Shutting down the Patreon

After spending the last 5 months working a contract gig, I’m taking stock of the Patreon to fund Fleshcult 2. It hasn’t exactly set the world on fire. As you might recall, I was only going to start payments after reaching a pledge total of $1500. Thanks to 45 stalwart fans, we managed $313, but it looks like it’ll plateau far short of $1500. Thanks again to everybody for getting me this far.

I’m of the opinion that failure to reach a funding threshold isn’t the worst thing that can happen in crowdfunding. In that case, you learn a bunch of things and walk away unscathed. The real worst case is low-balling the threshold, just barely getting funded, and then trying to meet a bunch of obligations without enough money. So no, I’m not going to reduce the threshold and try again.

What Now?

Get a haircut and get a real jooo-ooob*, I guess. Ridiculously, I still don’t have the infestation tome finished, which I’m sure didn’t help matters. I’ll continue to twiddle with that in my spare time. I also still want to do that client-side version of Fleshcult, but neither of these efforts have a timeline.

I doubt I’m completely finished with adult games, but I don’t know if I’d make another attempt without assembling a team first. At the least, a writer or artist as a business partner. Game programmers like myself often overestimate our ability to make an adult game solo, hand waving away the “content” needed. But nobody ever jacked off to a game mechanic, so it’s the art and writing that’s the bulk of the work.


* If you’re looking for a programmer for your adult game and you’ve got a budget to spend, I’d be interested to hear about it at jack@thegamename.com.

I have experience in C#, C++, Python, Java, HTML, CSS and have shipped games using Unity to Steam and to the web, as well as iOS/Android games using a custom engine.

Contract Work

This week a lucrative piece of contract work landed in my lap. Seeing as the Patreon is a ways off funding a full restart of Fleshcult development, I took the gig. The client’s in an awful rush and it has overtime written all over it. Realistically I don’t think I’ll be able to restart progress on the game until mid-November at least, possibly longer depending on how long it’ll take me to decompress from the crunch and tidy up dribs and drabs.

I’m sorry I didn’t manage to get the infestation tome out before I got interrupted. I’ve been accumulating writing for it, but my initial game mechanic ideas for the verbs turned out really unfun, so it’s just not ready.

If you’re a patron, don’t panic! No releases, no charge, as always.

What’s the best Patreon reward?

It’s exclusive game content or backer builds, obviously! But apart from that:

Which patreon rewards would you be most interested in?

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Easy Mode

A quick way to get a look at new content. All tomes and locations unlocked by default, reduced in-game prices, and if you fail to recruit a minion, you can undo your last turn.

Hard Mode

A retune for roguelike replayability. More intense invasions, and a bad ending scene if you lose. Designed to be shorter and much tougher.

Cheat Menu

Just go hog wild: insta-recruit minions, give your self more mana, complete minion transformations immediately, etc.

Backer Discord

I hear people like these? I’m probably not going to turn voice on for you though, no offense. 🙂

What’s new with me

I have a publishing deal to make a G-rated game! I’ve alluded to this before in the forums, but now it’s all signed. I can’t say what it is, because I like to keep my fetish games persona separate from my G-rated persona. (It’s not that I’m ashamed or think Fleshcult would cost me work, it’s that sex games are so lurid and attention-grabbing that I worry that any media coverage I get for a non-sex game would typecast me as that sex games guy)

It’ll keep me busy throughout 2015 and 2016. If Fleshcult breaks I’ll make time to fix it, but I won’t have any time to make any additions to it. So lemmie apologise to anyone who expected that Fleshcult would be getting updates in the near future. Thanks to the folks who have used the Payp*l donation link in the game, it’s really helped cover hosting expenses.

December Project Balance Update

I’ve almost exhausted the project budget ($700ish remaining), but I’ve nearly fulfilled my crowdfunding promises. Just 3 more characters and 7 more random events to go, and I have half of those under way already. I plan to do these in the next two releases over the coming week.

After that, I’ll be building in ad banners (shown to free users only) so that the game pays for its running costs. As I’ve mentioned in an earlier post, I can’t use Gumroad any more because of policy changes. Once I have the ads in place (and have tweaked the server a bit), I’ll finally get rid of the 30 turn limit on free users and release v1.0. Fingers crossed I can get this done before I take a week off for Christmas. Otherwise it’ll happen in the new year.

