Good news: Always Remember Me is out of pre-order phase and now the difficulty problem has been solved. The game now on start-up will offer your two playing mode: the Hard mode is the previous one, with some minor adjustments, and is the right choice for dating sims experts. The Normal mode instead is aimed at casual players who I’m sure will appreciate the much reduced failure rate when trying the actions inside the life simulation part!
Of course you will still need to find the right actions to do, and the correct “path” for each character. Some scenes are very well hidden requiring you to be at a specific day/time on a specific place. I will probably write a sort of walkthrough on my forums later next week (since the game is just out I don’t want to spoil the fun!!).
In case you haven’t tried the game demo yet, check it now: http://www.winterwolves.com/rememberme.htm
(and yes, I changed only slightly the name adding “Always”, to differentiate the game title from the movie).
In this week cats picture, Gilda and Grillo are sleeping peacefully together.
As indie developer instead, I can never sleep so peacefully! Numerous dangers lurk in the night… portals lowering price so much that soon they’ll start paying people to play games, your server that goes down after hackers attack at midnight, some mysterious new bug appear in your latest released game and so on! But… the most feared of all is surely this: artists that disappear in the middle of development process!
Almost every indie I know had this problem, exception for those that use professional teams (but I’ve heard some problems even in those cases). Also most games don’t really need much art like visual novels/dating sims, or even better just need 3d models: in this case you can commission them even from different people, since in 3d is much harder to notice a difference in style (while in 2d is immediately evident).
Anyway I’m not here to complain, but I find myself in a fun situation, where I have lots of story texts and game design ready for 3-4 games, but they’re all on hold because of artists. Not everyone disappeared, some of them just took a break, others are busy doing commissions for other people (this is last time I give away my artists contacts!) , other moved full-time into comics and so on. That’s why I start so many projects at once, unless you’re making a game where you just need a few portraits (thinking about the RPGMaker XP games haha) is really hard to be sure that the person you hired for 2-3 months of will finish everything as planned.
I just finished 3 games this year so now I’m taking a break to see what I can do next. I think I could probably start working on the sequel of Spirited Heart. It has all the art done, but I wanted to wait until I was skilled enough to do a online game using Monkey (a new language that allows people to code games for HTML5/Flash without knowing JS/AS3). Problem is… I’m too used to Ren’Py now, and any other language looks too slow to develop with!
I really cannot imagine myself coding in something where I cannot immediately test the changes I just made with a keystroke to reload all the script, like I do with Ren’Py. That’s just too much time-saving! The only other thing I know that can do that is VisualC, the system I was using before, but that would mean to leave out Linux from the target platforms and I don’t like that, since I’d like to support my “penguin friends”
Speaking about that, a friend of mine, Neil (who runs a successful zombie-MMO) told me an interesting thing:
the question is, if you were to use Flash for example, would the result be anywhere near as good as with python? How much longer would it take? If it’s going to take 2x longer then I’d say stick with what you know since I doubt the difference in conversions between web player and download will be more than 50%.
sometimes you really need an external point of view to fuly realize the situation, the pro and cons. That’s why I always ask for advice and feedback for my games and my choices in general, because it really helps. My friend is basically right, it’s not use to me to try making a game using another language if takes me x2-3 time more than just using Ren’Py and python (even if that means I need to have that damn auto-updater done!).
For now I’m still thinking how to design the game – probably there will be a normal offline part, and then a big online integration, though since I’m new to all of this I have to see how it works, and if I can actually make it without going mad
Meanwhile, the other projects like Loren RPG are on hold (even if the story is about 30% finished), while Planet Stronghold’s add-on should (not completely sure yet) see the light around July/August, since the artist said she would take time to finish the new images, even if she is quite busy with convention and school. Undead Lily game is also slowly progressing, but there’s still a lot of art to be done, so probably won’t be done quickly.
The only thing that’s 100% sure to come out is Flower Shop: Winter In Fairbrook, since all the art is done, and will be released before the summer. More info about the game coming soon in the next weeks!