Friday, October 31, 2014

Tiny Status Update

Happy Halloween!

Just a tiny update to let you know the Halloween Update is still on track. I'm still juggling a lot of unknowns right now so I can't say exactly how many hours it'll be but it will definitely be up before I collapse tonight/tomorrow morning (maximum of 8 hours, but hopefully far fewer than that).

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Status Update and Future Gameplay Revisions

Status Update:

Hey all! Incredibly sorry to keep you guys in so much suspense for so long! I apologize for really failing on the communication front this month; I'll make sure that I don't have another dry spell on status updates like this again. The rewrite has just been dominating all of my attention, unfortunately, and when I make updates I tend to try to make them huge and informative affairs like this one which takes up a lot of time. From now on I'm going to try to change my habits so that I'm putting up more small work-progress updates a couple times a week; they won't be very large or exciting, but I do really want to do more to just let you guys know I'm still alive and working like S does on his tumblr.

That said, you are absolutely getting the rewrite this month, along with another public update! It will be up late on Friday the 31st, as a Halloween treat for you all!

Tomorrow night I should be able to give you a much better idea of what all features you'll be able to enjoy once I put it up, as I'm still in the process of integrating all the new systems together and I'm not positive what will work yet. Fair warning; it will have a lot of rough edges, placeholder UI, and many aspects will not be fully implemented yet or not implemented at all. I've been putting together some pretty radical changes to the game this month and it will take a while before they're all fully fleshed out. 

On the upside, this will definitely be the last time I have to do this sort of redesign/rewrite! There may still be some significant gameplay changes to the game in the future, particularly as far as balance is concerned, but this will be much closer to what the final version of BS will look like at least on a basic level. I'm going to try to ensure from here on out that you will definitely get at least two playable updates a month, and if I can manage it I would like to have them become even more frequent moving forward, though that'll depend on a lot of factors.

As a final note before I get into the meat of our planned gameplay changes; this update will have very little in the way of new art or animations and is very much focused on gameplay and code changes, however the next update will be on November 15th and contain a backlog of sex animations that we've been putting together; at least 5 new sex animations with variations, and then hopefully more animations later in the month as well. I also want to get around to finally implementing at least the first of the long-anticipated cum-shot animations.

Future Breeding Season Gameplay Revisions:

With the new build there are very major changes to the way pretty much every system in the game works. This is a big departure from previous designs I had considered, and totally different from the previous build. Stats will no longer change independently from one another; instead, raising your monster’s stats will be much more like leveling up in an RPG. Don’t worry; the way client requests work will also be changed appropriately to reflect this. Mind you, much of what is written here WILL NOT be implemented yet come Friday, but this is just to give you a very good idea of where I'm trying to take things.

Monsters will level up once they've gained enough XP through breeding and being fed consumables. The amount of XP required to level up will be based on the monster’s level, and it will rise considerably as they grow in level.

Growth Modifiers:
Every time your monster levels up they'll have a random chance to have each of their stats raised. This random chance will be based on their growth modifiers for each stat (represented by a letter rank) that the monster is born with. Perfect S rank growth modifiers will be incredibly hard to breed into your monsters.

There will be no individual caps on level (every monster caps out at level 100), however it’ll be considerably more worthwhile to level up monsters with better growth modifiers as they'll have better stats at max level and gain stats faster, and only a monster with all perfect growth modifiers will ever be able to max out every stat (this will be a huge feat; maxing every stat will be only for the hardcore grinders and not necessary to complete the storyline).

The amount of XP a monster will get from a breeding attempt will be directly based on the level and STR stat of the monster they’re having sex with as well as their own CHA. In addition, repeatedly breeding the same two monsters together will slightly increase the pregnancy chance every time, meaning that after enough breeding attempts you're always guaranteed a baby.

