Friday, September 10, 2021

Course Correction for House of Hellish Harlots: Ending vs Checkpoints

Don't be put off by the title.  I'm not going Chaos and veering off in a completely new direction.

Feedback from the public demo and subsequent releases on Patreon has identified some common complaints.

1) Repetition on restarts.

2) A new player getting unlucky RNG and a 1st selection of harlots they cannot survive.

3) Lack of any kind of ending point.

I've been working on tackling 1), and I'm hoping that will be less of a problem with the accelerated restart options (I'm also looking to add The Madam's mulligan token explanation to that as well, as was suggested recently).

When someone raised 3) in an email, I thought about it, and replied with this. 

"Complaints about a lack of an ending point have come up.  I think I probably haven't helped myself with a very non-linear structure to the game.  For other games, there's usually a 1st region, 2nd region, 3rd region, and while it's in progress people know that they're going to get region 1, then region 2 and so on.  For HoHH all the region equivalents (factions, I suppose) run concurrently and the player is supposed to align with one and follow that route to that faction's end boss.  Currently I'm working on completing one faction as a proof-of-concept to get to an ending.  I'm wondering if I might be better off just having checkpoints - fill out to round 5, then round 10.  I might put that to patrons later today.  It might make for a better "endpoint" than a "we've run out of harlots", which probably doesn't make sense when there's about 40 of them! :)"

And this is that 'putting it to patrons' post.  (And also on my blog for additional feedback.)

There are definitely some advantages to getting rid of that "we've run out of harlots" message.  It made sense when there weren't many harlots, but likely provokes a 'huh?' from the player when they know there are nearly 40 harlots in the House and they've only seen 4 or 5 of them.

Having a checkpoint at Round 5 would also let the player feel like they've got somewhere rather than aimlessly trying out harlots until they get a weird message that they can't go on for any longer.

I can put special mid-boss encounters in these checkpoint rounds, which distinguishes them from the other harlots (they will likely have more sex scene options that are more than 'pick the right one or be drained to death').

Until I create the special mid-boss harlots, it gives me somewhere to put Hiru, Tete, Sorpresa, and the other more dangerous harlots, so they aren't murdering unsuspecting new players in the first round.

Currently, if I switch some faction numbers around, I already have enough harlots for 4 rounds + checkpoint.  It would likely require writing some more hint dialogue for the Barman (to forewarn the player) and then a new ending passage.  For that reason it would make sense to push v0.024 back to the end of the month as normal and make this the new, more player-friendly public demo.  I might also try to be a bit more active in putting the word out this time!

There will still be new harlots as well.  I finished writing the 1st draft of a new Doctoress creation this week.  I might also get Volumpula properly ported over as well now I have an idea of how the mini-boss scenarios will work.

Essentially, in the short term, it means there will be a new release as normal at the end of the month, and this will be the one I want to make the new public demo.

Long-term, it's going to be a shift from going 'tall' to going 'broad' again.  Rather than try to build a faction all the way to the end, I will be looking to add new harlots equally across 5 groups to get to the next checkpoint at Round 9, and then finally to the Queens at Round 13.

The work I've done with the smotherbus faction has nicely proof-of-concepted numbers and difficulty ranges.  I know roughly how many I need for each group and can start filling up the other groups as the ideas come to me.  I'll probably still focus factions while the ideas for them are fresh (I have a few queued up for The Doctoress's artificial beings), but I'll also be looking to fit the others in as well so it's not 'all fetish x' for a few months.  I know a few of you have voiced concerns about this.

Anyway, let me know your thoughts below.  It's a change of plans, but not a massive one, I think.


  1. To be honest, I was confused at how you were going to go with this. The House of Hellish Harlots is indeed a game, but it was missing a few aspects of a game.

    -Check Points
    -Leveling Up
    -Advancing to new area/territory when completing a quest/mission.
    -Lore/information being gained as the video game protagonist progresses.

    The game so far is just the PC having random lust daemons thrown at him that he must survive through the potions, charms, and knowing the right information. There is nothing wrong with that, but how will you add in Check Points and a leveling system though into a game like this?

    Is the Check Point basically you are left alone for a while and given over 6 or 7 actions to explore and speak with every NPC? Including participate in those random Bar events?

    (Like Cerluea talking with Morticia or talking with the guys in the car that picked up the PC)

    How many Harlots do you have to go through to be considered Level 2 instead of Level 1. And if you advance levels and "beat" Bosses, will you have the opportunity to explore more areas in the House?

    Will you gain any items from "defeating" a Boss/Queen?

    1. There won't be a levelling system. The game concept is more puzzle/knowledge deduction than a RPG. The player 'levels' by learning how to survive the various harlots. (Generally, which ones are safe for this run, and which should be avoided depending on the player's starting attributes and charms they've picked up.)

