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

2 thoughts on “Scarlet Moon Version 1.08 (March Update)

  1. Hey, tried out the new version. Yep crash free.
    Combat still weird (?)
    2nd battle at the beach. Start combat with the mobs at 40/60 hp(not sure why).
    Handle those pretty quick, but still draining health due to damage and costs, so lose a little bit there.
    Meet Buzzsaw and got her big hit (description but doesn’t state how much you lose) before combat starts.
    Start combat mode 15/60. Use flare and blind her. Get some Super punches in, but on 3rd rounds she hits me and with drain etc I’m around 10 anyway so lose.

    Guess I’d have won if I didn’t have drain on at all. Dunno. Or maybe I didn’t choose the correct stats options before the battle.
    But I really don’t feel an urge to dig into combat. Not a big fan of the combat that comes with the RPG engine in Hentai RPG games as it’s not part of the theme of the game. Now if there’s actually H in the combat (clothing destruction comes in for example), sure I’m back into it. Chronicles of Leridia has a side spanking mechanic in it, while minor does a lot to remove the grind feeling (which is weird considering how minor it is).

    I see where you’re coming from, having enough combat mechanics for the player to actually win/lose based on actions VS rng and save scumming is nice. But with chosing the right stats (pre combat), then the combat options… Having to replay multiple times to find what the boss weakness are (or best stat options) becomes similar to rng and save scumming. It’s hard for the dev to judge as the dev knows the full mechanics, the players are dumb :). I’m sure I could work it out etc. but more likely to choose the no drain over time which I’d hope lets me win easily, and lose by playing stupid as possible instead. Which is a disservice to the time you’re spending on the combat system. Getting a Shield High feeling if you’ve followed the dev of that game (engine change etc.).

    Anway, sorry for the wall of text but hard to explain :). Maybe it’s just all personal taste.. and the super cold weather bomb we’ve got now in the middle of March (wtf?) effecting me.
    But code wise it seems stable.
    The no JRE version used.

    1. Thank you so much for the feedback! Your criticism is welcome and perfectly valid. I think the root cause of the problem is a lack of energy, and that’s because the player is losing energy as a part of some story events. At first, I included it because Gameplay-and-Story-Integration for the win yo! But energy has turned out to be a much more precious resource than I expected, and based on your feedback I think it’s too unfair to the player to take away energy during story scenes. So this weekend I’ll go through and remove the story-driven energy loss. That will make the second Buzzsaw fight a bit longer, but hopefully fairer.

      I’ll admit that you are expected to have to fight the boss multiple times before you figure out how to beat her. That’s why it’s so easy to restart combat, and why I’ve tried to make the combat fast-paced (I really, really hate HP bloat). My dream is to make it so that you should be able to beat Buzzsaw regardless of which stat bonuses you choose (though the choices you make may have an impact on your strategy). That’s part of why the statistic shifting skills (Scarlet Beam, Scarlet Boots, and Scarlet Armor) exist: so that there isn’t a “sub-optimal” stat allocation. Ideally, the only thing you should have to worry about is which combination of skills are needed to beat the battle.

      I may also add an option in the near future that reduces enemy stats by a certain percentage (I’m thinking three choices: 50%, 75%, and 100%, with the game balanced for 100%). That way those players (like you) who very justifiably don’t want to have to dig into my lovingly crafted combat system can reduce the enemy’s stat percentages, breeze through combat (or at least make it so that you don’t have to constantly restart the battle), and focus on all the spanking fun.

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