Spankers, Spankees, and Switches of All Ages (18 and above),
Got a new build up. This is mostly a cleanup release. It adds a few tweaks to
the UI that should hopefully make it suck slightly less. In particular, it
hopefully provides some options to help people get the combat UI to fit
reasonably well, even if their resolution isn’t particularly close to mine.
Yeah, the player shouldn’t have to fiddle with setti:engs to get the UI to look
PASSION PROJECT I’M DOING FOR FREE!
There. You’re no longer allowed to criticize anything about the UI ever again.
Actually, that’s a lie. I welcome any and all constructive criticism. For one
thing, it helps me decide what to prioritize (would people rather have a slick
UI, or more content?).
Anyway, the changes in this new build:
1. Your statistics and outfit are now displayed on the story screen. We had all
that wonderful space on the right side of the screen, so I figured I’d use it.
You can’t currently change your outfit on the story screen (you still need to
go into the (C)haracter screen). That’s on my roadmap, it’s just a bit more
work than flinging it up there to see. I figure the statistics in particular
will help when you have statistic-incrementing choices, or for checking your
energy before you make the choice that *obviously* sends you into battle.
2. The combat screen is now more compact. I’ve increased the maximum length of
each line for combat status (right side of the screen), and reduced the space
between the combat log and the status. This should hopefully make the status
more compact. Note: You *may* not see less wrapping even with the longer maximum
line. The game calculates how many characters you can fit on your screen, and
uses that for wrapping. The maximum is only used if your screen is huge, and
would result in painfully long lines.
3. Two new commands are added to the combat UI. The first, `(+/-) Status Font`,
allows you to increase or decrease the font size of the combat status right
there in combat. Before, you could only change the combat font from the Options
menu, which is only accessible in the story mode. You can’t access the Options
in the combat mode because of an architectural snarl that I need to sit down
and figure out.
The second is `(Tab) Concise`. This toggles the combat status between a
verbose mode (what you see now) and a concise mode. The concise mode uses only
a few characters for each character (typically the first few characters of their
name), and only a few characters for each status. This should help when you
want to investigate powers in a battle with lots of characters.
4. A new command was added to the Story UI. `(+/-) Story Font` that allows
you to increase the size of the story text. This also affects the combat log
(left side of the screen), since they both use the same font.
5. F5 now saves, while F9 loads. This is apparently the same as is used by
Skyrim (and various other games I believe, including the Spiderweb games). Since
the keys are farther apart, this should also hopefully protect against pressing
(L)oad when you intended (S)ave.
6. For some reason, sometimes the player’s combat name wasn’t getting set
correctly. I haven’t been able to duplicate it, but I have seen it in some of
my older saves, and other people’s saves. I’ve thrown in a hack to update the
player’s combat name when loading a game if you’re on episode 2 and your combat
name isn’t “ScarletMoon.” Hopefully that should fix any bugged saves out there,
and we’ll have to see if anybody finds their combat name not being set (or
saved) properly when they play episode 1.
7. Did a bit of cleanup that should hopefully improve performance in combat
and on the character modification screen.
8. Fixed a bug in combat undo. The player was able to undo from one round to
the previous, and you’re not supposed to be able to do that (since at that
point you know what the enemy is going to do).
9. Fixes a crash pointed out by an Anonymous fan when starting the final battle
with Succubus for episode 2.
10. The title screen commands are now *above* the image. There were some
problems where some users had the buttons pushed right off the screen by the
image. Yeah, I know this is the ultimate copout. The GUI toolkit I’m using
doesn’t provide very much for working with images, so I haven’t found a way
to dynamically scale the image to fit on a screen, and creating multiple
resolution versions sounds like a headache in arbitrary “let’s see if this
works!” At least this way if the title doesn’t fit, you should still be able
to see the commands.
11. Fixes a bug where if you defeat Succubus in the restaurant, the game acted
like you’d lost. You should now see the correct content when you defeat her.
