Friday, November 25, 2011

Winter In Fairbrook beta is out!

As those who follows me and Sakevisual on twitter already know, Winter In Fairbrook beta was released about two weeks ago.

You can find out more about the game and download the beta version on the game official page:

You can also pre-order the game if you want to buy it - the game is already quite stable, and a few minor bugs/typos were already fixed in those two days thanks to the wonderful feedback of some early purchasers. Thanks again for all the help, it will let us make better games! :)

While I didn't set a specific date for the final release I don't think there's much more to wait, probably a week maximum to check that there are no more typos/bugs, but that's it. And don't worry, this time I learned from my previous games and made the game much easier than Always Remember Me (though the last version of that game is a bit easier as well)!

The making of Winter In Fairbrook

It was a pleasure to work with Ayu Sakata and Beatriz García in the first title, who initially was simply called "The Flower Shop", but later we used "Summer In Fairbrook" to differentiate between it and the sequel.

The game was very well received back in January/February 2010 (seems so long ago to me!) and so when in the Summer 2010 I read on twitter that Beatriz García was out of work for the month of July, I immediately asked her if was interested in doing the art for the sequel (it was kind of a rhetorical question since she repeatedly said she would love to work on another game with that setting). This time though, we decided to have a female main character, Natalie. Even if the game can be played as stand-alone, it shares many characters and continues some plots from the first title so... the best is to play both! ;)

So I was saying, during July 2010, the art production of Winter In Fairbrook started. If I remember correctly, I got all the art finished around December/January. Beatriz García had some personal issues, so she didn't work as fast as she is doing recently. And then was the turn of Ayu to have bad luck! While coming back from a convention in June had a car accident, and other various real-life issues.

I'm not saying this to criticize them, not at all (they're both my friends), but to show to everybody who thinks that making a visual novel / dating sim (or any indie game for that matter) is really simple and quick how it is in reality. Unfortunately, bad stuff happens and it can really delay a game release considerably. I can say we wanted to get the game out by the Summer, but for a reason or another it wasn't ready until now!!

We're sorry for the delay, but I hope you'll think it was worth the wait! Personally I love the setting, the art, the writing, and the general mood of the game. The ending romance scenes are really cute and full of good feelings.

I can say that it's really the perfect title to play during Winter and Christmas Holidays, so if you're thinking about an original gift for someone... think about this :)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Show Me The Sales

"Show Me The Sales" is an indie initiative promoted by my friend Cliff of Positech and other developers. In practice is a time limited sale where you can get many indie games at very discounted prices. The games list includes:

Planet Stronghold
Evochron Mercenary
Space Pirates and Zombies
Mr Robot
Project Aftermath
Magical Diary: Horse Hall
AI War: Fleet Command
Gratuitous Space Battles
Solium Infernum
New Star Soccer 5
Revenge of the Titans
Frayed Knights: The Skull of S’makh-Daon
Smugglers IV
Frozen Synapse

...and many more!

As you can see there are many interesting games for all tastes, including my Planet Stronghold RPG game with a generous 60% discount. I also updated the game to use the latest Ren'Py build even if this caused a few problem/bugs, so make sure you download the latest version, the 1.4c!

Even if the promotion was live since monday, don't worry: it ends the 28th of November so there's still plenty of time to buy the games. Now about my currently games in progress, I'm pleased to show you this:

Yes, in the gallery above you see the main menu, the credits and the gallery screen of Flower Shop: Winter In Fairbrook! The current goal is to have the pre-orders available at the end of the month! Stay tuned for more news.

Friday, November 11, 2011

RPGs status update

It's time to give you an update on my two main RPG projects I'm currently working on: Loren The Amazon Princess and Planet Stronghold: Warzone.

Loren The Amazon Princess

As you can see below, I made a mockup for the game main menu, and I like it (not that the main menu is so important in a RPG, but I want to have it look good). As I'm writing, the game soundtrack is being recorded, which will feature Cristina Vee again singing the theme song. I'm eager to listen to it :)


Below, you see the first icons made for the skilltrees. I also got some weapons/items, but not enough yet to show a full equipped character. As for the skills, I realized yesterday that I actually need a separate icon for every skill present in the 16 base skiltrees: since every skilltree has 5, it means that I still have 60 icons to commission!! It's necessary of course, but it all adds to the final game costs. This game better sell well!


The writing is at good point, and everything should be finished at end of this month or early December, however there is still left to add all the battles and quests and everything else that makes a RPG (enemies, balancing, and so on). So, I'd say that while I hope to have a public alpha at end of the month to get feedback about the battle system, the fullgame won't be available for sure this year. I'm aiming at Q1 2012 release (probably February/March).

Planet Stronghold: Warzone

For this game things are "apparently" going slower. I say apparently because even if the game writing is still at early stages (I don't even have planned the full story yet!), I have already made the changes to the combat system (in practice a full redesign of the Psionic Powers vs the first game). I also have planned all the romances, which will be even more important than the previous game, since there will be 4 for each gender (vs the 3 of the previous title).

So in practice, since the gameplay/game system is already tested, once the story starts to be written this game will progress much faster than Loren (also because the RPG system is simpler).

Speaking of romance, take a look at this:


It's a fun "collage image" I made picking some details from each of the 4 romance scenes for Lisa Nelson. As you can see, lots of *hot* stuff going on! :)

I don't have all the 4 romance images for Joshua, but once I have them will make a similar thing for him too.

I have another important announcement about Planet Stronghold, even if it will have to wait until next week, but is a very interesting deal! So stay tuned (will announce it on twitter, facebook and in the blog).

Friday, November 4, 2011

Unfinished business


In the picture above, Maja when was a kitten sleeping on a mousepad in my "old office".

What is the unfinished business I'm talking about? Well, lots of games get started every year, and many of them, for a reason or another, are canceled. This doesn't happens only in the AAA studios, but even at "indie level".

In the video below, a work in progress of a 3d roleplay game called "Tower Of Destiny". The project was abandoned about 3 years ago because the coder quit. It should have been a 3d dungeon crawler, with some "outdoor" zones. I think I'll probably redo it as plain 2d dungeon game sometimes in the future.

In this other video a more recent work-in-progress. It's the 3d version of one of my older games, Universal Boxing Manager. I didn't hear back from the coder since June this year, so while I cannot officially say that it won't be done, I don't have much hopes as well!

So you might start to understand why I'm making mostly games I can code myself recently? Disappearing artists/writers are a pain, since you need to look for a replacement (and in the case of art, redo even the art that has been already partly done), but when a coder disappear... means the game can't go on, especially if you're not able to finish/continue coding yourself or if the coder used a different tool/language you're not familiar with.

This just to show that being indie it can be a real pain as well, since there are many more problems than people might think. And now, let's talk about something else...

Bionic Heart promotion!

I've updated Bionic Heart to use online activation, and like I did for Heileen 2, I'm offering two downloads: one without voices, which is about 32-35mb, and one with voices which is about 169-173mb!

The game will be only 4.99 for the weekend, so grab it now!
Only $0,2 each ending! (it has 24 endings)

Roommates game

So I got the first sketches from artist for this new game. As you can see, lots of interesting people... the 6 characters below are the dateable one. Max and Anne are the two main playing characters (the game will be playable as male/female). There are two bisex characters, can you guess which ones? :)

Do you think the male characters are sexy/interesting enough? I have no doubts the females are :D


And for this week is all. Ah no, wait: there are rumors that a certain game with a winter theme MIGHT be really finished shortly... but maybe is just a rumor! Who knows? Keep following me on twitter/facebook/blog to know more.