A downloadable visual novel for Windows

When a notorious serial killer's conviction is overturned, the former child detective that put him away must return to the streets to prove his guilt.

But it's been 10 years, and a lot has changed, both in the city of Philadelphia and in Priscilla Vate's world.

When the Shutter Stops is a modern-noir visual novel featuring a heroine with a sordid past whose actions--your choices--shape her view of the world and steer the outcome of the stories within.


Like most private eyes, Priscilla "Pri" Vate was unphased by the filth in the world around her. Unlike most detectives, however, Pri was solving crimes at 12 years old. But when one case took her too close, her career was cut short before she could even legally have one.

Ten years later, Pri attempts to put her past behind her as a mundane family photographer. But like the stench of the city, the life of a Philadelphia detective never completely washes off. A decade after the infamous Dart Killer case, the man she locked away is set to be released on new evidence, and now the former child detective must return to the streets to solve the case that put her out of commission, once and for all.

The full version of When the Shutter Stops combines traditional visual novel storytelling with optional point-and-click gameplay, allowing players to conduct their own investigation. A glossary keeps track of clues and lore you discover during the story. Pri can get into a relationship with one of two love interests, one male and one female--or she can eschew romance altogether.

Warning: This visual novel contains swearing, graphic violence, and puns.   Reader discretion is advised.

Game is currently in development and builds are in an unfinished state.

Install instructions

  1. Download the .zip file.  
  2. Unzip it anywhere with all the files together.  
  3. Run When The Shutter Stops.exe
  4. Optionally, provide feedback on bugs and areas of improvement!


When the Shutter Stops (9-26 Kickstarter Demo Build) 166 MB

Development log


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I enjoyed the demo a lot! The writing and art style are solid and the characters play off each other pretty well. I haven't seen any updates in a while but I hope the full game is still in development.

Will the full game be released on Itch.io or just Steam ?

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It will be available on both once it's complete!

I played a bit of the demo. Liked what I saw so I backed it! Good luck in your final stretch!


I hope the KS goes well cause I want to see Vate find that serial killer. :)

Are there any plans for a Linux version ?