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!

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!

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!

My Favourite Things I Made This Year

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

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

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

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

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

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

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It was a massive headache at the time, but it feels really good to have gotten rid of our amateurish, outdated old website designed by a certain someone I don’t particularly like, and replace it with our new, slick website filled with all sorts of art representative of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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Updates with Conash!

Hey everyone! Next week is going to be the start of Tester’s Week for the upcoming PRINCESS update, and since I’m more or less entering the home stretch with what I’m doing I thought that I’d get you all up to date on the various things that I’ve either been working on or keeping my eye on.

First and most importantly, I’ll have to tip my hat to RomeoPapa, lostone, and everyone else who’s been helping out with the new wiki (found here)! It was really disheartening when we were given the two week notice of being shut down, but thanks to their efforts the new wiki had finished a complete transfer with about a week to spare! Which we promptly decided to get it taken down early it seems.

See, turns out that even if you move somewhere new you’re not allowed to turn any pages (especially the main one) into just redirect links to the new wiki over at Fandom, so they weren’t too happy to wake up one day and find out that the entire wiki was replaced with redirect pages. I have no regrets, as there were still a few people visiting the old wiki and making changes or leaving comments even after there was nothing but redirect links left, so I think that even though it hastened the deletion of the old wiki, it was important to try to get as many people over to the new wiki that we could.

By the way, feel free to let us know what you think of it over there or in the discord, and if you’ve got some new things you’d like see added we might be able to accommodate since we now have full control over it!

Now in terms of game development stuff, let’s have a little talk about a new feature I’m excited to add- dual-elements! You see, there’s been several issues in Harem Collector that have irked the mini-perfectionist in me ranging from how the mages with various ‘Anti-‘ elements on their weapons had no effective use for that element to being able to being able to equip a demon slaying charge and all of a sudden even though you’re attacking an enemy with a shield, their piercing resistance isn’t reducing the damage on your arrows! Not to mention with how useless using magic with the Newts is due to how they only have good damage thanks to their unique ‘Newt’ element….

So, that’s why I thought to basically take our current ‘one element’ system, and turn it into a ‘dual-element’ system, where not only attacks but even magic can have both a ‘physical’ element and a ‘racial’ element. It’d work basically how the current system works, but if you say give Felix the Necronomicon and Manhunter Poison, his attacks will do both necrotic and anti-human damage, multiplying the effectiveness of both (so still be careful of immunities). I’m even going through and making a lot of attacks like Therese’s Smite with a hardset ‘physical’ element still able to take into account whatever her current ‘anti-‘ element would be!

As for the magic end of this system, it will only consider the element of your weapon, so even if you throw Manhunter Poison or the Beastslayer Ring on someone their magic will not gain the ‘Anti-human’ or ‘Anti-beast’ properties, and I think this is fair because if your mages didn’t use their weapons to help channel their magic in some way, then they wouldn’t have a reason to hold a weapon in their hand instead of a buckler or something and mechanically speaking this helps create a bit more uniqueness as now you can use, say, Chimei’s Anti-Demon element to it’s full effect! Newts during the ‘Send Newts’ quest will have their unique Newt element moved over to their weapons so that spell-casting newts can benefit from this too.

Oh, this will only apply to magic that targets enemies though, so you won’t be able to use Yeon’s Anti-Mage element to boost her healing!

Next, let’s see… Well we’re working on getting the 4th solo tournament into this release! The enemies are coming along quite nicely, and I’d like to take a moment to thank our testers for putting up with my nonsense with all the test releases I’ve been putting out this past month, hope you all have been enjoying it!

Oh, players should also expect hard mode in this release, the only real update that’s been made to it is that now when you are in the save menu, your save files will now put a bronze star on any saves in Easy Mode, silver for Normal Mode, and gold for Hard Mode, to help keep track of what mode each save file is in. Oh! Easy Mode! I’ve also added in a new item so that if you’re in Easy Mode you can change your party anywhere while you’re outside of battle! Don’t worry about starting a new game to get it, when you load your save file the game will automatically detect if you’re on Easy Mode and don’t have the item, and if that’s the case one will just show up in your item list!

Hmm… The only other thing that I really have to talk about would be the Yamamaya revamp, and while everything is looking good so far, I’d rather wait a few weeks and then give that it’s own blog post, no matter how much I like to talk I do like to keep secrets sometimes! So I’ll wrap things up here, see you all later!

A Royal Pain

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We Live!

Hey, sorry for not updating for a couple weeks. I’ll try to get back on track this Wednesday.

There isn’t any dire reason why I haven’t updated the blog in a while. It’s just fuckass hot in my region right now, and while I have central air, it’s kind of jury-rigged into my 90 year old house, so the second floor has one intake, one outflow, and neither of which are actually in my office.

Because of the heat, I have been focusing on game development, and cutting hours I would otherwise spend on communication, marketing, and administration. So, I promise it only *looks* like I’m doing very little.

