Two Names for One Stat

(Hey all, sorry for no blog post last week, it was Canada Day and I straight up took the day completely off. This week’s blog post is from Conash, please enjoy! -NM)

Hey everyone! So listen, I know that I still need to detail what all went into the Yamamaya revamp, but I recently got thinking about one of these little game design things that’s crossed my mind and I really wanted to get into it. This time, I want to talk about how easy it is to make Attack and Magic be the same stat, and how some games avoid that.

Now, obviously Attack and Magic aren’t the exact same stat, but when it comes to RPGs it can be very easy to make them to functionally be a universal ‘offense’ stat. Let’s take Harem Collector for example, if let’s say you were fighting an enemy that was designed specifically to reduce your primary attacking stat, it’d look at what character it was focusing on and either inflict ‘Attack down’ or ‘Magic down’ on them based on who it was. Compare this enemy to an enemy that instead of analyzing who it’s targetting instead just inflicts both, and consider what’s different? Well for mages they’ll have their attack stat reduced, for Felix this might pose some notice because you might have just switched to physical attacks instead of magic attacks, but for the other mages your attack stat is already so low that if your magic is reduced to the point that your attack is the better option, you’d rather just use an item to heal, buff your magic, or guard instead of attacking. Now what about your physical fighters? Well Raina and Bronwyn might laugh at this enemy as they have ways to convert their defense or agility into damage respectfully, but only Therese and Doll would really be able to turn to their magic stat for damage in the first case but both of these characters have the option to turn to either tanking or support so even then they’re not facing a huge impact. Functionally speaking, reducing attack and magic is no different than just reducing whichever is more important to any given character except in a few cases (such as after a certain love quest), and because of this a character only ever has ‘one’ offensive stat, even the rare skill that uses both magic and attack splits it’s usage of them to emulate it as if it only used one of the two rather than both.

Contrast this to say defense and resist, these are two different stats that the player will expect both of them to be useful at different times as you’ll be fighting enemies that have physical attacks and enemies that have magic attacks, but your mages only have magic based skills and your fighters only have attack based skills with a few exceptions. If you had the option to trade out any amount of Kyrie’s attack stat for a boost in her magic stat I bet each of you would trade that out whether it was 1:1 or even 50:1 to whatever extent you could. Whenever you’re thinking of designing an RPG though, it can be difficult to see ways to avoid this problem since this is just the nature of having stats that exist only to be ‘offense’, you could make skills that use both but you still have to reign them in to be about as effective as if the player only used one or else you’d break the balance of the game, but I’ve come across a few games that I think do a good job at helping make ‘magic’ and ‘attack’ serve roles to keep them both important to everyone, to one extent or another.

The first example that I want to bring up is Pokemon. After generation 1, the ‘Attack’ and ‘Special Attack’ stats would seem to fall into the problem as I described it, but when you really start getting into the grit and depth of the pokemon combat system it really doesn’t. Now, for those of you who haven’t gotten into it, pokemon actually has a rather complex and nuanced foundation to it’s combat, even if I may have quite a few complaints about it, but the reason that Attack and Special Attack are functionally different is that when you start getting into challenge runs of pokemon you’ll find that targetting the weaker defense of a pokemon can go a very long way, even if the move is resisted and only doing 1/2 damage, when you get to extreme disparities between defense and special defense like say Onix the ability to target the weaker defense is a huge game-changer, on top of that with the huge variety of moves that every pokemon can theoretically learn (which is made manageable by the limit of moves they can actually know) there’s almost never a pokemon who can never make use of either their attack or special attack, though there are some cases where one of these stats is so low it’s basically non-existent. The freedom to mobilize both of these stats with a variety of moves combined with how at times a pokemon’s defense may be 4x or more than their special defense creates opportunities where, at least in certain challenge runs, being able to make use of your weaker ‘offensive’ stat opens up entirely new strategies and considerations, and a skill that reduced or raised the attack and special attack stat of a pokemon by two stages would be pretty busted, even when there already exist stats which can raise one of those two by two stages or can raise both of them by one already.

