So finally I found out why Fleshcult’s account confirmation e-mails were getting delayed or eaten by spam filters.
I checked up on the forum after not looking at it for a while and the account table had hundreds and hundreds of inactive accounts that had been made, but not activated via e-mail. All the profiles had spam links in their bios. Seems like somebody sucks at writing spambots and assumed either they’d be listed in a user directory or would be able to post before e-mail confirmation.
This would all be fine if the spammers used their own e-mails, but instead they’re using real people’s e-mails scraped from the web. People who have never heard of Fleshcult and understandably mark a forum account confirmation e-mail as spam. So that’s been tanking my reputation with spam filters.
The forum is basically disused at this point, so I’ll put a static copy up in its place as an archive. At the moment it’s a 404 but I’ll be tackling that shortly. Edit: Done.
Secondly I’m no longer making people register a user account in Fleshcult itself after day 10. Just don’t come crying to me if you’re playing unregistered and Private Browsing eats the cookie that has your game progress in it. 🙂
Mandrill, my former e-mail provider, discontinued the service I was using and I botched switching over to a new service. Between 25 and 27 February any attempts by the game or the forums to send e-mails resulted in an Internal Server Error. I didn’t notice because I botched the error monitoring too. I fixed the game yesterday and the forums just now.
If you see any more problems, report them to email@example.com
Sorry about that. 🙁
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.
This one’s just a maintenance update. (No, I haven’t restarted development. Sorry for getting your hopes up RSS readers!)
- Installed some library updates. This has changed the cookie format, which means you’ll have to log in again. If you didn’t make a login at all, then I’m afraid your current game will be inaccessible. This kind of thing is why I have the 10 turn limit on playing without an account.
- Swapped out an under performing ad network.
- Tweaked some strangely worded passages.
This one’s just a wee release with a couple of fixes and ad improvements. Meanwhile, the prototyping of new game ideas continues…
- Filled in missing body part descriptions for tattoos and vaginal/anal training.
- Players can now revert back to demon wings.
- Ad tweaks.
I’ve been splitting my time between trying to get ads to the point where they pay for the server, and messing around prototyping new game ideas. If one of the R-rated ideas looks promising, I’ll be sure to post it here, but no joy yet. Anyway, Fleshcult:
- As an experiment, the unlimited characters / no ads upgrade is currently pay what you want, with a minimum of $2.
- You can set whether you prefer to see ads with men or women. You can do this at the start of the game, or by going into the character options in the Sanctum screen.
- You can now alter your character’s sexuality options part way through the game from the character options in the Sanctum screen.
- Ad tweaks.
- Fixed minion mergers so that they always result in a multiplier boost.
- Fixed bug where if you could make a certain plot related merge, it’d glitch out if you tried a different one.
- Fixed Internal Server Error when getting the merchant’s loan repaid.
- Fixed ads showing on the NSFW warning page, making it rather pointless!
Xbox Live Indie Games was notorious for a best-seller chart that was dominated by ‘massage’ apps. These just ran the rumble continuously at a selectable power. From this I infer that someone, somewhere, was managing to get themselves off using vibrations from a 360 controller*.
Vibration seems like a promising addition to a fetish game. Not that I’ll be adding it to Fleshcult in the foreseeable future: there’s no web API for force feedback. But still, I started looking into what I could achieve with a native app.
It’s the new year and I’ve been reflecting on the past, so here’s a post on how Fleshcult came to be:
Before Fleshcult I had a history of starting abortive fetish games. I resented them because there was a G-rated hobby project that I was trying to focus on during my spare time, and these side projects weren’t helping. Around about 2010, I read how Dwarf Fortress and other indie successes started out as side projects that took on a life of their own, so I decided that I was going to trust my gut, and go wherever my inclinations led me instead of trying to force myself to write something respectable.
- The 30 turn limit for free players has been removed.
- Fix for a badly timed random event that could cause a location to start off empty.
- Fixed some incorrect pronouns in titty fuck descriptions.
Please let me know if you’re a paying user and you see an ad while you’re logged in. That shouldn’t happen; they’re for free players only.
- I intend for the ads to reflect the sexuality preferences you choose at the beginning of the game, in order not to gross people out. It doesn’t work very well at the moment because one of the networks I’m using has very little that’s not aimed at straight males. And straight women don’t even get a category on this network!* I guess I’ll need to find some speciality ad networks to fill in the gaps.
* The first person in the comments to say “Women don’t watch porn,” will get crushed under the weight of a hundred thousand porn tumblrs and pieces of James Deen merchandise.
This release brings a new event and a new character, for a total of 18 characters and 20 random events.
- Added a new character to Old Town: the bodybuilder.
- In previous releases you could discard a tome if it offered options that grossed you out. I’ve replaced this with the ability to Hide a tome instead. It’s reversible and also it allows completionists to collect all the tomes even if they find some distasteful.
- There’s a new event that tips off players that they have collected all the tomes.
- Fixed a rare bug that was causing errors going into a new turn.
- Fixed a bunch of problems that were messing up the difficulty curve: (Thanks to Wyrd for tipping me off)
- The exhausted minion event was getting wedged and re-triggering over and over in certain circumstances.
- Losing the initial invasion caused it to re-trigger without a delay.
- Put a limit on the number of concubines that can be kidnapped in an invasion. Penalising players that are doing badly tends to cause a feedback loop.
- Minion merges now take longer. Blowing through them once per turn just feels really anticlimactic.
- Renamed the Tome of Hermaphrodites to the Tome of Genital Swapping so that it’s slightly more accurate. Not entirely happy with the new name – it’s not very magical-sounding. Open to suggestions.
The next release will introduce ads, but on the other hand, unlimited turns for everybody! It’ll be v0.96, v1.0 will have to wait until the new year.