Bad Kitty Games and COVID-19

Welp.

So as everyone who doesn’t live under a rock in the Yukon hinterlands is well aware, the world is undergoing a bit of a thing right now in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Multiple countries are on total lockdown, people in general are advised to stand home and isolate themselves, and lots of people have uncertain employment. Nobody knows how long it’s going to be, estimates range from a few weeks up to a year. None of thise is really news for Harem Collector fans, I’m sure.

The first thing I want to get out is a clear message for backers: We get it. You might be looking at multiple weeks without shifts or being out of a job entirely. Or maybe you’re just feeling anxious and want to cut costs as a preventative measure. Our desire in situations like these is for all fans of Harem Collector to take care of themselves first and foremost. Please do not feel the need to apologize or feel bad for ending your pledge to the Bad Kitty Games Patreon campaign. We understand, please take care of yourselves.

If you desire to still help us out, however, please when you do end your pledge fill out an exit survey and specifically mention that you’re doing it because your financial situation has changed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The Canadian government is rolling out new financial protection for small businesses every day and that kind of data may be useful to us in the near future.

Second thing: We are still planning on releasing Harem Collector v0.45 to backers next week. It might not be right on time as, well, we all got our shit rocked with regard to stress and anxiety, but for now things are proceeding as planned. Future releases might change as the situation develops, however. We’re going to keep working, and there are currently no threats to our being able to stay open, but obviously the possibility of sudden deaths in the family and other such things to disrupt our workflow is as strong as ever. As always, stay tuned for more details.

Third thing: Please, now more than ever, take care of your mental health. Take it from someone who was once under house arrest for a year- maintaining this level of isolation us not easy. Sure, everyone’s joking about Pornhub and Xbox now, but that will change if the situation doesn’t resolve quickly. So please, if you haven’t already, join the Bad Kitty Games Discord. It’s a great part of the community, and there’s usually lots going on. Board games on TTS, streaming, speedrunning, and people just hanging out and exorcizing some of their anxiety about the situation. We’re all doing a lot to try and make sure everyone is supported and feels like they belong.

And that’s it for now. As always, we’re cooking up interesting stuff for HC fans to enjoy, and there are lots of exciting things to look forward to. So stay safe, stay healthy, stay sane, and hopefully I’ll see you all next week for the backer release!

Sunshine and Rainbows

Haaa, I don’t want to be too optimistic just yet, but it seems that, finally, the cloud of depression I’ve been under since last summer has finally gone away. I’m feeling good, I’m being productive, I’m getting more sleep, I’m cleaning things when they become dirty instead of when people come over…. All in all, I’m doing okay. I look forward to channelling some of this new energy into Harem Collector for you all!

I don’t mean to harp on my mental state so much, but I get very easily frustrated when it comes to my mental state. Obviously, it’s not impossible for me to be creative when I’m stuck in the fog, but it is very difficult for me to be creative in the specific way I want to be creative. Focus becomes very difficult.

But now I’m feeling a lot better, so hopefully I can focus even better and continue doing good work for everyone who follows my various projects.

I’m thinking of starting a Kofi account to support my writing, not for Harem Collector but so that I can (hopefully) get some artwork done for My Isekai Life in D&D. Art is expensive after all, and Patreon frowns on people who run separate accounts for different projects.

Things are looking good for the mini-release today. It might be a challenge to get in all the new sex scenes, but for that I’m just going to prioritize the stuff I currently have art for. Hilent’s been busy, but as of last night Apple Kid’s sexy a la carte scenes are all done. I might luck into getting the latest Doll stuff from her later, and then it’s on to some accelerated Therese art before returning to Doll.

Anyway, I’m going to get back to work. Happy fapping, and I’ll see some of your tonight for the mini-release!

HORTICULTURE Update

So, our next update is the HORTICULTURE (might end up picking a shorter subtitle because that would make for a massive filename), where our featured content is Doll and Chimei’s respective love quests. As usual, there will be other odds and ends in there- for example, a very generous pair of fans is accelerating all the remaining Therese images, which is fucking fantastic, but the focus on what we’re doing is the two love quests. Doll will be getting new art assets (as voted on by Patrons) although Chimei will have to wait a little bit longer. At the rate we’re going, Conash and I expect that $5+ patrons will have a completed (though not necessarily tested) love quest to enjoy next week.

