PSCD – meet Mizuki

mizuki

Time to met a new PSCD character: the hot japanese hacker Mizuki!

Name:  Mizuki Tsukino
Nickname:  Null
Nation of Origin:  Japan
Service Branch: Imperial cyber Defense
Specialty:  Overclock

Description:
At one time, Mizuki was considered the greatest threat in cyberspace.  No target was safe when her avatar, a neon dragon, appeared wreaking havoc on corporate, criminal, or government networks.  Not bad for a woman yet to see seventeen summers.

However, despite her almost superhuman talent, she was eventually captured.  In a secret court, she was offered two choices:  either assist the Empire with her formidable computer skills, or spend the rest of her life in a primitive cell with nothing but rats for company.

It is in military service Mizuki encountered the challenge she craved.  Whether it was outwitting the Robobrains in their own cybernetic hives, or adapting to the Vauses’ fluidic thinking, Mizuki found her skills matching, or exceeding their own.  This earned her the nickname Null, since her presence was never detected, let alone suspected.

While she is the mistress of the digital world, Mizuki is less sure of herself in what she terms the meat world.  After all, how can you trust what you can’t control?  

This isn’t to say Mizuki isn’t loyal.  She’s had numerous opportunities to escape, covering her absence electronically, but when her comrades spilled blood for her, leaving was the last thought on her mind.

Seasons Of The Wolf last Act/Season coming soon!

endings
You can see a sneak preview of the ending CGs above

This week I’ve worked on the last act, though as you may know if you follow me on twitter, I had already finished the main coding last month. So I am just retesting everything, the battles, the enemies (there are some really tough boss fights!) and in general that all the endings unlocks the intended way.

Speaking of the endings I’ve commissioned new CG images for them, using a different artist, since the original one couldn’t make it in time. I’m rather happy about the result :)

I believe I will release this last act/season this weekend or maximum early next week, I’m just waiting to see if I get get some last missing images (but the game works already anyway). Keep an eye on the forums to know when is ready!
In any case, not much left to wait, to see the conclusion of the story. Do you remember the wolf pup in the first season? Well… ;)

Some general considerations: as I’m approaching the end of this project, I have learned several things:

  1. that doing such LONG (really, SOTW is the longest game I’ve EVER MADE!! lol) RPGs it was a real massacre. I’ve worked on it 1 year, of which almost 8-9 months full time which for me is a lot! Think that I was reusing Loren’s engine, so in theory I only had to do the story and stop, but instead I’ve added countless new features!!
    So, this game better sell well, MUCH more than Loren, because otherwise it really wasn’t worth it. I liked doing it, but since I run a business I need to take that into consideration as well.
  2. the longer the game, the quicker I lose interest. The last months of coding were really painful. Don’t get me wrong, I still put 100% of efforts like I always do (that’s how I am made). But sometimes it felt really a chore :D This is something personal of course, I know many other indies who prefer to work on a smaller amount of titles and take more time with them. For me, after a while, becomes frustrating since I keep having new ideas about new stories or gameplay :)
  3. I’m not sure if players really appreciated the efforts. Don’t get me wrong I got great support from fans as always. But it seems (might be just an impression) that players would have preferred less fights, less complexity and more story/scenes. Sort of the opposite direction I went with SOTW, so as you can imagine I’m a bit worried! But this only a theory for now, I’ll need to see once the game is out.

Because of such considerations, and based on how SOTW will do, will decide how to take the challenge to make the future RPGs. If  I see that all the insane effort I put to make the gameplay of SOTW so detailed didn’t make the game more appealing to players, I think will need to do things differently.

But in general, I might do things differently even if SOTW did well, just to rest a little :) Playing Banner Saga, and other indie RPGs, showed me that you don’t necessarily need to have 8+ characters with 15 skills each, huge battles 6 vs 6, and so on.

In summary there are other ways to make a story-based RPG interesting without the need to make it long, super complex or add a lot of features.

