Crowdfunding Spotlight: Dysfunctional Systems

Monday, March 10th, 2014

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Dysfunctional Systems - oprainfall

If you’re a fan of visual novels and have yet to check out Dischan’s Dysfunctional Systems, do yourself a favor and check out the first episode, Learning to Manage Chaos. If you’re not convinced, check out our impressions of the first episode. It’s currently available for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and iOS. And since the game was successfully Greenlit on Steam, you can pick it up there, as well, and snag some achievements. For those of you who have played the first episode, it surely left you dying for a more satisfying conclusion to Winter’s story. You’ll be excited to hear that through the power of crowdfunding, you may soon get just that.

Dysfunctional Systems - Winter Harrison | oprainfall

For those of you not familiar with Dysfunctional Systems, it’s a series of visual novels that focuses on the story of Winter Harrison. Winter is a “mediator” in training who is learning how to resolve chaotic situations in different worlds. It is the job of mediators to leave their own utopian world in order to enter other worlds that have fallen into chaos and help restore order by resolving whatever conflict the world may be facing. In Learning to Manage Chaos, the first episode of the series, Winter is paired with her mentor Cyrus to try to mediate Brighton, an impoverished country oppressed by their wealthy neighbor Gabrea. The episode features an intriguing story, interesting characters, some awesome artwork, and a great soundtrack, to boot.

However, Learning to Manage Chaos is only the beginning, and Dischan has planned several more episodes in the series. As a result, they have now turned to Kickstarter to help fund two more episodes. The second episode (projected for release in September 2014) will focus on Winter’s life at the academy where she is studying to become a mediator. There will be new playable characters introduced, and Dischan promises it will be quite a bit longer than the first episode. The episode will also feature more decisions and a focus on character relationships. The third and final episode (projected for release in March 2015) will wrap up the trilogy and offer a satisfying conclusion. Like the second episode, the third episode will also be much longer than the first.

Dysfunctional Systems - Art Evolution | oprainfall

Dischan has been showing off concept art and music since the launch of the campaign, and the character designs have evolved based on feedback from the fans (see above). Be sure to check out the concept art featured below, and hop over to the Kickstater page for even more artwork and some samples from the soundtrack.

Dysfunctional Systems - Character Concepts | oprainfall

Dysfunctional Systems - New Characters | oprainfall

Dysfunctional Systems - School | oprainfall

No stretch goals have been announced yet for the project, but Dischan promises to reveal these should they reach their funding goal. There are also some great rewards and extras for backing, ranging from digital artbooks, soundtracks, and even some physical media for the higher tiers. (All of these are, of course, in addition to the episodes themselves.) With a pledge of $30 CAD ($27.03 USD), you can get the entire Dysfunctional Systems trilogy. And any package that includes the first episode of the series will allow you to download it immediately. So if you want to check out the first episode, why not kill two birds with one stone and donate $5 CAD ($4.50 USD)?

If you’re looking for more info, be sure to head over to the Dysfunctional Systems Kickstarter page. I can say for sure that I will be backing this project after having played the first episode. As of this writing, the Kickstarter campaign is 60% of the way towards its goal, with two weeks to go. So if Dysfunctional Systems has caught your interest, don’t miss your chance to back the project!

  • Klagmar

    Glad to see they’ve got a Kickstarter going. I’m not sure how I feel about the concept art, though. The “new new” character designs they show and the full pieces of artwork are quite different styles, the latter being the same as the original game (which I’m a huge fan of).

    • Hailee Kenney

      I also prefer the artwork from the first episode, as I think many people do. I think they have a different artist now? I appreciate that they’ve been listening to feedback from fans and trying adjust their character concepts accordingly.

    • Guest

      Actually, all the art here (full art included) is from the new artist. None of it is from the artist who did episode one.

    • Hailee Kenney

      Here’s a quote from their Kickstarter FAQ regarding the artwork:

      “The art style is changing because we lost our original art director. We could have our new artist mimic the old style, but we feel it would be a better use of his talents if he could draw in a style he is more comfortable with.

      The new style concepts may not be the final style though, and we are open to modifying it based on feedback. If you’d like to leave feedback on the new art style, please use our contact form on our site: (note: although we may not reply to all messages, we do read them all).

      Before doing so though, please take some time to truly consider whether you dislike this art style objectively, or if you simply dislike it because it’s different from the original.”

  • LoVDArchangel

    I’ve never heard of this before but it definitely looks like something worth checking out. Thanks for the article Hailee