So, this ended up being an extremely long post, with a ton of information. Hopefully it will answer a lot of questions that people have had. Go ahead and post any other questions you might have as comments and I'll see if I can go ahead and add them to the FAQ.
What are your plans going forward?
Currently I’m working on the website, which I intend to release a test version of before January. The test will go like this: anyone will be able to make a free test account. Your test account will get 100 points that you can spend on the system. I will actually take a week and fulill the results of the test voting for that week for free: basically a trial run both for the website and my ability to complete the work that gets voted onto my to-do list. If it goes well, I’ll launch the website for real, and only people who buy a membership will be able to access the voting system.
My to-do list on the website will take the top 20 hours worth of work each week, but I intend to work on the game even more than that: this will be my full time job until next August, when I’ll probably be going to grad school. After August, I’ll re-evaluate how much time I can put into the game. I may have to adjust the voting to-do list down to 10 hours worth of work each week. So, people who purchase the membership should be aware that the amount of work I take from the to-do list is subject to change when August comes. You should take that into account before you contribute any money.
Regardless of how the voting content pans out, the next things I’m going to be working on are:
1. Exploration and Events – You will be able to go places and things will happen there.
2. Dialog and Quests – You will be able to talk to people and they will ask you to do things.
3. Refactoring – Once I’ve completed the two above additions, I’ll have a much better idea of how all the basic game fundamentals fit together. I’ll basically go through all of my code and rewrite everything that I need to from the ground-up. This will be a long process, but when it’s finished I’ll officially have a stable beta version, and I’ll be able to, from that point on, just directly add content. This is probably the step where the biggest game changes will occur.
Basically, up until now I’ve been hacking things together as I couldn’t predict how they would ultimately need to interact when the game was finished. I needed to get a better idea of what all of the different traits, monsters, and game aspects would have to eventually do and how they’d have to work before I could put them together. When I refactor everything, I will be able to make the game work much more intelligently from the ground-up.
Unfortunately, I don’t plan to add a lot of new gameplay content until the refactoring is finished. Don’t expect many animations (aside from those that win the voting each week), or too much storyline content aside from the content I add to test the exploration, event, dialog, and quest systems.
How do you plan to change the way stats work?
I don’t like the way that stats work in the game as it is, and intend to change them. I’m removing growth mods from the game entirely. Also, I’m changing the way that stats grow considerably.
Stats will max-out at 100. Instead of growing or shrinking every time you breed two monsters, stats will have “XP” and “level up”. Breeding modifiers will be a clearly shown number, and will tell you how much “XP” breeding with a particular monster will contribute to particular stats. There will no longer be negative modifiers (and no less than stat client requirements).
Breeding mods will no longer be randomized on new monsters (all store-bought catgirls will have +DEX only, etc), so if you want to raise a particular stat you will need to have bought a monster that raises it to begin with, but you will be able to transfer breeding modifiers between monster species through their offspring. There will also be more monster-specific traits.
Breeding and harvesting will be two different limits, STA will affect breeding and WIL will affect harvesting.
Consumables will be used for their effects, which will now vary based on the stats of the monster they were harvested from (a holstaurus with higher stats will produce milk that increases fertility higher). Obviously some of the consumable effects will have to change.
Your monsters will have “Happiness” that increases when they’re fed consumables that they like and bred with monsters that they like, but decreases when you don’t feed or breed them for a while. Happiness will govern their chance of disobeying you, or running away.
When will you put in the animation for [insert pairing here]?
I have good news and bad news.
The bad news is: I do not currently intend to make animations for every monster pairing in the game. This is something that I feared would eventually happen when I started making the game. Its basic math: every time I add a new monster or visual trait, I have to make more animations for it than the last one due to the combinatorial nature of breeding monsters together. If I were to make animations for every possible pairing between different monsters, futa versions, neoteny versions, and futa neoteny versions currently in the game, it would be well-over 200 different animations. That would be over 400 hours of work for me just on animations, and this number would go up with every new monster I add.
Basically I have two options: 1. I could keep making unique animations, but only make animations for a limited number of pairs, or 2. I could make standard animations that will fit together regardless of the pair. Personally, I think option 2 would make for boring/ugly looking animations, and I would much rather have fewer but more unique and interesting animations.
The good news is: I will pay attention to comments and posts and try to make sure I add animations for pairings that people are asking for the most. Also, if you really want a particular animation in the game, you will be able to put money towards it to request it in the voting system. This is true for harvest and cum-shot animations as well.
Also, I’m not against the idea of ever making standard animations that fit together regardless of pairing. Eventually I may have this in addition to unique animations, so that some monsters will have unique animations and some will have standard ones. However, this would take me a lot of additional work and I have no plans for it currently.
Will you put in content for [insert fetish here]?
Possibly! I try to put a diversity of content into the game, even if it’s not a thing that I’m personally into. Anything that is something that some players might not want to see, I’ll try to make as an option that can be removed.
There is, however, a list of things I won’t do.
The game will not contain: snuff, gore, ryona, vore, scat, watersports, any blood, or basically anything that I personally feel is too violent or too misogynistic for me to be comfortable with.
(Note: If you don’t know what any of those words mean, I would suggest you don’t look them up)
How should I report bugs?
Bug reports are very important to me, and one of the ways that people can help the most in contributing to the game is by submitting them to me.
If you want to report a bug, you should make a blog comment under the patch notes posted for the version of the game in which the bug occurred. The more details and specifics you can give me about the bug, the better.
Information that helps me the most:
- Version number
- Can you reproduce it (can you get the bug to happen again?)