12. Fixes some typos.
13. Added a new (meaningless) choice where the Vanessa asks them if they’re
nervous about their new job at the start of episode 2. This was done to make
sure people don’t miss the fact that they got a job at some point between
episodes 1 and 2, so that they’re not caught off-guard. Vanessa was already
making an off-hand comment about it, but it was easily missed.
14. Juliana is now referred to only as Juliana. The name Generalissima isn’t
established the end of episode 2, and only if she’s getting spanked by
Clemency. Before, the game was just referring to her as ‘Generalissima’
without any establishment at all. The third episode will introduce her as
well, for those of you who don’t go sneaking into rich people’s houses.
Many thanks to Anonymous for the crash report, and 42idiot for some very
good criticism of the UI that inspired many of these tweaks. Also for pointing
out some typos, and the bug with the game not recognizing that you’ve defeated
Succubus, and finally for pointing out the flaws in how the story is presented
that inspired the last two changes.
Get it at the Downloads section!
Spankers, Spankees and Switches of All Ages (18 and above),
First, we have a new version of Potion Wars up: Episode 2.12.
1. Added a scene written by Bonemouth for those of who you challenged Cosima to a sparring match in episode 1. Thanks Bonemouth! You can find Cosima in the guild. Just enter the main guild room, and hit talk. She should be there.
2. As requested, you can now purchase the childlike outfits that Ildri makes you wear if you piss her off enough. Note that you’ll need to start a new game in order to see them in the tailor’s inventory.
3. Fixed a bug where the dungeon crashes if you try to use the new (E)xit command in the episode 1 dungeon. I believe either the (E)xit command doesn’t show up at all for episode 1, or it just doesn’t do anything, since you’re not allowed to leave.
4. Modified the flavor text for spectral spanking to make the spell a bit less flexible in-story. While giant glowing hands spanking people is kind of funny, the ability to conjure glowing hands that mimic your every motion as a Tier 0 spell seems a bit absurd, and overpowered. Gameplay wise the spell hasn’t been affected.
5. Health gain and mana gain have been modified. Now, for health you gain 8 + however much health you went over the threshhold. So if your threshhold is 30/35, and you get hit for 10 damage, you will gain 8 + (40 – 35) = 13 health. You now gain a straight +3 mana every time you gain a point in Talent.
6. A bunch of behind the scenes stuff to make writing dynamic text easier, and in preparation for game mechanics that will show up once the episode 2 dungeon goes live.
Also, I’ve moved the Transcripts into their own tab. Clicking on the transcript tab will take you to a bunch of links allowing you to download the transcript pdf, and source. There’s also a link to a webpage of the transcript. Hovering your mouse over Transcript will display a link to “Episode 2” that links directly to the webpage displaying the transcript. Note: The transcript only contains the first scene of episode 2. In general, transcripts will only be posted a little bit after an episode is completed. This is mostly because I want you guys to actually play my game, rather than just read the transcripts. The transcripts are intended to give new people a sense of what they can expect, and the rest of you the ability to look for paths you may have missed during earlier playthroughs, or to see if beating that one asshole boss is actually worth it.
I’ve also finally finished episode 6 of the Etrian Odyssey Let’s Spank. I’m sorry it’s taken so damn long (almost two months!), but I’ve had a lot of trouble writing it. I finally realized that the reason I was having so much trouble with this, and the previous episode are because of tone clash. I’d designed these characters for a fairly whimsical and silly story. Unfortunately, Sam’s little PRS attack has taken the story down a darker path than I’d designed these characters for. So this and the previous episode have basically been trying to mash a round peg into a square hole and wondering why I’m having so much damn trouble. So in this episode, the Sirens basically dig themselves out of that hole. This episode is still a bit too dark, but nothing was really resolved in episode 5, and I can’t just drop it and pretend it never happened. Anyway, things will get much more light-hearted for episode 7.
Also, I’m definitely going to stick to one episode a month, rather than shooting for two. I overestimated my productivity. I have this annoying tendency to do that. So expect the next episode around the end of July.
Spankers and Spankees,
I’ve uploaded the next episode in the Etrian Odyssey Let’s Spank. It can be found under the Etrian Odyssey tab. Honestly, I’m not particularly happy with this one. I’m still having trouble figuring out Naomi. I’ve made some progress I think, but she still doesn’t flow as naturally for me as the others do. Of course, it could also just be the end of semester burn out that’s talking. I don’t know. Anyway, hope you enjoy it.
