More Information about the Latest Version of Potion Wars

Spankers and Spankees,

I’ve managed to find a bit more time, so I can explain in a bit more detail some of the overhauls I’ve made to the latest version of the game. But first, I want to talk about my update schedule.

My plan is to make a new post when one of the following two things happen:

1. I have a new version of the game to post (either bugfixes, or a new episode).

2. It’s the first weekend of the month.

The second type of post will simply be to reassure you that I’m still alive, and still working on the project. I’ll probably also give you some idea of where I am in the process of creating the next episode. Furthermore, at the top of each monthly post, I’ll post the version number of the currently released game.

The version numbers are structured as follows:

max_episode_number.update_number

So, version 1.11 (the currently released version) can be played through the end of episode 1, and it is the 11th version that (in theory) allows you to play through the end of episode 1.

So, when I first release episode 2, the version number will be 2.1. You’ll be able to play through the end of episode 2, and it will be the first version that plays to the end of episode 2.

This way, if you don’t want to have to check my blog every day, you can just check at the beginning of each month.
 
Furthermore, I’ll be traveling all in a vain effort to attend my brother’s wedding, and get back to school in time for classes, so for the next few weeks I’ll basically vanish. That shouldn’t stop you from posting feedback, bug reports, etc. if you feel so inclined. Just don’t expect me to respond until the last week of August.

Now, on to changes in Potion Wars 1.11. Be warned: Wall of Text ahead. I don’t expect anyone to read this from beginning to end. I’d recommend playing the game first, and if something happens that trips you up, then reference either this blogpost or the manual.  If after looking at both you’re still confused, feel free to ask me. I might not be able to respond right away, but I will as soon as I can.

———————————————Mac Compatibility———————————————
Unfortunately, the latest version of the game is no longer compatible with PlayOnMac. I don’t know how it broke, but it broke and I have no idea how to fix it. I even borrowed a friend’s install discs and tried to create an OS X VM so that I could compile directly to Mac, and I failed miserably. Mac’s business model is basically “You want access to our OS? Shell out obscene amounts of money for our hardware or STFU” (FYI, my mild dislike for Apple has now turned into a burning hatred). Needless to say, I’m not going to give over a thousand dollars to a company that I detest. And no, I can’t just ask said friend to compile the game for me, because I’d rather not tell my real-life friends that I spend the majority of my free time writing spanking porn (I’m not very trusting).

So, sorry Mac users. I tried, but you’re reduced to using a virtual machine or dual booting (or getting a better OS 😉 ).

———————————————Save Game Format———————————————

Unfortunately, this version of the game is no longer compatible with old saves, so you’ll have to start over. When more episodes are released, I will strive to make the games backwards compatible. But for now, the first episode is short enough that it isn’t really worth the effort.

I’ve massively overhauled the format of your save games. Now, instead of rolling my own function for saving state, I’m using an extended version of Python’s “Pickle” module that I stole off of the ‘Net, called “Dill.” This grossly simplifies my save and load code, and makes it much easier to maintain.

I’ve also consolidated all of the game’s state into a single object, making the whole thing much more centralized, and therefore much simpler to save, restore, and modify. This change required a lot of small changes across a lot of code, so if you see anything weird happening after loading a game, let me know. It’s possible that the game isn’t being saved/loaded properly because I forgot to change some small piece of the code.

——————————————-Character Customizations———————————————–

I’ve added some basic options at the beginning of the game for character customization. You can now select your character’s height, body type, hair length, and hair style. Of these choices, the only one that will eventually be changeable is your hair style (changing hair style is implemented, but rather buggy, so the player can’t currently access that choice). Everything else is fixed.

You can also select your character’s starting equipment. You can choose one of three types of weapons: a spear, a sword, and a dagger. You have access to the same clothing (with the exception of the quality shirts) that you can buy at Terry’s Taylors.

——————————————-Equipment——————————————————————–

I’ve laid the groundwork for modifying the enchantments on equipment. Essentially, you’ll be able to transfer enchantments between different pieces of equipment, so you don’t have to choose between the “Modest Mail of Mauling” and the “Sexy Schoolgirl Skirt of Sucky.”

