Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Thinking

*dusts off blogger*

While I'm waiting on some stuff to get Aster on DLsite, I'm trying to figure out what I should work on and release next. Always the question..

Needless to say, my main goal at this point is to work on Noaika. My mistake over the past couple years has been saying "I'll release a quick side project so that I can work on Noaika without worrying about money!"

Enter feature creep, uncertainty, and the usual health problems, and I've done a ton of work on various projects without any of them being released. I'd start a project, get a ton done in a week or two, and then the project would blow up into something bigger. I'd work on it a bit before thinking "this is going to take too long", and off I'd go starting another side project, honestly believing that I'd be able to hold myself back and make something small in a month or two.

Hell, Noaika itself was initially a side project taking a break from this



In fact, let's take a look at the trainwreck so far.

Crimson Blue
    > Got too big
         Crimson Brave as side project
               >Got too big
                           >  Kurovadis as side project
                           > Finished Kurovadis.
X Crimson Blue
X Crimson Brave
Try some stuff
Unnamed Metroidvania
   > Was unsure of direction
         >Started Eroico to take a break with lower res sprites
         >Finished Eroico
X  unnamed Metroidvania
Martial arts game
   > Too high res
X  Martial arts game      
Low res metroidvania
                > Cant even remember why I abandoned it
X Low res metroidvania

Umbrella girl
         > Got too big, almost die from health problems.
                    > Noaika as small side project. Behind the scenes demo       
                    > Upsize Noaika due to feedback
                          > Collab side project while working on Noaika
                    > Public Noaika demo
                   > Health,  money problems.
                   > Noaika Pre-orders 
                  > Work on Noaika,
                  > Patreon animations start
                                               > let's make a side project to get out of this rut.
                                               > Nope
                              >Slow work on Noaika
                                               > let's make a side project to get out of this rut.
                                               > Nope
                               > Patreon animations get harder and slow down                           
                               >Slow work on Noaika
                                                > let's make a side project to get out of this rut.
                                                > Nope
                             
                                 Eroico RE
                                         >  Finish Eroico RE
                               > Work on side project
                               >Pick up previous side project, Aster
                                         >Release Aster


That's a lot of red.
                                
To count them up , I've worked on about 12 projects, 3 of which have been sold, and 5 of which are anywhere from 40 to 70% done in dev limbo, and the rest will never see the light of day. Noaika itself is basically a game and a half given that it has three versions at this point that are totally different.

Patreon worked well initially, but has slowed me down quite a bit. It's become harder and harder to come up with animation concepts that dont feel like I'm repeating myself, and a lack of focus and uncertainty in ideas turns into procrastination. I'm always left with the thought "I wish I could just do 5 game animations instead of this one big one"

So what now?

All that said, working on Noaika without doing something else is still not an option at this point, financially. Do I try and finish one the many side projects while doing patreon animations so I can pay off stuff and get back to Noaika with no disctractions? Do I work on Noaika and switch to working on a seperate weekly patreon game instead of animations so that I can have more frequent, consistent patreon releases?

Or do I abandon games altogether and work on like 8 patreon animations in a row and....actually nevermind that sounds horrible.


So, what do you think I should do? I could work on pretty much any of the side projects (which you can see a little more about in the projects tab up top) Could even get the umbrella game out of the way before it becomes any more outdated, graphically. If I start talking about making a new side game and tell you I can finish it in 3 monthes though, just give me a good slap.



83 comments:

  1. I think the idea of switching the patreon might be a good option. Perhaps doing a couple more of the patreon animations before phasing the patreon into solely backing Noaika. Or perhaps phasing it into working on a side project until one’s finished and then into Noaika?

    In the end, I feel like finishing up brief patreon work and focusing on Noaika would be the best option, seeing as the preorder obligation is looming over you since it’s the only one that’s “paid” for to some extent. I dunno about you, but I’d be stressed working on a separate game whilst having one that needs to be completed looming over my head.

    Hope things get sorted out well for you!

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    1. To clarify, the patreon wouldn't be backing Noaika, it would be working on a free game designed to be ongoing and frequently updated, while working on Noaika.

      Unlike high resolution animations, it would be a bit more comfortable to animate numerous small animations weekly. There's less uncertainty when you have more control over the content.

      The downside would be that Patreon is....Patreon..and doing patreon projects makes me feel like an asshole.

