A Little Break

This past week I took a bit of a surprise break from work- thanks to everyone who was affected, particularly those of you who watch the silent streaming on weekdays. I really appreciate your patience as I go about sorting my shit out.

It was just a case that between all the cross-promotions, building the website, taking care of Nekochan with her twisted ankle, helping Nekochan take care of her sick mother, and everything, I was getting tense and angry all the time, and Conash finally convinced me to take some time off to relax and get my feet back under myself.

So I spent some time just kind of chilling out, playing lots of Breath of Fire 2 (thanks, people at the Devstream last Saturday!), picking up the Switch release of Wasteland 2, and fussing over the Song of Ice and Fire RPG campaign I’m currently playing in. It was nice, I got over (most of) my stress, and I think I’m ready to tqckle the challenges coming up ahead.

First of all- the Crystalline Village some of you may have seen me working on during the afternoon devstreaming- that might have to rest for a bit. I have a detailed idea in mind for a series of puzzles for that dungeon, and they require an intricate series of tiles from Kumiho- probably the biggest single bag of assets I’ve ever ordered from her.

For now, I’m moving on to the other quest we had planned for this cycle- the first real showdown between the military forces of the Middle Kingdom and the might of Kellos! The Hero will be bravely wading into battle on a special mission to seek out and destroy the Kellosian leadership and help turn the tide in the Middle Kingdom’s favour. If he successfully blunts the Kellosian’s forward advance, the way will be open to take back Eastfort… but what if Barst intervenes?

Well, you’ll just have to play and find out!

Harem Collector v0.39 Public Release!

Get it here!

Changes in this version:
-You can now complete the “Stranger Things” quest by exploring the crater at the extreme left side of the main map!
-You can also complete a new quest by talking with Jakuhl in the elf village after completing “Are You Afraid of the Dark?”
-The Southport item shop is now for sale… and that means you get to meet new harem girl Miri!
-Larelle’s chat dialogue is COMPLETE as of the current version. She comments on all 28 possible other harem girls, 51 quests, has a short series of personal conversations and explains all her skills and spells.
-Lilac and Violet now have personal things they will share in their respective chat menus if you ask.
-After so long asking, I’ve finally implemented the Delish Candy Co. Headquarters in Westcastle, intended as an extreme late-game or post-game investment. But some of you might NG+ your way through or figure out how to min/max your way there. Either way, there are more benefits to this investment than just extra cash flow- enjoy finding out!
-On top of the full art sex scene with Miri, there are also four new text-only sex scenes, including a solo scene for each of Lilac and Violet, a 4p scene with Chimei, Larelle and Kyrie, and a special “other” scene that’s a bit of a secret.

Website Done, What Next?

Ah, so the website is finally finished and out there, and the old website safely packed away where it can do longer hurt anyone. And, as a bonus, there were no problems or bugs in how the site was put together- well, I suppose I should say, at least none that came back to me. I hope this new site will last us for many years.

Redesigning the website has been a major time sink for me in the last month and a half. While standalone WordPress is pretty easy to use, there was terminology to learn, visual deisgn to mull over, plugins to negotiate into cooperating. The last time I put together my own website, it was on Angelfire of all fucking things, so there was quite a bit to learn for myself, and I am also old enough that a lot of software isn’t intuitive for me anymore.

So, now that the new website isn’t taking up so much of my time, what’s next?

A high priority right now is working more on ILTSDK!! There is lots of writing to do, characters to make, mechanics to plan. While Harem Collector is the focus of my attention, I want to make good progress on ILTSDK so that when it comes time for primary production, the team and I can put in our full effort and work efficiently. The way that Harem Collector has gone, with me making things up as I go, hasn’t been the best and I’d like to do better.

The other thing I want to do is investigate how best to market Harem Collector and offer great incentives for existing backers to switch to higher tiers, without increasing the prices for the tiers that currently exist. I want to be able to afford a good composer to make more proprietary music for the game, I want to be able to get an animator for doing new battle animations and make all the special skills and spells really pop. I also want more and faster sex scene art. And, well, if I’m being honest, I’ve been feeling the pinch more and more at home and making a little more money for myself would be nice.

To that end, I’m going to be doing some more formal polls a bit later this month, but please let me know your own thoughts in the comments. If you’re a backer, let me know what sort of rewards you would find valuable, and don’t be afraid to show me ideas from other projects you support. If you’re not a backer, let me know what I could offer that might stoke your interest. Or just tell me that I’m a sell out or saint, or whatever else, I suppose.

Next week is the public release of v0.39, so please look forward to it!

Artist Situation

Jeez, we’re just full of situations lately.

