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Wolfskin's Curse update for 18 October 2022

Wolfskin's One-Year Anniversary! Includes behind-the-scenes content!

Share · View all patches · Build 9672939 · Last edited 24 June 2023 – 16:41:41 UTC by Wendy

Patchnotes via Steam Community

A Year of Wolfskin

    On September 29th, 2021, Wolfskin’s Curse was released to the world. Currently, it is mid-October of 2022 (over one year since the game’s public release) and that makes Wolfskin’s Curse one year old!

    Congratulations, Wolfskin! If the game was a human baby, you’d have started developing fine motor skills and banging on pans. In fact, it would be around 74 centimeters taller - which is taller than Anari’s original height, which listed her as 71 centimeters. More on that later!

    To celebrate, we’ve utilized a portion of the funds that players generously donated to us to publish Wolfskin’s Curse on Steam. You can download it now. Additionally, we have released the “2.0” build.
    This version includes a small bonus gallery when you finish the game (including a trailer and blooper reel), Steam Achievements when played on Steam, along with a few updates to the game code to update it to Ren’py 8/Python 3.

    Additionally, we are releasing the soundtrack on Steam and other platforms. Additional information will be revealed later! You can see the gorgeous cover art for it (drawn by Tamafry) below:

    Wolfskin’s Curse was a labor of love for everyone involved. The game was developed for fun and not for profit, and our resulting experiences were utilized as a springboard for the developers to jam their grubby paws into the fiery metaphorical pit of game development… and of course, to have fun and make friends.

    To celebrate a year of Wolfskin and everyone’s accomplishments, we have assembled some fond memories and behind-the-scenes content from the game’s development as well as personal stories on what Wolfskin meant to the staff. We’ll show off the personal snippets first, and then the behind-the-scenes content after.

    Here are some of the stories of the Wolfskin’s Curse development team, and what the game meant to them. They may be serious or they may be silly, but all of them are authentic.

Memories of Wolfskin

Elishia Beardmore (Tamafry) - Creative Director, Lead Artist

Elisha Beardmore:    "Where do I begin with Wolfskin's Curse? I often say that was a triumph, especially for a game jam entry made within a month. What I usually don't tell people about are the zany jokes, chaos, tears, and smiles that were shared within that time.

    As the project lead and creative director, I often make the comparison that Wolfskin's Curse is like a baby. Not quite a darling — a helpless, infant child. My child, that others helped raise and foster. I stayed up countless nights during September, and after the game jam passed, I had trouble adjusting my sleep schedule. As a result, I fretted by creating even more tasks to do during October, like a website and a Press Kit. I was intensely dedicated for a project from a game jam.

    That dedication was something I am thankful for. Without the support of my friends and team, Wolfskin's Curse would not have grown the way that it did. Through the process of the game's development, I even learned about myself and grew with it.

    Over a year ago, I was not confident enough in myself and my abilities and I considered myself a failure in life. Honestly, I could barely even confront a microphone, much less use a webcam! Even though my life hasn't changed that much since, I now have more confidence and a different perspective. Now, I am able to tell myself that I _do _have the power and means to create something that is meaningful and provides value to others, because I've done it before.

    It is the people that make the project happen that is so important. It can be so easy to be hung up on game designs, accolades, public response and the other pitfalls and hats that an indie developer must learn to wear. The team of Wolfskin’s Curse had so much heart and soul to give, and I am thankful for growing closer with everyone involved and the resulting friendships that formed.

    Next time I join a VN game jam… I’ll make the project under 5,000 words. Maybe 8,000? I’ll save the intense focus for a long-term project instead!

    I hope you will continue to follow Studio Tamafry in our journey. Perhaps one October, there will be a happy ending for Edwin and Ilona."

Jordan Brown ("robotortoise") - Audio engineering, file structures and compression, marketing, and Steam/Android ports

author:    "I was listed in the credits of Wolfskin as an audio engineer, but in truth, I did a bit of everything. I cut lines, certainly, but I also helped with marketing, compacting game files, compatibility testing, a bit of story editing, feedback, image optimization, marketing, and the eventual Android and Steam ports.

   In September of 2021, I was in-between jobs and my confidence was at an all-time low. Thus, I took up working on Wolfskin’s Curse as my full-time volunteer work instead while I hunted for work. I can easily recall spending hours staying up late with Elishia, from 6 PM until 6 AM Pacific Standard Time. We crunched ourselves hard despite this being volunteer work. This is not advisable and led to incredible burnout and emotional turmoil for both of us… Regardless, the end result of the game’s development led me to feel incredibly valued.

   I’d poked at the contents of video games for years and had contributed to game content forums like The Cutting Room Floor since 2015. I was a writer, sure, but only for fanfiction, not for any published works. Frankly, I didn't think any of these skills had any real-world applications. However, I was wrong.

