xposted from my Patreon:
Okay, now I've had a chance to get some sleep (and get some other morning tasks out of the way), let's go over this release properly.
First up, it's a mechanics-focused release, which means it's more games-type stuff rather than sexy scenario-type stuff. Because of how complex the new scoring system (and the code refactor) turned out to be, I decided to split the planned release into two. Now this is out, I'll be switching back to finishing off 5 or so harlot scenarios for the second half. Hopefully to be done by around the end of December depending on how much I can dodge the usual holidays stuff.
Now onto the new additions:
The Portly Gentleman.
This NPC will be the player's main source of money while in the House. He is only encountered in the post-room phase and will "score" players on their encounters with the harlots. For more background on him, you can talk to The Elegant Woman.
The Scoring System.
Originally, this was just a single numerical value, then I realised I wanted to make repeat visits to harlots a feature, and because of this, needed to keep track of what had already been scored. I didn't want players picking up easy coins by playing the same scenario over and over, and it also wouldn't make sense for The Portly Gentleman to pay out again for information he'd already paid for. This also opened up the option to have The Portly Gentleman give custom feedback depending on the harlot (you should notice this with Suka). It was a bit more work, but I think it will be rewarding in the long term for the options it gives me.
More Dummy Harlots.
This one might be more annoying than useful at this stage. Because this is a mechanics-focused release, I wanted players to be able to play through more rounds before the selection algorithm 'breaks'. It will dilute the 'real' harlots, but is only a temporary thing as I start to replace them with 'real' scenarios. If you like the names of some of the dummies, let me know and I'll attach them to future scenarios.
For some reason, I was all over the place with implementing NPCs to start with. The Elegant Woman was a little buggy in the last release because the way I'd implemented her was... not great. With The Portly Gentleman I finally found a cleaner way to implement the NPCs and upgraded both The Madam and The Elegant Woman accordingly. The other change is a little more technical and related to how Twine handles objects. I'm not going to go into it in too much depth as it probably isn't that interesting. One bit of advice I can give to anyone working with Twine - be very careful with object references, they don't always work the way you think they might and a lot of times you'll end up modifying the property of a copy rather than the original.
Some back story. I had the four features above pretty much done (minus testing) around Wednesday last week. So, in a moment of madness, I thought I'd tack on Repeat Visits as an additional feature. Oh boy, was that a bad idea. The idea behind Repeat Visits is a player would get the option to revisit some harlots as future selections and the harlot would remember the player from the first time. This could open up options for side quests, maybe additional bonus scenes, or maybe even necessary to 'perfect' some harlot scenarios. I updated the scoring system with this in mind. I picked Suka no-Hirudo as a test case as she has multiple options for sex scenes and future visits would allow players to pick a different option. And... it was a little more complex to implement than I thought. That plus a dental appointment on Friday was the reason this release went out at midnight on Sunday rather than a sensible time on Friday.
Despite that, I'm still glad I did it now rather than later as I now know roughly what's required and can build it into future scenarios. Not all harlots will have this option, but it will add a bit extra to some. As always, I have to be careful not to make the harlot scenarios too complex, otherwise they will take too long to write and implement.
And now something I should have added and will be working on later today:
Choosing Harlots Directly.
After Smith's comment on the original post, I did check to make sure I'd flipped the right flag on Suka's properties to enable her to show up for repeat visits. That was set correctly. Then I did a quick back-of-an-envelope calculation on the probability of Suka showing up twice... and grimaced. The endgame plan is to have a lot of harlots so that each play through - the order the harlots are presented, etc - will be fairly unique. Unfortunately, this doesn't work so well in the early phases of development where around 4/5ths of the harlots are dummies and it takes a lot of random playthroughs to get a specific harlot to show up. I have an idea on how to get around this.
I did leave a stub in The Madam options for a 'gallery mode' where a player selects a harlot directly. This was meant to be outside of the regular game. Gallery mode will come (likely near the end of development), but I think I can add an option similar to it. It will work like this - The Madam gives the player a list of harlots, they pick one, and that harlot will automatically be added to the next selection. That should make it easier to pick out specific scenarios rather than running the game loop over and over, trying to get RNG to throw up the scenario you want.
I did a fair bit of testing, but the project is now getting big enough that it's easy to miss some pathways and corner cases. If, while playing the demo, you spot something that shouldn't be there, or a point where the game outright breaks, please let me know in the comments below. I'd like to ensure everything is running smoothly by the time I add the next batch of harlots.
And that's that for now.
ver0.008 will be that tweak to The Madam's options plus any bugfixes I've missed (and maybe repeat visit options for Arana Solfugis and Anna Boa).
ver0.009 will be 5+ new harlot scenarios depending on how many I can finish before the end of the month.
Now back here. The House of Hellish Harlots project is going well. I don't think I've been as focused as this for a while. It is going to continue to devour a lot of my time while I put together what I hope will be a very enjoyable succubus/monster girl eroge. I haven't abandoned fiction completely. Once I get House of Hellish Harlots to a more advanced demo state (all the major game pieces in place and a decent number of harlot scenarios added), I'll look to start sneaking out short stories again. It will be a preventative measure against burnout on the game project. Until then, sorry to the people not currently able to access Patreon.