Combat System

Hey everyone! Conash again! First off, gotta start by saying that the mini-release is going to be delayed, we ran into various issues and couldn’t finish up the new quest in time so sorry backers, we’ll work to get it done as soon as we can!

Now, for the meat of this blog post, I actually wanted to ask for some suggestions from most of you. See, there have been various minor issues with the combat system some new (like how some people would like the skill/item menus to be how they were before) and some old (like the rate that the battlelog text scrolls making it difficult to read). None of these issues are by themselves are big enough projects that I’d set aside a month or two to dive into the scripts dealing with them, but they’re really piling up and I’m planning on trying to deal with them hopefully in the upcoming month (depending on how available my time is). To that end, I wanted to ask you all if there was anything that really stood out to you that was off about the battle system, or suggestions that you had as I want to try to get all of these little issues taken care of at once. Though, I do feel that I should mention that based off of my schedule and how this is more of a personal project, if I don’t have it ready by the 0.29 public release there’s a good chance it won’t be making it into the game before the 0.32 release (in January), hopefully it won’t take that long but we’ll see…

Oh, I almost forgot, given that I am asking you all for suggestions, I figured that I should list out what my plans were! So, in regards to the battlelog the solution seems to be to add something to the option menu to let players toggle how fast it is, this little change will probably be a bit more intensive than the others since I’ll not only have to fight the battlelog itself but also the options menu and will take some tedious testing to make sure everything works right. Next the plan is to find out how to switch the skill/item menu in battle to how it used to be and probably do it, I’m open to the idea of making the old big menus or the new small menus something that players could toggle between but given that’d be about a day or two worth of additional scripting I’m going to hold off on the toggle until I know for sure that there are players who would be interested in having the smaller item/skill menu. Another change that hopefully will be easy to implement is changing the numbers that pop up when you do damage to be different colors based on the elemental damage done, that much shouldn’t be too hard since Yanfly has an addon for that specifically but I’ll have to ensure that there aren’t any conflicts with that, but again that one’s easy once I’m already dealing with the combat system as a whole. There have also been some minor visual hiccups that I’ve noticed, stuff like how if your team has someone with regens or DoTs on them that the numbers stay where their portrait was while the entire party menu on the bottom shifts to the left, or how when you’re using an item/skill on an ally that the portrait of who is using it will cover the final party member, those sorts of hiccups I also plan on handling and while it’ll be annoying to fight with them, it’s nothing that I’m not used to!

So yeah, sorry about the long ramble there, but if any of you have any issues, ideas, or suggestions for a battle system update please leave a comment or otherwise let me know so that I can look into trying to add it into my little combat system update…. Whenever I get to it >.>

How I design enemies

Hey everyone, Conash here! First, I’d like to remind everyone that the public devstream is this Saturday! Now normally here’s where I’d talk about my current scripting project, but NoMoshing already gave you all the cliff-notes and there’s not anything more that I can add on the matter. While I do have a few ideas of some other scripting stuff that I’d like to squeeze into this update I can’t guarantee I’ll have time to do those so I’ll save that talk for another time, which leaves me really with talking about the newest task that I’ve taken up, enemy design.

While I’m far from an expert, I thought you all might still appreciate hearing how I go about it. In regard to common enemies I try to think in terms of the various ‘roles’ that the player characters come in (damage, tank, debuffer, and support) and since we’re a fair amount into the game I feel pretty comfortable assuming the player is properly equipped to handle a ‘full deck’ of enemies. I make sure to talk about what types of enemies we’d be fighting with NoMoshing and try to figure out a good range to fill those various roles. On top of that I also like to fit in little tidbits about the enemies in their design (surprised no one’s pointed out yet that the Devout Clerics have a bit of a surprising magic selection). Beyond that there’s not a whole much too it, I make sure that their various strengths/weaknesses both make sense and are consistent with that type of enemy among other things.

