Category Archives: iPhone & iPad

Queen Of Thieves now officially out!

Above you can see the game official trailer!

I am very proud to announce that my new RPG/Dating sim “Queen Of Thieves” is now officially out for desktop platforms! You can check the game official page and download a demo here:

Like always, a Steam and mobile release is planned, but will come in the next months (hopefully before Christmas, though not sure).

Better late than never

This is the first game of my series called “Better late than never” ™. Haha jokes apart, it’s one of the many games I announced back in 2011, that for a reason or another were delayed until now.

To be honest, to make a good RPG, you need at least one year of work just for the design, skill balancing, enemies, encounters, and other mechanics. So it’s only late by 4 years 😉

This game was intended from the beginning to have a more “casual/accessible view” on the RPG world. Sure, there’s the Nightmare difficulty mode which it’s still, well, a Nightmare to play. But in general the approach is more similar to Loren than SOTW. Following the majority of complaints, I have designed this game so that:

  • there’s no time limit. You can grind as much as you want. The final boss battles are designed for a party level 30, but you can grind up to level 35 if you want!
  • there are more rock/paper/scissor mechanics. There’s guard skill like in the past, but now there’s also a skill that can break the guard. You can cast fire spells to a target, but if you hit it with melee, you’ll get burned effect. And so on.
  • the party is fully healed after each fight, not like SOTW
  • there’s again a skilltree system, with two different skill trees (offensive/defensive) for each sister
  • there’s a lot of characters to romance: since you can play as all the three sisters, and each can potentially romance two characters each, there’s a total amount of 6 straight + 6 homosexual romances, for a total of 12!

There are also a couple of new features that I’ve introduced in this game:

  • the inventory has 5 slots, 4 armor and 1 for a weapon. Less than Loren and SOTW.
  • in addition to this, the armor pieces are only aesthetic: instead you can socket gems in them to add stats. So you can customize your character’s appearance AND the bonus stats you get from each piece of armor.
  • there are some new starting conditions: like Ambush that lets you move before enemies, or (based on the story choices) in some battles one of your party members might start injured, etc.
  • there’s no front/back row. This to make the battles last less than before.
  • except for a couple of fights at the end, there’s no game over. You’ll always manage to escape the battles if you lose.

So as you can see, definitely a more casual/user friendly approach. I dare to say that between the ones I’ve made, this game is the most appropriate for people new to RPGs.

However as I said don’t be fooled: if you play even only in Hard mode, the fights won’t be a walk in the park! If you’re not familiar with RPGs you should play in Easy mode. Or if you don’t like RPG at all, maybe play in “visual novel mode”.

That’s all for now. I hope the game does well, since it’s well written, has nice art/music, interesting gameplay and I enjoyed doing it. I really like doing RPGs, even if they’re really time/money draining, and generate stress anyway (lots of testing is needed).

But in the end, I think it’s worth it 🙂

So, what’s next?


This year, so far I finished three games, with the fourth (Queen Of Thieves) already in a good state for a beta. So, what’s next? 🙂

First half of 2016

First of all, we’re halfway through 2016. I’m not going to lie, things have changed A LOT for the indie business. For the first time I heard other indies quitting or taking contract work to pay the bills. It’s scary. I am fine, since I live very frugally (my biggest expense is cat food! haha) but still, I cannot deny that I’m a bit worried too!

Early this year I released PSCD, which underperformed despite great writing and good gameplay design (not my biased opinion, it has 100% positive ratings on Steam!). I didn’t know why at first, but soon I understood the main reason: the art. The next games, C14 Dating and Heirs & Graces, did as expected, or even better than I thought.  Queen Of Thieves is in beta and in preorder since a week so it’s a bit early, but so far the impression is very positive.

In summary, all is good! I only hope the artist finishes the main plot CGs soon… I might need to use my motivational whip to speed things up! 😉

So, what’s next?

