Sunday, June 24, 2012

What should I do next?

I mean, I already mentioned that I am going to work on the relationship system and that I am going to put up a poll soon, to see what you are more interested in, so that I will prioritize development toward this or that feature, so I am going to talk a bit about these things.

The relationship system: right now, there are 3 characters you will be able to romance for sure: Jane, Piper and Malena. Darenzia will never be a love interest: she is straight, and besides, Celeste and her are friends, the female counterpart of a "bromance" is all you can expect from them (which isn't to say that's a bad thing, in my opinion). There are some other characters whose role might be "upgraded" to romanceable, but I would like to avoid discussing them, until I am really sure if and how I'll do that (I can tell you that at least one male love interest will be in the final version for sure, but that's it).

So, for the moment, I thought of something simple for the RS, and that would be something like this:

Once you reach a threshold in a certain relationship, a scene will trigger when you meet that character again. Depending on who's the character, the scene will be different, of course, and if they are interested in you, they will try to ask you if you are interested in them, too. You then will get the option to establish what kind of relationship you want with them (this won't be always the case since, as I said before, Darenzia doesn't have that kind of interest, and Malena... Well, she is nuts, in case you didn't notice, getting involved with her will be an entirely different story, from beginning to end, whatever that end will be... I think this one will get complex).

Refusing them will give you a small relationship loss and lock the romantic option, but you'll still be able to remain friends. Generally, whether you refused or not, you will get some bonus/help from them once you reach certain stages (the scenes will be different if you are in a relationship or not, but the bonus will probably be more or less the same).

If you enter a relationship, this will open up new ways to interact with your special one, dating options will appear, and you'll get a chance to plan part of this (formal date, appropriate dress, gift, location, etc...), this will of course give you a chance to raise or lower your status with your love interest, depending on how well you perform (if you lose too many points, the relationship might end, and it will be a definitive end. You might still salvage the friendship, though).

Sex will become an option, after a certain point. Probably I will make it so that you can lose status with them, if you keep asking for sex if they said no or if you keep asking for one more time after they refused (this might depend on the character, as Malena is sex-crazed, and will take a long, long streak before she refuses, while Piper probably will never really say no, but her relationship might drop anyway, even if she bends to your will).

Speaking of sex, you'll probably have to forego your old habits, as cheating isn't exactly well received (in case you didn't notice, they are all quite smitten by Celeste... You lucky dog! ;p). There won't be a 100% chance to incur in their wrath, but it will probably raise the more you do reprehensible things. This can end the relationship too, of course (there might be a confrontation, and you might talk them out of it, if your relationship is still high, but 2 strikes will be a sure end). Also, cheating among them can be destructive, but I am not 100% sure if I should add or not an option to still salvage one of the relationships, with a huge hit to the other (and a small hit on the favoured one). Again, some of this behaviour will probably change a little, depending on the characters involved (Malena might stick with you despite anything, but put you on a really tight leash afterward, for example).

On the other end of the spectrum, you can fuck up the relationship. This will go through at least two stages (a first warning, that might also kill any chance for future romantic development) and a rock bottom one, that will probably result in a bad end (that's the most likely option on the table so far, anyway).

As a side note, know that probably most of those characters will have some sort of side-quest tied to them. Doing those will boost the relationship, refusing those will of course damage it, and promising to take care of them and then postponing too much might be even worse than outright refusal. I am not going to give you too many details on those, but you catch the general idea.

As you can imagine, this is going to be very complex, as I'll have to work on multiple possible "crossroads", scenarios, events, and I'll have to make sure things are kept coherent, so probably a lot of scenes will be locked, depending on the status of a certain relationship (I am not going to lie, this will probably take some heavy testing from the players themselves, as the betatester might have troubles covering all this/noticing all the problems that surely will be there).

This being said, let's talk about the additional things I might work on and that you'll get to vote on (I will keep this one short):

Further expanding the districts/planets;

Adding a mission to the main-quest;

Working on the current, not fully implemented quests/events/mechanics;

Adding a new planet (not main-quest related);

Anything you can suggest in the comment section that will spark my interest.

I am goint to put this poll up in a few moments, and it's probably going to stay up for long, since the relationship system takes first place anyway, and I'll have to work on it for an extended period of time, so you'll have all the time to vote.


  1. woot first vote :) Honestly work on whatever catches your attention as that way it won't seem like such a chore.

