Saturday, November 15, 2014

A Story and a Poll!

Hello hello! A little more like my last blog post today. I've got a new story posted on SoFurry and FurAffinity, the conclusion to a big, messy series of commissions about Ardanis the feline and his encounters with some peculiar and well-endowed women. If you like women putting it to men and making them love it, I'd recommend you give it a read!

Besides that, I've also posted the poll for my experimental "Tag It" Story 1! I got a fair variety of tags, though not quite enough for the seconding system to have proven very helpful. If you're interested in seeing what I can do with a story based on your favorite kinks, take a look and vote for what you want to see me write about!

As for MVOL, things are puttering along a bit. I've started work on the loading screen, and my coding friend has been helping on and off with the feedback section. I've got my fingers crossed for a burst of productivity sometime soon. I'll keep you guys posted! Thanks for checking in!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Lith has a new story, and Lithier has a new trick!

Hey hey, happy Friday! Today I've got a few not-quite-MVOL things to tell you all about. For one, after a long time I've posted up Part 6 of an old story series of mine featuring Lith, called Climbing Corporate. If you've been wanting to know more about Lith, I have three big series featuring him in my archives on FurAffinity and SoFurry, including some of the background he talks about in the game. If you're curious, today's addition is actually the latest point we've seen so far in Lith's timeline.

Beyond that, I'm kicking off something new today: "Tag It" Stories! They're kind of an experimental new approach to commissions, but for the very first one I'm taking votes from the community at large on what to write about, so hop on over to one of my journals on SoFurry or FurAffinity to try and get your interests added to my next story!

For those wondering about MVOL, I'm still working on modifying Lith's appearance while waiting on my coding friend. I've hit a dry spell recently, but hopefully between this new story style and something else I've got brewing up, I'll be getting back into writing at full tilt soon! Fingers crossed, everyone! :3

Saturday, October 4, 2014

New Lith Face Preview!

Hey, folks! I've been holding out for good news along the "hey, it's coming out" lines, but we've hit delays with the data reporting system as my coding-savvy friend has been swamped with academic obligations. In the meantime I've been taking a stab at the new art for Lith, and I think I've reached a point at which I'm not completely ashamed to show what I have!

A little bit of tracing and a lot of fidgeting around has gotten me to this point. Not leagues beyond the current placeholder, but I think it'll be an improvement. I'm hoping to experiment with highlights and crazy nonsense like that too! Of course, this image is going to usually be much smaller when you're playing, so I'm trying not to worry too much about every tiny detail, but one of my goals here is to more or less define Lith's "official" look at long last @.@;

It's been an interesting process trying to emulate what I see in other artwork to make the best picture of Lith that I can. If any of you have suggestions on how to improve this or what leaps out at you as glaringly ugly, shoot me a comment! It still feels awfully off, but it's hard putting my finger on what x3 Also, with this development, I think we can bump things up to 80%!

(++++++++==)


I have a fair deal of the writing for v0.16 done, though my awesome new writing schedule fell through for a few weeks when I decided it was time to hate myself and everything I've ever done for a while again. Trying to get back on the horse! But right now I'm trying to push this graphical improvement into the game and prod my friend into finishing his portion so we can finally get v0.15 out to all of you. Hope I have more for you soon!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

It Feels Good! It Feels Write!

Hey, folks! In case you haven't seen, I've published another story! You can find A Learning Experience Pt. 5 on SoFurry and FurAffinity. It's a commissioned series about a young man with a suspiciously similar species to Lith's but not much else in common learning that he does, in fact, totally like getting dicked by hot women. So maybe he has a few things in common, actually.

I'm pretty excited to keep up this trend of actually getting writing done. I've been powering through my commissions and I've even dabbled with getting some writing in for v0.16 while we finalize all the non-writing stuff finished up for v0.15.

Speaking of, things have been coming along with the coming update, and I've sent out a partially complete version to my proofers to see about getting the written portion polished up while we work on the rest. If you count yourself among my proofers, make sure to check your email!

(+++++++===)

We're 70% of the way there now. The automatic feedback system seems to be working well so far, we just need to get a few more tweaks in on that. After that is the new art and some kind of loading screen, and I'm hoping to tackle those in the next few days.

Also, puns? Gods help me, I'm becoming everything I hate :p

Saturday, August 2, 2014

I Crave Data!

Alright! Perhaps a bit predictably, I'm posting on Saturday, but I've succeeded in forcing my own hand. Now, for the news on what I'm working on right now, let me start by explaining one of the curious aspects of writing, and how designing a game builds on top of it.

