A downloadable game for Windows, macOS, and Linux

Pipe Dream is a visual novel somewhere between a slice of life and cautionary tale. There are 6 romanceable characters: Avalon, Gary, Elliot, Cain, Akio, and John--and quite a colorful supporting cast. The goal is to help the protagonist, Robin, achieve her happy ending after leaving home. Careful though, not everyone has her best interests at heart. Buried beneath the mass of anime tropes lies some pretty heavy and not always easy to recognize issues. Half parody and 100% from the heart, Pipe Dream is a result of our love of the otome game genre and our sincere hope that the world of otome gaming can expand its horizons.

The demo contains the first section of the common route: over 20,000 words of content!

Keep an eye out for the Kickstarter coming soon!

Install instructions

Just unzip the zip, open the folder, and click the executable file and you'll be ready to roll!

Download

Download
PipeDream0.8-win.zip 109 MB
Download
PipeDream0.8-mac.zip 108 MB
Download
PipeDream0.8-linux.tar.bz2 105 MB

Development log

Comments

Log in with itch.io to leave a comment.

miss this game, please tell us about dates of updates or releases !!! thank you so much <33

How is the game coming along?

(+2)

Our only artist was ill this past year so we’ve been on hiatus, but she’s made a recovery and we’re back on track, so expect more in the near future! A lot of exciting things are in store for 2019 ✨

Hi I have a question !

What code should I write in the Renpy program, which, after reaching the good end, will create a hidden end in the game?

(1 edit)

spoliers

I really like it. Very good early version :)

The arstyle is very good... Well... backgroungs could be better but... Sprites and CGs looks very good.

I like the characters. Each of them has their own style, personality and adventages. My favourite is Ava. She is very sunny, cute, adorable, funny, charming and pretty girl. And Robin's best friend. I just  wonder why it is so hard to spend some time with her and why usually she already has something planned :( . But date with her was very good... even if they haven't seen a movie. She should spend more time with Robin during plot - they are roomies, besties and she's romance interest... so she should have a bit bigger role.

The game has a lot of meaningful choices. The SMS system is very interesting idea but I think Robin should recive more of them. It's good that sometimes player can choose if/how will she reply. The dialogues are funny and I like that each character is interested in different things. 

The plot is full of interestng events. And the game has few endings. Of course I've got Ava's ending. And I had started her not existing route... 

I really think you should write guide. Sometimes it can be hard to choose good option, especially if you are interested in one person

I'd love to see full game :)

We're glad you enjoyed it! The backgrounds will definitely be replaced with more polished versions before the final release and the sprites will get more poses as well.

As for Avalon, she's a social butterfly so she doesn't hang around in one place for long. She likes to go, go, go! But in her character route there will definitely be more one-on-one time between her and Robin.

The final version will also have a lot more texting, but we've been focusing on writing the main portion of the game so that's why there's only a few at the moment. 

Thank you so much for playing and giving us your thoughts! We're working hard to bring the full version out.

I played through the demo many times- and I've noticed the movie scene changes regarding max affection- so far I've manged to get these max affection scenes for all the characters (I think) apart from John. I feel like I should be choosing the right answers, unless his are a bit odd? I really can't figure out what I'm doing wrong...  I've even answered his text at the game, too, since that's what I though I was missing the first time, but- apparently not? I really want to see the scene, so if you could help pont out where I might be going wrong that would be a huge help ^^

That aside, I love the demo! All the LIs are intriguing and cute in their own ways and the GUI is really cute! My only fault here is that for saving/loading, all the pages look the same since they're labeled 1-2-3 on every page, but it's only a minor thing and doesn't really need replacing. All the art is really good and consistent too! I can't wait to see how this develops. 

Whoops, we believe you’ve actually found a subtle bug! We can let you know when we’ve uploaded a new, fixed version so you can experience John’s max affection theater scene if you’d like. As for the save menu, there will eventually be different text titles for each scene and when you get on a character’s route, the icon will change to that character, so we hope that will help distinguish the individual save files a little better.

Thank you for playing our demo so thoroughly! We’re happy you enjoyed it.

I've gone through the demo so many times. I'm astonished at how many little (and big) details come out of the woodwork the closer I look at the game. There's so much depth here; I'm so lucky to be able to play a game--a demo, I know, but still--that has this much thought in it. The characters feel so raw compared to the characters I usually encounter in otome. Even though there were definitely tropes and cliches as mentioned in the description (it's said to be a parody, after all), the characters all seemed oddly realistic because of the honest and candid ways in which they reacted to the consequences of the tropes. I was amazed at how little changes in the sprite animations completely changed the tone of the dialogue I was reading, and how I reacted to the changes in tone. It almost didn't feel like I was reading, sometimes; instead, it felt as though I were just experiencing this story firsthand, merely interjecting every once in a while--like a dream, rather than a visual novel. It was a really fascinating experience, and I'm suuuuper glad that you're making such a cool game :D But it also leads me to a question: why is Robin not re-nameable? Is she supposed to have a personality separate from the player's? It feels odd to be able to make decisions that seem to completely change the personality of the main character while her name remains pre-set.

