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).

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Stirrings in the Deep

Hey, folks! I've got some good news and some bad news today. The good news is that, after about a week of especially intense hatred of everything I've ever attempted to write, I've started feeling better, and I'm finally getting some more writing in on the game. Better than that, I've rediscovered some of my zeal for the sexual and managed to bust out a sex scene that I think came out pretty decent, and I believe its content will make some particular crowds around here pretty happy. I still need to complete at least one more, larger sex scene before I could even consider the game complete enough to release, and even in that state I think the new content would feel disappointingly short. So I'm conflicted on how much further to go before calling it v0.15, but at the very least, I think this counts as a not insignificant chunk of progress.


40% is a rough estimate-- if I want to push the update out sooner, it may be more like 50 or 60, but if I want to make it a worthwhile update that at least gives a good idea of what the new content is about, it may actually be more like 30% of the work that needs to go into it. I may go for sooner, though, as I do want to ship out a few small improvements on the side as soon as possible and see how they work out!

Now, for the bad news. I do have a tendency to be pessimistic about things, especially when they seem to be too good to be true. That's a part of the reason I kept a pretty tight lid on the fact that I was working closely with an artist on refining Lith's appearance, with the goal of creating a new, vastly superior mood picture for Lith in game in the short term, and potentially adding a good deal of art to enrich the experience in the long term. I was honestly very excited for the opportunity, as the artist was talented and their style, I felt, worked very well for Lith. Unfortunately, real life has swooped in and turned the artist's life upside down, and the project has been aborted for the time being. I'm sorry to say my pessimism has turned out to be a wise measure in this case, as I would have hated to get all of you as excited as I was for this development, only to experience the same crushing disappointment.

So, I'm still looking for an artist to supplement the game and replace my crappy little Lith face in there. Hopefully at some point another opportunity will come along, but at this point, I'm not sure what I can do to seek it out aggressively. Most artists of the skill level I'm seeking are often both quite booked, quite expensive, and jaded and wearied by the strange and unclear demands of their clients, and I can't say that I would be any less particular or demanding-- my overly strict standards for the portrayal of Lith do not extend only to text, after all. But I shall maintain hope. Perhaps over the next few weeks I'll share what work and sketches we had created in the process of trying to make the project happen, if you all would be interested, and would not feel it to be too much like salt in the wound.

So, that's the news with My Very Own Lith. Progress is beginning again, the game advancing in one area while it founders in another. I thank you all for your patience, and I hope I'll have more good news for you soon :3