Patreon Situation Update

First off, I’d like to remind everyone of the Public Devstream this weekend (which you can catch here) and just let all our Patrons know that, due to a very inconvenient bug we discovered today, we’re going to be taking another couple days and will get the mini-release out on Friday. Sorry for the trouble, but if you’re a $10+ patron there’s a little bonus up there to hold you over til the weekend.
Anyway, I just received an email from Jack Conte, one of the founders of Patreon. And, well, here’s what he had to say:

“Hey folks – there have been a few articles, some talk on social, and even an open letter about Patreon’s recent content policy updates. Last week, the Trust and Safety team explained in a blog post the updates we made to the Community Guidelines.

I really, really hope you take the time to read the blog and Community Guidelines for yourself. Most of all, I hope you understand that nothing has changed except our stance on four areas of content: bestiality, incest, sexual depiction of minors, and suggestive sexual violence.

It breaks my heart that folks who contributed to expressed fear for their pages. Patreon is not that kind of company. I want you to disagree with us. I want you to make your voices heard. I want you to request features and policy changes. I want you to rally the community. That kind of pushing is not only good for the community, but my opinion is that it’s ultimately good for Patreon, too, because it helps our team viscerally feel the voice of our creators. I want Patreon to be the most creator-first company in the world, and that requires you to speak up and tell us what’s on your mind. Patreon will not always be able to do what you want – but at the very least we can make sure we hear you.

As a creator, it’s always bugged me when tech companies and CEOs stay quiet as changes are rolled out in the background and the community feels left in the dark. It really bugs me, because content policy is one of the most important and tough problems that modern tech platforms face. It’s complicated and nuanced and critical to get right. So, I’d like to personally clarify our update – and I realize that this doesn’t mean everyone will agree with it – but again at the very least I don’t want to be silent. So here we go:

The way that the Trust and Safety team is evaluating content has not changed. Yes, the public guidelines got longer because our creators asked for extra specificity. So in response, we’re sharing more detail with you about how we evaluate content. It does not represent a change to our content policy – it’s added detail to educate the community.
We did update four (and only four) areas of our actual content policy: incest, bestiality, sexual depiction of minors, and suggestive sexual violence. If you’re just reading the headlines, you’ll be under the impression that we’re “cracking down on adult content.” Again, this is not what’s actually happening. We only updated the above four areas of our policy.
Patreon’s stance on pornography has not changed. We have never allowed pornography or sexual services on Patreon and that stance has been clear in our guidelines since they were first published a few years ago. We used to say we allowed “R-rated” content, but that description was ineffective at clearly explaining our policy to the community. It didn’t give you the specificity you needed to understand what’s allowed, and what isn’t. Our updated Community Guidelines explain in way more detail what we mean when it comes to adult content. I also realize that “pornography” is difficult to define, and “you know it when you see it” is a totally inadequate policy. So we’ve added additional detail to the pornography section of our content policy, and the team will be spending even more time clarifying our guidelines in the future. As of this morning, the guidelines state that we don’t allow “real people engaging in sexual acts, such as masturbation or sexual intercourse on camera.”
Very few creators are affected by any of these updates. Again, the only actual changes to our policy were around bestiality, incest, sexual depiction of minors, and suggestive sexual violence. Most folks – literally *most* creators by multiple factors of ten – even in the adult communities – have nothing to be concerned about
Patreon won’t pull the rug out from a creator’s income, even in the case of a policy violation. The team actually built a new system, a suspension tool, over the last few weeks, to avoid sudden removals. Suspension may still seem harsh – I totally understand that perspective – but in the case of a policy violation, it gives the creator a chance to talk with a team member and get their page back up and running. Creators now have time, personal connections with an advocate inside Patreon, and a team of Trust and Safety reps to help them update their pages instead of simply being removed from the platform.
Every creator is unique, and every content evaluation is unique. We don’t believe in making sweeping generalizations or decisions about creators’ livelihoods. We avoid broad questions like “Is this OK, or is that ok?” A rep will look at each case and its context one-by-one. For anyone who has any questions or concerns about their page, you can speak to a human being (literally, you can always talk to a human) who will work with you to figure out how to update your page so it works with the guidelines.
The team made these updates now as a follow-up to the Trust and Safety commitments I made this past summer. We’ve spent the past few months operationalizing the commitments, and several updates were ready (we were especially relieved to launch the suspension tool as an alternative to removing pages). We’ve heard a bit of speculation about whether these updates are related to the recent Series C fundraising and that is not true.

This update to our Community Guidelines is part of a broader effort to educate our community and give folks more clarity about what specifically we allow, or what we don’t. Our previous external-facing community guidelines were 795 words. The new guidelines are 2,802 words. Hopefully, the added detail offers you more clarity, makes for less guessing, and gives you the specificity you need.

I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again – I personally take content policy issues with the utmost seriousness. My personal belief is that online content policy is in its infancy right now – most of tech doesn’t do content policy well. In fact, I think tech on the whole under-invests in content policy. Especially for payments products. We’re talking about a person’s income here – we’re talking about a person’s livelihood. We have to be clear, rigorous, and caring. It’s what’s best for Patreon, it’s what’s best for our creators, and it’s also just the right thing to do.


