I Live To Serve Dungeon King, Development Go!

Hey everyone! Conash here to bring you an update as to the biggest change we’ve got going on among our team at the moment. After years of being in pre-production, I Live To Serve Dungeon King, our next project, has officially been moved into being in full development! We haven’t forgotten about Harem Collector, and while there may be a few months where we’re less productive on it as a result, given the amount of up front work that ILTSDK requires to really get going, working on it while we’re working on closing out the story of HC just makes the most sense. So, as the guy in charge of a lot of the more technical and mechanical aspects of things, I thought I’d take this opportunity to tell you all a bit about the stuff that we’ve discussed as a team about the project!

The first thing that I should answer is a question that we’ve gotten asked a lot over the years in regards to this project: what engine we’re going to use. I’ve given a different answer on this subject in the past, but over the past few months I was given more concrete information as to why some people at least were apprehensive about our original choice of Unity, and have since looked into things. Due to a variety of development concerns, from ease of use, to licensing pricing structures, to support available, we’re currently deciding to go with Godot, keeping Unity as a backup if we run into any catastrophic issues during these early stages.

This isn’t to say that Godot is just ‘better’ than Unity, as Unity has several advantages, however, everything that I’ve found suggests that Godot wouldn’t be as much as a resource hog as Unity would be for our 2D game, the open source nature will also allow us a bit more freedom to fix issues with the engine, while getting Unity’s tech support would require that we spend a pretty significant chunk of our budget each month on licensing. Some of my research also indicated that Unity has been allowing some pretty big bugs in their engine to stay around for a long time, and fosters development practices that are difficult to take to any other engine, both of which just push me into feeling that Godot is a better long-term pick. Those aren’t all of the factors that come into play in this decision, but for those wondering we did look into about a dozen different engines before we got to this choice.

Onto actual development goals. The BKG staff has been coordinating a lot of things over the past week, since ILTSDK is going to have a very different development cycle than HC. We’re very excited to get working on the game, and I’ve got to say I do not envy NoMoshing having to coordinate all of us while still doing what he can to help develop two games and manage his own life!

Right now, our goals are to work on getting out both a trailer and a tech demo out later this year, to show what sort of things we have planned for the game. My focus, as our programmer/technical guy, is mostly on the tech demo, so I’ll leave talking about the trailer to others. I’m hoping to be able to get the tech demo into a state where you can play the game and get a good sense for what to expect from it, maybe even add in more substantial gameplay if we can manage it, but it’s very much going to be bare bones compared to the main game as we’re looking to more show off the very foundational elements of things. Don’t expect a full 20+ hours out of the tech demo.

What we are currently hoping for is to have a decent slice of all three aspects of gameplay, the dungeon building, the dungeon defence, and the story sequences. We don’t want to bite off more than we can chew right out of the gate, but it is important to be able to at least give the basics of what we’re hoping for the full experience. While the demo will probably be rather bare bones, there should be some level of depth to the gameplay here as I’ve already got plans on how to make use of the elements we do have planned in ways that should give some depth of options. When combined with some adaptive difficulty that we want to implement, this should help give an enjoyable experience to you, the players.

While our intention is to capture a piece of what hallowed, older management sims like Dunegon Keeper 2 were like, and seeing a hentai parody of that concept fully realized. We do intend to make things a bit easier to approach, trying to push towards more ‘macro’ or ‘mid’ level managements at best since a micro heavy gameplay loop is not something we really feel enthused to make.

Another consideration that will be coming into play with the gameplay is that we want players to be able to more easily approach things at their own pace, to not have any sort of ‘traditional’ game-overs. Instead, we’re focusing on having it so that poor gameplay or choices result in a loss of resources instead of a full on game-over, adding in adaptive difficulty to allow players to be able to recover from situations they end up in.

Before I go, I’d like to talk about the design motivations that are going into ILTSDK. I can’t go too deep into specifics as almost everything still very much is up in the air, if you’re reading this then you’re probably a fan of Harem Collector, so I do think it is important to mention some things. ILTSDK will not feature several of the fetishes that are explored in HC, due in large part to it running contrary to the general themes and character motivations that we’re hoping to hit on with the game. Not just in gameplay, but in terms of theme and story, I Live to Serve, Dungeon King!! will be a very different experience to HC.

To be clear, while we know how certain subjects would create trouble with our current funding model, their lack of inclusion has more or less been something that we’ve planned to do from the start for this project, as we have Harem Collector and perhaps some future projects that will handle those subjects already, and these topics are just not going to be a part of Dungeon King’s theme and style.

We are not abandoning everything that featured in HC, however. As Dungeon King will continue being a harem game, there will still no no single romance “routes” and we already have plans for incorporating harem relationship progress into gameplay, so that developing relationships gives you benefits instead of costing resources. To say much more would probably get a bit spoilery, but I’ll say that many of us on staff are very excited about various characters and the choices or motivations about them being made, so look forward to all of that!

