Digging you – a preview of the otome C14 Dating

prettyguys
It’s still a work in progress screenshot, but looks already good!

So… puns aside, I’m really digging how C14 is coming out! In case you missed my earlier posts (from past year) you can read more about the game here: http://www.winterwolves.net/blog/category/dating-sims/c14-dating/

In summary: it’s an otome dating sim set in the archeology world. And it features a cast of REALLY diverse characters. There’s a boy with a prosthetic arm, another with a cochlear implant, the nerd boy, and so on.

The main story is already over 140,000 words! And the writer and the editor are still tweaking/editing some later scenes :) so it will be another very big game, featuring a lot of scenes and funny/cute/interesting moments. If you’re interested in the archeology world you’ll love this, and if you aren’t… you might become interested after playing it 😉

What is mainly missing are some sprites, the ending CG images and a few things here and there, like some GUI buttons, a few minigames to tweak/balance and so on, but overall it is in a very advanced state, as shown by the screenshots.

c14datingscheduler
The weekly schedule screen, with a lot of different activities showing as animated chibi!

Now I know what you’re wondering… when it will be out? Well I don’t want to say anything to not jinx it 😀 but it shouldn’t really take too long (talking about the beta, the official game for sure won’t be out before this Autumn).

I hope you’re excited as I am to see this game finally out!!

Queen Of Thieves update

This week I’m also trying to come up with a new battle layout for this new RPG in the works. The idea was to make it more user-friendly, maybe even “mobile-friendly”, and simplify the interface. So far I’ve made this:

newlayout

As you can see if you’re familiar with Loren/SOTW battle interface, I removed the battle log at bottom, and you can toggle it on/off with a button (the “L” button). If the log is turned off, you would see the selected character stats there.

The idea is that I already display almost all the info directly on the portraits: attack (sword), defense (shield), hit points (heart), SP (star). The only stats not shown are speed and critical which aren’t so essential, since the movement order can be seen on the right, and critical is a percentage of doing double damage but can be seen in character’s screen.

The skill or effect description would show on the left too, in the frame below the one in which the log is displayed.

If you have any feedback/ideas about it, I’ve made a thread in forums: http://www.winterwolves.net/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=3624 to discuss :)

Posted in C14 dating, dating sims, development screenshot, otome games, queen of thieves | 5 Comments

Seasons Of The Wolf DLC “Bad Blood” is officially out!

BadBloodDLC
At last I’d say! :)

After about a month of beta testing, the game is finally stable enough to officially release it. Like always happens with RPGs, is possible that there are some small bugs left (for example, Krimm’s Fury skill was using a default enemy male voice since LAST YEAR, and an user found out it only a few days ago!), but the game can be finished, all endings reached, etc etc.

So you can now get it from the official page: http://winterwolves.com/SOTWbadblood.htm

Like with Loren or my other games, the base game and DLC are still a single download, and you need to activate/unlock it entering the serial code. The DLC parts plays after the base game story is about to end.

As always, once the game is available on Steam you’ll be able to redeem the key if you buy directly. I’m not sure yet when it will be available there (need to prepare the assets and such), but should be sometimes in May I think!

And now, some rant/ramblings…! 😀

Visual Novels / Dating Sims vs RPGs

Round one, fight! Nah there’s really no match here. I’m talking about the complexity of one or another game genre. The VN/dating sim can be quite complex too, but really nothing beats a RPGs 😉

I was surprised by how long took SOTW DLC testing, so I wanted to compare it to a dating sim/visual novel. I compared it to Roommates which is a very long dating sim with many secret stuff and branches. Well, I couldn’t believe myself but in practice the testing of the whole game took less than the testing of just SOTW DLC. Not SOTW base game, just the DLC! 😮

And Roommates isn’t even a small title, it is over 200k word long, a lot of scenes, many paths and endings based on the stats, so…!

Anyway this is not to say that I won’t make RPGs anymore, no worries. Just to explain why many/most indies just make a RPG every 2-3 years. It’s not only about the time/money needed, but also the amount of testing required. So even if I am working on Queen Of Thieves now, because it reuses SOTW system modified, it doesn’t mean the final game will be out very soon. I am doing it in a easier/simpler way so I hope this will reflect also in an easier testing, but you never know.

I proclaim this “writers’ week”!

