An Inspiration for Others

Our story games through the ages. Notice how small the first Surviving High School was.

Every once in awhile, while I look around at our studio, I get amazed by how much things have changed for our team.

I remember back to 2004 when our team was the first to create story games for phones. At the time no one had thought about creating stories for phones. In fact, when we first came up with the idea, we didn’t even have a writer on our team yet. We ended up finding a talented student, Max, at Stanford who would write for us at night after class. He’s now our Head of Content and namesake (but not inspiration) for High School Story’s Max. 

We launched our first story game, Surviving High School, in 2005. It was the first and only story driven game on cell phones for many years. We thought a text based game was a perfect fit for cell phones that were limited by screen size and power. Our belief was that with limited information, our players would use their imaginations to fill in the blanks. And even though our art has greatly improved from the pixel art of a decade ago, that basic premise continues to today.

Surviving High School grew in popularity and became the #3 game on the biggest “app store” at that time, Verizon’s Get It Now service. It did better than well known brands, like Pac Man and Madden Football. Story had proven its appeal.

Later at EA, our team developed a brand new version of Surviving High School for iPhone and Android. We followed up with Cause of Death. And later, as Pixelberry, we launched High School Story, Hollywood U, and Choices. Even though we’ve been with four different companies - Centerscore, Vivendi Games, EA, and now Pixelberry - it’s always been the same team. 

Through the years, our story games have inspired many other companies to follow. But as pioneers of the space, we take great care in making sure that the quality of our current work rises to the expectations of the many fans we’ve delighted over the years.

And together, as a team, we’ll keep on innovating in the space.

- Oliver & The Pixelberry Team

Trust

As the new year begins, I’ve been thinking a lot about the past year. 2016 was a difficult year for our studio, and today I’d like to share a behind the scenes story of Choices… a great example of why I love the Pixelberry team.

By the time May 2016 was starting, our team had been working hard on Choices for many months. Our writers were deeply enmeshed in writing all three launch series, our artists were creating the characters and backgrounds for the game, our engineers were making the game come alive, our testers were hammering on the game, and our designers were tweaking features on the fly. The office was filled with a buzz, you could feel the energy as everyone pulled together to finish the game.

But despite our best efforts we knew that we weren’t going to have our first three books ready for a July launch. Only The Freshman would be done in time.

Normally, we’d push the launch back, but we also faced another problem. Pixelberry was running out of money. We projected that after we launched in July, we’d have only one month of cash left and we’d need that month as we waited to receive our first earnings from the game.

As we explored our options, I came up with an alternative plan that I presented to the team for a vote. We could launch in July as planned or if everyone took a 20% pay cut for several months, we could postpone the launch of Choices to August. We would take a blind vote and the majority would win.

An overwhelming majority voted to take the cut. This type of outcome is pretty rare in the workplace and the results were a testament to the team believing in both Choices and in each other.

Afterwards, multiple people approached me about concerns that even though they voted for the cuts, they were worried that a reduction in salary might be too hard for someone else on the team, especially those buying a home or with babies at home. I was even asked if they could cut their salary deeper to spare the cuts for others. We declined because leaders of the studio were already planning to spare from cuts those for whom it would be too much of a hardship. But it was so touching to see that people on the team cared for each other in such deep ways.

Thanks to you, our players, Choices had a great launch in August. A week after launch, everyone’s salaries were returned to normal and several months later, the cuts were paid back. Today, the studio is investing the money we are making into hiring more writers so we can create more and better stories.

And as the new year begins, we go into it knowing that the people we work side by side with every day genuinely care about Pixelberry, the game we're making, and each other.

- Oliver

The Haunting of Braidwood Manor

With two new books and The Freshman: Book Three, the Holiday of Choices is still going strong! To cap off this season, we're releasing our final book for the season: The Haunting of Braidwood Manor!

