Harem Collector v0.48.4 SAVIOUR!

Get it here!

New in this version:
-Complete the final Save the Elves quest and get the girl!
-You can now ask harem girls “How are you” and get an answer that indicates their current happiness rating!
-New music has been added, a new “sensitive” sex scene them and a dungeon theme for when you’re dealing with the criminal element!
-A whole bunch more “harem” chats have been added!
-Asking a girl “How are you” now generates a hint towards that girl’s lowest category of satisfaction.
-New art has been added to “Triple-Layer Angel Cake” with an extended, revised sex scene.
-Raina has new art and a revised sex scene while you’re on vacation!
-New sprites for Gargan, Kyrie, Therese, Bronwyn, Alina and Meiriona, new alt outfits for Therese and Doll, and a swimsuit sprite for Raina!
-With the new sprites come six more portraits from Quinta!
-Text-only sex scene with Amiri, the dark elf sorceress!
-Miri now has a random nightly sex scene!
-Chimei’s love quest sex scene has both text and new artwork!
-Legit over 100 bug have been identified, solved and repaired by Conash. Give the man a round of applause!

Last Couple Months

Jeez, have I really not updated the blog since August? Damn….

So, the last few weeks, I lost the battle against depression really badly. It became all I could do to manage incoming assets (sex scene artwork, music, sprites, etc) and picking away at the game whenever I could. That’s why all through September I didn’t stream except to discharge my obligation to backers, and why the blog fell by the wayside. I don’t know if I necessarily feel better at this point, but I’m trying to push myself to come out swinging this month.

So one of the things I’d like to do if offer an apology to all fans of Harem Collector. Some of you hanging out on Discord may recall that there were a few times in the last couple months where I said something along the lines of, “I don’t know why you all are here” or “I don’t understand people keep coming back”. Setting aside our relationship as creator and audience for a moment, that’s a terrible thing to say about anyone’s fandom, and I’m sorry for disparaging your tastes like that. But also, it must be a terribly disheartening thing to hear from the creator of something you enjoy. I am tremendously privileged to have such a passionate and devoted fanbase for my my work, so I wanted to say, thank you for continuing to enjoy HC even though I sometimes disparage my own efforts. I will try better in the future to have the same level of faith in my own efforts that you all do.

Anyway, work on the game is ongoing, as ever. I’m very excited to finally implement the “How are you?” chat option for almost all harem girls. With the new update, you will be able to ask most harem girls (some of the more unusual girls will need a bit more work) how they’re feeling, and gauge their happiness level as well as get a hint towards which one of their happiness values is lowest. Equally exciting is the return of new music tracks for the game. Clara has only completed two new tracks so far, one for “sensitive” sex scenes and the other for dungeons which are themed around the criminal element, but I personally feel they’re awesome tracks and I hope you’ll enjoy them as well.

This upcoming update also marks the end of the “Save the Elves” questline and the additional of a certain elven MILF to the harem. I know people are excited about this, and while I don’t know if the Dark Laboratory is on the same level as Hell and the wedding, I hope it will be warmly received nonetheless.

Finally, one final thing I’d like to broach. I have recently been approached by a certain fan of the game who happens to Asian, who challenged me on certain aspects of how Chimei has been implemented in the game, and made me think about the degree to which I’ve fetishized Chimei’s other-ness, particular in comparison to other characters in the game who are foreign to the Middle Kingdom. I’ve taken my time digesting what they had to say, and I’ve decided on what I feel to be the most appropriate action. Following the release of version 1.0 of Harem Collector, our first major update following that will feature a broad update of Chimei and how she is portrayed, including a revision of all her dialogue so she’s speaking the same language as the rest of the cast. Most of the jokes revolving around cultural misunderstandings between characters will remain, and which characters Chimei forms close relationships with will remain intact. Even if you’re the sort of person to dismiss cultural sensitivity issues like this, I hope you’ll agree that changing Chimei’s dialogue will make her a more fully-formed and interesting part of the cast, on the same level as the rest of the characters you love.

I guess that’s it for now. Thank you very much for your patience, sticking with us through all this time. I hope you find our little project to still be worthy of your attention and support, and I look forward to hearing what you think of the latest update soon.

