Hotel Perkkow and the Two Vegetarian Werewolves

This one is actually a story with what I can consider as happy ending.


2023. Pixel Museum is participating to the BIFFF, and is the organizing an independent games contest, Pix’Hell. I have to say I’m not really interested neither in BIFFF, nor into any competition at that time. But then I receive a special requests : they are feeling a bit worried that they won’t have enough submissions and they are asking me if I could manage to deliver them something for that contest.

I don’t really remember if that a week or a week and a half before the deadline for submissions, what I for sure remember is me thinking, puffing, grumbling, and finally accepting. I hope it was the last time I accepted something I didn’t wanted to do, even if there’s a happy ending.

Alright, I have now about a week. I also work now at EPSO, so my days are busy, I have only something around 6 to 10 evening, maybe nights. What is manageable to do in so short period of time, that would presentable and interesting ? Should I take one of my recent projects and update it somehow ? I didn’t practice Unity a lot since January and Vira Root’sa, and even there I didn’t do much. The Control ? Impossible. Turn Down For What : A Plague Tale for Funk ? Might be, but I will spend two days fixing shaders, and a day looking for sprites. Not a good idea, unless I don’t expect to sleep. Older projects either don’t match, or have too much code update before working on the core, so I have to abandon this track.

So what ? A platformer ? Meh. Doing from scratch will not leave time for details. A RPG with RPG Maker ? I really hate this engine.

THIS engine… That’s true. I don’t have to stay with Unity. What else do I know at a satisfactory level ? Construct and…


That’s it, I’m making a visual novel.

Chapter 1: Conception and pression

I started writing and sketching the game route, but in order to put all chances on my side, I used a bit of ChatGPT. I have to say that the same way I was deceived of it to give me facts about something, I was deceived by the inconsistency of it when trying to get some complex story. Although, I still managed to have the starting, the ending and the title : The Shapeshifter Investigation.

“But John, that’s not the title of the post nor the project, what are you talking about, that’s nonsens” – Calm down with these Twitter-style thoughts.

The initial concept had much more sense with this title. The goal was to start as an detective, and to investigate on disappearing guest in some forest. At the end, the story would be determined by how the player have answered different questions. Each question would change “trust levels” of humans and creatures, finishing in 5 endings. The detective would be then the shapeshifter, by adapting his personnality to the final decision.

But then I remembered I had one week, so no.

Instead, I went for something simplier, just a story where each ending is equally right, equally true.

But before starting, one last thing : I can manage to write the story and develop the game. I can find musics here and there, it’s not an issue. But for graphics, I decided to step-up and requested an external person to do this. In fact, I worked for the first time with a provider I found on Fiver. I have to say I was surprised because as I was a bit in a hurry, I didn’t though that so many among those I contacted would be too busy to accept the offer, but in the end, two_ii accepted. I was interesting on how to work with external provider, describing needs and requesting modifications.

Chapter 2: Development and deception

I felt like Tim Sweeney during this week. Short nights, nerd meals, absolute dedication to do the best, the fastest. I was happy to finally code something easy with direct visible effects. The power of Ren’Py is there : fast implementation but limited options. I didn’t wanted to do something exquisite, I expected this one to be a one-shot game.

Ho, inconsistent kid I was…

Why did I put a the end of a story announcement for a sequel?

In any case, I feel the game is quite fun to play. Story is interesting and can be easily presented at the BIFFF. There’s just a little problem… I will probably not be ready for the annouced deadline, probably a day later. But hey, they have requested it from me, they will send me a reminder and probably it will be ok to have that slight delay.

The day passes and no news from their side. I’m too busy on finalizing the game. Last linguistic corrections, last bugs resolving, last period in dialogs. Past midnight, building distributions for Windows and MacOS. Zipping file. Email sent.

I’m finally allowed to breathe. And I will not hold my breath until I receive some answer or reminder.

Which was not long in coming.

Because I met them few days later.

And they told me I was late.

And the had enough games.

And they will not bring my game to the contest.

