Category Archives: card games

Where your money goes: PSCD manga version!

A long time ago (wow, 4 years have passed already!) I made a blog post explaining a bit what I do with the money I earn, and also about the power consumers have and how everyone should try to give back in any way they can. It was called “Where your money goes“.

Now, as I wrote already in that blog, I know I’m not special. I think what I do should be “the norm”, even if sadly it isn’t. I think when you’re so lucky that you do a job you love (and I love it, even if occasionally I get very grumpy especially during beta testing! :D) you should really feel blessed and try to give back to others (animals, people, doesn’t matter, you choose).

I recently setup a Patreon page. It really helped me in the past months due to a sort of mini-crash of the indie market (things are very tough now!) also known as “the indieapocalypse”. But beside funding my living expenses and new games, I always said I was going to use that money also to do “extra stuff”. Things that maybe would have been too risky to do them myself without any support, but that I believe would be appreciated by my fans.

So I’m here to officially announce that I used a good amount of that Patreon money for… the Manga version of PSCD!!!

For those who don’t know it, PSCD (Planet Stronghold: Colonial Defense) is a game I released last year, and while the gameplay and story was well received, let’s say that the art style… wasn’t! Or better, most people didn’t like it (I know well that a minority liked it).

A while ago I contacted Undead Lily’s artist (who did a very good job with that game and I can’t wait to release it) and asked her to redo all the images of the game in manga style. But it’s not just that! As I mentioned in another recent blog post, the vast majority of people seem to want more… spicy stuff 🙂 And who am I to say no?

Because of this, I decided to have the romance CG redone so that the censored version would show underwears, while the uncensored version… you can imagine 😉 I’ll need to change the game rating because of this but I suspect people won’t mind (judging from the early reactions in Patreon they were rather happy about this!).

In summary the game will feature manga art for the characters and hotter romance CGs (for the manga version only obviously). The rest will remain the same. Since I did this with Patreon money I don’t want to charge anything extra (even if some people suggested this, doesn’t feel right to me). This means that once it’s ready, it will be a free update. There will be a button in the game options screen and you’ll be able to switch between the two art-styles instantly!

I don’t know yet exactly when it will be available since the last romance CGs are still being colored, but I guess in the next 2-3 months should be finished.

That’s it for now, next time I’ll publicly announce a secret yuri only game I’ve been working on in the recent months and that’s in a good status. Stay tuned!

PSCD free DLC is now out!

As you can see from the screenshot above, there will be some very “tough choices” in the free DLC! 😉

Jokes apart, I’m pleased to announce that I’ve updated the PSCD live version on my site, which you can download from this page: with the promised free DLC update contents.

Note: If you have already bought and activated the base game with email/serial, you’ll need to do it again in the game main menu to access the new content!

For those who still don’t know, the free update (which was supposed to be a paid DLC) adds the possibility to romance Kaden, Galina, Lola and Christophe. All four characters are bisex, so in practice this adds EIGHT new romance routes. For free. Yeah, don’t get used to get free stuff like this, since it won’t ever happen again! 🙂

It also adds the “Quick Play” mode, which lets you do quick matches against ten predefined enemy decks. You can also tweak the AI resources, so you can tailor the game’s difficulty to your skills.

Other platforms

The update will come shortly to the Steam version (maybe even next week), since if you bought it only there and not also on my site, you won’t be able to get the extra content yet. I still want to promote it as a DLC (but of course a free one) on Steam, hoping to get some extra visibility for the game, something that it didn’t get on launch.

As for mobile, I wanted to wait for all the content to be ready so I could do the port in a single step (since updating on mobile is a bit of a pain). I am also waiting for an update on Ren’Py libraries (that’s why C14 Dating is not out on mobile too).

Anyway all things considered I think it should be available on Android/iOS/Kindle maybe next month, for sure during this Summer.

Why a free update?

It was a mistake on my part – I was so sure that the game would have been a hit, that I planned a DLC already. Something that you should never do until the game is out 😉

Now I know the game will never be a hit, but not a bad seller either. It’s just that has been much harder to make money as indie in general, vs a few years ago.

Anyway since I had already the romance CGs and all the romance routes written, I didn’t want to throw it away. But of course, I didn’t bother to code all the DLC story (yes, a sort of mini-story of 11 missions was also planned to go along this DLC) even if I still managed to add the Quick Play mode.

