Long time no see!
Whoa, it’s been an embarrassingly long time since I’ve personally updated this thing. Well, I’ve got a number of things to report.
Break Chance Memento
As you have probably noticed by now, the game hasn’t been released yet. In a couple of months, it will have been two years since Auro and I started on BCM. It’s been a long journey and ongoing learning process for both of us, and it didn’t help that we kept thinking of new things we wanted to add and old things we wanted to fix. Originally this was supposed to be a very short little game and at some point it turned into this behemoth!
We learned a lot of things while working on BCM and then on RisAmo and The Elevator. One thing we learned is that overall we are both pretty responsible people who will not just abandon a project if we decide to pursue another idea for a while—that much was proven by us finishing the other two games and then coming back to BCM. Another thing we learned, however, is that when you pore endlessly over one project for a long time (read: two years) it tends to take its toll on you. As some of you probably know, I experienced the worst writers’ block of my life during the second half of 2012, which I’m still sort of recovering from. I went from writing thousands of words a day to having weeks-long stretches where I couldn’t write anything. Depression set in and then Auro and I had our first kerfuffle because I didn’t want to admit that I was having a problem. Perfectionism sort of does that to you.
The problem was, the longer I went on trying to ignore the problem, the worse it got. We finally got over this by having a long heart-to-heart chat which led to me having to admit and accept that I wouldn’t be able to finish writing the script for a December/January release. At the time, it was a very scary ordeal and it’s still kind of hard for me to talk about now, but afterwards it felt like a huge weight had been lifted and with that self-imposed deadline gone, I felt my creativity and motivation return.
To make a long story short, we are still very busily working on BCM—now more than ever, really. I am in the middle of writing the next to last chapter on Shuuki’s half of the story, then it’ll be off to Natsume land. Natsume is a much easier POV character for me to write (he is, in fact, the only main character that I created myself), so I don’t anticipate his half of the story taking as long. Auro is progressing very well with the artwork. She finished the CGs up to the point of the story I’ve written so far and is now going back to finish some miscellaneous things like fixing up old BGs and whatnot:
We’re sorry to disappoint people by delaying the release, but we figured you’d all prefer a really high-quality finished project, something we’ll be able to deliver even better with the extra time we’re putting in. BCM will definitely be released this year—we’re shooting for summer. *knocks on wood* However, we’ll also be working on some other things alongside it, so this will not solely be the year of the BCM. (:
If you haven’t seen it yet, please check out our latest teaser PV with a never-before-seen scene and a peek at the new art and CGs!
Speaking of “other things”, you might be wondering about that woman at the top of the post. (you might not see her if you’re reading this through an RSS feeder) She is, in fact, the (so far unnamed) heroine of another game we’re working on called Swan Grimoire. Note: don’t get too attached to her design, as that’s a concept image, so she might be tweaked a bit before her appearance is really set in stone. Though the title of SG has been thrown around a few times, Auro and I have yet to really reveal what the game’s all about. I’m here to rectify that. ♥
Swan Grimoire is going to be Cyanide Tea’s first (real) otome game. It’s kind of funny that it’s taken us this long to work on one considering that otome games are what brought both of us into the world of VNs in the first place.
that and I’m a bit obsessed with them /shot The game has a medieval-ish fantasy setting and we’ve drawn on a number of fairy tales and other fantastical inspirations to create a brand new world.
Ah, though I’ve been referring to it as a game this whole time, that is not wholly accurate. Swan Grimoire will actually be two games. I’ll get to why in a minute.
Our heroine is a witch, a magician…whatever you want to call her. While she’s not exactly a sage, she is nonetheless fairly skilled and mostly spends her days living on the outskirts of a small village honing her magic abilities and helping out whoever happens to drop by. One day, she receives an intriguing request for aid from a faraway kingdom. Enticed by the promise of a large reward and chance to use her skills, the witch leaves her quiet life behind to see what awaits her in the big city. Once she gets there, she’s told of the kingdom’s plight: for more than a century, the citizens of the kingdom have been terrorized by a malicious demon who eats people’s souls. The demon seems to target people indiscriminately—whether young or old, male or female, none are safe when he’s on the prowl. He lives in the deep, maze-like forest just outside the city and though many have tried to take the demon down, none have succeeded in the task. Things have recently escalated to the point where people are hardly able to leave the kingdom at all without fearing for their lives. The witch is told that if she can rid the kingdom of this terrible demon, she will be given a reward beyond her wildest dreams.
While many a dashing hero might take this explanation at face value and set off to defeat the demon at once, our heroine is the skeptical sort. Being a witch, she is no stranger to prejudice and hatred from people who are afraid of what they don’t understand. She wonders if there might be another explanation, if there’s more to the story than what she’s been told. While it’s definitely true that many, many people in the kingdom have been killed by this demon, when the witch ventures into the forest, she finds others living there—humans who haven’t been killed by the demon despite living in the heart of his territory. These forest-dwellers feel that they’ve been wronged by the kingdom or those living in it, but with all these contradicting points of view, whose stories should our heroine believe? What is the truth?
At this point, the witch has a choice: does she stay in the city and fight off the demon to save the citizens or does she band together with the group of misfits living in the forest—a group that includes the demon himself?
To address this choice, we have decided to split Swan Grimoire into two games. In the first, she will make the choice to stay in the city and in the second, she will go to the forest. While the cast is the same for both games and they both take place over the same time period, the eligible bachelors are different depending on which game you play. Each game has four love interests, which means a total of nine main cast members when you include the heroine. While we’ve already gotten some headway in planning out the guys and have even given them all names and basic profiles/backstories, they haven’t actually been visually designed yet, so I’ll leave the big bachelor reveal for when there’s some pictures. :3
One thing that’s probably worth noting is that the main cast members in this game—from the heroine to the love interests—will all be above the age of 20. I personally feel that there are plenty of otome games out there for teenagers in high school, but not a whole lot that are for an older audience. Though this doesn’t necessarily mean that we’ll be having ~adult~ content in SG (because I’m still terrible at writing them), that does mean that the relationships and characters in SG will be more mature and somewhat lacking in sparkles and shoujo bubbles. There were some complaints from younger teens about some of the RisAmo romances being boring or unrelatable because of that, so if you’re someone who thought that way, SG will unfortunately probably not be for you. :( Also, if you like heroines who are meek and obedient, SG might not be for you, either. :( Our witch is a sarcastic, intelligent little spitfire and no love interest—no matter how dashing—will be able to change that.
Those two caveats aside… We’re not sure at all about a release date yet, but please look forward to hearing more about SG as Auro and I continue working on it. ♥
Aside from Break Chance Memento and Swan Grimoire, we also would like to finish and release Red Snow this year, as well. Auro’s done a couple of GUI concept designs and things are starting to come together a bit. We also might be working on something small for a certain holiday later this year, but that’s nothing more than a pipe dream at the moment, so we’ll see how that goes the closer to that holiday we get.
Phew! That was a whole lot to take in, but thanks for reading this far if you have. I hope you all had a wonderful start to the new year and we look forward to sharing more with you in the coming months!