Development FAQ

Alrighty, soooo, I figured it's about time I actually made a development FAQ for this project since I seem to get asked certain questions more than others :3 Hopefully, this will serve as a post that answers some of the more common questions asked.

For the latest post related to development in general, head here. It talks about some of the stuff on this FAQ in a lot more detail and generally does a better job of explaining some of the complexities and struggles of developing this particular project.

I also posted my rough schedule for 2024 if you want to have a nosy at it x3

If you're patiently waiting for more of DD because you're a fan of yandere characters and you haven't checked out some of my other projects yet, go take a peek!

Almost all of my games feature at least 1 yandere romance option because I'm mad about em :D Some are bloody, some are sweet and fluffy, some are more psychologically than physically dangerous, and some are even platonic, but they all love you more than anything else in the world <3

Current questions covered in this FAQ are:

When will the full game be released?

Why is development so slow when you've released lots of other games since the Darling Duality demo?

Can't you just release the game without voice acting first, then add it later in an update to speed up development?

It's been a long time since the game was updated. Are you abandoning the project?

Will there be more content for Castor/ia in the full game?

Are there other characters coming in the full game?

Will the game be released on Steam at some point?

Will the full game be free?

How can I support the game's development?

Where can I find updates on the game's development progress?

Can I suggest ideas for features and story branches?

Do you draw all the art yourself?

When will the full game be released?

This is a tough one to answer because, at the time of writing this, I honestly don't know >.< It's a big project that's going to take me a long time to finish every aspect of it. Right now, only a very small percentage of the writing is even complete, so there's that to finish on top of coding, editing and adding voice acting, getting artwork commissioned, creating more original music tracks for the soundtrack, and testing. 

I'm a solo dev, so I'm handling all of that on my own besides the creation of CGs, which will be drawn by the immensely talented Lazy Polar Bear :3 (And, of course, various voice actors will record lines, but I'll still have to pick out takes, edit, and implement them by myself x3)

On top of that, this project isn't yet my top priority to finish (please don't kill me T_T) I have a project that I released a concept demo for waaaay back in 2018, before DD. It's a completely different dating sim game where the player will be able to choose the protagonist's pronouns + pick between masculine & feminine versions of love interests. The overall story is a lot more serious than DD, but still contains a couple of yandere romance options x3

I fully finished the writing for that in late 2020 (roughly 120k words for the full script).  It was supposed to be my second big game after my very first release, Solipsism Reigns. A Kickstarter was supposed to happen, but it all fell apart because of my personal situation >.<

I know that DD is the game most people following me want to see finished and that hardly anyone even knows about the existence of the other big project, but I feel guilt and pain every day knowing that the finished script for the other project has been sat there for over 3 years gathering dust. I desperately want to get that one finished and released so it will stop haunting me. Then I can focus my attention on DD.

If I'm lucky, I might be able to finish that other project sometime in 2024, but it's difficult to know what will happen since my plans often end up blown to bits. I can hope though x3

I don't even have the words to describe how much your interest in and support for DD means to me. Please know that it will eventually be finished at some point. It's just a long, slow road to the end, haha. I hope that you might enjoy some of my other finished or in-progress projects in the meantime :3 (I personally think some of them are technically much better than DD x3)

Why is development so slow when you've released lots of other games since the Darling Duality demo?

For soooo many reasons, including what I mentioned above. My poor mental health and autism are also contributing factors. If you really want to know everything though, it's covered in this big post here x3

Some people wrongly assume I’m super productive because I can create a finished game from scratch within a month for a game jam, but that’s not a sustainable way of working on stuff long-term or representative of how I work for most of the year. That laser focus that I’m able to harness during jams leaves me completely drained afterwards and needing a lot of time to recover because it often involves hardly sleeping for the duration of the jam and repeatedly forgetting to eat and take care of other basic needs or irl tasks >.<

With game jams, I know I have X amount of time, usually 1 month, to create and complete a concept, and once that time is up, I can release it into the wild knowing that I did my best with the time I had and that it’s then behind me. Darling Duality was different because my aim was to release a self-contained story within the jam timeframe, with the intention of expanding on it as and when I was able to post-jam. I knew I wouldn’t be able to afford voice acting, so I’d put it to one side as something to work on in the distant future.