Harvesting will be significantly different to how it is now. Monsters will generate a certain number of “hearts” each day that represent how many times that monster can breed in one day (the number of hearts they generate each day will increase with STA). If a monster has any unused hearts at the end of the day they get “stored up”. So, for instance, if I have a dickwolf who can breed twice each day and I don't breed him for four days in a row he'll have eight hearts stored up. When you go to harvest a monster you'll get a consumable from them for every heart they have stored up, so you'll only have to harvest your monsters periodically instead of every day to still get all their consumables out of them.

However, every monster has a maximum amount of hearts they can store up before they just can’t take it anymore (this number is based on their WIL). If you let them go too long without breeding or harvesting they'll misbehave and take matters into their own hands (so to speak), causing them to lose all their stored up consumables as well as reducing their happiness.

Instead of having every consumable be unique and having consumable quality directly vary with a monster’s stats, there will be only one measure of consumable quality and 10 possible quality levels (though, they can still have unique effects due to monster traits). When harvesting, the consumables produced will have a random quality, with a higher chance of higher quality consumables if the monster has high stats. This means that consumables with the same quality/effects will be stackable and therefore much easier to manage. Each monster type will still have its own special consumable effect as well.

Consumables will directly increase a monster’s XP based on their quality. It will also be possible to feed your monsters consumables directly from the breeding menu. I'm also considering adding the ability to upgrade your pens with a “trough” that will let you place a stack of consumables that your monster will automatically eat each day.

Happiness will determine how much a monster likes you, and the likelihood of either good or bad events occurring with that monster when you breed them or enter their pen. A monster will lose happiness if they aren't harvested before they store up too many hearts, or occasionally if you fail a random event involving them, however generally happiness will be much easier to raise than it is to lose so you won't constantly need to worry about it. A monster’s happiness will go up slowly every time they're bred or harvested, but it can be raised much faster by catering to their preferences, or succeeding in random events involving them.

Monsters may have preferences for particular other monster types, particular consumables, individual monsters or even the breeder themselves. A monster’s preferences can change over time and may develop or grow stronger with repeated exposure, or may change based on choices you make during events involving them. The stronger their preference, the more their happiness is raised when you indulge it. Preferences will also be significantly affected by traits. A player will be able to safely ignore a monster's preferences with few to no ill effects, but indulging a monster's preferences will provide bonuses and benefits.

Personality Traits:
Personality traits will be special kinds of traits that influence how a monster acts in events and can affect their preferences and relationships with other monsters. Unlike most other traits personality traits may also change over time. Personality traits won’t be implemented for a while, though depending on how much of an issue it will be to implement, we're looking at having unique visual features and idle animations for monsters with different personality traits.

Monsters that you keep around long enough will begin to form relationships with each other and the breeder. Two monsters with opposing personalities may become rivals, or if a monster has a strong preference for another one and you breed their crush with someone else they may start to get jealous, or, of course, two monsters might fall in love, etc. These relationships will be reflected in special events and you'll have some influence over them and they may lead to special storylines, however they can also be safely ignored without negatively affecting your gameplay. It will be a very long time until this entire system is properly implemented, but once it is I hope that it will go a long way towards giving the monsters on your ranch a lot more life and character.

Rather than feeding/breeding/etc taking up time in order to limit the actions you can take in a day, they'll instead cost energy, which is a resource you generate every day. This change is for a few reasons; primarily to make it simpler and more intuitive to keep track of how many various actions you can fit into the day and do the math in your head. Also, you'll be able to roll over some of the energy you don’t spend one day into the next day (up to a maximum). There will also eventually be ways to extend your energy. A monster's DEX stat will reduce the amount of energy that actions involving that monster take up, just like it did with time.

Mostly, though, this change is because I just thought it felt wrong that a super high DEX monster can apparently only last a couple of minutes in bed :P.

Stat Effects
(the math on these is far from final, currently stats have a linear progression but may be changed to suffer diminishing returns; this'll require testing)

STA: Increases the number of “hearts” a monster generates each day, but does it as an average over time. For instance, if a monster has 25 STA, it would generate "2.5" hearts a day on average, which means that every other day it will alternate between generating 2 hearts and 3 hearts.