      Delete
    2. Does Patreon force it that way or just how you feel it should be done? I can't speak for everyone else but $5 a month to assist with whatever you plan to do or work with seems fair and is something I could step behind. You got a fair following it seems because your work is good, long as we saw progress and updates would really be all I'd ask without a need for monthly animations on the side. Then again, I am easily pleased xD

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    3. People already preordered Noaika, as far as I'm concerned that was spending trust, and it felt horrible.

      Nah, I think it's better to just make stuff and get paid for it. People want a thing, I make the thing, they buy the thing, I make more things.

      Delete
  2. Finish. Noaika. Branching out into side projects doesn't appear to be working for you very well. Consider assembling a tech demo/alpha/whatever you name it and showing it to people to gather feedback. I'd take a wild guess and say that endlessly mulling over the game on your lonesome is what had you end up with three different versions.

    As for content to feed patrons with, how about some static images? These take less time to finish and, trust me, your art is really good and definitely worth paying for.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Ehh my artwork isn't really exceptional, nor does it come easy. It's not on the level of my current spritework.

      Also, Noaika's problem isn't uncertainty, it's simply time. If I were to work on it while doing patreon animations to hold me over, I'd be working slowly while wracking up debt and not paying for medical problems that need fixing sooner, rather than later.

      To put it in perspective, it would take 20-30 animations to make as much as even a small H-platformer makes.

      Delete
  3. Personally i would work on one of the more complete games when if i meeded a break from noaika, this way you can release some substantial and get a decent amount of revenue with feeling swamped with one project. And for the ideas for animations i suggest going to tumblr and check out the endless amount of porn gifs they have for inspiration.

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    1. The problem for me isn't really ideas themselves, so much as it's executing those ideas and balancing quality with practicality. If I limit myself to what's practical, it feels like a cop-out, or a step down. Yet, if I try to do something good, it ends up being a long tedious process.

      The other thing is, because the animations are self-contained, I always feel like I have to include the face and certain identifiers. Whereas in a game or a comic, you can have sex poses where all you see is legs, and it can work as a part of the experience, because you see the face and other angles in other shots.

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  4. I'm with Mirai Zero. The best bet is to work on the game that you feel you could finish the quickest. I do recall you working on a fighting game on your twitter, how about finishing that as it sounded like it was something you could get out of the way quicker. You don't have to release big complicated games all the time as Aster was one of the funniest H games I played in a while and had me hooked.

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    1. It wasn't a fighting game per say, but I know the one you mean. That was just some sprites and a quick programming thing I was gonna do for fun.

      That said, can't really work on that as a project because that's exactly the sort of thinking that turns into a "taking too long" side project lol. It starts fast, I tell myself "this is easy", and then at about 30% I realize that I put too much effort into it and can't just rush it out anymore.

      If I work on a side project, it will be one of the pre-existing once, since they are already all mid-development.

      Delete
  5. Frankly I would focus on trying to pop out some of the smaller projects before completely focusing on Noaika. You've said that the complexity is far smaller for most of them and it would help bolster your funds, so you're not scrambling. I'd personally give up on the Patreon animations since they appear to be quite time consuming and stressful for you.

    Maybe look into streaming on Twitch. ZONE does it all the time. It'd be a nice behind-the-scenes and could potentially give you another option for some revenue.

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    1. I think streaming would be too stressfull for me, personally. Plus every time I stream I end up getting distracted lol.

      I can't really give up on patreon animations unless they are replaced by something else or until I release a game, since I need them to supplement sales from past games.

      Delete
    2. How about just making sprite versions of requested characters? H-Animations are nice, of course, but I also just really like pixel art. You can still make them animated, but it doesn't have to be that complex. I honestly just want to see more of your work. Maybe you can add tiers on you Patreon. Lowest would have access to sketches\music samples\behind the scenes stuff. 2nd-tier can put up requests for pixel models of characters like you are doing now. The top-tier is a limited amount of H-Animation requests.

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    3. I like my patreon to have specific value in the sense that; when I make something, I get paid for it, and if I don't, I get nothing. In order to do that, I think a patreon has to be something concrete that you make. Personally I dont see behind the scenes stuff as having any value.

      That said, if I was going to change the Patreon, I'd probably change it to being game sized sprites and just to more of them. Only trouble with that, is that it would require starting a new patreon (since I cant charge people for something they may not have wanted), and if I was starting a new patreon with game size sprites, I'd rather do something that grows over time like a game, rather than a bunch of self contained animations like I'm doing now.

