It’s A-Maid-Zing What Good Writing Can Do

So earlier this month, I was dismayed to find that after all this time, some people still treat Violet and Lilac as being basically interchangeable.

I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. Since they were first created very early in the development of Harem Collector, I haven’t added very much new content for the twin maids, other than keeping them updated with group events such as the Manor Invasion and the various rank-up parties.

I had always imagined them to be two very different characters. Violet is the more quiet, responsible, and refined of the two, who takes her duties as a maid seriously. Lilac is more energetic and outgoing, and while she doesn’t skimp on her duties, she doesn’t live for them in the same way Violet does. I even picked out their hairstyles based on this- Violet has a sensible-yet-elegant shoulder-length haircut, while Lilac just pulls her hair back into a ponytail and is off for the day.

But…. if this isn’t getting communicated to players properly, that’s on me. So while we’re technically meandering through the last of Larelle’s hentai content, while also racing for the end of the Demon Cult plotline… I took some time and wrote additional dialogue for Larelle and Violet, as well as a pair of new (text-only, for now) sex scenes that I feel show off different parts of their personalities.

Hopefully this will help make our twin maids a little stronger for Iron Waifu this year! I’ll try to make time to fatten up their content a little more before the release rolls around, but we’re getting down to the wire soon and the newest quest takes precedence, of course.

Only two more weeks until the backer release! Hope to see you then!

Dungeon Symbiosis

Note: This was suppose to be published last week, but I was laid low by a bad case of the flu. Please enjoy!

So, it’s the last Wednesday of February, which means that it’s our last chance to do our monthly I Live To Serve, Dungeon King!! blog post. These are probably going to bounce around a fair bit, but we’ll try our best to do one each month, just don’t expect them to be all on the second Wednesday or something.

So, last time, I introduced you to the basic ideas and concepts behind ILTSDK, and many of you correctly guessed one of the games which provided the primary influence for our new project- the 1997 PC strategy game Dungeon Keeper. Now, in Dungeon Keeper your minions and monsters live to get paid, and mining for gold and using casinos to cheat your monsters’ pay back is part of the core gameplay. In ILTSDK, the scenario is just a bit different….

Monsters need mana to live, and the primary way that they gain that mana is by absorbing it from human souls at the moment the soul is released from the body (ie, death). In ages past, monsters simply attacked and slaughtered humans, but humans eventually developed castles and wards and other kinds of fortifications to keep monsters out. As a result, monsters began creating their own fortresses, and gathered treasure, occult secrets, and kidnapped humans in order to lure more humans into the monster’s clutches. This is, in essence, what a dungeon is- a place where monsters conspire to lure humans so they can kill them for their sweet, sweet mana

To that end, most monsters (at least, the ones you meet in ILTSDK) are willing to work for free provided their need for mana is met.
That is your primary challenge as a Dungeon King- ensuring that your dungeon has a steady stream of adventurers to “feed” your monsters with, and good enough defenses to take down those adventurers before they kill all your minions and rob you blind.

How to get adventurers, though? Word of your dungeon isn’t going to travel on it’s own, so it’s important to stock enough potential rewards for plundering your dungeon in order to attract new adventurers, and that means having a good supply of treasure, beautiful maidens, and other potential lures. And often, adventurers themselves will be the prime source of much of this, bringing their own money (we all know a good murder hobo doesn’t use a bank or have a home to keep their cash), magic items, and occasional beautiful virgin in with them.

So there is the basic lifecycle of the dungeon. You gather treasure and such to lure adventurers, kill the adventurers, and then keep their stuff to lure more adventurers

Of course, it’s never really that easy… but that will have to be the topic of a future look into the world of ILTSDK.

So, General Update

Wow, what a month. I’m not going to lie, a lot of crap went down in my person life so far this past month. Yet, with the help of the team and a little bit of hard work and focus, not only did the public release go down alright, we’re making great progress on the next update.

One quest is already largely in the can (saying that now in case I’ve forgotten something), a new harem girl is on the way, and I have a good start on Violet and Lilac’s chat menus. Not entirely sure yet what specifically we’re going to be working on for the next four weeks, but we’ve tossed around a few ideas, including adding some random scenes as text-only and a few other things.

I am behind on the website redesign, which I am not happy about, but I do not regret prioritizing game development over that. Web design is something I’m sort of learning as I go (the current version of the website was designed by a previous staff member), so please excuse the final product if it looks very derivative of a template. I’m still hoping to have it ready for spring though.

Sorry that this is not much of an update, I just wanted to give a general idea of where Harem Collector is at for the next update. Please return next week as we’ll be doing the second monthly I Live To Serve, Dungeon King!! update. Until then, please continue enjoying the new content!

Harem Collector v0.38 Public Release!