I've written a lot of stories on SoFurry and FurAffinity with the same goals I keep in mind while writing for MVOL: provide an experience that is engaging, enjoyable, and stimulates the reader both in the higher and lower brain while challenging them in some way. This means taking a very artistic approach at times, and doing things with my writing that may not be immediately apparent, or may not immediately make sense. Part of challenging readers is forcing them out of their comfort zones, and I think that's important to making a story that's enriching, that leaves the reader just a little better than when they started.

(Not all of my stories do this, and if you check through my gallery you'll find most of my commissions mainly focus on the stimulation :p But such is "the biz!")

Now, it's common for any writer to have readers that experience the story differently than they intended, but when you're trying to make every story a unique experience that does all these silly things, there's a lot more opportunity for people to interpret things in surprising ways! Many of my stories have garnered some shocking responses, be they positive or negative, and while this sometimes means I've failed to present the story as it was laid out in my head, I still find their responses immensely valuable-- it's only through this kind of feedback that I can truly improve as a writer and learn to fine tune my craft!

Now, I receive a fair deal of feedback on MVOL, but besides the diligent work from my proofers, I don't usually get anything more specific than "I really liked this scene" or "girl lith plz!" And while I appreciate praise and suggestions, it just doesn't help me make sure each scene is having the specific impact I want it to. I don't really know of a good way to make this happen, especially since each scene can play out differently depending on the player's previous choices, so I often feel like the bulk of the game I've already written is kind of a great, solid mass that I can't make meaningful changes to. But! I've come up with a way that, while I can't get direct feedback on a particular scene, I can get feedback of a much broader, measurable variety for the game as a whole.

In My Very Own Lith v0.15, I plan to add features that automatically collect data on how the game is played and send this information anonymously to my server. I'll be able to see what choices people make, what scenes they revisit often, what parts of the game they seem to try for often without getting anywhere, and what parts just don't see very much love. With this improvement, I'll effectively be able to watch the game being played, which is an important part of developing a game for any designer (without actually standing over your shoulder, as that would be even creepier than normal with this game)! I'm very excited for the chance to see for myself how my game is living out in the wild, so that I can finally go back and start making meaningful improvements instead of just kind of listening and hoping any issues will come up in peoples' feedback.

Now, I know this may raise some concerns. Absolutely no personal data will be recorded by the game. The server only tracks you by your save file. If you're still concerned, I will also be adding the choice in the options menu to turn off the data collection at any time. If you play on Android, it looks like it should still work, and we're working hard on keeping the data sent and received to an absolute minimum to avoid racking up anyone's data charges. From what I understand, it should use less data than your typical IM conversation.

I'm very excited for the possibilities this will open up for the game. With automatic feedback from all of my players, I'll be able to learn about everyone's experience, not just those of the kind few that take the time to leave their praise or criticisms on various message boards. I'll be able to refine the game's difficulty, add clarification where players might seem to get lost, and maybe even remove or replace underused features to make sure the game is getting the maximum benefit from all the hoops I jump through writing variations for scenes! I don't even know what all I might learn from this data as it starts to come in, but I'm sure it's going to be fascinating, and I'm all the more excited to get v0.15 into your hands once these features are online. I hope that you're all as hopeful as I am that this will spell massive improvements for the game in the months to come! As ever, if you have any comments or concerns, there's a comment section right on this post!

And, lastly, while it's been a bigger process than expected, we're chugging along on the implementation and I think enough has been added to the game that I can add a little to the progress meter.

(++++++====)

60% of the way to the next version. I'm hoping to have something ready to show my proofers soon, so things may start gathering momentum from here! Thanks for checking in, kind readers, and I hope I'll have still more news for you soon!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Hey, Look at the Size of That--


Hello, folks! I went and let things slip again, blog-wise. I'm working on it! The good news is that my "steady productivity" scheme has been working pretty well so far, to my immense relief. The bulk of written material for the next update was already complete when last I checked in, though-- I've been spending the intervening time working through my immense and shameful stack of overdue story commissions. At the moment, I've completed two that have been sitting on my plate a very long time-- and as a matter of fact, I'm releasing one today!