      (I don't think I can do it in Twine, but if I do port the game to another system, I'll probably implement a way to track information and dump the data into a config file. That would represent a bestiary that slowly gets filled in as the player finds out more things about a harlot. Sort of as if the player was filling out The Portly Gentleman's notebook and could read it themselves.)

      Checkpoint is more for "this is the current demo ending point while I create more material". In game terms it's another round, but that round will likely have a more complex mini-boss harlot scenario (more sex scene options, choices and tests). If I find they're needed, the action phase following those rounds might have an extra action point or 2, but it's not planned at the moment.

      There's no level system. The closest would be that the player should look to pick up one or more relevant protective charms and follow that path, otherwise the late-round harlots will kill them.

      The reward for surviving a mini-boss is pretty much the player gets to stay alive and continue to the later rounds. I think there will be some interaction between what mini-boss harlot the player has visited and what happens with the Queen, but I haven't finalised that yet.

  2. The issue of "running out of harlots" should be fixed, that's where I agree with you Hydra. It just seems really goofy for the Madam to say she has no harlots when the amount of lust daemons for a kink is truly massive.

    You got scat, vanilla sex (missionary, cow girl etc), public sex, anal sex, tit fuck, pegging, food play, water sports, choking, NTR and that's not even scratching the surface...

    I agree with Najee. At what point are you considered a high level? What's the difference between a normal harlot and a Boss harlot?

    Will it be because you are "Battle fucking" them?


    1. As mentioned above, there's not really a levelling system as such. It's more figuring out what harlots are 'safe' depending on the character's attributes. Early-round harlots have low requirements and the player should mostly survive them by accident. Late-round harlots will have more stringent requirements. There will be hints on these so it's not trial-and-error, but the main hint giver is not always reliable (although there is a way to tell when's lying for her own amusement).

      I'm still working on how to distinguish between normal and boss harlots. The original plan was to have the normal harlots be single scenes that fork into a good or bad end. Then I made some of those scenarios more complex, because it was fun. Bosses will likely be more complex again. They will likely have multiple sex scene options and have multiple requirements needed to avoid being Bad Ended.

  3. Just some random thoughts after playing a few rounds:

    Is there a plan to add more functionality to the barman? Right now he seems quite pointless once you've unlocked all other services.

    Related to that, I could imagine sitting at the bar and talking to random other guests for maybe getting tips on random harlots like "That one chick is quite crazy, I tell ya, I barely made it out alive. Better stay away form that Anna something, all these strange names are so hard to remember, it's one of those snakes! She almost choked me to death!"
    or some discount offer like "I don't get that mulligan token thing. What's the point in getting other harlots, if I don't know any of them? That walrus over there (he points in the direction of the Portly Gentleman) said he would give me 8 normal coins for it, but that guy's more than suspicious. Who knows what happens if you accept one of his 'offers'. But what about you, would you want to buy it for that price?" (With having to buy a drink from the bar would actually make that a price of 9 coins, which is still cheaper than from the Madam, but, as said, would only appear randomly).

    Also, something you mentioned above sounds like it could be a funny addition: "The portly gentleman's notebook". Could be interesting if there was a way to read his notices (of course only after you've met the girls yourself). Doesn't even need to be accurate, just what some guy would write down after hearing about the girl form somebody else
    "Cibi Somnia - Is described as some kind of sheep girl. Seems to be one of the rather harmless ones. At least nobody told about her actively trying anything funny. Some even said, it was so relaxing, they almost fell asleep when with her.
    Gift: Didn't find out if she has a favorite so far, but it seems she dislikes coffee. Surprisingly, most that told me about her chose that one and had to drink it themselves..."

    1. Barman will be the main information source for the later rounds. There will be a faction system to guide the player to different end 'queens' and endings, and the Barman will give tips on that. For now, he just introduces all the helpful NPCs (and there is a skip option for that on the way as I know it gets irritating clicking through it the 6th time around!).

      Random bar events are sort of a stretch goal. A couple of things I want to add is eavesdropping - where the player learns helpful info for no cost, and random events after each round that might be beneficial or cause problems. I'm nervous of feature creep, so I want to get the core features in place and see if it's still viable as a continuing project before adding extras.

  4. Thank you for answering my questions MEH. But I agree with Anon.

    You should really add those Bar events or simply have the PC eavesdrop on the what the human patrons, their lust daemon "dates" and the succubi waitresses are saying.

    It doesn't really feel like a "busy" and "lively" bar if the PC can only speak with the NPCs that gives him coins, charms, potions, and information.

    Your not even given an option of getting drunk at the bar XD

    Where are the guys from the car? Why are they never present in the Bar when the PC is waiting?

    I hope you add more NPCs to speak to in the bar later. Would be nice to talk to a another dude that survived Chen, Anna, or the Shit Fairy.