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    4. Then I'd try to maybe make a game you can update on a semi-regular basis. Something silly, like a simple RPG-esque battle system where you face off against different monster girls one-on-one. If you win, you violate said opponent. Or if you lose, you get violated. Doesn't have to be super high res. Your patreon backers could suggest the girls and you get paid for every entry added into the game.

      Delete
    5. I actually have a pretty clear idea as to the type of game I'd make. I've talked about a similar idea in a post forever ago, but basically it would be a rogue-lite rpg platformer where you have a static home location, but randomized content in the areas outside of it.

      I would want it to be made in such a way that it's replayable enough that you can play it each week without it being dull to see each update.

      Delete
  6. Finishing one or more of the existing side games seems like the way to go. Focusing on Patreon just doesn't sound as financially or psychologically viable, plus, speaking selfishly, I don't especially care about the Patreon animations whereas I'd buy any of the games you have in progress.

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  7. Just curious, would it possible to combine whatever leftover resources from all the failed projects into a minigame collection?

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    1. Nah, not really. H animations are needed in most of them, which takes about a month each. With that's left to do of each, it would be a waste to release them as is, when with a bit more work they would be eroico sized games and bigger.

      Delete
  8. The sprite up above is the umbrella girl game, correct? Seeing that pose really make me want to see that finished.

    Here's my thought. Finish up whatever patreon animations you've committed to doing already (I would say just stop doing them at all, but that would probably be a slap in the face to the patrons who expect the next animation.) After they're done, stop the animations altogether. Put the patreon on hold, or change it to basically just be a general donation thing. Put all your effort into the umbrella game. Once that's done, start finishing off the side project, one at a time.

    After one or 2 of the side projects are finished, you can take a look at your financial situation. If it's viable for you to finish Noaika after that, then start on that. If it's not, keep finishing off side projects until it is.

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    1. I think you should start on the side projects, because every one you finish would be one less thing for you to think about. Same reason I think you should stop the animations. You're spread too thin.

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    2. Well, the second I finish one of the projects, that would be all I'd need. One game is enough to last me two years, so I would go back to Noaika at that point.

      Delete
    3. That would be perfect then. Finish off the last (1?) patreon animation that's been voted on/confirmed. After that, stop the animations and get one of the smaller (non Noaika) projects finished. Then you can get back to Noaikia.

      Or it might be a good idea to finish a couple of the other side projects first. I think it's very important to knock a few things off the list. That way you have less "weight" on yourself. Less that's still lingering there as something you need to get done. But the first step to that I just picking one and going with it.

      I'd really like to see you finish umbrella girl. Especially if you have concerns about it becoming outdated with time. Get it out of the way now.

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    4. step to that is* just picking one

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    5. Well, Noaika is a weight to be lifted more than anything else, since it's the only thing with obligation tied to it. After it's done the sky's the limit.

      Delete
    6. So, wrap up those animations, do one of the side projects, and then get Noaika done. I'd like to see the sky some day.

      And the reason I keep bringing up stopping the animations, they really do seem like a mistake IMO. And I really like the ones you've already released, but I would trade them all for one of those side projects being done, no questions asked. You even said it yourself in the post above. They've slowed you down.

      I think you would benefit greatly from being a bit more focused. Especially with so many games being in that 40-70% range of completion. Get one of those out. It'll be a good boost to your morale to knock one off the list.

      Delete
    7. Well, I dont think they were a mistake given that they got me to this point. But they were an unfortunate solution to another list of mistakes, that's for sure. I'd certainly have no money problems if animating them felt as seamless as it did in the beginning.

      Delete
  9. Well if you do pick up any of the old games im hoping its the crimson ones.

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    1. Crimson Blue is waaaaaaaaay outdated. There's basically a threshhold where I was worse at anatomy, and that one is way below it. Crimson Brave on the other hand looks better because it was stylized, but it was pretty rough, and was back when I still used drag and drop and GM8.

      So bad news is I'd never be going back to those in their current forms. Good news is that I can and will make games that are like them but much better at some point.

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    2. oh that sucks, will you at least reuse the characters?

      Delete
    3. Maybe I would if I did Crimson Brave again, just for the gimick of making the same game but better.

      Delete
  10. I think you should force yourself to finish some semi-done side projects. If you're worried your lack of motivation will effect the quality then compensate with a price cut. I really want to see what Umbrella Girl was all about and I'd forgive a few cut corners to that end.

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    1. Nah, motivation is less of an issue these days because most of the games with motivation problems were abandoned, and the rest were put on hold.

