Bloodbound II

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It’s back! We’re taking another bite at the Big Apple and reuniting with your fave crew in Bloodbound II! Let's sink our teeth in and get the inside scoop from the brains behind the book:

Now spill! What’s new with Bloodbound II?

Andrew: What Bloodbound II offers is MORE! More of the vampires you love. More awesome historical flashbacks and more creepy new lore. More scares, more thrills, and yes… more steamy scenes with Adrian, Jax, Kamilah, and Lily!

Wow, I can’t wait! What’s been the most challenging part of creating this book?

Andrew: The trickiest part was definitely figuring out the details of the world. Book 1 is focused very tight on NYC, and in Book II we really open it up, but that meant figuring out not just what it’s like for vampires all over the world, but the whole bigger history of how this world came to be.

Owen: Assembling the Bloodbound team is kinda tough. We’re all working on different projects, so it’s hard to get us in the same room at the same time. However once you do, the result is dark, beautiful magic… And a lot of nonsense. But also magic.

Chelsa: Trying to remember to include all the little moving pieces and the important things from Book 1 that needed to come back. But we did it!

Phew! Sounds like quite the feat. Now, Book 1 showed us a whole new world of vampires… without spoiling anything for us, will we be meeting any new vampires?

Andrew: Definitely! I can’t wait for you to see some of the new vampires we have in store. You’ll meet old friends… and even older enemies!

Owen: More than that, you’ll see a whole new society of vampires with a completely different set of philosophies. There’s way more to the vampire world than the clans of New York!

Emi: I'll give you a hint that my personal favorite is a very famous vampire who you're lucky enough to cross paths with.

OoOo! What are you most excited for fans to experience in Book II?

Andrew: Where to begin? There are so many big thrilling twists I can’t wait for the fans to see. There’s a cameo appearance in Chapter 3 that was an absolute blast to write.

Chelsa: So many things! I have to just pick one? I think I'm most excited for people to experience the new tapestry flashbacks in Bloodbound II. The story that unfolds there is SO interesting, and I can't wait to see people's reactions.  

Owen: Vampire parties in some… unorthodox locations.

Emi: You may finally learn about the mythical First Vampire...

GASP! Which reminds me... Out of all the vampires in the story, who would you most likely want by your side?

Andrew: Kamilah, for sure. Sorry, others, but she didn’t get to be 2000 without being one hell of a survivor.

Owen: I’d choose Lily cuz she’s chill. I get that the other vampires are like, immortal paragons of animalistic power and otherworldly beauty, but like… get over yourself?

Chelsa: Kamilah. She's such a bo$$.

Emi: Gaius. Sure, he's likely to betray you in the end, but as long as he's on your side, the competition doesn't stand a chance!

Any final tips for people to sink their teeth into?

Andrew: Flesh calls to flesh. Blood calls to blood. Follow the path to find the Tomb… but beware the Order of the Dawn.

Emi: Learn from the past.

Chelsa: Wear a turtleneck.

I'll keep that in mind! Here’s to venturing into the wicked and wild world of vampires! Make sure to let us know what you think on our social media pages. We can’t wait for you to play Bloodbound II!

-Shae

Summer Updates and Answers

Summer's just around the corner for us here at Pixelberry, and you know what that means... Vampires, royalty, and that glam celeb life! At least, that's what it means for Choices.

In case you missed it, Bloodbound: Book 2 will make its vampiric return on May 17th! (Check out the cover reveal here.) We know it's been quite a while, but we promise, it's worth the wait. A Courtesan of Rome will also pick back up on May 22nd with its finale chapters. And we can't forget your journey to pop star fame in Platinum, out later this month.

What's coming up in June? Wellll... Red Carpet Diaries: Book 3 (Cosplay! A near-death experience! And a wedding!) for one. And the Royal Heir will debut in June, too.

That's not all for the summer! Head back to the ranch in Big Sky Country: Book 2... Experience summer love and reconnect with your roots when you return to the beach town where you grew up, all in Sunkissed... And party it up in Vegas with your girl crew in Bachelorette Party!

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Since it's been a while since our last Q&A here on Inside Choices, we thought we'd do another one. Here are a few of your questions answered:

Will there be a Book 2 for Ride-or-die? What about Open Heart?

First of all, thanks so much for reading these two books! If you haven't caught Ride-or-die's finale earlier today, we hope you'll check that out. Book 2 of Ride-or-die is in the works, but it's still in early stages right now, and won't be out for a while. As soon as we can tell you more, we will. As always, follow us on social media to get the latest!

As for Open Heart... We can't say anything yet! When a book is currently updating, we generally can't give out info on potential future books. Just FYI.

Is there going to be a Book 3 for Desire & Decorum? America's Most Eligible?

Yes, and yes! Those books are a work-in-progress. When we've got news for you, we'll let you know ASAP. That's a promise.

Why is character art getting reused in Nightbound and Wishful Thinking?

It comes down to resources. There are so many stories we'd love to tell, but we just can't do all of them without using our resources strategically. Of course, that doesn't mean we don't hear your feedback, and we're always looking for ways to improve our books.

Why are there female-only main player characters in some books?

This is something we've talked about in previous Inside Choices posts! (Definitely check out our past Q&A posts if you haven't already.) As mentioned above, it's sometimes due to resource constraints, and other times, it's because it fits the story and setting. At the same time, we've got more books brewing with more gender options... and character options. (If you've read our latest Choices Insiders email, you'll know what this is about.)

Any info on the next fantasy adventure book?

Speaking of the Choices Insiders email... check it out for a very early sneak peek for that! This upcoming fantasy epic is like nothing you've seen in Choices before, with more character options and a skills system that will redefine how you play Choices.

And in case you haven't done this already, sign up for our Choices Insiders email list here:  https://www.pixelberrystudios.com/choices-insiders Be sure to confirm your subscription via the confirmation email, which might land in your spam mail, so look out for that. Sign up now to get our June edition with even more sneak peeks of what's to come!

What's happening with the ad rewards? Why aren't they working?

Sorry about this! As some of you know, Choices has been experiencing some ad reward issues for the last month or so. Our team has been working non-stop to get it resolved, but it's taking a while, for which we apologize. The ad rewards feature is one that we've been really excited to release to all of you, so we want to get this fixed ASAP. We're hoping to resolve it in a future update, and will keep you all in the loop.

Can you tell us more about The Royal Heir?

We got the lowdown from The Royal Heir team just for you all, so yes. Yes, we can. In The Royal Heir, you'll go on your honeymoon, attend Bertrand and Savannah's wedding, and get a peek into Cordonian history... Seriously, you're not ready. Here's a lil sneak peek:

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Hope this blog post answered a few of your burning questions. Pro-tip: You can always message us on Facebook or contact our Support Team in-app to get more general questions answered, or get help with game issues. Your positive messages (and corgi pictures! OMG!) always make our day, and we love hearing from you. Until next time...

-Jessica

Wishful Thinking

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Breaking news! Wishful Thinking is about to hit the Choices shelves. But before that happens, let's chat with the writing team for a sneak preview of what to expect in this quirky romcom:

What's the scoop on Wishful Thinking?

Saran: Our protagonist is trying to fulfill her dream of being a reporter, but when an accident gives her mind-reading abilities, she discovers what that can mean for her life and career. Most of us have wondered what other people are thinking at some point or another, so we wanted to explore the pros and cons of what would happen if you could actually do that. At its heart, this book is about learning to be confident in your own skin, but there are plenty of laughs (and loooove) along the way!

It looks like Wishful Thinking has a little of everything. What genre would you say it is?

Saran: At its core, I’d say it’s a romcom, but there are also elements of magical realism mixed in! We wanted to create a story that’s a little absurd and satirical in places, but still has tender, moving moments. Hopefully there’ll be a little something for everyone!

Time to address the emu in the room: Why are there emus on the cover? (Of course, no spoilers!)

Saran: I’m a big wildlife enthusiast, so putting a bunch of animals in this book was simply inevitable. Plus, I love Australia (shoutout to our Aussie fans!), and I’m thrilled that we got to include such an iconic critter (although I will confirm, regretfully, that our book does not take place down under). There’s not a lot I can tell you about the emus without spoiling the plot, but let’s just say that as a reporter, you’ll end up covering some pretty wild stories ;)

Shayn: We're definitely going for a quirky romantic comedy with a dash of magic and mystery! Even with all the drama you run into, we keep it entertaining, so this could definitely be a happy place read.

What was your favorite part of brainstorming and writing Wishful Thinking?

Saran: I had a lot of fun coming up with wacky news stories for players to investigate. I think it gave us the chance to explore some uniquely strange scenarios! Also, it should go without saying that getting to write the emu parts have been the highlight of my writing career, and possibly my entire life.

Kathleen: I always love the writing challenge of taking the default world and changing one little thing about it, then seeing what effects ripple out from there. Giving one person the ability to read minds can have some pretty wide-reaching consequences, as you’ll soon find out!

If you could read minds, what would you do with your newfound powers?