- If you saved or loaded the game at any time prior to the bug occurring (and if the save is from a previous version, which version you started the new game in)
- All ranch upgrades that you owned when the bug occurred
- On menu/hotkey errors: the specific order in which you opened/closed menus and what you clicked/what keys you typed to do it
- On monster errors: the monster's type, all of its traits, the monster types and traits of both of its parents, whether or not it was a child of the player, and what consumables it and its parents had been fed with
- On animation errors: the monster types of the involved monsters, which monster was first (orange) and which was second (blue) in the breeding menu, if any of the involved monsters had default colors show up (blue hair on any monster, orange fur on catgirls, brown fur on stallions, brown wings on harpies, red fur on demons)
You don't have to give me all of this information to post a report, obviously, but it helps me more if you do.
Unfortunately, I don't always keep very good track of the known bugs, so I don't mind when they're reposted. Just make sure that the bug exists in the version that you're posting under, and not in previous versions. I may not always respond to bug reports, but I try to read as many as I can.
Do you take suggestions?
Yes, I do. A lot of the best features in the game were suggested to me by fans and people from the legendofkrystal.com forums. I read many of the comments that are posted on the blog, and in the near future intend to have an entire forum for contributors to offer and discuss suggestions.
Unfortunately, a lot of the time I don't remember who offered a suggestion, and so I can't credit them. Often I will read a suggestion that I like but not get a chance to respond to the person about it. However, I do take notice of people who are particularly helpful.
What kind of suggestions do you take?
The suggestions that help me the most are ones that will either take a pretty small amount of work to put into the game but make it a lot more fun, or will actually save me work and make my life easier. While I still like to see suggestions about what kind of monsters or animations people want to see in the game, I already have a ton of that work heaped up already, and even if I like your suggestion it will be a long, long time before I could get it into the game.
As a rule of thumb: if it doesn't require me to make new art, or do a lot of programming, then it's a useful suggestion. Things like small UI changes and small gameplay changes are the kind I can use the most.
Do you need any help with art or animation?
Yes! One of the biggest bottlenecks that I have in getting content out faster is art, as I'm honestly not as good of an artist as I'd like.
1. Landscape and environment - Landscape art is one of the biggest bottlenecks to the exploration system and further expansion of the game, as I'm not very good at it and it takes me a long time. Anyone who can make good environmental art would be a massive help to me, and if you're not used to working in vector formats don't fear: I can handle converting art from other formats or styles.
2. Animation - Anyone who has a good handle on flash animation can very easily help me out by making more sex animations for the various pairings. I can supply you with all my sprites and all you'll have to worry about is tweening, etc.
3. Character portraits - I'm looking for people who are willing to make dialog portraits for various NPCs and the like. I'll be giving you some basic descriptions and you can pretty much go wild with drawing them how you like, though ideally with some resemblance to my style just so that the art is cohesive.
4. Writing - People who would like to contribute dialog writing for NPCs and side quests would be very welcome. It's likely that I will do a lot of editing of what you submit to fit my ideas for the game, though, but it will still make my life a lot easier. Unfortunately, right now a lot of the specifics involving events and side quests aren't nailed down yet, but I'd still like to get in contact with people who are interested in doing writing work once I do.
As far as compensation goes, I can offer anyone who contributes art more control in the direction of the game, memberships, and voting points, and for individuals who are willing to contribute a very significant amount I can offer you a cut of the money from the membership website each month.
If you're interested in contributing art to the game, please e-mail me at HartistaPipebomb@gmail.com with some samples of your work. Please state clearly in the subject line that it's about "Breeding Season Art Help". Unfortunately, I get a lot of spam and it might get filtered out or I might miss it, if I don't get back to you right away don't hesitate to bug me on the Legend of Krystal forums or in the comments section of this blog.
Not everyone who wants to contribute will be able to as I'm going to be kind of choosey about making sure the visual design of the game is consistent. I still really appreciate the offers, though, even if I don't feel your style fits the game.
A lot of people have offered to help with programming or game design. I appreciate the offers but unfortunately the game isn't in a state yet where it would be easy for multiple people to work on the code, as much of it still needs to be re-factored and is poorly commented. Feel free to continue offering suggestions concerning programming and game design in the blog comments and on the Legend of Krystal forums, though, as these continue to be a huge help to me.
How should I start making my own games?
Where you should start with making a game depends a lot on what kind of experience you have already. It has taken me years of learning to get to where I am, and I'm still a total novice, so if you want to go anywhere with game development you have to be ready to put tons of effort into it. The first thing you should do is learn how to program in object-oriented style. The programming language you learn to use isn't as important as learning the basic ideas behind it. I don't have any specific tutorials, but there are plenty of great programming tutorials on the internet if you spend some time on google. A tutorial focused on teaching you object-oriented programming is more important than a tutorial focusing on game programming specifically, but if you can get a tutorial that will teach you both that's the best.
Secondly, you should learn how to use an API Reference. http://help.adobe.com/en_US/FlashPlatform/reference/actionscript/3/index.html will teach you almost everything you could ever possibly want to know about programming in Flash, but you have to know how to understand that information. You should also learn to use resources like stackoverflow.com, because if there's anything you want to do, it's likely someone has tried to do something like it before you and has had similar questions.
Mostly, though, you should just realize it will take you years of constant improvement to get to the point where you can make a big game. Start with very small projects, like super small, and work your way up. Make your own version of pong, then move onto the next step, etc. Don't get discouraged if you can't make the game you want to right from the start. If you keep at it, you'll be able to make that game eventually, and probably get a ton of even better ideas along the way.