Big News

Those of you who have been paying attention to the Discord, my Twitter, or Patreon lately have already heard this, but as promised in this year’s Iron Waifu, Bad Kitty Games is teaming up with ero-cosplayer Mikomi Hokina for a sexy photoshoot of Kyrie this November! Everyone at Bad Kitty Games is really excited to be working with Mikomi, who you might know her work from cosplaying for fellow erotic game Future Fragments earlier this year. We’d also like to give a big shout-out to our friend ArchitectofDystopia for helping make this happen, so please when you’re done checking out Mikomi’s work, please take a look at ArchitectofDystopia’s first full-length game, Overgrown: Genesis!

Things are looking pretty good up here at Bad Kitty Games HQ, so here’s a few other updates for you:

The latest patch to Harem Collector contains a couple extra goodies more than we usually put in a patch. First of all, Elaiya’s skill trainer can be encountered a few time ahead of when he unlocks for good, in case you wanted to get her new skills in earlier. Also the Florine text-only dungeon scenes are finally fixed, and Chimei’s new face set is in the game.

Meline and Chimei’s solo scenes are going to be done very soon, as well as the threesome with Alina and Therese and Miri’s random scene. All of these sex scenes are being worked on by Hilent, and while things have been a little rocky due to the unusually high proportion of threesomes she’s had to deal with, it’s looking good for all of that getting into the v0.48 release. She’s been working hard as hell lately, so if you’re on Discord please take the time to tag her and give her some thanks.

On the music front, there was a small delay on Clara’s end but she now has all the equipment and software she needs to get working, and we will have a new track to share with our Patrons very shortly!

Also, Jalila’s character design is done, so the last 100% brand new harem girl is going to be in the game for next update as well!

Please, if you’d like, take the time to check out the Harem Collector Manor Invasion Grand Prix speedrunning contest currently happening in the forum. The prize for the top 3 finishers is an alternate outfit of your choice for your favourite Harem Collector waifu, no overly-complex voting process involved!

I think that covers everything, so I’m heading out for now. Thanks as always for all the support, and please look forward to lots of new content to come!

Harem Collector v0.47.4 RETURN Update!

Get it here

What Happened to the SAVIOR Update?

Changes in v0.47 include:
-A new quest in the Save the Elves plotline, where you once again must uncover the mysteries of the late Count Corgan’s manor. Begin this quest by visiting Meiriona after completing the Dragon Graveyard.
-A number of new sex scenes with updated art, including Chimei’s picnic scene, Meline’s introduction scene, Meline’s footjob, and Meline and Larelle’s blowjob scene.
-New Sex a la Carte for Diadira and Yeon.
-New Vignette for Doll and Elaiya if you’ve heard all their currently existing banters.
-Chimei’s sprite has been updated.
-The “harem” chats can not be toggles between random and a menu in the options.
-A bunch of new harem chats for Bell, Ino, and Lilac at minimum.

What Happened to the SAVIOR Update?

Short Answer- We couldn’t get the actual final quest of the Save the Elves plotline together in time and so we’re combining that and the v0.48 update into one single thing that will be the proper “SAVIOR” update, and have renamed v0.47 to “RETURN” because it involved returning to the Westcastle Manor in order to get an important magic item.

Long answer- COVID- and social isolation-related stressors finally got to the team, particularly but not limited to NoMoshing and Nekochan. While the final dungeon of the Save the Elves arc is making slow, creeping progress, it is nowhere near a ready state. It was a difficult decision for me (NoMoshing) to make, but the rest of the team convinced me that I’m not going to make something I’m going to feel HC fans deserve by cramming at the last minute. So, following this advice I’ve renamed the v0.47 and we’re going to be making the v0.48 update the proper “SAVIOR” update.

I am not happy about this. Not only is it a failure of management on my part, it also threatens to push our schedule back by at least a month. I’ll do my best to keep caught up on progress and not to let things slow us down, but I am very leery of falling into the attitude of “one more month won’t matter, it’s already been so long.” I want to deliver the completed main story next July, and tripping over the plan so soon is a real letdown. But, I have to be realistic about what I can accomplish in the short term.

Anyway, for now please try to enjoy what there is in the RETURN update, and thank you as always for your interest and support.

Let’s Rock

So, uh, sorry for the lack of blog lately. I know it’s the primary way we try to communicate with you the progress on the game, but things have been a little hectic, and honestly, saying “We’re still behind but less behind than we were last week”, even if accurate, doesn’t feel great. But, something major did happen last week that is great news for all Harem Collector fans- a generous backer who wishes to remain anonymous stepped forward and gave us an absurd amount of money expressly to get the soundtrack finished.

