Carrot Discusses the New S-S-S-Side Game(???) and Also Things Like Burnout, Which Sucks(!!!)


Mostly because at least on the itch front I've been a bit quiet and also because I thought maybe perhaps potentially I should at least write a quick little something up so people have a better idea of what even the heck I'm doing right now with this side game (that you'll know about if you've been following my socials but that I haven't talked about anywhere else and also I've only given random small visual updates for EL OH EL).

Picture unrelated I just think it's cute.


So yes if you follow me on itch but not on any of my socials this may come as a small surprise BUT I AM WORKING ON A SMALL SIDE GAME. Why, you ask??? Well, let me get into it...

*****$%($*%@$%@$(%*@$)%****** (magical time travel dust)

The year is 2023... and I have just finished launching part 5.15 of the weird off-kilter ridiculous what-even-the-heck-is-this horror visual novel Our Wonderland...

Actual Carrot quote: "Wow, I feel like crappity doody! I am so tired and depressed and demotivated I wanna jump into a well!" [actual quote may vary]

My brain: "You should just working, that'll fix everything!"

Actual Carrot quote: "I don't think that's true..."

And in fact it was not true. I did try to get started right away with some more writing but it just wasn't working. Also September was a ridiculously busy and anxious month for me. My sister visited at the beginning of the month, I had a family 2-week-ish trip in the middle of the month, then went to my friend's wedding in France at the end of the month. All three of these things caused me some anxiety because I am an anxious wreck, so I spent most of September feeling incredibly harried and on-off five seconds from a breakdown and just wishing I could rest for 5.1 million years.

October rolls around and though I'm less swamped with stuff I still haven't really refound my creative spark. Perhaps because despite taking a forced production break in September I hadn't actually rested at all and mostly just felt even more haggard than before LOL I continued to draw some occasional self-indulgent art and also ran a fanwork contest which was a ton of fun and people were drawing so much cute stuff I was literally in awe. But when it came to actual production work I just found it basically impossible. Maybe because I've been working on this game for over 2 years straight??? Huh??? Possibly???

Enter a random silly idea.

I made individual playlists for the chars!! To this day I'm not quite sure what inspired it. Maybe because I already had a few ideas for songs I felt like they'd each like. And then because I was feeling quirkly I decided to take it a step further and make entire lists. And then when those lists got kinda fun and I was enjoying them a lot, I wondered if others might like them too. So I polished them up and even made some silly little icons for them:

Carrot goes off the rails step 1.



Because all the little nuggets of ideas I'd been keeping bouncing around in the noggin started to pop out of my brain like popcorn:

  2. Omg texting game...
  3. I've been wanting to create a longer texting game since T2A2G and had even recently responded to a comment about it on how I wanted to revisit the format without the O2A2 restrictions.
  5. Group text shenanigans omg...
  6. Hey Once Upon a Time Jam is happening now and I'd been wishing I could enter already...
  7. What if I meshed a texting concept with a fairy tale parody idea??
  10. Proceeds to start messing around in Ren'Py and experimenting with screens and mocking some stuff up to make sure I actually can do this with my limited skills
  11. Proceeds to get even more excited and suddenly all the creative sparks are rushing back into me like Niagara Falls cascading down upon my being

And that's pretty much how it went LOL

Initial mockup... the eventual screen!

And so that pretty much brings us up to now, where I'm mostly just chugging away at this little self-indulgent creativity-refinding side game while also finishing up other art commitments (the remaining 12 headshots for the fanwork contest, the two raffle prizes for the fanwork contest, my vn dev secret santa gift, etc.)

I realize this weird side game might not be everyone's cup of tea as it's quite a different vibe from my normal stuff... but even if you don't wanna play it I hope you'll at least forgive me for taking the time to make it and do a little something for myself to get some of my spark back after I felt like I had lost it.

BUT WHAT EXACTLY IS THIS GAME EVEN ANYWAY???? I say to myself when I realize I haven't actually given that many details so far despite sharing lots of random little snippets on my socials. WELL. Let me tell you.

