Saturday, May 4, 2019
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!