Distress is a sci-fi adventure visual novel that aims to challenge the player with tough choices, written by Javy Gwaltney, whose name you may have heard for his work on Terror Aboard the Speedwell, a sci-fi horror Twine that has received a bit of media attention over the past year. Distress is a bit different, as it is a full visual novel style made in Ren’Py, but it still aims to be high quality, bite-your-nails interactive fiction. And with colourful and unique art by Ian Higginbotham and an upbeat electronic soundtrack by Erandi Huipe, this is definitely a project not to miss out on.
Distress tells the story of Demetria Barton, the captain of the Swiftsure and one of the best bounty hunters in the galaxy. A distress signal from an old space station leads Demetria and her crew to explore this mysterious space station, called Nova 8, where you’re presented with a series of dangers and choices. You will be responsible not only for the life of Demetria but for the crew as a whole. Will you sacrifice one crew member to save another? Will you choose to enhance Demetria cybernetic abilities at the expense of her own life? These are just a few of the choices you will have to make, and each one of these will be deeply felt. Distress, which is highly inspired by games like Silent Hill and Mass Effect, features a colourful cast as the crew of the Swiftsure, like a tech expert who is obsessed with mystery novels, and a surgeon who loves to cook, Distress will make you love them before it asks you to kill them. (Or not.) There are 30 different endings, so replay value is high.
Distress is looking for a fairly modest budget of $3400 to make the game, and as of press time has not quite reached this goal. But with 22 days to go, there’s still an opportunity to back this game. Stretch goals include two DLC that will be available to everyone who receives the game, and even a full visual novel remake of Terror Aboard the Speedwell. Back Distress on Kickstarter, and play the prologue on itch.io.