Saturday, July 30, 2016

Breaks 'n' Balls

I told myself I needed to update this blog more, and I finally had a reason to remind myself to hop on here! I've published a new story on SoFurry and Inkbunny: To Hold On To Pt 4. This is another in the series of sketch stories I pummel out now and then to blow off some steam and get a change of pace after cramming on work for MVOL, and explore some of my other weird fetishes. You may want to check the tags before reading, but if you're on the fence, I'd encourage you to at least give it a try. Start from Part 1, if you haven't seen this series already!

That's the proper announcement out of the way. In other news, I've been a bad writer. I finally got my release schedule for MVOL swung around so I'm releasing at (or around) the beginning of the month, which is good, but it also feels really weird and has kind of thrown me off my usual rhythm for handling writing on MVOL. I've been releasing in the middle of the month, every other month for about a year now, I think, so I've gotten a little set in my ways, and that's created some complications.

Add on top of that, I was feeling rushed and super busy for several months, and only at the beginning of this month did I finally have the chance to take a deep breath, get a little time to myself... and play some video games relatively guilt-free. And now... well, the month is just about gone, and I've found I've gotten very little done! I've been working with the team over at The Cathouse Tale a lot, of course, there's always a lot going on, it's always rush hour over yonder. But I let myself go days, even weeks without writing, to let myself recharge. And I let that become a habit, which is the worst thing I can do to myself.

So now I'm fighting the habit, and trying to get back into my routine of finding as many times as I can to write throughout the day. I don't even have enough content for the Monthly Mini-Update right now, so I'm gonna be crunching on that and apparently trying to send something out at the very last minute. And that feels shitty, but it's where I am right now. I thought I'd finally gotten away from the last minute thing, but rotating my schedule forward one way puts me behind another, apparently.

I know some of you will be disappointed with me. Just know that I'm more disappointed with myself. I'm putting this up half as a sort of penance, to remind myself that even if I have time for a break, I always need to make sure I can set and follow a schedule for getting back to work well ahead of the next crisis. We're all good at proctastinating and working just under the deadline, but I still like to believe I can get myself into a more steady workflow. Someday! Haha.

That's all for now. Thanks for reading my self-admonitory rambling, folks. More game content will be coming up soon! You can always keep an eye on my Twitter for rather more regular, if tiny updates on what's going on!

Saturday, July 9, 2016

v0.23 is Live!

Go to the Play the Game tab to play the new version right now!

This version is a bit of a strange one. I've been running on fumes for a while now after the big rush the last few months, but I wanted to get this version out there early in the month for a variety of reasons, not least of which is that I hate that feeling of coming in just under the very last deadline. But I haven't been able to get much writing done in this state, so this update is less text-heavy and more a grab bag of new features that, hopefully, will make the game more interesting and less frustrating for a variety of players!

First off, I've added a new "Game Mode" you can turn on in the options menu. This lets you see how many options are unavailable in each menu and why, so you can get a rough idea of how much remains to be discovered and where. This does spoil the feel of the game a little, making it less of a simulation and more of a "game," but I think some folks may find it helpful, whether they just want to access all the content and want any clues they can get, or want to make sure there aren't any big features they've missed after playing a while.

Next, a small convenience for everyone: the bulk of the menus now have loose descriptions for each action you're considering taking, so you can get a slightly better idea of what you're getting into before you accidentally do something more unsavory than you'd intended. These descriptions can change a little in some cases to reflect your current morals and highlight what you might want to think twice about.

There's also new art in this version, but I'm afraid I could only get one new piece of art in time. I've got a lot more art coming up, but for now, I guess this reinforces the idea that v0.23 is something of a "half-update." Sorry to disappoint! I might be able to manage three pieces of art in a future version to make up for it, but I'm not certain right now.

Maybe the biggest addition with this version of the game is the new Flirt command! This should help make the pink collar path a bit easier and more interesting to play through, and offer a little bit of fresh communication for every path to explore. There's not a ton of content here yet, but I did pack in a fair little variety of potential outcomes.

To go along with that, I've made a series of small adjustments to content in the first half of the game to fix little issues I've heard about and try to make a few things make more sense. My thanks to everyone that's taken the time to let me know when there were parts of the game missing that polish I try to maintain, in which your choices matter and your past actions influence your future!

Lastly, I've added a very convenient exclamation point for you to make use of. I've gotten several requests for functionality along these lines, so I hope that this will prove a decent way to meet your needs in this regard.

I think that wraps up the additions for v0.23. I was hoping to have more written content done for this one, but hopefully these additions and adjustments to the gameplay will be an interesting diversion for you guys while I finally recharge my creative batteries! I'll be trying to make more blog posts in the future, also. I meant for this to be a much more active news feed, but it has, along with several other things, fallen by the wayside as my days have gotten more and more packed and my focus more frayed. Should be better once I've regrouped!