So this game will be called Our Cinderella, and it's a combination stat management sim / texting sim / winter-themed fairy tale parody of (obviously) Cinderella. It stars Iggy (also obviously), and your job is to help him make it to Bucks's Christmas party on December 24th. Of course, this is a tall order for our socially anxious recluse, so it won't be easy!!! (Actually it probably will be fairly easy my goal is not to make this a difficult game alsdkjfasd)

The shoujo-esque title screen.

The main gameplay will revolve around passing days (it starts on December 1st and the party is on December 24th) where you need to decide Iggy's schedule. He can work, which will make him a random amount of money. He can text one of his friends, which will help him build affection for those friends. He can play games, which will restore his social battery (which he loses every time he texts someone). And he can also shop online (using the money he's made to buy the pieces of his party outfit or to buy fun stuff to increase his social battery). Of course, you may also run into some bumps along the way, mainly that some days Iggy will be too anxious to do anything...

BUT. If you can make it to December 24th having bought Iggy's entire outfit and having gotten one of his friends up to a red heart, then Iggy will get to attend the party!

OF COURSE, THE GAME DOESN'T JUST END THERE. But I also don't want to spoil everything that will happen afterwards. But just know that there will be more silly Cinderella references and also some heart-breaking moments and also also some funny moments and also also also a sweet ending that may or may not take place on New Year's Eve. Everything that happens starting at the party will also be customized towards whichever LI you get to invite Iggy, so all three of them will have their own sweet ending huehuehue~

The status screen, where you can keep track of Iggy's progress towards making it to the party.

It's not a particularly enlightening or show-stopping game by any means, but I feel that it's turning out pretty cute at least, so I hope that people won't mind a silly sweet short little game to warm up their winter season teehee. I'M WRITING TONS OF TEXT CONVOS??? My idea is to have a "bank" of possible text conversations you can have with each LI, and aside from the first time you text them, it will choose randomly from that bank. And I'm writing enough different convos so that you couldn't even get all of them for a specific person in one playthrough if you tried, so that you can replay it multiple times and still get different fun convos. Also the convos themselves are literally turning out 50 shades of absolutely ridiculous for the most part, so I hope they'll be entertaining and enjoyable.

My current word counts for each route's text convos along with all the common and scene text. Genzou currently has 16 possible convos, which is probably about where I'm gonna aim for each of them. I have a few more to write for Orlam. Then a good chunk more for Gidget (I only started work on theirs last week so it's the least furthest along).

Oh yeah and I'm even drawing photos for some of the convos!

I've been learning a whole lot while making this game, too, which I consider quite a plus. I've never set up screens like this before or had any kind of day system or shop system or anything like that, so I've had to do a lot of experimenting and trial-and-error LOL This is also the most extensive GUI and set of menus I've ever set up, too. With every game I release, I learn a little more and get a little better at all the various aspects of game dev, which I think is really cool.  For some reason I always get really excited when I get to mess around in the code and try out new things and problem-solve how the heck to make it work like I've envisioned in my head lakdjfasd (I was the same way with T2A2G I just got so randomly excited about trying to make a new system and then desperately problem-solving how I could make it work through the code.) Though I'm still far from being able to code anything super complex, I am slowly reaching higher heights in what I'm able to do in-game. WHAT KIND OF SHENANIGANS WILL I GET UP TO NEXT??? HOHOHOHO who can say

At any rate, that's about it I think! Hopefully everyone has a better idea what this game is actually about now and/or for those that didn't even know I was making this, now you know!! LOL My goal is to release the game before the holidays so people will be able to enjoy it while The Snow Is Hot so to speak. I don't have an exact date yet but am potentially eyeing December 22nd. I'll also be back in the states visiting fam at that time, so I hope to get the majority of the game done before the 14th so I only have to worry about testing it and finishing up last bits with the game page etc leading up to that. MY FINGERS ARE CROSSED. I think I should be able to make it though. I'm taking a kind of gradual MVP approach where I'm focusing first on things I absolutely need to get finished and then saving potential extra ideas to add in only if I have time at the end.

Ok I'm gonna stop rambling now or I'll never stop. BUT I REALLY HOPE PEOPLE WILL LIKE THE GAME. I again apologize for those who don't care about this type of stuff and only want to see my main vibe games LOL but working on this has really been such a godsend for me creativity and motivation wise, so I hope you'll forgive me. And for those who will play the game I hope it'll be a fun and cute little thing to give you some warm cozy feels for the winter months teehee.



