Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Progress Update

Hey all, I'll be putting up a New Years Day update tomorrow for patrons as well as a public release for Alpha Build 5.5.1 likely around the end of the day.

Tomorrow's update will include the ability to select your breeder's sex when creating them (only male and female are available currently, but we may have more choices in the future), as well as some new sex animations featuring the male breeder.

There's some pretty big changes coming to using the breeder in the breeding menu too; firstly, the breeder will show up as selectable in the menu so there's no more of the unintuitive "breed monster with self" deal. Secondly, the breeder will have their own set of stats, and will level with breeding experience just like a monster. I haven't dealt with balancing those numbers yet so right now they work exactly like a regular monster, but in the future raising your breeder's stats will have entirely unique effects on gameplay.

I'm still working on getting consumables and the new save feature up and running, but once those two are done that'll knock out the last two major pieces of the rebuild and I'll be able to start getting the ancillary systems running (guild upgrades, ranch building upgrades, etc), and get some fresh content flowing again.

Also, I'm going ahead and tossing up a couple new pin-ups for our $10 patrons tonight on the Patreon; these ones featuring Saint Lily and Delilah. We want to start putting up new pin-ups much more regularly, and you expect more to come in the near future (as well as all-new debug codes pretty soon for the new build).

Lastly, everyone have a Happy New Years and be sure to enjoy yourselves tonight!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Response to Patron Comment

Hey guys, I'm currently working on getting the New Years update up and running. I just wanted to take a moment to let you guys know that despite it being an incredibly hectic last couple of months I am paying attention to feedback and I do read nearly every comment left on the blog, even if I can rarely spend the time to reply. I read a well-considered comment recently that echoed a lot of sentiments I've been getting from concerned supporters of the project and I thought I owed it to you all to write a formal reply and hopefully clear the air regarding things that have been worrying people about the project.

"First of all, an introduction: I'm a patreon. I sat here quietly for the last 5 months, spending my money on this game and waiting.

When patreons got, after 1 1/2 month of silence, nothing but 3 little flash animations I said "well, at least it's something". At this point, there were already promises of a soon rewritten game.

After that, the process seemed to pick up pace. Big words about new content, improved code, easier and faster to implement new stuff and almost 40% of the rewrite done.... So I waited and paid the monthly subscription in the hopes of better days.

But this update did it. This update is the final drop that lets all of my frustration and disappointment overflow. That's it. I had enough. I'm out. After over 4 months of rewriting, I leave. Yes, it is H-Bombs decision on which part of the game he lays his focus.
Yes, it is H-Bombs decision to determine how he spends his time and money.
Yes, it is H-Bombs decision to plan how to please every little fucker that thinks after paying 1$ or nothing he has the right to determine what is important or not.
But, after 4 months of rewriting and another deadline and another excuse and another promise, the game gets a holiday event instead of fixing things that are way overdue like saving & loading, introduction to new monster system, text for every npc, map, almost everything with consumables, town hall, events, flashing out the request system, traits and balancing overall.

Let us look back a few days. Friday, 19 Dec.: "I'm planning on a release complete with traits, events, and the new save system for Patrons". All he did was 1 tiny event that needed a hotfix after the release and the npc introduction for Roxie. I'm not sure if you can call it "complete trait system" when the trait names are "Test 9 1" or "Test 8 2".

It is not only this... let's call it setback, it is the whole series of big promises after which follow minor failures. Yes, every update brings new content but every update also leaves 2 new things that need a rework, a fleshing out, a redesign which comes late or complete balancing.

It's just so frustrating to pay for a game which has so much potential and every month you think to yourself "next month for sure" or "well, we all have a life to live. Shit happens" but by everything that gets my dick hard, we paid 25k this month for that update? Fuck, for 25k I can get my own programmers and flash animators and get this done in a quarter of the time. Only problem is, I don't have 25k. And don't come with "you don't know about programming". I know a shit load about programming because I did it for the last 6 years of my life. I pay my bills with it and I paid my monthly patreon with it and it finally reached a point where I can say "this is not worth my money".

Again, yes it is H-Bombs decision how to make this game. That includes team members, content, speed of production and everything else.
But I also have the option to say "fuck it, I'm out". My decision, my choice. Same goes for every patreon. I can't make you support or un-support H-Bomb. I can only state my opinion, see if you relate and hope that you change your decision. Hope that you see that this is not how things should be.
Maybe, one day, I will come back. But with this progression speed, I won't look back nor regret this decision. The only thing I regret now is that I ever believed and forgave every false promise while paying for it with my money.