   Suddenly, the skills that I had learned had value. The audio cutting I'd done for Team Fortress 2 maps? Essential for quick and accurate voice line cutting. My knowledge of PNG crushing programs and WebP files? Perfect to keep the game's file size optimal. Even my history with Ren'py extraction helped in the decision to archive the game files as .rpa to make the game's file structure look more professional. And of course, I included some cute dataminer easter eggs and unused code (debug menu and a few comments) for fun easter eggs. Actually, there’s a tiny one that still isn’t found! Hex, I’ll even give you a hint: it’s at the end of a PNG file!

   The path that the game’s development led me on was essential to me learning to value myself and my skills. Eventually, the confidence I gained from the project led to me getting a stable job that I love as well as an amazing, sweet, hard-working best friend and many other close friends! I am so happy that I had the pleasure of helping assist with this project, and I very much look forward to what the future brings!”

Gaming Variety Potato - Game Advisor, QA, Programmer

author:    "It was an honour to have the wonderful opportunity to work on Wolfskin's Curse and befriend the amazing dev team (although I already knew Tama and Jordan before this VN, haha).
Seeing the creative processes come together was a beautiful experience for me. From the refined directions that Tama mapped out to the completed visual novel within a single month, I can't give enough praise to my team. I always look up to my multi-disciplined colleagues in awe. Please check all of them out, and support their work if you can!

   Let's be honest: I started out very inexperienced, as I've never used Ren'Py before and this is my first serious game jam. Therefore, I applied as a narrative editor with a minor playtesting role, since initially, I was to help with brainstorming the story. This mostlty involved reviewing character motivations and the murder mystery aspect.

   Soon, the team realised that we were a bit short-staffed. For example, the main programmer fell ill. This led to me volunteering for some odd-job tasks and to cover for the remaining coding work. (Fun anecdote: The game was first titled “Wolfskin”, which is related to a brand of coats. Thus, I had to think up suggestions for a new title so you could find our game on search engines!)

   I remember warning Tama that she was potentially over-scoping the project. Early on, I was focused on whether the story script could be finished on time when all lines were to be voice acted.
   To my surprise, this was proven completely wrong, all thanks to our team's professionalism and efficiency. With basically the 'unthinkable' having worked its way out, I learned the lesson that the key to tackling a huge challenge is to be bold and make the first step before you even know where you will end up.

   Before Wolfskin, I worried that making games would be unproductive (what if the project stalls forever? Or what if the pay-off is unrewarding?) but I've actually found it to be a very fun activity that's not scary at all.

   After the release of this VN, I was welcomed by the warmth and friendliness of the indie VN dev community and ever since, I know that this is the place I want to be.

   To the Wolfskin team (if you're reading this): It was a joy to work with you, and thank you for igniting my love for game development!

   My message to you, the players, is this: Thank you for enabling an environment where indie developers can thrive."

Tamafry’s Husband - Husband of Tamafry

author:    "Wolfskin meant that I did not see my wife for one month."

Luke Ford - Music Composer, Sound Designer

author:    “I can only contribute as 'Luke that has been at the pub for six hours' Luke. However, I do remember spending 14 hours a day mastering dialogue because the version of my editing software, iZotope RX, had a broken batch processor. This meant that I couldn’t process more than one voice line at a time.

   Aside from that, I had to stab a tomato with a big fucking knife for an arrow sound effect that played one time. It sounded so brutal that it made my mum ask if everything was OK.”

Sandra "Maxi" Molina - Casting and Voice Director, Script Editor

author:    "Wolfskin's Curse was one of the most fun passion projects I've gotten to work on these last few years. We all know that jams can be an extremely chaotic affair, with ruthless timing and demands often caused by the lack of experience of the project creators. I've often had to direct multiple voice actors in just two or three days since people would just forget voice acting was a thing they agreed to have.

   This couldn't be farther from the truth working with Tama and the gang. Her experience managing and extremely organized production skills shone through throughout the project. From the very first day, we all ran with a clear schedule, fantastic communication, and most importantly, everyone knew what to expect of the project. I always felt seen and heard by the whole team, whether it was casting the voice actors, editing, making suggestions for the pipeline, or helping here and there with the code. All of our experience was compounded into a notion tutorial talking about how to work through the processes! How cool is that?

   I was really glad to get to work with a few old friends, and a lot of newer people who did a fantastic job! I've been nerding out about the management side, but recording is always the part I love the most in any project, and it was just a fantastic experience.

   I don't think I've ever made friends with a team so fast anywhere else, and the final product definitely reflects all the love that was poured into it. I hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed it."

