Well, looks like we made it guys. True there's no objective reason to believe 2021 will be different, but screw it, at this point I'll take surviving 2020. This year's been a rough one for a lot of reasons, and the last few months have been a bit rough for this project, but I'll talk about that a bit more after the update post.
As a reminder, incremental updates for January will also release for the $1 tier before going back to the usual.
Main: After giving the Slowburn aphrodisiac time to work, Eric can now check outside or in Akane's room for Ranma. He can also choose transformations when messing with the potions.
Main: Layla can now tell Sita to dream on when she offers to get along.
Main: Amanda can now spend her summer hanging out with friends.
Main: Cyan can know better than to just let Cybil out.
Main: When trapped in the log by the alligator gar, fairy Eric can wish for power.
Main: Cyantaur can intervene when she notices Amana getting tempted.
Main: Ranma can now ask the devil what the worst curse he thinks Ranma has is.
Main: Kai can now take the C-rank assassination job.
Main: Caliburn can now challenge Deathtrap when called on to enter the King's Labyrinth.
Admittedly, a lot of these don't go that far, but it was kind of a struggle this month, and again I'll talk a bit about that after. This release also includes a superhero prose story I wrote in lieu of one of the weekly updates.
So yes. Let's take a moment and talk about why the incrementals have been spotty or sort of low-key on the naughty lately. I want to stress this isn't about making excuses or saying anyone is wrong if they're frustrated or annoyed by the results, it's just explaining why it happened.
Part of it is probably just a little bit of good old-fashioned burnout. Not necessarily with the project specifically, just... I've been working on this project a long time, and a number of years now fulltime, and it results in essentially waking up every day thinking "Okay I need to write porn." And sometimes that's great and fun and sometimes it's a little stressful, and I don't always wind up doing it, one way or the other.
As time has gone on more of my stuff has drifted towards being a bit story-focused. Some were good with that, some weren't. But the pressure to focus on porn is always there and it can get a little extra stressful at times because in the cultural environment we're in, it can always feel like a risk every time you use a certain word or do a certain thing. I've been very fortunate that you my audience is understanding and no one has lashed out at me, but I still worry about it every time I approach certain subjects. (I mean, these aren't even the big issues, just little ones like particular words for certain kinds of activities.)
So between all of that a lot of pressure built up and I guess I got a bit burnt out and needed to turn my creative energies elsewhere for awhile. There was still stress and worry since I was, y'know, not writing the porn, but.
The other thing is more an issue of brain function. And it's something I find very hard to explain to some people, who seem to take "I don't have much control over what I write" as more of a whimsy thing. Even when I didn't specifically know I had ADHD, I understood certain things about how my brain worked... as I've often said, Devious World exists as it does because if I'd tried to make just, say, a Worldland game, it would have fallen aside when I decided to make a "cheerleader goes on a camp trip" game. Condensing everything into one place keeps stuff at least in view and on the burner to some extent. TFGamesSite, the place where Devious World started out, is littered with testaments to how easy it is for writers to bop to another project before the last one is completed.
One of the other issues of ADHD that a lot of people don't really understand is hyperfixation. It's when your brain becomes locked on to something and won't let go... it's the inverse of scattered focus where you have an intense focus that you can't really break. Things like "better take a rest or you'll burn out" or "you can come back to it later" don't really apply. I wrote Almost 300,000 words of Kai's Story in prose format because if I didn't write it I couldn't sleep. I wrote it sometimes instead of sleeping, and this wasn't a conscious decision it was just the only thing I could do, because my brain wasn't going to let me sleep anyway because I was writing it over and over in my head, so I might as well get up and write it.
Devious World was actually born the exact same way. I went through the same thing of not being able to sleep because my brain was so intensely focused on writing it. Most of the original characters and early storylines were conceived out of that hyperfixation, I just didn't know what it was or why it was happening at the time. Luckily the way I formatted it has preserved it and allowed me to keep pushing forward with it for all these years.
So yeah. I wound up getting hyperfixated on the idea for Kai in RWBY. It started out as the Epic of Remnant in the game and blossomed into the prose format on AO3. I wrote it because I had to write it, because I couldn't rest if I didn't.
I also enjoyed it immensely.
The comments I've gotten since starting both... the Epic of Remnant in-game and the prose story... have been extremely important to me. I don't mean to cast aside or delegitimize the praise other people have given over the years, but just understand that it means something different when someone says that you touched them and made them cry than when someone says they hope for more of a path because it makes them horny. Like... I'm sorry guys, it just does.
The comments that I've gotten since I started these stories are the sort of things writers live for. They're incredibly, deeply fulfilling to my heart.
So in the end... I don't know. I'm expecting things to get back to a bit more usual. My hyperfixation on Kai's Story seems to have burned out for the most part now, which is both a relief and incredibly frustrating. I can start refocusing on the Devious games, which is what brought you here and why the vast majority of you are subscribed, but at the same time it breaks my heart to think of it becoming just another project I won't be able to complete because of my brain wiring. I've been trying to fight past it and push at least a little focus on it between working on Devious stuff, but I don't know how well it's working.
In the end... I dunno, guys. All I can say is that I hate not being transparent with you about what's going to happen ahead of time, but the problem is I don't know either. I'm trying my best and will try to keep you updated on how things seem to be panning out as this month goes along, if there are going to be any big changes. I'm not going to make any decisions hastily, though.
For now I'm gonna try to push on for business as usual and we'll see how it goes.
Anyhoo. Happy new year, and fuck off 2020.