Good luck everyone, I'm out"

Firstly, I want to thank the author both for generously supporting the project as long as they have and for expressing their criticism in a thoughtful and constructive manner; both these qualities are a rare thing and I am consistently impressed by how civil and intelligent fans of my goofy porn game are.

Secondly, I have to concede where I have been unambiguously at fault; I have very consistently made promises here on the blog on deadlines that I could not follow through with, and I've done it to a foolhardy degree and disregarded reasonable suggestions by fans to come up with better systems of setting expectations for releases. I will not lie: I have been terrible at learning from my mistakes in this regard, but I do recognize them and I sincerely apologize. Additionally, I created expectations when I first set up the Breeding Season Patreon system that did not reflect the eventual realities of development; I led people to believe that I would be able to make consistent monthly content releases with a playable build, and I don't blame Patrons at all for feeling betrayed by the fact that I have not been able to uphold this.

Much of the problem can be attributed to my inexperience with a project of this size, and I have to admit that a lot of the delays and over-optimistic deadlines have been a result of myself needing to learn on the job. In some cases the amount of work necessary to finish a task has ballooned wildly beyond my predictions; I honestly believed if I pushed myself I'd be able to finish the October deadline, and that proved to be absolutely incorrect to a degree that I wasn't at all expecting and was fairly laughable in retrospect.

I also have to admit that my intense desire not to disappoint you guys has been a big driving force in this problem and I've made some poor decisions over the course of the project because of it. Each time I fail to uphold a promised deadline I want to make up for the disappointment to my awesome supporters by having a twice as great release next time, and I try to promise as much, but in doing this I've put myself in a vicious cycle of creating unrealistic expectations for each new release and that's really all on me. I recognize that this needs to stop, and not only am I hurting myself by setting unrealistic expectations but also the people that I owe for even allowing me to be able to do this project in the first place.

Now, as to why this development process isn't going faster, particularly with the amount of resources we're being supplied with, this is due to something unintuitive that I didn't understand at first either. I've been reading The Mythical Man-Month by Frederick Brooks in order to brush up on project management, and I've found that what it's been saying rings incredibly true from my experiences (quoting from wikipedia's summary):

"Brooks discusses several causes of scheduling failures. The most enduring is his discussion of Brooks's law: Adding manpower to a late software project makes it later. A man-month is a concept of a unit of work proportional to the number of people working multiplied by the time that they work; Brooks's law says that this relation is a myth, and is hence the centerpiece of the book.

Complex programming projects cannot be perfectly partitioned into discrete tasks that can be worked on without communication between the workers and without establishing a set of complex interrelationships between tasks and the workers performing them.

Therefore, assigning more programmers to a project running behind schedule will make it even later. This is because the time required for the new programmers to learn about the project and the increased communication overhead will consume an ever increasing quantity of the calendar time available. When n people have to communicate among themselves, as n increases, their output decreases and when it becomes negative the project is delayed further with every person added."

Realistically, this project will take a long time, perhaps another year or more, and I cannot speed it up no matter how much money we're given. By adding additional labor now; more coders and artists and animators, I can massively increase the amount/quality of content that you guys will be getting once the game hits beta, but I just cannot make beta come any faster, and the more people I add to the project the farther away a finished version of the game will get.

Now, I know this is in some regards extremely unfair; particularly because we have thousands of awesome and generous supporters who are donating a massive amount of money every month for a project that will take months and months to reach completion, and with necessarily inconsistent releases along the way. The Patreon system honestly doesn't fit this project nearly as well as I hoped it would when we started; Patrons are only rewarded for donations month-to-month when their donations aren't really going to bear fruit until long into the future, and some months Patrons have generously donated money and got barely anything in return as a reward. I understand fully if Patrons who have contributed to the project decide to cease donating for a time and instead pledge again later when the project is closer to completion.

I want to add that I am paying attention to the Patrons who have donated significantly and consistently in these early stages and I do have records of who has gone above and beyond to support the project. I am absolutely looking into ways to reward and give back to these generous donors. One thing I am considering is adding every Patron who has donated over a certain amount in total to a mailing list that will allow them to receive the $10 level rewards every month regardless of whether they're still contributing money to the project or not. That way people who have given a lot already won't be required continue giving to receive rewards like early versions and debug codes later on.