The quests for v0.41 are in their final stages, I only have a little bit of final dialogue, and some enemy placement and treasure drops to do. I’d like to tie off some new sex scenes and chat dialogue, that sort of thing, as well, but we’ll play it by ear on that one.

I just wanted to make this effort to reach out real quick, so I’ll leave it at that. Thank you for your support, as always, and I’ll see you in a week and a half for the backer release!

Depression and Community

So I’ve got to be just about the luckiest person alive among western adult game devs.

Earlier this month, I had a pretty gnarly bout of depression. As some of you may already know, I have a mental illness known as dysthymia (also known as persistent mood disorder). It is a form of depression that is usually more mild and easier to deal with. Usually it hits pretty bad about once a month, for only a few days, and I’m able to deal with it and move on. I’m pretty used to dealing with it, plus I have a great support network at home to help me get through when I am feeling down. I’ve been feeling this way ever since I was a child- although I was only diagnosed and able to fit a name to it a few years ago- so this really isn’t anything new.

For whatever reason, this month was pretty bad, and my “down” period lasted somewhere in the neighbourhood of about two weeks. When I enter into one of these depressive phases, I become unable to focus on things for very long, and being creative becomes particularly challenging. Failure is especially difficult to deal with, and finding myself unable to write anything of substance, figure out a bit of logic or code, or even failing to make progress playing video games can shut me down for hours.

“But NoMoshing,” you may find yourself wondering, “If you’re whining about being depressed, why did you start off this blog post saying how lucky you are?”

It’s because of you all. The Harem Collector community has to be one of the most welcoming, understanding, and supporting communities in the western adult game sphere. You’ve always been patient and understanding with me when these sorts of situations crop up, and I am constantly astounded and humbled by your continued trust and support every time.

When I solicited ideas of what to write for today’s blog post on Discord, and awesome fan Sad suggested writing something about the community, this is the first thing I thought of. It is a genuine privilege to have you all as fans, and I hope I continue to be worthy of your trust in the future. You’re all so amazing, and I look forward to entertaining you even more, like always. Thank you.

The Newest Member of the Team

Far, far ahead of schedule, she arrived, eager to work on providing awesome, free hentai games for everyone (18 years or older) to enjoy! Meet… Kaguya!

Kaguya is a Lenovo “Legion” gaming PC with an Intel i7 processor, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card, 8GB DDR RAM, and my heart <3. She is too thicc to sit on the PC shelf below my desk, so for the time being, at least, she’s hanging out up top where I can lovingly caress her….

Jokes aside, it’s been so long since I had a genuinely great computer that I’m seriously really excited about this. The PC that I’ve been using for most of Harem Collector’s development, Abyss, was a pure utility model, with no graphics card, a faulty internal wireless card, meant to just be a word processor and internet terminal. Streaming with it while having RPG Maker or an old game open was straining the poor thing to it’s limit.

Now hopefully Kaguya lasts for another eight years of hentai game design and crafting!

Some Good News, Finally

So, something good happened to me this past weekend.

A relative of mine sent me a cheque, for a large but not huge amount of money (I know this is super relative- it’s more than I make in a month but less than I make in a year, let me put it that way). Apparently, they sold some property that used to belong to my father, and felt I deserved to get a piece.

Now, of course, I did some dumb and not-so-dumb stuff with a bit of the money, as anyone would when they receive an unexpected windfall. Getting some work done on the house, bought a copy of Kirby Super Star for my retro game collecton, that sort of thing.

But I can’t with a clear conscience enjoy this windfall without contributing to the same project that you all are- that is, Harem Collector, and Bad Kitty Games in general.

Those of you who follow me when I stream will know that I’ve been having more and more frequent hardware problems. Abyss, my PC, and Meido, my laptop, have both been having more and more frequent issues. I’ve been reluctant to switch to new hardware up to this point, as doing so would require me siphoning out of the (already plenty disrupted) art budget. I was waiting for something in the formula to change- either the Patreon gets a big hike, or I save up enough bellmarks and Tim Hortons coupons, or Abyss finally becomes irrepairable and I have to do *something*.

Well, something happened- I got this windfall. So, without having to take any money from my awesome backers or HC development at all, I can replace at least my work PC and, if I can, also the lappy.

Also, I’m looking to accelerate some of my own art. It’ll depend on what costs how much and how everything shakes out, but there are a few sex scenes which I’d like to have finished that aren’t connected to any particular character but would be pretty pricey to have done, so it’s a hard thing to justify when there are so many main cast harem girls who are lacking in art.

So just thought I’d share what’s going on. Hopefully this doesn’t inspire anyone to leave- I’m not suddenly rich or something- I just wanted to share my good fortune and what this means for Bad Kitty Games.

Hope you’re enjoying Iron Waifu, and I’ll see you all later!