Download it here: http://www.badkittygames.net/games/hc/

Changes in this version:
-A new quest in the Demon Cult questline, accessible by searching the Northmarket guild for clues after Dude, Where’s My Sword?
-A new quest in the Kellos Invasion questline, given by the man himself, Barst the Lion!
-A collection sidequest, given by a certain pair of merchants found wandering about the Middle Kingdom!
-New art for Larelle’s “A Taste of Death” sex scene!
-New art assets from Kumiho, including a new placeable piece of furniture available at the Tin Dog Tavern!
-Two new text-only sex scenes!   
-A lot of new dialogue for Larelle’s “Chat” menu! Almost everything is in there, so check it out!

Art Transparency

So, things are going to be weird with regard to new art assets for the next few months, and I think you all are owed an explanation as to why and what we’re doing about the situation. The TL;DR, if you’re not interested in my long-winded loquaciousness, is that SacB0y is severely behind on art, so while he catches up this month we’re taken on an additional artist to keep up momentum. There are various delays associated with this.

So, due to various reasons, SacB0y’s productivity has been severely affected since about December. If you’ve been paying very close attention to work on the game, you may have noticed. He needs time to get caught up and finish the last of the solo artwork for Larelle, especially considering that it’s all the sex on demand and dungeon scene stuff, which means that none of the images are variations on each other, which tends to make the process quite a bit faster.

While SacB0y is getting caught up on that stuff, I’m searching for an artist to hire in the meantime, to make up for the lost productivity. This artist (whoever they are, I haven’t made a final decision yet) will be handling the first scene of the new harem girl coming out in v0.39. You might recall that I was extremely reluctant to bring on additional artists, but more and more I’m feeling that having a bunch of different art styles in the CGs is acceptable losses at this point.

So the rough plan right now is that this February, SacB0y finishes the Larelle artwork, while guest-artist-chan introduces the new character. Next month, if SacB0y is back on track, we do the accelerated Shally artwork and get started on Therese. Unfortunately, “accelerated” at this point means in the sense of “we’re getting thirteen months of work this year” rather than a significant increase in speed, but I’ve spoken to the guy who donated for that and he’s cool with it and even offered to accelerate EVEN MORE once we’re in a better position, so may we’ll get the Alina x Therese scene even earlier, who knows?

Anyway, that’s it for now. If you are an artist or you know an artist and would like to apply, please feel free to DM me on Patreon, Discord, Twitter, whatevs. But otherwise, I’m getting back to work. Have a great week!

A word from Conash

Hey everyone, hope everyone’s been doing well! It’s been awhile since my last blog post so I’ll just talk a bit about a few things on my mind.

First of all, why don’t we talk about enemy balance a bit. I’ve noticed a few times that players have talked about how the later levels of HC are difficult, though usually I wasn’t too sure how to take that since I have seen a comparable, though fewer, comments about some of the earlier levels in the game as well, leaving me without a strong understanding on how the enemies that I had been putting together the stats and AI compared to say the ones that NM put together when you consider that the player is supposed to be having an increase in stats and resources in general as the game progresses, but during the recent testing release it became very apparent as both me and NoMoshing picked out the original stats for the enemies for the two quests that we’ll be adding, both quests share the same recommended level, and when we got initial feedback from testers, it seemed that we had both missed that recommended level mark but in opposite directions. I cut down the stats on my enemies far more than I boosted NoMoshing’s, but it did help highlight that I do need to work on rethinking my approach for calculating how to determine the stats for enemies going forward, hopefully I’ll be able to work on having enemies better keep place with a player who’s at level going forward, and I will welcome feedback in regards to the difficulty on quests since I definitely lean a lot more on the ‘difficulty’ side of things (Though when it comes to Super-bosses, once tester’s have given me the okay that it’s possible I am going to be very stubborn, Super-bosses are the one place that I can ramp up the difficulty as much as I want without worrying about breaking the game. One tip for those struggling with the newest super-boss, Wiki-tan is probably the worst match-up against him and runs a risk of making him downright impossible if she’s in your active team, she can be useful for him, but just be warned that depending on what you’ve done with her she can make the fight impossible for you).

Now let’s talk about code some shall we? NoMoshing has talked to me about adding in a new little script that would run at the end of battles, it’ll take a bit of finagling but I’m hoping to have it ready for the 0.39 release and it should help add a bit more fun to some of the general ‘crawl’ that tends to take place in dungeons, so look forward to it! I promise to do my best to not break the game… This time… Speaking of breaking the game, for those of you who’ve run into various furniture or other events teleporting around in either your Eastfort condo or your Westcastle manor, I have fixed the problems and you won’t need to mess with save files or anything. It’s an issue with the events of the game, so testers and the rest of you with access that event stuff (you know who you are) please keep in mind that completely deleting events can result in this little visual bug. Now, the final script thing that I want to talk about is in regards to AoE attacks from enemies, as I’m sure many of you know enemy tanks can take hits from your AoEs but you can’t have your tanks do the same from enemy AoEs, which can often lead to AoEs making tanks a lot less useful as the most important attacks to block you have no effective means of dealing with. Well I’ve got a few ideas (and even some formulas that I’m happy with) that I think will go a long way to help give players tools to help deal with enemy AoEs without going too far. I’ve still got a lot of stuff to test and look into in regards to this so I don’t want to be making promises that I can’t keep, but I will say that I’ve heard the complaints about how AoEs don’t have an effective counter-strategy if you would, and I am looking into ways to help expand the battle system to add in some options there.

Finally, there’s one more thing I want to talk about though it’s a bit more personal. I don’t know if any of you have noticed but I haven’t exactly been as active with the blog posts, scripting, or a few other things over the past year, and I just feel that I owe a bit of an explanation for that. Lately in my life there’s been a few more things vying for my time and energy, but more importantly a lot of that’s been piling up some anxiety issues with me. I’ve worked out various ways to help keep it a lot more manageable but I’d be lying if I said it was fully under control. It gets a bit personal and goes against a lot of what I believe in to really delve too into it, so I’ll just leave it at emotions are irrational and sorry that I wasn’t really able to bring my A game for 2018, which I am hoping to change. I do intend to stick with HC though and plan to pay back the support that NoMoshing has given me so feel free to take that as you will. If you excuse me, I’ve got more code to write.

*makes farting noises with his cheeks*

As much as I like writing, there are some things that are very difficult to get across. I can’t even begin to imagine the number of times I’ve wanted to put emphasis on something, or make a play on words, and haven’t been able to effectively do so because of the nature of text. I think my skill at writing has increased over time- I encounter these problems less and less, I think- but it still crops up. It’s annoying.

That’s part of why the chat system has not been a priority. It takes a really long time to write so much dialogue. Trying to find something insightful or at least funny to say about this or that character is pretty hard. And I can only call the Hero a jerk so much before it becomes old.

But now, I’m just complaining. I had intended this blog to be about my writing process, since I’m going to be grinding away at chat menu stuff while the testers have their way with the new content.

Now that I think of it, though, I just find writing characters to be intuitive. Maybe it’s all the roleplaying I do- I have a regular table I go to every Thursday, where we generally have two campaigns that switch every week. So even if I happen to be running a campaign (like right now) I still get in a bit of roleplaying every other week.

I guess that’s not really helpful, now, is it? Writing sure is tough.

The backer release is in one week, and it’s going to have writing in it! And some other stuff, too! Two characters from long ago return, and you get to fuck at least one of them in the ass! It’ll be great!

Edit: I realize I bitched about writing last week too but the lead-in to a backer release is usually pretty slow, since I can’t start working on anything new, so it was either this or talk about my figma or video game collection.

v0.38 progress

Progress on Harem Collector has been pretty good this month. The next quest is all but finished, with only enemy behaviour and some other small things to deal with before the backer release. I’m working on a side quest currently, one that will fulfill one of the character cameo backer rewards from back when I used to offer those as a Patreon reward. So, if you purchased one of those benefits, back in the day, it hasn’t been forgotten, it’s just taking time.

I haven’t been very happy with my writing lately, for some reason. Those of you watching the weekdays streaming would have noticed how much I struggled with the new sex scene the last couple of days. I can’t really put my finger on why, if I’m just being neurotic or if there’s actually something bad about how I’m writing lately. Hopefully players of Harem Collector will be satisfied- you’re the people whose opinions really matter, after all.

Only two more weeks until the backer release, which is always exciting. I’ll try to cram in as much new content as possible, but right now there’s two new quests, a new sidequest, and some new places to explore. I’m going to try to update the Awiiabu collection sidequest and the Dark Seed sidequest as well, to get new rewards in for those.

Not any huge new insights this week, I guess, just a general update on how the new release is going. All the same, I hope you appreciate this little update, and are looking forward to the update at the end of the month!

Introducing “I Live To Serve, Dungeon King!!”

Our next project here at Bad Kitty Games is a little something called “I Live To Serve, Dungeon King!!” I’ve seen a lot of speculation on what kind of game it is going to be, so today I’ll just give you the basics. It’s going to be a very different project from Harem Collector, but will share enough in common that I think fans of Harem Collector will be able to connect with the new gameplay just fine.

