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.


23 Responses to “Introduction from Crimson”

  1. Godwin says:

    I know barely anything about code, but you conduct yourself well, you’re excited, and twenty years of experience is enough for me to give you the benefit of doubt. Glad to see you on the team Crimson. Hope you have fun and feel at home while working on the project. I’ll certainly be rooting for you guys.

  2. Wilde says:

    I would have to agree that hiring Crimson is a much better option than hiring Gedan. Time is always a factor when trying to write code, and even if he is really good at it, Gedan is working for someone else, which would limit his time to code for either game.

    Carnal Souls looks awesome and I wish the best of luck to Benji and Crimson on making this really awesome. And have fun doing it, that’s important too.

  3. Ikorus says:

    Welcome aboard crimson, and I wish you the best. Truth be told I don’t know who pretty much any of you guys are anyway so the recent scandal doesn’t mean a thing to me. Found fenoxo’s games like a week ago via tvtropes (you can find ANYTHING via tvtropes) and enjoyed them despite certain limiting factors, found this place like a couple days ago via fenoxo, and i liked the sound of it.

    so pretty much enjoy your christmas, and if you really can help make this everything that benji fella hopes for, its gonna make a lot of people real happy. likely mostly in private where they TELL NOBODY AT ALL EVER (like me), but happy nonetheless.

  4. Atoma says:

    I’m going to quote this site “As the game grew, Unity became a bigger and bigger obstacle. It’s not meant for this type of game, its editor providing more of a hindrance than a help. It also has bugs which broke my lovely UI, so the decision was made to start all over again without Unity, writing the entire thing from scratch in Haxe (basically a tarted-up version of JavaScript) with CreateJS” is this still not the case?

    • Perrin says:

      I’m a bit iffy about this turnaround too.
      Not sure exactly what happened, but I hope all ends well, regardless of the circumstances.

    • Crimson says:

      I was given that history when Benji talked to me about joining. He can comment here as well if he feels the need to clarify. The version of Unity they were working on predates the current version and definitely had some big bugs in the UI implementation. They shouldn’t really have been show-stopping bugs, but they were the kinds of bugs that are difficult to work around if you’re new to Unity.

      As for Haxe, I believe that may have been abandoned in favor of plain old JS before I even joined the project. CreateJS was still in use, but that has its own challenges. It’s not a particularly well structured library when compared to some of its competitors. Further, I’ve had several bug reports open for CreateJS for roughly 8 months now. That’s not any better than Unity’s timeliness for bug fixes.

      Ultimately, any technology stack is going to have bugs. It’s very rare that there aren’t ways to work around these bugs. The previous team lacked the experience needed to work around a particular bug. I don’t mean for that to sound like a dig against them. It happens. Usually, it’s better to spend the time finding a workaround for a bug, rather than abandon your whole technology stack and start over. You risk falling into the habit of searching for the perfect set of bug-free tools rather than making forward progress.

      • Derpy says:

        First off – welcome aboard Crimson! Your introduction makes me quite confident – you seem to have both the necessary expertise and the passion for it! I’m glad to hear you’re also familiar with the surrounding communities and for being all for inclusiveness – which is one of the things that draws me to this project (imho games should be enjoyable for everyone). I hope this project will be a great experience for you!

        As for the change in technology: I had already thought that another person simply has a different view on existing problems and may already have the experience to work around them. I agree that there is no 100% solution – there are always some rough edges. Since Crimson already has experience with Unity I’m certain he will be able to overcome any obstacles.

        I’m really looking forward to watch the progress of this game – I can easily say that it’s one of my most anticipated titles!

    • Benji says:

      Pretty much what Crimson said, but I’ll also add that at the time, the Unity Web Player plugin was also on its way out, with browsers no longer supporting it. Very soon Flash won’t be supported either. I want to make Carnal Souls primarily playable on the web so it’s as accessible as possible, so that meant we were building for a plugin that wasn’t even going to be around by the time we hit first release.

      However, since then, WebGL has come about and Unity already supports building games for it. No plugins needed, and the main browsers already support it, so Unity is viable again. And, by going back to Unity, we have more working code there than we have anywhere else. It actually means a big jump forward in development.

      Not only that, Gedan was completely new to Unity. Crimson’s already got experience with it, as do I (though much less), so with the Unity Web plugin no longer and issue and a programmer who’s more proficient with Unity, we can pick up the code we had before and regain the ground we lost.

      Making the decision to drop Unity was a really hard one, because it meant throwing away a lot of working systems (which I’d spent a long time making as I taught myself C# and Unity), but at the time it was the best for the game in the long run. Being able to use those again is really good news.