Many of you have been asking for a horror book, and we heard you. The Haunting of Braidwood Manor is a gorgeous and eerie tale that takes place within a haunted manor. For more on our newest book, we turned to The Haunting of Braidwood Manor's story lead:

Tell us about The Haunting of Braidwood Manor. What's going down? Will there be ghosts?

'The Haunting of Braidwood Manor' is just what it sounds like: a haunted house story. But like all good haunted house stories, there's much more to it than faces in the windows and bumps in the night. This is a deeply personal story about one girl's journey to understand life after death - a journey that brings her to a place stranger and more mysterious than she could ever have imagined.

As for whether there will be ghosts... I'd say that's something for the readers to find out on their own. Assuming they're brave enough, of course.

What are you most excited for the readers to encounter in this book?

Can I say everything?

To start with, the art is absolutely incredible. Braidwood Manor itself is a fascinating setting because it's creepy and possibly haunted, but it's also one of the most beautiful houses ever. If it was a real place, I'd move there in a heartbeat, ghosts or no ghosts.

Speaking of ghosts, this book has some of my favorite Choices characters yet. I can't wait to see how our readers react to them... especially if those reactions include fan art!

Finally, I'd recommend that this book be played with the sound on and the volume turned UP! Music is one of the key ingredients of horror, and 'The Haunting of Braidwood Manor' is no exception.

This is a horror book, but the people need to know. Will there be any romance?

Horror doesn't necessarily preclude romance. After all, what could be more terrifying than telling someone how you feel about them?

On a scale of 1 - 10, how spooky is this book?

Jessica, they haven't invented a scale that could possibly quantify just how spooky this book is.

Eek! Check into your game for the release of The Haunting of Braidwood Manor and so much more. The team has been working around the clock to make the Holiday of Choices happen, and we're so excited to share it with you! Happy 2017, everyone!

- Jessica

Warmth for the Holidays

We received a really well written and heartwarming letter this past week. Although it doesn’t relate directly to Choices and instead focuses on another one of our games, High School Story, I thought this letter would be great for the holiday season. Victor, thank you for letting us share your letter. Because of you, our High School Story team is now considering a MG storyline.

- Oliver

Dear Pixelberry Studios,

Hi! My name is Victor and I’m a huge High School Story fan! I’m a regular player, and I’m also a new player to Choices! I absolutely love your mobile games, and I even bought the official High School Story shirt! I wanted to reach out to you for a few reasons, but first I’d like to tell you about my story that led to Pixelberry.

I was born with a rare autoimmune disease called Myasthenia Gravis (MG for short). It is extremely rare in children, yet I acquired it at age five. Basically, it weakens all of the muscles in the body, making it difficult to breathe, walk, eat, and complete simple tasks such as opening a water bottle, or a jar of pickles. Over the years, I’ve had multiple surgeries, appointments, and a lot of missed school due to recovery from surgeries and tests. Unfortunately, I’ve had to miss quite a lot of my “high school experience” due to my body’s limits, such as my inability to participate in sports, stay late at football games, be included in after school clubs, participate in PE, and even make friends. Eventually, I was forced to be homeschooled online because I couldn’t physically make it through a day of walking from class to class. Overall, it was hard for a teenager in high school to live with a disease that is constantly making me weak and unable to participate in regular teenage activities.

Then, my sister introduced me to High School Story. My siblings and I are big Laura Shigihara fans, so when we discovered her video where she sings “Best Day” live on YouTube, we had to check out your game! Since I had to stay home a lot, often recovering from surgeries or regaining strength, I became quite a gamer in my spare time at home. I have multiple consoles, and I’m into all types of genres. High School Story really got me hooked within the first few quests, as I was interested in the type of game that makes me feel like I need to continue out of curiosity of what will happen next, like reading a mystery novel. I absolutely fell in love with your game, and was soon playing it daily!