Another example of a game that helps keep both the ‘Attack’ and ‘Magic Attack’ stats from effectively becoming a single ‘Offense’ stat would be the ‘Tales of’ series, though I’m going to be talking about ‘Tales of Symphonia’ specifically here. See, this is another example that at first glance would appear similar to Harem Collector, as your ‘Attack’ and ‘Intelligence’ are seperate stats, Lloyd for example doesn’t have any spells and if you plan to fight only Melee as Genis you’re in for a bad time, but both of these stats are still useful to both of them. See, something the game doesn’t explain is that your ‘Intelligence’ serves a double purpose as both your magic attack and your magic defense in this game (much like generation 1 pokemon, but this causes huge balance issues there which is why I didn’t want to focus on it), and while you can help make up for his lower magic defense both by getting equipment that resists the elements you’ll face or by buffing his sizable HP pool so that he can take a hit, you’re going to be hit by spells at all but the highest level of play, which is a big reason I really like the ‘Boorish General’ title for Lloyd as one of the only ways to boost his Intelligence even if it’s not by a lot (at least until I get the ‘Berserker’ Title that gives comparatively huge HP and Attack boosts), because even if he has no way to use his intelligence to inflict damage it still helps keep him alive. As for why attack is useful for Genis, this comes into play in two parts, firstly if you don’t rely heavily on your item bag you’re going to need to use physical attacks to regain TP to use for spells at time which means that you can reasonably expect to get some use out of your attack, but the bigger use it has plays into staying alive. See, one of the best ways to avoid staying alive when you do challenge runs in any ‘Tales of’ game is that you need to keep the enemy staggered, when they’re staggered you’re doing damage and they can’t attack back, and while there are a lot of nuances to this system there are at least some ‘Tales of’ games that make enemies immune to staggers from physical hits unless you do enough damage, meaning that if your attack stat is so low that you’re only doing 1 damage then you can never stagger an enemy, allowing them to attack you in the middle of a combo with impunity, when you combine these two facts together it means that if your attack stat is ‘1’ on a pure mage if you ever try to use physical attacks to regain TP you might as well be standing in front of them doing nothing because they can basically kill you with a combo or two before you can get enough TP for a spell. There are other things that also play into this balance too though, such as magic instantly cancelling the guard of the target stopping enemies from guarding infinitely until you’re vulnerable, you can get out many physical attacks in the time it takes to get off one spell allowing you to prevent your enemies from doing more damage with physical attacks, magic attacks can hit bigger areas to hit multiple enemies, while physical attacks have an easier time pushing enemies into the position you want them to be at. All of these things play together to create a situation where not only do all party members benefit from both ‘Attack’ and ‘Intelligence’ (though most characters benefit more from one than the other) but also a situation where you almost never want to only have physical attackers or only have mages as these stats feel like they fill distinct purposes.

So yeah, sorry if this got rather long, and I hope that it doesn’t come off as if I think that Harem Collector does a ‘bad’ job with core gameplay, take this as just some analysis of fun ‘quirks’ that I noticed with how the math, gameplay design, and player behavior all mix together to create situations where in some games inflicting an attack and magic attack debuff feels no different than if you only had one inflicted based off of some huge process where the game goes in and determines which is more important and only inflicts that one. One more thing to also point out I guess is that even when in say ‘Tales of Symphonia’ where you get characters like Kratos who can make good use out of both spells and physical skills, allowing such characters to have attack similar to Lloyd and Intelligence similar to Genis isn’t always a bad thing, because they can only ever invest any given second or point of TP into one or the other, effectively making the other stat ‘useless’ for that given resource analysis, the limitations then should be about how the value of being able to go from 2 melee units and 2 casters to 1 melee unit and 3 casters in the middle of the battle influences how likely you are to bring them over a character who can only fill one role, if when they do can only do half as much damage as Lloyd or Genis chances are the players will instead pass them up to take a character who is always at 100% instead of always at 50%.

SAVIOUR Version Update

Hey all, just NoMoshing here with a brief discussion on how the SAVIOUR update is coming along. Unfortunately, due to various reasons I’ll get into, I’ve had to call it and delay the SAVIOUR mini-release to next Monday, June 29th. The game is not at a place where I’d like it to be, and with the public release happening on a month that ends on a Tuesday, we’ve only had two weeks to get really deep into new content. I apologize deeply for letting everyone down who was waiting for this. But, there is some good news.

In terms of my work- The new dungeon is proceeding rather smoothly, but is going to require a surprising amount of new assets as there’s a shift in perspective that I failed to account for and we’re going to need some new art assets just for this one dungeon. So, when the mini-release does happen, it’s going to look a little weird in there, but please bear with it for now. It’s shaping up to be a fun little dungeon, with a lot of fun call backs to Castlevania: Symphony of the Night as well as original content to explore.

