Monday, January 26, 2015

Hentai Game Review - Demon Angel Sakura, vol.2: The Spirits of Hell

Last year I did a Let’s Play and review of a crazy little action game, Demon Angel Sakura.  The follow up, Demon Angel Sakura vol. 2: The Spirits of Hell, is out and every bit as bonkers as its predecessor.

As with the original, Demon Angel Sakura vol.2 is a 2D action game where you fight a series of ginormous monster girl bosses by throwing magic fireballs at them while bouncing around a 2D arena.  Like a platform game, but with all the intermediate levels taken out so all that’s left is boss fights is the best way to describe it.  The text is also all in English, so you won’t need to fiddle around with machine translation for this game.

The story carries on from where the first game left off.  Sakura, an angel/demon hybrid who is either a cross-dressing male or a female with a dick (the game isn’t totally clear on this, although it does refer to Sakura as ‘he’ for most of the game), is trapped in hell.  Kazari, the fairy that loves Sakura, dives into hell to find him and is driven doolally by exposure to the ‘hell element’.  After resisting crazy Kazari’s attempts to consume him, Sakura departs on a quest to find a way to save her from being corrupted and destroyed by the hell element.  This takes him through various fights with ginormous predatory monster girls.

Size is no obstacle to horny Sakura.

In a change from the first game, Sakura is aided in these fights by a familiar, Kuroha.  Later on there’s an option to switch between her and Kazari.  As with the first game, if Sakura takes enough damage he loses his clothes – and in this game, familiar – and is vulnerable to sexy(ish – YMMV) binding attacks from his opponent.  There are variable difficulty settings and even the most useless at 2D platform games (i.e. me) should be able to get to the end on super easy mode.

There are eight boss fights in total.  Two of those have two different Bad Ends, which gives ten Bad End scenes in total.  The game is short (especially if you choose to breeze through it on super easy mode), but should be seen for what it is – an excuse to put together some lovely drawn and utterly depraved hentai scenes.  The artwork and animation is very good for what it is and the imagination behind them is positively filthy.  Even Luka from Monster Girl Quest and the various protagonists of the Violated Hero games would wince at the indignities visited on poor Sakura.

Um yeah . . . it's that type of game.

This game won’t be for everyone.  There’s a heavy focus on vore and most of the things that happen to Sakura are fairly gross, such as nearly being drowned in harpy piss or wedged up in a giant treant’s sweaty armpit.  You’re not going to find nice sex scenes with vanilla monster girls here.  The game is most appropriate for those with giantess and/or vore fetishes, as well as for those that derive amusement from seeing some truly twisted and perverse Bad Ends.

This doesn’t look like the last we’ll see of Demon Angel Sakura either.  During the quest to save Kazuri there are hints to a larger story, one that will no doubt be revealed in Demon Angel Sakura, vol.3.   I look forward to seeing what weirdness the developers come up with in the next instalment.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Hentai Game Review - Monster Girl Summoner

A tricky one to review, this one.

Back when I first mentioned it, I noticed Monster Girl Summoner seemed to be appealing to both sub (MGQ-style Bad Ends) and dom (Rance-style rapes) audiences.  It looked like you could either play as an effete-looking warlock and pick up the sexy Bad Ends or pork the monster girl dungeons into submission as a big fat orc.  In actuality you play as the monster girl summoner and the orc is your trusty ‘Pikachu’ that handles all your fights for you.  The hentai content is similar to Desire Dungeon in that there are both Victory and Bad End sex scenes.  The player can skip them according to their preferences, although that aspect seemed a little temperamental when I was playing.

You . . .

At the start your party consists of only the orc, but later on you can recruit other monster allies by defeating them in battle.  There are a wide variety of both normal monsters and sexy monster girls.  All are recruitable and each usually comes with a couple of skills.  Unfortunately they don’t appear to pick up new skills on levelling up, so don’t expect any Pokemon-type complexity here.

. . . and your big fat orc buddy.