Sometimes, without warning, my depression will hit me so hard that it feels like it shatters me into thousands of little shards. I can't function at all and I end up having to take a month away from my  PC to just pull myself back together again.

The attention the project gained out of nowhere was largely thanks to Manly's video on YouTube, but I was totally unprepared for it. I hadn't planned to pick this project back up until a much later date >.< Friends encouraged me to immediately focus on this since it was what people seemed to want, but I couldn't just make myself switch focus like that all of a sudden when I had other plans to work on other things.

I will always be immensely grateful for the love and support the project has received! Heck, this project wouldn't even be possible without you guys because I can't imagine I would ever be able to fund all the voice acting and art that it needs on my own. That's why I put it on hold in the first place x3 But yeah, I guess probably because of my autism, I can't bring myself to fully focus on this when I know I have an older project that needs finishing first >.<

Can't you just release the game without voice acting first, then add it later in an update to speed up development?

I have no doubt that almost any other dev would definitely go that route because it would be the best compromise! Unfortunately, though, it wouldn't work for me personally for a couple of reasons >.<

The main one is, as a dev, voice acting is a huuuuuge motivator for me. If I know that a script I’m trying to write won’t have full voice acting, I essentially lose all motivation to write it at all >.< I have one project where I tried my best to finish it despite finding out I wouldn’t be able to get it voiced, and I truly believe that the game is awful for that reason (among a couple of others) x3 It’s the Love in Lockdown ones. They’re just reeeeally bad because my heart wasn’t in it in the end >.<

This will probably sound kind of crazy and somewhat pathetic, but I can’t stand my writing and my characters always feel so hollow without voices >.< For me, it’s the talent of voice actors that gives the characters a soul and allows me to actually begin to accept them along with the rest of my writing x3 Without voices in mind for the characters, I want to scrap all my writing and burn it to the ground, haha.

So even if players would rather a project had no or minimal voicing in order to get it out faster, it wouldn’t work because I wouldn’t be able to finish the project at all T_T So yeah, it’s more of a personal thing I guess. Even when I manage to finish all of the writing, I don’t think I would ever be content enough with it to actually release it without VA, regardless of what players might think >.<

It's been a long time since the game was updated. Are you abandoning the project?

Hell, no! x3 The only way I’m ever dropping this project is if I die or somehow become unable to use a computer, haha. That’s the only way I’ll ever drop any of my projects! Even if no one else cared about Darling Duality anymore and lost interest because it took me so long to work on it, I’d still finish it and release it because I can’t stand leaving things unfinished :3 If you're still here when that happens, you deserve a medal for your patience and the world's biggest hug ^-^

Will there be more content for Castor/ia in the full game?

Yup, absolutely! What's currently in the demo is more like an extended version of the standalone story I wrote for the jam. The rest of Castor/ia's route will be in the full game and will most likely have 4 distinct endings depending on the player's choices :3

Are there other characters coming in the full game?

There are indeed! One of them is already mentioned in the current demo (Cana)

There's an entire game dedicated to the backstory of 2 others that will eventually have their own route in DD (Morgenröte & Dämmerung from Dawn of the Damned)

And there are others as well which haven't been revealed at all yet.

I might have to cut back on some of the character routes that I originally planned to have, but there should be at least 6 different character routes available in the full game, with others to potentially add in the future after that :3

Will the game be released on Steam at some point?

I hope so! There just isn't much point in doing it now because it's nowhere near finished and Steam charges $100 to put a project on their platform >.< I need to make sure any donations are going towards actual development of the game before I can think about putting it on Steam.

Also, due my anxiety and aversion to social media, I am terrible at promoting my projects. I just can't handle it at all :( I like to just release stuff into the wild without any fanfare x3 This means the game would likely get buried on Steam pretty easily >.<

Still, I would like to eventually have all of my games available on Steam, and possibly even Nintendo Switch + mobile too if I can manage to figure out how to make them work on other platforms :3

Will the full game be free?

As of right now, I would say that, yes, it probably will be. My current personal situation means I'm not actually allowed to try and commercialise my games because it would mean losing the aid money I get from the government, and since I'm unemployed because of my terrible mental health and autism, I need that to survive >.<

There may end up being some kind of commercial aspect to it in the future, such as something like extra DLC episodes or characters. But that's so far off right now that there isn't much point in thinking about it.