I’m a little nervous about some of the art assets coming out though. My plan for Doll’s love quest sex scene was always going to involve the Hero just going all out on her with the sexual torture, and of course Therese’s dungeon scenes aren’t necessarily the tamest stuff around either. I suppose I could continue putting the preview pics to all backers like I did with the Apple Kid breathplay one. Not sure if that’s okay with backers- please let me know through the usual means.

Following the new art assets this month, for the next two months we will be replacing old art assets for Doll. Probably her introductory scene will come first, as I always wanted that scene to be different than what Gurotaku was able to do at the time. I had initially imagined Hero just grabbing Doll and bending her over the anvil right there in the forge, with Kevin watching and trying not to look, establishing Hero’s sexual bullying of Kevin quite a bit earlier.

When v0.46 rolls around and we’re back into the swing of things for the main plot advancement, then we’ll be addressing Doll’s gangbang scene, and either Doll’s lesbian scene with Elaiya or doing Therese and Alina’s threesome with Hero. Not sure how I’m going to write the lesbian scene with no experience to turn to for inspiration, but I guess you’re all not here for hyper-realism.

Anyway, just wanted to communicate a bit about what’s upcoming in the update. Hope to see a lot of you on Saturday for the voiced stream!

Harem Collector v0.44- The BROS Update!

Find it here.
Sometimes, you gotta make time for the bros! This update contains Respect/Love quests for Gargan and Kevin, and new sex scenes for Princess Quinta, Raina and Apple Kid.

Changes in 44.0 include:

-Kevin’s Respect Quest is now  available for all of you who have put serious effort into getting  relationship points with some dude instead of all your harem girls.  Comes with an (optional) text-only sex scene and a powerful buff item as  a reward!
-Gargan’s Love Quest is also available! Rewards include  another text-only sex scene, some new passive abilities for Hero and  Gargan, and a powerful alt class for Gargan, too.
-A new bonus boss is now available in Westcastle as well as the greatest reward of all- a new cat for you to collect!
-A  new fully-artworked random sex scene for Princess Quinta as well as  partial (but with pics!) Sex a la Carte menus for Raina and Apple Kid.
-New sprite art including a new look for Raina and several new portraits that Quinta will paint for you.
-Bronwyn has received a few minor balance reworks, please check out her new skill!
-Multi-target resistance/weakness for Swarm-type enemies should now work properly.
-Assorted minor balance changes and bug fixes.

Direction in the New Year

Oh, wow, I didn’t realize I haven’t updated the blog since before Christmas. I hope you all managed to have a good holiday, nonetheless. I had a pretty good time, I think- Nekochan seemed to enjoy her gifts, and I received some nifty things. As you might recall from earlier posts, my mother in law is very sick, and so doing the holidays with her was very challenging. My mental health still has not super improved from the fall, but I’m trying to focus more on using my time effectively when I am in a fit state to work. Like everything else, it’s a process.

But, that’s enough about me. What you’d like to know is, what’s the plan now? Last year, Conash and I made a big push towards getting story progress done and spinning a more cohesive narrative from the scattered plot strands in Harem Collector. It was a huge success, and because of that I feel that we’re going to be taking it slow (in terms of plot development) for the first quarter this year.

Our January update will be the BROS update, featuring the final relationship quests for Kevin the blacksmith and Gargan. Kevin, a longtime supporter of the Hero, finally comes asking a favour, in order to earn a little adventuring cred with which to impress his childhood friend. As for Gargan, they find out about a witch rumoured to specialize in curses, and the removal thereof… and of course, a witch living in the middle of nowhere doesn’t trade in money.

And what could possible follow the BROS update? Why, only the HO… RTICULTURE update! March’s update will feature primarily new content for Doll and Chimei, the harem’s resident nature-themed slaves. Doll’s Love Quest will revolve around her origins, figuring out who she really is and how she ended up becoming a slave. As for Chimei, her Love Quest will… revolve around her origins, figuring out who she really is and how she ended up becoming a slave! Ooo, mysterious….

