After Scarlet Moon

Things seem to have settled down on the Scarlet Moon front. I think we’ve gotten most bugs fixed (though if you ever run into any, please let me know). So now we can start thinking in earnest about what comes next: Mischievous Misfortune.

As I start working on Mischievous Misfortune, I’ll be periodically posting some thoughts and questions. These will mostly be musings that I’m looking for feedback on. This is going to be another multi-year project, and I want to make sure it’s something that both I and all of you can get a lot of enjoyment out of.

The first question is what features can be safely dropped. It seems with every year I get busier, so one thing I will be looking at is if there is anything we can cut from Mischievous Misfortune compared to Scarlet Moon. At the same time, one of the big selling points of Scarlet Moon is the detailed character customization. I don’t want to lose that. The question is: Is there anything that isn’t worth the effort?

For example, you will still be able to pick your gender. I’ve interacted with quite a few fans who really like being able to make their character male. So gender selection will still be there. On the other hand, there won’t be any combat. While I have interacted with a few people who like the combat, many of you just skip it entirely, and combat is *a lot* of work. By dropping combat, not only will I no longer have to worry about implementing and balancing the various powers that each character possesses, but it also means I can use Twine, which will make Mischievous Misfortune *much* more portable than Scarlet Moon. So gender is in, combat is gone.

But what else? How important is bodytype and musculature to people? Would anyone be acutely disappointed if the PC has a big, soft bottom and (if they’re a girl) ample (though reasonably realistic) breasts? Letting the player change the bodytype might not seem like much, but it does make the spanking scenes a fair bit harder to write. I have a much harder time when I don’t have a clear image in my head of what the spankee looks like, and having to write small variations for each bodytype interrupts the flow. This scene in Samantha Stone gives a pretty good idea of how much better my spanking scenes are when I have a clear sense of what the spankee looks like: Samantha spanking.

Even if we keep bodytype and musculature I’d probably want to limit both to just two options. bodytype will have “slender” and “voluptuous” while musculature will have “soft” and “fit.”

Height we will definitely keep, but will probably be simplified to “short”, “average”, and “tall.” Outside of some of the buildup, and when describing other characters, height doesn’t generally have a huge impact on the spanking scenes, so that one’s very low effort for me. Similarly for hairlength, hairstyle, and skin color.

Clothing definitely isn’t going anywhere. Clothing can be a lot of work, but clothing is a big part of a spanking for me, and something that other people tend to gloss over, so I want to make sure people have plenty of options there.

On the flip side, is there a customization option that people wished we had in Scarlet Moon, that they would like to see in Mischievous Misfortune? Clothing they would like to see? Hair styles? Now is the time to ask!


13 thoughts on “After Scarlet Moon

  1. I’m writing something in Twine that I hope can be published this year.

    My variables are name, gender, best skill (stealth etc), nether clothing (pants/skirts/shorts), underwear, height, skin/eye/hair colour (also bald) & partner gender. Most of these are naked variables like $name or $underwear where the players’ input and choice respectively are displayed, making them easy to write with.

    So in my thing body type and musculature aren’t options, which just makes me a massive hypocrite for saying I’d like them to be in MM. That is, whatever makes the MC sound closer to me is for the better. Your two suggested options for each variable would cover basically everyone. Hearing a villain in SM berating the hero for having an ass made of jello felt off.

    As for what wasn’t in SM, I’d hope for some sort of skill and possibly weakness, much like in Samantha. I have a minigame in place whose difficulty is affected by your chosen skill, but no paths are locked. If MM is fleeing from someone, she could choose to hide (easier with stealth), choose to fight (easier with physicality) or chose to trick her pursuer (easier with intelligence), but every path could be chosen and completed successfully no matter your skill.

    Otherwise, I’ll say chapter 7 of SM felt a bit more alive than the others. Having the environment react to your choices made a huge difference. I hope that makes a return. (I use a recurring variable $choice whose value renews for every passage.)

