December 2023 Update

◆2023.12.01 Penny Blood Project Diary

Good evening, everyone. Machida here, who just spilled cola on his keyboard. Despite quickly wiping it away, the liquid used its dark power to invade the insides of the mechanism, so now my keystrokes all feel really sticky. At this point, it’s a battle of whether or not I can finish writing this comment before the stickiness prevents them from moving at all.

Now then, time to get back on topic and report on this month’s Penny Blood project news. We’re still negotiating things with publishers. We made a very big announcement tonight, and several publishers have told us that they’re “interested in seeing how the Penny Blood IP (Hellbound) is received,” so we believe that the quality of the companion game will greatly influence how easy it is for us to move on to the next step.

Still, we’ve reached the limit of the budget that would allow us to maintain our current production cycle, so in order to keep from giving up on Penny Blood, Studio Wild Rose is thinking about trying some other things. Some of you may be thinking “What, you’re still hiding some aces up your sleeve?!” But I intend to use the time at the end of this year to carefully plot some strategies.

Now, I’d like to get into the meat of this month’s update and talk about the new art. First, we have a new monster drawn by Hanya-san: Ainsel. A cute little girl and her monstrous mother who hides behind her in the shadows. This monster appears in multiple folktales around Europe, so I had him arrange a Penny Blood version of it. Also, while he was in the middle of drawing this, he also posted art of Gepetto & Cornelia from Shadow Hearts II, which confirms that Hanya-san’s either a full-fledged lolicon or moncon. (What the heck is a moncon?)

Next, you may help yourself to a new image board drawn by Watanabe-san: The castle of Schwarzes Rosen. It’s a castle somewhere in Germany that’s partly gone to ruin. Creepy yet beautiful, Matthew and his companions visit this castle after receiving intel that an equally beautiful songstress vampire has recently begun to inhabit it.

That concludes the art that we have for the main game. Lastly, we’ll be doing a special reveal of a hidden character that Kato-san drew.

Her name is Clara. She is the main character of Penny Blood: Hellbound, and a member of the Hellhounders. She’s a braver and more chivalrous warrior than any man, and she’s also got a wild, flashy sense of style. She uses the magic power she was born with to manipulate malice and crush all the monsters who dare to stand in her way. According to Kato-san, she designed Clara as a character too crazy to include in the main game.

While the production of Penny Blood will be slowed for a bit, we intend to keep moving forward with unwavering hope and love, so I hope you’ll all watch over us with the same amount of warmth as always. Once there’s a new development in the production of the main game, we’ll be sure to inform you all. Until then, we intend to provide you with more news on Penny Blood: Hellbound from the next update onwards.

See you all next month!

Matsuzo Machida

Message from Hirota-san

Good evening, everyone.

All of a sudden, winter’s here! It felt like summer was a lot longer this year, so I’d been wearing light clothes the whole time…but I’m definitely cold now! Until yesterday, I had to keep the AC on to cut down on the machine heat in my studio, but now I can finally feel comfortable with it turned off. Please be careful that you don’t catch a cold.

This month’s update contains a very important announcement.

After developing the Walkthrough version, and struggling with the difficulties that come with having to make ends meet despite the game not immediately finding a publisher, we were approached with the idea to create a game featuring the villains of Penny Blood.

The story of this game exists in the same timeline as Penny Blood. So in terms of matching up the music to the gameplay, since it possesses a similar atmosphere, it can serve as a place to test out the type of sound I’m aiming to achieve in Penny Blood.

I’m trying a lot of new things with the sound mechanics for Penny Blood, so I knew it would involve a lot of trial and error either way. This may sound strange, but honestly when I first heard about this game, I was just happy that I might be able to use it as a way to experiment.

Penny Blood: Hellbound focuses on what the villains were up to before Penny Blood, and composing songs for it actually greatly changed my image for the main game.

After thoroughly reading through the design documents, I thought of someone who would be perfect as a guest composer for Penny Blood: Hellbound – Noriyuki Iwadare, and reached out to him.

When you think of the games he’s worked on thus far, you may think of adventure-centric games with more “juvenile” atmospheres aimed at young people, but I felt that the speedy nature of his music as well as his own desire to try something new really stand out among the crowd.

Looking back, I’ve actually known Noriyuki Iwadare since the time when I was working on Shadow Hearts. It all started when he introduced my soundtrack in a column in a game magazine that he was in charge of, despite never having met me. At the time, Shadow Hearts had just come out and wasn’t very well-known, so I remember being really happy since it was the first title I was able to work on as a main composer.

After that, we worked together on an album for an artist named Haruka Shimotsuki, and were even able to go on stage together during a concert at the historic Nippon Seinenkan, before it was moved. He’s been a very good friend to me both in business and private areas in many other ways as well. Recently, we haven’t been in touch that often, but thankfully he agreed to participate in this project, so I’m very happy to be working with him again.

All of a sudden, I’m nearing the culmination of my work on the soundtrack for Penny Blood: Hellbound. I’ve been learning a lot of different sound techniques at a far faster speed than when I was only working on Penny Blood, and I think I’ll be able to make use of it all in the main game as well.

I am prepared to continue working on Penny Blood with the exact same amount of passion, so I hope you’ll all continue to cheer us on.