How can I support the game's development?

Firstly, thank you for considering supporting the project :3

There are a few different ways. The project page will ask you if you'd like to make a donation when you download the game, so it can be done through However, I don't get 100% of the donation that way, unfortunately (30% of it gets sucked up for US tax even though in the UK where I live, I'm not even liable to pay tax because I'm too poor >.<)

If you'd rather make sure that I end up with 100% of your donation, Ko-Fi is the best option :3 It allows you to send one-off donations without taking any of the cut. Aaand, any donation through Ko-Fi will also give you access via a key to the supporter page on itch that currently contains my original soundtracks for download, but will hopefully have more on there in the future!

I do also have a Patreon, but that may be more awkward if you're only interested in sending a one-off donation since it requires you to sign up for a recurring monthly tier. I also lose a small portion of donations via Patreon to US tax again. Patrons also get access to the supporter page on itch :3

Where can I find updates on the game's development progress?

In order not to end up spamming followers with notifications here on, I will probably try to refrain from posting small-scale progress reports on the project page's dev logs. I will save that for announcing actual update releases and for posting major progress reports such as the completion of a route's writing.

Smaller progress reports for my dev work, in general, will be over on Ko-Fi as public posts :3 I will try my best to write one per month to let anyone who wants to know what I've achieved across all projects as the year goes on.

Any behind-the-scenes and sneak peek kinda stuff will stay as supporter-exclusive posts on Ko-Fi & Patreon.

Can I suggest ideas for features and story branches?

You certainly can, and I will absolutely read them and try to take it on board, BUT, please understand that I won't necessarily implement them.

In all honesty, I try my best to avoid thinking too much about what players might want in general since I find that far too overwhelming x3

If people happen to like what I’m doing, then that’s incredible and I really appreciate it a lot, but at the end of the day, this is a hobby that essentially functions as a coping mechanism to combat my depression and suicidal thoughts, so the priority with my projects is generally just doing whatever I can to keep my stupid brain occupied and somewhat content so that I don’t completely fall apart, haha. I don’t really have the energy in me to think about pleasing others in the process >.< I'm sorry T_T

Do you draw all the art yourself?

I WISH x3 I can't draw to save my life T_T I do all the writing and coding along with handling all the sound design and creating a number of original music tracks, but I cannot art >.<

For backgrounds, I tend to use ones from asset packs and edit them a little. For sprites, I often use ones from asset packs and heavily edit them! For example, I recoloured everything for Castor/ia and added additional facial expressions that weren't part of the pack they came from. For CGs, I am commissioning the amazing artist, Lazy Polar Bear who I have worked with before on numerous projects :3

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will-will we get full OST when the full game released? I heard the music and it was sooooo great,I really willing to pay for that plz😭

That’s a good point cos I forgot to put anything about the music in the FAQ x3 I will have to update it when I get a chance to include this question & answer! Really glad you like the music in the game so far! ^-^

There will be a full OST release with the eventual finished game release, yeah :3

However, the full soundtrack for the project is likely to consist of a mixture of original tracks that I’ve made myself + asset pack tracks because I plan for each set of characters to have their own soundtracks to accompany their routes, and I think if I tried to cover all the music by myself it would be too much work because it’s likely to end up being like a 50+ tracks soundtrack >.<

So I will be able to release all of the original tracks I’ve created myself, but I can’t include any asset pack tracks in a soundtrack download because it would break the terms of use that come with the asset packs.

The asset packs usually state that you can use the tracks in your projects, but you must never offer them for individual download.

In the current demo, when you enter the music box section, you can view which tracks used in the demo are my original music tracks and which ones are asset pack tracks :3

Anything in the original section will be released as part of an OST download, and anything in the asset pack section will, sadly, remain as in-game only.

All the original tracks currently used in the demo are on my YouTube + available to download for all supporters on Patreon & Ko-Fi :3


Happy New Year I suppose; seems the only time I ever hear from you is on itch, however I am quite pleased that you've moved to ko-fi as a centralized source for news/updates that aren't directly related to new game updates.

