Well then, where to begin..
Needless to say, Kurovadis was a massive success. If Kurovadis was a test, I'd say it proved one thing beyond a shadow of a doubt; not only is working on these games as a career possible, it's actually a realistic alternative to working in the mainstream game industry. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I have everyone who purchased the game to thank for it, and I don't plan on wasting the opportunity.
Kurovadis took around four months to complete while working on it off and on, so I figure that four months is more than enough time for me to make a far superior game, working full time. I'd like to streamline my process a bit before attempting something more complicated with a longer development cycle.
As for what kind of game it will be, I don't know any of the specifics yet. However, it will be a linear platformer with far more content than Kurovadis, and much higher quality graphics. Rather than simply going from room to room, I'd also like to come closer to how old school platformers used to be, where transitions between parts of the level were seamless, backgrounds changed, etc. There will also be a story, however limited, and there will be an English and Japanese version. (My games will never have spoken dialog, so I'm just talking text.)
Curious Factory, the DLsite distributor, has told me that it would cost $0.15 per word to translate a game into Japanese, so I'm using that as my basis for cost, even if I don't get it done through them. The other option is working with a visual novel translator. Either way, with the number of DLsite sales, I more than owe it to Japanese players to have a Japanese version, regardless of the cost.
Unlike my previous attempts at making games, this one is going to be completely on paper and planned out before I start anything, so it won't be like Kurovadis where I had something that was playable within a week. This will be the first time where I don't have to cut any corners due to time, so I don't want to waste any time redoing things.
As for what I'm doing now, I'm currently working on a template for future games. This means implementing features that should be in every game from here on out. If you have any suggestions for features, feel free to make a request. Though I will say that the following will be in it,
-Voice, sound, and music volume
-Unlockable CGs with a recollection screen.
-Multiple save slots
-Config file that saves option settings and customized controls.
-Dialog during H animations.
As well as a bunch of other stuff I can't think of at the moment. All in all it's just organizing everything I use in such a way that it's more accessible and easily manipulated to suit any game's needs, and finding a standardized way of having everything work together.
I suppose this is less interesting, but for those of you who are interested,
To give you an idea of the amount of money I've made, after the sales die down in a couple weeks it will probably be around $20,000. However, I have to pay both sales and income tax, which comes out to around a third of what I make. This means that in the end, I'll have to pay around $6000 in taxes, bringing it down to $14,000.
Now, this is were things get way out of my league. If I register as a business, I can get tax deductions on some of my living expenses, and anything else related to my company. This is also where it starts making sense to pay for voice actors, translations, or other things, because there are tax deductions when you pay somebody for a service being used for your company.
Of course, there's no working under the table here. If I plan on doing this for years to come, I'll have to hire an accountant, keep records, and make sure things are done right. I may go into some detail on this once I've actually gone through it myself.
Edit: Polos15 reminded me of something I didn't even consider. DLsite charges sales tax already, included in the price, so I don't think I'd have to pay sales tax, just income tax, so it will probably come out to less than a third.
Last but not least, I frequently get questions about working with game maker, getting started in game development, etc. After I've finished more of the template and decided between the many methods I've gone through at this point, I may put together some tutorials on various aspects of game development, both for H games specifically and in general. I also don't see much reason why I couldn't release the template for people to use. We'll see what happens, I suppose.
Anyhow, that's it for now. In terms of release dates and the like, I have no idea. Right now I'm getting things sorted out in terms of hiring an accountant, registering as a business, deciding what I want to do in terms of gameplay mechanics, working on the template, and taking a bit of a break. I'll post an update in a week or so, probably, with some sketches and concepts.
Until next time.