Future card games and update

Future card games

dancing

So about 10 days passed since I released my card game PSCD. It was my first card game, and as you can imagine I was unsure about the results. If I compare it to my latest game, the RPG Seasons Of The Wolf, I can see that PSCD revenues are about 3 times less.

But it’s NOT bad as it sounds! First of all, SOTW was based on an existing world, so many players who liked Loren could potentially like that one as well (especially since I now I am implementing a “VN Mode” for it as well!) and was a RPG. It was also $25 vs $20.

Regarding PSCD, since it has also a story, and many of my players buy the games for the story, I won’t have any real data until the game is on Steam where a bigger audience will judge it (even those who aren’t much into stories but like more the gameplay). It will probably be around March.

Anyway I was saying that even if the sales ratio remains the same, I need to take into account a very important thing: time/money spent. As for money I spent a bit more on PSCD than SOTW (but not by much) but regarding time…! I spent 10 months coding SOTW back in 2014, while I spent 3 months (and not even all of them full time since I was following other projects) doing PSCD.

So this means that even if PSCD keeps selling at 1/3 of SOTW, it will still be a better ROI for me :) Yes because as you can imagine is better for me to work 3 months on something, than 10 months.

This means that I will probably be doing more card games, besides the already planned Undead Lily. As always I’ll use the same base engine, but probably modify the rules a bit, since I like to experiment every new game I make.

C14 Dating update

Now to the best news of this week: it looks like that C14 Dating might be out very soon! I don’t want to say any date yet, but really I think maximum next month the beta should start. The final release depends on the beta as always but since it’s not a complex-gameplay game, it shouldn’t take long. Currently the coder is finishing/testing the various minigames like the one below:

c14minigame

Queen Of Thieves update

Progress on Queen Of Thieves have been made this week as well: all the otome CG images are done, and I almost finished coding the last part of the robbery mini game. While there’s still some writing left (and probably some more art/adjustment needed), even this game looks like could be ready for this Summer :)

otomeromances

Posted in C14 dating, card games, dating sims, Planet Stronghold: Colonial Defense, queen of thieves, roleplay games, Steam, strategy games | 6 Comments

Queen Of Thieves gameplay update

As you SHOULD know, I just released my game PSCD. My new year resolution was to release one game this year! Yay I made it! 😀

Haha jokes apart it was because in 2015 I didn’t manage to release anything. But of course, I knew that PSCD was out soon, since it was basically already finished in December (I had to wait to get some voices and an update of Ren’Py to make it run correctly under Windows 10 fullscreen).

So now what I’ve finished it, what I am doing? While I have several projects in progress, I mainly resumed working on Queen Of Thieves, since it’s the game in which I’m more involved right now (because I’m coding it myself).

Queen Of Thieves gameplay update

First of all, a short summary: I had already finished the “catacombs exploration” (optional) part, the first draft of all the romances is done, and a good amount of the romance CG is done already. Clearly we’re at good points.

I decided to work on the robbery part, the infiltration into the houses/mansions to steal money. I made an interface on the right so you always have all the info you need about your current target:

newrobbery

The encounters level influences the enemy stats (it’s a bit randomized of course), while defenses also influence the enemy party composition (higher defense = more enemies) and how often you’ll randomly encounter guards, watch dogs, etc.

The rooms explored is a good way to know if you missed any place in the house (some are quite big, with 10 rooms). Finally the gold gives you an estimate of the maximum amount (the sisters cannot know the exact amount, only make a guess) of gold available, and how much they’ve robbed already.

I’m testing the system and seems to work well :) I also made a new addition, this time to the battle itself. Behold: hit or miss ratio!

hitormiss

People who follow me carefully might remember some posts in forums, in which I was furious against hit percentage, and how in a certain AAA game I had 72% hit chance and I missed six times in a row, forcing me to ragequit it 😀

I still think that’s a bad system. My idea, is obviously better 😉 Read on.

The main issue with hit or miss, is that if you hit you do X damage, if you miss, you do zero. That’s a difference too big. So in my game, if you miss you’ll do HALF of the normal damage. Since the numbers in this game are much more smaller than Loren or SOTW, in the screenshot above means that instead of 8dmg, if I miss will do 4dmg. Clearly less, but not so less that makes you want to quit playing!

This way I also found an use of the characters critical hit stat. Before damage was determined by attack multiplied by critical hit divided by target defense. Now, it’s still calculated like that, but the hit percentage is influenced by the critical hit stat.

