Sepia Tears - Scarlet String Studios
That's right — Reprise Edition is finally available for purchase!

Sepia Tears has come a long way since its humble beginnings as a free VN (long before this was common practice on Steam!). It's been a long journey, but we hope that this story provides a satisfying epilogue for fans of the original game.

Thanks again for your support, and stay tuned for future gamedev updates!
Sepia Tears - Scarlet String Studios

The title says it all!

Reprise Edition is finally complete, and it's scheduled to launch this Fall. Wishlist it here:

Or pre-order on (you'll get a Steam key):

As a reminder, this DLC includes the full original story, in addition to...
  • Three new chapters, bringing the story to a total of 50,000 words (original length was 40,000 words)
  • Four new CGs included in the bonus chapters
  • Remastered soundtrack (with the option to switch back to the original, if desired)
  • Handdrawn background art to replace the old stock photos
  • Lots more sound effects and atmospheric audio
  • Newly polished UI, scene transitions, and other visual effects
Thanks for sticking with us through this project! I personally hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

This release will mark the end of Sepia Tears as a franchise, but stay tuned for more gamedev announcements in late 2019/early 2020!
Sepia Tears - Scarlet String Studios
If you're wondering why Steam is downloading an update to Sepia Tears for the first time in forever, it's because we're finally getting ready to launch the Reprise Edition DLC! The Steam page isn't public yet, but in the meantime, we have some new achievements for the base game, as well as new icons for the old ones. The game is the same as before, but there's one new achievement per chapter.

If you still have your old save file, the game should automatically unlock the new achievements when you boot it up. The one exception is Unannounced Visitor, because that one is part of the Day 4 branch, so it's technically missable.

If this doesn't work, you might have to delete your old save file and just ctrl through the game. I've added a Delete Save Data button to the options menu to make this easier. If that's buggy, you can delete the save directories manually. Remember to delete BOTH of them.

The scripts for the original game are somewhat disorganized, so please let us know if there are any bugs in this update!

EDIT: It looks like the new update might be incompatible with the old saves. People have reported an error message on launch, which is the same as this Ren'Py error message for National Park Girls. Unfortunately I don't know how to fix this because Ren'Py handles saving/loading on its own, so for now you may have to manually delete your old files. Apologies for the inconvenience.
Sepia Tears - Scarlet String Studios

The Sepia Tears OST is now available for purchase! The soundtrack includes the original tracks used in the free version of the game as well as the remastered tracks featured in the upcoming Reprise Edition DLC. Available in both lossless FLAC and mp3 v0.

Buy it now! ːPlayMusicː
Sep 18, 2018
Sepia Tears - Scarlet String Studios
It's been a while! Just dropping in a quick update on the status of the DLC.

First of all, artist aeror
has joined us as a character artist! As you might remember, Myra un-dyes her hair at the end of the game and returns to a less... artificial look. All three bonus chapters take place after the end of the game, so we need a new sprite for her. Here's a side-by-side comparison of what we have so far!

We haven't gotten through the other pose and expressions yet, but this will give you an idea of what to expect. The new art style is different (which is inevitable), so we might re-draw the other sprites as well, if time allows — but first priority will be the new CGs for the bonus chapters.

Meanwhile, I'm sure you all remember the peculiar background art situation in the original game. Happy to say that artist qs2435 will be providing background paintings to replace the originals. See below:

This also means we can give certain backgrounds the attention they deserve, like the view from atop the hill at the end. We already have rough drafts of all of the backgrounds, so the artist is currently going through each one to polish up the final copies.

And finally, the remastered OST is almost complete! We have drafts for every track now, so all that's left is the finishing touches. Here's a side-by-side comparison of one of the trickier pieces, Monochrome Heartbeat.


As mentioned before, the OST release on Steam will include both the original tracks and the remaster.

That's all for now!
Jun 11, 2018
Sepia Tears - Scarlet String Studios

Today, I finished writing the last of the three bonus chapters! This brings the game's total word count to just under 50,000 (up from 40,000). Reading speed is very subjective, but I re-read the story recently and it took about 5 hours. Therefore, the extra chapters should add about 1 hr of new content.

I'd write more if I could, but I don't want to stretch the story too thin, since there's no new drama to introduce. The characters are happy, as we know from the ending of the original game; all that's left is for them to hang around and have fun. This will be a treat for people who want to see what the couples are like now that the dust has settled.

