This was originally announced and posted on my Discord server. It has been modified and tailored to fit on Patreon, but all the same info is still here.
Tl;Dr: There's a lot to this post, so I implore you to read the whole thing. I'll cover as much as possible here.
I've lost my passion for writing The Estate. It's not cancelled, but it's no longer my main priority. I have potentially located a co-writer for the game. I'm hoping she can get started soon. Some of the Patreon funds will be going to paying her for her work. There might be a bit of a stutter in releases at first, but I'm still aiming for monthly releases.
In the meantime, I'm working on a second game. I should have a prototype out soon, possibly by the end of the month. I've already started work on it. More information and a synopsis down below.
I won’t beat around the bush on this one. After a couple of breaks, a couple of breakdowns, and a lot of time to think, I’ve come to an inevitable conclusion:
I’m tired of working on The Estate.
I didn’t think it would happen, but I just… I’m tired of the story. I know what to do with it, I’m just sick of looking at it. There are other factors in play as well, but I won’t go into that for now.
Suffice it to say that the whole project has worn me down. I just don’t have the same passion for it that I had before.
I haven’t been very forthcoming about the overall plot line for the game, but to summarize, I had a plan for what a big part of the story would be about later on, but for fear of “jumping the shark”, I dropped a lot of it.
The idea in question would have opened up connections for other games, as well as novellas and other stuff that I had planned. But, after going back over the plan, I realized that it would ruin the overall story of The Estate, watering it down to be rather unimportant in the long run. After coming to this realization, I tore a few pages out of my planning notebook and stuck them in my filing cabinet, then scratched out several of the ideas I had for other games and novellas connected to it.
I feel The Estate would work better as either a stand-alone story, or something that a few other games could tie into in a much simpler way.
So, I set out to rewrite the overall story outline without this big plot point, which wasn’t super hard to do. That alone told me it really didn’t need to be in there. I have the new outline pretty much done, but I found myself dreading writing any of it, and that's not a great feeling to have.
So, what does that mean for The Estate?
Well, stick with me, this is the rocky part.
I’m probably going to release a few more versions with some content to chew on for a while, then it’s getting partially shelved.
HOLD ON! That doesn’t mean it’s canceled or anything. I made a promise that I’d finish the game, and that is exactly what I’ll do. Well, maybe not just me…
This part is still in the works, but there’s a solid chance that I have located a co-writer. I’m still working out the details with her. She made the offer to help me with some of the writing, freeing me up to work on other projects as well. I’ll still be working on The Estate, it just won’t be my sole focus.
Where do we go from here?
Well, for now, I’m going to start working on a prototype for the new game. This new game will also be in Twine. I toyed with the idea of making it a visual novel, but I think I’ll stick to what I know for now. I’ll release it once I have something to show, which shouldn’t be long from now. I’m in the planning phase right now, working out the characters and basic plot lines. There’s a good chance I’ll be putting fingers to keys for the actual story code by this afternoon.
As for The Estate, once the new writer gets to where she can work on it, I’ll be releasing it alongside the new game. Once that gets going, I’ll be making a new release schedule for everything.
Potential Questions (Approximate)
”Hey, what the shit, RD? I came here for The Estate! I don’t care about whatever this other thing is!”
Yeah, that’s fair. I know a ton of people are here for The Estate, and that’s absolutely fine. Like I said, the game isn’t canceled or anything. The current ‘off the top of my head’ idea is that I’ll be releasing each one in a kind of A/B schedule, but I’m going to shoot for one release of each one per month.
As for the new game, I don’t know for sure, but I have a good feeling that a lot of you might be interested in this new one as well. This kind of leads into the next question…
”I’m subscribed to you on Patreon for The Estate. What am I supposed to do now?”
Right. I’m not going to lie, I haven’t really hammered this part down yet, which is why I was a little hesitant to make this announcement.
I feel like I don’t say this enough, but I am thankful everyday for the support my patrons have given me on Patreon. Every cent helps me continue to work on this game, and also, y’know, eat.
I know there’s a good chance some of you might not like this news, and decide to cancel your patronage. That’s totally understandable, and I don’t blame you one bit.
However, I would like to ask one thing: Give this other project a chance. I’m absolutely sure a lot of you would like it. It’s not quite the semi-wholesome story of a guy with an oncoming case of Stockholm Syndrome and a severe case of the shrinkies, but I think it’ll be at least as interesting.
If you see the prototype and decide you don’t like it, fair enough. I can’t stop you.
Also worth noting: I will be using the Patreon funds to pay my co-writer, so the money is still going to The Estate either way. Starting out, I can probably get away with making this prototype either for free, or at least dirt cheap, so the only resource going into it is time.
”Okay, so what is this new game then?”
Oh, come on. You know how little I like to spill the beans. 😏
”So you’re just… not gonna tell us?”
...Fair. I’m not giving it all away though, as I’m still working out some of the details, and some of this is subject to change.
The general premise of the new game:
The main character, Cole Harper, dies after succumbing to something very strange, and finds himself in a hellish plane of the afterlife. After some demon-deal shenanigans, he manages to make it back to life on Earth.
However, there’s a small catch: He’s been branded as a particular kind of demon, and now has to find a new way to survive. If he doesn’t succeed, it’s game over for him, and you!
This game will be another TF game, with a lot more sexy scenes than you might eventually find in The Estate. Your task in the game is to upkeep the MC’s energy by any means necessary. If his energy levels drop to 0, he will die again with no way to come back, and it’s game over!
There is some good news here though.
When I started working on The Estate, I had a long-term goal: Create a custom layer to the SugarCube format that I could use to make new games quickly.
This situation right here is the exact moment I’ve been preparing for. The events engine, the NewTime system, the custom interface styling, the speech box system, the DynAv system; It’s all been so that when this eventually happened, I could quickly throw together a new project prototype together without having to start completely from scratch. Just dump the new story in, make a few adjustments here and there, and it’s all ready to go!
This game will be the proving grounds for whether all the extra background work I’ve been doing was actually worth it, which is why I’m a little excited to do it. Can you tell?
That's the end of the post from Discord. I did have an extra question, but the answer involves some spoilers, so I'll be putting it in another post.
Anyway, that's all I have for now. If you have any questions, please, ask away.