    Then as you progress, that dude dies to a harlot. You should do that MEH because it adds a sense of dread and the fact that the PC is not the only human struggling to survive in there.

    1. Yep, as written above. It's something I'd like to add, but feature creep is a concern. Maybe once more of the basic game is added and interest is high enough.

  5. The devotees sound like the "Church of Pleasure" from MGE with their mission of wanting to drown the world in ecstasy. They were not malicious, they are just using sex to promote world peace.

    So are the devotees really daemons that just want to use sex to bring people together, or are they actually malicious? Are they against killing humans?

    Are Nicole, Corene, and Madam Voluptula Devotees? Is Inari a devotee as well?

    1. Still finalising what that group is. They can't be too altruistic, as each faction needs to be a threat in its own right.

      For that reason Nicole and the others, while also wanting to use pleasure for 'good', would be separate. Inari would likely be opposed, probably from a "you might make them feel good, but they're still enslaved" perspective. I might see if I can include that conflict in a story. Adding more lore to the Dominion of Lust/H-space should make for some interesting stories.

  6. Wowser actual conflict between them? That sounds cool Many. If Inari doesn't like them, what do Phil's succubi think about the devotees?

    Will Rosa, Verde, Nurse Honey, Cerluea, and Ntyle think the devotees are pathetic loser daemons?

    Also if they aren't that bad, don't the devotees know that too much pleasure will break a human's mind? What do the devotees get out of their "sexual enlightenment" Many?


    1. Still trying to work out the details on the devotees faction.

      All I know is that they're focused on using their talents to bring extreme sensual pleasure.

      Currently I have some tension between them wanting to use pleasure for 'good' while still being a threat to the player character in the House.

      I might go over that properly next month and concentrate on them. I have harlots loosely grouped in that faction based on their scenes, but other than Calliophi they don't all share that 'for pleasure rather than feeding' philosophy, so there are a few things still to straighten out.

  7. Thank you. I am happy for the change and I like the fact that we will be able to skip those vore harlots *shivers*

    Its great to see you hard at work and you are more focused than last year. Great you are sticking to one project instead of hopping all over the place.

    As much as I want to see Phil's adventure continue, the House is interesting.

    What is Inari anyway? Is she a very powerful lust daemon or some kind of goddess? Or no your not revealing what she is yet.

    If Nicole and Inari met Phil, what would they think of him? If ya don't mind me asking.

    1. Still playing cards close to chest as to Inari's true nature.

      I can say she'd probably want Phil killed, for reasons that will make a lot more sense if i ever get round to finishing all the various story ideas.

      Nicole would recognise him as another succubus's pet/food, and leave him alone.

  8. This might sound uncomfortable and has Fridge Horror to it but when you think about it, the succubi and lust daemons are raping and eating humans.

    They are just using sweet words and sex magic to bend the man.

    How does Chibi eat a sleeping person? Does she swallow the person whole or use a leech like mouth to attach itself to the person's head and suck his brain?

    1. I'm iffy on using the word 'rape' ('snuff' is another one I don't like as well).

      Technically, yes.

      From a meta, who is the story written for sense, no. It's roleplay for people fantasising about being steamrolled in bed by a sexually aggressive and fantastically proficient succubus.

      (The distinction is important when dealing with bad faith moral guardian types. They will try to drag it up to the real world to argue 'harm', so you have to meet them on that ground to refute their nonsense.)

      I deliberate left Cibi as a 'best not dwelled upon...' It provides a nice juxtaposition with her otherwise fluffy and friendly sheep persona. There is probably non-Euclidean geometry involved and it's messy.

  9. Do succubi have better senses than a human? Lets say a man is running and hiding from Rosa or Verde, would they be able to hear his heartbeat or does he give off a "delicious human smell" that they can track?

    1. Yup. They also use them to identify what causes the greatest sexual pleasure.

  10. *Billy*

    Um I have a few questions Hydra.

    1. If you do have an Ending. Will it result in the PC getting his mind wiped and not remembering anything about the House.

    2. Do succubi and lust daemons hate humans? Or no they actually really "like" humans and see them as fun playmates.

    3. Do you think its funny that the lust daemons are pedos? Think it about. You have centuries old sex monsters banging men in their twenties. It feels so forbidden...

    4. Why did the dick destroying fairy change her name and does she have a hatred for humans?

    5. Do all succubi and female daemons have an intense desire to dominate men? Like if you drop a guy in the middle of the sex Palace where Scrote's succubi come from and he would immediately get pounced on.

    6. When a succubus or lust daemon takes a man's virginity, what god or goddess do they prey to while doing it. (Verde was praying while taking Phil's virginity)

    That's all I got. Thanks for providing me the best succubus fap material ^_^ haha

    1. 1) I have a rough idea for the ending. The PC can escape, but there will also be gameplay and story integration to explain how the player (P) can play again.