Bosses however get a bit more thought put into them. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I personally like my bosses to have a unique feeling to them, they should be a boss in more than just numbers. With the last quest, I had to play around a bit including changing enemy behavior in the entire game to be able to pull it off that the main boss would switch between an offensive spell and then a support spell with his two actions, throw in that the offensive spell goes from single target to an AoE once he drops below 50% health and you’ve got a very good incentive for players to take out the other bosses first. It might be a bit light in terms of being unique behavior, but with four boss enemies you can’t really go too over the top, whereas the upcoming boss for the Cannibal Corps finale I’m probably getting a bit too hands on with them…. Let’s just say, I’m not exactly a fan when bosses become RNG-dumb.

Though, another thing about these sorta boss gimmicks that I feel is important is that the player shouldn’t be caught completely unaware of it, whether you can figure it out if you pay attention to the story of the quest, by seeing some minors have a weaker version of the behavior, or maybe even I bug NoMoshing to throw some dialogue in somewhere hinting at it, I feel that a player should be able to get a good idea of what to expect from the boss’ behavior before it’s risked wiping out their entire party. I might give up on this particular little practice later on so that bosses aren’t easy to predict, but I imagine many of the less observant players may have a few surprises in store for them.

Anyway, that’s probably more than enough rambling about enemy design for you all, see ya later!

 

Encyclopedia and Iron Waifu Thoughts

Hey everyone, Conash here! First here to share my thoughts about how the Iron Waifu Tournament has been proceeding and following it up with what I’ve been working on lately!

First off in regards to Iron Waifu two matches have really surprised me! The first one was Yeon vs Doralice, while I expected Yeon would win the amount of support and good things people were saying did certainly surprise me given how her 2016 run went. I was sure that we’d get a lot more comments about how she needed to be put into her place. The other one was Meline vs Renfeld match. While I tend to also find Renfeld interesting she hasn’t exactly shown to have the same sort of popularity as Meline, heck last year Meline came out on top of Renfeld! While last years match was pretty close and we’ve got a fair amount more fans this year, I fully expected it to go the same way this year! This is especially of interest to me because when I was rolling for the round 1 match-ups I had a rule that if anyone ended up with the same round 1 match as last year I’d re-roll (didn’t need to) and extended it to very one-sided round 2 match-ups as well, I actually came pretty close to re-rolling Meline’s round 1 match up but decided that since it was close it was fine. Can’t wait to see how the rest of the tournament goes!

On the more development end of things, I got hit by a bit of inspiration and motivation last month and managed to put something big together. Now, while we will probably be adding more categories to it, I managed to get the encyclopedia project that I’ve been working on fully functional for artifacts (unique weapons/armor), a few details are still needed and given how dependent on the HC code it is it’ll need a fair amount more testing to work out some kinks but it will mean that all those pieces of equipment that say give mana regeneration, or status protection or what have you well you’ll be able to look up what they do in-game instead of having to rely on the wiki! We’re still finishing up a few minor details on getting it working in the game but the heavy lifting is already accounted for! I hope you all enjoy!

And that’s just about it for me, at this point I’m mostly working on fixing some bugs and I hope to invest a bunch of my time into getting the wiki up to date next week given how ahead of schedule I am. Hope to see you all in the Iron Waifu tournament!

Iron Waifu Grand Tournament 2017!

Hey everyone! We’re nearing the end of April and some of you might remember what that means! As for the rest of you, during the month of May we run a month long tournament on our forums, every day we run a poll between two of the Harem Collector girls going through all of them until we crown the ‘Iron Waifu’ (run by myself this time around). The winner of the tournament will become the focus of an update later this year, which will include their love quest (or equivalent if not applicable).

Feel free to check out the round 1 match ups, the date they’ll happen, and keep up to date with the standings here! Please note that to participate you will need to have an account on the Bad Kitty Games forums, both to vote and to post, so if you don’t have one you might want to look into getting one.

