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Female Agent
An adult sexpionage RPG
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Recent posts

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Female Agent
Public post
Status update
Hey guys!  Just a quick update to let you know where everything is at.
What was
This week we released two demos of the new low maintenance avatar.  Producing this was our main focus in August; implementing it will speed up general development because it's much easier to work with than the old avatar.  I'm really excited about it, and am especially grateful to Victoria for pouring lots of love and time into this project, and to Lara and Hyneman for making it work in the game engine.
What is
As explained in my 'Kok Blocked post, we next need to update (or cut) the existing scenes in the game so they use the new avatar.  We're currently focusing on the setup and early Lifepath sections of the story, and here's where we're at with those:
  • We refactored the source code, so it's no longer one single text file with 138,000 lines of code, and is instead structured in a way that's easier for us to use.
  • We invented and tested a new "storyboarding" technique, which will make it easier for team & community writers to contribute scenes to the story.  Yesterday esclavage wrote a test scene and said: "storyboarding is working out so much better...it's never been easier to write.  The biggest breakthrough to me is the Slide Headers -> now I reference them as an anchor point to talk to other writers and the coders."  (More detail on this new system soon.)
  • We finalised details on some game mechanics that were vague and undefined in the last version of the game (and therefore caused general dev drag, because half-implemented mechanics can't easily be used).  Specifically we revised Attributes & Skills, and designed a new Quirks system that simplifies so much.
  • Now we're working more like a team, internal documentation has become crucial, so we set up a detailed project plan on monday.com and also ditched the clunky, hardly-used STONEGHOST internal dev docs system and implemented a new, simple dev wiki.
  • We put the new wiki on the game's long-neglected website, and added a few pages to the site.  It's mostly placeholder, but we did install a working FAQ to which you guys can contribute questions which won't get lost (like Patreon comments can).  Please visit and help us build the FAQ by sending us questions!
  • Plus a bunch of other stuff but this post is already too long, sheesh is anybody still reading this

What will be
The next release will be a demo of character setup and early lifepath.  I'll keep you posted on progress and let you know when we have an idea of a release date.
I am gonna take the weekend off to recharge, so I can hit my taskings aggressively next week.  So that's it from me – have a great weekend, and I'll be back with an update on Monday.  See you then!
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Female Agent
Public post
(Minor update) Female Agent 1.6.3P
Minor update with some bug fixes and small QOL improvements.
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Female Agent

Demo of new character creation UIGood morning Operators. Attached is a demo of the new avatar wor...

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Female Agent
Public post
(WIP) Low Maintenance Avatar test
As I warned last week, we're tackling some tech hurdles with the avatar UI (Operators+, expect a beta test of this in a few days).
However, the new low-maintenance avatar is complete enough to share with you.  Designing and creating this has been our priority this month – thank you Patrons, you made this possible.
This new avatar is significantly lower maintenance than the previous one.  As an example – adding new facial features was so complex and time-consuming that we'd simply stopped doing it.  But Jeff was able to add 25 new facial features to this avatar in about two hours.
This is a huge technical and artistic step forward for us and we're really excited about both!  Check out the avatar test at our Discord.
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Female Agent
Public post
Quick update between operational taskings
Hey guys!  Quick update: we're very close to releasing a demo of the new low-maintenance avatar, but today we ran into a last-minute technical hitch.  (This is my fault – I assumed that a production hack that we used to overcome a technical problem related to transparent artwork layers would also work with the new avatar art, but of course it hasn't.)
Our brilliant illustrator Victoria is putting together a new workaround, and her lovely assistant Jeff has cleared out the weekend to implement the changes.  However, once the art is produced we still need to code it into a working UI, so we may not be able to publish this demo in August as we'd planned – it might be in the first few days of September, now.  Sorry – everyone is doing their best.
We've made lots of progress on other things but it's past 9PM on Friday night and I'm exhausted and half-starved, so I'll publish a more complete update on Monday.  Just wanted to give you a quick status report.  (There's a chance that we'll also be able to let you try out the new avatar on Monday, but honestly I expect it will be later in the week.)
Okay I'm going to find someon...something to eat.  SO HUGRY if you're on Discord this weekend you'll see me around, but for everyone who has better things to do with their weekends, I'll see you back here on Monday.
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Female Agent
Public post
A writing day
Hey guys!  Today Victoria has been working hard on the new avatar, and our new freelancer Mihail has been carrying out a technical tasking set by Lara.  These guys are all beavering away to bring you the new character creator demo, which will showcase the new low-maintenance avatar.
It's funny that I even have to write this – because it's so obvious – but in the interests of full disclosure:
  • For the first few weeks of MFAGA I felt (irrationally*) guilty about spending most of my time communicating with the team instead of personally writing/designing things
  • But having done that, they're doing an amazing job and I'm – I think for the first time ever – free to work on things you'll see in the following release, not the next one.