As far as Potion Wars is concerned, well I have a scene with Airell that Bonemouth wrote that I’m currently sitting on. I’ve also implemented the first level of this episode’s dungeon (though I haven’t written any events for it yet). I’ll try to finish editing Airell’s scene tomorrow, and get it posted (too tired to deal with it now), and I’ll upload a screenshot of a partial exploration of the first level of the dungeon.
Also, don’t forget that in my previous post I offered several alternatives to two Etrian Odyssey stories a month. Take a look and let me know what you think. If I don’t hear anything, I’ll just stick to the current two EO episodes a month.
Spankers and Spankees,
Things are finally starting to calm down, school wise. I have a weekend all but fully available for the first time in 2 months! So I’ll be starting the next episode of Etrian Odyssey this weekend, hopefully for posting next weekend (but we’ll see).
However, I’m still a little bit burned out from all the school-related craziness, so I won’t be doing a lot of hardcore work on Potion Wars until mid-May or so. Mostly fiddling with behind the scenes stuff. For example, I’ve been working on an overhaul of my plans for the overall story here and there, and I’m about ready to type those up and send them to Emily for her perusal. I’ll probably also work on setting up stubs of the conversation nodes for the second act of episode 2, which I can then allocate to writers (mostly myself). I’ve also got a scene written by Bonemouth that I need to incorporate into the current content, maybe I’ll see if I can do that next weekend, so that I can have a small update along with the Etrian Odyssey episode. Furthermore, Flash the Flamingo has offered to crunch some numbers for me, so that we can try to predict what mid and end-game stats will look like. This should help me determine whether the current rate of stat/health/mana growth will sustain the kind of fast-paced, and challenging gameplay that I want. I’ll probably be trying to work up the energy to get my growth equations out to him over the next week.
There is however, one thing I’d like to know from you (yes YOU). I’m rapidly approaching the point where I will once again have time to write two Etrian Odyssey episodes a month, rather than the 0-1 that I’ve been pulling the past few months. However, at the same time, I’m trying to decide which RPG I should immerse myself in over the next few weeks to recover from the end of the semester. So I’d like to know which option you would prefer:
1. I stick to 2 Etrian Odyssey Episodes a month.
2. I start another Let’s Spank, and write one Etrian Odyssey episode a month, and one episode of the second Let’s Spank a month, with the Etrian Odyssey episode taking priority (so if things get busy again, and I can’t sustain 2 episodes a month, I delay the other game rather than Etrian Odyssey). Here’s the shortlist of games that I’m interested in playing (in no particular order):
- Lords of Xulima – 1 plot character, create the remaining 5. Plot character is a man, but I have plans for him. Game tends to encourage spamming a small number of skills over and over again. Combat system is very neat, I may steal ideas from them. Claims to be open world, but it isn’t. Rather than having broken bridges, it has absurdly powerful monsters that you can’t hope to beat until you’ve gained a few levels. Story is rather thick for a dungeon crawl, but it’s not so thick that I can’t take it my own way.
- Icewind Dale – Create 6 characters. Standard fantasy races (humans, elves, dwarves, gnomes, halfings, half-elves). Standard fantasy classes. Hybrid classes are just as powerful as specialists. Pretty linear dungeon crawl, with minimal story. Gives me lots of wiggle room. Butt-tons of fun to play. Also has the best theme in the history of video games. First of a duology.
- Baldur’s Gate II – One of the best RPG’s in the history of the genre. Excellent gameplay, excellent story. Hybrid classes are just as powerful as pure classes. Create 1 character, find and recruit up to 5 more. Due to roleplaying constraints you guys would only be able to choose between 3 characters to fill 2 slots (the rest taken up by characters who are personally invested in the story, and that would not be kicked out by the kind of person I roleplay), and have some input on the PC’s class. However many of the characters are very spankable, and there are quite a few very spankable situations. Rather dark. May or may not transcribe game text directly, depends on how quickly I get tired of it. I may just take the basic events of the story and put them in my own words.
