Name Screen – Imposed a character limit and allowed for special characters.
Sex – Resulting sex is now shown on the page itself near the checkboxes.
Species – Overhauled page into card style display with new emblems, placeholder descriptions and stat bonuses. Rabbits are now included as a starting race.
Age – Now refined into brackets of Young Adult, Adult, Middle-Aged, and Elder.
Steward – Reorganised into a checkbox selection with validation for age. Adults and Young Adults can choose to have parents as stewards. This is so that parent characters aren’t super old if we decide to later write incest content for them.
Origin – Overhauled page into card style display with new emblems, descriptions, and stat bonuses.
Build/Shape – Merged into a single ‘Bodytype’ page with 15 different bodytypes and 5 skin tones to choose from, with preview images in a more pleasing display.
New page, Fur/Scales – Shown upon selecting a furred or scaled species. Allows you to choose from generic fur patterns/colours for fur and scales.
Hair – Now presented as styles rather than just length, displayed similarly to the new Bodytype page, with images for each hairstyle and colour selection. More styles to be added later.
Eyes – Overhauled page presentation with images for colour selection.
Attraction – Page removed in favour of more holistic attraction analysis throughout the game.
Traits – Overhauled to show more information and to be more easily navigated.
Stats – Overhauled with more information for each primary stat as well as how it affects your secondary stats.
Firstly, I want thank everyone who commented and left us feedback on the last couple posts. Both Crimson and I have read every single one, and it’s really encouraging to see you all taking the time to give us your thoughts. <3
We’ve significantly improved the GUI and features of character creation, using a lot of images I made myself, as well as a few from Game-Icons.net which will likely end up being placeholders for now. We’ll be moving on to the parser next, more on that below.
I was sick recently with a pretty nasty flu (all better now, thank you for the well-wishes!) so I pretty much instantly gained a huge backlog of comments to reply to. Instead of going through them all, I’ll try to answer as many as I can here so that the information is in one place for everyone.
A couple of notes beforehand, however: we’re working on getting the forums set up so we have a much better means of communicating with you all (and you with us). Troubleshooting, bug reports, patch notes, etc. I’m also going to see about getting the Patreon page set up about the same time as well. We won’t be able to offer any rewards for contributing to that yet, though – we need our site/game set up fully first, and I don’t want to devote time away from the game to produce extra rewards for the Patreon. We’re hoping that it’ll give us a little extra funding to help cover expenses and get to that initial release, because despite doing really well, we didn’t actually hit our Indiegogo goal.
Development-wise, the next step is the Parser and Dictator – recently-renamed Director (it’s a nicer word to say, and is probably a better descriptor for what it does). This’ll be a large module that requires a lot of work, as both Crimson and I want to make sure it has all the tools and range to handle the content we want to throw at it.
The aim is to create a system that will make writing scenes for Carnal Souls as easy as possible, allowing for a great range of possibilities to be written right into the scene itself for the Director to, well, direct. It’ll be a bit of a boring wait for you guys, but once that’s done I plan to test it with character descriptions, so once you finish the character creator you’ll be able to see a hopefully nicely-written description of your creation similar to how it’ll be in-game. Once that’s done I can actually start writing content!
A’s to your Q’s
There were a lot of questions in the last couple posts, so I’ll try to field them all as best I can here.
This will be tied to the origin (and perhaps race) you choose, and will be displayed during character creation later, once we actually have items and such to display. I want to allow some room for a bit of randomisation there so each new start is a bit different. Not massively so, just enough to feel organic and less like every new character is mass-produced with the same inventory.
Stats, bonuses, traits, etc.
These are all very, very loose numbers right now. They’ll be balanced and likely changed again and again as we get into the meat of the game.
A few people enquired about incest with your steward, if you picked a parent or sibling. I haven’t decided yet – though obviously it’s something I had in mind when I decided to provide family members as possible stewards.
It’s very much one of those things that people love or hate, so if it’s possible to do I want to make sure it can’t happen accidentally to those who would prefer it does not. (Presenting it as a ‘do you like incest y/n?’ question box isn’t a good option either, imo).
I’d also want it to be of high quality, and it’s a tricky one to write without it also being part of an RPG. Obviously I want all the content in Carnal Souls to be of high quality, but doing that one well without making it seem forced or plain creepy will be a big challenge – one that I want to be sure will be well-received before I commit to it.