      Aseprite has made a huge difference in that regard, since making graphics is a lot faster and easier than it used to be. I get stuck on music more than anything, but luckily I only have to worry about it at the end of a project.

      There's only one project that I could see being a bit of a drag to work on, that being the classic castlevania style one. However it's also the closest to being a complete game, so it would probably be completed before it ever got to that point.

      Delete
    2. So what are all of the side projects you've got cooking? I'd love to hear a little description of each one. The ones you might finish anyways.

      I still have no idea what kind of game Umbrella Girl is. But damn was her walk cycle was cute.

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    3. I'll add some screenshots to the projects page tomorrow.

      Delete
  11. I think you shouldn't add more side projects, but just switch between what you have. Also, perhaps you could focus your side projects more into things that aren't going to be games in of themselves, but rather something you can add to your actual projects?

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    1. Switching between them would make them take a pretty long time.

      And nah, not making them games would be a bit of a waste of what's done in them already.

      Delete
  12. Personally, I love the look of the blue-haired protagonist (which I think might have been the parasol one). The Patreon animations seem to be killing you quite a bit and I'd advise that you make a Patreon that focuses on both sketches and static sprite art as a monthly reward. Certain tiers of course would give them any games you do release but you wouldn't be rushing to get something more complicated done as I know you're quite capable at art even if you think otherwise.

    What's important is your health and I do believe this is a less stressful way of tackling things. You only have to offer something to people once a month that may take you up to 3 days depending on your schedule and speed but the rest of the month leaves you free to focus on ONE project. That one being Noaika. Get it out of the way and then jump into working on smaller games.

    A game that gets constantly updated sounds nice, but in the long-run or as a creator personally, I think it'd get very stressful to only limit myself to one thing for a long time and it makes the audience of said-game demand an everlasting flow of your effort. And if you think working on another side project along with that would be better then you're back to your original problem.

    For your future stuff, I'd say try to work on collabs more often but of course none of that is something I can decide for you and I understand that runs the risk of earning less money depending on the overall success.

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    1. If I did a patreon game I wouldnt be working on a side project alongside it, I'd be working on Noaika. Unlike patreon animations, I'm used to working on games for long periods of time, so it comes a lot easier to me.

      My main problem with collabs is that it sort of feels like data entry when I'm just programming, and I lose the ability to add things quickly. I may pay to get music or CGs done, though, but even then it doesnt feel quite right.

      Delete
  13. Tripoteur VentripotentMarch 8, 2018 at 12:41 PM

    You already know this, but obviously the issue is that your work, while it has surely helped you improve as a developer, has otherwise not yielded anywhere as many products or as much revenue as it should have. Developing and releasing increasingly better games one at a time gives us games and gives you both experience and money. But if you get ten different projects to 60% completion, you've essentially produced six full games' worth of content... but no one gets any games and you don't get any money. That's insanely wasteful.

    I think I'm not exaggerating when I say that the release of Noaika will be a life-changing event for you. I understand that, to achieve that goal, you need some relatively quick revenue so you can fix yourself and then support yourself for the rest of Noaika's development. So that's the focus right now. You need quick revenue.

    The solution really isn't that complicated. Either pick a game that's 70% complete and finish it no matter what (no switching, re-making, re-working, upscaling, bloating, deluxing or anything of the kind... just fucking finish it, you dolt), or do that frequently-updated patreon-supported game thing that you've mentioned on a few occasions.

    My personal opinion is that this second option would be better; you would have the freedom to work on whatever small bit of content you're inspired for at any given moment, we'd gain access to content as it's being produced and you'd get concrete revenue right away instead of hypothetical revenue at some even more hypothetical release. Using Patreon to get yourself back on track doesn't make you an asshole. If using Patreon is what ultimately lets you release Noaika, then *not* using it is the morally iffy choice.

    Whatever you choose to do, just remember that it needs to yield revenue. It's not dirty or selfish if it's what you need to give us what we want.

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    1. Well yeah, when someone describes something as a train wreck, they generally aren't describing it as a job well done lol.

      Delete
    2. Tripoteur VentripotentMarch 8, 2018 at 1:42 PM

      Hah, indeed. It's not so much about informing you that what you're doing isn't working out so well than about zeroing in on the cause and providing a solution tailored to that particular issue.

      I'm sure you already knew all that, but hey, you asked.

      Nevertheless, I am equally proficient at giving unsolicited advice:

      If you do pick what you called a "rogue-lite RPG platformer", well... here are a few thoughts.