Chapter 3 : Acceptation and assention

If you feel a bit angry or sad reading this story until now, well… Don’t. Because I was not. Not disappointed, not sad, not angry, only a bit surprised. After all, I was also a bit my fault. Deadline is deadline, and I can’t be privileged. I was more deceived by the fact I haven’t received any reminder, that would be the least to expect.

But in the end the game was here. Those code lines sitting in front of me, static and colored, images moving, sound blasting.

(Who am I trying to fool 🤣 It’s not a horror story, I should not personify a software)

It was time to put all the files in my archive folder as I did with all my other projects, close the laptop lid and start cooking dinner, awaiting the next project with same destiny in order to keep the cycle running.

I’m too busy with other things to finish the game, I mean, game is finished but there’s missing something around 20% like french translation, linguistic corrections and achievements, but then publishing is also some expenses and yeah, not time for that.

So, as usual, I didn’t listened to my own pragmatic, inner voice and decided to go ahead and do what’s needed to publish it on Steam. In the end, it’s only 20%, isn’t it ?

Oh dear reader, believe me, Pareto Principal hit me SO HARD ! I was not ready for that.

I decided to jump on the occasion to, for the first time in my life, implement achievements system like in Steam, but I needed first something in the game. I wanted to go a bit fast so I found a comprehensive achievements system on Itch. Implementing from there went fast. One step done. Then I was helped with translations by Lucie de Renesse. Still thanks to you!

It’s time to start preparing Steam things. Time to have the second thing I always wanted to have : Steam Cards. Here it was not a difficult task but it should have been a warning for future. I found it a bit annoying the amount of different pictures we need to prepare for every feature. But when I paid the publication fees and I saw what other do I need to do, I was unpleasantly surprised, but I did not had acces to Steam Cards.

This was a big deception. But I will not abandon now. I just need a break for some time.

Chapter 4 : Reaction and finalization

Fast forward to January 2024. It’s been some time the project is on hold. I moved out, opened a shop and survived a hurricane (metaphorically). I’m at my grandma’s place, and I decide it’s time to finish this thing. After incredibly intense months of October and November, I have some more time and stability to finish this Hotel Perkkow thing. Additionally I should not be scared of some images to make. And soon, I should start to work on the teased next episode, Hotel Perkkow and One Legged Octopus. So nothing’s better than some vacation to work on thing you might be late on.

First things first, it was time to finish those pictures, with strange formats and shapes. I watched some Photoshop Gimp tutorials in order to be ready for the upcoming task. I managed to learn some important things that will most probably serve me in many future projects. I still can’t make whole picture from scratch, but I may put myself on an intermediate level.

That done, it was time for Beta testing. Steam have this very advanced key system, that allows you to generate keys for many different scenarios, like beta testing or press release. I distributed few keys, and received a bit of an unexpected help. My friend Raph’s, a native British guy, offered to correct all the small linguistic errors that I would not be able to see. Still thanks to this day !

Last but not least, the trailer. Fortunately, when you have people with talent around you, it’s easier. Thanks to Lisobu, who did a remarkable work, it was done within time. Checkout his YouTube channel to admire his other creations!

Some time passes, and there we go, 19 April 2024. So awaited day, the day of halving of the bitcoin, but also the day of Hotel Perkkow release. I should have been super excited and engaged. Instead, I was busy finishing the Tropico 4 Modern Time DLC. Sure thing, I have my own priorities. So I moved the release day to 21st April.

This story comes to an end, and I hope you enjoyed this story. I’m also inviting you, dear reader, to come back in a year, for Hotel Perkkow and the One-Legged Octopus !

Screenshots and trailer

Let’s Play !

You can buy the game on Steam.

It’s also available for download on, if you don’t have a Steam account.

Links and credits

Scenario, developpement and concept made by me, John Flex !
Ren’py theme ‘Dark Elegance’ by Skolaztika
Characters creation by two_ii
Backgrounds by lehxra, Two Orcs and Lornn.
French translation by Lucie De Renesse.
Linguistic corrections by Raph’s and Eric Orban.
Beta testing by Dennis Wakeling and Eric Orban.
Trailer by Lisobu.


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