After playing for awhile, I realized that I was a big fan. I had my favorite characters (Julian, since he is just like me, and Autumn, since she looks and acts just like my sister, along with Payton, Mia, and Nishan topping my favorite), along with my opinions on the characters and anticipation quest after quest, which I would discuss with my siblings. The character development of the characters was so good that I felt attached and proud to be a High School Story fan! (Big props to the writers and developers, by the way). I would get so worked up when Kara and Max were bullying the characters, or when Ace betrayed the Avatar. I would laugh out loud with some of the stuff that came out of Payton and Nishan’s mouths, get excited when I heard a reference from other franchises like Star Wars, and happy when all of the characters came together and were there for each other. It was surprising to me, that I was getting emotionally invested into a mobile game. Now, I realize that maybe it’s because that’s what I was missing out on in the hospital. I was feeling the “high school experience” vicariously through this game.

It wasn’t until now that I realized that this game was such a good outlet for me. It was disappointing and upsetting to understand that I couldn’t get the typical high school experience that everyone else had. I felt very left out. Playing the game, however, felt more fun and raw than my real-life high school, since it showed every side of the students -- students who had real problems and relatable struggles and feelings. Your game made a very positive impact on me.

If you’ve read so far, thank you so much! I really appreciate how you listen to your fans. A major reason I wanted to contact you is because I was wondering if it’d be possible to include a Myasthenia Gravis patient as a student in your game. The MG community is very unknown to the public, and I believe that recognition in such a successful and widespread game would contribute great awareness to their community. I’ve seen Pixelberry team up with inspirational foundations, such as Girls Who Code and Cybersmile, so I was hoping there would be something we could work out. One of the things I love about this game it how relatable it is with the struggles of high school, such as character with bad home lives, kids feeling pressured, disabled characters (Ryan with the robotic arm), wildly diverse characters, and questioning and changing the stereotypes of high school overall. It shows people how a jock isn’t just a jock, or a nerd isn’t just a nerd. I believe it’s very important for kids and teens to realize that it’s not about having the typical high school experience, but more about understanding each other’s differences and learning to embrace everyone for who they are. Also, it’s about enjoying the moment as it is, and being okay with having your own type of experience in high school, and in life in general. I think adding an MG patient would truly help prove that all types of teens can triumph through adversity.

Thank you again for your fun, addicting, and amazing game! I truly appreciate everything it has taught me, and how it helped me get through high school. Now a senior in high school, I hope that I will be able to teach others the values your game revolves around. Even if I never get a reply from this, I am so glad I wrote to you, because not only do I want you to know the positive impact it had, but also because I feel like I was able to leave my insecurities about missing high school behind, and move on to enjoy life as it is. Thank you!

Sincerely,  

Victor 

~Class of 2017~

~A Fan from Seattle~

Pixelberry's Holiday Snafus & Warm Wishes

Earlier this week we launched our new Choices update on Wednesday, but did not launch this week’s new chapters until Thursday. It turned out that there were more problems with The Freshman Book 3 than we were expecting and it held up all the chapters.

In general, we try to launch new chapters every Wednesday and we know that’s many of your expectations, too. But there have been a few days when our launches have slipped back to a Thursday. We apologize for that. Even though we’ve hired new Quality Assurance testers and writers, moving to supporting chapters for 4-5 series a week has been pushing our capabilities. We’re really trying as hard as we can. But it’s more important for us to ship new chapters with as few bugs as possible. We do try to let players know on Facebook or Twitter as soon as we know the DLC is delayed.

Unfortunately, we will also be delaying the premiere of The Haunting of Braidwood Manor one week from December 28 to hopefully January 5. I just played a new build of it and it definitely has a more suspenseful feel to it than our other stories. When you play it, I hope you will think it was worth the wait! 

While some of our team has been traveling this week across the country, a majority of our team was still in the office today - enjoying a holiday lunch together and working hard on getting new chapters ready for release next week. It might be the holidays, but we wanted to make sure new chapters are there for you, especially for those who may need a pick-me-up or escape during this time of year. 

Happy holidays! Whether you’re with family or friends or on your own this holiday season, we hope it will be a time of peace, joy, comfort, and fun!