Now, some of you might have noticed a few changes in participants this year, most notably Therese, last years winner, will not be partaking in the main tournament, as the reigning champion she will instead face the winner of this year’s tournament in a one on one match after May! The winner of this year’s tournament will receive the prize regardless of the championship match, but didn’t want you Therese fans to think that we forgot about her!

Hope to see you all there!

Stun-locking and Saving

Hey everyone! Conash here, to tell you about a couple of things we have planned for the next release!

First of all, we’ve heard complaints about several enemies being able to stun-lock players for extended periods of times, in some cases making it impossible to win the fight. As such NoMoshing and I talked about it and came up with a few ideas for how to fix it, to that end we put in the changes and gave our testers a copy so that they can give us feedback on these changes. We might need to fine tune the percentages more to help allow players to use these statuses without enemies able to lock down the player enough. Hopefully things go well so we’ll see!

Now I know that most of you generally aren’t too interested in some of the scripting projects I’m working on but I like to at least give you all a brief overview of what I’m working on each update. This time around between the Iron Waifu contest coming up and me working on enemy we’re keeping me to just one scripting project this update. What we’re looking at is revamping the save system, firstly by changing over to the Yanfly save system which allows for 99 save files instead of our current 16, the other major change to the save system we’re looking at is implementing a new auto-save feature. This auto-save feature would activate right before the player enters a dungeon or any other ‘point of no return’ over a save file that players can load but not save over. We hope that these changes to the save system will help prevent a lot of the struggles with save files that players tend to have!

Well that’s about all that I have to say for today, hope you all enjoy the recent release!

Vacation at Sunnyshore Island!

Hey everyone! Today we’ll be getting version 0.27 out to our testers to help fix up some bugs and all before the upcoming backer release next week and public release following that! I managed to finish up most of the achievement system I mentioned before, but NM is still busy with his end of things so we thought it best that I give you guys a run-down of what he’s been working on!

In this release we’ll be offering you a vacation! This one has been planned for quite some time and it’s looking like it’ll be real good if you ask me! The vacation will take place on the luxurious¬† island off the coast of the Coastburg area. Here you and any of your fellows (read followers) will get to spend a few days relaxing on the ever sunny beaches found here, with plenty of room for all your guests! Though, I will warn you that the front desk isn’t always efficient with how they distribute the rooms, everyone might always have a place to stay but we can’t guarantee that you won’t have rooms with four people in them while other rooms are given to just one person, this minor oversight has NOTHING to do with the complexities of having dynamic rooms that auto-adjust to always have a similar number of people in them, not one bit.

Now, while you could spend your time on this island relaxing, hanging out with your guests, maybe having some ‘personal’ time with them, you should keep in mind the island has a few different tourist attractions like a real haunted pirate ship or the islands volcano! Do not fret, there is absolutely no danger in these areas as long as you make sure to stick with the group! So don’t go wandering off now, otherwise the local monsters might fight you and drop some delicious experience if you happen to beat them (and maybe get some action from one of the locals)! Who would ever want that? Much better to collect our beautiful seashells all over the island that definitely don’t have any value off of the island! So uh, make sure to return those so that we can keep the local ecosystem filled with excess shells that no one uses! Why there’s so much to do on the island you may not find time for everything, and that’s quite alright as we will ensure that you will always be able to return for as long as you can afford the tickets, remember there’s no better way to spend your time than relaxing with our beaches!

Now, some of our…. less profitable clientele might be worried about the potential loss of money from not managing their businesses while away! We assure you that your businesses will keep running smoothly and you deserve a break, why we’ll even ensure that any money sent to your household is available to you on the island so that you can spend it on relaxing at our appropriately priced gift shop or snack bar! Why some of our more successful customers have even claimed they earned more money while staying here thanks to their businesses managing themselves! So make sure to visit the Southport travel agent and visit us at Sunnyshore Island!

Our Community, Achievements, and walkthroughs!

Hey everyone, Conash here filling in because NoMoshing is very sick with another cold! To start things off I’d like to remind everyone about the fanart contest that’s still open for the next two weeks! So make sure to get those drawings submitted if you want to partake!

Next, I’d like to take a little moment to thank all of you for all that you’ve done to help make this game and everything around it what it is.¬† Back when I first found HC several years ago I was rather nervous about trying to join the little social group around HC and while it’s had quite a few ups and downs it’s really been a great experience. I’ve had a lot of fun hanging out with you guys, helping you however I can, and now even I’ve got all of you to thank for me having a job as part of the BKG staff! So even to those of you who are rather new here, thank you very much for helping make this community what it is! However we’re not done with trying to grow this community, so we’d appreciate it if you all could give us a brief vote in this month’s monthly poll or spreading the word to some friends you think might be interested in HC about it! It goes a long way to help us grow! The more people who know about HC as we wish the game to reach as many people as who would enjoy it!

Now, onto more coding matters. While it’s been mentioned in brief before, my big project for this upcoming update is reworking the achievement system. As things are, the achievements take a fair amount of time for us to code in, are tied to each specific save file, and there’s no existing menu for you all to see what achievements you have and haven’t unlocked. Well when I’m done with it, the achievement data will be stored both in the ‘Misc_Data’ file and your specific save file as to allow achievements you’ve earned in one save file to transfer to the next, which combined with the new achievement menu that I’m working on will go a long way in making it all the easier to collect them all! I also plan to also make the popup that you get after an achievement to be a bit smoother, having it show up in a corner without interrupting your game-play for a little bit showing you the name of the achievement before going away, allowing you to read up on it in the achievement menu! This new system will also be a lot easier for us to program in future achievements and avoid little issues that most of you might not encounter often if at all. $10 and higher patreon backers may have also noticed that I’ve updated the combat system in the mini-release to be the Yanfly Ace Battle Engine this helps makes things better due to a few different reasons described above, though there may be a few bugs here and there with it for a bit so we ask that you bear with us while we work them out!

Finally, I’m not sure how many of you use the wiki, but currently the walkthroughs on it are a bit…. Out of date. While one user is working on one for how to get the most out of Day 1, people who have been following the updates that have happened recently might have noticed that the ‘Strong Wild Start’ and the ‘Rich Mid Cure’ guides are a bit…. Out of date. I’ve been meaning to put together a new one since now we not only have Daidira but Therese’s love quest which both affect what I believe to be the ‘optimal playthrough’. But with how busy I’ve been lately finding the time to sit down and write out the walkthrough that I’ve got in my head is rather difficult, so I wanted to ask if you guys would be interested in a new ‘guide’ for this game? I already know the suggestions that I’d make but there are other things I’d rather put that time and effort into if most people wouldn’t be too interested.

But yeah, that’s just kinda where I’ve been at in general! Feel free to post any questions, comments, or concerns below and I’ll do my best to field them at least until NoMoshing recovers!

My contributions to the next release

Hey everyone! It’s a bit earlier than we were planning on but NM has been sick so this week I’ll be telling you about what I’ll be adding in the upcoming release while he works on feeling better!

Before we get started, I’d like to thank everyone who’s given suggestions for the new satisfaction menu while we’ve run into delays in getting the updates to this version hammered out, the changes that we’ve talked about for fixing it up visually will probably be in by the public release, though I’m sorry to say but until I’ve got more of it done I don’t have much else to say on the matter…

But what I do have done, you can thank Flutterby for requesting that we add elemental resistances to the status menu! After talking with NM about it I got to work on some quick mock-ups which the patreons gave us some much needed feedback on for me to get to work on, so how about I show what you can expect from the new status screen to start off with?

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First off, when in the status menu you’ll be able to switch between page 1 and page 2 with either the standard Z button (or whatever you have set to be the ‘OK’ button) or with the CTRL button like in the equipment menu. Also, you might notice that at the top of the elemental resistances are ‘melee’ and ‘projectile’, you might be seeing a few new interesting features dealing with those soon, but that’s not my department.

What IS my department though is that new ‘Fire Damage’ addition above your equipment! Not only does it prevent weird visual issues where your weapon name would overlap with the page number, but now the game tells you what kind of damage you do with regular attack along with several skills, pretty neat huh? Not only that but whenever you or the enemy does damage no longer will it just say, “150 damage’ but now it’ll tell you “150 melee damage” or “300 force damage”, this should help out a lot with knowing how to best utilize resistances, especially when you encounter enemies who don’t do melee or projectile damage with their regular attacks, there are more of then then you’d think! Though some bad news in regards to attack elements, players who fancied bashing in zombie heads with the necronomicon or cutting angels while blessed may find their damage reduced. See, it turns out that RPG Maker had it so that whenever you attacked it looked at ALL your elements and used the damage from the strongest one, which wasn’t really ever intended for this game, it has now been fixed so that whatever element you see in the status menu is the damage you will do, regardless as to if the enemy is strong or weak to it (the priority is weapon coatings > blessing > accessory > off-hand > weapon > unarmed), so make sure you plan accordingly!

Next you might have noticed that the ‘Fire Damage’ is green, there’s a reason for this, see from now on whenever you have a status effect that changes anything on the status page (except HP and MP) it will turn green if the net result of your statuses improves it, or red if the net result weakens them, in this case because I have a fire weapon coating on Hero he’s doing fire damage, all attack elements from statuses will be green, so yeah next time you’ve got some nausea or blessing and you’re not sure what it changes, try looking in your status screen to see what numbers are now green and what are red!

Finally for the status screen, some of you who are very familiar with the game might have noticed that in the example I gave Hero has a weapon coating which can only be used in battle and wear off when it’s over, you might also notice that the status menu here has a solid background while usually it’s semi-transparent, there’s a reason that both of these are happening in the picture I provided, you can now access the status menu in battle. We’ve replaced the eternally greyed out ‘escape’ command with a new ‘Status’ command that will let you look at the status of whoever is in battle, well in battle. Combine this with the earlier mention of how stats which are changed are now displayed in red and green and you’ll be able to see for yourself what various statuses do! This is a pretty big step in making the wiki unnecessary if you ask me, and one that I fully embrace.

You will also be able to find the new elemental resistances in the equipment menu as well, on a new page 3. You won’t get the full names of them since I only had about half the space to work with, but I’m hoping to put in the first one or two letters of every element next to the icon into the page later today! So yeah, that’s what I’ve been working on for this past week, I was hugely mistaken in believing that it’d only take me a day or two tops to get it all done but I’m rather happy with how it’s all turned out, what do you guys think?

Backer Mini-release today!

Hey everyone! Today the backer mini-update will be coming out, the timing will be pretty tight but it’ll definitely be worth it! So while NoMoshing works on finishing up the new quest (backers should keep their eyes out in the towns, there might be something different in this release) we thought that I should share what additions of mine you’ll be seeing in this new update!

The only big addition that we could get done this time around is a new ‘Gift Memory’ system as I like to call it! Basically all gift-able characters (so not Eulania or any brain-washed slaves) will now display something else in their followers menu, a ‘Likes’ and ‘Dislikes’ addition where when you give them a gift they like (currently +3 affection) or one they dislike (+0 affection) it’ll get added to the menu to help those of you with a bad memory! Characters who were in the dungeon (but not brain-washed) will also be unique in that they’ll have two ‘Likes’ and a third category of ‘Ineffective’, the second ‘Like’ and the ‘Ineffective’ refer to the dungeon actions, so completionists should keep that in mind! Until you’ve given the character these gifts and/or tortures though the menu will show ?’s for all areas that apply to that character. In addition, this information will exist independent of your save files! So when you start a new game you won’t have to worry about finding out all their likes and dislikes all over again! However in order to accomplish this, the information will be stored in a new file called “Misc_Data.rvdata2”, while we know that some users have trouble with transferring over files like these we felt it was appropriate to store this data independent of both the save files and the scene replay data. We’ll also be making use of this file in the future for some other information like achievements when they get redone, so make sure that you transfer your “Misc_Data” file along with your “replay” file and save files when you go from one version to the next!

