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Big miraclr Update Coming on Valentine’s Day!

We’re excited to announce that a big update to miraclr – Divine Dating Sim is coming to Google Play, the App Store for iPhone and iPad, and the Amazon AppStore for Android on Valentine’s Day 2018!

New Avatar Options

An important new feature coming with the Valentine’s update includes new avatar options for the player. Currently, there are only 3 base options for male, female, and non-binary. We’ll be adding at least 3 new options for each gender, so 9 new options overall.

Valentine's miraclr Avatar OptionsGallery Addition

The update will also enable a Gallery system browse-able from the Main Menu screen. From here, you can view all the images you’ve unlocked so far while playing the game.

New CGs

Keep a look out for new CGs appearing in the Valentine’s update, as well!

Raphael Uriel new CG

     Raphael helps Uriel exercise (or so he claims)

Notification/Reply Improvements

We’re also tweaking the code for notifications and reply windows in response to player feedback. This will involve expanding the time window available for many choices and increasing the likelihood of receiving mobile notifications while the game is not running.

And more… ?

We may have even more announcements about miraclr – Divine Dating Sim releases in February coming soon, so stay tuned!

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Woodsy Studio 2017: Year in Review

2017 was a busy year for Woodsy Studio. Development started on our latest and biggest game. We ventured into the free-to-play market in two different ways. We released our first console titles and we (unsuccessfully) dipped our toes into crowdfunding. Here’s a quick look at the year in review for Woodsy Studio.

February – Echoes of the Fey Episode 0: The Immolation

Woodsy Studio’s first release of 2017 was an experiment on two fronts. To start, it was our first game developed in Unreal Engine 4 and, as a result, our first game to utilize 3d environments. We also decided to release it as a free, stand-alone chapter to help promote the series in general.

Even though we had to build a visual novel display system from the ground up, we quickly took to UE4. Resource management (especially related to sounds and music) was much simpler than in GameMaker Studio. Building 3d environments instead of drawing 2d backgrounds also allowed us to incorporate camera angles and increase the number of settings and CGs featured in the game.Using UE4, however, had a downside. For the first time, we had to worry about the performance of our games. On low-end machines–specifically older computers and laptops without a dedicated GPU–The Immolation ran poorly. We coded in a low graphics mode (which, quite frankly, made the game look rough) but we’re not sure how many people knew to take advantage of it. Visual novel fans aren’t used to worrying about performance or graphics settings, and some of our initial reviews likely reflected that. For future (not free) episodes, we’ll likely look into a way to default to low settings when the user doesn’t have a graphics card.

Overall, we’re very happy with The Immolation as an introduction to the series and as a functional performance test for our future VNs in Unreal Engine 4.

July/August – The Fox’s Trail on PS4 and Xbox One

2017 marked Woodsy Studio’s first release on console platforms, with our 2016 PC game Echoes of the Fey: The Fox’s Trail coming out on both PS4 and Xbox One. We were still on GameMaker Studio for this project and we did all of the porting work ourselves, so we’re incredibly proud at how the game turned out on consoles and the fact we were able to release both ports within (almost) a month of one another. Xbox One was especially groundbreaking for us, as (I believe) we’re the first traditional visual novel on the platform and one of only a few GameMaker ports to appear on the system. We’re hoping that with future releases, using UE4, we’ll be able to put our console versions out much closer to our PC version.

October – miraclr: Divine Dating Sim (ios/Android)

This October, Woodsy Studio made its second venture into the free-to-play market with the mobile title, miraclr: Divine Dating Sim. Developed in under two months, miraclr is a novel-length (75,000+ words) VN that takes place in real-time over a single week. You chat and collaborate with the archangels of heaven to plan and enact the first true miracle in over 400 years.

miraclr was a unique project for us, in no small part because it was our first mobile-focused game. We had released games on Android before (Serafina’s Crown and Quantum Conscience) but those had been developed with PC in mind first and ported over to the mobile platform. miraclr, by its nature as a game that required real-time interaction, only really works if you have the game with you at work or school or wherever you spend most of the day. There are in-app purchases that allow players to skip around the real-time elements of the game, but we wanted to be sure it was completely playable for free players.

We’re hoping to have some new miraclr announcements soon, so stay tuned if you’re a fan!

