Sundew Studios founder Allie Ast intended to pitch Witchy Life Story at the now infamous — and canceled — E3 2020. It’s a position a lot of game developers were in as COVID-19 sent the world into lockdown; once thought to be a three month hold quickly turned into years. “I knew the game probably wasn’t going to get funded, because hell broke loose,” Ast told Polygon.
And so she decided to take on funding and self-publishing herself. It meant limiting the scope of the original idea, but keeping its heart — a life simulation game where the player is a witch prepping for a harvest festival. It fits squarely into a category of cozy cute games with crafting and growing ingredients, dating, and lots of lovely conversation, paired with a lush watercolor art style. After years in development throughout a pandemic, Witchy Life Story is ready for its debut: The game’s coming to Windows PC via Steam on Sept. 30.
Sundew Studios and Witchy Life Story have found its audience within the cozy gaming communities of TikTok and Instagram, where its Picrew-style character creator has future players excited to turn themselves into witches.
“I went into the character creator knowing this was going to be a strong feature for the game,” Ast said.
Programmer Aubrey Jane Scott took the lead on the technical side, with art and design from Sara Hagstrom and Lianne Pflug. The system has lots of options: hair color, skin tone, makeup, pronouns, body type, facial features, and, of course, clothes. The team took real care to make sure it was inclusive and thought out — down to details like making hats work correctly on curly hair.
Witchy Life Story is out Sept. 30.