My sex scene writing has been held up, though. I have two sex scenes to write wholesale as well as some tweaks I need to make to several older scenes. The reason why is that a very generous donor who wishes to remain anonymous has commissioned new art for every existing scene with Meline including her Sex a la Carte menu. So, please comment with your thanks to him if you like and I’ll pass screenshots on.

The upswing of this is that while there won’t be very many brand new sex scenes in the next version, but it’s probably going to be the biggest update in terms of new art assets. So far, finished (and waiting on some degree of writing) are: Meline’s introductory sex scene, Chimei’s first sex scene, Meline and Larelle’s double blowjob, Diadira’s 4th Scenario Sex a la Carte scene, and Doll and Elaiya’s scene together. Currently getting worked on is Meline’s threesome with the Angel of Love and Peace, Meline’s vacation scene and one of Yeon’s Sex a la Carte scenes, not sure yet if I’m going to run it as her 4th Scenario or her “Be Nice” scenario. And before the end of next month we should also have the Alina + Therese threesome, Meline’s footjob scene, and some more Sex a la Carte for her. So yeah, that’s quite a bit, Hilent is getting a bit of a workout but so far she’s on top of everything.

Conash is currently working on a revamp to some of the chat options in the game. Now, if you want to discuss other harem girls with a harem girl, you’d be able to toggle between the current random system, or picking from a list. If you want chatting with your followers to be more natural and off the cuff, stick with “random”, but if you want to hear every last scrap of delicious dialogue in the game you’ll be able to cut out the RNG entirely.

So yeah, despite the delay SAVIOUR is shaping up to be one hell of an update. Please look forward to it!

Welcome to My World

Hey everyone, Conash here! With the recent public release of Harem Collector v0.46, I thought now might be a good opportunity to talk about the new modding feature we have! Though this is more going to be a, “How we added it” sorta blog post rather than “How to make them”, for that information I would advise checking out the mod section of our forums (found here) or to join our discord via the link under the ‘Follow Us’ section to find advice or ask questions. Now then, on with the show!

To begin with, it’d probably be good to start with what prompted me to want to get into this. I was already pretty familiar with a lot of the way that RPG Maker stores it’s data files. Heck, the fact that we have the lite releases is because there’s only one file that you have to change to update the game, and we’ve already had a few fans modding their own games with stuff like Cazador’s oldschool Faceset mod, Romeo and Moonblack’s Cerulean+Wiki tan mod, or Omegon’s Extra Hard Mode mod. What really got the ball rolling is I was chatting with a good friend of mine who was thinking of trying their hand at making a mod that would add in an often requested sex scene of that we aren’t planning to add in ourselves. I was inspired to give fans the means not only to make thier own mods but for other players to install them, as a legitimate option in the game.

Any of you who’ve worked with RPG Maker probably have a bit of an idea as to how this wasn’t exactly going to be an easy road, especially those of you who have made scripts in Ruby before. The original plan that I had wasn’t too hard to implement after I did some digging, cross referencing the ‘Index’ they include with the software alongside some scripts we have and a few google searches to learn a few of the various command options you have with the ‘File’ class, but I found what I needed. You see, RPG Maker has a custom made ‘Load Data’ function built into it, based off of some pre-existing functions in Ruby that accomplish something similar. This not only allows it to read data from it’s specially encrypted data, but prioritizes it. This is all well and good for standard play, but I need it so that even when players have an encrypted data set it will sometimes load non-encrypted data stored elsewhere. Not wanting to really divide too deep into how the ‘load_data’ function worked, I instead opted to create a function that would have it so that anytime it tried to load, say, ‘Data/Map003.rvdata2’ it’d first add ‘Mods/’ to the start of it, so if it found a file at ‘Mods/Data/Map003.rvdata2’ it’d load that one instead. This method would work great for Cazador’s mod since that’s exactly what was needed for a graphical mod, and it’s work fine for Romeo and Moonblack’s mod as it was basically built to function this way, but since our game is still in development this function alone wouldn’t be enough.

