Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Breeding Season is over, S-Purple has single-handedly killed it

Many of you were already aware that S-Purple (AKA Shwig AKA Vladimir Sandler), the art director for this project, has been conspicuously absent lately. I recently found out why.

It’s possible the single worst decision I’ve made throughout this entire project was ever choosing to trust him in the first place. When S first joined this project, as the very first person I ever put on the team before we even started our Patreon, I gave him an incredibly generous contract. In it, he was entitled to half the remaining revenue after all other business expenses (including labor, etc) had been paid. I also allowed him to retain the rights to his artwork, under the assumption that if either of us ever chose to leave the project that they would be able to then sell their portion of the product to the other, or negotiate for royalties. I didn’t know when I made that contract that this project would ever be anywhere near as successful as it became.

Consistently throughout the project I have regretted that decision. I essentially made him my partner, and as a result nearly every decision I've made has been filtered through him; he has consistently made stubbornly unreasonable decisions borne out by a poor understanding of the actual management of a project, rejected my proposals to hire a project manager (something I promised to patrons and we've sorely needed throughout the entire project) or additional animators, made in equal parts incredibly greedy and capricious decisions, continually forced revisions of existing assets that prolonged the project by a massive amount (in some cases making us throw out months and months worth of work), and went over my head multiple times to violate my explicit directions. He has been, consistently throughout this project, a massive source of inflating the scope of the game in completely unreasonable ways, meanwhile being completely oblivious to the amount of work he has been forcing on others. And he's overall just a spiteful, unpleasant person who can't control his own anger in a professional setting or accept not getting anything the way he wants. I'm frankly ashamed that (1) I let him have his way over and over again throughout this entire project, and (2) that I've been going out of my way to cover for him this entire damn time.

Fast forward to last month:

S-Purple became suddenly absent from streams and meetings. When I personally asked him many times what was wrong, whether he was upset with me/the way the project was going or had some sort of life problems going on, he consistently refused to answer or made non-committal remarks. I figured that he just needed some time for himself and since he appeared to be ahead on his work, and because I myself had been significantly less productive during the prior couple of months due to personal issues, I decided to let him be assuming that it would just be a temporary lull he would spring back from.

On July 4th Vanilly gave me her two weeks notice, and explained to me that in addition to issues she had with my disorganized management of the project, there had been little to no direction in the art department and she had found herself in charge of essentially all the duties of the art director, in addition to PR and having to fix, redraw, color, and cut up animations before even being able to get to the task of actually animating, and as a result she was carrying a huge amount of the burden of the team while S had been reducing his own responsibilities.

Then, this Monday the existence of a Patreon page was brought to my attention that advertised a new project bearing huge similarities to Breeding Season as well as very obviously having art that had been drawn by S-Purple and Subtank.


I was absolutely furious, and questioned the team about it over Skype. Only S and Subtank knew about the project at all:




S had gone entirely behind our backs to spend an entire month's worth of work (for which he collected over $9,000 of patron money, by the way) working on a new project that he planned to abandon Breeding Season entirely for. Not even once had he brought up to me the notion of him leaving the project or faced me directly with his desire for different leadership. Instead he took the most cowardly possible option, to the point of even fooling Subtank into believing the work he was doing was for Breeding Season's benefit, and straight-up swindled us.

But what he did here goes far deeper than that. Because the wording of his contract let him do it, he also walked away with half the entire studio's savings, and then purely out of malice directed us to strip his assets from the game under threat of legal action. This leaves Breeding Season half stripped of assets. Effectively, this would scrap the entire project as it currently stands, forcing us to start over completely from square one. There is no way the project could actually survive the process, the game is just dead, that's the end.

Not only this, but he has been resolute in rejecting my offer to buy the assets from him, meaning he's not even just trying to extort the project even further than he already has, but he actively wants to fuck over the entire thing.

There is absolutely no viable reason for him to do this except to be an emotionally-stunted man-child destroying someone else's sandcastle. He can't even reasonably repurpose any of these assets for use in another project because anything that is either based on my design or was touched by any of the other artists or animators also jointly belongs to me. And there is no way in fucking hell I am letting him get away with what he did on any level.