Saran: I would definitely use it exclusively to figure out why my roommate’s cats are meowing at 2am. Are they hungry? Do they want belly rubs? Do they, and they alone, see spirits of the departed floating forlornly around our apartment? I’m afraid I’ll never know.

Shayn: I'd learn martial arts, get myself a unitard, come up with a catchy superhero name, and get to saving the world!

John: If I had mind-reading powers, I would use them to read the minds of plants and find out once and for all if playing music helps them grow faster. I sure hope my succulent likes ABBA.

Kathleen: I want to say “fight crime” but honestly I would probably just go around making sure that every single dog knows how good they are.

Glad you're using your powers for good! Readers, tune in Monday for Wishful Thinking. And of course, watch out for sneak peeks of Nightbound, Bloodbound, and more! Can't wait to share what's new in Choices with all of you. Have an excellent weekend!

-Shae

Summer Reads and More

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This past week, you hopped on a flight to Paris in Passport to Romance... and that's just the start! There's more on the way in Choices, and this is your chance to check out what's new:

Up next... Wishful Thinking and Nightbound! Sneak peeks will go live sooner than you think, so keep an eye out. In case you missed it, here's the lowdown on these two books: In Wishful Thinking, your heroine is an aspiring reporter with a knack for reading minds. What does this mean for your life and your career? Find out in this all-new Choices book!

In Nightbound, you'll step into the world of the supernatural and encounter monsters, the fae, werewolves, you name it! But beware, nothing is as it seems... As promised, you can play as a male or female main character in Nightbound.  

If you've been following along online, then you know that late spring means two things: More of A Courtesan of Rome and Book 2 of Bloodbound! A Courtesan of Rome will pick back up after its hiatus with a few finale chapters wrapping up your role in making history...

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Bloodbound: Book 2 returns with new mysteries, old enemies, and a thrilling adventure that'll unearth the dark, alluring history of vampires. (And just to be clear since there's been some confusion, Bloodbound: Book 2 is a separate book from the spin-off book Nightbound!)

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We've got quite a few summer books in the works as well! Travel to your family's old beach town and find summer love in Sunkissed... and sing your heart out on your path to fame in Platinum! And of course, head back to Hollywood and Montana in Red Carpet Diaries: Book 3 and Big Sky Country: Book 2, all launching this summer! Your next epic fantasy adventure might just be around the corner, too...

Finally, head back to Cordonia this summer in the follow-up series to The Royal Romance! This new series will answer a few unanswered mysteries from the first series, and tackle the big question of any romance: What comes after happily ever after?

So there's your sneak peek of what's coming up this spring and summer! What books are you looking forward to? What current books have you been loving? If you like these early Choices previews, let us know!

-Jessica

Passport to Romance

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Ever dreamt of traveling across Europe? Fall in love with what the world has to offer... and maybe meet a special someone along the way! Have it all in Passport to Romance, out now in Choices! Before the book took off, we checked in with the team for a quick chat:

Give us the grand tour! What's Passport to Romance all about?

Max: Passport to Romance is a chance for our players to experience a fun-filled European adventure full of romance and sight-seeing... without the 11-hour plane ride.

What's different about Passport to Romance? What are you excited for our Choices readers to encounter?

Eshani: I’m excited for our follower system! Our main character is doing a livestream/blog in this story, and you get to make choices that affect what goes on the blog—which eventually affects the number of followers the blog has! The more followers, the more bonus scenes you get throughout the book!

Max: When we brainstormed this book, a lot of the ideas came from the question: If you were vacationing in Europe, what would you WANT to happen? Believe me when I say that this will be the journey of a lifetime!

Love (and lasting friendship!) is in the air. Can you share a little bit about who we'll be exploring Europe with?

Eshani: We've got a fun cast of characters that accompany you on your trip! There's Ahmed, who's playful and athletic and just trying to figure out how to be true to himself in the face of his fame. And there's Marisa and Sumire, your roomies. Marisa is a bit of a party girl who always has your back, while Sumire is a total sweetheart working on gaining confidence in her artistic talents. Finally, there's Elliot, the witty Brit you run into on your first flight...

Danica: You’ll be exploring with friends and that’s what makes travelling fun! It’ll be a blast to explore Europe with friends like Sumire, Ahmed, Marisa, and Elliot!

Have you travelled the world before? Where? And what did you love about it? Got any travel tips for our readers?

Eshani: I really love to travel, because there’s so much of the world to see and experience, and it helps you broaden your experience. One of my tips is to figure out what kind of traveler you are! Are you into walking cities or hiking jungles? If you’re a planner, be sure to get your itinerary in tip-top shape beforehand. If you’re not, allow yourself to go with the flow. Do travel your way, not the way others say you should.

Danica: I traveled once to Cambodia, and it’s definitely different from the States. I loved sightseeing and hiking to different temples. Just enjoy your time in another country and don't rush things. Be stress-free as much as you can!

Pack your bags and check in for your flight to the City of Lights! If you haven't played Passport to Romance already, we hope you'll give it a read! Next up in Choices... Wishful Thinking, Nightbound, Bloodbound, and more! Happy travels!

-Shae

The Elementalists: Book 2

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Destiny. Danger. Destruction. Master magick against the odds in your second year at Penderghast College of Elemental Magicks! More secrets and adventures await in Book 2 of The Elementalists, out tomorrow. Now let's chat with our resident fantasy writers for a preview of what's to come:

(Readers beware, spoilers ahead!) Give us the lowdown on Book 2! What's next for the Penderghast crew?

Maya: Book 1 left us with the mystery of the girl in the locket, and that's only the tip of the iceberg for this year's adventures. Of course, you and your friends will be learning new spells and getting invites to the most exclusive parties... but watch out! There's a big storm headed your way.

Book 1 kicked off with a quiz to determine your elemental Attunement. What magickal new features have you been brewing up for Book 2?

Maya: Let's just say, some of the major choices you made in Book 1 will affect how your story progresses in Book 2, while the choices you make in this book will have even heavier consequences going forward.

Chelsa: There's definitely some new features in Book 2! One of my favorites is that we added spell icons to some of the choices so you know what kind of magic goes with each choice. All that we have in store for you guys wouldn't be possible without our awesome design and QA teams... so shout-out to them for putting up with all our crazy schemes and making the magick happen!

Will we be meeting anyone new at Penderghast? Will they be friends or foes?

Maya: Oh, we'll be meeting plenty of delightful new faces. Many would like to think of themselves as friends, but between you and me, I've got my eye on some of them. Or maybe I'm just eyeing that impeccable fashion sense...

Emi: There are so many new people you're going to meet, including some of your friends' families! Whether or not they end up as your friends or foes, well, that depends on you!

What's been the most fun part of working on Book 2? What are you looking forward to players reading?

Maya: I've loved getting to write a whole bunch of new, non-human characters! We've really expanded the scope of the magickal world in Book 2, and I can't wait for players to encounter these characters that our art team has brought to life so vividly.

Chelsa: The most fun part has been our team dynamic and our openness to new ideas. My favorite story moments from Book 1 (and Book 2) were things that we didn't initially plan for, but later came up with as we delved deeper into outlining and mapping out the world's lore. If you think Book 1 was intense, you haven't seen anything yet!

Emi: Bringing Aster and Atlas to Penderghast as students is something we've had planned from the very beginning, back when we were planning Book 1, and it's so satisfying to see it pan out in Book 2. I love writing Atlas and Aster's different reactions to experiencing school for the first time. We also finally get to meet a mermaid, which I've personally been dying for since we started The Elementalists.

John: It's been a lot of fun exploring your crew's personalities in more detail. There will be drama, laughter, tears, the works! Book 2 will really test the limits of your friendships, but I'm confident you and your friends will come out of it stronger than ever.

Jessica: I can't count the number of times we've seen new character art from our epic art team, or brainstormed a new character, and all of us collectively went "OMG YES" or "I WOULD DIE FOR HER." The new world lore, characters, and story we have planned for you is some next level stuff. Get ready!  

Learning magick is no joke! Who's your ideal Penderghast study buddy?

Maya: Griffin! He's the perfect study buddy, if you ask me. We're both focused, so we'd get all our studying out of the way early, and then we'd chill out while listening to his new Muses and trying to kick each other's butts at virtual Thief.

Emi: Aster! She loves learning so much that I think studying with her would be really fun! Not to mention all the amazing stories she could share with you when you took a break.

John: My ideal Penderghast study buddies are Tim and Atlas, of course. Atlas is one of the most magickally talented members of your group (don't tell Beckett I said that), and I'm sure they wouldn't hesitate to tell me what I was doing wrong. And if I ever got confused or frustrated, I could go to Tim for advice! He's got such wisdom, that gorgue.

Chelsa: Beckett! My smart lil bean. Not sure we'd get much studying done wink wink lol

Jessica: Shreya and Zeph! Shreya's one of the smartest, most talented people at Penderghast, and you know she'd have the best, color-coded study guides. Zeph would bring the jokes and the snacks, and we'd turn the whole thing into a study party!