To quote this incredible person: “I’ve been impressed with the quality of the game, the artwork is fantastic, and I feel you’ve been sincere in almost every interaction with you. I wouldn’t offer to throw money at you if I wasn’t impressed. … My only real regret is that I can’t offer more to help.”

Thank you, sir/madam. Everyone on the team is humbled by your donation, and we will do our best to make the most of what you’ve entrusted us with.

For now, we’ve sticking with Clara as our composer, as I can’t easily give up on the person who brought us “Rescue Me“. We’ve had an in-depth talk about what is expected of her and she is going to give it her all this year. Already she’s working on some new boss battle music, as well as a sex scene track that fits more emotional or sensitive scenes better than “TLR” and “Love and Mercy”.

So what does the future of music for Harem Collector look like so far? Here’s the list of “wants” we have:

Town Music- Lumberhill (nice), Huntervale, Elf Village, Southport University, Southport Docks, Orctown, Sunnyshore theme

Event Music- Triumphant trumpety music, Generic military music, Fancy castle music, Sensitive sex theme, Boss Music, Final Boss music, Anime-style opening

Dungeon Music- “Beast” dungeon theme, “Nature” dungeon theme, “Spooky” dungeon theme, “Mountain” dungeon theme, “Criminal” dungeon theme, “Arcane” dungeon theme, “Military” dungeon theme, “Swamp” dungeon theme, “Hell” dungeon theme, “Hot” dungeon theme, “Weird” dungeon theme, “Magitech” dungeon theme

You may notice a few things. First off, there’s no generic fight music. What we’re going to attempt is to have a battle remix of each dungeon variety’s theme song to be the combat music for that dungeon. This will take a little big of extra coding infrastructure, but shouldn’t be too onerous, as it can be arranged at the same time we go to fix the battle backgrounds.

Second, we’ve group dungeon tracks by theme. Rather than have unique themes for each of the dungeons in the game, we’ve separated them out by theme. For example, the third track of music I’ve asked Clara to start working on is the “Criminal” dungeon theme, for use in the Bitch’s Sixth Tit, Deliquent Hideout, Tartufo Manor, and a few other places. We’ll also work something out so that the random dungeons are themed according to the enemies you face. And of course, all music will be selectable in-game as manor music, so if the Hero chilling out as a criminal overlord appeals to you….

This is the plan we’re going with so far. As always, we may need to revise our expectations along the way. But we have the talent and, finally, we have the budget. It’s going to be an even more exciting year for Harem Collector, that’s for sure.

Our donor has already given the go-ahead to throw any money we have in excess at the art budget, so once the music is done we might also get some additional scenes finished. In terms of relevant Patreon campaign stuff, we’ll be making early music track access a benefit of the $5/month tier. For our goals, we will be changing our $2,500/mo. goal, just as soon as we get caught up on the SAVIOR release (I cringe even saying that) and get a good lead on the RICHES update.

Anyway, hope that’s enough Harem Collector news for you all to look forward to. I’m going to stop slacking off and hop-to. See you next Wednesday for the public release!

Play More D&D

To hear some people say it, one of the reasons that you all keep coming back to Harem Collector is that I’m actually pretty good at writing characters and making engaging dialogue. I am very happy that people feel this way, and I’m glad to entertain. I don’t really feel like I’m an expert at all, though. I haven’t really finished any big artistic projects except for My Isekai Life in D&D Book One. While the end is in sight for Harem Collector, it’s still not complete, so I really don’t think I can call myself very accomplished as a writer.

Still, sometimes people ask me how they can write better. I honestly don’t really know what to say a lot of the time. I barely know what I’m doing at the best of times. But one thing that I’m pretty sure has positively affected my writing is playing roleplaying games. Like, actual, in person tabletop RPGs. It’s almost a way of gamifying writing- by putting yourself in another character’s shoes, learning to comprehend another person’s challenges, you learn how your characters act and behave and how to portray that whether you’re roleplaying, writing, or designing a game.

So that’s it, that’s the advice- to improve at writing play more RPGs. Pay attention to what your characters’ needs and wants would be. Push yourself to make characters who consider things that you think are silly to be important, like codes or honour or religious taboos. Also, avoid just outright goofiness- I understand that comedy RPG campaigns are in vogue because they make for better podcast material but they don’t generally push you as a writer, in my experience.

So yeah. Give it a shot, and I hope that helps some aspiring writers or game designers out there!

Two Names for One Stat

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

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

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

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

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

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

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