It is an RPGMaker-type game, but as with a lot of hentai RPGs, some of the gameplay aspects have been trimmed out.  I didn’t see much resembling a story and there’s no exploration as the dungeons consist of a series of random encounters followed by a fight with the monster boss(es) of the level.  H-scenes are revealed by winning (the orc rapes them) or losing (the monster girl rapes the summoner) versus the end-of-level monster girl boss(es).

On hard it becomes end of level bosses.

The H-scenes are short with one static image.  The artwork is fine.  It’s not up to the standards of other monster girl hentai games, but it’s not terrible either.  One issue is that certain poses/templates are clearly being re-used across multiple scenes.  This is especially weird when you have a Bad End scene where the hero is supposedly being dominated, but the artwork shows them sitting on top with their dick between the monster girl’s tits and the monster girl looking most put out by the whole thing.  It makes me wonder if the decision to add some Bad End sexy material was made after they’d already commissioned and received the artwork.

This is supposed to be a player Bad End.  I'm not sure Lamia agrees.

There are also some odd quirks in the mechanics that feel like they might be bugs.  Money is irrelevant as there are a couple of points in the starting town where the hero can just keep picking up random sums of money.  The NPC handling recollections gives you the option to see the first ten encounters right at the start of the game and doesn’t appear to add the later ones.  Armour consists of charms for various parts of the body.  There are seven types—each corresponding to a sin—of varying numerical levels.  Each type affects different stats, I think.  For some reason the 4th type (I think it’s Arrogance) has a weird multiplicative effect on the defence stat.  Equip all level 1s (and only level 1s, equipping higher levels of the same charm breaks the bonus and actually reduces defence) and the character ends up with a value of defence that renders them virtually immune to anything other than magical attacks.  This warps the gameplay so much it feels like there's probably some kind of weird calculation bug somewhere.

With all this I thought I’d be panning Monster Girl Summoner with a negative review.  But to be fair to the game, it has provided a few hours distraction.  The ability to recruit anything leads to the classic “Gotta Get ‘em All” compulsion and there is some fun in playing around with both the party compositions and difficulty levels to find the most efficient ways of levelling up your harem.

Devil girls like to ride.

This makes it an awkward one to review.  Monster Girl Summoner is clearly flawed and much weaker than some of its competition, but there was something in the game mechanics that kept me interested enough to give it a second look.  The game also has a wide variety of different monster encounters.  I’ll put it down as a YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary) and leave it at that.

Friday, January 16, 2015

New Erotic Horror Short - Sandwiched by Spiders

The new short is up.

You can get it for the cheap price of $0.99 from:
Kobo (it's 99p rather than $0.99 as that's the lowest price they'd allow me to set)

Smashwords will also distribute it to other eBook platforms.  If you can't find it on your eBook retailer of choice, let me know and I'll try and get it up there.

Also, as this is the first time I've done this solo rather than through my regular publisher, Excessica, if you notice any horrific formatting issues please let me know as soon as possible.  I tested the conversions out on each of the sites beforehand, but I've worked in IT long enough to know that's no guarantee some device somewhere won't chuck a fit trying to render the ebook code.

As for the story:

Sandwiched by is a new sexy series of monster girl erotic horror shorts from the master of dark erotica, M.E. Hydra.  The first, “Sandwiched by Spiders”, sees a man entangled in the wicked webs of two spider demonesses.

Jonathan Mustard doesn’t believe in karma.  As a successful IT contractor constantly on the move around the country he’s been able to maintain a double life as a killer of cats with no consequences.  This changes when he’s witnessed in the act by a strange young girl.  Now karma is stalking Jonathan through his dreams in the form of two gorgeous spider demonesses, L’hassia and L’katipia.  They intend to make him pay for his cruelty . . . in the sexiest way possible.

Sandwiched by.  One dude, two sexy babes.  A perfect fantasy . . . or maybe not . . .

And a little excerpt to whet the appetite:

“Shush,” she said.

Then she shushed him with her lips.  Moist and warm, they pressed against his as she lowered her head and kissed him.  Jonathan’s thoughts vanished in a haze.  For a moment he forgot what she was . . . forgot where he was.  He was conscious only of the movement of her lips, her tongue playfully jousting with his, the heat she transmitted to him.  Blood flowed to his loins in slow, pleasant throbs.