STR: Directly determines the amount of XP this monster’s partners gain when it breeds with them. Monster’s STR x Monster’s Level x Partner’s CHA = Partner’s XP gain.

DEX: Reduces the energy cost of actions involving the monster. 1 DEX = 1% less energy. Also gives breeding a chance to “crit” and gain twice as much XP, 1 DEX = 0.5% crit chance.

CHA: Increases the amount of XP that the monster receives from breeding multiplicatively. Also increases the amount of happiness that other monsters gain from breeding with it. 1 CHA = 1% more happiness on average.

WIL: Every point of WIL increases the number of hearts the monster can store for harvesting by 1. It also confers a 1% per WIL chance to resist negative events like sickness and happiness loss.

FER: Raising this stat directly increases the rate of producing offspring for this monster as well as how much that rate increases with repeated breeding between the same two monsters. 1 FER = 0.5% higher birthrate and +0.5% rate increase with successive breeding.

Traits will work pretty much like before. However, leveling up stacking traits will become more difficult: instead of the two monsters having their stacks added together for that trait in their offspring, there will instead be a random chance to have a child with an additional stack based on how many stacks each parent has. If both parents have the same number of stacks and they both give that trait to the child, that chance will be 100%. For instance: If dad has 5 stacks and mom has 5 stacks, and the child inherits from both, the child will have a 100% chance to have 6 stacks. However, if the dad has 5 stacks and the mom has 4 stacks, the child will only have a 50% chance to have 6 stacks, and a 50% chance to have 5 stacks.

Also, there will be more gameplay-oriented traits that will only have an effect on certain monster types: this is in order to further differentiate the monster types.

Client Requests:

The client request system will be overhauled into something very different. Instead of just three faceless clients representing a random set of requirements you will actually get a list of both randomly generated and storyline generated requests that are given by actual NPCs in the game (like Roxie, Lily, The Marquis, etc). You'll be able to get more than three requests, but requests will still be sorted into bronze, silver, and gold based on difficulty and how rewarding they are (storyline quests will be platinum). More difficult requests will have a time limit associated with them, and will go away if you don't complete them within a certain number of days. Completing these requests for the NPCs will increase your affection with them; and in the future will unlock further storyline and romantic options.

Because of the changes to how stats work, stat requests will be much less common. Early in the game, requests will mostly just focus on monster type and level. Later on, there will be more stat and trait requests. I'm also thinking about including appearance requests eventually.

Additionally, you'll occasionally get consumable requests that will ask for a certain number of consumables of a certain quality. These will pay much better than selling them to Kay normally.

Alright, that's a ton of text, I apologize if I forgot anything big or left out any details. I'm still not sure exactly how many of these changes will make it into Friday's update, but the changes to how leveling, stats, and harvesting work will definitely be in. At any rate, I need to get back to that :P.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Progress Dump, Kay's Bottle Catch, and 5.2 Public Release

I just put up the progress dump with a small collection of animations, art, and writing for you guys to enjoy and hopefully tide you over until we can get the pre-beta build done. The progress dump is up on the Patreon and is available for $1+ patrons.

I also put up the Kay's Bottle Catch mini-game on the Patreon for $10+ patrons. It's a goofy little game, but I had fun making it :P. It generates the bottle patterns based on music, and you can use any mp3 you have, so you should try playing a few of your favorite songs. If you get a high enough score in the game you'll unlock progressively more racy images of Kay (presumably left over pictures from her incident on the beach). Fair warning: it may be difficult.

As a tip when playing the game: make sure you use the dash when necessary. If two bottles are falling at the same time on opposite sides of the screen, Kay is actually fast enough to grab them both if she's dashing. But just make sure you don't run out of dash juice!

Also, I've put up the 5.2 alpha build for anyone to play. The 5.2 patch notes are here: