Monthly Archives: January 2015

PSCD – Meet Cristoph


After seeing all the romanceable characters (at least in the base game… who knows, maybe if the game does well, we’ll be able to do some future DLCs!) time for the other team members. They’ll be present in the story and the fights, and each one has his/her own specialty. Let’s start with Cristoph, a “dark” character!

Name:  Christoph Rousseau
Nickname:  Badger
Nation of Origin:  France
Service Branch:  Imperial Corps of Engineers
Specialty:  Mining

In almost every outfit, there usually is someone with ties to some rather unsavory people and organizations.   Christoph fills this role rather aptly.  If you need to get something, and can’t get it through legitimate channels, then Christoph can make it happen, for a price.

In fact, it was the search for personal wealth which led Christoph to join the military.  While he doesn’t particularly care for fighting and killing, Christoph’s current position affords him too many opportunities to enrich himself.  

This isn’t to say Christoph activities didn’t create some enemies, but assaulting an imperial squad is outright suicide.  Those few people who did press the issue…well, Christoph definitely knows where the bodies are buried.

Some might consider Christoph a coward, but this isn’t true.  He earned the nickname Badger when he was in the middle of his mining shift, when a hole appeared on the side of the passage, and an Apex warband emerged.   Thinking quickly, Christoph used his equipment to weaken the ceiling, burying aliens under a ton of rock.

If Christoph has a weakness, it would be gambling.  He always has a deck  of cards, or a set of dice on his person, and can be found starting a pick-up game when things go slow.


Work on the other games is going forward quite well. The SOTW DLC has been fully scripted, so now is my turn to add the battles and test. It’s still missing some art though, but depending how the artists/colorist go, the DLC might be out sooner than I thought 🙂

Here’s the intro scene…but what he is writing about?


“…my terrible mistake that had almost sealed the fates of Althea and Shea”! Wow, Jariel, what did you do? Soon (well, this year, not very soon!) you’ll discover it 😉

A SOTW postmortem

Well, if nothing else, SOTW brought some new awesome characters like Rowinda in Aravorn’s world!

At the time of writing this, will be exactly one week after SOTW Steam release. How it went? ahem, let’s say it didn’t meet my expectations… 😀

Don’t get me wrong: a lot of people liked the game. But it didn’t do as well as I hoped. In short, game sold, rather well to be honest, but compared to the amount of work I’ve personally put on it, I wouldn’t do it again. Now I’ll get into the details and try to find possible causes of this:

  • game length/price: this was my first mistake. The game, for the length, amount of work and resources put in it, should have been sold for $29.99 (is longer than Loren+DLC!). However, in nowadays market, is really not possible to offer a game at that price, it was better to split it in two, or do a DLC/expansion. So when I finished the game, I was “forced” to price it $25.
  • gameplay: I wanted to put more RPG gameplay on this game, more combat, skills etc than Loren. It wasn’t a bad choice on itself, but the main issue was to put too much REQUIRED combat in it. I’m not talking about the random battles, or grinding. That one was also present in Loren but was entirely optional. If I count the required battles (to advance the plot) of Loren and the ones of SOTW, there are 3 or 4 times more in SOTW!! and most people didn’t like it. Also, the clever AI resulted in longer battles after act2 because they could heal/resurrect. It’s a mechanics that is fun to play once in a while but on every battle (for most people at least, there are exceptions of course). The DLC I’m working on is much more similar to Loren under this aspect.
  • feature-creep disease: haha it is not a real disease, but it affects many game developers. The fight is nice, but why don’t you add custom battlefield conditions? the items are nice, but more variety? let’s add a random items generator! enemies AI is too dumb, let’s recode it completely! OK I’ll stop here, I think you got what I mean 🙂 Adding features is not a bad thing in general, but adding too many, without thinking about all the extra work needed to test? yep.

In conclusion: I am NOT saying that SOTW was a failure, or is a bad game, or anything. I still think is a great game, sold well and without doubts the best RPG I’ve made so far. However, as you know, when running a business you need to consider the time/resources spent vs money earned. You remember when I said that the game sold more than Loren the first month? Now 3 months have passed and comparing the first 3 months of Loren, SOTW sold less (not by much, but less).

And if I take into consideration Steam? Loren outsold SOTW by ten times or more! 🙁 this might not be about the game itself though, since even other very good games like Roommates didn’t do particularly well after they “opened the floodgates” and several new games are launched daily (Loren could stay in homepage for a whole week, SOTW for less than 8h). It seems you need to put a lot of fanservice to do well with manga games on Valve’s platform (this is a topic for another long post though).

And the problem is that this game budget was twice Loren’s, and the amount of time I’ve spent on it is longer by at least 50%… you do the math 🙂

So what happens now?

