The last post had votes somewhat evenly spread which was curious to me. Most people asked for focusing on existing parts, but it seems that what parts we should focus on are not quite synchronized among patrons. In all honesty, 4th option was added more of a filler, but anyway, I wanna talk what shall be our main plan for next weeks.
Q: Is Tisha going to have a sprite?
A: Definitely. For last week our artist had minor health issues, so there were no progress to report about, but Tisha's sprite will make it to the next week. Besides that we have some plans to provide naked sprites for existing characters which you'd be able to see in their personal tab (since it should take little time with sources we have left). After that I have a bit of trouble telling what the next focus will be, since there's still plenty of potential work.
Next public release date: July 21.
It seems latest versions has been pretty stable with few real issues requiring quick patching, but let's not rush too much.
For the next update I wish to get my hands back on the main story. We will working on Frostford and you might be able to temporarily get to human capital. I partly want to fit bit more into this, but we have to stay focused and finish main plot line, so there's this kind of balance I have to achieve before I can announce any more details.
The vote went surprisingly favourable to smaller amount of characters, so I might add another scene or two for existing characters if I get time for that, but overall main plot goes first. I will also take a look on the existing portals and resource system and probably adapt it a bit (make portals unlockable by purchasing items, provide bit more depth to resources and so on).
Another patch or two might come before that, but in terms of patron release I'll try to estimate it in next week. Until then, thank you for the attention!
I'm currently having minor hardships so progress regularity is not on the level I'd actually be happy with, but nonetheless, with release of 43a I want to give couple of thoughts.
Next public release date: 8th July.
Next patron release date: more likely, next week, but if miracle happens, I will push next version on the weekend.
Next release focus: I'll be polishing more stuff and I wanna add better way to monitor your roster (new slave list with some additional functionality, like selection occupation). I also wanna finally do another minor sidequest I originally planned for previous release but main plot related stuff and dungeon took too much time.
I'll also hold a vote on next focus and see if people want more main quest done or side quest stuff, since pretty huge part of main quest has been done recently (gorn and amberguard), we might take a small break for some more flavor.
Hopefully, last v42 patch is released and it's time to declare next public release date and try to estimate next Patreon release.
v42 will be released to public on 27th, unless I find out, that next version might come up sooner.
Now, I've spent quite lot of time considering on next main plot events and finally I can say few more words on it. Originally, I considered to do sort of arcs (or rather stages, since they are pretty short) based on main towns: 1st tutorialish arc happens at Wimborn, for second Arc you are sent to Gorn. I expected Frostford to hold 3rd arc, but instead we gonna get there later. Next arc will introduce elven town which will be connected to Wimborn and nearby dungeon/ruins, so for next update we gonna get new settlement, which will have different kind of atmosphere and a new dungeon to explore. I will also be dropping some plot points for later use. If anything, my main aim will be to present something vastly different in tone from what we already got, as until now plot has been very laid back (and i'm fine with it for tutorial part at least).
It's also a reason why 3 arc will be held at elven city: due to historical events elves are fairly hostile to humans and Mage's Order specifically, however you'll have to get through it and find access to the sealed ruins and claim long-lost documents from there.
I have a reasonable idea on how the rest of plot stuff will unfold, and it will take about 1-2 additional updates after that to be done with it, so maybe I'll do it in row. In any case, next update seems to be fairly big, so it might not appear until next month. However, I'll probably hold few votes and more exposition until then and mention next release date once things will start getting together. Thank you for the attention.
So in few days I'll finish reworking jobs and adding specs. There will be 10 unique specs of various applications. Some will require complex stats, some will be fairly primitive. I want to lock some of them out later on, but that would probably require more content to lock behind.
Next public release: 12.06.2017.
Now, lets talk a bit about brought changes and some implications. Firstly, I'm planning resurrect the tutorial and make it slightly more interactive perhaps (can't say much, but old tutorial needs to be fixed anyway).
Regarding art, next month we will be working on getting new characters looks plus filling up missing items (which might come with larger icon and fairly different from what we have now though).
In terms of gameplay, I plan to put more work into jobs. Besides adding jobs to other towns, (not sure how all that will differ depending on starting location, but probably reputation will play a role) I wanna work on the specializations.
Basically specializations should fill the role I initially planned for skills: to make characters... specialized. You will be able to pick one (or maybe few) specs for your slave, which will provide some sort of benefit to certain actions or tasks. Stuff like 'bodyguard gets + health and armor', 'survivalist receive hunting and foraging bonus'. I believe this should add quite bit of flavor, maybe tie specs to race, stats and lock behind some quests. I might make another post when I will go over it and make any decisive plans.
