Monday, April 14, 2014

Chibi Lith!

Sadly, the forums haven't been seeing very much activity in recent days, but every once in a while, a gem pops up and I'm glad I started the place up. If you haven't seen, a certain fan of the game saw fit to draw some terribly adorable figures of Lith!

Click us!
And if that wasn't enough, they then went on to draw up a whole bunch of expressions for the feline!


Suffice it to say, I thought it was all very well done, so much so I just couldn't resist showing it to everyone that might be remotely interested :3 And ah, don't tell anybody, but I'm keeping in close contact with the artist in question. You may be hearing more about this later...

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Games That Could Be: Virus - Gameplay

Hey, I've been seeing a lot of positive feedback on Virus so far, and that's great ^_^ I don't know if and when I'll actually be able to make this game, but it would probably have to be either after MVOL is finished or as a side project if I could get a few people's help with it. First, though, I have several other game ideas to talk over after this one! I'm interested to see if folks are as interested in the others, or if I've already started out with my strongest :p Let's get to it!

Last time we talked about the concept for the game idea of mine called "Virus." You play a sex god that acts like a virus, infecting people to try and take over a mining outpost one fuck at a time. Now, let's talk a bit about how this game would actually play!

My current concept is that the game would play as something of a roguelike simulation strategy game, with lots of smut written in as rewards for taking another step toward victory. The game would be on a clock and calendar, and the outpost/village/town it's set in would be designed so that it actually "lives" a little. Each person would have their own routines for where they are and what they do at a given time of day, with various little events sprinkled in for variety.

One of the main challenges would be to infect as many people as you can without arousing suspicion. If one of your followers goes to the bar every single day after work, but he's suddenly going straight home to masturbate for three hours straight and fuel your powers, his friends might start thinking there's something wrong with him. Being caught forcing yourself on someone would be a disaster, so you have to be careful to find ways to get your follower alone with the unbeliever. And worse, if your follower can't bring the victim to orgasm, you can't infect them, and probably won't be able to wipe their memory-- meaning you'll probably get busted pretty quickly.

Gameplay would be broken down into hour-long chunks. You can check what each of your followers is doing, maybe pick up a few snippets of conversation (which can include useful hints for future events), then choose one to guide more personally. Depending on how much of your abilities you've re-awakened, you may be able to set a few followers to masturbating while focusing on another, and further depending on your abilities and how much of your power you're willing to spend, you might simply watch what they do and influence it a little this way or that, put forceful suggestions in their mind, or right out take over and make them do something they'd never do otherwise. Of course, you may want to save some power for wiping their memories afterward, as even a follower can turn themselves in if they realize they're surely being possessed.

Each person in the outpost would have a wide variety of features: suspicion scores for everyone else in the outpost, which behave differently depending on relation; a unique occupation and personal traits that may bring opportunities for manipulating others into sex, gathering information, or preventing your discovery; suspicion of themselves, as well as of your opponent; and sexual factors that can influence their interest in sex, their stamina, and their abilities to force, coerce, or seduce others. Your own abilities could be developed to influence many of these to your advantage.

My main idea for the game right now is to make it a roguelike in the sense that you play off of a single save file --meaning your every decision matters, and you'd do well to play cautiously-- and every time you start a new game, the world undergoes a degree of random generation. The characters would be the same, but they might have different sexual stats, be more or less attached to various friends and family, and even be more likely to cheat if their sexual stats differ too greatly from their mates'. The random events that come up throughout the game would be drawn fresh from many possibilities each playthrough, and the length of the winter can give you a longer or shorter deadline than you might expect, though the forecast at least gives you a rough idea of how long you have. And perhaps most importantly, the arrival of your opponent is partly random and partly based on your actions. If you arouse little suspicion, your opponent might not even arrive until you're ready to defeat him on the spot, but if you scare everyone into praying and screaming about demons early on, you likely won't live to see the spring.

That should cover the basics of the gameplay as I'm imagining it right now. Next time, I'll talk more about the opponent, who embodies your main lose condition in the game. Thanks for reading!

Friday, March 28, 2014

My First eBook!

Hello, everyone! I've been keeping this fairly quiet, but you may have heard I'm taking a crack at publishing my erotic stories on the Kindle Marketplace. I'm planning on selling a mixture of my old stories, polished and sometimes expanded, and new stories as I manage to put them together. Today, I just published my very first! And I'm exceedingly nervous.

For my first story, I've gone with a very short but intense story of mine that I've always been rather proud of, titled Night Visitor. I've deleted the original from my archive, and the edited version is now proudly on sale for 2.99 USD! I would be immensely flattered if any of you were interested enough to purchase a copy, but I'm also offering, for all my existing fans, a one-day extension, so to speak: you can download the Kindle version, which should be easy to read on any mobile device, right here for the next 24 hours. Sadly, formatting doesn't seem to be retained very well in some cases, but the content, sans cover, should be intact.

