Category Archives: summer session

Three years ago…


In the image above, my cat Otello looks broken! (in reality he’s just sleeping peacefully)

Three years have passed since I released my first manga game, the dating sim Summer Session, made in collaboration with Hanako Games. It was July 2008, and was my first attempt in the world of visual novel/dating sims. Shortly after I started looking with extreme interest to Ren’Py, the library/tool that was used to make that game. I remember had never heard about it, the documentation was scarce, and had so many questions/doubts despite being a C/C++ coder! Questions that could be answered only by asking directly on the official forums.

After the initial “shock” though, I was quickly converted into a fan, the possibility to code in python, which was a breeze to work with compared to C, and the instant delivery on three platforms were awesome features!

Summer Session indeed was also the first of my games to fully support Linux, the first of a long series (in practice, all my next games used Ren’Py so they all support Linux!).

Around September 2008, I was also writing the last chapters for a small, ambitious attempt at making my first visual novel ever, Heileen. I always loved to write and the game was overall well received, but soon enough I found out that writing in a foreign language was something really hard for me, so for the next games I started using editors/proofreaders, until the most recent ones, where I hire writers to write the game texts for me based on my storyboard/scene descriptions (which is without any doubts the best solution!).

And here I am, three years later, still writing about Heileen, in the third installment (and very likely last) of the series. Same character, same setting, same artist: even if Rebecca told me that won’t be able to work fulltime on it until January, so this means that sadly Heileen 3 will be out only next year (I hoped to release it around October to celebrate the third anniversary…).

As some of you might know, the kind of games I was making before was quite different. Sport simulations, tycoon games, wargames. However, I always loved to write and tell stories, so when I saw the opportunity I didn’t think twice. Being paid to tell stories? There’s hardly a better job for me! 😀

Recently I tried going back to an old interest of mine – RPG or roleplaying games – and I think the first one, Planet Stronghold, was a good result. But I’m not satisfied, and even if those games are really hard to make, I want to try and make even better ones!

I sell mostly directly, and my products are a niche: I might not become famous, I might never get on Steam or any other big portal, but slowly but steadly I’m building a following of people that keeps my morale up, gives precious suggestions on gameplay, art, design and motivates me to wake up early every day to work on my games.

So, if those three years were simply amazing it’s only because of you who are reading this post, you who played one of my games, you who decided to support my efforts financially. So to you, I say a big THANK YOU! 🙂 And stay tuned, I still have many more stories to tell!

Hey look! I have a Thanksgiving bundle too!

Thanksgiving superbundle

Actually it’s not even a normal, regular bundle. But it’s a SuperBundle! ™ 8)

What’s in it? Well, there are the two Heileen games (two visual novels with over 80k words combined), Summer Session (a very fun and replayable dating sim) and Bionic Heart (a fully voiced dark-sexy-creepy sci-fi visual novel with 24 different endings). So as you can see, there’s a game for every taste!

And what about the price? it’s just the price of one single game. Yes, four games for the price of one!

What are you waiting? Go check the offer now!

Superbundles like that are said to be seen only once in a human lifetime. You should really take advantage of it now 😉

(Don’t worry, tomorrow I’ll make the usual friday cat blog and will get back to writing like a normal indie developer)

Gamasutra articles about my games

So it looks like is a two out of two. Both my games Summer Session and Heileen were featured on gamasutra by Emily Short (originally part of her ‘Homer in Silicon’ column at sister site GameSetWatch):

Summer Session – Refining Simulation into Narrative

Heileen & The Art Of Game Storytelling

Obviously I’m quite proud of that, even if the article about Heileen doesn’t really speak too much well of the game (but in a constructive way in any case). I really love telling stories, but of course my biggest barrier is the language. Anyway, I’d be also happy just to outline the main plot and have other native english writer do the rest, like if I was a director 🙂

I’ll be surely doing an Heileen 2, even if don’t really know when, probably next year. I’m about to release Spirited Heart at last, after 2 months of crazy delay for translation problems (a lesson to learn…). So I’m a bit late on my planned 4 releases this year: however luckily Ewan Grantham (the writer/programmer behind College Romance) is doing right now the first chapter of a space trilogy that I’ll publish this year, which sounds very interesting and will keep the number of games released higher (even if they aren’t written directly by me).

Right now my plan is:

mid-end of April release Spirited Heart
May/June first episode of Space Trilogy
July/August release of Bionic Heart
September/October release of a mysterious card game… 😉

but of course I know already that this schedule will be messed up completely in the upcoming months, so let’s say that I’d be happy to release at least 3 more games this year 🙂