Saturday, January 26, 2013

Gender vs. Sex and Future Options

The poll going on right now dips into some of the nooks and crannies of the sex options that I'm planning on making available in the future for MVOL. I've made a few decisions as I've gone on to restrict certain options, and I go into the reasons on the forum. There has been a little confusion as to what exactly I'm saying I'm planning, however, so I thought I'd try and clarify that here.

Can a male or female identity Lith have _____?
Anatomy | "He" Lith | "She" Lith
Penis   |   Always  |    Yes
Vagina  |    No     |    Yes
Breasts |    No     |    Yes

Can Lith have ______ if the avatar does or doesn't have a dick?
Lith's  |Av. w/ Dick|Av. w/ No Dick
Penis   |   Yes     |   Always
Vagina  |   Yes     |    Yes
Breasts |   Yes     |    Yes

Can Lith have ______ when s/he has or doesn't have a dick?
Lith's  |   Dick    |    No Dick
Vagina  |    Yes    |   Always
Breasts |    Yes    |    Yes

So if you want to have a Lith that identifies as a girl, has breasts, but has a dick, that will work just fine, and she can have a vagina or not, your choice. But if you leave Lith identifying as a boy, his anatomy will essentially be unchangeable. If you choose to have no dick when that becomes available, then you'll be able to give Lith a vagina and breasts as long as you've chosen to have him identify as a girl, but you won't be able to take away her dick.

Again, if you'd like to know more about the reasons behind these decisions, or want to discuss them, I encourage you to join us on the forum. The poll is also there as a way for you to voice your desires. I'm sure some of you will be disappointed that these options are being restricted, and I'm sorry for that, but I don't think there's a significant enough demand for it to be worth writing in throughout the length of the game and fighting my own instincts on what's right for Lith. But the poll is your chance to prove me wrong on that point, should the case be.

I hope this clears things up a bit, and thanks for taking the time to read!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

MVOL Forums is Live!

If you've ever wanted to speak up on the blog but didn't want to bother with the cumbersome blogger comment system or risk being lost in the buzz amidst the chat, come to my new forum! Guides and interview transcripts are readily available, and you can discuss and share with your fellow players. I'm open to suggestions for new features and topics to add, so take a look around and let me know what you think!

Friday, January 18, 2013

v0.11 is Live!

Head to the Play the Game! tab to get started! For more info on what's changed, read on, but the other big news you may have missed is, I hope to have a forum going up soon! Check the post just under this one for more info.

A recent survey on what content players are interested in having added to the game put three features on top, roughly: dominant Lith, more mention of the avatar's individuality in scenes, and girl Lith, in that order. I've actually already started working on just about all the options that were on that survey in one way or another, if only to see how difficult they would be to implement. It was this explanation, along with the personal encouragement and offered assistance of a fan by email, that led me down the road of converting MVOL's code behind the scenes.

At first, converting all of the text in the entirety of the game to work with this new, more streamlined system seemed an overwhelming and tedious task, but once I'd gotten working on it long enough, I actually found a great variety of the work could be done with powerful find-replace tools rather than having to read everything and fix it manually. Thanks to this conversion, many more options became dramatically more feasible, chief among which was one of our top three desired additions: girl Lith.

With the new system of writing, I can mark each and every use of "he" or "him," etc, such that it can be automatically converted to "she" and "her" and so on. This allows us to effectively make Lith a girl-- or indeed, any of the many interesting shades in between. Of course, this is only a first step down that path, and there are many limitations: Lith's anatomy will not be affected in any way by this change, and some text may sound strange being converted so directly. In most cases, I went through and tried to add logic trees and such to make things sound more natural, but in some, I actually like the odd contrast-- such as when Lith is discussing his past. As it stands, this conversion to female is something that you can do to Lith just before you first meet him-- meaning that while he may identify as female now, he was a male before... and I just may be expanding on that in the future :3

As for dominant Lith, I've had the idea in the back of my head for a bit, and with this update, I've added modifiers to all existing scenes that seemed like they should affect how dominant Lith sees himself in the relationship and added one scene that can only be accessed when you've nourished his dominant flair sufficiently. For the second of the three options, details for the avatar, I tried to write the new scenes with this in mind, and I'd be interested in how well people feel I did-- and I'm hoping to discuss what exactly people want to see in the game on this count when the forum is up and running!

Lastly, a request that stuck in the back of my head for some time-- I've added the option to give Lith a big, warm hug as an end-game scene that should also make it significantly easier to get some of the collars.

For those of you that may feel inclined to make a donation, along with the usual cheats available in MVOL+, you should know that I've also added some more content for an avatar with no phallus, as well as the beginnings of the option to give Lith breasts! Click Donate Now at the upper right of this screen, and any amount you see fit to donate will get you a copy of MVOL+ as my token of thanks :3

I hope you all enjoy tooling around with v0.11! I'm sure I missed a lot of "he's" and "him's," so do let me know if and when you find some! ^.^; My email is best. Cheers!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Coming up Next: a Forum!

