Tuesday, March 28, 2017

New art down the pipelines!

I don't feel good today, so I'll try to keep it short: here is a sneak peek at the lineart for this month's commission. A few details will likely be different (the expression of the main character, to name one), but I think it's fair to say this one is looking good already!
I used to post these on the patreon page only, but maybe it's worthwhile to show them here, as well, since I figure some people still don't follow my posts on Patreon, even when they are public.
As I mentioned in the previous post, you can find his patreon page  or his deviantart profile at those links. I hope you like it as much as I do! ^_^

Monday, March 27, 2017

You like stuff? I love stuff! Let's talk about stuff!

So the polls are over, and the jobs/random events/drunk events choice won, so that will be the focus until the release.
 For most of the week, I worked on Rahib: the new area map is 90% done, I need one more room and then it's time to add NPCs. Since I'll focus on random events, I might have to keep the area closed, as it might not get finished, but we'll see. I also re-worked the slime girl quest: now you can fail to deal with her (so the quest results fork, giving different effects with different factions), you get a new sex scene after the first one, the slime girl has different graphics, more personality (you'll get what I mean if you re-do the quest), and so on. I am considering allowing players to take her back home, eventually, but for now she chills out in the forest all the time, as usual. I probably need more content for this (possibly another sex scene, and proper interactions if you are a member of the involved factions), but if I don't extend rahib, it's not an urgent change (one of the factions is the League of merchants, which resides in Rahib).
 
We are going to get some new art for the slime girl sex scene, though: Since I realized the gangbang scene in the bath house might be done AFTER this month's release, I tried to see if I couldn't find someone else to do some artwork, and I found someone which has a good chance of becoming my go to artist from now on: Redjet, has a a style I really like, is Italian like me (which is a big benefit when discussing details and when it comes to timezones delays in conversations), is willing to do one drawing per month, and he is honestly not too expensive either. You can see his patreon page or his deviantart profile. I will be posting any lineart and updates on both commissioned works as soon as I get them, so you'll get something to look forward to!
 
Back to last week, I also spent some time trying to figure out a way to balance healing items (I discussed this with people before), I think I found the appropriate script, so I just need to play around with it, and hopefully it's going to be fine. I decided to use a system similar to TOTDC, where after you accumulate a certain amount, the protagonist won't buy them anymore (since they are more than enough), but if you find more in chests and for free, she'll take them. This is just to avoid the cheap approach of always going around with 99 elixirs, never having to worry about any enemy, even when you are obviously behind the curve (while not penalizing people who save their items for when they actually need them). I am sure I might have done something else, but I can't remember it right now.
 
Now, I need to ask you guys a few questions, about all sorts of stuff: First, let's talk about the interface of the game, since it's probably one of the worst elements so far. You probably played the game much more than I did, so you might have ideas and suggestions on quality of life improvements. 
 
For example, I was considering adding a map to the quest log, with quest markers on cities/areas. The map would be a modified version of the "general map", so it would be useless at the city level, but maybe players would like it.
 
Another thing I never addressed was the personal info page, which is still very rough currently, so players might want that to change, or maybe the mouse click should register in menus even when the cursor isn't on the highlighted choice (which is good in menus, but bad in dialogues, where you might click the wrong choice). To be honest, what I would have liked in the game was a cursor which appears only when using spells, which you can move the same way you move your protagonist (using the arrow keys, for example) without the screen moving, so you can only target what's on the screen at the moment, without needing a mouse/keyboard hybrid input, but I'd need to seriously put a lot of time into studying scripts, to be able to do that.
 
Maybe you can think of other annoyances the game has. Share them with me, so I can try to come up with a solution (I might be unable to, or the tradeoff might not be worthwhile, but maybe I am missing something obvious, so do let me know).
 
On the patreon page, I also asked about tiers and goals suggestions, but that would probably be boring here, so I just cut that part out for the blog.

