Category Archives: Game Design
Scarlet Moon 4.2.13

A new version has been uploaded. There isn’t any new content, instead a new
combat system has been introduced. The big changes are the introduction of
secondary statistics:

1. Attack – This is how much damage you do. It’s base value is strength +
speed/2.

2. Defense – This is how much damage you reduce enemy attacks. It’s base value
is speed.

3. Shield – This is effectively temporary hitpoints. Whenever an enemy damages
you, it reduces your shield stat before it reduces your energy. For example,
suppose you have a shield stat of 5, and an enemy does 3 damage to you. Then
they will do 0 damage, and your shield will be reduced to 2. If they do 3
damage to you *again*, then they will reduce your shield to 0 and do 1 damage
to you. By default, shield is 0, but powers can be used to increase it.

4. Retaliation – This behaves just like shield, except instead of blocking
damage, you retaliate. For example, suppose you have a retaliation of 5 and an
enemy does 3 damage to you. Then, you take 3 damage, do 3 damage to them, and
your retaliation is reduced to 2. If they do 3 damage to you *again*, then they
do 3 damage to you, you do 2 damage to them, and your retaliation is reduced to
0. Note that retaliation ignores defense, so it can be a great way of damaging
enemies with high defense. However, it is blocked by shields.

Buffing and debuffing powers now increase and decrease attack, defense, shield
and retaliation. Most of Scarlet Moon’s powers are the same, except:

1. Scarlet Chords now increases attack and defense based on your Power stop,
rather than increasing your speed based on your Strength. Furthermore, if you
are inflicted with Away at the start of your turn, Scarlet Chords automatically
cures you of it at the start of your turn (rendering you effectively immune to
Away).

2. Scarlet Fists and Scarlet Eyes work the same they did before, except they no
longer inflict a status. This means that they don’t increase your attrition,
they cannot be disrupted by spankings, and they remain in effect until you
cancel them.

3. Scarlet Beam uses your attack stat, rather than your Power stat. This is so
that Scarlet Fists more obviously increases your damage output (before it
increased your Attack damage, but reduced your Shoot damage, which was lame).
Shoot does not trigger retaliation, but is not affected by your weapons.

4. S-Armor – Now increases Scarlet Moon’s shield stat, rather than increasing
her defense.

For Tempestas:

1. Tailwind – Increases all allis’ attack.

2. Headwind – Decreases all enemies’ attacks.

3. Wind tunnel – increases Tempestas’ retaliation.

4. Twister no longer inflicts damage on a character when they are inflicted
with Away. Instead, it does damage at the end of their turn if they are
inflicted with Away. What this means is that Scarlet Moon is effectively immune
to Twister if she is inflicted with Scarlet Chords, because that removes Away
at the start of her turn. Twister also cures Tempestas of Away and gives her a
bonus to her attack that lasts one round.

5. Airburst – Works the same way it did before, except it inflicts Away for a
minimum of two rounds.

Anklyana:

1. Armor – Increases Anklyana’s Defense.

2. Bubblesaurus – Reduces her energy, and increases an ally’s shield by the
same amount (basically, she gives her energy to someone else as temporary
hitpoints). Note that this *does not* inflict a status, which means it stacks,
and it cannot be disrupted by spankings.

3. Wallsaurus – Increases a target’s defense, and decreases their attack by the
same amount.

Also, the game now tells you at the start of every combat whether or not
winning that battle is optional.

Hopefully, people find this combat system fun and well-balanced (Lord knows
it’s a lot simpler to implement at least). Feedback is much appreciated.

Scarlet Moon 4.1.0

In a truly shocking development, the new content is ready, just like I
promised at the start of June. This version includes the first day
of content for episode 4. Get it at the Downloads section!

I’ve made a *lot* of changes to other things since the end
of episode 3, both in the UI and in gameplay. Some of these changes
were introduced in later version of the day 3 content, but if you’ve
been holding off on downloading until you get new content, here’s
the tl;dr:

1. Keyboard commands haven’t changed, but everything’s been given a mouse
clickable button, and moved to other screens to keep the UI from being
overcrowded.

2. Easier to look at the powers for each character.

3. Your bum status is shown via emojii rather than sentences.

4. Spankings disrupt the spankee’s best buff.

5. Each point in speed grants .5 damage, and .5 defense.

6. Buzzsaw and Succubus can now inflict Grabbed, which reduces your speed to 0.

7. For Windtunnel, you now select the character whose next attack you’d like to
redirect, and the character who should be the new target rather than the
*target* of an attack you’d like to redirect.

The more long-winded version:

* UI
– The various utility commands (i.e. (T)itle Screen, (O)ptions) have been
moved behind a mouse-clickable button, and been given mouse-clickable
buttons as well. Same for the more dynamic combat commands (like (a) attack,
or (b) power), and story choices (like 1. Punch her in the face!).
*None* of the keyboard commands have changed. I’ve simply moved a few things
around to make the main story and combat screen less crowded.

– The UI is now fully navigatable with the mouse. It’s a bit awkward. You
typically need two mouse clicks for one keyboard command, but it’s doable,
and looks pretty okay on smaller computer screens.

– It’s now *much* easier to look at character powers, because you don’t have
to go back to the main screen to look at a different power. For example, if on the combat
screen you press (F1) to look at Scarlet Moon’s powers, then press
(a), then (b), it’ll show you the information for s-armor, and then s-beam.
You can then press (1) to look at the powers for the villain you’re fighting,
without having to go back. Furthermore, if you’re inspecting
the powers for the currently active character, you can press (Enter) to use
it.

