FAQ: How did I arrive at the figures for the stretch goals?

You might’ve noticed that the stretch goals are in tidy $3,000 increments. Rather than being an incredible fluke of the budgeting process, this does mean that they are in fact arbitrary numbers. While the features for each goal will cost less that the $3k increment, I will be spending every dollar that I raise working on the game, frequently on things that I haven’t listed in the crowdfunding pitch.

By under-promising in my goals, I have room to improvise new features and fix unforeseen problems during development. Trying to completely fill the budget with promised features means that I have to plan absolutely everything up front, which will lead to a worse game because I won’t be able to respond to feedback and interesting new ideas.¬†Lair structures are an example of a feature that I didn’t have planned, but emerged as a really good way to solve a couple of different problems. In my planning I’ve padded things by doubling the budget, so if everything goes to plan I’ll be working 50% on the stated goals and 50% on unforeseen things.

With that said, what’s my best guess of how long it’ll really take me to do the “6 player skills, 3 opponent skills” stretch goal? I’m thinking about just posting my budget spreadsheet, but a back-of-the-envelope calculation is way easier to follow: After tax and OffBeatr’s cut, $3000 gross represents about 6-7 weeks of living expenses for me. That’s 42 days. 21 days with 2x padding.

I’ve listed 9 skills in total to design, code, write text for, test and balance. What happens if some of them turn out to be shitty and no fun? Well, I’ll throw them out and write new ones. From prototyping I know I can try out about 2 skill ideas in a day, so let’s say I throw out half and I’m producing one good skill per day on average.

The prototype has extremely repetitive text in the encounters. I only have between 1 and 3 variations on the skill messages. For the real product, I’d like to have at least 10. Let’s say that contracting writing for this costs an equivalent of half a day’s living expenses. Probably less, but I haven’t contracted any writing yet, so it pays to be conservative.

How long will I spend fixing bugs that are due to the new skill, and how long will it take me to balance it against the other skills? This is really hard to know, but I’m going to say half a day per skill.

This all adds up to 2 days per skill, so we have a total of 18 of the 42 days, working on the stated goal rather than miscellaneous stuff. Add 1 rest day per week on average and that’s 21 days.

Release v0.46

Just miscellaneous fixes this time:

  • The Sanctum page will now tell you if replacing a body part will also replace connected body parts. e.g. The option to grow a pair of balls will now mention that it replaces a pussy and lists anything you’ve attached to the pussy. (tentacles, piercings, etc.)
  • On the visit surface page, the difficulty of each NPC is listed instead of just appearing without any explanation.
  • Fixed second difficulty level of NPCs so that it no longer produces apprentices with a zero bonus to research.
  • Fixed formatting of word-wrapped headings.
  • Hopefully Googling for ‘Fleshcult’ should allow you to find the game now. Previously googlebot couldn’t make it past the age warning page, which wouldn’t have helped.

Mutant Minx Meltdown

Recently I played Mutant Minx Meltdown. It’s a pretty entertaining freeware erotic RPG (for Windows, Mac and Linux) aimed at straight men. You explore a locale infested with monstergirls and lust-crazed women, most of whom are illustrated. It hews closely to RPG conventions (random battles, attack/special move/wait combat and so on), and while the combat is fairly perfunctory, at least it doesn’t overstay its welcome.

Too many porn games get bogged down in their own lore, but it doesn’t take itself too seriously, which is a refreshing change. For instance, the Attack button is labelled ‘Shove’ and you can upgrade it to ‘Lightning Shove’. It’s good to know I’m not hurting all those over-friendly nymphos.

Release v0.45

This release brings an entirely new screen: the Building screen. You can add housing and traps to your lair. You now start out with space for 6 minions, and have to build structures to house more than that. Traps thin out the ranks of any intruders in your lair.

Other changes:

  • The mana production of a concubine and beast pair is now limited to 60 per day at maximum. This is a stopgap fix for astronomical mana production in the end-game, until I figure out a classier way to approach the problem.
  • You have a chance to find tomes after you’ve successfully recruited a minion. I had the stupid idea that tomes might make a nice consolation prize (and close the gap between the most and least successful players), but it just means that people who really have the game figured out never get to see any variety because they never lose. So I’ve corrected that.

Bug fixes:

  • Moved a cock enlargement transformation into the default tome so that when beginners¬†recruit a male concubine, and they don’t have any scavenged tomes, there are options that aren’t all feminising.

Release v0.41

Bug fixes:

  • Changing breast size now no longer causes lactation to vanish.
  • Players with multiple save slots now have the option to delete games.
  • Put a note on the infestation tome that it’s incomplete.
  • Hermaphrodite tome no longer offers you genitalia that you already have.

Next release:

  • Lair upgrades.

Release v0.40

This one’s mostly just bug fixes for account-related issues that are causing people grief:

  • Your e-mail address is now case insensitive. Log in with any capitalisation you like, it doesn’t matter. E-mail me (jack@youcanguess.com) if you see any account related weirdness as a result of this.
  • Activation links now work even if you accidentally leave the ‘~’ off the end.
  • Oh, I’ve pushed lair invasions slightly later into the game so people don’t get crushed before they can build up. I’m planning to revise how the invasions actually work later on when things are less hectic.
  • Further server performance tweaks.

Next update:

  • Fix vanishing lactating nipples.
  • Fix tome of hermaphrodites offering you genitalia that you already have.

Many-Eyed Hydra’s fiction

One of the donation rewards in the Fleshcult crowdfunding drive is a selection of eBooks by Many-Eyed Hydra. Applying new twists to the succubus myth is his speciality, so I figure that guys who enjoy Fleshcult are likely to enjoy these too.

The bundle includes:
– The full-length novel: Succubus Summoning 101.
– The short story collection: A Succubus for Halloween.
– And another short story collection: A Succubus for Valentine’s Day.

If you’d like a taste, he’s written lots of freely available short stories here.

It’s on!

I’m really excited to announce that the Fleshcult crowdfunding campaign is open. This is the moment of truth: it’s where I find out how many of you folks want to play the game and how badly. I could elaborate on the prototype a lot, but it all hinges on how long I can afford to work on it full time, so the outcome of this drive determines not just whether it’ll be completed, but also how rich, varied and polished I can make it.

I’m running the campaign on OffBeatr.com. It’s like KickStarter, but porn focused. Every OffBeatr project has to accrue a certain number of votes before it can collect pledged donations (the clock doesn’t start ticking until voting ends). So, if you’d like to help, go vote!