He received over $190,000 worth of patron money over the course of this project and he thinks he can get away with directly destroying over three years of work from an entire team of people entirely because he has a stick up his ass. He has not only completely violated my trust and the trust of our team on every level, but the trust of every single patron who ever paid us anything. It's not just unethical, it's completely fucking absurd.

I have absolutely no clue how he can expect anyone to give him a single fucking cent ever again after what he just pulled here. He has absolutely no grasp of the actual significance of his actions, or the fact that he's going to end up facing real consequences for them. As though anyone would give him money after what he just did to this project, and as though I wouldn't make everything he did completely public.

I also cannot possibly imagine anyone seriously wanting to work with him after finding out how he treats his coworkers and the absurd lengths he will go to in order to fuck people over who have put their trust in him. There is no doubt in my mind that every project he will ever be on is doomed to total failure.

But that's it, this is the end. None of the other members want to continue on the project after this. S remains resolute in his unwillingness to sell me the assets and I actually do believe he's stupid enough to pursue legal action out of spite. For all the fucking resolve in the world I can't do a single fucking thing; Breeding Season is over, we're never even making it out of alpha and every promise we ever fucking made is invalidated by the fact I put too much trust in someone else to do the right thing. Hell, not even the right thing; I just trusted him to do the not fucking insane thing.

I think it is extremely important that all the patrons who donated generously in hopes of seeing this project reach completion tell S-Purple directly exactly how they feel about his decisions. I think that they should also make sure that other people are publicly informed of his actions and their repercussions, and that everyone know very clearly exactly how trustworthy of a person S-Purple AKA Shwig AKA Vladimir Sandler really is.

Shwig’s NSFW tumblr: http://s-purple.tumblr.com/
Shwig’s SFW tumblr: http://shwlg.tumblr.com/
Shwig’s e-mail address: Vietnamishguy@gmail.com

Finally, if it were in my power, given that at every point in this project it has been wholly and totally supported by you guys: the fans and patrons, every last asset of the game would belong to you, and given this project collapsed like it did I would release every single development file to the public. Legally I can't do that, though.

Wouldn't it be funny, though, if just somehow some particularly dedicated fan were to guess the password to my Dropbox account (I'm the worst with coming up with secure passwords, I always put something obvious like the name of my favorite fighting game series or something) and were to get ahold of the folder containing every file involved in the game's creation? Then wouldn't it be funny if they went around posting this to various places, like say 8chan and the LoK forums, etc?

That would be illegal, since those assets belong to S-Purple, and therefore I would never condone someone actually doing that. But wouldn't it be funny?

Friday, July 8, 2016

Hotfix 7.7.1

Oi, there were lots of little bugs to clean up with this one. This should cover all the important ones, though, and of course let me know if I missed anything ASAP.

7.7.1 Hotfix

Additions
- When selecting monster pairings on the breeding assistant menu you can now see what their energy cost will be, and monsters that would result in a pairing with too high of an energy cost will be automatically hidden

Bug Fixes/Minor Changes
- Obtaining Alita should no longer break the breeding menu, let me know ASAP if this one still persists at all
- The final stage of the Alita quest should no longer repeat (it might repeat one more time after loading a save, but will stop from then on)
- Alita's dialog sprite is now animated
- Ellenor's quest for 3-star consumables no longer has a hidden Elf Juice requirement, and she now actually takes the consumables when you start the event
- Some strange interactions between the Sorting system and the Select Monster menu have been fixed, and it should no longer hide monsters without available hearts when you go to select monsters to sell or donate
- Holstaurus variants' horn styles are now based on their hair rather than on their faces
- Fixed some minor issues with saves that had the old (removed) Fluffdragons marked as unlocked
- Fixed a goofy bug where if you loaded a save from the fishing pool, you would suddenly start thinking you lived on the beach instead of on the ranch
- Fixed spelling of the word "received" because I after E EXCEPT after C, according to Endrian

Known Issues
- There may be some weird game behavior when monsters with disabled traits are obtained
- The tutorial displays some of the old UI
- The colors on some animations are incorrect as they have yet to be overhauled

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Wanted: Flash Animators

Flash Animators Wanted!

I want to go ahead and put out an open call for applications for new Flash animators for the project! If you're highly experienced in working with Adobe Flash or similar animation software and are interested in working with us, please send your resume and portfolio to beanbagroomstudios@gmail.com

We heavily prioritize people who have a solid portfolio of previous work that they can show us. Experience in hand-drawn frame-by-frame animation or previous work with pixel art are major pluses, as is some ability to code in ActionScript 3.0 or JavaScript.

Also, if you're curious about the Composer/Sound Designer positions: those are still in the process of being selected! I hope to have more information to share with you all regarding those soon.

Finally, I'm very aware of the big bugs in 7.7; I've rooted out most of them and a hotfix should be coming out within the next three days to rectify the biggest issues.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Alpha Build 7.7 for Patrons

Woo, I can gladly say that the Ranch Assistant system is finally ready for you guys to use! This is the last major gameplay system that I'll be adding to the game (we'll also be adding the Inquisitor system, but that's an ultimately much smaller system based on parts already in game). This is important not only because the system itself is cool and I hope you guys'll like it, but because it means I can majorly shift my focus towards refining gameplay/game balance and writing storylines/events. Alita is the only assistant who will be currently available in the game, but expect that number to expand rapidly.

Important note about animations: You'll notice there are no animations in this update. Don't freak out! They're coming! As a result of the issues we had with the harpies as well as a few other compounding problems (computer troubles, some missing cow parts, some particularly complex animation set-ups), the prep work for the animations got pushed back this month. Making animations requires a long set of processes, starting with cutting up the poses and assembling them before anything can be actually animated. Since rather than doing the animations one at a time we put them through each process in batches (cut all the poses, then assemble all the poses, etc) this means that all this month's animations are currently in the assembly phase.

What we're planning to do is, instead of making you wait a whole other month for more animations, have our mid-month release be our "animation update". Given this goes well, from now on we'll probably do releases in this manner, with two releases each month: a gameplay update on the 1st, and then an animation update mid-month.

Also, as this is the last major system we're adding to the game (and an update to some of the more important bits of the UI), there's a very high chance of bugs. I fully expect to be doing a hotfix even before we get to the animation update this month, so let me know of any important bugs and I'll try to get the hotfix up ASAP.

7.7 Patch Notes

Additions
- The Ranch Assistant system is now in-game! This is the last major game system to be implemented! You can use it to assign breeding pairs to your assistants who will automatically be bred every day, increase the happiness of monsters in a particular building, or automatically sell your consumables. Complete Alita's quest-line in order to use it in-game.
-  Alita the robot girl has been added to the game! To get her on your ranch you must complete her new questline, which is currently the biggest questline implemented in the game. In order to start it, you must raise your affection with Margo and have Ellenor on your ranch. It's also the first quest line in the game to involve branching paths.
- The Shop Menu and the Monster Select Menu have been overhauled. The shop now more clearly shows the monster idles and the monster select menu now includes your custom sorting tabs. They're also both prettier and ideally better optimized now! (There may be a few issues introduced with the new selection menu; let me know and they'll be added to the hotfix)

Bug Fixes/Minor Changes
- Happiness events can now occur on the same days as other events at the ranch, and are more frequent as a result
- The loading time when opening the breeding menu after loading a save has been shifted to immediately when you load the save itself
- Gremlin versions of the Swine, the Seraphs, and the Mandrakes are now possible to obtain.
- Changed Feral, Futanari, Neoteny, and Genderbent into platinum traits: will not apply to old monsters, so you may see some gold versions of the trait floating around on your old saves.
- Fixed issues with Kay's Sea Sponge
- Fixed issues with mousewheel scrolling

Known Issues
- While selecting a monster to add to an assistant's breeding schedule, you aren't shown the energy cost; this will be fixed soon
- Consumables loaded from saves from older versions won't be counted as having been harvested from your monsters when being sold by a ranch assistant, and won't stack with newly harvested consumables (this was not tracked previously)
- Alita's mouth and idle movements aren't animated yet
- There may be some weird game behavior when monsters with disabled traits are obtained
- The tutorial displays some of the old UI
- The colors on some animations are incorrect as they have yet to be overhauled