So first the great announcement: Planet Stronghold: Colonial Defense IS OUT!!!!!!!
To get the game or try the free demo, visit this page: http://winterwolves.com/pscd.htm
Like always, buying direct will grant you a free Steam key when the game will be out on that platform (probably around March, not sure yet).
It was basically done since early January, but I wanted to wait to get some extra voices added for some cards. I think it was worth the wait, check some previews:
A postmortem aka “The Miracle”
The story of PSCD is a very troubled one. It all started back in autumn 2014, when I had the crazy idea of combining the tower defense gameplay with a visual novel. Yes you read it right: originally the game was to be a tower defense game! :O
Then for various reasons, I gave up the idea (I had to use a custom engine, learn new stuff, etc etc, doing those kind of games is harder than it looks). So, what could I do? Already the whole base plot was written by Miakoda, the game writer, and I had to find something that could fit. I had this enlightening moment: since for Undead Lily I wanted to have a collectible card gameplay, why not use it also in PSCD?
This way, once the coder had built the system, I could have used it at least on two games (more in case it was well received). I’m a big fan of making engines/frameworks and reusing them, as you can see with what I did with Loren’s framework: I reused it on SOTW (adding 31298 new features! lol) and I am reusing it in a different way for Queen Of Thieves as well.
Anyway, I had made my mind. Unfortunately, the coder couldn’t work until August on it. The situation was a bit weird last year, since I had so many games in production, and SOTW was a “relative flop” (would still be a good seller if only I hadn’t used 10 months of my own time coding it!!). I needed to get at least one game out, since as you can imagine until I release the games, I can’t recover the money I’ve invested. At some point, I can’t keep investing in new games if I don’t release anything new! 🙂
Of the other games, while they were making progresses, none was really advanced as PSCD. The other one, Queen Of Thieves, was at good point but still missing all the scripting and romance CGs and there are MANY of those 😉
That hot Summer, and the Fall/Winter rush
Seems a porn movie’s title, doesn’t it? haha nothing like that though! Summer 2015 here was insane, with temperatures over 39°C (and I live at 800m on sea level!!!). As result I couldn’t regularly work for almost 1 month and half. Then, at end of August / beginning of September, it cooled off and it all started.
As of the 1st September 2015, PSCD was just a prototype of the deck building screen.
By the end of that year, PSCD was basically finished!
I think it was an amazing achievement, to do such a game in 3 months!! Of course I already had most of the writing and art done, so I am talking about the coding part on my side, but still there were so many things that could have been gone wrong!
Thanks to some dedicated forum users (among them I want to mention Franka the master of CCG, and Troyen who is always willing to help with typos/proofreading) I was able to test the game, and I also made a very smart move adding a “VN Mode”, so everyone could play the game, even those interested only in the story/romances (and there are really some interesting ones in the game!).
The work done by Anima (the coder) and Miakoda (the writer) together with Dennis (main artist) was amazing. Without their help I surely wouldn’t have made it!
What is even more fun, it’s that this was the latest (or maybe one of the latest) game I started, and was the first to be finished! And surely not because it’s small, rather the opposite: 200k words of story (not including the DLC!), complex optional gameplay, lot of romance CGs and ending CGs!
It is also the most expensive game to date I’ve made, and I think it shows (the quality of art, music, everything put this among the best games I’ve done I think).
I can only draw a conclusion from this experience: if you are motivated, and work with people who are motivated/professional as well, nothing is impossible. On the opposite, if you work with amateurs/unmotivated people, even doing the simplest task becomes impossible.
I don’t know yet how the game will do in the next months: I hope well enough, since beside recovering all the money/time I’ve spent, I really enjoyed designing the cards and the gameplay in general. And I have already Undead Lily that will use this system. But I hope in future I’ll be able to do even more card games beside that one 🙂