Bunny Splash’s Trio and Incredible Jam Games! • Status Report – May 2021

Bunny Splash Casino Main Character Trio and Social Media Plans! Two New Jam Games and Monthly Recommendations • Status Report for May 2021

April’s out, and it’s time to make May shine! 🥳 Our anniversary month went great! As far as we can tell, ever since the foundation of our studio, we don’t recall having as good of a month as this past month has been! It certainly feels like we’ve just had the perfect kick-off into another amazing year!

If you’ve missed our announcement from last month’s anniversary blog post, going forward, we will be writing monthly status reports like these! They will be dedicated to going in-depth about our current plans and doings. 

Collage featuring highlights from April!
Highlights from April!

We have a lot of news to cover this month! Starting with Bunny Splash Casino progress, we’ve just finished the concept artwork for our trio of main characters. Additionally, we’ve released two completely new jam games as Treasure Projects. And finally, we cap it off with our new Whales Of Culture recommendations from this month! There’s a lot to get into so let’s dive into it! 🐳

Voyage Journal

Progress with Bunny Splash Casino, our adults-only management simulation game, continues underway! We’ve been working on the game’s core prototype these past weeks, and we’ve recently finished making some new experiments with the art direction that we want to give to our characters!

While we will still have to further test how this style will adapt to the in-game sprites and backgrounds; it’s really motivating to see these characters coming together in such a polished fashion.

As such, we would like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the first three characters from the game! This will be the trio of characters that will accompany you right from the start of the game! Here’s your first look at them! 🐇

Starting Character Trio Concept Art for Bunny Splash Casino
Starting Character Trio Concept Art for Bunny Splash Casino

From left to right these are Cheqmate, Dally and Jack!

  • Cheqmate, who you have been introduced to through previous posts, is the main character of Bunny Splash Casino! She’s your narrative point-of-view for the game and a playful and assertive former real-estate agent turned casino-owner by luck. She’s best-friends to Dally and Jack, which she invited on-board for the mission of getting the casino going! Her clothes are themed after the suit of hearts.
  • Dally is a quirky upbeat and party-animal woman. She immediately jumped aboard the casino idea when she was first asked to join. Formerly a retail worker, she’s full of energy and easy-going. She enjoys getting tipsy and will bring a whole lot of fun to the casino and its customers. Her clothes are themed after the suit of clubs.
  • Jack is an overly theatrical hunk of a man. While he originally wanted to be an adult film actor, life played its cards. Instead, he had to get through small acting gigs and one-time jobs in the Eden Strip. Despite his somewhat prince-charming looks, he’s known to exaggerate and overreact. Just like the other two, his clothes are themed after the suit of spades.
Bunny Splash Casino Twitter
Follow Bunny Splash Casino on Twitter!

This month, we plan to start using our social channels for Bunny Splash Casino to post news about it again! We look forward to posting work-in-progress regularly; and allow you to have a closer look at it as it starts taking shape! If you’re interested, you can follow Bunny Splash Casino’s Twitter and Discord pages, as long as you’re an adult of age of course! 😉

Other than that, we will also continue working on the game’s prototype and start getting a full game loop going! While our plans might always change, we hope to introduce you to the first full-look at the world and logo in the next report! Look forward to it! 👀

Treasure Projects

In addition to the work we’ve done with Bunny Splash Casino, this month showcased exactly what we look to achieve with our Treasure Projects! This month was punctuated with the releases of both Townseek from our Global Game Jam post-jam and Vast Trivia Of The Void from Ludum Dare 48! That was two games back-to-back! 👏

Townseek Screenshot

Beyond the incredibly fun time that it was putting both of these games together, the reception that both games have been getting has completely caught-us off guard! Townseek got featured on Itch.io and it quickly rose to our 4th most played game in just two weeks. Likewise, Vast Trivia Of The Void is already up to 90-reviews in Ludum Dare 48! Wowie!

While it certainly is an amazing feeling to get two games with this much of a fantastic reception in a single month, as you might expect, it’s also very tiresome. While we’re very proud of both of the games that we’ve put out in such a short notice, we won’t be doing any game jams during this upcoming month. Instead, we’d like to prioritize working on Bunny Splash Casino for this month.

Townseek featured on itch.io
Townseek featured on the Itch.io Front Page

As such, the Treasure Projects we’ve got planned are in shorter quantity. Remember that all of the work and potential release dates that we have for these side-projects are extremely volatile!

