Starbeast Inferno Productions came together as a group during the COVID-19 pandemic, when its founders had a lot of time on their hands, like many others. The group took to online tabletop roleplaying games as a way to stay in touch, and the studio’s name is in reference to that RPG party. What began as simply a running joke in the campaign, the “Elven Revenue Service” gradually grew into a more solid idea, offering a chance to look at a very different side of a fantasy world than what most people usually think of. The project began in September 2020, carefully developing characters and story for a full-fledged Visual Novel.

A simple dating simulator, however, wasn’t the group’s aim. A story should have something to say, and the fantasy setting provided an interesting way to view many social issues of the world today. Inclusivity was always a priority, so the game was designed from the start with a gender-neutral protagonist, love interests of both genders, and gender-fluid characters. Art can create change, and bringing under-represented groups into fiction is one of the best ways to do that. By placing the focus on story and creating well-developed, diverse casts of characters, the games the group makes can prove interesting and memorable experiences that represent the real world in all the ways that matter.

Lead developer Carlyle Edmundson is an author who had previously released a trilogy of cyberpunk detective novels: The Arcology, Eidolon, and The Resonance Enigma, which also tackled some of these ideas of inclusiveness, outsider status, and minority populations. He has a degree in film, which taught him many of the visual storytelling skills that creating a visual novel demands. Anastasia Hilton, another member of the development team and origin of the Starbeast name, has a degree in creative writing and has contributed greatly to character development as well as finance and marketing. Logan Yarnell has been the technical guru, with a degree in Computer Science, working on testing and programming. He also creates expansion modules for tabletop RPGs in his free time.