    And your previous post of using Juliana 10 years later is a masterstroke. She’s fun, she’s cool, she’s the perfect anchor to tie MM to the SM universe. Good luck on forming your new narrative. 🙂

    1. Thanks for the great feedback! I think everything you say sounds reasonable, and aligns very closely with what I have in mind. I definitely plan to have the same kinds of small reactions I had in episode 7 of Scarlet Moon. My only problem with it was that it took me so long to think of it.

      Furthermore, Samantha Stone is a very good example of what I have in mind for MM. The only significant difference is that MM will have roleplaying choices, which is something that Samantha lacks. MM will likely have slightly different skills. At this stage, I’m thinking they’ll be Fate Accelerated style approaches: Clever, Quick, and Sneaky.

      Also, I’m glad to hear you like the idea of using Juliana so much!

      Also, I can’t wait to see your work!

  2. As one of the people who really enjoyed the combat, I am in 100% agreement that it should be removed, if it’s not the focus it is just a distraction.

    Another thing I think you should remove is exclusive romances, it’s one of those things that seemed like it was taking up a lot of space with very little payout.
    Like ep6d1 being 2 scenes long without the Midnight romance.

    And I think it would help to add a max skill points in play.
    I think it was the Masks TTRPG that used it, where whenever you went up in one stat another fell by the same amount.
    This would help you have a better idea of how strong a player is and allow the player to adapt to an situation as needed.

    1. Yeah, I was planning on not having any romances. They sucked a lot of oxygen out of the room. The most we might see is some opt-in unresolved sexual tension, but that would just modify scenes (on a similar scale as clothing, or roleplaying choices), it won’t introduce brand new ones.

      Max skill points sounds interesting. My original plan was just to keep the player’s stats static. You allocate 3 skill points at the very beginning, and those are the skills you have for the entire game. The game’s strategy would mostly consist of making choices that you think will play to your PC’s strengths (or exploit their weaknesses), and the game’s tactics will mostly revolve around when to take a compel, and when to spend a Spanken.

      I could let players tweak their skills at the end of each episode (basically, reduce one skill by 1 to increase another skill by 1), but I’m not sure that would be worth the effort. With only 3 skills, and 3 skill points, the player doesn’t really have that much to play with.

      1. Would love there to be some sexual spanking “one time”hookups, something like the first few run ins with Midnight (I of course would prefer being in Midnights shoes for those).
        One of the things I’m really sad never got resolved in Scarlet, is the game Midnight tell her they will be playing in “ep5d2-midnight-chat”

        If you plan is only 3 skill points there is no reason to let the player change them around, something like that is better suited for a game where the difference in skill totals is bigger.

        1. We could probably incorporate some sexual spankings into one or more Aspects. Basically, have places where the PC can seduce a guard or whatever for information (or a slice of life scene where they go cruising the bars).

  3. So I really love the character description and customizations, but one thing I would note is that the option for women’s panties seems lacking. I’m in the minority but I love seeing a woman with a huge bottom wearing a simple pair of panties. I think that’s a nice aesthetic and would love some more normal panties to give some variety.

    As for the genders body type, when I play these games, I always role play as a femboy switch, so I hope it’s ok to have an option for the male character to have some nice curves as well (at least for his rear). Also, I’m wondering is it possible to have some dialogue where if the Male MC wear’s women clothing, the NPC’s could comment on it. Nothing too crazy, just a simple line like “Huh, you look better in those than me” or “Damn, I’m jealous” that’s always fun, at least for me.

    1. When you’re talking about women’s panties, I’m assuming you’re talking about the underwear worn by female NPC’s (since you play a femboy switch). In that case, I can probably make that work, at least a little. I find plan panties boring, so most characters will probably still be wearing something impractically sexy. However, there is one very major character I have in mind, for whom plain panties would work perfectly, and she just so happens to be one of the NPCs who will be spanked most often. I’ll make sure to give her a large rump 😉

      Seeing as how I’ve had two players who want to keep bodytype, we will keep bodytype, and the “voluptuous” bodytype will be available to male characters (indeed, I won’t be restricting any options based on gender). So you can still play a voluptuous femboy.

