Crimson

Server Migration Update

Hosting issues resolved.  We’ve got a couple of things to clean up in DNS and then the main site should be loading correctly again.  The forums and demos may take me another day or so to get back online.  Sorry for all the down time.  We ran into a bit of a perfect storm of me being out of town, my hosting provider being a mess, and then me being sick.

 

WebGL Memory Issues in Demo

For those of you whose browsers are complaining about memory when trying to run the demo, please leave a reply here with the following information:

  • Your OS (Windows, OSX, Linux, other)?
  • 32-bit or 64-bit?
  • Your browser (Chrome, Firefox, IE, other)?

If you know how to determine how much free RAM you have available just before you start the game, that would be useful to know too.

Thanks!

Character Creation Alpha is Live

The alpha version of character creation is now live at demo.carnalsouls.com.  Illness got in the way of a release last week, but it’s finally up for everyone to play with.  Most of the focus here was on the backing data, which included improvements in the way all game characters are stored and their stats calculated.  This also included building a flexible stats system and starting on some initial input validation tools.

On the UI front, we had to build some custom controls like the stat increments on the Stats page, multi-state checkboxes (Unity only provides a binary on/off checkbox by default), and a sliding card control for displaying lists of complex content.

I’m most excited about stuff you guys can’t see in detail yet.  The stat system makes it easy to add all kinds of stats to a character beyond the basic RPG stats.  It opens the door to a wide variety of bonus effects.  It will allow content modules to be more expressive and recognize more depth in character personality, structure, assets, and appearance.  Most of that won’t be noticeable until we’ve got content modules written.  We’re still a ways off from that, but as I was building characters up during character creation I recognized the need for more flexibility.  Getting it into the code early makes it easier to incorporate when we start getting into various character interactions.

Play with the character creator.  Break it if you can.  Let us know what you love about it.  Let us know what you hate about it.  There is a lot of polish we want to add, and there are no doubt some bugs lurking in this early demo.  We’re working from a plan, but we also want to make sure we’re not overlooking nasty bumps in the user experience.  If we know what you love, we know where to focus our polishing efforts.  If we know what you hate, we know when to go back to the drawing board and give a feature some serious rethinking.

Have fun!

Benji says he’s starting to feel better, so our pace should pick up again.  We’re sorry about not getting this out last week .

UPDATE

I’ve deployed an update to the character creation demo that lowers the game’s memory requirements.  This will hopefully resolve the memory issues some people were encountering.

Character creation is a very small part of the game and does not have large memory needs, but I can’t promise that this will be the case when the game is approaching completion.  At some point in the future, I may have to bump the requirements up much higher than what they are now, especially once we’ve added more visual assets to the game.  For those whose browsers are unable to handle the game’s memory requirements in the future, you may have to stick with the downloadable version of the game instead.  The downloadable version will be made available when we’re closer to beta.

For anyone whose browser complains about memory when attempting to run the game, please visit the memory issues post and reply with as much of the requested information on that post as possible.  Thanks.

Introduction from Crimson

Hey, everyone.  Crimson here.  Just introducing myself before my planned holiday vacation takes me away for a couple of weeks.  I’m thrilled to be a part of the Carnal Souls team and I’m eager to start development when I return.  I’m spending the next day or so deep diving into all of the existing documentation that Benji has made available to me.  I’ll likely sneak some time during vacation as well to get fully up to speed on everything.  There is a slim chance I’ll be able to kick off development sooner than January, but it depends on how well my aging laptop cooperates while I travel.  (Don’t worry, the laptop doesn’t get used when I’m developing at home.  I’ve got a good desktop machine for that.)

A little bit about myself.  I’ve been developing software and web applications for roughly 20 years, with a mixture of experience in start-ups, various sized companies, and a fair amount of hobby time.  Outside of programming, I make music, I write, and I draw… roughly in that order of time commitment, for which my artistic talent has suffered (but I’m working on changing that!).  I’ve been around in the furry community for over two decades, so it’s safe to say I’m excited to be working on a game that’s furry friendly (and more thrilled to be working on something that caters to us adults.)

On the topic of Carnal Souls, which I imagine interests people much more than my biography, I’ve been talking with the team over the past few days and looking at the existing game prototypes.  We’ve established a plan for moving forward.  Development will take place in Unity 5, targeting gameplay in web browsers using Unity’s WebGL build target.  Producing the game in Unity will provide an easy path toward targeting other platforms in the near future, such as mobile devices and a downloadable desktop version.  A significant amount of the prototype code and user interface design for Carnal Souls already exists in Unity, far more than what was written in Javascript.  Resuming work in Unity avoids a lot of unnecessary redevelopment.  Being in Unity also gives us access to a wealth of existing third-party libraries and tools to speed things along.

While Carnal Souls’ planned feature set makes it a huge step forward for its genre, the features themselves aren’t complicated to develop.  I’ve done a lot of this stuff before.  For the most part, it’s just content presentation and stat tracking.  The stats just happen to be a lot more fun than the kind of stats I usually have to work with.  The biggest challenge for this game is going to be creating interesting content that doesn’t quickly become stale and repetitive.  I’ve sunk a fair amount of time into writing and editing as a hobby.  There’s a certain art to taking the basic action of Tab A into Slot B, and making it seem like a whole new experience time and time again.  (Don’t worry, I’m also familiar with Tab A to Tab B, Slot A to Slot B, and Tabs A though Z into Slot OMG).  I’m bringing that skill set to the table in addition to my design and programming talents.  About the only thing I can’t provide (yet) is sexy artwork, but we’ve thankfully got highly qualified artists for that!

If anyone has questions for me, I’ll be keeping an eye on this post even while I’m traveling.  I’d be happy to address any concerns, either about me or the game itself, as we approach the end of the Indiegogo campaign.  I’m looking forward to getting started on development, and confident that this game will come together over the next few months to deliver on the campaign’s promises.  It’s just a matter of packing all those features into the time our budget is providing us.  I’m excited to see that my arrival hasn’t scared off too many people, which tells me you’re all still as eager to see this game released as I am.  It’ll get there, and it’s going to be a blast to play.