This is the part where I’d like to announce a new release, but instead I’m announcing that I’ve spent the last 3 weeks wrecked by viral tonsillitis. Woo! I hate to perpetuate the 4chan stereotype that adult game authors are ne’er-do-wells and flakes, but I haven’t found a way to project manage away being a one man project that’s one man down.
I did get one thing done during my convalescence. I started on paper prototyping Fleshcult 2’s lair mechanics. My idea is that instead of assigning beasts and concubines into pairs, you’d assign minions into the lair’s various rooms: mana extraction rooms, tease rooms, recreation rooms, transformation labs, and the like. This would be accompanied by text snippets with concise descriptions of any sexy situations there.
Each minion has stats for lust, health, and homesickness/happiness, and each ‘slot’ in the rooms has rules for how these get modified. For example, if you’ve got a concubine and a beast in a mana extraction room, you might drop an apprentice into the room’s Voyeur slot to scrub off their accumulated lust, so their lust doesn’t max out and damage their happiness.
How did it play? Well, there’s definitely strategy to it. Maybe too much – I want to leave enough player attention spare so that I can deliver sexy text and images without the player being overwhelmed by numbers. I think next time I’ll go for two stats per minion because I’m not sure that the two different welfare stats are paying their way. Also, I found I was shuffling everybody every turn, which is way more micro than I’m aiming for. I think I can fix that just by increasing the stat capacities so that everything happens more gradually.
Putting some strategy in is good so long as it does not require constant maintenance. You can also go with an approach that doesn’t require any maintenance but instead produces only positive results. That way, it lets the player build to their fantasies and number crunching players can build towards efficiency without it being tedious for anyone involved.
Having strategy in the game is definitely good, look how successful Free Cities has been. But yeah, it shouldn’t need swapping things around every turn. At least not unless you can get an upgrade that automates the process. To spare player attention, you should be able to run the strategy satisfactorily in the background, but it’s fine (good, in fact) if the brain is engaged when setting it up.
I think it’s fine to have both health and the homesickness/happiness axis (or, perhaps, homesickness/loyalty?), though, as long as they function differently. The latter should have possibility to change slightly pretty much every turn, but health, I think, should mostly be pretty high and reduced by events and attacks – something like HP rather than something to avoid accidentally killing your slaves.
What do you suppose is a reasonable timeframe to raise enough money for restarting development?
Right now things are progressing extremely slowly. That’s partially my fault: I could be doing a lot more to promote it, but that would be better received if I had new content to show people, so I’m planning to start promotion after releasing the infestation tome.
As for the infestation tome, it’s taking a while because I’ve been very busy with my day job. Next week, I should have a clearer idea of what my availability is going to be for the rest of the year. I’ll write a post about it then.
As long as we have time to see the problem before we can begin a downward spiral I’m fine with strategy.