It was a dream.  For a moment it had veered into a nightmare so vivid it had tricked him into thinking it was reality.  Now it was dream again.  Maybe even a wet dream.  It had been a while.

She continued the kiss and Jonathan felt so giddy and light it was as if he’d detached from the floor and was floating up to the ceiling.  He span slowly, as though he was a child’s mobile dipped in honey.  He felt like he was being wrapped up nice and snug as well.  Snug and comfortable like someone was rolling a warm duvet around him on a cold winter night.

Why did this duvet feel so sticky?

The pleasant haze lifted.  Jonathan opened his eyes and saw the red-haired spider-girl was wrapping him up in silk like a spider cocooning its catch.  A single thread of silk spooled from the orifice at the tip of her abdomen.  She turned him in place with her eight legs and wound the thread around his body.  His legs were already bound together and now his arms were bound to his sides.  He couldn’t move.  Worse, wherever the silk came into contact with his naked flesh he felt an enervating sensation that left him feeling floppy and unnaturally relaxed.

“Stop it!” he cried.  “Don’t eat me!”

The red-haired spider-girl paused.  She pouted luscious red lips and blew him a kiss.  Then she continued winding silken threads around his body until he was completely cocooned from chin to toes.  Once she’d finished she suspended him like a hunk of meat in a larder.

The two spider-girls, balanced on silvery threads, stood before him.  Their eyes—all of them—were bright.

“Hello, I’m L’hassia,” the red-haired spider-girl said.

“I’m L’katipia,” the other girl said.

Their faces moved across Jonathan’s field of vision as the thread supporting him slowly twisted back and forth.

“What do you want with me?” he asked.

“We’re arachnes,” L’hassia said.

“Supernatural sex assassins,” L’katipia elaborated.

Jonathan realised they hadn’t bound all of him up.  They’d left a gap that exposed his groin and buttocks.  L’hassia reached in to fondle his balls and stroke a hand up and down his shaft.

“We’re going to do naughty naughty things to you,” L’hassia purred.

“Now pick which one of us you’d like to stick your prick in,” L’katipia said huskily.

It is a short, about 5,500 words.  The Sandwiched by series is an experiment in putting out work more regularly and at a cheaper price.  I hope you enjoy the first installment.  The second, "Sandwiched by Slime Girls", will follow in February.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Cover Tease for Sandwiched by Spiders

Here's a little cover tease of my upcoming short, "Sandwiched by Spiders".

Yep, in case you hadn't already guessed, L'hassia and L'katipia from "Succubus Summoning 211" are getting a chance to show off their stuff in their own short story.  (If you were hoping for Puff and Pfaffle, don't worry, I'll be getting to them later)

I'll be running some final formatting checks tomorrow before uploading to Amazon and other sites.  As it's a short, I'll be fully self-publishing this one rather than going through Excessica (they only have a limited number of slots per week and it wouldn't be fair to the other writers there if I monopolized those slots with a series of short stories.  My other books will be coming out with them as usual).  I'll post as soon as "Sandwiched by Spiders" is available. Check back here for further details.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Introducing "Sandwiched by"

What is Sandwiched by?

Sandwiched by is a series of linked short stories I’ll be putting out in 2015.  In this case the link is a thematic one.  Each story will feature one (un)lucky guy sandwiched between the hot and sexy bodies of two (or more) monster girls.  If you remember the scenes in Succubus Summoning where Phil was wedged between Rosa and Verdé, or Puff and Pfaffle, then you’ll have an idea of what’s in store.

There won’t be anything linking the stories together other than the theme, although they may link back to events in my other story universes.  Some will be nice, some will be funny, some will be icky, and some will be downright terrifying.  The one thing they’ll all be is sexy (I hope!).

I’m planning to put out one a month through the usual ebook outlets (Amazon, Smashwords, etc).  Lengthwise they will be a similar length to my other stories (4,000 to 8,000 words, although there might be a few longer ones if I get carried away with all the sexy).  I’m going to sell them at 99 cents each, which seems a fair price for individual short stories.  Going below $2.99 results in significantly reduced royalties from Amazon (35% instead of 70%), but I don’t think $2.99 is a fair price for a 5,000 word short story.