I've noticed that while I get a fair amount of traffic at this blog, a lot of folks don't end up commenting or leaving their mark and thoughts for a variety of reasons, even if they'd like to. And what's worse, it's hard for people interested in the game to communicate with each other! So I thought this would be a good time to introduce a forum. I don't expect it to be very large to start with, but I'm hoping that if enough folks are interested, it could grow into a proper lil community :3

Right now, I'm partway through getting it set up-- I have a host and a domain, and I'm trying to decide between BB software templates right this moment. I've got it narrowed down to either phpBB or SMF, and I'm having a terrible time making up my mind xP But I'm hoping that I might have it set up and ready to go by this weekend!

I'm planning on including a variety of features on the forum: a space for both official and unofficial guides, a Q&A/help forum, a direct line of contact for asking questions of Lith and Lithier (possibly a replacement for the mid-livestream interviews), and general discussion spaces for the game and for other things.

What I'd like to know is: what else would folks be interested in having opened up for the forum? A suggestions/future speculation space? A space for sharing your own stories? For roleplaying? General porn? A space for discussing some other, specific thing? Doctor Who? Anime? Video games? I've been deliberating on what to include, and I suspect that I could just open a subforum now and then for whatever comes up most prevalently, but at the same time, I suspect that opening a forum on a specific subject would encourage more conversations to open up on it. So, what would you like to see? What would you like to talk about? I'll be keeping my eyes open for comments on this post, on the chat to the right, or if you can't use either, you're welcome to email me.

I hope you're all as interested in making a community together as I am! I'd really like to have an open space for discussing the game and everything around it! ^.^

Friday, January 4, 2013

Another Livestream and Interview Done

 Livestream is all done! We didn't have much of a turnout, but my thanks to all those that came! Here's the transcript of the interview we had ^.^

Interview Transcript

Opening up with questions for Lith! Any and all is fair game, though he is, of course, a bit limited in what he knows and what he may be willing to answer himself... Be creative! Advice, philosophy, secrets, the great and small questions of the universe. Flaws, strengths, prides and shames, his past, his future, his opinion on current events. It's all up for grabs!

shut_up_steve: 1: favourite thing to do 2:most recent activity? 3: what is your current desire? 4: what grinds your gears? 5: any irrational phobias? (like afraid of clowns)
Lith: Oh o.o starting with a bang! Well... 1. My favorite thing to do... in general, out of all things one could do? I'm guessing winning huge piles of money doesn't count, if only since I've never done it ^.^; My favorite thing to do... would probably be curling up with somebody I trust and watching something really nerdy-- a good anime, or firefly, or the like, with some bad chinese food to share or something of the like. And maybe breaking out a good console game when the show's over. I guess it's plain, but I've loved it every time I've done it, and there's few times I've felt more... comfortable ^.^ 2. Most... recent? o.o; That's a little tricky to answer, since I'm kind of an amalgam of myself from across a large period of time ^.^; Can I cheat and say my most recent activity was describing my favorite thing to do? x3 3. My current desire... kind of falls under the same problem. My current desire is to give you a satisfying answer, but I think it isn't working! @_@ 4. What grinds my gears? Well... people that just won't listen, I guess. There's a lot of injustices in the world, a lot of things that have gone wrong on purpose or by mistake, and while some of them are caused by people that honestly don't care about their fellow man (or only care about those very close to them) so many... horrible, heart-wrenching things happen because people just don't listen. I believe that knowledge is the most precious currency in the world, and it should be exchanged freely and constantly. But when people lie, keep secrets, or refuse to even listen, everything falls apart, and the "civil" in civilization begins to disappear... Sorry if that's kind of vague, but I think everything that really frustrates me comes down to that, eventually @.@; 5. Irrational phobias... well, I dunno how irrational it is to be, um, kind of terrified of speaking in front of crowds o.o; I mean, if you say something wrong, you could suddenly have an angry mob on your hand... and angry mobs are very good at not listening, to say the least ~.~;; I will say that clowns are pretty creepy as well, I've never been comfortable around them, but I'm not sure many people since the 50's have been...