For now, that's about it. Thank you for the attention.
Another thing I wanna mention, I wanna change how public releases will be made. Previously, public release was made every time new patreon version was released. This, however, is somewhat awkward given how patreon versions are not very regular. Now I'll be trying new approach: timed delay on public releases. It will probably be one or two weeks of delay, depending on how many versions will be released in that time. I don't quite wanna make it multigrade release dates for patrons like some creators do, but I would lie, if I say that our needs are currently completely satisfied, but more on that some other time.
Starting next week I'll be going over those things I previously mentioned (customized start, tutorial, balancing) and you'll probably hear next approximate release date by the middle of it.
Firstly, we've reached our next goal until month has ended! This is great and I want to thank everyone for keeping supporting us despite all the hardships, this is really important to us.
In last month there's been lots of major changes, including jobs, grades and now gear. New gear system actually took lot of effort from me to make it work almost flawlessly, but what's new in it, is that unlike potions and ingredients, all gear is completely separate items. They have raw base which they use for creation, but after that two swords will be two completely separate swords.
I'm bringing this up, because this will give me much more future flexibility with the gear: namely, potential to make enchantments or custom names and descriptions! I would lie if say, that I already have such things in plans, but I always like future opportunities.
Now, as you might have noticed, there's some UI parts have been changed and improved (shops, gear, main menu). This is only a start, as I have future plans to revamp whole starting sequence. Basically, starting menu is outdated as hell, partly bugged, partly inconvenient. I will be remaking it and giving more options to choose from for the sake of flavor and gameplay. You could expect setting a starting gold for sandbox mode and perhaps, starting items and even maybe option to choose starting town.
There's some plans to make main mansion screen more manageable, as there's a lot to be deserved, but that is the part I'll be working on with the artist. I'll also try to fix tutorial which I partly ignored after adding screen stretching for some reasons, but we also probably be putting more flavor into it. Lastly, you can expect many balance changes, new jobs, items, maybe spells next month.
Thank you for your attention, support and see you next month!
Firstly, I'd like to briefly mention, that there's some work ongoing related to overall gui and playability (as you could see from new inventory) in which I basically try to make my old clunky scripts into more reasonable stuff. Not only that, but I do also make plans regarding art for most lacking parts of the game. Hopefully we will see lots of improvements in next month.
Some of you might have noticed, how some time ago I added subtle reputation counters to the game. Now I feel like it's a good time to develop them further and I gonna talk about them for a bit.
Unsurprisingly, Strive was always planned as an "actions and consequences" type of game in mind. I do not respect 'good-vs-evil' mentality in any form, so instead I try to go for 'kind-vs-mean' and sometimes even 'grey-vs-grey', although last one is pretty hard to make on reasonable level as we are already kinda involved into every story and our benefit is the main driving reason.
Sorry for low amount of information about current work. I've been fairly busy with writing and revisiting quests and texts. Hopefully I'll be able to finish everything until the end of a month, but in worst case scenario it still should be out next week.
We are trying to figure out best resolution for character sprites (highest is not 'best', since it takes way more work time and size, in case you wonder), so... here it is.
Btw, apparently I'm in need of proofreaders who can occasionally (sometimes there's nothing to proofread for weeks) go through newly added text on googledocs and help me out (see writing help if you have more questions). You can write me on firstname.lastname@example.org
So, supposedly most people, who were interested in voting should've voted by this moment, thank you everyone who participated. I kinda expected more votes, but what I got should be enough to measure what majority is thinking.
I actually planned release it today(0.3.35b for public), but, sadly parts of the Tisha's quest in need of proofread and there's nobody around, so as I don't wanna release my already bad writing with no corrections, I decided to delay it until tomorrow (hopefully). There's also some chance more sidestuff will be added, so please bear with me. Instead I wanna talk a bit about whats going on and what are my next plans.
New latest sex system revamp will be rolling out pretty soon (or mostly already is if you are patreon) including threesomes and orgies. There's not much in terms of new text though, but I feel like it is overall improvement already. I also want to add couple new sex related lab actions (gender bender, maybe limbs alteration and such).
Since I might not actually make lot of a progress on this weekend (more on this on my blog later, perhaps), I decided to make the release today. Links at the usual place. Changelogs can be found in game.
Previously I mentioned how tutorial introduction will technically let me not call game 'alpha' anymore. Well, for this month I gonna try to finally separate public and backers version of the game and see how it works. I've wanted to try it out for some time, but for long time public access clearly gave me more benefits in terms of feedback. However I still have at least some incentive to reward people supporting me in a way and that also helps me to be less busy with all public updates on every possible site. Public updates will likely come out in about every 2 weeks - month (more likely month if this approach proves to be beneficial), and they should be considerably less buggy.
Thank you everyone for participating in last patreon poll. According to it, there's not much of a problems with difficulty, quests could use some improvement, and there's overwhelming demand for sex mechanics and scenes.
Since new web version was released, I'm holding a poll about it and some other stuff (sidequets/tutorial/development) at patreon. For those who missed it, you can check out web version at newgrounds (link in the download section). I'll follow up with more info in next days.
For next update I will be focusing on mainly two aspects: tutorial and 'counters to placidity'. Tutorial is pretty self-explanatory part - you'll get short sequence of forced actions to introduce new player into the game and main mechanics. Yeah, its a kind of thing which is not terribly exciting for those who know their ropes, but strive being so heavy on so many mechanics obvious gets somewhat out of hand for new players. Even without of combat I've seen too often people struggling with food not realizing they should just send their first slaves to forage. It will also allow me to push game into the 'beta' stage.
Now the second part is a bit more interesting. I don't think strive is being very good management game right now, mainly because with enough loyalty and good setup you can just spam 'end day' all day and swim in gold and food. Two new quests somewhat broken this routine with small timed events in them, but that's not nearly enough. I mainly planned two things for now:
1. Cleanness: your mansion will get dirty with time. The more residents, the more dirt. To counter it you will either have to issue manual cleaning (probably costing energy/gold etc) or assign a slave to 'maid' job, which will make them take care of cleaning. The rate will probably be about 1 maid per 6-8 slaves to keep mansion clean and perhaps some actions will increase 'dirtiness' too. High 'dirtiness' will be affecting residents' stress and health. Overall it will be slightly similar to JoNT concept if you are familiar with it.
2. Slave events. Basically every few days one of the slaves will do something or ask for something requiring you to react to that in some way. Events will be good or bad and your decisions will be influencing resources, stats and so on. This should mainly break the routine and end-day button spam, although (naturally) it will require quite some number of events to not feel repetitive. Right now this idea is very sketchy, but hopefully it will get enough ideas to get going.
I'm taking a small break before getting to work on next pack of additions (although I'm still tracking bugs), so its a reasonable time to talk about what's been done.
So two first quests are out (with varying degree of stability) and I promised to talk a bit about it. Previously I mentioned that I planned to remove Emily, but couple of people mentioned their attachment so after some consideration I decided to flesh out her part bit more instead. Right now you can keep her multiple ways and even get her sister by one evil way, but I plan to add few more events with her sister.
When I was working at this quest, I actually had quite lot of possible ideas: for example let Tisha work for a limited time in attempt to earn Emily back, while you get the chance to bend them both to your will.. and at that point I realized this is just too much for current game. It would probably make a fairly interesting spinoff game where you would get multiple (non-generic) characters in various scenarios and you'd have to achieve something with them. Many custom interactions, reactions to items, spells jobs and so on... really lots of possibilities, but gameplay wise it would probably be whole different game, at the very least not sandbox'y at all. So for this moment I realized, that it would be too much of derailment and I settled for something way simpler - make choice = get girl or lose girl. Btw Emily has at least 3 different sequences for her quest depending on her loyalty and if you branded her, so there's some replay-ability too.
Cali's quest has been in drafts since strive one and most of my time (or at least most boring parts of it) I spent implementing it. It was done by one person who sadly left soon after (not without proposing few other valuable ideas). I've moderately modified it and I still have some ideas in mind to add bit more details to it.
I can't really judge how much of worth new quests are but will probably hold poll in couple of weeks when enough people will get chance to play through them. Thank you for your attention and support (remember patreon). Next time I'll talk about future plans and main focus.
I've been planning to make a release today, but amount of new text is pretty severe so I decided to spend few more days polishing new stuff. Besides some previously mentioned stuff I went back and redone Emily introduction and added new event. After it will be released I'll be going into some details and thoughts (don't wanna spoil it yet) I've got about it. So, see you next week.
Since previous poll is essentially over(thanks for voting), I wanna go through the quick summary of ideas I have on my mind and will be implementing in near time.
Shouldn't be huge of a problem, although I'm not sure if I'd want to simulate parents every time I'd need to create, say, a sister to someone. Family tasks have been a long suggested thing and it should be fun to implement.
Basically there's some ideas to revamp game start and add some step-by-step tutorial. Current starting screens are pretty lackluster and I also have some ideas regarding the very first slave (basically take it away and give a new opportunity to meet one early on). But the first thing is to make game easier to pick up.
My procrastination on the Cali's quest is miserable (perhaps would make it longest 'to be implemented feature so far?), so I will start implementing it right away. The other sidequest might as well come from new optional characters from starting sequence, but that might not come soon (as I'd need to make the sequence first). I also felt like removing/revamping Emily event for very long time, as her purpose was purely testing out event structure.
Visuals and audio.
Lack of any sounds bothers me but I didn't get enough time to search through free stuff to work on it. That might change soon enough though, or at the very least its in the check list. Visuals, though, is a bit of a different issue as there's always tons of work related to them. Basically, I'd want to expand accessibility of player added images, which could also land foundation for generic images (new slave tab revamp partly influenced by it since I want to add more space to the inspection tab which might eventually need to hold full body picture). However it raises the usual problems of other people's contributions: not many stick around even in terms of writing and I'd imagine artists/designers are even harder to keep. Hopefully one day I'll get to the point of being able to sustain some with support from you-know-what.
Other small stuff.
Apiary (passive mana generation), balancing issues, main story and more encounters of various kinds, specific empowering modifications at the lab, 'end of day' events for job assignments, dating, more various responses from 'talk' option and many other details I still keep in my mind, and wish to eventually add. Sadly, being one person crew makes it not conveniently quick.
Anyway, month is ending, and thank you everyone for watching over me.
It's been a tough time recently: combat system was introduced, many game aspects has been changed, more mechanics and visuals has been added and so on. Now, that most thing are in place, it's time to expand what's there. My biggest problem right now is actually how sparse focus group became. Originally strive supposed to be pretty generic man fulfillment - you are a guy surrounded by girls (focus on girls and their features, obviously), and that was it. However due to various pushes I ended up adding female MC and male slaves to the possible options. For those, who would be new here, I just wanna make a disclaimer: I'm not planning to focus on those options, even though they are in the game. If i get submissions related to them, I can use it, otherwise you shouldn't expect major progresses in this area.
Fixed mental stats rounding up on the stat screen sometimes causing missunderstanding about real value
Fixed some instances not accounting for sex-crazed trait when they actually should
Fixed some minor quest errors
Fixed slaves with regressed trait still being able to work on social jobs
Fixed disappearing sidequests from the questlog on reload
Fixed laboratory not working on web/when fade to black disabled
Fixed removing fade to black option for slave tab
Hopefully fixed disappearing slave list
Added option to disable screen fading animation
Added side log panel for better info
Library assignment gives bonus exp dependant on Wit
Updated traits descriptions
Rape actions will cause stress in most cases
Prude trait will cause stress on uncommon sex
Same-sex actions will cause stress if slave has no bisexual trait
Undeserved sex punishments will also affect loyalty
Greatly increased effectiveness of punishments towards obedience
Frequency of daily events reduced
Fixed low obedience having no impact on consesual sex (no more forced sex unlocks with no consequences)
Fixed wearing no underwear to cause loyalty growth instead of lust
Fixed some issues related to main menu, music and hotkeys
Fixed hollowed nipples upgrade causing errors
Added new slave tab with bunch of technical info
Threesomes can only be done once a day now
Prisoners can be accessed from slave list now (click on the Prison label)
Cleaning mansion job now provides exp
Devoted trait now acquired on 90 affection points instead of 75 loyalty
Undeserved beating will also cause loyalty to drop
Added refresh button to the portrait section and disabled automatic refresh on every opening
Fixed hotkeys triggering when entering nicknames and searches and some other input errors
Fixed events about two different slaves using same slave for both places
Fixed praising and gifting resetting affection points
Slaves won't ask for degrading actions if they don't have Deviant trait to prevent stress hits
Slaves won't ask for sex requiring body parts you lacking
Monster girl type enemies has been buffed
Fixed Tisha's quest ending
Main quest storyline now provides gold rewards for delivering slaves
Repeatable quest rewards increased
Some repeatable quest requirements lowered
Buffed praising and gifting to provide more loyalty on right usage
Defeated slaves from player party will be sent to bed for 3 days instead of dying
Fixed sex action list in jail giving wrong options
Fixed footjob not being unlocked from fetish unlocks
Fixed couple of bugs related to Tisha's quest completion
Sadly, I can't make web version to have more than 64mb ram for some reason, so performance on bigger mansion will still be an issue. But, anyway, it's here.
Just realized I haven't posted anything for nearly 10 days so... I'm alive had to reinstall my OS due to some weird circumstances so had to spent about 2 days without any progress. The good news, though, release this week (probably will happen near weekend as per usual). Most of the combat stuff is finished and fairly functional and currently I'm wrapping stuff responsible for leveling/obtaining abilities and enemy pools. Sadly, Gui is not quite finished yet, so it will only feature some elements changed. See you in next few days.