I wish you all the best for 2024 and if you ever need to poke me you know how to reach me.  Cheers from the FreshGaming discord community.


Happy new year to you too! To be honest, I’m still really struggling to stay on top of any kind of replies to things outside of itch, even emails >.< so I hope you don’t take it personally or anything like that because it’s not the case in the slightest.

In the runup to Christmas, I was pretty much heading for either meltdown or shutdown and then our annual pre-Christmas family gathering was the event that tipped me over the edge. Shutting down was the way it ended up going! I spent almost all of January without even turning on my PC because I just couldn’t face it.

In fact, I wasn’t able to do much of anything >.< I slept waaaay more than usual and stopped exercising completely too. It seemed I was only capable of reading a few books, eating, and sleeping. I pretty much blocked out anything online/virtual. I couldn’t even muster the energy to play games that I had hoped to play during the Christmas holidays. 

I’m only just about keeping up with itch even though there isn’t even THAT much to respond to, but when it comes to emails and Discord, I’m waaaay behind :( And that’s not anything to do with contact regarding my games, it’s literally just me struggling to keep in touch with friends as usual >.< I have a couple of friends whose emails I still haven’t managed to reply to from all the way back in August last year because they’re quite long ones T_T

It’s so frustrating because I desperately want to keep in touch with everyone and not end up losing friends by being so slow to reply, but my capacity for socialising is so low that it’s virtually impossible :(

I also found out last week from the post-ASD diagnosis support group that I’m now attending, that apparently, it’s also highly likely I have ADHD as well as ASD x3 Which I guess would go some way towards explaining why I’m so eager to reach out and make lots of friendships and connections but then massively struggle to maintain them due to being easily overwhelmed >.<

If true, it would also provide an answer as to why I have extreme focus, enough to finish projects, but also need to have multiple things on the go to swap between so as not to get bored, haha.

Aaaand it would also explain how come doctors tried to pin a bipolar diagnosis on me a couple of years ago too! These ASD specialists reckon bipolar is incorrect, that it's ASD + ADHD.  So yeah,  I’ve been encouraged to now seek an ADHD diagnosis, but since it took over 5 years to get my ASD diagnosis, I don’t know if it’s worth the time and stress to pursue it!

I wasn’t really counting, but I think it took me around 3 months to actually get these long posts made, the 2 here for DD, and the 1 on Ko-Fi >.< I wasn’t working on them every day, but I had to keep taking so many breaks in between typing paragraphs that, yeah, I reckon from starting them to posting them it’s taken around 3 months. It’s kind of a perfect example of why I can’t manage social media or keep on top of posting updates and stuff :( 

So yeah, I’m only just about keeping my head above water as usual I guess x3 The support group I went to used this image in one of their slides, and it’s so accurate to my everyday life that it’s hilarious xD

Thank you again for everything! And I hope that you’re able to have a brilliant 2024 yourself :3

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i found you before ManlyBadassHero played it but but i wanted you know i love your games and i'm willing to wait on any that you make


Woo! :D *high five*  I imagine you must be in the minority of people who follow me then because I swear that maybe something like half or even three-quarters of my followers probably only found me because of Manly, haha. That’s partly what’s so amazing about itch as a site though, the fact that you can discover so many new games that might not have a home anywhere else x3

I remember you telling me that Manly had played Impostor and DD! I think it might be because of you that I even found out that’s what was going on cos I just remember waking up one day and seeing my itch analytics spike outta nowhere, and I was oblivious as to why xD

That seems like so long ago now x3 I honestly don’t know where the years have gone, haha. It doesn’t feel like that was so long ago >.< I swear the years just keep flying by in general! I’ll be an old woman before I know it x3

It means a hell of a lot that you’ve stuck by me for so long!! When I started making my first-ever game, I thought no one would actually play it x3 Part of me still thinks that now when I release a new game even though I know that’s probably not true >.< If I could reach through the internet and hug you, then I would, haha. Thank you for supporting my games for so long and for taking the time to write something so nice :3 It’s extremely sweet of you!

I hope January is going well for you and that you get to have a brilliant rest of the year!! :D


Awwww your a sweetheart and yeah that was me! And I'm glad to find your games and play them and now stream them because i love them!


