Interview: Whimel Academy Features 30+ Endings With Variety Of School Sim Activities

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Whimel Academy - via Impossible Home

Whimel Academy is an upcoming unique time-management dating simulator that allows players to explore a witchcraft school with a variety of activities. From taking classes, and practicing magic, to making friends with different interactions, Whimel Academy aims to fit perfectly into the dating simulation genre.

Plus, the game features wholesome visuals and sweet sound design to let players dive into the fantasy world experience. We interviewed Brinley Zhao of Impossible Home to learn more about what makes Whimel Academy highly interactive. 

Please introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your role in Whimel Academy.

Brinley: My name is Brinley Zhao, and I’m a solo developer on Whimel Academy. After working at a game company for close to a year when I was still an undergrad, I decided to take a leap and go on this journey to try to make the game that I always wanted to make.

Whimel Academy - via Impossible Home
Whimel Academy – via Impossible Home

What inspired the concept of creating a cozy, slow-paced time management game set in a magical academic environment?

Brinley: Whimel Academy is essentially the game that I dream of playing but couldn’t find yet. I grew up playing games like Princess Maker and I love the simulation aspect in games like Persona. I’ve always been attracted to this special combination of stats systems and role-playing. And merging that with my personal fascination with cozy magical worlds, the idea of Whimel Academy was born. 

There are certain things I borrowed from games I played but I also want to put a new spin on the formula, such as emphasizing a sense of immersion and comfort without the typical arbitrary (in my opinion) punishment sometimes seen in those life simulations games.

Can you provide examples of the various activities and interactions players can engage in to build relationships with NPCs within the game?

Brinley: Players can spend time doing activities such as stargazing together or studying together with NPCs. Essentially just hang out with them. But more importantly, there’s a big emphasis on building relationships by having dialogues with NPCs. I aim to have at least 50 dialogues with each NPC. 

I try to de-emphasize the “game-ness” when it comes to building a relationship with NPCs. My goal is to make the deepening of bonds feel organic and natural, where you don’t constantly have to guess which is the correct thing to say or keep showering them with gifts.

I also try to pay attention to how NPCs interact and befriend each other so they seem like real characters in a world and not just 2D friends/love interests.  I hope in the end you can feel like you’ve gotten close to them and gotten to know them as breathing characters.

Whimel Academy - via Impossible Home
Whimel Academy – via Impossible Home

Could you elaborate on the different tracks of magic specialization available to players and how they influence gameplay and narrative outcomes? Do players meet new characters with each track?

Brinley: It’s less about a few specific tracks of magic specialization as there is a buffet of skills that players can customize their emphasis on. For example, you may choose to focus on Herbology and Patience over say, Potion and Divination.

Depending on the player’s specialization, more locations, activities, and dialogues may be unlocked, but mostly it’s meant to be a playground for players to role-play. For example, each track would grant players ease to build a relationship with certain NPCs but not pursuing a specialization won’t lock you out.

One thing that surprised us the most was the availability of 30+ endings. How do you approach branching narratives and ensure each ending feels satisfying and unique?

Brinley: I try to make the dialogues and endings as dynamic and responsive to the player’s choices and timeline as possible. The ending is meant to serve as a potential epilogue, if you will, of the story that the player went through in their playthrough and in their head, about how their character may have continued their life beyond the game’s timeline.

I expect people may want to do a few playthroughs to see all the narrative content and/or try out a few different role-plays but as only one person I recognize that it may not be a truly diverging branching narrative, but I’ll try my best to make each ending unique.

Whimel Academy - via Impossible Home
Whimel Academy – via Impossible Home

Can you expand on how players can interact with the in-game economy, particularly regarding part-time jobs and managing finances alongside their academic and social responsibilities?

Brinley: Essentially there would be two ways to make money in the game, either taking part-time jobs or producing items to sell. Money can then be used to buy various items, such as food and books, that help you advance in different ways.

You would manage money and time alongside managing time. My goal is to create a game system that’s complex enough to be fun and challenging, but not so complex that it’s overwhelming or hinders the narrative side. 

Now that the game is nearing its release, will your focus be completely on Whimel Academy, or do you already have plans for another project with similar ideas?

Brinley: I’m completely focused on Whimel Academy right now and I plan to work exclusively on this project for a while after its release as well. I’ll start contemplating the next project after I’m happy with where Whimel Academy stands.

User Interface
Whimel Academy – via Impossible Home

What challenges did you face during the development of Whimel Academy?

Brinley: The biggest challenge may be to balance the two somewhat competing design pillars of the game. I want the game to be relaxing and forgiving enough so the players can fully escape to the fantasy, but on the other hand, I also want the game to have a mechanics system that’s complex and strategic enough to fully grab the player’s attention.

Nailing that balance between challenging and forgiving has been a big challenge. 

Another challenge would be my imposter syndrome of worrying if with my limited time and energy, I may not be able to meet the player’s expectations of what they wished the game would be. I know it won’t ever be a perfect game but I want to create a fulfilling experience.

How long has the game been under development?

Brinley: The game has been under development for about 8 months now.

Whimel Academy - via Impossible Home
Whimel Academy – via Impossible Home

Anything else you would like to share with the readers?

Brinley: There have been ups and downs on this journey, but overall I’m enjoying making this game so much and I’m pouring so much love and a lot of myself into this game. I hope the players have a good time with the game too! 


Whimel Academy is a time-management dating sim, under development by Impossible Home. It is planned for release on PC later this year. 

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