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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.


Staff Changes

I’m sure a lot of you have questions, so I’ll try to give you as much information as possible. Gedan is no longer on the team, I’ll go into why shortly.

Firstly, an apology is owed to Fenoxo.  His endorsement rested on Gedan being part of the team. He feels this has made him into a liar. I completely understand that, though I completely did not understand until a short while ago. It was thoughtlessness on my part. My only defense is that at the time of that endorsement, I wasn’t considering a new programmer. Regardless, Fenoxo’s well within his rights to withdraw his endorsement. I have every intention of earning that endorsement back, but it will take some time, as I’m sure it will for a lot of you.

So, Gedan’s no longer working directly on Carnal Souls. This is not something I have taken lightly. Changing staff halfway through a crowdfunding campaign never looks good. Backers and fans will understandably worry, people will want to withdraw, I get it. But I think the benefits of my decision outweigh the losses, and while waiting until the campaign was over to make this change would have meant no loss of funds, it would have been a shitty, dishonest thing to do.

The bottom line is this: I will be working on Carnal Souls full time, I want a lead programmer working on it full time with me, or as close to that as possible. I don’t want to have to fight Fenoxo for Gedan’s time. Roughly 66% of the entire Indiegogo money is to hire a programmer, and I am obligated to get as much out of that as possible. That’s not my money, that’s yours, and you’ve entrusted that to me to spend properly. Gedan is an excellent programmer with experience with these games, but it’s my feeling that Carnal Souls needs it’s own fully dedicated team if it’s going to come close to reaching its goals. And, for the record, I fully intend to pay Gedan for the work she’s done so far.

Gedan has the skills and experience, just not the time I think Carnal Souls needs. So, after I was able to find someone with all the time AND skills we need, I made the decision. It’s my sincerest hope that Fen, Gedan, and I can still collaborate in the future. My respect for them and their experience hasn’t changed one bit, and I value their input a great deal.

I’m sure some of you want to know about the replacement programmer. He goes by Crimson, and he’s been professional software development for nearly 20 years. Game development has been a long time hobby of his, and he sees this as the perfect opportunity to start on it more professionally, especially given that in many ways, Carnal Souls is architecturally similar to things he’s made before. The last game he worked on in his spare time had a hex-based map (like the one we’re planning), and he’s written call-scripting software which is basically branching dialogues for real life conversations. He’s also done back-gate and time tracking software and ecommerse sites, so web development is well within his expertise too. If you have any questions for him or want to quiz his knowledge, feel free to ask away in the comments.

The only downside I see to hiring him is that at such short notice, he’s unable to cancel his Christmas plans with family, and I wouldn’t really ask him to anyway. Which means code streams will resume early January, but we’ll have game art streams in the mean time from some stellar artists, and I’ll also be posting updates about content. What I can pay him is a lot less than he’s used to being paid, but he’s interested in the game enough to want to do it anyway. I absolutely believe that Carnal Souls is going to benefit from the change. Not only that, I think CoC and TiTS will too, without me always wanting to pull Gedan away to work on CS.

I think that about covers everything. I don’t want any animosity between Fen, his team, fans, or us. I think both Carnal Souls and CoC/TiTS can only benefit from us all collaborating and exchanging ideas, and it’s my hope that one day we can.

Thank you to everyone who’s read this far and waited before getting a refund. If you still want one, you are well within your rights to do so and I’ll be happy to provide them. That being said, I have complete faith that Carnal Souls will happen. Again, if you’d like to ask Crimson any questions, feel free to do so in the comments here. At the time of writing he’s away, but he’ll be back in a few hours.

The next stream should be tomorrow around the same time as usual, about midnight GMT, with Boosterpang drawing some lovely dirty Marley.

Half Way There + Sold Out Perks

Hi folks, just a little update to let everyone know we’re past the half-way mark, and we’ve also sold out of the Legendary Sword +5, Mythical Sword, AND Mythical Sword +5 tiers! Given that I’ve recieved a ton of messages through Indiegogo from people holding off to see more streams or until after Christmas, I’ve made second batches of those tiers at a slightly higher price. I’m not sure if we’ll be doing a third batch, but we’ll see how long these last.

We’ll also be doing another stream Saturday at around the same time, 8-9pm GMT, though this may well be later as we’ve been working long nights and have messed up sleep schedules. We’ll post the videos here for anyone that misses them. Thanks so much to everyone who’s pledged <3 If you can’t pledge, you can still help by spreading the word.

Until tomorrow!

(Nearly) Week Two Update

ChainmailBikiniModelAs we approach the end of Week Two of the Indiegogo campaign, I’d like to let everyone know what we’ve been up to. The site’s been a little quiet, which in our case usually means we’re busy in the background.

Firstly, not even two weeks in and we’re at 40% funded. Huge thanks to everyone who has pledged and supported us, and massive shout out to Fenoxo for helping get the word out. We’ve already sold out of the Legendary Sword +5 tier!

As for progress, Gedan’s been noodling with the hosting and such so the site should load a lot faster now, which will be great going forward as it means much shorter load times for the prototype builds, as well as giving us secure connections. The change broke a couple things but Stereo fixed them nice and quick.

Gedan and I have been putting together the first steps of the game in the form of the character creation screens. I’ve written the flavour texts for each step and put together some mockups for how I want them to look, as well as made the first entry in the Carnal Codex (basically the master lore source), and Ged’s been busy figuring out how to put it all together. Hopefully we can show you all some of that in the next stream.


Indiegogo is nearly here!

We just got the go-ahead from Indiegogo!

We’re just putting the finishing touches on the Indiegogo page and we’ll be able to launch sometime within the next 12 hours! The Indiegogo should run until December 31st – so we can start the new year (hopefully!) in full development mode.

I’ve made up lots of pretty forum badges for different account types, as well as some extra ones for contributors down the line, like writers and artists. I also roughed out one of the origin stories in full. There are ten origin stories planned out for now, but they’re just jobs and occupations – how you play the character is up to you.


Registration Problems

Many of you ran into problems with registration and password resets on our blog, and for that we apologise. There was a problem with our mail system, but we’re happy to report that has been sorted!Be7XUYF

Everyone who has registered but did not receive an e-mail for activation should use Lost Password to generate a new password to login with, in order to access their account. Should any more problems occur, please do let us know and we’ll look into it!

Additionally, keep your eyes peeled for a new Feature Feature post, Coming Soon™!