Road Map to Victory

The backer release is just getting the last little bit of polish courtesy of Conash right now, so while you’re waiting on that, I figured I’d discuss a little bit of the future of Harem Collector.

So we finally have something of a road map to version 1.0 of Harem Collector. Like so many things we’ve been using as guideposts in this long, long adventure, it’s rough and kind of crude, but it’ll get us there.

I’ve had dysthymia creeping up on me all day today, so please excuse me if I’m not exactly wordy and eloquent about all this, but the plan looks something like this:

July 2020: v0.47, the SAVIOUR update
The last two quests in the Save the Elves questline go live. Meiriona is added to the harem.

September 2020: v0.48, the RICHES update
Jalila, the elf village shopgirl, is added to the harem. Florine can be freed from the dungeon. Florine’s love quest will be available. Game economy is re-examined and re-balanced. The final push on the Ancient Mysteries quest line begins.

November 2020: v0.49
The Iron Waifu themed update, with the Iron Waifu winner’s love quest. More progress on Ancient Mysteries.

January 2021: v0.50
The last Ancient Mysteries quest is in, and the end game events begin. Brigandine and Hanelore are added to the harem. A new enemy arises, taking advantage of the chaos in the declining Middle Kingdom.

March 2021: v0.51
May 2021: v0.52

Updates covering the end game quests. A new enemy arises, a resistance is formed, a betrayal occurs, old enemies become allies and fallen foes return, and a desperate battle is won. The last few mechanical overhauls take place. Also, in May will be the last ever Iron Waifu for the first Harem Collector.

July 2021: Harem Collector v1.0
The end game is done. The final harem has a big ol’ orgy. Credits roll.
Also we’re going to have a big fucking online party and all HC fans will be invited.

September 2021 and Beyond: v1.x
Fitting in the last few side quests, Love/Respect Quests, and art updates while we plow forward on our next project, I Live to Serve, Dungeon King!! Might not be a proper, fully featured 1.0 but who the fuck are you going to call, the version police? The main story is done.

I’ve also broken out the leash and collar and will be chaining Nekochan to her drawing table so that in the v1.0 release we will have the end game orgy scene complete and available to be enjoyed.

So yeah, that’s it. I’m going to go send out that backer release. See you all next week!

Testing Week Updates

Hey all, just a few quick things because it’s testing week, and I still have a ton of dialogue to write.

As of today, I’m temporarily removing the “Megafan” tier from Patreon. It will be back next month with a new poster featuring completely new art by Hilent, this time featuring everyone’s favourite necromancer, Larelle! The reason for this is that Patreon tracks Merch for Membership by how long someone has been supporting at a given tier, so in order to offer a new poster we effectively have to reset the Megafan tier entirely. But please check back in June for a brand new, awesome poster design!

Another Patreon-related note, please be aware that as of next month Patreon will also be charging sales tax for all tiers of membership in most areas. This sucks for everyone affected, I know. Please be aware this is in addition to you normal pledge amount- if you’re pledged at $2 and your sales tax rate is 13% you will be charged $2.26. If you want more information on what areas are affected and how much you will be charged, please consult this FAQ.

On our end, we’ve adjusted our settings so that the impact has been minimized. For example, in most places sales tax can’t be charged on having your name in the credits of the game, so I’ve indicated that a certain percentage of your pledges goes towards that benefit.

Development continues. Today we’ll be rolling out the newest build to testers, in preparation for the backer release next week. There’s still a lot of dialogue that I want to get done, but as of this moment the important stuff is all in there.

Finally, I’m happy to announce that we’re planning the new content for v0.47, and that will be an update that you won’t want to miss. Let’s just say, it’ll be a crowning moment for the Hero and friends, so there’s no way in hell you’re going to want to miss it!

Any please keep your eyes open for Harem Collector v0.46 CHILL, out next week to backers!

