Monday, March 12, 2012

Message Received

So, over the weekend, there were some very illuminating comments in my last post. I basically took away four things from the multitude of comments.

1) Requests for new content are unlikely when I have a large backlog of content waiting to get into the game.
2) The requests are actually detracting from the game development (to say that this surprised me is true, but it's also true that I should've fucking known this)
3) While the additional content is great and all, what you people actually want is more development of the core concepts, i.e. jobs and plot.
4) I need to work harder.

The fourth one in particular is kind of maddening to me, because it's very accurate. I've been getting so distracted by...well, things, that the thing is falling on the wayside. I will admit that my real life schedule is messing with my priorities right now, but honestly, that's kind of a poor excuse. Last year, I was working about fifteen hours a week on the game. These days, I'm putting in nine to ten hours a week*.

I'm thinking of a new donation structure for the next couple of weeks, where instead of donating to request a new addition to the game, you donate to request that I work on something specific, like jobs, plot or requests. There would be a default for a given week (like, say, I would plan to work on jobs unless donations said otherwise), and I would cut off donations after $100 or whatever the goal is was reached. It would be a case of supporting the game while at the same time influencing my development time. But that's something I just came up with in the last two hours or so, and I don't know if I want to do that. What I am going to do is turn off requests for a while: I need to clear out that backlog, and piling more stuff on to it isn't going to help.

Anyway, what I'm going to work on (and what I started working on this morning) is plot and jobs. And not the eroticism jobs that I've been working on forever, but the business career and the publishing career. I spent this morning working on the second mission that Maria gives you (the blonde girl part of it anyway), and now I'm going to be planning out the next few stages of the business career. I might get some coding done tonight, but I do (perhaps unfortunately) have other obligations. Apparently, I have to be a human being and not a programming robot, some times.

tl;dr: I get that people are getting frustrated with the pace of development, and I'm going to be working as much as possible on correcting that.

*To be fair, the nine hours a week is time I spend coding. I spend significantly more time planning (if you've ever heard me say I need my notebook, it's because that's where I do all my planning), but that's not exactly something people can see.


  1. It's good that your taking the main message to heart. In truth, I think one of the first things you should work on is actually the import/export system (importing ALL skills and traits, as well as possibly magic skills), so when you DO start making more career options and such open, it's much easier for people to experience the new content and give feedback on it.

    Even if you make great new content, having to start a new game with every update is getting to be a turn-off for people, I think.

  2. >Working on business and publishing


  3. Yes I honestly can agree to the first post, that having to start over and over again is kind of time consuming/annoying and a remedy would be highly appreciated.

    You could try getting donations for extra stream hours working on major things like jobs/story etc., Like you did with the 24 hour stream, but more like up to 10 hours per week. Depending on donations throw in a stream every other weekend or one weekend per month.

  4. Add me as another person who thinks that progression can take way too long from scratch. Especially with the earlier (aka. usually less interesting) stuff.

    And I think the smaller number of random interactions between progression events makes it tougher as well, as you don't have much to look forward to between job progressions that it makes it feel longer than it should.

    For instance, things like rent being due once a month. Sure, it might be realistic, but a month in-game is many hours of playing. So, even on a long game with a maxed out job skill, you might have seen building manager event maybe only two or three times.

  5. I wonder if it would be a good idea to accept donations to convert to a more save friendly code base...

    How many people would donate for that?

    1. (first-poster)
      An interesting question... I think it'd depend on what code base was being switched ~too~. All of them have their ups and downs. I think it might be worth exploring, though.

  6. If saving and import/export are so difficult in this framework, how about letting the testing item edit most or all of the character variables? Sure, it would be "cheating" - but if I really want to play any new content as a winged herm catgirl hooker with a black belt in karate who fountains milk out of her enormous rack every few hours [reason #5 for not donating - the fear that someone will associate my real name with this sentence] ... it's a real turn off to repeat the same 3-5 hours of work to do get my character back again.

  7. I agree that RAGS may not be the correct engine/framework for this style of game, but then comes the question of which one would be?

    The problem of changing to another engine/framework/language is two fold:
    1. Learning the new one to the level of expertise required to produce a good game
    2. Porting the existing content over.

    One of the advantages Fenoxo has with using Flash is that it can do almost anything you could want, but with that freedom comes the burden of having to learn the language/environment and having to build your own framework within it to help the design and building of the game be modular so that later additions are easier.

    just my two cent.

  8. Maybe a compromise request/donation structure?
    - Like a poll each week, where people can vote among the first 4 or 5 options (after core development work), or a choice among 4 or 5 things you're going to work on anyway
    - Similar to the above: Don't accept any new requests for a while, but until then, allow new donations towards stuff currently in the pipeline, to help get it done faster (also good for gauging general interest in a request)
    - Or a 60/40 split (or whatever), where regardless of who asks for what, 60% of the time bought by each donated dollar is spent doing core development, and only after that, is any request work done.

    Also, just from a psychological perspective, if the progress on stuff was broken down and reported in smaller increments, then people could see that things are still happening, even if its slow, between major milestones.

  9. I do think you need to ask yourself the purpose of making this game. Is it for personal profit (aka, like a job?), or is it for pleasure?
    If it's the former, really, really consider the wealth of your target market (aka, pervs who spend a lot of time perving, probably not too much disposable income all around), and how to incentivize and reward donations. I suppose working on the main quest is good, but to only do it when someone donates... well... your wording has me quite confused!

    If it's for pleasure, then fuck what we all say, do what you want and make a little side profit off of it.

  10. Just a suggestion for the replay value thing, managing an easy-mode daily routine button for people who've gone through everything, or just don't like the mundanity of it - it'd pretty much go right to "something happens at your job, do A, B or C" then brings you home again. You'd probably still have to shower and choose clothes beforehand but it'd skip out on a fair bit of clothes-changing and so on at the actual job.

    After going through the game a couple of times I want to try the robot transformation but haven't bothered because it's a major chore to do that when there's nothing to look forward to after that as such.

  11. We love ya mon, and your work. Don't lose sight of that amidst the tide of suggestion.


    1. This ^. Please remember it! :D

  12. Looking at the game it occurs to me. Couldn't we make our own content to submit to the game? just throwing that out there but a lot of what fenoxo has was submitted content from the community