Saturday, October 27, 2012

Last time, on Livestream!

Here's the interview we went through at this weekend's Livestream. We handled a lot of interesting questions, and I'd like to thank all the creative folks behind them ^.^

Interview Transcript

Same as last time! This is your chance to ask whatever you want of Lith, and later, Lithier. This will be posted to the website for posterity, but feel free to make it something silly if you like. Background, opinions, advice, inside info, clarification, anything you've been wanting to know, now's the time to ask!

KamerGuy: Allright, what is Lith's greatest fear/phobia?
Lith: Oh o.o; Well... I do kind of... not like spiders... at all ._. I don't think it's exactly a phobia, so much as... really, really not liking the lil crawly things or their nasty webs ever touching me? @_@ Er, not to say that I have anything against, you know, spider people! I've known some very nice invertebrates ^.^;; But um, for an actual phobia... I think mine would probably have to be more public speaking. Assuming we're not getting down into deep down, psychological mucky muck, I mean o3o; But aye, speaking in front of large groups is pretty much... beyond me. I do best interacting with, well, just one other person ^.^; More is fine, but the more people there are, the more anxious I get, until I just... nnnnu ._. Um. Yeah...

link45oo: Hmmm.... What's Lith's favorite place to partake in certain "activities" with a partner?
Lith: Favorite place...? o.o Well, beds are comfy, of course, but over time, I've found the couch seems to be the most... versatile ^//^; You get most of the benefits of a bed, plus a lot more interesting spaces for... positioning. I guess I'm kind of... vanilla like that? Um, as far as places... I don't have a preference for "your place or mine" as long as it's somewhere I feel safe, I guess ^.^;;

Alleron: Say seems like you have a tendency to attract a certain variety of tall, lusty, domineering herm; why do you suppose that is?  (perhaps a new cologne is in order XD)
Lith: I have to admit, this has been a, um, recurring question in my life o.o; My sex ed class seemed to be pretty liberal, all things considered, but they led me to believe that people, you know, between genders, are pretty rare altogether. Something like less than 1% of the population... But it seems like almost every time a woman ends up lifting their skirt around me, well, there's something extra there... *ahem* I don't really use cologne, but if I did, I'd certainly be pretty suspicious of it by now. I've been wondering for a long time if I'm just, ah, "lucky" like that, or if hermaphrodites actually make up a much larger portion of the population than I was led to believe ^.^;; As for tall, lusty, and domineering... Well, maybe the ones that AREN'T like that are the real rare minority? o.o;; I could see that kind of physical state being somewhat... empowering... ~//~;

KamerGuy: What does Lith dream of?
Lith: I don't remember most of my dreams... when I do, it tends to be when I played way too much of a game, or watched too much of a show, and that stuff kind of recycles through my head ^.^;; I mean, sometimes... well, a lot of the time, I have some... inappropriate dreams, but as far as I can tell, most of those can be chalked up to when I'm sharing a bed... and when the line between dream and, um, night grinding kind of... blurs ._.;;

link45oo: Heya Lith, do you speak any other languages - human or animal? Are there any languages out there that you want to learn and why?
Lith: Eh hehe, I know it's going to sound nerdy, but I picked up a bit of Japanese in college ^.^; Some foreign language was required, and well... I watch plenty enough anime to have made that decision easily enough. I'm not terribly good at it, especially understanding people, but I get a little thrill every time I realize I didn't need the subtitles that one time when I watch shows now, so that's something ^.^;; I'm afraid I don't have any gifts with animal communication, learned or otherwise. It's a very interesting field, but it's not really my thing o.o;

link45oo: Does Lith like being asked questions?
Lith: Well o.o I do like explaining things, as strange as that may sound... I even considered becoming a teacher for a while, but I don't think I'd do too well with all the other components of the job. But doing my best to sate people's curiosity is... rewarding for me, in a way, so yes, you could say I do :3 Admittedly, a lot of the questions I seem to get are... a little less appropriate than I might like, but I guess with the life I've ended up leading, and the connection you all have to me, it's nothing to be too surprised about ^.^;; So I'll always do my best!

