Saturday, May 4, 2019

v0.40 is Live!


Tons to talk about today!

First off, if you haven't seen already: I have a new website! This is the last update I'll be posting to this blog, so make sure to head over to Lithier.com, bookmark it, subscribe by email, add me to your feed, follow me on Twitter, whatever you gotta do to stay up to date with the news about MVOL and any games I'll be working on after that!

I have a wild mix of news about the new version going out today. First off, the bad news: we left v0.39 with a bit of a cliffhanger, and no, The End is not in this update. As I often do, I'm pausing between sections of story content to add more side stuff. Sorry to keep you all in anticipation! If it's any consolation, this extra time to listen to everyone's feedback and thoughts so far and really think over what I want this ending to be and what I think everyone's expecting has helped a lot with really refining my ideas for it into something I think we'll all be happier with.

Next, the alarming news: this update is another Weird One. I've already compared it on Twitter to how nervous I felt about the first Stone Door update way back in the day, because it is a big, crazy twist to the feel of the game, and some people are probably gonna hate it, but I'm hoping that others will love it. There's a big community out there that's been asking me for more X, and uh... well, some of them probably still won't like this, but others may find this is exactly what they've been craving. I'm expecting this update to be polarizing, and I'll get into that more below.

Now, the confusing news: what the hell is this update already!! Well, that's the trick. v0.40 is The Hidden Update. There's a very large chunk of new content ready that I've been working super hard on, partly because I intended it to be even bigger and laid out all the groundwork for that, but I ran out of time to get all the content done. However, this big chunk of new content is all hidden! Which is pretty hard to do in a text game, arguably. This section of the game is supposed to be a big surprise you eventually run into just when you're not expecting it as you're doing your first few playthroughs, and I feel like if I just spell it out for you guys how to find it, that'll ruin a lot of that experience for you.

So instead of right out telling you where the main new content is, I'm gonna talk about it a little more, and hopefully this'll give you enough hints to point you in the right direction. The truth is, I've been intending to add this content for a LONG time. I knew it'd be added, at least as a small thing, very early in the game's development, and I put a placeholder in the game for it that maybe hinted at what this section would ultimately be like. But! I got such a strong reaction to the placeholder that, in the end, I couldn't bring myself to get rid of it entirely. So now, I've decided to keep both the "placeholder" and the new content in the game. New players are more likely to see the placeholder first, but if you have at least 100 points and have been through the Stone Door at least once, you'll find the new content where the placeholder has been until now.

Now, I think that should be enough to point most folks that have played the game a good amount in the right direction, and I'd encourage you to go play a bit yourself and see if you can't find it. The surprise when you do find it is part of the experience! But if you just can't figure it out, I've spelled out the last piece of the puzzle here. Please only use it as a last resort!

Now, I'll be talking more about this hidden content below, but I'm not gonna give any spoilers. First, though, there's some more, somewhat unrelated news about this update!

As usual, two new pieces of art have been added to this update. One is actually right in that hidden content! The other is a piece I'm really happy with that I got for what a lot of my fans have described as their favorite part of the game so far. Happy hunting!

The one addition for this update that isn't hidden in some way or another is the new content voted in by mysupporters! The Imitation Soda has been upgraded to now be available “both ways,” and doing it the other way can go one of three different ways in the end. Hope you guys will have some fun with that! Thanks to the voters for bringing this scene into the game!

And the last big addition with this update is the new Super Cheats! For high-level supporters, the game truly becomes Your Very Own Lith. Not only does Lith know you by name, but you'll now have access to a powerful suite of new cheats that you can access at any time to change a bunch of variables directly, on the fly, and see how that changes the scene you're looking at. You'll also have the ability to quickly “rewind” to the last few decisions you made in the game, which should make exploring all the game's content a lot easier and faster. This one has been a big challenge, and I hope it'll entice some folks that were on the fence to jump in and be a big part of this project!

On a side note, I've made a few adjustments to the game with this update as well. Cheat versions now start at 100 points instead of 50 to help with finding the new content, but the “Magic Book” has been removed, as it wasn't very useful to begin with, and mostly confused people more than it really did any good. The Completionist's Map at a higher tier level does the job a million times better. Also, the art archive has bumped up to three pages to contain all this awesome art, and I've renamed one of the achievements because, somehow, I hadn't noticed that two of them had the same name for a long time. D'oh!

Alright! That's it for news about the update, but I still have a few things to talk about, starting with the big chunk of new, hidden content. Again, no spoilers! But I know that this is going to be a polarizing addition, and I'm not really sure how it's going to fall in terms of people that like it vs. people that hate it. It's not complete yet, and at this point I'm not sure if I should try and “wrap it up quick,” or if a lot of people want to see “the whole thing.” I originally intended it to be pretty small, but trying to do it right has turned it into a lot more content than I'd expected years ago.