      Permanent vertical progression (like in Rogue Legacy or Dungreed) causes many problems. It's practically impossible to have content that's always balanced if players are going to have massively different levels of power in different playthroughs. Also difficulty-related... if players can simply farm until they overpower the content, both the process and the result become boring: you grinded a lot and never overcame the obstacle on your own. It's important for the player to know that they beat the content because they got better. Every run should have the player start from scratch, power-wise.

      But that's not to say that players shouldn't have any permanent rewards to work for. Permanent horizontal progression is fantastic. Permanent unlocks, like weapons, classes, costumes or even characters that alter gameplay (without being stronger than default options) give the player something to work for without disrupting game balance. As players get fewer and fewer things to unlock, they gain more and more options which keep the replayability high. Again, it's better if these unlocks are achievement-based rather than grinding-based. It's even better if they make sense, such as beating a boss giving you access to their weapon or costume.

      And while a certain amount of randomness is necessary to achieve a high level of replayability, it's important for players to still have a choice in how they'll be playing. If, after the first boss, the game randomly assigns a power like "you now deal +400% poison damage" and you're pretty much forced to only use the Poison Dagger weapon and Poison Spit ability or die, then you're not playing a game, a game is playing you.

      Those are the big things that have made or ruined games for me in the past.

      Being an experienced developer who likes to put a lot of thought into everything, I'm sure you already know exactly what you want to do, though... and everyone has different preferences. Whatever you end up doing, I'm sure it'll be a good game.

      Delete
    3. Well, I've thought about a lot of different kinds of progression, but I'm still not totally sure which I'd go for.

      At a base level, I like the idea of it being replayable on a daily basis. Session based is the term I'd use. That is, it should be possible to start a game, die in 5-20 minutes, and look forward to the prospect of starting over because of the randomized nature. Then as more content is added to the game, that time might increase to 30 minutes to an hour to include end-goals, rather than just survival. At a certain point, the target play time would level off, and there would simply be more content and alternate goals added, rather than extending the play time until it's too long.

      That's one option,

      I also kinda like the idea of having a game that's just relaxing to "visit" every day, with more long term progression. The problem of course is that if you have long term progression, it isn't really something you would restart on a daily or weekly basis, unless the random nature is so extreme that restarting is still going to be be a drastically different experience, even long term.

      I can also think of some stranger formats, but it requires some more thought. I kind of like the idea of an H game where the odds can dramatically shift from one moment to the next, creating an unfairness that's fun to play out. There are a lot of options simply because it would be an H game, and not a normal action game.

      Delete
    4. Tripoteur VentripotentMarch 8, 2018 at 4:19 PM

      When it comes to pure gaming, I'm very much partial to that first option. I've played quite a few "die-and-retry" games and IMO those numbers you listed are the exact ideal lengths of time for a run.

      But I've got to admit I've never really thought about how H content would influence gameplay. Even now, I'm not entirely certain I'm seeing the big picture. I know that many games encourage losing because the H content happens when the protagonist loses to the tentacly (if female) or girly (if male) monsters, turning "game over" scenarios into actually desirable goals... but there is some controversy among players and developers about this being a good or bad thing. And while I can conceive that the H content's influence could go far beyond that, I don't quite see how.

      I'll have to spend some time figuring that out. There might be mind-blowing possibilities here.

      Delete
  14. Sorry that this is off topic, but have you used the programs in this bundle, and if so, are they good for making music and sound effects?

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    1. Oops, forgot the link.

      https://www.humblebundle.com/software/magix-sounds-of-music-software

      Delete
    2. Well, most DAWs can import instruments and audio effects in the form of "vsts". So even if it says "EDM edition" it probably just means it would come with more EDM vsts and sound samples. You should be able to do everything you'd need to do with it. Either way, there's no risk if you're only paying $1

      That said, there are also free alternatives, just search "free daws" and you can try them out.

      Long story short as long as the DAW,
      1. Can import vsts
      2. Has audio effecs
      3. A piano roll

      You can do a lot to make sound and music. The rest is preference and ease of use.

      Delete
  15. Kyrieru, when you start a new project, how do you work on it ?
    Projects exploding into something too huge to progress on is usually a problem of bad project management. While you're doing an incredible amount of work alone ( If you actually are working alone, don't know about that ) you shouldn't run head first into any kind of project.