Oliver & the Pixelberry Carolers

#LoveHacks

LoveHacks.jpg

Bundle up and grab some hot cocoa, because the party's still on with the Holiday of Choices! Next week, we'll be releasing our next book: #LoveHacks!

With #LoveHacks, we're introducing a fun, laugh-out-loud adventure set in the heart of San Francisco, alongside even more new features. To tell you all about #LoveHacks, we handed the mic over to #LoveHacks's story lead:

First off, what is #LoveHacks all about? What was the inspiration behind it?

#LoveHacks is a sitcom-style story about a writer making viral, clickbait articles about love and dating in San Francisco. Social media and viral content are a part of the way we think about everything nowadays, so we wanted to do something that felt very “now”. It’s a story about dating, of course, but one that pokes some fun at modern culture. It’s romantic comedy for the #meme generation.

Judging by the title, I'm guessing there'll be romance. What's in store for the readers?

Our main character is going to have to go on a LOT of dates for work research, so expect some fun and some drama there. But, just like any good sitcom, we also have a colorful core cast of characters, and you’ll play as each of them throughout the book, helping them find love, success, or just an apartment with reasonable rent in San Francisco.

There's a new feature appearing in #LoveHacks. Can you talk a bit about the Closet?

The Closet lets you open a menu and browse through all the outfits you’ve unlocked so far, and change your look right then, in the middle of the story! It also opens up a bigger view of your character, thus answering the age-old question of “Do Choices characters have legs?”

(We’re so excited to show off long dresses, fiiinally!)

What IS a #LoveHack? Got one for us?

#Lifehacks are shareable tips and tricks to make your life easier. LoveHacks do the same for your love life! For example:

In a rush? Break up with bae via text to save precious time!

…I’m kidding, don’t ever do that. But seriously though, the characters in #LoveHacks are WAY more savvy about dating than I am. Check them out in CHOICES!

Tune in next week to play #LoveHacks! And don't forget, we've got one more new book on the way after that: The Haunting of Braidwood Manor. Let us know what you think of the new books!

- Jessica

 

Endless Summer!

As part of the Holiday of Choices, we’re super happy to introduce you to our newest book: Endless Summer! 

This is the first of several books we’ll be releasing in the upcoming weeks. Each book has new features, storylines, and art. The team has been working hard to create something unique and fresh for every book. We're excited to see what you all think! 

To celebrate the release of Endless Summer, we decided to check in with Endless Summer's story lead: 

Endless Summer is a departure from anything else Choices has done so far. That goes for the narrative, as well as the art style. What is Endless Summer about? 

Not to give away too much of the surprise, but what we can say is: You and ten of your classmates win a vacation to a Caribbean island resort… but when you get there, you realize that this paradise is built on secrets. 

At its heart, this is a story about finding the adventure in your life, whether it’s your friendships, your love life, or figuring out who you want to be as a person.

What's the story behind Endless Summer's new look?  

With this story, we set out to expand the definition of what CHOICES can look like. We found that a vibrant cartoon look is perfect for these larger-than-life characters against the backdrop of a gorgeous, mysterious island. We hope our players love the style as much as we do.

Which part of Endless Summer are you most excited for? What do you hope readers will get out of this book?

We designed a couple new features that I can’t wait for our players to get their hands on, and you’ll see them pretty much as soon as you start Chapter One. One of them adds spectacular kinetic visuals befitting this soaring adventure, while the other opens up whole new avenues of gameplay, where every single choice you make has even longer lasting consequences.

Okay, but is summer REALLY endless? No spoilers. 

I like to think that summer is a state of mind, so really your endless summer is totally up to you!

And there you have it! If you haven't already, log into your game to play Endless Summer, and let us know what you think! 

- Jessica

Completing the circle

I'm always super excited when we add new people to the Pixelberry team. But at the risk of offending our other new hires, I have to admit that I was extra excited for the addition of one of our newest writers: Wendy!