  • Closing off the work that we’ve done with this Ludum Dare 48, you can look forward to a post-mortem on Vast Trivia Of The Void sometime in the coming weeks. Post-mortems detail our jam experience, our decision process and the lessons learned. Depending on how it goes, we might even do one for Townseek too!
  • While we’ll be skipping doing jams in May, we’re aiming to participate in Game Maker’s Toolkit Jam at the beginning of June! We’ve been looking forward to joining ever since they started, as we’re huge fans of Mark’s channel and videos. We’re glad to say we’ll be finally giving it a shot this year!
  • Last month we mentioned we wanted to introduce Community Roles to our Discord. Our goal is to motivate people to share more of their own content on our server! While we were not able to do it last month, we hope to retake that task again this month. We might even include some more server-tweaks alongside it!
  • While we update our Instagram regularly, we’ve always wanted to have a proper Art hub to gallery together the event and one-off artworks we make with our characters. This month, we’d like to create a proper art page here on the website!
  • If you understand the portuguese language, you can look forward to an interview we’ve got coming up this month with Pixel Glitch! Likewise, we will also be doing a a podcast with Café Mais Geek! We’ll be talking a bit about our fourth anniversary, things we’ve got planned for Bunny Splash Casino and beyond, and other casual questions!
Vast Trivia Of The Void Screenshot
Vast Trivia Of The Void

Overall, we will be keeping it chill this month with additional projects. That will allow us to work on even neater stuff with Bunny Splash Casino and to take care of smaller pending tasks! 🗄️

Whales of Culture

Finally, we’ve got our Whales of Culture recommendations from both of us for this month! 

While it certainly was harder to consume as much content with our busy schedule these past weeks, we’ve still got some recommendations for you! From sentai heroes to incompetent dads, here’s what we’ve got this month! 🍿

Chroma Squad Screenshot
Chroma Squad

This month I played through the super-fun adventure that is Chroma Squad! Made by the same developers that brought us Knights of Pen And Paper, the best way to describe the game is as an indie Power Rangers pixel-art strategical RPG! While it starts with a down-to-earth story about making an indie TV series and upgrading a humble studio, things escalate into absurd bliss. It goes over the top with robot kaiju fights, wacky villains and a really engaging story. It also helped that I named all the characters as Whaleverse characters, which only contributed more to the fun!

I didn’t really watch a lot of stuff this month, though I did have the opportunity to watch BNA: Brand New Animal. For folks that know Studio Trigger‘s work, this is another one season wonder. The plot revolves around a city where exiled human-animal hybrids go to live in the face of human discrimination. While I certainly wish there were more episodes to it, BNA does have its good amount of slice-of-life moments, an interesting developing mystery about Michiru (the human protagonist that suddenly became a beastman) and fantastic Studio Trigger animation work!

Bob's Burgers
Bob’s Burgers

I played Horace earlier this month. It has a great story with some funny nods to gaming history. It also has great gameplay (though very difficult at times). The pacing is a bit odd at times, but the bittersweet story of a robot that would do anything for his family and to play some more videogames will make you eager to find out what happens next, over and over. While there are better and more “mainstream” platformers out there, I can’t deny that this game has a lot of heart.

Also, I would like to recommend watching Bob’s Burgers. So many TV animated series are about incompetent dads or dysfunctional families. Yet, Bob’s Burgers thrives by giving the audience a lovable, wholesome family of relatable misfits, who would go to great lengths to support each other. The sitcom situations they encounter on each episode are hilarious. Things tend to go into unexpected developments, and usually wrap up with heart-warming lessons about family or accepting oneself.

May and Beyond!
May and Beyond!

And that rounds up this month’s worth of news! May will certainly be a calmer month compared to how hectic April was. However, we also need to have some chiller months so we can focus on our commercial games too!

We’re really stoked to continue working on Bunny Splash Casino and more that we’ve got scheduled ahead! In case we don’t see you in any other blog post we do this month, then we will catch you up ahead in next month’s report! 👋

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If you enjoyed what you’ve read and the games we do, we would love it if you could join our Discord community server! If you’re less keen on talking, you can always keep tabs on our progress through our Twitter or Instagram! Either option giving us a follow helps us to grow as well! 💛

As the pandemic starts loosening up, we hope that you’re able to start engaging in some community activities again. Even then, remember to stay safe, healthy, and take care of yourself! See you next time! Cheers! 🐳

Our team is ready to splash again at Ludum Dare 48!

The team having a whale of a time during Ludum Dare 48!

