So, what’s next?

2016sofar

This year, so far I finished three games, with the fourth (Queen Of Thieves) already in a good state for a beta. So, what’s next? 🙂

First half of 2016

First of all, we’re halfway through 2016. I’m not going to lie, things have changed A LOT for the indie business. For the first time I heard other indies quitting or taking contract work to pay the bills. It’s scary. I am fine, since I live very frugally (my biggest expense is cat food! haha) but still, I cannot deny that I’m a bit worried too!

Early this year I released PSCD, which underperformed despite great writing and good gameplay design (not my biased opinion, it has 100% positive ratings on Steam!). I didn’t know why at first, but soon I understood the main reason: the art. The next games, C14 Dating and Heirs & Graces, did as expected, or even better than I thought.  Queen Of Thieves is in beta and in preorder since a week so it’s a bit early, but so far the impression is very positive.

In summary, all is good! I only hope the artist finishes the main plot CGs soon… I might need to use my motivational whip to speed things up! 😉

So, what’s next?

Going back to the original question: a few weeks ago I talked about burnout, and the risk of ignoring it. So I’m well aware of it, and indeed I’m taking frequent breaks from work. In practice instead of long holidays, I work every day (even weekends!), but less hours than I used to. Thanks to that, I am not really burned out or tired right now, and I’m planning what to do in the next months.

As already posted in the past, I am thinking to do some “other games“: games in which the gameplay is more important, without a plot or with a smaller plot. This because honestly, writing a good story of 120k+ words (like all my recent games, in some cases even double that amount!) is going to take time. And I don’t want to rush writers, because if the story of a story-based game is bad… yeah, you get it! So, an alternative is to work on something else on the side, while I wait for them to finish.

They could be pure-gameplay, or mixed with a story, but one thing is to write a story of 120k words, another thing is to write a story 30-40k words long (which is more than enough if a game is not strictly story-based!).

I made a small poll in my forums asking what kind of gameplay people would like to see mixed with visual novel/story: http://www.winterwolves.net/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=3885

At the moment of writing this, “simulation” seems to be the most popular. Which is good, since it’s one of my favorite game genres and one I think I’m skilled enough (my early games were all simulations). This means that maybe I’ll try to add a more complex/detailed simulation part in my upcoming game Amber’s Magic Shop!

This is what I’m planning to do in the remaining months this year: some gameplay experiment/prototypes. I might post them in public and ask for feedback and then decide if they’re ideas worth pursuing or not.

Of course, the “regular games” will have the precedence. I’ll do those experiments while I wait for my collaborators to send me updates and make progresses 🙂

This entry was posted in beta demo, game design, indie life, iPhone & iPad, other games, postmortem. Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to So, what’s next?

  1. Dorian says:

    What happened with loren the amazon 2

  2. Anna says:

    Are you still working on the Choose Your Own Adventure book game? I remember you showed an illustration of a train for it in the forums a while back. Love all your games! 😀

    • admin says:

      Right now not, those pics will be in another game (not made by me).
      I am considering what to do next, though I think will stick to colored artwork 🙂

  3. Errapel says:

    Has the Yuri version of Nicole been cancelled? Or is it just delayed? Last I heard there had been issues, but I can’t find anywhere saying whether or not it will happen.

  4. AStraali says:

    I find it rather sad, that PSCD didn’t get the reception it deserved, IMO it’s the second best game released here. And personally I hope there’s going to be more of the same in the future, but as you have mentioned, the game didn’t really go well with people so I’m not holding my breath. Nevertheless thank you for the hard work 🙂

    • admin says:

      Depends what you mean by “more of the same” 🙂
      More card games? yes. More sci-fi games? very likely. More games written by Miakoda? I really hope so! More games with that art style? Unfortunately, not 😀

  5. marjan says:

    great job…..cant wait to play queen of thieves…now that I finished game of thrones season 6(in a marathon, like always) queen of thieves is at the top of my list….

    • admin says:

      Haha cool. There’s no Ramsey Bolton in my game though 😉

      • hassan says:

        i hope not i hate game of thrones

      • marjan says:

        maybe there should be…..not to criticise but you could use some epic bad guys in your games(I mean the only loren villain that I remember across 4 full playthroughs was jul and we didn’t see much of her….this goes for planet stronghold and season of the wolf as well) again I love all your works but im sure you could do better in the villain department …specially if their sociopathic and dangerous… you could make them likeable like the joker/Hannibal lecter or you could make them detestable like ramsey/joffrey….

        • admin says:

          In my older games yes, but if you played PSCD, there are some characters like the one you mention. Even in Queen Of Thieves 🙂

  6. Xarena says:

    I do hope you keep up the longer more story based games it’s why I like your site and games so much don’t get me wrong though am sure the smaller games will still be a lot of fun and they would be great filler while you work on the bigger ones.

    • admin says:

      The longer games will still come, the only difference is that now I’ll also make smaller ones. At least that’s the plan, we’ll see! I seem unable to make small games 😀

  7. Troyen says:

    If you make a game without a branching romance- *hides from a sudden angry mob outside*

    Anyway, if you had a game without romance or branching romances, I’m sure you could have a story based game in something under 50k, and it should also be a significantly smaller project. Less art, less writing, less coding. Might be easier to use as filler projects between the larger ones?

    • admin says:

      Yes that could work too. Actually even with 2 romances/characters should be possible, depends how it’s written 🙂

  8. Bex says:

    Do you think you’ll be porting your new games so they’re available on the iPad/iPhone? I can get away with playing at work then – not that I ever would 😉 – and I also do not have access to a laptop/PC anyway!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *