Category Archives: mystery / detective games

Crunchtime!

DSC00948
When I told my wife I was in crunchtime mode, she made those cookies. I should do crunchtime more often!

Soo this week was supposed to be in crunchtime mode. And I was! Until the cosmic conspiracy decided that I couldn’t finish Nicole this week. Oh noes! What happened?

Well, after last Friday’s blog post things were going smoothly and I was making big progresses. The “online shopping screen” was done by Monday:

onlineshopping
the online shopping in the game will let you buy items to give to characters

then, the trainwreck happened 😀

Tuesday my TV LED broke, and discovered was because the cat pissed on the back of it 🙁 had to call the technician to retire it to get it fixed and then waited for the phone call. The warranty obviously doesn’t cover that, so here goes another unexpected expense…

Wednesday had power cut for 6h, and besides, <ahem> it was the 12th anniversary since my wife and I met. So I really had to take that day off! some friends on twitter said that the power cut in this specific day wasn’t random and that my wife was the main suspect… 😉

The next day, Thursday, a small vet emergency forced me to drive to town: 150km of driving with the cat, away from home for another 6h and too tired to work when I got back.

So… there went the “productive week”! Anyway, I made really good progress in the previous days so I might still be able to finish the beta this weekend or early next week. Now excuse me, going back to eat some cookies. Crunchtime!

Experimenting is fun

If you follow me from the early days you already know that I like to experiment. I like to mix game genres, or at least try new things/features in existing genres.

That’s what for example pushed me to add the Social Boss Fights in Bionic Heart 2. By the way the official video is now on youtube, see it below:

And is why I’m trying to add a simplified (it won’t be Sim City of course!) colony simulation metagame in Planet Stronghold 2:

Planet Stronghold 2 colony sim

As always they’re early work in progress screenshots, but you can get the idea of what we’re trying to do. I think will be interesting to integrate the colony sim with the RPG gameplay. While we’re still working on the details, there will be some influence of the RPG part to the colony sim and vice versa.  Of course playing in Easy mode will reduce the overall difficulty, while playing in Hard mode might be interesting since you’ll have to balance both the RPG and colony building simulation aspects.

Many quests will be directly linked to the colony expansion (like acquiring new blueprints to build new building), so it will also work plot-wise.  You can see now why Planet Stronghold 2 is taking so long, it’s definitely an ambitious game! 😉

At same time, I’m trying a new GUI/gameplay system on the dating sim Nicole:

photoscheduler

instead of the game map like Always Remember Me, I’m going to try using a simplified interface, showing “pictures” that are places you can visit. Then each place will offer a variety of actions that change based on the plot, time of day, day of week, like Always Remember Me.

I’m going to try to experiment also on the plot: I thought today that rather than having a “alone ending” if you fail to romance anyone, the game will end in a different way… since there’s an abductor in the campus, the final scene will see our poor Nicole being kidnapped (of course without revealing who it is, so doesn’t spoil the fun).

More scary than the usual otome games? well for sure, but I think will be very interesting…mouhahaha 😉

Nicole’s cast: Darren Beville

This week is the turn of the last character, Darren Beville, who is the typical shy guy. However I think he looks cute:

Darrenbeville

In the game, Nicole’s outgoing personality will help him to become more open about his problems and who knows, maybe he might help you solve the mystery, in a way or in another 😉

The first encounter with him is definitely not the best, and Chandra warns you about some rumors she heard (excerpt from the game):