Each piece of equipment will have a different max enchantment level. Typically, you’ll have a choice between having a higher defense and fewer enchantments, and more enchantments and a lower defense. For example, clothing will almost never provide a defense boost, but will have a high maximum enchantment. Plate armor will provide a large defense boost, but won’t be able to contain more than one enchantment.

Essentially, I aim to implement a quasi-item crafting mechanic without all the obnoxious “get three suits of leather armor, six peacock feathers and a demon testicle” fetch quest crap that weighs down every item crafting mechanic ever. Seriously, I will never understand why game designers seem to think that going grocery shopping is fun. Fighting the  Divine Demon of Destruction for the Shiny Sword of Super Slaying is challenging and fun. Cluttering up my inventory with a dozen rare items scattered about the deepest, darkest corners of the gameworld only to discover that I am one plank of wood away from forging the Shiny Sword of Super Slaying is not.

——————————————-Statistics———————————————————————

We now have both primary, and secondary stats. The primary stats are:

1. Strength
2. Dexterity
3. Talent
4. Willpower
5. Alertness

The secondary stats are:

1. warfare
2. grapple
3. magic
4. resilience
5. stealth

Strength and Dexterity influence warfare and grapple (strength primarily influences warfare, dexterity primarily influences grapple). Talent and Willpower influence magic and resilience (Talent primarily influences magic, Willpower primarily influences resilience). Alertness influences stealth, and improves your character’s initiative.

——————————————-Spells————————————————————————-

I’ve shuffled the spells around, and drastically slowed down how rapidly you reach the next tier. Distort Magic is the new Tier 0 Advanced Status spell, and the Spectral Spanking family is the new
Tier 0 Spectral family.

Furthermore, the Combat spells now do a range of damage, instead of a fixed value. The range is affected by the difference between the caster’s and recipient’s magic. For some spells, it might influence the lower end of the range, for others the higher end. For others, it might influence both.

In addition to keeping the combat spells from being too overpowered with the new statistics, this will also make those spells more interesting. For example, combat spells whose minimum damage are influenced by stats are good to cast on enemies that have a low magic, but should definitely not be cast on enemies that have a high magic (or you might find yourself doing zero, or worse negative damage!). Meanwhile, spells whose max damage are influenced by stats are good to cast on enemies with a high magic (you’ll always do some damage), but will not be very reliable on enemies with a low magic (you might still get unlucky and do a tiny fraction of the damage you could do).

Furthermore, instead of requiring a magic of 3 to reach Tier 1, you now need a Talent of 10. Unless you’re the kind of person who spends 8 hours every day slaughtering boars in WoW, you shouldn’t hit a Talent of 10 until Episodes 3 or 4 (if you do hit Talent 10 before Episode 3 without excessive grinding, kindly let me know).

—————————————Combat—————————————————————————-

At Emily’s request, I’ve added a new command, the (S)pank command.  When you are grappling your opponent, you will be given the option of trying to spank them. Your chances of success are influenced by your grappling skill. If you are successful, you will inflict on your enemy the Humiliated status, which inflicts a -1 penalty to all their primary stats. If you fail, nothing happens. If you get reversed, your enemy will humiliate you. So, use with caution.

In future versions of the game, I’ll probably add an option to turn off the (S)pank command, for those who don’t like the “Spankings at every turn” style of spanking porn.

I’ve also sped up the combat interface some. Attacking an enemy is as simple as pressing the enemy’s number (or pressing Enter if you want to attack the first enemy, or the enemy you’re currently grappling).

I’ve also added Quick Spells. Essentially, you can have up to 12 spells assigned to the function keys (F1-12). In combat, you select that spell by just pressing the appropriate function key, instead of slogging through the (C)ast-Select Tier-Select Spell command sequence. There is a command (M)odify Quick Spells on the main interface (outside of combat) that allows you to change the spell assignments. Currently, they default to:

F1 – Firebolt
F2 – Weaken
F3 – Heal
F4 – Spectral Spanking

Every time you learn a new spell, that spell is automatically assigned to the first empty function key. In addition to being able to change a key’s assignment, you can also swap keys. So if you’d rather have heal at F2 and Weaken at F3, you can swap the two by pressing M-F2-F3, instead of assigning each one manually.