Thank you for your support, everyone, and for reading all this! I hope you enjoy the new content!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

v0.22 is Live!

Click Play the Game above to check it out!

With this release, the Stone Door is finally complete! It's been a hell of a journey, and I've gotten some really promising feedback so far from people that were really emotionally impacted by the game in one way or another as they took the next step after figuring out the nature of their relationship with Lith. Looking back, I do wish I'd eased back a little more on the length with some of the later portions, but my instincts kept wanting to go epic with the big finale for this miniature adventure novel, even though there were about twelve different finales to write. So it was a pretty huge challenge! But it's finally done with, and I feel both fantastic and fantastically weary to close off this chapter of your adventure with Lith.

I'll get into what this means for the game and its future in a moment, but first, just to be clear: v0.22 adds the last path needed for the Black Collar Stone Door. You should now be able to safely choose any path you wish with any collar and play through to an ending or to your chance to return to the Void and stay there. Also, I've added two new pieces of art, as usual: one to give you a better look at a couple of the creatures you encounter in the Stone Door, and one to illustrate Lith's thought processes if you're especially persistent in discussing a certain topic. Now that I've got a few nice porn shots in the game, I've been opening up to getting art that's a little less directly pornographic, just to enhance the reader experience in a variety of ways. There's still plenty more sex stuff coming down the pipe, of course, but these pieces are rather less lewd than previous additions.

Lastly, I've added one new feature that I saw a couple requests for and rather liked. There are now ten pieces of art in the game, not counting the loading animation, the various chibis for character creation, Lith's face in the upper left, or over a hundred bits and pieces that are assembled to make the aforementioned pieces of art in the correct configurations. Finding all of them can be a bit tricky, and a little hard to remember if you just want to see the art again. So I've added a gallery feature!

The gallery doesn't let you see everything for free, of course. When you first open the game, it'll check your old files, and any events it's sure you've already opened will have their associated art unlocked. For everything else, you'll have to find those scenes in-game to unlock them in the gallery. This will also help serve as sort of a checklist, so you can know if there's more art to be found somewhere else in the game. Plus, the art will always configure it to your current save file, so if you play the game one way, then start a new file, you can see how that art would look with that version of, say, your and Lith's anatomy, quickly and easily. Of course, some pieces of art assume certain things, so they might show things not quite how they are in your file.

That covers the new material in this release! Now, a lot of you may be wondering what's next, if we're finishing up this huge chunk of the game. The answer is, lots! I've got tons of things I've been waiting to do until I had the Stone Door finished, so it's more a question of, what do I do first? The Big Thing on the horizon is the next Door. Supporters can get a sneak peek at what this will involve in the cheat-enabled version of the game, but for now, suffice to say that it'll be Very Different. One problem with it, though, is that it will be, even more so than the Stone Door, something that's hard to release in smaller parts. So at this point, I'm thinking that I'll actually be working on it over the next few versions (letting supporters see the partway content in the meantime) while releasing lots of smaller things I've been wanting to do on the side, until it's finally ready to go out all at once.

And there's lots of little things I've had waiting for me to come back and work on them! I don't want to make any promises, as I intend to mostly work on whatever feels most interesting at the time, but I've been wanting to expand the wooden door sexy/fun content, as well as add more content to the first half of the game and generally work on refining the experience. A lot of my old writing is looking sort of shoddy compared to my newer work, some of the gameplay is still confusing and unbalanced, a lot of gender-related content still needs to be filled out, and it wouldn't hurt to add a little more variety in available actions here and there, I think. I probably won't be able to hit all of this, but I've got lots to take a shot at for smaller updates and additions while I'm working on the content for the new Door!

Now, this update did come out later than I'd like. I'm really unhappy with how my progress has gone here, because while I'm technically still inside the schedule (release sometime in May), I'd much rather be releasing at the beginning of the month than at the end. So for v0.23, I'm going to try and focus in on the project and pack in new content quickly, to try and get a new version ready as soon as possible! I don't know if I'll be able to make the first week of July, but it's what I'm tentatively aiming for as an ideal. I just hope I can pack in enough little things for it to feel like a worthwhile release! Also, the art @_@ Art has been a huge headache for me lately. We'll see!

And on a final note, once again, if you haven't seen the other project I'm working on, I'd encourage you guys to check it out! The Cathouse Tale is a fully 3D-rendered furry porn game, so other people are actually doing the bulk of the work, but I'm handling the writing as well as acting as sort of a coordinator and public relations guy for the team. It's been really challenging the last month or two since we're finally getting things going again, but I'm hoping that I'll have more time to come back to my own work this month now that we're hopefully all set up to start plugging away at it!

Thanks for reading, guys! I hope you enjoy the new content, and that you'll like all the new stuff coming up in both projects!

