Category Archives: Seasons Of The Wolf

The different RPGs mechanics

Today’s blog post is a bit “nerd” ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve been a long time RPG player, even if recently I don’t have much time, in the past I played a good amount of RPGs.

The new battle layout of Queen Of Thieves is shaping up nicely

As you know, amongst the other things, I’m currently designing/coding my upcoming RPG “Queen Of Thieves” (don’t ask for release date, I don’t know when will be out).

The main focus was on making a more “casual” experience compared to Seasons Of The Wolf, both in interface, layout, rules, etc. This is a specific choice because I can’t really afford to make a big/complex RPG again, considering there will be Roger Steel and Loren 2 in the upcoming years to do as well.

And one of the most noticeable differences between the two titles will be the importance of the skillpoints and the skills themselves. Even if there are only 3 playable characters in your party, each one has a good variety of skills (12 skills with 3 level-up each). However, differently from SOTW, your SP (skill points to use skills in battle) will be very limited, and you won’t have any easy way to recover them during the battle.

This was initially done to make the battles shorter, since I didn’t want to make a game with long battles anymore. But in the end is turning out to be an interesting idea also from the rules/game mechanics point of view: yes because I also limited the HP and healing, so instead of “spamming skills” trying to kill enemies faster and healing/buffing your party to survive, each time you make a choice will have a bigger weight, so you’ll need to plan carefully.

For example, since I’ve eliminated theย  front/back row, I changed also Kira’s Strikethrough skill:strikethrough

As told before, in this game the defense is the armor: if the attack value is lower than defense, you will do only 1 damage, but every time a character is hit, the defense/armor value decreases by 1 point. This way even a boss enemy with a starting high 25 defense would get down to zero after it’s hit 25 times.

The skill above though lets the attack ignore armor completely. So even if does 50% base attack (higher version will reach up to 100% base attack) you might want to use that against a specific enemy. For example:

You have 2hp and 4 attack. The only enemy remaining is an armored skeleton with 2 HP and 10 attack and defense.

If you attack with a normal attack, you damage the skeleton for 1 point, and lower his defense to 9. Next turn, he kills you ๐Ÿ™‚

If you attack with Kira’s Strikethrough, you’ll ignore his defense and effectively kill him with one strike! (4 attack = 2 damage)

So as you can see there’s need of more thinking/planning. SOTW was a different approach: in that game you needed to “own” the enemy, by using a lot of skills, potions, both to do damage/debuff enemies and to reduce damage/heal. Is a common system in MMORPG and games with a big party. But in this case, being forced to use a smaller party for story reasons, I’ve discovered a new interesting way to design the RPG battles ๐Ÿ™‚

PSCD – Meet Kaden


The game’s main cast was already introduced, but there are a few other characters. They don’t take part in battles, nor are romanceable (unless the main game does well, then might consider doing a DLC) but are present in dialogues and scenes and are part of the story.

Let’ start with a rebel guy with a familiar surname… ๐Ÿ˜‰ (for those who played Planet Stronghold)

Name:ย  Kaden Vargas
Nation of Origin:ย  Mexico
Service Branch:ย  Rebel/Originally a history professor

Born in Mexico, Kaden grew up in a household which was less than fond of the human empire, personified in the Neuville royal family.ย  While each country still retained a great deal of autonomy, one couldnโ€™t deny the Empire was the pre-eminent power.ย  Needless to say, many people resented at what they saw as an over-reaching monarchy out to control every aspect of their lives.

Kadenโ€™s family held similar beliefs, and he grew up in environment where every fault of the empire was magnified, while every benefit was diminished.ย  Still, Kaden might have acclimated to the Empire if not for the day when the Imperial Intelligence Agency arrested his mother for sedition.

Resentment turned to anger, but Kaden also realized actively rebelling was a good way to join his parent in prison.ย  So, he kept his head down, earned a degree in history, and searched for a way off-planet, figuring that while expansive, the Empireโ€™s touch would be lighter on the periphery.

So, it was with great delight when he accepted a position on Planet Stronghold,ย  teaching the children of colonists, instilling skepticism in the imperial mandate. ย 

Kaden might have gone this way, when it was announced a second Captain was assigned to Planet Stronghold.ย  Seeing it as a typical grab to expand power, Kaden made plans with a group of like-minded individuals, and when the opportunity presented itself, they would head into the planetary wilds, confident they could survive, even thrive while the Empire was busy with the various alien powers laying claim to the planet.

