Outliers and Outsiders (sometimes referred to as the Magical Girl Gina series) is one of my current active game series. Nominally in the magical girl genre, it departs from several genre conventions and is heavily influenced by superhero fiction, with notes of urban fantasy and magical realism. It’s also set in the doldrums of the 2020s, with the first game at the height of the pandemic. Most games are first person shooters, and most star typical magical girl Sakura and atypical magical girl Gina, though I’m starting to branch out a bit. Though it happened by accident, growing out of a salvaged jam project, I have plenty of stories I want to tell in this universe and it isn’t going anywhere.
In The Middle Of The Night is the first game in the series, a first-person shooter with some visual novel elements that introduces the characters and starts to set up the world. It can be described as Gina’s origin story, and is very much a 2020 period piece. Created for Magical Girl Game Jam 2, it was originally supposed to be a much different game with magical girls in space, but was retooled into something much smaller in scope halfway through the jam. This resulted in some odd design decisions and set some unintentional conventions for the series.
At The Break Of Dawn is a direct sequel to the first game, created for Magical Girl Game Jam 4. Out of the blue, Sakura asks for Gina’s help, and this time it’s not dark monsters that are hunting magical girls. This game was conceived soon after the first, but not actually made until a year later. It’s larger in scope than the first game and although it’s not perfect it improves upon it in almost every way.
The Crystal Tower is a Christmas special starring Gina and Sakura, set during and initially released in December 2021. It’s somewhere between a parody, homage, or adaptation of a classic Christmas movie. Like the main entries in the series, it is a first-person shooter with the addition of dialogue sequences, animated cutscenes, and other interactive and cinematic segments. Although the initial release was very rough and missing a lot, it was improved for 2022 and the plan is to keep coming back and adding a little more.
See Who I Am is set in the same universe as the other games but focuses on different characters. It is a visual novel that explores transgender themes against the backdrop of the magical girl genre. Though set in late 2021, it was created in late 2022 for Magical Girl Game Jam 6. It’s a short, simple game created in a limited amount of time with a deliberately constrained scope. Notably, it’s the first visual novel I’ve actually finished, and the first CommonCore-based game with a web playable release.
Gap Year is a tie-in set between At The Break Of Dawn and The Crystal Tower. It can be considered a miniseries of illustrated novellas, or one illustrated novella in three parts. It is more than a companion piece, but rather a core part of the series in terms of story, bridging a gap in the timeline and setting things up for the next game. It’s a story of the magic and the mundane, of magical girls and global pandemics, of a lot of things… but I’ll let it speak for itself. It is currently in progress, with the first part complete.