Well, I actually had FUN making SOTW. Not always (especially when fixing crazy bugs), but I had fun. However it doesn’t matter much really. If from now I was making always games like SOTW (taking me 10 months of hard work every time), I wouldn’t go out of business, but I would be in serious financial trouble in just 2-3 years… and probably I would be totally burned out (I still am, have problems coding for long hours now).

So I am sorry for those who loved SOTW, but I can say that for sure the upcoming RPGs will be:

  • more focused on the story. After all, all my games are story-based, so makes sense to stick with it.
  • with less required combat! I can leave grinding open as option. But those playing mainly for the story shouldn’t be forced to play 100 fights 🙂
  • more “casual”: an easier interface and rules, so that even non RPG experts can understand and play it. This has nothing to do with actual game difficulty, only with fewer rules, easier to understand. An example: if SOTW was Magic: The Gathering, upcoming games should be Hearthstone 😉 Still very fun, but easy to learn and play.
  • better balanced for length/price. Wait, I am not going to make only cheap/short games, I am talking only about my internal management/budget. In practice I need to make sure that I don’t add too much content and spend again so much time/money on a product  that then can’t be sold at the price it should be sold!

Sadly my most precious resource now is my own time. To make an example, if I want to make a game more polished, is better to add 10 new CGs, even if artist takes 2 months to  draw them, than adding feature XYZ using 2 months of my time. Also because, when I do stuff myself, for obvious reasons I can’t multitask and follow other projects as I should.

Anyway, with everything I’ve said, I’m quite optimistic for SOTW DLC, because it’s like Loren: it focuses on story/romance, has a lot of character romantic interactions, a few battles, a lot of lore and “tough choices” and plot twists 🙂 Hopefully will be out after the Summer!

Summer In Trigue – Grace

First of all, ToA: Seasons Of The Wolf is now officially out on Steam:
If you can spread the word in any way, I’d appreciate it! 🙂

Also if you liked the game, please leave a positive review on Steam since it helps.

And now, let’s talk about… Summer In Trigue! The nice lady below is Grace:
It was about time to introduce the first character of the new yuri-only dating sim I’m working since a few months (sorry, no estimate release date for now!), called indeed “Summer In Trigue” 😀 (the best dating sim name ever!)

Now, here’s the writer introducing Grace:

A young woman who was born in and raised in California, Grace had a fairly sheltered life due to her somewhat overprotective parents and the fact that she was homeschooled since kindergarten. When the chance to do some seasonal work in Trigue alongside a friend came to her, she took it, partially to do something a bit daring and force herself to grow, and partially to get a reprieve from her parents’ hints about how much they’d just love some grandchildren.

She has an introverted nature and struggles somewhat with social anxiety, but despite this, balances part-time jobs as both a waitress and a bartender. She far prefers the latter job, and has found an unexpected talent for mixing drinks, a previously unrealized love of booze, and a penchant for sensing people’s moods have all helped her excel at it. Her high level of patience has helped her with both jobs.

Grace is a huge fan of fiction and loves anything that can tell a good story, but she is especially found of novels, anime, and video games. Though she lives on a beautiful tropical island, her idea of a great evening is usually unwinding in her apartment after a stressful day at work with a drink and a good book. Or relaxing on the beach… with a drink and a good book.

Grace’s friend and roommate who was forced to return to the US a few weeks ago, which has left Grace very much alone. This doesn’t bother Grace most of the time, though occasionally she does feel very lonely. Still, her life is far more exciting than back home, and ironically enough also far more peaceful without her parents and friends trying to set her up with a boyfriend, so she doesn’t have too many complaints.

That’s all for this week. More character introduction (both of this game and the other ones in progress) coming soon 🙂



It’s absurd that so soon I have to mourn the loss of another cat, but here we go… Gilda was a very beautiful cat, one of those that could win prizes. She was fluffy and sweet, and my most photographed cat. We found her dead near the road nearby yesterday. It still doesn’t seem real to me, I will need some time to accept the fact that I won’t be able to see her happily jumping around me anymore 🙁

A short update

As you can imagine I’m not really in the mood to write a normal blog post. Some random news:

  • Next week, on Thursday, SOTW will be on Steam.
  • Speaking of SOTW, the DLC is coming along nicely (just the plot for now). A lot of romance interactions depending who you romanced, and some interesting minigames
  • Regarding PSCD I’ve made a test with the “over the shoulder” view, and despite some people not liking it for various reasons, I think looks good so might use it in the final game
  • I’ve updated all the Android versions of my games, should fix random crashes and in-app purchases bugs
  • work on the other games in progress continues. Next week will have the first Summer In Trigue character introduction, Grace


2015 releases plan, and Loren vs Seasons Of The Wolf

This is a fun mockup image I made a while ago to promote SOTW 🙂

It’s the first post of the year! I imagine people’s main question will be: which games will be out next? since I don’t know myself, and after the big fail of last year (I announced like 5 games but I finished “just” 2), I’ll just say which ones should be definitely out this year (not tomorrow though! could be even Summer or Fall! but still technically 2015).