Today I storyboarded a brand new sex scene (of about the same size and scope as the graduation gown scene we added to the University).  This was a simultaneous attack on two MFAGA objectives: this new scene cleans up part of the backstory, while also establishing a template for team/community writers to follow.
Feedback from the team was good, and what I'm really pleased with is how quickly it came together.  Using our new storyboarding technique (on which more will be revealed SOON), I was able to prototype a whole new scene in just one day – in a way that team members could glance at and understand not just how the scene plays out, but how it connects into which part of the code (and therefore how their own ideas for alternative scenes would fit exactly into the storyline).
In a quick discussion we came up with a couple of new paths that would improve the player experience during implementation.  We've specified the avatar art requirements (which are minimal) as part of the storyboarding process, and because the scene is structured and plotted in advance it shouldn't take very long to write.
This is incredibly exciting because it raises the potential that – if we get the structure and the plot organised correctly – we could conceivably add in new mini-adventures, like the graduation gown scene, in a time frame measured in days not months.
This was always my vision for the game – new encounters (in Bangkok) every time you download the monthly update.  Today's writing work made that feel a lot closer (and it itself was only made possible through teamwork – especially with esclavage and CassieBare – about to design and share the storyboards).
Okay, that's it for today.  Have a great evening, and I'll catch up with you guys tomorrow!
__
* BTW I don't mean "irrationally guilty" like "hahaha oh don't worry Crush you have nothing to feel guilty for".  I mean irrational as in crazy and harmful – not just to myself but to the project.  It's not served by me feeding my weird imagination about what I should be doing, instead of clear-headedly doing what actually needs to be done

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Female Agent
Public post
A greta day
Hey guys!  I had a greta day today because I started work at 0600, and got loads done.  Every time I do this I get excited and end up working late, which wipes me out the following day, but I'm going to make a conscious effort to finish before 1830 so I can have another greta day tomorrow!
Following on from Friday's post, I wanted to give you a quick overview on where we are with the taskings.

Character creation
Task: update the character creator to use the new low maintenance avatar.
Status: in progress.  We're aiming to release a demo of this before or around the end of the month.

Update Lifepath (upbringing section)
Task: update the birth -> teenage section of the Lifepath to (a) use the new avatar and (b) streamline and improve the backstory choices.
Status: in progress.  Because other team members are completing the tech tasks to do the previous section, I'm free to get a head start on this task!  This feels uniquely organised.

Meh, my dev reports feel lame at the moment, but I think that's because the way I'm working has changed.  Instead of sitting down to do one single task – which I can then report substantial progress on at the end of the day, but to the exclusion of all else – I'm spending time every day working across multiple tasks (and working with team members so they can make progress on their tasks).
It feels completely different and better, but the dev reports are meh when there are several things in the air but none of them are complete.  I'll have a think about ways to make them better.
Okay guys, that's all for tonight, I'll see you tomorrow!
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Female Agent
Public post
'Kok Blocked
Several fans asked for an update on Bangkok timings. I planned to post this report on Wednesday, but my draft of it sparked a lively discussion in the dev channels.
That discussion made me realise that I haven't been clear enough about how the MFAGA plan impacts Bangkok. It’s critical that patrons understand the situation so they can make fully informed decisions about their continued support of the game. 
This project isn’t entitled to your money, and I want you to always know the truth about where the development is at.

The obvious bit
The MFAGA plan aims to streamline the game’s structure and design so that we can add new story content (i.e. Bangkok) faster.
We are currently working on MFAGA – not Bangkok – and the longer MFAGA takes, the longer it will be before we get started on Bangkok.