That’s about all that I have to say on the matter, hopefully we’ll have more to update you all on over the next few months, but I hope this much was enough to at least whet your appetites a bit in regards to a project that we here at BKG are very excited to be working on!

A Royal Pain

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Website Done, What Next?

Ah, so the website is finally finished and out there, and the old website safely packed away where it can do longer hurt anyone. And, as a bonus, there were no problems or bugs in how the site was put together- well, I suppose I should say, at least none that came back to me. I hope this new site will last us for many years.

Redesigning the website has been a major time sink for me in the last month and a half. While standalone WordPress is pretty easy to use, there was terminology to learn, visual deisgn to mull over, plugins to negotiate into cooperating. The last time I put together my own website, it was on Angelfire of all fucking things, so there was quite a bit to learn for myself, and I am also old enough that a lot of software isn’t intuitive for me anymore.

So, now that the new website isn’t taking up so much of my time, what’s next?

A high priority right now is working more on ILTSDK!! There is lots of writing to do, characters to make, mechanics to plan. While Harem Collector is the focus of my attention, I want to make good progress on ILTSDK so that when it comes time for primary production, the team and I can put in our full effort and work efficiently. The way that Harem Collector has gone, with me making things up as I go, hasn’t been the best and I’d like to do better.

The other thing I want to do is investigate how best to market Harem Collector and offer great incentives for existing backers to switch to higher tiers, without increasing the prices for the tiers that currently exist. I want to be able to afford a good composer to make more proprietary music for the game, I want to be able to get an animator for doing new battle animations and make all the special skills and spells really pop. I also want more and faster sex scene art. And, well, if I’m being honest, I’ve been feeling the pinch more and more at home and making a little more money for myself would be nice.

To that end, I’m going to be doing some more formal polls a bit later this month, but please let me know your own thoughts in the comments. If you’re a backer, let me know what sort of rewards you would find valuable, and don’t be afraid to show me ideas from other projects you support. If you’re not a backer, let me know what I could offer that might stoke your interest. Or just tell me that I’m a sell out or saint, or whatever else, I suppose.

Next week is the public release of v0.39, so please look forward to it!

Dungeon Symbiosis

Note: This was suppose to be published last week, but I was laid low by a bad case of the flu. Please enjoy!

So, it’s the last Wednesday of February, which means that it’s our last chance to do our monthly I Live To Serve, Dungeon King!! blog post. These are probably going to bounce around a fair bit, but we’ll try our best to do one each month, just don’t expect them to be all on the second Wednesday or something.

So, last time, I introduced you to the basic ideas and concepts behind ILTSDK, and many of you correctly guessed one of the games which provided the primary influence for our new project- the 1997 PC strategy game Dungeon Keeper. Now, in Dungeon Keeper your minions and monsters live to get paid, and mining for gold and using casinos to cheat your monsters’ pay back is part of the core gameplay. In ILTSDK, the scenario is just a bit different….

Monsters need mana to live, and the primary way that they gain that mana is by absorbing it from human souls at the moment the soul is released from the body (ie, death). In ages past, monsters simply attacked and slaughtered humans, but humans eventually developed castles and wards and other kinds of fortifications to keep monsters out. As a result, monsters began creating their own fortresses, and gathered treasure, occult secrets, and kidnapped humans in order to lure more humans into the monster’s clutches. This is, in essence, what a dungeon is- a place where monsters conspire to lure humans so they can kill them for their sweet, sweet mana

To that end, most monsters (at least, the ones you meet in ILTSDK) are willing to work for free provided their need for mana is met.
That is your primary challenge as a Dungeon King- ensuring that your dungeon has a steady stream of adventurers to “feed” your monsters with, and good enough defenses to take down those adventurers before they kill all your minions and rob you blind.

How to get adventurers, though? Word of your dungeon isn’t going to travel on it’s own, so it’s important to stock enough potential rewards for plundering your dungeon in order to attract new adventurers, and that means having a good supply of treasure, beautiful maidens, and other potential lures. And often, adventurers themselves will be the prime source of much of this, bringing their own money (we all know a good murder hobo doesn’t use a bank or have a home to keep their cash), magic items, and occasional beautiful virgin in with them.

So there is the basic lifecycle of the dungeon. You gather treasure and such to lure adventurers, kill the adventurers, and then keep their stuff to lure more adventurers

Of course, it’s never really that easy… but that will have to be the topic of a future look into the world of ILTSDK.

Introducing “I Live To Serve, Dungeon King!!”

Our next project here at Bad Kitty Games is a little something called “I Live To Serve, Dungeon King!!” I’ve seen a lot of speculation on what kind of game it is going to be, so today I’ll just give you the basics. It’s going to be a very different project from Harem Collector, but will share enough in common that I think fans of Harem Collector will be able to connect with the new gameplay just fine.

