A downloadable game for Windows, macOS, and Linux

Buy Now$5.99 USD or more

Contact Us: crimeoperastudios@gmail.com



Kotaku Article

DEMO: https://crimeoperastudios.itch.io/crime-opera-the-butterfly-effect-demo


Play Styles: Kinetic or with Choices

Main Route: Over 64k words

Funding Breakdown: All funds will go towards financing the already written sequel, Crime Opera II: The Floodgate Effect (which picks up the story a full 9 years later).

Versions: There is a regular version of the game, and a censored version of it. Both are available for download here when you pay the minimum price. The censored version is the one I attempted to resubmit to Steam, but they advised us we were perma-banned.

This first novel follows six narrators in their childhood, and focuses on their introduction into the Mafia world (through their parents). The story begins with the sudden death of the family matriarch and subsequently spins out of control when her two sons, Gerald and Xander, are put on the defensive, as former partners threaten to take over their collective business ventures for themselves. See through the eyes of the Gallo children as they witness murders, kidnappings, and a slew of other crimes wrought upon their households by their own fathers. 

Crime Opera is a tale of both loyalty and deceit, murder and survival, and both the strength and frailty of familial bonds. These visual novels follow the Gallos as they are pitted against the outside forces of the mafia world, and eventually, each other as well. 

This first installment contains 24 full chapters, and the main route is over 64k words long. At the beginning of the game, you can choose to read it straight through as a kinetic novel (no choices), or as a visual novel with choices that lead to other endings. These endings, while false in nature, *do* shed more light on characters and their motivations, revealing a much fuller picture of major events and how they were sparked into being.


12 years old, Shana is the Oldest daughter of Xander and Molly. A caring young girl, wary of her father’s ways, and constantly dreams of a life far away from all that she knows.

10 years old, he is the oldest son of Xander and Molly. An introverted boy who likes to go off on his own.

8 years old, he is the youngest son of Xander and Molly. A very troubled boy with a dark side to his personality.

6 years old, she is the youngest daughter of Xander and Molly. A girl who shows signs of schizophrenia and other dissociative behaviours.

15 years old. Gerald and Alice’s son. An ambitious teenager who holds great respect for his father.

7 years old. Oldest daughter of Gerald and Alice. She is her daddy’s little princess.


The eldest of the two brothers running the family business. Calm and relaxed, and in complete control of his faculties.

The youngest of the two brothers. He is hard headed, easily angered, and often violent.

Xander’s young wife, and mother to all his children. Sweet, caring, and a good mother.

Married to Gerald. Quite stern in her ways, and never afraid to speak her mind. 

The Gallo matriarch.

Cousin to Gerald and Xander.

SBester – Writer/Programmer - "English Literature graduate (as well as a few other degrees). This series is pretty much an excuse to put those writing skills to use in a semi-professional way, I suppose. I’ve been writing Crime Opera over the last 5 and a half years as a response to the anti-hero fad that’s been so popular as of late, in an attempt to fix what has bothered me about it for so long. I currently work as an admissions officer at a College, and in my spare time I am either writing these novels, reading, playing video games, or playing guitar with my band (EX-GRAVITUS)." 

Jaytee Sketch – Character Artist - "A freelance artist with an Economics Degree and an MBA. I have been doing art all of my life, as it’s something I love and enjoy doing as a hobby (which eventually became a job). Now I take it very seriously, doing game assets for indie game studios (like TopHatStudios) which includes backgrounds and sprites for Visual Novels as well as other commission jobs (such as small animations, portraits, and art assets). When I read Sean's trilogy I loved it and thought it deserved to be brought to life as a commercial venture. I feel happy when I can inspire others through my art, and with this project I think I'll manage to do that and more." 

Solo Acapello – Musician - "Musician with a Master's degree in Music Composition. I've been writing music for a long time and have always wanted to use my skills to help tell a story. This is the perfect chance for that. While I have had pieces performed by the Toledo Symphony and String Quartet, among others, I am looking forward to creating music for games and am currently doing so full time." 

Giao Nguyen - Background Artist - "Hi, My name's Giao, and I'm an artist from Vietnam. I worked as a background artist for an anime studio for 8 years (BIHOU Studio/ Japan), and now I have become a concept/illustration artist for a game company (VNG/VietNam). I always want to challenge myself with freelance jobs as well."


