We sat down with Cypress Zeta, creator of Overwhored, to interview him about his upcoming Visual Novel, Snow Daze, and the success of his Patreon.
Cypress Zeta has been working in the Western H-game scene for much of the past decade. In that time, his company, Outbreak Games, has produced Overwhored, an RPG maker game that puts you in control of a harem seeking warlord. Since then, they’ve moved on to Snow Daze, formerly titled Home Invasion, and have been steadily releasing it part by part to the public. This is a conversation we had with Cypress Zeta about his plans for the upcoming 3rd day of Snow Daze, his rapid rise in Patreon funding and where he sees the industry moving.
LewdGamer: It’s nice to meet you, Mr. Zeta.
Cypress Zeta: Hello, I’m always happy to do interviews for LewdGamer.
LewdGamer: You’ve been a creator of H-games for a long time now. What did you do before you started?
Cypress Zeta: I worked in the medical field. I’ve held several different jobs there ranging from phlebotomist to EMT to nurse. The medical field is very demanding of time and effort, however, and I was ready to move onto a new career. I started making Overwhored while also working full time at a hospital. About two years into the development of Overwhored, I quit to become a farmer on my family’s farm. I funded Overwhored largely by myself during that time. The Patreon only went up last year. Before that, I had received some generous Paypal donations, something I can no longer do now that Paypal has caught on. The vast majority of the funding for the game came from me, though.
LewdGamer: What inspired you to start working on Overwhored?
Cypress Zeta: Back when I started, there was no large adult games market. There was no market. There were almost no games that didn’t come from Japan. The primary source of adult games were flash games. There were a few limited exceptions, however; by far the most complete game by the time I showed up was the Legend of Queen Opala. Gabe made a great RPG and it helped me realize a game could be an RPG.
I’d been tinkering with the idea of adult games for years previously, however, and had actively participated in the Hentai Highschool 2 development by Atztek1. I only wrote an event or two for it, as my writing was at odds with what Atztek wanted for the game. After this, I wanted to head up development of Hentai Highschool 3. It didn’t work out, alas, and I realized that free community projects weren’t for me. I wanted to be totally in charge of development and able to assemble the teams that I wanted.
So, I started on Overwhored. I almost didn’t share it with the world, but people in the mind control fetish community convinced me to put up a demo. It only covered the game up to attacking the first village, but it was quite a success so I decided to make the game for the public.
LewdGamer: And how long did you work on Overwhored for?
Cypress Zeta: Five years or so. Other than art, I made most of the game myself. I hired a few people to help optimize things once the Patreon started, but most of it was accomplished while I was still working full time.
LewdGamer: That’s quite the task, especially when you consider the size and scale of the game. You work with a team now though, correct?
Cyprus Zeta: Yes. I hire several artists, I hire someone to help with the writing and I hire a musician and several talented voice actresses.
LewdGamer: And after Overwhored, you didn’t just change to a team structure, you moved to VNs. What prompted you to make the shift for your current project, Snow Daze?
Cypress Zeta: Overwhored was a purposefully vanilla game, mind control themes aside. I wanted to reach as broad of an audience as possible. Snow Daze was started privately as a personal project to entertain myself. Once your job becomes a hobby you need a new hobby. It was originally designed in RPG Maker like Overwhored was; however, I quickly realized that RPG Maker is just not well suited for a game like Snow Daze and over the years I had been getting frustrated with the limitations. I felt like I was limited by the system. With the amount of money the Patreon started to bring in, I realized I could actually afford to make a visual novel and not bankrupt myself in the process.
LewdGamer: Can you describe in a few sentences what Snow Daze is about?
Cypress Zeta: A young man wants to have sex with his mom and three hot sisters who are understandably opposed. Using musical brainwashing, he slowly brings them to his point of view.
LewdGamer: What about the game’s setting and themes do you find erotic?
Cypress Zeta: The game is really about slowly and carefully pushing limits and enjoying the increased power and control you get as a result. You start off with the main character in a position of essentially no power and he gradually gains that power through brainwashing. But that brainwashing isn’t simply like flicking a switch and everyone becoming a puppet. It has to be earned by learning who the characters are and what makes them tick. It’s hot because of the taboos around incest and because of how you slowly push the limits of the characters to accept it.
The characters themselves will also hold a lot of appeal to the right people. Kira is smart and driven, Jane is strong and athletic, Noelle is authoritative and Sarah is cute and flirty. There should be someone for everyone’s taste.
LewdGamer: We know it’s like asking a parent to pick a favorite child, but do you have a favorite girl?
Cypress Zeta: Kira is my favorite. I like smart and driven girls and always have.
LewdGamer: That’s interesting, because thus far, Kira’s been the least submissive of the bunch.
Cypress Zeta: That’s true, and I’m not particularly interested in femdom. Day 3’s scene will be about Jason trying to learn how to keep her from taking control away from him, in fact.
LewdGamer: Speaking of which, we’re moving into Day 3. There have been three prior releases, a prologue and two full chapters, each corresponding to a day. What do you have planned for day 3?
Cypress Zeta: SPOILER Warning. Kira will end up getting thigh-fucked by Jason. No actual penetration, just a thighjob. Noelle’s scene will be a blowjob, Sarah’s scene will be a buttjob and Jane will say sorry to Jason by masturbating for him.