      2) If you eat meat, do you hate chickens? Succubi vary in a similar way to how some people would rather eat free-range/organic over factory farmed. Some would even be the equivalent of 'vegan' in that they'd take energy/semen, but not souls/lives.

      3) Pedo is only really relevant if one of the participants is underage. This is also where IRL meta concerns come into play. Given the setting, would a succubus slurp up a horny fifteen-year-old teen (of either sex). Probably. Could I write that story? Nope. Nope. Nope. (And I probably wouldn't want to, to be fair). Writing erotica (writing to sexually arouse) has stricter rules on what you can and can't do compared to say straight horror. As with horny satyr incubi buggering people, it probably happens within the setting, but those sort of things will be happening off-camera so to speak.

      4) The Elegant Woman explains why if you talk to her again about Sgriosar. A session went badly wrong and fucked Sgriosar up. At some point I'll add a quest line where the player can help her out.

      5) That dude is going to have a very short and eventful life! :D
      As an aside, I probably need to flesh the Bedmistresses out a bit more. They'd make a pretty good faction within the House.

      6) Lore I haven't filled in yet. I don't know if it would be god or really powerful daemons that have lived long enough and accumulated almost godlike status. Or it could just be a ritual. I left that one ambiguous.


  11. *Billy*

    Yes I know about Sgriosar. I just wanted to know why she changed her name. I wonder what kind of quest you will do to make her "safe" for the PC.

    Also, from the other post, the badass Succubus Hunter appears to be the German. I think he made two appearances so far; Nazi vs Succubus and he appears at the end of the Mr. Herbert one.

    To be honest, I don't see the German getting far. He's just an ordinary human fighting against lust deamons that can easily bend his will.

    I can understand if he had powers or special deamon hunting tools, but I don't see it. Maybe if he had a guy like Carpenter from "Slayer vs Succubus" teaming up with him, then I could see it.

    1. How will you make the German be a badass Succubus Hunter when he could get easily defeated?

    2. Do the factions you are writing represent a House from the Dominion of Lust? Like the devotees and the breath play harlots like Campbell belong to a House that specialize in a kink? Like say Ygolia and Tete coming from a House made up of lust deamons that enjoy smothering humans?

    1. Different German in the Summer House story. I have a different plan for him if I get around to writing that up as a novel (succubus running amok in sleazy seaside town).

      1) He picks up and learns a lot of stuff. I have a rough plan and arc for him. Just need to get around to slotting in the stories.

      2) Smother faction comes from the Sanctum of Strangulated Sighs. They have a location in the Dominion of Lust (Mamilla takes the player back to it in her alt End). They are all about erotic asphyxiation.

  12. It would be so awesome if you do a one shot on Nicole, Madam Voluptula, and Corene gang banging a lucky man :D

    1. I'll dig out the first chapter I wrote of a novel idea and post it at some point. That features Madam Voluptula and Nicole teaming up on a very lucky guy. Posting it might also give me a nudge to actually write that novel.

  13. Does body odor matter to a succubus? Like Verde or Nicole is presented two men: one is clean and just showered and the other is a dirty homeless man that hasn't washed himself in days.

    Would they want the clean man or they won't care?

    1. Depends on the succubus. Some wouldn't care. Some specialise in preying on aristocrats and lordy types, so they might turn their nose up.

  14. Strange question but I want to know. What would Phil's succubi do if they are transported to the world of Monster Girl Quest? Would they suck dry as many human men as possible?

    1. Probably behave as they would on any other human world.

  15. *Billy*

    A cover picture of the House of Hellish Harlots would be awesome. Like how you have the image of two succubi kissing the "man" symbol for male restrooms?

    The image for the House could be a man's arm outstretched with his fist balled up, but he has a succubus tail winding around his arm and his arm is covered in lipstick kisses.

    What do you think? What image would you want to represent for the House of you can get an artist to draw it?

    1. The idea I have is for the silhouette of a mansion with several windows lit up with different coloured lights and showing off various sexy silhouettes.

      Image search Opeth's "In Cauda Venenum" album cover. That but, at night, in a fancier mansion, and with the silhouettes all of sexy succubi. That will probably be the instructions I'll give to the artist when I get around to commissioning it.

  16. Nah it reminds me a bit too much of SHRIFT where the man's arm is being held by multiple monster girl "hands". You just got rid of the gun.

    Now an image of a man and succubus tongue kissing would work. Think of that OK Cupid Ad image about the two people on there kissing.

  17. *Billy*

    Eh, It could work.

    The OK Cupid Ad of the two people that are tongue kissing have their tongues "merged" together right?

    It could work for Hydra's cover image for House of Hellish Harlots. Just have a man and succubus doing it, but without the strange "tongue merging" shit.

    I still prefer the tail of a succubus curling around a man's like a snake. Maybe add in the hand of the succubus grabbing the man's arm as well.