So, this week’s update will focus on scene composition, pacing, and general ‘feel’. Sadly at the moment we have to wait for Crimson to perform a pretty huge merge with the last few months of Goldie’s work before we can start building stuff again. But I’ve been doing as much design and experimentation as possible for scenes themselves and getting the mistakes out of the way early, I think. This might be a bit of a rambly one while I share my findings and thoughts.
For those unaware, I consider there to be two ends of a workable spectrum. One one end is Trials in Tainted Space, which features long scenes which are mostly rigid – you choose the scene, there’s perhaps an option or two along the way, but there’s usually a fair chunk to read. On the other end I’d put Lilith’s Throne, which is much more modular. You can choose everything you do kind of moment to moment, and each option features a few sentences or less.
After no small amount of flowcharting and experimentation, I think I’ve resolved that I want CS to be somewhere in the middle. I think TiTS’ method doesn’t allow for a lot of player agency, often leaving you spectating a scene more than performing in it. And LT has the opposing problem where you constantly need to micromanage your actions, and each one is so similar to the last that it’s easy to get ‘numb’ to the writing, if that makes sense. Both systems are good and fun, but not what I want.
Now, the first scene I’m aiming to make is for prostitutes, so it must be capable of handling a whole array of combinations of species and genitals. I want whorehouses to be a kind of standby for the player, present in most (not all) towns, ready for any adventurer to blow off some steam as an alternative to masturbation. I think it’s a solid place to start, since most other scenes with set NPC’s will have comparatively less to think about, so it forces me to look at broader problems. Further, if the player wants to take some work as a whore, the scene should also function in reverse for that, too.
My first plan was to have the flow thusly: Disrobe, foreplay (with option to repeat/try others), choose position, choose the main act, then lastly the climax, followed by closing dialogue. I believe I identified that having the option to choose a position resulted in far too many divergent paths when also considering every genital combination of player/NPC. Overall this resulted in I think over 100 possible things to do for the main act just to cover basic positions. Having that many combinations isn’t a problem, but requiring that many just to cover the basics for a new scene, less good, and that’s not considering the particular other combinations (like multidicks and double penetration, for instance).
Just the options with an NPC that has a penis. 36 in all when trying to create position options for a player with every genital combo.
So, I started over without choosing position, instead trying to stick to the main ‘tracks’ – each track being a combination of player and NPC junk. Penis, Vagina, Breasts. Asterisks (*) mean anything.
What these do is simulate the checks in place. The game can check for these conditions, and present all the valid options to the player during scenes. If you both have dicks, frotting is possible. If anyone has a dick, someone can suck it. Everyone has a face and a butt, so in the ALL case stuff like eating ass and fingers in the butt can happen.
What I like about this method in particular is that once those basics are covered, everyone has something they can do. And writers, myself included, can add to it rather than write entirely new scenes. Say for instance someone wished there was an option for footplay as foreplay, that can easily be amended as an option with the relevant checks (which would probably be just not having hooves). Maybe we need an option for double-dicked patrons, being able to stuff both in a butt or DP a female NPC. If I want there to be a rougher option, that can be easily added as a path, so scenes can grow that way over time. We don’t need brand new whole scenes all the time, but the relevant smaller blocks, and the Director can handle all the flavour in between.
Now, for a really cool thing. The Dialogue system we have can pass variables and information back and forth from itself to the game engine. This means, if after climaxing it sees you have the stamina for it, you can go another round. Or if your partner is insatiable, they can ask for more. Each option can have a monetary value that can be tallied up, so you can pay for exactly what you did at the end in the case of whores. It can pass data around inside itself as well, so with a little work we can blend scenes together with changes in position, and give NPC’s ‘memory’ to a point. “You’re so good at oral but this is even better!” kind of flavour.
As a parting note, I also want a ‘continue’ option for foreplay, so you can continue with it until climax if you choose, bypassing an act, simply going in for a quick blowjob etc. I’m certain there’s more I’ll learn in practice, but for now I’m satisfied with this direction. As always your thoughts and input are welcome.
Until next time!