Alleron: You're not the most...physically imposing fellow out there, Lith; does that bother you?  Do you feel like people tend to take advantage of you as a result?
Lith: Well, the thing about being physically imposing is-- you're imposing. In a lot of situations, I'm happy enough to go unnoticed-- or at the least, to be inoffensive. Larger people are expected to be more confrontational and stand up for things and people and all that... So to that extent, I'm kind of glad to be on the smaller side ^.^; But yes, it's true that there are a lot of downsides. It can be harder to get noticed when I want to be, and... yes, I'm more susceptible to people that are less... polite with their opinions and desires. If I was bigger, I probably wouldn't have as many problems with people like... um, Petre, say. But, I mean, even when things don't go how I want, I can usually get by one way or another. Sometimes, things happen, and you can't help it.... Well. I'm kind of just rambling now. People have taken advantage of my size, but it's never... really went too badly in the end ^.^;; It's true I have to be a bit careful where I go at night, but I tend to prefer staying inside anyway, so it works out :3 I guess that's what I'm going for-- there is balance in all things in life. Where there's an advantage, there's a disadvantage, and vice versa. You just have to be careful to play up your advantages ^.^; And carry a rape whistle.

Spoon: Lith, do you ever shed? And have you had any other problems with your fur like others being allergic to you?
Lith: Oof ._. Every spring, I get pretty... messy. I have to shower twice a day to try and keep up with it, and do twice as much laundry, too. I've known a couple other cats --not a lot, just one or two, I think-- that just didn't care, and let their fur get everywhere. Whenever they got up, there'd be a mess of fur in the seat, and more occasionally coming out of their sleeves or whatnot. I always found that really... distasteful @_@;; So I'm pretty studious with keeping my fur cleared up as much as I can. I've never met anyone with a cat allergy-- I think that's only humans that have them. I know a fair number of humans, but I think even among them... it's pretty rare? I guess I'd better check up on that if I plan on visiting humans much at some point...

link45oo: Just wondering, but has there been anything, anything at all, that you've wanted to tell someone - but never did/get the chance too?
Lith: I find it difficult to believe much anybody could say no to that question o.o;; We all have our little secrets or wishes, little things that for one reason or another we want to say or ask, but can't, or are afraid to... I could probably spend an hour or more going back over all the people I've been mean to because I was in a bad mood or a hurry or whatnot, and I never apologized... I mean, if I'd come back and apologized later, in a lot of cases, it would just be awkward and sound stupid anyway, and even apologizing at the time might not have done it... So I don't know if that counts more as wishing I'd said something, or wishing I'd never been a jerk in the first place ._. And that's just part of it. I don't know how many people I've felt... close to... over the years, but I don't really... I... *ahem* Well, I don't talk about... love, I guess. It's kind of a... scary concept to really deal with to me, after everything. So I... just enjoy the time I've got, and when life takes me elsewhere, that's it. I can wish, but that doesn't mean it would have been better if I had said something. There's my parents-- but who really communicates properly with their parents? And, there's a lot of times I should have stuck up for myself, but I just... stayed silent. Things went smoother, but I guess that was a lot of missed chances to maybe make things a little better than they are, for me, or for others. But, like I said earlier, this is kind of... the sort of thing someone else would be better suited to. So. To answer your question: Yes. So very many things, stretching back as far as I can remember. Maybe I hold onto these things too much. But... they say that, you know, you have to know your history, or you're doomed to repeat it. So maybe, someday, I'll say something I shouldn't. And see if that just makes for a fresh, new kind of regret. *smiles softly*

RealBadBadger: I've got a question for our feline host--Lith, have you ever had an encounter with someone who was unusually large or small? (in general, that is)
Lith: Ah, well, yes. You meet a lot of strange folks of college, and... also, apparently, later, after word of mouth spreads around. To my recollection, the smallest (adult) person I ever met was... three feet tall? I think he was some kind of moth... And I have met some, uh, very large people over the years ^.^; They seem to be another type that seek out, um, my type, I guess? I think there was a wolf that was over ten feet tall... I assume there was something supernatural behind his size, especially since he had three heads. I didn't think it would be polite to ask, though. I've heard about larger and smaller, of course, but I haven't, eh, "met" any ^.^;;

RealBadBadger: well, all right then! Lith, how WOULD you feel if you met someone on the very small end of the scale?
Lith: Like... micro? o.o I'd be pretty curious, I think. When you're talking about a person that's under a foot tall, the physics and anatomy of it all starts changing drastically, I imagine-- I'd probably have a lot of questions about relative strength, traveling over distances, interactions with normal-sized people, and goodness knows what else, assuming they seemed patient enough to handle them. As far as, um, "meeting" someone like that, I'm... not sure? o.o I suppose it would certainly be a reversal on the power issues we've been talking about... I guess... if the mood were right, and both parties inclined... I'd be very curious about a deal of other things? ^//^;;
From here, we moved on to questions for Lithier.