Monday, May 16, 2016

A Long Time Coming

v0.22 will bring us to the end of the Stone Door, at long last, and maybe it's a little bit fitting that this update is taking just a little longer to hit than usual. I just sent out the proofer copies and the MMU for v0.22, and I'm still putting all the last pieces into it this week, but the bulk of the writing is done. That means that mid-level supporters will get their copies this coming weekend, and the public release will be happening the weekend of the 28th. Still technically in May, but only barely!

It's been a while since I've talked about my overarching plan for MVOL (holy cow, that long?), so in case you've forgotten, this is not THE ending so much as AN ending. The Stone Door has turned into a huge piece of the game overall, maybe a little larger than I'd intended, but now that it's done, we'll be shifting gears with future updates. I'll be getting more into that with the big announcement update on the public release weekend, so for now, if you're at all concerned about running out of new MVOL content, just have a look here for a more recent representation of my big picture plan!

Lastly, in case you haven't seen, The Cathouse Tale has also been coming along nicely! The first version we released was super rough, but the new version over here has been polished up a good deal. I've been working as a writer and something of a coordinator for the project, so you can enjoy my (I now realize somewhat excessive) writing along with some neat 3D furry sexings, with more on the way! I'm super excited to see this project finally taking off, and I hope you guys will enjoy checking it out! :3

Thanks for your patience, everyone! I'm looking forward to finally finishing off the Stone Door and moving on to all the wild things that are to come!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

The Cathouse Tale!

Hey, guys! I know I haven't mentioned this project in a while, because we've been going through a lot of troubles getting things going with it. For those of you that might not be familiar with it, it's a 3D animated pornographic furry game that's been in the works for a while now, and last year I was invited to work with them as the game's writer! I was super excited to be a part of it, but before that could really happen, things started to fall apart.

Since then, I've ended up stepping into a role as sort of a coordinator for the project, and I've been working on getting the team together and working again on the side when I'm not writing and developing MVOL. Well, things have finally started taking off recently! You can check out the good news over here on the Patreon, as well as try out our mini-demo! And if you haven't looked at the project recently, you should definitely go to our main page and scroll through our previous posts, there's lots of juicy stuff to see!

I have to admit, dealing with the crazy rush the project has gone through recently has stolen some of my focus from MVOL. Things have been delayed a little, but I'm still aiming to hit all my scheduled releases, if just barely. The MMU should be going out soon, and Lith's Diary a bit after, and of course, v0.22 is still gonna be coming out next month, though probably toward the end ^.^; I'm going to be doubling down on hitting my deadlines better after this, I've been letting myself slack and cutting it too close!

That's the big news for now. As always, you can get updates more rapidly day to day on my twitter, as well as see how my brain is slowly melting in anticipation of Overwatch. It's going to be a big challenge staying on task with everything, but I'll manage it! xP

Keep an eye out for more news soon!

Friday, March 18, 2016

v0.21 is Live!

If you haven't played the new version, click Play The Game! on the tabs above!

Ever been tempted to join my Patreon? Check out the poll here, I'm trying to choose my stretch goals!

Lots of new little things in this version, some you may notice more quickly than others! But first off, the big things. Two new endings have been added, which cap off the Pink Collar version of the Stone Door. This means that the Black Collar Stone Door's second branch for Chapter Three is the only part waiting to be completed! Each ending has its own achievement, as usual. Along with that, the Wooden Door has a new scene for those who like to question their existence, as well as a handful of small accommodating scenes to help you figure out how to progress.

That's the main progress in the plot with this update! The first thing you might notice, though, is that the game now has sound! I'm experimenting with having a keypress sound, and it's just a little bit dynamic. Not entirely by coincidence, the game also puts a limiter on pressing keys too rapidly now, and a few small changes have rippled off of that. The sound can be muted with a button on the left, or you can change the volume by going to the Options menu. Now, the second thing you might notice, especially if you're an art enthusiast, is that the game has once again received an overall improvement to the art! This, combined with the latest art asset added to the game (only one this time, on account of it being so crazy awesome) and the new sounds have kinda sorta tripled the file size, though. In the future I'll be working on ways to trim that down! But for now, it should be small enough to get around in the usual ways, for the most part. Glad I've got that loading screen! Anyway, the new visual improvement should make all of the game's art look TONS better, and the general UI as well. Plus, Ruin now supports full-female Lith! There might be a reason for that.

There have been a few subtler changes as well. I've fixed a couple achievements and improved the achievement display (I think it might have looked kind of like this way back when, but with how many cheevos there are now this is definitely an improvement). Also, a much requested feature: Fullscreen is now an option in the Options menu! This should help you enjoy the art, although it won't always work depending on where and how you open it. If all else fails, download the game and run it through Flash Projector and it should have no problem. It's usually just a limit of the web page you're seeing it in, though!