The stakes are higher than ever in Book 2 of The Elementalists. Got any final words of advice?

Maya: Some choices are hard. Some seem to have no right answer. Trust your gut, and trust your magick. They'll show you the way.

Roger that! Stay attuned to your Choices game for The Elementalists: Book 2! And to those who have read this far: Thank you so much! There's more on the horizon: Travel to Europe in Passport to Romance, and stay on the lookout for sneak peeks of Wishful Thinking and Nightbound! Until next time...

-Shae

A Courtesan of Rome Hiatus

A Courtesan of Rome is going on hiatus as the team gears up for an epic conclusion to your adventures in Ancient Rome! The book will resume in late spring. When we return:

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Use your wiles to gain the trust of Caesar and Cleopatra...

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Learn what has become of your long-lost brother... And work with your parents and Cassius to mastermind the plan to assassinate Julius Caesar!

Will you stay in Rome, or return to Gaul to rebuild your tribe? And who will be at your side when the Republic falls? Find out next time on A Courtesan of Rome!

We'll be posting more sneak peeks and news later on, so keep an eye out. And thank you for bearing with us as we take time to work on the next few chapters. We don't make these book hiatus decisions lightly, and really appreciate your patience and understanding.

Got Choices questions? Check out our previous Inside Choices update posts on frequently asked questions and the latest spring news! If you've got more questions or need game support, message us on Facebook or in-game. Thanks for reading!

Spring News

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Springtime is just around the corner here at Pixelberry, and you know what that means... More Choices chapters and new books coming next season! Here's a sneak preview of what's next:

First off, Open Heart is out! If you haven't kicked off your medical residency at Edenbrook Hospital, what are you waiting for? Give it a try! The Elementalists: Book 1 wrapped up today as well, and Book 2 is on its way, with more magickal adventures and mysteries!

All-new books are headed your way, too. Got a case of wanderlust? Our next Choices book will take you on a globetrotting journey! Stay tuned for more news very, very soon. And that's not all we've got planned for the spring season. Work your way up as a reporter with a knack for reading minds in Wishful Thinking... And encounter the supernatural in the Bloodbound spinoff, Nightbound!

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And what about returning books and sequels? Don't worry, we've got you covered. Across the Void makes its out-of-this-world return in March. Bloodbound: Book 2 launches in late spring with more romance, vampiric mysteries, and sinister new threats... Here’s an early sneak peek:

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And to our The Royal Romance fans: Thanks for all your patience, kind words, and song recs! The series concluded last fall (read our finale post here), and the team is hard at work on a new, follow-up series picking up right after the events of the first series. We hope you're looking forward to reuniting with The Royal Romance cast later this year! (And yes, you will see your corgi again.)

“The best thing about writing for Riley, Hana, Drake, Maxwell, and Liam again is that it feels like coming home and seeing old friends” -Kara (@karawrites on Instagram!)

“The best thing about writing for Riley, Hana, Drake, Maxwell, and Liam again is that it feels like coming home and seeing old friends” -Kara (@karawrites on Instagram!)

For more answers to any burning questions you might have, definitely check out our last newsy post here. And of course, don't hesitate to reach out via Facebook or in-game message. If you want the latest Choices news, be sure to follow along on our social media pages and of course, this Inside Choices blog! Hope to hear from you soon!

-Jessica

High School Story: Class Act, Book 2

School is back in session, and the stage is set! Reconnect with your friends in High School Story: Class Act, Book 2, launching next week! What role will you play this time around? Let's get the inside scoop from the writers:

Book 1 was all about finding your place at Berry High and in theater. Tell us a little bit about what's next for readers in Book 2!

Brianna: In Book 2, election season is hitting Berry High! When some unexpected classmates throw their hats into the ring, you and your friends are forced to decide who to support. The last book was all about forging new relationships with your classmates. This book is really about taking those bonds to the next level, and putting them to the test when tensions run high. You choose your destiny, so you’ll really have to follow your heart and discover what you believe in!

Sounds like a lot is happening at Berry High! What about Book 2 are you most psyched for readers to encounter?

Brianna: I think the ups and downs of the race will be a ton of fun for readers to play through, especially since they’ll have a say in them! Things don’t always go according to plan, and it’ll be a wild ride from start to finish.

Jaylee: We have so many fun dates planned! Arcades, robot battles, hanging out inside an igloo...

Emily: I’m excited for players to navigate a very relatable issue — family vs. friends — and seeing how that affects their main character.

Will we be making any new friends? Or (gasp) enemies? And will we be seeing any familiar faces from the first High School Story series?

Brianna: You’ll be meeting a few new faces! Some will be friends, and others will be foes. And some beloved characters from the original High School Story trilogy will also be playing a role in this year’s presidential race, so stay tuned!

Rachel Z.: The focus this time is on deepening the friendships and relationships you established in book one. But you might run into conflict with a couple people you didn't expect!

What was your favorite part of working on this book? What's been the most challenging?

Brianna: I have a soft spot for writing the sibling dynamic between you and your twin -- their bond is so adorable and funny! As for the most challenging part, this book’s tense standoffs and drama have been hard on me since I love these characters. I just want them to be happy!

Rachel Z.: I also love writing the twins! While your twin spent the last book making some arguably poor choices, you get to see them step up to the self-growth plate in this volume. It's been interesting exploring this.

Jaylee: Your relationship is so new, and it's the first time your character and the love interests have ever experienced big romantic feelings like this, so every time you come together, it's so magical. They're all still in that "Omg, this person likes me back?? They let me kiss them??? What??" stage, and it's so fun to write.

Emily: My favorite part has been finding ways to incorporate some fan favorite characters in with our new gang. The most challenging part was figuring out what the heck a Student Body President actually does!

If you were running for class president, what would your campaign slogan be?

Brianna: Bri for better bathrooms! For some reason my high school’s restrooms were unbelievably disgusting.

Emily: The Pen is Mightier Than the Sword: Vote for Emily, the Writing Irish!

Jaylee: "Everyone who votes for me will get cookies!" But there are no cookies. It's a lie. My inauguration would be a brutal wake-up call to the harsh realities of politics.

Rachel Z.: I was always the weird and highly extra kid (which hasn't changed in adulthood), so my slogan would have been something like, "Vote for Rachel for vampire-themed dances!"

That's something I'd vote for... If you're reading this, high five! You're awesome and one of a kind. Be sure to follow along on our social media pages for more sneak peeks of Open Heart, our upcoming Choices book!

What else is next in Choices? Well, you'll encounter the supernatural, travel the world, and much, much more! Whether it's Bloodbound: Book 2, the interstellar return of Across the Void, or something entirely new, we're so excited to share what's in store for the future. Keep a lookout for sneak peeks and announcements!

-Shae

America's Most Eligible: Book 2

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Calling all stars to the set! The premiere of America’s Most Eligible: Book 2 is almost here! Do you have what it takes to win hearts in the new season? Before you step in front of the camera, here's a sneak peek of what's in store:

It's time for the All-Stars edition of America's Most Eligible! What’s new in Book 2?

Cat: This season of America's Most Eligible, everything has changed! Not only are we introducing a ton of great new characters, but we're also raising the stakes higher than ever before. Don't worry, though. With big risks come even bigger rewards!

How did you decide the direction that Book 2 would take? Is there anything in this round that you're extra excited for players to encounter?

Cat: We knew we wanted to mix things up as much as possible, while holding onto the things readers loved about Book 1. Keep an eye out for a brand-new Confessional persona! We've got a lot of really fun Challenges in store, and some new art that is going to take your breath away.

Kelsie: I'm excited for everyone to meet our cast of characters... including the devious antagonists you'll be competing against! You'll also have the opportunity to play into your Confessional persona more often, both on and off-camera.

Bre’Anna: The other All-Stars are a great group of competitors, and you might even find a new fave! Book 2 also dives into who the characters are when they're affected by factors outside of the show. You'll see uber-tough Mack get in touch with her sensitive side, buttoned-up Adam lose his cool, and you'll even get some backstory on a certain producer extraordinaire.

Who out of the new cast of characters is your favorite?

Olivia: Since this is the All-Star season, you'll be meeting people from very different seasons and different walks of life. Without spoiling anything, one of the most veteran contestants is a... truly unique experience, and I love him for it.

Cat: Kiana, hands down. She's cute, fun, and super down-to-earth! I wish I could be friends with her IRL.

Kelsie: I adore everyone in our new cast, but the standout for me has to be my guy, Ronan. The Most Interesting Man in the World has nothing on him.

Bre’Anna: Eden is my girl. She's the cool, older sister type who'll make your parents proud, but still let you borrow stuff from her closet.

If you were on reality TV, would you play to win? Or would you go for winning over people's hearts?

Cat: I'd like to think I'd play to win, but I'm the kind of person who can't choose mean options in a video game without feeling guilty about it later. Though, I guess if I'm competing for half a million dollars... anything's possible!

Kelsie: As all reality TV legends know, this isn't a best friend competition! Therefore... I’d 100% go for the win and that prize money, and nobody would be able to stop me.