Going back to the original question: a few weeks ago I talked about burnout, and the risk of ignoring it. So I’m well aware of it, and indeed I’m taking frequent breaks from work. In practice instead of long holidays, I work every day (even weekends!), but less hours than I used to. Thanks to that, I am not really burned out or tired right now, and I’m planning what to do in the next months.

As already posted in the past, I am thinking to do some “other games“: games in which the gameplay is more important, without a plot or with a smaller plot. This because honestly, writing a good story of 120k+ words (like all my recent games, in some cases even double that amount!) is going to take time. And I don’t want to rush writers, because if the story of a story-based game is bad… yeah, you get it! So, an alternative is to work on something else on the side, while I wait for them to finish.

They could be pure-gameplay, or mixed with a story, but one thing is to write a story of 120k words, another thing is to write a story 30-40k words long (which is more than enough if a game is not strictly story-based!).

I made a small poll in my forums asking what kind of gameplay people would like to see mixed with visual novel/story:

At the moment of writing this, “simulation” seems to be the most popular. Which is good, since it’s one of my favorite game genres and one I think I’m skilled enough (my early games were all simulations). This means that maybe I’ll try to add a more complex/detailed simulation part in my upcoming game Amber’s Magic Shop!

This is what I’m planning to do in the remaining months this year: some gameplay experiment/prototypes. I might post them in public and ask for feedback and then decide if they’re ideas worth pursuing or not.

Of course, the “regular games” will have the precedence. I’ll do those experiments while I wait for my collaborators to send me updates and make progresses 🙂

2014 the year… of change


Reading back the previous end of year post, I can’t stop thinking how things have changed so rapidly for me. This is probably the biggest “problem” of being indie: things change at lightning speed, for good but also for bad!

Last year I was happy because Loren Amazon Princess was accepted on Steam. Nowadays, I have 13 games there, with the 14th (Seasons Of The Wolf) to be released next month!

Last year I had zero games for iOS. This year I ported almost all of them on Apple’s platform, and I plan to do more next year, especially since Ren’Py will get its own porting system!

Last year beside my loyal long-time fans, I was mostly unknown to the general public. Now, while I’m still not *that known*, people talk about me. Some adore my games, others hate them, others are neutral, but at least people talk about me. The worst thing is being ignored/unknown 🙂

This year I made “only” two games, but two big ones: Roommates and Seasons Of The Wolf.


Roommates is a title that totally exceeded my expectations. I’ve made “a few” dating sims before, but this one basically is of another league! I think probably is due to the fact that, like my RPGs, it is not focused on only a romance genre/combo, but all of them. Playing as male or female, straight or homosexual romances. It’s a game for everybody.

But also, great comedy writing. There’s nothing wrong with more serious/mature themes, but sometimes people just want to escape the mundane problems with funny stories 🙂 So, thumbs up to Michael (Roommates’ writer) for his great job on the game!

The game soundtrack by Leetstreet Boys was also a very good move. I really can’t find an issue in that game, something that “if I could go back, I would have done differently” and it’s a good thing!

ToA: Seasons Of The Wolf

SOTW is officially out since just little more than a month. It was a challenge, a bet. I wanted to see if I could make “a real RPG” myself. With romance, with a story, with my usual artwork style, but… much more detailed, with a Nightmare difficult level that would actually make people go crazy with it, with a map system, secrets, randomized items, etc.

I won that bet. The game is doing VERY WELL, beating Loren’s first month sales. Of course, is not an entirely fair comparison since 2 years have passed from Loren’s release and now I have a much bigger following. But to be honest, I was fearing that it would be a flop 😀 So seeing that is doing well reassures me and was already worth it.

