Monday 4 July 2022

Incubus Update #19

Was April really the last update I made? That was a while ago. Sorry about that. It's a mix of things - I haven't stopped tinkering around, but I mostly haven't had a huge pocket of time to do a full thing. 

Usually when I know I don't have long to work on something, I tend to prefer side experiments, creating scenario seeds to elaborate on later, or prepping graphics over producing coherent immediately playable content. 

This goofball did not
receive a content update.
Doesn't help that I've had all kinds of technical problems with this machine. Might have to reformat if I can't sort them out, and I'm not even sure if reformatting will do the trick. (Is there a tool that does a comprehensive scan of every piece of hardware and every system on a PC to tell you why it sucks? I've never had such an abrupt but inexplicable deluge of issues in such a short span of time.)

Lets quickly go over the last month's update's goals, which were pretty loose:

"1) get more IC bugfixes done and possibly make a unspecified addition" - made a lot of progress on that unspecified addition (which I will elaborate on why I won't elaborate on later) though it has in practice been an encumbrance to my making bug fixes on account of I keep working on it instead of bug fixes
"2) get some of the Gene Merchant's biomods working - and then do another release." - completely, totally forgot about this character lol, did other shit that will make her upgrades more relevant anyway

Now here's what else I've worked on I've worked on:

Believe it or not this is based on the Skyrim
(& every other videogame) lockpick system.

I put a lot of RPG gunk in II's systems that probably don't seem to serve a purpose yet. 

One thing I'd like to do is have ways of your various skills affecting the game outside of basic skillchecks. 

Lockpick and hacking minigames are a bit of a trope, figure maybe there would be one for drinking (a sort of blackjack-like thing I'm still workshopping) one for persuasion attempts

Hacking minigame based on Wordle.
Looking to things like Sudoku, Wordle, Mastermind, Mineseweeper, Rubix Cube as inspiration for relatively simple to pick up turn-based challenge. (If you can think of some other source of inspiration that won't require me to come up with AI for a computer opponent, lmk I'm up for suggestions.)

The idea is that these games will have a range of difficulty. Lower-level challenges (getting past a simple lock) any player might be able to do, but the level 9 versions will probably require some character advancement. What I mean is, various stats and skill threshholds will grand in-minigame 'perks' (you can see them being tabulated in the debug table in the righthand side of one of the images, 'abilities', for example).

When I'm done all these and have them put in the game I'll put the file with all the prototypes in it online so people can steal them as they see fit. I'll do that after the ones I want to keep are already in my game tho.

• What do you think would be a good inspiration for such a minigame?
• What's a good lockpick minigame that isn't based on the Skyrim/Fallout one?

II-Job System

At some point I broke the job system so it didn't work, so I had to fix it. Then I started making content for the clothing store job (which I don't think existed last release iirc) to see how a job-based 'storyline' might play out. 

This system needs a lot of work, but I like the job system. It lets you advance the game in one way (making money) while also advancing in other ways (increasing skills, passing time so other things can progress, opportunities for hijinx of a fornicatory nature).

IC-Unspecified Addition

I won't say much about it because I'd prefer it was a thing people stumbled across by accident while playing the game, but I will say it's dumber than I intended it to be, which is fine by me. Will either have it in whatever the next update is, or in a month or two, idk. 

II-Dating System

IC was an all-you-can-rape buffet, but I want there to be some goals that require more long-term investment as is more like a normal RPG type game. 

Not only that, I intend it so that certain NPCs exist as entities in the world, can move around and do things (in a certain way) while you live your life, but none of that can happen without you being able to meaningfully interact with them in various ways. I've taken a stab at these 'various ways' before but they were largely silly experiments.

Anyway I've made a dating system (which will also involve a gamified sex minigame system for these circumstances). I'm going to keep it as barebones as long as possible to stave off my tendency to overbloat things before I have a coherent idea of what shape they should be.

The primary role of it is this: Some girls are pump-and-dumps like in IC, but others have a special quality (in the sense of the paranormal, such as with Falia and Miyuki from the first game) that requires you to forge a relationship in order to get the most benefit from impregnating them. Others you might have a use for - to turn them into prostitutes or pressure them into other endeavours - that require you to form a relationship in order to exploit them. 

So for these purposes, the ability to call them up, have conversations with them, give them gifts, ask them out, seduce/convince/pressure them into doing this or that for you all plays into the above.

There's also a strategic element. All female characters whore are set up as proper NPCs will have a 'monthly cycle' that affects their fertility. So you have a girl you're dating who you haven't fucked yet because she has a low promiscuity stat (we've all been there) but you know you're close. Putting the moves on her today might get you to fuck her, but if you do and fail, or you fuck her but don't get it done right, it might give her a bad impression which means she won't put out next time. 