Seriously though, one of these quests will involve crossing swords with a pair of powerful dryads, and the other will involve dealing with a cult of assassins seeking to bring about a terrible prophecy using your harem girl… so please look forward to this new content coming soon!

And for those of you who are backers may remember, now that we’re done with most of Princess Quinta’s scenes, we will be moving on to all new art assets for Doll. Originally, we were going to do Chimei next in the art asset queue, but Nekochan wants to focus on getting her summer cosplay done, so we’re going to put that off until summer. Thus why I ran that poll where backers got to vote on which girl who has already had a redesign will get focused down on next. And the winner was Doll, which is great because I was planning on doing her love quest anyway!

So her art queue will include her introductory scene, her gangbang during the Manor Invasion, and her love quest sex scene. Unfortunately, her random scene, being that foursome with Chimei and Lilac, is going to have to wait just a scootch longer. And, following that, there are two very important and long requested scenes I want to get done before we resume….

Anyway, those are my plans, at least, for winter through to early spring 2020. I’ll see you all in just a few more weeks for the BROS update, and check back here every Wednesday for bloggo goodness!

My Favourite Things I Made This Year

I was going to use this week’s blog to moan some more about my depression, explain why the update to Quinta’s second sex scene took so long, and in general beg for forgiveness. While I do feel bad about those things, and I do ask for your forgiveness, I’m worried about this sort of thing becoming dull and rote. So, rather than that, I’m going to talk about some of the things I am most happy made it into Harem Collector this year.

These are presented in roughly chronological order, and just numbered for my convenience, but nonetheless please enjoy this semi-listicle.

#1- Officially Announced ILTSDK
I know it’s not the biggest, most exciting thing, but finally announcing I Live To Serve, Dungeon King!! to the public felt pretty good, like it was making the leap from theory into practice. I’m still slaving away at the pre-production, though, so it’ll be awhile yet before we have a functional build to show off.

#2- Introduced New Scenes and Dialogue for Lilac and Violet
The new content for the twin maids was very well received and I’m pretty proud of it, to be honest. Definitely looking forward to these two coming up in the art queue. Mission accomplished on helping define their divergent personalities more.

#3- Set Up A New Forum
I learned how to do a MySQL and now we have a fancy new forum we rarely use. But, hey, it’s there and I really feel it’s a worthwhile supplement to the Discord community, as a home for content like my erotic writing and the Iron Waifu contest.

#4- Epic April Fool’s Prank
The 90’s-style April Fools website update was a lot of fun to make, and I have no idea how I’m going to match it next year. 😀

#5- The Actual New Website Launch
It was a massive headache at the time, but it feels really good to have gotten rid of our amateurish, outdated old website designed by a certain someone I don’t particularly like, and replace it with our new, slick website filled with all sorts of art representative of what Harem Collector is all about!

#6- Kaguya
Solving the ominously growing PC issue here at the home office without having to impact the Patreon or art progress was a really huge boon. I know it had a lot to do with a random windfall I received from a relative, but still, very happy about that.

#7- Victory Barks
Time to tout something that Conash did! I am very pleased now that victory barks are implemented and in a final form that makes it so people can enjoy them without it disrupting the established flow of the game. Conash did a lot of great work this year but I really think the end of battle update from PRINCESS is among his slickest and nicest looking UI changes.

#8- Miri
Getting a new harem girl in the game is always something worthy of celebration

#9- The End of Demon Cult and Kellos Invasion Stories
Sort of partnered with #8, having Bell and Quinta get implemented and finally finishing off the Demon Cult and Kellos Invasion plotlines was a huge win this year! It finally feels like we’re getting close to the end of the game.

#10- Pandemonium Fortress
My personal winner for Dungeon of the Year is the Pandemonium Fortress from Hell to Pay. It’s a really big, meaty dungeon with it’s own story to tell, a lot of really unique looking areas, homages to multiple games on my all-time favourites list (including Resident Evil, Super Mario RPG and Silent Hill 3), and just really felt like an epic way to send off the Demon Cult questline in style. And then, while we were working on it, the whole lootbox scandal happened, inspiring a whole extra section of dungeon, with it’s own mechanics and stuff going on. Sometimes our chaotic, inefficient, fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants style of game design really gets to pay off dividends.