– The game no longer prints the power descriptions in the main
combat feed when you select one through (p)ower. I found that to be painfully
noisy while I was testing. However, I also have every power baked into my bones,
so if you liked the old behavior, raise a stink, and I’ll either revert the
behavior, or (more likely) add an option that allows you to toggle it.

– Rather than displaying rather long winded sentences describing your character’s
bum status, the game now uses emojis. They’re much more concise, and I find them
amusing. The emojis are, in order from least sore to most sore:

1. (^_^)

2. (-_-)

3. (o_o)

4. (>_<)

5. (x_x)

6. (;_;)

7. (T_T)

I still write sentences behind the scene (the game just counts up how many
sentences Scarlet Moon has), so if people prefer the descriptions, raise a stink.
I can either revert the change or (more likely) add yet another option.

* Gameplay

– The formula for damage from basic attacks (and shoots) has been changed.
Before, it was max(1, attacker.strength – max(0, target.speed –
attacker.speed)). However, this made speed a rather baroque, and powerful stat.
Basically what this means is that if your character is slower than your
opponent, increasing speed increases the damage you do by 1. If your character
is faster, increasing speed decreases the damage you take by 1. I
felt like there was never any reason to take a strength point if you
understood speed, which was hard to understand. After all, speed basically
gives you the same thing, or increases your defense if you’re already fast.

The new formula is: max(1, attacker.strength + floor(attacker.speed / 2) – floor(target.speed / 2)).
In other words, every even point of speed grants you one additional damage and one additional
defense. This is much easier to understand, and makes both strength and speed viable.
Increase strength and you’re all but guaranteed to do an extra point of damage. Increasing
speed may or may not give you anything just yet, but when it does, it’s a pretty big payoff.

This also means that characters are doing much more damage than they were before.

– Spankings no longer increase the spankee’s strength, while reducing their speed and power.
Instead, spanking does two things:
a. Inflict the spanked status. Spanked doesn’t actually do anything on its own, but is
looked for in other parts of the game. For example, Succubus’ AI won’t use her OTK power
(where she tries to get the player to bend over her knee) if she’s been spanked.
b. Reduce the duration of the target’s best buff by max(1, spanker.strength – spankee.strength)

– Buzzsaw’s chainwhip power inflicts the new status Grabbed. Similarly,
Succubus’ OTK power inflicts OTK and Grabbed. Grabbed is a nasty status that
drops the target’s speed to 0. That doesn’t stop you from
increasing your speed after you’ve been grabbed though.

– Tempestas’ Windtunnel has been tweaked a bit. First, it’s much cheaper now (10 energy
rather than 20). Second, instead of selecting an ally who could be targeted, you now
select the enemy (or ally, whatever) whose attack you’d like to redirect, followed by
the target you’d like to redirect the attack to. Windtunnel was intended as a way of
turning Prometheus and Poseidon against each other. Fling some of Prometheus’ fireballs
at Poseidon, and laugh as some of his buffs get disrupted. However, I found it nigh
impossible to use effectively the old way because you had to predict who Prometheus
would attack first, and hope Poseidon didn’t get to them before her (or vice versa).
Now, you can guarantee that
Prometheus’ powerful fireball is going to be redirected, rather than Poseidon’s
weak(er) Attack.

Hopefully these are all for the better, but if anything rubs you the wrong way,
or feels unbalanced please let me know.

Finally, I would greatly appreciate it if you all posted your stats at
the end of the new content, and let me know which powers you rely on, which ones you
ignore, and which ones you use situationally. This will help me determine if some
powers/stats are over or underpowered. Could also help players who are struggling with the
combat.

It will also help me make sure the stat checks are as hard/easy as I intend them to be.

Here’s my character’s stats:

strength: 10
speed: 9
power: 9
spanker: 5
spankee: 19
victory: 0
defeat: 6

She tries, bless her heart, but Scarlet Moon just can’t seem to catch a break. Every
villain’s spanked her at least once at this point, and it seems like she can’t go
ten minutes in her normal life without being upended. That being
said, she always manages to come through in the clutch.

She relies heavily on Scarlet Focus to get buffed quickly. Generally, she’ll
use scarlet-fists, scarlet-feet, or scarlet-eyes before using a power that
relies on those stats to get the most out of them. Scarlet-armor and Scarlet
Cords are her bread and butter, and make her very resilient. She’s been relying
heavily on scarlet-staff lately because of all the multi-target battles she’s
been in. Scarlet-spring and scarlet-paddle are a bit more situational,
depending on how nasty her opponent’s regular attack or buff is. She doesn’t
use scarlet-beam much, though she will pull it out for a bit of extra damage
once she’s otherwise buffed.

Despite my character’s *dismal* record, I do try to make sure every battle
is winnable. I just get a kick out of watching Scarlet Moon get her righteous
ass smacked all over Generica, so I’ll generally let myself lose once I’ve figured
out how to win.

June 2019 Update

Spankers, Spankees and Switches,

I’m cranking away at the first day of the next episode. I’ve finished writing all the content, and I’m currently working on implementing the powers for the new villain. Then I’ll need to do a pass of editing the story content, followed by debugging the new content, followed by balancing the new villain. I’m also making a few tweaks to some of the combat that will be included with episode 4 day 1:

1. Speed will just straight up reduce the amount of damage you take. Currently, most damage is calculated by computing max(1, attacker.strength – max(0, (target.speed – attacker.speed))). This had the effect of making Speed a bit too weird. If you had a low speed (relative to your opponent), increasing it by 1 increased your damage by one. If you had a high speed, increasing it by 1 reduced the damage you took by 1. This meant that some powers (like Scarlet Fists) weren’t as useful as they appeared. Sure your strength goes up, but your damage output doesn’t go up as much as your strength does, unless you already have a very high speed. The new formula is max(1, attacker.strength – target.speed). So the trade off is much more straightforward.

