Redesigning the core gameplay

I decided to make a post to explain the process I’m currently undergoing.

The context

Assessing the current state

First I need to explain the reason of such endeavor.

Currently to know about the availability of a scene you need to check if the option is grayed out. That system works. This action is easy to do and while you need to go into the categories the information is accessible at a glance.

It comes appart, in my opinion, when you want to know what to do to make those events accessible. Now you need to click each grayed option to have a little internal monologue telling you what’s needed to unlock it. First it may not be intuitive for the player to click on a grayed out option. Second it takes quite a few clicks.

Assessing the constrains

For me keeping the gameplay inline with the content is very important. I wouldn’t add a piece of GUI that don’t work with the setting. For example while a display the current state of the girls training could be handy, I refused myself to display a simple number. The reason is that the MC has no mean to quantify it, he can only estimate. In that context displaying a number would clash with the setting of the game.

So the puzzle here is to give the player the right amount of information to make the gameplay enjoyable (as simple as it is). And at the same time the way it is given also needs to work with the game.

About that last concern the biggest issue is the lackluster GUI engine that Ren’Py provides. Don’t get me wrong, it works, as long as you don’t want to make your game interactive or ergonomic. But when you do, it’s a constant struggle and bodge-fest to achieve your desired result.

The response

Why now ?

With the rework of Francesca and thus of the sexshop, for me it was the right time to act. To have a useful sexshop the various sextoys needed to be added in the requirements of the scenes.

That would mean adding yet more reasons to why a scene is locked. Aggravating the state of the display of those requirements. Now grinding mindlessly wouldn’t cut it anymore.

Getting the idea

For me getting the idea is an important step. It is easy to roll with the first idea you get. But I need to feel like it’s the good idea, and it seems that I have pretty high standard as I can spend a few month to get set on one.

On top of having to give information to the player about the availability of a scene, our end is also starting to be an issue. The code for only the menus is getting really long and hard to maintain. So I decided to kill two bird in one stone. I would create a system that would allow me to easily check is an event is available. I would also use that system to give the player the information they need.

It took some time to be set on how making it, around a full month. I also had to learn a few new tricks. But I’m quite happy with my plan now.

Redesigning the UI

Now that I have figured out the extend of the change in the back-end, I need to design a UI.

I’m not an ergonomist nor a GUI designer. That doesn’t mean I don’t try to make it look and feel good. But that task is not as easy for me as I would like, given the importance I give it.

Prototyping a requirement list

So I tried. I initially went for a requirement list.

It was barely “ok” for me. I would say bare minium in term of coherence with the game. The MC is a scientist, it’s probable he likes lists, not as much as a commercial airplane pilot but still.

When it came appart was the implementation. Doing that kind of thing with Ren’Py is a nightmare. When you try to achieve a very precise vision of a piece of GUI you will encounter a massive issue. That issue will either be impossible to get around or at least tediously hard.

For those that ever dealt with CSS styling and consider it horrible, Ren’Py GUI is grimdark compared to it.

I may scrap that GUI or more probably keep it for later. But what I show you is not working, due to one of those Ren’Py’s jolly quirky bug.

I have a much simpler maybe elegant idea I need to test before making a decision. As I said I’m still working on it, and just laying out the situation in that article made me think of it.

Back to work

So here is the situation and what was going on behind the curtain on my end.

I may make a follow up article, but I wouldn’t bet on it. The result of will be included in the next update. So it would only be for the sake of the adult game creators community. We will see if it is interesting enough to make another article about it.

That is all for now.

…And I’m back.

Hey guys!

Here’s to hoping it’s been a good week for you all.

Me, I just arrived back home this week and kind of had to settle back into the flow of things. Mostly concerning work and things around the house.

That didn’t stop me from using my spare time in the evening to continue working on the next update, which is coming along quite good I might add.

I’m not entirely sure if I had already mentioned that I reworked all of Lola’s content up to and including re-rendering all of her scenes, so playing through those should be a bit more rewarding and hopefully more thought out.

So then it’s on to finishing modelling the last of her new scenes before starting the rendering work.

