LIONKILLER

Developer
Sisi Jiang

Desktop Release Date

October 1st 2018

Mobile Release Date
May 17th 2019

Platforms
PC / Mobile

Website
Itch.io

Regular Price
$5.00 USD

Description

LIONKILLER is a choose-your-own-adventure game made in Twine. Play as Hua Mulan, a young lesbian who is conscripted into the First Opium War against the British Empire. Run a flower shop, kiss a girl, shoot a matchlock rifle, and uncover a military conspiracy! Your actions will lead you to one out of four different endings. Will you get the girl, or will you die an inglorious death?

LIONKILLER was practically unnoticed at its original launch, but public interest in the game spiked on July 8th, 2019. Sisi tweeted about how folks who were unhappy about the Disney Mulan could choose to support a nonbinary Chinese developer instead. This tweet resulted in over a thousand downloads, and LIONKILLER launched to the front of the itch.io page, where it remains as of July 18, 2019. LIONKILLER also ranks favorably in tags such as Twine, LGBT, and Interactive Fiction.

The full version of the game was released on July 12th, 2019.

History

Sisi started developing LIONKILLER in May 2018, shortly after they quit their hourly job at a tax firm. They made the first part of the game while they were trying to find a day job in Chicago, IL. They had to pause development at several points, since they was running out of money. Sisi eventually found a new job at a hotel, and the graveyard shift hours allowed them to work on LIONKILLER during their downtime. The game was published on itch.io on Oct 01, 2018. They submitted the game to two different independent games festivals, and LIONKILLER was rejected from both. When Sisi was laid off from the hotel, they gave up developing LIONKILLER entirely.

They found a new job in the spring, so they dedicated themselves to working on smaller game projects. In March 2019, they received an email about LIONKILLER. Emily Nguyen expressed interest in interviewing Sisi for her games research. She was a product lead at Wattpad. The company were developing a mobile app for interactive fiction, and they wanted to publish LIONKILLER as a test product. Our talks lead to a contract in which Wattpad would fund the development of LIONKILLER parts two and three.

The first part of LIONKILLER launched on the Tap app on May 17, 2019. While the Wattpad development team worked on converting their Twine to mobile, Sisi continued to write the remainder of the game in Dallas, TX. Publisher deadlines resulted in a tighter focus on narrative content. LIONKILLER would be fully released on itch.io on July 15, 2019. The mobile Tap version of parts two and three are still currently in development.

Features

  • Experience nearly 30,000 words of gameplay!
  • Play through (4) different endings! Different paths will be available, depending on your earlier choices.
  • LIONKILLER contains a ton of historical research and light references to Chinese literature and mythology. Yes, this is a feature.
  • Solve mini-puzzles for self-satisfaction.
  • Build relationships with NPCs, and they may choose to help you later.

Screenshots



Media

Selected Articles

Let a Thousand Mulans Bloom – Foreign Policy
What is Twine, and How Do You Make a Twine Game?” – Daily Dot

Contact

sisi.jiang @ outlook [dot] com