Nothing is final yet, but we do have bonus CGs (and outfits) in the works for these three chapters, so there will be some eye candy as well. ːvanilla2ː

A bit of bad news: This will be the last of our weekly updates! My own work on the game is just about done; all that's left is to coordinate with artists/musicians to produce the remaining assets. The rest of the team is on a freelance basis, so updates will be off and on. However, we'll still update whenever we have something noteworthy to show.

In the meantime, I will be back to work on Monospaced Lovers, my upcoming narrative platformer. That's a very early demo, but we should get some non-placeholder art in the game before long.

I'm keeping quiet about the plot for now, but let's just say that if you enjoyed the offbeat (and slightly twisted) romance of Sepia Tears, you'll find some familiar elements in this game. It's a "platformer," but I'm trying to skew the gameplay toward Zelda-style dialogue and sidequests. Keep an eye on the game's page for weekly devlogs, starting within a month or two.

I'm thankful for everyone who enjoyed this little freeware story released years ago. There's a lot to look forward to from here. Onward!
Sepia Tears - Scarlet String Studios
Great news! I've finished re-reading and editing the original script for Sepia Tears. The current version still sits at 40,000 words, but hopefully there's more substance and flow to some of the small talk now. The plot remains the same, so no worries there.

Next up, I'll work on 3 (?) extra stories that will be unlocked after you finish the game. No firm details on these yet, but the idea is to have fun with the characters and show what the crew is like now that all the drama is resolved.

In other news, game composer smittenden is joining us to remaster the OST!

Due to a long story involving poor project management and untimely hard drive crashes, we no longer have access to the project files for the original soundtrack. That means we can't edit the original files or export to different formats. Eventually, when the soundtrack is released, it will include both the mp3s featured in the original game (various bitrates, but mostly mp3 320), and the remastered version (FLAC and mp3 v0).

We're still working out how to do this, but here's a snapshot of what to expect (work in progress).

Winter Park, Empty Park (old):

Winter Park, Empty Park (new):

The remaster is as much a creative challenge as a technical one, so feedback is welcome. There are a few directions we can take the music just by tweaking the individual instruments; the actual sheet music will remain more or less the same.

(This account is now old enough for Market purchases, so I can finally throw in some emoticons ːrbrb2ː)

- @scarlet_string
Sepia Tears - Scarlet String Studios
Short update this time, since last week was both a holiday weekend and the local anime con. I made it through Day 3 of the script, and I'm happy with the progress so far. I found that I still mostly like the pacing of the story, but some of the small talk amongst the cast was awkward, so I'm just having everyone banter a bit more.

For those wondering, there's more art/music work going on in the background, but I'm waiting til we have something concrete to show before announcing anything. That's all for now!

- @scarlet_string
Sepia Tears - Scarlet String Studios
Apologies for the late update — last weekend was a holiday here and I got caught up with going outside.

As of now, the UI is fully functional, which means my next task is to go through the old script and edit. I know a couple people commented that the old UI for the music room looked better. I'll see if I can figure out how to give the new buttons a more hand-drawn look, rather than a boxy CSS look. UI feedback is always helpful so please keep the comments coming!

For reference, the old vs new save/load screen:

I liked how the old one was a modal screen (with the game still visible in the background), so I might try to do the same again.

The new achievements will surely be an improvement. I realized it makes more sense to just create one per chapter, and the SDCGs are perfect for that.

(Yes, that extra pixel in the corners bothers me too, now that I'm seeing it against a dark background)

Story-wise, I'm leaving most of the original scenes in place, but there are a few areas that would be fun to expand. The overall banter amongst the cast could be improved. I'm still really happy with the ending — don't think there will be any changes to Day 7.

Once this is done, I'll brainstorm an epilogue chapter or two!

- @scarlet_string
Sepia Tears - Scarlet String Studios
Last week was somewhat quiet — spent some time learning Ren'Py things that I probably should have known the first time around.

Ren'py's new built-in UI is a lot cleaner than the old one. I've started rebuilding the menu screens to fit the new UI. As an example, here's the old music room...

And here's the new one!

I fixed some obvious problems, like how the original music room spoiled the names of songs you hadn't unlocked yet. But, I'm still not much of a designer, so it will take some trial and error.

- @scarlet_string

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