So! I want to hear from all of you, once you've played through the new content! What did you think? I want to get everyone's vote on how you felt about the new contenthere! There's also a space for comments so you can give feedback without spoiling it for everyone else. Please share your thoughts, whether they're good, bad, or meh! I'd like to hear from as much of the community as I can.

To tell the truth, I don't only want people's feedback to see how far I should go with this section of content. This has partly turned into a sort of experiment with ideas I've had percolating in the back of my head for a while. I have about a million ideas for new games that I'd love to make, and one of them shares some themes with this new content, and I kinda used this area as a testing ground for some of the ideas from that concept. So I'm very interested to hear your thoughts on what works and what doesn't!

Next, a small announcement/reminder: I'm still writing stories! MVOL is my main focus these days, but sometimes it's nice to write something a little more casual (and often a lot more fetishistic) on the side, and when I finish up a little story, I post it around on SoFurry, FurAffinity, and InkBunny. I generally consider SoFurry the best place to find my stories, though you'll need an account to actually find my work, as it hides adult stuff from guests. FA doesn't allow some of my stories, and SF just provides the best experience for reading from what I've seen. I just posted a new story a couple weeks back that I was pretty happy with as a peculiar little emotional experience, exploring the idea of vore from a slightly different angle.

And lastly, a note for clarification: yes, the “playable preview” I posted right on the cusp of the beginning of April was, in fact, an April Fool's joke. This was another idea I've been hanging on to for a long time, and I kinda wish I'd done it a year or two earlier, but at least this way I shouldn't have to worry about too many people seeing it that haven't gotten through the whole Stone Door already. Sorry to anyone that was disappointed this maybe wasn't what they were expecting! It was a little bit of a tease for those that are always asking for a “fourth route,” because I've made it clear several times that there are only ever going to be three. Lith's dominance is compatible with all three routes, and has a slightly different feel for each of them. Please enjoy getting used by a cat in the flavor of your choice!

Phew! This was a long one! Big thanks to everyone that's read through all this, and also to everyone for playing my game! I know it can be a weird trip at times, and I appreciate your putting up with my hijinks. I hope a healthy portion of you enjoy the new content!

Monday, April 1, 2019

New Website! Playable Preview!

That's right! I've finally decided it's time to put together something better than this funky old Blogspot page. I have my own website all set up now to use as a platform for MVOL and for future game projects!

Lithier.com


Move your bookmarks now, because I intend to ramp down support for this blog from here. I'll be announcing v0.40 on both sites, then leave this page running purely for posterity and post all future news on the new site.

And to get everyone looking at the new site, I've got a little treat! Be sure to check out my recent post for a playable preview of upcoming content for MVOL! I know a lot of people have been requesting the "fourth path" for quite a while now, and I've finally gotten enough of it done to share my work so far with you all. So check it out today!

Saturday, March 2, 2019

v0.39 is Live!

Go to the Play the Game tab above to grab the new version now!

Got a ton packed into this one in the end! The big feature is, the second portion of the game's final chapter has been installed in full. This means two major new scenes and a bunch of variations for new and existing content. With this, we've arrived at the precipice for the game's final endings!

After that, I'd say the most notable addition is the new save backup system. I've seen folks request this here and there for some time, and when I added it as a possible addition on my Patreon, my supporters finally voted it in! It's been tough working it all out, but I feel like it's mostly reliable now. I can't guarantee it'll work 100% of the time, but my proofers have tried pretty thoroughly to break it and couldn't, so I feel comfortable putting it in your hands.

And of course, two new pieces of art have been added. One is in the early game and will be hard to miss if you're being kind. The other is in the mid to late game and requires being especially cruel... Happy hunting!

Other than that, a lot of small additions and adjustments. I should have done this now, but a certain alternate result from the game's final chapter now has serious, permanent effects on your gameplay when you return to the void. I've also adjusted content to make it a little easier to explore a new side of Lith if you got that choice, but instead gave in.

Also, we've had a lot of issues lately with people being unable to run the game. I think it might be getting a little big for Flash, a little burdensome and heavy on processing, so I've finally gone ahead and removed one of its more troublesome features. The game will no longer collect gameplay telemetry, and should no longer try to connect to the internet. I really liked the idea of being able to see how the game is being played on a large scale, but it just never quite worked out how I'd hoped. Now, I'm hoping that removing that will make the game a little easier and faster to load and play for everyone.