2. All the spanking powers (so Scarlet Paddle, and Succuspank) now also reduce the duration of the spankee’s “best” buff. If the duration gets reduced to zero or one, the buff gets removed. I’ve hardly ever used Scarlet Paddle in my play testing, because while Humiliated is nice, I’ve never really found it worth the turn to setup, except against Succubus. Granted that will probably change as more heroes show up who can take on the damage dealing role that Scarlet Moon currently fills, but even so I want all the powers to be useful now. Anyway, once the new version comes out, you’ll be able to use Scarlet Paddle as a means of controlling enemy buffs (might be very useful against Prometheus and Poseidon, whose buffs are needed to use their powers). Important thing to note: spankings reduce the target’s best buff *even if the target is already Humiliated*. In other words, buff reduction stacks. This should hopefully make Scarlet Paddle a much more interesting power, and perhaps worth losing a bit of damage per round.

3. Buzzsaw’s chain pull method will be inflicting a new, more dangerous status called “Grabbed.” Grabbed reduces your character’s speed to zero, and makes you immune to Away. The second effect isn’t a big deal yet, but the first basically strips you of your defense. However, Grabbed doesn’t *keep* your speed at zero. So you if you use a speed increasing buff after Grabbed, you can regain at least some defense. Just be careful, because speed buffs don’t stack (stacking just increases the duration)!

I’m hoping to have the new content out by the end of the month. The changes above will be backwards compatible.

AKA

Welcome to Puttsdale

Spankers, Spankees and Switches,

I had several reasons for deciding to create and release first Potion Wars, and then Scarlet Moon. One of the most important (and selfish) was how very few spanking games there were out there when I started. You had the start of a few on animeotk, you had Robin Pierce’s gamebooks, and a few old AIF with some minor to decent spanking content, but that was it. I was hoping that if I could create a good enough game, other people would be inspired and would write games that I could play, much as Pierce inspired me.

Well, it looks like in at least one case, that has born fruit: Welcome to Puttsdale by Victor Mammoth. At least, according to a message from the author (I can be bribed with flattery is what I’m saying). Welcome to Puttsdale has been in development for a few years now (if you frequent animeotk, you’re probably already aware of it). It’s a text-based game written in Twine, with quite a bit of narrative depth to it. There are a lot of characters in Puttsdale all living their own lives and experiencing their own spanky drama. The purpose of the game is basically to explore the town, meet the townsfolk and see how many scenes you can unlock.

I say “unlock” because there’s much more to finding scenes than wandering around town and talking to people. Some scenes can only be found at certain times of day. Others require certain stat levels or equipment. Some are only unlocked after unlocking other scenes. It feels a *lot* like old-style adventure games where you had to wander around, discover puzzles, find items, and find clues that hint at how to use the items to unlock the puzzles (which unlock spanking scenes). The writing is also very engaging and the spanking scenes are sexy.

I only have two gripes. The first is that I’m not a big fan of the “wander around and find the spanking scene” format. Partly, this is because most spanking games currently out there (i.e. on animeotk, the only place I’m aware of where there is any sort of spanking game making community) are of this format, so it’s gotten a bit old for me. Partly, this is because I find scavenger hunts to be kind of tedious. My second gripe is that there aren’t a whole lot of opportunities to roleplay (at least that I’ve found, I haven’t gotten very far though). While the game is highly interactive, it’s more of an old-style adventure game than a choose your own adventure, and like old-style adventure games your character doesn’t really interact with people beyond a rather superficial level. Basically, your character feels kind of like the narrator from the Great Gatsby: a narrative device more than an actual character.

The first gripe however just boils down to taste. Some people don’t like RPGs either. Doesn’t mean my game is bad, or that people shouldn’t at least try it. The same applies here. My second gripe is simply the reality of hobby projects. Victor Mammoth only has so much time, and they have to be very careful about what they work on. They’ve chosen to create rich item puzzles rather than roleplay opportunities, and that’s a perfectly valid design decision. Indeed, you could argue that my game’s “roleplay opportunities” are dialogue options that do *nothing* anyway, so it’s not like my game is full of rich roleplay either. More like half-assed roleplay that’s more marketing than fact, because I’d rather write purple prose about Juliana’s bouncy bottom and develop a really weird combat system than build out more than two real choices at a time.

A recent version of the game has introduced a map that allows you to leap directly to various places in town, which had been a *major* source of tedium in earlier versions. Furthermore, this is an excellent example of the “find the spanking scene” genre. So I would strongly encourage everyone here to check it out.

As far as pairings, most of the game appears to be X/F, though you can choose your player’s name, gender and age (18-23 years old).

Master of the Manor

Spankers, Spankees, and Switches of All Ages (18 and above),

Sorry I’m so late in posting. Been kinda ignoring Scarlet Moon lately and obsessively playing roguelikes (Angband and Tales of Maj’Eyal FOREVER!). I needed a break from all the spanking, so decided to explore other avenues to satisfy my masochistic needs. But I’m back at it. I’ve got the next episode planned and I’ve started working on it. So, yay for progress!