- Wizardry 6 Holy crap the party building options! 10 races (standard fantasy races plus faeries, cat people, dog people, lizard people, dragon people, wookies)! 15 classes! One of the few games I’ve seen that does the skill system right. Not only do you increase skills at level up, but you also increase skills by using them in combat. Hybrid classes are very powerful, and the game includes a powerful class change feature, so you can start as a specialist and transition to hybrid when the specialist starts to lose steam. The fact that Etrian Odyssey tries to claim the legacy of these games is part of why I’m so disappointed in their level up system. Faerie ninjas are possible, and are as powerful as they are absurd. Very thin story, very linear dungeon crawl, similar to Icewind Dale, though the story is even thinner. Gives me lots and lots of wiggle room. Game can get a little bit silly sometimes, but can also be more than a little dark. First of a trilogy.
- Realms of Arkania: Blade of Destiny – An interesting gem of a game. A little bit tedious, but does the best job I’ve ever seen of capturing the feel of being a dirt poor adventure scraping for enough money to buy food for tomorrow. Standard fantasy races, but races (except humans) also count as a “class.” For example, dwarves are essentially fighter/thief hybrids, while elves (two kinds)! are archer/mage hybrids. Lots of interesting party building options: can give your characters phobias (i.e. claustrophobia). Furthermore, your characters can learn how to dance or sing, allowing them to sing and dance for money in taverns all over the game world. Has an awesome travel system, where random events will occur while travelling (i.e. stumbling across a dungeon, having to cross a small rope bridge). First of a trilogy. Open world done right.
Keep in mind that all of these are PC games, so unlike Etrian Odyssey, I can record my gameplay sessions. My thoughts with this would be that I record my gameplay session, write a story using that video as a reference, then post a video to Youtube that highlights parts of the gameplay session that inspired events in the story.
My personal vote is for Wizardry 6 because of all the party building options, Icewind Dale because it’s atmospheric, and there are still some pretty emotional (for me) parts, despite the relative thinness, or Baldur’s Gate II because trying to write other people’s characters would be an interesting exercise in giving my characters unique voices. And I could use the exercise. So if you’re interested in option two, let me know which of game(s) you’re most interested in above. If most people are interested in option 2, and there’s a consensus around one of the games, we’ll start the party-building process. Otherwise, I’ll provide some more details about the two games that people are most interested in.
Or I could stick to writing 2 episodes of EO a month, depending on what people want.
Spankers and Spankees,
Well, I managed to finish the first draft of my thesis, which makes me happy. To celebrate, I took a few days off, and spent some time working on Potion Wars and Etrian Odyssey. I’ve finished the latest Etrian Odyssey episode (you can find it under the Etrian Odyssey tab, as always). We are also really close to releasing the first third of episode 2. All the content has been written, and most of it has been beta tested. The beta testers are hard at work trying to break my game right now. If we’re lucky, and I’m half as smart as I think I am (I’m not) we might be able to have a release by the end of the weekend. But who knows, software is software, and I’m a terrible programmer. Last time, I was hoping for release by the end of February, and that obviously didn’t pan out.
But until then, enjoy the latest Etrian Odyssey episode.
Spankers and Spankees,
No Etrian Odyssey episode for you guys today, sorry. I’ve got most of it written, but I still need to write the fallout, and edit it, and all of that’s not happening tonight.
I would have had it written (though possibly not edited) by now, except rather than spending the morning working on it, I spent the morning tweaking the latest version of Potion Wars so that I could get it to my beta testers today. I’ll shoot for having the next Etrian Odyssey episode ready for next Sunday. Again, sorry about the delay, but I’m busier these days than I was for most of January.
Anyway, I’ve made big progress on Potion Wars in the past few weeks. All that’s left to be written for the first act of Episode 2 are a scene by Emily involving a subplot with Carrie, and a scene with Ildri that Jeffrey is writing. My plan for this week is to run my translate script through the content I have now, and make sure the translation works on non-trivial input. Since it certainly doesn’t (code never works the first time you run it on non-trivial input), I predict a week of very frustrating bug fixing ahead of me. But suck is life.
