Spankers and Spankees,
At long last (9 months! Holy hell. I really need to pick things up!) we have new content for Potion Wars. The first act of Episode 2 : Back Alleys. We’re just going to ignore the fact that my dream is to produce multiple episodes per year. Ah well, I’m still doing a lot of coding, and almost all of this was written by yours truly. Hopefully I’ll eventually hit a point where I’m just maintaining the code, rather than actively modifying it and I’ll have more people helping me write. You can find it under the Download tab as always.
There are a lot of changes in this version, as is to be expected since four months have passed since the last version. However, before we get to that, some updates on the project. First, welcome Bonemouth the Boxfish and Ken the Kookaburra (I don’t know what that is, but I’ll bet it makes a mean burrito) to the team. Both will be helping me with writing scenes. For now, Bonemouth is working on in-combat spanking text, and spanking scenes that don’t really contribute to the plot. Ken is working on in-combat spankings. Both have also joined the beta testing team, and Bonemouth in particular has been a major champ. Guy’s a bug-finding machine. So hopefully this version won’t crash on too many of you. Don’t get me wrong, it will crash. It’s software. Crashes are inevitable. But hopefully it’s more stable than the first release last summer. I’d also like to thank Emily. She’s been invaluable in helping me figure out the layout for the first act. Hopefully with Bonemouth’s and Ken’s help I’ll be able to increase my throughput.
Now, on to the game itself.
First a few known bugs/unpleasantness:
1. I’ve removed the ability to skip multiple pages of text. I know that sucks, but that feature was pretty flaky to begin with, and it was giving my beta testers lots of problems. The code for displaying text is a tower of hacks and I do not understand it at all. So, since I’ll be completely rewriting the GUI code using a proper toolkit between episodes 2 and 3, for now I figured it’d be easier to just remove that feature.
2. Some scenes will have a blank page before the text. This will happen whenever the music changes. Just hit enter and you’ll get the text you’re supposed to, and the music will change. Again, this is a side-effect of gross limitations in how music is displayed and how I ensure that music plays when it’s supposed to. This problem will vanish when I overhaul the GUI (to be replaced by a hundred other problems, but such is software).
3. I’m going to shelve indefinitely my plans to make the combat top-down. That would require a tremendous amount of work, both initially and throughout the game. If I do topdown combat, movement will become complex enough that I’ll need to write custom AI for each enemy because each enemy would have a different movement style based on their strengths. While this would be awesome to play if done well, it would drastically increase development time. And I imagine most of you would rather play a decent spanking game, then read endless posts about how hard I’m working on an amazingtastic spanking game that you’ll totally get to play sometime in the next century.
1. Content for Act 1 of Episode 2. There’s no dungeon crawling. Just running around talking to people, and getting your butt smacked. I’m sure you’ll blaze through it in like an hour. 7 months of work for an hour of enjoyment -_- This is why we can’t have nice things.
2. Although I didn’t go the topdown route, I did overhaul the combat mechanics to eliminate some of the randomness. Highlights:
a. Everything hits successfully (attacks, status spells, grapple attempts, etc.). The only thing that’s random is spanking. Every time you try to spank an opponent there’s a 20% chance that you’ll get reversed.
b. The multi-turn spanking content has been implemented, mostly as I wrote a few months back. I’ve deviated a few times from my proposal, but not in any significant way.
c. New Initiative. The combat order is: grappled characters > spells > spear attacks > sword attacks > dagger attacks > grapple attempts > other. It doesn’t matter how much faster Alice is than Bob. If Bob is casting a spell and Alice is attacking with her spear, Bob will always go first. However, if both are casting spells, then Alice will go first. If Alice and Bob are grappled, and Bob is casting a spell while Alice is attacking, then whoever goes first will depend on their initiative.
d. Weapons no longer have damage associated with them. Instead, damage is calculated solely based on warfare (the formula of which has also been changed). However, weapons do provide bonuses or penalties depending on whether you’re grappling or at armslength.
e. Grappling now lasts a certain number of turns based on your grapple skill. Attempting to break a grapple reduces the grapple duration by your grapple divided by 2. You cannot throw an enemy until grapple duration is less than half of your grapple (in other words, you can’t throw until you’re one break grapple away from ending the grapple).
f. Grappled characters cannot be targeted by armslength combatants with attacks that do damage. So if Alice and Claire are grappling, Bob can’t attack Claire, nor can he cast firebolt on Claire. He can however cast Heal on Alice, or Weaken on Claire. He can also attempt to break Alice’s and Claire’s grapple. This applies to spankings as well. The basic idea is that the chances of friendly fire is too high, so characters won’t even try.
g. The rate of health increase has been drastically reduced. Before, after a single health increase your character was pretty much set. Now fights will hopefully remain a bit more tense.
h. The Spectral Spanking spells have the same multi-turn mechanic as physical spankings, with a few differences. First, characters who are involved in a spectral spanking are NOT immune to attack if the spell was cast at armslength. Second, each round of spanking costs the caster 1 mana. Third, the initial casting cost is helluva expensive. This is to counteract the fact that you a) don’t need to be grappling to initiate a spectral spanking and b) since it’s a spell, you’re going to go before your enemy the vast majority of the time. Furthermore, at the end of the spell you do damage in addition to keeping one of your opponents locked up for a few turns and humiliating them, and they can be attacked with impunity by your allies while being spanked (granted this last one won’t affect you in episode 1 because you don’t have any allies, but it sure as hell will in future episodes when you do). It’s a powerful spell if used well, and its cost reflects that.
Hopefully this will make combat more of a puzzle, and less of a SPAM ATTACK AND HOPE YOU GET LUCKY! Yes, you can win every battle without grinding (I’ve done it). Just gotta figure out the right combination of attacks and spells to use. 😉
3. When you load from an old save, you’ll be given a few messages about changes. If you had the leather breastplate, then it will be replaced with 20 coins (renamed to matrons), which is enough to buy a new outfit of your choice at the Tailors. You’re also given a tunic and trousers so you’re not naked. If you had the quality dagger that will be removed, and if you sold the family weapon, you’ll be given the option of choosing a new family weapon. You’ll also be given an enhancement gem, which provide the means of improving your equipment. This will ONLY happen with old saves. The code for enhancing your equipment hasn’t been implemented yet, but Peter will be providing that service once it is. You can ask him about it, and he’ll tell you he needs to do some research to refresh his memory.
4. If you defeat the episode 1 boss, you’ll get your first enhancement gem, an attack gem. This will improve your warfare when attacking by 1 if you put it on your weapon, and your warfare by between 1 and 3 (haven’t decided yet. A single point of warfare tends to give you a bigger damage boost than it does a defense boost, so I may need to give you a bigger defense boost to make the defense choice worthwhile) when being attacked if you put it on your clothing.
5. I’ve tweaked some of the text in the first episode. Not much, but some. Also, casting Distort Magic and Spectral Spanking in the mage room of episode 1 will give you a point in the respective spell counters.
Finally, I’ve also released the transcript for all the content currently in episode 2 (you can find a link to the PDF and LaTeX at the bottom of the Downloads page). The transcripts are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0). Basically, this means you are free to take my transcripts, the content in them (and the ideas they represent) do whatever you want with them, then release your modifications/new content/whatever you did. Just so long as you don’t try to make money off of it, and you give me proper credit for my work. See the link for more details.
I think that’s everything. Enjoy!