Monthly Archives: February 2013

What is Bionic Heart 2 ?

I realized that I always talked about Bionic Heart 2 like if everyone played the first game. By the way, if you haven’t, you should since I lowered its price to $9.99 and even if was one of my earlier games, the story is still one of the best I think πŸ˜‰

Anyway, for those who haven’t played it, I’ll introduce the game. Warning there are some small spoilers about some endings/characters of the first game, so be warned before you continue reading!

The Story

The story takes place after the “Escape to Mars” ending. It’s the 2099 and Luke, Tom and Helen are chased by the ruthless Richard Meier IV, CEO of Nanotech and a very influential man who can bribe the entire London media and police. Tanya, a robot with the brain of a woman who died a century ago, escaped from Nanotech and wants to find out more about her past and take revenge against Richard.

Tanya provides Luke, Tom and Helen with fake ID and they board the first shuttle to the secret colony of Mars. They are safe for now, but what lies on Mars? Who are those people doing there, and why it’s kept secret?

So we have two parallel stories: on Mars and on Earth. The game is told using multiple point of views, so you’ll play the Mars storyline from Luke or Tom point of view, while the Earth one will be played by Tanya and Tina point of view.

Tina Gomez is one of the few police officers that aren’t bribed by Richard. She’s just a small ordinary street cop:


and together with her partner Robert Carson, they have strong suspects about Nanotech and want to find out more.

The game is structured in a way so that if you lose one story, the other goes on. You can have 8 different ending both for the Mars and the Earth stories, though some of them are just variants of the same ending. If you manage to finish both plots, you’ll get an extra 9 “combined endings” that are the hardest to get.

The cast of playable characters

I’ve already introduced Tina Gomez. She is very ambitious, her main goal is to get promoted and she hopes to do that by discovering what Nanotech is doing.

Luke Black was the main character of the first game. He is a good looking man in his 30’s, and apparently he’s calm, he’s rational, or at least he was until that night when Tanya knocked at his door. In the story, he’ll have several tough decisions to make. Does he still love Helen, or not? Will he be able to reunite with Tanya? He is the character with more interior struggles, one of the most complex of the whole game.

Tanya Vanic is a unpredictable character. Her new robotic body gives her superhuman powers. It will be up to her to decide how to use them. She can become a deadly killer, or only try to discover the truth behind her past. Who she was before they turned her into a robot?

Finally, Tom Sparks is Luke’s best friend. He often tells bad jokes, so nobody takes him seriously. He is secretly in love with Helen, so his plot will be mainly about the question: is worth breaking his long friendship with Tom for Helen? and does Helen love him?

What are Social Boss Fights ?

In the first game, I had some “interactive scenes” where you could move and had to choose action like in an adventure game. In this sequel, the game uses a classic visual novel gameplay with choices, except for one thing: the Social Boss Fights!

bossfightIn the image above you see one of the toughest “Social Boss Fights”. Tanya isn’t in a good position πŸ™‚

The Social Boss Fights are minigames in which you must pass a sort of test/escape a bad situation. You’ll need to convince a person about something, escape from someone, and so on. You’ll have to do that finding the right sequence of answers to give to the “enemy”, before the time runs out.

Each boss fight will have slight variations: in all of them you need to pick the right order, but in some you can choose the strategy to use, in other like in the screenshot above you’ll have a counter (structural integrity) that will go down, and so on.

In all fights, you’ll be able to see the personality of the antagonist (in the screenshot above, Julia Storm) described with 3 words, that should give you some hints on what could be the right strategy to choose.

Overall I’m really satisfied by them since are quite cool to play πŸ™‚

All right I think now you know a lot more about the game. I’m in “crunch mode” trying to finish it as soon as possible but probably will still need a week or two!


Deadlines are part of almost every job. With indie games, and in particular small/single indies like me, deadlines are usually self-imposed.

When I used to work in a (small) software house, we had deadlines and was a bit crazy. Every time, we had to do last-minute “crunch mode” which basically meant working 12h a day for the last weeks before the deadline. Not a great experience as you can imagine, and lots of stress!

Thank God, now that I’m indie I have more flexibility! But that still doesn’t mean that I can take as much time as I want to finish a proejct of course! A delay of one or more months will have both economical consequences (I need to regularly release new games to keep the cash flow) and also could damage my credibility (missing deadlines or delaying games is never a cool thing).

Even if I have to say that my followers are absolutely awesome and even when they ask me “when will be game XYZ be out!!?” they do it only because they’re eager to play it πŸ™‚

Speaking of deadlines let’s see what could be some estimate release dates for upcoming games. Note how estimate is written in bold!

Bionic Heart 2


Is the game closest to completion. At beginning of month, everything was going smoothly and I was thinking that the game might be finished by the end of February as I originally planned. However there have been some problems, so I can already say that I won’t be able to release it by that date.