I’m hoping to get a new version of Potion Wars out complete with new content by the end of February unless my writers are too busy to write and don’t tell me (*cough* Jeffrey I haven’t heard anything from you *cough*) or we run into a lot of problems during beta testing. It’d be awesome if we could get something out sooner, but this is software. Software always takes longer than you plan. Always.
I’ve also made a lot of changes to the level up mechanics of the game to make them much less deterministic. I’ll post a big-ass blogpost describing the new mechanics in a few weeks (I want to give my beta testers a chance to run through the first episode a few times, so that we can tweak things as necessary). Hopefully between the new more deterministic level up mechanics, and the elimination of random encounters, the first episode will be much more balanced.
Oh did I mention? I’ve also eliminated random encounters and replaced them with static battles. Most of the static battles are invisible on the map, but they have a fixed number, type and gender of enemies, and once you win them, they don’t refresh. Note that you will still have the enemy-generating squares however, in case you find yourself in need of some grinding. I’m going to try to balance the game so that that isn’t necessary, but I am also trying to make the game challenging. So you might find yourself needing to grind if you’re not much of an RPG player, but you don’t want to lose all the boss fights. Plus, some of you may just enjoy being ridiculously overpowered.
One final thing: I’ve ditched the whole dinosaurs thing. I do still think that the Jurassic period makes a perfect setting for a fantasy game, but alas dinosaurs make things more fantastical, which clashes with the more grounded tone of the main story. There are enough tonal clashes as it is between the story and the spankings. I don’t need any more. Perhaps a future, more lighthearted game will be set in a Jurassic period with people.
Spankers and Spankees,
Those of you who have somehow managed to escape the seemingly eternal hell that is school may not realize this, but the Spring Semester has recently begun. Unfortunately, this means that I now have much less free time. So, I won’t be able to post the next Etrian Odyssey story tonight. In fact, I’m going to have to scale those stories back to once a month, rather than twice a month. I don’t want to, but this is literally at the bottom of my priority list, and I don’t want this to interfere with my work on Potion Wars. So I’m going to shoot for posting a new Etrian Odyssey episode on the last weekend of the month. Though I won’t be surprised if I have to miss a few updates as the semester heats up. That being said, I have no intention of stopping. I absolutely love writing these little stories. Great stress relief. And boy do I need it, because graduate school sucks. Don’t ever get into it. If your teacher/TA ever tells you “You know, I think you’d enjoy graduate school” you say “Hell no, I’m getting a real job. Slaving away endlessly to write a bunch of lame papers about super-obscure and borderline impossible to understand ideas while also taking classes and teaching for crap wages is not a good use of my twenties.”
Holy hell I had 815 downloads for the first version of Etrian Odyssey episode 1 (I can’t really use the numbers for this second version, because I don’t know how many of the new downloads are people re-downloading it, and how many are new). That’s…quite a bit more than I expected. Hope people weren’t too disappointed!
Anyway,on with the post. Episode 2 is uploaded. Get it over at the Etrian Odyssey tab. Next, I have a few logistical things to discuss.
Etrian Odyssey has inspired some careful thought about my own game, and I’d like to write about some of them, because writing about things helps me think. Currently, I don’t post anything on the third week of the month. So I’m thinking that on the third week of each month, I’ll muse about game design. These musings might be features I’d like to implement in Potion Wars, or systems that I’ll consider for a future game. Next week, I’ll discuss my fully fleshed spanking system, and my decision to eliminate random encounters from Potion Wars.
Next, Bonemouth the Boxfish has graciously offered to help write some short, enemy-specific spanking scenes for the combat spankings in episode 2. Note that I won’t necessarily be releasing a new version of the game just yet. In addition to reintroducing the spanking mechanic, I also want to eliminate the random encounters. I also want to replace the stat gaining mechanic with something more deterministic, rather than the sacrifice-your-dog-to-the-RNG-god mechanic we currently have (I’ll discuss this change in February).So you can expect all of these changes to appear with the pre-dungeon content for episode 2.
