Sunday, May 21, 2017

State of the Schwesternschaft

"My fellow Rosicrucians..."
Hello, everyone!  It's been a while!

I have to apologize for the extended silence on this blog since the official English release of Rosenkreuzstilette.  Without going into too much detail, our free time has become somewhat of an endangered species these past few months.  Juggling getting Rosenkreuzstilette Freudenstachel ready for its English debut along with lots of overtime at my day job, some personal drama, and the death of a good friend has left me with little time to write up any meaningful posts.  As you probably already know, I'd rather wait until I have the time to do something right than attempt to half-assedly wing it, so I've resisted the urge to write any insubstantial "still alive" posts here on Schwer and Schwer Alike.  I'm sorry if that decision has caused any of you to worry about the fate of Freudenstachel.

It's been three and a half months since Rosenkreuzstilette's official release, and I have to admit that I'm a bit conflicted about the game's reception.  On one hand, professional translators and longtime doujin games enthusiasts have been ecstatic about the game's official release.  Clyde Mandelin (whom many of you may know as the man behind the Mother 3 fan translation) invited me to tell our story on his Legends of Localization website.  Censored Gaming, much to my surprise, adapted that article into a short video congratulating our professional debut.  A small handful of YouTube Let's Players have shone a spotlight on the game, and I couldn't be more flattered by their starstruck reactions when identifying myself in the comments section of their videos.  The positive vibes have seriously helped me with some of the pain I've had to work through in my personal life as of late.  I never imagined anyone would be that excited to meet me; it's the perfect remedy for treating a broken heart.

On the flip side, there's been a whole lot of indifference and even some outright hostility towards RKS's English release.  In the span of over three months, not one major gaming news outlet has reviewed Rosenkreuzstilette, not even the ones we passed free review copies to.  According to Metacritic, a single enthusiast website has reviewed the game, giving it a satisfied 4 out of 5.  Metacritic doesn't assign its own score to a game until at least four high-profile outlets have given it a shot, so RKS currently has a Metascore of "tbd".  Given how stoked the Megaman fanbase was for a spiritual successor to the Blue Bomber, you'd think classic gaming sites would be all over this release...

To be totally honest, I wanted my first post-release blog entry to showcase the coverage the game has received; I can't really do that when there's barely any coverage worth showcasing...

This would-be activist doesn't seem to
realize that The Emperor's New Clothes
isn't pornography.  If s/he does, we
have a clear double-standard here.
To top it all off, although Steam reviews of the game are overall "Very Positive", there are what I can only describe as Social Justice Wankers harassing players on the Steam forums, openly calling them basement-dwelling pedophiles and questioning why Steam allows the "sexual exploitation of young girls" on its service.  I won't dignify this accusation beyond what you see to the left; I'll let the screencaps speak for themselves.

Anyway, onto more relevant news:

We submitted our release candidate of Rosenkreuzstilette Freudenstachel to Playism in mid-April.  I'll be submitting a revised release candidate later this week to correct a minor bug that slipped by us (in the previous build, random large Vitality Orb drops were automatically being replaced by small ones...).  We also submitted Version 2.10a of the original Rosenkreuzstilette a few weeks ago.  This version integrates a certain well-known official mod into the game, fixes up a few minor bugs, and touches up the graphics here and there (including a good chunk of the Game Over references).  Per our publisher's request, I've left any remaining tasks (bugfixes, achievements, subtitles for Freudenstachel) in their hands for the sake of expediency.

Unfortunately, I have some bad news to share.  Playism has officially pulled its support for hard copies and English language voicework for the game.  That isn't to say that these two key elements of Schwesternschaft have been scrapped; Playism just isn't able to cover our costs.  However, they've gracefully stepped aside on the subject of the R05 artbook and will allow us to work with another publisher to get the artbook financed, localized, and printed.  We already have a party interested in partnering with us for R05 as well as the production of merch like keychains and postcards.  We'll keep you posted on that topic whenever we have anything to announce.  If things go well and these physical goods sell as well as we hope, we may well be able to salvage everything we've already invested into Schwesternschaft...

Well, that's enough out of me for now!  Next time will be the inaugural entry of the Rosenkreuzstilette Freudenstachel Developer Diary.  I'm curious to know what you'd like me to shine a spotlight on first.  Feel free to look back on our original RKS Developer Diary and suggest a debut topic in the comments below.  There's a lot to cover before the game's English debut, and I'll try and add new posts whenever I'm able to make the time.

Until then!