Sometimes when you hear something, it just makes sense. It becomes believable because it fits a narrative so well.
For instance, Y Press Games always delivers crowdfunding rewards on time by putting out subpar games. Looking from afar this would seem to make sense. After all, nearly every other visual novel company delivers Kickstarter rewards late or never. Y Press Games must have a trick. Tricks are generally bad, like subpar games.
Is it true? Obviously, not, but people can do their own due diligence. How have our games been received by fans? Steam gives a pretty good metric on what games are good or bad. Not every game has been a winner for us, but our bara games stand firm as ‘Very Positively Reviewed’ on Steam. Take a look for yourself.
We wouldn’t be an industry leader if we put out subpar games. Sometimes things that make a nice sound byte just aren’t true, and are worth digging into.
Then how do we manage to always deliver crowdfunding rewards on time?
We’re a company with a team of programmers, artists, writers, editors, and testers. We’re not one or two people trying to take everything on ourselves. Every game we put out is a team effort. We’ve done a bunch of games and we know how to stick to a schedule. We have the benefit of past experience.
Games are hard to make. Keeping a delivery date for a game is an ordeal, no matter how hard you plan. To assume there’s a way to avoid this stress is naïve. It’s the perspective of someone on the outside looking in, with no actual experience in delivering a game on time.
Any company that actually delivers games on time will get the reputation of being a nightmare to work with. We’re no exception. Our standards are high and our deadlines are strict.
It isn’t always pretty, but we’ve always felt honesty was the best policy with not just backers but potential future partners. When people pay you for a game you have an obligation to deliver that game.
We’ve had partnerships crash and burn in the past, and have never hidden this from backers or players. Studio Kosen is a great example. Things didn’t work out during To Trust an Incubus, but we maintained a close enough relationship with these awesome creators to put out Mister Versatile with them last October. We plan to continue collaborating with them in the future.
Our replacement artists for To Trust an Incubus managed to do so well they became our main artists for in-house bara games going forward. The art of Le Peruggine is gorgeous!
We’re bringing our partnership to a close with Sentimental Trickster in the next year. They’ve already approached us about partnering again for another unfinished game. We were tough with them, but never actually cruel. (We may have exaggerated on how tough we were with ST due to the pressure so many angry backers had been putting on us.)
We’re fortunate that creators will work with us again and again, despite how exacting working with Y Press Games can be. In the past we found our rates of pay for voice actors was far below industry standards. Even though we were increasing rates exponentially for each game, we were still too low for To Trust an Incubus and Morningdew Farms.
After those games we set a $1/line minimum for all voice actors, regardless of skill, experience, number of reads per line, or if we needed to buy their voice acting equipment for them, as we have done for two novice actors. We’ll review this rate annually to ensure it grows with the size of our company.
We’re not perfect. We’ve made mistakes. We try to do better.
And we’re not actually as mean as we pretend to be. We just don’t want anyone to expect things to go too easily with us. Making good games and delivering on time is very hard work.