1. learning is better than knowing. you don’t need to be a genius to do well in school, only dedicated enough to actively pursue your education.
2. straight A’s =/= intelligence. don’t let your grades define you; test grades can’t capture the passion in your eyes and the resilience in your bones.
3. friendships change, but sometimes that's a good thing. some relationships are bested by time, and people grow apart. in the absence of others, you may find that you’ve been missing out on what’s been right in front of you the entire time.
4. rest is important. your health is always more important than school. while stress is inevitable, never be afraid to take a day off, or talk to a trusted adult. Mental health is just as valid as physical health.
5. your life is just beginning. i know that failing test grade or the fact that your crush rejected you seems like the end of the world, but i promise you that it’s not the end. life is literally the longest thing any of us will experience, so fall in love with living. think of every opportunity as just another beginning.
I’m writing in the vain hopes that you might stumble across this post and take the time to read what I have to say. I know that you (the person who is reading this post in particular) and the rest of your team are busy beavers writing away for us, your beloved fans. But I sincerely hope (and again in vain) that you could spare a few minutes to hear me out. On my end, I will try to be as diplomatic as I possibly can be.
Before I begin this letter, I would like to offer some details about my own personal context. I’m currently a part-time student and I also have a stable job which keeps me incredibly busy. The very few moments I have to myself, I spend playing Choices because it gives me a temporary escape from the very stressful world I live in. So yes, I’m a very big fan of your app and have been for almost a year now. It’s addicting and I find it to be very well-written (compared to some of the other apps of similar nature– for all intents and purposes I shall redact any other information about these apps). As a fan (from the Philippines, might I add) I look forward to certain days in the week when I know that my favorite stories will be released. In addition to that, I support your app– A LOT. At least once a week, I buy diamonds with my own personal money to unlock scenes of my favorite stories. Instead of using this money to buy coffee, or to have dinner with friends, or even to shop for myself, I buy your diamonds. Being a part-time student, I have to pay for my tuition fee and books with the money I earn from work. So believe me when I say that the spare money I do have is not enough to be spread across different activities.
This leads me to the first thing I would like to bring up. I’m sure you have noticed that your dear fans are having issues with diamonds and just how stressful it is to spend on some premium items and scenes. I know you have addressed this issue in one of your blog posts. You have said the following:
You’re correct, it is harder for us to change the diamond economy. We have been experimenting with different options that try to balance our ability with making money and giving players a better experience.
This is a very legitimate reason to not be changing the “diamond economy”. Trust me, I understand that. But on your end, I hope you understand how hard it is for fans, just like myself, to fully enjoy our favorite stories without worrying about having no diamonds to spend. Or– as was the case in several instances– spending hard-earned diamonds on half-baked scenes. In fact, there are times when some fans are filled with so much regret because they accidentally spent for a scene they thought would be worth it but was actually not. My point here is that if you are not going to change the diamond economy, at least be judicious in the way you will make us spend our diamonds. Make the scenes worth the amount of diamonds we spent. For instance, this week’s scene in The Royal Romance (a personal favorite of mine) had people spend 18 diamonds for an exclusive scene which many felt was (and I’m really sorry to say this) poorly executed and extremely half-baked. It felt like a devious and underhanded ploy to make the readers of this otherwise wonderful story, spend their diamonds. As I said, I do buy diamonds on a weekly basis so I usually have some diamonds to spend, but that does not mean I am not scrupulous with it. I always take a moment to discern about whether or not a certain choice will be worth it.
On our (the fans) end, we continue to support and buy diamonds from you. On your end, I do hope that you are more understanding of our struggles. Do try harder to make exclusive scenes better and worth it. Or try to at least make the scenes/items match its true worth without padding it. Or, another suggestion would be to stop hinging crucial parts of the story on our ability to spend diamonds. It feels, in many ways, oppressive. What do I mean by this? Recall Endless Summer book 2 (another personal favorite of mine). I, as long with many, many others could not afford to spend for the sheer amount of diamonds demanded for those idols which came out to 132 diamonds (11 idols times 12 diamonds per idol). Since I could not afford this (even with the number of times I do buy diamonds) I wasn’t given a proper explanation to the end of the story. It really felt like because I was not privileged enough to buy hundreds of diamonds (I really cannot afford that), I am not allowed to fully understand the story– and that’s very unfair.
Are you still with me? Are you still reading on? Well if you are, then the next thing I would like to talk about is Most Wanted book 2. I know your fans give you a lot of shit (excuse my language) about not coming out with a book 2 in over a year. I just want to shed light on (a) where the fans are coming from and (b) something you mentioned in that same blog post I cited earlier.
So, let’s address part a first. We, your readers, your beloved and loving fans, are composed of a diverse number of people. We come from different backgrounds (like I mentioned, I’m from the Philippines which is not a demographic that I’m sure you get very often). We have different tastes and prefer different stories. But we are united in the fact that we do appreciate your app and all the great stories you have given us. I know that most of us can and will agree on one thing, which is that after a very long time of waiting, we would like to see Most Wanted 2 come to fruition. And we’re not even saying that you must come out with a book like right this second. We understand that you are working on different projects and that the Most Wanted team has been divided among those projects. We respect that because in a way it tells us– or at least it tells me, that you are trying to cater to as many reading preferences as possible. It tells me that you care enough about your fans to want to keep making new stories while continuing some of the old favorites. But for most of us, we would like to know if Most Wanted 2 would happen at all (like for real, not just “maybe someday”). We want to know straight up if it will be a thing or if it’s just another sweet nothing you’re whispering in our ears. And if it is going to be a reality, all we want to know is that you really have some intention of working on it at all.
You see, there are books which many feel like have dragged on longer than it should have. I know you know what books those are so I won’t mention them anymore. If you combine this with the fact that you have not come out with Most Wanted 2, it makes some of us feel unheard. To put it in another way, I’ll say it bluntly. A lot of your fans are screaming for Most Wanted book 2 and are also screaming for other books to stop carrying on. And it appears that you produce parts 2, 3, and 4 of books that they do not want but are not even bothering to work on the book they absolutely want.
As for part b, I read in your post about Most Wanted not earning that much for you guys. In fact this is exactly what you said:
Most Wanted didn’t do as well financially as our other two launch series, so we moved that team onto Endless Summer and LoveHacks, where they could excel at leading new projects.
When I first read it, I couldn’t understand why Most Wanted didn’t do so well financially because so many people love that story so much. And then I realized that it was because you can play the story without having to spend a lot of diamonds. And that’s part of why we love it so much. We played through the story without being hassled so much about needing to spend a ridiculous amount of diamonds. We got to read along as this amazing story unfolded before us and we got to enjoy without having to empty our wallets to unlock a hundred different exclusive scenes. I hope you understand what I’m saying. And really, I hope this doesn’t discourage you from making Most Wanted part 2.
Anyway, these are the main things I wanted to write to you about. If you’ve reached this part of my letter then I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you. Continue your greatness. I love you guys and your app. Please just take this letter as constructive criticism. It does not mean I love Choices any less.