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 >.<).

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.

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!

Sunshine and Rainbows

Haaa, I don’t want to be too optimistic just yet, but it seems that, finally, the cloud of depression I’ve been under since last summer has finally gone away. I’m feeling good, I’m being productive, I’m getting more sleep, I’m cleaning things when they become dirty instead of when people come over…. All in all, I’m doing okay. I look forward to channelling some of this new energy into Harem Collector for you all!

I don’t mean to harp on my mental state so much, but I get very easily frustrated when it comes to my mental state. Obviously, it’s not impossible for me to be creative when I’m stuck in the fog, but it is very difficult for me to be creative in the specific way I want to be creative. Focus becomes very difficult.

But now I’m feeling a lot better, so hopefully I can focus even better and continue doing good work for everyone who follows my various projects.

I’m thinking of starting a Kofi account to support my writing, not for Harem Collector but so that I can (hopefully) get some artwork done for My Isekai Life in D&D. Art is expensive after all, and Patreon frowns on people who run separate accounts for different projects.

Things are looking good for the mini-release today. It might be a challenge to get in all the new sex scenes, but for that I’m just going to prioritize the stuff I currently have art for. Hilent’s been busy, but as of last night Apple Kid’s sexy a la carte scenes are all done. I might luck into getting the latest Doll stuff from her later, and then it’s on to some accelerated Therese art before returning to Doll.

Anyway, I’m going to get back to work. Happy fapping, and I’ll see some of your tonight for the mini-release!

HORTICULTURE Update

So, our next update is the HORTICULTURE (might end up picking a shorter subtitle because that would make for a massive filename), where our featured content is Doll and Chimei’s respective love quests. As usual, there will be other odds and ends in there- for example, a very generous pair of fans is accelerating all the remaining Therese images, which is fucking fantastic, but the focus on what we’re doing is the two love quests. Doll will be getting new art assets (as voted on by Patrons) although Chimei will have to wait a little bit longer. At the rate we’re going, Conash and I expect that $5+ patrons will have a completed (though not necessarily tested) love quest to enjoy next week.

I’m a little nervous about some of the art assets coming out though. My plan for Doll’s love quest sex scene was always going to involve the Hero just going all out on her with the sexual torture, and of course Therese’s dungeon scenes aren’t necessarily the tamest stuff around either. I suppose I could continue putting the preview pics to all backers like I did with the Apple Kid breathplay one. Not sure if that’s okay with backers- please let me know through the usual means.

Following the new art assets this month, for the next two months we will be replacing old art assets for Doll. Probably her introductory scene will come first, as I always wanted that scene to be different than what Gurotaku was able to do at the time. I had initially imagined Hero just grabbing Doll and bending her over the anvil right there in the forge, with Kevin watching and trying not to look, establishing Hero’s sexual bullying of Kevin quite a bit earlier.

When v0.46 rolls around and we’re back into the swing of things for the main plot advancement, then we’ll be addressing Doll’s gangbang scene, and either Doll’s lesbian scene with Elaiya or doing Therese and Alina’s threesome with Hero. Not sure how I’m going to write the lesbian scene with no experience to turn to for inspiration, but I guess you’re all not here for hyper-realism.

Anyway, just wanted to communicate a bit about what’s upcoming in the update. Hope to see a lot of you on Saturday for the voiced stream!

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!

Direction in the New Year

Oh, wow, I didn’t realize I haven’t updated the blog since before Christmas. I hope you all managed to have a good holiday, nonetheless. I had a pretty good time, I think- Nekochan seemed to enjoy her gifts, and I received some nifty things. As you might recall from earlier posts, my mother in law is very sick, and so doing the holidays with her was very challenging. My mental health still has not super improved from the fall, but I’m trying to focus more on using my time effectively when I am in a fit state to work. Like everything else, it’s a process.

But, that’s enough about me. What you’d like to know is, what’s the plan now? Last year, Conash and I made a big push towards getting story progress done and spinning a more cohesive narrative from the scattered plot strands in Harem Collector. It was a huge success, and because of that I feel that we’re going to be taking it slow (in terms of plot development) for the first quarter this year.

Our January update will be the BROS update, featuring the final relationship quests for Kevin the blacksmith and Gargan. Kevin, a longtime supporter of the Hero, finally comes asking a favour, in order to earn a little adventuring cred with which to impress his childhood friend. As for Gargan, they find out about a witch rumoured to specialize in curses, and the removal thereof… and of course, a witch living in the middle of nowhere doesn’t trade in money.

And what could possible follow the BROS update? Why, only the HO… RTICULTURE update! March’s update will feature primarily new content for Doll and Chimei, the harem’s resident nature-themed slaves. Doll’s Love Quest will revolve around her origins, figuring out who she really is and how she ended up becoming a slave. As for Chimei, her Love Quest will… revolve around her origins, figuring out who she really is and how she ended up becoming a slave! Ooo, mysterious….

Seriously though, one of these quests will involve crossing swords with a pair of powerful dryads, and the other will involve dealing with a cult of assassins seeking to bring about a terrible prophecy using your harem girl… so please look forward to this new content coming soon!

And for those of you who are backers may remember, now that we’re done with most of Princess Quinta’s scenes, we will be moving on to all new art assets for Doll. Originally, we were going to do Chimei next in the art asset queue, but Nekochan wants to focus on getting her summer cosplay done, so we’re going to put that off until summer. Thus why I ran that poll where backers got to vote on which girl who has already had a redesign will get focused down on next. And the winner was Doll, which is great because I was planning on doing her love quest anyway!

So her art queue will include her introductory scene, her gangbang during the Manor Invasion, and her love quest sex scene. Unfortunately, her random scene, being that foursome with Chimei and Lilac, is going to have to wait just a scootch longer. And, following that, there are two very important and long requested scenes I want to get done before we resume….

Anyway, those are my plans, at least, for winter through to early spring 2020. I’ll see you all in just a few more weeks for the BROS update, and check back here every Wednesday for bloggo goodness!