Are you ready for another round of Ludum Dare bliss yet? Twitching for some jamming? ‘Cause we sure are! Hyped up and full of energy, our team at Whales And Games is ready to participate again in Ludum Dare 48! 🐳

This time around, our team will feature the usual all-star Jorge doing his programming magic using Unity with his brand-new favourite IDE, Rider! Then there’s Moski at the art department using Clip Studio Paint – or Aseprite if we go pixelart! And last but not least, Zak will be cranking up the tunes and sounds with FL Studio! For team collaboration, we will be using GitLab, good-fashioned Google Docs, and trusty and reliable Itch.io!

S Some of our most notable previous participations include Petty Puny Planet from Ludum Dare 38, Jazzy Beats from Ludum Dare 40, Super Sellout from Ludum Dare 43 and, most recently, Woofice Chair from the last edition! We keep coming back since we continue having a great time here, experimenting with new game genres and having a wonderful time trying out everyone else’s games in this incredible voyage!

This week has been extra special for us because we just recently released Townseek on monday, an expansion to our Global Game Jam 2021 game from earlier this year. The reception was fantastic, and here we are again, mere days later readying up another game for next monday! That’s one hectic week! 👏

If you’re also participating, it’ll be a pleasure to display our game along yours once again! Do your best and have a blast! There’s no wrong way to do a jam game, so experiment and go wild!

With all said and done, lets have some fun on this challenging weekend! We’re looking forward to playing all those innovative experiences, first time experiments and wacky creations! Let’s go make some games! 🐳

Happy 4th Anniversary, Whales And Games! • Status Report – April 2021

Happy 4th Anniversary Whales And Games!

Happy 4th Anniversary, Whales And Games! 🎊🐳 Pinch us in the cheeks because it’s hard to believe that we’re already headed into our fifth year! In the world of indie game development, four years feels like a lifetime. We’ve come a long way during these last years, with our games and as the people behind them.

Highlights from our 4th Year
Highlights from our 4th Year!

Thank you to everyone that has supported us on the journey so far! From our family and friends to our community. From the people that have played our twelve games to the artists that keep celebrating our wonderful cast of characters!

As we wrote at the beginning of the year, there’s a lot we have in the plans for this upcoming year. In this post, we want to go a bit more in-depth into some of those plans! Before that, however, and as tradition calls it, we’ve got a celebratory artwork featuring our mascots dressed-up for the occasion! We’ve also had the opportunity to commission both Wearepopcandies and CuckyUncle for some custom anniversary artwork! You can find them both at the footer of this post! 🤗

This year we’re going with a red and yellow theme for our anniversary. The world needs more warm colours at times! 💖🐇

Happy 4th Anniversary, Whales And Games!
Happy 4th Anniversary, Whales And Games!

Last year, we mentioned how our third year felt like it had been more about achievements satellite to our games, than about game development itself. With our fourth year, our goal was to begin work on a commercial game. We wanted to do that, while also progressively returning to other game projects on the side as we went along.

Gladly, this past year, we surely worked on games! During our participation at Art Fight, we released Art Fight Duel, bringing together the characters from several digital artists. On Ludum Dare 47, we put adorable doggies into office chairs and created Woofice Chair. In the past months, we also participated in Global Game Jam and developed Townseek, an exploration trading game, which we’ve continued adding to.

And of course, there’s everything else too! Last year, we organized several community server events, we revamped several of our characters including Whalechan redesign, we launched our growing Instagram and LinkedIn pages, and we even hit 1000 followers on Twitter right before this post! 🎉

Art Fight Duel

However, what you’re likely curious about is Bunny Splash Casino. If you’re unacquainted with the game, during Whipped And Steamy’s anniversary, we introduced it as our first commercial game. Bunny Splash Casino is a full-blown, adults-only, erotic management simulation game. While being a new game, it follows the footsteps of character development we settled with Whipped And Steamy. 👀

Our first experiences with the game’s production were a bit rocky and we shelved it for a while. Back in November, feeling ready, we rebooted development. Since then, we’ve been working on it at a great pace! Currently, we’re working on character designs, creating key artwork and developing the core game!

Work-In-Progress Eden Strip Key Art for Bunny Splash Casino
Work-In-Progress Eden Strip Key Art for Bunny Splash Casino

We want to start bringing you news about Bunny Splash Casino regularly in the next few months. We will be doing it through its Twitter account (adults-only, mind you) and through these Voyage Journals! Even with its mature label and its initial development woes, this is a project that we’re really proud of.

The setting of the Eden Strip and its inhabitants are diverse and full-of-character! We can’t wait to show you the sexy shenanigans they’ll be getting into! 😊

Treasure Projects

Beyond the work that we have been doing for Bunny Splash Casino, we have also established a routine where we get the final part of each work day for side-projects and other ideas we want to do and develop as Whales And Games. This allows us to stay fresh and push new content even while we are working on Bunny Splash Casino.