  5. Sarnak says:

    You have more time to dedicate to the project than Gedean, and I’m already glad to see someone shooting to make a high-quality Indie game, that has good adult content built in. With two decades of field experience, and a passion for the work, here’s to a fruitful production.
    And Happy holidays, from the Jahar family.

  6. King Cole says:

    Wait doesn’t Unity engine games not work on Google Chrome?

    • Crimson says:

      Unity used to have a player plugin for browsers, and Chrome dropped support for that plugin type. Unity has since added a new build target that creates HTML and Javascript instead. Games built for this target run in any browser with a proper JS implementation and WebGL support, of which Chrome is one.

  7. Inari says:

    Best of luck,
    Hope the decision to stay in unity suits your experience well. Since u r the dev, the engine (or langauge) shoild best suit your needs.

  8. Zachrym says:

    Unity can quite easily become the part that’ll grind progress to a halt.

    It’s happened to many-a-game, they start out in unity, find out unity sucks for what they’re doing, have to restart using something else.

    Well, here’s to hoping that’ll not be the case.

    • Crimson says:

      Carnal Souls consists almost entirely of nearly static 2D UI elements, much of which had already been tested out in Unity before I was brought on. Having hit on some of Unity’s shortcomings in the past, I can at least say that Carnal Souls doesn’t contain the kinds of assets that have given me trouble previously.

  9. JfromfarPY says:

    Nice to meet you Crimson!, enjoy your vacations!

  10. Archus says:

    good meet you Crimson and i hope everything goes as plan with CS.

    so ah… if i contribute to the game would it make me a backer or a supporter, i’m asking because all i want is the save editing and stuff but i’m not flowing with spare cash at the moment and i want to gave some if means i get the save editiing. i get payed next week (cause my boss likes to act dumb), so please reply as soon as you can so i can make my decision before then.

    thank you and have a good holiday

  11. CroixAura says:

    I’ve been following games for a while, these include CoC and TiTS, so I’m quite familiar with the work of Gedan. Honestly? I’m thrilled that you’ve been brought in. I know certain parties weren’t too thrilled by it but I understand the reasoning behind the change. And doing it now makes not only makes Benji look better but it makes the game look better too. This all said I know the folks over at Fenoxo’s forums, including Gedan, will be busy so having someone who’s dedicated to one project makes the most sense.

    It’ll be nice to see the work you can pull off Crimson and I can’t wait to learn more. Welcome to Carnal Souls. 🙂

    ( coincidentally the little fennec in my head is bapping me. Apparently it wants to call the game carnival souls. While a lot more flash i have to put yell at it that isn’t the right atmosphere. QUIET DERP FENNEC I’LL PLAY WITH YOU LATER! )

  12. Metaldong says:

    Hi Crimson, I had a question about a statement by Benji in his post about staff changes where he mentioned that you’ll be earning a lot less on this project than you’re used to. Would that possibly make it difficult for you to stay on the Carnal Souls team full time for a period of years? Do you perhaps expect to see your pay increase with the eventual success of the game?

    • Crimson says:

      For a period of years? Possibly. For now, we’ve only discussed an 8 month timeframe, to which I’m committed. We’re going to deliver what was promised in the campaign. I’m going to write code that should be maintainable even if I’m not the one working on it after 8 months. And if, at the end of the contract, it makes sense for me to stay on and continue working on the game myself, Benji and I will work something out.

  13. Vox says:

    I’m… slightly torn about the decision to bring you on in pace of Gedan.
    A large part of it is good ol’ tribalism since I know and like her work already.
    However, there’s also the fact that you are currently an unkown variable, honeyed words are great and all but they’re just that. Words.
    I am willing to put my trust in Benji on this(though addmitedly I’ve only found out about him thanks to fenoxo’s recommendation of this game), and I respect the (stated) reason for the decision as a fair one, as well as the fact it was annouced well before the end of the campaign (I don’t think it’s necessary to mention that Gedan getting her due is important for there to be any legitimacy to this project), but I would Feel a lot more secure if we could get some links to your prior work, both professional and hobbyist.
    Thanks for any response in advance, and have all my well-wishes regarding the success of this project, for all our sakes.

    • Vox says:

      P.S you one of the most googlnonymous names ever, dude( or is it gal? I sort of assumed you as male based on your avatar but.. eh)

  14. Ryzal says:

    Crimson –

    Welcome to the project. As a backer, I’m pleased to hear that you have some personal connections with the community involved in CS development and funding, as well as the practical skillset for the programming.

    Knowing you have a personal interest in the game alleviates any concerns I have about commitment to finishing it. While Benji certainly brings passion and commitment to the project as a whole, each team member also needs to be committed to seeing the project succeed. I’m glad you’re going to be part of the effort. ^_^

    Happy New Year!

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