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Robin-post: Some Thoughts on Silence & Purpose

This is a “guest” blog from Robin, the other half of Carpe Fulgur , who had a lot to say about our recent announcement himself and why it is we’ve chosen to do what we’ve done. Without further ado, I’ll let my partner in crime take it away:

Hello.

Thanks for coming. I know we haven’t been on the best of terms, lately. I’ve been busy with other things, and haven’t had the chance to pay you the attention you deserve. I know every time you ask where I’ve been I get evasive and never give you a straight answer. I know you’ve been suspicious, and I know you’re sick of listening to excuses. More than that, I know that you’ve stuck with me, and believed in me no matter how suspicious I’ve been.

Well, here. I know it’s about four days too early, but- happy anniversary. http://www.carpefulgur.com/drakblog/?p=48

So, putting the jokes aside, now that we can talk about what we’ve been doing, I wanted to talk about why we did this. I know a lot of people have been rightfully bothered by our silence for… far too long now, and have been wondering what happened. For those people who feel bothered, betrayed, upset, or just curious, now that we can talk, I want to talk. I’ve been wanting to talk for months- going on a year, now, really. Not really to make excuses- while there were elements beyond our control, I do recognize that we could have done better to make this happen sooner- but to explain why I think it’s nonetheless important. Continued…

Posted in Carpe Fulgur.

PROJECT FOUR: TRAILS IN THE SKY SC

trails_sc_banThis is the post I’ve wanted to make for two years now.

Continued…

Posted in Carpe Fulgur, Trails in the Sky.

Two Years And Climbing – Post #2: The Chantelise Notes

For the second part of our two-year anniversary post series, it’s time at last to discuss Chantelise and the changes made to it in localization. I am sorry that these notes are so late in coming, especially gvien how short they are, but with everything we’ve been up to, Things kept popping up in the way.

And they are fairly short. By and large, between the fairly straightforward nature of the game and script and the general size of the script compared to either Recettear or Fortune Summoners, there were not a particularly large number of changes made. The flip side of the coin is that there were only two substantial changes made, but they are a bit larger than any change made to either of our other extant titles. Both can spoil the plot of the game to some extent, and so are hidden under the jump. (And remember, reading this post first is a good idea to get a primer on why we do things the way we do.)

Continued…

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Two Years And Climbing – Post #1: The Present

Two years ago yesterday, Carpe Fulgur unveiled its English version of Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale to the world. It was the story of a girl and a fairy taking a silly gamble on running a fantasy item shop, and the meta-story behind the game’s release was that of several unemployed twentysomethings with a desire to enter the localization industry. We entered it expecting to accomplish little more than gaining a jumping-off point for our resumes.

Two years on, it’s safe to say we’ve gotten a bit more than that.

I know the blog, and indeed Carpe Fulgur in a wider sense, seems like it has been on silent running ever since Fortune Summoners was released. In a sense, we have been – but that’s been due to the fact that what we’re currently working on is bound under non-disclosure agreements. This isn’t quite what we had planned – we’d originally hoped to lift the veil of secrecy over Project Four some months ago. The day where that will actually happen is hopefully now not far off. Know, however, that we have not been idle – far from it. We’ve been working on a project that we think is wonderful and that we desperately wish to share with you. The very instant we can do that, you will know. Because we want to talk about it.

This blog post is not about announcing that, though. It’s about discussing where we’ve been and what’s going on right now.

What is going on right now, first and foremost, is our large summer sale on Steam. It’s been up for a while now and I suspect many of you saw it, but  as of this posting it will be up for another 18 hours. The CF Collection can also be thought of as “CF: The First Two Years” – it is all three of our games collected at one low price (namely, 75% off). Each game can also be purchased individually for 75% off as well, if you wish. If you’ve been waiting to get Fortune Summoners especially, now is your chance, as it will not be on sale like this again for quite some time.

