Monday, December 05, 2016

Hoes before bros

Hi guys, it's the usually late weekly update! I was a little busy this week, so I couldn't quite finish what I wanted to, and I'd like to have the release in a couple of days (that would still be 30 days from the last update, so I think it's fine).
Still, I got some job done: the brothel is now accessible, and there are 3 girls waiting for you there, if you are willing to part with your hard-earned coins. Currently they all have a "special" scene for the first time you go visit them, and then a more "generic" one which will be used from the second time onward. I might add more to them, maybe give the opportunity to know some of them better, or add some randomness to the scene that will play, but for now I think that's enough. What I wanted to add but didn't quite manage to wrap up was you working in the brothel and do some testing. Hopefully I can add it in 2 days, but if I can't I'll edit the content out and release the update "as is". The current changelog from the last update reads as follows:
Added random encounter with drunkard in Tarkas at night;
Now you can use the "W" key to fast forward dialogues;
switched to the layered system for all scenes (I hope I didn't miss any);
Added a map for the random encounters;
Improved bulletin board in the commercial district;
Tea house job;
Bakery job;
Tattoos and piercings parlor;
First area of the slums (including the brothel).
I am a bit disappointed (I was hoping to have 1 or 2 more random events, for example), but all in all I think it's enough content. Some of the work I did had a really minor impact to the game, but required a lot of time to pull off, and I wasted some more time on rewriting this or that scene (I also have an extra event I wrote, which I can't quite place in the game because I changed the job midway through, so now I need a new NPC to deliver said scene).
I also wasted some time with the polls, handling the first payment (yay! ^_^) and generally being busy with IRL stuff (nothing you should worry about).
Finally, a few words about traits, and what made me think of them. I have realized that actually working on 3 different variables for dialogues isn't fun for me, nor for the players.
In my mind, they were all going to have different purposes (inhibition if you want to do something or not, willpower if you can say not to forceful requests, intelligence if you can figure out a better way to handle a situation), but when I write them, there is a lot of overlap and gray areas (if you are stupid and get tricked feels the same as if you had low willpower and couldn't say no, for example), plus it encourages grinding stats to game the system (and also makes players pick events not only if they like certain paths or not, but if they affect certain stats too). Finally, it forces me to always compare apples to oranges and/or use 2-3 checks per event, it's just a waste of time and it's quite silly.
I am not sure I can completely remove the system, but at the very least I will try to remove intelligence and willpower (and I'll probably be more "pro-active" with how I show choices only available if you are a big pervert, so that it removes the uncertainty around the system a bit), while also introducing a trait system to have an easier to understand/implement game mechanic. The trait system might be prone to the same pitfalls, if I am not careful, so I'll try to be very "specific" about the traits, if I go through with it (otherwise, I might simply make traits "badges of honor", as I figure people would like that anyway).
Well, enough of my ramblings, if you have any questions, I am here to hear them, otherwise, see you for the update! ^_^

Monday, November 28, 2016

Tattoos for everyone!

Well, actually, tattoos will only be for the protagonist, so I lied! :p I was supposed to work on jobs, but I was getting stuck (having a hard time finding inspiration), so I decided to work on something I already knew how I wanted to tackle, I went ahead and added the tattoo parlor to the game. You can access it starting from day 2, when the road to the slums will open partially (up to the first screen), since the riots aren't completely over yet (it has nothing to do with me being unable to finish an entire district in a week, no sir!).
I added 5 tattoos for the right arm, and the nipple piercing, for now. I decided to wait on the other stuff, since they wouldn't show up with the current graphics (using busts at an angle makes it hard to find space for tattoos). Maybe I'll add a way to check individual parts (like a close up for the other arm, the legs, and the tramp stamp that will inevitably be used), or I'll just use text descriptions, or once I get to pay an artist (hopefully when December comes and the payment checks out, I can start "investing some of the money on art) I use a different perspective, which shows more of the body (it would still need some trick to see what's going on with your back, though). I decided that if I use custom illustrations for sex scenes, they won't feature the tattoos (as much as it pains me, they would all need custom layers, I feel like that could be potentially a lot of work for little impact). I hope to clear up my thoughts on this as I move forward, it's probably not a huge deal.
I also updated the personal page, so now it does display a minimal description of your tattoos and piercings, if you have them. This (together with my plans to add traits) cemented my idea to add more pages (the space for listing tattoos and piercings is too small, otherwise) to it. UI work is always a bit annoying, but hopefully it will be worth the effort. I have to consider if I want separate pages you can pick from a list for tattoos, piercings and traits, or if it's better for players to have them all in a single page (that would make the menu less "nested").
I also added the first area to the slums, as I mentioned before: the map and the less important NPCs are more or less done, but I am considering adding the brothel in this area, which would take some effort to make. Having a week or so before the next release might make it hard to finish this one, but it should be doable.
There is also a little "secret" to find related to the tattoo parlor I managed to sneak in, hopefully those who like my puzzles will appreciate the little extra. :)
I think this is it, as far as content added goes for this week, and for the plans for the next one. Anyway, see you guys next week! ^_^

Monday, November 21, 2016

Another week, another update!