So it seems to me that a) Patreon is extremely reluctant to ask artists of any variety to censor or change their work in any, which is why they’ve only asked people to change the text and visible content on their actual Patreon pages, and that b) they’re specifically getting rid of “live-action” porn, probably for legal reasons. Either way, I am very pleased and mollified by this email.
Anyway, see you all later!

Swarm element and Wiki work

Hey everyone, we’re chugging along as usual, but it’s Wednesday so it’s blog post day! I thought that I’d take this opportunity some to talk about a new feature I plan to add to the game in the upcoming release as well as talk about the wiki some. Might not be super interesting to most of you but this month has been kinda light on new features (next month though…).

So to start off with is something that I’ve been itching to add ever since ‘Rescue Me’ was added to the game, the ‘swarm’ element. See throughout the game there area a few enemies that are swarms (swarm of bees, hopping piranhas, and crowd of fans) which does raise certain logistical issues when you consider that you can wipe them out with a single sword slash if you get strong enough. Though it’d be quite a massive undertaking to limit what single target attacks could do against these swarm enemies while also maintaining a balance that doesn’t make them impossible to defeat, approaching it from the other end of making attacks that hit ALL enemies be more effective against swarm enemies is MUCH easier to implement. As such I plan to try to finally get around to making it so that your AoE magics (and I guess the 2 techniques as well) deal more damage against these swarm enemies than a single target attack of the same value. Due to how RPG Maker VX Ace doesn’t really allow for dual-element abilities, I’ll have to go in and manually add this into the game’s code which isn’t hard, but it does mean that I won’t be able to really give the player direct feedback that their ability did extra damage for hitting a swarm. We might also give some other enemies minor weakness to AoE attacks even if they aren’t swarms, but we’ll apply that on an ‘as needed’ basis, and it will be a lot less than full on swarms. Still, keep your eye out for higher than average numbers due to this new ‘swarm’ element!

Beyond that and general enemy design though, the biggest thing that’s really been eating at me for this month is the wiki. As I’m sure any of you who use it regularly have probably noticed, it’s fallen a bit out of date as of late. While I have recently gone through and updated the updates needed page both for myself and anyone else who might be interested in earning the special wiki code, it’ll probably be awhile before I can comfortably say that the wiki is really up to date like it used to be. This is something that I’ve been meaning to correct for quite some time but it seems a lot harder than I’d like to find the time to really dedicate to writing out a new ‘optimized’ walkthrough than it was in the past. If anyone wants to help with getting the wiki up to date it would be greatly appreciated but this is more meant to apologize to those who rely on the wiki for their planning about how much I’ve let it fall behind. I’m doing my best to try to take care of it one piece at a time, but it’ll still probably be awhile before I can comfortably say the wiki is caught up with the game.

That’s really all that I’ve got to say in regards for this release. Now if you excuse me I’ve got some enemies to get back to designing!

Introducing SacB0y!

Hello, world!
I don’t know if you’ve been paying attention to the BKG Discord, forum, or whatever else recently, but the update we’re going to be rolling out over the next two weeks will feature artwork from HC’s newest artist, SacB0y! He’s a veteran game artist who did backgrounds and CG for spy visual novel Secret Agenda by GDIdoujins.

As for SacB0y’s skills, well…

He’s pretty good.

SacB0y is on board to do all of Nerys’ CG scenes, so expect her to have her on-demand sex scenes, vacation sex scene, and maaaaybe a random sex scene by v0.29 next August. Plus I’ll have her love quest pics for… whenever that happens? Hey, maybe for this September if she wins Iron Waifu.

Speaking of which, as of today, Iron Waifu is in Round Two, with the first match being Kyrie vs Raina. Voting has been consistently strong, which I’m pretty glad for. It’s nice hearing people talk about which character they like and why, so please don’t be afraid to comment.

Anyway, like the schedule says, this Sunday is May’s public Devstream, and we’re doing a couple of special things! First of all, it’s going to be a multi-stream with SaB0y, so you can watch him work on some more great HC art while I finish polishing stuff up for the Backer release. Also, it’s probably going to be the last day of me playing Puzzle Agent in the pre-show, so I’ll be running a straw poll over the course of the stream where you guys will be able to vote on what I’ll be playing next. You can find the Bad Kitty Games stream channel over here.

Whew, what an update! Lots of exciting stuff going down. Well, I’m off- still a lot of work to do before release day!

Iron Waifu Commentary (and some other stuff, too)

So, Iron Waifu 2017 has kicked off in style. The first day broke last year’s participation record, and then day two went and broke that new record! While there haven’t been any upsets yet, party members routinely beat non-party harem girls and Brigandine is really popular for an NPC, the high level of participation has been pretty exciting for us at BKG. On top of the usual suspects lobbying for their favourite characters, ShadowCluster has publicly made a case for electing Serade as Iron Waifu which I found pretty compelling. If you haven’t been following it yet, you can find the brackets and schedule here and the current match (Evanie the Sword-Saint vs Ino) here. I’m looking forward to seeing the results!