However, all of the work and potential release dates that we have for these side-gigs are extremely volatile. They’re like little treasures we can work on the side of our main project if there’s an opportunity. Therefore, we call these Treasure Projects! ✨

As such, let’s get into some headlines of these that we’ve been working on during these past few months and where they are headed:

Townseek Screenshot
Fishing in Townseek
  • Let’s start with the aforementioned Townseek from the previous section. While we were originally going to release it after the Lunar New Year, we’ve decided to spend some extra time adding Fishing and extra polish to it! We hope to potentially release it sometime after our anniversary. 🎣
  • For the rest of the Whales And Games backlog, we also have Roboto Repairaton and the ever-infamous Colossorama – The Champions Update. They’re still on the plans and we’ve already made changes to both of them this year, but we’re not aiming to release them anytime soon.
  • Speaking of jam games, we’re considering participating in Ludum Dare 48 this month! If we do participate, you can look forward to a new game jam experience between the 23rd April to 26th April!
  • On our community server, we will be releasing our new Community roles next month! For the creative folks, we’ll be granting the brand new Community Creative! And for those of you there developing your own games, we will also have the Community Gamedev role. Stay tuned at our server for upcoming news!
  • Finally, over the course of the past years, we’ve experimented with rebranding multiple times, but never carried it through. Sometime in the next months, we really want to give a brand new fresh coat of paint to our logo and presentation, similar to what we have already done with Whalechan, Polite Whale, Dapperchan and our other characters!

One of our goals this year is to continue working on Treasure Projects alongside our work in Bunny Splash Casino. We hope to continue participating in game jams, and continue creating new interesting side-experiences! 🙌

As a side-thing, at the beginning of the year, our team challenged itself to what we dubbed the Whales of Culture challenge. For each book read, movie or series watched and game played, each of us scores points.

While we’re doing it for self-gamification, we wanted to bring some of our personal selves into this anniversary report, and tell you some of our favourite media from past months! 👌

Transistor Screenshot

While everyone is raving reviews about Hades, I’ve been playing through Transistor, another Supergiant Games game. I don’t think that I’ve ever jumped into a New Game+ as fast as I did with this game. That’s two play throughs back-to-back! It’s beyond gorgeous, has a very intricate plot, and the combination of action RPG with strategy elements is genius.

Other than that, I’ve also been going through The Mandalorian after watching all Star Wars films for the first time since the start of the year. I really like the personality of the Mandalorian and his approach to solving fights, while also being an awkward lone-dad to Grogu. A fantastic piece to the Star Wars universe and very much worth watching!

2064: Read Only Memories Screenshot
2064: Read Only Memories

Earlier in the year, I decided to finally play 2064: Read Only Memories to scratch my itch for a point-and-click adventure. It was a fairly straightforward game that touched sensitive topics in a cyberpunk setting. It’s quite well worth checking out if you’re a fan of the genre!

Now, let me tell you about Wandavision. The series ended earlier in March, yet I still have a certain jingle stuck in my head. The show’s comedy was top-notch, and while the superhero antics marred the experience somewhat towards the end, it still had some of the most creative ideas you can find in Marvel’s ever expanding repertoire!

4th Anniversary Art by Wearepopcandies
4th Anniversary Art by Wearepopcandies

Finally, we’re pleased to announce that, starting with this anniversary, we will be making reports on our current doings structured like these at the start of each month! This one is special being our anniversary celebration, but you’ll be getting a reef’s worth of news every month! Look forward to them! 👏

As development on Bunny Splash Casino continues, we will also be making dedicated extended reports for it on its own website. That way we can go into detail about the progress of R-rated content outside of the PG-13 limits of this website. You’ll still have to wait for it though. 😉

4th Anniversary Art by CuckyUncle
4th Anniversary Art by CuckyUncle

There’s a lot that we’re looking forward to in our fifth year! It’s hard to believe that, by this time next-year, we will be celebrating half-a-decade of Whales And Games. We really look forward to having one amazing report by then too!

Discord Banner

Like always, you can always keep tabs on our progress through our Twitter and Instagram! Alternatively, you can also join our Discord community server! We’d love to see you there!

Keep wearing masks and stay safe! Here’s to a whale of a time and to this new chapter of Whales And Games! Cheers! 🐳

Happy New Year! Here’s to a Whale of a 2021!

Post banner for the "here's to a whale of a 2021" blog post! Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! 🎆 As the holiday season comes to a close, it’s fair to say that the last year wasn’t easy. Even then we all withstood its misfortunes, pulling our best, the world kept spinning, and so did our lil’studio at Whales And Games!