Lastly, for those of you that might be supporting me on Patreon or through direct donation, the cheat-enabled version of v0.21 includes an extended preview of upcoming content. The Stone Door is not the end of MVOL, but the end of the first of three Acts in this, the second half of the game after the collars. What does Act II involve? All supporters get a sneak peek into what is to come! Along with all the other goodies you can get on my Patreon, of course.

That about covers it for v0.21! The Stone Door is almost complete! I'd like to shoot out my thanks to everyone that's supported me in this, whether financially or just with kind words. And everyone that's played the game, thank you! I know it might not seem that interesting off the bat, but I think it proves rewarding once you really get into it. And, lastly, thanks for reading through all this. I hope you enjoy the new content!

Friday, January 22, 2016

v0.20 is Live!

Yes, big 20! It's not actually the 20th update, as I skipped a few to jump to v0.10 when there was a big step forward in content. With that in mind, I thought I'd celebrate v0.20 by making another big step! With MVOL v0.20, full-female Lith is finally going public. I know this has been one of my most-requested additions, so I think I'm making a lot of people happy with this update.

The game isn't completely set up to support full-female Lith, as there are three scenes that will take tons of work and still need some more time, but the full story is available along every path, and all art supports any configuration of anatomy. This has been something I've been working on in the background for a long time, letting supporters get a peek in on what I had going so far, but it is close enough to complete to let everyone run around in it now. And to trade off, I've started adding more "advance" content to MVOL for supporters, so they can get a peek further along in the story. The Stone Door is nearing completion, so for v0.20 supporters are getting a little peek at what comes after!

For the main story, the big new addition is the completion of the Blue Collar path for the Stone Door. Now, with each of the collars, you made a choice early on that's had a profound impact on how the story plays out throughout the stone door. The blue collar has actually had the smallest difference, and with the completion of the last choice, you'll see a lot of identical or nearly identical material... Except for one very different ending. I think that folks will like the new addition. I put a lot of work into it, and I still feel like it could be a little better, but I'm excited to put it in people's hands.

I have to admit, though, looking back at the early stone door content, I'm starting to feel like maybe I'm letting some of this content stretch way too long xP I've created a story inside a story, to a degree, and it feels like it needs closure, but these are some of the earliest endings in the game, and I think it's important that they leave you wanting. From the reactions I've seen from my proofers, I think I'm doing well there so far. So! That means just two paths remain to be completed in Chapter Three of the Stone Door! It's been a long and crazy adventure, and I'm pretty excited to push on to what's coming, but we've got some pretty intense stuff to tackle first.

Along with the one new ending and achievement, I've tweaked the achievement display. I hope it'll make it a little clearer to folks when they've reached an ending, since I've gotten some feedback from confused folks running into "gaps in the writing" and not knowing what was going on. I think it makes it a little more satisfying to see the "Trophy" pop up right away rather than after the fact, too.

Also, two new pieces of art going in with this update! One is another piece for the stone door, available on half the paths through. The other is along the black collar route. The art is getting really diverse, and some folks have expressed concern that it's kind of detracting from giving Lith a "look," but to be honest, I'm digging it. Lith has always been a little bit varied, details of his appearance maybe shifting to fit the moment, and he's a different cat to different people. This diversity kind of makes every picture feel special, I think. I'm rather enjoying collecting pieces from lots of different artists, even if it is pretty stressful getting to know a new artist and their way of doing things every time, haha. It's definitely been a learning experience!

That about covers it for this update. I've taken on a new variant writer, but we've hit some delays getting him up to speed, so it doesn't look like any of his work will be going in this version. He's got strong potential, though, so I'm definitely looking forward to enriching a lot of the older scenes with his help in updates to come!

I ran into some trouble with the bi-monthly schedule trying to hit my stride after going all-out on it with v0.19, so I'm not completely happy with this update, but I'm going to be working on my process to find just the right balance of getting things done without letting the quality suffer. I'm honestly glad to be where I am, having these sorts of problems, because it means I'm doing something right, and I just gotta refine it. I really appreciate your support, everyone. I am incredibly grateful that I can get the chance to make a living making something I feel passionate about, and that you guys can trust me to do what I feel is right with this game to make it complete. I hope you guys will enjoy everything I've got coming up.

If you wanna know more about what's coming up, remember, I update on my Twitter about anything and everything I write. If you want to see it for yourself, supporters on Patreon get early access in a couple different tiers, whether it's a week-in-advance release, a monthly preview version, or straight up emails of the raw text straight from my keyboard as I pound this stuff out. There's also art and Lith's diary and other goodies, so if you haven't taken a look already, check it out!

One more big milestone in the bag. v1.00 is still far off, but I'm more confident every day we're going to get there, and that it's going to be fantastic. Thanks, everyone! I hope you enjoy!