November – The Last Sacrament Kickstarter

Not all of our news in 2017 was good. For the first time, we tried crowdfunding one of our games, the upcoming Echoes of the Fey: The Last Sacrament on Kickstarter and fell significantly short of our goal. This certainly wasn’t out of lack of support from our current fans, who contributed and sent us plenty of messages of support. Unfortunately, despite various attempts to reach out to media and promote the campaign, as well as being designated a “Project We Love” by Kickstarter we simply weren’t able to get any press coverage or amplification.

Unfortunately, the reality of crowdfunding is that there’s only so much an independent studio can do to get the word out. We released a demo, still available here, and did what we could to try and drum up support. But ultimately we learned that we’ll likely have to take a different approach to getting press coverage when we release (which we still intend to do; more on that later!)

December – Echoes of the Fey: The Fox’s Trail on Jump

Finally this year, we expanded our reach to another platform–the online game subscription service, Jump!

Porting to Jump was a bit difficult, mostly because of the size of our game. On PC/Consoles, The Fox’s Trail is an installation a little over 700 MB. To make it work and playable via browser, we had to tweak our texture compression and sound streaming. This led to a few bugs we hurriedly fixed during release, but now the game is fully playable on the service. So if you’re a Jump subscriber but haven’t checked out our games yet, make sure you try out The Fox’s Trail!

Upcoming – Echoes of the Fey: The Last Sacrament

Of course, the year in review wouldn’t be complete without a mention of our biggest project this year, Echoes of the Fey: The Last Sacrament. We started production on our biggest, most intricate game yet back in March of 2017 and have worked on it throughout the year. Even with all the other releases in 2017, we always kept up work on The Last Sacrament and we hope to have it released in early spring of 2018 on PC, with a console version either concurrently available or out shortly afterwards.

Thanks to all our fans for your support! Hopefully we released something in 2017 that you enjoyed. We’re looking forward to more updates and releases in 2018 so make sure to follow us or sign up for the newsletter to know when we have something new for you!

 

Kickstarter Campaign for Echoes of the Fey!

Woodsy Studio has launched its first Kickstarter campaign!

Support us on Kickstarter!

You can read all about the campaign via the link, but here are some highlights.

Our mission

Malcolm and I (Jenny) began our careers as devoted storytellers, which is why we both went to college for screenwriting, and have each published several novels. Whenever we make a game, our goal is to create a unique, compelling narrative experience. With Echoes of the Fey, we set out to create a high fantasy setting with a dash of steampunk flavor and a full dose of detective noir.

The Last Sacrament will be bigger in scope than anything we’ve made yet. We’re building the game using Unreal Engine 4. This might seem like an unusual choice for a visual novel. But UE4 allows us to create complex 3D environments and multiple camera angles for each scene, resulting in a more cinematic experience.

We’re also adding a unique gameplay element in the form of a mini-game called RiftRealms. This is a tabletop game that exists in the world of Echoes of the Fey, and as Sofya you can play with other characters. We thought this would be an interesting way to showcase each character’s personality based on how they treat you as a Dungeon master. It also explores the question: what do people fantasize about in a fantasy world?

Story

Meanwhile, Sofya has a lot of work to do as a private investigator. Sofya’s childhood love and the Emperor’s daughter, Katerina, seeks her protection from threats near the border. Katerina’s rival, Nikolai, needs a dangerous drug stolen from the powerful Krovakyn Church and uses blackmails to force Sofya’s assistance.

Nikolai wants a dose of the Sacrament, a mysterious substance from the Krovakyn Church that can cure illnesses and extend lifespans. But repeated use of the Sacrament causes strange side effects, such as hallucinations and physical deformities. Nikolai wants to give the Sacrament to his grandmother, who has already received the maximum dosage allowed.

It’s up to you, the player, to solve each case and determine its outcome. Can you track down Katerina’s enemy? And if you manage to steal the Sacrament, what will you choose to do with it?

You also have several romance options in The Last Sacrament. If you proceed carefully, you can develop a romantic relationship with Katerina, Arkady, Nikolai, or Heremon.

We’re really excited to share this story with you. But we need your help to make it happen. About 75% of the game has already been developed, but your support will enable us to push to the finish line and add all the features we envision.

Our heartfelt thanks goes to anyone who chooses to support us in this endeavor. Let’s make our dreams for The Last Sacrament come true!

 
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miraclr: Divine Dating Sim Out NOW

Available FREE for mobile devices!