Now, back to Etrian Odyssey.
I’ve managed to beat the final boss (not counting postgame, which if it’s anything like the 5th Stratum, I have no interest in). Fortunately, I didn’t need as much grinding as I feared I did. Only one or two more levels, and I was able to beat the final boss. In fact, it wasn’t nearly as difficult as I expected. Hell, if the first time I faced the final boss, it wasn’t 10:00pm after a 12 hour gaming session( it was supposed to be about 4 hours, but the final stratum just refused to end), I probably would have beaten him on the first try. Or gotten close enough that I wouldn’t have thought I needed grinding.
The rest of this post is my musings about the game.
Overall, I enjoyed the game tremendously. It was definitely a dungeon crawl, and a very enjoyable one. Furthermore, looking back, the boss fights weren’t quite as merciless as my rather frustrated previous post made them out to be. With the exception of the first boss on the third Stratum, I really didn’t have that much trouble with any of the bosses. In fact, the first boss on the third Stratum and the final boss were the only bosses that I failed to beat on the first try (well, it took two tries for the first Stratum boss as well, but that’s because I did something stupid, not because the boss was super difficult).
The game actually was quite well balanced. The random encounters were challenging enough to keep things interesting (usually), but also very quick. Most battles lasted 1-3 turns. However, the enemies hit hard enough that I couldn’t just mash the attack button. I had to actually use people’s skills.
The floors themselves weren’t particularly intricate, but exploring them was generally pretty fun.
The game also had much more focus than most rpgs have. I didn’t feel like I was getting bogged down by inane sidequests that had nothing to do with anything. Don’t get me wrong, most of the sidequests were pretty inane (“gather 5 oxnards, 3 poisonberries, and 2 bull testicles”), but it was very easy to complete those quests I could without going out of my way, and ignore the rest. Second, and most importantly, the sidequests work with the narrative. You are adventurers who explore the Labryinth. Therefore, it makes perfect sense that people would hire you to do things in the Labryinth. This is much better than most RPGS, whose sidequests are just random bullshit that accomplish nothing but dragging out the game. It amazes me how RPG developers have somehow managed to convince people that filler is a good thing! Wait. Stop. I won’t rant about the inanity of sidequests. I won’t rant about the inanity of sidequests. I won’t rant about the inanity of sidequests.
Takes a breath. Waits a minute.
Ok. It’s passed. Anyway, EO is all about trying to explore the Labryinth, and it never loses its focus on the Labryinth.
However, Etrian Odyssey does have some issues. One of them, the tendency to encourage one-trick ponies, I addressed in my previous (admittedly rather ranty) blogpost. So I won’t address it again here.
The biggest problem is all the backtracking. You only had a teleporter every 5 levels. Furthermore, each level was quite large, and had a very high encounter rate. As a result, my experiences with the game went something like this:
First floor of a stratum: This is awesome!
Second floor of a stratum: This is awesome!
Third floor: OK, things are starting to get kind of tedious. Whoever decided to space the teleporters so far apart should be face-punched.
Fourth floor: Gah! I’m so $*&*) bored! If I have to slog through the first level of this wretched Stratum one more time…
Fifth floor: Finally! Now just to find that stupid boss…Why is this floor so freaking big? No, don’t run out of TP! Bad Alchemist. Now I have to go back to town, then slog through all the previous 4 floors, and half of this one all over again! Maybe I’ll go work on my thesis instead…Can’t be any more boring than this.
Next Stratum: Fuck yeah! Things are fun again…Wait, excuse me Miss Tavern Lady. Are you seriously telling me that I’ve only just now unlocked a bunch of quests that involve the Stratum I just beat, and enemies I’m sick of fighting and who no longer pose a threat? Fuck that noise. I’m heading for the new stratum. You can tell your clients to find some other chump to do their dirty work.
EO has this annoying habit of unlocking the quests for level X once you reach level X+1 i.e. after you’ve already finished exploring level X. Which means you have to wander aimlessly around level X, fighting monsters that you aren’t too worried about, hoping you’ll stumble upon the (unmarked!) square the triggers the quest. This is stupid. The quests for level X should be unlocked when I reach level X. That way, I can complete the quests as I explore, rather than having to backtrack.
