Birds of Paradise - Demo
Comedy/Romance/Slice of Life/Visual Novel
New city, new job, new apartment, new life!
Fresh out of college, Robin thinks she’s hit the jackpot after landing a position as assistant manager to the Birds of Paradise; an upcoming boy band with dreams of making it big. Robin is thrilled to be working with such high-profile clients… though not everything is as glamorous as it first seems.
Disastrously, Robin is left high and dry when her boss unexpectedly quits, leaving the fresh-faced recent grad fully in charge of the band. Robin soon finds herself overwhelmed by the boys’ flamboyant personalities.
Left to fend for herself and help the band find success, Robin must navigate constant aggravation as the band members vie for her attention. Still, she can’t help but find them endearing…
Contribution: Narrative design, writing, programming, UX design
Gameplay Sample
In-Game Screenshots
Demo End Game Script
Demo End - Scene Script
Jay's phone buzzed at the same time mine did.
Jay: Raven!
Robin: I... I got one too.
I started reading the text message and it felt like my heart was yanked somewhere in the vicinity of my ankles. Oh... oh no...
Raven: Hey loves! Hope you're getting along. Please accept this as my formal resignation as band manager from Birds of Paradise. Robin will be acting as my replacement. I look forward to seeing you around in other professional capacities! Cheers!
Jay looked like he'd swallowed his own tongue and was about to vomit it back up.
Robin: She's... quitting?
Jay: Looks that way.
Callum: What? Give me that!
Callum tried to snatch Jay's phone away from him but he pivoted to avoid his grasp.
Callum: Ugh! Jay! Let me see it!
Jay: You don't need to see it.
Lonan: Yes we do. What did you say to her this time? Huh?
A stifled sob came from the corner of the stage, I glanced over to find tears still streaming down Lark's face.
Lark: S-She's leaving us? Again?
Robin: Again? She's done this before?
Lonan: Yeah. Last time it was because Jay dumped her. Can't imagine why that went wrong.
Robin: What?! You were dating your band manager? When?
Callum: It was a year and a half ago. Old news.
Wren: You sure? I thought I saw them at the Crow's Nest a couple weeks ago.
Callum: What? Jay, if you rekindled something with her right before the submission deadline...
Jay: I didn't do anything!
Callum: Then why are you hiding your texts? You sent her something creepy before she quit, didn't you?!
I was seriously considering quitting on the spot myself, but the thought of my freshly paid deposit stopped me. How would I pay for rent if I quit? That was a conversation I did not want to have with my parents.
Hi Mom and Dad, thanks so much for helping me out with the deposit even though you 100% disagreed with my career choice!
Can you give me more money while I frantically search for a different job, while refusing to apply to any of the horrible soulless ones you've sent me? Hugs and kisses!
I felt physically ill at the thought. No. I would not stoop to that level of desperation. I would make this work. I had to. Besides, there was no way this could get any worse.
*clap clap clap*
Vega: Well, this is certainly a shitshow.
My new roommate was standing in the doorway, a malicious grin plastered across her smug face. I remembered her previous smile as sharp but also friendly, but this... this was something else entirely.
Robin: Wha—
Jay: What the hell are you doing here?
Vega: Just came to see how well you were handling things alone, little brother.
Jay: It's going just fine, little sister.
Robin: You're siblings?
But they didn't seem to hear me. Vega didn't even glance in my direction, her eyes were fixed on Jay.
I turned to Wren.
Robin: Uh, how can they both be 'little'?
Wren scrunched up his nose and sighed.
Wren: They're twins. The kind who fight over everything. Including who came out first.
Vega: We all know I did, Wren.
Jay: Yeah, sure, but I was conceived first!
Vega rolled her eyes.
Lonan: Is this why you showed up? To fight about who popped out first? You two must've had fistfights in the womb.
Vega snorted.
Vega: Nice one Lonan. You comin' to the bar later?
Lonan shrugged, looking pretty casual for a guy who was egging on a fight a couple seconds ago.
Lonan: Yeah, probably. You wanna shoot some pool? Loser buys drinks.
Vega: Sure.
Jay: Seriously, Lonan? You're making plans to hang out with our enemy?
Lonan: I'm making plans to hang out with your enemy. I don't have a problem with her.