There were a few things that bugged me, but ultimately I think my irritation was caused by my own expectations rather than the demo itself. Sometimes it seemed that the player had to be really mean to some characters in order to open additional favorable dialogues with other characters. For example, when I chose the options that caused Ava to say that Cain was really REALLY interested in Robin, those also happened to be the choices that hurt Akio the most. But maybe that's the point: I have to compromise my own values so that Robin can earn his affection... Was this a conscious design choice? If so, it makes sense, and I respect it because to be honest it's a pretty genuine representation of how some people relate to each other by being mean. However, I'm much less interested in Cain's route now. (Or maybe I'm completely overthinking this and the options I chose didn't affect the game in the way that I thought they did!)

There was also an interesting thing I noticed after I chose which character to ask out to the movies. If your affection with the character is high enough (I think... I'm going by what Ava says when Robin has the chance to ask her opinion before The Choice), then during the date, Robin doesn't actually get to choose some of the options. Instead, the otome proceeds without player input and automatically chooses the options that seem to have the better outcome. Why are the choices taken away if the player has gotten the love interest's affection high enough? Is it so that if you weren't able to get the affection high enough before the date, you have a chance to raise it? Or maybe I just messed the game up somehow... It was an interesting change, but I just felt less involved in the ensuing events as a result.

Thank you so much for releasing this demo! I really appreciate what you're doing, and I look forward to what you'll do in the future!!

Thank you so much for your long and detailed comment! We really appreciate the time and care you've put into playing the demo. 

Character authenticity is definitely one of our major concerns, even when the characters are having silly moments, so we're glad you enjoyed them and our take on those tropes. Robin does have her own character--and her own backstory that will come to light in certain routes--which is why her name is fixed. She's an introvert, but also in some ways a people pleaser which is why she can have different choices/reactions based on who she's got her eyes on. Of course she might seem a touch too mutable, but for the sake of giving the player the latitude to shape the story to such an intense degree that's a necessary sacrifice. 

And yes, some characters in the game are at odds with each other and by taking one person's side, you have to snub another. That was deliberate, although we understand wanting to make all the characters happy. (And with Cain in particular, his desire to see Akio be lectured or turned away is because he's unable to do it himself...Akio is legitimately inconsiderate and rude on occasion, but it's up to the player whether they want to tell him off for it or explain things more gently to him.)

And you're correct about the theatre scene changing if you achieve max affection! We wanted there to be a chance for the player to earn more affection to escape the common route bad end, and we also wanted to emphasize that at max affection, the relationship feels more natural and flows on its own. That is a very good point about involvement though, and we'll take that feedback into consideration for the final release. 

Thanks again! Your comment brightened our day. We'll be hosting a Kickstarter soon and if all goes well we'll be releasing the full game by the end of this year, so keep your eyes out! 

Thank you so much for the explanations!!

Concerning the Akio thing though, it kind of seems like the "telling off" options didn't really take into account his own potential viewpoint, so I'm just worried that choosing those options won't lead to a more positive character development for him. You probably intended this, and I only point this out because I'm wondering whether we'll be able to see characters develop without having to particularly focus on them or romance them. For example, when Robin had the option to offend Elliot and thereby have alone time with Gary at the festival, it made me wonder: will we only be able to positively impact the other characters' lives or get to know them intimately by directly romancing them? Was that what you meant by other characters having to be snubbed?

But to be honest, I'm thinking about this too much; the final game isn't even released, so I should cool it and just experience the final release XD

I appreciate the thought y'all have put into the game, and I really respect what you're doing. Thank you !!! :)

No problem! We’re happy you’re so interested in the game. <3

If you choose to side with Cain and get on Cain’s route, it’s true that you will likely alienate Akio to a certain extent, but that’s only because those two characters are directly opposed to each other. If you get on other character’s routes, you’ll have opportunities to interact positively with him still even if you’re not romancing him. Certain characters get along better with certain people than others, you know? So depending on the route you end up on, you’ll have different opportunities and different ways to interact with the other characters.

Ah, that makes sense. Thank you so much!

I love this game so much, the common route itself is amazing and I'm really looking forward to the whole thing! Also the art style is so so cute and the chibis in the different menu screens are one of my favourite things <3 Thank you for putting this out there and for all your hard work, I'm so excited for the release!! I hope everything goes smoothly and you guys take care and have a lovely rest of the day <3

We're glad you had fun! Our estimated release date is in 2018, so look forward to upcoming news. We'll make sure to pass your compliments on to the artist, and we hope you have a lovely day too. <3

(1 edit)

There are so many qualities in this vn that I am almost left speechless. The absence of BGM (even if it's a demo) often bother me, but its flowing narration and the characterization of the cast has been earlier on enraptured me; as they touch delicately the issues of choosing and living your own path away from strict rules (here, by the parents), which I think becoming many problems in young generation (I experience it myself, at least :') ). 

