We Live!

Hey, sorry for not updating for a couple weeks. I’ll try to get back on track this Wednesday.

There isn’t any dire reason why I haven’t updated the blog in a while. It’s just fuckass hot in my region right now, and while I have central air, it’s kind of jury-rigged into my 90 year old house, so the second floor has one intake, one outflow, and neither of which are actually in my office.

Because of the heat, I have been focusing on game development, and cutting hours I would otherwise spend on communication, marketing, and administration. So, I promise it only *looks* like I’m doing very little.

The quests for v0.41 are in their final stages, I only have a little bit of final dialogue, and some enemy placement and treasure drops to do. I’d like to tie off some new sex scenes and chat dialogue, that sort of thing, as well, but we’ll play it by ear on that one.

I just wanted to make this effort to reach out real quick, so I’ll leave it at that. Thank you for your support, as always, and I’ll see you in a week and a half for the backer release!

Depression and Community

So I’ve got to be just about the luckiest person alive among western adult game devs.

Earlier this month, I had a pretty gnarly bout of depression. As some of you may already know, I have a mental illness known as dysthymia (also known as persistent mood disorder). It is a form of depression that is usually more mild and easier to deal with. Usually it hits pretty bad about once a month, for only a few days, and I’m able to deal with it and move on. I’m pretty used to dealing with it, plus I have a great support network at home to help me get through when I am feeling down. I’ve been feeling this way ever since I was a child- although I was only diagnosed and able to fit a name to it a few years ago- so this really isn’t anything new.

For whatever reason, this month was pretty bad, and my “down” period lasted somewhere in the neighbourhood of about two weeks. When I enter into one of these depressive phases, I become unable to focus on things for very long, and being creative becomes particularly challenging. Failure is especially difficult to deal with, and finding myself unable to write anything of substance, figure out a bit of logic or code, or even failing to make progress playing video games can shut me down for hours.

“But NoMoshing,” you may find yourself wondering, “If you’re whining about being depressed, why did you start off this blog post saying how lucky you are?”

It’s because of you all. The Harem Collector community has to be one of the most welcoming, understanding, and supporting communities in the western adult game sphere. You’ve always been patient and understanding with me when these sorts of situations crop up, and I am constantly astounded and humbled by your continued trust and support every time.

When I solicited ideas of what to write for today’s blog post on Discord, and awesome fan Sad suggested writing something about the community, this is the first thing I thought of. It is a genuine privilege to have you all as fans, and I hope I continue to be worthy of your trust in the future. You’re all so amazing, and I look forward to entertaining you even more, like always. Thank you.

Harem Collector v0.40.4

Get the latest version!

Changes in this version:
-New quest in the Ancient Mysteries questline! If you’ve completed all Ancient Mysteries quests thus far and Da Orcest Dungeon in the Save the Elves questline, Professor Antimbits  will be in touch about a new adventure!
-New quest in the Kellos  Invasion questline! If you’ve completed Circle of Strife, Shally will have new orders for you from Queen Regal.
-Upon winning a battle, occasionally your party members will have something to say!
-The Love Shop has been revised, so you can now use Heart Tokens to buy rare Daily Quest drops that you’ve missed.
-Characters with a “taunt” ability (Raina, Doll, Therese, Phantom Knight Hero,  Yamamaya, other party members under the “Sanctuary” buff) will now have a chance to protect other party members during enemy AoE attacks!
-A tiny bit of new artwork and some other small changes have been added. 

The Epic Conclusion

If you’ve been following the Patreon and/or the forums really closely, you’ll know that this has been a dramatic half-week for Harem Collector artwork. Let me break it down for you. Please read until the end, as this story has some plot twists and turns and you’re not going to be able to fully appreciate the context for everything until you get to the bottom

Back in February, SacB0y said he was getting better job offers and had to move on from working on Harem Collector because he couldn’t fit it into his schedule. Fair enough, but at this point SacB0y had been paid for most of Larelle’s sex a la carte and dungeon scenes, eight images in total, and been paid for half of Shally’s sex scene which had been especially sponsored by a fan. SacB0y told me not to worry about it, Jingzy would finish the rest of the images and he’s do lineart for the Shally scene and have Jingzy finish it off with colour and background, at which point I’d pay Jingzy the remainder of the cost of the scene. I wasn’t super happy about this turn of events at the time, but this was acceptable. If it had to happen, I’d at least have my bases covered and be able to deliver to fans and patrons.

Over the next three months, things end up being tense and awkward. I find a new artist and start working with him, SacB0y and Jingzy occasionally send me roughs and lineart to approve, but both of them blow through multiple deadlines. I try to be patient, though, keeping in mind that playing nice is the best chance I have at getting my patrons their money’s worth and trying to be professional. To Jingzy’s credit, he did eventually produce some results- the three finished images that backers got to see a couple weeks back- and he was progressing fairly well on some other images and would occasionally update me.

Cue the start of June. I’m figuring out the art budget for the month, getting pricing from Hilent for the big Therese-and-nuns foursome scene, and also giving Sac and Jing their monthly prodding. SacB0y sends me the final linearts for the Shally scene, Jing says he’s out of the house but does have completed art to send me. Awesome!

When Jingzy gets home, though, he claims that his computer isn’t starting up. He even sends me a video of him trying and showing the computer plugged in and all. This is when I start losing my temper. This art has been four months in the making, and multiple times I had been promised “Oh just one more week”. Whether or not Jingzy’s computer was actually broken was totally immaterial to me- I wouldn’t be in this situation if the artwork had just been done months earlier, as promised. So, I told Jingzy to stop worrying about it, I’d get the art from elsewhere, and ended up in a fairly bitter conversation with SacB0y where I got to express my frustration. SacB0y promises to make it up to me someday, and I truthfully tell him that I can’t believe that at this point and just ask for all the completed work to date.