    1. Well, those are all sort of interesting to me, that's why I am asking people. Since I have no preferences on these, I might as well hear what you all have to say on this... ;)

      Worst case scenario, I get some idea that pushes one above the others, so I apologize to everyone who voted, and get to work on that, but honestly, I think that isn't very likely.

  2. Man, thats a though one. I would have please everything, ... now ... ;)

    Seriously, thats sound all great. My only fear is, that the "relationship" mechanic will prevent Celeste from having fun, because the companion will be too jealousy.

  3. As for what to do next I'd suggest you go with every reliable method from Rough Landing 2 and put at least in an ending. Then you can fill in all the bit in the middle, even if that means changing the ending along the way.

  4. To Mulder: You can always avoid entering a "deep" relationship and do whatever you like. They are just another possibility (also, you can enter the relationship, try to get the best out of it, and then ditch her, if you are just trying to have fun... But then, you'd be a horrible, horrible person! ;p )

    To Nandi Bear: Actually, I took a break from the main quest mainly to avoid having just that in place, with the rest being a little too bare bone. Do you think I should have pushed the main quest, first? I kind of feared that would make players lose interest in it... The main quest is mostly self-contained, so hopefully I shouldn't change too many things, no matter in what order I go about it (well, at least this is how it should be once I take care of the relationship system, as a few things from it will probably affect the ending).

  5. I like the idea of a new planet, because side quests are always fun.

    About the Relationship thing, I like the ideas you have so far. What do you think about during the process of trying to find a cure for herself, she finds other MC devices, some of which she could utilize. The Illusionist had a crappy one. You could use it to help out the relationship, or get rid of some of their anger at you due to actions you take such as cheating.

    1. I can't talk about the story too much (I don't want to spoil things, of course), but having MC devices used on other people wouldn't fit what I have in mind (there might be one notable exception, and I might look into that, but no promises).

    2. It's a great game so far, so I'm good either way :)

  6. I plead guilty for wanting that I can have a threesome relation (at least) with Piper and Malena. Piper is so submissive, that she would masturbate on command watching Celeste while she takes advantage of Malena and her sexual desires.

    I understand your idea to have Darenzia straight, but I also plead guilty for wanting two or three situations, where the only chance to handle a situation is to have a MFF-threesome with the opponent/possible threat and Darenzia and Celeste. As I judge Darenzia's habits so far, her sense of kinkiness would allow this.

    Please, pretty please, (puppy-eyes-look)?

    Of course, it is up to you!

    1. I second that one, I mean the girl is a feared bounty-hunter troughout the whole universe, I believe something a long the lines of a path where you could actualy have several sex intrests going on would fit in the story quit neatly.

      I would go even so far as to suggest that as piper is a total nymphomaniac, that you should be able to develop her as a love intrest, while having threesomes with her and several of the characters around the univers. Creating a fun and really dangerous path, for those of us who might no youre great game nearly to well. ;)

      I really like this posibility so I will try to convince you with some more reasons:
      1) Gives some great possible interaction with ALICE :D
      2) You can have a mini harem ;D
      3) Lots of emotional posibilities(love, jealousy, hope, fear and lots more), making Celest and even greater character :)
      4) And it will still be useful to sometimes go for relationship bonuses
      5) And it gives some fun actions for the drinking system (, which I love ^^)

    2. To Gregor Dynati: For Piper and Malena. While Piper might just go with it, know that Malena would probably kill you, if you proposed a threesome. In case I didn't say it clearly enough, or didn't leave enough hints in the game, she is obsessed with you. Entering the relationship with her has an extremely high chance to be destructive.

      Darenzia and Celeste aren't ever going to enter a relationship, but Darenzia's fans might have something to remember her by... ;)

      To anonymous: As I said, while Piper is so hardwired into obedience, and relatively open regarding sex, that she might go along with it, the other love interests aren't exactly understanding of those ideas (also, Piper can get jealous, too... You are her beacon of hope, in a sense). It's going to end bad, inevitably, once you start cheating around with people that live with you in such close contact, you are bound to get discovered pretty soon. If you try to get into two relationship, you will get a lot of emotions, you can rest reassured on this one! ;)

      ALICE has already too many interactions. Seriously, if there is something that might drive me insane is having to write even more for her. She basically interjects in all discussions even remotely connected to sex, and sometimes, she does so even in normal situations, twisting them. It's kind of hard to write those lines, because there is a limit to how many variations on the same theme I can churn out (sorry, this is kind of me venting my stress for having to come up with tons of lines for her... I always fear burn out! :p)

      The drinking system will hopefully still distribute love to everyone, as it should! ^_^

      No harems in this one, at least not for the main character... I am kind of sorry that I didn't leave Celeste more of a blank slate, but I would say that her official alignment is "chaotic good", considering how I wrote her. While I gave players some choices to make her act more uncaring and evil, she is generally a force of good. The way I envisioned the story, I don't see her getting a harem, sorry! ;p

  7. I would love to see some more sidequests on the game. The more you have the more "freedom" you create in your world.

    Also having to buy upgrades for your main ship to be able to go to those places, would be a good way to prevent early exploration of those.

    Say you need new engines to be able to "jump" that far.

    Or having to upgrade to the new "flux-something" to reach a galaxy far away.

    Those might need money or a sidequest before you are able to get...

    Just random thoughts.


    1. Somehow My first response got deleted... Sorry for replying this late.

      Basically The idea of needing a certain upgrade for a travel is good, but I would like to keep most of the world explorable from the beginning (with the only exception being the unexplored worlds you'll get to visit by working as explorer for this or that corporation).

      Quest related planets might probably appear, too.

  8. Chalk me up as another one who'd like to see some Darenzia lovin' somehow. Also, yay relationship bad ends! I'm looking forward to those especially - hopefully those would be for everyone you can have a relationship with, not just romanceable characters? A bad end with Darenzia could *evilgrin*

    Seriously, awesome work on the game. I'm really enjoying it, though if you put in an ending I'd have to stop finding all the lovely ways to fail and actually try to make it through... :P

    1. Sorry, my first response wasn't published, for some reason. Anyway. Darenzia will get some attention, as I wrote in a comment above, and yes, bad ends can happen with anyone who has a relationship meter.

      An ending to this first chapter will appear, at some point, though that won't be the end of Celeste's story yet... ;p

  9. I rather like the current implementation of Bad Ends, certainly hope to see more. I'd personally like to see the darker side of the game brought out a little more. Exploitation and so forth. You see very little of the red light district however typically someone such as celeste would be a primo target to be made to work there...

    From what i've seen of most series and games involving SCI-FI is the elaboration of the darker side of things.

    But i'd also love to see more expansion and implementation of events!

    1. Maybe some implementation of new weapons or something... I dont care all i know is im excited and cant wai for the next release... Must practice patience in the mean time!

    2. Bad ends will surely increase in number as the game grows. I would like to keep a balance between the dark side and the light side of things in this universe, but I will surely explore both of them more... Celeste might get some jobs more in line with your train of thought... ;)

      It depends on the series and on the game. Mass Effect 1 has mature themes, but it's hardly "dark", just to name one. Usually, Sci-fi are "what if..." situations, with the authors trying to imagine a clash in different ideologies if certain things were possible/available. Duality and conflict are important in all stories, to drive forward the plot (though I prefere mexican standoff kind of situations, myself, even if I never got a chance to do something like that in my games so far).

      My game has a sci-fi setting, but it's hardly sci-fi at its core, it's more like a soap opera in space. Now mind control in general tends to explore the dark side of things, as it involves free will and manipulation (of course).

      I must admit I didn't really do a good service to those themes in my games so far, and even TOTDC isn't an exception to this. I often put my characters in a situation that makes it harder for them to fight, and fighting is a big part of such conflicts (sorry for my long rambling, just my overall view on this... I am not good at being brief... :p).

      New weapons were on the table, for a while, but I am not sure if they would really change the tactics of the game. I was even thinking of introducing a different mechanic for close quarter combats, with punches, kicks and several other features that have no place in a gunfight, but I don't know if the effort would be worth it... I literally have too many ideas for the game, I spend more discarding them than adding a few to the game.

  10. @mdqp, it is hard to resist the dark side in this game ;)

    As for implementation, i would suggest to finish the current (side)quests and add at least a part of the relationship mechanic. So we could see how it works and where the relationships are heading. So we could give you a feedback on this system (if you want). I hope this includes more interaction in the house, like common Advanced VR modules, or parties,...

    You could also add some more Jobs to earn money (working again in the red light district, some more photoshottings which tend more and more into erotic way).

    I also would love to have more interaction possibilities with Alice.

    However, whatever you decide to do, im pretty sure it will be great.