After that, I’ll be working on new projects and Fleshcult will be on the back burner for a while. Massive thanks to everybody who’s helped me get this far. You’re the best.

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Gumroad’s Porn Crackdown

EDIT: Gumroad gave me a reprieve. They’ll continue processing payments until the end of the month, so I’m re-enabling credit card payments.

So I got my ‘Betrayed by a Payment Service’ merit badge as a pornographer today. Sometime within the last few weeks Gumroad altered their terms of service to prohibit ‘Adult Content’ and they’re warning me that they’re going to suspend my account in the “next few days”. That was my first notice of their change in policy!

It’s a damn shame; Gumroad was really nice to deal with and I hope someday they move to business partners that aren’t such prudes. In the mean time I’ll be accepting payments via Payp*l, which of course is a precarious situation in itself. I guess I’m lucky that I got hit with this when the project was starting to wind down anyway, but it’ll mean I’ll have to look for a new payment service if I do Fleshcult DLC someday.

If you know anyone else doing adult work via Gumroad, quietly warn them to start looking for alternatives because they’re not going to get enough advance notice. Do it via e-mail, don’t tell them anywhere that might get indexed by a search engine, in case it leads Gumroad to them.

The actual e-mail follows, if you’re interested: Continue reading

November Project Balance Update

Thanks to everybody who donated this month. I’ll have a new release tomorrow or so that adds a bit more flexibility to the body part slot system and enables you to respec to transformations/equipment that you already own without spending mana. Also, I’m nearly finished with the art. Just need to settle on a good icon.

Here’s what I still need to do during v0.9x:
– 15 more random events.
– 4 more mortal characters. (1 of which is designed by a patron)
– 1 more mortal character skill.

I’m fairly sure that’s everything remaining that I promised in the Offbeatr. Let me know if I’ve missed something. The funds are dwindling and it looks like I’ll run out of budget in early/mid December, so I’m triaging a lot of stuff that I wanted to do in order to focus on that list. For example, I always intended to add angels back into the game after redesigning how those encounters work, but that’s looking unlikely.

Around v0.95 I’ll have the above items finished but I’ll need a couple more releases to prepare for v1.0 and open access (optimisation, adding ad banners, etc.). After v1.0 I’ll be working on other projects for a while. I’ll keep publishing these project balance updates up until v1.0, but after that it looks like I’ll have to stop because some ad networks have weird NDAs to prevent you from telling others how much (or more likely how little) they’re paying you.

Numbers below:

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October Project Balance Update

As you might have noticed, I’ve brought on a new artist, so this month has seen a bump in expenditure. Donations are rolling in steadily, but not at the rate I’m spending them. I’m shooting for a 1.0 shortly before I take a Christmas break, and the remaining balance is sufficient to do that.

I should have another release out very soon. It’ll fix the lair screens for narrow displays and fix a bunch of bugs. After that, all the big redesigns in the mobile UI should be done, with only a lot of little details remaining.

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September project balance update

Income was a bit lower this month. I neglected to update the projected end date mentioned in the donate screen (it still said ‘Late August’), so that probably didn’t help!

This month I’m working on all the UI work that’s accumulated to try and make sure the game is a polished experience whatever you’re playing it on. There’s also a handful of extra settings that I promised over in the forums (like minion renaming and pronoun toggles etc.) that I need to implement.

I still don’t have a new illustrator/colourist lined up, but I’m continuing to make inquiries.

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August project account balance

Donations keep on rolling in, so thanks again for your generosity. The funds remaining to complete the project have decreased slightly to $5.1k remaining, but it doesn’t pose a threat to reaching v1.0.

I had hoped to have moved on to the v0.80 series by now, which is when I’ll revisit the UI and mobile, but progress has been slow. I haven’t yet lined up a colourist with the chops to complete the art either. At least I’m building up a good stock of mortal characters: 12 in total. I promised 18 in the OffBeatr campaign, so there’s more work to do in that area, of course. (If you ordered a custom character, please e-mail me at jack@fleshcult.com. I’ve been trying to get in touch with you guys! Hopefully I haven’t been spam filtered)

Lately I’ve been experimenting with making the game compose sex scene paragraphs in a more coherent order. I’ve also been researching how to test on a variety on Android configurations without buying a whole device lab. DeviceAnywhere looks promising, but it’s laggy as shit so other ideas are welcome. (And yes, I’ve ordered actual hardware too so that I don’t miss ergonomic problems)

Details below the fold:

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