As always, I end up posting on monday! XD One day I will to it on sunday, I swear! Anyway, tardiness aside, it was a good week: I added 6-7 scenes to jobs I am adding. I did reconsider my previous approach to the tea house job, and I am now in the process of "redistributing" the content I had already created to other venues (like the bakery). I think having them separate works better rather than leverage that variety with a single job and random events.
I also improved the bulletin boards in the commercial district (since I am adding new jobs, it was a good idea to follow some of the suggestions I got and organize them in groups), I worked on changing all the scenes which used the bust to the layered system (I am not sure if I missed any, because I had the impression they were a little too few, but maybe I am wrong) and I finished the map for the random events in the city. I am unsure if I should make the map more anonymous, so that it doesn't look jarring when the random events grow in number and you get to see the same street too many times, or if I'll need more maps to avoid the issue. Still, the scene seems to play just fine after I moved it, which is cool.
I think next week will be more of the same, as I try to bring these jobs to a reasonable level of content (since there is more of a "progression" in those, I have to consider where I want the events to stop). I think after that it might be worthwhile to work on the slums, at least start working on the map. If I am lucky, I might have the first few areas ready for the next release, but of course it depends on how much content I plan for them. I'll try to add the tattoo and piercing parlor, at least: now that we have the layer system in place, it only makes sense to have it actually in the game.

Speaking of plans, I had this weird thought about how I am not completely satisfied with the "inhibitions" system, as it feels a little too sterile, too easy to game, and ultimately too quick to lower, and I was wondering if I should add some sort of "traits" system in there: the idea would be to have certain actions relate strongly to certain traits, which would "lock-in" after a while (exhibitionist, sub, masochist, etc.) and use those as the main source for different reactions during scenes. Maybe it's too much work for what could be achieved with what's already in the game, but it almost feels like inhibition is too generic (I always find myself thinking "to unlock scene x, how low should the inhibition score be? What about that extra line for the truly kinky event?" and it always feels like comparing apples and oranges).

As always, see you next week, and feel free to leave a comment if you have questions/suggestions.  ^_^

Monday, November 14, 2016

Gaming == Working

So, as expected after the poll, I am currently tackling adding jobs and random events. This week after the usual bugfixing, I got to mull over the suggestions I got for possible new jobs, and decided to work on making a job available at the tea house. This will be a little different from the other jobs, as it will be a bit of a mix: a random roll will determine which job you are assigned that day (working the tables, working in the kitchen, or "babysitting" the diva of the tea house, Edith). I'll probably have them structured from the get go as short stories, each with their own arcs, although eventually they'll stop advancing (they are still side content, after all). 
Right now, I have done all the introductory scenes for each, as well as the usual "hiring" dialogue with the owner. I am not sure if I want to add this job on the list in the commercial district, as I presented it as something the tea house doesn't really need (that's why you get thrown left and right wherever you are more useful), and because it might become cluttered (I feel like I should leave some room for unique job announcements as well, from time to time).
I have also added a random scene when walking at night (a very friendly drunkard will try to hit on you. To do go along with him, you really pretty low inhibitions). Right now, I just limited it to a particular street, but I think I'll get ready some "neutral maps" to use for random events: the idea is that the city is bigger than what you actually see, so those maps would be somewhere between two areas of the city, and so I could have the events be available everywhere. The only problem with this is setting the chance, as it might be too easy to get to trigger the random events right away. Anyway, hopefully it will all make sense once I put together everything.
I did some minor work on a way to skip dialogues (I decided to bind the skipping to the "W" key, since it's one of the few default keys which have no real function right now), so people will be able to fast-forward already seen conversations. It was a bit annoying, because the function was messed up by two conflicting scripts (thankfully, it was easier than I thought it would be!).
I have the nagging feeling I did something more, but I can't remember, so it's probably some behind the scene stuff, or some spritework (those never make it to my notes, since I always end up having to do a little of it here and there).
As always, let me know if you have any thoughts about this, if you have suggestions, etc., otherwise, see you next week! ^_^

Monday, November 07, 2016

November update

So, the patrons are getting this month update. As planned, I'll start releasing to the public new releases with a month delay, so starting from next month, everyone will get access to a new version. For those interested, here is the changelog, for a recap of what I did this month:

Minor changes to the mage guild manager's dialogue (made the existance of a public AND private library in the guild obvious);

Changed admission requirements for the mage guild;

Added quest log entries for joining the mage and adventurers guilds;

improved detect magic "on screen" detection;

Added some interactive elements to the player's house;

Added hint to the use of detect magic on the slime quest;

Option to "postpone" Carla's path and willpower training after HP cap is reached (it will cost "only" 50 gold);