Iron Waifu Updates

I’m going to have to go back to weekly blog posts, doing them every other week makes it way too easy to forget.

And before you say “why don’t you just set an alarm or a calendar alert or something NoMoshing?” I’ll have you know that I can’t remember dick fucking all and I get through the day thanks to no less than five alarms and multiple calendar appointments per week already, so I’m not having my smartphone chirp at me *even more* thank you very much.

So anyway, it’s May and that means that Iron Waifu is on! In fact, today’s match up between Lilac and Apple Kid is really close right now so please take the time to vote if you haven’t already! And as we draw closer to the end of Round One, it’s really starting to heat up, so let’s take a look at where some of our past heavy hitters are.

Yamamaya looks like this this year she’ll be able to cruise into the quarterfinals thanks to lucky placement. The only other party member in her quarter has already been eliminated, and while she’s sharing her quarter with several girls who have made the quarterfinals in the past, none of them have reached Round Three nearly as consistently as the catgirl berserker.

Meline has had a checkered history with Iron Waifu, and either seems to do very well or incredibly poorly. Half the time she makes the quarterfinals, overcoming some mid tier characters on the way, the other half the time she gets knocked out early by low tier characters. This year on the 18th we will be seeing no less than the third faceoff between Renfeld and Meline, both girls are 1-1 with one another. It’s hard not to see a future where Meline gets taken out by Brigandine or maybe even Bronwyn, who are also in her quarter, but at least she’ll have a notable rematch along the way.

Speaking of whom, Bronwyn is also staring down the barrel of a rematch with Brigandine, provided the elven ranger beats Ino tomorrow. While Brigandine has triumphed each other thing the two have faced off in Iron Waifu, don’t count Bronwyn out yet- Bron has an impressive kill count including Chimei, Yeon, and an incredible early win against Raina in 2018. Bronwyn also has only even been defeated by top-tier contenders Kyrie, Brigandine, and eventual Iron Waifus Larelle and Alina. Her record might not be that impressive, but Bronwyn is always a girl to watch.

Fan favourite Raina is looking at a rocky road to the finals this year. She has a tough match-up in round one against Florine, a strong mid-tier performer with a dedicated fanbase and exactly the kind of character that Raina seems to be weak to. If Raina can overcome that, she’s up against Meiriona, who hasn’t performed super well but has only ever been defeated by solid contenders Bronwyn and Florine, and managed to chalk up a devastating upset against fan favourite Yamamaya in her debut match. And if she can get through that odds are good that Raina is looking at a quarterfinal against Kyrie and a semifinal against Brigandine. Raina is the underdog contender this year, with difficult match-ups the whole way, but a strong contingent of supporters out lobbying for her. My advice: No matter who you vote for, do. Not. Miss. One. Single. Raina. Match. This. Year.

To give the southwest quarter a little love, everyone still in the race there has been at least a quarterfinalist in the past, lots of strong mid-tier girls in general. My personal favourite to make the semis is Elaiya- she has a strong fan following, people know that her lesbian sex scene with Doll is in the works, and while she has never finished strong, except for one embarrassing defeat against Doralice, she has her own impressive kill count and usually loses to strong contenders. My dark horse for this quarter is Chimei, who is fresh off a new love quest, has finally been able to communicate with the Hero, and will have her redesign concept art shared to backers before her next match against Yeon. I don’t think anyone here is going to take the crown in the end, but it’ll be an interest run as the mid-tiers duke it out for the semifinal.

Finally have have the two remaining top tiers, the two titans who are the real contenders to watch this year. Brigandine, the only girl in all of Iron Waifu to have only been defeated by Iron Waifus, who has never done worse than the quarterfinals. Only one half step behind is Kyrie, who except for a single loss against Raina in 2016 can say the exact same thing, and has been to the finals more than any other character save 2017 Iron Waifu winner Alina. Both characters had passionate fanbases, but while Kyrie is coming off the strength of a lot of new content in the last year, Brigandine is by far the most consistent performer. For a lot of fans, the real finals will be happening on the 30th, where unless there is an upset these two S-rank contenders will have their first head to head match-up ever. DO NOT MISS THAT MATCH!

