It’s been quite a while since I posted, and I’ve made some changes in my otome gaming fandom. I stopped ordering otome game magazines from Japan, so I’m not as aware of the new JP games coming out. I don’t mind this, because I’m also pulling back on ordering the games themselves. I’m trying to save money to pay off some debt, and though this is my only real hobby, it’s pretty expensive. I’m still hoping to get the games I want eventually, but I’d rather save up money for a trip to Japan and get them there without spending so much on shipping and customs (I just heard how much more we’re charged on customs in Canada compared to other countries, and guys, it makes me really sad) – especially since I like the extras.
Anyways, even if I don’t get new imported games, there’s still lots for me to talk about. Besides all the JP games I have that I haven’t played yet or thoroughly, there are more and more games coming out in English! And of course, all the mobile otome games. So I’m planning on focusing more on those for the next while.
To start off, here are some English otome games that I’m working on reviews for and where I’m playing them:
And I’d like to review Amnesia and Code:Realize too, since I don’t think I reviewed the JP versions.
Also, Kickstarter has emerged as a pretty important way for developers to get the funding for otome games, so I’ll probably do some coverage of that as well – just today I backed a few really promising games:
Legend of Rune: A BL / Gay Visual Novel RPG
A Foretold Affair
Cinderella Phenomenon – the studio making this game also has a free browser-based otome game that I’m currently enjoying a lot, Locked Heart.
Are there any games you think I’d enjoy that aren’t on my list yet? Please let me know!
Crowdfunding has come a really long way, and even well-established companies are now using it to test out new markets and products. If you have a product that’s expensive to produce and distribute, it’s a lot safer to ‘pre-sell’ it and see if there really is enough demand to make it worthwhile.
I actually couldn’t find many otome games on Kickstarter that were in progress, except…
THE BIG ONE (right now): Beastmaster and Prince, from the current Japanese otome game powerhouse Otomate (Idea Factory), is up on Kickstarter for a Steam release, and depending how well it does, possibly even a Vita release!
This KS is a pretty big one, not only for what it could mean for future otome localizations, but also the sheer size – b2g (or Gloczus,) is looking for $150,000 USD to fund this game. That amount, they say, will go primarily towards the payment of 3 full-time translators for 5 months, which in my not too knowledgeable opinion seems pretty reasonable. (That’s over a year of full-time translating, which at a decent salary I’d hope would be at least $100,000 (let’s all remember that this has to cover freelance salary and benefits). Then there’s the project management, coding, the merchandise, QA testing, and I’m sure I’m forgetting some things. And yes, let’s not forget that the company has to make at least a little money for it to be worth it to them. Perhaps they’ll wrap that into project management.
The Kickstarter itself has already had some adjustments, with a higher, $140 USD reward tier offered that’s currently the highest tier offered. For that you get a very nice amount of merchandise along with your digital Steam release of the game, a wall scroll, tote bag, pillow case, badges, and an artbook, and it will all be exclusive to the Kickstarter!
I just read through all the KS, and admittedly, the writing is not the clearest, but hey, they’ve already said they’re hiring professionals to translate and localize the game. Some clarifications:
There’s an FAQ as well, where the team says that they’re preparing a cost breakdown.
They also say that they ‘expect’ to be using the Japanese voices, but they’re still in licensing discussions – which reminds me, that would also be part of their costs (and potentially a large one? je n’ai aucun idée). I have to say, I’d be really disappointed if they didn’t have the Japanese voices and music and sound effects. Edit – they confirmed in today’s update that the original Japanese voices will be included (phew!)
Also, they mention that if they get only $1,000 over the threshold, they’ll do an iOS and Android version!
I’ve played both the original game and the fandisk, and it’s a really fun story with lots of adventure and a petting game that is adorable. I probably don’t even have to mention, the voice acting is great, and as you’ve seen the art is really nice too.
In short, if you’ve read posts on here and wished some of those great otome games would be localized in English, here’s your current best chance to show that there is a market for them, and get a really fun otome game as well (and some swag if you want, the extra rewards are pretty tempting!)
I don’t know how many people know this, but I’ve been working on something big, and it was finally announced a few weeks ago – some friends and I are starting up an online magazine, Sparkler, and our company name is Chromatic Press. This has been in the works for a long time, and I’m really excited we can finally talk about it. Sparkler’s first issue will be this summer, and I’m really busy with making sure it goes well and we have a great lineup of stories to publish, so I haven’t been updating as much as I’d like to. I’ll still be around here though, posting otome game news and some reviews and previews.
Sparkler (twitterid:@sparklermonthly) will include illustrated prose stories, comics, and audio dramas, all serialized and targeted to young women. Our first official ‘appearance’ will be at the Toronto Comic Arts Festival in May, and if you’re around, please come visit, it’s free!
The first series we can confirm is the continuation and completion of the original English-language manga, Off*Beat, by Jen Lee Quick. This series was originally published by Tokyopop, but only two out of three volumes were published before Tokyopop closed its English-language publishing arm. We really wanted this story to be completed, and happily we were able to get the rights for the first two volumes, and are going to serialize the last volume in Sparkler!
More announcements to come!