As for what is happening with this excess money that we can't immediately turn into more labor; it's not just disappearing into the aether or getting spent on hookers and blow or what have you. I apologize that I haven't done a big financial breakdown on the blog before, but essentially right now the money we get from Patreon is about $17,000/month (this is what we get of the ~$25k/month pledged that shows up minus the cost of credit card transactions, Patreon's cut, and a large number of declined/fraudulent pledges that inflate the apparent number). Then I have to pay taxes on that money (15-20%), pay each of our contractors for the work they've done that month (Mittises, Fleet, PalmarianFire, Nono, and now Vanilly, though this cost can be inconsistent as it's based on how much work we were able to give them that month which varies based on the development state of the game, etc), and then S and myself take our salaries from what's left with a significant portion set aside and saved up specifically for future development costs.

I've ensured that I have sufficient savings stored up now that even if the Patreon money were to instantly dry up and disappear tomorrow I would have enough money to continue working on the project for another seven months and complete it (though I would have to do a significant reduction in scope), and ideally I'll just be able to reinvest it into the project instead, but again that takes time. The major point being that no matter what happens now, I will finish the project and see it all the way through to the end. It's just a matter of time.

Hopefully that addresses some concerns and gives you guys a better idea of where we're at right now. Please feel free to leave further comments and questions in the comments section and I'll try to get to some more of them, but I need to continue working on this New Years update.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Alpha Build 5.5.2 for Patrons

Alright, I can't make you guys wait any more. This isn't nearly as finished as I'd like it to be, but I want to at least have the Christmas event available for you guys to enjoy. I'll be putting the update up in the Creations section of the Patreon page in about 20 minutes.

You can view the female version of the Christmas event by clicking on the map button. Traits are not working correctly yet. There will be a much more substantial update for you guys at the end of the month. I just wanted to do something for Christmas T-T.

EDIT: I just uploaded a fix, hopefully the events work correctly now.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Pre-Beta Public Demo

Hey, still working away on the new release: it'll be ready in about 4 or so more hours. I'm afraid to say that the save function still won't be working yet, but it will be going into the New Years update at the end of this month (and, following that, saves will finally transfer for every version going forward). Tonight Patrons will be getting new traits as well as the new event system and our special Christmas event, including work from our newest animator who I'm looking forward to introducing formally. It won't have all of the old events ported over yet, but it should at least be something fun for ya'll to enjoy.

For now I'm going to put up the demo build that Patrons got access to a little while ago; it's not a playable version of the game but it's something for free players to mess around with at least to see some of the changes that are coming in the new build. Once New Years comes, I'll be putting up the build I released to Patrons earlier this month, so you'll be getting something more substantial soon.

.swf version:
.exe version:

EDIT: To update for you guys; I'm still here, and I'm still working. Thank you so much for your patience. Still trying to get the update up ASAP, right now it's looking like it'll be maybe 4:00 AM PST.

EDIT: Make that 5:00 AM PST, 6:00 at the absolute latest. And yes, I am heartily regretting setting a deadline around the holidays :(. Sorry, and again thanks for your patience guys; you're the best.

Progress Update

Happy Boxing Day! I apologize for the wait guys, I'm still getting things together. It's starting to look a little less like "early on Boxing Day" and more just like "on Boxing Day", but I will get the update up before the end of the day. If it's starting to look like it'll drag on towards later in the day I'll put up the public update early for you guys. S and Vanilly worked really hard on this Christmas event so I'm trying really hard to make sure I can get it working for you guys in time for what can still at least sorta still be called Christmas :P.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Progress Update

I'm busy making my list and checking it twice, etc, and I hope you're all enjoying your Christmas eves (or not, if that's your thing :P)! I'm still planning on doing the release tomorrow, likely pretty late in the day (so in a worst case scenario, it'll be an early Boxing Day release :P). The only thing that's a bit shaky still is the save system, but we'll see what I can get working by tomorrow night. Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Progress Update

Hey all, been working on getting the trait system all together. The new trait set-up is a huge improvement for me over the old one; previously adding new trait mechanics required large changes to existing code, now inserting a new trait effect into any interaction in the game requires just about a single line.

Traits WIP

After I get the new traits properly implemented I'm going to be getting the new dialog/events system set-up. I'm planning on a release complete with traits, events, and the new save system for Patrons and a public release of some of the older demo builds for Christmas!