Also, I might for once do what basically most other indies do: reuse the same engine WITH SMALL CHANGES (not what I did with SOTW!!!) and make smaller games (of course, at lower prices as well). Not necessarily everyone wants to play huge epic RPGs, sometimes is refreshing to do something small. Small is beautiful! etc etc :)

OK better stop my ramblings here otherwise you think I went crazy while working on SOTW! …which actually is not completely wrong…! :D

Posted in beta demo, development screenshot, Planet Stronghold: Colonial Defense, roleplay games, Seasons Of The Wolf, sneak peek, strategy games | 10 Comments

Goodbye dear friend

batman
My cat Batman, from when he was a kitty until recent days

It has been less than a year since I had to write about one of my beloved pet’s death, that here I am again :( The black cat you see above was Batman, we called him like that because of his profile with the pointed ears!

I am not going to lie: I’m very, very sad. Not all cats are the same, this one was particularly smart, playful, and he used to pay me a visit at least once a day to my office (upstairs). It was surely one of my favorite cats!

Even this time, we waited and hoped until the last day that he could make it. Last Sunday, after brushing him in the morning, he was purring and looked happy like always, even if I knew he wasn’t OK. He wasn’t eating since three days and not drinking since almost two. Then as usual he went for a walk in the woods nearby, finding the energy I don’t know where. But when he came home that evening, he was clearly in pain, so I had to take the hard decision :(

I’ll miss you, Batman.

p.s. he was the cat that is supposed to be in the Heileen series. For obvious reasons I couldn’t call him Batman in the game too! But it was him. I know he’ll live forever in my games.

Once again, the show must go on: Seasons Of The Wolf Act 3 beta

Even if I’m working slower than usual, this week I also started SOTW act 3 beta! So far things are going well, with help of forum testers I’ve fixed already a great amount of bugs. Also, in this act you can do all the romance talks and unlock the romance CGs! (There are still more CGs for the ending in act4 though)

relationships
All the romance dialogues take place in Rowinda’s bathhouse. An appropriate place ;)

There is only act4 left, and if things go well might be ready for end of month, though is more likely mid-November. I am still waiting for some missing art (a few tilesets also for act3) but the main story and coding is already complete.

Posted in pets, roleplay games, Seasons Of The Wolf | 14 Comments

PSCD – meet Xavier

xavier

This week is the turn of Xavier from Brazil. Potential love interest for Diana.

Name:  Xavier Ribeiro
Nickname:  Daredevil
Nation of Origin:  Brazil
Service Branch: Imperial Mechanized Cavalry
Specialty:  Repair

Description:
Growing up, Xavier was the stereotypical gearhead.  He loved vehicles, and even more so, pushing them to their limits.  As far as he knows, there wasn’t a dare Xavier couldn’t match.  Needless to say, he suffered his share of broken limbs as a child.

However, once he started to get older, Xavier grew more discerning in those activities he indulged in. While some might still consider him an adrenaline junkie, Xavier realized careful planning could elicit a greater rush down the line.

One result is he eventually joined the military, and more specifically their vehicle arm.  Few others had the cutting edge tech he could cut his teeth on.  His antics eventually earned him the nickname ‘Daredevil’, such as the time he ramped a hovertank off a dune, and cut a giant grub in half upon landing.

If Xavier could be said to have a flaw, it’s that sometimes he is a little too laid back.  After all, he’s crashed more than once, but has always come back for more.  Still, there are many who are glad to call him friend as he tends to assume the best in others and has a friendly word even when they are down.

When off duty, Xavier can often be found in the bar, regaling others with stories of his deeds, though lately this has tapered with the newly arrived Rigel, the mechanic.

Short update on other games

I have almost finished coding SOTW act 3. Actually, I have: I’m only waiting for some last missing tilesets, which could be the source of inspiration for some extra smaller quests or simply “hunting grounds” for those who like to grind. For example a lighthouse… which could be haunted :) But of course, I’m not adding much stuff now, since the game is already insanely long as it is.

I believe act 3 beta should start sometimes next week, next weekend if things go bad.

arthur-expressions

Roger Steel is making progresses as well. Artist is now doing all the “base expressions”. There will be also different ones, more marked, like laugh, scowl, scared, etc. plus some custom ones for each character that fits their personality.

Posted in Planet Stronghold: Colonial Defense, Roger Steel, roleplay games, Seasons Of The Wolf, strategy games | 2 Comments