Ending this ramble with something cute LAKDJFADS

Get Our Wonderland


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ur so fun and passionate its nice :)

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It's important to take breaks, especially as a solo creator. Think it's wonderful that you're allowing yourself a sense of creative play again through this exploration of a side game. Heck, anybody who loves your cast of characters certainly aren't complaining! (It's nice to see other 'sides' to your characters' lives and personalities, and not just...their suffering, lol xD). 

As for burnout, it's definitely an experience I can relate to (experienced it twice actually--with one resulting in a hospital stay--but sometimes you gotta repeat a lesson to truly remember it, aha~ |-D ).
Expanding beyond (often self-imposed) tunnel vision is important. While commitment, plans, and structure is important... life still requires a balance of exploration, play, and experimentation as well! 

Anyhow, thanks for telling us how you're doing. Truly. Please continue to take care of yourself in whatever that best means for you. ^_^

Can't wait to see the new side game.

Hope you are doing well, Carrot. Take it easy if you have to. :)


gosh,, i feel that about burning out,,, it's a sucky thing to happen but when it does, there's certainly no shame in jumping to something else until the burn out disappears

anyways!! ive been seeing your progress a bit over on Twitter, but it's so cool you're making another texting game!! I like the idea of adding in conversations that are randomized (BIG fan of randomness over here gfhjfghj) but seeing the other little ideas you've added into the game like stat management with Iggy's social battery (big introvert mood) and giving him the chance to interact with the other three characters of OW (and the changing speech bubbles reflecting his current relationship with them in the menu is such a cute idea) is so good i love what you're coming up with for this

looking forward to getting to play this when it releases!! i always love seeing what you've got cooking up for your games and im very curious now about what gets to happen at that party πŸ‘€

Yeah... guhhh... and it's not even like I haven't had it before at various points throughout production. But maybe the combination of also being so busy and tired made it even worse, and so it's lasted longer... (or it's just lasting longer because the total time I've been working on the game is longer now LOL who can say...)

Ahhh I also love randomness!! It gives it kind of a fun feeling where each replay is a bit different and you don't always know what's going to come next that gives it a different vibe. Tho I've never done anything with that kind of randomness before so it's been a journey LOL πŸ€£ But I've been learning so much in the process, which has been really cool and I can hopefully use some of that new knowledge for future projects too heheh.

Thank you so much for the support and kind words lkadjfas I really hope the final game will turn out good and people will enjoy it!! πŸ’•

BURNOUT IS SUCH A bleep bleep bleeeeeeeeeeeeeep

Obviously all your endeavors (and doodles) bring me great joy, but I'm super excited for Our Cinderella πŸ’›



Especially when the whole time you're just thinking about how guilt you are for not working but yet you just can't get yourself to start because that spark is just... MISSING. Which then makes you feel even guiltier...

Ahhhh thank you so much though!! That's so sweet, I'll cry πŸ˜­πŸ’• I hope the final game will turn out good (and that I can finish it in time lakdjfa)

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Since last time I had the time to play Save the last dance and posted my little ramble comment hehe so I DIDN'T HAVE ANYTHING TO SNACK ON WHILE WAITING FOR THE MAIN GAME'S END (which is totally fine of course not stressing you out I JUST MISS THE CHARACTERS)



MORE GOOD SOUP (no I will never stop use this reference)


And even though you did mention there will be some not very happy moment... Can't be worse than the main game... SO I WILL CONSIDER THIS GAME A FLUFFY AND HURT/COMFORT (my fav trope (⁠≧⁠▽⁠≦⁠)) SIDE THAT WILL HEAL MY HEART AND SOUL

ALSO I WILL LET YOU KNOW THAT I WILL DEFINITELY  TRY TO GET WHOLE HEARTS FOR ALL THE CHARS (1. Just to see what happens and 2. Because why choose one ship when polyamory and multiple endings exist)


SO YES. I am very hyped and very happy and keep up the great work Carrot AND TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF AS WELL :D



I'm very happy you're so excited tho??? πŸ₯ΊπŸ’• Since it's so different from my usual stuff I've been a bit nervous about people being annoyed and hating the idea or something, so hearing that people are looking forward to it is bringing a lot of relieved joy... 