If you have any problems, criticisms, or suggestions upon looking over the eBook, they would be of penultimate interest to me and you can feel free to comment here, note me, email me at Lithiers@gmail.com, or huck words at me any other way you see fit. Should you find this little story enjoyable and well made, however, I would be absolutely delighted if you deigned to leave a review on the Amazon page for my book.

Which isn't to say I only want positive things said about my book! A stack of overly positive reviews can do more harm than good at times, so I would beg you to be nothing but honest if you did find the time to review my eBook. Did I mention I'm a bit nervous?

Too Long, Didn't Read!: Free eBook! 24 Hours! Buy and/or review honestly here! Thank you all so much!

Actually, I don't think that was in the Sufficiently Short, Read Successfully, so let me say: thank you, everyone, for taking the time to read my work, and putting up with my constant delays, and in advance should you choose to peruse my new eBook and/or act upon your perusal! Some vague, vain vision of someday sustaining myself on the proceeds from such written works and actually becoming a full, proper "writer" hangs before me, a strange and ephemeral concept that I dare not reach out for lest it evaporate in an instant. But here I am, reaching, ever so tentatively.

Been reading some Asimov. I think it's showing.

Also! Speaking of commenting, I've relaxed the requirements to comment on the blog. I'd been hearing a few people say they would have commented but for the restrictions on accounts and such, so you should now be able to comment anonymously. I'm hoping this doesn't bring a plague of spammers down on our heads, or I may be forced to find some way to restrict them again.

Also also: QR Codes! Because I guess that's popular.
Night Visitor on Dropbox!
Night Visitor on Amazon!


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Games That Could Be: Virus - Concept

Out of the three game concepts I've played with most, this one has stolen the most hours from me when I should be sleeping. I don't have any real title for it, so for now, let's call it Virus.

The concept is that you are --in your own opinion-- an ancient, freshly awakening god. Your dominion is centered on sexual pleasure. Your opponent, however, sees you as a long-buried demon, an embodiment of sins of the flesh, that has been foolishly released from its prison. In practice, over the course of this game, you act as something closer to a psychic venereal disease.

The game begins with your waking, bodiless, to find a small team of miners that have broken into your sanctum. You choose one of them to possess-- not assuming direct control, but simply pouring your existence into his or her body. When they return to their secluded mining outpost, it becomes your goal to claim every last one of the miners, workers, and overseers as your worshipers. When the spring comes and the workers are free to leave, you will spread throughout the world once more, and all life shall be reunited in a glorious, everlasting orgy.

But first, you must find ways to spread your influence. You are very weak as you are at the beginning, but every follower you claim will be your eyes into the world, and by inflaming their lust and forcing them to pleasure themselves in worship to you, you will gain power to better influence your followers and awaken your many ancient and fearsome abilities. To spread your influence, though, one of your followers must join a non-believer in the holy ritual: shared orgasms, of course.

So depending on who you first infect, your follower might go home to his wife, and give you a second follower within a few days. From there, perhaps you could turn her temptation to cheat with the neighbor into a lustful passion, and you can spread to a third. Or if you first infect a great thug of a man, you might try going to the bar and scoring, or taking a rather more forceful approach. You must be careful, though-- if you're spotted acting strangely, others may grow suspicious. And when your opponent comes to hunt you down, suspicions will quickly become deadly. If all of your followers are cleansed, you will lose grasp on this world altogether and fall into oblivion.

Obviously, this theme would offer a lot of room for interpretation-- you could see yourself as a holy being, spreading enlightenment to a world that has become too stiff and distant from its own desires, or as a devil hungry to corrupt as many as possible, or simply as a creature trying to survive the only way it knows how. The people you manipulate would all have individual personalities, quirks, secret desires, and various relationships with those around them. How you interact with this social ecosystem could destroy lives or bring everyone together in a way they may never have thought possible. It's my hope that I could infuse these people with enough life that many of you would earnestly want to make their lives better, in a similar fashion to your affection for Lith.

That roughly covers the high concept of the game as a story. Next time, I'll talk about the gameplay that you'd be working with, exactly what sort of game you'd be playing. Hope this intrigues folks!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Games That Could Be

One of the funny parts of being a writer is that you get a lot of people offering you ideas. At least, it's funny to me-- I know some writers can have trouble coming up with something to write about, but for me, it's never been a problem. If anything, I often feel like I've become a writer primarily to express the endless series of ideas that swirl endlessly in my head-- to try to render them in perfect clarity such that others might enjoy them as much I have, and so that I can finally put that great mess of thoughts to rest, satisfied.

For every story I write, there are probably five waiting to be written. Similarly, as I've worked on My Very Own Lith, a broad array of ideas for other games have come to me, some of which I have, in my spare time, refined into full-fleshed concepts. Sometimes I find myself working out endless details against my own will, especially when I should be sleeping.