For supporters, the game's basic cheats have also been updated! The cheat menu got a much-needed overhaul and two new cheats have been added. I still need to work on the "advanced cheats" I've promised on Patreon, though, I've been putting it off while trying to get a new Deluxe UI put together. I believe those are the last two big things I still need to add to fulfill my recent promises on Patreon, and while I'm not sure about the UI, I'm hoping to get the full cheats put together for next version.

And the reactions while scrolling through the game have finally been extended through the entirety of the game's content! I also have a lot of notes for extra faces I found I'd really like to add in, so I'm hoping to get those made up before long to really get Lith more expressive and reactive to what's going on in the future.

I think there've been a few more small additions in the background, but that should be everything noticeable to you guys. Phew! This one was a bear to work through, I have to admit, but it's good to have a bunch of stuff crossed off my list. The game is finally taking shape and getting closer to its final state in several ways.

That said, I'm thinking we're gonna leave this at a sort of "cliffhanger" for a little while. I have a healthy amount of side content to work on, and I want to make sure I'm ready to do the final endings just right. And for those wondering, yes, I do expect to continue adding content for a while after the final endings are done with-- there are a lot of little things that could use some extra love once I'm done with the really important stuff. But I don't intend to add too much extra, or to "milk this out." MVOL is meant to be a more focused experience with a purpose to it, and past a certain point, adding anything else will just be detracting from that purpose. It will be very strange to finally declare the game finished, but also very satisfying, I think.

I'll talk about what comes next when we get a little closer to that. For now, thank you all for reading all my ramblings, and for playing my game! I hope you enjoy the new additions!

Saturday, January 5, 2019

v0.38 is Live!

Looking for the game? Go to the Play the Game tab above!

This update has been a big ol' bag of smaller things! First off, a warning: the side story behind the Wooden Door has finally reached its big conclusion, but some of the content can be very disturbing. It's pretty clearly marked when it's gonna get into that, just be aware going in.

That segment is the biggest chunk of new writing in this one. Besides that, thanks to my voters on Patreon, a new, alternate sex scene has been written in for a snuggle scene to accommodate Avatars without certain equipment that have driven Lith to develop a certain attitude. I'd describe it as short but sweet.

The third note as far as written content is that I've finally gone through and started adding alternates to early game content to reflect Lith's "new attitude" after your first taste of the game's final chapter. I'm probably going to add more later, but between this and the next note, you may find you have decent reason to try going back through some of the old content.

Another feature I've been working toward for some time has finally come to fruition in this update! This one proved more technically challenging than it probably should have, and commissioning all the art just right was surprisingly difficult, but now, Lith has a series of faces with which to "react" to the game's content! These will change as you're scrolling through some scenes to help "set the mood" as things progress. I've only implemented these in the first half of the game for now, and I'm hoping to commission some more faces to fill a few gaps I hadn't foreseen, so keep an eye out for more developments with these!

On top of that, I've commissioned faces for our new friends through the Glass Door. These come with a few different versions, and I hope you'll find they make your visit all the richer an experience!

I'm counting all these little faces and such I've commissioned as one "piece of art" for this version. The other is actually fairly related-- this lovely lady got a lot of art in this update...

So besides the big conclusion to the game's main sidequest, the new snuggle scene, the attitude variants sprinkled around, the new scrolling reaction faces, the Glass Door portraits, and the new art, there was one more thing taking up a lot of my time with this update.

With the last update, I added the Completionist's Map to the game. This is a mid-tier Patreon reward that basically shows a fairly cryptic map of the entire game's contents-- every scene and every significant variant. When you start, it's all marked undiscovered, but when you find the scene, it's marked on there, both for whether you've seen it on this playthrough and if you've ever seen it in any of your playthroughs. This lets you get a real idea of how much game is left to discover, and roughly where you might find more, without spoiling anything.

Well! With this update, I made the next big step in improving this Map. For high-tier supporters, the Completionist's Map now acts like a gateway: you can click on any spot in the game, discovered or not, and the game will "teleport" you right into that moment. Have a favorite scene? Or ten? Figure out where they are on the map, and you'll be able to visit them anytime, from any save file, or even from the main menu. Can't figure out what that one undiscovered scene on the map is? Teleporting there won't "discover" it for you, but it will probably give you a big clue as to how to find the scene for yourself...

This was a lot of work, but I think it will be a great feature for people that really want to get all they can out of My Very Own Lith. It's already been a big help for me with testing new scenes more quickly and easily, and I hope my supporters will really enjoy using it.

And that wraps it up for this update! I've still got a lot more on my to-do list for ramping up MVOL to where it needs to be for the promises I've made on Patreon, but hopefully once I've finished upgrading things it'll be pretty self-sufficient from there and not take up too much of my time from finishing the game's actual content.

Thanks for reading all this, and for playing my game! Oh, and happy new year!