That’s how things are shaping up so far. We have four more matches left in Round One, and after that the reward lists for every girl who has made it to Round Two will be revealed- including some new developments that are sure to excite! For now, this is NoMoshing signing off.

EDIT: Correction, Bronwyn has only faced Brigandine once before.

Harem Collector v0.45.5 HORTICULTURE Update

Get it here!

-Two new Love Quests, for Chimei and Doll, are now available if you have their affection at 100 or higher.
-New art for Apple Kid’s Sex a la Carte menu, Therese’s Dungeon sex scenes, and Doll’s Unwanted Blessings sex scene!
-One new sex scene for Doll’s Love Quest!
-Apple Kid, Evanie and the Northmarket cat have new sprite art.
-The new minimum amount of momentum during combat scales with your level, up to at least 15 momentum at level 45.
-Attack, Guard, and a few other physical skills now give more momentum
-Momentum gained from taking damage has been decreased to 80% the rate that it was before
-All magic will now give players momentum equal to 1/5th of the Mana they used for the magic
-Chimei and Nerys now have gain momentum at an increased rate to compensate for their lack of options
-Transfer Essence now gives the Momentum Regen Status instead of giving 10 momentum directly
-Stagger now decreases Momentum 10 per turn instead of 2 per turn
-Nausea now decreases your momentum generation rate by 50% while active
-Chimei’s Enervating Bolt will no longer give enemies hit momentum, and will deal momentum damage equal to 80% of their current momentum on top of the HP damage it does.
-Bronwyn’s arrow accessories will now be equipped to her off-hand instead of her accessory slot, and a new second type of arrows may be found somewhere in the world!

Adding momentum to the Momentum economy

Hey people! Been awhile since I’ve done a blog post, going to try to get better about getting these out again every so often. Best place to start will be focusing on all the various character revamps that I’ve already gotten into the game, since I do put a fair bit of thought into them, and well I like the sound of my own voice… Or at least the clacking of my keyboard when I get typing. Anyways, for backers this will only really discuss the ‘why’ behind all those various changes you might have noticed on the change log, but for you public users this will be a bit of a sneak peek into what’s to come!

So, to begin with I should probably explain why I chose to go with revamping the momentum economy this release instead of down the line with some other changes… well the reason is, Chimei. While most mages aren’t really on my list of ‘characters to revamp’ as they’re usually pretty solid, Chimei was on there because of the general difficulty there is to using her effectively. Between NoMoshing making evocations immune to deafen/censure and evocations getting to ignore the AoE revamp, Chimei’s skills and stats weren’t really a problem (aside from a few select cases I’ll talk about), but rather the difficulty was getting to use her effectively and this all comes down to how the momentum economy favored tanks and especially shunned mages. Given how she got her love quest this update, it felt fitting to address this issue.

If you’ve played Harem Collector quite a bit you’ve probably noticed that it’s almost impossible to get mages to ever use their ‘Focus’ skill to regain MP. Meanwhile Therese, Doll, and Raina will usually end up with more momentum than they know what to do with in any fight that poses a serious risk. This is because in base RPG Maker the math will work out that you gain momentum the fastest by taking damage, which favors tanks a lot, but squishier characters (which mages tend to be) will then suffer. Characters that rely on physical attacks will also typically won’t struggle too much with momentum as they will still use attack often and can usually take a few hits. Even if they drop by 50% of their max health (which would give them 25 momentum directly), they generally have the stats to take a hit or two before you heal them up, allowing you to play it a bit riskier with giving them higher threat values. Mages however have such weak attack values that they never use the standard attack, and their defences usually aren’t good enough to keep them alive if they drop to low health.