And don’t even get me started on the 5th Stratum. It was massive, boring, and despite being full of loopdy-loops, had one lousy shortcut. One! It took me about twelve hours to reach the end of that Stratum, and most of it was spent backtracking because the designers couldn’t be bothered to throw in a few damned secret passageways!
I hate backtracking. It’s filler of the worst sort. My time is precious dammit, and I hate it when a game wastes it like that.
The early wizardry games got around this in two ways. One, the random encounter rate is actually obscenely low. Most of your fights are scripted. Meaning that every time you enter the dungeon, certain squares will always have a fight. Furthermore, these scripted fights were rarely if ever on the path from one stairwell to the next. You also had a much faster movement rate than in Etrian Odyssey. So assuming you had halfway-decent maps, you could get back to the frontier very very quickly, and with only one or two fights, if that. Second, a high-level mage could learn the Malor spell, which allowed him to teleport to any square in the dungeon. Once you learned that spell, it was easy peasy to jump between the frontier and the castle. And conveniently enough, you’d learn that spell right around the time when you were so far into the dungeon that slogging from the castle to the frontier was getting tedious. Sure, Etrian Odyssey has these secret passageways (most of the time…stupid 5th Stratum) to shorten the trip, but the trip was still too damn long, you still usually had to fight a bunch of fights every level (even if you used abilities that reduce the encounter rate), and the walking speed was so damn slow.
In Potion Wars, I’m doing something similar to Wizardry, except removing the random encounters completely. Also, you won’t have a teleport spell, because instantaneous travel has serious implications for the setting and story that I don’t want. While it could be interesting to have a medieval setting whose world is as tightly knit together as the modern world, it’s not what I’m going for.
However, since I’m eliminating random encounters, you’ll never encounter enemies while backtracking. Since backtracking doesn’t introduce any extra challenge, why make the player do it manually? So, I’ll add a “Go” command, where the the player can input the map coordinates of a square they’ve already visited (i.e. stepped on) and be instantly “teleported” there. Of course, there will still have to be an automap, so that the player knows which location they want to go to. So basically, Potion Wars will have the Malor spell, except it won’t cost any spell points, and you won’t be able to teleport into solid rock.
Anyway, back to issues with EO. I was also disappointed by my Hexer. I’m not sure if it’s because Etrian Odyssey didn’t do a good job with making status effect spells useful (they weren’t as useful as they tend to be in western RPGS, but were a hell of a lot more useful than they tend to be in JRPGS) or if it was because my Hexer joined so damn late, and I hate grinding so damn much, that she spent the entire game 10 levels behind everyone else. The more I think about it, the more I think it was the latter. I mean, she wasn’t completely useless or anything, despite being about a full Stratum behind everyone else. Hell, her binding rate was higher than my Dark Huntress. So we’ll have to see. I might have to have a Hexer again in Etrian Odyssey II, and see if she’s any better when she starts with the party from the beginning.
Spankers and Spankees,
Happy New Year! Things are moving forward, I promise. I’ve completed all the paths for the opening sequence of the second episode (i.e. from the start of the episode until the player regains control) when the player lives at the adventurer’s guild. Currently, I’m working on the paths for when the player stays with Maria. Not sure if I’ve mentioned this, but I’ve also finished the first draft of the translation program, and it can successfully translate simple latex files. Which means it’ll break in horrifying ways once I run a proper episode through it, but whatever. I don’t have to worry about that yet.
Furthermore, once I have the first third of the episode written (i.e. up to entering the maze), then I’ll release it to the public. My original dream had been to release each episode only once it’s complete, however that was before I understood the full scale that each episode will end up being. Plus, the whole throwing out most of what I wrote during the fall thing has seriously slowed me down. Clearly however, I’m going to have to seriously pick up the pace and impose more discipline on my writing in the future. Otherwise, we’re going to be here for a few decades. I’d really like to release at least two episodes a year, but I won’t be surprised if episode 2 doesn’t get released in its entirety until the summer.