    Before you start working on anything new, you could try to put your ideas on paper. Not only spriting, design, story, gameplay... But especially, where you're going with that game, what do you exactly want to do. Room by room. Level by level. Then stick to it completely. If you get any other ideas during the process, just write them somewhere and include them in some different project in the future. I had the same problem as you for a long time, then I started to work with "skeletons".

    Basically, on something like Game Maker ( I'm not using it, just an example ) I would make all of the rooms/levels first and leave them empty. Same for the enemies, items, dialogues, characters, anything. Once I see the big picture, I ... Re-write everything. This is the hardest part actually. But when it's done, you got a solid skeleton and global vision of the game. Then, you just have to stick to it and fill your skeleton with what you planned beforehand.

    Maybe you already know all that and already work like that. Maybe you know it and never used it, I strongly suggest you give it a try in that case.

    I'd just like to add one last thing...

    Small projects doesn't exist. Never.

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    1. Oh trust me, I've tried every degree of planning at this point.

      There are two main reasons why my projects blow up. The first is that I commit to making a small project, and then get mid-project only to find that it feels lifeless and boring, and I lose enthusiasm. It isn't interesting enough to work on. Improving the game is then difficult, because the the new stuff wasnt planned for. In cases like these, it generally would have been better to just make a medium sized project in the first place, rather than making something small for the sake of being small.

      The second reason is similar but not the same. If a game's development drags on too long, or if you test it too much, you begin to doubt the value of the game's mechanics. Sometimes you're right, and the game merely looked good in your head or on paper, but in reality it's missing something. Sometimes you're wrong, and the thought that something is missing slows you down, and halts progress as you struggle to find "the solution".

      As an aside, I also find that it's possible to plan too much. I think it's dangerous to avoid "wouldnt it be cool if" in development, as sticking to the simple track you came up with can become formulaic and inorganic. Planning is a helpful foundation, but some of the most beloved games worked because some idiot was like "I'm gonna redo this whole part in a month cause right now it isn't working"

      Small projects exist, that's for certain. However I think it's possible to outgrow them, and where working on them as a first game works well, it can backfire if you're being driven by artistic satisfaction.

      Delete
  16. Do you think you'd do a poll of your most completed games just for input to see what users would like to see based off of the screen shots you posted in the projects page? Regardless of your answer I like the look of your Miscief Makers game. Also I'd like to say I really like your work and appreciate the time and effort you put into it.

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    1. Well, I could take a vote to determine my next action. However if I did, that would be the only project not on the list, as it was a collab, and I wouldnt be getting the full profits from it.

      That said, in my opinion it's the best of the projects, so I'll certainly be working on it at some point after Noaika is done.

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    2. Ah, well good to know you still have plans to work on it at a later date regardless. My apologies for my suggestion in fact I didn't catch the part in your project about GM2 I think you should go with whatever is easier for you, I look forward to seeing what it's like when finished.

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    3. The Mario/Sonic platformer* holy shit I'm tired.

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    4. Ah, well that one is probably the side project I'm going to work on.

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  17. From my point of view, I think the majority of your followers want Noaika to be finished. There are so many successful H-game makers out there that have already laid out how to be a successful H-game maker. People like Hentaiwriter use patreon to fund one whole game; They receive payments every month and show sneak peaks, demos, and teaser animations to keep followers interested. Since you seem to be in a financial crisis, I think you need a more stable way of making money monthly. Everyone loves noaika and I think that if you also created a monthly payment patreon while releasing updates and demos every now and then, you'll find yourself in a much better situation, for both us fans and yourself.

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    1. Eh, gonna have to disagree with you there. The way to be a successful game maker for me is simple;

      Finish a game.
      Sell it.

      That's it. The only reason I'm in this situation is because I worked on so many things without releasing them. Finishing and selling a game makes enough money to finish an even bigger game and then some. No crowd funding required.

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    2. Well you just answered your own problem. Just focus on one game and get it done. Stop spreading your focus and procrastinating like you said above. I know you said it's impossible to focus on one game cuz it's financially bad for you to focus on one game; That is why I proposed the one game, one patreon suggestion. You already know your own problem.

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  18. Have you considered doing incentives? Like allowing someone to pay a certain amount of money to choose a new enemy/animation to be added, such as a futanari succubus or a missionary zombie or something.

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    1. Nah, doesn't really fit the format of what I'd be doing. If there were a patreon game there might be collective voting, but the amount of time it takes to do an update or animation is worth more than I'd ever want individuals to be paying by themselves.