Elizabeth: I'd go for winning over people's hearts, at least at first, just to get everyone's guard down. Then, once everyone voted off the obvious villains and took out my competition, I'd let my true drama queen self emerge.

Bre’Anna: If I were on reality TV, I'd be there for a good time, not a long time. Expect some drama, some shade, and a ton of post-season IG sponsorships.

Any words of advice for readers about to enter the cutthroat world of reality TV?

Cat: If you're playing it safe, you're not playing to win.

Olivia: Keep your friends close, and your enemies... actually, no, don't keep those close. Just send 'em to the Jury House.

Bre’Anna: Remember Mackenzie's mantra: "I'm not here to make friends."

Kelsie: Don’t be afraid to get a little outrageous. This is TV, after all!

You heard it here first! Check out America's Most Eligible: Book 2, available now! Don't forget to look out for more sneak peeks of Ride-or-die: A Bad Boy Romance. And later this year, get ready to make life-or-death decisions, encounter the supernatural, travel the world, and much, much more!

-Shae

The Senior Finale

Meet Remi, a newly graduated puppy! Photo courtesy of Sara of The Senior team!

Meet Remi, a newly graduated puppy! Photo courtesy of Sara of The Senior team!

It's graduation day at Hartfeld! Now that the finale chapter of The Senior -- and the whole Freshman series -- has wrapped up, it's time to toss your graduation cap in the air and say your goodbyes. Here to send off the series is The Senior writing team:

It's truly the end of an era. What's your mood right now? How did you feel writing the very last chapter of The Senior, and by extension, the entire Freshman series?

Sara: It's a solid mix of being very tired and very relieved. We brought the series home, and I can only hope we did it justice. I feel like I'm closing this particular chapter of my Choices writing at the perfect moment; it's a good time to let something go when you are almost but not quite ready to say goodbye!

What was the most challenging part of wrapping up the stories of so many beloved characters within this book? What about the most rewarding part?

Sara: I want to shout out our QA testers for this one! They were truly heroes for how much time and effort they put into testing our chapters, especially as the chapters got more and more complex near the end with all our lovely love interests and possible futures! The vacation chapter was truly a champion-tier quest for our intrepid QA team. They often messaged me while testing to say how invested they were, and that meant so much to me. Whether it was people in the Pixelberry team or Choices fans at large, hearing that people cared so deeply about the story made it all worthwhile.

While I'm talking up people, our art team is absolutely incredible! I love everything they've created, including but not limited to the rainbow hairstyle and blue velvet suit. I may have dressed up in that very look on one or two occasions. :P

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What's been your favorite moment out of all of The Senior? (The rest of The Freshman series is fair game, too!)

Sara: Nothing will ever top Hartfeld Horror Story for me. In the words of Caitlin, "Chad, for the love of god, I'm tired of looking at your man body." If this is really confusing to you, go play the Sophomore Halloween special!

Shayn: My favorite moment was our long, dark night of the soul, in which Emily (the main character) has lost one of her most important relationships and is alone in London. It's a bleak moment, but it gave us an opportunity to speak to the struggle of adulthood.

Elizabeth: I loved writing the scene The Senior in which Abbie and Tyler show off their first video game, Dragon Jest, and tell off a bully who thinks it's "not a real game." I've always loved games with brightness and romance in them. Mobile games, romance games, games about fun and relationships -- they're real games, too! And I loved that I got to express all the pride and excitement I've felt in making these games through Tyler, Abbie, and Emily in this scene.

Where do you imagine The Senior main cast will go from here?

Sara: To follow up on the question from earlier, it's both challenging and rewarding to leave some parts of these characters' stories untold. Emily's future is headed in a definite direction at the end of the series, but her final destination remains a mystery. I'd love to create a spin-off about Madison researching volcanoes, or Aaron and his hamster's grand adventures (what if they were detectives?!) or Kaitlyn's musical hijinks... But I know that this story is meant to end, and the rewarding part comes in remembering that each of these characters has an inner life and a wide-open world that every player's imagination can fill in.

Shayn: I see the cast all gathering regularly for get-togethers! After everything they've been through, there's no way they'll become the kind of friends who talk only on occasion. I definitely see Becca flying in for Kaitlyn's birthday bash, and Zig clearing his work schedule to go to Zack's wedding...

Elizabeth: I would say.... wherever the player wants! We all worked hard to give players different options at the end as to where their MC and their love interests end up. However, in some alternate future, I do picture Edgar Lucas as president, using his pizza-box zither to stave off the robot apocalypse and bring about world peace. Obviously!

What advice would you give to students about to graduate high school or college?

Sara: In college, I angsted a lot about not knowing what I wanted or where precisely life would take me. Along the way, I discovered a performance arts group, amazing friendships, a study abroad trip to Northern Ireland... and spent a couple of post-grad years jumping from city to city and barista gig to barista gig before finding a professional home here at Pixelberry. Not knowing what's next can lead to a lot of unexpected wonderfulness! Don't worry about knowing everything that will come right away.

What's next for The Senior team?

Shayn: We're all moving off onto new projects now, but I'm excited for what's next! Thanks to The Senior fans for all your true love for the characters.

Elizabeth: I'm heading off to amp up the drama on America's Most Eligible, Book 2!

Sara: Speaking for myself... Whatever it is that’s next for me, I imagine it's very different from this...

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Time to open this up to The Freshman writers of the past! Do you have any favorite memories from writing The Freshman during the early days? Any favorite story moments?

Max: In Book 1, I was really proud of the scene where you're completely overloaded with your first assignment from Professor Vasquez, and your friends pull an all-nighter to help you out. To me, that's the moment that first crystalized the key strength of this book: the wonderful, supportive friend group that sticks together, helping each other out through college life's various challenges! That's a theme that subsequent writers have carried through the whole series in a beautiful, heartwarming way.

Jennifer: Even though I know it's a crazy plot point, I always enjoyed the moment we decided to have you be James' fake fiance; it's one of my favorite romantic tropes. As for favorite memories... I remember when we were first brainstorming the right name for the college. I wanted something that sounded like 'heartfelt,' and ended up at Hartfeld!

Wendy: Basically anything involving Madison was my favorite to write. She's just so wholesome. I also have a huge soft spot in my heart for Snowed In, the holiday special. I was still fairly new to the team at that point, and figuring out how all your suitemates would react to being caught in a blizzard was a great way to get to know the characters. Plus, the end result was pretty darn fun to play, if I do say so myself.

Saran: Honestly, we’ve all shared so many laughs and good memories over the course of the series that it’s hard to pick a single highlight. I wish we had a blooper reel for all of the goofy typos and outtakes that never made it into the game, because there are some true gems! To this day, I still keep a screenshot of a development bug where Zig’s hair showed up wrong, and it came out as an accidental mullet. But you know what? He still looked great.

Chelsa: I worked on The Freshman series for so long that it's hard to pinpoint an exact favorite moment. The main team I worked with was Saran, Maya, and Sara, and we had (still have) some really good times! Honestly, getting through brainstorms were a struggle, because we were cracking too many jokes to stay on track. My favorite book that we worked on together was the Hartfeld Horror Story. The original version was so gory and crazy, we weren't sure the fans could handle it! My favorite scene I ever worked on was in The Freshman: Book 3 when Kaitlyn and Emily join the D&D club for a session. Writing all the classes and outcomes was a blast. Also, Zig4Life.

Maya: Working with Chelsa, Saran, and Sara was a blast. The entire brainstorm process for The Sophomore and The Sophomore’s Halloween special was wild from start to finish -- and writing the Halloween special is hands-down my favorite memory. It was so much fun getting to satirize the characters we loved so much. I got more than a few stomachaches from laughing so hard.

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Any parting words for The Freshman fans?

Chelsa: I guess all I want to say about this series is that it's the very first thing I worked on when I moved to Choices after Hollywood U. It's really special to me, and so are all of the people I've had a chance to work with on it. I don't think I'll ever forget the good times and hijinks we got up to. I also can never eat rosemary chicken again, thanks Saran.

Jennifer: Thank you so much for playing the series! I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did!

Wendy: It's been a whole journey. Thanks for sticking with us. And if you're looking for more school-related adventures from Pixelberry, check out High School Story (wink wink).

Maya: The Freshman characters became like friends to me as I was writing them, and I hope they became the same to you. I hope you’ll always look back on your time at Hartfeld with a smile!

Sara: I gave the abbreviated version of my parting words for our lovely readers at the end of the book... But I will add that I'm so grateful that you all love these characters and their stories as much as we at Pixelberry do! Thanks for sticking with us until the happy end. <3 Also, I love Kaitlyn Liao. xoxo

That about says it all. After over two years, this really feels like the end of an era in Choices, and we're so thankful for all of you who read The Freshman series from the very beginning. Choices wouldn't be what it is today without you.