The purpose of Attraction detection is so that we can do fun things with it later, such as tailoring certain key events/encounters to suit the player. For instance, a boss character who changes form to suit the player’s wants, rather than being a big ‘set-piece’ encounter that we spend a lot of time on that ends up only appealing sexually to a few.
We can also use it for Lust calculations and other special events; the more information we can track about a character, the more interesting stuff we can do with it. As it says in the changelog, we’ve removed the Attraction page and plan to more holistically detect the player’s attractions throughout the game.
This is a tricky one. More than anything else I hear ‘Can you include X race/hairstyle/colour/etc’.
Changing your character into your sexually ideal body is kind of Carnal Souls’ metagame. It’s an RPG foremost, but with a lot tied into allowing you to change your body – either to boost your stats as a gameplay mechanic, or so you can further fulfill your own fantasies (or both).
Providing any starting race will defeat this in large ways for some of our players. If you can only start as X species, there are those who wanted to be that anyway, so they automatically start closer to their goal than anyone else.
Conversely if we provide a ton of species options at the start, way more people are able to start closer to their ideal character, but then there’s little need for all the encounters, items, events, and spells which we created to help them do that as part of the game.
But that also carries the caveat that not everyone is even interested in the transformation stuff – they might just want to get into the game as their favourite species and start banging.
Carnal Souls faces a challenge non-adult games do not (one of many). If a game has you upgrading your spaceship to get better, stronger, faster, and prettier, you’ll find that your starting ship is an ugly rustbucket, so that there’s a sense of progression at the end. We can’t do that. If we started everyone as Danny DeVito (no offense to him, I love that guy) then a huge portion of our players are likely to get turned off immediately and not want to play further.
So, what’s the solution? My aim is to provide a pool of the most common, generic species and choices so that there’s a decent, albeit bland starting point. Something you can build up to your ideal character, or something which you can simply create in order to have some quick fun. Basically, a relatively blank canvas.
As of right now there are 8 starting species in the game. I believe this is sufficient going forward and don’t think it needs any more unless there is a large enough demand for it and I think it’s broad enough to fit that ‘blank canvas’ role. For that reason I am considering adding bovines as an option, as it would make sense from a lore standpoint as well, however it does introduce extra levels of complexity to character creation just for that one species, e.g. horns and udders.
As with everything else, it’s a work in progress, and a lot of things will change down the line. It’s also worth noting that there are a ton more species options in the game than there are in character creation. Just because you don’t see it there doesn’t mean it’s not in the game!
As always, let us know your thoughts and feedback on this and the new update (and anything else CS-related). Until next time!
Benji’s update provides a lot of detail I would typically provide, so I’m going to keep this one a little shorter. The gist is that the great feedback we received compelled me to take character creation through a second iteration before moving on to the Parser/Director development. Benji and I are much happier with this second iteration, but it’s still an early alpha. There is a lot more I want to improve upon if time and budget allow. What you see in the latest demo isn’t guaranteed to be indicative of the final experience, but it’s what we’re going to run with for the time being.
Going back and revisiting character creation gave me an opportunity to make some improvements to memory utilization in the game as well. Since several people encountered “out of memory” issues with the first demo, I wanted to see how much I could tighten up the game’s requirements. I’ve been able to bring the memory footprint of the code way down in size. However, as the game gains new visual assets, the graphics memory footprint increases. What I gain in code improvements, I lose with graphical improvements. We’re doing what we can to make sure the game’s visual assets are as small as possible without sacrificing too much quality. Please bear with me if this new demo still complains about memory when you try to run it. And please feel free to continue reporting those errors to me.
Additionally, I’m working with a beta version of Unity now. It has provided some important fixes and workflow improvements, but it may result in less stable builds. If the new demo seems buggier than the first one, don’t fret (but by all means report any bugs you come across). These early alpha versions of Carnal Souls might be a little rocky until we’re back on a non-beta Unity release. I’m always committed to helping make sure anyone who wants to run the demos can run the demos. Once we have our forums up, it’ll be a lot easier for me to connect with all of you and troubleshoot any issues you’re having.
Thanks again for having a look at what we’ve got so far. Your feedback is always welcome.