Take as long as you need to finish! I ended up here precisely because of ManlyBadassHero, and honestly I'm against launching the game by chapter which could cause the problem mentioned in the other post. Take Your Boyfriend as an example, he got into trouble with the character's voice actor and delayed everything and to this day the game isn't complete. Work at your pace and always take care of yourself.


Yeaaah, I really wanna avoid that pitfall ever happening again if possible, haha. I know sometimes it’s unavoidable, and in this case it kind of was initially because this is the only project I’ve ever made where I didn’t actually pick the voice actors myself! That was because it was a big rush to make the original self-contained story within a 1-month jam timeframe though, and my friend was doing me a massive favour at the time by casting and directing the VAs he found. 

At the time, I knew I wanted to massively expand on the project, but I was also very aware of the fact that wouldn’t be a possibility for probably years since I wouldn’t be able to afford voice acting outside of the jam for all the characters I eventually hoped to add. So I sort of thought to myself, right, let’s just focus on getting this segment done for the jam, and the rest is a challenge for the future x3 I didn’t really even think anyone would play the game, haha. So I kinda figured I had forever to gradually raise funds and work on the project over years.

Manly somehow found the jam verison of the game a loooong time after it was originally released, and as soon as the video went out, it was like my page just exploded xD I was extremely confused because all I could see were massive spikes in my itch analytics and I had no idea why until someone told me x3 So yeah, I couldn’t really believe it at first and I was super hyped about it, but then it kinda hit me that suddenly people were seeing my rough little self-contained jam game and I panicked because it didn’t represent what I wanted to do with the project as a whole. 

That’s why I tried to make the new demo as quickly as I could, in the hope that anyone checking out the project cos of Manly might realise that the version Manly played was a very basic, bite-sized bit of what I hoped would be a much larger project. I don’t think the new demo does a great job of showing the full extent of what I hope to do with the game, but it’s better than the original jam version at least I guess.

I didn’t know that about the Your Boyfriend creator :o I remember seeing posts and stuff about a demo for the game, but I didn’t really follow it closely because it wasn’t my cup of tea. That’s a shame it got stuck in development hell like that though >.<

But yeah, I definitely don’t wanna run into any problems with VA again because it would be a huge waste of time and money to get only parts of the story recorded only to find the VAs can’t continue with the rest in the future :( 

With Castoria's VA for example, she’s not got any links and is credited with a false name because my voice director friend who cast her said she wasn’t comfortable with the steamier lines and stuff, which is totally fair enough, but had I been in charge of casting, I would never have cast someone who wasn’t comfortable with the content in the first place >.< And then yeah, the voice director and I have grown apart as time has passed and we don’t even really speak now, which is a shame. I guess money is partly why, which makes it suck even more :( But I'm glad that he's at least been able to move on and up with his career and get paid properly to do stuff rather than just helping out people like me who can't afford to pay a proper wage x3

As much as it sucks to have to recast, at least it’s only a small portion of the content I guess! And getting all of the writing finished first means whoever is cast in the future should be able to complete the entire route script :3 

I always wonder if things might have worked out differently if Manly happened to find and play the game closer to when it was initially released for the jam! I think it was partly because the gap between the original release and the attention it later got possibly made things more complicated, haha. But regardless, the game will eventually be finished so I suppose it doesn’t matter :D 

If I had a different brain and found it easier to switch between stuff, I’d probably have been able to progress faster with DD by now x3 but because I had it in my head that I was gonna be doing X, Y, and Z first, it’s like when I tried to deviate from that, it didn’t really work because every time I tried to work on DD, I had all the other stuff in the back of my mind haunting me x3 I think now that I’ve finally decided on a proper schedule and to get CiQ finished and released as I’d always intended before getting to DD, I should hopefully be able to plan things better. Cos last year, I think part of why I did so many jams was because I was trying to block out thinking about DD and CiQ because while I wanted to work on DD, I knew I wouldn’t be able to effectively with CiQ still unfinished, but rather than just get to working on CiQ, I tried to run away from it >.< I feel like I’ve finally got things under control a bit better now!

Thank you for your kind words and support :3 Hope you've been able to have a lovely weekend!


