Some select screenshots from James’ route

With James being around 65% completed, I figure I should show some screenshots! He is currently hovering at 130k words, with 18 (out of 28) chapters coded into the game.

I didn’t want to show too many screenshots as they spoil too much, but I guess it’s impossible to show off his route to interested players if I keep hiding everything!

Either way, James’ route has a ton of new side characters to get interested in. Not to mention old characters (Caine, Neil, Angela, and even Alex appear in this route).

If you like long stories with a lot of fantasy action, then James will not disappoint.

James will be completed around December 2020, and an eventual public release of his route may happen in the 1st quarter of 2021.

Aiden’s route

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Aiden Jager, the 5th love interest in Tailor Tales, will start development in 2021.

I am afraid that Aiden’s route will not be completely free to play. You see, Aiden’s route is very sexually charged as it is one of the main themes of his route. There’s constant talk about sex or doing something sexual or kinky. There’s too much for me to be able to release his route for the free version, simply because most of his route requires you to be 18+.

With some of the other guys, I would write around the sexual parts, or simply not include it. But since it’s part of Aiden’s core route, I just have no way of writing around it without gutting his entire route.

So I will most likely only keep the first few chapters for Aiden free to play, and to read the rest, you must have his Plus DLC.

Luckily Aiden is already a niche and also the least popular LI so far, so I doubt many people will be annoyed by this decision!

If you’re curious about a small writing sample for one of Aiden’s scenes, you can read it here.

Dominant MCs in otome

When it comes to the general tastes in female players who play otome games, the majority prefers an MC who can be forward but is also submissive.

This translates to an MC that is confident in general, but when it comes to romance or sex, she will not take the lead. This is the type that appeals to most players, a mixture of submissive and dominant.

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These players want the MC to be active during sex, but not be in control. They don’t want to dom anyone, they simply prefer a more mutual engagement between MC and LI.

Then of course, there are the people who don’t want a dominant (or in this case, assertive) MC at all, they prefer her to be more submissive (25%), or full on submissive (3%).

And then there’s the last group; the players who prefer a dominant MC (12%).

That tiny sliver of people who want to play as a dominant MC. Not just every now and then, but to actually take the lead. Be in control. Do the pursuing. Tease the LI. Only 12% of players enjoy playing as a dominant MC.

Even less prefer having a submissive LI (10%).

Most otome games have a submissive MC. I understand why – it’s to appeal to most players. And that’s simply the truth; most players will relate to a submissive MC. This MC will be swept off her feet, generally be inexperienced in romance and sex, and blush a whole lot.


MCs like Fuka from Ozmafia! or Chizuru Yukimura from Hakuoki.

Western players are a little iffy on the ‘inexperienced in romance and sex’ part and enjoy an MC that is more savvy in those departments, but still gets swept off her feet. or they simply want an MC with more sass. Hence why the majority prefers a ‘mixture of both’.

You see these types of MCs in most modern Voltage games, or newly released Western indie games, such as Lucette from Cinderella Phenomenon, or Nora from Changeling.

But where are those dominant MCs? There may be some I haven’t played yet but they’re not in English.

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Even a game like Norn9 where you can choose your own MC, still only had the option between a kuudere, genki and tsundere. Mikoto is the closest to being sort of dominant, but she is very much a submissive in Itsuki’s route, and still doesn’t take control of her romance in Natsuhiko’s route. Nanami was way too aromantic to even appear dominant.

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Even Fashioning Little Miss Lonesome, which kind of marketed itself as having a dominant and submissive LI, had a…. submissive MC. Miki, who was supposed to be the submissive LI, took charge in any sexual encounter. He was ‘submissive’ in the sense that the game had MC step on Miki as a gag and at some point she teased his nipples. That is the extend of being ‘dominant’. Miki still took control. He wasn’t submissive at all.

Games featuring truly dominant MCs are… so rare, they may as well not exist.

As someone part of that 12% of players who prefer a dominant MC, I feel invisible. I have always liked couples with a reversed power dynamic. I liked the women to be confident and even flirty or teasing. The guy was always the one ending up getting flustered, or simply follows along because he’s whipped.

Dynamics such as Temari and Shikamaru from Naruto:


Artist K A R T A S M I T A

Seo and Waka from Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun:

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Holy and Jamie from Oh! Holy:

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Bulma and Vegeta from Dragonball:

Even Jessie and James from Pokémon!

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While I for sure, like submissive LIs, and my favourite pairing is a dominant MC with a submissive LI, however, what I simply enjoy the most… is playing as a dominant MC.

