Hey everyone! Conash here to bring you an update as to the biggest change we’ve got going on among our team at the moment. After years of being in pre-production, I Live To Serve Dungeon King, our next project, has officially been moved into being in full development! We haven’t forgotten about Harem Collector, and while there may be a few months where we’re less productive on it as a result, given the amount of up front work that ILTSDK requires to really get going, working on it while we’re working on closing out the story of HC just makes the most sense. So, as the guy in charge of a lot of the more technical and mechanical aspects of things, I thought I’d take this opportunity to tell you all a bit about the stuff that we’ve discussed as a team about the project!
The first thing that I should answer is a question that we’ve gotten asked a lot over the years in regards to this project: what engine we’re going to use. I’ve given a different answer on this subject in the past, but over the past few months I was given more concrete information as to why some people at least were apprehensive about our original choice of Unity, and have since looked into things. Due to a variety of development concerns, from ease of use, to licensing pricing structures, to support available, we’re currently deciding to go with Godot, keeping Unity as a backup if we run into any catastrophic issues during these early stages.
This isn’t to say that Godot is just ‘better’ than Unity, as Unity has several advantages, however, everything that I’ve found suggests that Godot wouldn’t be as much as a resource hog as Unity would be for our 2D game, the open source nature will also allow us a bit more freedom to fix issues with the engine, while getting Unity’s tech support would require that we spend a pretty significant chunk of our budget each month on licensing. Some of my research also indicated that Unity has been allowing some pretty big bugs in their engine to stay around for a long time, and fosters development practices that are difficult to take to any other engine, both of which just push me into feeling that Godot is a better long-term pick. Those aren’t all of the factors that come into play in this decision, but for those wondering we did look into about a dozen different engines before we got to this choice.
Onto actual development goals. The BKG staff has been coordinating a lot of things over the past week, since ILTSDK is going to have a very different development cycle than HC. We’re very excited to get working on the game, and I’ve got to say I do not envy NoMoshing having to coordinate all of us while still doing what he can to help develop two games and manage his own life!
Right now, our goals are to work on getting out both a trailer and a tech demo out later this year, to show what sort of things we have planned for the game. My focus, as our programmer/technical guy, is mostly on the tech demo, so I’ll leave talking about the trailer to others. I’m hoping to be able to get the tech demo into a state where you can play the game and get a good sense for what to expect from it, maybe even add in more substantial gameplay if we can manage it, but it’s very much going to be bare bones compared to the main game as we’re looking to more show off the very foundational elements of things. Don’t expect a full 20+ hours out of the tech demo.
What we are currently hoping for is to have a decent slice of all three aspects of gameplay, the dungeon building, the dungeon defence, and the story sequences. We don’t want to bite off more than we can chew right out of the gate, but it is important to be able to at least give the basics of what we’re hoping for the full experience. While the demo will probably be rather bare bones, there should be some level of depth to the gameplay here as I’ve already got plans on how to make use of the elements we do have planned in ways that should give some depth of options. When combined with some adaptive difficulty that we want to implement, this should help give an enjoyable experience to you, the players.
While our intention is to capture a piece of what hallowed, older management sims like Dunegon Keeper 2 were like, and seeing a hentai parody of that concept fully realized. We do intend to make things a bit easier to approach, trying to push towards more ‘macro’ or ‘mid’ level managements at best since a micro heavy gameplay loop is not something we really feel enthused to make.
Another consideration that will be coming into play with the gameplay is that we want players to be able to more easily approach things at their own pace, to not have any sort of ‘traditional’ game-overs. Instead, we’re focusing on having it so that poor gameplay or choices result in a loss of resources instead of a full on game-over, adding in adaptive difficulty to allow players to be able to recover from situations they end up in.
Before I go, I’d like to talk about the design motivations that are going into ILTSDK. I can’t go too deep into specifics as almost everything still very much is up in the air, if you’re reading this then you’re probably a fan of Harem Collector, so I do think it is important to mention some things. ILTSDK will not feature several of the fetishes that are explored in HC, due in large part to it running contrary to the general themes and character motivations that we’re hoping to hit on with the game. Not just in gameplay, but in terms of theme and story, I Live to Serve, Dungeon King!! will be a very different experience to HC.
To be clear, while we know how certain subjects would create trouble with our current funding model, their lack of inclusion has more or less been something that we’ve planned to do from the start for this project, as we have Harem Collector and perhaps some future projects that will handle those subjects already, and these topics are just not going to be a part of Dungeon King’s theme and style.
We are not abandoning everything that featured in HC, however. As Dungeon King will continue being a harem game, there will still no no single romance “routes” and we already have plans for incorporating harem relationship progress into gameplay, so that developing relationships gives you benefits instead of costing resources. To say much more would probably get a bit spoilery, but I’ll say that many of us on staff are very excited about various characters and the choices or motivations about them being made, so look forward to all of that!
That’s about all that I have to say on the matter, hopefully we’ll have more to update you all on over the next few months, but I hope this much was enough to at least whet your appetites a bit in regards to a project that we here at BKG are very excited to be working on!