Jay: Ugh, that's not...
He balled his hands into fists then dropped the topic with a little punching motion that was disturbingly reminiscent of a toddler having a tantrum.
Jay: What are you doing here, Vega?
Robin: Y-yeah why are you here?
She finally flicked her eyes in my direction.
Vega: Because, Robin—
She froze, looking at me from head to toe, her face going pale.
Vega: Oh shit, New Girl, this is your job? Sucks for you. No hard feelings, okay?
Well, that didn't bode well. No hard feelings? For what?
Lark: You know Vega?
His eyes got wide, as if struck by a terrible sort of inspiration. The next words he spoke came out in a whisper.
Lark: Are... are you a spy?
Robin: No. I'm her new roommate.
Jay: What? You... You can't work for us if you're living with her.
Robin: Oh, so you'll, what, just hire another band manager? Raven was the one who handled hiring, I bet you couldn't interview your way out of a paper bag.
He sputtered, choking on whatever he was about to say next.
Lonan burst into laughter and slapped me on the back. I nearly toppled forward into Jay's chest.
Lonan: Heh... I like the bite on her. She's almost as sharp-tongued as Raven.
Callum: Hardly. I'm surprised Raven's tongue isn't forked. You're right though, this one has enough bite to stand up to our resident narcissist.
Jay: You better not be talking about me.
Robin: That's my line! 'This one'? Really? That's dehumanizing and tacky.
It was Callum's turn to go a little pink with embarrassment.
Callum: You're... ugh, you're right. That was dehumanizing, and I apologize.
Huh. Well, I guess he could have manners when he wanted to.
Jay: What about me? Don't I get an apology?
Callum looked Jay over, then wordlessly turned to walk out of the building.
Vega: I wouldn't go just yet Callum, it'd be a shame for you to miss the reveal.
All of the boys turned to look at her warily.
Vega: You all listening? Good. We've hired a new band manager in time for Vantage Records' next contract push.
Jay: But... we're getting ready for that! Who even told you? They don't usually go for crappy girl punk when they're signing new acts—
Vega: You can insult me all you want Jay, but if you talk shit on my band...
Her sentence ended in a growl and I got the distinct impression she was willing to eviscerate her twin on the spot if he kept going.
Jay: Pfft, if you can call Birds of Prey a band.
Vega: I should say that about your little song and dance number! The Birds of Prey at least have fucking instruments, you hack.
Wow, there was some bad blood between the two of them, and if this went on for much longer it was likely to end up spilled all over the floor.
...Also, Birds of Prey? Why was her band name so similar to Birds of Paradise? I had a bad feeling there was more to that story.
Callum: Look, I didn't stay so I could listen to this. What's the reveal, Vega? Who's your new manager?
Callum narrowed his eyes in suspicion.
Callum: ...Though I think I can guess.
Vega: Oh, that. Well, I think you might know her. She goes by... Raven?
Vega sneered.
Well, shit.
Callum: That's what I thought.
Was it just me or was that severe look on his face even tighter than before? He looked at each of us in turn and almost imperceptibly shook his head.
Callum: We're clearly not getting any practice done today, so I'll see you tomorrow. After your collective panic attack has subsided.
With that Callum marched out, slamming the side door behind him.
The room was dead silent, then exploded into a wave of panicked chittering. They really did sound like a flock of startled birds. Not that I could criticize, I was babbling about as inanely as the rest of them.
Robin: She... she had this planned... I... I was her...
Jay was staring down at his phone, probably reading the text again, walking in circles and shaking his head in denial as he mumbled the words.
Lark: She hates us! She hates me! Raven did this 'cause she hates me!
Lonan: Well, shit, maybe I shouldn't play pool with you tonight, Vega.
Wren: Oh my god, I have to tell everyone about this before it gets out! I have to get a jump on it! Callum! Wait! I need a ride to the salon!
Wren rushed out after Callum, a blur of red as he darted past me. He looked weirdly happy about sharing the bad news.
Lark: Wait, Wren, I wanna come... too.
But Wren was already gone. Lark looked toward us and back to the door, unsure if he wanted to stay or leave on his own.
Vega: Look, I came here as a favor. It's not like it would have been any easier, finding out around town.
