Monday, June 30, 2014

Tiny Status Update

Sorry for the recent lack of status updates, I try not to let it go too long between putting something up for you guys. We broke $15k! This means we'll be adding a new person to the team as soon as we find a good fit. We're currently looking at people who have significant experience working with Flash and ActionScript 3. Everything's going good for 5.0 so far and you can expect it for patrons late tonight/early tomorrow morning. I'll also be putting up 4.8.1 for the public at the same time.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Alpha Build 4.9 for Patrons

Whew, alright. That took longer than I wanted to. Alpha Build 4.9 will be going up on Patreon in about 20 minutes.

Additions
- Get ready to have a cow, since the new Holstauruses are here! Just the idle animation and variations for this update, but they're adorable and I'm pretty pleased with how they turned out.
- New animations: Futa Elf idle, Catgirl/Catgirl (still WIP), Catgirl/Male Elf, and Demon/Male Elf. If you watch the new Futa Elf idle and Demon/Male Elf animation for long enough you may see a neat surprise!
- New facial animation system: monsters can show a little more personality now, though we've yet to exploit it to its fullest yet.

Bug Fixes
- Skin color should inherit correctly for updated monster models, there still may be some weirdness with hair color or cross-species, though
- Small bits and bobs

Known Issues
- Some facial variations/expressions might not display consistently between some animations

Our goal is to have Stallions available by the 30th. With any luck I'll also be able to finish up the donation system and get around to all the little interface niggles that I haven't gotten to.

Final note: Everyone wish S-Purple a happy birthday!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Status Update

Alright, version 4.9 will be coming to our lovely patrons some time between tonight and tomorrow night, depending entirely on how fussy the new variations/animations decide to be as I try to work them in. I'll be in the IRC channel if ya'll want to check up on me/distract me while I work.

Granted nothing breaks too bad, in 4.9 you'll be seeing Holstauruses, Futa Elves, and three animations: Catgirl/Catgirl, Catgirl/Male Elf, and Demon/Male Elf, as well as some minor tweaks and bug fixes.

I'm not positive if I'll have time to squeeze it in, but if I do you'll also get the neat new Holstaurus barn (S says it's still a WIP, but I like it :P):

By the way, for those of you who are curious about what our work looks like behind the scenes (and what we're spending all our time doing :P), I can give you a bit more insight into the process.

S starts by taking his original drawings and chopping up the pieces into small animate-able chunks; redrawing overlapping areas and joints as necessary. When he's done he gives me the sprite sheets filled with the various body parts, hair/ear/horn/etc variations, facial variations, and a full facial expression set for each of the facial variations, like so:

After I import the image files to Flash I vectorize them such that we get pixel-perfect vector versions of the sprites. It may seem somewhat ironic that we preserve the pixelation when we vectorize, but we're deliberately going for that retro 32-bit style. Making the sprites into vector images instead of leaving them as bitmaps allows us to scale and rotate the sprites much more fluidly for animations.

I make each individual part into a symbol with its own layer and reassemble the sprite, making sure to align it as closely to the original drawing as possible. Then, inside of each individual piece symbol I divide up the colors onto various layers and make them into their own symbols, then tag them such that my coloring function knows which symbols to apply particular color transforms to. Most hair and fur is just subjected to one over-all color transformation, but skin tones are divided into four distinct layers and color transformed separately in order to make them more exact. In order to divide the colors up correctly I often have to hunt them out pixel-by-pixel. As you might guess, this process can take many, many hours to do for every piece and piece variation, and it has to be repeated for each new pose, individual piece, or hand-drawn in-between that we make. There are well over a thousand such different piece symbols in the game currently.

I would say that's the thing that definitely eats up the most of my time, and unfortunately gets in the way of a lot of my other duties (like refactoring the code, writing dialog, implementing UI, designing poses, and animating). Luckily I've been thinking of a few solutions to this problem. The first one is the most straight-forward: get someone else to do it :P. I'm strongly considering having our fifth hire be something of a personal assistant for helping me speed up menial tasks requiring Flash.

Alternatively, perhaps a custom pixel shader could manage color transformations with much less prep work, though I'm new to using such things; particularly with Flash.

If any knowledgeable people might have other suggestions as to how I can manage color alterations/variations more efficiently I would love to hear them. Hopefully I haven't overlooked any obvious solutions!

Anyway, I should stop typing about my work and focus on finishing it now :P. To tide you guys over until the update here's a few designs S has been making for fun:



EDIT: It's looking like it'll be up around 5:00 AM PST. Sorry for anyone I'm making stay up real late :(.

EDIT: Sorry guys, still going at it but I've run into more difficulties (surprise surprise), at the very least it'll be up before 10:00 AM PST, hopefully much sooner.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Status Update and Mittsies' Project


Hey guys, thanks again for all your well wishes, the fever's all gone and I'm back to feeling 100%! I've decided to put some more work in the catgirl/catgirl animation and have it go in with the 4.9 update, along with the other changes I had planned for the hotfix. Right now we're looking at the 20th or the 21st for getting 4.9 to patrons (previous estimates were before I got ill :( ). Mittsies has been pumping out animations for me so you can expect a nice bunch in 4.9, including catgirl/catgirl, catgirl/male elf, demon/male elf, and possibly one or two more. You'll also see the new futa elf idle, and of course the new holstauruses in-game. Can't say what else will go in yet, though I'll give you more of an idea soon.

