November 2013 Public Release

 First of all, a couple important pieces of news:
One, the donation button has climbed the sidebar. This is because as of very recently, I’m established a game company (Bad Kitty Games Co.) and decided to start doing this as part of my living. I am going to start using donations as part of my income, and the more money you donate the more time I’ll be able to spend working on Harem Collector and less time working a job that my mother approves of.
I don’t intend to hold the game hostage for your donations or anything like that- work will proceed on Harem Collector regardless because I have a lot of fun making it. But your money will give me more time to devote to making the game bigger and better, and enable me to send gifts to some of the volunteers who have made HC so awesome.
As always, donors get the newest version of the game one weeks earlier than everyone else, plus Nekochan’s exclusive Harem Collector Player’s Guide, plus an optional credit in the game, plus the inside track on everything else going on at Bad Kitty Games.
Two, I’ve received a couple emails asking whether I’m going to put up an Amazon Wishlist  or somesuch so interested individuals could send me Christmas presents. While I appreciate the thought, I’m not going to do that. What I really would love as a holiday gift would be a TV Tropes page for Harem Collector and those are free. If you absolutely want to spend money on me, just donate it.
Three, early in the new year we’ll be launching the official Bad Kitty Games website, which will serve as a hub for all things Harem Collector, Dungeon Assault and BKG-related. To coincide with that, Magic White Lady will be doing the first release of Harem Collector: Fairy Side, a sister game to Harem Collector involving a whole bunch of gender-bending and futanari that you have asked for and will soon receive. Contact MagicWhiteLady for more information.
Finally, the changes:
-There is now a gallery mode where you can unlock all your various sex scenes across all playthroughs!
-All characters now join the party at one level below the Hero.
-Florine’s item shops now have an option to sell all vendor trash.
-The inventory screen is now broken down by category.
-Alina no longer keeps track of quests for you- there is a quest log available in the game menu to do that for you.
-New sex scene CGs for Elaiya, Doll, Lilac and Violet, plus you can down demand sex from Alina at any time.
-Meline’s skill Heretical Censure has been modified to prevent overlap with the Guilt Trip-style prayers.
-The Northmarket Wealthy District map has been revamped. Let me know what you think!

Edit: Even newer version with less annoying!

Stabby Things

Well, that was fun- serious business followed by a post from Nekochan! This week I get my amateur history buff on and talk weapon design.

Hero’s Greatsword
The hero’s weapon is actually based on a zweihander- that is, an actual zweihander and isn’t just an anime-style BFS. The blade is just over four feet long, but only about an inch and a half wide, and at that size the blade almost looks delicate. It’s too long to draw from a sheath of course, so the hero just carries it over one shoulder like you would a polearm. The hilt sweeps upward slightly, and the grip is about ten inches long. The dtraw doll charm dangling off the pommel in Meline’s Halloween pic is accurate.
Therese’s Sabre
While I refer to Therese’s blade as a sabre in-game, it’s actually an Eastern European design referred to as a szabla. The blade is just over thirty inches and curves sharply back. The last five inches or so of the blade is double edged and thicker than the lower part, which adds weight to the tip. The grip, true to sabres, is for one hand and features a full hand guard. The hilt is decorated with a pair of feathered wings wrought in silver- the symbol of Therese’s order.
Yamamaya’s Axe
Yamamaya’s original axe, the flint axe, is really simple- literally a sharp chunk of flint about the size of a PS1 strapped to a five foot long shaft of ash wood. With the Orcish axe blade added in place of the flint, it more resembles an actual axe more, in the old bronze age style. That is, the blade doesn’t feature a beard at all- it’s literally a steel wedge about eight inches wide with a blade about six inches long. No subtlety or utility beyond just wrecking shit.
Elaiya’s Pistols
Elaiya’s guns are actually wheel-lock pistols, though I think in the game they are referred to as flintlocks. Similar to the case with Therese’s weapon, I went with the more widely-known term to give a better impression to the player. Due to magic, the guns actually work more like super-high-tech electronic guns- each charge and ball is held in series in the barrel, and the striking wheel is enchanted to touch off each charge in sequence so the weapon functions like a modern semiautomatic autoloader. Between battles, Elaiya loads each gun and winds the mechanism.
Of course, one function of adding the fairy dust to Elaiya’s powder is that her powder bag is self-replenishing, so her guns never run out. Magic is also probably the reason that A) the blacksmith is able to make depleted uranium balls, B) how the depleted uranium balls never run out and C) how Elaiya is able to carry a bunch of depleted uranium with her.
Kyrie’s Wand
Kyrie’s wand is probably the simplest weapon in the whole team. What makes it interesting is the materials, which, of course, have to be all cool and magic-y. So her wand is a slightly tapered 16” rod of meteoric iron, about 1/2” across at the base. It’s polished so that the odd lines and striations of the meteoric metal stand out, and a grip is made by cross-winding a strip of Sphinx-skin leather around the lower five inches. Yeah, I know Sphinxes have humanoid bits, but let’s face it- the Harem Collector world is full of plenty of weird already. Just roll with it.
Meline’s Staff
Meline’s weapon probably started life as some kind of walking stick or something she picked up at the market in the belief that an angel-powered magical girl should have a staff. Other than acting as a weak focusing tool, it probably wasn’t anything special- until you add the Channeler’s Orb you get from Larelle. Now topped with an actual purple magic crystal thingy, Meline’s able to more effectively channel mana for her prayers.
Some of you might be wondering how a magical doohickey gotten from Larelle (who uses magic spells) is able to help out Meline (who channels angelic power in response to her prayers). The answer is: shut up, because you’re making wizards look bad. Magic and prayers are clearly entirely two different things, and shouldn’t be compared even when they are suspiciously similar.
Doll’s Mace
Doll’s weapon, like Elaiya’s, is going to be another one where I say “because magic” a lot. The first stage of Doll’s weapon isn’t actually a mace per se, but rather a cudgel- a simple piece of hardwood you beat people with, about 2′ long. With the addition of the studded skull, which is clearly magically reinforced and not going to just shatter on her first really solid hit, it actually has a legit striking surface. Doll isn’t particularly fearsome, but I think having this badass-looking, metal-inspired weapon makes for a good visual joke… whenever she actually gets official art.
It wasn’t planned that way though. The process went like this:
1: Finish the Zombie Bard and realize he needs to drop an upgrade.
2: Realize Doll is the only character at the time who really needs an upgrade.
3: Try to figure out what a zombie could drop that would upgrade a mace.
4: Make the Iron-Studded Skull and knock off early to play Arkham Asylum.
Larelle’s Knife
One of Larelle’s “things” about her character is that she’s actually a lot more robust than the other magic-user-types in the game, and one of the things I wanted her weapon choice to reflect was that she was prepared to throw down on occasion. Add in the sinister side of her personality, and I came up with the ritual knife.
The knife blade itself is a sharply angled spike of metal, like a rondel dagger, about 6” long and etched with runes. The hilt and the inlay of the fuller are inscribed with a brambles and skull design. Larelle probably dug it up out of that tomb she was in, and started using it because it looked cool to her Hot Topic sensibilities.
Chimei’s Fan
I really didn’t want Chimei to have a fan at first, obviously since she had the Simple Bow for a long time, but I eventually realized I wanted Felix to be unique in being a magic-user type with a normal weapon. All the other magic-users have weapons that buff their Magic as well as a small bonus to Attack, and I wanted Chimei to join the club. The problem is that Eastern magic traditions seem to use the same tools as Western magic and staves, wands, and daggers were all spoken for. I considered using paper wards for awhile, but came up with a fan because it’s a pain in the ass to think of upgrade items that would work with a stack of paper strips.
The fan right now looks like any other Japanese hand fan, bamboo wanes supporting a solid blue silk flappy surface bit (Wikipedia didn’t know the technical term for that part of a fan). It’s not actually constructed for use as a weapon, like tessen or gunsen, but in a binch Chimei can whack an enemy with it. BTW, Chimei’s first upgrade is going to be a priority for the next update.
Felix’s Slingshot
Felix’s slingshot started out as a typical Bart Simpson/Dennis the Menace-style wooden slingshot, but goes to weird places pretty much right away. With the addition of the Mechanism Parts, it now has a long armguard on which rests the auto-winding mechanism for the band. Felix still have to load the bullets by hand, though- that’s why it’s only “semiautomatic”… for now.

That Social Justice Thing

First of all, important updates:

-I’ve been shitty about replying to bug reports and stuff lately because I had some personal stuff to deal with over the last few days. Sorry about that, I’m back as of today, though I might not get around to checked the various fora until this afternoon.

-How did everyone enjoy the Halloween pinups? MagicWhiteLady wanted to make a big splash when she started being social, and worked really hard on those.

-The reason why there was a sudden update with the image archives and all was because there was a game-breaking bug in the game that I wanted to fix because it was almost impossible to avoid unless you knew what you were doing. I agonized over it for a few days before deciding the just say “fuck it” and drop the new update even though it had stuff I wanted to save for November. And, of course, it still has bugs, because fml.

-Tomorrow, I’m going to be participating in N7 Day from 12-5pm GMT. All that time I’ll be playing ME3 multiplayer on my Xbox, doing silver & gold matches and hanging out so if you’re interested in hooking up for a group send me an email at the usual place.

Now for something completely different….

Some of you have noticed and commented on the lack of nonwhite characters in Harem Collector. And, well, you’re absolutely right to, racism is a problem and it can be pretty insidious. It was never my intention to have HC contain exclusively white characters, though, and MagicWhiteLady is working on some new sprites so other skin colours will get represented in game.

The lack of nonwhite characters in video games really saddens and frustrates me, to be honest. Not because I don’t feel like I’m represented, I am white, but I don’t find that heroes or protagonists with different skin tones bug me. In fact, GTA: San Andreas is one of my favourite games of all time regardless of the hero’s skin colour- I’m a sucker for literary remakes and the Count of Monte Cristo is one of my favourite books.

The frustrating part actually comes from my background as a business student. I wouldn’t call myself a capitalist, but I do believe that the market should be and can be fair and equal with respect to ethnicity, sexual preference, skin colour, etc. However, when the population of nonwhites in North America is on such a sharp rise, and the number of North Americans who play video games only increases every year, you would expect there would be a corresponding rise in nonwhite protagonists. After all, people as a whole prefer game protagonists who look like themselves, which is why customizable protagonists are so popular.

I know games have something of a biased outlook because Japanese produced games make up such a large part of the market, and few Japanese companies seem to create content with the non-Japanese in mind. But believe me when I say Japan has it’s own closet skeletons that rarely get addressed.

Lecture aside, there will black people in HC soon, and other skin tones will also be represented in time.