The not-so-obvious implications
(These were obvious to me, but I think about this project all the time and in detail.  I now realise I didn’t lay this part out clearly enough.)
Making big changes to a critical system (like the avatar) breaks any existing scenes that use it. 
It’s not possible to make the existing scenes work with the new system, without going through those scenes and adapting them one-by-one (which takes time).
This means that we have a decision to make about every scene currently in the game:
Either update it (so it stays playable)
or cut it (to speed up MFAGA)
Here’s the dilemma:
  • The more we update, the longer MFAGA will take (because more work takes more time).
  • The more we cut, the more generic Bangkok will be (because if we cut decisions you’ve made about your character from the game, they can’t affect the story in Bangkok).

My intention
As part of MFAGA, my plan is to cut some scenes, and update others.  
I want to cut scenes for two reasons:
  • This is how we streamline the story and streamline the backstory, two of the key MFAGA objectives. Cutting the flabby scenes that confuse the plot will speed up the writing overall (because coherent, well-plotted scenes are faster and easier to write)
  • Every scene that’s cut shortens MFAGA and lets us start implementing Bangkok sooner
But I want to update scenes that meet certain criteria:
  • Scenes we really like (e.g. Miss Wet T-Shirt) should stay in the game
  • Scenes that are critical to the main plot (e.g. the mission briefing) should stay in the game
  • Scenes that let the player establish backstory facts about your heroine we can use later (e.g. if she was a rock chick or a nerd in her teens) should stay in the game
My expectation is that these updates should be fast (because we’re editing, not rebooting, and lots of the existing scenes are fine – Miss Wet T-Shirt is fine, the briefing is fine, the university graduation scene is fine – a lot of scenes just need a quick technical pass to make them run in the new low-maintenance code).
But each scene we adapt will take time and I’m not exactly sure of how much time yet.  (That should become clearer to everyone over the next few weeks.)
Here's broadly how I’m balancing the update/cut decisions in my mind:
  • Character creation: update. (Not optional, the game doesn’t work without a character)
  • Lifepath (upbringing): update. It’s only a few screens, and it lets the player set some important backstory flags. But: temporarily cut this to one nationality (UK) for speed, the other nationalities to be restored by team/community writers later
  • Lifepath (university): update. Important backstory, and the Kink Vignettes are hot
  • Lifepath (agency career): update. Without this it feels like she’s not really a spy. But: fix the heroine’s age, so this section becomes less a “career sim” and more a few passages describing her training and selected postings
  • Mission briefing: update, it's crucial to the plot. But: cut the boring green screen session, and cut the flab generally to make this section pacier and tighter
  • Operation Lioness: update. Keep Miss Wet T-Shirt (the best scene in the game so far). But: cut the boring stuff (like waiting around in the clubs for the contest to start). Consider cutting Corinthian and/or Cathouse for speed.
  • Dubai: cut, there’s no plot reason for Kate to be here, and shoehorning it into the story causes a lot of the flab and delay in the mission briefing/LIONESS parts
  • Bangkok: now starts immediately after Operation Lioness.

Dissenting opinion
Several team members said they’d prefer to update the character creation, then next create a standalone version of Bangkok (with no backstory – i.e. you’d create a character, then immediately jump to the audition scene in Bangkok).
Then we could later reinstate the missing scenes, then join everything together.
We’ve been discussing this back and forth since Wednesday, and – while I see the logic and the attraction of this (and also how popular announcing this would make me) – I don’t think it’s best for the project.
I think that a major cause of slow development was my reluctance to grasp the nettle because I didn’t want to disappoint everyone by announcing a delay.  (Ironically, this meant we didn't address the strategic problems causing the delays, so by trying to avoid disappointment I ultimately caused more disappointment.  I was working hard when the project desperately needed me to work smart).