Now, image my surprise when I wake up the following morning and find that SacB0y pulled a pretty damn heroic all-nighter to get the Shally scene completed as a means of making it up to me.

So now, I’ve had a chance to calm down over the situation, do some math, and figure things out. SacB0y finished the Shally scene, without me having to hand over the other half of the payment, too, which did a lot towards mollifying me. I have four mostly completed Larelle images from Jingzy (an example heads this entire post) and I’ve spoken to an artist I trust about getting them finished. When you do the math on all the costs, the value of everything so far lands somewhere between the price SacB0y originally charged me and what it would cost to get replacement art from Hilent.

Considering how the cost of lewd art has risen between when SacB0y and I first struck our agreement almost two years ago, I am pretty satisfied with this outcome. I respect SacB0y a lot more now than I did a few weeks ago- he took responsibility for the situation and did what could to immediately resolve it. More importantly, the guy who sponsored the Shally scene was very happy with the outcome, and immediately offered to sponsor more art from Hilent.

As for Jingzy, in hindsight the impression that I got was that he had a lot of work dumped on him at a very inconvenient time, while he was realatively inexperienced at working for commission. He did apologize and give his blessing to have his work get finished elsewhere, and while I probably wouldn’t hire him again at this point, I don’t bear him any ill will.

So hopefully you read through all of this. It’s been a bit of a trip, with various up and downs. Again, I’d like to reiterate that I’m satisfied with how things wound up, so please don’t go making trouble for either Jingzy or SacB0y. The remaining Larelle art I’ll have to get done by someone else, in due time, but I’ll take that over the increasingly bitter situation we had before.

Anyway, if you have any questions on how things turned out, please feel free to ask away in the comments. Look forward to the backer stream this Saturday and the public release is on schedule for next week. I’ll see you then!

The Newest Member of the Team

Far, far ahead of schedule, she arrived, eager to work on providing awesome, free hentai games for everyone (18 years or older) to enjoy! Meet… Kaguya!

Kaguya is a Lenovo “Legion” gaming PC with an Intel i7 processor, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card, 8GB DDR RAM, and my heart <3. She is too thicc to sit on the PC shelf below my desk, so for the time being, at least, she’s hanging out up top where I can lovingly caress her….

Jokes aside, it’s been so long since I had a genuinely great computer that I’m seriously really excited about this. The PC that I’ve been using for most of Harem Collector’s development, Abyss, was a pure utility model, with no graphics card, a faulty internal wireless card, meant to just be a word processor and internet terminal. Streaming with it while having RPG Maker or an old game open was straining the poor thing to it’s limit.

Now hopefully Kaguya lasts for another eight years of hentai game design and crafting!

Some Good News, Finally

So, something good happened to me this past weekend.

A relative of mine sent me a cheque, for a large but not huge amount of money (I know this is super relative- it’s more than I make in a month but less than I make in a year, let me put it that way). Apparently, they sold some property that used to belong to my father, and felt I deserved to get a piece.

Now, of course, I did some dumb and not-so-dumb stuff with a bit of the money, as anyone would when they receive an unexpected windfall. Getting some work done on the house, bought a copy of Kirby Super Star for my retro game collecton, that sort of thing.

But I can’t with a clear conscience enjoy this windfall without contributing to the same project that you all are- that is, Harem Collector, and Bad Kitty Games in general.

Those of you who follow me when I stream will know that I’ve been having more and more frequent hardware problems. Abyss, my PC, and Meido, my laptop, have both been having more and more frequent issues. I’ve been reluctant to switch to new hardware up to this point, as doing so would require me siphoning out of the (already plenty disrupted) art budget. I was waiting for something in the formula to change- either the Patreon gets a big hike, or I save up enough bellmarks and Tim Hortons coupons, or Abyss finally becomes irrepairable and I have to do *something*.

Well, something happened- I got this windfall. So, without having to take any money from my awesome backers or HC development at all, I can replace at least my work PC and, if I can, also the lappy.

Also, I’m looking to accelerate some of my own art. It’ll depend on what costs how much and how everything shakes out, but there are a few sex scenes which I’d like to have finished that aren’t connected to any particular character but would be pretty pricey to have done, so it’s a hard thing to justify when there are so many main cast harem girls who are lacking in art.

So just thought I’d share what’s going on. Hopefully this doesn’t inspire anyone to leave- I’m not suddenly rich or something- I just wanted to share my good fortune and what this means for Bad Kitty Games.

Hope you’re enjoying Iron Waifu, and I’ll see you all later!

Keep On Keeping On

Fuck, I missed another blog post Wednesday again….

So, there’s a lot of crazy stuff going on in my life right now. Rest assured that, even if I can’t always communicate effectively or stream every day, that I make keeping my promises to backers and supporters of Bad Kitty Games my top priority.

The next release is shaping up to be pretty good. While it might not have all the bells and whistles compared to the last few releases, there will be two new quests and there is an extra secret or two to uncover, plus some new sprites and art to enjoy.

As for the reason why it’s been so hectic for me lately, it’s a dogpile of several factors. Tax season, mother-in-law’s medical situation, upcoming vacation (which we will hopefully still get to go on…), spring cleaning and repair, etc. It’s just a lot of stuff, and while I mostly have it under control, some of my non-game-development duties have suffered. Sorry!

Anyway, that’s it for this week. Any bets on if I’ll remember for next Wednesday?

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!