Monthly Archives: September 2015

The Queen Of Thieves – Kira


This week is the turn of another main character, Kira (the middle sister):

Kira is the middle child and often feels the pressure of such a position. During her younger days, she always found herself trapped between Joanne and Thalia when they were fighting. She sympathised with her older sibling’s desire to help them all grow up but she also found herself agreeing with her younger sister that Joanne was not their mother and had no right to act that way. In the end, she usually ended up siding with Thalia but occasionally she would agree with Joanne when their youngest sibling just went too far with her teasing.

When she was old enough to leave home, she moved to a town a few miles away from Triberg to work as a guard. She enjoyed the life very much. There was a comradery amongst the guards that she had not experienced before and it made her happy to live amongst such a large group in their barracks. Unfortunately, many of her fellow guards were into drinking heavily and Kira got into that habit too. While she is not an alcoholic, Kira finds it hard to stop once she starts. This has led to her getting entangled in several illicit liaisons with her fellow soldiers. On occasion, this led to brief but disastrous relationships, most of the time it just led to a very awkward morning and a splitting headache.

Perhaps her greatest weakness is a lack of belief in herself. Kira is rather convinced that she is stupid and that her love of alcohol just confirms it. Despite that, Kira really is not stupid but simply lacks the confidence to use what she was given. She often solved unusual cases when working as a guard but she fails to see it was because of her intellect that she did so.

As a rule, Kira finds being direct is the best course of action and his little foibles when it comes to using whatever comes to hand to succeed. She will use her strength and even her love of low-cut shirts to get what she wants. She finds it very easy to make friends although some do find her a little taciturn at times. Most of all, she badly misses the structure and feeling of community being a town guard gave her. Her sense of duty keeps her from abandoning her family’s attempts to free their mother even when it feels hopeless, however. In order to get that back, she is determined to succeed and woe betide any who gets between her and her chance to return to the life she loves.

Scripting games

PSCD intro scene it’s the only one I had actually coded so far…

I was so enthusiast last week about the good news that I actually forgot a very small detail… beside writing the stories and coding the gameplay, the games needs also to be scripted!! 🙂

What I mean by scripting? You know, every time in the game you see a new background, a character shows up, then moves on screen, changes expression, and goes away, every time a music plays or a sound effect is heard… behind it there’s scripting. All the writers I work with are quite familiar with Ren’Py so they know already how to place menu and use variables. But still, after the game has been written, and the logic/choices works, someone needs to add all those things listed above, the game scripting.

It’s really not a hard task: but it’s LONG! because you need to type all the commands and then test them to make sure you didn’t show a character flipped vertically hanging out from the roof 😀 (something that actually happened to me in some games in the past!).

So I’ve hired some people to do it for me to speed things up, this way I can focus on the game design and coding (what I can do better). In Queen Of Thieves case, the writer herself wants to script it, but it won’t delay much since all the main scenes have been written already.

In the end in last week I might have been a bit too much optimist about the times, since for example PSCD is over 200k words long, and scripting everything would probably take a month alone. Anyway, as always I’ll keep you updated on the progress!

Speaking of PSCD, in case you haven’t read it already in the forums, the generous Miakoda (the writer) offered to write more romances for the planned DLC so that there’s an even amount for all genres/combos! In practice, the DLC will have as much romances as the base game. Because of that will take longer to finish, but at least everyone will be happy.

Here’s the updated chart then:


I’ve seen some preliminary sketches for the new DLC romances and I can assure you that they WILL be worth it. Probably the best DLC I’ve done for all my games. I’ll also try to add some more gameplay/cards with it, but it’s too early now to decide.

The Queen Of Thieves – Joanne

joanneIt feels really weird for me to post the first character profile of this game – originally announced back in 2011 !! But as they say, better late than never 😉

So let’s start with the oldest sister, Joanne:

Joanne is the oldest of the Queen of Thieves daughters and the only one born with the gift of magic. From a very young age, she was able to instinctively use her abilities to all kinds of magic. Her ambition when she was a child was to go to a famous school of magic and learn how better to use her gifts. Her dream fell apart, however, on the day her mother was captured. With her gone, she was the only one left, apart from her father, who could care for her younger siblings. She became almost a surrogate mother to Kira and Thalia. Her younger sisters have not always appreciated this but they understand what she had to give up to do it.

