The 2017 plan!

The character selection screen at beginning of Undead Lily game (work in progress)

As already said in other places (forums/social networks) this year I am not aiming at releasing 5 games again! 🙂 However, if that happens, of course I wouldn’t mind.

The thing is, that of the upcoming games, many are RPGs. And as you know, those kind of games need a lot of time to be properly designed, coded, balanced, etc. There are also a couple of “simpler games” in the works (luckily!), one of them is Love Bites and the other is <CURSED GAME> (to not be confused with “Cursed Lands” which is another RPG!).

There are a couple more games in the works but I’ve decided to never announce or show anything about a game publicly again, until it’s almost done (just a few months left).

So depending how things go, this year you could see some sudden releases of unannounced games. I am not sure it will happen since many are still behind, but who knows!

Talking only of the currently known games in progress, I would estimate this (I’m only talking about beta versions, not final releases):

  • First Quarter: Amber’s Magic Shop. Writing is done, art is done, all is left is scripting and coding. The crafting works, I’ve added over 250 recipes, but still all the remaining simulation part needs some tweaks. I also am doing the shop-builder minigame, which wasn’t planned but seems such a good idea that I think it will be worth the wait.
  • Second Quarter: Love Bites. The art is mostly done (we might commission a few extra artwork), the writing is at good point, the gameplay will be classic dating sim plus VN mode as usual.

Obviously it could happen that Love Bites is finished sooner than Amber. I’ll give the priority to the game mostly advanced. Anyway, both those two games should be out in the first part of the year. But what about the second part of the year?

Things get a bit more complex. Beside obviously finally releasing the <CURSED GAME>, I would like to work on both Planet Stronghold 2 and Undead Lily but of course not release both! (it would be slightly madness haha)

Also, PS2 will be written by Love Bites’ writer, and I imagine that she’ll want a break after finishing Love Bites 🙂 So I think Undead Lily it’s more likely to be out first. Also remember that for RPGs, I need to spend weeks if not months for the gameplay design and testing, it’s much harder to give an estimate. With a dating sim, once writing, music and art is done, you’ve basically everything and it’s easy to say when it will be out. For RPGs… no.

Another important factor, as you might know since I often talk about it, is the “burn-out”. I definitely don’t want to risk being burned out. Last year I released a card game (PSCD), 3 dating sims and a RPG (Queen Of Thieves). Most of PSCD work and a good amount of QoT RPG design/coding was already done in 2015, otherwise would have been impossible to make so many games in a single year.

This is also why I’ve decided to switch from “full RPG” (like Loren/SOTW) to… something easier to do.

The “select companion” screen has some sort of fighting game vibe and I like it 🙂

And it’s not because it’s less work, but because redoing another RPG design (classes, skills, etc) shortly after finishing QoT was really bad for my morale/motivation haha! Doing something new/fresh will be interesting for me, and hopefully will be also fun to play.

That’s all I can say for now. As time goes on, I’ll make more updates about what’s going to happen when I’m more sure 🙂 Happy New Year!

Posted in general, Undead Lily | Leave a comment

2016 The year of… many games!

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Reading last year’s blog post, and comparing the situation with this year is… funny 🙂 In a good way though! In that blog, I also made a sort of prediction (to be taken with a grain of salt) of what I expected 2016 to be.

It’s interesting for me to look back at it, and see how things REALLY went. Let’s see:

  • January (end of it) – PSCD base game:  The game really came out in January! Good start.
  • February/March – C14 Dating: once again, success! C14 Dating was released in March 🙂
  • March/April – PSCD DLC (which will be 1/3 of base game so not so small!) : in this case, the DLC came out in June. However I also decided to cut the story made for it, but added a free play mode. So yes, failed this deadline, albeit not by much.
  • May/June – Never Forget Me and/or Heirs & Graces: Successfully released Heirs & Graces in June! Never Forget Me as you know was released in November as well!
  • July/August – Queen Of Thieves (this depends mainly on testing so it’s hard to give an estimate, but I really hope will be out by next Summer!): Well, the game was basically done in July/August, but  decided to wait until September and was a good move since I polished it and fixed a lot of obscure bugs.
  • Fall – the CURSED GAME and/or Undead Lily: haha nope! The writer focused on Roger Steel first, while the cursed game… wait. I must not speak of it! It’s not canceled though 😉
  • Winter – Summer In Trigue: writer took a sort of “sabbatical year”. I honestly was so busy releasing the games that I couldn’t use my traditional electrified spiked whip to “motivate”…

In summary, it was great. I managed to met a LOT of deadlines and in my kind of work, it’s something really uncommon! 🙂

And now presenting the…

Winter Wolves 2016 awards!