"SO I WILL CONSIDER THIS GAME A FLUFFY AND HURT/COMFORT" --> LDKJFASLDKFA IT'S MY FAVORITE TROPE TOO AHHHGHGHGDGSFJD it's definitely like, overall just a silly sweet little thing, but it gets a bit bittersweet and poignant in the middle and makes me very weepy, so I hope it will be enough to make you happy LOLOL πŸ€£

"ALSO I WILL LET YOU KNOW THAT I WILL DEFINITELY  TRY TO GET WHOLE HEARTS FOR ALL THE CHARS" --> LMAOOOO I'm... not actually sure if you can actually get all of them up to max in a single playthrough tbh. If I have time I do want to make some extra events/convos for if you get certain combos of characters up to certain heart levels, like having two chars at at least a green heart or something (to encourage ppl to try to talk to multiple chars); however, since there's a limited number of days there's a limit to how many times you can text chars LOL

Thank you for the kind words, that's very sweet! And I'm again very touched that you're so excited for the game ahhhh. I will do my best to get it finished up and release the best game I can ldskjfas πŸ’•


SO CUTE. well, my english still sucks but what I understood about the game was soooo great. I MEAN THE SHOUJO INTRO TOOK MY HEART! I TOTALLY LOVED THE ART!

so yeah, take care of yourself!! rest is important! 

OHHHHHH THANK YOU SO MUCH!! πŸ₯ΊπŸ’• I'm happy it looks like fun!! I really hope people will like it ahhhHHHH flakdjfad πŸ’¦

And thank you so much for the kind words, that's very sweet! πŸ˜­πŸ’•


(Also have fun with it, and take as many breaks as you need!! Don't forget to hydrate!)


HHHHHHH THANK YOU????? AHHHHHH that means so much!! I'm really happy you like them so much alkdjfasd I hope you'll enjoy the game when it comes out! It's very silly!!! πŸ€£πŸ₯ΊπŸ’• Thank you for the lovely words lkajdfas πŸ’•

Adorable, as always😘 I'm looking forward to participating in the game playing.

It's truly a lot of work! Don't overwork yourself!🧐

Ahhhhhhh thank you!!! I'm really happy you think so πŸ₯° And I hope it will be fun to play once I'm finished!

ALDKJFALSDKFA GAME DEV REALLY IS A LOT OF WORK GUHHH IT'S TRUE especially when you do everything yourself πŸ’¦ But I will try not to! It's so difficult because I feel happiest when I'm working on stuff and am inspired and motivated but at the same time it's tiring so it's like trying to find a balance where I'm still feeling motivated but not overworking alkdfjasd

Thank you for all the support and your kind words!! πŸ’•

Omg this is absolutely adorable and I'm super psyched for this to come out! And I'm so sorry that you had to go through all of that stress/burnout... 😞 writer's block is the worst. But either way I'm really glad that you're now working on a project you sincerely enjoy and I'm all for it! You deserve it ;D! Gj, gl!

kdjlafkds ahhhhh hearing that makes me really happy!! πŸ˜­πŸ’• I know it's not everyone's cup of tea but I hope at least some people will get a kick out of it. And thank you for the very kind words πŸ₯Ί I think the combination of just constant work along with building expectations just kinda bubbled up all at once. But I'm hopeful once I've finished this and gotten some actually good rest for a little bit I'll be able to return with even greater motivation and finish everything up!! Thank you for all your support and kindness! πŸ’•

Ahxgshshzbabz this game idea looks so cuuuuuuuute!!!! I really love games that involve texting and day systems, they're a lot of fun and I really enjoy exploring the different possibilities β€πŸ’•πŸ€© But what makes me happiest about this is that YOU are happy, Carrot!! I don't think you need to apologize at all; if anything, it's no wonder you got so burnout with everything that was going on in your life!! You're not a machine, it's okay to take breaks from certain projects!! And if your way of taking a break is working on another one, which also happens to bring you a lot of happiness, motivation and creativity, then all the more!! Society sometimes has this really toxic mindset that people should be productive at all times and, in game development especially, there are many unhealthy things like crunch culture. That's just bullshit, no one can be "on" 24/7 the 365 days of the year 😀 Your health, happiness and general wellbeing will always be a priority, ALWAYS. So I think the fact that you are pampering yourself by making a game that makes you happy is truly wonderful and endearing and I'm really happy for you, Carrot πŸ˜ŠπŸ’•β€ I'm excited to play it once it released; I wish you all the best with this game and your other projects!! πŸ₯³πŸŒΈβ­