Why? Because she’s one of you! She was a Pixelberry fan before she became a writer for us! It was so exciting to learn that Wendy has been playing High School Story since our launch in 2013. Like many of our most passionate fans, she was initially skeptical that High School Story would be a fun game, but once she started playing, she realized the story was deeper than she thought. And by the time she got to references about Firefly (a favorite Pixelberry show), she was sold on our games.

Fast forward three years to when Wendy started looking for a job and saw that Pixelberry was hiring. She happened to apply right before we launched Choices and by the time of her interview, she was already a fan of The Freshman. She quickly accepted our job offer and moved all the way from Washington D.C. to the San Francisco Bay Area to join our team. And now she’s a writer on The Freshman, including this week’s holiday special!

If like Wendy, you have a passion for writing, are willing to relocate to the San Francisco Bay Area, and want to complete the circle, we are looking for more writers and would love to hire more fans. You can learn more at our website.

http://www.pixelberrystudios.com/careers/

Spinning in circles of joy,

Oliver

A Holiday of Choices

This December we’re super excited to be celebrating a Holiday of Choices with you. We’ve been growing our team and our newest writers have been preparing a two-part holiday special for The Freshman and are helping us plan for Book 3 of the Freshman. We’ll also be increasing the number of Choices series in December from 4 to 7!

Our 5th series is launching within the next two weeks. Endless Summer was designed as an escape for players facing chilly winters. In this tropical island mystery, you’ll meet Quinn, Jake, Diego, Michelle, Sean, and others. I played chapter one for the first time last week and loved it. I think many of you will, too!

(Notice which Fox color the writers picked!)

(Notice which Fox color the writers picked!)

Our 6th series, #LoveHacks, will follow the lives of 6 friends in San Francisco. It's a fun, heartwarming story that will be especially beloved by fans of The Freshman.

Our 7th series, targeted for the end of the month, introduces a new genre to Choices. One that’s a pretty major departure from our existing series - Horror! 

Chills.

Make sure to check back every week this month to enjoy a Holiday of Choices with us!

Oliver, Endless Summer's newest fan!

 

Diversity in Gaming

At Pixelberry, we’ve always strived to have a diverse cast in our stories that reflects the real world - whether it’s based on ethnicity or sexuality. This has always been important to us, especially since many of us have faced discrimination simply for being ourselves. Hopefully, from playing our stories, like “The Freshman”, you can tell from both the romantic interests and friends in the story that diversity is important to us.

But recently, we failed you. We launched “The Freshman”, with 4 different skin tones that you could choose for your character. We tried to provide a wide range of skin tones, but we didn't succeed in doing that. We’ve had African American and other people of color tell us that they weren’t represented. We messed up and we are very sorry.

In order to correct that, we just launched new skin tones in “The Freshman.” Looking at the side by side comparisons of the new and old skin tones, it’s obvious that our initial range of skintones was too limited.

Step by step we are learning on this journey with you. We truly appreciate your feedback, and our entire team is working hard to make stories that we hope will make you laugh, make you cry, or make you fall in love--but we never want them to make you feel excluded. We hope you'll keep letting us know how we're doing so we can keep making Choices better and better for all of our players.

Oliver and the Pixelberry Team

What Does The Fox Say?

Last week’s post was pretty heavy, so we thought we’d share something lighter this week. As the chill of winter creeps into the Northern hemisphere, we’re getting ready to transport you somewhere warmer with our newest story, Endless Summer

We’ve been debating back and forth on the color of the fox-like character. We’ve gone from red to light blue to green. I asked to see purple and “Snorlax” blue. The artists came back with the last two shades below.

What do you think? (Find out which one we picked in December!)

Oliver

Choices

What an election. Half of America woke up elated, the other half very sad, and around the world people are processing what happened.  It’s clear that America, like much of the world, remains very divided. One of our team’s goals with Choices has always been to create greater empathy for those people and values we don’t always understand, regardless if you’re conservative, liberal, or in-between. We hope that our game will play a role, no matter how small, in creating more empathy across the globe.