But that’s not the true purpose of this post. After a lot of consideration, I’ve decided to make Robin Pearce’s book Master of the Manor available. I have very strong misgivings about distributing someone else’s work like this, but Pearce has unfortunately gone dark, and they’d already had Master of the Manor available for free on their website before they went dark. So I’m mostly restoring the status quo.

Besides, Master of the Manor is an incredible game. For as long as I’ve been able to write an “Hello World” program, I’ve thought about creating a spanking video game. I tried several times over the years, never really getting very far. I never really had a good sense of what a good spanking game would like. What kind of format would keep the game reasonably scoped for a personal project, but still be rich enough to be properly considered a game?

Then I found Master of the Manor. A CYOA adventure with statistics, special abilities and a keyword system for remembering past actions. An incredibly rich, immersive and *interactive* game that would be dead simple to implement in a program. Almost from the day I finished my first play through of Master of the Manor I started working on what would eventually become Potion Wars, where I learned a lot of lessons that led to Scarlet Moon. This game inspired me, and one of the greatest tragedies of Pearce going dark is that people no longer have access to it.

So I’m making the game available in two formats. One, is the classic Epub format, that should be readable on any EBook or EBook program:
Master of the Manor – EPUB
.
The other is in plain text: Master of the Manor – Txt

I’m a plain text junkie. It lets me read the game in my terminal, and it’s very easy to search, take in-line notes if necessary, etc. Besides, Master of the Manor doesn’t do any anything fancy. So you don’t lose anything by reading it in plaintext vs. epub, except perhaps it’s not as easy to put on an EBook Reader (I wouldn’t know, I don’t own one).

One problem with the version that Pearce released as an Ebook was that it didn’t include any links. So you’ve got to do a lot of page flipping. I’ve included a special tags file with the text version that’s been generated by ctags. If you know what ctags is and how to use it, cool. Don’t read any further. Just download the text version, open it up in your favorite editor and take advantage of all that tags goodness to jump directly to page numbers.

If you don’t know what ctags is well then read on. Ctags is an old, venerable program that lets you build an index of one or more files containing plain text. It was originally built to make it easier to jump through software code, but it can be used for any plain text (I use it to navigate Scarlet Moon’s story content for example). I’ve generated an index of all the page numbers, so with the right editor if you put your cursor on/in front of a page number, like this: Turn to page |34, then with a simple keystroke you can jump immediately to page 34. No manual page flipping!

If you want to do that, follow these direcctions:

1. Download and install the Atom Text Editor (as an aside: I think Atom’s a bloated POS, but it’s the only text editor on Windows that isn’t Vim or Emacs *and* can natively read tags from an externally generated tags file).
2. Download and unzip the plain text version of Master of the Manor.
3. Open `master.txt` with Atom.
4. Read the book with your hand down your pants/skirt (VERY important).
5. When you reach a directive like `Turn to page 34`, place the cursor just before `34`.
6. Press Ctrl+Shift+r (I *think* it’s Cmd+Shift+r on a Mac).
7. Type 34 in the popup that appears.
8. Select the result that has just 34 on a line by itself.

Voila, you’ve now jumped to page (really section) 34.

If this is too many steps (it kinda is, really), then just read the plain text file and use your editor/Word’s search capability. Or download the epub and flip manually/use your epub reader’s search capability. Whatever makes it easiest for you to enjoy the spanky goodness.

As a final note, I will *not* distribute Dianne’s Promotion in the same way, so don’t ask. Pearce made a few noises about eventually releasing Dianne’s Promotion on the website like Master of the Manor was, but they hadn’t done so when the site went dark, and I’m not about to do it for them. If you want Dianne’s Promotion (I heartily recommend it, it’s almost exclusively spankings whereas Master of the Manor is spanking-heavy BDSM), then buy it on Amazon or Goodreads, and throw a few bucks at Pearce.

Oh, and I have a new e-mail: aka@spankingrpgs.com. I’ll probably keep the gmail around for a while longer, but I’d encourage you to e-mail me at my new address instead. Google’s been creeping me out lately, and I want to get away from them as much as possible.

AKA

Scarlet Moon Version 1.08 (March Update)

Spankers, Spankees, and Switches of All Ages (18 and above),

I’ve updated the download page with the newest version: Scarlet Moon 1.0.8.

Alas, there isn’t any new content. What there has been is a massive rework of combat to better support interesting powers (i.e. powers that aren’t just “do damage” or “inflict status”). Most of the changes are a straight up refactor, which means that a lot of the code has been rewritten, but it still does the same thing.  There are however a few changes:

  1. Grappling now moves both the grapplers into the grappling range, but doesn’t force them to remain in a grapple.
  2. Spanking is now a single turn action that inflicts the “Humiliated” status and has some sexy text. It no longer spans multiple turns.
  3. All ally actions are executed before enemy actions. When you have allies (which won’t be for several more episodes), you’ll also be able to control the order in which those actions execute.
  4. Chain Pull (a power that Buzzsaw has at the end of episode 1) now both pulls its target into a grapple, and inflicts the “Frozen” status on the target. A character with the “Frozen” status can’t move, though they can do everything else (attack, spank, use powers).
  5. Scarlet Slap is now Scarlet Punch, and can be used both at armslength and in a grapple.

These changes were made for a variety of reasons, but the big one is because I’ve got a much clearer idea of how I want combat to work:

First, there are only a small number of “atomic” actions that define all of combat. Each action resolves into one or more of these actions. The basic actions are:

  1. Damage (negative damage heals).
  2. Inflict a status for a given duration (negative duration reduces the status’ duration, or heals the status if the duration is dropped to zero).
  3. Move
  4. Grapple

Technically, grapple could be defined as two Moves, but that proved to be hard to keep consistent (i.e. there was a high risk of one of the grapplers entering a grapple, but not the other, which makes no sense).