I believe that’s everything major.  Hope you enjoy the latest and greatest version of Pandemonium Cycle: The Potion Wars!

10 thoughts on “More Information about the Latest Version of Potion Wars

  1. Am I Jeffrey the Jungle-Ape? If so, I’m flattered. Really like the new update and streamlining. Being able to use Enter in combat is extremely useful, but I’ve noticed it tends to be very sensitive and if you press it consecutively quickly you’ll skip through turns entirely. The character appearance addition is great, but will there be instances of it affecting game play and how characters react to you? Being able to check your spanked status is nice too, but would it be possible to have a wider and more descriptive variety?

    Those in-battle spankings add a little something extra, too. Didn’t realise they reduced stats. Just discovered that you can already acquire extra implements. Will there be more of a chance to choose which you’d like to use in a scene? Loved the part with Elise and the sensitivity spell. Any chance it could become a PC spell? Really hope there’ll be more opportunities for spells gone wrong and more magic related chaos. Keep up the good work. Eagerly looking forward to the next chapter.

    1. Did you e-mail me offering to be a beta tester, and/or editor, but preferring to remain anonymous, and did you send me an X-Men spanking story you wrote for a friend? If so, then yes you’re Jeffrey. If not, then no, you are not. I haven’t named you, because I’m an ungrateful sonuvabitch. Also, because I don’t necessarily know which comments are yours and which are other people’s, and I don’t want to give credit to the wrong person. So, we’ll have to come up with something for you. Don’t know your gender, so how about Terry the Tangerine?

      When you say “skip the turn entirely” do you mean it skips the confirmation, or it skips the combat messages?

      Your appearance will have similar effects as your clothing style. In other words, combat won’t be affected by size or hair length, but spanking scenes, dialogue and events will be affected appropriately. For example, an OTK spanking scene by someone much taller than you may mention that your feet are dangling helplessly in mid-air.

      In future episodes, each spanking scene will have a custom bum status message. The descriptions you see now are placeholders because I don’t want to slog through and write custom lines for all 12 some-odd spanking scenes in episode 1. Writing custom one-liners as you go is one thing. Tracing through 10,000 lines of code to find each scene after the fact is something else entirely.

      Implement use will depend on the type of scene. For cut scenes, it varies. Usually I’ll try to give the player the opportunity to choose between two or three implements (assuming the player owns them). Which two implements will vary for each scene (you should already be seeing that in episode 1).

      For combat scenes, I plan on implementing a severity/difficulty trade-off. The more severe an implement, the longer the penalty lasts, but the more difficult it is to successfully spank your opponent. However, unlike in cut scenes, the combat spanking descriptions will be largely unaffected by implement choice (only the name of the implement will change).

      As for the sensitivity spell, the exact form cast by Elise will not be, because it takes too long to cast (the numbness version is meant to be anesthesia for surgery). However a faster, more difficult version of the numbness would be a good way of “implementing” a Paralysis spell. Sensitivity could be used to increase the amount of damage (magical and mundane) an opponent takes. After all, your body uses the severity of pain to gauge how much health is needed to heal an injury. The more pain you feel, the more health your body uses, regardless of how severe the injury actually is.

  2. Terry the Tangerine it is. It skips the confirmation and goes straight through as if you’d selected the attack command. Good to hear about the custom bum messages. Two or three would be nice, with the option for a harsher scene (sadists need love too). I more meant the chance to have the sensitivity spell be used in a scene, or to the risk of it being used by some other angry spell caster. Could combat spells be an option for certain scenes, with outcomes as unpredictable as the spell used on those captives in chapter 1? Looking forward to the next update. You’re making a lot spanko specialists happy.

    1. You might want to look into getting some account or other with the Terry the Tangerine as your handle, so that I know who is posting what and I can give credit where it is due. Looks like there are several options: Google, LiveJournal, WordPress, TypePad, AIM, OpenID. Or it looks like you can just manually enter your name each time you post (the Name/URL option).

      Personally, I would recommend setting up a porn-only e-mail address, or AIM username if you don’t have one already. Then, you use that address for all things porn-related, be they signing onto some free spanking site, signing up for a spanking mailing list, or commenting on spanking blogs.

