Good, fast and cheap

since some people complained about Cursed Lands’ enemies lack of personality, I’m adding several talks with them like Cullen in this case

There’s this famous saying about a product (or even a service) that uses the three keywords: good, fast and cheap and says “pick two”.

Applied to a game, we could say that I could produce a cheap game, quickly (fast) but that is not good, because I would need to hurry, and if the game is sold cheap I couldn’t spend a lot of money on assets or even myself. Or another variant could be: a good game and release it fast, but not cheaply, since I would need to hire the best team possible who could draw/write/code all at once to produce a good result in a short time.

Those are just random examples (in real life even if you have the money to pay a team of professionals, it’s hard to coordinate everything anyway!) but I am talking about this to introduce the topic of this post: future games.

Future games (unannounced ones)

This regards only future games of course, not the ones already announced or that are already in the works. In practice the thing is – after Loren, and its insane amount of romances (and since the game was very popular) I thought it was possible to repeat that. It is possible for sure but it’s extremely hard. Even if Cursed Lands did very well, it was really difficult to finish it and I’m not sure if doing such games is still commercially viable, or even if I can still make them without going insane lol.

I’ll try to explain better, since it’s of course something seen from the point of view of the developer, but also of the players. Doing a game which has a big gameplay part (like a RPG) AND also has a big number of love interests (I consider big anything over 4-5 love interests) it’s a HUGE amount of work as you can imagine.

It’s really hard to write, and there’s the risk of getting burned out, maybe making some of the romance path unsatisfying (even if so far almost everyone loved Cursed Lands and I hope the same is for Planet Stronghold 2). And even if everything it’s done properly, it will take a LOONG time. When things take a long time it’s bad since I don’t see any money until the game is out, and all sort of bad things can happen like writers dropping in middle of the development and so on. A long project is inherently riskier.

this main menu image was ready back in 2014 and still the game is far from being finished

If Loren 2 didn’t had so many love interests, it would probably have been already finished 3-4 years ago. It’s too late to change anything now, but for sure having so many romances planned was a TOTALLY FOOLISH idea. I don’t need to sell dreams like many people on Kickstarter do, to get the money immediately and then maybe not even deliver a product after years. Indeed I don’t want people’s money until I have at least a beta version. So if I announce something I want to keep the promise and deliver the best product I can.

But when I did, somehow I made a mistake and I hadn’t clear exactly what I was doing – if I could go back in time, I wouldn’t have done this again for sure! And believe me I even thought to cancel it, but I have spent already so much time and money on it, that I really can’t.

I will still do my best of course, but from now on, I will NEVER make a game with more than 4-5 love interest. Never. Because it’s not going to work, even if you have 50 love interest there’ll be always someone who complains about something. It’s much better to have “only” 4-5 love interest but with well done, satisfying romance paths instead.

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4 Responses to Good, fast and cheap

  1. Jaeger says:

    Are you still considering splitting the cast into smaller games? Besides the additional writing for romance options, a crowded cast is more difficult to manage in the main story when everybody is competing for attention.

    • admin says:

      Right now I’m trying to finish PS2 without going insane 😀 Then next year when hopefully I’ll start with Loren 2 I’ll see what to do. I mean, for sure minimum would be split into old romances / new romances, but even then it’s really too big. So not sure, need to think about it.

  2. Jaylan says:

    Your style of games is quite simply masterpieces. The amount of care, time and devotion that goes into the writing, characters, and mechanics is unbelievable. I have never found games that are anyway near as good as yours, and trust me I’ve looked. I have played almost all of them and am excitedly waiting for the new ones! Loren is tied as my favorite game of all time and I am simply thrilled that you’re still working on the 2nd one! What you’ve decided to do by having so many love interests with such a complex story and mechanics is amazing but at the same time, I worry that it might be taking too much emotionally out of you. I would just like you to know that I am and will be eternally grateful to you for everything you’ve done and are currently working on. I understand that the new games are going to take a long time and a lot of care, and I am willing to wait till the end of time for them! Take enough time as you need and please, take care of yourself along the way!

    And, to whoever is reading this, I hope you have an amazing day!

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