Each basic (non-power) action is resolved into a single one of these actions. Attack is a single Damage, move is a single Move, spanking is a single Inflict, etc. Powers on the other hand can do one of two things: they could resolve into one or more of these basic actions (like Scarlet Beam), or they could react to basic actions in combat. For example, you could have a power that redirects the first 2 non-negative damages that target a character. Or you could have a power that allows a character to automatically attack the first 2 enemies that are inflicted with a status.

This gives you a cheap way of activating any power that reacts to other actions. You have a power “Kick ‘Em While They’re Down” that automatically attacks enemies inflicted with a status? Cool, activate the power, then spend the next few turns giving your opponent a spanking. Not only will you weaken them, but you’ll do a bit of damage to boot.

Supervillains will tend to be more powerful than your heroes, and their actions will tend to be more direct. You could already see this in Buzzsaw: all of her powers involve getting you into a grapple, and hitting you _hard_. However, heroes will tend to have more reactive powers, and the challenge in the game will be finding the right combination of powers that amplify your attacks, while mitigating your enemies’, and getting all that set up before your enemy gives a you figurative and literal spanking.

So, the first two changes above simplify your basic actions to make it easier to use them to set up chaining. The third change makes it easier for the player to set up their chains. They also make combat more deterministic which is a plus in my mind. The goal here is to find a good strategy and execute it, not pray to the RNG god. The hope is that with the wrong strategy, you’ll almost always lose, but with the right strategy you’ll almost always win.  The last two changes are just balance tweaks. Chain Pull’s change allows Buzzsaw to nullify the “keep your distance and shoot her strategy” in the second fight that can now be used to _great_ effect in the first fight since your move action will always execute before any of her actions. The change to Scarlet Punch means you can focus on building up your strength without forcing you to go into a grapple to make full use of it.

I would appreciate it if people could take the new version and try it out. Let me know what you think of the changes to combat, and if there are any bugs. I was able to play through the full episode a couple of times without any problems, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any of course. Even a combat system as deterministic as this one has quite a bit of randomness.

A few bugs have also been fixed. The character screen now allows you to make changes to your character _without_ resetting all of her stats. Furthermore, I fixed two places where your willpower _should_ be increasing, but wasn’t. You can now take the Willpower options and still be strong enough to fight Buzzsaw!

AKA

December Update

Spankers, Spankees, and Switches of All Ages (18 and above),

Sorry about missing the November update. I was preoccupied.

Anyway, it turns out that when you do a massive rewrite of your system, you end up with a fair number of bugs. So my beta testers have spent the past month dutifully documenting the many, many, _many_ bugs they’ve found in the latest update, and I’ve been squashing them.

It’s been like 5 whole days since I sent my beta testers the latest version, and they haven’t sent back any bugs (which is a record I think). So hopefully we’ll have the full first episode ready for your avid consumption. I’m honestly a little bit disappointed with it. I think I spend too much time catering to my thong-bikini-beach-spanking fetish and not enough to my thong-superheroine-spanking-fetish. So the superheroing part is a little bit more railroaded than I would have liked.

But I’m kind of sick of this episode, and ready to get the hell on with it, so whatever.

Anyway, now I’m going to talk about my plans for the rest of the game. Here were my original plans:

The first episode would be a little bit unique in that it would be a CYOA tree of choices in which we introduce the majority of the main cast and try to tell a superhero origin story that has less “normal person is normal” and more “superhero-just-punched-that-guy-through-a-wall-holy-fuck-this-is-awesome.”

All subsequent episodes would be in a style similar to the Spanking Adventures by Robin Pierce: a loosely connected set of CYOA-style vinettes, with a hub screen where you choose which to do when. The idea was that each day would have the following choices: study, patrol, sleep, work, and go out.

To add a bit of gameplay to these events, there would be three additional statistics: stress, fatigue, and GPA. The various vignettes would have different choices that could increase or decreaes these three stats. Furthermore, for every 5 points of stress you would receive a 1 point penalty to your primary stats. Meanwhile, every point of fatigue would subtract a point from your maximum energy. Meanwhile, GPA would serve as a multiplier on your stress: the higher your GPA the slower your stress increases.

Furthermore, there wouldn’t be enough hours in the day to do all the events, so you’d have to make decisions: should I study, or take a nap? Go to work or go and party? The idea was to add some tension to the game, because you’d have to carefully balance your priorities to make sure you have high enough stats and energy to defeat the villain of the episode, but also leave you in a good place for the next episode.

However, I think I’m going to do away with this approach, and make every episode more like the first, for a couple of reasons both story and gameplay related.

 

Gameplay:

My biggest problem with the gameplay is that you have no idea how powerful you need to be to defeat the villain. As a result, you don’t have enough information to make good choices when deciding which events you want to do for a given day. You could very easily find yourself in an unwinnable situation because you made sub-optimal choices three in-game days ago. I’ve played games that pull this, and it always frustrates me to no end. Keep in mind that I do want the game to have some challenge, but this feels too much like fake difficulty.

One thing I’ve learned from the playing through the first episode is that energy is _precious_. It’s even more precious than I expected it to be. It is a non-renewable resource that leaks away with every round of combat. Every power you use brings you a little bit closer to defeat, and you’re hoping that the advantage you get from the power offsets that. This introduces more than enough tension. Trying to stack on any more will turn tense gameplay into frustrating gameplay.