Haha I did this a few years ago, and now I want to do this again, FOR FUN! All the writers, artists and musicians that worked for me did a spectacular job. But like everyone, I have my own preferences, so I want to do this again. Of course your opinion may (and should!) differ!

Basically will make a sort of ranking for my own games in five categories: writing, art, music and gameplay. Once again, it’s based only on my tastes, it’s not a ranking of popularity/success/WHATEVER. Just my personal opinion! And my opinion is not so important, since I tend to make games based on users feedback.

Best writing

  1. Heirs & Graces
  2. Queen Of Thieves
  3. Planet Stronghold: Colonial Defense
  4. C14 Dating
  5. Never Forget Me

This has never been tougher than this year! As always depends on tastes and interests. For example if you like archaeology, for sure you could put C14 Dating first! 🙂 Anyway for my specific tastes, I really liked Heirs & Graces, because of its “originality” and the bittersweet overall story. The happy/funny and the more serious/sad moments made the whole story really good.

Queen Of Thieves was worth playing just to read the scenes in which the sisters fight with each other. I never laughed so much reading a story before. Ah, and also Thalia. One of my favorite characters ever! Apart this, the rest of the story was also very well written I think.

PSCD was awesome, and my inner geek and sci-fi fan was very satisfied by the insane world building job. I liked in particular the tough choices and the consequences, and also the “political intrigue” parts. The romances were great – maybe not for everyone for the numerous sexual jokes, but personally I found them very funny.

C14 Dating is something you play when you want to relax. There are some moments of tension, more serious ones, but overall it’s a relaxing experience, one of those stories that you know will have an happy end, and I think in a moment like this, we need those 🙂

I put Never Forget Me as last, but only for a reason… since I wrote the storyboards myself, I didn’t want to seem presumptous by placing that one higher. I think the writer did a good job though, the scenes were a mix of funny but also touching moments. If  I hadn’t written the storyboards myself, probably I’d have placed this higher, because the married life is a topic that interests me.

Best artwork

  1. C14 Dating
  2. Queen Of Thieves
  3. Never Forget Me
  4. Heirs & Graces
  5. Planet Stronghold: Colonial Defense

This was a tough call as well. I really love Queen Of Thieves art, in particular the character design. Those sisters are lovely. Oh and Arianna! Arianna… is totally hot, cute, sexy, awesome. However, Deji is really great. She is without doubts one of my favorite manga artist. The sprites are adorable, and Joan is a masterpiece. I’ve never seen a cutest character in a game! You just want to kiss and hug the screen whenever she shows up.
Never Forget Me art was the “usual”, I think perfect for an otome game. Heirs & Graces was well done too, the costumes in particular were really well done. For PSCD, yeah I know, the uncanny valley effect sometimes shows, but I liked it anyway. The alien art are the best ones I’ve seen in games!

Best music

  1. Queen Of Thieves
  2. C14 Dating
  3. Heirs & Graces
  4. Never Forget Me
  5. Planet Stronghold: Colonial Defense

I think Queen Of Thieves theme song is one of the best of all my games. The soundtrack is also very well done. C14 Dating comes second, and I really liked the unique feeling and instruments of Heirs & Graces. Never Forget Me soundtrack is really good, and the theme song it’s also perfect for this kind of game. PSCD is last, but just because the others are so good. Even its music and theme song were great 🙂

Best gameplay

  1. Planet Stronghold: Colonial Defense
  2. Queen Of Thieves
  3. Heirs & Graces
  4. C14 Dating
  5. Never Forget Me

Told you this depends mainly on tastes, right? Well, I love card games, so for me is natural to say that PSCD had the best gameplay! However, even reading various reviews, it seems that the gameplay was universally acclaimed, even by people who normally don’t play card games. That made me happy 🙂
Queen Of Thieves had many innovations in the battle system, and I think the catacombs were really fun. I probably wouldn’t redo a randomized missions again in future games though.
Heirs & Graces and C14 Dating are very close. I put Heirs & Graces first just because I like more the scheduler+skill checks approach than C14 Dating minigames, but I know many players really enjoyed those minigames, so once again depends on tastes.
Never Forget Me had some innovations in the scheduler, like the goal-based system, however it essentially was simpler than the others, so seems fair to place it last for gameplay.

