2015 releases plan, and Loren vs Seasons Of The Wolf

amukikivsshea
This is a fun mockup image I made a while ago to promote SOTW ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

Story

Many people complained about Loren’s story to be clichรจ. I think 99% of stories ARE clichรจ nowadays ๐Ÿ™‚ Anyway, with SOTW you cannot really say the story is clichรจ. 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

Characters

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… ๐Ÿ™‚

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.

Gameplay

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 ๐Ÿ˜€

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? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Loren 1 – SOTW 2

Soundtrack

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

Artwork

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

Longevity

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

Conclusion

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” ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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? ๐Ÿ˜€

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!

This entry was posted in C14 dating, dating sims, game design, indie life, nicole, Planet Stronghold: Colonial Defense, postmortem, queen of thieves, roleplay games, Seasons Of The Wolf, strategy games. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to 2015 releases plan, and Loren vs Seasons Of The Wolf

  1. Troyen says:

    I hope we don’t have to wait until the end of the year for another game!

    I’ll do a quick tally of my thoughts on Loren vs SotW:

    Story – Loren.

    Especially the pre-expansion ending was really powerful. I don’t care that it’s clichรฉ, I liked the story enough that I’ve replayed the game three times now, and probably will again. SotW had a decent start, but then the story kind of peters out. Sure, there are some really cool moments (like the end of Act 2), but overall Loren wins out in my mind.

    Characters – SotW

    Loren did have more characters, but the only SotW character I didn’t like was Jariel (excepting my traitorous backstabbing brother). A lot of Loren’s characters started out all right, but then seemed to just hang around and toss out one-liners as the story went on (looking at you Dora). Now, if you were comparing the romances, then Loren would definitely win here. I only found one route I’m interested in SotW, and Loren has multiple, but you listed this as an overall character comparison.

    Gameplay – SotW

    Not a fair comparison, like you said. The game runs faster, cooler (in terms of power consumption), and I really like the isometric map. The anti-grinding component didn’t bother me (actually, I think the game was tuned around too much grinding), but I know others disagree.

    You are concerned that grinding negates boss difficulty, but I don’t see that as an issue. If you tune the boss around an expected party level, well, someone that hits a hard fight either spends ten hours trying to beat Deceit with perfect hit/miss rolls (not fun), or ten hours grinding up extra levels to have an easier time on Deceit (also not fun, but slightly more fun than the first option because you feel like you’re at least making some progress). Or, if grinding really bugs you, make grindable enemy levels static and reward diminishing amounts of exp for players of a higher level.

    I also wasn’t a big fan of the enemy mob level scaling throughout SotW. It was really confusing trying to judge my party’s power, but even worse, the stat scaling way out-scaled my party on hard/NM – so you’re actually in a worse position if you level up too far when you hit the last few chapters because the gear improvements can’t keep up with the enemy stat improvements. (Good luck achieving 400 attack…anywhere.)

    Still, I did totally ignore all the random encounters in Loren because they were boring, repetitive, and unrewarding, so I can’t even ding SotW on battles. (And honestly, some of the battle/story mix boss fights were pretty cool.)

    Soundtrack – SotW*

    *This is not a fair comparison since I’ve only played Loren under the original soundtrack. I’ll exclude it from the final tally.

    Artwork – SotW

    This was really tough. The character, map, and background art in SotW was nice, but the Loren CGs were far, far more memorable. Still, I think it tips to SotW.

    Longevity – Loren

    I’ve played SotW start-to-finish once, reloaded a bit to see all the custom scenes and events I missed by choosing different choices during the story, but now I kind of feel like there’s not much else to do in the game. I’m pretty burnt out on the battles, so I don’t even want to collect the other achievements I’m missing and I’m not that interested in the other romances.

    On the other hand, I’ve played Loren start-to-finish three times, and will probably play it again some day because there are still story choices/character paths I haven’t explored that I kind of want to.

    My final score:
    Loren 2 – SotW 3

    SotW had a lot of definite improvements over Loren, but I guess the story is what keeps me excited and coming back to play games, and there was intentionally less in SotW than Loren. I’ll have to see how Queen of Thieves turns out. We will see it this year, right? ๐Ÿ™‚

    • admin says:

      Thanks for the detailed comparison, was interesting to read other point of views ๐Ÿ™‚
      In Queen Of Thieves you can play only as female main character, so that might be a big downside for some people (I’m planning to add yuri option at least). For the story there are more romance options (12, 2 for each of the 3 girls multiplied by 2 straight/lesbian). However this was planned to be a smaller game so for the amount of texts it should be lower than SOTW. We’ll see ๐Ÿ˜€
      I hope for it to be out before end of year, though I’m a bit unsure right now. There are also several dating sim that should be out, so when I do the testing/release they’ll keep me busy, so won’t be able to code other games…

  2. Andrew C says:

    I still say “until I’m broken” is a great song. Screw the haters! ;p

  3. Sonya says:

    I love your stories. When I read Loren first time it was like some old man tells me a great story. Planet Stronghold is my favourite game of yours, so it is realy sad that you won’t realise second part this year, but i will wait forever thou, if you promise that you will realise it someday… And sorry for my inglish ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. candesco says:

    Can’t say that i find the story of Loren cliche. In my opinion it ain’t that cliche. If i think of cliche stories, then i think of rpg’s using the same plot over and over again, like the famous starting in a jail or bed (think of tes 4: oblivion for example or illusion of time)
    Actually the story of SOTW is more cliche, starting in a house with your parents (also often used) . But i can see where the cliche thing of loren comes from and probably from the part where you start to travel. It reminds to good old DnD games like Neverwinter Nights 2 or to the TDE game Drakensang. Not much of a problem for me. I like Loren as well as SOTW. If i really had to choose between those two, then i would say loren.

  5. zed says:

    Waiting for Nicole girls love edition!!!! Would preorder if possible!!!!!!!!

  6. Hermann Hesse says:

    Since it is the beginning of June by the time I write this, I’d like to know if you are still going to release Nicole Yuri edition for this year? And if the answer is yes, do you have an idea around when by now, and would it be purchasable on steam?

    • admin says:

      Yes it’s quite advanced – goal is to release it after Summer. But it became really a BIG GAME, much more than the otome. Will be on Steam as well of course (a few months later after I release it on my site).

      • Hermann Hesse says:

        Thank you for the quick answer!

        One last question though: will you release this yuri edition of Nicole as a separate game to Nicole Otome, or will you release it rather as an update to Nicole Otome, or will you even release it as a final edition merging otome with yuri into one complete package?

        • admin says:

          If I can will merge both so like with Roommates you can choose which version to play in a single download, but might be too difficult and in this case will make two separate download. In any case it is a separate game to purchase.

  7. Andrรฉ says:

    Hmm..I whas hoping SotW let you have Seha with Jariel sisne I’m a “little” elf fanatic!

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