 

Story:

The problems with the gameplay could be solved easily enough by simply doing away with stress, fatigue, and GPA. However, I also think that this format would make it harder to tell a good story. The original plan had been that each choice would star a particular supporting character. For example, the patrol choice would feature Juliana in a starring role. This makes sense because it makes it easier to manage a large cast: by having subplots that focus on one character at a time, the player has time to learn about each character without being overwhelmed.

However, the player has a choice of which events to partake in each day. As a result, you can’t really build on previous events (the complexity would rapidly spin out of control). Furthermore, we can’t really incorporate key character development into these events because we have no idea if the player will see them or not. As a result, each subplot has to be a standalone vignette that doesn’t really contribute anything significant to the story, and doesn’t significantly develop the character. It would also be very difficult to weave these vignettes into the main plot.

In other words, it’d be filler. I don’t want any filler. One of my main goals is to make every scene contribute in some way to the story, either by advancing the plot or shedding some light on a character, or world-building.

 

Instead, I think we would get more mileage if we structure our episodes a lot like in X-Men: Evolution. In X-Men: Evolution you often had a main plot that focused on a handful of the cast (two to three characters typically), and a more light-hearted subplot that focused on other members of the cast. The subplot allowed them to inject some comic relief into the episodes, as well as give screen time to more characters without affecting the pacing of the main story. So my current plan is to have a main plot that will focus on Juliana, the player and the villain-of-the-week’s shenanigans. Meanwhile, we’ll have a subplot that stars one of the support cast. Essentially, these subplots will be the vignettes that we had originally planned to be separate events. Except we’ll be able to weave them into the main plot, and we can guarantee that the player will see some form of them (of course, we intend to give the player choices that effect how each plot plays out).

 

This also means that I don’t have to add any new features to the codebase (like I would if I wanted to do the original plan), which will be a huge timesavings. There is still a fair amount of coding that I want to do for the next episode (I need to refactor combat to better support some of the more interesting powers that I have in mind). So I’m not done with major development just yet.

 

Those of you who have kindly volunteered to help me write will be primarily helping me with the subplots, and possibly enriching the main plot with additional choices.

 

AKA

The Scandalous Scarlet Moon

Spankers, Spankees, and Switches of All Ages (18 and above),

Today, I am proud to release the first day of the first episode of The Scandalous Scarlet Moon.

You take on the role of a Silver Age style superhero(ine) Scarlet Moon. Aided by your best friend Juliana, you must protect the City of Generica from a host of villains, from brutish thugs to sensual seducers, grinning giants to evil masterminds, honorable hunters to cheating thieves. But don’t spend too much time superheroing! After all, you’ve got a job to keep down, studies to keep up on, precious precious beauty sleep, and you might even want to have fun every now and then! Neglect them at your peril (to your bottom). But don’t spend too much time focusing on your regular life either! After all, every one of those villains will happily put you over their knees and give you the kind of a spanking a meddling superhero deserves if you let your guard down for even a single second!

So join me as we embark upon an epic quest across, over, and under Generica City!

In this release experience the epic, action-packed origins of Scarlet Moon! Fight your way through an abandoned business park crawling with the Evul gang, the Whistlers, learning skills as you go that will be absolutely essential to getting out of there with an unmarked bottom. Come face to face with your very first supervillain: the boisterous Buzzsaw and learn up close how they earned their menacing name!

 

This release contains the following:

  1. Customize your character however you want! Pick their gender, name, appearance, and clothing.
  2. Pick the genders of most other characters! Most NPCs are broken into one of three roles: spanker, spankee, and switch. Pick their genders universally at the beginning of the game, or select the gender of each character as you meet them.
  3. Experience a rather generic superhero story, where you get to make some choices that dictate how your character reacts to the situations! This episode is alas, rather linear, and your choices don’t impact gameplay much. But that will come in subsequent episodes.
  4. Engage in turn-based tactical combat. Most of your enemies don’t pose much of a threat, but be careful! Your health and mana are combined into a single stat, energy, you have no way of restoring energy, and you lose energy each round  (this can be turned off). You’ll have to make intelligent and efficient use of every skill in your ever-growing  arsenal if you hope to survive!
  5. Get annoyed when you discover that you gain nothing from combat!
  6. Experience in-combat spankings! Be mildly annoyed at how utterly impractical they are at this point in the game, and hope they become more useful as the game progresses!
  7. Experience lovingly crafted in-story spanking scenes that eschew sound effects in favor of purple prose, and clunky back and forth between the spanker and spankee! How many different ways can we describe getting slapped on the ass? Play and find out!
  8. Prefer to play a Domly Dom of Domliness and don’t relish the idea of your character getting their fanny whacked? Every spanking scene is avoidable! Turn off in-combat spankings (which also turns off losing-to-the-supervillain-spankings)! Naughtiness is inevitable, but spankings are not!
  9. All sorts of bugs and crashes that have slipped past myself and my beta testers, because let’s be honest, I’m a hack whose too busy jerking it to use proper design, write enough unit tests, and don’t even talk to me about integration tests! (If you happen to discover one of these, please let me know, and maybe we can trick a few people into believing I know what I’m doing).

