Tuesday, January 10, 2017

v0.26 is Live!

Play the latest version by going to the Play the Game tab above!

Alright! I've been working a long time on the content for this version, and I finally feel like it's ready to share. The next chapter of the storyline beyond the Stone Door has begun! It's far from complete, but there's enough content ready to at least go through a basic version of it. If you haven't already, I encourage you to go check it out yourself now before reading on!

While this new area has presented a lot of technical challenges I've had to work through, I've probably been most challenged by the question of exactly how to present it. It's something of a delicate situation for just about everyone involved, and it's absolutely meant to disturb the player to a degree. Especially toward the end of what's currently available, certain players will hit a scene that I've been anticipating with a lot of mixed feelings for a long, long time. So I've been looking forward to and also sort of dreading the reception of this version for quite some time!

I'd like to take a moment to clarify here, it's not that I have any spite toward players or just want them to feel bad. I'm anticipating some negative responses to this version because it will have a negative emotionaly impact on some, and I feel that's necessary. This is an important step in developing the storyline as a whole, both because it's important to developing the main theme and arc of the game, and because we're entering the final stages of the story. Up until now there have been lots of ups and downs, lots of charming moments and emotional sequences, but this is essentially the penultimate Chapter of the game.

I said before that the collar itself is, in a way, a halfway point in the game. If you look at the Table of Contents I made up (I'll be updating this soon) you can see that represented a little more clearly. Looking at this, you could say that MVOL is a story in six chapters or so, and we are just now beginning chapter five. If you're familiar with storycrafting, that generally means that this is where things are going to get more and more intense and conflicted, building up to the climax and resolution in the final chapter. We're really getting into it now!

So that's why the game is taking another emotional turn here. I've spent a long time kinda fine tuning this in my head to try and find the best way to present it to accomplish all my goals without making the player more uncomfortable than necessary. There are a lot of delicate topics being handled here, and I want to both give each player the chance to play how they want, but also to challenge them to make decisions they may not want to make, decisions they may not have ever thought they would have to make. Figuring all this out has been the biggest challenge for me in this new content, and I feel like there's not that much actually written down compared to how much time I've spent going over it in my head. But I feel like it's in a good place! I think it was worth the months, probably almost a year in advance I've been working on this on the side, trying to get just the right feel. I hope it comes across well for everyone.

This is another update with no sex scenes in it. Considering the content, I think some people may be relieved, haha. I used to feel like I really needed to include at least one sex scene with each update, and like maybe I needed to warp the story to make sure there was lots of sex, since that's something people expect. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized I don't think that's really what anyone wants. Sure, some people will always be here for the sex, and that's fine. But it's more important that it happens naturally. I've found that when I don't try to force sex to happen, it actually becomes a much more natural part of the flow of the story, and feels way better than if I just say "a sex scene needs to happen here, let's do it." And if you're this deep into the game, I think you'll appreciate a sex scene that comes a little later but feels appropriate over one that feels shoe-horned in.

So I've been trying to rely more on my own instincts in driving the story forward and just letting sexual content come naturally. I do plan to have sexual content in this chapter, and I think it's pretty obvious I'm building up to that, including a way to tempt/justify those that normally might not indulge. It's kinda bugged me how many people tell me they play the game solely for the story and don't even get sexual, and I'd like to see if I can give some of those players reason to think twice. Haha.

So there's a lot going on with this version, story-wise! It's still just the beginning, though, and there will be more options added in the future to really make this first sequence an interesting experience to explore and play through multiple times. Besides that, I've added two new pieces of art, of course, though I think this has finally burned through the very last reserves of my big art-commissioning spree a while back. Looks like it's time for another one!

Lastly, for anyone still concerned from my last post, yes, I did get my data fully restored. It was very expensive, but in the end I got lucky and they were able to restore 99% of my data. A huge load off my mind! If you'd ever like more up-to-the-minute updates on what I'm doing, including my restoration and the small delays we saw on the release of this version, you're welcome to follow me on Twitter! I make dorky jokes occasionally, but mostly I use it to talk about the latest developments with my work, good or bad.

That wraps it up for now. Thanks for reading, everyone, and I hope you enjoy the new content! Or at least... are intrigued by it?


  1. Is the new art related to the Stone Door scenes?
    I think I went through all scenes except those and maybe a few of the one time only scenes, but couldn't find the new art.

    1. It's easy to miss the new art in this update, because one is in a sequence that's optional to the main story, and the other is only on one of three paths. Neither is through the stone door, though!

  2. The stuff that is here didn't bother me as much as the implications of what might need to be done to "make things go right". Many things that are distinctly BAD came to mind.
    Well. We'll see how it goes, but this is going to hurt.

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  4. So, hoping you'll read this.
    I don't want to spoil anything for anyone, but I'd like some clearance for myself before I go and hammer away at the keys for lengthy periods of time.

    I checked the forums and was not able to find my answers there. So to anyone reading this, there will be mild spoilers or "hints" so the creator knows what I am on about, SO READ ON YOUR OWN BEHALF!

    I am basically stuck. The doors, two of them are "cleared" at the moment and won't let me progress, and the first one only throws me back to the same 4 options, because I do need more "context" (I hope you catch the drift)

    I did everything else, walked around the void just to "bump" into something, then went back.
    Tried, or rather spammed, other options relentlessly, without any progress, I am unable to gather more context which would allow me to progress in the first door.

    Is there anything beyond that "context" or is that where the current content ends?

    1. If I'm understanding you correctly, and you've opened three doors total, then yes, it sounds like you've reached the end of the available storyline. There are some hidden bits here and there, and you can get a lot of different content if you start a new game and go down a different route, so you may still have a lot of stuff to find :3 But it sounds like you're probably as far into the story as you can get right now. You may want to keep a save from before you go through the third door, though, as I'll be expanding that area with more options in coming updates!

    2. Thanks for the quick and honest response. I unlocked almost everything already, played a bunch of times with totally different setups.
      I just had the feeling that I might have hardlocked my file, but atleast I'm at ease now that I didn't break the game.

      I figured I need to progress through the third door further to unlock more in the first one, atleast if your little friend in door one is telling the truth :p

      Seems like I have to be patient again, just when things began to get fun >_<

  5. Nice. Just curious, do you do any testing of the game using Gnash? It's a version of Flash made by GNU rather than Adobe, available for more than the usual operating systems.

  6. Hi there,
    So hey, Lithier, I really want to thank you for making this game. It's crazy and weird, but very sweet. Of course raunchy too... But the sweetness was unexpected.

    I played one version online that was a bit older, before there was a female Lith, and that was ok with the Avatar as female. But with my Avatar as male and Lith as Female, the "Friends" path is really, really cool.

    It's a very sweet thing to be able to figure out what Lith's background is, and to be kind and protective of her.

    So here's the reason that I wanted to tell you about it. So I was completely stuck. I couldn't figure out even that I was supposed to pick one of the three paths and get a collar. So I found Petre's Guides! And then I started from the beginning with the "Friend" path, and Voila! Love forever But then she mentioned she wanted to read more, so I walked away to give her a chance to read..... But I waited too many times! And she completely disappeared! I was completely shocked! And surprised that there would be an ending where she escaped happily. but left me behind!

    And then the critter got me! And I died!

    You blew me away man. That was my first time reaching an ending to the game, and it COMPLETELY threw me for a loop. She escapes to presumably live happily ever after (What more could you wish for a friend?) but then I DIE because I'm alone in the white.

    Brilliance. Pure brilliance. I was shocked and surprised. What an amazing ending!

    So thanks for a great creation.

    Wolf Canavar