Until next week...

Before we launched Rules of Engagement, we debated whether to wait to finish the first book completely or to go ahead and release the first 2 chapters first. Because we're still lighter on content than we'd prefer, we decided to launch the first chapters right away.

We also thought that launching just a few chapters and then following up with a chapter a week fit the weekly cadence we're aiming for. You can probably tell that we're trying to combine the richness and immersiveness of the written word with the decision making of games while adding in the weekly storytelling pace of TV.

We feel like a weekly pace fits this new medium well. So for now, when we can, we're trying to release a new chapter every week. Then as we transition between books, we'll have longer pauses as we gear up for the next book.

Until next week...

Oliver

A Recipe for Rules

We hope many of you are enjoying our newest story, Rules of Engagement. One of our Rules' writers is an amalgam of all three of the Rules' sisters. She's part party (she's Pixelberry's resident bartender),  part nerd (she dressed up as Lina Inverse for Comicon), and part sweet (she bakes cookies for us, does cartwheels through the offices, and blushes when we read her steamy scenes.)

And today’s her birthday. To our very own Jess, Nicole, and Katie... Happy birthday, Jennifer!

More Chapters?!

We've gotten a ton of positive feedback about the game, but we've also gotten our fair share of criticism. We agree with a bulk of both the positive and negative comments about Choices. The critiques ring true.

In tonight's post, we'd like to tackle two of the most common critiques - why aren't there more stories and why are we so stingy with keys. The answers for both are intimately related.

We've been hard at work creating new chapters, books, and stories as fast as we possibly can. In fact, for awhile these blog posts will likely not be written by one of our many writers simply because they are all so focused on writing for the game. But because we launched with less content than we'd like (a problem that happens when your launch is dictated by how much money you have left in the bank), we tuned the rate of key generation higher than we personally like ourselves. We basically did this so that most players don't run out of chapters too quickly.

It looks like we failed on both the amount of content we launched with and our corresponding time for key regeneration.

As far as key regeneration time goes, I personally apologize for that. Our plan has always been to make keys harder to get while we're short on content and to slowly make them easier to get when we have more content. I've been super scared that you'll run out of content too quickly, stop playing the game, and forget all about it before we get more chapters out for you to play. I also thought that pacing the speed of reading makes for a more involved experience. We didn't think we had enough books and chapters to change the rate of key generation for this update, but we may be able to consider it for the next update.

We are addressing the requests for more stories by having all our writers write as if a hurricane of keyboard eating moths is about to descend upon our office. We're also going deeper into debt and hiring writers faster, making a bet that more content will help us get to long term profitability faster.

As many of you will have realized, we're dropping new chapters every week - usually on Wednesdays. With the launch of our fourth story, Rules of Engagement, we're now releasing 3 new chapters every week.

We also have a fifth story that is being created, too. The working title for that one is Endless Summer, but we're still letting that name sit with us for awhile while the story develops further. This story is still in it's early stages, so don't get your hopes up about seeing it anytime too soon.

Hopefully, seeing new chapters for our stories come out every week is reliable proof that we're not only working hard, but have split into multiple mini-teams of writers, artists, and QA all working together to get more content out.

Thank you for your patience when it comes to both keys and more stories. We're in this for the long haul and hope you are, too!

Oliver

Thank you!

Thank you for all of your feedback, your enthusiasm, and your support for Choices and Pixelberry! It means so much to us.

For those of you who are new to Pixelberry, we're a fairly small, independent studio with a belief that creating great games and having a social impact can go hand and hand. In our time together as a team, we've been strengthened by stress and bonded by success. Sometimes both in a short amount of time.

But always we've done it together.

We've created this blog so that we can share this journey with those of you who want more insights into the highs, lows, debates, brainstorms, ideas, and process that go into making Choices. Along the way, you'll learn more about our team, how we think, and get sneak peeks into what's coming up next.

Oliver, on behalf of the Pixelberry Team