See, if we take Omegon’s Extra Hard Mode as an example, that mod works by changing how the invisible Hard Mode status works, but with every release of the game we usually add in more status effects so if the game was set to load his file instead of the in-game file it’d risk breaking the game for every release after the mod was made. The same thing would happen for Common Event data, Enemy data, Item data, various things like that, something with a bit more nuance was needed. Now, I’ve got a bit of experience not only working with third party scripts but also making some third party scripts of my own for other games, and for those of you unaware we generally try to setup our codes to make use of ‘tags’. ‘Tags’ are various unique text that you add to something that will create a special interaction with the code we made that way the game developer doesn’t need to have their own resident Conash to custom build every little programming thing, so I decided the best way to go about this was to integrate that into here. This is easy enough for Items, Enemies, Actors, and most of the databases, the modder in question will add a ‘<Modded>’ tag into the ‘note’ section (one of the few times that I will praise Enterbrain for their forward thinking as that section is a godsend for us third party programmers), I then setup my code so that when it’s loading in these databases it will check for a ‘Mods/Data/Enemies/’ folder, create an array of all the files in there, load them up one by one so long as they have ‘.rvdata2’ in their name, and check every entry, if it includes the ‘<Modded>’ tag then it’s to replace the base database, determined by the above paragraph, then it replaces the base database’s entry with this ‘<Modded>’ version. I did worry this might cause some slowdown, but it only runs this once when it starts the game and it should only cause slow down if you’ve got a lot of mods installed. There was however a bit of a snag with this problem, see there are three databases which don’t have a note section. The Animation database, the Troop database, and the Common Events database. Eventually I settled on a way to add tags to these anyways, by either including ‘<Modded>’ in the name of the animation, or by going to the common event/first page of the Troop in question and making the first line of it be a comment that only says ‘<Modded>’. Not the prettiest or most intuitive methods but it functionally accomplishes the same thing. One nice advantage of this more complex modding method though is that it’s also future proofing itself a bit, while I worry that some modders may find it cumbersome to create mods that go into the ‘Mods/Data/CommonEvents/’ folder, this method allows my code to know what the data is to be used for based on the folder it’s in while also allowing the modder to name it say ‘ChimeiTranslated’ or something both so that it doesn’t overwrite their ‘3DSexScene’ Common event data and so that if they ever want to uninstall the mod they know exactly what file does what. This method took me awhile longer to figure out since I had to get all the pieces moving right, but I am happy with how it came out.

Another little modding issue that came up, Maps. See, because of the nature of how the data in RPG Maker maps are stored you can’t exactly just add ‘<Modded>’ and expect it to translate nicely, there’s so many different types of data stored in Maps that I was left with leaving them with the more simple modding that I described before, but that wasn’t exactly going to be satisfactory because several players had expressed interest in making their own custom maps that weren’t in the game already. One noteable example of this is HorseHater who’s working on a custom dungeon where you bring all of the Iron Waifu champions and get to interact with them, I’ve gotten to see a bit of it and highly recommend you keep an eye out for it in the forums! Getting back on track though, there are two major issues that arise with this in that you’d have to coordinate with others what map data you’d be replacing as to not make two mods that try to use say Map950 to store their custom data, but also RPG Maker offloads a lot of the data for all maps into the ‘MapInfo’ file, which means you’d run into the exact same issue that Omegon was having if you want your map to be functional. This is where Map Packs come into play. See, I had this idea where I’d allow the game to store a string that it’d then use to intercept the process of grabbing map data, this would allow modders to say edit an existing map to have a specific script call to load in the name of their map pack, and then transfer the player to one of the maps in it, and then give them a way to return to the base game when done. As long as the player included all the relevant map files and the MapInfo file from when they made the maps this would all be simple right? Well, the first problem is setting up a way for players to enter your Map Pack. They could edit an existing map but that would pose some risks of stepping on the toes of other modders, needing to update their chosen map if we change it later, or various other things, so I wanted to have a way to work into the base game a way to access these Map Packs so that the modder wouldn’t be required to create their own front-door if you would. That’s when I remembered the code machine. You see, when you enter a name into the code machine, with how we have it working it stores whatever you enter as a string, with that knowledge I set it up so that if you entered ‘Map Pack’ as a code, it then asks for a second code, using this it will load the player into Map001 inside the folder of whatever map pack you entered there! I also set it up so that the player will be blind, in the event the modder needed to move you somewhere else or they didn’t like my little back-door entrance so they wanted to send you back for you to enter some other way.

