Ch 4 Beta Update, Full Release, New Sprites

Hello all! Thanks so much for being patient the last couple years while I got chapter 4 ready. Patrons will be excited to hear that there will be a new beta update in just a few days! The free roam balance is still slightly off, but that should be fixed with the ch 4 release, which will be coming out...soon! I don't have a better date than that. I have a few more scenes to write to balance the free roam, as mentioned, and there are some CGs I want to add, and the last two main scenes need to be programmed. I'm thinking sometime in June or early July at the latest.

Also, I've been wanting to redraw the sprites for a while, and I put it to a patron vote about when I should do it. They decided I should redraw them sooner rather than later, so I'm going to be doing that slowly while I finish up ch 4 and start preparing for ch 5. Here's a little preview:

Redrawing the sprites is totally a me thing, I've never had any complaints, but Arena Circus is very old now and it's growing with me, I want the art to reflect that. So please understand that while redrawing them will take time, I will be focusing on getting out new content, and it's something I really want to do.  For one thing, the sprites no longer match the CGs as my art style has changed.  The old sprites will always have a place in my heart, but I want the final product of AC to be as polished as I can make it. I've been working on the game a long time and being able to make it exactly the way I envisioned is a privilege. 

Which is why new clothing for Arena Circus will be temporarily delayed as I work on the new sprites. I'll be doing the main cast first (Aldrich, Natalia, Leslie, Fenris, Siegfried, Lucy, Santana) then Lilié, and after that I'll work on redrawing all the outfits currently in the game, as well as several new outfit packs to make up for the lost time you could have spent shopping for new clothes in Arena Circus. I hope you guys understand that Arena Circus is still in development, and while I want to get out new content ASAP, I'm trying to balance a lot of different factors.

I'm doing a lot to make the final version of the game the best it can be. I've hired a composer using the money from Patreon to create an original soundtrack. The old one will still be available on SoundCloud for free. I'll also be hiring a BG artist to help me get content out faster, and improve the look of the game, and I'd like to hire a sketch/lineart artist to help me get CGs done faster. My financial situation is a little tricky right now so those updates will be slow, but hopefully with the release of Lilith Hall, my first commercial game, I will be able to afford it. 

Lilith Hall is an Arena Circus prequel and follows the story of Natalia. You can check it out here: 

The release for that will be in June, with a demo coming very soon!

If you'd like to support Arena Circus and see CG and sprite previews, as well as receive exclusive content like limited edition outfits, then you can become a patron of Harlevin studios. Pledges start from $1:

It's a big help and all the money goes directly into my games.

Thanks for reading, and a big thank you to those who have  been with me and supported me from the beginning. I am really looking forward to finally sharing more AC with you, and will be prioritizing AC from now on rather than pausing to work on other projects in between.

Another note, AC Golden will now be accessible to patrons rather than a separate purchase. However, the guidebook will still need to be bought separately, and all previousGgolden owners will continue to have access to that and any new AC Golden content (outfits, epilogues), as promised. 

Feel free to drop questions or comments below, I'd love to hear from you (:

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I'm really excited for the new updates and progress but I'm actually really sad about the new sprites. Aldrich was so cute and funny and it was great to see his cross-dressing, now he just looks really feminine to begin with and I feel it takes away from that whole scene. It's not surprising anymore that he can pull it off because he already has really feminine features, I guess. I suppose it's nice to have an art update but I'm just a bit disappointed in the direction. I've been waiting for this game for a long time with the art it had, I don't want to say that an art change is enough to make me lose interest but I'm definitely not looking forward to the new sprite unfortunately.

Hello! Thank you for your interest in Arena Circus. I'm sorry to hear you feel that way about the new sprites. Hopefully you'll still enjoy the game.

Also, it wasn't my intention to make him look feminine, I tried to stay as true to the original sprite as possible with my current art style. So I'll see what I can do to fix that.