As for the topic of the cast, the demo has a good range of introducing the environment and the nature of each characters, and but still leave many vague parts to intrigue the player for the final version. ( SPOILER : heck, I am so curios about the coffee shop bill/coupon from Gary, Cain's sister figure, John's reason regarding his sudden freakness in the lights-out incident and who-what-why the incident happens, Elliot's reason for cancelling his plasma charity donation but soooo much thanks for the fanservice, Akio's background whether he is also rebelling from his parents like Robin, and of course Ava's history with Robin; all leaves me to overthinking and daydreaming xD ).

(beware slight spoiler, again) A flirt-but-reliable best friend who once a nemesis of our big-heart-can-be-sarcastic protagonist? a happy-go-lucky guy but secretly has a great dedication to medical education who seems be a frenemies to an animal lover who has the series of unfortunate events in his life? a popular-but-somehow-easily-forgotten sport idol? a sweet-but-sleep-deprived workaholic who doesn't get paid enough for encountering a silver-spoon jerk who actually doesn't understand a manner of socializing and can be easily distracted? They are all a bit cliche in otome but somehow it's reborn in new entertaining light in this story, and it is an exquisite touch how each choice affect the detail of narration in Robin's encouter with them again. And don't say I don't notice that the more compatible her action to the Love Interest; the choice bubble just disappear  in the Movie scene and subtely tell that Robin has confidence and knows him well enough that she doesn't hesitate to act or not bother to ask the player what she has to do anymore (in Akio's route, spesifically, how amusing she can handle that brat :'v )

The art style is also chosen beautifully, the chibi especially ;) (I don't know if it's intentional or because it's still a work in progress, but the sketch style for the background gives room and focus to the colorful figure of the cast, make them more alive)

However, there are two parts to reconsider : (1) I notice that the message on the phone for Cain's route which appropriately show on "I guess" option precisely keep appears no matter the choice I made before it. (2) It's more likely a personal wariness regarding the first sentence of the  synopsis, honestly... I already see the parody and cliche of romcom in this story, but the "cautionary tale" part intrigues me. I don't have enough knowledge about that genre, but what I know is that the story are basically telling three parts of warning;  in short, the first act will be about the prohibition or the taboo is stated, then the act of  violating the prohibition (Robin breaks loose from her controlling mother and lives in her ideal campus), and the last is the consequence of said rebellion. If this vn really follows that plot... well.... I had achieved the Bad Ending in Akio's Route and it's likely expected that there will be same misfortune in other route, as said that "Careful though, not everyone has her best interests at heart. Buried beneath the mass of anime tropes lies some pretty heavy and not always easy to recognize issues." ...... PLEASE GIVE ME TIME TO PREPARE MYSELF FOR THE CHANCE OF BROKEN HEART IF SUCH SCENARIO WILL COME T^T

Oh, and the university gate for the background, I think Cambridge's one had been a fine choice, but I also recommend Van Wickle Gates at Brown University, or fairy-tale-like gate of Indiana University Bloomington, or the Harvard (well, they are my preferences, a bit better that those European university gate.... no offense, their type of gates just remind me and kind of resemble a cemetery's gate :'D ).

Overall, I am so hype for this!!! Take your time and keep the good work (>w<)/

N.B. thank you for reading my endless mumbling :'D

We're so touched you took the time to leave such a thoughtful and detailed comment! Playing with and breathing new life into otome game tropes is one of the main things we've been aiming to do, so we're glad you mentioned that and doubly glad you're intrigued by all of them. And good catch on noticing the choices disappearing in the movie scene! As for the chance of a broken heart...you'll have to wait for the full release to see. ;)

We'll definitely take your feedback to heart as we continue development, so thanks again. Stay tuned for more news in the coming months!

(-1)

did a playthrough, thanks 

Thank you for playing our game! We're happy you gave it a shot even if visual novels aren't a format you're used to. To answer your question about the music on the title screen: yes, it was created for and is owned by us, but we're fine with it being featured in the video of your Let's Play. Thanks again, and hope to see you around for the final release!

thank you too I liked it, I sure stick around for the final release good luck :)

I just went through the whole thing and I'm so excited for the full game!! The story and art are so lovely, and the chARACTERS oh my gosh I love them all and I want them to be happy. I can't wait to see the finished product!!

We're so glad you enjoyed it! We definitely poured our heart and soul into these characters, so we're excited to work towards putting the full game out there. We'll do our best to keep everyone updated on the development process!