    1. Nah, you just need to turn the other way, the dark side is overrated! ;p

      Well, the worst offenders right now are the mission you should get after you retrieve the vase, the pirate guild, the mission from Jay Kendrick, the murder investigation, and a couple more that I won't name to avoid spoiler issues. There is a lot to do, and even more things that have yet to be introduced to the game. More interaction with the house and more VR modules will appear, I just need to sort things out before going back to those (though the house might see something more, as the relationship system should give it something, too).

      Both jobs you propose are on the list, even here is a matter of priority, more than anything.

      For ALICE, see above. She is a nice touch, but it gets draining to write her lines. Also, she is so unreliable that it makes hard to write convincing interactions with Celeste. Celeste has never a reason to trust her, so it's kind of odd to along with her.

  11. I just wanted to thank everyone who wrote here, it is very important to me! :D

    P.s. If you can, try to avoid commenting as an anonymous, because if there are more than one of you, it could get confusing (of course if you really don't want or you can't it's not a big deal).

  12. Buster here, just tossing in my 2 cents. I am really getting the most kick out of the planetary exploration, so adding more is a lot more fun. I would say, keep adding new exploration fun, but then the invariable mental resistance drops mean planetary exploration will lead to the quick decline into bimbo land.
    I would say add one more planet, but make it a part of moving the story forward possibly to one of the other doctors who might be able to help against the rogue AI. After that, I would focus on the relationship system, and then open up some new content on each of the new planets.

    Also, I would start thinking about how/if you want to have phases/chapters. Just like in Space Ditz, there are definitive chapters that are demarked. You definitely have a solid prologue and chapter 1. How do you want to bring chapter 1 to a close, and what is chapter 2 going to feel like?

    Good luck and keep at it. Also, death to the burn out beast!

    1. Planet exploration is fun, and is certainly intended to be more extensive than now. Once the relationship system reaches at least a certain depth (this way, this feature will start to have a point), I will try to work on some pending quests (since that seems to be the general consensus so far, and I think the trend will remain the same), and then I might go for a main-quest related world (probably, you'll get to meet ALICE's mother! ^_^).

      To sum it up, the idea is to have at least 2 love interest functional, then completing the side-quests, then going back to the main quest, if nothing changes.

      The first chapter of the story is already thought out, I even have a few basic outlines for the remaining main-quests, plus a general idea on how the choices you make will affect the ending and the second chapter. The story I have in mind fits the 2 games structure, as it has a turning point. The second part is less fleshed out. I know the general plot and goals, but I haven't thought the internal structure yet, and how I am going to go from the beginning to the end I have in mind. Also, the game will surely have slightly different game mechanics (I will keep the fighting system and the traits, but I am unsure about a few other things).

      I am fine with the planning, my real problem is that I have another game idea I really want to do, but I can't start working on it until I am done with TOTDC. I am considering writing a short novel, but I would really like to see that game... -_- I

  13. I've got a question... what type of relationship would you be pursuing while you've got a brain eating AI on your head? Because if you're supposed to avoiding sexual situations, it just doesn't seem to gel.

    That said, I'm a big fan of more to explore, more to do - whether side-quests or otherwise.

  14. The power of love fixes everything!!! ;p

    More seriously, being submissive in general and/or being a prey sexually, giving in to your dark urges in a moment of weakness against your better judgement can make your downfall faster. Being in a relationship can actually steer you away from a path that makes influencing you easier, since you would be actively pursuing a relationship not intended by ALICE and your (currently) invisible enemy. You don't lose mental resistance for just going to bed from someone, as you can see in the Titty Twister, but being the submissive to a dominant person can.

    A loving relationship is harder to twist for ALICE, in a nutshell.

    Glad to hear you are a big fan! :D

  15. What about Robert Blackthorne? After fooling him at the strip joint, I haven't seen him.

    1. He will pop up again, and this time it should be more "problematic" to deal with him. I had originally thought of dealing with him a lot sooner, but I got somewhat uninterested in him, so I decided to push this back at the time, to wait for a better idea to close that storyline. I am still a bit unsure, but it's about time I deal with him in a more definitive manner.

    2. Thanks for answering my question. I look forward to any resolution. Your writing and ideas is what I enjoy a lot in this game.

  16. sounds good to me
    but with Darenzia what about offering chances to do some harmless flirting with her
    like blake makes a comment
    and Darenzia just roles her eyes like what ever

    1. Well, if you are asking me if they are going to joke about this from time to time, then the answer is yes, but neither Celeste nor Darenzia would take it seriously, they would be just making fun of each other.