Jay: You came here to gloat.
Vega rolled her eyes. Yeah, Jay was probably right. She'd shown up to gloat.
Vega: Think what you like. At least you have yourselves a replacement.
Jay: Yeah, an inexperienced one.
Robin: Well, at least I'm here! And I won't ever do anything like that to you! I won't leave you like that!
Everything was starting to look watery and blurry as I tried to hold back tears. Whatever cruel aspect of the universe made me capable of stress crying was rearing its ugly head right now.
Robin: (Don't cry! Whatever you do, don't cry!)
Jay rushed over to me, pushing past Vega and putting his hands on my shoulders.
He pulled out that shining smile on me again.
Jay: Hey, hey. There's no need for that. You'll do great! You're... you're right. I couldn't hire my way out of a paper bag. There's no way I'll find anyone better than you.
All the blood rushed to my face. This sounded more like a love confession than a promotion to band manager. All I wanted was for this day to be over.
Vega: Ah, Jay, your greatest weakness. A crying person.
Lark looked between the three of us again, then wordlessly slipped out the same way Callum and Wren had left. I guess watching his new band manager have a breakdown was where he drew the line.
I desperately wanted to follow him, but Jay's hands on my shoulders would have made any attempt to leave painfully obvious.
Vega: Enjoy your promotion New Girl. See you at the pad. If you need help finding a better gig, let me know.
Vega strode off, each click of her heels brimming with remorseless confidence. That was it. That was the energy I wanted to give off.
A wave of jealousy churned in my stomach as I looked at her retreating back.
I was standing there in wrinkled clothes, dangerously close to upgrading my crying game from small amounts of liquid dripping down my face to full-blown sobs.
Meanwhile, Vega was striding off to do who-knows-what cool thing. Probably with her cool band. Her cool girl punk band. Why hadn't she mentioned that in the apartment interview?
Whatever she was up to, it would definitely be awesome; and would definitely not involve curling up in her bedroom and staring at a wall in despair. For hours.
Maybe I'd even throw in that very loud, very uncool full-volume cry I was shoving down while I was at it.
I looked down at my palms and saw the black squiggle there. Jay's signature. He was still resting his hands on my shoulders and forcing a smile.
It was making me feel more awkward than comforted, but now that he was touching me I could feel the trembling in his palms. Maybe I wasn't the only one who wanted to curl up into a ball.
Robin: Ah, um, I'll be okay. You can um...
I looked at his hands.
Jay: Oh! Uh, sorry.
He let go and stepped away.
Lonan: Don't start flirting with her on her first day.
Jay: I-I wasn't going to.
Lonan snorted.
Lonan: Yeah, whatever. Enjoy your new promotion, Chickadee. Jay, you better bump her pay up to whatever you were shelling out for Raven. Minus the dick pics.
Jay: I never sent her any—
Lonan: Sure, whatever you say, loverboy. The only way we'll know for sure is if it gets leaked to the press.
Lonan strode off, giving me one last casual wave goodbye.
Lonan: See ya tomorrow, Chickadee.
Jay had gone a sickly shade of green.
Jay: I'm sure I never sent...
Jay: Anyway... I'll increase your pay, and get you access to the accounts. Congratulations on your new promotion!
He was beaming at me again, with a smile so forced I was surprised it didn't crack his face in half.
Robin: Yeah... um... thanks.
Jay: I've... uh... got something I have to check on. See you tomorrow!
He hustled off, his phone in his hand before he was out of the room.
Was he scrolling through old texts? Maybe Lonan had a point about the dick pic... and as his manager I'd have to deal with that if it ended up somewhere.
Standing alone backstage, the past twenty-four hours hit me in one fell swoop.
My new job. My roommates. The band. At least the apartment was everything it was promised to be.
The way things were going I half expected to go home and find out the building was made of cardboard.
My phone went off again and I saw another job text from my mom flash on the screen before my dying battery gave up the ghost.
Day one was over and I was starting to feel like this whole operation was held together with spit and glue...
And now, I'd be the one making the spit and applying the glue.
Just abso-fucking-lutely prefect.
At least I could tell everyone I'd been promoted.
Band Manager of Birds of Paradise.
Time to get to work.

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