Initially, I wasn’t a big fan of selling short stories separately, but the advent of ebooks has changed things considerably.  A lot of erotica authors have reported a lot of success with selling shorts and Sandwiched by is an experiment by me to see how viable shorts are.  Varying the lengths also allows me to get work out more frequently rather than hoarding a bunch of stories and then missing the date I should have put a collection out.  It’s also a challenge to me to see if I can set a project and maintain that monthly release schedule.  A few of the ideas in my ideas folder are for serials and it might be fun to do something similar with an old-style pulp serial (with tons of gratuitous sex, obviously!)

So why not post these Sandwiched by stories up on Literotica or on your blog here?  Simple cold economics.  This is now going to be my job and if I want to keep it as my job I need to make sure it brings money in.  This doesn’t mean I’m going to stop posting on Literotica or take my existing stories down.   Free sites like Literotica are great advertising and if people like something they tend not to mind paying for more of the same goodness.  Think of it as getting more options to read more hot stories by me.

I’m hoping you’ll be tempted to give Sandwiched by a look anyway.  The first story will be out later this week just as soon as I’ve finished the cover.  It features two characters from Succubus Summoning getting a little more action (and if it’s not the two characters you were hoping, don’t worry, they’re going to get a story as well).

And speaking of Succubus Summoning, yes I know the latest chapter has been delayed again.  I was supposed to wrap up the series in Nov/Dec.  Sadly this got knocked around in all of the fallout from losing my job and having to move country.  Now I’m into the deadlines for the new collection coming out in March.  I’m hoping I’ll get that out of the way in Jan and can then devote Feb to (finally!) completing the Succubus Summoning 201 arc.

Friday, January 09, 2015

Many-Eyed Hydra makes a Monster Girl Hentai Game: CYOA with Twine (part 4)

Last time up I put a rough outline up and divided the story into sections based on what sex acts Ceptophthorié was likely to use.

Then the British flu season caught up with me and knocked me on my back for a few days, followed by my usual chaotic tendency to try and work on too many projects simultaneously (a collection due March and something new that will appear next week if I can get the cover finished in time).

It did give me time to think about how to proceed next.  Interactive fiction is a little tricky because of all the branching points and multiple pathways.  As with all writing there is a danger of being stuck in ‘design paralysis’, where the writer gets stuck thinking about what they want to write and how it should fit together instead of just writing it and whacking the plot back into shape with the big editing hammer later.  So I thought I’d throw some sentences at MS Word and see what stuck.

Tentatively I had a three passage introduction – one to set the scene, two to introduce Ceptophthorié, and three to setup the game.  While I was writing passage two I realised the main character (and player!) would likely have questions at this point and I decided to add choices rather than skipping directly to passage three.  This gives a number of advantages.  First off it brings interactivity into the story sooner rather than later.  It also gives the player more control over the intro.  On the first playthrough they have the option of reading the expanded introduction.  For subsequent playthroughs they can skip straight to the sexy.  It’s an obvious thing, and something RPGs do a lot, but didn’t actually click with me until I was going through the design process.

For the first options it made sense to add a couple of background-giving choices.  “What is a succubus?” is a useful one on the off chance the reader is unfamiliar with the mythology.  For the more contrary readers there should also be a “No” option so they don’t feel like they’re being railroaded down a single plan.  This route will probably funnel the reader into an early Game Over.  I’ll flesh it out later with plenty of options to get the reader back on right track and appropriately icky/comedic Bad End if they persist on being contrary.

It’s possible to keep track of whether a player has entered a passage before in Twine.  I could do some clever stuff and remove options that have already been taken or have her reply with a sarky “I’ve already told you this!” if the player’s repeat options already taken.  For now I’ll keep it simple and just repeat the passage.

After moving things around (and deleting a passage that was somehow spawned off-screen for some reason), the layout starts to look like this.

The next step is to fill in the details of Ceptophthorié’s little game and from there provide a seamless link to the smexy stuff.  At this point I’m experimenting in finding the most comfortable way to write these sections.  At first I was typing in MS Word and then transferring the text across.  That felt a little wasteful, so I switched to working directly in Twine.  Then I found it wasn’t as easy to see an overview of the text across multiple passages.  It’s something I’ll play around with.  I suspect the optimal approach will be a bit of both.

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Many-Eyed Hydra makes a Monster Girl Hentai Game: CYOA with Twine (part 3)

Last up I threw an introduction together to set the scene.  An introduction on its own isn’t a full story and definitely isn’t interactive.  When I’m writing a short story I normally have an idea of what the ending and set pieces are and then keep writing until I hit an appropriate end point (usually the point when the lucky/unlucky protagonist has had all their juice squeezed out).

I haven’t tried it, but I suspect trying to write an interactive story in a big splurge isn’t the best idea when there are multiple branching points and endings.  Or maybe it is the way to go.  I’m new to these things after all.  What I’ll do instead is map out a rough structure and then fill in the text afterwards.

The simplest structure would look something like this:

Obviously, it’s very basic, but it’s the essence of this type of game – choose naughty & fun stuff or be boring and try and ‘beat’ the game.

At the moment nothing is hooked up.  That’s done through the Twine syntax of
[[Text to display->Name of Passage to goto]]

From the introductory passage we continue to Stuff.

Stuff gives us a simple choice of GoodEnd1 and BadEnd1.  I’ve numbered them because there will probably be multiples of one and probably both and it makes sense to put the numbers in now rather than trying to change the names later.

Connected up, it looks like this.

That’s just to give an idea of the simplest structure.  I’ll want a lot more branching points than this to give the reader a more interactive experience.  A simple structure I’ve seen some of the cheaper monster girl hentai games use is this:

(clicking on these pictures brings up a bigger version that can be read without a magnifying glass)

A neat touch is that if I create the link before the passage Twine will automatically create the passage for me.

This will give me a skeleton of sorts.  One thing I will do is rename and reorganise the passages.  If I want to move things around (which I almost certainly will) TemptationTitWank is a much clearer target to link to than Temptation3.  I’ll also add some more sections to the introduction to give a clearer breakdown of what those passages are going to do.

Unfortunately Twine doesn’t appear to keep track of name changes to passages, but it does at least show passages with broken links as red boxes.

The modified structure looks a little like this:

At the moment the lovely Ceptophthorié isn’t exactly tempting.  I’ll fix that when I start to flesh out the passages.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Many-Eyed Hydra makes a Monster Girl Hentai Game: CYOA with Twine (part 2)

This is posted a little later than planned.  In my defence I was out drinking for New Year’s Eve and didn’t get back until 6 in the morning.

Okay, let’s go into Twine and have a look around.  I downloaded it from the website so I can use it offline if need be.  It opens up in whatever you use as a web browser (Firefox for me).

First step is to create the new story.  The original title was “Ways to Break a Good Man, #1” to tie in thematically with a previous short story ("Ways to Break a Good Man, no.2".  This is a bit abstract and as the focus of the CYOA version is going to be more on Ceptophthorié doing her naughty things rather than the philosophical questions of the original, I’ll change it to the more innocent sounding A Night With Ceptophthorié.

After entering the title and creating the story we’re taken to the story editor.

Stories in Twine are made up of passages that are linked together in ways to make it interactive to the reader.  As of the moment we only have the one passage.  This is going to be the starting point and must be named “Start” according to Twine’s wiki (I’m unsure on this point – it might only apply to an earlier version of Twine).

Now for the text.  This is the introduction from the short story:

Norris King woke up.  His tongue felt dry, swollen, about two sizes too big for his mouth.  His eyelids scraped over his eyeball like sandpaper as he opened his eyes.  The lines of the ceiling swayed and blurred above him, as if he was looking at a projection onto a swirling pool of water rather than solid architecture.  By concentrating he was able to bring the lines and angles back into sharp focus, but only while maintaining concentration.  The moment he stopped focusing, his vision started to blur and shift.

His head felt awful.  He felt like he’d gone on the mother of all benders the night before.  He knew that couldn’t be the case.  He’d never picked up a taste for alcohol and a drunken prank gone wrong during his university days had convinced him drink was not going to feature in his future in any shape or form.

