First of all, like in past years my games are discounted for the holidays: https://winter-wolves.itch.io/
Current Planet Stronghold 2 status
It was a long journey, and it’s not over yet (after all this is just the beta) but I’m pleased to announce that at least the game is content complete! This doesn’t mean the beta is ready yet, though.
Yes, because the game final word-count turned out to be the crazy amount of over 350,000 words! And even if the editor is doing her best, and even if over half of those texts have already been checked, there’s still a lot of work left to do.
I don’t know how long this will take, but I suppose in a month it should be ready. As you imagine, I’m not rushing things because I want it to be done well. I’m sure that there’ll still be typos and errors left in any case, with such huge amount of texts! But luckily testers will catch them as it always happened in the past.
This year was a hard one for me. Probably the hardest after 2011, when I lost many pets and my beloved uncle (who was the one to fuel my creativity more than anyone else). It was hard for personal reasons and for business reasons – after all, even if I always tried to minimize it, losing all the Google Play money from a month to the next was a hard blow too.
Yet, despite everything, things business-wise didn’t go too badly. I released only a game this year, Corona Borealis, and it was even a small one. So I expected that my sales would drop considerably. They dropped, but after hearing the experiences from other fellow indies, I definitely cannot complain! Many of my games on Steam went into the magic 80% positive reviews, and I still managed to do well selling directly on itch.io.
There are also some deals which I can’t talk yet, but that hopefully will bring my games in other platforms, where I think they could do pretty well.
Development-wise, most of this year was spent on Planet Stronghold 2. I think I did a very good job but of course the real test will be when it’s released and when people decide if it will be worth their time or not. Just know that I put 100% of myself in it.
I also spent a good amount of time this year to do some tests/experiments, but for this you can read the previous blog post 🙂
I will do a “new year goals” post as usual, but for now I want to talk about what are my future plans in general. As I’m writing this, I’ve already started planning Undead Lily. Yes because this is how you stay in business for 15 years – whenver you finish a game, you already start planning the next.
Of course, it’s holiday season so I’m not working like crazy, but I am still working, despite having just finished the biggest game of my indie career!
I have already in mind how to do Undead Lily from the main flow/writing side, while I will need to do a lot of experiments for the gameplay. The main issue will be adding enough cards to make it fun, and maybe also add some major features (like the heroes being able to use skills, a bit like what happens in Hearthstone). We’ll see how that goes, but I’m excited to be working on a card game again 🙂
Regarding the other games, I still plan to do them of course. The ideal thing would be: a “big game” each year, like PS2, Undead Lily, etc. A big/complex game like a RPG, and then manage to release at least 1 or 2 other “regular” (and easier to code) dating sims. Basically what I did back in 2014 when I released Roommates and Seasons Of The Wolf. That would be the ideal situation. This will be my goal from now on in future.
This was a tough but also kind of enlightening year. I lost my most favorite pet ever. When you spend 14 years with a little furry ball always looking for you, always staying on your side or on your lap when you work, it’s hard to do without. My mom survived a cancer. Many other bad things happened this year, but I always tried to not show it much in public.
However this year I also realized what I want to do next, where I want to go (creatively speaking!) and what I hope to achieve in my life. Because even if I’m only 45 years old, you realize that you might not have the strength to do what you do in 15 years, or you might not be around for much long in this business. I know this sounds a bit pessimistic/extreme, but when you experience deaths or other traumatic events, you realize that while you need to stay positive, big changes can happen overnight. So, I’m not pessimistic, I’m only realistic: I want to make certain games before it’s too late and for any reason I can’t do them anymore.
It’s not a small thing to have cleared my mind. So while 2019 won’t be remembered as one of my favorite years, it will still be remembered for something at least: when I decided what I want to do for the rest of my career.
Happy holidays! And let’s hope 2020 will be a good year for everyone!