Unlike her sisters, Joanne has no real experience with romance. Between looking after her sisters and focusing on her magic, she has had little time to really explore such things. She has been in relationships but they always ended very quickly. Joanne assumes it was because she was taking things too slowly for them or else they had only been interested in her body and not her mind. She likes when people are interested in her body, especially her legs, but it upsets her if they try to push that forward into something more than she is ready for. Her youngest sister often mocks her for being a thirty year old virgin although that is usually in response to Joanne chiding her over her rather loose attitude towards sex.

Outside of romance, Joanne comes across as a friendly and knowledgeable person who exudes extreme confidence in everything she does. The only problem is that when things go wrong she tends to get extremely flustered and her mind goes blank. She has gotten so used to things going how she expected that things going wrong is so utterly alien to her that it completely throws her off. Her sisters take great delight in teasing her during those situations which makes them even worse.

Joanne often gets into arguments with her younger sister, Thalia, over the gods. Her sister rejects the existence of divine beings while she believes them to be extremely real. She is often mocked for her devotion, attending the local temple at least once a week to pay her respects to the gods. Unlike her sister who blames the gods for what happened, Joanne believes that only by petitioning the gods will they succeed in their endeavour to rescue their mother.

 Some exciting news (at last)

I have good news! First of all, I’ve been playing for the past 2 weeks with the card game framework for PSCD, and I’ve made great progresses. I have coded almost all cards (I had to tweak some as expected, to balance it better).

Anyway, while of course this is a huge progress towards the game completion, the beta won’t come until later this year for three reasons:

  1. I still need all the GUI (deck building and game screen). I have already an artist working on it, and I think the result will be very good.
  2. I still need to code the game missions. Which is essential: I want to have a variety of missions/enemies and that will require quite some work first as design and then as testing.
  3. the game texts are done but I still need to script them all, adding music/sprites/etc. That is a simple task but very long to do!

After those things are done, I’ll finally be able to start the beta!

Another good news is about Queen Of Thieves, since writer rewrote the catacombs texts and I’ve fully tested/scripted them, so that is done! Now I need to resume working on the robbery missions. What is left now is mostly the ending romance CGs. But since it’s a RPG I might start a beta/pre-order as soon as all the gameplay and texts are final. I still need to script everything though (adding the sprites, background, music) so that will take a while.

I’d say you could expect Queen Of Thieves beta later this Fall, and PSCD either in December or early next year 😉

About the other various games, there have been progress too, but nothing as big as those two.

Of course I know what many people are wondering… what about Nicole yuri? Well, it still needs the plot to be finished . Then it must be scripted and the romance CG are missing on that game as well. But even in this case once the game is scripted I might start preorders as well.

I knew it. I’m going to be shortly in a position where I have 3-4 games that needs to be finished and I will need to pick one, because I can’t work on all of them at same time! 😀

DBA is officially out!

First of all, as the blog post title says, the zombie-survival game Dead But Alive ! Southern England is now officially out. More info and a demo download link here:

By the way, did you miss that we added 2 more male romances? the image below should remind you! 😉


I can’t make a real “post-mortem” for this game since I didn’t develop it myself, but for me was an interesting experiment mainly for two reasons:

  1. the game setting. I wanted to make a zombie (or at least horror) VN since long time. A setting more serious than most of my games, with mature content, death, etc.
  2. the game artwork. As you know if you follow me since long time, I tried only once to have a non-manga art with my game Vera Blanc, and let’s say that the results weren’t particularly encouraging 😀

Regarding the first point, you could say that some of my other games, like Loren, SOTW or Bionic Heart 2, had already “serious settings/theme”. It’s true, but they weren’t really “horror” or dark, with very tough choices (well, maybe Bionic Heart 2 was, but just that one). Since I like to differentiate, beside funny/comedy games like Roommates, I definitely want to do more games like this one in future. In Amber’s Magic Shop or Cursed Lands, there will be definitely more “serious” stuff, including the writing.  I want to offer more variety of content in my games, to suit everyone’s tastes.