If you're burning to read some of my writing, I'd invite you to take a gander at Project Tooth and Claw Pt. 4 over on SoFurry or FurAffinity. It's the closing of an arc in the commissioned series for the infamous Myrilla, featuring said well-endowed blue pup transforming into demi-dragons and wildly fucking any creature at hand. Crazy large insertions abound, so it's a bit more radical than my usual fare with Lith, but it's been nice to stretch and try some new things! This Part also features a little much-needed emotional relief after a very tense stretch over the introduction of the series. If you like shemales, transformation, and impossibly large phalli imposing themselves on the average furry figure, I encourage you to give it a read!

Now, this is where I'd go on to talk about the progress with MVOL, but it occurs to me that this post has already gotten to a pretty good length. So! In an effort to keep the blog updating more often and make each post a little more digestible, I'm chopping the second half off this post! You all can look forward to learning more about what else is going into v0.15... nnnext week! Promise!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Halfway to the Wooden Door!

Alright! I've been developing a new writing schedule, in which I get in just a little bit of writing almost every day at times that I can be alone and comfortable, and so far it's been working pretty well getting content moving again. Part of me is saddened just to look at what I just said and realize that "making progress at all" is a big improvement right now, but if this can get me consistently moving in the long term, I certainly won't be complaining. The "bigger sex scene" I was referring to last time was actually an alternate version to the one that I finished before, and that in turn has split into two alternates-- a lot of the time, I try to write a single sex scene in such a way that parts can be swapped out to handle most issues of anatomy, but in this case, I decided it needed to go ahead and be written out almost fully as three different scenes. On the one hand, that means more fresh content if and when folks do a second or third playthrough with different anatomy, but on the other, it will feed more into the same problem I'm already concerned about with this update x3

Last update, I was worried the whole deal with the stone door would be too weird for folks. Happily, this doesn't seem to have been the case! This update, things are going weird again, but I'm not so worried about it. What I am worried about is that it doesn't feel to me like it will have as much content as the last update, and that will be partly because there's only one sex scene, even though it's technically three sex scenes folded into one spot (one of which will, for now, only be accessible to donators). This feeling will be amplified by where I'm putting the cutoff for this update-- basically, everything I've been writing has been "set up" for what's going on behind the Wooden Door. And once I'm done setting it all up very dramatically and getting the player excited to try out their choices for what's "actually" going on behind the wooden door... well, that's where v0.15 will stop for now. Worse, I plan to go back to the stone door for v0.16, so I'm already bracing myself for a lot of questions about why people can't "do" any of the stuff they're expecting to do through the wooden door xP I may have to include some very blatant placeholders, I suppose, as I did with the wooden door itself in v0.14 :p We shall see!

Now, with all that hassle, why am I cutting off v0.15 there? A couple different reasons. The first is that, a long time ago, I decided I needed to start forcing myself to make the updates smaller, so that hopefully I could push them out faster and keep a good cycle going between myself and the players. It feels great when the new update goes out and folks are excited, but when I'm looking at alll the things I want to do for the next version, I end up kind of... resting on my laurels for a while ^.^; So I'm hoping setting smaller goals will keep me working more often, keep people more interested, and get a good flow going all around. The problem with v0.14 was that the stone door didn't feel like something I could do as a small update... Every collar had a huge chunk to write out, so if I didn't write all of them, some people effectively wouldn't get something new that update, and if I only wrote half, it wouldn't have even had a sex scene. And I think it's a fair assumption that a new update without any sex at all wouldn't get people very excited :p Besides the most devout blue-collar players, perhaps.

The other main reason was mentioned briefly before-- I have several smaller things to add to the game along with the new content, and it's high time I get that stuff polished and out to you guys. I'm looking at ways to make dominant Lith and the pink collar easier to get, and I may adjust the game's overall difficulty some while I'm at it. Further, without the promise of an actual artist, I'm taking a hard look at redoing Lith's art myself-- replacing one placeholder with a marginally better one, at the very least. Also, I'm considering including a way to get feedback about how players are playing the game-- right now, I'm just kind of releasing it into the wild and hoping for the best, but with information on how it's played, I may be able to better refine its difficulty and flow. I'll get more into this later.

Anyway, all of this means that I've set my milestone for v0.15 a little closer than I might have once thought I would, and I've got the big sex scene past two-thirds written up, so I'm feeling much more confident when I add another notch to the game's progress bar today!

(+++++=====)

We're halfway to the next update, and most of what's left isn't writing but game design, so it may well go a deal faster just for not having to depend on my fickle artistic moods. Thanks for sticking with me, folks! :3 I welcome comments and questions, do let me know if I'm being unclear about anything (besides the parts where I'm deliberately avoiding spoilers :p).