-Jessica



Desire & Decorum: Book 2

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Desire & Decorum: Book 2 is out now in Choices! If you haven't read it yet, definitely do that when you get the chance. But if you're all caught up, you're in the right place! Read on for our behind-the-scenes look at Book 2:

Now that Book 2 has made its debut, let's hear more about it! What's in store for readers?

Rachel: I mean, what’s not in store for Book 2? I can sum up this book in 5 emojis, and believe me, it’s epic. I remember talking to one of our co-workers about D&D 2’s plot just with those five, and getting an “OMG really?!" reaction. There’s something for everyone in Book 2: courting, action, secrets, royalty, and even some steamy ankle flashing. Make sure you're near a fainting couch!

Will there be more of desire or decorum in this particular book?

Meagan: I would say there's a bit more desire in this one ;)

Ali: We've ramped up the desire side of this book for sure, but ultimately it's up to you! There are still loads of opportunities to exercise your decorum.

What are you most looking forward to our readers encountering?

Rachel: There’s one moment that really stands out in my mind. We’ve had the idea for it since Book 1, but with the way Book 2’s twists and turns go, we were finally able to make it a reality. And shoutout to our amazing art team! Readers are in for some seriously brilliant, fantastic, drop-dead gorgeous art this time around.

Ali: I'm looking forward to readers learning more about the main cast. We've got some fun group scenes in this book that I'm really excited for people to play! Did I mention Book 2 has a mystery element to it? I'm honestly looking forward to our readers encountering, well, everything!

Book 1 of Desire & Decorum involved a herculean amount of research. Was Book 2 smoother sailing?

Rachel: Oh, most definitely. Book 1 was establishing this entire setting! That’s not to say that Book 2 hasn’t involved a lot of research (because it has), but the focus has been in different areas. For example, I didn’t need to study up as much on Regency dinner habits this time around, but I did have to research quite a bit on the Queen of England.

Some of the most interesting things I’ve researched for this book were family crests and coats of arms. Every piece of a family crest means something very specific. If you look at our cover, you can see a small piece of the Edgewater Coat of Arms, but every detail, from the color to the chevron to the animals on either side, were put there for a specific reason. I’ll let you all figure out what everything means...

Meagan: We've certainly learned a lot in the process of writing Book 2! As one example, an early version of croquet called pall-mall used to be so popular that there were streets in many cities devoted to it. When it declined in popularity, many of the streets were repurposed into shopping centers and parks. This is where the word "mall" comes from, both for shopping malls and in instances like The National Mall in Washington D.C. -- the more you know!

Who's your all-time favorite Jane Austen heroine?

Meagan: Call me a cliche, but I have to go with Lizzy Bennet.

Ali: Emma is my all-time favorite Jane Austen heroine! I love how much of a spunky meddler she is.

Rachel: I actually really like Jane Bennet from Pride & Prejudice! I can definitely relate to her, and she has a level-headedness that I admire. Plus, Mr. Bingley is sweet and so smitten with Jane almost immediately -- I think they're an adorable pair!

For those reading along, thanks for stopping by! Stay tuned for the big finale of The Senior later this week, and more Choices books to come in 2019. And if you've got questions, comments, or feedback, definitely reach out to us on Facebook, Twitter, or within the Choices app! We're looking forward to hearing from you!

-Shae


Perfect Match Finale

Last winter, we kicked off 2018 with Perfect Match, the first of several all-new books! Now, with 2018 ending, the series is coming to a close. We hope you enjoyed the twists and turns of Perfect Match. To wrap things up, here's a look back on the series with the writing team behind Book 2 (spoilers ahead!)...

First things first. How do you feel, now that Perfect Match is over?

Coco: It feels like the end of an era! We first started brainstorming and working on Perfect Match so long ago. Since then, the team has grown and evolved, and it's been exciting to add new faces to our squad, not unlike the Perfect Match cast in the story! While nostalgic, new beginnings are also exciting. We hope you enjoy the finale and seeing how the characters have grown over the course of their adventures!

Taylor: I’m really sad because I’m going to miss not only the characters, but also working with the entire team on this particular book. But I think we gave the gang the endings they deserved in this finale — now they can finally relax, and be safe, happy, and silly with each other for the rest of their lives. I feel good about where we’re leaving them, even if I'm sad to do so.

Some of the biggest twists in Perfect Match were planned from day one. Others, I imagine, were discovered along the way. Way back when you were first planning where the series would go and how it would end, did you expect Perfect Match to end up where it did?

Coco: We knew Hayden’s twist since long before we started Book 1, but didn’t know until later that our unsuspecting crew from Brooklyn would be saving world leaders! They’ve come a long way. (Be careful what adventures you sign up for when you swipe on dating apps!) We also knew the general path of Eros and the Matches, but had to do more complex world-building when it came down to writing those chapters. It's been an adventure!

What was your favorite part of writing Perfect Match? Favorite scene?

Taylor: My favorite part was seeing reader reactions! Seeing everyone’s thoughts and theories every week was so exciting for me, and it made me feel really connected to the Choices community online. I think my favorite scene to write was Damien’s family scene!

Natasha: As a fellow Indonesian rebel, getting to introduce Miss Alana Kusuma to the Choices-verse means a lot to me. She's the epitome of someone "shattering the glass ceiling," and I'm glad she was warmly received. The hardest scene to write, which turned out to be my favorite, is definitely Hayden's Dolores Park scene. Hopefully, we made up for the heavy conversations with a kiss in the rain!

Jaylee: Getting to write polyamorous relationships was so near and dear to my heart, and every small moment exploring that was fantastic. And I loved getting to see both Alana and Damien grow throughout the series. Alana's final airport scene and Damien's "I love you" moment were incredibly emotional for me to write. They've both come so far! I'm so proud of them!

Real talk. Would you date a robot if they were your perfect match?

Natasha: No doubt, no doubt, no doubt.

Taylor: My Tinder profile specifies "Robots only."

Jaylee: To be honest, I would date a robot even if they weren't my perfect Match...

Got a message for our Perfect Match readers?

Coco: There are a lot of moments in Perfect Match when the characters doubt themselves and their ability to take down the obstacles in their way. It’s been great to see characters like Hayden and Sloane grow in confidence. We can be our worst critics, so I hope you know that whatever’s in your path, you can get through it and come out even stronger. (Especially with the help of a support system and Armadillo Power!)

I’ve also really enjoyed seeing Hayden explore all the facets of their identity more, from their style, to their spirituality, to building a new life... I hope all of us can enjoy the process of exploring the boundaries of who we are and who we could be, and never feel restricted to any label, definition, or preconceived notion! We are always evolving.

Taylor: Identity crises aren’t unique to Matches. If you take anything from Perfect Match, I hope you take the lesson that no matter what you’re going through, you are strong enough to overcome it. You are capable of incredible things, and you are worthy of love and respect. (And if you ever forget, call in Nadia to remind you!)

Jaylee: Thank you so, so much for loving our characters just as much as we do.

Natasha: Thank you for every hilarious comment, thoughtfully-crafted tweet, beautiful fanart, and heartfelt message. You all inspire me every single week.

*Sheds a single tear* So what's next for you after Perfect Match?

Natasha: I can't say quite yet, but I think readers who enjoyed stories like The Royal Romance and The Crown & The Flame will be particularly excited by the type of book I'm hopping onto next.

Jaylee: I'm moving to High School Story: Class Act! Skye, Rory, Ajay, and the twins are all so fun, and I'm looking forward to seeing them grow!

Taylor: It's a secret! But rest assured, it will have a lot of smooching, sweetness, and hilarity!

Coco: What's next for me is also a secret! But here's a hint: it'll be stylish, fun, and every bit as jet-setting!

Innnteresting... I guess we'll find out what the future holds! To everyone who's stuck with Perfect Match from beginning to end, thank you for reading along!

-Jessica

The Heist: Monaco

Case the joint, assemble a crew, and make off with the score of a lifetime... all in The Heist: Monaco! Now before the book launches next week, let's hear from the intrepid crew of writers behind our newest Choices book:

Without sharing the blueprint of the whole book, tell us a little about The Heist: Monaco!

Owen: The Heist: Monaco is our take on a classic heist-style caper! You play as a master thief preparing for one big job, but along the way, you're going to assemble a crew of specialists from a really fun cast of characters. It's slick, fast-paced, and a ton of fun.

What goes into assembling a crew? (And, ahem, can we date anyone in our heist crew?)

Owen:  A lot of planning! You're gonna travel around the world meeting cool, ridiculous, badass criminals, and then decide which of them gets to be on your team.

Iris: Each potential crew member you'll meet has a specific skillset as well as a unique personality, and whoever you choose will be with you for the rest of the book... so don't be surprised if you find yourself agonizing over who to pick! Good news is, you can always play it again with a completely different group of characters. As for the second question... we're all thinking it, so I'll just say it: Being a criminal mastermind is sexy. Safe to say, some members of your heist crew will think so too!

Jen: A lot goes into pulling off the crime of the century. You need someone who's good at distraction, someone with some serious sleight-of-hand skills, and obviously an awesome getaway driver. As the leader of a crew, you'll get to hand-pick people for these roles. And clearly, when things get tense, romance can happen in the heat of the moment...