As I already posted in my forums, even if I enjoyed a lot working on this card game, unfortunately I couldn’t justify spending more time on this than I already have. My revenues from the game so far (divided by the months I spent working on it) are way below the minimum wage here in my country 😀

But I’m still happy, since now I have a card framework which I can reuse in future games, and I’ve learned a things or two about what people want in term of artwork (hint: cute manga art, avoid uncanny valley effect, etc). I’m an optimist by nature, so even for the projects that didn’t come out well, I think they still provided me valuable info and I’ve always learned something.

As some wise man said (Confucius): “He who learns but does not think, is lost! He who thinks but does not learn is in great danger.”

PSCD DLC beta!


In the image above you see a screenshot from the PSCD Free DLC currently in beta!

You need to download the beta version here to try it (on the site there’s still the older version):

You might need to re-register the game again to see the extra contents.

Beside the four extra romances: Galina, Kaden, Christophe, Lola, I have decided to do a “quick match” mode. In that mode you can play all the cards you have unlocked in the game (tier-based) and do a match with predefined enemy decks.

Using this “tiered unlock” it’s good, since will let me include the mode also in the demo, because players can try it (for example for practice), but without the high tier cards (which you can only get later in the game) will be hard (if not impossible) to win. So it’s a sort of “trial” that might make more people curious / interested about the full game.

If you beat the game once, you’ll also unlock the 5th tier, which is normally unaccessible from the base game, and it includes the most rare cards (legendary ones). Since I had already added them in the code, was a pity to “waste them”, so at least they can be used in the non-campaign mode.

This means that if you won the game already it’s enough to load a save before the end, to get access to all the cards in the quick match mode.

Heirs & Graces update

The beta testing continues, and luckily everything seems to be going smoothly, even if it was to be expected for a dating sim. I suspect Queen Of Thieves testing will be more troublesome 😉

Anyway I’m pleased so far by the game reception and how people liked the idea/writing/art/music.

I must say though that in future (except for the game already in the works) it’s a bit unlikely I’ll do again a game with only one playable gender or romance type. Making a game takes already so much effort that I think it’s best to at least try to cater to two audiences.

So for example in this game I could have added a female character to have yaoi+otome, or add 4 female romances to have yaoi+straight, and so on (probably I’d have reduced the amount of romanceable characters, or made some bisex).

Anyway, this game is done as it is: but for future games I’ll always try to have at least two genders or “romance combos” 🙂

Undead Lily romance previews

As you know from time to time I make some “romance sneak peeks” for my upcoming games, even months before they’re out, because I like to tease people! 😀 Here’s the Undead Lily’s Lily romances (so playing as Lily and romancing both male/female characters):


Some characters have two different ending CG, based on the concept of “dominant/submissive”. I can assure you that they’re very interesting!

The wind of change

Need to give credit to my wife for the nice photo above!

And now after writing this title, I have the good old Scorpions’ song stuck in my mind!

“Listening to the wind of change” or better listening to the critiques, to suggestions by other more experienced indie, and listening to my heart 😉

Between this and last year I have learned a lot, and I’ve decided that (after the current “batch” of games is done) it’s time to change:

  • no more “insanely huge epic games”. I know, I know. Everyone would like very big, long games (even if honestly I haven’t finished yet some AAA titles because… they were too long!). Anyway, I’ve realized it’s not possible anymore, with the exception of a few titles like could be Loren 2 and Roger Steel (big RPGs) to make games too big. I’m talking from the story point of view. I want to have a good story, but also add more gameplay. When I talk with more successful indies doing the same kind of games, I’m often surprised to see that their wordcount is always not even half of my most recent titles!
  • story based on the gameplay, and not vice versa. When I will make more “hybrid games”, apart of course the usual VN/Dating sims/RPGs, I will first decide the gameplay and then craft the story around it, or at least design them at same time. This is even more important for “experimental games” like PSCD was. In that case it was a mess (because of first coder quitting) but in general for my own games it’s not wise to have a story written and then have to code the gameplay around it. The result can’t be good. So, first design the gameplay, and then have a story to complement it.
  • much clear separation of genres. One of the strong points of my games (based on what OTHER people say, so it’s not my opinion) has always been the mix with visual novel and other gameplay genres. Well, there will still be this. But if the two genres don’t work well together (like visual novel and card games) doesn’t make sense to mix them, better have two separate games. Or if I still want to have story and gameplay, the story cannot be 200k word long, 10+ romances, etc. It’s just not possible to do that in the current climate, to have a huge story AND good gameplay. I should price the games over $30, and that’s honestly not going to work anymore right now, so it’s not really my choice! So instead of that, a card game for $9.99 and a story-based game for $19.99 for example (just a simple example of what I mean).
  • less grinding, more fun. For the dating/raising sim, one of the major complaints of my past games was the grinding. I’m definitely going to address that. For the record, I don’t consider grinding using a scheduler like Roommates. More like the various activities in Nicole to reach the required stats. Love Bites should be a good example of a dating sim with stat raising but not grinding. For the RPGs instead, I’m going to leave it. Since many RPG players like to grind! 😉
  • gameplay-only games. I had already announced this, and it’s also related to future card games. I’ll make more (not just card games, even other genres) games like this to be sold at cheaper price, since I think is good to have a bit of variety over the dating sims/RPGs/VNs.
  • shorter but full of branching story-games. As you know I want to make a CYOA/old gamebook style game in future, illustrated with pictures. Well, that one won’t be 100k words, but even if it’s only 50k words will have a lot of branching. After all Bionic Heart has one of the highest review rating on Steam of all my games, and it’s just a little more than 50k words! Of course, I won’t write the games myself, only the storyboards.

