TWS Hiatus Questions – On Games!

Those Without Shadows, Hiatus Questions episode 2!

Why do you use games along with art and writing as your storytelling medium?

Whenever you meet someone who writes, it’s always interesting to ask why they write. Not as in some spiritual dreamy answer, but what inspired them to start writing. You’ll find that the medium in which they like to work is often (but not always) the medium that originally inspired them.

I am a person who learned to love storytelling with video games. Like your average millenial I didn’t think this through to consider programming as an employable goal. I didn’t want to make games, I wanted to write stories. This is one of the reasons TWS has the format it does.

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TWS: Hiatus Questions – On History and Evolution

[Those Without Shadows HIATUS QUESTIONS: episode #1!]

[Why are the animals reptilian?]

All of the animals in TWS that are non-sentient are either based on bugs, fish, reptiles or amphibians! This is because the world is young, and evolution hasn’t had much time to change things.

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Consent, Compromise, and Cost – Ladykiller in a Bind

In 2014, my wife and I binged on Christine Love’s work. I watched her liveblog it between layovers on my way to Helsinki, and once I arrived she made me sit down to read Analogue: A Hate Story and Hate Plus. Those two games remain high on my list of visual novels that I will recommend to anyone. When Christine revealed her next game was going to be a exploring the themes of manipulation in dating games for women, I was thrilled. I’ve been watching the development closely ever since.

Today, I finished every route. I feel like Ladykiller is impressive and should inspire visual novels to come, but LoveConquersAll Games has bit off more than it could chew. The theme of this review is going to be an apocryphal line by Samuel R Delany:

“If you’re going to fuck the dog, put it all the way in.”

(The review below contains spoilers, discussion about rape, and nudity.)

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Chapter 6 Update and Game Prep Hiatus

Hi everyone!! I hope you’re enjoying chapter 6 so far!

As you see in the subject line, this will be the last update for this chapter until the next game segment is ready. It isn’t very long, but it does have some new features we have to figure out. Please bear with us!

As with last time I will make the offer: if my patreon reaches $50 per month, I will post the entire second half of Chapter 6 when the game is posted. What do you say?

Thanks everyone!

-Dawn & Team TWS

Save the Past! – Storytelling in The Silver Case

I’ve been starving for adventure games for a long time now, and I’ve been particularly interested in Suda51’s adventure past since playing Super DanganRonpa 2. In October we finally got one of Suda’s long lost adventure games in English for the first time: The Silver Case, and I dropped the full price for it on release day.

For The Silver Case, I’m not going to talk about the story. Elements of it have been harvested into pop-culture which may lessen the blow of the plot on modern readers. In spite of that, there are other structural features in the game that we can still learn a lot from. I want to talk about how the medium tells the story in The Silver Case, with art direction, the Film Window, localization, and the Transmitter/Placebo separated narratives.

OKAY maybe I’ll talk about the story a bit, but more about it’s construction than it’s contents.

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Mystic Messenger: East vs West vs the Romance Genre


If you’ve followed me for at least a year, you’ve seen how excited I was for the Mystic Messenger release early this summer. Due to technological issues caused by both my outdated phone and cumbersome bugs in the app, it took me until now – October 2016 – to complete all five good endings and both secret endings. In that time, I saw the game grow in popularity and I am so happy to see Cheritz hitting mass appeal (even if it means giving up the mythology built in Dandelion and Nameless).

Cheritz is a company based in South Korea that advertises “sweet solutions for female gamers”. So far, each of their titles showcase romantic routes that encourage personal growth. According to their page on the visual novel database, Mystic Messenger has only been localized from Korean to English, where Dandelion was also released in China and Nameless in Japan during the initial release. Cheritz is one of very few otome game developers that releases their games in English for the west, while others outsource translation and localization, or are adapted by fans (Nitro+Chiral, I’m looking at you). As a result I can only assume that westerners make up quite a bit of their market, which cannot be ignored when you look at their motivations when constructing Mystic Messenger.

Instead of a review this time, I’m going to go through many of the events, themes and characters of Mystic Messenger and assess where the appeals are stacked. Is this for Western audiences in the Americas and the UK? Is it for Korean audiences in Cheritz’s home field? Or is it something indicative of the romance/Dating sim genre? I’ hope this may explain why certain elements in the game didn’t appeal to me or you, and why that is.

Please be aware that this post contains potential spoilers for all endings and routes. Read at your own risk.

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TWS:M Chapter 5: COMPLETE. Chapter 6: Call for OCs

Thanks for your patience! As of last week, Chapter 5 The Refuge is complete!

Today TWS won’t be updated, after making a decision to add a game segment to Chapter 6. As you may know, these things take some time, so I’m trying to get it situated. The Chapter 6 cover page should be released on October 12th!

For the upcoming game, I’ve released a call for extras. If you would like to see your OC have a cameo on Those Without Shadows, please let me know! Check this patreon post for more information.

Thank you!

TWS:M The Refuge!


Welcome to chapter 5!


Chapter 4 is done, in case you were waiting for the whole thing to be available before reading – thanks for your support! Next week starts Chapter 5: The Refuge! Patrons keep an eye out for a preview of the chapter cover!

If you’re local to the Halifax area, I’ll be at the Dartmouth Comic Arts Festival on Sunday with my pal Bruce Delo. Please drop by. I’ll have some copies of the TWS OST available and free postcards.

TWS: The Star continues!

Sorry for the delay – please enjoy the animation in the new page of The Star. Updates will be continuing on Wednesdays as normal from here out!

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