I had many updates this week! The most important is about C14 Dating, which is hopefully headed to a release this Summer: GUI artist is going to finish the last missing parts, coder/writer are doing final edits to week 8 (last week of in-game story) and checking the already scripted scenes, and main artist should work on the ending CGs soon. I’ll post some work in progress screenshots next week!

I also got writing for Always Remember Me 2, Loren sequel, PSCD main story is done, Nicole yuri got more paths finished, the CYOA game has already 25k words done, and so on. A very productive week for writers! :)

Posted in roleplay games, Seasons Of The Wolf, Steam | 11 Comments

Queen Of Thieves update

First of all, SOTW DLC ending images were added to the game! So if you waited you can play the DLC beta using the download link from the forums:

http://www.winterwolves.net/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=3610

And now for today’s blog post…

Time to talk a bit about Queen Of Thieves! In particular the gameplay I’m going to try with it. As you know if you read my SOTW postmortem, I don’t want to do another “super complex detailed hardcore” RPG like that one again, because wasn’t worth it (in term of popularity but also burning out).

So this game will be really a more casual RPG. Before you complain, it doesn’t actually mean it will be “worse”, just different. I think might be even more fun to play if I manage to do right what I have in mind…!

The Skills

Let’s start from the skills: I will bring back the “beloved” skilltree system from Loren. Each character will have a unique offensive and defensive skilltree, each one with 6 skills with 3 variants each, for a total of 6 x 3 x 2 = 36 different skills each character.

Each character is an archetype: Kira the Warrior, Joanne the Mage, and Thalia the Thief.

The biggest difference vs Loren or SOTW is the “combo” skills. I have yet to implement it in the battle, so take everything I say with a grain of salt since as always things might change from now until the final release. But in practice while fighting you’ll have the chance to unlock some combo skill once you fill a combo bar. There will be two offensive and two defensive combo, and will obviously be very powerful skills.

Another difference is the combat itself. In Loren/SOTW was common to have a LOT of condition/status effect. Here, having TWO will be uncommon :) This because I’ll limit the number of special moves you can do each battle and there will be no healing except the potions (which will be limited).

It is a completely different approach as you can see. Will require some testing but the goal is to make the battles last less and the skill be something very “special” and not just another type of attack.

The inventory

Then there’s the inventory screen. Each character will have 5 slots: head, chest, legs, feet and weapon. Each slot will have 5 item, except the weapon that will have 7. Yes you read it right: the number of items is LIMITED :) I’m sure this won’t make everyone happy, but is part of the design. Each item will give a specific bonus. Some more attack, other more damage, and so on. There won’t be a “better” or “worse” item, maybe with the exception of the starting gear and the ending one, just different ones that will be better suited for specific battles.

The fact that each character has unique gear has also some positive effects, like each item will be unique and more detailed, as you can see from Kira’s weapons in the image below:

kiraweapons

Check the work-in-progress screenshots below: when you open the inventory the first image will be like this:

thaliaQOT01

You can see the whole character body, so everything she’s wearing. If you click a Legs or Feet slot, the image will zoom in to show better what she’s wearing:thaliaQOT02

Similarly if you choose Head/Chest slot, it will zoom in on top:thaliaQOT03

Thalia is really cute, isn’t she? 😉 Since the screenshot above were taken, I’ve also been trying to implement an even more intuitive way to use the inventory, in practice next to each slot there will be all the items that the current character can use. Since items are limited, we can fit them all in one row like in the screenshot below:

newinventory

Elementary!

I also plan to have elemental resistances, but done differently. By default all characters will be weak against elemental damage, and the armor (in case of players) will give resistance bonus, but in small steps. Everything about this game uses smaller numbers which I think will be easier to balance.

For example let’s say you’ll start with -5 in all resistances. A fire based attack would inflict base damage (5) + 5 = 10 total dmg
Now you get armor resistant pieces, but you have only 4 slots (head, chest, legs, feet). Each will give +1 fire resistance. So the same attack above would deal: base damage (5) +1 = 6 total dmg.

In this game, 4 point of damage difference will be meaningful :)

Anyway, I’m still thinking about it, I might also just ignore elemental damage but only apply elemental statuses. So Frozen would reduce speed, Burning would damage HP over time, and so on. I might even just go for this simpler solution.

Posted in development screenshot, development tricks, game design, indie life, queen of thieves, roleplay games, Seasons Of The Wolf | 4 Comments