I also love games like that, too!!! Maybe this game will be a bit simple compared to those more-complex day system games made by big companies LMAOOO but I'm trying to give myself a break since I've never made anything like this before lakdjfad I hope it will still be fun even if it's not incredibly deep πŸ€£ Tho since I'm learning a lot at least maybe in the future sometime I can tackle it again and make something even more strategic lol

Ahhhhhh thank you for the kind and encouraging words. I feel guilty a lot it's true. I worry a lot about the stuff I put out and whether I'm working hard enough... but I'm trying to get better at moving away from that mindset when I can. Especially as I don't believe you can create your best work under those conditions anyway (like how are you supposed to put out something inspiring if you yourself are just going through the motions because you're demotivated or not in the best mindset???). I'm really happy this was able to spark my production creativity again even though I feel a little guilty about taking the time away to work on it lkdjfasd πŸ’¦And hopefully once it's finished and I've also gotten a bit of rest I'll be able to return to the main game finale with renewed gusto πŸ˜€

Thank you so much for the lovely words, it really means a lot, and I think all of us need to hear stuff like that every once in a while lkdjfad especially when we get deep in our little ruts...πŸ’¦πŸ’•


I’m already excited about the very idea of your game, I’m looking forward to it!!!πŸ”₯✨

I'm so happy, the smile stretches higher and higher, so we'll wait as long as it takes! Don't worry, we understand everything ✨

Do as much as you need, we are not in a hurry, good luck in your creativity and your health!β™₯️✨

Ahhhhh I'm glad!!! πŸ₯Ί  The whole premise is really so silly so I worry if ppl will be like wtf is this πŸ€£πŸ’¦ But it has a lot of heart in it too and has just made me really happy working on it khjgjhh

Thank you so much for the kind words and well wishes ahhhh πŸ˜­πŸ’•


Good luck, Carrot! I'm already very excited for the game, I'm sure it's gonna be great as always. ^^

Also, I think that's the first time you've shared that text with Gidget. πŸ‘€ Them and Gertie look so sweet together, I love how wholesome they are, unlike a certain other pair of siblings. Cough cough.

Anyways, take care! Please, don't overwork yourself. :3

Thank you so much, I really hope so!! Even if it's not anything epic or stunning lol

YES!! I've been working a lot on Gidget's route the last week and got some of their photos done too so wanted to share 🀭 I love their relationship with Gertie fjfjdjd LMAO INDEED

Ahhhh and thank you that's very sweet, I'll try πŸ˜­πŸ’•


Make sure to take care of yourself! I'm looking forward to the new game, but it's really not worth it if  you're in pain. I'll keep harassing you on Tumblr, so I will know, Carrot, I will know if you don't take care of yourself. I'm watching. 



Staring into my soul...

D-don't worry, I am (trying)!! Jfjgjj πŸ₯΄  The new game is bringing me much joy tbh which has been good for my mental health at least I think so LOL 🀣


Very exciting as always and I'm glad this project has been helping reignite some of that creative spark! Also relatable, I've been working on my main project for... three-ish years now (oh gosh the time) and after doing the same thing for so long,  I can attest that stepping away to do something else/taking a break from the project definitely helps. Best of luck Carrot and I'm sure the game will be great! 

(Also with each new preview I'm just amazed, the game looks very cute and fun)

Thank you so much for the kind words πŸ˜­πŸ’• Stepping away even for just a short time makes me feel so guilty since I know many ppl are looking forward to the ending ahhhh... But I'm trying to remind myself that it's ok and actually a good thing, especially as the ending won't come out good anyway if I'm all burned out and unmotivated 🀣 Sometimes we just need even a short change of pace palette cleanser LOL

(HHHHH THAT'S VERY SWEET, THANK YOU πŸ₯Ί I'm having so much fun as I feel like I can just do whatever and enjoy being a bit silly and trying new things jgjgjh)