Also, I want to give a plug to this game by Nono, one of our back-up animators. When he sent me it I was so impressed by the animations in it that I asked him to do some work for Breeding Season! Right now I'm looking at possibly integrating his After Effects style of animation into some special unique scenes:

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Alpha Build 5.5.1 for Patrons

Alright, build 5.5.1 is going up on Patreon in about 20 minutes. There's still some big bits missing: namely dialog, events, consumables, traits and saving, but the build is really starting to shape up now and it's a good deal more like an actual game now.

The request system is in; the requests you'll get from the NPCs are just placeholder for now, but they'll be a bit more fleshed out and interesting once I get a chance to implement them all. You have a random chance to get a new request every day.

Note that pretty much all the numbers, from the XP required to level to the level requirements on the requests to the way that stats affect XP, etc, has not been balanced yet whatsoever, so don't worry; these values aren't indicative of how I intend to balance things ultimately, they're just values I stuck in to get the build working.

There's also an extra treat for you guys in that I've finally managed to get the new catgirl hairs/faces into the game, and I have to say they are adorable and some of my favorite stuff S has made yet. They're not totally integrated for all the catgirl animations yet, but I wanted to at least get them in for the idle and for dickwolf/catgirl.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Tiny Progress Update

Hey, just dropping this update to let you guys know the hotfix is on its way today. I'll have it to ya'll before the end of the night.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Progress Update

Hey, sorry for the small gap in progress updates, things are getting a little more hectic as the holiday season approaches here and I'm finally getting the chance to take some time to look at who else we can add on to the team. I'm extremely sorry to any project manager/coder applicants who've been waiting patiently for us to get back to them; there's been a lot of things competing for our attention this last couple of months, but I will start getting back to applicants within the next couple of weeks.

I'm still planning on hotfixing in the requests screen ASAP but as I've worked more on it I've found that it'll be necessary to flesh out more of the systems it's integrated with as well (NPC/affection, etc), so the hotfix will have more in it than I previously thought. I'm shooting to have it up on Wednesday.
WIP requests menu

Also, a ton of people have been asking about it, there will be a public release in the later half of this month. Basically I'll just be making some of the demo builds that I've made available to patrons previously available to the public.

Anyway, finally I'll leave you with some artwork that S has been working on:

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Progress Update

Hey guys, just putting up a small update to let you know I'm still working on getting that request system working. I'm pretty excited with how it's turning out so far; it'll be a small addition at first but I think getting requests from the actual NPCs will add a lot more interest to fulfilling the client requests. I'll be hotfixing as soon as it's in working order.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Alpha Build 5.5 for Patrons

Alright, I've been struggling with getting the requests menu to work all night but I realize it's already morning now so I'm going to go ahead and put up this build for all of you who have been waiting patiently. I'm going to keep working on the requests menu until it's done and then put up a hotfix as soon as I have it working. I ain't too tired so I'm just going to stay up and see if I can't get it done before this afternoon. I won't lie; the build is rougher than I would've liked, there's still a lot of placeholder stuff and some crucial missing pieces, but I should be able to hotfix the rest in ASAP. Right now Delilah doesn't take her taxes, so there's not much challenge, but I just plan on continually uploading builds over the course of the next two weeks as I add features as things should go much more quickly now that all the base systems are in place.

When I started this rewrite I had no idea that I would literally end up rewriting every last line of code in the game. On the plus side this means that there isn't a part of the game that has gone untouched in this restructuring so pretty much everything has been redesigned or improved in some way or another. The downside is that there will be a lot of bits missing or broken as I still have to recode much what was in the game before. In the past two months I've written about 5,000 lines of code, which is a personal record for me, at least :P. Honestly, putting this newest build together felt like a boss-rush of the entire rest of the project combined so far, but at the very least it is much better written than the previous builds.

But fair warning; there will be bugs. I haven't dealt with the animation bugs yet but I know what the problem is so they shouldn't be too hard to deal with. I replaced the Bug Report page with a fresh one so feel free to leave liberal reports. The new UI bits are still unfinished so they may look a bit wonky/act a bit laggy, but I plan on improving upon them to make them a bit more comfortable/convenient to use as I flesh them out more.

I'll be uploading the new build in about 20 minutes or so to the Patreon Creations section.