But what if her peak fertility time is next week? Maybe it's best to hold off on trying to get sex out of her until then, and for now just focus on having a good date to advance your relationship? Maybe a simple date, while you build up enough money to get her a nice gift or take her to the place she likes most. Then when ovulation time comes and her fertility spikes, you're in there. (In the final game, hitting refresh to re-roll to ensure impregnation will not be possible, so you'll have to actually engage with these game mechanics without cheating in this way.)

Of course, you could just ignore her until next week, but there's a chance her fondness of you will drop if she doesn't hear from you in a while. Or maybe she has a certain personality trait where ignoring her might make her want you more? This is the sort of thing I want to do with this. 

If you've been reading for a while, you'll know I had a previous system for dating that I tried with 'motelgirl' a while back. I'm scrapping it because as it was, it took too much effort for each character to implement which defeats the purpose of it being a system for all characters rather than individual content for each.

_-Black Plague Game

I don't remember when exactly I worked on this, but I know at some point in the past few months I made a game wherein there was a map filled with enemies (plague ghouls and some werewolves) and the player can move around and take and place objects. I wanted to make a system where some enemies are afraid of certain items, avoid certain terrain, can be evaded or killed by certain items etc. (The one thing I tried was ghouls can only be knocked down for a while, only way to kill them is through burning or through burial via shovel item.)

Turns out this is way more complicated to program than I thought. Previously making games like this the stumbling block was enemy AI, but this time it was just coding all the systems for stuff to interact, just the sheer volume of code. I hope future versions of Twine make your code more easy to search and organize. 

Anyway this was just a little weird thing I tried, plan to return to doing this sometime later. I'll post a screenshot next time I open my laptop, though don't expect much it's just ASCII.

To Do Lists

Instead of goals I'm going to do to-do lists for a while. Each update I'll include the previous to-do list and the only way something leaves it is if I complete it. I think this is a better system until II is coherent enough that I can have minimal goals while still moving it forward (hard to explain).

II To-Do List
[] Get the dating system to a point where a normal person could kinda see where I'm going for with it.
[] Fix the stupid event launcher's stupid bug where Place events override subsequently chosen events (such as job attendance and the like).
[] Finish the 'fashionista' and get her scenario on new systems I've created since then (this scenario, btw, has literally never worked properly in any relased form, I broke it the moment after I 'finished' it).
[] Do SOMETHING to initiate the main storyline. I have content, just need a plan to get it in the game.

IC To-Do List
[] Fixing the imageswap bug that mostly affects Zotscheetter's mod.
[] Either mothballing the unspecified feature for a while or finishing it.
[] Going 'up the list' on the bug reports on Discord.
[] Doing something to make the token collection ending less terrible and anticlimactic.
[] Checking if I fixed the bug I caused in CrimsonSamurai's content properly.


  1. Regarding minigames, HBomberguy (who, despite the name, doesn't cover H-games) usually brings interesting points about them in each of his videos.
    The short is you may not need any "interactivity" sometimes to keep things both simple and focused, and you also need a *lot* of different minigames else the players will end up engaging with it as little as possible to keep playing the content...

    It's a hard thing to pull correctly.

    1. Yeah, I'll have to see how annoying people find them. Then I'll scale them back/improve/iterate on them as needed.

    2. the quick reaction ones are usualy the ones people hate the most as it can make or break someones progress just because you cant quite click or dog something fast enough.

      puzzles are usually safest but longest

      quick clicks are the easiest to do if not the most boring

      and word puzzles/test are completely based off the word or answer. if it easy or multiple choice its not a problem, confusing but easy. rymes, poems, general knowledge, or guess a words though their the most troublesome as some people might not know the answer so they must scour the internet or forums for the answer

      finaly mazes are based on what type of maze it is. if its the fallow the line maze those are just never as good as they seem, while the click mazes are hard withought hints as people will get lost

  2. I'm not a huge fan of "lockpicking" or "hacking" style minigames, personally. Either they become trivial over time as your in-character and out-of-character skill levels increase, they become frustrating/tedious as you are forced to do them hundreds of times, or some combination of both.

    There are sometimes accessibility issues worth considering that make types of games disproportionally harder for various people. Vocabulary games like Wordle or Scrabble are punishing for non-native speakers. Anything color based like a Rubik's Cube needs to be really carefully tested with all varieties of color blindness.

    If you include a lot of content behind minigames, you might want to include an optional way past it - like spending a special "nanobot" currency or whatever to magic-science a lock open instead.

    That said, since you're actively soliciting minigames... that rotating/connecting pipes game isn't the worst.

    1. Good points about accessibility as it relates to language, hadn't thought of that.

      Yeah one of the things I'd want to do is have a auto-bypass feature if the player is a certain number of skill points higher than the difficulty level of the lock/hack/whatever.

      And yeah, I have an item already in the game I intend to use as a generic computer system bypass and an equivalent for locks is a thing I'll do too.

  3. Hello! Are u alive? Its been a month already and more have u gone (sorry for bad eng)