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Visual Novel / But I love you.

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So come play with us.

But I love you is an upcoming (possibly abandoned - see below) Visual Novel-style game developed by independent gaming company Novella Gaming. Greenlit by Steam Greenlight, then crowdfunded through Kickstarter; over a 45 day period, the developers raised $43,682 for development purposes. However, the last developer communication on Kickstarter was May of 2016, making it a possible case of Vaporware.

The game centres around the currently-nameless player character, a young man or woman currently going travelling to escape from a stressful home life, who experiences a car breakdown and arrives in a mysterious town called Keresberg. Once there, s/he begins to explore, meeting several cute girls who all seem, albeit to varying degrees depending on playstyle, friendly, helpful and affectionate. Early on, the game takes the form of a Dating Sim, allowing the player to spend time scoring with the ladies they’re interested in, each girl providing a different niche to fill. So far 5 romanceable characters have been confirmed:


  • Emma. A sweet and gentle girl in a gorgeous period dress who runs the bed-and-breakfast the player is staying in. She loves music, singing and the occasional bad joke, but dislikes those who don’t appreciate her work or make life difficult for her.
  • Ryanne. A young 'un of ambiguous age, she seems content to wander around acting and dressing like a 10-year old. That said, she is unambiguously kind and friendly, and the only kind of people she hates are assholes.
  • Leila. A parkour enthusiast who isn’t very good at her chosen hobby, defines herself by complete and utter freedom and gets a kick out of competitive sport and pulling pranks. She has no patience for shy people or anyone who tries telling her what to do, but respects those who give as good as they get.
  • Alison. A quiet wallflower-type gal who sometimes tends to the town’s public garden, she is shy and unappreciative of crowds, but also happens to be very artistic. She seems open to a romance with anyone, but dislikes people who are too persistent in following her.
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  • Vivian. A perfectionist with a strong impulse to keep things neat and tidy but friendly and helpful nevertheless. She dislikes those who cause disorder and isn’t comfortable talking about her feelings, but she can be perfectly affectionate when she feels like it.

However, before long the girls begin to get clingy, wanting the player to stay in the town with them — probably just one of them, but who knows? — forever; alarm bells begin to go off in the player’s head, telling him/her that there’s something very wrong with the girls — with the entire town, actually — and that they have likely stumbled into a very dangerous situation. Where they go from there — try to escape or stick around and keep courting — is all down to the player. If they do decide to take their chances and try to fight their way out, the gameplay shifts towards puzzles and and the overall tone of the game towards Survival Horror.

At this juncture, the game is still in development. As more information becomes available, the page will be updated. An official demo for the game was released on January 17th 2016 and can be found here.

But I love you. provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Action Survivor: The player character, if they choose to try escaping.
  • Affectionate Parody: In many respects, the game is a playful riff on Dating Sims, puzzle games and the Survival Horror genre.
  • Badass Armfold: Vivian’s standard stance.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: Or so it seems at first.
  • Big Bad: It’s been confirmed that someone out there is responsible for what’s going on, but they remain in the shadows, nothing being known of them.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Blonde Emma, Brunette Ryanne and Redhead Vivian. Alison has black hair; Leila’s appears to be a dark shade of blue.
  • Consummate Professional: Vivian strives towards this trope.
  • Cool People Rebel Against Authority: Leila, who dresses in punk/gothic style, and strenuously rejects any attempts to by anyone to tell her what to do.
  • Dandere: Vivian is a downplayed version of this, appearing aloof and disinterested but still friendly and helpful as long as you stay on her good side.
  • Dating Sim: For the first portion of the game, the player wanders around town, spending time with the ladies. A Genre Shift occurs later on, unless they choose to ignore the warning-signs that something is wrong to keep courting.
  • Gorgeous Period Dress: Emma wears a lovely old-fashioned pink gown.
  • Ghost Town: Keresberg appears deserted at first, before the player starts meeting people, though it better resembles a Ghost City. It may be of the haunted variety as well.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Ryanne has a pair of big long pigtails to emphasise her youthful nature. Emma displays her comparative maturity with a pair of braids.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Emma, the blonde, is one of the nicer love interests.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Possibly, if the player pursues Vivian.
  • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: Keresberg does not sound like a happy sort of town if you know your Greek mythology. The Keres were female personifications of violent death.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: Emma has an unfortunate appreciation for bad jokes.
  • The Ingenue: Alison is this en masse.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite herself, Leila will apologise if she goes too far with a prank or ends up offending the player character.
  • Ms. Fanservice: All the girls are cute and attractive in their own way, but Vivian seems to be the designated "hot" girl.
  • Multiple Endings: At least 40 possible endings — some are romantic, some uneventful and some end with the player character being killed.
  • Nice Girl: Ryanne is unambiguously friendly and helpful; the only way to turn her off is to be deliberately mean to her.
  • Not So Above It All: As it turns out, Vivian is just as capable of being affectionate, loving and kind as the others; she just isn’t comfortable talking about it, or being seen doing it.
  • Pastimes Prove Personality: The high-class but kindly Emma enjoys singing and playing piano; the childish and playful Ryanne hangs out at the playground; the rebellious, in-your-face Leila enjoys the energetic sport parkour (but isn’t good at it) and playing pranks on others; the solitary, nervous but intelligent Alison is a sketchbook-owning graffiti artist and gardening enthusiast; Vivian, the efficient, professional neatfreak, enjoys cooking and has a "hobby" of putting things back in place or arranging them in a pleasing manner.
  • Protagonist Without a Past: The player's background isn't explored much, and likely won't get much focus.
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Potentially, if the male player character ends up with Ryanne or Leila.
  • Survival Horror: After the Genre Shift should the player choose to listen to their instincts, the gameplay shifts to this, with an emphasis on timed puzzles and scavenger hunts.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: The romanceable girls are spread across the spectrum of this. Leila, the biggest tomboy, is a parkour enthusiast and a prankster with a fierce independent streak, while Vivian dresses loosely but comes across as somewhat stern and no-nonsense. Alison and Emma both wear full-length dresses and ribbons in their hair, but Alison edges Emma out just a little by being shy and demure. Ryanne straddles the trope, since she dresses like a tomboy but has Girlish Pigtails and her behaviour is largely childish but non-gender specific.
  • Tsundere: Leila appears to be the argumentative but flirty kind; Vivian is the grumpy but occasionally affectionate variety.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: It seems the player will get the opportunity to be rude, unpleasant, confrontational and unappreciative from time to time. Such behaviour will prompt an appropriate response.
  • Visual Pun: The logo features a human heart in place of the "o" in "love", reflecting how the game straddles two seemingly incompatible genres.
  • Who Wears Short Shorts?: Ryanne’s overalls come roughly down to her knees.
  • Woman Child: Ryanne is this trope. She looks like a child, acts like a schoolgirl and her exact age is left ambiguous. She has a flatter chest than the other girls and wears t-shirts, short short-overalls and her hair in a pair of Girlish Pigtails. She is also the most innocent character the player meets (for the dating portion of the game, anyway) and the most helpful and friendly.
  • Yandere: No one starts out like this. The point where the girls begin to act like this is what tips the player character off that something is wrong.
    • And if this concept art is any indication, things will go very badly for the player if they fail to escape from Keresberg during the Survival Horror portion.

Alternative Title(s): But I Love You


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