Download from App Store  Download miraclr on Google Play  miraclr Available at Amazon

What is miraclr?

miraclr is a comedic workplace romance starring the biblical (and apocryphal) archangels, told  in a mobile office collaboration app.

Play as a human recruited to assist the archangels of heaven with the creation and implementation of the first true miracle in over 400 years. Because you can’t visit them in their office, you are  given access to miraclr, an app used by the Archangels for intra-office messaging. It looks a little like Slack, with similarly structured channels and PMs.

After you start miraclr, you can choose preferences for morning, midday, and evening meetings with the angels. From then on, miraclr will unfold (mostly) in real-time, whether or not you have the game open. Your co-workers (the Archangels) will talk among themselves, ask for your input, and private message you for both work and personal reasons. Your timely responses (or lack thereof) will affect how the story unfolds and romantic relationships.

Read the story behind miraclr‘s creation

Available FREE for mobile devices!

Download from App Store  Download miraclr on Google Play  miraclr Available at Amazon

miraclr: A New Visual Novel Project

Hello Woodsy Studio fans! Today, we’re announcing miraclr, a new, small scope visual novel project that we hope to release for Android phones in early September with a (possible) iOS and Steam release later down the line.

What is miraclr?

miraclr is a comedic workplace romance starring the biblical (and apocryphal) archangels, told  in a mobile office collaboration app.

In miraclr you play as an unnamed human recruited to assist the archangels of heaven with the creation and implementation of the first true miracle in over 400 years. Because you can’t visit them in their office, you are  given access to miraclr, an app used by the Archangels for intra-office messaging. It looks a little like Slack, with similarly structured channels and PMs. (Very early screenshot below)

When you first start up miraclr, you will decide on a time zone and a scheduled time for daily morning meetings. From then on, miraclr will unfold (mostly) in real-time, whether or not you have the game open. Your co-workers (the Archangels) will talk among themselves, ask for your input, and private message you for both work and personal reasons. Your timely responses–or lack thereof–will affect how the story unfolds and romantic relationships.

Why a new game now?

Woodsy Studio is currently in the middle of developing Echoes of the Fey: The Last Sacrament, the next episode of Echoes of the Fey and the follow up to The Fox’s Trail, which just released two weeks ago on Playstation 4. So why divert our attention and resources away from that?

First off, The Last Sacrament is going to be a big game. Easily the largest and most complex we’ve ever done. We’ve made lots of progress–all but a few environments are done, half the game is playable and the RiftRealms mini-game is getting close to its final form. We still believe we’re on track to release in 2018.

But right now we need a break from it. We want to get something new out for people to play. We’d like to expand our presence on mobile, something the scale of The Last Sacrament just doesn’t allow with a two person team. And finally, we want to explore other methods of storytelling and experiment a little with what our audience wants from a visual novel style game.

With Echoes of the Fey, Woodsy Studio largely moved away from the traditional visual novel format and dating sim conventions. We’re bringing those back with miraclr, which will feature multiple romance paths and more focus on character/dialog than the mystery stories of EotF. It will also be a bit of a return to an older style for me (Malcolm), since most of my writing experience is in comedy. This will largely be a return to my writing style in The Closer: Game of the Year Edition, though with fewer baseball and philosophy jokes for a different audience.

When will it be done?

miraclr is a unique project for us, in that we’re hoping for a very quick turnaround. The format (a slack-like messenger app) limits the scope of the project, especially in regards to artwork. There will be CGs, emojis, and “photos” shared by the angels in the channel, but we intend for the main draw of miraclr to be the writing and unique time-based format. It won’t be a terribly long game–a visual novella if you will–but there will be seven days of content and multiple branches.

We’ve already proto-typed a version of the app that can display the story in real-time and have most of the first day written, which along with some initial art only took a few days. We also know that Echoes of the Fey is the main focus for our studio, and we can’t let a new project take too much of our focus away from that.

With all that in mind, we’re targeting an early September release date for miraclr. Hopefully you’ll be playing it soon!

*UPDATE*: As of September 20, we are finished with “miraclr” and in the testing/porting phase! We’re now hoping to release on Google Play and the App Store for iPhone and iPad September 26. Stay tuned!

For updates (as well as Echoes of the Fey info) follow us on twitter at @WoodsyStudio.

Echoes of the Fey: The Fox’s Trail Out Now on PS4!

We know a lot of you have been waiting to play Echoes of the Fey on PlayStation 4 so we’re happy to let you know that our first installment, The Fox’s Trail is out NOW for $7.99.

