Category Archives: winter wolves games

news about my games, updates and patches I’m working on, and ideas for new games

What is Bionic Heart 2 ?

I realized that I always talked about Bionic Heart 2 like if everyone played the first game. By the way, if you haven’t, you should since I lowered its price to $9.99 and even if was one of my earlier games, the story is still one of the best I think 😉

Anyway, for those who haven’t played it, I’ll introduce the game. Warning there are some small spoilers about some endings/characters of the first game, so be warned before you continue reading!

The Story

The story takes place after the “Escape to Mars” ending. It’s the 2099 and Luke, Tom and Helen are chased by the ruthless Richard Meier IV, CEO of Nanotech and a very influential man who can bribe the entire London media and police. Tanya, a robot with the brain of a woman who died a century ago, escaped from Nanotech and wants to find out more about her past and take revenge against Richard.

Tanya provides Luke, Tom and Helen with fake ID and they board the first shuttle to the secret colony of Mars. They are safe for now, but what lies on Mars? Who are those people doing there, and why it’s kept secret?

So we have two parallel stories: on Mars and on Earth. The game is told using multiple point of views, so you’ll play the Mars storyline from Luke or Tom point of view, while the Earth one will be played by Tanya and Tina point of view.

Tina Gomez is one of the few police officers that aren’t bribed by Richard. She’s just a small ordinary street cop:


and together with her partner Robert Carson, they have strong suspects about Nanotech and want to find out more.

The game is structured in a way so that if you lose one story, the other goes on. You can have 8 different ending both for the Mars and the Earth stories, though some of them are just variants of the same ending. If you manage to finish both plots, you’ll get an extra 9 “combined endings” that are the hardest to get.

The cast of playable characters

I’ve already introduced Tina Gomez. She is very ambitious, her main goal is to get promoted and she hopes to do that by discovering what Nanotech is doing.

Luke Black was the main character of the first game. He is a good looking man in his 30’s, and apparently he’s calm, he’s rational, or at least he was until that night when Tanya knocked at his door. In the story, he’ll have several tough decisions to make. Does he still love Helen, or not? Will he be able to reunite with Tanya? He is the character with more interior struggles, one of the most complex of the whole game.

Tanya Vanic is a unpredictable character. Her new robotic body gives her superhuman powers. It will be up to her to decide how to use them. She can become a deadly killer, or only try to discover the truth behind her past. Who she was before they turned her into a robot?

Finally, Tom Sparks is Luke’s best friend. He often tells bad jokes, so nobody takes him seriously. He is secretly in love with Helen, so his plot will be mainly about the question: is worth breaking his long friendship with Tom for Helen? and does Helen love him?

What are Social Boss Fights ?

In the first game, I had some “interactive scenes” where you could move and had to choose action like in an adventure game. In this sequel, the game uses a classic visual novel gameplay with choices, except for one thing: the Social Boss Fights!

bossfightIn the image above you see one of the toughest “Social Boss Fights”. Tanya isn’t in a good position 🙂

The Social Boss Fights are minigames in which you must pass a sort of test/escape a bad situation. You’ll need to convince a person about something, escape from someone, and so on. You’ll have to do that finding the right sequence of answers to give to the “enemy”, before the time runs out.

Each boss fight will have slight variations: in all of them you need to pick the right order, but in some you can choose the strategy to use, in other like in the screenshot above you’ll have a counter (structural integrity) that will go down, and so on.

In all fights, you’ll be able to see the personality of the antagonist (in the screenshot above, Julia Storm) described with 3 words, that should give you some hints on what could be the right strategy to choose.

Overall I’m really satisfied by them since are quite cool to play 🙂

All right I think now you know a lot more about the game. I’m in “crunch mode” trying to finish it as soon as possible but probably will still need a week or two!

Bionic Heart 2 and moving past visual novels

Right now I’m finishing Heileen 3, but I’m also working on two sci-fi games: Bionic Heart 2 and Planet Stronghold 2. As the title suggests, both are sequels. Bionic Heart was one of my first visual novel, and if I compare the artwork and the writing of that first title with the new one, the difference is immediately noticeable:


One of the first scenes of Bionic Heart 2, the shuttle to Mars

I am not hiding that the first Bionic Heart game was a very controversial game. Was one of the first western visual novels to get some attention in many japanese sites (probably the combo of the sexy android + romance did it) but also one of my worst selling games ever (beaten only by Vera Blanc!).