With that all in mind, you can begin to see why Chimei would feel pretty difficult to use. Even if you did know how to use her it took a fair bit of effort, because at the end of the day Chimei had the stats of a mage, and she can’t compete using evocations when she can only reliably get 2% momentum per turn. So the goal of the momentum revamp was to tackle how lopsided and slow the momentum economy was.

One of my first tasks was to make it so that using magic would still give you some momentum. After all, casting a spell is to a mage what a physical attack is to a melee character. The rate for this has been set to be 1/5th of the mana spent so that it’ll cap out at 8 momentum per turn, just as much as physical attacks will now give. This will help momentum be sped up more for physical attackers as well! The momentum from taking damage was reduced to be about 4/5ths of what it was before as well, to help even out the momentum gain while still keeping tanks relatively sustainable.

This goes a long way to help players get more use out of ‘Focus’ and physical attackers to be able to use their skills more often, but some of you who dive deeper into this sort of math might realize this would do very little to help Chimei specifically. Sure, she’ll be refunded 1/5th of the momentum she spent when using evocations, but evocations are a momentum glutton in order to have her stay competitive with typical mages, and if she can’t do that then you’ll just pick an actual mage. To address this problem Chimei was given two changes to improve her personal momentum growth. When you get Chimei she will gain momentum at a rate of 150%. Her relationship up bonus has also changed, before you would get 2 momentum per turn from her, but instead it now increases the rate she gains momentum even further, bringing her up to 200% the normal rate, so once you have that not only will she now be refunded 2/5ths of the momentum from using evocations, but Transfer Essence will also be twice as effective!

Speaking of that particular skill, before it just straight up gave Chimei momentum at the cost of MP and a turn, the problem however was that it was basically constant turn cost as she’d have to use it every other turn just to keep herself going. Now what Transfer Essence does is it gives you ‘Momentum Regeneration’, which means for 4 turns you’ll gain 8 momentum per turn, which will then be further multiplied by Chimei’s increased momentum generation effect. Now you effectively spend 1 “dead” turn to have 4 turns where you can use her easily, especially with the refund on momentum you use. Nerys was also given a slight momentum generation increase, since she falls in the same boat of being a momentum glutton with mage stats/skills, but the in-lore justification for Nerys is different than the one for Chimei. If you want to know what these are, well, ask me over in the backer’s lounge!

Now then, that’s a whole lot of talk about the upwards momentum, so now let’s talk about the downwards momentum. See, one thing that’s irritated me for awhile is how when you’re up against a boss that’s very momentum based, your best options to deal with them are to daze them to reduce their ability to hit you and get momentum off of attacks, slow down your damage so that they spend their momentum on lower cost skills that aren’t as dangerous, or kill them before they can do anything dangerous. NoMoshing gave Chimei a skill awhile ago, ‘Enervating Bolt’ that is designed to drain momentum, however he was limited by the base RPG Maker editor and using this skill had a good chance of giving the enemy more momentum with the damage they take than it reduced their momentum at the end of the turn. He’s also put in a few statuses that reduce it, but none of what he did just had the sort of oomph needed to counter a momentum heavy boss, so I decided to add in more ways to attack enemy momentum!

So the first thing that I did to fix the momentum damage options players had was I worked on fixing Enervating bolt, first by doing some scripting magic so that certain skills like Enervating bolt will not give enemies momentum when they do damage, and second I changed it so that it will directly drain their momentum by 80% instead of about 5. Now you might have noticed, that’s a pretty big difference, and that’s because of the basic RPG Maker editor, where it’s impossible to multiply Momentum specifically by a fraction, unlike every other stat. Now, if they’ve got 100 momentum it’ll be -80, but if they’ve only got 10? Well then it’ll be -8, by setting it this way we can high values like 80% to keep it significant while also not just always bringing them to 0 making shut down all skills instead of just stopping the big scary ones.

Since that gave Chimei a good option to countering high amounts of momentum, I also wanted good options for dealing with low amounts, and the ‘Stagger’ status seemed the best way to do this. Stagger already had a -2 momentum per turn effect to it. I bumped it up to -10 per turn to help make it be better for draining that last bit of momentum and helped give Therese a few more unique options compared to Doll and Raina. Then came the question of slowing down momentum gain as a whole to add in more strategic control over enemy momentum, so I gave the Nausea status an additional effect where it reduces your momentum gain to 50% of what it’d be otherwise, so now on top of all those stat downs your skills will also suffer if you’ve got it! Though, players have been able to inflict this status through stink bombs for awhile but not many people use those, so I decided that Bronwyn, since her basis is ‘an option for every situation’ (more on this when I talk about her revamp) seemed like she should also get some ways to deal momentum damage. Add in a new type of arrow equipment with a skill that can inflict nausea and do some momentum damage like Chimei’s thing, then move the arrows she can equip to be her ‘off-hand’ instead of accessory since now there’s multiple.

Now for the biggest problem that existed with the momentum system before, starting momentum! While all these ideas will go very far in helping momentum go up and down a lot more, a big problem can be that if you start a battle with 0 momentum it can really feel like a punishment for bringing a momentum heavy character as you can’t really use them. Conversely NoMoshing has made clear that stuff like carrying momentum from one fight to another (something RPG Maker allows by default) would run completely counter to the intention of how momentum vs mana is supposed to balance out. I had to think about this long and hard, but I believe I came up with a fair compromise. I chose to tie starting Momentum to your character level.

Levels may be an arbitrary gameplay mechanic, as Hero described, but they do represent the abstract idea of your characters getting stronger, which is why they learn new moves and have an easier time with old enemies. With this in mind, it struck me as odd that a level 50 character has the same chance as being caught completely unprepared for a fight as a level 1 character, which 0 momentum would represent. Under the new momentum revamp, the minimum amount of momentum you can start with will increase by 1 for every 3 levels, up until level 45 where you cap out at a 15 minimum. The maximum value that you can begin a battle with will always be 25, but this helps present each character’s growing familiarity with the challenges they face, it also goes a long way in also keeping it so that while you can always get 25, by the time that you’re level 15 and have a minimum of 5 that 5 momentum still won’t let you spam your best moves out the gate. This serves to ensure there’s always a chance to be caught relatively ‘unprepared’, but that your characters are learning and growing from their encounters along the way.

And there you have it! We’ve got a far more robust set of options here, both for your own growth and to counter enemy growth! There also might be one or two other surprises that I put in for the momentum revamp, but they aren’t exactly game changers, and it’s all probably not quite done yet as it was pointed out to me that since players have no real idea how much momentum enemies have or how much their moves cost it’s going to be very difficult for players to make perfect use of the various options, but I can always fix that down the line. Hope you all enjoyed my rambling!

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.

Conash things in 0.44

Hey people, Conash here! Today I thought I’d talk about my contributions in the 0.44 release since I haven’t quite gotten my thoughts organized for one of my little mechanical analysis posts… Also because I haven’t quite talked about this yet!

So to start off with, I think that I should note there won’t be any major scripting changes. Between the holidays, family, a bunch of different games that I’ve got to play with different groups of people, but most importantly it taking about 2 weeks after the 0.43 release to finally narrow down what was causing all those game crashes in the Golden Tomb I didn’t quite have enough time to handle any big coding project, just a bunch of little ones added in over the course of this release. Always sad to not get to have a ton of fun with that, but it is what it is, let’s move onto the stuff that I did get in!