He heard car horns and the sound of traffic.  They sounded a long way down.  Was he in a hotel room?

It looked like a hotel room.  His head felt heavy—slow and sluggish—like someone had poured concrete in his ears.  He moved it enough for the walls to swim murkily into focus.  The wallpaper was a bland print with lines of fleur-de-lis as a pattern.  An equally bland painting of a bowl of fruit was hung on one of the walls.

Definitely a hotel room.

There were two other people in the room.  An attractive girl with long, wavy red hair sat on a chair in the center of the room.  Behind her stood a fat man in an expensive suit with a bloated pale moon of a face.

Regular readers of mine will recognize the fat man with ‘a bloated pale moon of a face’ as Koontz, a recurring character of mine.  For the sake of simplicity I’m going to remove both him and the lengthy discussion that sets up the later challenge.  I might return them later, but to start with I think it’s best to cut the story right down to the bare essentials and then build on that later.

As Ceptophthorié is now getting more focus we need to get straight to a description of her.  For reference here’s the initial description of her in the short story:

Even if she was an attractive floozy, and King had to concede she was very attractive indeed.  She must be one of Koontz’s higher quality escorts.  Wavy red hair cascaded down on either side of a doll-perfect face.  Her face had the perfect, unblemished contours of a fairytale princess . . . combined with eyes and full lips that glimmered with the prospect of less-than-innocent mischief.  He thought it a shame such a pretty face had been squeezed into a ridiculous Vegas-style showgirl costume.  The neckline of her shiny top plunged down to her navel and revealed enough flesh to shame a ten-dollar whore.  He presumed it must be some kind of fancy-dress devil costume as she was also wearing a pair of fake horns.

The introductory passage will combine both these sections and as I’m writing a CYOA the viewpoint will shift from Third Person to First Second Person (classic post-NYE booboo, thanks to anon for spotting).  I’ll also shift the tense from past to present as it’s supposed to represent things that are happening right now.  That gives us an introductory passage that looks like this:

You wake up.  Your tongue feels dry, swollen, about two sizes too big for your mouth.  Your eyelids scrape over your eyeball like sandpaper as you open your eyes.  The lines of the ceiling sway and blur above you, as if you were looking at a projection onto a swirling pool of water rather than solid architecture.

You hear car horns and the sound of traffic.  They sound a long way down.  Is this a hotel room?

It looks like a hotel room.  You move your head enough for the walls to swim murkily into focus.  The wallpaper is a bland print with lines of fleur-de-lis as a pattern.  An equally bland painting of a bowl of fruit hangs on one of the walls.

Definitely a hotel room.

There is another person in the room with you.  A highly attractive young woman is sitting on a chair in the centre of the room.  Wavy red hair cascades on either side of a doll-perfect face.  Her face has the unblemished contours of a fairytale princess . . . combined with eyes and full, sensual lips that glimmer with the promise of less-than-innocent mischief.  She is wearing a revealing red outfit that shows off enough flesh to shame a common street hooker.  The neckline of her shiny top plunges down to her navel and shows off the lush valley of her cleavage to its full extent.  It must be some kind of fancy-dress devil costume as she’s also wearing a pair of fake horns.

She smiles at you.

I could type this directly into the passage box in Twine, but for ease of editing I wrote it in MS Word and then copy’n’pasted it into the dialog box for the passage.  Which looked like this:

One tip for copy’n’pasting text.  Always go through notepad or similar basic text editor as an intermediate.  It might not apply for Twine, but for most web apps/pages pasting directly from MS Word will drag in and add a lot of junk to the resulting HTML.

Now I have an introductory section.  This can seen by hitting either Play or Test on the bottom right.

It’s not quite right.  In the original you’ll notice there was some italicised text.  A quick check of the Twine wiki reveals they have support for various bits of text formatting and to get italics I add // on each side of the section I want italicised.

A further thing I could do is reduce the font size or split the introduction into two to avoid the player needing to scroll to read the whole of it.  It also looks very crude.  I’m not going to worry about that for now.  I can pretty it up later.

I now have a nice introduction that sets the scene.  At the moment the CYOA doesn’t have much in the way of choice or story.  I’ll look to rectify that next time.