Regarding HRP, we're still working on it, but it's mostly a matter of real-life issues causing a lot of delays and stuff. When we ran the Kickstarter most of us were in college or in one case even high school, so our availability has changed a lot since then. Most of us who have been working on other projects too are ones who do VN stuff full-time as a career (for instance, my day job is working for everyone's favorite localizer, Sekai Project) while some other members are doing dumb, boring stuff like medical research to cure cancer. Also, we were bad at estimating and planning schedules back then, so we dramatically underestimated how much time it would take (for most of us, HRP was our first ever project). So basically, we're still working on it at the same time as our other games, it's just taking longer than initially expected.

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