Speaking of Mittsies, some of you may be aware that he's working on his own project in addition to Breeding Season, and it's pretty neat! If ponies happen to be your thing, you should absolutely check out his tumblr: http://mittsies.tumblr.com/, and the Patreon page he has going: http://www.patreon.com/Mittsies

For those of you who were worried about this cutting into his Breeding Season work; the amount of animations that Mittsies can make for us is always limited by myself and S setting up poses and sprites and integrating the animations into the game, so realistically he's got a lot of downtime where the work he can do for us is limited anyway just because of the process. We couldn't dominate all of his time even if we wanted to :P. That said, the next person we're looking into adding into the team would potentially be someone to speed up this process considerably, and if we do so we may be able to incorporate the work of additional animators as well.

Finally, those of you who have been following S-Purple's tumblr over at http://s-purple.tumblr.com/ (which you should) may have been seeing a ton of awesome new art from him recently, which I'll repost here:

The first assistant you'll be able to get for the ranch: Alita
Art for some planned monsters






 Clothed NPC sprites (for their animations)






Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Alpha Build 4.7 Public Release

Hey guys, I appreciate your well-wishes. Still running a fever but sudafed's doing a decent job of beating back the darkness :P. I'm still working on 4.8.2 and I'd like to have it up in a few more hours but I'm not sure if I can, but I thought I would go ahead and just put up the 4.7 public release now since I know ya'll have been waiting patiently.

4.7 patch notes can be found here: http://breedingseasongame.blogspot.com/2014/05/alpha-build-47-for-patrons.html

The eye variations for the different expressions are still giving me trouble with the 4.8.2 build, and to be honest it's a lot more work than I was bargaining for. If I can't get it fixed before I pass out again, I'll at least try to post up the catgirlxcatgirl animation for you guys to see as I'm pretty pleased with the new facial expression set-up. Worst case scenario I may have to fold the changes I'd planned for the hotfix into the 4.9 update, but I would really prefer to just get the hotfix up for you guys sooner rather than later.

EDIT:
I'm actually not super pleased with it yet, but here's the WIP for the catgirlxcatgirl animation (you can tell I did this one rather than Mittsies :P). Note that in the future we're going to have more positions for the sex animations with more variety, more showing of the genitals, etc, but it'll take some time to get poses set up for those angles. Don't know how soon I can have this done and in-game, will keep you guys updated. I think I'm starting to feel a bit better.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Status Update

Still working on getting 4.8.2 together, I'm going to try to get it up before I go to sleep tonight so it may be up around 1 or 2 AM. If I absolutely can't manage to put it up tonight it will absolutely be up tomorrow (Monday) night. When I put 4.8.2 up I'll also put up the next public release along with it.

In the meantime, you guys may enjoy the holstaurus facial variations that S has put together:


Also, here's a sneak peak at some rare monster variations we've been thinking about:


EDIT: Sorry about the delay again guys, haven't been feeling well and I conked out early on accident. Will get the update up in the next three or four hours here.

EDIT2: It's about 10:00 AM on Tuesday and I'm having trouble staying conscious, really sorry. I should have it up by tonight and hopefully this damn fever will go away.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Status Update

Taking a break from setting up some more animations for Mittsies to post up a little update for you guys. Right now I'm thinking we'll be dropping the 4.8.2 hotfix on Sunday. Very tentatively I've penciled in 4.9 (as well as 4.7 for non-patrons) on Wednesday the 18th. 4.9 will introduce the new holstaurus models and variations.

In the meantime, I'll repost S's appropriately ridiculous neoteny holstaurus design (unfortunately you won't be seeing her in-game this month, but soon!):

Also, S is still working on the vanilla Stallion design, though he's settled on the direction he's planning on taking them, but I'll keep it a secret until you guys can see his concept.

We're also planning on changing their name. Don't worry: the Borderlands 2 reference will stay intact, but we're going to be giving that particular name to one very rare and very special Stallion (you might already be able to guess what's special about this rare Stallion :P).

Anyway, we've considered a couple options: Just calling them Stallions (no Butt), or maybe Equines?

Any thoughts or suggestions are welcome, particularly on the new name.

EDIT:
And here it is, the concept for the new vanilla Stallions (note, cock not featured here as S is brushing up on his horse penis drawing skills):

Monday, June 2, 2014

Hotfix 4.8.1

Just tossed up a hotfix on the Patreon for 4.8 that should rectify some of the animation issues with the new felf/dickwolf animations.

Sorry it took so long, the bug was a lot more tenacious than I expected, and required me to rewrite some of the code handling variations and color changes for monsters. There may still be some issues with clipping or eye variation, but I intend to have those fixed by the end of the week.

Expect the next hotfix (4.8.2) around the weekend. I'll get the rest of the animation issues ironed out, toss in the catgirl/catgirl animation, and hopefully refine the donation system a little bit.

Of course, let me know if you guys run into any more major issues.

Oh, and a sneak peak at the Holstaurus variations: