Bam!

Hit the depression wall pretty hard this week, so please adjust your expectations for the release accordingly. I hate doing this sort of thing, I feel like a fucking cartoon character every time I have to do it.

In exchange for this lackluster blog post, I invite you to enjoy this preview CG from the new update.

Finally, A Break

Whew. For once, there’s not a lot to write about. No drama, no problems, also not a lot of exciting new stuff to talk about. Alina’s solo H-scenes are almost done, which is pretty exciting- looking forward to doing new characters.
One thing I’m excited about for next month is doing the Silvayuco art. You see, we currently have it in the budget to do six images or face sets a month. Silvayuco is going to need four, maybe five images, so I have a little bit of wiggle room for fitting in other things. I could get a head start on doing some of Yamamaya’s single-image scenes (the vacation might do nicely), or I could get out some NPC face sets. The magic school students in particular stick out like a sore thumb.
I know this month we’re already soliciting opinions in the poll of the month, but I wouldn’t mind hearing from you guys in the comments or the blog post thread about what you’d like to seem happen in December!
Until then, see you later!

Conash Leveled up! Time to start multi-classing!

Hey everyone, today is November 1st which means that I’ve been officially part of the BKG staff for a year now. So, I thought I’d take this opportunity to look back at this past year and stroke my ego to full satisfaction go over some of the things the big changes to the game in that time! (And yes, the barrel for blog post topics about HC has been running dry lately so nyah!)

From my end of things, probably best to start off would be the investment system changes since that was my first project once on staff. Oh BOY was that a mess, not only have I gotten a few of the features it was supposed to have wrong a few times over, but I’m honestly embarrassed with how I stored the data there…. As I once described it to someone, I basically had 3 sets of little note cards, red blue and yellow, and they were all numbered and supposed to stay with the other ones of their number  at all times, the smart thing to do would be to glue/tape/staple them all together and put these big 3-notecard big pages into one binder for nice clean organization and switch the pages as needed, but back then this gave me a lot of trouble so what I did was put each color note-card into it’s own binder and gave the computer specific instructions to re-organize them all in the same way…. Every time I think about it I’m always afraid someone will report a screenshot of two investments that got some of their data mixed up, even though I know that’s ridiculously unlikely. Most of my other projects don’t really have quite as big stories about them, the various menu changes were pretty big projects that expanded long stretches of time, the Line of Sight add-on that I made is one that I’m particularly proud of, I’m happy with how achievements are working but I do have plans to improve them, the Encyclopedia has been pretty popular though it’s only roughly 1/4th done, the furniture system I just finished was this really big mad-rush to get finished that happened mostly in the discord, oh I guess there is one other thing. When the save system got changed I added in the auto-save feature which has been very helpful to people, there’s been some discussion at one point whether it’d be better for the autosave feature to happen before dungeons/similar events or at the start of every in-game day… For now we’ll be keeping it towards the end of the day to avoid players having to re-gift after an auto-save but with the upcoming happiness system change that will hopefully not be an issue going forward, but I would be interested in hearing thoughts that other people have (and note: We CANNOT do both, to make it work at the ‘end’ of the day as we currently do we have to force the game to dump event sequencing which would break the game if that happened during a start of the day auto-save).

On top of that I’ve also made great strides to reducing the number of bugs in the game, but bug-fixing is an ever going effort so we’ll see where that takes us! Anyways, I’ve probably talk all your ears off enough for now, if you have anything you’d like to say feel free to let me know here, on the forums, the discord, or well anywhere that HC talk happens! Hope you all have been enjoying the contributions I’ve made to the game and hope that you continue to enjoy what else I’ll be bringing before the game’s finished up! See ya!

Patreon Situation Update

First off, I’d like to remind everyone of the Public Devstream this weekend (which you can catch here) and just let all our Patrons know that, due to a very inconvenient bug we discovered today, we’re going to be taking another couple days and will get the mini-release out on Friday. Sorry for the trouble, but if you’re a $10+ patron there’s a little bonus up there to hold you over til the weekend.
Anyway, I just received an email from Jack Conte, one of the founders of Patreon. And, well, here’s what he had to say:

“Hey folks – there have been a few articles, some talk on social, and even an open letter about Patreon’s recent content policy updates. Last week, the Trust and Safety team explained in a blog post the updates we made to the Community Guidelines.

I really, really hope you take the time to read the blog and Community Guidelines for yourself. Most of all, I hope you understand that nothing has changed except our stance on four areas of content: bestiality, incest, sexual depiction of minors, and suggestive sexual violence.

It breaks my heart that folks who contributed to OpenLetterToPatreon.com expressed fear for their pages. Patreon is not that kind of company. I want you to disagree with us. I want you to make your voices heard. I want you to request features and policy changes. I want you to rally the community. That kind of pushing is not only good for the community, but my opinion is that it’s ultimately good for Patreon, too, because it helps our team viscerally feel the voice of our creators. I want Patreon to be the most creator-first company in the world, and that requires you to speak up and tell us what’s on your mind. Patreon will not always be able to do what you want – but at the very least we can make sure we hear you.

As a creator, it’s always bugged me when tech companies and CEOs stay quiet as changes are rolled out in the background and the community feels left in the dark. It really bugs me, because content policy is one of the most important and tough problems that modern tech platforms face. It’s complicated and nuanced and critical to get right. So, I’d like to personally clarify our update – and I realize that this doesn’t mean everyone will agree with it – but again at the very least I don’t want to be silent. So here we go:

The way that the Trust and Safety team is evaluating content has not changed. Yes, the public guidelines got longer because our creators asked for extra specificity. So in response, we’re sharing more detail with you about how we evaluate content. It does not represent a change to our content policy – it’s added detail to educate the community.
We did update four (and only four) areas of our actual content policy: incest, bestiality, sexual depiction of minors, and suggestive sexual violence. If you’re just reading the headlines, you’ll be under the impression that we’re “cracking down on adult content.” Again, this is not what’s actually happening. We only updated the above four areas of our policy.
Patreon’s stance on pornography has not changed. We have never allowed pornography or sexual services on Patreon and that stance has been clear in our guidelines since they were first published a few years ago. We used to say we allowed “R-rated” content, but that description was ineffective at clearly explaining our policy to the community. It didn’t give you the specificity you needed to understand what’s allowed, and what isn’t. Our updated Community Guidelines explain in way more detail what we mean when it comes to adult content. I also realize that “pornography” is difficult to define, and “you know it when you see it” is a totally inadequate policy. So we’ve added additional detail to the pornography section of our content policy, and the team will be spending even more time clarifying our guidelines in the future. As of this morning, the guidelines state that we don’t allow “real people engaging in sexual acts, such as masturbation or sexual intercourse on camera.”
Very few creators are affected by any of these updates. Again, the only actual changes to our policy were around bestiality, incest, sexual depiction of minors, and suggestive sexual violence. Most folks – literally *most* creators by multiple factors of ten – even in the adult communities – have nothing to be concerned about
Patreon won’t pull the rug out from a creator’s income, even in the case of a policy violation. The team actually built a new system, a suspension tool, over the last few weeks, to avoid sudden removals. Suspension may still seem harsh – I totally understand that perspective – but in the case of a policy violation, it gives the creator a chance to talk with a team member and get their page back up and running. Creators now have time, personal connections with an advocate inside Patreon, and a team of Trust and Safety reps to help them update their pages instead of simply being removed from the platform.
Every creator is unique, and every content evaluation is unique. We don’t believe in making sweeping generalizations or decisions about creators’ livelihoods. We avoid broad questions like “Is this OK, or is that ok?” A rep will look at each case and its context one-by-one. For anyone who has any questions or concerns about their page, you can speak to a human being (literally, you can always talk to a human) who will work with you to figure out how to update your page so it works with the guidelines.
The team made these updates now as a follow-up to the Trust and Safety commitments I made this past summer. We’ve spent the past few months operationalizing the commitments, and several updates were ready (we were especially relieved to launch the suspension tool as an alternative to removing pages). We’ve heard a bit of speculation about whether these updates are related to the recent Series C fundraising and that is not true.

This update to our Community Guidelines is part of a broader effort to educate our community and give folks more clarity about what specifically we allow, or what we don’t. Our previous external-facing community guidelines were 795 words. The new guidelines are 2,802 words. Hopefully, the added detail offers you more clarity, makes for less guessing, and gives you the specificity you need.

I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again – I personally take content policy issues with the utmost seriousness. My personal belief is that online content policy is in its infancy right now – most of tech doesn’t do content policy well. In fact, I think tech on the whole under-invests in content policy. Especially for payments products. We’re talking about a person’s income here – we’re talking about a person’s livelihood. We have to be clear, rigorous, and caring. It’s what’s best for Patreon, it’s what’s best for our creators, and it’s also just the right thing to do.

Thanks,
Jack”

So it seems to me that a) Patreon is extremely reluctant to ask artists of any variety to censor or change their work in any, which is why they’ve only asked people to change the text and visible content on their actual Patreon pages, and that b) they’re specifically getting rid of “live-action” porn, probably for legal reasons. Either way, I am very pleased and mollified by this email.
Anyway, see you all later!

The Patreon Situation

First off, the story so far: Earlier this week Patreon suddenly changed it’s Terms of Service with regard to erotic/pornographic content, and that same day took down a number of campaign pages, including several H-game developers’ pages. Some of those pages have been restored after the creators of those pages made changes to how their projects are advertised, others remain in limbo. You can find more details on the relevant Lewdgamer article.

There is a lot of speculation on why exactly these changes are happening now. While I have my own suspicions as to why, the fact of the matter is I don’t know anything for certain, and I have no desire to call attention to Bad Kitty Games’ potential violations of the new terms of service by asking for clarification.

It is also true is that, as it stands, Harem Collector is in violation of the new terms of service. Harem Collector depicts sexual violence and incest, two subjects specifically pointed out in ToS.

However, it is not so simple in practice. It seems that at least part of Patreon’s new terms of service is a “save your ass” move meant to appease some group or legal entity, as multiple Patreon pages have been reinstated so long as Patreon itself does not host or directly link to the content identified as objectionable. These are projects that, by any reasonable measure, flagrantly stand in violation of the new ToS, but have been reapproved after removing particular posts, links, and images.

This kind of “don’t ask, don’t tell”-style content policing personally leaves me feeling very uncomfortable. If it were as simple as having to pack up and find a new service, then fine. Don’t get me wrong, it would suck, but tough cookies. Freedom of expression also means that Patreon has the freedom to choose what kind of content they condone through their service, and I don’t blame them for wanting to maintain a welcoming, family-friendly image. But for the life of our crowdfunding efforts to hinge on the opinion of Patreon’s moderators…. I don’t like it.

For now, we are going to continue operating via Patreon. our campaign has yet to come under review, and our specific posting practices should keep us safe for the foreseeable future. You can rest assured, however, that over the next few weeks Nekochan, Conash and I will be reviewing our options, to make sure that an “escape plan” is prepared in case the worst should come to pass. As always, you can follow this space for any updates, and you can speak to Conash or myself directly via the Bad Kitty Games Discord Channel.

As always, thank you very much for your support and good wishes.
Your brother-in-arms,
NoMoshing

Pulling Art

As of next update, we’re going to be pulling GusBus’ enemy artwork from the game.
This isn’t an easy decision. It’s always disappointing to spend money on something and then have to remove it, but after experiencing a few Let’s Plays of Harem Collector where people commented negatively on the mixed art styles, I think it’s necessary. Having universal RPG Maker default battlers is better than having a mix.
That’s not to say that GusBus’ designs won’t be back, however. While there are other art priorities right now, when we do get around to do enemy battlers, some of GusBus’ work (especially the slimes and Glitterfang, maybe also the humanoids is it all gels together) will be re-implemented.
That’s basically it for today. Please remember that the next public Devstream is on the 29th, and I hope to see you all there!

Following the Development of Harem Collector