In conclusion, I think this year I made very different games, games for all tastes! I don’t know if I’ll ever repeat a year like this (also because many games were in the work since a while, that’s why I managed to release so many).

Probably not. Also because the next games are almost all RPGs…!! and will of course take a while to finish each of them!

Next blog post will be my first of 2017, in which I’ll try to predict what will happen. One thing is sure: I won’t release 5 games in 2017!!

Posted in best of | 11 Comments

The Christmas Sale is here!

Yep! Even this year I’m running a Christmas sale! It will last until the end of the year. Below are the details!

For all games released before this year, 50% off! The list includes:

Loren Amazon Princess
Seasons Of The Wolf
Roommates
Heileen Series
NicolePlanet Stronghold
Always Remember Me
Spirited Heart
Bionic Heart 1 & 2
Flower Shop Series

For all games released this year, 20% off. Only exception is Never Forget Me, since it was released only a month ago! Sorry but wouldn’t be fair versus people who bought it at full price.

Planet Stronghold: Colonial Defense
C14 Dating
Heirs & Graces
Queen Of Thieves

That’s it! Will make my last blog post of the year the 23rd, but let me wish you happy holidays already! 🙂

Posted in promo sales | 5 Comments

Amber’s Magic Shop: Introducing Lair

intro_lair

In this game, there are plenty of elves. Amber is very cute obviously, but even Laironden, Lair for his friends, is not bad either!

Lair Official Introduction

Born to nobility, Lair lives in fear of his tyrannical father. Ever since his mother died several decades ago, his father, Arnor, has become consumed by rage and the need to control everything he can. His ruthlessness has allowed him to rise in power to the point he has the ear of the King and Queen, but it has come at the cost of alienating all around him. Lair does not hate his father, but he does his best to avoid him and that means he is often seen spending his time in areas that most of his social class would not deign to visit.

His friendship with Amber leads the two of them into conflict with Arnor who holds to the old Elf attitudes towards Dark Elves. He is furious about their relationship and begins to interfere in her life. Eventually, he forces her to work on the Philosopher’s Stone or be banished from Icesilia. She reluctantly agrees, both to protect Lair from his father’s wrath and so she can stay in the city.

Lair is fairly naïve for his age having spent most of it as a sheltered noble. He tries his best to be kind and fair although he can forget about the feelings of others in his bid to escape from the machinations of his father and the nobility at large. For the most part, he tends to be open when people try to explain issues with his behaviour although this openness at times leaves him vulnerable to being manipulated by those who might wish to take advantage of his naivety.

Next week, will make a post about this year, how it turned out to be my most productive year ever, and some personal considerations about the market, indie and life! Stay tuned 🙂

Posted in amber's magic shop, dating sims, life simulation | 3 Comments

Amber’s Magic Shop: Introducing Cosa & Anders

intro_cosa_anders

First of all a short announcement: all my games are discounted for the Steam Thanksgiving sale. Also, Happy Thanksgiving! 🙂

Back on topic: why those two characters are introduced together, you might wonder? Well…let’s say that they are often seen together during the story. This is also a particular path since you get an extra bonus CG in it. But wait, I’m saying too much! Let’s proceed with the introduction.

Cosa and Anders introduction

Mysterious adventurers that always seem to be on the run from the Royal Guard, Amber finds herself thrown into the dangerous exploits of the two silver-haired humans.

The pair have a deep interest in alchemy and frequently request assistance from Amber to aid in their own research. Cosa, in particular, has a mission of her own that involves alchemy and she wants to recruit Amber to her cause.

In later years, Amber continues to work with Cosa and Anders to create the legendary Panacea to cure Cosa’s father who is dying from an incurable disease. Their adventures take them all over the country surrounding Icesilia and soon Amber finds out just what Cosa and Anders did to upset the King and Queen of Icesilia.

Cosa is a driven individual who has trained all her life to be an adventurer and warrior. She strives to be perfect in everything she does and has little time for anything but the best. Anders, on the other hand, tends to be fairly laidback although he gets enthusiastic when he has the opportunity to experience new things or try out new technology.

The two of them are close and Amber suspects they are lovers. Still, they tend to be awfully affectionate with her too…

What do you think? an interesting premise 😉

Posted in amber's magic shop, dating sims, life simulation | 4 Comments