More news about Queen Of Thieves

The development of the game continues, in particular the battle screen and RPG elements. As you can see from the screenshot below, I’ve changed the layout again, using a classic view in two rows, similar to Loren’s layout, but without a front/back row:


The idea is that since you play with only 3 characters doesn’t make much sense to have a front/back row mechanic. Instead I’m going to replace it with something else. This also means that there could be battles of 3 (party) vs 5 (enemies).

I think I am at very good point regarding the layout. I’m still tweaking the rules/character progression. Initially I thought to lock the HP/SP values to character’s level, since in this game they’ll be even more important than in other RPGs, because there’s limited healing (potions) and no ways to quick regenenerate SP.


Anyway I finished coding the level up screen too (see screenshot above), and I’ve ran some tests, and I think I’ll allow full customization even in this game. This means that if you want to put all your attribute points into SP, you can: however at level 20 you’ll find yourself with a character with a lot of SP but maybe with very low HP/defense, so that enemies would still kill you quickly ๐Ÿ˜€

Though in practice those are extreme cases, I don’t think anyone would save all the attribute points on each level up and put them all on the SP, it would be kinda crazy. Don’t blame me if you do that and then are stuck with a party that can’t win anymore ๐Ÿ˜‰

Or maybe I will just allow a “respec” option so you can reset your choices any point during the game. I might just do that ๐Ÿ™‚

Seasons Of The Wolf DLC “Bad Blood” on Steam

I just released the DLC on Steam as well:

As always, buying direct from my site will give you a DRM-Free version + Steam key, and for those who bought it early, you can redeem a key on this site:

Seasons Of The Wolf DLC “Bad Blood” is officially out!

At last I’d say! ๐Ÿ™‚

After about a month of beta testing, the game is finally stable enough to officially release it. Like always happens with RPGs, is possible that there are some small bugs left (for example, Krimm’s Fury skill was using a default enemy male voice since LAST YEAR, and an user found out it only a few days ago!), but the game can be finished, all endings reached, etc etc.

So you can now get it from the official page:

Like with Loren or my other games, the base game and DLC are still a single download, and you need to activate/unlock it entering the serial code. The DLC parts plays after the base game story is about to end.

As always, once the game is available on Steam you’ll be able to redeem the key if you buy directly. I’m not sure yet when it will be available there (need to prepare the assets and such), but should be sometimes in May I think!

And now, some rant/ramblings…! ๐Ÿ˜€

Visual Novels / Dating Sims vs RPGs

Round one, fight! Nah there’s really no match here. I’m talking about the complexity of one or another game genre. The VN/dating sim can be quite complex too, but really nothing beats a RPGs ๐Ÿ˜‰

I was surprised by how long took SOTW DLC testing, so I wanted to compare it to a dating sim/visual novel. I compared it to Roommates which is a very long dating sim with many secret stuff and branches. Well, I couldn’t believe myself but in practice the testing of the whole game took less than the testing of just SOTW DLC. Not SOTW base game, just the DLC! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

And Roommates isn’t even a small title, it is over 200k word long, a lot of scenes, many paths and endings based on the stats, so…!

Anyway this is not to say that I won’t make RPGs anymore, no worries. Just to explain why many/most indies just make a RPG every 2-3 years. It’s not only about the time/money needed, but also the amount of testing required. So even if I am working on Queen Of Thieves now, because it reuses SOTW system modified, it doesn’t mean the final game will be out very soon. I am doing it in a easier/simpler way so I hope this will reflect also in an easier testing, but you never know.

I proclaim this “writers’ week”!

I had many updates this week! The most important is about C14 Dating, which is hopefully headed to a release this Summer: GUI artist is going to finish the last missing parts, coder/writer are doing final edits to week 8 (last week of in-game story) and checking the already scripted scenes, and main artist should work on the ending CGs soon. I’ll post some work in progress screenshots next week!

I also got writing for Always Remember Me 2, Loren sequel, PSCD main story is done, Nicole yuri got more paths finished, the CYOA game has already 25k words done, and so on. A very productive week for writers! ๐Ÿ™‚

Queen Of Thieves update

First of all, SOTW DLC ending images were added to the game! So if you waited you can play the DLC beta using the download link from the forums:

And now for today’s blog post…

Time to talk a bit about Queen Of Thieves! In particular the gameplay I’m going to try with it. As you know if you read my SOTW postmortem, I don’t want to do another “super complex detailed hardcore” RPG like that one again, because wasn’t worth it (in term of popularity but also burning out).

So this game will be really a more casual RPG. Before you complain, it doesn’t actually mean it will be “worse”, just different. I think might be even more fun to play if I manage to do right what I have in mind…!