Also, the soon-to-be-present holds a pair of convention trips for Robin and I. We will be traveling to Japan again for the 82nd Comiket convention to scout new potential titles, as well as meet with our current partners to strategize for the coming year. I suspect we will be in particularly deep counsel with EasyGameStation over various things. We will also be at PAX Prime – we attempted to get a solo panel just for CF, but didn’t quite manage it. I will be on a panel with several other indie-RPG luminaries (such as Robert Boyd and Jeff Vogel) discussing the path RPG mechanics are taking, among other things (and I can hopefully get a few words in on the subject of localization), but we will not have a “proper” solo panel.

And finally, this blog. This is not the only blog post I intend to make this month – old words, perhaps, but now I have the time and energy to back up my intent. Over the next week or two, to commemorate the two-year anniversary of Carpe Fulgur’s reveal to the world, I will be posting about various subjects, including the long-needed editor’s notes to both Chantelise and Fortune Summoners, and once the Steam Sale is over, something everyone always looks forward to – hard number updates across all distro platforms for all three titles and a discussion of how successful they’ve been. (We have, admittedly, waited on discussing this for FS because we knew that its first big sale would go a long way to determining how successful it would be in the long term.)

And really finally, because we perhaps do not say it often enough: thank you. You people, our fans, Recettear’s fans, Fortune Summoners’ fans, indie RPG fans, are the people who have given wind to our sails, as cliche as that may sound. Without you, none of what we’ve accomplished – or intend to accomplish in the year(s) to come – would be possible. Your continued support is the main reason we get out of bed in the morning.

 

We’ve been in business to the public for two years now – it’s almost mindblowing to think that we’ve been doing this for years now. I can’t wait to discuss where we’ve been, what we’ve done, and what we’re doing with all of you.

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Posted in Carpe Fulgur.

Delays and their causes

So anyone who has been paying attention as of late will have noticed that our third game, Fortune Summoners, has been delayed twice now, with the second delay having been announced on the day the game was meant to come out.

This all perhaps requires some defense.  First of all, as a general mea culpa, the second delay announcement itself came so late due to the fact that I’m in the middle of changing apartments and thus my Internet situation is spotty at best at the moment. I’d actually hoped to have Fortune Summoners out before I moved, but that didn’t quite shake out. (The good news is, the move will make it tremendously easier for Robin and I to get things done in the long run.)

More generally, though, Fortune Summoners is being held back for a reason. This may not smooth any furrowed brows, but I can say this: the game is actually playable, right now. It can be played to completion in English.

We aren’t just settling for “playable”, however.

From the start, one of the goals I set for Fortune Summoners as a project was that the release would be absolutely flawless – that we’d release the game and then would have no need to patch it. While Recettear and Chantelise were both well-received in their respective launches, the sad fact is that they both launched with issues that required patching – multiple times, in Recettear’s case. (As you can imagine, the initial state of the FS demo left us a bit frustrated and left me wondering how I missed one or two of those issues.)

This isn’t actually acceptable to us, especially not if we intend to expand our business out onto platforms where patching *isn’t* readily available. We have to prove, to ourselves, our potential partners and most of all to you guys, our fans, that we can produce a product that is flawless out of the gate.

So we are taking the time to really get FS right. A few crash bugs were found in the last build, in particular, that were completely unacceptable in a game people would be paying money for. We wanted to make sure we corrected EVERYTHING before we got the game in your hands.

There have been other considerations as well – schedule timing with our distributors compared to when we had builds of the game available, for example – but above all, this is about quality. We were perhaps a little hasty in announcing a date for FS – a lesson Robin’s been whacking me over the head with, I assure you – but I would much rather give our customers something as close to perfect as we can make it, rather than something rushed to meet an arbitrary deadline.

I hope everyone understands, and don’t worry – Fortune Summoners will be in your hands very, very soon.

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Posted in Uncategorized.

Chantelise Unleashed: What To Expect, What Took So Long

So apparently people are excited about a certain little thing we’ve been working on for the past few months. It’s a little surprising, to be honest, but then I am such a terrible judge of these things. Continued…

Posted in Uncategorized.