Everything is good with map packs now right? Not exactly, the next issue would be Self switches. Self switches are used a lot in RPG Maker, and are a fundamental tool used for controlling event data to make sure things work properly. See, if I left things at this stage it would open a lot of potential bugs with self switches. How you might be asking? Well, even though it looks like self switches are connected to the events that reference them, they aren’t, at least not directly. Self Switches are all stored independently in the game data, the game just stores each switch in a unique location based on the ID of the map that called for it, the Event it’s associated with, and if it’s switch A, B, C, or D. The thing with Map Packs is they would allow a theoretical infinite number of events that are on different maps sharing the same Map ID and have the same event ID, making it so that if you got unlucky these map packs could start stepping on either one another’s toes or worry about conflicts with the base game. The fix to this one however was easy, I added it in so that if the string where it stores your Map Pack ID has a string in it, that’s also used to determine where it stores the Self Switch, now you’d not only need to have the same Map ID, Event ID, but also the same folder name for the Map Pack, but by that point one set of MapInfo data is already going to have to overwrite the other so I think we’re safe at this point. I have also additionally added in the ability to include ‘Enemy’ data inside Map Packs, this is so that you can have unique enemies for a custom made dungeon that only appear inside the map pack. We ran into a few issues with that though, namely since we used the Yanfly Battle system it turns out that there was some code there that added in extra enemy data that’s not in a base file whenever you loaded the game, and this extra data was required to not crash the game whenever the enemies attacked. The fix to that issue was to just load in this extra data both when loading in the new enemy data, and when returning to the old enemy data when the player returns to the base game. Man, if you ever try to add modding into your own RPG Maker VX Ace game for some reason, if you hit this point you’ll probably find that the most important command throughout all of this is the ‘File.file?’ command to make sure that there’s a file at the location you’re looking at before you try to load in data that doesn’t exist.

This may all seem fairly comprehensive to all of you, but there was one last point that I sorta glossed over throughout all of this, script modding. Script modding is a bit different, see while most files in the ‘Data’ folder are handled by the ‘DataManager’, the ‘DataManger’ itself is apart of the script data. What actually determines the script data being loaded is a combination of the .ini file and some of the secret code Enterbrain doesn’t let us see, heck viewing said secret code would even break the Terms of Service so I don’t advice any of you go looking for it either. Still, this leaves me in a bit of a bind because script are a huge part of how the game runs, and not allowing modding in for them would close off a large segment of options to modders. For now though, I’ve managed to get it into the 0.46.4 release so that if you include either some ‘.rvdata2’ or even a ‘.txt’ file inside the ‘Mods/Data/Scripts/’ folder that the game will run it both when you start a new game and when you load an existing game, this won’t be able to replace any existing script data sadly, as it seems to either hold that data on a higher level or constantly reads it in again overwriting any changes you tried to make. I have also talked with Romeo some more, and I’ve got another addition, ‘Map Scripts’ as I like to call them which will basically serve the same role only they’ll be loaded in every time you change to a different screen in RPG Maker (this distinction is mainly to handle load times while still giving people who like to mess with this stuff a wide range of options), which will help open a few more doors, but sadly I’m afraid that at this time I’m unable to add in the full functionality that script modding would need. I’ll keep looking for how to add in the few bits of script based functionality that are missing in, but I wouldn’t hold your breathe since I’ve hit multiple dead ends on this matter.

But yeah, hope that my rambling didn’t devolve into incoherent nonsense and that a few of you at least enjoyed listening to me gush about programming and how I am totally super smart. Either way, I’ll see you all later (hopefully when I actually get to detailing out what the Yamamaya redesign entailed >.<).

Harem Collector v0.46 CHILL!

Get it here!

Changes in the CHILL update:
-New quest for the Save the Elves plotline. An orcish emissary has arrived in the elf village with news, you should probably check it out.
-Mod support has been implemented. There are probably a lot of kinks to sort out, but if you’re interested in diving right in and starting out with mods, please join us on our Discord server and hit up the relevant channel. More information on mod creation can be found on the forum and you can check out our favourite mods here!
-Vignettes have been implemented! You can new use the Satisfaction menu to witness scenes between your harem girls that Hero isn’t necessarily privy to. Right now there are four to experience: a shared drink between Alina and Therese, Larelle teasing Felix, Florine making an illicit sale, and Princess Quinta hosting a tea party.
-New sex scene art for a bunch of Doll’s sex scenes, Therese’s Sex a la Carte, and Evanie’s sex scene.
-New sprites for Meline, Florine, and Doll.
-New banters for Therese and… everyone, plus Felix x Bronwyn banters
-Bell, Therese, Alina, Quinta, Chimei, Lilac, Violet, Larelle, Eulania, Nerys, Yeon and Elaiya have expanded chat options.
-Temporary skills will now be highlighted purple in your skill menu for easy reference.
-The bug that made some enemy bosses invincible should be resolved. Not the Dorm Guardian though, you’re still out of luck there.

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!