    “I let out a sigh as I gathered all of my math books and shoved them into my bag. I looked over to the boy at the desk beside mine, who remained silent but looked equally tired.”
Nicole “Hey there. That any of that crap make sense to you?”
“I asked the question casually with a weary smile, but he only glanced at me for a moment before shaking his head and looking away.”
Nicole “I always did all my homework back in high school, but this is all pretty confusing. It’s such a big step up from what I studied in my last math class…even the notes look like a foreign language.”
“The young man shrugged as he finished putting his books away and stood up.”
“What’s up with this guy?”
“Even when I was younger, I didn’t meet guys who acted this quiet…”
Nicole “Uh…are you going to say anything to me? I was only trying to be friendly.”
“He only glanced at me again before his gaze fell to the floor.”
Nicole “Hey, did the cat get your tongue or something?”
“I smiled jovially while asking the question, but he still wouldn’t look up at me.”
Darren “That’s a rather old fashioned phrase.”
Nicole “It got you to speak up though! Old doesn’t necessarily mean useless.”
“He smiled slightly as he stood up from his desk.”
Darren “Just study extra, you’ll do fine in the class.”
Nicole “Why, thank you for imparting such profound and rare advice. I don’t think I ever would have thought of that in all my years of experience.”
“He didn’t laugh or frown at my sarcasm and simply walked away.”
“…Maybe I came off sounding rude?”
“Or he’s not the type to take a joke…”
“Either way, he seems kinda unfriendly…”
“After the class ended, I hurried to catch up with Chandra on the way back to my dorm.”
Nicole “Hey, Chandra!”
“She looked up and smiled cheerfully when she saw me.”
Chandra “What’s up?”
Nicole “I wanted to know if you knew anything about that guy who sits behind me in our math class…he’s so quiet, he seemed kinda unfriendly. I tried talking to him, but he barely said a thing to me then didn’t even bother saying goodbye.”
Chandra “Ah…I think I know who you’re talking about.”
Nicole “He’s pretty cute, just so…standoffish.”
Chandra “Yeah, that’s Darren. I don’t really know him since he’s so shy, but he doesn’t really talk to anyone.”
Nicole “That’s strange…especially for someone his age.”
Chandra “It is. Some people think he’s hiding something.”
Nicole “I suppose that’s possible…what kind of rumors are drifting around about him?”
“Chandra shrugged.”
Chandra “There aren’t a lot with facts behind them since he doesn’t really have any friends that I’ve seen. Some people think he was raised abroad or something and that English is his second language.”
Nicole “And what kind of factuality is behind that…?”
Chandra “None that I know of, it’s just a guess at why he’s so quiet. You should probably be careful around him though, you never know what someone like that is thinking about.”
Nicole “Yeah, you’re right…he seemed harmless enough though.”
Chandra “Still, there’s a line between shy and suspicious. I wouldn’t want to try finding it.”
Nicole “Mmm…”
Chandra “Anyway, I have to go get to cheerleading practice. I’ll see you tonight though.”
Nicole “’Kay, see you then!”

That’s it for this week, can’t reveal more about this character since would be spoilers 😉 The cast review for Nicole is now complete. Next week hope to give good news about Loren’s expansion and other stuff going on…!

Nicole’s cast: Kurt Madry

It’s the turn of another character introduction from my upcoming otome/mystery dating sim Nicole. His name is Kurt Madry and is a very popular player of the college football team.

You can see a few images of him below:

Kurtmadry

About his personality, he’s quite arrogant and spoiled, and very successful with women.

Unfortunately for him, his grades at school aren’t as good as his skills on the other fields. But for that, Nicole will be able to help him 😉 An excerpt from the game story:

    “All the students in the classroom were getting ready to go when I heard someone sigh heavily. I looked over to see who it was and spotted Kurt.”
“I wonder what’s wrong…”
“We did get our test scores back today though.”
“Maybe it has something to do with that.”
“I gathered up my supplies before walking over to his seat.”
Nicole “Hey there! Is something wrong?”
“He glanced up to see me as he irritably shoved his books and supplies into his bag.”
Kurt “Everything sucks today.”
Nicole “Aw, I’m sure it’s not so bad. What happened?”
Kurt “I failed the damn math test.”
“He cast the paper another dark look before roughly tossing it into his bag.”
Nicole “Ouch…I’m sorry to hear that.”
“I suppose it’s better not to mention that I thought it was the easiest one we’ve had so far…”
Kurt “You don’t know how bad it really is.”
Nicole “They won’t make you repeat the class, will they?”
Kurt “It’s even worse than that!”
“He slung his bag over his shoulder and started stomping over to the door. I followed him quickly.”
Nicole “But what other repercussions are there?”
Kurt “I can get suspended or even kicked off of the football team if I don’t keep my grades at an acceptable level.”
Nicole “That’s so extreme…”
Kurt “It is! They don’t give a crap about how important I am to the team if my grades start to slip.”
Nicole “It’s not too late to get things turned around though, right?”
Kurt “That’s a hell of a lot easier said than done.”
Nicole “Not necessarily…”
Kurt “If you have a point you’re trying to get to, then spit it out.”
Nicole “Maybe I could help you out and tutor you in math.”
“He was already angry but looked at me skeptically.”
Kurt “I don’t really want to get a tutor.”
Nicole “It could help a lot though! Sometimes having someone other than the professor to explain everything is really beneficial. Their explanations practically need translations.”
Kurt “I don’t know…”
Nicole “I’m sure I can help you.”
Kurt “But you’re so new.”
Nicole “So what? We’re in the same math class.”
Kurt “Are you really the best tutor I can get? If I’m going to deal with having a tutor, I need the absolute best.”
“He certainly sounds spoiled…

Later in the game, Nicole will also discover some traits of his personality that will seriously make her think… but you’ll have to play the game to discover what I’m talking about 😉

That’s all for this week! Progresses on all the other games (including Loren’s expansion) are being made but I want first to finish Nicole’s characters introduction before talking about something else 🙂

Nicole’s cast: Jeff Ryan

Second post about Nicole dating sim, and this time will talk about one of the other 3 boys. If you follow me on twitter you’ll remember that, somehow, I thought there were 3 boys and 1 girl to romance but I was wrong, the boys are actually 4! (but that’s a good news for otome fans).

This also means that probably shouldn’t work so much if I even forget how many characters there are in my games 😀

Anyway, let’s start with the introductions: the name is Jeff Ryan, he’s a medicine student, slightly older than Nicole (he attends the 2nd year). Below you see him in various outfits and with normal and slightly cut hairs:

Jeffryan

He’s friendly, single, and you met him after attending your first class (excerpt from the game):

    “Getting to class had been a fairly simple task, but getting back to my dorm room afterward wasn’t nearly as easy. I stopped to check one of the maps, but it didn’t help very much.”
“I found myself wandering around a portion of campus I hadn’t seen when looking around previously. It was in a quiet area of the campus, so I assumed it was fairly far away from the dorms.”
“Which means it’s pretty far away from where I wanted to go…”
“Oh well! I’ll just think of it as the scenic route.”
“I had stopped in the pathway to admire one of the buildings and all of the large glass windows it sported when someone walked up to me. I looked over at him and smiled politely.”
Nicole “Hello.”
Jeff “Hey there. Are you new here?”
“I laughed and nodded.”
Nicole “I am, was it that obvious?”
Jeff “Most of the students who have been here for a while don’t seem very concerned with the buildings…some of them are quietly extravagant though, don’t you think?”
Nicole “They are! This is the medical building, right?”
Jeff “That’s right.”
“We both paused for a moment to look at the medical facility again before he continued.”
Jeff “So what’s your name?”
“I blinked, feeling a bit silly for not introducing myself sooner.”
Nicole “Oh, it’s Nicole.”
Jeff “Nice to meet you. My name is Jeff Ryan.”

Like all the other characters of the game, you’ll get to know him better and… maybe discover something! 😉

I haven’t made my mind yet about doing a separate yuri version of this game, but since the main game won’t be out before this fall in any case, there’s no hurry after all! Yesterday also finished Queen Of Thieves storyboard and got new sketches for the final cutscenes. Loren’s expansion and Roommates also made good progress with new texts for the story, so all seems to be going well!

See you next week for a new update and a new boy of Nicole dating sim!