Separately, I’ve recently lost someone important to me. It’s been hard. But in that sorrow, I’ve seen the power of games first hand. Games can be more than just entertainment. Games can bring people together, bridge generations, bring smiles amid tragedy, and in their own way they can heal.

Line by line and chapter by chapter, our team hopes to build stories that sometimes will be frivolous or simply fun, but at other times will have meaning, will have an impact, and will be greater because of the understanding they create. Thank you for being a part of our journey so far and we hope you continue to join us in making this happen.

Oliver

One of Pixelberry’s founders

Key Problem Fixed

Yesterday, we pushed out a new update on Android that solved the key overcharge problem. We released the same update for iOS today (we had to pass Apple testing first.)

Make sure you update to build 1.4.1 to avoid getting double charged for keys. Once again, we are very sorry for this problem! We are continuing to monitor our support channels and social media closely to make sure that the problem really has been solved.

Later, we will do an internal post-mortem on what went wrong, recap what happened to you, and apologize again. We feel really bad about this and we thank you for your patience as we worked on solving the problem.

Oliver, Pixelberry's CEO

Key Problems Update

Thank you for your continued patience as we fix this issue. Our devs have been working really hard. They've identified the problem and are now working on the fix. The problem occurs most often when you finish a chapter, quite the app, and then restart a chapter later - the way most of you play.

If all goes well, we hope to push an update out for Android later today. We are going to ask Apple to expedite an update, so we hope that gets released today, but depending on their testing, it may take a few extra days.

If you have encountered this problem, please let our Player Specialists know. To send us a message, tap the gear icon, tap Help, and tap Contact Us.

Key Problems

We were excited to push out yesterday’s new update with The Freshman’s Halloween themed story. But somehow in that update we introduced a new problem. At times, but not always, the start of a new chapter will use two keys instead of one. Somehow the game is sending start chapter / end chapter / start chapter commands all at once when it should only be sending one start chapter command.

Our developers have been rushing to isolate the problem. While they are trying to find the cause, they’ve also identified 3 different “band aid” fixes. They are working to implement all of them right now.

  1. Our developers are going to disable game state compression. They think the introduction of smaller save files in this update may have caused this problem.
  2. They are going to modify our server code so that any quick sequence of start chapter / end chapter occurs, it will be ignored.
  3. They are also going to create a client fix to correctly handle any error calls the server sends that relates to this problem.

Thanks for your patience as we work quickly to solve this problem. We’ll update this blog as we have more information.

Oliver

Unspoken Bonds

Our team has gone through so many things, but through it all, we’ve managed to stay together.

We first started working together at Centerscore. Vivendi acquired us and then sold us to EA. Later we started Pixelberry. Through it all we’ve been one core team, adding people along the way, each one making us stronger.

We’ve been through hardships, like seeing each other get laid off in bits and pieces at EA or voting to take pay cuts to ship a better Choices.

We’ve also been innovators, launching Surviving High School, the first story game for mobile in 2005.

We’ve seen successes, like cheering when High School Story broke into the Top 10 and saving lives with Cybersmile.

But our most enduring results have been in the friendships and relationships that have formed from the team, including two couples meeting and getting married.

Not every day is happy. We go through our fair share of arguments and serious conversations. But the one thing I can rely on, especially when life outside of work is filled with death, illness, and other no good, horrible things, is knowing that when I go to work, there is a team I can rely on -- with people who care about me, people with whom I share experiences that bind us together in unspoken ways.

For all of that, thank you team.

Oliver

Chasing Problems

A small number of players have lost their saved games. If this happened to you, please do not uninstall the game. The file that has your game’s saved information is still there, but a fairly unusual set of circumstances is causing the game to create a new, separate save file.

