Earlier this year, we experimented with a super-heavy discount of Cthulhu Saves the World + Breath of Death VII on Steam that resulted in the bundle being under $0.50. We were surprised & pleased with the huge response so we're doing it again with an even bigger sale! Not only is the Cthulhu Saves the World bundle heavily discounted (even slightly cheaper than last time!) but our Penny Arcade's On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 3 & 4 bundle is also available for under $0.50! This is the biggest sale we've ever done directly on Steam and we're interested to see how well it goes.
Breath of Death VII: The Beginning was our first game as a team. Although we each had worked on smaller projects before, neither of us had done anything close to a full-fledged RPG before. I'm still a little surprised that not only were we able to make the whole thing in about 3 months, but people really enjoyed what we had made - an homage and parody of the 8-bit RPGs of our youth. You can see a lot of our key philosophies about game design right from the start like a desire to make RPGs accessible for new players while still filled with depth for advanced players and the idea that we shouldn't just copy old games but try to improve on their designs by removing what doesn't work & experimenting with gameplay systems. Breath of Death VII was a big hit on the Xbox Live Indie Game service, selling both a good number of copies for the platform and being one of the highest rated games. And you can get it on Steam bundled with our next game...
Cthulhu Saves the World! Cthulhu Saves the World was our big follow-up game to Breath of Death VII and featured more of everything - more scenarios, more music, more playable characters, more abilities, more jokes - along with noticeably improved graphics (early 16-bit style as opposed to BoDVII's 8-bit style). Foolishly, we though since we already had an engine from our previous game that we'd be able to finish Cthulhu Saves the World in no time - instead development took the better part of the year (and longer if you count the PC port & the enhancements we made for that). Cthulhu Saves the World is by far our best known & most popular game to date, although that will hopefully change when we release Cosmic Star Heroine later this year.
While we were working on Cthulhu Saves the World, Penny Arcade contacted us about the possibility of working together. They had started a Penny Arcade RPG series earlier, but work on the series with the original developer was canceled after the first two of the planned four games. Penny Arcade had seen our work with Breath of Death VII and thought we'd be a perfect fit for finishing off the series in a retro style. We were both big Penny Arcade fans and the terms they offered were very favorable to us - we'd get most of the revenue from the games, a great deal of flexibility in design, as well as assistance from Penny Arcade with marketing & producing the games - so we eagerly agreed to make Penny Arcade's On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 3 & 4.
Penny Arcade was great to work with, especially Jerry Holkins & Jeff Kalles who were the two people we interacted with the most. We gained a lot of experience in developing the Rainslick games with them, and we were able to drastically improve our map design and editing. The games turned out well - great graphics, humorous jokes, a fun Grandia-inspired battle system, and two different varieties of job systems (3 jobs simultaneous with PA3, monster + trainer with PA4). The Penny Arcade games were also the first time we worked with Hyperduck Soundworks (first on the PA3 free DLC & then on the entirety of PA4), the team that is doing all the audio for our current game.
So there you have it, a brief recap of our first 4 RPGs. Our next game, Cosmic Star Heroine, is poised to mark an exciting new chapter in our life as a game studio, but in the meantime, for less than $1, you could be playing 4 great RPGs right now. What are you waiting for?