Last minute update: I am thinking to change slightly the formula, as illustrated in this forum post: http://winterwolves.net/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=3672&p=36507#p36504

Might sound a bit confusing right now but when you’ll play the game, will make sense. I tested it already and even with enemies with high avoidance (like the vampire bat of the screenshot above) they don’t ruin the game at all, they add more strategy. For example, magic attacks (like Joanne magic bolt) never miss the target. So even if she does less damage than the other two sisters, she will always do that amount of damage.

That’s enough technical stuff for now! About the story and romance CG, I’m proud to announce that all the yuri romance CG have been finished. Below you see a sneak peek!

yuriromances

Posted in game design, indie life, queen of thieves, roleplay games | 6 Comments

Planet Stronghold: Colonial Defense postmortem

So first the great announcement: Planet Stronghold: Colonial Defense IS OUT!!!!!!!
YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH 😀

To get the game or try the free demo, visit this page: http://winterwolves.com/pscd.htm
Like always, buying direct will grant you a free Steam key when the game will be out on that platform (probably around March, not sure yet).

It was basically done since early January, but I wanted to wait to get some extra voices added for some cards. I think it was worth the wait, check some previews:

A postmortem aka “The Miracle”

The story of PSCD is a very troubled one. It all started back in autumn 2014, when I had the crazy idea of combining the tower defense gameplay with a visual novel. Yes you read it right: originally the game was to be a tower defense game! :O

Then for various reasons, I gave up the idea (I had to use a custom engine, learn new stuff, etc etc, doing those kind of games is harder than it looks). So, what could I do? Already the whole base plot was written by Miakoda, the game writer, and I had to find something that could fit. I had this enlightening moment: since for Undead Lily I wanted to have a collectible card gameplay, why not use it also in PSCD?

This way, once the coder had built the system, I could have used it at least on two games (more in case it was well received). I’m a big fan of making engines/frameworks and reusing them, as you can see with what I did with Loren’s framework: I reused it on SOTW (adding 31298 new features! lol) and I am reusing it in a different way for Queen Of Thieves as well.

Anyway, I had made my mind. Unfortunately, the coder couldn’t work until August on it. The situation was a bit weird last year, since I had so many games in production, and SOTW was a “relative flop” (would still be a good seller if only I hadn’t used 10 months of my own time coding it!!). I needed to get at least one game out, since as you can imagine until I release the games, I can’t recover the money I’ve invested. At some point, I can’t keep investing in new games if I don’t release anything new! :)

Of the other games, while they were making progresses, none was really advanced as PSCD. The other one, Queen Of Thieves, was at good point but still missing all the scripting and romance CGs and there are MANY of those 😉

That hot Summer, and the Fall/Winter rush

Seems a porn movie’s title, doesn’t it? haha nothing like that though! Summer 2015 here was insane, with temperatures over 39°C (and I live at 800m on sea level!!!). As result I couldn’t regularly work for almost 1 month and half. Then, at end of August / beginning of September, it cooled off and it all started.

As of the 1st September 2015, PSCD was just a prototype of the deck building screen.
By the end of that year, PSCD was basically finished!

I think it was an amazing achievement, to do such a game in 3 months!! Of course I already had most of the writing and art done, so I am talking about the coding part on my side, but still there were so many things that could have been gone wrong!

Thanks to some dedicated forum users (among them I want to mention Franka the master of CCG, and Troyen who is always willing to help with typos/proofreading) I was able to test the game, and I also made a very smart move adding a “VN Mode”, so everyone could play the game, even those interested only in the story/romances (and there are really some interesting ones in the game!).

The work done by Anima (the coder) and Miakoda (the writer) together with Dennis (main artist) was amazing. Without their help I surely wouldn’t have made it!

What is even more fun, it’s that this was the latest (or maybe one of the latest) game I started, and was the first to be finished! And surely not because it’s small, rather the opposite: 200k words of story (not including the DLC!), complex optional gameplay, lot of romance CGs and ending CGs!

It is also the most expensive game to date I’ve made, and I think it shows (the quality of art, music, everything put this among the best games I’ve done I think).

Conclusions

I can only draw a conclusion from this experience: if you are motivated, and work with people who are motivated/professional as well, nothing is impossible. On the opposite, if you work with amateurs/unmotivated people, even doing the simplest task becomes impossible.

I don’t know yet how the game will do in the next months: I hope well enough, since beside recovering all the money/time I’ve spent, I really enjoyed designing the cards and the gameplay in general. And I have already Undead Lily that will use this system. But I hope in future I’ll be able to do even more card games beside that one :)

Posted in card games, indie life, Planet Stronghold: Colonial Defense, postmortem, strategy games | 16 Comments