The Skills

Let’s start from the skills: I will bring back the “beloved” skilltree system from Loren. Each character will have a unique offensive and defensive skilltree, each one with 6 skills with 3 variants each, for a total of 6 x 3 x 2 = 36 different skills each character.

Each character is an archetype: Kira the Warrior, Joanne the Mage, and Thalia the Thief.

The biggest difference vs Loren or SOTW is the “combo” skills. I have yet to implement it in the battle, so take everything I say with a grain of salt since as always things might change from now until the final release. But in practice while fighting you’ll have the chance to unlock some combo skill once you fill a combo bar. There will be two offensive and two defensive combo, and will obviously be very powerful skills.

Another difference is the combat itself. In Loren/SOTW was common to have a LOT of condition/status effect. Here, having TWO will be uncommon ๐Ÿ™‚ This because I’ll limit the number of special moves you can do each battle and there will be no healing except the potions (which will be limited).

It is a completely different approach as you can see. Will require some testing but the goal is to make the battles last less and the skill be something very “special” and not just another type of attack.

The inventory

Then there’s the inventory screen. Each character will have 5 slots: head, chest, legs, feet and weapon. Each slot will have 5 item, except the weapon that will have 7. Yes you read it right: the number of items is LIMITED ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m sure this won’t make everyone happy, but is part of the design. Each item will give a specific bonus. Some more attack, other more damage, and so on. There won’t be a “better” or “worse” item, maybe with the exception of the starting gear and the ending one, just different ones that will be better suited for specific battles.

The fact that each character has unique gear has also some positive effects, like each item will be unique and more detailed, as you can see from Kira’s weapons in the image below:


Check the work-in-progress screenshots below: when you open the inventory the first image will be like this:


You can see the whole character body, so everything she’s wearing. If you click a Legs or Feet slot, the image will zoom in to show better what she’s wearing:thaliaQOT02

Similarly if you choose Head/Chest slot, it will zoom in on top:thaliaQOT03

Thalia is really cute, isn’t she? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Since the screenshot above were taken, I’ve also been trying to implement an even more intuitive way to use the inventory, in practice next to each slot there will be all the items that the current character can use. Since items are limited, we can fit them all in one row like in the screenshot below:



I also plan to have elemental resistances, but done differently. By default all characters will be weak against elemental damage, and the armor (in case of players) will give resistance bonus, but in small steps. Everything about this game uses smaller numbers which I think will be easier to balance.

For example let’s say you’ll start with -5 in all resistances. A fire based attack would inflict base damage (5) + 5 = 10 total dmg
Now you get armor resistant pieces, but you have only 4 slots (head, chest, legs, feet). Each will give +1 fire resistance. So the same attack above would deal: base damage (5) +1 = 6 total dmg.

In this game, 4 point of damage difference will be meaningful ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyway, I’m still thinking about it, I might also just ignore elemental damage but only apply elemental statuses. So Frozen would reduce speed, Burning would damage HP over time, and so on. I might even just go for this simpler solution.

“Bad Blood” SOTW DLC is in beta


I’ve decided to open the preorders and put the beta version of the DLC for download in my forums! For more details, you can check this forum thread:

In short: the only missing thing right now are the ending scenes. There are 4 scenes, one for each romantic couple, plus another one (can’t say what because… spoilers!).

Speaking of spoilers, for those who have ALREADY finished the base game, this video illustrates the contents of the DLC:

Unfortunately like with Loren, I can’t really make a “demo” of the DLC, but I hope that the video above will help people to make their decision. In general, I think if you liked the characters and the story you should like the DLC too.

The DLC focuses more on the story and characters relationships, with several lines and even scenes that change depending on your love interest. Because of that we thought to add a menu at beginning of the DLC, so that once you played the story to the end, you can replay choosing the starting conditions quickly with the menu (without the need to start the game from beginning or keep a lot of different savegames).

Of course, there are still battles, and thanks to the main metagame of “rebuilding Ninim” also some strategy. Let me know your thoughts about the difficulty: I am not sure that in the current beta the game can be beaten in Nightmare mode… ๐Ÿ™‚

If everything goes as planned I should get the missing images by mid-April, so that’s when I’ll release the DLC officially.

Work on the other games goes on as planned. I keep getting weekly updates for more or less all of them. I definitely want to have one of the dating sims in progress out during the Summer ๐Ÿ˜‰


Also, Roger Steel writer made a very interesting post in my forums with an update about the game itself:

The bad news is that it won’t be out soon, the good news is that it will be much bigger and very similar in gameplay to Loren, with even a greater emphasis on choices and relationships. People who want, will be able to play it in pure visual novel mode, using choices to raise skills and fighting battles automatically ๐Ÿ™‚