Game Release

July Update & Important News

Hi folks,

Apologies for the late update. We’ve got good news and we’ve got bad news.

Design Changes

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.

Carnal Souls v0.0.1

NavModeMockup

Navigation mode mock-up.

 

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.

Next Update

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.

From when the Indiegogo campaign started to today.

From when the Indiegogo campaign started to today.

 

What now?

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.

Unless we can get the Patreon up enough to support us, and within the next two months.

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.

Character Creation Update 1

Changelog:

Character Creation:
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.

Benji:

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.

(more…)

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.

Early Days

Since the IndieGoGo campaign started, we’ve been hard at work, getting on with the actual process of getting Carnal Souls into a playable state as soon as possible. We’ve already spent a huge amount of time over the last few months testing and refining game mechanics… but we’ve not really been focused on presenting a version of it that we can put into peoples hands and let them see the progress for themselves.

The start of the IndieGoGo campaign marked the start of us working on the actual end product, rather than a series of increasingly complicated tests and experiments. We’ll have a stream this Saturday afternoon (GMT) to go through some of the things that we’ve put together as tests for the game in more detail.

For now though, I think I’ll leave you guys with the very first milestone on our journey:

Carnal Souls

The buttons aren’t supposed to be doing anything juuuust yet; there’s problems there we need to fix before moving on!

It might not be much, as yet, but it’s important that people have access to what we do have, so that we can stay on top of any issues that arise. We certainly don’t have the money to afford all of the various devices that our audience will hopefully be enjoying the game using , nor the time to test each and every one individually. Being informed of problems early on will let us fix them sooner, and hopefully, allow us to take that knowledge forward.