Saturday, March 3, 2018

v0.33 is Live!

Grab your copy by going to the Play the Game tab above!

Another chunk of the Glass Door is filled out! Finally, you can choose to seek out James instead of Amelia, despite the consequences you know may arise. Of course, one particular collar has a workaround for that issue that results in a dramatically different scene. Also, due to popular demand, I've hacked together a poor but functional answer to let people start a new game without restarting the program. The Help menu has been replaced with a Main Menu button!

Other than that, two new pieces of art have been added. Both are set in pre-collar content and each features activity similar to the other, though the other way around. In fact, without cheats, you won't be able to see both on the same file... Happy hunting!

I ran into a fair amount of trouble during this update cycle, and I'm not very happy with the amount of content I managed for this one. I got really sick, and just ran into some personal life issues that made things pretty difficult, but I'm glad I was able to finish things to the point it made a good lump of content to add without things being too confusing.

From here, it's possible we'll be able to finish the Glass Door in one more update. Most of the options are complete (and in hindsight, I removed one or two that had been implied but would just make for pretty redundant scenes), and at this point it's pretty much just a matter of letting Lith have a little more choice in matters, actually. After that, we'll be taking a short break from storyline content to look at other stuff, and to get ready for the beginning of the game's final chapter. Pumped!

In other news, the hunt for art has been smoothing out a bit since I got more serious about cataloguing and tracking artists, and hopefully I'll actually be setting up a small section on the new MVOL Discord before long so fans can help keep a sharp eye on all the potential artists on my list so we can snatch up a commission for the game as soon as they're open! At this point I'm probably spending an amount of time looking for artists or communicating with them, polishing out details with sketches and such, equivalent to the time I spend actually writing for the game. So that's been crazy, but hopefully you guys will see it really starting to pay off soon!

I think that's all I've got for this update. I hope you guys enjoy! Thanks for playing!

Saturday, January 6, 2018

v0.32 is Live!

Go to the Play the Game tab above to play it now!

So I called last update the Teaser Update, because it opened the third trip through the Glass Door up, but when you played through it, you saw lots of choices and possibilities that just weren't available. Well, I've finally filled in a few of those options-- specifically, I filled in three, though the pink collar one is probably the meatiest by far. Each collar now has one "deal with the problem" option unique to their respective desires and strengths.

And at the same time, this update is also a teaser in its own way! There's one new(ish) item to be found through the Wooden Door, but you can only use it once, despite how much you might want to use it again. Still, I hope you guys will dig the new content and its implications-- I've been getting requests for a certain option for quite some time, and this is the best way I can personally see to fulfill that desire.

Besides the new writing, there are also two new pieces of art I'm very proud to have procured-- I think that this update may have the best art out of any so far. I've been having a lot of trouble with commissioning art on the level I'd like for the game, and I think in this particular case I mostly just got lucky, but I'm certainly hoping I can keep it going. One of the pieces is the final part in completing a trifecta that you'd think I could've gotten all done at once, but I'm glad I didn't. The other is a treat for when you're in an especially compromising situation, and I actually had to split up the scene into two separate pages to put it in, as it already had art installed for its introduction rather than its... conclusion.

Lastly, I got in touch with the amazing Mz Nite, who has done a ton of art for MVOL including the new portrait in the corner, to see about getting a series of adjustments and improvements made to fine tune that very piece. Her original art for the portrait was absolutely beautiful, but it was rendered at a much higher resolution than you actually see in the game, and shrinking the art made some details difficult to see. So I worked with her on a lot of small improvements, especially with Lith's mouth, to make his face clearer and the changes in his emotions easier to judge on the standard 800x600 resolution game. I hope you'll have a much easier time telling just what Lith thinks now!

Along with that, though, we added a couple small pieces to his portrait that I think make a huge difference. Going through the doors, you should notice a more dramatic change that I think really helps highlight that sense that something strange is going on, and that there's a very strong, sudden transition between the void and the insides of the doors. Overall I think the portrait is a ton better with this update, especially for people playing the standard version of the game (or goodness forbid, the compressed versions I have to use on e6 and FA D:).

This update also marks my big push to put my new Discord for MVOL out there! I opened it to my patrons for a while first to test it out, and I think it's gone pretty well, but I'd love to make it a space for all the people that enjoy my game to come together and help each other and maybe make new friends. If you haven't already, I'd encourage you to check it out!

That's all I had to go over today. Lots of little things in this update, working our way through the final stage of the Glass Door before it's time to get ready for MVOL's final chapter! Thank you all for being part of this adventure with me, for reading all my ramblings, and for playing my game. I hope you enjoy!

Monday, December 25, 2017

Family and Friends

Happy Holidays everyone! Merry Christmas, if that's your thing. I hope your year has been a happy one, and that your future is bright. Cherish your family and friends, for they are precious and often go sorely underappreciated.

If you're feeling a little short on friends, though, or maybe you're a little tired of dealing with your extended family, then I may be able to offer one solution. I've opened up a Discord server for My Very Own Lith, and I'd love to see you all there. I believe I have one of the most amazing and kind fanbases in the world, and I think if you come together you might be able to form a wonderful community and make many lifelong friendships. So come and join us!

And there's one more piece of good news. It's a little less on-theme, save that it has a certain emphasis on the importance of family. I've released a new story on SoFurry, FurAffinity and InkBunny that, while not so cheery, I believe you may find an enjoyable read. Be warned, it does have some strange themes.

Also, I recently released the Monthly Mini-Update on my Patreon, and we're still roughly on schedule for v0.32 to go live to supporters this weekend, then go public the weekend after that, if I can manage to rush out this last section I'm working on. So there's a lot to look forward to!

Happy tidings, everyone!

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Hotfixes are Up!

So, had a few issues with this release! Long story short, the original release will lock you in the art gallery if you go to the second page but haven't unlocked any art there, and also the Android release was a test copy and not ready for final release.

Wherever you've downloaded the game, fixed copies should now be up! Except e6, that one's flagged for deletion but it'll take a minute, and the new version is uploaded there. The e6 version is all ugly and compressed anyway though, download a copy from the Play the Game tab!

Grab a new copy of the game and enjoy!

Friday, November 3, 2017

v0.31 is Live!

Get your copy now under the Play the Game tab above! Having trouble? Check the FAQ for a guide on making SWFs work and just lots of interesting stuff!

You could probably call this update the Teaser Update! We're jumping right into the third trip through the Glass Door, and there are tons of choices and branching paths... but most of them only have one branch right now. So, fair warning: you may get a little frustrated that you can't pick the choice you really want! Not yet, anyway.

Even so, this update features three distinct sex scenes, although one will be unavailable depending on matters of anatomy. The third trip is, frankly, gonna be pretty heavy on sex with just about every option. But knowing what's through that door, that probably wasn't a big surprise to most folks.

Besides the new story, there are two new pieces of art. One is by far the easiest to find in the game. You could find it before any other piece. But very few people will probably see it. The other piece is in the early game, but a bit tricky to find, as it requires specific anatomy that doesn't usually get its own art. Plus, I've given the Art Gallery a small upgrade since the list was getting kinda huge.

Also, speaking of art, I'm still looking for help! I think that my last post calling for volunteers was a little poorly written, as I did not receive a single response, and those that did comment on the issue seemed to completely misunderstand what I was looking for in an “Art Hunter.” So I've written up a more compact, reader-friendly page to lay out the basics! Please take a look! I could really use your help, and it's pretty easy work, there's just too much of it for me to keep it up.

I'm really excited to get some better-quality art in this game, but in a way, you might say we're running out of time. It's going to take a few versions still to round out all of the possibilities for the Glass Door, but after that, there's only one Chapter left in the story! I've been super excited to get to this for the longest time, but the closer it gets, the scarier it feels!

I'm not really sure what I'll do when MVOL is finally complete. I know it won't be terribly sudden, there's plenty of potential for adding extra content, lots of little things I've been meaning to do that would complement the story as a whole, but I can't do that forever. Too much side content would definitely detract from the game as a whole. Besides that, as people have been wont to warn me, Flash is dying. I'll be looking into ways to possibly export it to some other medium, but one likely solution is just to finish the game before then and make sure it's available in a way that should ensure it will be playable forever.

That will be a pretty huge milestone in my life. I'm glad I have time to consider it ahead of time and figure out what my next step will be, but it's true that I'm already heavily involved in The Cathouse Tale, and I always have ideas and more games that I wish I could be making. I love designing games, I can spend days just obsessing over how to make a great system, but I tend to be a pretty amateurish programmer, and I can only write so much in a day. I've been trying to reach out to a programmer or two, but if anyone has solid programming experience and would be interested in making something with me, I'd be happy to start a conversation. My email is always open!

But I've rambled pretty well off the topic. The new release is ready, it's chock full of sex and art, and it's waiting for you! Go enjoy! Thanks for reading, and thanks for playing!

Monday, September 11, 2017

So I guess I should ask for help!

I mentioned in my last post that I've been having a lot of trouble making the transition to getting art from upper-tier artists. Often, it's a lot of work just finding their commission information and getting an idea of how they work, if they run on a certain schedule or what, or even if they're actually taking commissions. And if they are, many of them seem to only announce it in certain places all over the web, often for very short periods of time. It almost feels like just getting art from these people would be a full-time job!

It was really discouraging for me, and I have a lot of things I'd really rather be doing, but it needs to be done! So I realized: I get folks emailing me and the like now and then because they love MVOL and they want to do whatever they can to help. And besides becoming a Proofer, I usually don't have much to suggest, as much as I appreciate the sentiment. But maybe that's no longer true!

So I'd like to call out for anyone with spare time every day and a bit of patience that's willing to help me get awesome art for MVOL! There would be two major parts to this. First, I'd send you a list of artists that I think are promising, and you would research them. Look through their posts, journals, google them, find what blogs and such they might have, try to get all the info you can on how to commission them. Prices, procedures, terms of service, schedule, things like that.

Second, for any of these artists that still seem promising and are only open some of the time (which seems to be most of them) you would keep tabs on wherever they announce that sort of thing. In some cases, it might even be necessary for you to grab a spot for me before they close up, but that's something we'd have to figure out as we go along.

Having experience with commissioning big name artists would certainly help, but isn't necessary. If you think you have the time and patience to act as an Artist Hunter for me, please drop me a line! I would be happy to have more than one, as I have a lot of artists on my wishlist, and with how short some of these windows for comms can be, I think having multiple eyes out there could be a big help. This feels a little silly asking for this, but I think it might be the only way to get the real high-scale art I'm hoping for into MVOL!

Also, if you're interested in helping and you have a fine eye for detail and a strong grasp on English, I'm always in need of more Proofers! There are always more typos and bugs in MVOL, and I can use your help cleaning things up! Proofers also get early access to new versions of the game so they can help clean it up before the release. Take a look!

Thanks, guys! Hopefully together, we can get MVOL looking better than ever!

Friday, September 8, 2017

v0.30 is Live!

Get your copy now under the Play the Game tab above! Having trouble? Check the FAQ for a guide on making SWFs work and just lots of interesting stuff!

So this version comes with some good news and some bad news. First off, you might consider this both good and bad news: the second trip through the Glass Door is complete! That's right, it's all done in one version, start to finish, including every variation! The bad news there being, that's because it's not as involved a trip as most of the others, nor as varied. This marks the middle section of the middle chapter of the second and final Act of the game, and you might say it's something of a lull before we start the big... well. Before the end begins.

For more good news, if you've been keeping an eye on my Patreon you may have noticed we've passed (more or less, Patreon's numbers vary a lot over the course of the month because weird reporting) my second big stretch milestone! This means it's time to triple my art budget and start getting in touch with some of the big names in the art community to see about getting some really high-quality art into MVOL! I've been super excited and super nervous about this goal, but the time has finally come to reach out to artists I've hardly dared dream of working with. And...

And it's been a complete failure so far. I've sent PMs and emails to over a dozen artists I really admire and think could be a great for for MVOL, asking if they'd be open to drawing the variants necessary for a piece of art in MVOL. A couple were open to the idea, but not available for commissions right now. One or two declined. The rest flat out ignored me. Honestly, just trying to track down commission information for all of them (and the two dozen artists who, upon research, would obviously not be a match for one reason or another) was exhausting, and half the time I simply had to try a PM because I couldn't find any other indication of how to possibly approach them about commissions, even when they were obviously churning them out in great multitudes.

I think that top-tier artists tend to find themselves in a situation where they have more people approaching them than they could ever possibly draw for, and that if they simply make themselves virtually inaccessible, they can find more than enough work among repeat customers and the occasional network connection or new client gained by happenstance. That's the best, most optimistic explanation I have at this point for how artists can churn out so many commissions without ever giving any indication of how they accept them, or responding to inquiries.

Whatever the explanation, I have hit a wall rather unexpectedly. That's not to say I've given up-- there are many more artists of great talent I intend to reach out to in the days to come. It's just... you know, tough to throw yourself right back into that. If anyone has advice on how to approach high-level artists, or knowledge of what avenues are the best to use, or maybe if there's some "avoid these commissioners" page somewhere with me pasted on there because I got fidgety about getting Lith's look right one too many times... If you guys know anything that might help me with this great hunt for great artists, please do let me know. You can comment here or email me or what have you, I'm all ears. I want to get amazing artists working with Lith.

Well. That was another set of good and bad news. I did manage to get some art for this release, two pieces as usual, but they're more of the typical fare my usual budget would allow. One will be quite easy to find for one third of my players on a standard run through, and the other is pretty easy to have thrust on you if you're into that sort of thing, and Lith has what he needs. Getting the last piece of art for this release was its own little adventure, just concluding at the last possible moment with a desperate stream commission that turned out surprisingly well. To be honest, v0.30 has been full of ups and downs and has just been immensely wearying in many ways, but I've covered the big points. If you want a better timeline of what happened, and to keep up on how development is going in the future, you're welcome to check out my Twitter. I've been getting mostly better about using it to report as I get writing done, grumble about my problems, and generally ramble about nerdy and furry stuff.

Actually, you may notice on there that I've finished a few stories recently. In case you didn't know, besides writing MVOL, I also have a pretty hefty archive of stories on FurAffinity and SoFurry. I kinda went a year without adding more, but that's apparently partly because I left a lot of them not quiiite finished, and you can expect several new stories to be coming out in the weeks and months to come! My stories tend to be quite the grab bag, including canon stories featuring Lith outside the void, lots of interesting experimental pieces, and a great deal of weird, kinky stuff that's more fetishistic than I really dare to be with MVOL. Try a few! I often surprise people with what I can get them to enjoy reading about, and I love broadening folks' horizons a touch.

Anyway, that's all the news and self-promotion for now. This version was a pretty rough trip, but I'm hoping things will smooth out a little now we've learned from this. Again, if you guys have any advice or helpful information for commissioning high-tier artists, if you know anyone that might be able to put in a good word for me or what have you, I'd be grateful for any help. My amazing supporters have given me the money to maybe afford these amazing artists, but apparently it's not as simple as being ready to pay. But we can make it happen!

Thank you, everyone, for being part of this with me.