So I’ve been keeping it pretty low key, for various reasons, but just to let you all know, once the last few Larelle and Shally pics are done, SacB0y will no longer be contributing art to Harem Collector. He had encountered time management problems, which those of you who have been paying close attention probably picked up on, and has chosen to focus on his work for Outbreak Games and the occasional contractor

However, I’ve already been in talks with several artists. Next month we should be able to recover from the jumble and carry on with the Therese artwork without falling much further behind. For now, I am continuing to work with Hilent, the artist who did the Miri pics and face set that some of your have already seen in the backer mini-release.

I’m sorry for not being more transparent about this, but I didn’t want to say anything while SacB0y was still finishing up the last of his piecework. But with the public release just around the corner, it didn’t feel right to continue leaving Hilent off the credits list, and I didn’t want to go changing the credits list without some explanation as to why for our awesome supporters. It is by no means a dire situation.

As for the backer release! We’re looking good for it coming out by midnight, or just a shade after. Unfortunately, I was very depressed yesterday, and lost a lot of time as a result, and we’re paying for it now. I do feel as though this is a pretty strong update, though, so please look forward to it!

Forum Situation

So, the forum is still down. We’re getting pretty close to being finished on that end, and if the new, revamped forum with spinners and undercar lights is not up later tonight it will be before the end of the week. Getting the style and visual design of the forum might take a bit, but we’ll have all the functionality there- the progress trackers, wallpapers, short stories and everything will be ported over.

The reason why we’ve put all this fuss into a new forum is because we want a long-form space where the Bad Kitty Games can discuss the games and everything that we love in detail. Discord is great, but it’s ultimately a chat room, and all things there are transient. Patreon is a great way for me to communicate with you about discussions I lead, but it’s not ideal for back-and-forth dialogue.

But that said, especially with the advent of our Discord channel, the old forum ended up underutilized. We used it for weekly discussions, Iron Waifu and collecting bug reports, and that was basically it. Ultimately, this is a place for you, the fans and supporters of Harem Collector and Bad Kitty Games, to come together, discuss things, play, share and communicate. So we’d like input from you for determining what things we can use the new forum for.

If there are any features, events, discussions, bots, anything at all you’d like us to use in the new forum, please let us know here in the comments!

Despite all of this, we’re still looking on track for the backer release next week, so get hyped to meet your newest harem girl and go on even more awesome adventures with your favourite harem slaves!

It’s A-Maid-Zing What Good Writing Can Do

So earlier this month, I was dismayed to find that after all this time, some people still treat Violet and Lilac as being basically interchangeable.

I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. Since they were first created very early in the development of Harem Collector, I haven’t added very much new content for the twin maids, other than keeping them updated with group events such as the Manor Invasion and the various rank-up parties.

I had always imagined them to be two very different characters. Violet is the more quiet, responsible, and refined of the two, who takes her duties as a maid seriously. Lilac is more energetic and outgoing, and while she doesn’t skimp on her duties, she doesn’t live for them in the same way Violet does. I even picked out their hairstyles based on this- Violet has a sensible-yet-elegant shoulder-length haircut, while Lilac just pulls her hair back into a ponytail and is off for the day.

But…. if this isn’t getting communicated to players properly, that’s on me. So while we’re technically meandering through the last of Larelle’s hentai content, while also racing for the end of the Demon Cult plotline… I took some time and wrote additional dialogue for Larelle and Violet, as well as a pair of new (text-only, for now) sex scenes that I feel show off different parts of their personalities.

Hopefully this will help make our twin maids a little stronger for Iron Waifu this year! I’ll try to make time to fatten up their content a little more before the release rolls around, but we’re getting down to the wire soon and the newest quest takes precedence, of course.

Only two more weeks until the backer release! Hope to see you then!

Dungeon Symbiosis

Note: This was suppose to be published last week, but I was laid low by a bad case of the flu. Please enjoy!

So, it’s the last Wednesday of February, which means that it’s our last chance to do our monthly I Live To Serve, Dungeon King!! blog post. These are probably going to bounce around a fair bit, but we’ll try our best to do one each month, just don’t expect them to be all on the second Wednesday or something.

So, last time, I introduced you to the basic ideas and concepts behind ILTSDK, and many of you correctly guessed one of the games which provided the primary influence for our new project- the 1997 PC strategy game Dungeon Keeper. Now, in Dungeon Keeper your minions and monsters live to get paid, and mining for gold and using casinos to cheat your monsters’ pay back is part of the core gameplay. In ILTSDK, the scenario is just a bit different….