So I thought to myself, perhaps I should put some of these ideas "to paper," both to ease my mind and to see what others think of them. And as luck would have it, my poor blog is in need of content when I find myself falling into the miserable silence of the creator struggling with his work and his own self. This seems a natural place to share my concepts for games that I might make someday, perhaps after MVOL is complete, or perhaps as a side project, if others were interested in helping out. So keep an eye out, keen readers, for posts in the future discussing my ideas for Games that Could Be!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

And we have our answer!

After almost two weeks and 364 votes, the players have offered a pretty resounding answer to my question! Thank you all for taking the time to offer your feedback!


I'm pretty happy with how it came out, honestly-- this is a very clear response, and it doesn't look like, besides these two sore spots, things are necessarily too frustrating in the game. I've also gotten a lot of interesting feedback, I'm very happy to see people taking advantage of the comments section on the survey and here on the blog.

One of the trickier parts of designing the game for me is that it's pretty hard for me to "see it as it is." When I open MVOL, I hardly see what it says, how it presents itself, for everything that I intend for it-- I know the intention behind every design choice, which is a crucial piece of information anybody else playing won't have, so I see the entire thing in a different context. I barely have to read any of the screens when playing to just kind of speed down the trees and get to this or that scene I want to check. I doubt I'll ever be able to really enjoy the game like others do ^.^;

So outside feedback and impressions can really be invaluable here. I get folks telling me they really like this or that aspect of the game, and I definitely appreciate that, but surprisingly enough, I don't get much hate mail. Not that that would be very helpful-- it's hard to nail exactly what aspects I need to hear most about. I try to encourage open and frank discussion of my game, but the forums don't see much activity these days, sadly. So at this point, the responses I've been seeing have certainly helped me get a bit of a better picture of how the game "works" for people! So, all that said, thanks for your feedback, guys!

As far as the results themselves: I'm actually a little surprised the pink collar got a much stronger response than either of the others. I'd guess that the blue collar would have outstripped it entirely before [Hug] was added, however. I'll definitely be looking into making the pink collar more accessible. I've been considering ways to make the collars more naturally attainable so that people don't have to go looking for guides to get at them, while still making them a fairly noteworthy achievement.

As for dominance, this is a bit trickier. On one hand, Lith as a character is slow to take an assertive role, and really won't try to retain dominance if challenged. On the other, I don't want to make it too hard to get into that side of things, especially if you're committed to that style of gameplay. And the more I've thought about it, the less it seems like a very problematic system to abuse-- I worry about folks being able to "max out" this or that too easily or too quickly, but that's not as much of an issue here, with how Dom Lith has unfolded. So I expect I'll be fiddling with both these systems-- I have a peculiar idea in my pocket that may just do the trick for making Dom Lith stick around a bit better.

So, overall I'd say this poll worked out well! Now, if I could just kick the habit of delaying and overinflating my blog posts, we'd be set :p More later, folks. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Difficulty

The challenge in My Very Own Lith is in your patience, your creativity, and your intuition. The idea is supposed to be that the more you understand Lith, the easier it will be to figure out what you should do to unlock whatever you're trying for. The game is designed to challenge you to think about what you would "actually do" in these situations, how you'd try to get closer to Lith as a friend, or a lover, or a master. And the more it forces you to think of Lith as a person, the more invested you are in the game and in Lith, and the more you're immersed in his strange world. This is one of the main reasons to make things challenging.

But at the same time, now that the game is expanding into the later stages, players will need to be able to consistently collar Lith-- it's a requirement for accessing the bulk of content we're starting to see now. It's my sincere hope that everyone that takes the time to play this game and read the prodigious amounts of text packed away in here will be able to play through almost all of the content with a reasonable amount of patience and thoughtful interaction. But this means that I have to offer up challenges in moderation.

One of the challenges of game design that a lot of big-name publishers are struggling with right now is exactly this: game difficulty. Make the game too easy, and it's not a satisfying experience, especially for the core players, the hardcore fans, those who know exactly what they're doing. But make it too hard, and new players, casual players, will get frustrated early on and quite possibly stop playing. I want to give a satisfying experience with Lith for as many people as possible, so this is the balancing act I have to work at.

With all that said, I want to get some feedback from all of you. Listed on the poll to the right are all the main "milestones" in the game as it stands. Each of them are a challenge to acquire, taking some mixture of patience and creativity to unlock. My question for you is, which of these do you feel gave you an unnecessary amount of trouble? At what point, if any, did the game cross the line from engaging puzzle to brick wall, taking too long, or requiring a guide to overcome?

If I get a pretty even spread of results from this, I suppose that would be a good thing, but if one or two results spike higher, that would be a strong sign that I need to work on making those parts a little easier, smoothing the process with hints or tweaked values in the backside code to allow people to work their way through with less trouble. The goal is to let people get to the stone door and beyond without stopping and thinking "well, I'm never going to get past ____, I guess this is the whole game!" Or some such.

So let me know, folks! And hopefully by the time this survey closes, I'll have a progress update for you all. I've gotten a chunk of work in on the next update, but I'm still solidifying how much I'm going to try to pack into v0.15 before I estimate my percentage of progress to that point. Thanks for reading!