Monthly Archives: November 2019

Status update (or: finally some good news)

We’re heading towards the end of the year, and yes I know I only released one game so far – hides in shame – but let’s proceed in order while I try to make the point of situation.

Planet Stronghold 2

Poor Avae is pretending to be OK after PC Lisa told him they’re just friends! FRIENDZONED!

The reality is that Planet Stronghold 2 turned into “my biggest game ever” (once again lol). As I was writing it, I kept adding sidequests and plot events, but also since had so many love interests I wanted each one to be a satisfying path, and hopefully I managed to do that. Not just in words amount but also in quality. And this time I didn’t have an external writer to help me write (as I explained in past posts, this game was just too complex, with too much branching and variables to outsource it). So this is why it wasn’t ready sooner.

In any case, while I’m not sure yet about the final game wordcount (it still needs to be proofread/edited) I think that it will be at least 340-350k words. Let’s assume that the main plot is about half of that (I have no clue honestly but it’s possible) there are around 175k words left. In the game there are 10 romances, which means, on average, each love interest sub-plot has at least 17k words of length, which is definitely not a small amount!

Volleyball Heaven

I want to apologize again for the delays on this game but was due to circumstances beyond our control. In any case, even for this game we’re at super-very-good point, basically the biggest thing left is scripting and coding it (and doing some preliminary testing). But since right now I’m in full-immersion mode with PS2, I want first to finish coding that one. I really expect it to be finished early next year, depending how PS2 beta goes.

Secret” Yuri Game

As you might be aware if you follow me on social media I was also working on a “secret yuri game” since a few months. I am not ready to talk about it yet, though I can at least say that the story is basically finished, but still there’s long way to go (after all I only began working on it last Summer!).

As I said, for all future games I’ll announce them officially only when the release is a couple months away at maximum. Which means I have ALREADY coded and tested them (or like I’m missing minor things like achievements, gallery, etc). This because Murphy’s law is always there, ready to strike, whenever you dare to post “I think this game will be out SOON” and soon turns into 2 years X_X

So I’d like to say that the game will be out next year, but I won’t say it! Did you hear me Murphy?? I didn’t say anything about this game! lol

Undead Lily

Since some people asked: after I finish Planet Stronghold 2 and Volleyball Heaven, this will be my next “big project”. It will use same card system of PSCD (with several changes though) but differently from what I wrote in a blog post a few months ago, I might be not doing two versions. Originally I was planning to do a version with shorter cutscenes for those only interested in card games. But I thought that I could just put a skip button at beginning of each scene, or people can simply use Ren’Py built in autoskip after all !

Now in case you don’t know, that game has ten love interests, and male/female protagonist so that’s why I said “next big project”, since it’s basically the same amount of romance as PS2. This game though won’t have a big complex plot like PS2 (also because there wasn’t a prequel, no pre-existing conditions or romances, etc). Still it will probably be at least 180-200k words of plot.

It’s going to be a gameplay oriented game (even if there will be a VN Mode) which means I need to have full control over it to make sure gameplay and story mix well. But differently from PS2 I can outsource the writing (I’ll only need to write down the storyboards) so it shouldn’t take as much as PS2 did.
Hopefully these won’t be my last famous words! I guess we’ll see what happens next year.

Analyzing Steam stats for my games

After the recent LGTB sale on Steam, I started checking my games’ stats more closely, trying to understand how their algorithm works. Of course nobody except them really knows and mine are just observations and suppositions !

I started looking at my latest RPG, Cursed Lands. It had a good number of impressions (how many people saw the game image in the store) and an average click through (of said image/banner).

Lifetime stats for my latest RPG Cursed Lands released 18 May 2018

This is extremely important because for example as I wrote on twitter, changing the banner image can lead to more clickthrough and ultimately, more visitors to your store page. More visistors means more sales? Not necessarily. For example, below is my other RPG Queen Of Thieves:

Lifetime stats for Queen Of Thieves, released 20 Jan 2017

It seems that I really nailed it with its banner, since it has the highest clickthrough of all my RPGs! Unfortunately, even if the game came out more than one year before Cursed Lands, my latest RPG crushed its sales after one week. Yes, the first week of sales of Cursed Lands were more than 3 years of Queen Of Thieves… but it’s not really QoT fault, as I said I think if a game like Cursed Lands came out shortly after Loren, it would have had almost the same success.

Also, let’s not forget that QoT has only GxB and GxG romances, while Cursed Lands has a bit for everyone, and a better overall story I think (it’s also much longer though not sure if players consider that before buying).

So I decided to compare with yet another RPG, the first Planet Stronghold. This one came out in 2014, so four years before Cursed Lands:

Lifetime stats for Planet Stronghold, released 5 May 2014

As expected, this one had a lot of impression but mainly because back then, Steam was a closed platform and getting in was really a great boost of visibility. But has done better than Cursed Lands? Once again, no – Cursed Lands sold almost twice the first Planet Stronghold!


What conclusions can I draw beside the fact that Cursed Lands ruled? Haha jokes apart, while games like that one are the main reasons why I’m still in business today, it also shows that yes, you can improve clickthrough rate with a better banner, you can get more traffic and visitors, but all that matters in the end is how “good” game is.

What is good?” Baby don’t hurt me, no more – ahem sorry

I know that “good” is hard to define, but basically I would describe it as something like: a game is good if it manages to catch/met the interest of its potential user base, as much as possible.

Then of course depends also how big that user base is – you can make a well received yaoi game (like Heirs & Graces, my game with highest review rating on Steam) but because of the smaller target market it won’t do as well as a game with more diversity of romances.

And that’s why for all future games, with the exception of a few yuri only games (I need to be forgiven from yuri fans for making them wait so much!) will have at least two romance combos (either choosing protagonist gender, or having both male and female romances).

So in summary, the better the game is, the more Steam algorithm will promote it. You can buy ads of course (how many indies can afford that though?) but if your game isn’t good to start with, you’ll be only throwing money away. Thing is, during the launch window, Steam already shows the game to a rather big amount of people. Now, I don’t remember it the exact number but I think it was 1million of impressions (might have changed now though). Considering even a low 1% of CTR, that is still 10000 users to your page, and if your game is “good” they’ll buy it.

Final thoughts: it’s true that the visibility is no longer what it used to be, completely true. But still, if you manage to do a “good first impression”, then the algorihm will help you.