First off, we wanted to thank everyone for the support that you’ve given us through the past year! Thank you for your comments, reviews, art gifts, trades, commissions, and your participation with our community! It’s these interactions that our studio is built-upon, and we treasure each and everyone one of them. 💕

Collage of 2020 Highlights with fan-art we've received, artwork we've made and games we have developed!

As we start this new year, there’s a lot of stuff we want to announce and tell you what we’ve been up too! If we were to make a quick bullet list, it’d be something like this:

  • We’ve rebooted Bunny Splash Casino’s development, our adults-only management-simulation and visual novel game, back in November! We’ve also ditched the Bunny Copulation brand and want, even with the game’s themes, to be proud that it is a Whales And Games project!
  • We want to give a fresh coat-of-paint to the Whales And Games branding over the year! We’ve refreshed our characters and some of our presentation last year, and now, we want to bring it to our core brand as well, especially as we start hosting commercial projects.
  • We want to address our previous projects like Roboto Repairaton and Colossorama! If possible and without conflicting with Bunny Splash Casino’s development, we’d like to finally release them.
  • Global Game Jam is coming up and being online for the first time! We definitely want to get in on that game jam!
  • And much more…!

These are very exciting times for our team! However, if there’s something we’ve learned with Whales And Games is that we frequently get ahead of ourselves. As much as we’d like to get into the details of each point, we want to get what we’re working on is bright and shiny before we show it off to you!

Collage with teasers for our 2021 projects, and games we are developing!

Our 4th anniversary will be happening in just a couple of months in March! When we get there and over the course of the next few months, we’ll tell you about what we’ve got on the blender! 😉

Hold on a bit longer to your sails, alright? If not, come down to the deck at our Whales And Games Discord or follow us on Twitter! We’ve been sharing development details more casually over on those places, so if you want a few sneak peeks, feel free to join in!

If you’re looking for Bunny Splash Casino news there’s also its own Discord and Twitter! Since it’s an adult-only game, we thought it’d be better to keep them in separate, age-gated channels.

Here’s to a happy new year, and a whale of 2021! 🐳

Results that make us bark with joy! Woofice Chair’s Ludum Dare Results!

Woofice Chair's Ludum Dare Results banner

Well, it seems that the dogs have come back to roost. (We know it’s a chicken thing, but accept the analogy, it’ll make sense)! And now, we can finally rest knowing we’ve got the Ludum Dare results for Woofice Chair! (told you it’d work). 🐶

Mock Office Chair Image before we came up with the final Woofice Chair

It’s always good to look back at and compare these, since they’re easy-to-understand metrics. They can practically show if we’ve improved or changed in certain aspects of development.

Before we getting into the ratings, we want to say that we’re humbled by the reception we got! We also got to play a ton of fun games, making it an all around fantastic period!

So let’s see how we performed with Woofice Chair! shall we?

Ludum Dare 47 Results

Ranking-wise, this is the highest we’ve got at Humour, which is fantastic! But here’s some fun statistical data, complete with our over-analysis of the situation.

At some point during a previous Ludum Dare, we made a Google Sheet to write down the results we’ve got in the past entries. It even got conditional formatting to give us better visual clues of important numbers! Gold cells represent our best at a jam yet, while red represents our worst:

Ludum Dare Rankings and Results since Petty Puny Planet

Rating-wise, this is our best Overall game with 4.15 (up from Wizsnooks’ 4.071). It’s also our game with the best results in Graphics, Humour and Mood. Yet, ranking wise, we’ve got past games that did far better in rankings.

Ludum Dare Ratings and Results since Hyper Holomayhem

Our “best game” in ratings is scoring lower in rankings likely for things mentioned before. The quality of good, fun games seem to be on the rise, likely as a result of people participating constantly. And that’s great! That only means that jams are getting better and better! There were also way more participants this time around that there were in any of our previous participants. Such increase is most likely the result of a certain ongoing worldwide unavoidable phenomenon. 😅

Finally, regarding the given ratings, we wanted to be more calm on this jam for a while. That’s why we didn’t rate as much as when we made Jazzy Beats. Because of the good words we received, we felt we needed to give back the good vibes and played a lot more games! A bit too late to catch up, but we still had a blast with your submissions!

Join our Discord Server!

For the time being, we’re rearranging some stuff as we get back on the commercial game development track. If you’d like to stay in contact with us, consider following us on Twitter! You’re invited to join us for a chat at our Discord Server as well! We’re preparing some Halloween goodies, so you should really stop by!

Thanks again for all the good will this time around! Wish you all the best of luck on the next Ludum Dare! 🐳