About Us


Watercress, founded in August of 2014 on the Katawa Shoujo subreddit, was initially inspired by the emotional narrative of Katawa Shoujo. Shortly after conception, we set out to create our own visual novel, Avitus.
Seven years and more than a dozen releases later, we're still creating VNs that we love, with a heavy focus on character-driven narratives. Our games are often in the genres of 'nakige' or 'utsuge', and many of them don't have the happiest of endings.
With a team of over fifty hardened and experienced individuals, we're finally setting our sights once again on our end goal: Avitus.

Timeline

Old avitus

Hopeful Beginnings


The First Age of Watercress - Success and Struggle

2014-2016

Notable Moments:
  • 2014 - Watercress is formed from the Katawa Shoujo Subreddit on August 6th
  • 2014 - The flagship game "Avitus" (working title) begins conceptual production
  • 2014 - Lull is released
  • 2015 - Palinurus is released
  • 2015 - Seeds of Sylvia is released
  • 2016 - Fare Thee Well is released

Characterized by hope and naivete, this period is often coined internally as the first "Golden Age" of Watercress' public releases. Some of our greatest projects were released in this time, with Palinurus and Fare Thee well being two of our most popular works to date. However, it was also a difficult time, as we were young and immature - the mean studio member age was around 17 years old.

Budapest

Rebuilding a Studio


The Second Age of Watercress - Failure and Reconstruction

2016-2017

Notable Moments:
  • 2016 - Avitus is put on hold
  • 2016 - Palinurus is released on Steam
  • 2017 - Our Home. is released
  • 2017 - Watercress incorporates into an LLC
  • 2017 - One Step Forward begins production
  • 2017 - Ah! My Girlfriend is a Demon Summoned from the Depths of Hell! is released

In the early months of 2016 - in the middle of Fare Thee Well's development - Watercress almost fell apart. It wouldn't be until Autumn the same year that Watercress would reorganize, restructure, formalize processes, and set its sights on non-Avitus projects. Our Home., the first project to be released since, ultimately became our largest written project to date. Later that year, One Step Forward - Watercress' first non-gamejam game since Avitus proper - begins production.

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Working Together


The Third Age of Watercress - Collaboration and Education

2018-2019

Notable Moments:
  • 2018 - Cautionary Tale is released
  • 2018 - Fare Thee Well is released on Steam
  • 2018 - Ah!! My Roommate is a Succubus Hellbent on World Conquest!! is released
  • 2019 - this was for you. is released on itch.io and Steam
  • 2019 - Somnova Studios' Arcadia is published by Watercress on Steam

2018, four years after the inception of the studio and Avitus' initial conception, the fate of our flagship project was still uncertain. Probing efforts into other Avitus-related projects had started and been shelved, and production was in full swing for One Step Forward. Our focus on gamejams changed from small, polished projects to large, collaborative endeavors - earning much-needed experience with our massive collaborative effort, Cautionary Tale, shipping. While lessons were learned, this paired with Our Home. is sometimes considered internally as Watercress' second "Golden Age", with particular respect to smoother internal affairs in comparison to the first.

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One Step Back, One Step Forward


The Fourth Age of Watercress - Flowers, Stars, and the Interim Period

2019-2020

Notable Moments:
  • 2019 - One Step Forward is shelved permanently
  • 2019 - A Field of Flowers and Stars Demo is released
  • 2020 - When the War was Home Demo is released
  • 2020 - Palinurus is released on Android
  • 2020 - A Field of Flowers and Stars is released

This era starts with One Step Forward's permanent shelving, the first full-scale production to do so. This would also be the first time Watercress would fail to release a full game during a game jam, with A Field of Flowers and Stars needing an initial demo release. Shortly thereafter, sith the onset of COVID-19, much of Watercress was disrupted. When the War was Home needed to be cut down to a demo (a full version is still yet to be released, but is planned), A Field of Flowers and Stars finally releases late in the year (with massive rewrites and polishing passes), and Palinurus' promised Android release finally ships. Watercress slowed production elsewhere, avoiding burnout and stress during the peak pandemic months. Behind the scenes, pieces were being put in place for a revival of a certain flagship project. This was a period of struggle and changing perspective.

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Avitus Returns


The Fifth Age of Watercress - Getting the Band Back Together

2020 to present

Notable Moments:
  • 2020 - Avitus is rebuilt from the ground up, beginning conceptual production
  • 2021 - Vignette, an Avitus prequel, is released on itch.io and Steam
  • 2021 - A Field of Flowers and Stars is released on Steam

Over the course of 2020, plans were quietly underway to bring back much of the original Avitus writing cast. This included almost every single original Lead Writer - the largest influx of experienced writing talent in Watercress history. On August 6th, 2020, they all finally came together to start anew on an age-old project - Avitus. The project is completely redesigned, with new characters joining old, with an expanded vision for the game. Alongside this, large projects like A Field of Flowers and Stars were brought to Steam, with Vignette being the first mainline Avitus game to come to the public eye. After five long years, the entire studio is finally reunited on a singular vision - the third "Golden Age".