Monthly Archives: August 2013

Promo sale & Roommates video preview

Back To School promo

In case you missed it, despite the newsletter and all the social network promotion I did, you can use the coupon BACKTOSCHOOL during the checkout process to get 50% off any of my games.

Doesn’t work on Cinders since is not my game, and with bundles because they have other predefined discounts. So for example if you want both Flower Shop games you have to buy them separately, using the coupon every time.

Expires Sunday 1st September!

Roommates update

Today I thought I would be able to talk about SOTW skills, but had other problems to solve this week, so wasn’t able to do it in time. However, it was a very productive week for Roommates and I was able to make the video below:

This intro video provides just a glimpse of the crazy humor present in the game!

I plan to do more videos like that in next months, introducing each character of the story separately.
The writer has finished editing 2/3 of the game, and I hired Aleema to finish it (playtesting/coding/final polishing) so I can work fulltime again on SOTW to hope to finish it before end of the year.

Speaking of Seasons Of The Wolf…

Don’t be surprised, but the game is turning out bigger than expected πŸ˜€ Why I have this Deja-vΓΉ sensation? (it happens every time, I always say it will be a smaller/simpler game and then…).

The game is already over 30,000 words, is still on the second season (Spring) and that doesn’t include any camp talk conversation.

trait traitresult
An example of a decision you’ll have to do for in the traits screen

Coding / design wise I just finished the “traits selection” screen, in which you’ll be able to choose an event from the twins’ early life that will reward them with a unique trait, and I think turned out nice to play.

As for the remaining stuff, I’m a bit behind but only because I decided to rework the skills, since there are “only” 8 party-members, beside having more attributes (as seen in last week post) I want to make the skilltree more complex than Loren, with some branching decision, so that you won’t be able to unlock all the skills but you’ll have to choose.

Luckily once that thing is out of the way, I think I can go on with the battle coding much faster since I had already redone the battle screen months ago πŸ™‚

Let’s talk about attributes

From left to right, my cat Leon and Miele, having a discussion about RPG balancing

Balancing a RPG is… one of the hardest things in game design ever. Even in MMORPG made by teams of 100+ people with multi-million budgets you see patches for months after the game is out to “tweak / balance the game”.

So I am sure that even my new RPG Seasons Of The Wolf very likely won’t be “perfectly balanced”, but to me the first goal is to make it fun. But I know that there are some very hardcore people who will dissect the game in details and find all possible weaknesses.

Let’s have a NIGHTMARE

Let’s start with saying that this time I’ve listened to the pleas about the difficulty:


Note the new difficulty level with that friendly name “NIGHTMARE”. Already the hard level will be… hard, but I expect the nightmare to be a real pain in the ass, requiring people to grind, fine-tune their equipment, and maybe even reload old savegames to try a different tactic/leveling up path.

You know, all those things that for normal human beings are annoying, but for those guys are the most fun thing ever! πŸ˜‰

I’m joking in case it wasn’t clear. No offense to anyone! Those hardcore RPG players are indeed the most useful testers since they usually find more bugs than anyone else, so an applause to them!

Attributes, attributes…

Loren’s attribute system was pretty simple: 3 attributes, Strength, Skill, Will. One of them particularly good for each of the 3 classes: Warrior, Thief and Mage. But even the other two would provide benefits.

This time in SOTW I wanted to have more attributes: six in total.


Let’s see each one in detail:

  • Constitution – increases character’s durability in battles. Each point spent in this attribute will increase the HP amount by 10.
  • Will – increases character’s ability to use special attacks or spells in battle. Each points spent in this attribute will increase the SP amount by 10.
  • Strength – increases character’s physical damage in battle. Each point spent in this attribute will increase the Attack value.
  • Skill – increases character’s ability to avoid or block physical attacks in battle. Each point spent in this attribute will increase the Defense value.
  • Agility – increases character’s Speed value. Fast characters will move sooner and perform the same actions quicker than slower ones.
  • Arcane – increases character’s Magical ability. A high value helps caster to cast more powerful spells, and also grants protection to magic attacks.

One of the rules for game design, is that each attributes should be at least useful to each Class. If there’s an attribute that gives absolutely NO advantage to any of the game Classes, you have “a problem”.

Currently, my only attribute with this problem is Strength. It works fine for Warrior and Thief since influences the Attack, but as you can imagine, Mages won’t have much use for it. Unless maybe I allow them to use Missile weapons too, or have strength influence some of the resistances.

Yes, because while the resistances will be the same as Loren, they’ll use a much better/more practical percentage based scale, so it’s not enough to have two armor items giving each Fire resistance to become immune. More like, each piece will give some percentage points.

So I have still to think better about it, I have some ideas already… (the attributes will surely change in the final version, but not by much).

Of course, there are plenty of RPG with unbalanced attributes that are still fun to play. Baldur’s Gate and Fallout comes to mind, just to name two very popular and fun RPGs πŸ˜‰

More news coming next week, about this game and the other one currently in progress!

