Now that fall is in full swing here at Pixelberry, it's time for another round of questions, answers, and the latest Choices news. Earlier this month, we passed a pretty big milestone: 1,000 chapters released in Choices! If you've read them all -- congrats! We hope you've had just as much fun reading our stories as we've had creating them.
Since we've got quite a few questions to answer (thank you to everyone who commented with their questions, it's much appreciated!), let's dive right in...
When is [insert sequel here] coming out?
Here's a quick rundown:
Open Heart: Book 2 and Bloodbound: Book 3 will be out later this year! More details to come...
Ride-or-die: Book 2 is still a ways out, but it's in the works! We're hoping to release it sometime in 2020. (Thanks for waiting! We've never done a sequel quite like this before...)
High School Story: Class Act returns in October! Keep an eye out for more previews and a cover reveal soon.
Any new hints about what's going down in Bloodbound 3? What about Open Heart 2?
Bloodbound 3 changes the game completely, now that you’re a vampire! You'll struggle with your newfound powers as they change you... even as an incredibly powerful vampire arrives in New York City, planning to change the world. Expect more thrills, more sexy times, and a truly epic conclusion!
What's next in Open Heart 2? Now that you're on the elite diagnostics team, you'll be taking high profile cases alongside Ethan and a couple new, brilliant colleagues! The eyes of the world are on you. Your friends will be facing their own challenges as their lives are turned upside down...
Will there be any new game mechanics in future Choices books? Will we be seeing more of the flirt choice mechanic from Mother of the Year in other books?
Affirmative: You'll definitely be seeing new game mechanics, particularly in Blades of Light and Shadow. It's one of our more experimental books, so look forward to that! Regarding the Mother of the Year's flirt choice mechanic, we can't say anything definitive, but you never know what'll crop up in new books!
What books have male/female main character options? Why do some books have more limited customization options?
Here's the lowdown for brand new books: The Royal Masquerade and one other soon-to-be announced book will feature a heroine protagonist. Blades of Light and Shadow and Distant Shores will feature male/female main character options -- and Blades will also feature orc and elf main character options.
As for why: Depending on the book, it comes down to what's right for the story (like for Desire & Decorum) or resources available. Making a book with multiple gender options costs additional art, writing, coding, and QA testing resources, and the truth is, we can only afford to do it for some books. Of course, we definitely want to make more stories with more customization options, which you'll be seeing in the future... like Blades of Light and Shadow!
If you've got specific requests and feedback for us, let us know! Just message us on Facebook or in-app. You may not see the changes you want ASAP, but that doesn't mean we're not taking note.
When are Blades of Light and Shadow and Distant Shores coming out?
In an old blog post, we mentioned that Distant Shores is slated to come out this year, but we recently switched up the schedule on that. Blades of Light and Shadow has been moved up to launch this winter. Distant Shores will be coming out early in 2020. Apologies for the switch! Sometimes, scheduling just shakes out that way. (And yes, we've got more sneak peeks on the way!)
Will there be more of The Elementalists? Platinum? The It Lives series?
For now, the main series of The Elementalists is over. The team is taking a break from Penderghast and working on a new (and pretty kickass, IMO) book that we think you'll love. But you'll definitely be seeing your Penderghast crew again, because we've got a holiday special brewing! Expect some wintry magick, snowy shenanigans, and heartwarming moments under the mistletoe... (We're also working on some holiday specials for a few other beloved series. Stay tuned for more news!)
Platinum is a solo book (for a behind-the-scenes look, check out our interview with the team). Getting to release a bunch of karaoke-able songs has been a blast! We totally hear you about putting the tracks on Spotify, and that's something we're working on...
The It Lives team is currently working on other projects, so whether it gets a Book 3 is still up in the air. We'll let you know right away when we have more concrete info. In the meantime, we hope you'll take Halloween as an opportunity to replay It Lives in the Woods and It Lives Beneath for your dose of thrills and chills!
When is Hero coming back?
As readers of Inside Choices know, Hero: Book 2 was scheduled for 2020 and has been in the works. We have a script for it now, but unfortunately, due to our limited art budget, we can't move forward with it in the near future. As a result, Hero will be going on hiatus for the time being.
Every Choices book is a massive labor of love, and books like Hero and Most Wanted are no exceptions. We understand the sorrow, anger, and disappointment you feel when books don't get the sequels you want. For that, we apologize, and hope you'll recognize the love that we feel for the books we poured our hearts into. These aren't decisions we make lightly, and we miss our favorite characters and stories just as much as you do. We'll let you know if anything changes, promise.
Why are there so many standalone books? How do you decide if a book gets a sequel?
This answer is going to get a little long, so bear with us. There's a lot of factors that go into this: In the past, we've focused on longer running series and trilogies, like The Freshman and The Crown & The Flame. More recently, we switched gears to prioritize expanding our library with new and different stories.
Some of these books were planned from the start as solo books, like Veil of Secrets. Other books were planned as standalone stories with sequel potential, depending on how they performed, like Nightbound. We've learned a lot from expanding the Choices library, and we hope to use those lessons to create better Choices books than ever before.
So how does a standalone book with sequel potential get that sequel? How the book performed is a big part of it: did enough people play it and care enough about it to use diamonds on it? Another big factor is budget. Some books cost much more than others, and so the 'performance bar' for those books is higher. Plus, we have to see if we're able to get the right writers to work on it, if the timing works out in our schedule, and even more surprise factors that pop up along the way. If you love a book and want to see more of it, keep playing it and share your love with us!
Why did [book that I dislike] get a sequel? Everyone hates it!
We always appreciate your candor! Please keep in mind that what may be your least favorite book is almost certainly someone else's favorite. We feel really lucky that every Choices book finds an audience -- something we see reflected online, in our data, and in our Support and Facebook page inboxes! Some books may have a small but vocal fanbase online, while other books may have huge (and less vocal) audiences. We appreciate the love you share for our stories, and at the same time, value your honest, constructive feedback.
Is The Royal Heir a series? Will we get a Book 2?
Will we be meeting any The Crown & The Flame descendants or The Royal Romance ancestors in The Royal Masquerade?
When is your next livestream?
Ooh, not sure! We love getting to chat with you all, but it's been pretty hectic here at Pixelberry HQ, so we haven't really had the chance to do one in a while -- sorry! We definitely want to do one soon! What teams should we bring on? What do you all want to talk about? Let us know!
What's the best part of your job?
It's impossible to choose! From a Community Team perspective: Getting to work with our creative, passionate, and outrageously funny co-workers every day is pretty up there. Reading heartfelt, positive messages everyday from Choices readers like you is also awesome. The cute gifs and excited comments make our day, every time. In short: The people -- on our team, and in the Choices fan community.
Are you working on any new features for Choices?
As Royal talked about in our Diamond Rewards and Key Timers blog post, we're definitely working on some new features! Keep an eye out!
Is there anything you can tell us about the mystery story you hinted at?
From the team: "Hmm, let’s see. Keep in mind we’re in the early planning stages and this might all change... but what we’re thinking now is that it’ll involve some grisly occult murders among NYC’s elite... and an unlikely pair of crime-solvers who might just be the only people who can bring the killer to justice!"
What new genres are you working on? What new books are you looking forward to?
Well, there's the new mystery! We've also got pirates (Distant Shores) and epic fantasy (Blades of Light and Shadow) in the works. There's definitely more, but we're not at liberty to say right now...
Whew! That's a lot of questions. We hope we answered yours today. Thank you again to everyone who sent questions in, and thank YOU (yes, you) for reading!