2017 and you never stop learning from your mistakes

I’m writing the naga storylines now and yes, I’m having fun!

I decided to break my “a new post every 2 weeks” rule today, and will also do another the 5th of January to make the usual two posts where I review the year and I write my goals for upcoming year. It’s a tradition and I don’t want to stop doing it 🙂

Let’s start from what I posted earlier this year, my goals for 2017.

What went bad

Well, I did release Amber’s Magic Shop. I didn’t finish Love Bites, but at least it’s half done. And even if it’s not finished, Cursed Lands it’s at good point and I’ve personally invested at least six months of time on it (only the character creation phase with the custom portrait generator took me over a month to code). So even if I haven’t anything else finished doesn’t mean that it was a unproductive year, not at all!

Regarding my only release, Amber’s Magic Shop. The game didn’t do bad, and to be honest in current climate where you’re lucky to break even, it did much better than the average, but still… I have the feeling of a missing opportunity, that it could have been something much bigger.

I know the game got several complaints about the writing (especially on Steam) but I don’t want to talk about the writing quality itself but my own mistakes. First of all, doing a new game genre like a crafing/sim game, and having the story written BEFORE the gameplay. That was a totally stupid move and I am banging my head on the wall every time I think about it. Second and related to this, if I do a dating sim or a visual novel, there’s no problem in using external writers, but if I do a game where the gameplay is so interwoven with the story, I HAVE to write at least the storyboard myself. Otherwise, as many people pointed out, the story feels too detached from the gameplay.

Still, as I said it could have been much worse. Many people loved it, maybe I’m being nit-picking, not sure 🙂

What went well

Planet Stronghold: Colonial Defense manga version. I was unsure if to do it or not (investing a non trivial sum of money to redo almost all the art of an already released game was risky) but the reception was amazing, and the sales increased by 300% (so now are in line with my other games more or less). I’ve said it many times: you won’t ever see me do a game with non-manga art again! 😀 I also felt relieved because I thought both the gameplay and writing of that game were good, and the results of the manga version just confirmed that the main/only issue was the art style.

Roommates extra nudity/sexy patch. This time was a smart move since the costs were much smaller (the original CGs were just edited and not redone from scratch, so much less work involved) and people obviously liked the possibility to (re)play the game with optional sexy content. I might try it again with other games but depends how quickly/cheaply it can be done.

Cursed Lands. As very often happens, some projects remains are there, unnoticed, slowly making progress in silence, I even forget about them, until one day I check all the writing already done and I’m like “DOH! this game could be finished relatively soon!” and then I start working on it full-speed (also because I don’t like to stay idle as you guessed). The game is in beta and so far people seems to love it, even if of course it’s still early days. I know for sure that we put a lot of effort in it 🙂

Volleyball Heaven. Yes the game is not even in beta yet, and there’s still all the CGs to do, but I was particularly happy how the new writer finished all the story in basically 3-4 months! It’s also a very different game from my usual ones, so I’m curious to see how people will react to it. An experiment, but personally I like it. Hopefully you’ll like it too.

In Summary

Things didn’t go as planned, and I’ve learned a lot of things which should prevent me from doing the same mistakes in the next years. The main thing will be to get back writing one game a year myself with help of an editor.

This will also help me reduce considerably the amount of games I’m working on at once, because I noticed in the last months that I’m being too much stressed and health comes first.

It’s also “fun” for me to see how there’s a sort of pattern for my work which repeats almost every two years, alternating a good/lucky/productive year with a bad/unlucky/unproductive one:

2012 Loren+DLC, good
2013 Nicole, bad (not for the game, but because I just released one simple dating sim and it’s not much in a whole year)
2014 Roommates and SOTW, good (probably my best year ever since both games did great)
2015 No games, very bad!
2016 Five games!, very good
2017 One game, bad

The good news is: based on that “magic pattern”, 2018 should be a good year!! Let’s hope it is. Happy New Year to everyone!

This entry was posted in Cursed lands, dating sims, general, indie life, love bites, roleplay games, roommates, volleyball heaven. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to 2017 and you never stop learning from your mistakes

  1. Choklad says:

    There’s an extra nudity patch for Roommates?! I follow you on both facebook and tumblr, how did I not hear about this? xD I need to try this right now! (Usually I want very little nudity, but that’s because I want everyone’s normal outfits to make sense, nudity as something optional is different.)

  2. Hannah says:

    I am glad you are learning from your mistakes! I just wanted to say that I bought Ambers Magic Shop a month ago and have not stopped playing it at every available opportunity! I am going through all the endings and paths to see what lies in store and is on par with Roommates as my favourite game. It’s not a perfect game, but I’m enjoying it greatly so don’t beat yourself up too much over it!

  3. blitzen says:

    Well I am on tenterhooks waiting for the final release of Cursed Lands to come out, and I will buy it as soon as it is available! I don’t do beta releases because I don’t have enough time to devote to giving feedback and installing updates, but I enjoy your games more than any other developer and I can’t wait for this game.

    I’m also really looking forward to Planet Stronghold II. I’ve been replaying the original quite a lot recently, and it’s held up really well considering its age. Hoping to see the new game soon!

    • admin says:

      Thanks 🙂 While I hope to have PS2 in beta at end of this year I’m not sure if it’s a realistic goal. But I guess we’ll see what happens!

  4. Troyen says:

    So is Undead Lily going back to being a card game now that PSCD manga sold well? 🙂

    • admin says:

      Yes that was the plan already, but with some differences (unit card could have abilities to use each turn). I am waiting for Anima to code it though 😛

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