The next major release will contain the following:

    1. Beach scene! Because who doesn’t love the idea of buxom women in thong bikinis getting spanked in public at the beach?
    2. The kidnapping of a character you’ve only just met, and probably don’t like very much, but are expected to save anyway!
    3. The unveiling of Scarlet Moon’s costume! Will she have a modest, practical outfit, or the type of sexy skanky skimpy spandex slip you secretly enjoy but publicly denounce because there’s something terribly wrong, yet dirtily sexy, about a genre where the mainstream works have already done the work of designing the outfits for the inevitable porn parodies!
    4. Stat gain through roleplaying! Rather than getting stronger in combat, some of the choices you make during the story will give you stat bonuses, and let you learn new skills! Will you be a character with high Strength, who punches her way through problems, or a fast-talking charmer with high WIllpower who talks her way out of scrapes? The choice is up to you!
    5. Balance short-term gains with long-term benefits! Do you eavesdrop on your opponent, and try to learn her motivations, or do you ambush her now, and gain the upper hand in what is sure to be an intense battle that could go either way?

Windows version

Linux/Mac version

Source Code

The game is written in Java, so you need to make sure you download and install Java 8 if you don’t already have it installed. Be warned, Oracle apparently has a shady deal with Yahoo! where they try to trick you into making Yahoo! your default search engine, so keep an eye out when installing Java.

 

The game’s code is licensed under the GNU GPL-v3, while the content of the game (events, characters, etc) is released under the CC-BY-SA. What this means is that you are free to take my work and do whatever you want with it (release a slightly modified version of my game, write stories featuring my characters, etc.) and release them so long as you:

  1. Give me proper credit
  2. Release your work under the same or a compatible license

Edited

I’ve uploaded a new release that fixes an issue that may have caused the game to crash when attempting to save.

I’ve uploaded a new release that fixes an issue where the player will not learn the skills they are supposed to if you change the font size on the character creation screen.

I’ve uploaded a new release that fixes several issues: Character skills are now properly loaded when loading a game, so skills don’t bleed over from one game to another. The player can now defend at the distant range. The option where you defeat Buzzsaw and spare them a spanking now transitions to the correct event. Struggling during a grapple no longer automatically breaks you out of it. It now reduces the duration based on your grapple skill. Buzzsaw now knows the skill Soaring Leap, where she jumps at you, which puts both you them at armslength. So you can’t just move to distant and spam Scarlet Beam until she falls over. Well, you can but she now has a way of getting close to you.

April Update

Spankers, Spankees and Switches of All Ages (18 and above),

**Insert obligatory crappy April Fool’s joke here**

Now that that’s out of the way, I’m getting very close to having a playable beta. I have everything implemented that I need for the first episode except for the combat code, which I’m working on now. As far as combat goes, I need to implement the following:

  1. Functionality for selecting skills.
  2. The logic to actually execute a round of combat.

That’s pretty much it. I already have the AI implemented, as well as the code that actually executes each action. I just need to glue all that together, and I’ll be good to go.

So I’m expecting to have all that done by the end of the month at the latest. What’s the next step after that? The next step is to pass the game along to my beta testers. I’ll consider it ready for release when I’ve gotten four approvals from my beta testers (or it’s early June, and I haven’t heard anything at all from my testers, depends on how responsive my testers are).

So we’re on track for a release in early June. My view and controller code still isn’t particularly pretty, but at least it works (far as I can tell anyway), and I have some understanding of how it works (though not complete. JavaFX has some infuriating and unintuitive bits around event processing that I haven’t fully grokked just yet).

So, to taunt you all, here are a few screenshots!

First, we have a screenshot of character creation

Character creation provides just as many options as Potion Wars, only thanks to the magic of libraries (instead of rolling it my own stupid self), it’s arranged very pretty in something approximating a real UI. Character options will include:

  1. gender: male, female
  2. bodytype: slim, average, voluptuous, heavyset
  3. eyecolor: blue, brown, green, hazel, grey
  4. haircolor: blonde, brown, red, black, rainbow
  5. hairstyle: down, pig tails, ponytail, single braid (something like this), buns, mohawk
  6. height: short (5′ – 5’3″), average(5’4″ – 5′ 7″), tall (5′ 8″ – 5′ 11″, gargantuan (6′ and up)
  7. musculature: soft, fit, muscular
  8. skincolor: ivory, peach, tanned, brown, caramel, black
  9. clothing: There are a ton of clothing options (mostly female-oriented, I’m kind of biased, alas) and all are available from the beginning, so that you have a high degree of control over the civilian appearance of your character. More clothing options may be added over time as people request them (clothing is very easy to add).

Next we have the options.

Crimson Glow provides the same and more options as Potion Wars:

  1. You can control whether or not your player can be spanked in battle. This will also affect supervillain story spankings. If the player is not allowed to be spanked in battle, then neither will the player be spanked after losing to a supervillain. Other in-story spanking scenes are possible, but since all of those will be avoidable by selecting the right dialogue option, rather than winning a challenging battle, those are not disabled.
  2. Artificial Intelligence controls how smart enemies are. Dumb enemies pick targets and actions at random. Average enemies pick their skills based on what they’re good at, but pick targets at random. Smart enemies pick their skills based on what they’re good at, and are more likely to pick targets who will be weakest against those skills.
  3. This game takes full advantage of the fact that both genders have an ass, and disciplinary spankings (which make up 99+% of the game’s spankings) focus exclusively on the bottom and thighs. “Spanker Gender” sets the gender of all characters who are tops (almost always administering rather than receiving). If the gender is UNKNOWN, then you will be given the opportunity to pick the gender of each top individually when you first meet them. The same for the spankee gender. All supervillains are considered spankees. If the genders for both top and bottom are the same, then all generic enemies will also have the selected gender.
  4. Energy Lost Per Round of Combat controls how much energy all characters lose at the end of battle (note: You cannot go below 1 energy through attrition). NONE means allies don’t lose any energy, and enemies lose a lot. MODERATE means enemies and allies lose at the same rate. SEVERE means allies lose a lot of energy, but enemies don’t lose very much (though they do lose some).