We are very sorry if you’ve encountered this problem. If you have, please contact our player specialists by returning to the game’s main “bookshelf” page and tapping the gear icon to open up the Settings menu. Then tap Help and Contact Us to send a message to our player specialists. They’ll help you fix the problem.

For those of you interested in better understanding how we find and solve problems, the first sign of trouble usually comes from messages that players send on our in-game help system. We have a team of player specialists who read and respond to these messages every day. In this case, we had about ten reports come in within a few days of a new update. Henry, who leads both our player specialist and QA (Quality Assurance, testing) teams, brought the issue up at a daily Choices meeting we hold every weekday at 10:15am.

Our dilemma: To fix the bug, we'd have to pause working on new features, like an easy way to share screenshots from the game. I came in pretty strongly on trying to solve the problem as quickly as possible. As a team we agreed that even though the problem was only affecting a small number of people, it was something important for us to fix.

Once we all agreed to make this a high priority to solve, our Player Specialists tried to get more details from players with the problem, QA testers tried to replicate the problem, and our Developers tried to hunt for the problem in the code. Our QA team had never seen the issue before in their pre-release testing and they were having a really hard time trying to duplicate the problem. Eventually our developers were able to isolate an issue the operating system had with saving things when a player was almost out of memory on their device and the device ran out of batteries in the middle of a save.

The fix to make sure this very specific problem never happens again actually will take two updates to implement. The first is a change to how our game saves files which is happening in an October update. The second is a change to how our game reads the new save files for new updates which will take place in a planned November or December update.

Now that the root of this problem has been solved, our developers are back to working on new features and solving other smaller problems. In fact, they were able to squeeze in the aforementioned, screenshot sharing feature, so you’ll see that roll out next week (hopefully).

As you can probably tell, we hate introducing unexpected bugs and problems into the game and we take reports of problems seriously. We’re never going to be perfect, but we try to get as close to it as we can.

If you do encounter a problem in our game, please let us know, try to be patient with us, and know that we are listening and working hard to fix it!

Oliver

Pixelberry’s blogger-in-chief

Fan Fridays

Hey, Jessica here! By way of introduction, I'm a writer and part of the social media team at Pixelberry. While Choices updates on Wednesdays, the highlight of my week is actually Friday... specifically, Fan Fridays!

That's Pixelberry's designated day for celebrating the creativity, enthusiasm, and overall awesomeness of our fans. Every week, we feature one fan post on our page (facebook.com/ChoicesStoriesYouPlay). It might be a fun comment, fanart, or a screenshot of a favorite character.

And honestly, everyone's creativity never ceases to amaze. It's really cool to see what people come up with -- jokes, drawings, and everything in between. In fact, our office is decorated with fanart of our other two games, High School Story and Hollywood U. And we're planning to decorate our walls with Choices fanart as well!

Here's a sampling of our first two Fan Fridays:

fanfridays.jpg

Head on over to our Facebook page to check out other Fan Friday posts or submit your own!

And I gotta say... As an English major and an all-around nerd, I firmly believe that the best kind of reading is the kind where you get engaged. That can take the form of fanart, fanfiction, headcanons, or straight-up literary analysis. So all the creativity that Choices sparks... it's just incredible.

Fan Fridays may be once a week, but in our office, it's more like every day. We love seeing what fans come up with, whether it's a fanart of Kaitlyn or a tweet about hawk names. So, thank you. If you're reading this, you're the best!

-Jessica

Time after Time

Choice’s players have been incredibly supportive of the game since its launch. Thank you for your patience while we’ve been ramping up our content teams. Now that our team is creating 3 new chapters a week, we’re ready to make our first key timer change. Today we’re excited to announce that the timer for keys is being reduced from 3 hours to 2.5 hours.

As we continue to grow our catalogue of content, we’ll experiment with further changes to our key and diamond economies to hopefully find a good balance between immediate player happiness and the long term viability of our studio. We think the right balance will help provide maximum joy and impact!

Oliver 

p.s. Strictly Ballroom with its version of “Time After Time” was one of my favorite movies in college.