Now to really start the cowgirl path, you need 85 willpower or lower when working in the farm.
You get a new scene if you are a little "rebellious"; and there are two more scenes/events for going down this path;

Finished intro to the mage guild, now you can join as a full member;

First quest (errand?) you can run for one of the mages;

Added dispel;

Added alternative escape route during the merchant quest, if you already have the mouse transformation available;

Lightning spell added;

New faction (werewolves);

New TF tested and working (no temple for it yet);

Layered system for portrait done (I use it only in one scene for now, I'd like to work more on the images before switching all the sex scenes to it);

Added some scenes to the maid job (now there are 3 possible situations other than the standard "nothing happened");

Added a few secrets around the city;

Changed a few NPCs graphics (most notably, Carla);

A few typos and bugs fixed, and probably something else I am forgetting.

Anyway, for those who aren't supporting me on patreon, a little patience and you'll get this version as well. Considering how slow I have been in the past, I am sure all of my fans are use to waiting, so I hope there are no hard feelings about it. :p

Look forward to next week's update, as usual. Until then! ^_^

Monday, October 31, 2016

Did someone say "magic"?

So, here we are like every monday (because apparently I just can't wrap things up by sunday) with an update on what is going on with development. The changelog reads as follow:
Finished intro to the mage guild, now you can join as a full member and get to see a few more members, as well as start to enjoy some of the services they offer;

First quest (errand?) you can run for one of the mages as a member;

removed the "hold" spell in favour of "dispel" (I had a few good ideas, but the uses seemed too many, and the code was proving to be troublesome). The good news here is that since you never saw the hold spell to begin with, you can't be disappointed that it's gone now;

Lightning bolt spell added (uses in and outside of battle, just like dispel);

Added alternative escape route during the merchant quest, if you already have the mouse transformation available;

New "faction" you might get to join (you will probably meet them when you do the mage guild quest :p);

New transformation fully working (but it still misses a temple to go with it);

Probably some minor touches I am forgetting about.

I have spent a lot of time thinking about the layered images system I mentioned in the previous post, and I think I'll end up adding it in the game, after I do some more testing (one of my worries was that the layers wouldn't show up all at the same time, creating some jarring moments where the protagonist appears in pieces for a while, but it seems to be able to do it just fine), and I gather enough material to cover some of the basic stuff (piercings, different bust sizes, maybe a test for different hair colors).
To be honest, the most annoying things I did this week were working (and eventually giving up) the hold spell and adding the new path for the merchant quest.
They might sound minor things (and they are, gameplay wise), but they forced me to scrap several plans (hold spell) or re-work around old and established scenarios (the merchant quest): I have a stupidly long list of condional branches for the quest now, if you use the mouse TF, partly because of how the spell itself works, and partly because to avoid conflicts I had to block the other exit when you escape by transforming and viceversa, as well as make sure nothing was repeatable, all to add an option that boils down to doing the same thing as another spell, and a short (under 20 seconds) long scene for the new path. -_-

Let me know if I am forgetting something, otherwise just wait for the update next week! ^_^

Monday, October 24, 2016

Still a slow week

I did add/improve certain elements, but I still didn't get some solid time to work with no interruptions. Maybe I should put some extra time in this week to recover the lost time. Anyway, I did get to work on some entries on my "to-do" list, and I worked on adding more content, so I can't really say it went too poorly. This week's changelog includes:

improved detect magic "on screen" detection;

Added some interactive elements to the player's house;

Added hint to the use of detect magic on the slime quest;

Option to "postpone" Carla's path and willpower training after HP cap is reached (it will cost "only" 50 gold);

Now to really start the cowgirl path, you need 85 willpower or lower when working in the farm. You get a new scene if you are a little "rebellious"; and there are two more scenes/events for going down this path.

There might be some minor adjustments missing from the list, but these are the main points. I have also worked a little on a possible system to make it easier to use layered images for the protagonist's bust when it comes up. The idea is to "automate" some of the process, so that I might be able to use different bust sizes, have piercings show up, tattoos, maybe add some customization options for eye and hair color, etc. It's not impossible (far from it), but there are a few annoyances I have to work around, and if I go through with it, I'll have to track down all the instances where I currently use the bust to direct the game to the new system, and I'll also need to create the parts to be used with the layered system. The real problems would be for any illustrations I might commission for the sex scenes (there is just no way to properly account for all the changes in these, since they would be unique, with different angles each time) so people might have to settle down for a more "vanilla" look in these.

Honestly, I dislike inconsistencies like these, and that's why I am not full on board with creating the layer system, but I figured if I manage to nail how it will work, I might as well experiment with the possibility. There could also be the possiblity to use a limited number of "stock" illustrations for sexual situations, and apply the layer system on these as well, but that seems a little too much work for the reward (which is to say, sub-par variety in exchange for customization).

Anyway, let me know if you have any ideas about this in the comment, and stay tuned for next week's status update! ^_^