About the second point, while it’s clearly too early to say (the game has just launched officially now!) already the early weeks of pre-order/beta had a positive feeling. People like the art and are buying the game. This is a sort of relief, since means that definitely there’s space for different art-styles, beside manga, for a visual novel game.

Black and white art?

This also brings me to another idea. I recently noticed there’s a new interest in games involving mostly text, like Choice Of Games, or 80 days, just to name two famous games/developers. I am thinking to do something like that: a SMALLER game (for real this time!!!) which could be finished in less time (since a complaint of some users is that my games are too long), to be sold at cheaper price. However, I really don’t want to have only texts, so I thought to use a nice black and white art style, which reminds me of some old illustrated books.

I posted this image a while ago on twitter:


And now I can add another mysterious one:


It’s from a new game in development in collaboration with Highcliffe again, but it’s still too early to talk about it in detail. However, I am thinking to try making a game using this art style myself too, maybe in fantasy setting. I personally love the “comic” black&white style, as said it has an “old book charm”… what do you think? 🙂

Planet Stronghold: Colonial Defense – introducing Lola and romance DLC!


I always tell to myself that I’ve been working too much lately. Indeed, I completely forgot to post Lola’s introduction!! 🙂 Which is important, as you’ll read below…

Name:  Lola Fox
Nation of Origin:  Argentina
Service Branch:  Reporter for Solarian News Network

Born to a wealthy mercantile family, Lola had every luxury one growing up could have, bar one:  a purpose.  Having every need and desire filled on a silver-platter left Lola feeling somewhat hollow, though she couldn’t put a finger on why.

It wasn’t until she attended private school she figured out why.  Here, among other children of the Empire’s upper class, she saw other scions in the same predicament.  Lola shied away from those people who turned to vice and self-indulgence to stave off their boredom.

Initially, she joined the fencing team, and did quite well, but something was still missing from her life.  Instead, Lola found her passion when she literally overheard her coach and a member of the criminal underground agree to throw match in exchange for a sum of money.  Outraged, Lola went to her school’s paper, and with her testimony, they broke the story.  Further investigation revealed far ranging corruption…and ignited a passion in Lola to expose the dark side of society.

Upon graduating, Lola joined a small media company, doing the typical fluff pieces one might expect such as covering the local county fair, or interviewing the politico of the moment.  She might have continued in this vein when Lola discovered a conspiracy of politicians and criminal abducting the homeless, and selling their organs to the rich and powerful.

This story led to an offer from Solarian News Network (SNN), and Lola joined without a second glance.  Never one to shy away from danger, she saw first-hand witness what the Apex Rahn did to their prisoners when they tried to swarm Procyon V.  Given her previous experiences, Lola takes delight in digging out corruption within the empire itself, though this has created many enemies from the friends and families of those imprisoned by her investigations.

Looking for the next big story, Lola has come to Planet Stronghold, and what she’s already unearthed has excited her for what she may yet uncover.

Introducing the planned romance DLC!

Of course, first the main game will be released 🙂 But thanks to the artist and writer’s speed, we can already begin production of the content for the DLC.

Don’t think this will be a “day 0 DLC”, because already the base game has a LOT of romances (4 for each playable character for a total of 8) and even friendship dialogues, a big amount of content. So the base game will totally be worth the price, be sure of that. It’s just that we believe so much in the idea/product that I’m willing to risk investing even more in a DLC already.

For now the extra content planned involves “only” the extra romances, but I could even add some more gameplay elements (extra cards, missions, etc). It’s too early to say it now.

If you’re curious, take a look at the “romance graph” below:

PSCD_romancesThe red lines shows homosexual romance, while the green lines straight romances. The extra romances for the DLC feature two of the new characters (Lola and Kaden) and two that before weren’t romanceable (Galina and Christophe).

Before you complain: I know that Diana got an extra romance with Lola. But Alex has an extra final CG that will show up depending on Mira’s romance, and it’s one of the most beautiful of the whole game. So I think it’s fair 😉 Also, the writer offered to write it for free (she really liked Lola/Diana as couple), so I really couldn’t refuse!

In other news, finished the catacombs of Queen Of Thieves, and artist started with the first of the many (12) romance CGs. I’m going to start the robbery missions next week, so I am more optimistic now on a possible beta release of the game (maybe missing some romance CGs, but still) before end of year 🙂