You may want to consider using AI voices for these massive projects. You already have significant issues affording lengthy voice acting for large scripts and you can always get regular human voice acting for the smaller projects later on.

When major companies refuse to hire or otherwise fire existing workers to replace them with AI for profit, then people get angry.  However, I don't feel anyone would reasonably be upset with you if you went this route.  I can direct you to some (free) sources as well if you want to experiment with it.

I'm aware of AI voice stuff since I wanted to have a 'narration' for audio-only videos on a potential content creation channel on Odysee.  Maybe a donated still image or two from artists on my server ;)


It’s a funny coincidence you should say that because I did recently have an experience with AI voicing in the project I ended up randomly making for Winter VN Jam (despite telling myself no more jams for 2023 after Spooktober x3 - but it was a self-soothing project that I used as a way to work through my feelings after I got my ASD diagnosis, so I kinda made an exception, haha) and I had some pretty mixed feelings on using it!

I won’t ramble about it here cos I did make a pretty lengthy post on it already so I’d just be repeating myself >.< But basically, I also wanted to include narration in the project + since it wasn’t a planned project and I was so short on time, I had a bit of an emergency with some of the VA.

The project features 2 proper human voice actors that I cast, and then everything else was a mixture of me + AI because I recorded all the remaining lines myself, then used AI speech-to-speech to dub over myself with AI voices x3

Tbh it’s quite scary how well it worked, but I do think it wasL

A - Extremely boring compared to working with actual people >.<


B - Only just about acceptable for characters that don’t have a particularly big emotional range. I definitely think the AI would struggle to do a decent job with more emotive characters. (It also struggled to accurately replicate my efforts & other general sounds, especially laughter!)

VA for DD isn’t THAT much of an issue now I know how I’m handling the project going forward :3 It’s the only one of my projects that has had a significant amount of funding, and pretty much 100% of that is going towards VA, so I should be able to afford everything I need eventually. It will just mean abandoning my old voice director friend’s plan of paying each VA $500 per script section.

I know he said that’s like the bare minimum acceptable/non-insulting amount to offer, but I think he was only saying that in terms of the voice actors he knew/represented. As nice as it would be to be able to pay people fairly for their work, when it comes to situations like mine, it’s not always possible to do that >.< It doesn’t mean I won’t pay people, it just means I need to look for people who are okay with doing X amount of work for X amount of money. 

I know that would probably make him mad because I guess he would think I should be in a position to afford to pay a whole cast that $500 per short script, but the reality is, I’m just not, and I probably never will be. But I do have a significant amount of funding for the project thanks to everyone’s generous support, so I should be able to at least make the most of it :3 

I’m pretty confident that I will be able to find a stellar cast and pay them for their work, it’s just not going to be like union-level pay >.< But I will be more careful in the future and when making casting decisions myself, will be sure to only cast people once everything I need for their character is fully written.

The main thing that’s actually prevented progress with DD more than anything else is having my CiQ project hanging over me x3

Now that I’ve finally put my foot down with myself and faced up to that fact, I know I’ll be able to work through things better in the future :3 Because CiQ has haunted me for far too long and I’m never gonna get anywhere with DD until CiQ is finished and released and I don’t have to think about it anymore, haha. I was just too scared in the past to come out and say that because I was terrified of potentially disappointing anyone who was waiting patiently for DD to be finished (especially considering CiQ is a project that I imagine most people following me aren’t even really aware of. The ancient demo certainly wasn’t very popular, but it was from waaaay back in the days when I was still using Tyranobuilder & the 2nd project I ever started after finishing my very first!)

It might not be the logical course of action for most people, but my brain works in weird ways, and it says that since I finished all the writing for CiQ all the way back in September 2021 or something like that (and started CiQ as a project long before I started DD), it makes more sense to actually get CiQ made before focusing on DD since DD’s writing has barely even been started. So that's what I'll do, and DD will become a priority once CiQ is all done :3


Take your time and i hope you are doing well atm ^^


<3 Thank you :3 Things are just starting to look up a bit after a weird January, haha. It's gonna be a busy February by the looks of things, but with any luck, it'll also be a productive one in more ways than one!

I hope you're doing well yourself and that you get to have a lovely weekend and a fabulous February ahead :3