Still, I’m not going to do another insanely big game like this one anytime soon! It really “burned me”, because I worked on it 10 months straight, every day, fixing/tweaking stuff. I know it’s my job, but now I need a break from such big games. I’m going to make some smaller games (this time, FOR REAL!! LOL) like Queen Of Thieves. They’ll still be RPGs, but have limited party members/skills/items/and so on. They will also be easier to balance 😉

However, there could be something new related to SOTW, maybe next year. I just received this letter via a pigeon from a certain Jariel the bard from the green lands of Grandtree:


End of year’s thoughts

Even if this year was good for me, the future is still very uncertain.

I personally know several indies who this year took a huge hit on their finances, some have abandoned the business to move elsewhere, others went back to contract work or looking for funding. And only a few years before, they were earning six figures! So, you never know what the future holds! Doesn’t matter how much you plan things ahead… because this business moves so fast, is easy to be caught by surprise.

I think the most important thing is to stay humble, never think to have “made it”, and keep working on what you love. At least, this is what I’m planning to do in 2015 🙂

Happy New Year!

Planet Stronghold on Steam

As you probably are aware already if you follow me on the social networks, my sci-fi RPG Planet Stronghold is now available on Steam. Above you can see the game trailer (the info at the end is outdated though, the game is also available on iOS).

I’ve already talked in the past about the game, in particular shortly after I released it, and is fun how Steam rejected the game back in 2011, and now 3 years later there it is! They have underestimated the power of the Wolves! 😉

Jokes apart, while I still consider Loren my best game, I’m quite affectionate to this one for two reasons: was the last game I wrote completely on my own (however is better if real native English writers take care of this aspect now!) and the first RPG/VN hybrid I made, which saved me from a sure bankrupt and put me back on track to stay indie for more years.

Seasons Of The Wolf Beta

Meanwhile, SOTW beta made a lot of progress in this last week. I admit I am a bit burned out because of how many bugs I fixed and how much balancing tweaks I made!!

First of all, while the stats-derivation method was delivering really well balanced fights (as expected) it had a huge problem: since everything was based on players behaviors, I had no reference for the battle difficulties. I couldn’t tweak a battle, I couldn’t lower or increase HP, Attack, Speed of the enemies because every time they would be different for every player 🙂

So, I had to discard the system after a few updates. Oh well, I’ve tried. Live and learn!

Then started to rebalance the game again, but I forgot a small detail: the level scaling was off, so the difference of difficulty between Easy and Nightmare wasn’t big (and instead, should be VERY big). So I had to rebalance the game completely for a second time!

At one point I even took a screenshot of all the 4 difficulty mode of a boss enemy to compare the differences:

The Huge Kodiak is a boss battle in a sidequest

…yes as you can guess, I went a bit insane 😀

All of this while fixing at least 5-6 major bugs daily (in first days even 10-15!!). It is good of course, and now that I have a much bigger following is even expected, but it was quite exhausting for me. Anyway, now everything seems to be working, so I can move on coding the second Act of the game.

I’m probably going to open preorders once I have finished the second act (and is in beta) so I’m at a good point of the game.

Stay tuned because next week will resume talking about C14 Dating, the new upcoming otome game 😉

Weeklong sale, all my games 50% off

Next Friday, the 11th, I’ll be 40 years old! When I started making indie games, I never thought I would have been able to do it for so long 🙂

As a thank you, I’m discounting all my games (except Roommates since is still relatively new) by 50% off for the whole week! The offer ends Monday 14th April.

The discount also applies to my games on Android sold in the Amazon store:

And on iOS:

Why not in the Google Play store? simple, because even if we are in 2014, there still ISN’T a way for me to say “discount all my products globally by 50% for a week” with just 1-click, like I did with the Amazon store 🙁

I thought to manually change all prices, but since I have 50+ in-app products plus the normal full price game, it was a crazy thing. And my time right now is better spent working on the new Steam games and Seasons Of The Wolf 😉

I’m sorry but not my fault if Google is still so behind on the BASIC FEATURES that any online appstore should have!!

Anyway, if you missed some of my games now you don’t have any excuses anymore!