Anyway, those were my favourites bits of the year. Please feel free to share your own highlights as a comment, Discord message, forum post- whatever form of interact floats your boat!

Harem Collector v0.43.1 PRINCESS Public Release

You can find it in the usual place.

Changes in 43.1 include:
-Princess Quinta’s Love Quest is now available for your playing enjoyment. If you need to cheat your way into enjoying it, use the code “Ojou-Sama” to set Quinta’s affection to 101.
-The fourth tournament is now available for your solo run dueling pleasure!
-Several new vacation events: Meet Yeon’s dad, go seashell hunting with Quinta and Ino, and go drinking with Gargan and the boys!
-Quinta’s post-recruitment sex scene is fully implemented. Her love quest sex scene will be out around this time tomorrow due to a (small) further delay in art assets.
-New text-only vacation sex scenes for Yeon, Gargan and Quinta.
-Hard mode has been implement with stronger enemies, less experience, limited grinding, and some more difficult puzzles and challenges. However, progress in hard mode will occasionally unlock some new goodies in the Replay Menu under the new “Unlockables” heading.
-Easy mode has been updated with a new item that lets you change your party at any time and weaker enemies.
-Yamamaya has seen some revisions- she is now partially controllable during rages, all her rages and techniques have been rebalanced,, and Meiriona will begin teachiung her new skills earlier.
-“Dual” elements have been added- it is now possible to combine the effects of the “Anti-creature” damage types with regular elemental damage. Magic using party members who have natural “Anti-creature” element types built into their weapons will now have that damage type modify their spells (ie, when Larelle is equipped with the Black Truth, all her spells will do additional damage to Angels).
-“Collectible” quests now have their own category in the Quest Log, and quests have been colour coded based on their current status.
-The Victory screen at the end of every battle has been give a general quality of life update.

A Difficult Discussion

So Conash and I had a little discussion about this “difficulty menu” idea he had, and we’ve started to give it some serious discussion.

My original vision for Harem Collector was to have the dungeon exploration to relatively streamlined, but for combat itself to be reasonably challenging. I don’t really enjoy the sorts of RPGs where you have to grind for hours to proceed, or get certain items or skills. I much prefer games where enemies are limited in supply, or there is some other constraint meaning you have to balance grinding with something else. If I were to pick some of my favourite RPGs, I would select the latter SMT: Persona games, where grinding comes at the expense of time in the game’s very limited calendar, or the early-mid Bioware games where enmy encounters don’t respawn. This is also why I prefer to play Pokemon games Nuzlocke-style– grinding becomes a pretty dangerous prospect when an unlucky crit can kill one of your “party members” forever.

Not everyone is like that, however. Some people prefer to grind, they find the process to be relaxing or even soothing in a way. Others prefer the simple knowledge that if they encounter a challenge that they can’t overcome, they can just keep at it and eventually grow powerful enough to steamroll whatever is in their way. Still others might not care to grind, but they’re just playing Harem Collector for the sweet, sweet pornography, which I totally understand. Others don’t mind the combat, but don’t care for the economy side of the game. My policy for a long time has been to stick to the original vision, but I’ve come to see the wisdom of having various, multi-faceted difficulty levels.

If you’ve been paying attention you may have been able to suss out that I’m a huge horror fan and one of the greatest horror game franchises of all time, Silent Hill, is well known for having separate combat and puzzle difficulty levels. I am totally cool with this idea, and honestly a little disappointed with myself that I didn’t think of it sooner.

The idea, for now, is to divide difficulty between economy and combat, with independent easy-medium-hard levels for each. As Conash mentioned last week, we’re cooking up a “hard” difficulty for combat right now, and we intend to re-examine “easy” mode to make it something more than just “permanent stat growth potions are everywhere and you start with a huge amount of cash”. For economy, I think we’re mainly looking at playing with the return on investment of the various investment opportunities, and dialing down the amount of money that selling items (including vendor trash) gets you. We’re also looking at a third option, to replace the existence of the Timeturner, for whether or not you want to advance a day whenever you like.

Well, there’s a lot to do before the backer release next week, so I’d better get going. See you all later!