That means I can enjoy any type of LI, as long as the MC is dominant in some way and controls the flow of the relationship. This is usually why I enjoy tsundere routes because the MC tends to have more ‘spunk’ to be able to squabble with the tsundere. However, it’s only on the surface, she is still submissive in romance and sex. She may confess her feelings to the tsundere first, but in the end, the tsundere takes over.

Any route where I’m forced to play as a MC that is shy, reserved, unemotional, naive, or inexperienced in romance – I tend to really dislike those games. Even the LI, who I could happen to like, can not save the game for me. This is why I really ended up hating Ozmafia, because the MC was a naive child, reminiscent of the born sexy yesterday trope (minus the sexy). It’s also why I adore Yamazaki from Hakuoki, but I really do not like the Yamazaki/Chizuru pairing.

I recognize I’m the minority here. Plenty of people like these types of MC and there’s – in general – nothing wrong with having an MC like this. It becomes an issue when it’s the only type of MC you’re playing in otome games.

To someone who prefers dominant MCs, I just really feel left out. There’s a lot of content for people who enjoy shy MCs, or MCs that are kinda sassy, but still let the LI be in control. But where’s the content for me?

There’s another otome developer Yoshibb who writes dominant MCs (she did My Only Sunshine & 2 Minutes for Roughing), but I think that’s pretty much the extend of content available. Unless I’m missing something here. I know The Arcana features a submissive LI and I believe you can be dominant (though the gender is not specifically female), but I’m not touching that game with a ten foot pole due to drama surrounding the developers itself.

Taisho x Alice has an MC that takes charge of her romance and is very, VERY forward. While the MC is supposed to be dominant, it feels like it’s just done as a gag. Every time she acts forwards or flirty, it’s set in a comedic light. I feel like – as a player who wants to play as a dominant female lead – that I’m being made fun of for thinking I could legit play like this. All of her flirty interactions have this mocking tone to it. I’m not even covering the issues I have with the game’s writing in the first place.

I knew I would have to create the content I wanted myself. That’s why in Tailor Tales, the MC is always able to play as ‘fierce’. Though she will be dominant regardless of the choices in both Aiden and Dimitri’s route, who are also the submissive LIs.

Dimitri ended up surprising a lot of people, with a number of fans, which makes me happy. However, I know Aiden will get less fans due to being a strict dominant/submissive dynamic (with a focus on gentle femdom), but I hope people will give him a shot regardless.

And I don’t only add a dominant MC with submissive LIs to my game, there are also side romances with that dynamic.

Sarah & Kevin.
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Læna & Billius.
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I hope to continue to add more dominant MCs as well as a dominant x submissive dynamic to my game. If the content doesn’t exist, I guess I’ll just have to make it myself, but I hope that there will be a game (or games!!!) with a dominant MC to cater to that 12% of otome players.

Variety is the spice of life, and I want to be spicy.

Caine’s route available!

 

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Caine’s route is finally out, on both Itch.io and Steam! Go ahead and update your game, load your manual save file (your quick save file won’t work, but it’s okay, you can always create a new quick save!) and find Caine in the settings. Click on his profile and select “start new route” and you’re on your way!

For those curious, James’ 1st chapter is available to be read as well. You can’t start a new route with him, but you can reread his 1st chapter as it is unlocked for you.

Caine’s walkthrough for important clients:

A full changelog of updates below:

Content
– Caine’s full route has now been added (5 hours of content)
– James’ 1st chapter can be previewed (go to chapter selection, then reread his 1st chapter)
– A whole bunch of new clothing accessories are now available
– New clothing styles for tops and skirts have been added
– Geometric shapes are available as details
– Lots of new patterns to use
– New wallpaper, flooring and furniture to customize your boutique
– MC now has a sprite that has been added for side stories told in the love interest’ point of view (Plus users only)

Bugfixes
– Fixed a save file corruption error that would sometimes occur when the player tried to load their save file again, leading to an error saying “Cannot read property ‘name’ of null”
– Fixed a few layer issues with clothing that wouldn’t load when you first entered the designing screen
– Some GPUs would cause an error with the screen after alt-tabbing and going back to the game where the screen was frozen, which has now been fixed
– Sprites now fade in and out without seeing the underlying layers
– Fixed a bug where you could select invisible colours when picking out a background for the camera mode
– Some players would get errors with patterns displaying incorrectly. This issue was traced to the web-GL functionality being disabled on the user’ computer. If the user cannot turn web-GL back on themselves, they must switch out their package.
– After completing a route, players were asked if they wanted to read the other ending, but were sometimes met by the same ending regardless. It’ll now set the chapter back to 25 properly so you can choose which ending to read