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  19. Nothing gets me motivated like a little forward progress. Maybe start finishing off some of those half-games, and work on Noaika in between?

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  20. You finish Noaika. You have "a game and a half" completed, all in different iterations. So take the most recent iteration - adapt the work or concepts from the previous ones into a working title. Release it.

    Hell, take a page from Anthophobia and update it over time. Every time you release a game it sets the community on fire with hype. No more distractions. Get a big project done.

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  21. I checked your projects page and man, that reminded me of why you're the best Pixel Eroge developer around. Everything looks beautiful just from the screenshots, I'd love to play them all.

    Anyways, it's fine to relax and focus on 1 project at a time and have it backed up by Patreon. You've got tried and tested quality in the stuff you deliver, so it doesn't matter which you work on, as long as you give us hungry masses something to feed on. XD

    You have our support!

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    1. Nah, no need to have commercial games backed by patreon. Only way I'd have a game backed by patreon is if it was actively updated and free.

      And yeah, I have to start releasing stuff. It's kinda depressing how little there is to play at the moment.

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  22. Don't have much I can add in terms of making games since I have no experience with that but the Patreon supported game idea would be something I'd be willing to back. The only two things I really want are more games to buy and a newer Noaika Demo so I can actually experience the changes since the demo first hand. I still play it every now and then, Kurovadis as well.

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  23. First of all I'd like to parrot "Prolific over perfect".
    The important thing I think would be to focus on smaller games like Aster. Take a simple concept, make it adult, boom. That way you can produce quickly, profit quickly, and use the experience to make the next one more ambitious if not plain better. Doing this means you also get more feedback, direct or indirect, on what works for your general audience and what doesn't.

    Noaika is my favorite game of yours and Aster comes a close second. They both derive from old-school games heavily, but imo do what those originals did just as well if not better, on top of including adult content.
    I think your biggest strengths are simple, straight-forward and fun gameplay, and atmosphere through art and music. In my opinion, the weakest part of your games is the adult content its self, usually due to sprite resolution, and these have improved massively, especially with Aster.

    Regarding Patreon, it's always a mixed bag. To satisfy the most people, like you said above, it'd need to be free and actively updated - That way, people can financially endorse the project, but you don't have the pain of people complaining about "demos behind paywalls!!!11". The latter is something that a lot of Patreon-funded developers struggle with, at least outwardly.
    Personally I'm happier just waiting until you've completed something, and paying for it. It's a question of which is more financially sustainable for you: Intermittent releases at a price, or consistent funding that comes with the expectation of consistent updates.

    As for what sort of game, have you considered doing anything 3d? With your sprite work, how simple the gameplay could be, and the possibilities afforded therein by an extra spacial dimension, I think you'd be able to put out something great. Level design becomes more complex of course, and integrating adult content may also be challenging, but it can be done (See H-Doom). 2d sprites and 3d environments I think would be the best of both worlds.

    As for the nature of that adult content, I think girl vs monsters is the "safest", especially for the Eastern market.

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    1. I want to do 3d, but it's a matter of having the time to learn it. After I release Noaika and a few other games, I should have a lot of money to hold me over, so I'd take a year or so to learn 3d.

      If it turned out that the transition to 3d animation is just too different, I'd probably hire an artist to do the animation and or models, and then I would do environments.

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    2. 3d vs 2d animation is interesting, I don't have experience in the former and barely any for the latter, so take it what I say with a grain of salt. On the one hand, in 3d you don't have to re-draw for every frame, so I imagine it's a lot easier to make things look fluid. On the other, it can be very difficult to have those animations be convincing. The closer to reality you get, the more any discrepancy between reality and what we're seeing undermines its efficacy. Facial expressions, clipping, model reactivity/interactivity, and as a consequence, believability, are all things that I find suffer in 3d hentai.

      With spriting on the other hand, you have much more direct control over these things, but every little thing you want the actor to do requires putting pixels together, rather than just re-positioning a model. So in short, 3d is easier to do more with, but the extent of what you can do is limited, while 2d sprites have it flipped around; You can do anything you like with them, but it's a long process to animate.