Anyway, I just had a lot of thoughts swirling in my head for a while, so I decided to dump them on you, instead. :^
 
See you next week! ^_^

Monday, March 20, 2017

In which I used my detective skills to track down more sprites

Between the last bugfix and today, I did some "generic" work: I tracked down a LOT of sprites and art free to be used in commercial projects by japanese artists (I was lucky, as I found someone who translated the terms of use). I think I have covered most of my future needs, actually. I also did some edits on facesets for the game (I wanted some emotions for a new couple of NPCs), and started working on Rahib's map (I think it would be nice to have at least one area completely done, so we start to get a sense of what other cities look like).
 
I'll probably keep working on Rahib, until the final results for the poll are in. If we are lucky, I can start adding to the game the alternative route for the slime girl quest (which is to say, leave the slime girl alone) as well as one of the potential routes to get in contact with the league of merchants in Rahib (those aren't obviously connected, but there is a plot thread which ties them all together). The league will be like other factions in the game, and provide quests. This will usher in one of the first open conflicts between factions, so hopefully it will be interesting when it's done.
 
That's pretty much it, anyway, with the new release and the bugfixes, it has been a relatively short week. See you next time! ^_^

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

March update is live on patreon, february release goes live!

Like all months, here is a link to the latest public version. Sorry for the slight delay during this release!

https://mega.nz/#!AcZnzYCC!mqdqKgNUFquF0GMWkPrLDD9mv18s1N8n8LbnU0tJUZA

And here is the changelog:

Quest log entries for the search of the new temple as well as dialogues with Alpharius related to the quest and a way to discover the location (the temple itself isn't done yet, unfortunately);
A truckload of new maps (they are also related to the temple, I made them accessible if you discover where the temple is, but right now you can just explore them, rather than interact with them). While incomplete, you can get a preview if you are into that, as well as hear the tracks I have decided to use for them;

2 More scenes with Sonya, the casino owner, if you just can't stop staring at her chest :p;

5 more scenes directly related to the hypno pendant: a random encounter at night, a couple of NPCs with brand new scenes, as well as finally having the scene with Sonya, which unlocks a good chunk of content (see below);

As long as you have the hypnotized status when you talk to Sonya, you get all sorts of scenes with her. I think there are 5 in total, but it would be too long to explain things in detail, know that they are randomly picked, though);

"Unofficial" first trait "titty lover" (name pending approval XD). You get when you first talk to Sonya while wearing the pendant. Right now it just changes some of the dialogues (especially around the girls at the Queen of Hearts);

The portraits and the layered images got changed to the new art (let me know if anything weird pops up, missing parts, mismatched images with the text, if any of the old art is still around, etc.);

Two new NPCs: one is going to be a possible friend for the protagonist (she substitutes the old Gears vendor, has her own art, an intro when you first meet her, etc, but it's still incomplete), the other offers to enhance your breasts for the paltry sum of 100 gold per cup size. She'll eventually offer more than this, but this is enough for now. You can find her at the Bazaar, during the night;

The maximum breast size has been changed to F-F+ (I don't think I'll ever go beyond that for normal play, although some endings might feature more extreme cups).

This should be pretty much it. From now on, I am also going to keep a save file of the last release, so I can bugfix the public version too. It's the easiest way to handle this, even if it might mean doing twice the work (That's why I'll probably do it only for big issues).

Anyway, have fun, and look forward to the next release! ^_^

Sunday, March 05, 2017

The temple is now traversable from beginning to finish, the puzzles are in place, and as far as I can tell everything works as intended. I still need to place a few items, though, and I didn't make as much progress on the fighting system as I wanted to. I have started experimenting a little with some stuff, but I didn't find a breakthrough quite yet. I'll have some elemental enemies, and I am trying to design some interesting play/counterplay with those, but it's still a little rough.
To do something to get my head off of this, I actually did some work on the planned sequel for Tales of the Drunken Cowboy. It's not the main focus, but I figure old time fans will probably appreciate knowing I am getting around to do some groundwork, specifically improving the combat, which was probably the weakest part of the game. The engine will now handle multiple enemies (but keeping the "quick actions" so no extra-clicks just like before), and I am planning more options (I might even expand with another weapon type, as well as secondary fire modes and special techs). I am also doing a much better job at organizing the content, that's going to make future development a bit easier.
I might do this every now and then, for a change of pace, getting super-focused on RPG Maker can make it feel a little claustrophobic (it gives a lot of freedoms and a lot of restrictions, sometimes it's boring having to work around the same limitations over and over again).
Well, I think I'll keep this short, hoping I am not forgetting anything, and I'll see you guys next week! ^_^