      Now, as for the harsher scenes. Roughly, the template I’d like to follow for topping scenes in future episodes is the following:

      1. Don’t Spank (this allows people who prefer to play a bottom to avoid topping).
      2. Kind.
      3. Stern.
      4. Sadistic.

      So most topping scenes should have at least one sadistic option. I can’t guarantee that I’ll always follow this template, sometimes the demands of a scene will force so many different paths by itself that adding Kind, Stern, Sadistic on top of that would be overwhelming. I’ll try to avoid that as much as possible, though.

      Now about using spells in scenes. I certainly plan on adding more such options in the future, if only in the hopes of keeping things varied. You have no idea how hard it is to come up with new ways of saying “The Spanker slapped the Spankee’s bottom. The Spankee squealed in pain while her bottom jiggled. It was sexy.” Having some unpredictable magical mayhem will go a long way to keeping things varied.

      That being said, to keep things simple, the only spells your character will learn will be spells that can be used in combat. But hopefully I can make those spells varied enough to inspire some fun scenes.

      I’m so glad people are enjoying it. I’ve had to spend the past two weeks away from my computer, and let me tell you it was painful not being able to work on this. Though I did manage to take some time to flesh out my setting, and my outline for the second episode, so it wasn’t a complete waste.

  3. First I’d like to say – awesome and sexy game, I’ve been replaying compulsively trying to find all the scenes :p Some issues with the gameplay – when I use the spell Spectral Spanking/Strapping, the spell is supposed to debuff the opponent with a Humiliated status in addition to damage, but that doesn’t seem to work.

    1. I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying it!

      Also, thank you for pointing out the bug. Bugs based on quasi-random events like that are very hard to track down. Turns out that in the code that inflicts your enemy with the Humiliated status after casting Spectral Spanking, I was forgetting to set the status’ duration, so it was defaulting to zero!

    2. Thanks for looking into it. I have a question: I was trying to see how beat up my character’s bottom can get in the Appearance section, and by the end of episode one I got it to the state “layers of welts…hobble with pain”. Is there an even higher state of bruising or is this as sore as a behind can get in this game?

    3. That’s as sore as your bottom can get for now. In future episodes, each spanking scene will leave their own unique marks, and each time you rest (so each time a day goes by), the oldest set of marks will be removed (to represent your bottom healing).

      The reason for the very small number of generic descriptions in episode 1 is because I didn’t add your bum status until the episode was already written, and going back and adding a unique bum description for every spanking scene would have (in my opinion) taken too much time for not enough gain.

  4. Unique descriptors? Sounds interesting. But I have to ask, what exactly constitutes a scene that requires a full day to heal? Will a couple of swats from a paddle qualify, or does it have to be at least a caning or a spanking lasting some time? Because going by the first standard, you can get no less than 10 spankings in the first episode, (if you try for it), which means a 10-day recuperation period.

    Your current algorithm also needs a bit of work: I faced Mia without a ribbon, got spanked by her and a short paddling from Colima, and bum status moved from level 2 to level 3. I faced her with a ribbon, got spanked, pissed her off so she doesn’t help, lost to the Companion and got spanked, and then a caning from Adrian for lying, and all that didn’t raise my status from level 2 to 3.

    1. There is no hard and fast rule. Roughly, if the characters are making a big deal out of it (scoldings, implements, yelping, squirming, etc.) then it constitutes a scene. If it’s just Ildri giving the player a few swats for making a cheeky comment, not so much. But I’m going mostly by feel on this, so who knows. It’s also a little bit tricky because some scenes branch and do slightly different things depending what your character has done/said. Does each branch count as a different scene, or is it all one big scene with a few variances? In some cases they may be different enough to justify being called different scenes, in other cases perhaps not. So like I said, not an exact science.

      Furthermore, the first episode is a little bit crunched timewise. Future episodes will span multiple days (a day passes every time you rest, and most of the dungeons are going to be balanced so that it will take multiple expeditions to clear them), so you probably won’t have 10 or more spankings in a single day unless you really really rush things.

      Also, thanks for pointing out the bug. I have a counter that tracks how many times the player gets spanked, and I was using that to determine what the player’s bum looks like in the first episode. In both the Companion’s spankings, and Adrian’s caning, I was forgetting to increment that counter.

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