LewdGamer: Do you have any preview images for us from the Day 3 content?
Cypress Zeta: Absolutely!
LewdGamer: On your Patreon, you mentioned you’ve added new features for Day 3. What did you add?
Cypress Zeta: I’m adding music for the entire game. Every single character has a normal and hypnotized theme song, save Jason. I’m also adding more chibis, brand new character CG replacements with costumes that change on the day, backgrounds altered for day 3, four new sex scenes and voice acting for all the female characters up to the end of Day 1 in-game.
LewdGamer: Do you know when players can expect to see Day 3?
Cypress Zeta: Day 3 should absolutely be released in March. Previously, I wanted to release the voice acting, new character CGs and music in January, but I’ve had an artist leave the project and had to fill his slot. I hired two artists to make up for the downtime, but there’s going to be a slight delay from what I wanted. I may still make a music and voice acting release without the character CGs in January or February.
LewdGamer: You said you brought two new artists onto the team? Tell us about them.
Cypress Zeta: The first one is more of an expansion of the current work duties of one of the artists currently working on the project. Fing was the teams inker, and with our sketch artist leaving the team, he stepped in to fill the role of sketch artist as well. The second one is the popular NinjaKitty, who is doing the character portraits for the project.
LewdGamer: Changing gears, you’ve had quite the year on Patreon. You’ve more than doubled your previous numbers. Correct?
Cypress Zeta: I started in January of 2015 with $400 in pledges. I was at $1500 in January of this year. As of right now I just met my $4500 goal and wouldn’t be surprised if I’m above $5k soon. It has been astronomical and I’m now able to do things I couldn’t have dreamed of just a year ago.
LewdGamer: What do you attribute your sudden economic windfall too?
CypressZeta: Actually releasing content. That is when almost all my donations increase. Just before, during, and after releases of games. I finished Overwhored and then began to make releases on Snow Daze. Now that I’m releasing lots of previews for Day 3 the amount increases again.
LewdGamer: On your Patreon, you mentioned if you cross the 4.5k mark, you would return to school. Can you elaborate on your plans for that?
Cypress Zeta: I am going to go back to college and studying specific, select classes to increase my personal proficiency with certain aspects of game making. I intend to take a class or two on business management to start, but any kind of practical class is potentially viable. I’m only going to be going part-time since games are my primary responsibility; however, it should help to increase my skills, which will only help Outbreak Games.
My desire is to be less of a one-man game-making machine like several prominent devs and be more of a project head and manager with experts making each part of my games. It’s much less lucrative; almost all of my Patreon income goes to them. It is a much better approach in the long run, however. One person, no matter how motivated, cannot match a team of skilled and motivated people working on the same thing.
LewdGamer: What H-games are you a fan of?
Cypress Zeta: Hmm. Well, it would be easy to list all of my friends’ games. NoMoshing, Hentaiwriter and the like. Future Fragments is a project I respect. Outside the west, however, I have a few favorites. One of the better ones being Kangoku Senkan, the only of the prison battleship series to get properly translated. My main complaint is just one of pacing. By starting at level 10 they leave themselves nowhere to go but to greater extremes. You can create far greater emotional and sexual impact with proper pacing of events. On the whole, it’s one of the best mind control games ever made, though.
OLE-M has no translated games, but is a company I like and respect. Alicesoft is probably the company I most would like to emulate behind the scenes. They’ve lasted a very long time and they’re run by true enthusiasts. It must be an amazing place to work.
LewdGamer: While you’ve been around, the Western Market has shifted from an afterthought into a multi-million flat industry. Where do you see western h-games going from here?
Cypress Zeta: Patreon is like the field you plant your seeds in. It grows good, but small games. Most likely, you’ll see groups like Nutaku continue to get funded in large amounts and become the new publishing powerhouse of the industry. It will become a lot more like the regular games industry at that point, with AAA games and indie games.
LewdGamer: Where do you see yourself fitting into that environment?
Cypress Zeta: I’m not sure. I like not having a publisher and being able to make exactly what I want. If selling games directly will make me enough money, however, I may begin to sell games. I would most like to make games that can sell on steam but be made into NSFW games with a patch. Something like Huniepop. I intend to make a game after the expansion for Overwhored for that very purpose. A horror-movie monster girl dating sim.
LewdGamer: And what do you have planned for the expansion to Overwhored?
Cypress Zeta: The expansion for Overwhored will be called Overwhored: Fall From Heaven. The Overmind will create a portal to heaven itself and invade in an attempt to bang the goddess herself. Legions of spirits of heroines that have defeated him in the past will stand in his way, however, as well as angels. Mostly, it’s an excuse for me to be a huge theology nerd.
LewdGamer: To conclude, a number of our readers no doubt make h-games of their own, or at least want to start. What tips do you have?
Cypress Zeta: Start small and unambitious. Very small. Pay for the first stuff yourself and focus on finishing a project rather than doing a dream project. Games are harder than you think. Overwhored wasn’t my first project – make something that big your second, or fourth, or fifth game.
LewdGamer: Thank you so much for joining us.
Cypress Zeta: Absolutely. I’ve been happy to speak with you.
If you’re interested in trying Cypress Zeta’s completed game, Overwhored, you can find it on his blog. If you’re interested in the latest build of Snow Daze, or want to financially support him, you should go to his Patreon page.
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