What was it like brainstorming this book and, of course, planning a whole heist in the process?

Owen: A lot of maps, charts, devious scheming, and brainstorming fun character voices. Also a lot of coffee, but that was mostly me.

Jen: It was kind of intense at first. There's a lot of moving pieces to manage, but I'm proud of what we've come up with!

Iris: The early brainstorms really gave me a new appreciation for how much planning goes into a heist! Many diagrams were scribbled on whiteboards. But my favorite part was thinking about how different crew members will banter with each other in fun, personality-clashing ways.

If you were recruited to pull off a heist, what role do you think you'd play?

Owen: I'd probably be some sort of wisecracking thief who is largely comic relief until one unexpected clutch moment in the end where he pickpockets the pope's car keys or something.

Iris: I think I'd be a hacker. That way, I could keep out of danger and hang out in front of a computer screen from some remote location, probably eating candy bars, guzzling caffeinated drinks, and listening to pop songs that help me get in the 'zone'. Which, come to think of it, doesn't sound too different from my current daily life.

Jen: I'd probably be a grifter-type that distracts the authorities while the real cons slip in. Knowing my luck, I would probably make a huge mistake, but somehow I'd still end up successful. Just not the way I intended.

Any final tips for players about to pull off the ultimate heist?

Owen: TRY AGAIN. Seriously. Play it a second time with a completely different crew, and see the different interactions and conversations you unlock. Or... play it again and do poorly. We've planned MULTIPLE endings, so go see what trouble your characters get into if your plans go awry...

Iris: Every good heist involves some reckless improvisation, so remember to enjoy the journey and take risks along the way! Sure, the heaps of riches you can get are a plus... but honestly it's just so fun getting into trouble with a group of quirky criminals.

Jen: Just try to remain calm under pressure! There's a lot of tense moments in here with some quick decision making. If you keep a cool head, and focus on the job, you'll make off with the score, no problem!

Get ready to scheme and steal your way to the top in The Heist: Monaco, launching next week! What books did you love in 2018? Are you liking the new Choices update? We want to hear from YOU! And thank you for playing!

-Shae

What's New - Choices Update

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This update is our biggest and most ambitious yet! What's new in this update:
- A crisp, clean, new look. We're talking total makeover!
- Improved app navigation!
- Smart recommendation features to help you find new books you'll want to play!

But that's not all... our team has worked hard on a number of behind-the-scenes improvements and bug fixes including:
- Improving and fixing diamond rewards for ads.
- Reducing common crash issues.

Next, you've asked, and we've listened. In this update, we've increased chapter completion rewards! (And shhhh... don't tell anyone, but we're working on additional diamond features for a future update too.)

All that, and we haven't even talked about our new books yet! Coming soon:
- Make a big score in THE HEIST: MONACO
- Elegant romance awaits as DESIRE & DECORUM continues
- Find fame and win hearts in the next season of AMERICA'S MOST ELIGIBLE

Finally, on a personal note, this is the update to Choices that we've all been dreaming, hoping, pushing, and striving for since Choices launched. This update places Choices on a firmer foundation to add more new features that you guys will love. Knowing that you guys are out there playing, loving, and living passionately makes every day (even hard ones) a joy. We can't say it often enough, or shout it loud enough... thank you for playing!

Royal
Level 1 Director

Pixelberry Updates, Answers, and More!

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Hey everyone! As the end of 2018 approaches, we at Pixelberry wanted to take the chance to look back, reflect, and give you the latest update on what's new at Pixelberry. But before we get into that, we just wanted to say a big thank you for playing Choices!  

First off, Choices is undergoing a makeover! Our team is about to release an update in the near future that will improve game experience and navigation in Choices with a fresh, new look. We also plan to address some issues, such as the diamond reward bug and common causes for game crashes.

The last few months have been a little rocky for us here at Pixelberry. Alongside releasing a number of new books, Choices experienced more than a few bugs, and we can't apologize enough for these issues and inconveniences. During this time, we came to truly appreciate how patient and encouraging you all are. The Choices community is one of a kind. Thank you again!

In this blog post, we'd like to go ahead and answer a few commonly asked questions! On social media and via Support messages, the Community team and the Support team do their best to provide you with the latest news, but a Facebook comment or game message isn't the best place to go into detail... So we're going to do that here! And now, let's get down to business:

What's next for The Royal Romance?

We're excited to announce that The Royal Romance writers are hard at work on a new follow-up series! We can't give away too much at this stage in the process, but the new series will start directly after the events of The Royal Romance. The writers are really excited for what they have planned! We'll have more news for you in the upcoming months.

When will Bloodbound: Book 2 come out? Is there a release date?

Right now, Book 2 of Bloodbound is being worked on! We hope to release it in the spring of 2019. We know it's been a while since Book 1 ended, but we promise that it'll be worth the wait. There'll be plenty of bloodcurdling adventures and heartstopping romance! Stay tuned for more early sneak peeks and news. In the meantime, we have another paranormal book planned, one that'll make you howl at the moon...

When will Hero return with a Book 2?

We don't have a release date for Hero: Book 2, but when we do, the Choices community will be the first to know. The writing for Book 2 is in progress, but we're not sure when we'll have the art ready, especially given its unique art style. We want to get Hero 2 right -- unfortunately, that means it may launch in 2020.

When will Most Wanted come off hiatus? Will we get a Most Wanted: Book 2?

As you know, Most Wanted continues to be on hiatus. While we love Sam and Dave, we just haven’t had the right writers available at the right time to start work together on this book yet. When the time is right, we intend to revisit Most Wanted. And of course, we'll let you know ASAP if there's new developments!

When is Across the Void coming back? Why is it on break?

Across the Void is on a mid-book break right now as the team gears up for more interstellar adventures! In the past, books like The Royal Romance and Endless Summer have gone on break to give our team more time to put out the best chapters possible without placing too much pressure on the writing, art, and QA teams. Across the Void should return this spring. When it's ready for take-off again, we'll post online with more news!

Why do you make new books instead of completing sequels?

Going into 2018, our team wanted to try out new stories and expand the Choices library. With this goal in mind, we worked to release stories and genres we've never tried before -- such as paranormal romance, sci-fi, and historical fiction. That's how we ended up with Bloodbound, Perfect Match, and many others! Exploring new stories taught us a lot and helped focus our vision for 2019.

Deciding which books to make often depends on a variety of factors -- like popularity, resources, art budget, what's right for the story, timing, and other elements. At any given time, we often have several books, both new ones and sequels, in development. Different books have different teams, so when a new book comes out, fear not! This doesn't affect the progress of a separate sequel book that’s in development.

What about the sequels to America's Most Eligible, Desire & Decorum, and Red Carpet Diaries?

They're all in the works! Desire & Decorum: Book 2 and America's Most Eligible: Book 2 will be returning this winter. Keep an eye out for sneak peeks, cover reveals, and release dates... And thanks to everyone who voted on who should return for AME Book 2! As for Red Carpet Diaries, we don't have a release date for it yet, but your Hollywood adventures will continue in 2019!

Pro-tip: If you want the latest news, just follow us on social media! Our most up-to-date info is always on social media, guaranteed.

Will we get more free diamonds? When will the diamond rewards bug be fixed?

First and foremost, we apologize if you've encountered issues with the diamonds-for-ads feature. That's something we've been working on fixing, and hope to address in the next game update. We’ve been experimenting with ways to give more diamonds while still making money to support the creation of even more books. Expect to see the first fruits of these tests coming soon!

Why do some books have a female-only player character? Will there be more gender options in the future?

We absolutely hear you on this front. As to why, it depends on the book. For books like Red Carpet Diaries, A Courtesan of Rome, and Desire & Decorum, the player character's gender is a specific and integral part of the story and setting. Other times, it comes down to resource constraints - at times, we decided we’d rather have some books be single gender so that we can devote other resources to telling new stories. In the coming year, we'll be launching a mix of single gender books and books with more gender options. And for those asking: Yes, The Heist: Monaco will have male and female player character options!

Are there going to be new books and genres in 2019?

You know the answer to this one: Yes, absolutely! We're super excited to share all the books we have with you -- new books and sequels alike! Get ready to run from the law, solve medical mysteries, sail the open seas, and much, much more! If you liked our 2018 books, just wait for 2019...

I've got more questions! How do I get them answered?

Good question, hypothetical Choices reader! You can always message our Support Team via the Choices app (Settings > Help > Message). You can also reach out to our Community Team by messaging us on Facebook, or tweeting us on Twitter. It's that simple! Contact us if you need game support, have questions, or just want to say hey. We'd love to hear from you!

And how about a behind-the-scenes look back on 2018?

For our team, this year has been about growing our capacity to tell more stories. With the encouragement of Nexon, we continued to grow the number of writers, artists, designers, engineers, QA, and other teams at Pixelberry. They actually asked us to grow even faster, but we wanted to make sure we don’t grow too quickly, so we can remain a tight-knit studio with a focus on excellent storytelling.