2015 Possible releases

Nicole yuri: the game is at a good point. I don’t want to say “first quarter” officially, but it should be really out by April/May max!
C14 Dating: even this game is at good point, missing some extra outfits and CG scenes, but not much else. I don’t think will be done before Summer though.
Queen Of Thieves: much depends on the yuri routes writing. This game should be smaller than others (for story’s length) so I think could be out this year!
PSCD: story and art are at very good point. All depends on the gameplay. I have some ideas but need to make experiments first. I include this on the list even if might be out very late this year!

So that’s it. As always, remember there might be more, or different ones finished. For example, SOTW DLC could be out, depending how much extra art is needed (will be more focused on story-relationship than battles). But as I said I only wrote about those that should be really out this year.

Loren vs SOTW

Back to the title, those who follows me since long time might remember that when I finished Loren, I did a “Loren vs Planet Stronghold” post.

Here I want to try doing the same analyzing the various aspects of Loren and SOTW. Before I start I want to say that personally I don’t think one of the two games is better or worse than the other, simply they’re DIFFERENT 🙂


Many people complained about Loren’s story to be clichè. I think 99% of stories ARE clichè nowadays 🙂 Anyway, with SOTW you cannot really say the story is clichè. Still most people liked the first two chapters, there are many mixed feelings about the third (for some being too open is good, for others bad) and many felt the ending was a bit rushed (the DLC should fix this hopefully).

I still think that SOTW main story is better than Loren’s. SOTW 1 – Loren 0


Hehe this is quite an unfair comparison, simply because Loren has so much more characters! I read some reviews about SOTW saying that the “characters aren’t memorable”. What? Rowinda isn’t memorable!?! Chalassa? Krimm? Riley!?

Ok Jariel might be too much “classic good elf”. Althea and Shea’s personality aren’t well developed for gameplay/plot reason (since you can play as both). Still is true that Loren’s characters are awesome. Draco? Mesphit? Karen? I could go on… 🙂

So, I’m not going to argue on this. Loren’s big cast and characters is what made that game successful, so here Loren is a clear winner. Loren 1 – SOTW 1.


This is another not very fair comparison since basically SOTW is Loren’s engine but greatly updated. Random items, more advanced skills, custom battle cut scenes, etc etc. And the difficulty had much more meaning. Hard difficulty is hard, and Nightmare… a nightmare 😀

But is not just that, there’s the isometric map, and several small or big improvements. SOTW is the clear winner here. The only thing some people didn’t like is the “prevent grinding” feature I added. I am not sure if I’ll keep it in future games, even if that means that the boss battles will never be balanced (because if you can grind unlimited time…). But if that’s what people want… who I am to argue? 😉

Loren 1 – SOTW 2


This is a close one. I really like SOTW main menu music, and even the theme song is much better than Loren’s (hehe), but overall Loren’s soundtrack is awesome.

Listen to those Loren’s tracks:



Or those SOTW tracks:



I really don’t want to decide, but if I have, Loren’s is slightly superior in my opinion, but is a very close call! Loren 2 – SOTW 2


Hard to say: Loren’s had a different coloring style, but more CGs. SOTW has a better (in my opinion) coloring, A LOT more variety of backgrounds, the isometric map art which I think is beautiful, but less CGs (even if the ending ones are nice, but the romance one can’t match Loren’s).

I think this one is really a draw – if you liked more romance/event CGs then Loren (obviously, since had more romances!) but if you liked more variety of backgrounds and isometric map, SOTW.

Loren 3 – SOTW 3


Loren has shorter RPG gameplay, since has no maps and less battles, and most are optional (unlimited grinding). It has much more dialogues between characters though, even if the base game text is just slightly higher than SOTW (I’m not including the DLC).

If you like RPG combats, SOTW is a clear winner. If you like romance/camp talk, Loren is much better, again if only because of the bigger cast.

Another draw? yes, since this really depends on people’s tastes! Loren 4 – SOTW 4


What, the conclusion is a draw!? Really? Yes, really! And believe me is not a diplomatic solution. Even if SOTW took me a lot more time than Loren, I don’t think is vastly superior overall. It depends only on tastes. I have many people who were disappointed because SOTW was more a RPG than a “fantasy dating sim” 😉 but also many who were pleased to see that the RPG gameplay was much deeper and the difficulty better balanced.

It’s like asking: is better apples, or oranges? 😀

Of course, you might disagree with me. In this case feel free to post a comment with your opinion either here, or in the forums!