So why I made this sequel you might ask? Well first of all, I am indie because I have a passion for games. Even if I need to make money to live, I still have room to make some “game experiments” from time to time. Bionic Heart 2 will be one of them.

Second, because I never knew if the insuccess of the first game was because of the sci-fi theme, which typically appeals men more, or because of the game quality that, overall, wasn’t really good.

Apart for some “social boss fights” that are some kind of mini games to be fight picking sentences in the right order, the game plays like a regular visual novel, albeit with multiple point of views. I can say already that unless the game does pretty well, it will be my last visual novel ever.

And here I get to my title. I’m definitely moving past visual novels, at least in the immediate future (God only knkows what I’ll do in 5 years from now!). But don’t worry, by that I mean the “pure visual novels”, like the first two Heileen games. Dating / life sims like Always Remember Me or Spirited Heart are another thing.

Why I made that decision? Because I want to focus more on the gameplay, play mechanics, to reach a broader audience. I always liked to design gameplay, life simulations, and RPGs. While for RPGs I said I won’t release more than one a year, for dating/life sims I plan to do them more often.

Also who knows, maybe I could try my hand in future in making a classic adventure game, either first or third person view. Or do something different, but still story-based.

This of course, unless Bionic Heart 2 does really well. It should be out at the beginning of the 2013 so I’ll find that out pretty soon 🙂

Bundles, expansions and new faces

The Manga Bundle

First of all, I’m doing a Manga Bundle which includes many of my games at a very minimum price (pay extra to get more/newer games) made in collaboration with Groupees.

You can find more info here:

It started yesterday and will last for one week.

The Castle Of N’Mar

Second, the Loren expansion is officially released:

I still didn’t do any press release because I want to have a small promo video ready before I do it, but you can already buy it since is out of the beta testing stage. Just remember that to play the extra content, is preferred if you load an old savegame in chapter 2, or start a new game. If you resume an old game from chapter3, you won’t see the extra content.

New Faces

I’m working on several project now that Loren’s expansion is finished. The biggest one is Planet Stronghold 2, but I’m also actively working on Heileen 3. For Heileen 3, I’m waiting for new backgrounds, and this will surely delay the game release. I hoped that would be ready by October but for several reasons (Loren that absorbed me completely first, and then two months of african heat that made me KO) I didn’t plan it carefully as I should have.

But is still going to be the next game I release! There will be many characters from the first two games, but also some new faces.

Morganlove Natives Ottocry

Above you can see some images from the scenes I’ve already finished coding.

More new faces will come to Planet Stronghold sequel as well. We’ve decided to add a few more secondary characters to the story, and also to let the player continue any previous romance, so it means that Rumi & Michelle will be romanceable in the sequel as well.

We’re also thinking to add a simple but interesting colony-building sim to Planet Stronghold sequel, a sort of metagame which will influence the main roleplay part. I think should be quite interesting to play and offer more variety of situations. Those who don’t like those simulations don’t worry, playing at easy level will be a piece of cake 😉

Merry Christmas and Best of 2011


In the photo above, my cat Othello sleeping peacefully in a basket with a cushion 🙂

Merry Christmas to everyone! To celebrate, from today until the 25th December EST timezone, you can get a single game from the whole Winter Wolves catalog for 50% off, using the coupon “XMAS“.

And what about the title “Best of 2011”? Well in the last week I’ve seen around internet lots of “Best of…” by almost all sites. The fun thing, is that they talk always about the same games! I don’t want to argue about Minecraft or Skyrim being the best games. However, I want to remind that there are small niches, who don’t care at all about those two games, and there’s nothing wrong with it!

Personally I TRIED playing Minecraft but I quit after 5 minutes. I know many other people who did the same. Does it means that it sucks? Of course not, but while that game entertained lots of people, there is a minority (a niche) that maybe preferred to play other kind of games, maybe one of my games.