The protagonist of our story is a Dungeon King, a rare breed of human who possesses the ability to mix their essence with that of a monster, and thus create a “minion”. These minions are not goofy yellow things in coveralls that look like the container inside a Kinder Surprise, but rather are a weaker version of the original monster. For example, a Dungeon King would be able to mix essences with a Succubus to produce an imp, or mix essences with a Vampire to produce vampire bats. As these minions lack sentience and are infinitely replaceable, they make up the majority of monsters within a dungeon. Thus why a Dungeon King is called a Dungeon King, they hang out in the depths of a dungeon, helping the local monsters fill it with random encounter fodder, and in exchange the monsters treat their Dungeon King with respect and reverence, caring for their needs.

ILTSDK is a dungeon building strategy and simulation game at it’s core. You will need to guide the monsters under your control, excavating new dungeon rooms, building traps, concealing secret doors, gathering treasure and coordinating your dungeon’s defenses. Eventually, a band of adventurers will be lured into your meticulously planned defenses, attempting to fight their way to their objective and escape with their lives. Defeat them, and your dungeon survives for another day. Fail, and they will make off with your precious stuff and leave your minions in tatters… but they’ll also spread the tale of how easy your dungeon was to defeat, and maybe the next band of adventurers to wind up at your door won’t quite be so cautious, well-prepared or skilled.

The idea of monster ecology is central to the gameplay of ILTSDK. The monsters within your employ require Mana in order to live. Unlike humans, however, they don’t simply absorb Mana just by existing. Instead, they require humans to come to their dungeon, bringing Mana with them. So you must collect treasure, kidnap maidens and earn fame in order to lure adventurers into your dungeon so that your monsters can survive on the Mana generated. Thus the game is a careful balancing act- too few adventurers and your followers will starve, too many and they will be overwhelmed and your resources exhausted. You also have to keep an eye on your dungeon’s reputation as well, as having a reputation for being a difficult dungeon will lure stronger and more capable adventurers, while having a reputation for being easy will bring adventurers who simply don’t have the treasure or Mana necessary for you to keep your head above water.

The other core element of the game is adventurer psychology. Adventurers have different goals and needs. A thief is in it for the treasure, obviously, but a wizard is far more interested in magical secrets and items, while a knight would prefer to chivalrously free captured maidens. You can use these different goals in order in manipulate that party, drawing them into ambushes or traps as they seek to satisfy their needs. But even better… if you manage to damage the party’s morale enough, with spells, traps and monster encounters, they will fall victim to infighting and fear. Then, when they find themselves at an intersection and need to decide which party member’s needs to fill, they may fail to maintain cohesion, and split the party to pursue separate goals. And as we all know, the worst thing adventurers can do is split the party….

Well, that’s all for this month’s ILTSDK preview. Hopefully now you have a better idea of what kind of game it will be, and what to expect going forward! Thank you all for listening, and I hope to see some of you at today’s devstream!

Hello, 2019!

So it’s the start of a new year, and everyone is hopeful and making resolutions, setting goals for themselves to achieve before 2020. Here at Bad Kitty Games, we’re also looking at 2019 with excitement, because there are a number of big changes coming our way.

First of all, Harem Collector.

Looking back, 2018 was a big year for Harem Collector. We completed ten new quests, which account for more than 20% of the quests currently in the game. We added two new harem girls, the fallen noble Natya and the clockwork robot Pandora. We also added a whopping sixty-seven new 2D CG images, including all the solo scenes for Yamamaya and Orange Kid. That might seem a little slow, but keep in mind that includes doing a bunch of minor sex scene images and the introduction scenes for Natya and Pandora.

We’re going to continue to push on new quests, and have solid plans to end the Demon Cult arc by summer. Our hope is also to end another arc (probably Kellos Invasion, for various reasons) by the end of the year, but obviously we have to remain flexible and might have to adapt as we go. We’d also like to get 3-4 new harem girls added to the harem before the end of the year- the last two shopgirls, and the reward girls for finishing Demon Cult and whatever other questline.

We will continue barrelling along with the new 2D CG, and, in addition to Larelle (who is currently in progress) and Therese (who is coming up), we will be doing a full set of CGs for the next Iron Waifu contestant and another character or two by years’ end.

We’ve also finally formally announced our next project, I Live To Serve, Dungeon King!!

That is currently in pre-production. Nekochan will be doing character designs, NoMoshing and Conash will be getting the engine and mechanics figured out, and plans will be put in place for a more efficient and organized development.

We will be doing updates every month, starting next week, with updates on the development of ILTSDK. So, if you’re kind of confused right now about what ILTSDK, we’ll be discussing the project in much more detail next Wednesday.

So, all in all, we’re feeling really good about the upcoming year and challenges, and we hope to continue to deliver awesome hentai goodness to you in 2019 and beyond! Have a great new year!