OK I think I’ve explained enough! For many games that will be out (even next year) the things above won’t apply since I started them time ago, so they will still have maybe some grinding or be really “too big” (but of course since the text has been already written, it’s not like I’ll cut it down!).

But in future, doing the things above, I should be able to release games more regularly, and some of them cheaper than usual (which in the current climate seems very important) and even if the word count might be lower, the overall fun (and critic/players reception) will probably be higher. At least that’s what I hope, we’ll see!

For those wondering about the progress on games, I made a sort of estimate release schedule in my forums, which I copy paste here:

– launch C14 Dating on my site “soft release”. Probably on Steam towards end of April or early May
– finish all the QoT romance coding (not much left)

– Forsaken and artist should finish the last scenes/CG for QoT
– I will take a look on Heirs & Graces and probably code the gameplay and start the beta maybe (though could be delayed to May)
– decide what to do with Undead Lily gameplay, possibly a RPG. Make a detailed storyboard this time :)
– probably do the PSCD extra romances free add-on (though could slip into May)

– Heirs & Graces beta
– Queen Of Thieves beta

– hopefully release of both Heirs & Graces and Queen Of Thieves, but this last one could be delayed to July

– it’s likely that will be too hot to work as usual, plus I might want to take a break considering the insane amount of releases this year! I might do a few prototypes for new games though

– Love Bites beta (though it’s just too early to say it now)

That’s all for now! Happy Easter by the way 🙂

Future card games and update

Future card games


So about 10 days passed since I released my card game PSCD. It was my first card game, and as you can imagine I was unsure about the results. If I compare it to my latest game, the RPG Seasons Of The Wolf, I can see that PSCD revenues are about 3 times less.

But it’s NOT bad as it sounds! First of all, SOTW was based on an existing world, so many players who liked Loren could potentially like that one as well (especially since I now I am implementing a “VN Mode” for it as well!) and was a RPG. It was also $25 vs $20.

Regarding PSCD, since it has also a story, and many of my players buy the games for the story, I won’t have any real data until the game is on Steam where a bigger audience will judge it (even those who aren’t much into stories but like more the gameplay). It will probably be around March.

Anyway I was saying that even if the sales ratio remains the same, I need to take into account a very important thing: time/money spent. As for money I spent a bit more on PSCD than SOTW (but not by much) but regarding time…! I spent 10 months coding SOTW back in 2014, while I spent 3 months (and not even all of them full time since I was following other projects) doing PSCD.

So this means that even if PSCD keeps selling at 1/3 of SOTW, it will still be a better ROI for me 🙂 Yes because as you can imagine is better for me to work 3 months on something, than 10 months.

This means that I will probably be doing more card games, besides the already planned Undead Lily. As always I’ll use the same base engine, but probably modify the rules a bit, since I like to experiment every new game I make.

C14 Dating update

Now to the best news of this week: it looks like that C14 Dating might be out very soon! I don’t want to say any date yet, but really I think maximum next month the beta should start. The final release depends on the beta as always but since it’s not a complex-gameplay game, it shouldn’t take long. Currently the coder is finishing/testing the various minigames like the one below:


Queen Of Thieves update

Progress on Queen Of Thieves have been made this week as well: all the otome CG images are done, and I almost finished coding the last part of the robbery mini game. While there’s still some writing left (and probably some more art/adjustment needed), even this game looks like could be ready for this Summer 🙂