In visual novel Eldet, players assume the role of Kunal, a 20-something, gay man of colour. Enrolled in a college of mages and with his family also being famous mages themselves, Kunal starts to fear that he doesn’t have any magical powers. But, when a “tomb raider” hires Kunal, the student leaves the college and ends up discovering that despite his concerns, he may actually be blessed with the gift of magic.
In addition to magical adventuring and mystery, the visual novel also promises a variety of male love interests of various body types and ethnic backgrounds. One of the “primary philosophies” of the title is that “diversity matters” and developer Marccus has just concluded a wildly successful crowdfunding campaign to make Eldet a reality.
Eldet Kickstarter Trailer via KICK
Eldet Successfully Funded on Kickstarter
In a Kickstarter campaign that began in June, Marccus was looking for $7,000. However, when the campaign came to a close earlier this week, Eldet had raised $30,835 – 440% of the original goal – with backers having unlocked each of the campaign’s stretch goals, which add more love interests to the visual novel.
A large part of this is down to the fact that backers “appreciate the fact that someone’s putting effort into having genuine representation,” Marccus tells iDigitalTimes. In addition to Kunal and his love interests, Eldet also features f/f couples, there are trans and asexual characters and the developer also says that even if players choose to pursue romance, they can choose for the romance to be non-sexual and the plot will still work.
Marccus also adds that:
“Even if there were stories that included Black or Asian or Latino people, their stories were always reduced to some stereotypical caricature of what it meant to belong to those groups. Same with gay media—the character’s stories always had a tragic ending or revolved around self hate and bigotry—plus, even there, there was little to no non-white representation. I got tired of it, so I wanted to do something different.”
In Eldet, LGBT acceptance is “universal within the lore of the game,” writes Marccus on the game’s development blog, also saying that the game doesn’t deal with any coming out narratives, nor does it focus on dealing with homophobia or transphobia.
Eldet will be released on PC, Mac and Linux in September 2017. A playable demo is also available to download via the game’s Kickstarter page.