      That's why I suggested old-school style 3d gameplay, 2d sprites. 2d animation quality, variety and creativity is what I like the most about your games, and despite a very high standard of gameplay compared to the rest of the market, I think it's always difficult to reconcile fast-paced action with the player-character being the victim. 3d playable areas inherently make the player more vulnerable, provided the enemies are capable of exploiting it in some way. I think the most effective female-protag H-games borrow heavily from survival horror (eg. Anthophobia, Parasite In City, Last Demon Hunter [Wolfenstahl, not Hentaiwriter(?)]). All three of those are 2D, but use concepts from 3D games like limited line of sight, light/dark, enemy ambushes, and make effective use of the two dimensions that they have to work with - verticality. This along with enemy behavior is why your games are fun despite those hurdles. This is a bit rambling but I hope it's food for thought

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  24. It looks like that working on small games like Eroico and your last game seems to be the best option. It really sounds like you are more happy with doing that instead of making animations and working on very very big games.

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  25. Release Eroico 2. Here problem fixed (I'm not kidding)

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    1. If I ever release Eroico 2, it will probably be bigger than 1. I want to include some story elements.

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    2. What I meant is a simple yet effective game. Eroico resembles it perfectly. And I assume u had fun doing it since it took you only like 3 months.

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    3. Well, I might work on games that are "proportionally" as simple as it. The fact that I have aseprite now means I can animate quite a lot faster, and I can do most things faster in general in GM.

      If I tried to make something as simple as the OG eroico at this point, I'd probably be depressed with the sprites halfway through and start over lol. But I get what you're saying.

      Delete
  26. Here are two options:
    1. Get someone to reign you in, someone to slap you in the face every time you decide to go bigger than you planned.
    2. Early Access your works in progress, release what you have already no matter how finished or unfinished it is. Your followers want tangible results they can get their hands on, they don't care if it currently meets your standard or not.

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    1. 1. Doesn't work that way unless you have a normal job with financial accountability. I'm my boss, and I care more about the game's quality and/or by confidence in it than money to a fault. Would be different if I was also other people's boss and responsible for their wellbeing, but I'm not.

      2. The norms of a desperate market are hardly the thing to build a model around, in my opinion. I know all too well the feeling of wanting new content, even a little, in an H game, week by week. The problem is that experiencing it a little at a time until the game is done isn't really playing a game.

      Nah, no need for crazy models. Make a game, sell the game. Repeat, learn from mistakes. I lost a lot of time, and certainly a lot of money, so now the next step is to not make those same mistakes again.

      I have projects with lots of progress, dont make anymore new ones, finish one, finish Noaika, finish the rest. Regain new-project privileges.

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    2. Well with you releasing Aster recently sort of resparked hope in the few that got tired of the drought. Hopefully it keeps up, your work ethic is commendable but bills do need to be paid, some sacrifices have to made whether or not it's your integrity that gets sacrificed somewhat. There's gotta be a balance between your standards and the reality of the fact that bills need to be paid. But I'm sure you figured that out already, you really are an inspiration and I hope to one day be in your shoes in someway down the line. Godspeed!

      Delete
  27. The first step to making progress is admitting you have a problem, which I have been waiting for you to do for YEARS, man. You have so much talent and you've been a huge inspiration for me in my own work, watching you suffocate yourself under your own half-finished projects has been heartbreaking.

    Do what you're doing now. Get that movement-based game done, get Noaika done, and then I'd say start chipping away at those old projects before you start anything new. You talked a lot about trying to figure out the "identity" of the movement game, and I think that's what you should focus on. Take these old projects and give them an identity and stick with it. Write down new ideas and spend a few days playing with them each time you finish an incomplete project. Treat it as play, a carrot on a stick to help you finish each in-progress thing.

    Looking forward to seeing what you've got in store! Keep at it dude.

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  28. Would you ever consider releasing older beta builds of your games when its finished, im really interested in seeing those 3 versions of noaika you was on about :)

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  29. I like the Idea of a Patreon funded game where you just add a bit of content to it every month just like, lets say, Wolf's Dungeon and FOBS.
    The good thing with that is that if you don't feel like doing animation that month you can just expand the map or add new music. Feels like having more options what to do should make it easier to keep to the monthly deadline.

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    1. Well, if it was just a sprite game and animations, I'd do weekly updates. The big time sync of making games is making and polishing the engine, level design, testing, etc, but the actual content part goes pretty fast once that's all in place.

      I'd probably set aside two days per week, one for the weekly H, and one day for new content and engine stuff.

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  30. I liked your Eroico the best since I'm a fan of monster girls. Hopefully a sequel or something similar is done. Anything looking like a Metroid game with aliens trying to rape you is a win in my book :3

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  31. Kurovadis will stay forever in my heart. Best game ever.

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