At times, when we found really great writers, we grew a little faster than anticipated. While this stretched us more than expected, it also will make this December our most prolific yet when it comes to number of new chapters released. And thanks to our office coordinators, we've kept that fun Pixelberry spirit alive with launch parties, birthday celebrations, and boba runs.

We also had a blast this year branching out into new genres with stories like Desire and Decorum, Perfect Match, and Bloodbound. Behind the scenes, we’ve revamped our production process to handle many more books being worked on simultaneously than we were able to do last year. (We hit a few bumps in the road along the way, for which we're very sorry.)

One of our biggest challenges this year was finding great engineers to help us release new features for Choices. But we did hire a Director of Engineering who hit the ground running and has recently helped us add more engineering capacity, which will let us add features faster next year.

Overall, we're so grateful to be ending 2018 with a larger, stronger team ready to go full-steam ahead creating new Choices adventures in 2019. But what we're most grateful for are all of you who have supported us with your 5-star reviews, encouraging messages, stunning fanart, patience when we make mistakes, and constructive suggestions for improvements. Every day, people on our team share their favorite comments, tweets, and fanart to our “discuss-buzz” channel. Your passion powers us through brain blocks, problems, and stressful times. Thank you so much for that. We truly feel blessed to have a fan community that shares our love for stories.

-Jessica, Oliver, Kara, Jennifer, and the rest of the Pixelberry team


A Courtesan of Rome

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Fall is almost over, but we've got one more new Choices book for you! A Courtesan of Rome makes its debut on November 14th, and we couldn't be more excited for our second work of historical fiction. This time around, you'll fight for vengeance, seek out love, and navigate the treacherous waters of the political scene in Ancient Rome. Before all that, let's check in with the writers...

Set the stage for us. What's the story of A Courtesan of Rome?

JBH: In ancient Rome, courtesans occupied a really unique place in society -- as the only women allowed in many men-only spaces, they were educated, politically active, and influential in a way that wasn't possible for most women at the time. "A Courtesan of Rome" begins as you make your debut as a courtesan during one of the most dangerous and difficult times in history, the rise of Julius Caesar and the beginning of the fall of the Roman Republic.

A daughter of a former chieftain of Gaul, you were captured by Caesar's forces years ago. Now that you've risen to move as an equal among the senators and elite of Rome, you must seek your vengeance on the men who massacred your tribe, search for your scattered family, and perhaps find unexpected love in a city where everyone is an enemy.

A Courtesan of Rome is a step back in history for Choices. What do you think sets A Courtesan of Rome apart from other Choices books? What kind of story are you trying to tell?

JBH: A Courtesan of Rome is a romantic historical epic. While romance is a huge part of the storyline, it takes place on a backdrop of dramatic historical events, giving you a chance to take part in gladiatorial blood sports, religious mystery cults, brutal battles, and Machiavellian political maneuverings... and even shape history in unexpected ways.

I think what really sets "A Courtesan of Rome" apart is the epic scope. The fall of the Roman Republic is one of the most consequential times in all of European history, and the people involved are household names more than two thousand years later! Giving players a window into what it must have been like living in Rome at that time -- and a chance to shape that history in large and small ways -- is extremely gratifying to me as a historical fiction buff.

Jake: In this book, it's not always cut and dried who your friends and enemies are, and we really let you pull the strings in all this political intrigue if you play your cards right. Also, we get to write gladiator fights, and it's sweet. There's something in this book for everyone!

As with any historical book, lots of research is a must! How did you go about tackling research and brainstorming?

JBH: I've had a long-standing interest in Rome (ever since high school Latin club!), so getting to write this book was a dream come true for me. There were definitely a few different historical fiction epics that were big influences on this story, including Manda Scott's "Boudica" series and Kate Quinn's "Mistresses of Rome" series (both set a little later in the Empire), and Robert Harris's absolutely amazing Cicero trilogy which covers this exact time period from the point of view of Caesar's enemy Cicero.

The more moment-to-moment research was sometimes difficult because there is just so much information to sift through. What we think of as "Rome," lasted for over a thousand years, and included an early kingdom, the Republican period we're set in, and many hundreds of years of Empire after. So, it's not always easy to find exactly the information you want!

This means I should probably put the standard historical novelist disclaimer here: While we tried to stick to the broad outline of the important events that happened at this time, the needs of the story always took precedence. So, if there was ever a question of "this character was really married at this time, but we think he would be a really great love interest..." -- we have consistently chosen what will be the most fun for our players, even if that means occasionally playing fast and loose with some historical facts.

Who are you rooting for in this book? Who's your fave character?

JBH: Haha, as a writer, I'm always rooting for my characters to suffer as much as possible, and for players to walk away from a chapter desperate to know how they can possibly survive! My favorite character to write for this book was definitely Marc Antony, who is a really fun combination of puppet master and rule-breaking anarchist. He and the main character start as enemies, but when sparks fly between them, players will have to decide whether or not they want to risk using that sexual tension to manipulate Antony.

Jake: My favorite character to write is probably Sabina. Her character arc throughout the book was really special to me. I feel really lucky to be able to address some more serious topics with her. I hope our fans connect to her struggles and her character.

The people must know. Will we get to date any historical figures?

Jake: There might be one or two, though they're a lot hotter in A Courtesan of Rome than their statues are.

JBH: I guess I just gave that away in the last question! Yes, both Marc Antony and Cassius Longinus (who eventually masterminds the conspiracy to assassinate Caesar) are love interests in the book.

And lastly, any final words for our players about to play A Courtesan of Rome tomorrow?

Jake: Those who are about to read, we salute you.

Check your Choices game tomorrow for A Courtesan of Rome! Winter's nearly here, and that means more of Choices -- you'll need your skills, your wits, and the right people for the job in our next Choices book! We hope you're loving The Elementalists, It Lives Beneath, High School Story: Class Act, and more. Thanks so much for playing!

-Shae

The Elementalists

Boo! Halloween's almost here, and at Pixelberry, we're celebrating with new spooky and spellbinding stories. On Wednesday, The Elementalists launched with its first chapter. Now that Chapter 2 is out as well, let's chat with The Elementalists writers... But make sure you've played Chapter 2 first!

I know you can't spell out everything that happens in The Elementalists, but can you tell us a little bit about it?

Chelsa: This project has been a dream of mine ever since I started working at Pixelberry two years ago, and it's still hard to believe they actually let me take the reins on this one. I won't spoil anything, but I can tell you that the whole team - writers, art, QA, everyone involved - put many, MANY long hours and their blood, sweat, and tears into this project. So basically, if you don't like it, I'll cry.

Maya: Well, if you've ever dreamed of being sucked through a portal and spit out at a magickal university, your dreams are about to come true! Essentially, you're pulled into a world you don't believe you can be a part of at first, but it doesn't take long for your powers to start revealing themselves. But if you didn't know you could do magick, what other mysteries about you have been hiding just beneath the surface?

The Elementalists is our newest fantasy story. What about this fantastical world are you most excited for players to encounter?

Chelsa: We've got a lot of new features and art in this book that I'm very excited to show off to players! The cool spell graphics and amazing new backgrounds are just the tip of the iceberg. And of course, learning spells...

Maya: Magick! Magick in The Elementalists feels so welcoming to me. The friends you meet are so excited to introduce you to the world, and there's something wonderfully intuitive about the magickal system we've created...

Emi: Honestly, I think I'm most excited for readers to meet the main cast and watch them grow. Every good fantasy has a core group of friends fighting for what they believe in, and I hope players fall in love with ours as much as we have.

How did you tackle worldbuilding for The Elementalists? What was the inspiration for the element attunement system?

Chelsa: This is definitely something I've spent a loooong time thinking about (see question 1). I wanted to create something familiar, with all of the elements that fantasy fans love about a fantasy school book, while also creating something that feels entirely new. This book is a frankenstein of things that I love, things that got the team excited while we were brainstorming, and things that we thought the fans would go crazy over. One of the first things that I decided was that Penderghast would be set in our world, current day, but hidden. The Attuned understand technology, are involved in Attuneless politics, and live alongside the Attuneless -- though of course, they still have to keep magick a secret to maintain the status quo. It's the very best of both worlds!

Maya: We wanted to create something familiar and accessible, but not wholly done before, so we talked a lot about things we've seen in fantasy that we enjoy, as well as things we wished to see. I think this world is so dear to us because it's an amalgam of so many things we cherish, imbued with our own magickal spark.

Jessica: So when I was a wee child attending Chinese school (shoutout to all the Asian American kids who had to go to Saturday school!), I learned that Chinese words all have core components called 'bushou' -- wood, heart, power, etc. During Elementalists brainstorms, we riffed on the premise of having a core something as the base for creating meaning, or in our case, magick. We settled on the classical elements as the foundation, and threw a few of our own into the mix as well. To perform magick, you have to channel the elements, and of course, everyone has an affinity to one or two -- kind of like having a college major, but also general education requirements!

