Seems to be a tradition of youtubers and various content creators to do a "this was 2019, here are my plans for 2020" post. I tend to be hit and miss on end of year posts. Half the time I start them, watch them descend into self-flagellation and whining, and promptly drown them in a bucket to put them out of their misery. I feel a bit better at this point of time, so let's go for it.
2019 was probably the Patreon year for me. A bit ironic considering I started the year wondering if the platform would survive the Orwellian tendencies of its "trust and safety" division. The backlash to that did seem to curb further authoritarian impulses and Patreon seems to have been relatively stable since then. Unfortunately, the realities of making XXX content means I can never get too complacent, but for now it's a reasonable income stream.
For most of the year I wasn't really sure what to do with my Patreon account. I did like the original short stories I produced for patrons, but was less happy with the time it took to write them. It meant I ended up "paywalling" more content than I would have liked because I was barely getting a timed exclusive story finished a month.
The big change was "The House of Hellish Harlots". I've been wanting to create an eroge along the same lines as games like "Monster Girl Quest" for a long time. Most of my brainstorming went nowhere. Either I couldn't get the sex/combat to work how I wanted or the game idea was beyond my means to create. With "The House of Hellish Harlots", it all fell into place. I think I have a really strong idea for a game here, something that a lot of people will enjoy playing (and reading). For this reason, I dropped a lot of my tentative plans and have been throwing everything into developing it over the latter part of the year. More importantly, it brought my enthusiasm back, which then fed into greater productivity and more hours spent writing every day. I think this has a good chance to be really good, so I want to see it through to some form of finished product.
There are still some things to be careful of. For starters, while the concept might seem solid, it might not necessarily translate to enjoyable game play. There is also the risk I might run into unforeseen technical brick walls. For now it's running smooth.
At the upper end of possibilities, the demos play well, the interest is there, I'm able to hire artist/music people and we have a proper Western (friendly) rival to "Monster Girl Quest". In the medium case, it ends up as a text-only game - not quite a viral hit, but enjoyed by the people that find it. In the worst case scenario, people have fun with the various scenarios I create and I have a bunch of succubus/monster girl scenes I can tweak and reuse in future stories.
Primary Objective for 2020
"The House of Hellish Harlots", all the way. It's a good idea. I'm regularly adding new succubi/monster girls. Once I have all the NPCs done and the intro done (or redone, as I wrote an early CYOA that handled the journey to the house a while back), I want to get that up on a website to attract people that wouldn't otherwise know about it. And then we'll see. I think this could go far, so fingers crossed.
Secondary Objective for 2020
Getting "The House of Hellish Harlots" up and running is my primary goal. This doesn't mean I've abandoned writing completely. I want to get back to posting stories on Literotica (assuming they don't get rejected!). I also want to get books up on Amazon again. I almost have enough stories for a new "A Succubus for" collection and I'd like to something with all those H-space stories.
There is also a certain hapless warlock's adventures I need to get back to. That's the funny one. I keep looking on Amazon and seeing popular succubus series and think "Why don't I do that?", when of course I already have a popular series people have been clamoring to read more of. Yep, I haven't made the smartest of choices over the past few years...
Things I will be doing less of:
This is where all the lovely metrics sites like Blogger provide can be a trap. There was a time I felt pressured to post and post to keep the monthly hits up. Looking back, it feels like I was expending a lot of effort on things that while fun, were probably not the most important things I should have been working on. I'll still be around here, but I will likely only post at a reduced rate and generally to bring people's attention to a new story, or book, or demo release. Let's write the succubus smut, rather than write about the succubus smut.
Unfortunately, this is more imposed by my ongoing struggles with finding stable translation software and keeping it running. They get blocked fairly swiftly nowadays and without some form of machine translation support, I can't play the fun games. If I find something sweet, I'll write about it, but I don't feel as though I have my finger on the pulse as much as I did in the past. (Although someone has sent me a translated version of Succubus Senki that seems like it might be fun - thanks for that!)
Things I will be avoiding altogether (if I can help it!):
I've made a fairly conscious effort to not bring up politics over the latter half of the year and will continue to do so. In the past I wrote about issues that I felt were negatively impacting creativity (and still are). Unfortunately, there is so much toxicity and bad-faith discussion around these subjects that any kind of attempt to take a nuanced position results in scarlet letters being carved on your forehead and your name being put on a "list". So, I think I'll just stick to writing succubus smut from now on. I think both you (the readers) and I will be happier with that!
On the positive side, it looks like the market is gradually solving a lot of these problems. In the meantime my advice for any creatives would be: Ignore the drama. Reroute around blocks. Focus on creating your best possible work. Treat your audience with respect.
This ties in with both blogging and the problems with playing Japanese games at the moment. I do have fun writing them, but I have to be realistic - they don't pay the bills. I might make an exception for Chapter 3 of "Monmusu Quest: Paradox", but I really need to be focusing on the work that keeps my bank balance healthy (or at least, not critical).
Writing How-Tos and inspiration behind stories
This was something I thought would make nice posts for patrons. Then I saw the metrics for how many people were actually reading them...
Write the succubus smut, not about the succubus smut!
Anyway, I've written enough on this and I need to get back to writing that succubus smut (in this case some sexy new Hellish Harlot scenarios).
Happy New Year! Let's grab 2020 by the scruff of the neck!