The first major thing that I got into was working on the reward for Gargan’s upcoming quest. Backers may already be aware as to what this new quest will unlock to some extent or another, and having been privileged to such information back when NoMoshing was talking about it on old backer streams (well before I was on the team), when NM outlined what quests we were handling this update it became my first priority to figure out a way to implement it in… Right, heck I think that I might have even made a blog post analyzing the sorts of things that I was worried about when designing it, but despite my concerns the solution came relatively quickly, and after some back and forth with testers I more or less knew everything that I needed for it before the 0.43.3 release (though none of it is in the base game yet, lots of little scripting things that I was worried about that may have caused problems). I’m also currently working on the enemies for Gargan’s quest, I’ve talked with NM and I know the theme of the enemies, I’ve theorized a few things that I think will be important for the boss battle, and gotten some feedback from fans about some of what they’re hoping the enemies bring to the table, but it’s still in the planning stages and subject to change so I’d rather not make promises that I have to go back on.

Next up, Kevin’s respect quest! This one I’m actually a lot farther along as once I was done with the reward for Gargan, I went immediately into trying to setup Kevin ‘right’. See I try to put in the time and effort to try to keep the ludo-narrative together when I can, and I’ll probably talk about this in more detail later but suffice to say there’s a reason why Nerys doesn’t leave you feeling like you want her as a permanent party member, and Kevin won’t give you that feeling either. With Kevin though, I wanted to capture more of a ‘random Joe’ feeling as I haven’t quite hit that with the more civilians that used magic like Nerys or Professor Ambitis (yet at least), so I had to very carefully craft both his stats, his growth, give him a custom exp curve, and create enemies specifically designed in a way to capture this feeling. Kevin inherently couldn’t be designed without also designing at least half of the enemies on his quest alongside him, so his quest ended up with it’s enemies done first. I still need to go back in and add the finishing touches to the boss, not to mention adjust some of the fights to have different enemy combinations now that I don’t need to test anymore, but based on the feedback I got from testers I’m very happy with how all the Kevin stuff turned out.

Now, with those big things out of the way, I mentioned that back in December I spent a lot of time working on fixing the crashes in the golden tomb, well I didn’t want that to be the only thing that I got done in December so I sat down for a bit and realized that I was in a good position to add in the 4th bonus boss into the game! It took some discussing with NM as my inherent focus on mechanics left quite a few holes that he ended up having to figure out how to resolve (resulting in more work for him than I had intended during a release that he was already facing a time crunch on >.>), we managed to get it in! I also decided to reach out to the fans for some suggestions for the reward here as I noticed that the other Bonus Bosses all had rather varied rewards. I’m quite happy with how both the boss and the reward turned out, so look forward to that!

The last thing that I’ve really got planned for this release I honestly didn’t think I’d have time for, yet another revamp! Originally I thought that between Gargan’s reward and making Kevin from scratch, there wouldn’t be any room in my head left to revamp a character, but after I had figured out what I wanted from Kevin and had finished testing Gargan’s reward I ended up getting into a discussion with some users about how the Damage over Time statuses aren’t very rewarding as you usually kill common enemies in 1-3 turns, so doing 1/20th of their HP per turn (at best) for 3 turns isn’t worth inflicting the status on those enemies, which is a fair assessment as when you have to fight 100 common enemies, spending an entire action to inflict 1/20th their health just isn’t worth it unless you’re in a challenge run. This got me thinking about what I could do to make poison and bleed fit in better against common enemies specifically, without making them over-powered against bosses, and well, by the time I had that figured out, I was basically half-way done to figuring out how to revamp Bronwyn, so look forward to a Bronwyn revamp in the 0.44 release! I’ve already got my ideas for it ready, but if I end up running short on time I may have to push this one back a bit.

And that’s about it for the 0.44 release. I could go into more detail about the Bronwyn revamp, but I don’t like talking about stuff that I haven’t gotten feedback from the testers yet. While I do generally trust my ability to play with numbers and take approaches that seem to typically be close to what we end up with, I just don’t like the idea that I might give you guys the wrong idea if I change gears, so maybe I’ll talk about it in more detail after the backer release is out! Bye!