Conner Howard - Voice Actor, “Edwin”

author:    “Working on Wolfskin's Curse was a truly gratifying experience. It was my first time recording for this kind of medium and I felt blessed to be working with such a dedicated and talented team of directors, developers, artists and producers.

   Edwin was such a fun character to connect to and the story of his and Ilona's journey really stuck with me. I'll never forget the recording session - taking Edwin's story from beginning to end was exhausting but deeply enjoyable. I'm so grateful for all the fans who have enjoyed Wolfskin's Curse so far, and I can't wait to see how many new fans will get to experience it now that it's available on Steam!

   Thank you to Tamafry, Maxi, Jordan, and everyone else who trusted me with this role and who put their talents together to help make this project happen. Playing Edwin was a treat for me as an actor and I hope everyone continues to enjoy the story!"

Shakyra Dunn - Voice Actor, “Eisleigh”

author: "I was incredibly happy when I got to be cast for sweet babeh Eisleigh! I think that she's a character that would 100% rip you apart on a bad day, but she's willing to offer you treats as compensation, aaand I spiritually relate to that. I hope one day to explore her more, especially after seeing her backstory touched on a bit! I loved being on the team, the story was compelling, and all of the characters have earned my love. 🧡''

Lisa-Marie Lee - Voice Actor, "Salome"

author:    "There's always something special as an actor when another creator trusts your voice enough to bring life into their vision & story. It is a joy that I got to be part of Wolfskin's Curse."

Luis Guerrero (RunnerGuitar) - Composer, Music Mastering

author:    "What can I even say that would do this work justice?
   I was a a bit overzealous when I started this project, trying to find some sort of balance between my graduate studies, my work, my life and the music. But the opportunity to work with a friend, Elisha/Tama, who I greatly admire as an artist, seemed like a chance I just had to take. Little did I know that I'd also be working with some incredibly talented individuals. This was my first experience working on a project of this magnitude, and with so many incredibly talented people, no less.

   Because of this, I had to push myself, to make decisions where I'd often hesitate, and to make a product that would make me proud to look back upon. As a composer, I had to connect with the story and find ways to fit my rock symphonic style into a story that needed more atmosphere than my usual work. I also got to work alongside other composers, Ford and Octavio, that are so incredible, I cannot even put it into words. I am beyond honored to have worked on this!

   Wolfskin allowed me to create one of my favorite songs that I've made — "He Who Seeks Hope" — and make wonderful friends with whom I hope to get work again in the future. Additionally, I have to thanks my friends Jessica and Jacob, who took time out of their busy schedule to help me mix and master these tracks. This team is one I won't forget and will hold near and dear to my heart.

   So, what does Wolfskin's Curse mean to me? It means a challenge — to be willing to grab an opportunity by the horns and push yourself to make it the best you can. It ain't easy, it ain't short, but if you have an idea that you believe is worth creating and pouring your heart into, then don't hold back.

   That being said, please take care of yourself in your own projects. The project is only as good as you and your health are. Take care of yourself, and hope a tin whistle sings sweetly to your ears.”'

Billie Palmer (thelof9) - Script Editor and Proofreader, Video Editor

author:    "Wolfskin’s Curse is a project very dear to my heart, both as my first fully-fledged script and video editing position and as a project that allowed me to meet so many wonderful, talented, funny and hardworking people. Getting to not only peek behind the curtain of a video game but also be one of the people behind that curtain was surreal and wonderful. I truly learnt a lot from the experience and I am grateful for all the memories I have made; from the hours of editing, to frantic yelling in the group chat, to all of the sapphics in the team being thirsty for Anari, to that one time Jordan edited Edwin emerging out of a Mario pipe. Not only was I able to work closely with my friend Elishia, but also meet and befriend so many wonderful people; I truly love you all. (If you are reading this, you should support them! They do great work!)

   The process was exhilarating and seeing everything slowly come together really helped inspire me to hone my own creative drive. It showed me that completed projects like these were possible and within my reach; and the reach of those close to me. I was somehow surprised to find that my ability to edit writing, a skill I developed throughout my training as a teacher and would sporadically use to help out my friends, could be used for a published creative work like this. Seeing the characters and plot come together, beginning with broad points then being honed into the fleshed out story we have today, was extremely fun. I also jumped at the opportunity to be able to edit the trailer for Wolfskin. Video editing has been something I have taught myself to do for fun since I was a teen, so being able to actually use these skills to make a proper trailer was a challenge I was very excited to take on. I adore editing to the rhythm of music, and with the amazing soundtrack Luis, Octavio and Luke crafted there was no shortage of material to work with. The end result is one of my personal favourite videos I have made. From the page to the final product I was really grateful that I was able to witness all of Wolfskin’s progress.