Next, an event screen.

This is the first event of the game. There is one, very important improvement over Potion Wars: Even text is now displayed with a scrolling bar. So no more multiple pages. The text of an event is now displayed all at once on the screen, and allows players to scroll through it (though moving on to the next event clears the view).

Finally, combat!

The first thing that should be obvious is that I’ve expanded significantly on the positioning system. Rather than having spanking/grappling/armslength, we now have spanking/grappling/armslength/distant. Different characters will be able to attack at different ranges, and will have different skills that work at different ranges. Positions are also displayed in a simple visual view. The top rows are enemies, the bottom rows are allies. The combat log is also a scrollbar, like events, and will display all feedback on user commands. The —-Character Name— tells you which character you’re selecting commands for, and will be displayed after the feedback of every command.

This view relies a bit too heavily on the combat log for feedback, but this damn thing is being complex enough to program. I may improve it in the future, but this should be enough to make the game playable.

One very important differences from Potion Wars:

There are no longer dungeons with mazes. It was decided that those really weren’t worth the effort of designing, and implementing. Furthermore, I don’t think they always work well for superheroes (which tend to focus on small-scale battles between heroes and villains). Not all villains have a billions minions at their beck and call, after all. Instead “dungeons” will be a sequence of events, like CYOA. In these events, the player will be able to make choices, many of which may involve using skills to get by obstacles, or gain the upper hand in battle. Furthermore, the player _does not_ get better through combat. Instead, in most dungeon events, the player will have a range of choices. Each choice will increment at least one skill by one point. For example, you may be faced with a thick fence. You could choose to ram through it (which improves strength), jump over it (improve speed), or find the guardhouse and convince the guard to let you through the gate (improve willpower). Of course, you might fail (bounce off the fence, land on the fence, get spanked by the guard) if your stat isn’t high enough, but you’ll still get the stat gain.

In short, unlike Potion Wars, battles are very painful (even easy ones will drain precious energy), and should be avoided when necessary. Of course, that doesn’t mean you might not get bonuses for charging into some battles, especially if it involves saving people.

This might seem like an odd decision, but there are a few reasons for it:

  1. This allows us to do much more interesting things. For example, the “dungeon” could consist of playing cat and mouse with a single villain, in which you try to find them, or manipulate the environment in a way to give you an advantage, occasionally having skirmishes with the villain if you fail an event, or get the upper hand.
  2. It provides more opportunity to roleplay. The time I would have previously spent designing dungeons, and getting them to display can now be spent writing up events.
  3. It removes a rather frustrating balancing act. If combat made you stronger, then on the one hand you’d want to get involved in combat as much as possible to become stronger, but on the other save your precious energy for the boss. While in theory this might be fun, I think it would mostly be frustrating, because you don’t know how strong you need to be later in the game, or how much energy you’ll need to fight the boss. So I think removing the built-in incentive structure from combat will make for a much more interesting gameplay experience. It will now be about “How do I efficiently get to the supervillain and defeat them?” rather than “RAAGH HULK SMASH!”

 

As an added note: One of my writers has written up a few short scenes to get a handle on some of the characters. He’s given me permission to post them, so you’ll see a few short snippets coming up in the next few days. Think of them as sneak peeks (though they take place around the midway point of the game, so they’re a little bit spoilery, but the only thing they really spoil are the superhero names of some of Crimson Glow’s allies).

 

February 2016 Update

Spankers, Spankees, and Switches of All Ages (18 and above),

So I’ve made _excellent_ progress. I’ve managed to finish the first round of the game engine, something I wasn’t expecting to finish until the end of February at the earliest. Right now I’m working on the startup code. By the end of the week (at the latest) I should have all the code written to run the game for the first time.

However, that does _not_ mean that a release is right around the corner. Here’s a list of things I still need to do:

  1. Write JSON files describing the random enemies of the first dungeon, and the boss of the first dungeon (won’t be too hard. Maybe four files tops?) This includes writing the in-combat spanking text, but I’ll be lifting and modifying the combat text from the first enemies of Potion Wars, so that shouldn’t take too long.
  2. Write JSON files describing the clothing options for the player (lots of files here, but items are much simpler in this game than in Potion Wars, so again it shouldn’t be too difficult)
  3. Translate the transcript of the first day of the first episode into a JSON-like format (it’s not quite JSON because the events have line breaks, which I don’t believe JSON supports), and do any editing I decide to do.
  4. Debug the game. This one will probably take a while. I’ve been reasonably good about writing tests I think, however I don’t really have tests for the view or controller. The view because GUI code is rather hard to test automatically. The Controller is also woefully lacking in tests. Now, most of the Controllers are simple enough that that probably won’t be a problem (query model, invoke method on appropriate game screen). However the Combat Controller is rather complicated. I really should refactor that one out into smaller, more testable pieces. But I’m lazy.
  5. Balance the first dungeon.

Once those five steps are complete enough, I’ll pass it off to my beta testers to break.

So we may see a release by May, but officially, I’m going to keep it at June. I’ll admit that I have cut a few corners, and I’m not sure how badly that cutting is going to hurt me just yet.

One nice thing: I feel like I have a _much_ better handle on this codebase than I did on the Python codebase for Potion Wars. So that at least is a success!

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