What's next
This isn't the kind of thing I can throw out to a team or community vote – the decision's got to be on my head and I've got to do what I think is right.
And I'm sure we're on the right path now, and that the next few weeks are going to transform the project.  We're close to establishing a steady release cycle, created by a team and a community empowered to work together in a completely new way.  
And that's why I've got to stick to MFAGA as I imagined it.  The first two tasks I wrote in the MFAGA plan [page 3] were (1) update the lifepath and (2) update LIONESS and make it run into Bangkok.  That was always a critical part of my plan (although I now feel I didn't draw enough attention to it) and I intend to see it through if that's possible.
But you don't have to support the plan.  I've always faithfully done my best, but I've made many mistakes along the way, and if MFAGA is too much for you to take on faith, I'll completely understand.
Okay, that's it – sorry this post was so long, but I wanted to be totally clear with everybody.  Please discuss here and on Discord – I'm going to get some R&R over the weekend (that fucking eye twitch thing from last week still hasn't gone away so I've got to get away from the screen for a while), but I'll join in on the comments here and in Discord to answer questions this post raises.
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Female Agent
Public post
Tuesday update!
Hey guys!  Sorry I didn't write a report yesterday – I worked a very long day and was frazzled at the end of it.
A number of things are all moving along at once right now:
  • Victoria's working very hard on the new low maintenance avatar.  The new design is not only going to be easier for us to update, but will be much more beautiful, and we're looking forward to sharing it with you very soon.  This will make it faster for us to create new scenes and new clothes/hair/makeup/skin tones.
  • Hyneman prototyped the new clean avatar layers code and proved that our design from week 1 works!  In his demo, an avatar configuration for which we'd need nine layers in the existing system was achieved in just five, with no detectable difference.  This will make clothes much easier to manage in the engine.
  • Working with a freelancer, Lara built a working prototype of the new character creation screen.  Because the new avatar doesn't work in the same way, you'll need a new set of controls to customise it.  The new version looks surprisingly gorgeous IMHO.  This will enable you to interact with the new avatar when it's ready.
  • Hyneman developed a cool new SVG-based colour layer that may enable us to recolour things like hair, skin & clothing using code (instead of hand-colouring all the different variations).  If this works then it will save us lots of time in art production, and let us offer you lots more colour options.
  • Yesterday I shared a new, simpler way of designing story sections in the dev channels (basically storyboards – inspired by Stone Librande's One Page Designs talk at GDC 2010).  This provoked some lively discussion in the dev channels, especially around the area of how community writers can use this format to contribute their own content, which is really exciting.  If this works, then it will not only speed up my own personal story production, but also provide a model that community writers can use to add in their own greta ideas.
Loads is happening right now and my main desire is to share this with you ASAP – we're moving as fast as we can.
I also promise to post a general update on Bangkok/design options soon as requested by several community members – certainly before the next Patreon billing cycle, I'm just too blasted to do anything else today.  👴🏻
Okay, I'm gonna go relax so I can get in another good day tomorrow.  See you then!
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Female Agent

Artwork sneak peekGreetings Operators. This isn't exactly a beta, but I want to give you a progre...

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Female Agent
Public post
End of week report
Hey guys!  This is the end of week 2 of the MFAGA plan.
Week 2 progress
This week we made progress on all four MFAGA objectives:
  • Simplifying the avatar: illustrator Victoria has been working incredibly hard on this, and I can't wait to share her work with you.

    We also progressed some supporting tasks in this area: her new avatar is structured differently, so the old character creation UI needed to be updated so you will be able to interact with the new artwork.  Lara, Hyneman and I worked on the design of that this week, and Hyneman is currently testing the layer architecture code that we designed last week.

    This MFAGA objective is nearly complete!  The benefit will be much faster production of avatar clothes and other customisation options in future.
     
  • Removing barriers to contribution: Yesterday I posted the Final Ultimate Master Skills List v2, an important step towards making the game systems complete enough for other writers to use.  

    This was a good example of the benefits of working as a team: I'm pleased with the new solution (and community feedback so far has been good), but I would never have figured it out on my own.
     
  • Improving admin: doing my best.  I've been consciously trying not to get too engrossed in my own taskings, and to take a little time out every day just to think about where the project is going, reaching out to team members when they or I need support.  I'm also gradually getting the length of my work days back under control (although this is still WIP), and I'm starting to feel the benefits of resting the last two weekends: I'm more energetic during the week.

    I've got a long way to go before I can claim to be doïng well in this area but I'm definitely doïng better.

    In news that will please all the grandmas I never knew I had, 'til I mentioned the trucker pills:* I cut back from 50mg/day to 25mg/day this week.  The only effect I've noticed is that I'm sleeping better; I haven't felt a performance decrease, so I'll continue to dial this down.
  • Streamlining the writing: I got to work on this today!  I worked on the MFAGA tasks "Streamline the backstory" and "Create plot outlines" today – working on the structural stuff that will make the whole game easier and faster to write in the future.  Because I only started today it's not finished, but I'm thrilled with the work in progress.  More info soon.

Random thoughts:
  • Still behind on my replies, including to some incredibly helpful messages that I read and absorbed but didn't reply to yet because they were so useful and well thought out that saying "thanks" didn't feel like it cut it, so I didn't even do that yet  :-(
  • Some community members have asked about the dangers of feature creep and for some clearer timings on Bangkok.  These are good questions that you deserve a straight answer to and I'll address it in a dev post over the next few days (the delay is just that it's a complex issue and I haven't made time yet to write the progress report – I'll prioritise it, though, because I don't want any Patrons to feel misled about where we are and what's next).
Okay, so that was week 2!  Personally I'm really excited about the last fortnight – it feels to me like the project is getting firmly back on track.  But I know that we need to share content with you ASAP – this is our priority, and I'll include some detail on this in the aforementioned progress report.
My fucking eyelids have been flickering since yesterday – I guess I'm logging more screen time than these ridiculous gelatinous orbs can handle, so I'll sign off for now.  Have a great weekend, guys and dolls!  Next progress report will be Monday.

__
* Seriously, I appreciate the concerned messages I got about the trucker pills.  Rest assured they're a very mild, non-addictive stimulant I got from a friendly pharmacist, it's not like I'm hooked on amphetamines or anything

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Female Agent
Public post
Final Ultimate Master Skills List, Mk 2
Skills are crucial because they're the way the heroine interacts with the game world.  They're also one of the things that should make your heroine unique – without a robust way of tracking what your agent can and can't do, all agents can do everything.
WHAT SKILLS DO WE NEED?
Here's a list of things the heroine will definitely have to do during the main quest:
  • Have sex (including kinky, fetishised sex that she's not necessarily personally into)
  • Dance on a stage
  • Seduce NPCs
  • Plant bugs and hack devices
  • Deceive people
  • Flirt
  • Meet new people
  • Drink alcohol
  • Negotiate and persuade
  • Physically capture a terrorist
And here's a list of things she'll probably do in side quests:
  • Learn Muay Thai
  • Fight bad guys hand-to-hand
  • Shoot bad guys
  • Pick locks and break into buildings
  • Act in adult movies
  • Swim, snorkel, scuba
  • Learn to meditate
  • Drive cars, motorbikes, tuk-tuks, jet skis
  • Look after animals
  • Learn to cook Thai food
  • Take drugs
  • Provide first aid
  • Help her friends solve problems
  • Do cam shows
  • Sing karaoke
  • Gamble
  • Give presentations & briefings
  • Plan and execute intelligence operations
  • Stake out locations and photograph suspects
  • Detect and evade surveillance
  • Pursue or be pursued by her enemies
  • Set a table
  • Learn to speak Thai
  • Give massages
  • Write reports
  • Research things
  • Interrogate suspects
  • Oil wrestling
  • Withstand interrogation
  • Withstand being nipple clamped/butt plugged/spanked etc
  • Analyse the brothel's finances
  • Etc

GRANULARITY
If we have too many skills, the coding, UI and scenario design become complex (because there are lots of skills to manage).
But if we have too few skills, the writing becomes complex (because the game mechanics can't support the scenes that writers want to create).
Too granular
Imagine if the game had both Sneak and Hide skills.  Writing a stealth scene becomes complex, because you have to write a version for characters who can Sneak but not Hide.  (I guess the guards can't see her until she stops moving. 😀)This solution is too complex.  One Stealth skill would be better design.Too vague
What if the game had only two skills: Action Heroine and Porn Star?  That's superficially attractive because it's so simple, and it broadly covers all the scenarios above.But writing now becomes more complex.  Imagine writing a scene where a thug chases the heroine into a dead-end alley.  You want to give the player a choice – scale the wall and escape, or turn and fight!But if both paths use the Action Heroine skill, the player decision is meaningless – both outcomes have the same chance of success or failure.  The game mechanics can't produce what the writer wants (a genuine decision point) so the writer's job is now a lot more complex.This solution is oversimplified.  Separate Fight and Climb skills would be better design.Just right
We need a skill system that supports a wide range of activities but also doesn't have a skill list that looks like a telephone directory.