RealBadBadger: Senor Lithier, will there be/are there plans to change the colors of the interface?
Lithier: When I was first setting the game up, I had a lot of doubts about the color scheme and all around look, and I was originally planning on adding an option to switch between a couple different templates so you could have the look you wanted-- but people seemed to be pretty happy with the appearance as it was, and I wasn't sure how to code in the changes properly, so I pushed that aside. I'm not sure what need there would be for a set of options color-wise now, but I'd be happy to take feedback on it, and it probably wouldn't be too much trouble to make it happen. I'm not a coding guru, of course ^.^; But probably.

Alleron: While the context sensitive cues in the code help add to the player's immersion, aren't you concerned that (as the game grows in complexity), they'll become tedious to add?
Lithier: That has been one of my core concerns with the game from early on, actually-- the majority of my experience as a writer is in dealing with linear, classic style stories, in which the text is the same for every reader, there's no interaction, and any given scene only needs to be written one way, one time. Jumping into this game has been a huge strain in some ways, and while it's probably helped flex a few underused muscles for me as a writer, it's also cramped me up in a lot of ways. Almost every sex scene in this game is written at least twice, often with certain portions written three times over within that, or some extension thereof-- especially when I include decision branches in a scene. The balance between immersion --reflecting the player's choices and history in the text-- and the elegance and simplicity of the game overall is probably the core of the design process, and it's where the most important decisions need to be made. I've already made this game much simpler, in terms of trees and variables, than Fenoxo's CoC, which was a large inspiration for this game, as I've often mentioned. And early in the design process, I even stripped away some more of that functionality to try and make things easier for me, to the frustration of my players at the time. What I basically have to do is decide how much I want to put into any one scene and balance my energy for that scene against the multitude of variants that can be written for it. My ideal would probably be to write a game that essentially read like one of those old "choose your own adventure" books-- each page was the same every time, it was just a matter of navigating between them. But that would obviously be much less engaging for the players... So I'm left trying to find the middle ground. This is also why I'm hesitant to add things like vagina/nodick support for the avatar-- that would make for a huge increase in the bulk of each scene, theoretically almost doubling the writing mass of the story. But as things stand, I intend to make the vagina/nodick tree, well, smaller-- so that it's still an option, but it's not really considered the "full game" for purposes of unlocking all the scenes and achievements of the main tree for the game as it stands now. This might be upsetting to people that really want to play a proper vagina/nodick game, but I'm afraid that's how it's going to have to be, both for the sake of my sanity, and because it's appropriate to the design goal of the game-- when you get down to it, Lith is a cockslut at heart. The game is about sex, and if you don't have a dick, you're not going to get to the heart of Lith's identity as a sexual being. So. Yes, I'm always concerned about tedious additions to the code-- especially knowing that so many people will, for example, always choose the biggest dick, and never appreciate the text written in for smaller sizes, or any number of things like that. I've considered adding ways to transform yourself down the line just for that purpose-- to let people get a little more out of the game and see what they've been missing without having to play the whole game as a boring old "normdick." Or what have you. But... I'm keeping that one in my back pocket for now. As things stand, I'm just doing what I can, but it's a possibility I'll start making scenes later in the game less "deep" just so that I can push for having more content in general-- something that, once the base depth has been established for basic gameplay, I think the players may appreciate more.

OldOnes: I guess my quesion is, will there be a possible happy ending? I've read the stories (awesome, by the way), and I hate how he is almost constantly used and abused (and is even used to it).
Lithier: Right now, the three "endings" in the game are the collars-- they basically represent the end of the current game content. But my overall vision of the game as a progression is that they are more of the midpoint-- and each one leads to an ending, happy or unhappy depending on your interpretation, depending on how successful you are in the scenes that are to come. Basically, my current vision for "ending" this game is that, after nurturing a certain kind of behavior in Lith through thick and thin, he eventually becomes a new, "improved" person, with your help. Definition of "improved" can vary, of course... Some could make some pretty compelling arguments for being used as a reliable source of happiness. It's something of a recurring theme with Lith, if you like reading his stories :3