As for the game itself, work has begun in earnest on the new quest. It’ll be a pretty fun one, I think, and I’m looking forward to seeing what people think. It’s always fun making a chain of events that can go in one of two very different ways depending on the player’s actions, and there’s going to be a pretty big one at the beginning of this quest. Other things are moving pretty quickly. I’m hoping that for this month’s update we’re going to have some new status effect icons to help communicate things a little better to the player, and finally have some new CGs. So far backers have responded pretty positively to the mini-release, which is good to hear. The Banneret upgrade scene was a lot of work, and I’m looking forward to sharing that with everyone later.

Oh yeah- the Backer Devstream will be this Saturday due to some unavoidable life stuff. I’ll be distributing the link a bit later today, so keep your eyes out!

Armour Pieces, Cover, and Other Mechanics

Just a quick reminder- this Saturday is going be a general hangout instead of the usual devstream! Nekochan, Conash and I will be drinking, playing Pretend You’re Xyzzy with HC fans, and just generally having a chill Christmas-type time. It will be streamed on Picarto and the voice chat will be happening on the Bad Kitty Games Discord channel. Nekochan and Conash are confirmed to be joining in, GusBus and PeaSea might make it if they can escape their family obligations, and I’m also putting some invites to other H-game devs, so we might have some special guests! Also, don’t forget to check out the Bad Kitty Games website on Christmas Day as there will be a small present for all HC fans.

So today I’m going to go over some of the new mechanics that have been added to Harem Collector which will show up in the December Mini-Update as well as the big 0.25.1 update in January.

The first big change is with the Cover mechanics. As you probably know, there are a number of frustrating and/or challenging fights where enemies will protect one another, making it so that your well-coordinated, carefully targeted attacks are wasted on some big dumb asshole with a lot of HP but doesn’t pose a real threat.

Well, no longer! From now on, status effects which inhibit or hamper movement (knockdown, stagger, pin, grab, stun, paralyze, etc.) will also cancel an enemy’s Cover ability. Many attacks that have a chance to inflict one of these status may also cancel Cover even if the status effect doesn’t stick, if you’re lucky enough. Further, most enemy cover ability now completely cancel the user’s evasion- no weird situations where a Kellos Spearman “hides behind his shield” and still manages to perfectly dodge an incoming attack. The only exception for the Evasion debuff is Pack Tactics, because werewolves are awesome.


Seriously, though, some other enemy types for whom “evasion tanking” seems appropriate might also be exceptions to the evasion debuff, so be aware that not all Covering enemies are a guaranteed hit.

The second big change are the collectible armour sets. From now on, seeded throughout the game will be collectible armour pieces that aren’t equip-able on their own, but when brought together Kevin and Ino will reform them into an ultimate armour set for one of the characters. There might even be a Kamidori-style additional sex scene when the armour sets comes together for a harem girl, but that’s TBD- there’s plenty of sex scenes in the game without it, so it may be a resource/time issue. Anyway, some of these ultimate armours haven’t been designed yet, so if you pick up an item called “Meline Armour Part 3” or whatever you’ll know what it is.

The armour pieces aren’t going to be intensely difficult to find. Don’t expect a Dark Seed level of dickishness from me, but they’re not going to be just given away like the weapon upgrades. I’d say my dickishness level to be at Strange Note level- some might require completing mini-quests or solving puzzles but nothing’s going to be hidden in hard to reach background elements or buried in locations you can also visit once. I haven’t decided whether I’ll take the time to add some method of filling in armour pieces for people who have late-game saves and don’t want to do over, or just say “Tough, go visit the New Game Plus fairy.”

If I have time, I also want to go and make the Mourning Wood a re-visitable area. I think it’s a cool location, I still like how the ghosts appear and disappear based on the player’s movement, and there’s still a dearth of early-game re-visitables. Also, please be aware that some of the weapon upgrades are being rejiggered to make room for the new quest.

Anyway, I think that’s it for now! Thanks as always, have a great holiday, and we hope to see you all on Christmas Eve!

Backer Public Stream

Just a real quick reminder that this weekend is the public stream on Saturday! Starting at 3pm EDT I’ll be playing Higurashi: When They Cry for an hour and then at 4pm I’ll begin working a the game with a focus on bug fixing. So if there’s anything you want me to specifically look at, please bring it along! Not the most exciting thing to be doing, but there will be all the usual shenanigans and whatnot.

Find the Devstream here!

July Schedule

So the July schedule is up on the main page, and due to being busy almost every Saturday the Backer devstream is instead going to be on a Sunday again, July the 10th. Sorry for any inconvenience! If it’s any consolation, I’m only drinking heavily two out of the four Saturdays. That’s probably not a consolation, actually… shit.

Anyway, moving on, the public Devstream will be on July 30th, starting at 3 and going until 6. The reason why the extra hour is because by popular(?) request I will be playing Higurashi When They Cry Ch. 1 for an hour before the devstream proper. Feel free to give it a pass and show up at 4 for the usual devstream antics- I honestly don’t really know why people want me to stream games but whatever.

There will be a game update as well, of course, with a good mix of mechnical updates, dialogue and new quests.

So yeah, that’s it! Thanks for playing!