Now the bulk of the first third of the episode are the opening sequences. After that, there’s an encounter with Peter if you’re tutoring his daughter Annie, the start of a subplot with Carrie: “The Mystery of the Clothing Shop and Its Mass Production in a Medieval Setting”, and a brief conversation with Elise. So hopefully I’ll be able to actually release new content before the end of February, but don’t hold me to that. I’m notorious for underestimating how much time I need to get stuff done.
I’m also working on the second episode for Etrian Odyssey, and am on track to release that next Sunday. I’ll talk more about that next week, but suffice to say that I’ve made it to the 21st floor in the game itself, and have enjoyed (almost) every minute of it.
I have posted a new version of the first episode of the Etrian Odyssey Let’s Spank. It contains fixes for a few typos, and proper chapter titles. It also contains a small retcon. The story blurb at the beginning of the instruction manual gave me the false impression that the Labryinth appeared relatively recently. However, characters in the game itself speak like the Labryinth has been around for a while, so I’ve had to change the time at which the Labryinth has mostly recently appeared from 3 or 4 years ago to 30 or 40 years ago.
I’ve also reorganized the LaTeX a little to make it easier to release compilations (though this doesn’t affect the PDF). Basically, each time I complete a stratum, I’ll release one large PDF with every episode that takes place in that stratum. I’m planning on 1 episode per level, with a few exceptions. For example, the first level will have two episodes dedicated to it. So unless the game is lying to me, that’s a little over 25 episodes for the entire story. Which means that if I can keep my schedule, the story will be complete sometime next March or so.
The first episode of my Let’s Spank of Etrian Odyssey can be found here.
Or you can go to the new fangled Etrian Odyssey page in the tabs above. I post all the episodes there as well as in blog posts. They’re all PDF’s. Originally, tried converting them into html from latex, but it seems the HTML generated by htlatex isn’t quite compatible with the html read by blogspot (blogspot mangles my paragraphs), so you’re just getting PDF’s. Sorry.
Sorry about my lateness. Turns out that waiting until Sunday morning and then spending sixteen hours straight writing (with a few breaks for meals, grocery shopping, and dog walking) isn’t the best way to write a story.
Anyway, I’ve made a few changes to the characters:
1. Allison Kat Andrea is now Allison Kat Amelia, because I forgot my character sheet when first playing the game, and I gave her the wrong name. Unfortunately Etrian Odyssey doesn’t let me rename my characters >:(
2. Amelia is now 23 years old instead of 27. 27 was just a little bit too old.
3. It turns out that Hexer’s need to be unlocked, so I wasn’t able to create a Hexer. I considered going for a troubadour, like was suggested on AnimeOTK, at least until I could get a Hexer, but again there was that whole “I have no songwriting talent.” So instead, I created a Landsknecht named Naomi. My plans are for her to be a temporary character (I have a few ideas on how to gracefully retire her, and I have a few ideas on how to expand on the unlocking Hexer events, if it needs expanding (I have absolutely no idea of what’s involved). So we’ll see what happens.
Also, the episode is rather long, sorry. Turns out that it’s really hard to introduce five distinct characters, and have something approximating a plot, and a few spankings, and do so in a minimal amount of pages. Hopefully, future episodes will be shorter. But who knows, I tend to ramble.
Anyway, it’s mostly dialogue, so hopefully it’ll be a quick read.
Finally, I’m playing around a little bit with the density of spankings, trying to go for a more drawn out build up, rather than the turn around and get spanked approach I’m taking in Pandemonium Cycle. I may have gone a little bit overboard. But then again, maybe not. Some of my favorite spanking stories have been relatively long ones that built up to the spanking. So let me know what you think.
Finally, don’t expect another episode until end of December/beginning of January, because I’ll be spending all of next week visiting my family (holidays blow), and it’s hard to work on spanking porn when you’re visiting your family. Not sure yet if I’ll go for a first week/second week update in January before settling into my proposed schedule from my previous post, or whether I’ll wait until the second weekend of January to post the next episode. Depends on how much feedback I get from people 😉