I’ve still got some work to do before I’m thoroughly satisfied with the content so I’ll be sure to let you guys know. (Maybe I’ll even be posting a teaser if there’s interest in that.)

But really that’s all from me this time.

Thanks for being accepting of my week+ off work and your continued support.


Slow week

Hey, Vaasref here.

I just wanted to tell you that, like you, I’m waiting for Jan the Spider to return so that we can get back to work.

I have also finished to build my keyboard (and will need to write the post about it). It’s not perfect, it’s my first PCB design and my first keyboard build, so there is some issues here and there. But anyway I’m restored in my capacity to program.

I’m quite looking forward to start working again. I have planned some big gameplay changes. They are not for the next release though. As we learned from the SMS update, such addition in a Ren’Py game is quite work intensive.

Even if the game engine is starting to run cleaner and cleaner any substantial change means fighting again Ren’Py to make anything happen. That means bugs, the nasty kind, the kind that is unpredictable and hard to spot. So it’s stressful to release such update in a 1 month time period when a bug can suddenly appear and murder you with a rusty knife.

I’ll probably need to fully utilise git’s capabilities to work in parallel if one new features takes too much time. It’s nothing fancy but it’s a workflow I need to get used to.

With that, I’ll go back to my cave, bye.

(End of) Summer vacation

Hey guys!

I know I don’t talk a lot about my personal affairs here, but I thought it fair to let you wonderful people know that I’ll soon be going on a week+ long vacation, meaning there won’t be that much activity on the patreon page.

Don’t worry too much though, since progress for the next update is coming along nicely and my absence shouldn’t really be a problem for the development.

I have been super focused on this project lately and at times feeling a bit stressed about some aspects of it. 

So I guess what I’ve been needing is a change of pace and scenery. 

So even though this vacation is supposed to be all about rest and recuperation I have a feeling that once I get used used to not working my brain will fire up with all sorts of deviant ideas for the next installment.

But that’s pretty much all I have to say for now.

Until next time.

Week 28-29 Report

Jan the Spider

So, I spent the last few days feeling pretty much under the weather, but I did manage to render the last batch of images for the upcoming update.

That’s 56 new images which will focus on Harley’s 3rd Tier.

This picture will be included in the update, so it’s kind of a foreshadowing as to what is going to happen…

Feel free to ponder it over, because I don’t want to spoil too much.

Now I’m just looking over the pics, fixing just the tiniest of flaws where I spot them and making sure everything looks right.

Then I’ll start writing down the dialogue, which to tell you the truth I usually just dread, before finally sitting down and banging most of it down in a few days.

I don’t want to set a date in stone just yet, I’ll tell you why:

It’s mainly because I hate to get you people excited and then having to postpone, but I promise you I have been working my ass off to be able to bring you the same kind of content that you’ve come to expect.

Hopefully I won’t have to make another post before you guys have the update.


As for myself I worked on setting up this devblog, installing what was obviously needed, tweaking the style to something I was satisfied with, it turned out quite better than anticipated really.

Anyway, I’m sure I’m not even started to tweak it as I’m sure that with time we will find that we lack a good deal of features. For example I might add a bbPress or something alike, I would like to have a better place for you to post bug reports and questions. There also might be some bugtracker plugin out there, I don’t know, didn’t checked yet, not really needed as there is no new gameplay feature plan short term, not until I have a decent keyboard to program on anyway, the handicap not having a good keyboard is the reason I started a series of posts about my process of making it (c.f. Project : Shining Armor).

Speaking of which I also continued working on it, I calculated as best as could the specs I needed for everything to work, finished the circuit schematics and started started the layout of the PCB. It’s coming along nicely but my computer was in a little bit of a blue error spree this week and the mobile phone network is quite spotty, so I was slowed down way too much for my liking.

Also being in holidays doesn’t help me to keep any sleep habit, so I’m only able to keep track of what I did more that 5h back. But I’m still able to know what part of the week it is.

It’s funny, I would say I have a almost decent absolute time frame while having a completely destroyed relative one.

But enough rambling for a single report, it’s kinda off topic really and I don’t want to belittle the work of Jan by telling too much of those poignant stories.