      It won’t be too hard to incorporate some lines on NPC’s commenting on player clothing. Most will likely be gender neutral, but I will try to throw in a few geared specifically for males in female clothing. Don’t expect it to be super common. Males in female clothing are certainly allowed, but it’s not really a fetish I’m interested in, so don’t expect more than a few bones every now and then.

      1. Thanks for taking my ideas into account! I know that you get a lot of requests and I appreciate you’re willingness to listen to mine. Especially since you aren’t even into Femboys and crossdressing. Cant wait to see when you’ll make the newest game!

  4. I’ll also put in a vote for ditching the combat system. I kept having to go back and try to figure out what some (many) of the individual powers did, and the combat itself was really more of a stepping stone to the rest of the story.

    I’ll also throw in a vote for keeping options on body types. Everybody likes what they like, and I think keeping the widest array possible will let players land on their own preferences.

    What I’m wondering is whether it’s possible to add one more variable to the spankings, sort of a consequences option. Something like, “You can agree to the spanking, and it’ll be with the bare hand. You can take the compel, and it’ll be with a leather paddle. Or you can try your stat, and if you fail it’s the hairbrush for you.” I’ve no idea if that’s possible in the environment you’re using, but it’s just a thought.

    Finally, and again I’ve no idea if this is possible, would being able to set the player’s spanker/spankee preferences? Again, everybody likes what they like, but it might encourage more exploration of the various pathways if – using Scarlet Moon as an example – the spanking you get from the teaching assistant is from Davina, instead of David.

    Again, really enjoyed Scarlet Moon, thank you for creating it!

    1. Your suggestion for variations on spanking scenes will definitely be possible, and I can try to incorporate a few. There probably won’t be a lot of such choices though, because spanking scenes are exhausting to write, and for whatever reason variations on them are even more so.

      Plus, I only have so much mental energy for each episode, and I’d rather put that energy into giving players multiple paths through the episode than multiple versions of the same spanking scene. It’s a great suggestion though!

      In early, *early* versions of Scarlet Moon you actually had the ability to set the gender of NPC’s. I ended up ditching that though, because it made each episode more time consuming to write and debug (writing “{she;buzzsaw}” takes a fair bit longer than just “she”).

      1. My solution for this particular writing challenge is to have two lists of variables: one for the MC and one for the potential spankers/spankees.

        $himself could display “himself” og “herself” and is always referring to the MC. It distinguishes from $Himself that would display the same words with a capital letter.

        The other list has a letter before the word. $uDaddy wold display “Daddy” or “Mommy” and always refer to the other person. $uhim and $uson and $uwoman all refer to a person MC is interacting with. This makes writing easy. Both variables $uhusband and $uwife exist and both display the same output, but as a writer you can write the person as you see them and use the natural word in the sentence.

        In theory you could have a list and a prefix for every character. If every character had a unique first letter in their name, Alexandra could be written as $aher and David as $dhim.

        In any case, this is just my solution to customising the gender of other charachters. Maybe you’ll find another solution, or simply decide not to bother. It is, of course, your creation.

        Note from AKA: Put VikingSpanko’s comment in the right place.

        1. Hmm. You make a very good point, Twine’s syntax *does* make this much less disruptive if I have a set of variables (name+pronouns) for each character. Plus, my plan is to work really hard to keep the cast as small as possible, so there wouldn’t be that many variables to keep track of.

          Probably three settings?

          Spanker Gender: Gender of characters who will mostly be spankers (i.e. your Aunt, some villains, probably Juliana/whoever-your-boss-is)

          Spankee Gender: Gender of characters who will mostly be spankees (some villains)

          Switch Gender: Gender of characters who could regularly end up on either end (your coworker, the heroine working to thwart your dreams of riches, maybe some villains)

          Each setting will have three possibilities: Male, Female, and Random. So if you like a mix of spankers, but exclusively female spankees and switches, then you can do:

          Spankers: Random
          Spankees: Female
          Switches: Female

          With the exception of your Aunt (I have no interest in old men/ladies getting spanked, sorry!) I expect everyone will get a turn on top and bottom, so who goes in what role will mostly be determined by how difficult it is to see them in each role.

          I’ll play around with it a bit and see how it goes. No promises it will stick around even if I post the first episode with it.

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