Next on the list of changes is going to be something that a LOT of you have been displeased about, Improved Assault has been fixed! Now instead of costing 25 momentum and giving the entire party 10 momentum (net of 15), it instead costs 15 momentum and gives everyone EXCEPT Hero 10 momentum! Now if you don’t see the difference, the thing is a lot of people thought that Improved Assault was a downgrade since you had to initially build up 25 momentum to use it, which is very difficult in most minion battles, so they preferred staying with the normal assault, this change allows Improved Assault to still effectively be the same skill without needing the extra build up!

Next up, ‘Random Healing’. See before skills like Shining Strike (where Therese attacks then heals a random person) would always heal a random target, however thanks to yours truly, all random target healing skills are set to heal whoever has the lowest current HP (based on the number, not the percent). Now there was deliberation on how it would choose it’s target, but we ultimately went with this mainly because it’s the easiest for players to notice and plan around. There’s even some strategic benefits, such as if everyone is fully healed but you want Therese to heal someone who will be hurt before she attacks this allows her to auto-target them if they take significant damage. While there are certainly downsides to this, players should remember that you can always use healing skills or items that you can choose the target of instead! Though in the course of developing this feature I noticed that enemies were very dumb with their healing, they would ALWAYS target the last enemy in the party no matter what. Well, now they’ll also heal whoever has the lowest current HP with their heals, whether you like this change or not, we felt that it was only fair that enemies not be stupid with their heals if we gave players the same functionality.

Finally, in terms of new features that I added, I fixed the ‘last target’ feature. During some unity force skills (like Therese’s X-slash) the character who used the skill would attack, then Hero follows it up with an attack of his own, the problem is that because of how RPG Maker is he would always target HIS last target, not the last target of the party (who Therese, Elaiya, Bronwyn, etc. attacked), which COULD lead to him attacking someone else which wouldn’t make sense (though given the momentum cost for unity force, rather unlikely except in battles with multiple boss-class enemies). Beyond that, most of what I’ve done is work with NoMoshing to fix a LOOOT of bugs, there are still bugs in the game mind you but we took a large chunk out of them.

So yeah, for you backers out there keep your eyes peeled for the mini-update coming out later, and for the rest of you I hope hearing all that gets you a bit more excited for the public release in January!

Hello to New Users!

To anyone unaware, I am now managing Harem Collector’s new pages on both GameJolt and Itch.io, of which they’ve been receiving quite a lot more interest than we had originally anticipated for the time frame that they’ve been out, so I thought it’d be good to give them a quick little run-down of how things work around here so that all of you new folk can have an easy time getting up to speed with the rest of us!

First off, please consider becoming a backer on our Paetron page as the money is used to help the staff develop the game as well as helps improve the game by being able to hire on new people as needed, your support can even get you access to some private backer only discussions, early updates of the game not yet available to the public, and a small cameo NPC based on how much you contribute!

Next, a lot of discussion takes place on the Bad Kitty Games Forums where we work to keep players informed about the current events lined up (most notably this month the Christmas Eve public Cards Against Humanity game). You will also be able to partake in plenty of discussions about the game, and even vote in monthly polls about the game (this month it’s about what kind of quest you’d like to see next). So if that sounds like something you’d be interested in, we hope to see you around!

Finally, if you are having trouble with the game, while you are more than free to ask for help on the GameJolt page, Itch.io page, or the forums, you might find that the Harem Collector Wiki has all the information you’re looking for and THEN some! You can also try to get a bit more real-time talk in regards to Harem Collector from our discord channel!

If however this all seems like a lot to keep up with, you might consider checking out the Harem Collector facebook page or Bad Kitty Games Subreddit where I try to only post about the topics that most people would be interested in!