Emi: While building the Attunement quiz, I spent a lot of time delving into the history and uses of elements in different cultures... You should see the number of research docs I made! I wanted the Attunements to feel linked to the classical elements, but to also have their own unique spin. We spent a couple brainstorms figuring out the quiz answers and how they related to their elements. We tried to create a quiz that players could answer honestly, without necessarily guessing which answer is linked to which Attunement.

And of course, what's your attunement?

Chelsa: Air-Att 4 life!! (I am also a libra, so it's very fitting.)

Emi: I'm a Metal-Att! Let me make a detailed and organized plan to tackle any challenge!

Maya: I was expecting to be an Earth-Att, but was pleasantly surprised to find out I'm a Wood-Att instead!

Jessica: Earth, which is weirdly fitting for me. I feel called out.

Do you have a favorite character in The Elementalists? Which character do you relate to the most?

Chelsa: My absolute favorite character to write is... one that I can't talk about yet! But aside from CHARACTER NAME REDACTED, it's definitely Beckett. He's just such a pain, and I love writing people who are difficult to get along with.

Emi: Aster is my girl! I love how excited and eager she is to learn about the world. I just want to give her a big hug. As for character I relate to the most, probably Beckett. I was 100% that over-achiever in school who was always showing off.

Maya: My favorites to write are hands down Zeph and Beckett. They seem so different, but neither are as put together as they'd like you to believe (#relatable). Though there's also something about REDACTED'S personality that speaks to my soul...

Jessica: I can't stick with one fave, so I'll say Shreya and Griffin. Shreya's just a whole lot of fun, and someone I would want to date IRL. And I love seeing Griffin, this chill Sophomore, thrown into the trials and tribulations of all these hapless Freshmen.

Any final tips for readers about to embark on their Penderghast adventure?

Chelsa: You'll have many opportunities to gain new spells throughout the book. My tip is to try to learn them all. You'll never know what a situation will call for...

Emi: Your Attunement will play a role in how you use magick and how you react to the events of the story! I recommend playing to your strengths.

Maya: Watch your back... Danger lurks in the shadows.

Bring on the magick! What's your elemental attunement? Let’s compare notes! And follow along online for sneak peeks of what's next in Choices... a journey back in ancient history!

-Shae


It Lives Beneath

It's October, and you know what that means: Spooks and scares and the launch of It Lives Beneath! Turn off the lights, turn up the sound, and tune into It Lives Beneath for the fright of your life... But before that, let's talk to our resident horror writers!

Now that we've left the woods for Pine Springs, what's happening in It Lives Beneath?

Kathleen: It Lives Beneath is set in the same world as It Lives in the Woods, but with a new town, new cast, and new monsters hiding around every corner. You play as a college student who has no experience with the supernatural... that is, until <SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER> happens. You quickly find yourself thrown in the deep end, as it were, questioning the very nature of your reality. In this book, we really wanted to build on the mythology of the Power that we established in Book 1.

Will we see any old friends from It Lives in the Woods in this book? (And by that, I mean, where's Andy Kang?)

Kathleen: I don't want to give away too much, but I will say that while we've moved on to a new setting, life has continued on in the little town of Westchester. You may see familiar faces here and there, and an old friend may show up to offer help in a time of need. It all depends on where you left things at the end of Book 1!

So, a new story means a new cast, new friends, and new people to date! Who's your favorite date-able character?

Kathleen: Tom, no question. He's a total nerd, but he's also an extremely thoughtful guy and the most loyal friend you'll ever meet. Honestly, I've been waiting for this ever since we first got his art back and said "Oh no... he's hot." (We tried to make him look dorky by adding glasses, but it only made him stronger!)

Brandon: Probably Imogen. I love all of our children equally, but she's really fun to write for. And Imogen's character art is just *chef's kiss*. Major props to our art team!

It Lives in the Woods introduced a particularly harrowing Nerve score system. Will there be more of that in It Lives Beneath? What are you looking forward to players encountering?

Brandon: Nerve scores will be returning, though the system won't be exactly the same as players remember. Without spoiling too much, one of our goals for It Lives Beneath was for Nerve to have more of an effect throughout the whole book, rather than the final fates at the end. (But rest assured, you and all your friends can totally still die.)

Kathleen: What Brandon said. When we rolled out the Nerve score in Book 1, we learned a lot about what worked well and what could use improvement. Hopefully, the tweaks we made will make Nerve even more compelling in Book 2!

I've definitely seen some pretty terrifying stuff from It Lives Beneath. (Thanks for the nightmare fodder, guys.) On a scale of 1-10, how scary would you rate this book?

Nicky: 10/10. We went above and beyond with the scariness for Book 2, and I think we’re gonna knock everybody’s socks off!

Brandon: In Ancient Rome, the numeral XVII was considered a sign of omen, as its letters could be rearranged to spell the word "VIXI" — Latin for "my life is over". So I'd give it a 17.

Kathleen: *High-pitched evil cackling*

Any final tips for readers as they plunge into the terrifying world of It Lives Beneath?

Kathleen: I've been told that this book should not, under any circumstances, be played at night.

Brandon: Practice holding your breath.

Nicky: Get ready to scream!

Eep! Hope you're all ready for the latest terrifying addition to the Choices library! And stay tuned for more news and magickal (yes, magick with a k) sneak peeks from The Elementalists!

-Jessica


High School Story: Class Act

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The show must go on, and it will -- with the return of High School Story! This time around, High School Story is back with a new cast in the new school year, and more drama than ever before. Yes, we're talking theater! Let's chat with the team behind the newest Choices book to get the lowdown on High School Story: Class Act...

High School Story: Class Act is a different take on High School Story. What's new? Fill us in!

Wendy: It’s a new year at Berry High! This time around, you play an incoming freshman with a major love for theatre. As you step into the spotlight, you might just fall in love! But the course of true love never did run smooth, and neither has the path to stardom. You’ll meet a new cast of main characters, including actors, jocks, cheerleaders, and more! Make friends, defend yourself from enemies, and flirt your way to romance. Good luck!

Will we be seeing any familiar faces from previous books? Any friends? Enemies?

Wendy: While this book features a new main character and several new main cast members, you’ll be seeing plenty of returning characters, especially the original High School Story main character. As for enemies... you'll see.

Brianna: The main character of High School Story books 1-3 will be playing a big role in the drama this time! And an old enemy will have a surprising link to someone you know. I’m super excited to see how people react to these connections.

Aside from the drama of theater, how much drama will there be in this book? What about romance?

Wendy: It wouldn’t be High School Story without drama, would it? Watch your back... As for romance, you can choose between Rory, the boy/girl next door, the ambitious perfectionist Ajay, and Skye, the awesome goth girl.

Rachel Z.: The play is your chance to prove yourself to your classmates and reinvent who you are. And you might just develop feelings for others working alongside you on the production!

Who in High School Story: Class Act are you most excited for everyone to meet? Do you have a favorite character to write?

Brianna: I’m the most excited for everyone to meet your twin! Sibling relationships are some of the most entertaining things for me to write, and I hope our players enjoy their silly banter as much as we do!

Emily: I really like Ajay, our director extraordinaire. I relate to how serious he is about his passion (though mine was for the school newspaper), as well as his reservations about romance. He’s also very sassy and quick-witted, which was fun to write. But I have to say, as a former redheaded emo girl — writing Skye was like looking in a mirror.

What's your connection to theater? Do you have any favorite memories from drama class?

Rachel Z.: The theater was my home in high school. I did the whole gamut, from acting to writing and directing. I attended a small all-girls' Dominican school where the nuns had to approve our theatrical productions. My freshman year, we somehow got away with doing The Rocky Horror Show...

Brianna: I love watching plays, but I was never a theatre kid myself — I’ve only done skits in English class, and I was quite bad at them. At the risk of sounding like some kind of stone-cold killer, my favorite acting experience was when I played Othello and murdered my wife Desdemona, who was played by a guy friend of mine.

Emily: I really only did theater when I was a child, but got back into it in college. My Generalized Anxiety Disorder really made theater very scary for me, which was why I didn’t pursue it in high school. I tried to be braver in college and ended up taking a class called “Actors and Acting.” I learned a lot about the craft and got a lot of compliments on my performances, but theater actually played a part in changing my life — I met my now husband in that class!

Wendy: I’ve always been a theatre kid, so it’s no surprise that it eventually crept into my writing. My favorite theatre class memory actually comes from college. There was this one technique that everyone else in the class seemed to be making progress on, but I just couldn’t get it. I ended up in my professor’s office, crying, expecting to be told that acting just wasn’t for me and I should quit now. Instead, he explained to me that there is no magic line between “good” and “bad”. You just have to focus on improving. That way of thinking really changed my life. (And, yes, I did eventually have the breakthrough I was looking for.)

And scene! Thanks so much for reading, everyone. And don't forget to tune in Wednesday for the fright of your life with It Lives Beneath! We've also got some magical sneak peeks from The Elementalists brewing...

-Shae