A Royal Pain

Not very happy where progress on the game is right now.

As you might have been able to tell by the fact that blog posts the last three weeks have been two posts from Conash and one week of… Conash and I forgetting there had to be a blog post. Also, the schedule on the website never got updated. But, if we were to spend this blog post detailing my many small failures, we’d be here for awhile, so I’ll move on.

We’re behind, is the important thing. Conash seems confident that we’ll get the core stuff done, but the “Royal” update will, unfortunately, be going to go out without a lot of content for the “Royal” it was initially intended to celebrate.

Maybe I’m just being pessimistic. The real Iron Waifu reward is probably best celebrated with Quinta’s love quest, which will be part of v0.43, coming out in November. We’ll not have to rush our way through any preceding quests, just focus on the love quest, new art, dialogue, sex scenes, etc, and putting out a really great, um, “Princess” update or something.

I still think that the quest capping off the Kellos Invasion, where you finally get to recruit Quinta, will still be a nifty piece of content- similar in size to “Hell to Pay” but with a very different feel and direction. It has more of a “heist” vibe than the drama of finally hunting down Xaven, though, which has proven a challenge to express. Conash and I feel we sort of hit the apogee of what RPG Maker is capable of in terms of stealth mechanics in Shipping Disaster, and besides, sneaking around is not what the Hero is made for, anyway.

In some good news, we also made some progress on stuff for ILTSDK. Namely, a semi-finalized list of enemies. Er, heroes. Adventurers. The people invading your dungeon. Because the nature of ILTSDK is more strategic, it’s very important to our design that you, as a player, be able to figure out an attacker’s behaviours just by looking at them, and that means having a limited number of enemies.

Right now, ILTSDK is in a state where we’re laying plans still and feeling out the limits of what we’re going to need, including what we’ll require for art assets. I intend to fight hard against feature creep for our next project, So knowing in advance the extent of our plans , and what we can choose to expand on is very important.

Anyway, that’s it for now. I’ll get in touch next week with an update on how things have been getting the backer release ready!

Other Stuff I Does

Uh… so I totally forgot to do the blog this week. It’s been kind of an exciting week, so I guess it just got lost in the shuffle.

The new update is coming along. As requested, I’ve been using the new casino-themed assets to make a casino that you can invest it, after completing a bit of an associated quest. The main focus of this month’s development, the quest to take back Eastfort, is progressing pretty steadily as well, hoping to be able to wrap it up in time for the mini-release next week.

Anyway, figured I’d use the late blog post for an excuse to promote some of the other things I do:
Isekai Life In D&D is an erotic story I’m writing about a misanthropic power gamer who is rewarded with his own private “heaven” upon his death, and because his request is misinterpreted winds up in a world strictly based on the rules of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons.
I also have a Twitch channel where I’m attempting all 529 games in my collection, starting with Shining Force for the Sega Genesis. I don’t have a fixed schedule yet, but I’m aiming to stream Monday and Wednesday evening EDT, and occasionally on weekends.
Meanwhile, Conash has his own Twitch channel where he’s playing an absurdly difficult self-imposed challenge of Tales of Symphonia on the Gamecube.

Hope you check out some of our stuff, and are looking forward to next week’s minirelease!

Harem Collector v0.41.3- the SHOWDOWN Update!

After a long wait, the final battle between the Hero’s harem and the demon cult plaguing the Middle Kingdom are finally here! Can you overcome the legions of hell and defeat Xaven once and for all?

Download it here!


Changes in this version:
-Two brand-new quests where you finally get to deal with two of Harem Collector’s biggest antagonists, once and for all!
-A new harem girl can be captured and sent to your dungeon, representing the first true monstergirl to appear in the harem in HC, with a brand new sex scene to boot!
-Kobolds spotted on the streets and fields of the Middle Kingdom, terrorizing residents! Check out your random daily quest for more information!
-There are now two additional ways to acquire the Philosopher’s Stone if you’ve managed to miss it before or can’t afford it.
-The trophy traders can now process multiple trophies at a time to ease your gift-giving plan!
-A new merchant has opened up in the Westcastle to sell you statues to help you express your devotion in your home decor, be it to the Angels, Demons, or whatever else!
-A whole bunch of new art for Larelle’s dungeon scenes, Therese’s vacation scene, plus a whole new scene with Therese!
-New text-only scenes for Bronwyn and Raina!
-New music and sprite art from Clara and Kumiho!
-And like always, bug fixes and bug fixes and bug fixes!

Tits or GTFO

Some of you who received the Backer’s Release last week might have noticed that there was something fairly significant missing from the end of Hell to Pay. I was hoping that Hilent would only be a couple days behind the release with Bell’s first sex scene artwork, but unfortunately due to some moving-related snafus he has been significantly slowed down, although the maid piece is already finished and all that’s left are some colouring on the variations.

Otherwise, things are going well, well enough that I decided to take “release date interlude week” as a sort of staycation. I’m attending to work here and there, but mostly chilling out, catching up on housework, painting minis, and catching up on some personal projects I’m behind on.

I’m also taking some time to contemplate exactly what a post-demon-cult-and-kellos -invasion Harem Collector might look like. With the final quest of the Demon Cult questline wrapped up and the last two quests for Kellos Invasion getting tied up in v0.42, that leaves us with only a couple more Harem Drama loose ends, then Ancient Mysteries and Save the Elves to do, then the endgame.

We’re getting close, ladies and gentlemen. I can feel it.

So expect new character designs for Hanelore and Meiriona very soon, as well as the final shopgirl who will be able to set up in the Elf Village. And there, on the horizon, the mysterious 15th party member….

Thank you again for all the support you’ve given to get us to thing this point!

A Different Kind of Key

When I was in high school, and started playing AD&D, I had a bit of a struggle with a section of the Dungeon Master’s Guide where it described the idea of “keyed” encounters- encounters that only appear in a given area of a dungeon once certain conditions are met. This was the kind of concept that was simultaneously too simple and too complex to grasp- of course I understood basic causality and was confused as to why the DMG would mention something so obvious and simple, but I struggled with the realization that, fundamentally, any interactive quest/dungeon/cyoa story/whatever could be realized in the form of a flow chart.

Or, if you prefer, as a sort of program.

While I struggled with it at the time (described a quest or a dungeon in those terms seemed to rob D&D of some of it’s magic, I suppose), it helped me realize something which you might have found I like having a little fun with in Harem Collector: A key can be anything you want it to be. Sure it could be as simple as flipping a switch, or actually having a physical key, but it doesn’t have to be. In Resident Evil, a key could be a mechanically unlikely art installation. In metroidvanias, skills like double-jumping or the ability to roll can act as keys. In RPGs, having spoken to a specific person frequently acts as a key, or having a certain party member if that particular game has field abilities.

So I try and have fun with it. The Golden Tomb “Knight of” enemies are just a mechanically interesting (I hope) way of presenting a “guess which key goes with which lock” kind of puzzle, and I really like moments like the Expanding Foam/Foam Key and the Wyld Seeds, but my personal favourite is the bench from “Hall Monitor From Hell”. Especially that meaty thunk of having the Hero slam it down. I don’t know why, but it feels very satisfying to me.

Now, I’m not just mentioning this randomly- you can look forward to a couple interesting “keys” to show up in the v0.41 update to Harem Collector, one of which I went out of my way to grab some special assets for. So, get hyped- it’s only a week away for backers!- and get ready because I think you’re really going to like this update!

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!