Localization: Why We Do What We Do

So, one has to wonder: if a blog is posted to on the Internet infrequently, does anyone still check it? Well, hopefully they do, or nobody’s going to read this!

Continued…

Posted in Carpe Fulgur.

Project Three: Fortune Summoners

I’d been thinking about waiting a little while longer on this, but the game is already show-off-able, and announcing at AnimeExpo was simply too tempting.

So. Just as announced at AnimeExpo – Fortune Summoners: Secret of the Elemental Stone is Carpe Fulgur’s Project Three. You may recall that we were previously uncertain if this project was actually possible. I am happy to report that all issues have been worked out with Lizsoft and that work is now proceeding apace, to the point where we already have a build in-house with interface elements 90%+ in English and only in need of debug and a further editing pass; all of the “events” in the prologue/demo are also now fully rendered into English, and need only minor editing before they are ready for primetime. Progress has been rapid since the deal was reached. Expect more screenshots Damn Soon™. Continued…

Posted in Uncategorized.

CF at AnimeExpo!

So the poor blog sits here, neglected and forlorn. Happily, I do intend to do something about that very soon here, I’m just waiting on a single particular thing before rolling out a bit of artillery with which to blow you all into next week.

As the timetable on that is a bit uncertain, however, I thought I would post a brief bit of news for anyone considering attending AnimeExpo in Los Angeles: both Robin and I will be in attendance for the entire event! Furthermore, the current plan is for both of us to be on the “Bringing Doujin Gaming to the U.S.” panel, sharing our experiences in bringing both Recettear and Chantelise to the U.S., and possibly, maybe sharing other news as well. That particular panel will run in LACC 411 on Sunday, July the 3rd, from 4:30 to 5:30PM. We’ll also be wandering around the convention, schmoozing with fellow industry dudes and, just possibly, setting up a few things for the future. You’ll definitely be able to find me at both the NISA and Aksys panels, in the audience, and around the show floor looking at various things. Normally I’d say I’d be hard to miss in my white coat, but at AX I suspect that might not be quite so true.

Regardless, hopefully some of our fans can see us in the wild for the first time at the Doujin Gaming panel! We’re looking forward to running into some Recettear fans!

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Posted in Uncategorized.

An update from the Game Developer’s Conference

“So, SpaceDrake”, you may be saying, “where’s that long-promised Recettear postmortem?”

Well, technically we did one here with the crew at RockPaperShotgun. Also, my default state of mind is terminal laziness, so, there you go.

That’s only part of the answer, though. The other part of the answer is that this has been fairly busy month for Team Lightning, just on things that haven’t involved actual game-making. During late January and through most of February, I went though the process of moving from Virginia all the way to Portland, Oregon, which needless to say consumed pretty much all of February in terms of time and manpower. I did this primarily so that Robin and I could work face-to-face from now on (this having been a bit of a problem during Recettear’s localization process), and also for easier access to west coast resources for future development… such as being able to attend the Game Developer’s Conference!

That’s what I’m up to right now; this week is actually going to end up determining quite a bit of how the coming year proceeds for Carpe Fulgur and what we may end up working on. I’ve already had one extrmely interesting lunch meeting that I can’t go into further detail about at the moment, but it certainly opens up a door I’d previously thought was completely closed (and a lost cause, to boot). Over the rest of the week, I’ll be doing things like investigating console possibilities and talking with various companies about things we could do. Wonderful things.

After that, March will be a busy month for us. Now that I’m settled in Portland, real work on Chantelise will begin in earnest, and we’ll hopefully have it out by the end of April (though don’t take that as gospel just yet). And I really truly for honest will get not only to a dedicated blog taking-apart of what went right and wrong with Recettear‘s localization, but I’ll talk about the localization itself and why we did what we did with the project and our methods in general.

The short of it is, no I was not eaten by a shark, and this is an extremely exciting time for us. Stay tuned, Cool Stuff is on the horizon.

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Posted in Uncategorized.