PSCD free DLC is now out!

toughchoices
As you can see from the screenshot above, there will be some very “tough choices” in the free DLC! 😉

Jokes apart, I’m pleased to announce that I’ve updated the PSCD live version on my site, which you can download from this page: http://winterwolves.com/pscd.htm with the promised free DLC update contents.

Note: If you have already bought and activated the base game with email/serial, you’ll need to do it again in the game main menu to access the new content!

For those who still don’t know, the free update (which was supposed to be a paid DLC) adds the possibility to romance Kaden, Galina, Lola and Christophe. All four characters are bisex, so in practice this adds EIGHT new romance routes. For free. Yeah, don’t get used to get free stuff like this, since it won’t ever happen again! 🙂

It also adds the “Quick Play” mode, which lets you do quick matches against ten predefined enemy decks. You can also tweak the AI resources, so you can tailor the game’s difficulty to your skills.

Other platforms

The update will come shortly to the Steam version (maybe even next week), since if you bought it only there and not also on my site, you won’t be able to get the extra content yet. I still want to promote it as a DLC (but of course a free one) on Steam, hoping to get some extra visibility for the game, something that it didn’t get on launch.

As for mobile, I wanted to wait for all the content to be ready so I could do the port in a single step (since updating on mobile is a bit of a pain). I am also waiting for an update on Ren’Py libraries (that’s why C14 Dating is not out on mobile too).

Anyway all things considered I think it should be available on Android/iOS/Kindle maybe next month, for sure during this Summer.

Why a free update?

It was a mistake on my part – I was so sure that the game would have been a hit, that I planned a DLC already. Something that you should never do until the game is out 😉

Now I know the game will never be a hit, but not a bad seller either. It’s just that has been much harder to make money as indie in general, vs a few years ago.

Anyway since I had already the romance CGs and all the romance routes written, I didn’t want to throw it away. But of course, I didn’t bother to code all the DLC story (yes, a sort of mini-story of 11 missions was also planned to go along this DLC) even if I still managed to add the Quick Play mode.

As I already posted in my forums, even if I enjoyed a lot working on this card game, unfortunately I couldn’t justify spending more time on this than I already have. My revenues from the game so far (divided by the months I spent working on it) are way below the minimum wage here in my country 😀

But I’m still happy, since now I have a card framework which I can reuse in future games, and I’ve learned a things or two about what people want in term of artwork (hint: cute manga art, avoid uncanny valley effect, etc). I’m an optimist by nature, so even for the projects that didn’t come out well, I think they still provided me valuable info and I’ve always learned something.

As some wise man said (Confucius): “He who learns but does not think, is lost! He who thinks but does not learn is in great danger.”

Posted in card games, dating sims, Planet Stronghold: Colonial Defense, strategy games | 27 Comments

Heirs & Graces officially out!

I’m pleased to announce that Heirs & Graces is now officially out! You can see the game trailer above. For more info, screenshots and a free demo visit this page: http://www.winterwolves.com/heirsandgraces.htm

This game is my 3rd released game this year so far. I am not being lazy this year, am I? 😉

Jokes apart, it’s not like the three games in question (PSCD, C14 Dating and Heirs & Graces) were all created this year! I started working on them long time ago. In more detail:

  • Planet Stronghold: Colonial Defense started in Fall 2014. Originally a tower defense game without romance, it turned into a card game/dating sim hybrid!
  • C14 Dating was a project started back in 2013 (the original plot and writing)! then for various reasons was delayed until this year
  • Heirs & Graces was another “side project” started back in 2014, and it’s out now

So as you can see all the three games took a lot of time to make. But there’s no shortcut: if you want something to be good AND long (all three games have a script over 120.000 words, PSCD passes even the 200.000 mark!) you need to wait!

And now, a short postmortem for this game.

Heirs & Graces short postmortem

It’s obviously too early to say how it will do, also considering I have planned to release it on Steam later (to avoid the Summer Sale that as you know happens every year).

However, so far the reaction from people and the feedback/sales I got from my own site gives me hope. I was really unsure since it is my first yaoi-only dating sim, so I had no clue how it could do. I can say that I feel more relaxed now 🙂

That said, as I explained also in my forums, I really don’t think I’m going to do anymore games with a single romance combo in future. No yaoi only, yuri only, otome only, etc. Simply because making a game it’s already a lot of effort, and people need to wait years, I want at least to try offering something for everyone 🙂

This doesn’t change anything for the games already in production of course. So Never Forget Me will be a straight otome, Summer In Trigue a yuri only, etc.

Back to Heirs & Graces, I think the fantasy setting combined with dating sim was a good move. I just realized now that beside Spirited Heart, all my other dating sims aren’t using a fantasy theme. So I believe I should do more dating sims like this.

And I’ve already talked about the “no more grinding” in dating sim, and the scheduler system I used in this game was perfect I think: requiring some strategy to pass the main plot checks, but never grindy even replaying the game several times. I must reuse this system even in future games whenever possible!

Another thing that went well with the game was the “bittersweet theme”. It might be personal tastes of course, but I personally I prefer when there are funny/light scenes mixed with more serious/sad/melancholic ones (those who already played the game know what I am referring to!).

So except for games that are meant to be pure comedy (see Roommates!) I believe adding some more serious/mature/sad scenes to the story could help overall. As long as there is some way to get a happy ending 😉

Posted in dating sims, Heirs & Graces, postmortem | 13 Comments

A roleplaying Summer!

qot
In the screenshot above, Arianna in her “Queen Of Thieves” outfit, and a young Lysander

I am now scripting the Queen Of Thieves last main plot scenes, which include some flashbacks: the man you see above is Lysander when he was young. He stilll does have his beard though 🙂

I’m also using the new map of Aravorn that I had recently redone by a new artist. I must say that even zoomed in, it still looks good:gamemap

So now when there are flashback/main plot scenes I can show the time/date but also the place using the map. The scenes aren’t many, but there are 4 CGs, all featuring Arianna… and some are VERY spicy. OK, I think I have said already enough!! 😉

As I said in previous post I will take my time and not rush things to avoid burnout, also considering that I still have to officially release Heirs & Graces and PSCD free update. They’re in a very advanced state though, so that shouldn’t take much longer.

Back to the title of this post, even taking things easier, it’s quite likely that the Queen Of Thieves testing will take place this Summer, with just a disclaimer: if it will be hot like past year (one month and half, whole July and up to mid-August, with temperatures constantly over 38°C!) I will probably be able to work just a few hours in the morning! Anyway, even if I surely won’t be working/updating the game as I did with SOTW (that game was quite a marathon!!) I should still be able to do a few updates based on testing feedback.

All things considered, the beta COULD begin at end of June. In the worst case, it should be July.

But that’s not enough: for me will be a real “Summer RPG” because I’ll also start doing the design for Undead Lily. No coding, just planning on paper/flowchart, thinking about the combat, skills, etc. That’s what will keep me busy this Summer. What can I say, some people go on holiday in tropical islands and have fun, while others code and design RPGs! 😀

Undead Lily Ace romances sneak peek

Speaking of Undead Lily game, a few weeks ago I posted the Lily’s romance sneak peek. Now it’s Ace’s turn! As you can see even Ace has some interesting “romantic moments” in the game as well!

aceromances

Posted in beta demo, dating sims, development screenshot, game design, general, Heirs & Graces, indie life, queen of thieves, roleplay games, Undead Lily | 7 Comments