   I also think it says a lot about the game that even though I had pawed through every single line of the script multiple times while editing, I was still sobbing at the ending when I finished playing it."

Behind The Scenes

Clutching Lovers Cover

   The cover had two initial ideas: a werewolf Edwin gripping Ilona’s cheek like a vice, meant to be eye-catching, or Edwin and Ilona at the front with the rest of the cast contained within the silhouette of a wolf.

   The simplicity of the first cover had greater appeal. Gaming Variety Potato suggested that the implication of the vice-like claw could be interpreted as violent — they made the suggestion to include Ilona’s hand and change the position of the thumb to appear as tender.

Zero Time Dilemma's Inspiration

   The initial inspiration behind the first cover was actually from the game Zero Time Dilemma — specifically, the Japanese cover art, which features two characters from the game.

   In the game's cover art, the woman, Diana, holds a gun in a modified chair that the man, Sigma, is trapped inside. The positioning of the final Wolfskin cover art was inspired by this piece — specifically, Sigma’s position in the Wolfskin art is occupied by Ilona, and Edwin takes the place of Diana.

   Zero Time Dilemma was used specifically because both Jordan and Tama happened to be extremely invested in the game that September. Actually, the final file for the cover was even named Zeawoo Time Dilemma, in honor of the game!

Illustrious Loglines

   After we had created a nice cover, the team thought long and hard about a catchy log-line. The cover image and log-line both were both candidates with prizes, so there was incentive to at least make a good effort with it. However, that effort was expended during the late hours of the night, resulting in some… curious results and conversations.

   Yes, this is proof that Jordan did play through Zero Time Dilemma while Wolfskin’s Curse was in production.

   Even Tama’s husband joined in with the logline brainstorming. This is because he got 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night, unlike Jordan and Tama.
   Akhmin, lead writer of Wolfskin, came up with a snappy log-line that summarized the main ideas of the story.

   These were the final three drafts for the log-line. The final, winning log-line was "A forsaken nun must prove a monster's innocence. He is offered no voice, but she will lend hers."

   You may see a running pattern of staying up late and making increasingly odd and zany decisions. While reminiscing back on these memories can bring us some good laughs, self-inflicted sleep deprivation is definitely not healthy. (For instance, Jordan lost 15 pounds due to stress whilst Wolfskin’s Curse was being developed.)

   Regardless, we’ve learned how to properly pace ourselves since.

   However… Fair warning, the rest of the behind-the-scenes sneak peaks and stories are rather unhinged — and we’re sharing only the highlights!

Moon Madness

   Jordan sent a photo of a full moon while doing groceries at night. Tama liked the picture so much that said moon managed to sneak its way into the game. This picture usually shows when the curse is being discussed.

   Not impressed with the quality of the photo (and the inclusion of the grocery store), Jordan tried to go out to take a better photo of the moon while in the park at 12 AM in the morning. A park ranger stopped her. Turns out that the park was closed at 12 in the morning, so we ended up just cropping the grocery store picture.

Anari: Two Foot Terror

   Originally, Anari's promotional card had a typo that missed the ‘1’ before ‘171 cm’. As a result of this, Anari was two feet, three inches tall rather than the intended 5’7.

   The original card is shown below, along with a gag that was created afterwards, as it was really funny that the lead antagonist was a short queen.

Runner’s Expertise on Big Monster Muscles

   One of the very last CGs in the game features Edwin breaking out of chains. At this point, Tama was running around exhausted. Luis/Runner is also an artist, and is great at drawing dynamic scenes and monsters (as he was developing ideas for his own project).

   Runner did the sketch, and then Tama did the lineart, flats and rendering. Runner added effects to give it extra power. Here are some progress shots of the artwork.

   This may seem all well and good, until…
   Should we draw them in…?

   We ran into this particular dilemma during the sketch phrase. It’s probably a common oversight for most artists that are inspired by anime and manga. For the sake of realism, however, the question needed to be asked — should werewolf pecs have nipples?

Wolves and humans are mammals, and even male animals can have nipples. Jordan volunteered to take a picture of her fluffy male cat, Midnight, for photo reference.

   The decision was made to hide the nipples with fur. This would also make it decidedly safe for streaming.

   Were we cowardly? Should we have made the bold decision to include werewolf nipples? You be the judge.

Mixed, Mastered, and Melting

   One point that was covered in a post-game writeup was the importance of mixing and mastering music. Luis spent two whole days mastering the music for Wolfskin’s Curse. By the end of the project, I’m sure many people felt the same way as he did and were melting into the ground.

   And with that, we’ve reached the end of this article! Thank you for reading what we have shared with you! We look forward to seeing you again for our next project or update.

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