Xanes: what is your opinion on the brony community?
Lith: Ohh o.o; They can be a bit of a peculiar bunch... I will admit there's one thing that sort of ticks me off-- the main draw, at least as far as I can tell, is that it's an animated show that is well-animated, decently written, funded well, and has voice actors that actually know what they're doing. In short, it's a GOOD animated show, which, in America, is pretty revolutionary... especially when it isn't centered around superheroes. So, my frustration is that it's accumulated such a massive following because Americans (and I'm being pretty rude about this, I'm sorry, it's really the Western hemisphere in general ^.^;; ) have such a massive gap in their media where animated content is concerned. So, my objection is that there's already tons of anime out there that's exceedinly well-crafted... but it's already earned a certain overarcing stigma among Westerners as geeky. So the fact that there's finally a Western cartoon that's actually well made draws a huge, sudden following... I dunno, that's what it spells out to me at this point. I've looked into the dichotomy between American and Japanese animated media a lot, and the huge disparity in quality and variety is just aching for relief. I guess in that perspective, it's both frustrating and promising-- if this success can translate into a new batch of properly made, Western animated shows; if producers will finally get it through their heads that there's a market for this, thanks to anime and My Little Pony? Then I'll count it a blessing. But... as for the community? Well, like any internet community, they have a lot of quirks, some trolls, and a very persistent set of memes tied to them. If you let yourself be annoyed by it, it could be very annoying indeed ^.^;; Personally, I just see it as kind of amusing and strange... and um, some of the, ah, "art" isn't too bad... Ah, n-next question?

Xanes: do you have the same senses and abilities as a normal cat
Lith: Well o.o I do have retractable claws, and a tail... if that counts. I smell better than humans do, but not by a lot. I forget just this second if regular cats are colorblind, but I can see all colors, as far as I know ^.^; But I can't see much better in the dark than humans can. I guess I've got pretty human eyes. Let's see... I can sleep as much as a cat does, if I care to :p I'm plenty flexible, but I don't really have good reflexes. And I almost never land on my feet... @.@;;

And with that, we concluded Lith's portion of the interview. Now for Lithier!

Xanes: when did you join the furry community and why did you join the community?
Lithier: I couldn't give a date, or even a year, but I believe it's been at least five years now-- although it may depend on your definition of being a part of the community. I think I answered this question before, so I'll try to be brief: as far as interacting with furries, I first started chatting amongst them five or more years ago for jollies and enjoyment, and gradually learned more about the furry scene from there. I've never had a direct fursona, and I've attended all of one in-person furmeet, and I've since moved away. I don't know where the line is drawn, I don't even know if I could fully be considered a furry now, but I have a fairly long history with members of the community, and I'm glad to be here ^.^

shut_up_steve: whats your favourite game? and what is the part about it you like best?
Lithier: That's a tough choice-- I have a rather large library, and I dabble a lot. If we were going by sheer amount of time I put into the game, I'd have to say Team Fortress 2-- I've lost hundreds upon hundreds of hours to that game, which is funny, because I generally despise shooters. What sets TF2 apart is its friendly, eye-pleasing style, the immeasurably superior attitude of the community of players, and its constant support and improvement at the hands of its creators. Each of these are really massive, singular achievements when you get into it, honestly. As far as simply being an excellent game... There are too many to say, but Final Fantasy IX holds a fond place in my heart after all these years, with its fundamentally enchanting atmosphere and near ideal mix of the old classic mechanics before squenix started messing it up. Really, there are lots of excellent games out there in recent days, and I'm thrilled that the game industry seems to be getting back on its feet after some serious stagnation in the late 2000's. I hope to have a lot of new favorites soon.

shut_up_steve: what is your favourite sort of thing to watch on youtube to fix your boredom? comedic acts? action stunts? educationals? other? or just drift at random?
Lithier: I don't catch a whole lot of youtube, really, but what I do watch is usually comedy. Typically, I'll either watch the latest DBZ abridged when it comes out, or bounce around silly TF2 videos until I get bored. When I'm really bored, don't feel like gaming, and don't have the energy or focus to work on creating entertainment for you darling folks, I'll probably either read/listen to a book, or watch some anime. But not on youtube, so I dunno if that counts...

Xanes : if you could make same kind of graphic you see in a video game and were going to make a game, what kind of game would you make?
Lithier: You know, I used to have lots of huge plans for making all sorts of non-ero games back in the day, but I haven't thought about designing a regular game in quite some time now. If you mean, supposing that it was just me making an indie game, but I also had the ability to 3D model and all that? I'd suppose I would make some kind of RPG or simulation game. I enjoy toying with the idea of parallel timelines and decision trees, and how you can explore new concepts, new sides of things by retreading old ground with new intentions and different intentions, and I think it could be pretty fun to make a game you could play each time and get a different outcome-- a little like what you see in MVOL, but on a less perverted, grander scale, with more violence, probably. If you mean, were I to be the lead of some kind of actual, professional game project? Hell, I'd probably run a proper sim, then-- something along the lines of Civilization, either on a smaller or much larger scale. I think it could be pretty interesting. If you mean... a porn game? Well, I've got a couple ideas I've been storing away for a possible successor to MVOL, though none of them really count on having significant graphic elements... It would be nice to have a Western equivalent to all the lovely humping games you see coming from Illusion and the like in Japan, though.