Royalty Free is a Visual Novel/Dating Sim where you can date princesses.
The full game was released on September 1st, 2016. It can be downloaded for free here .
You play the role of a new guard to the castle. Your first day on the job, you meet the five princesses that you have the option of pursuing:
- Utako, an energetic, tomboyish musician that doesn't care for stuffiness or being proper.
- Aya, a designer and seamstress that wants to enforce proper princess behavior.
- Shizuka, a shy, reclusive writer who spends most of her time in the library.
- Hinata, a perfectionist artist with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.
- Mai, a kind dancer that is friends with everyone.
You receive choices that affect which girl you end up with. However, if you make wrong choices, you will get kicked off the guard and the game will start over.
- The game began development on September 29, 2013. The demo was released on May 22nd, 2015, and the full game was released on September 1st, 2016.
- A rough timeline of the game's development is as follows:
- September 29, 2013: Development begins.
- Act 1 is completed sometime between October and November 2013.
- Utako and Aya's routes are written in January/February 2014.
- Shizuka and Hinata's routes are written over the course of two weeks in August 2014.
- 2015 was a "hiatus year" of sorts. Other than the official sprites being made in March and the demo's release in May, the only work really done on the game was the beginning bits of Mai's route and minor rewrites and scene additions.
- Rewrites begin in spring/summer of 2016. Parts of the game that Emily felt needed improvement were rewritten and bugs and sprite errors are fixed.
- Mai's route is written in July/August 2016, and finished two weeks before release.
- The two weeks leading up to the game's release mainly involved more rewrites and minor tweaks, as well as making sure no errors were left in.
- September 1st, 2016: The game is officially released on itch.io.
- The game was originally set for a 2014 release, though it has since been pushed back to 2015, then pushed back again to 2016, due to it not being finished in time. It was finally released in September 2016, after Emily claimed she was determined to get it out by late summer/early fall of that year.
- It is completely free to play. There is an option to donate to Emily on the game's information page, but it is not required.
- People involved in the making of Royalty Free:
- The location of this game is undetermined, though it does take place somewhere in the Fukushima prefecture. The game is implied to take place in the present, since modern technology comes up a lot.
- The royal family's surname, Nishihime, translates to "west princess"/"western princess"
- All of the people in this game (with the exception of the protagonist) are based off of people the creator knows in real life. Their names were changed from their real life counterparts, due to the creator being unsure if they would be okay with having their names in the game.
- Utako is based off of the creator herself, the only differences being that Emily (The VN's creator) isn't a musician like Utako is. Nor is Emily a princess (but that's kind of a given).
- Aya, Shizuka, Hinata, and Mai are all based off of girls Emily knew in middle school and high school.
- Aya is based off of a girl named Liz, who is much friendlier and less critcal than her VN counterpart, and Emily has said that Liz is actually a good friend of hers, and was okay with her character being portrayed the way she is in the VN.
- Shizuka is based off a girl named Julia, who was so quiet and never made her presence known in class, so you honestly forgot she was there. Emily made her VN counterpart shy to reflect this, although Julia is not shy (or if she is, not AS shy as her VN counterpart).
- Hinata is based off of a girl named Kiara, although Kiara is neither a perfectionist nor an artist, but her VN counterpart was given these traits to help her match the more colorful personalities of the other princesses.
- Mai is based off of a girl named Desiree who does dance, but is not at the level of Mai. Desiree is also kind, but again, not as much as Mai.
- Ryouta, Daichi, Naoko, and Chibana are all based off of Emily's best friends: Brian (Ryouta), Alex (Daichi), Corinne (Naoko), and Sarah (Chibana). The difference with them is that Emily made their VN counterparts pretty much identical to how they actually are, instead of changing their personalities like she did with the princesses.
- Meanwhile, the Queen is based off of Emily's eighth grade teacher. Mind you, she is NOTHING like the Queen, and is actually one of Emily's favorite teachers to this day. It's just that Emily came up with the concept in eighth grade, so she always imagined the Queen looking like her eighth grade teacher.