Sunday, February 26, 2017

It's always sunday (when it's sunday)

Hi everyone, I am here with the usual weekly report! First of all, I finally managed to hire someone for the milking scene. It has been a nightmare, I contacted several people and most of them didn't even bother to reply (so much so that I started getting paranoid about being on some kind of black list XD), a few had incredibly long waiting lists, but eventually I found an artist. The one who did the new portrait was already busy this month (and annoyingly enough, he didn't reply when I asked if it was possible to "pre-order" two drawings for the following month, leaving me to wonder if I did something wrong). Anyway, I found someone I was happy with, and I have high hopes for the final result (I should be able to show everyone a sketch next week).
 
As for the game itself, I worked on the temple: with the maps completed, I have been writing the puzzles and the text for the "discoveries" you'll make inside. I think I am past the halfway mark, although I still need to decide on the rewards/items you'll be able to find. I think it's going to be a fun one, we have some riddles, musical puzzles and more this time around! :D
I have also decided to move the mermaid in this temple, and have another creature seduce you in the first temple: the mermaid fits better with the new temple, and I also want to have some new info on how and why they live in the temples, so having the text spread out between 2 (or more when I add other ruins) NPCs is probably better, to avoid large info dumps (there are already one or two scenes which are honestly too long in the game, and I might have to revisit sooner or later).
 
Once the temple is finished, I'll have to consider what I am going to do next, and I might have to tackle the combat system, which is still rough around the edges. My idea for it was to keep fights rare, but relatively hard and short: No "100000 HP bosses" or anything of the sorts, I was thinking of tuning fights to have them last between 5-10 turns at most. I could also add summonings to the game, as those were part of the plans from the get go. Basically, you'll get a single companion you can switch out at will during battles, they'll be magical creatures with specific abilities. They'll probably follow a simple theme of "element+role", and you'll have to find the best synergies to profit from them, as well as consider what skills you want access to and plan ahead. Think of them like the various summons from Final Fantasy games, but who stay with you in the battle for the duration of the fight.
I will also start working in spells/elements which work well together (as in, a water spell giving a status which makes lightning stronger, for example), and I am trying to think of other balancing acts (I should really consider how strong and how easily available healing items should be, as they make most RPG games a joke).
 
If you have any thoughts/suggestions on the combat system, please let me know, all feedback is appreciated. ^_^
This is pretty much it for today, see you next week!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

February update, last month's version goes public!

Here is a link to the new public version:


https://mega.nz/#!YVBSiK5T!Aji0nSnn6ood4jcIWMAxRVu2gEzAS5DQNL9j0o_k1EM

Here is the changelog:

Work at the brothel (needs lowered inhibitions, of course);

New area of the slums;

5-6 new scenes with the vampire (revamped progression, new nightly encounters, the original encounter has been vastly changed);

First two floors of the new temple (not explorable in-game yet, they are just sitting in the game files, gathering dust)

New scene with Gaspar;

Some warnings for the cow TF becoming permanent (Just one for now, but I hope the dream sequence is sexy enough ^_^);

a couple of new secrets around Tarkas;

And a fix for the scenes at the brothel as a customer (the screen isn't supposed to be just black, it should use the bust of the protagonist, as well as the usual flashing effects).

I also want to apologize if there is a bug here which was already reported, as I *think* I might have made some confusion with the two versions, and only applied the fix to the Patreon one (I am being a bit vague, because I can't even recall what the bug was, I just had this flash of memory about me not doing something I was supposed to do). Since RPG Maker doesn't export files I can edit like RAGS, it's also harder to go back and fix old versions (I do make backups, but I can't keep double copies of all releases in compressed and "workable" formats, it would be hard to manage very quickly).

If you want to know the changelog for the Patreon version... You'll have to become a patron :p (I actually don't want to copy it here, because it's very long, as I rambled on a lot on this or that addition XD).

I should update all the links pretty soon, but you can download it from here already (of course). Enjoy! ^_^