2023 review & 2024 plans

Happy New Year, everyone! Did you know that you were currently living in a post-Chronotopia world? I know, it was a bit of a shock for me as well. This deserves another look back on Träumendes Mädchen’s activities.

NewYear 2023 en

2023: an inexplicable year

I’ve been writing reviews for years and I usually know what I feel. Not this time. No joy, no anger, no sadness, just great confusion. 2022 was ending on a minor accomplishment with the last moment release of Chronotopia: Second Skin’s beta. Unfortunately I never had the chance to rejoice.

Chronotopia Blood Filter EN

I was already aware that the future was promising to be perilous since the release had to be delayed once more (because of good news but a delay remains a delay) and time was against me. My decision to stop my outsourcing activities for a while was necessary to ensure the game would come out in 2023 but presented a huge financial risk (several months without earning money). To top it all, the beta had been an incredibly disheartening moment: it’s simple, none of the backers who had requested access sent any feedback. And the last members of the team still around weren’t available either.

Yet, due to time and budget constraints, the beta was supposed to be my last chance to receive help to proofread the text and hunt typos. So I already knew I would be forced to spend extra weeks/months on a task that was impossible to carry out alone (even with all the goodwill in the world, you rarely see your own mistakes). Needless to say that I started 2023 pretty demotivated. The silence around the beta only confirmed my fears: everyone had forgotten about Träumendes Mädchen and the game was going to come out amid total indifference. It was difficult to keep going in those circumstances…

Halloween 2023

ebi-hime kinda saved my skin (thanks ebi!) by accepting to test Chronotopia at that moment because she immediately discovered a number of rather bothersome issues. Bugs I thought I had gotten rid of ages ago made their triumphant return and I had to take care of them. It was necessary but, once again, very demotivating.


I still think adding the symbols was worth it!

The following months were rather unbearable. I only had to harmonize directing and revise the text but everything was taking longer than planned. I was doing my best yet, even though I don’t feel like I had to deal with COVID this year, I was constantly slow and tired. The times where I felt better were fleeting, came and went in an inpredictable manner. I also had personal difficulties at some point because it would have been too simple otherwise.

Starting from mid-July, my health deteriorated once again, pushing me to see the doctor. Of course, they didn’t find anything and I’m just as clueless… Not feeling capable of fulfilling my responsibilities anymore, I sent out a SOS again by asking for help with the promotion of the game, in the hope of relieving me from part of the game. Despite my developers friends’ good intentions, it seemingly didn’t amount to much, leaving me powerless. My chances of completing the project before the end of the year were looking slim as my bank account was starting to sink deeper into the red…

Released EN

2023 could haved ended in total failure if a miracle had not intervened. Thanks to a heaven-sent energy boost at the end of September, I decided to go all in and crunch to release Chronotopia as best I can. That’s how I sent the build to Valve for verification and the surveys to Kickstarter backers. Since I didn’t have the time to prepare anything, I found myself hastily copying the promotional content used for the 2018 crowdfunding campaign. Everything was made so last minute that I was only able to contact a handful of publications and influencers 2 days before the planned date.


Many thanks for the game’s reception ❤️.

And that’s where something strange happened: I received a lot of supportive messages, through the Kickstarter survey, Discord, mail or Twitter, from people I didn’t know well or people I thought had forgotten about me. When Chronotopia finally came out, I immediately got feedback. Not a lot of them but all were pretty positive. Even if I didn’t contact many people, almost all my mails at least received an answer. So I made the most of that wave of positive emotions to keep crunching to fix the game (I knew the beta failure would come back to haunt me; didn’t fail to happen) and promote the game the best I can with my limited capacity. The sales allowed my bank account to return to green just in time.

Naturally, that state of grace couldn’t last. The energy eventually died down after a month, forcing me to slow down. And although we managed to avoid the worst case scenario in terms of sales (the total indifference I was fearing), one can’t say Chronotopia made me rich. The Steam’s cut + exchange rate + bank fees combo left me with a meager income that has already been swallowed by my social security contribution. So I’m back to square one with fluctuating health and a financially instable situation.

Japan Pictures

It doesn’t sound like it, with such a bleak description of the year, but cool stuff happened to me too! I was able to realize my partner’s lifelong dream by going with him to Japan for several weeks in March and the planets aligned in such a way that I felt fine and could fully enjoy it. That was fun.

Since we’re now living in a house, we were also able to adopt a little cat in August. I’m not used to pets, let alone kittens, so I’m relieved to see it’s going well. Even if the lil’ monster kinda ruined my QA stream the other day, I forgive her.


I feel like she wants constant attention ^^’.

Beyond the personal side, several games I had the honor to work on (in some capacity) were released throughout the year: The Fairy’s Secret from ebi-hime and Twofold from Salty Salty Studios come to mind. There was also the last DLC of Our Life from GB Patch Games (Baxter’s story) which does close a chapter. And, of course, I also managed to release Chronotopia: Second Skin, which is huge for me! The fact remains that I don’t look back on this year all that fondly.


And I forgot to mention Derek’s story last year =’).

2024: Melting Point

After such a confusing review, my expectations still aren’t very high. My main goal for 2024 is to complete rewards for backers of Chronotopia’s Kickstarter (in particular the artbook and goodies). If production of physical items advances at an acceptable pace, it’d be nice to go to a small local convention. For that to only happen though, I will also need to go back to outsourcing work (probably in a limited capacity first). I’m keeping my fingers crossed that everything goes well!

Chronotopia promo suicide EN

Still in relation to Chronotopia, I’d like to sell the game and GOG and potentially start working on a mobile version for Android but it will depend on my condition. If circumstances are on my side, I’d love to also go back to Wounded by Words’s Steam Version, though I’m only half convinced.

My other big goal is to finally manage to rest as I had promised to myself more than seven years ago. For that, I’ll need to clarify the company situation with the help of an expert, even if it might mean liquidating it. It’s been unsustainable for far too long and I just can’t take it anymore. If I could also clear up my health issues, that’d be perfect.

May 2024 allow me to recover said health…


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