So of the games I have released this year, I want to make three “Best Of”. I talk about my games because sadly this year I was so busy with work and real-life stuff that I really didn’t had time to play accurately ANY other game (including AAA titles) so I cannot judge anything.

Best Art

1. Planet Stronghold
2. Winter In Fairbrook
3. Always Remember Me
4. Love & Order
5. Spirited Heart Girl’s Love

The first two places are very close. However, while in Winter In Fairbrook the character art by Deji is lovely as always, the backgrounds are definitely worse than Planet Stronghold ones (they also had a different budget, so it’s normal!). Always Remember Me has slightly better backgrounds than Love & Order (and same character artist) while Spirited Heart Girl’s Love had the beautiful characters drawn by Meago, but it was an add-on, so it mostly reused the old game art.

Best Writing

1. Spirited Heart Girl’s Love
2. Winter In Fairbrook
3. Always Remember Me
4. Love & Order
5. Planet Stronghold

Ok I know that everyone loves Ayu’s writing. I do too 😀 But I think that Aleema writing on SHGL was a bit overlooked because of the game theme (yuri) which is much less popular than WiF one (otome). I might be also biased because obviously I like more yuri than otome 😀 Anyway, was a close call and depends on tastes. Always Remember Me writing was nice I think, while Love & Order was good but definitely short and not well developed in the romance scenes. Planet Stronghold…<coughs> I know, that’s the weakest point of the game, but the sequel won’t be written by me, I swear! 🙂

Best Gameplay

1. Always Remember Me
2. Planet Stronghold
3. Love & Order
4. Spirited Heart Girl’s Love
5. Winter In Fairbrook

Well, there are no doubts that Planet Stronghold has the most complex gameplay, however I think that even Always Remember Me life simulation system, with the map and time of the day was not bad. A close call really, but Planet Stonghold probably was too much niche for most people. But again depends on tastes!
Love & Order wasn’t bad even if maybe a bit too much repetitive. The last two places could be considered a tie, since they were using the gameplay of the original title without much innovation.

I had a Midsummer Night’s Dream…

First of all, Ayu of Sakevisual just told me she is attending a convention today, and Flower Shop: Winter In Fairbrook is going through the final stages of proofreading/balancing (it was a bit too difficult). So… no pre-order links yet, though keep following twitter because I could post them during the weekend 😉

Second, I’d like to introduce you a friend of mine, called Undead Lily. You can see the first promo trailer below, which introduces a bit the story and the first two characters, Undead Lily and Mantras.

As you can see, this is probably my most unconventional game I’ve ever made. A undead girl, ex burlesque dancer, that in the afterlife becomes a superheroine? Yes it’s bizzarre, and you haven’t seen the other characters!! 😀

On startup, you can either take a short quiz to “shape” your character, both the personality (Good, or Evil) and also the starting statistics. Yes because Undead Lily and The Elemental Avengers, while not a super detailed RPG like Loren Amazon Princess, is going to have a RPG gameplay element. You can see the work-in-progress for the character creation screen below:


The game plot-wise is at good stage, with all the romances for the “Good” version finished. As for the gameplay I’m still in the brainstorming stage, since I’d like to have a map similar to the old game Archon, divided in sectors each one linked to one of the game elements: Death, Life, Air, Water, Fire and Nature. The character would move in turn and when two teams are on the same sector a battle triggers, which is a sort of turn based tag-team battle, 3 vs 3 characters.

Obviously everything is still only an idea, since I have to see how fun are the battles done this way. What is going to be fun for sure is the dialogues and general mood of the game, with many incredible superheroes each one with a different personality. And the romances, like Planet Stronghold, will have lots of variety too: the current plan is to divide the game into two separate ones, the first one with Undead Lily as the main character and Ace as the main antagonist (so the “female” version) and then one with Ace as main character and Undead Lily as antagonist (the “male” version).

You can see a flow chart of all the various romance options below:


As you can see there’s something for every taste! And of course, the release dates I wrote on the flow chart are going to be inevitably missed! 😀

See you next week for more news about the upcoming games.