Monsters need mana to live, and the primary way that they gain that mana is by absorbing it from human souls at the moment the soul is released from the body (ie, death). In ages past, monsters simply attacked and slaughtered humans, but humans eventually developed castles and wards and other kinds of fortifications to keep monsters out. As a result, monsters began creating their own fortresses, and gathered treasure, occult secrets, and kidnapped humans in order to lure more humans into the monster’s clutches. This is, in essence, what a dungeon is- a place where monsters conspire to lure humans so they can kill them for their sweet, sweet mana

To that end, most monsters (at least, the ones you meet in ILTSDK) are willing to work for free provided their need for mana is met.
That is your primary challenge as a Dungeon King- ensuring that your dungeon has a steady stream of adventurers to “feed” your monsters with, and good enough defenses to take down those adventurers before they kill all your minions and rob you blind.

How to get adventurers, though? Word of your dungeon isn’t going to travel on it’s own, so it’s important to stock enough potential rewards for plundering your dungeon in order to attract new adventurers, and that means having a good supply of treasure, beautiful maidens, and other potential lures. And often, adventurers themselves will be the prime source of much of this, bringing their own money (we all know a good murder hobo doesn’t use a bank or have a home to keep their cash), magic items, and occasional beautiful virgin in with them.

So there is the basic lifecycle of the dungeon. You gather treasure and such to lure adventurers, kill the adventurers, and then keep their stuff to lure more adventurers

Of course, it’s never really that easy… but that will have to be the topic of a future look into the world of ILTSDK.

So, General Update

Wow, what a month. I’m not going to lie, a lot of crap went down in my person life so far this past month. Yet, with the help of the team and a little bit of hard work and focus, not only did the public release go down alright, we’re making great progress on the next update.

One quest is already largely in the can (saying that now in case I’ve forgotten something), a new harem girl is on the way, and I have a good start on Violet and Lilac’s chat menus. Not entirely sure yet what specifically we’re going to be working on for the next four weeks, but we’ve tossed around a few ideas, including adding some random scenes as text-only and a few other things.

I am behind on the website redesign, which I am not happy about, but I do not regret prioritizing game development over that. Web design is something I’m sort of learning as I go (the current version of the website was designed by a previous staff member), so please excuse the final product if it looks very derivative of a template. I’m still hoping to have it ready for spring though.

Sorry that this is not much of an update, I just wanted to give a general idea of where Harem Collector is at for the next update. Please return next week as we’ll be doing the second monthly I Live To Serve, Dungeon King!! update. Until then, please continue enjoying the new content!

Harem Collector v0.38 Public Release!

Download it here: http://www.badkittygames.net/games/hc/

Changes in this version:
-A new quest in the Demon Cult questline, accessible by searching the Northmarket guild for clues after Dude, Where’s My Sword?
-A new quest in the Kellos Invasion questline, given by the man himself, Barst the Lion!
-A collection sidequest, given by a certain pair of merchants found wandering about the Middle Kingdom!
-New art for Larelle’s “A Taste of Death” sex scene!
-New art assets from Kumiho, including a new placeable piece of furniture available at the Tin Dog Tavern!
-Two new text-only sex scenes!   
-A lot of new dialogue for Larelle’s “Chat” menu! Almost everything is in there, so check it out!

Art Transparency

So, things are going to be weird with regard to new art assets for the next few months, and I think you all are owed an explanation as to why and what we’re doing about the situation. The TL;DR, if you’re not interested in my long-winded loquaciousness, is that SacB0y is severely behind on art, so while he catches up this month we’re taken on an additional artist to keep up momentum. There are various delays associated with this.

So, due to various reasons, SacB0y’s productivity has been severely affected since about December. If you’ve been paying very close attention to work on the game, you may have noticed. He needs time to get caught up and finish the last of the solo artwork for Larelle, especially considering that it’s all the sex on demand and dungeon scene stuff, which means that none of the images are variations on each other, which tends to make the process quite a bit faster.

While SacB0y is getting caught up on that stuff, I’m searching for an artist to hire in the meantime, to make up for the lost productivity. This artist (whoever they are, I haven’t made a final decision yet) will be handling the first scene of the new harem girl coming out in v0.39. You might recall that I was extremely reluctant to bring on additional artists, but more and more I’m feeling that having a bunch of different art styles in the CGs is acceptable losses at this point.

So the rough plan right now is that this February, SacB0y finishes the Larelle artwork, while guest-artist-chan introduces the new character. Next month, if SacB0y is back on track, we do the accelerated Shally artwork and get started on Therese. Unfortunately, “accelerated” at this point means in the sense of “we’re getting thirteen months of work this year” rather than a significant increase in speed, but I’ve spoken to the guy who donated for that and he’s cool with it and even offered to accelerate EVEN MORE once we’re in a better position, so may we’ll get the Alina x Therese scene even earlier, who knows?

Anyway, that’s it for now. If you are an artist or you know an artist and would like to apply, please feel free to DM me on Patreon, Discord, Twitter, whatevs. But otherwise, I’m getting back to work. Have a great week!