In any case, I really think that March will finally see the release of the sequel of one of my first visual novels, Bionic Heart ! By the way, I recently lowered the first game price to $9.99 to promote the upcoming release of the sequel, so if you never played it, now is a good time πŸ™‚


Everything is going well on this game, even if there’s still a lot of work to do! I managed to make two new “fact file” for Isabella and Rakesh, the latest two romanceable character of the game:

Rakeshfile Isabellafile

Writing is going steady, but still need to commission all backgrounds (though I have already an artist ready for it) and of course code the gameplay, script the scenes, and so on, so is very unlikely that this will be out before June/July πŸ™‚

Planet Stronghold 2

Well I would be lying if I was saying that everything is going well πŸ˜€ however, this game will be a big step forward compared to the first, both in term of gameplay (a much better RPG system) and writing. Good things needs time though! At least all the romance scenes are done, below you can see a sneak peek of Joshua’s romances:


Art-wise there’s still a few more enemies to finish, and some extra “camp talk” sprite poses, where each character will be in their favorite environment (guess where Philipp will be?) when you visit them to talk. I decided to do that since talking with the characters standing up like in previous game was a bit weird!

Also showing the character in a normal life situation with normal clothes and various poses will be more realistic and also more “interesting”, for example if you go visit Rebecca at the gym, or the new hot guy Milo while he’s training… understand what I mean? πŸ˜‰

A week as webdesigner

Probably not many of you know that before going indie, I was a (rather poor to be fair) webdesigner. Many people probably think that being a webdesigner is a creative job but the reality is that after you do the 100th website, you start to have enough… πŸ™‚

Anyway, this week I was waiting for some people to send me assets (writing, art, music, etc) so I was idle. If wasn’t Winter I would have use this unexpected “free time” to do some trips around here to relax, but since it is, I thought to finally begin the redesign of my website, something I’ve been procrastinating for too long!

You can see a “sneak peek” here:

It’s still largely unfinished and many links are broken, but that’s more or less how the new homepage will look, I think a big improvement over the current one.

Roger Steel: Arthur point of view

After the big reveal of Winter Wolves’ new steampunk graphic adventure romance RPG Roger Steel and the Human Element on this illustrious blog last week, Ann’s younger brother Arthur was somewhat miffed that most of the razzamatazz focused on her. He wants you to know his side of the story, so …

When Arthur Trevelyan’s sister Ann falls for the wrong boy yet again, he is asked to accompany her to Srinagar, the capital of Kashmir, to keep her out of mischief.

But looking after Ann proves to be a challenge even with the help of lifelong friends, Neville and Christina Mortimer.

When she is inevitably kidnapped by a new flame, it is up to Arthur to rescue her and ponder the immortal question – how can two dorky friends and six perfect strangers with hidden agendas possibly be any more trouble than one headstrong big sister?

And if you want to read more, check the forums:

Bionic Heart 2

This week reached scene15, which probably won’t tell you much. For me means line 5799 out of about 11.000 so we’re about halfway coding the game, which means that it could be out around end of the month, speaking of the beta version of course! Then there’s the testing phase and because this game has so much branching options, is going to take a while…


Tanya meets with a mysterious geek boy. Who is he?


Time for two new reports, this time Sally and Dominic (straight romances only).

Dominicfile Sallyfile

Writer is working on the Spring Break scenes, featuring all characters in swimsuits πŸ˜‰ Unofficial rumours says that the game plot might be finished by the end of this month: however don’t get too much excited, since there’s still a lot of work to be done, scripting, coding, testing… and all the background art to do. So a more realistic estimate release date could be this Summer!

Announcing “Roger Steel and the Human Element”

The steampunk RPG

“It’s 1936 and the sun is still shining brightly on a steam-powered British Empire.

Ann Trevelyan, a naΓ―ve but headstrong 21-year-old English girl, is exiled to Kashmir from the sultry streets of Calcutta in the aftermath of a forbidden love affair. Accompanied by her technology-obsessed brother, Arthur, who has been coerced into chaperoning her, and their lifelong Welsh friends, Christina and Neville Mortimer, the four expect nothing but boredom away from the glamour of the big city.

But a chance meeting with a charismatic local results in one of the siblings being kidnapped and spirited away to a fate worse than death. Now it’s up to Ann or Arthur and the Mortimers to unite a fractious group of strangers with deadly secrets – including the legendary agent of Empire, Roger Steel – in a race against time across the roof of the world.”

That’s the introduction to the new Steampunk RPG in the works! πŸ™‚ I told you was about to announce a new RPG and its development has officially started. Now before you ask me about any estimate release date, all I’ll tell you is “maybe this year”. I don’t want to promise anything at this stage πŸ˜‰

The writer and I decided to reveal the game step by step through several blog/forums post. If you’re interested in a more detailed background, involving an alternate reality of the history, check the official forum thread:

Unfortunately I don’t have any artwork to show yet, since the development has just started, however we could have something towards the end of this month, so stay tuned!

Roommates game and Bionic Heart 2

At the same time, the development of other games goes forward in a surprisingly steady way! (surprisingly because you know well how many things can happen that delay the process).

For Roommates, we decided to make some kind of report for each character, introducing his/her personality during the interview. People seemed to love them, so I’m posting them again in the blog even if I already showed them on Twitter/Facebook:

Annefile Maxfile

Both Anne and Max will have big character development during the game. Max will learn to be less lazy and Anne to be less shy.

For Bionic Heart 2, I’m at about 30% of the whole game script, which is a good thing since is only the beginning of February. Crossing fingers, the game might be finished before the end of the month, even if has so many branching that will require a very accurate testing!

Below you can see a really funny video of Tom trying to evade Sarah Masters questions during one of the game “Social Boss Fight”.

That’s everything for now, have a nice weekend everybody!