Doing a sequel is not easy as it seems

…at least for indies who doesn’t make games with the only goal of money! ;)

It’s quite common in the mainstream gaming to see titles like Quake 4, Might & Magic 8, and so on. But in most cases  (not the one I mentioned though) the software house make sequels just to capitalize on the game name, maybe releasing a product that is even worse than the original.

Now, so far I only made one sequel which is Heileen 2. Guess what? sold worse than Heileen 1, even if in this specific case I know why (the story was too serious for the target market, indeed with Heileen 3 it will be much more light comedy).

With a visual novel or dating sim though is easier to make sequels, with a RPG like Loren or Planet Stronghold is much harder. I am making Spirited Heart sequel right now, and it’s relatively “easy” – I’m going to keep all the old dateable boys and add more (maybe as expansion, not sure yet).

But what I mean is – adding extra characters in such games is just a matter of adding some dialogues, because there wasn’t a “main plot”. Each characters was a separate story, and since you can replay it several times to get all the endings, it was something very different from Planet Stronghold or Loren, where the characters were inserted in a main plot with an ending.

So I’m pretty sure that no matter what I’ll do, some people will complain because character XYZ who they loved in the first game, isn’t present in the second. Others will complain and demand that the sequel’s story starts where the first game ended, remembering all the big choices they made and the characters they romanced. And so on. As you can see, making a sequel for a RPG is definitely not an easy task, unless you set it several years away in future (so you assume all the original characters are dead!).

I believed that yesterday I finally found the right romance setup for Loren sequel, which will happily feature almost all the romances of the first game, excluding only Karen. It was harder than it sounds, really!

Mortesarcasm

As you can see in the image above, Mother Morte has a nice sense of humour

Regarding the expansion, just today I finished testing the Dwarven Mines, one of the new locations, and it seems well balanced. There is still some stuff to write and script (adding images to the story) but it seems that the expansion MIGHT be really out the 15th of August! I hope to talk about it in next Friday blog post :)

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3 Responses to Doing a sequel is not easy as it seems

  1. Matt says:

    I see what you mean about Heileen 2. Makes sense.

  2. Stephanie says:

    I’m looking forward to purchasing the expansion. Thank you for working on a sequel. Don’t stress yourself too much over people’s preferences. Have fun with it, and I think you will make something we, your customers, will enjoy.

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