FINAL ULTIMATE MASTER SKILLS LIST, MK 2
Here's the new starter skill list.  (More skills will be added as writers need them; for instance, if the heroine learns how to give massages in Bangkok, we can add the Massage skill.)
Each skill has a level from 0 (rookie) to 10 (legend).  Training or practical use of a skill can make your heroine level up.
  • Charisma (social interactions)
  • Dance
  • Driving
  • Firearms
  • First Aid
  • Hand-to-hand
  • Party Animal (alcohol/drugs consumption)
  • Sexpertise (skill in bed)
  • Sports
  • Tradecraft (spy stuff)

I know what you're thinking: isn't this too vague?  And the answer would be yeah...except for the clever bit.
THE CLEVER BIT
Each skill can have a number of "specialities".  These are different from skills because the heroine either has them, or she doesn't; they don't each have their own level.
Example specialities:
  • Dance: Cheerleading, Pole Dancing.
  • Drive: Car, Motorbike
  • Hand-to-Hand: Officer Self Defence, Muay Thai
  • Sexpertise: Anal, Deep Throat, Masochist
  • Sports: Climbing, Running, Swimming
Sometimes it's easiest just to see things.  Here's how this might look on a character sheet:
(This agent has Dance +2 with no specialities; Drive +1 with the Car and Motorbike specialities; and Sports +2 with the Swimming speciality.  The green bars show her progress to the next level.)
How this works
  • You don't need to be a specialist to do simple tasks (like dancing in a nightclub, or riding a jetski).  The heroine uses her Dance or Drive skill for these.
  • Some tasks (like pole dancing, or riding a motorcycle) are for specialists.  If the heroine has the Pole Dancer or Motorbike specialities, she can do these things without a problem; again, she just uses her Dance or Drive skill.
  • If she doesn't have the required speciality, the task difficulty increases by one level (so a Routine difficulty motorbike task is Hard if you're not a biker).  She still uses the same skill, but she's less likely to succeed.

The point of this feature
  • Simplifies the skill list.  The heroine now has one Dance skill, not separate levels in Pole Dancing, Cheerleading, Nightclub Dancing, etc.
  • Still lets us model the heroine in complex detail.  A heroine with Sexpertise +2 (and no specialities) is great in bed, but will struggle with things she's not into (like deep throating and anal).  A heroine with Sexpertise +0 (and the Anal speciality) is okay in bed, and okay at anal.

    A heroine with Sports +0 (and the Climbing speciality) is only moderately athletic, but she does climbing.  She can scale the wall to escape (if her fitness holds out).  A heroine with Sports +3 (no specialities) is very athletic, but has no climbing experience.  She may still be able to climb the wall through her sheer athleticism.

I feel like I've spent way too long on this feature already; but it's a core problem identified in the MFAGA 2 plan, and if we don't fix this in a way that it stays fixed then it makes every single scene in the game slower to write, for me and for future contributors.  I'm feeling pretty good about this solution, but it will be a few days before we start actually coding it, so please help with critiques/feedback.
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Female Agent
Public post
Phew
So England's pretty hot today.  🥵

Last night I had a Skype call with a stripper from NYC.  It was easily the best money I have ever spent on a stripper, and I'm including the ones I fell in love with.*

A secret about me is that I once worked in a brothel, handling security and driving the girls (not really, I made them a website 🤓).  So I know a few things about that side of the business, but my experience of strip clubs is purely as a civilian.

The call last night was greta and I learned a lot of surprising and fascinating things about auditioning, performance and workplace politics.  Our talk suggested a new, pacier way to handle the infiltration phase of Bangkok (the bit where the heroine has to get a job at the target), and also some interesting sources of conflict, drama and character development that I hadn't considered before.

I'm really excited about incorporating some of her insights into the narrative.  She's also smart as a whip and working on her own novel, so she might be available to contribute some club content for us later!  I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday report
The simplified avatar is built differently (because we redesigned the layer architecture in Illustrator), so we have to change the character creation UI to allow you to interact with it. 

I had a blocker task on that today (i.e. a task someone else is waiting for me to finish so they can continue), so I completed that.  I also very nearly finished the game mechanics revision that I expected to finish today, I should crack it tomorrow.

Okay I need to go take a cold shower before my body evaporates.  I feel like I could slither off my work chair like a slug.  MOAR PROGRESS TOMORROW
__
* all of them



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Female Agent
Public post
Super quick update
Hey guys!  Super quick update, because I worked long today, and I'm about to get on a Skype call (with a stripper from New York, who's helping me draft some backstage Bangkok content).
Today has been for moar work on the simplified avatar and moar work on the finalised game mechanics.  I don't really have anything to report, except that solid progress was made on both fronts, and content will be available to the community soon.
Um...that's it, sorry for a lame report, but some days are about progress not completion.  Hopefully the report tomorrow will be meatier.  See you then!
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Female Agent
Public post
End of week report
Hey guys!  This is the end of week 1 of the MFAGA plan.  I'm in the middle of a dev task and will work on it some more later, but I'm about to go eat so I thought I'd post this report now.