Incoming Nicole demo preview tomorrow

I wanted to post it today, but as my cat Othello below always says “Never do today what you can do tomorrow”.

Othello is a world-expert in cat-napping

Jokes apart, tomorrow will upload a “demo preview” of Nicole. What is a demo preview? well is not the finished game, and not a finished demo. But is more than an Alpha version.

Ok I confess, I just made up that term. But in practice what I mean is:

  • the game romance plot is finished except one route (still missing the mystery part)
  • all the art is done, except a few chibis and some extra sprites for some scenes
  • the gameplay is done, but need a bit more testing to balance it

So there isn’t much work left, assuming people involved will work faster (I’ll make sure to use my spiked whip this time to speed things up!). I am releasing this demo because this way everyone who pre-ordered the game last month has something to play, and don’t think that I ran away with the money on a desert island! πŸ™‚

I wanted to release it today, but there are still a few annoying things to finish so I want to wait one day more to give time to the chibi artist to draw two more images.


Also, I’m very likely going to hire another writer to do the yuri part. Not because the current writing is bad, rather the opposite (as I’m sure you’ll agree after reading it tomorrow) but because is taking too long. I definitely don’t want people to think that yuri is just a secondary thing for me, I want to treat all my customers equally. And while releasing the yuri version 2 months later like for Heileen 3 was acceptable after all, releasing it after 6 months it would be too much! (and I think that’s what would happen right now).

I got a few submissions already, but if you’re a writer, are motivated and interested feel free to email me (you can find the email visiting the support page of my site on the top menu).

RPG fans I haven’t forgot about you! Please stay tuned because next week will hopefully talk about the new changes I made to SOTW, like the new attributes/skills! Meanwhile here’s a screenshot below to keep you interested πŸ˜‰


Back to work

IMG_0415Don’t be fooled by Tofu who is still playing games, now is time to work!

The past month, or better the past 45 days have been a serious blow to my productivity, because of the heat (like every year) plus some renovating works I had to do to my home. In practice, with the heat, the noise, the continuous interruptions, I just gave up… I was able to work only a few hours in the morning and answer emails, but that’s it.

As result, many many games are behind schedule, even if in practice the only one who is waiting my “direct contribution” is the RPG Seasons Of The Wolf. Luckily most of my working partners are people living in fresh countries like Canada, Belgium, Germany and so on (though I heard that the heat wave this year was all over Europe).

Anyway, it seems that the weather will cool down in the next week, and most importantly I’m finally done with the renovating works! πŸ˜€

So while I am still quite broken and stressed, I’ll gradually try to get back into “the working mood”, with the goal to release Nicole otome version by September and at least SOTW beta before end of year.

And maybe another game shortly after, since even Roommates is at good point πŸ™‚

Status update

Nicole update

First of all, an update about Nicole otome dating sim, since I started the preorders already. You can watch Jeff video preview below:

he seems polite and kind, but also quite bizarre! Anyway, I got the first 3 scenes out of 10 with him and have already added them to the game. I’m waiting for 16 chibis and icons from the artist, and some extra outfits.

Worse case scenario, I can release an exclusive preview build towards mid-August with the first 3 scenes of each boy. But I honestly hope that the writer and artist will work faster, so I can skip the preview build and release the final demo at the end of August, though I think it will be harder…

Anyway, we’re finally getting close! About the yuri version, once the main game is done it will take less time since basically is only the writing to do, since the gameplay and the chibi/icons art will be already implemented πŸ™‚

Planet Stronghold 2 update

Big games require long wait πŸ˜‰ Probably not what you wanted to read, but well that’s the truth. Coder is working on the new RPG system, and I think is going very well, but obviously needs time (and will need a lot of testing too even after is finished).

Plot wise the first chapter out of four is not finished yet, because we were doing some tests with the isometric maps and other gameplay things. But I assure you that the writing quality is great as always!

So in summary… we’re behind. A lot. But I’m very confident that once the game is ready you’ll be amazed by all the things in it πŸ™‚

Roommates update

Character artist is doing the “steamy scenes” also known as “beach sex scenes” πŸ˜‰ now don’t let your imagination go wild, since is not an eroge game after all! However, let’s say that those scenes will be quite interesting!

Backgrounds are progressing well and artist said that should be ready by September. Is hard for me to give an estimate at this point, but I think the game “could be out before Christmas if everything else goes well” (writer is coding all the sprite expressions but is a bit behind).

Seasons Of The Wolf update

The Grand Mogul Rafik will be one of the main opponents of the story

Things are going well both in the writing (six scenes done) and in the art (all main characters so far are finished, though there’s still a lot of work left to do).

About the gameplay and coding, I’m still behind because I was too busy with other real-life stuff, but I am confident that I can begin working on it at full speed in September. At least in this case if I have all the art and the writing done by the Fall, it will depend only on meΒ so the game should be out before Christmas πŸ™‚