Putting the "Joy" back in joystick

Irlana has launched a crowdfunding campaign for The Symbiant, a sci-fi boy’s love visual novel taking place during an interstellar voyage.

Irlana is an experienced visual novel developer behind the erotic boy’s love story Synthetic Lover. After the success of their previous work, the developer now teamed up with Fable, known for running the Twitter account BL Games World, to create a steamy romance story about interstellar travel.

Taking place in the far future, the story of The Symbiant plays out aboard the Ameretat, an aging ship belonging to human male Danya and his stout, green companion nicknamed Juniper. The duo is going through a rough period, being barely able to maintain their ship. Desperate, they end up accepting a risky job offer from one of their friends. The objective is seemingly simple, all they have to do is transport a passenger through a safe area of space on a course that should take only about six weeks. The catch is that no one boards a humble ship like the Ameratat without a reason, especially when the fees are about as high as they’d be on a cruise ship.

The mysterious passenger turns out to be a handsome and gentle Odarian symbiologist named Brahve. His blue-skinned humanoid race is close in physiology to Terrans, though they have a weaker immune system. As a symbiologist, he studies the means by which different species can support each other. Thankfully, he doesn’t seem to harbor any ill intent, and he gets along with Danya extremely well. However, as the two of them begin to develop a connection, Danya and Juniper begin to grow suspicious of the cargo Brahve brought aboard. Allegedly a plant, it keeps producing unusual sounds. Not to mention, the passenger oddly decided to keep all his belongings inside his small room, unwilling to leave it in the public cargo space.

The Symbiant will include four key characters, with Brahve being the only love interest. The story is estimated to provide six hours of play, featuring two routes, four endings, over 25 unique artworks, nine erotic scenes, and full English voice acting. Finally, the visual novel is planned to release in English, French, and Russian.

The team behind the project promises that it will be completed whether it is funded or not. However, to maintain a high level of quality throughout the visual novel, and ensure its release within a reasonable timeframe, they could use additional funding. As such, they’ve launched a crowdfunding campaign with a goal of $15,073 USD (estimated from $19,000 CAD). The majority of the budget would be spent on art assets and voice acting.

The team has also prepared stretch goals. If they manage to gather $20,000 USD they will produce a series of short, illustrated stories about the past of their characters. With $25,000 USD they would also be able to create two after stories, taking place after the good endings of the visual novel. Finally, if the team manages to gather $35,000 USD, The Symbiant will also be released in Japanese.

Naturally, supporters can expect a bevy of perks and rewards. Donating about $20 USD (estimated from $25 CAD) or more will net you a pre-order copy of The Symbiant, together with access to monthly updates and a PDF mini-guide. Further tiers include early access, the games’ soundtrack, a digital artbook, a pre-order of the stretch goal DLC if it is funded, and a quality CG pack.

Exclusive rewards include beta access, an ability to design and name a dildo, being able to design the appearance of an NPC that’s already written for the story. Finally, the highest tier offers a chance to design a short illustrated story, though it won’t be a part of the game.

You can download the uncensored demo of The Symbiant for PC, Mac and Android on Itch.io. The crowdfunding campaign is taking place on Kickstarter and will last until April 14th. Thus far, it has gathered $7,655 USD (estimated from $9,649.29 CAD) of the $15,073 USD (estimated from $19,000 CAD) goal. The Symbiant is scheduled to release by March of 2023, with the DLC taking roughly three extra months to complete.

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