The protagonist of our story is a Dungeon King, a rare breed of human who possesses the ability to mix their essence with that of a monster, and thus create a “minion”. These minions are not goofy yellow things in coveralls that look like the container inside a Kinder Surprise, but rather are a weaker version of the original monster. For example, a Dungeon King would be able to mix essences with a Succubus to produce an imp, or mix essences with a Vampire to produce vampire bats. As these minions lack sentience and are infinitely replaceable, they make up the majority of monsters within a dungeon. Thus why a Dungeon King is called a Dungeon King, they hang out in the depths of a dungeon, helping the local monsters fill it with random encounter fodder, and in exchange the monsters treat their Dungeon King with respect and reverence, caring for their needs.

ILTSDK is a dungeon building strategy and simulation game at it’s core. You will need to guide the monsters under your control, excavating new dungeon rooms, building traps, concealing secret doors, gathering treasure and coordinating your dungeon’s defenses. Eventually, a band of adventurers will be lured into your meticulously planned defenses, attempting to fight their way to their objective and escape with their lives. Defeat them, and your dungeon survives for another day. Fail, and they will make off with your precious stuff and leave your minions in tatters… but they’ll also spread the tale of how easy your dungeon was to defeat, and maybe the next band of adventurers to wind up at your door won’t quite be so cautious, well-prepared or skilled.

The idea of monster ecology is central to the gameplay of ILTSDK. The monsters within your employ require Mana in order to live. Unlike humans, however, they don’t simply absorb Mana just by existing. Instead, they require humans to come to their dungeon, bringing Mana with them. So you must collect treasure, kidnap maidens and earn fame in order to lure adventurers into your dungeon so that your monsters can survive on the Mana generated. Thus the game is a careful balancing act- too few adventurers and your followers will starve, too many and they will be overwhelmed and your resources exhausted. You also have to keep an eye on your dungeon’s reputation as well, as having a reputation for being a difficult dungeon will lure stronger and more capable adventurers, while having a reputation for being easy will bring adventurers who simply don’t have the treasure or Mana necessary for you to keep your head above water.

The other core element of the game is adventurer psychology. Adventurers have different goals and needs. A thief is in it for the treasure, obviously, but a wizard is far more interested in magical secrets and items, while a knight would prefer to chivalrously free captured maidens. You can use these different goals in order in manipulate that party, drawing them into ambushes or traps as they seek to satisfy their needs. But even better… if you manage to damage the party’s morale enough, with spells, traps and monster encounters, they will fall victim to infighting and fear. Then, when they find themselves at an intersection and need to decide which party member’s needs to fill, they may fail to maintain cohesion, and split the party to pursue separate goals. And as we all know, the worst thing adventurers can do is split the party….

Well, that’s all for this month’s ILTSDK preview. Hopefully now you have a better idea of what kind of game it will be, and what to expect going forward! Thank you all for listening, and I hope to see some of you at today’s devstream!

Hello, 2019!

So it’s the start of a new year, and everyone is hopeful and making resolutions, setting goals for themselves to achieve before 2020. Here at Bad Kitty Games, we’re also looking at 2019 with excitement, because there are a number of big changes coming our way.

First of all, Harem Collector.

Looking back, 2018 was a big year for Harem Collector. We completed ten new quests, which account for more than 20% of the quests currently in the game. We added two new harem girls, the fallen noble Natya and the clockwork robot Pandora. We also added a whopping sixty-seven new 2D CG images, including all the solo scenes for Yamamaya and Orange Kid. That might seem a little slow, but keep in mind that includes doing a bunch of minor sex scene images and the introduction scenes for Natya and Pandora.

We’re going to continue to push on new quests, and have solid plans to end the Demon Cult arc by summer. Our hope is also to end another arc (probably Kellos Invasion, for various reasons) by the end of the year, but obviously we have to remain flexible and might have to adapt as we go. We’d also like to get 3-4 new harem girls added to the harem before the end of the year- the last two shopgirls, and the reward girls for finishing Demon Cult and whatever other questline.

We will continue barrelling along with the new 2D CG, and, in addition to Larelle (who is currently in progress) and Therese (who is coming up), we will be doing a full set of CGs for the next Iron Waifu contestant and another character or two by years’ end.

We’ve also finally formally announced our next project, I Live To Serve, Dungeon King!!

That is currently in pre-production. Nekochan will be doing character designs, NoMoshing and Conash will be getting the engine and mechanics figured out, and plans will be put in place for a more efficient and organized development.

We will be doing updates every month, starting next week, with updates on the development of ILTSDK. So, if you’re kind of confused right now about what ILTSDK, we’ll be discussing the project in much more detail next Wednesday.

So, all in all, we’re feeling really good about the upcoming year and challenges, and we hope to continue to deliver awesome hentai goodness to you in 2019 and beyond! Have a great new year!

Following the Development of Harem Collector