Did Folren ir-Adech die during the war between Humans and Leshin? Or is there a darker truth behind his disappearance? Investigate the mystery now on PS4. But don’t think we’ve forgotten about our PC users! We recently pushed a patch on Steam that improves controller support to match the PS4 version and fixed a couple minor issues regarding options menu functions and Steam Achievements.

Finally, we’re still hard at work on our next title, Echoes of the Fey: The Last Sacrament, with the majority of the script complete and a good portion already in game and playable. Keep an eye on us at @WoodsyStudio on Twitter for updates, screenshots, and other Echoes of the Fey news!

 

PS4 Release in July and Steam Sale!

This week, Woodsy Studio has two big announcements that we’re happy to share with our fans (and, of course, folks new to our games). While we’re hard at work on our next title, which promises to be an exciting continuation of the Echoes of the Fey series and our biggest game yet, we still want to bring our current titles to as many people as possible.

We’re coming to PS4!

First off, Echoes of the Fey: The Fox’s Trail will be coming to PS4 in July! If you held out to play on your TV–or you just prefer a console, or you were waiting on trophies–now is your chance. This is the first Woodsy Studio game to release for PS4 but we don’t plan for it to be the last. It’s our full intention to continue to release the Echoes of the Fey series across as many platforms as possible. We do all our porting in-house (and there are only two of us!) so moving to Unreal Engine 4 should help with the turnaround and we hope our next installment will be out on PC and PS4 in 2018.

PC Summer Sale

Second, for folks who haven’t played our games on PC, there’s never been a better time. All of our games are on sale for 33-50% off as part of the Steam Summer Sale. You can also pick up all three of our Steam titles–Quantum Conscience, Serafina’s Crown, and Echoes of the Fey: The Fox’s Trail for under $9 in our bundle!

If you’re all caught up on our games, then we still have some awesome news for you. Echoes of the Fey: The Last Sacrament will be playable at PixelPop Festival in St. Louis on August 5-6 and XPO Game Festival in Tulsa, October 13-15. If you’re in the area, come check us out for a sneak peek at Sofya Rykov’s next adventure, as well as a chance to try and early build of our in-game board game, RiftRealms.

That’s all the news for now, but stay tuned for more updates, more console release information, and (soon) an in-depth look at the new mechanics we’re adding in The Last Sacrament.

Announcing Echoes of the Fey: Fuel Your Choice Exclusively with Mountain Dew and Doritos

Today, we’re proud to announce our newest addition to the Echoes of the Fey franchise, Echoes of the Fey: Fuel Your Choice. We think this program speaks for itself, so check out the video below.

Seeking Voice Actors for “The Last Sacrament”

****AUDITIONS NOW CLOSED****
Thanks to everyone who auditioned! Here is the resulting cast:
Nikolai – Christopher Vitemb
Katerina – Sara Secora
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About the Echoes of the Fey

Echoes of the Fey is an English-language visual novel series that combines the magic of high fantasy with the mystery of the classic detective novel. You play as Sofya Rykov, a private investigator operating in a town on the contentious border between the Humans and Leshin (Elves). While her job is to uncover secrets, Sofya has a dangerous secret of her own: unlike other Humans, she can use magic. It’s a handy trick for solving cases – in the rare instances she can control it.

About Episode 2: The Last Sacrament

The Last Sacrament will be the next installment of the ongoing series. Sofya’s loyalty grows divided when politics clash over the town’s water system. Her childhood love, who also happens to be the Emperor’s daughter, seeks Sofya’s protection from mysterious threats. But a ruthless politician seeks a fourth drop of Eszther’s Sacrament — the consumption of which is the greatest heresy against the Krovakyn Church — and he will go to any lengths to ensure that Sofya delivers it to him.

Released episodes:

Episode 0: The Immolation
Episode 1: The Fox’s Trail

Payment and Expected Work

– Payment will be $0.50 per line. Lines are categorized as each block of dialogue that appears on the screen at once, and can range from about 1-40 words, typically 1-2 sentences. They can also be “expression lines,” which are even shorter clips of dialogue used for emotional punctuation throughout the game. Payment includes at least two takes of each line, preferably more.

– The amount of recording needed is not yet set in stone. Shortly after choosing the cast, we will request a recording of expression lines (30-60 short lines of expressive dialogue). After that, we will request some scene dialogue over the next few months as our budget allows.

Rating/Maturity

This game will contain some adult language and sexual themes. However, we expect to remain in the Teen / PG-13 rating category.

Audition Process

Please record the included audition lines for the role that interests you and send them in either .wav or .mp3 format to jenny (at) woodsy-studio (dot) com. Multiple takes and styles are highly encouraged so I have a good sense of your range. Auditions will remain open until March 12, 2017.


Katerina Konstantinova Lapidus

  • Female
  • American accent
  • Appears both as an adult (20s) and teenager (about 13 years)

Katerina has a kind and empathetic nature, but she also grew up as the daughter of the Emperor during a time of warfare. Her kind nature is frequently in conflict with her need to firmly represent her father’s interests and crush her opponents. She rejoices in any opportunity she finds to kick back and behave like an ordinary young woman. She hates being called “princess” or any other unnecessary flattery. This is why she enjoys Sofya’s company so much. Sofya has never cared for politics, and always knows how to forget about all problems and have fun.

Katerina will mostly appear as an adult in the story, but there will also be flashbacks to her as a young teenager meeting Sofya for the first time. Therefore there are audition lines for both adult and teenaged Katerina (around 13 years old).

Please send lines for both adult and teenage Katerina, as she will appear as both in different parts of the story. Teenage Katerina should sound younger/higher-pitched.

Adult Katerina Audition Lines
KATERINA (angry): All of this was about a photograph?
SOFYA: I don’t know. But, Kat, take a deep breath. You’re okay.
KATERINA: I’m sorry, Sofyuska. I just… I had no idea that this might actually happen. When I hired you… I didn’t really think…
SOFYA: You didn’t think you were really in danger?
KATERINA: Not real danger! Not like this! I thought they’d throw vegetables at me or tag my carriage.

Teenage Katerina Audition Lines
SOFYA: Thank you, Kater– Uh, Lady Lapidus.
YOUNG KATERINA: PLEASE don’t call me that. I’m so sick of everyone sucking up to me.
YOUNG KATERINA: Just call me Kat.
SOFYA: Okay… Kat.
YOUNG KATERINA: Now, if you’re going to be stuck in the castle for the winter, maybe we can at least have some fun.

 

Nikolai Fyodorovich Melinkov

  • Male
  • American Accent
  • Late 20s/early 30s

Nikolai Fyodorovich Melinkov is the eldest heir of House Melinkov. House Melinkov is one of the wealthiest families of the west and one of the staunchest opponents to Imperial control of the borderlands. They are led by Nikolai’s grandmother, Alma Melinkov. Nikolai is the heir because his father (Alma’s son) died during the war and Alma’s daughter is a church matriarch.

Nikolai never wanted the responsibility of leadership. He is a man who enjoys fine dining and classy entertainment. If he had his way, he would run a theater or prestigious tavern rather than control his family’s domain. He also believes that his dying grandmother, Alma Melinkov, is much better suited to protect the family than he is. For this reason, he will use whatever tools he possesses to extend Alma’s life and protect the family’s interests in the meantime–even if that means breaking the most sacred law of the Krovakyn Church and blackmailing Sofya to help him.

IMPORTANT NOTE: We would like Nikolai to sing at some point in the game. Payment for recording song vocals will be a flat $50. Please include a singing sample with your audition

Audition Line 1:
NIKOLAI (firm, threatening): You will do as I say, Lady Rykov. My sister has ten copies of this photograph. If I do not wire back to Volgrad with other instructions within the hour, she will send it to Patriarch Arkady here in Vodotsk. However, if you deliver the Sacrament to me, I will destroy every single copy of the picture and the glass impression.
Audition Line 2:
NIKOLAI (determined): We are GOING to build a dam, and we’ll make the Leshin pay for it!

Audition Part 3:  Please include a singing clip!


I’ve also posted auditions to the following sites:
Newgrounds
Casting Call
Voice Acting Club

Send all audition clips and any questions you might have to jenny (at) woodsy-studio (dot) com. Thank you and good luck!

New Trailer for Echoes of the Fey Episode 0: The Immolation

With the game now content-complete (we’ve been in the bug-fixing and polishing stage for the last week now), we’re happy to reveal our latest trailer! Episode 0: The Immolation will be out later this month for PC for FREE! And if you’d like to see us on Steam day-and-date with itch.io, don’t forget to VOTE on Steam Greenlight!