New features
– All text messages have been replaced by a phone system that can show emojis and pictures as well
– Players can change the size of the text to small, medium and large by clicking the AA icon
– Players can now date characters after completing their route (Plus users only)
– Dynamic tinting to account for the surroundings or time of day (orange during sunset, dark during night etc.)
– Background blurring whenever a character approaches you has been remade and looks blurrier
– Screen effects such as dashes, lights, and action lines have been added
– The Profile in the settings of the main menu has been reworked to add a few more options
– Players can now determine whether they’re a virgin or not in the main menu, under Profile. Some routes (namely Caine) has slightly different dialogue based on this choice
– Players can determine whether they want to hear MC’s soundbites during side stories or not in the main menu under settings
– Starting a new route, you’ll be asked if you want to view the warnings and triggers for that route. Major spoilers are still hidden, so if you accidentally click yes, you will not be spoiled
– You can rename your brother (Ralph), who appears in James’ route. His sprite will take on the MC’s CG colours

Artwork
– A few backgrounds were redrawn
– Gray, previously named Sam, has been reworked
– Aiden and Neil has had some minor updates to their sprites
– Some of Neil’s CGs were redrawn
– Some of the clothing has been redrawn, namely the midi and maxi circle skirts
– A couple of hairstyles were redrawn

Misc.
– The introduction tutorial has been remade and spread out as to not overwhelm new players. Returning players may stumble upon a tutorial here and there
– All soundbites have been organized into subfolders
– All backgrounds are now organized into a subfolder
– Some quality of life fixes (more colours grouped, certain clothing elements excluded from being randomized)

Caine’s route releasing on March 25

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Caine’s route is finally ready to be released! On March 25 the game will get updated with his full route, along with a load of improvements and bug fixes to the game.

When this update happens, your quick save will become unusable, so please be sure to load your manual save. New quick saves can be made after this update.

The tutorial from the intro has also been changed, so old users may run into a few tutorials here and there.

Anyways, be on the lookout for Caine! He’ll be there to steal your heart away. Clocking in at 135k words (125k words for free users), or around 5 to 6 hours of playtime, he is the longest route to date.


 

Other than Caine’s release, Gray’s redesign is finished as well.

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And for Plus users, they can now date Neil with the dating minigame available.

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Plus will remain early access for Patreons at the moment. It will be released as a DLC on Steam in the future when I’ve worked on Neil’s dates some more.

Writer for Gray’s route

I’ve been a solo dev for a long time. Art, writing, coding. Little by little, I outsourced some part of the development. Starting with coding (TDS did an amazing job making all the systems), then through my Patreon I was able to afford another artist working on some clothing for the game. Then I had someone else help me out inputting the script into the game which freed up some time for me.

Writing however, I’ve still been apprehensive about. Writing is also expensive, considering each route for Tailor Tales is easily 100k words. It’s a lot.

However, one year of development for each route is also taking a long time. By the time Aiden starts, I’m sure many will stop following the progress. So I’ve decided to work on Aiden’s and Gay’s route simultaneously. I hired a writer (Nadine K!) for Gray’s route so that by the time James’ route is finished, I’ll have enough material to start adding Gray’s route to the game, while focusing my own attention on Aiden.

Patreons will be able to enjoy a monthly chapter release for both Aiden and Gray, which is projected to start in 2021, after James’ route is finished.

I’ve outlined Gray’s story with this new writer and I’m confident she’s able to keep the writing consistent with the rest of the game, and do Gray justice. I’ll be writing Aiden’s route as usual.

Caine’s route is projected to be released in March. I’ll announce an actual release date as soon as I’m able to! It relies on a couple of factors; finishing a certain system I’m working on, as well as getting my DLC accepted by Steam. Either way, if the DLC is taking a while or the system isn’t finished, at the very least Itch’s version will get updated with Caine’s route.

2020 goals

Happy new year everyone!!
I wanted to share you my goals for this new year and the direction of Tailor Tales. My programmer should have time for me again so we can work on these projects. Here’s my list!

2020 goals:

  • Finish the Dating & Touch system for Neil
  • Finish the Fashion Events
  • Rework the fashion system
  • Add DLC to Steam
  • Release Caine’s route on Itch and Steam
What is the Dating & Touch Event?
When you finish a main route, you unlock the ability to go out on dates with the guy. Click on the map to go out on a date and experience a short event with your favourite guy. This is a Plus feature only.
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At the end of the date, the guy will ask you to extend it. If you say yes (completely optional!), you will advance to the Touch event, where you can touch the LI anywhere on his body.
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Currently it is being reworked so that it is more streamlined and gives the player a sense of accomplishment with a small minigame. Right now you can touch anywhere you’d like without a purpose or goal, which can get boring. Hence the rework. Each LI will have some options that are unique to them (for example, you can peg Aiden).
What are Fashion Events?
What purpose does the designing have when Plus users do not need to pay gold nor complete client requests to read the next chapter? Players have repeatedly told me they still want to design for clients, and I have listened to them.
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(mock-ups are subject to change)
Fashion Events will make use of tailoring exp and gold by unlocking fashion events to attend. Each fashion event you compete in has a prize. You can win parts of an outfit (dresses, shirts, shoes, even hairstyles), making it a collectable game. There should be many unique outfits to collect and complete. Rosariy is an artist I enlisted that will help me with creating these outfits.
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To compete in the fashion event, the player has to abide by certain requirements, which are different than the usual client request. Here the player has more freedom to create something cool or pretty. All items will eventually have attributes, such as elegant, cool or sexy etc. This means there’s a big rework coming up. The fashion event might ask for a ‘cool’ blue dress, and it’s up to you to make and style one!
With restrictions here and there, the player is still challenged to make something that will get them to win. I’m hoping I can release many outfits the player can collect. I’m also hoping this is a great gold sink, as once you’ve purchased all items in the store, you have no use for gold anymore.
Steam & DLC
The free version of Tailor Tales gets updated roughly once a year, or whenever a character route is complete. Right now Caine has been completed, so I’m prepping for a release on Steam, including Plus DLC.
My current plan is to release Caine’s full route on Steam early 2020, as well as add Neil’s and Dimitri’s Plus as DLC. Caine’s Plus version would only be available on Patreon until the next character route is complete (which would be James). So yeah, being a Patreon still gets you some perks!
And that’s it! Hope you had a great new year :)

 

Plus as DLC

Caine’s route has been complete since October, available on Patreon. Sooner or later, I’ll release him to the public as well (most like early 2020). I’d like to do this at the same time as Plus gets released as DLC.

However, there’s a few stumbling blocks in the way. I would have liked to add a Plus DLC on both Itch.io and Steam, but currently, there is no DLC support on Itch. I’ve been waiting for one for years now, but other than “We’re thinking about it.” there’s no ETA on DLC on Itch.

Other developers get around this issue by creating a new game page for each DLC. This is plausible, but not for Tailor Tales due to two things:

1. Players would need to install the files in the correct folder themselves, opening up many issues and mishaps.
2. But most importantly; no automatic updates to the DLC once they’ve been added to the main game.

I update a lot. I’m frequently polishing old routes to include more content. There is no way I can realistically update DLC and install it for the majority of players automatically. Players would need to check the DLC game page to see if there is any update in the first place, then do the same process again by copying over the files etc. Basically, it’s a pain.

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(the new phone message system is one such example of old routes being updated with a new feature)

DLC for Steam works like a charm; it installs and updates automatically. Players only need to buy it and it’s there.

So that’s why I’ve decided to make Plus DLC only available on Steam for now. When Itch finally comes out with DLC support, then I’ll release Plus on Itch. But yeah, for now, it is only going to be available through either Patreon or Steam in the future.

I’ll have to read the documentation on Steam on how to add DLC, but I am hoping to release both Neil and Dimitri’s Plus content on Steam as DLC when Caine’s route is released.

Caine’s Plus DLC would be a Patreon only perk for now until further notice, as I would like to release the Plus version for each character when they have at least one side story available.

James’ route started

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James’ route is now officially underway! The first chapter has been coded, available to Patreons in November. It will feature an older Caine and MC’s brother Ralph (name can be changed!). Ralph will reflect the player’s colour choices, so he’ll match your skin/hair/eye colour.

The plot is entirely different, as well as its genre. It’s a supernatural/action genre this time around. Set in an alternate universe where superheroes exist, Joselina the MC designs costumes for them. Her brother Ralph, invents gadgets for the superheroes. Caine is their childhood friend who is a registered superhero.

One day, a superhero crashes right outside her boutique and she ends up saving him.

Meet James, a superhero who has incredible strength and can fly. Initially he wants nothing to do with Joselina, and she doesn’t want to involve herself into the superhero business either… but then she gets kidnapped and the plot is kicked off.

James’ route will feature more emphasis on plot and world building than others. Of course, as always, there will be romance (my forte!). Watch James grow from cold and distant to enamored with Joselina. But even Joselina undergoes changes!

If you enjoy romance and adventure with a leader kind of guy, James is your go-to route.

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In other news, Dimitri’s first side story “Gaming Sessions” has been added as well. Enjoy a day of gaming with Dimitri, playing together an otome game! Finishing off with some well deserved smut. Only available on Tailor Tales Plus.

Once some core new features are finished (mainly the date system), then I’ll look into releasing Caine to the public as well as finally releasing DLC for Plus.