Th3Ch053n0n3: Ok, then, Why can you only get one collar and why is the black one so easy and the white one so hard?
Th3Ch053n0n3: Also, what blue collar devilry is this?
Lithier: To my knowledge, unless I wrote something wrong, there is no white collar-- there are black, blue, and pink. As for why one is easier to get than the others, there are a few factors. For one, while dominating another person sexually can be very physically trying, the decisions involved are largely... relatively simple. Especially in Lith's case, when he's so used to being interacted with in a similar fashion, you can get away with a lot-- and you're basically in the perfect setup for this to happen. Let's be honest-- sitting alone in a void with nothing but a couch, just the two of you, is much more conducive to a physical relationship than a platonic one. Physical isolation has this effect on people in pairs, as I understand it. The nature of the "pocket dimension" that has been provided to you is literally intended to facilitate sexual exploitation-- that is the purpose of this Lith you have taken possession of. Engaging with him as a social being is not the "intended purpose" of this interface as it's designed by the mysterious people who have provided him to you, and the environment and your own avatar reflects that. So it's hard to get very far with Lith socially-- because you are a sex doll sitting in a void on a couch with him. If you were a full-fledged person that went to crappy restaurants with him, studied with him, watched movies with him and played video games, etc., it would probably be very easy to develop a friendship. It would be much more casual, there would be more prompts to stimulate conversation, there would be lulls in your time together, you might not see each other for days and then you can catch up on everything and chat-- but none of that is the case. You are not in a place for making friends, and your avatar --while carefully designed to replicate a living being with remarkable precision-- is calibrated to be a sexual adonis and little besides. For all these reasons, it very much makes sense in game to have difficulty developing a friendship properly. On the "out of character" level, it's difficult because engaging with someone as a friend is simply more difficult decision-wise than fucking him over and over until his ass is shaped like your dick. More of this difficulty translates to you, the player, than it does for when you're just dominating sexually, because I haven't included much in the way of mechanics to make it challenging to the player to fuck the cat. I could, but I think that could take away from the tie-in between in-game difficulty and out-of-game, player difficulty. That being said, I've specifically made collaring a challenging process for MVOL as it stands right now because I wanted to engage something I noticed in my players early on-- a desire to explore every crack and crevice in the game, and to have something to represent their achievements when they've been especially patient, insightful, and thorough. Achievements are extreme of this-- some of them, at least. But collars are intended to be something you manage once you've mastered just about everything else in the game. With all this said, I do intend to make collars the stepping stone to later game content, so before that happens, I expect I'll be adding content to make it easier to get said collars before continuing in a later version. These versions will stand as my Nintendo-hard era, I suppose :P I hope that you find them engaging, and I hope that you do your best to accomplish what you can-- I intend to have the game save your old achievements, so you can archive your full history with the game down the road! That said, you may want to make a backup of your old files, just to make sure flash doesn't eat them due to inactivity between updates. Would certainly help, if you want to have a full, blazing achievement list of glory down the line :3 Not that that's for everyone, of course-- I always meant this to be more a goal for the overachievers among my players...

Th3Ch053n0n3: One sentence should be sufficient to answer this question. What things can you get for Lith? I've found the couch, book, and taking off your clothes.
Lithier: I try not to get too much into actually spelling out the contents of the game to leave as much as possible up to discovery, but it sounds like you've discovered everything the item menu is capable of at the moment besides producing a collar :3

KamerGuy: Are these livestreams going to become a regular occurence?
Lithier: I'm flying by the seat of my pants on this one right now, so I couldn't say. I don't intend to stream MVOL next weekend, but depending on how crazy I feel and if anybody seems to be interested, I might try streaming some regular writing to see how that goes. That was my first actualy Livestream event either, and I was very appreciative of the two people that were kind enough to stick around, but I'd like to have a larger audience if I try something like that again! For vanity purposes, of course. All that said, I think there's a decent chance this could become something like an every other week event if people stay interested. It sounds like there are a lot of people on other continents that can't stay up this late, though, so I may try to move the time forward or change the date!

Th3Ch053n0n3: Oh, wait, One More...... What else are you going to add to the item menu?
Lithier: Well, in case you didn't know, Lith literally has a stat for, ah, his desire for the phallus. So, if and when I add vagina/nodick support to the game, he'll have to get his satisfaction somewhere...

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