Brandon Caskanette - Just happens to be besties with the lead writer. Brandon is a graphic designer who created the title poster, logos, and kickstarter images for the project.
Bonesey0 – Consultation - Bonesey0 runs TopHatStudios, and was nice enough to speak with us about his experiences with kickstarter campaigns for visual novels and provide some suggestions regarding goals.
Trey Fletcher (Valhalla) - GUI - Has completed not just the GUI for The Butterfly Effect, but has also finished GUIs for the first two sequels as well!
WhiteCharisma - Trailer/Opening Video - The opening/preview video at the very top of our campaign was completed by WhiteCharisma, and we couldn't be happier with the result.
ExGravitus - Video Music Theme - My band, a Symphonic Metal project, contributed a track (the one you hear in the video)!

Troubleshooting Tips:

          If the game refuses to launch for you, try renaming the folders to Crime Opera (take out all the '_'s). Weird, I know, but I found that tip on a forum and it worked for me. I had no issues getting the game to load in renpy so I knew it was something in Windows 10 that was blocking it. This should fix issues for other Renpy games you're trying to launch too, if experiencing similar startup problems.

          If you're having issues loading, you may have used the "Quick Save" option by clicking the save icon on the right (during gameplay). To use your Quick Load file, you'll need to get back into gameplay and hit the load icon on the right. You can access the main Save and Load screens from the main menu, or by right clicking during gameplay and using the icons on the left.

          The Gallery feature was cut after the kickstarter failure, as we were unable to obtain the funds needed for full CGs. Our sincerest apologies.

PlatformsWindows, macOS, Linux
Release date Dec 07, 2019
Rated 5.0 out of 5 stars
(2 total ratings)
AuthorCrime Opera Studios
GenreVisual Novel, Action
Made withRen'Py
Tagsenglish, Gore, Kinetic Novel, Meaningful Choices, oelvn, original, Thriller, Violent
Average sessionAbout a half-hour


Buy Now$5.99 USD or more

In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $5.99 USD. You will get access to the following files:

Crime_Opera_1_-_The_Butterfly_Effect-1.1-all.zip 327 MB
Crime_Opera_1_-_The_Butterfly_Effect-1.1censor.zip 327 MB
Crime_Opera_1_-_The_Butterfly_Effect-1.2 further_censored-all.rar 298 MB

Development log

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It's an amazing game. I shattered my wrist and for months have been unable to play traditional video games while I recover from my surgeries. I've played a lot of visual novels recently because of that and this has been my favorite. I'm stretching it out by playing a couple of chapters a day right now and it's a fun way to experience it.  

The dark premise is great and it is so unique. The characters are interesting and the art style and music really enhance it. Even the little details like gunshot sounds really enhance the experience. I'm so glad to hear there will be a sequel. Keep up the good work. 


Thank you so much, I am so happy you're enjoying it! The next two sequels are fully written, and I can promise it just gets better and better! We'll have a kickstarter campaign running later this Summer so we can finish the needed resources for CO2.

Hope your wrist is healing well, get better soon!

(3 edits) (+1)

Game was great quite twisted at parts like who wrote this... But its really good 10/10 btw when is the sequel going to come out.


Thanks so much!

Haha yes, it's definitely dark. I have to take frequent breaks while writing as Burtie, as it disturbs me what comes out in the writing process. Glad it didn't scare ya away though!

As for the sequel, we'll be running a kickstarter campaign this Summer so we can finish the resources. I'll have it up as soon as we get the rest of the character sprites completed so we can do a trailer video. From there, I'm hoping to get everything else completed in 6 months. So hopefully early 2022, but it will depend on how quick my team can get their parts done.


I heard your game got banned on steam when there's hardly anything worth banning it for. Why's that?


I somehow failed to convince them that no actual children were harmed in the making of this game :P

Well that clearly shows how broken Valve's policy is as many games with characters in school uniforms were also banned for the same dumb reasons. Hopefully, your sequel won't get the same treatment.

It really is :( and I'm not so keen on going through it all again with them (at least for now). But, at least we have our console releases. We'll be sending off the sequel and fandisks for porting in the next few weeks!

Have you guys tried selling your games on CD Projekt's GOG.com? If not you should do so because unlike Valve, CD Projekt is not on a banning spree.

We have tried a few times, and unfortunately they let us know recently that we don't fall under their targeted audience. However, I'll continue trying every few months, as their standards change from time to time and they are very upfront about that.

You're joking? No wonder I haven't been seeing visual novels on their platform. That's stupid, just because a specific genre isn't their target audience doesn't mean it shouldn't be allowed. These platform restrictions are just flat out terrible. Ok so also ignore GOG I guess 😅. The only other ones I can come up with, that actually do allow visual novels, are JAST, Nutaku, Mangagamer and Denpasoft. Platform restrictions are the worst 🤣

Yep, tried all those too lol. But it's okay, we did well enough with consoles sales that I was able to finance the second game in full, will likely be the same for the next one. As long as I can make enough to keep the series going, I'll be happy. Profit would just be a nice little bonus :)