Apologies for the late update. We’ve got good news and we’ve got bad news.
We’ve decided to move away from having an ever-present minimap, and instead separate this into a navigation mode and a scene mode. The scene mode will be very similar to mock-ups you’ve seen before. These will happen when an event triggers, when you meet an NPC, when you get into a battle, and so on. However, the navigation mode will for traversing the world itself with a slightly modified GUI to keep it cleaner and more user-friendly.
We’ve yet to put in the surrounding GUI, but you can play with the navigation mode right now (give it a few seconds to load). The game can read, import, and construct .tmx maps made outside of Unity (in this case using Tiled), thanks to Crimson writing a full import script. This includes properties for tiles like being impassable or costing more stamina to traverse, and will mean eventually we can support player-made maps and dungeons later down the line. This was pretty difficult to do and is the first step in Carnal Souls supporting user-made content and mods later down the line.
All the tile sprites, almost 100 of them for coasts, were made by me. The sprites aren’t final yet and the map is just a quick demonstration map (the hills are especially quick and dirty). It also has working pathfinding, which should be shown any time you click a distant tile. Simply click it again to move to the destination. It should try to avoid hills and impassable terrain automatically where it makes sense to based on stamina costs. Right now it only supports moving and plotting waypoints, but our next update will put stuff in the world to interact with.
For now, this has replaced the link to the character creation demo, we’ll get a new link up for that soon. This release isn’t tied to the character creator yet, but will be once the game is ready for it. I know it doesn’t seem like much at the moment, but we’ve got a lot there in the background to build on now.
Camera panning/zooming will be coming soon, possibly the next update. Eventually we’ll have roads to make travel easier, rivers and bridges, forests, and other terrain types and biomes, but next we’re going to work on a basic battle system and some simple enemies to fight. The parser’s not ready to handle full sex scenes yet, so I aim to get some smutty enemy art in there to help tide you guys over until it is.
Later we also plan to tighten up the feel and movement, make the waypoint route stick around and have the marker follow it until the destination is reached, things like that. Lots of things that fall under the ‘polish’ category that can come later.
As always, any feedback is welcome, bug reports even moreso should you find any. Those go in the bug reports subforum.
The Bad News
The exchange rate for USD – GBP has tanked, I’m sure most of you have heard. In fact, it’s pretty much been bad since the Indiegogo campaign ended at the start of the year. This means that the Indiegogo funds have been going less and less far, taking more pounds to pay every dollar expense. For those unaware, I live in the UK, Crimson in the US. The recent plummet post-Brexit alone has cost us the equivalent of over 2,000USD from our remaining funds, and the dipping rate has been costing us since the beginning. According to most sources, sterling recently hit the lowest it’s been in 31 years, and we were under-funded to begin with. All things considered, we’ve done very well to last this long.
We’re not the only ones affected by the UK’s vote by any measure (I think it was over 2 trillion in shares gone), but this has been hitting us hard. The bottom line is we’ve lost about 2-3 months of development time. One needs a gross annual income of 50,000GBP or more to get an international bank account here, so even had I been able to see into the future, there was no avoiding it. Sending the whole sum to Crimson, while I trust him to do so, would’ve resulted in a massive tax expense, and holding the game’s whole budget in Paypal would make it subject to Paypal freezing the funds for literally any reason.
I have a small amount of money from that Big Book of BNG I made last year coming soon, which will help. I’ve been talking to my accountant about the best ways to keep that and our incoming Patreon money in USD to protect it from further decline, so future pledges are being protected as much as possible.
The changeover from the end of the Indiegogo money to being supported by the Patreon income was always going to be our rockiest area, but it’s now been made all the rockier. What was a stepping stone is now a chasm we have to make it over. We’re going to push the game’s development as far as we can get it in the time we have, but I hope you all understand what this means. Crimson will have to find a new job soon or he risks being unable to stay where he is. I’ll need to do the same or go back to commissions full-time. We’ve always said we’ll work on Carnal Souls in our free time if we have to, and we will, but it means a long and uncertain delay on things.
I’ve changed the Patreon‘s goal from 3000 to 5500. That’s just about enough to keep us going with the new rates, if we need more I’ll work in extra commissions, but that is everything I need to keep Crimson paid and keep myself fed. We’re going to do everything we can for Carnal Souls. We’re tired, we’re terrified, sleep is a memory and food is optional, but we’re going to get CS as far as we can. We know we need your help, and we’re going to keep working to earn it.
I welcome any ideas to boost our income, but the most direct way to help right now is the Patreon. It pays out to Payoneer in USD each month, and I think we can work it so Crimson can get paid directly from there while still keeping adequate tax records, protecting future pledges from GBP where possible. I’m considering running an emergency Indiegogo as a last resort, but only as a last resort.
As always, what you guys think is important. Please let us know what you think and if you have ideas. Signal boosts, anything like that goes a long way if you can’t pledge. I don’t blame anyone for getting angry or outraged, trust me when I say it’s been a kind of slow, waking nightmare, but anger won’t help Carnal Souls pull through. I know how it looks when a project asks for help before completion, but you don’t have to take my word for it. This isn’t an unsubstantiated ‘I got robbed’ or ‘my grandma is super ill’. The UK economy is now in the toilet, and it has had a very real impact on us because that’s where I live.
I don’t think I can be held responsible for my country’s decision to uproot itself from the surrounding world, but I am responsible for Carnal Souls, and both I and Crimson are going to do everything we can to push it through. If we can get the Patreon up enough to see us through and secure Carnal Souls’ immediate future, we’ll do something to thank everyone. I don’t know how yet, I’ll happily take suggestions should we get there, but I won’t forget any help we receive now because without it, we’re in trouble.
We’ll have the next update for you as soon as we can.