Retroviral is currently shelved.

Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, I have decided that releasing Retroviral any time soon would be distasteful; it has also damaged my motivation to work on it. I cannot work on a project about a pandemic in the midst of a real one, especially when so many assumptions made for the fiction have proven very, very wrong. If work on Retroviral is continued, it will come with major adjustments to the plot, script, and worldbuilding. I am leaving this page up for posterity and archiving.

Retroviral is a cyberpunk visual novel (a type of text- and image-based video game) that follows the story of a young courier named Ripley, who is infected with a psychosis-inducing virus. The epidemic has shaken up the world, and only those with enough money for the treatment can hope to stop the virus' progression and ward off death - there is no cure.

Based on the author's own experiences with mental illness and the history of discrimination and hatred ill people and the LGBTQ+ community have faced for similar crises, Retroviral explores ableism, queer community, corporate responsibility, and being an outsider.

The story will follow the routes of 3 characters:

MAVIS, an artist and activist struggling to balance her friends' needs and her own
COLM, a coder infected with the virus, whose passive way of life is shaken by a shocking revelation
CYAN, a "mad scientist" with her own secrets, offering the opportunity of a lifetime for Ripley

A preview of the prologue script can be found here.

Retroviral is written, drawn, and coded by Rory Jay Liebmann.