Week 1 progress
The team only saw the MFAGA plan last Thursday (the day before it was published here), so this week we've mainly been planning implementation and making technical decisions.

There are four MFAGA objectives:

  • Simplifying the avatar was the priority this week.  We redesigned the layer architecture in Illustrator, and designed a cleaner way to display the layers in-game.  We went firm on the face and body variables we're planning, and the clever and beautiful Victoria did some clever and beautiful things with 3D models and Illustrator meshes.  A feature I was expecting we'd have to cut (tweaking individual facial features, instead of just picking preset face shapes) has survived thanks to some extra planning by V.  It's looking great, and we'll have something to share with you soon.
  • Removing barriers to contribution was also a focus.  I wrote a draft of the streamlined game mechanics, which the whole team is helping to improve, and Hyneman & Lara have been working on some UI & passage code streamlining.
  • Improving admin I feel like I only did okay on this...C grade only (but this is an improvement on my usual standard).  I made time for team comms, wrote Patron reports daily, and am moving back towards a healthy work/life balance (because the game needs a better crab).
  • Streamlining the writing is the thing I'm most excited about, but other things took priority this week.  I did make some notes and outlines on a few things, but didn't make any significant advances this week.

Random thoughts:
  • I caught up on some of my comms, but I didn't get around to replying to everyone who I wanted to yet – apologies for this.
  • Taking last weekend off was beneficial.  I plan to take tomorrow off, and use Sunday just for trying to get caught up with some admin/planning tasks.
  • Your feedback on MFAGA and the reports has been encouraging & thought provoking.  MFAGA is still fluid on a few things; more detail to follow soon.
  • The next thing we'll release is likely to be a demo of the character creator, so you can feed back on the streamlined avatar.

Okay, that's it for week 1!  I didn't keep up with all the comments on these dev posts but I intend to, so please feed back if you have ideas/questions/concerns.  Have a great weekend, everybody, next progress report will be Monday.
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Female Agent
Public post
Persistence of time
I'd planned to finish up on my design tasks from yesterday, but I spent most of today in talks with various team members on various technical issues.
We made some tech decisions on the avatar, and had productive discussions on some unrelated tech stuff (code & UI).  No announcements today, but more info soon.

Game clock RIP

As part of our drive to simplify the writing & coding, we've decided to get rid of the game clock.
Keeping an exact track of the time and date has a pleasingly serious military feel.
But it creates problems:
  • Tracking how many minutes have passed in every single passage is tedious for writers
  • It adds complexity to the code (e.g. we had to fix lots of bugs related to nightclub closing times)
  • It imposes a certain pacing mindset on the writer (this writer, anyway) – if the code forces you to account for every single minute, you can end up writing scenes thinking about what happens in the next minute not what happens next in the story.
It was a nice idea, but it doesn't really add much to the player experience in practice, and maintaining it slows down writing and coding.
So we've decided to get rid, and let writers incorporate precise timings when they're relevant to what the heroine is doing.

The downside of me taking team comms seriously today is that I didn't finish my personal design tasks from yesterday.  🙁  But a key part of the MFAGA plan requires me to balance project admin with my own tasks, so I hope you feel this was broadly the right call.
Okay, that's it for today!  Next update tomorrow, see you then!
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Female Agent
Public post
Drilling into some details
Hey guys!  Today I've been working on this task from the MFAGA plan:
Unclear game mechanics. The mechanics of skills & dice rolls feel 85% complete – they’re complete enough for me personally to make them work, but not solid enough for contributors to use.
My main work today was on the skill list: it was a totally confused mess, with entries that were duplicates, conflicted, or were useless.
It's important to get this right, because skill rolls are how the heroine interacts with the game world; if the skill list is muzzy, then contributing writers can't fully plan out their scenes.
  • I cleaned up the list, refining it to a set of useful skills at a level of granularity I'm happy with
  • After some reflection, I cut the overly complex and part implemented "Skill Families" mechanic
  • I also streamlined the Secondary Attributes mechanics, and made some related tweaks to the Kinks
I shared the work in progress doc with the team earlier, and expect to finish this task tomorrow, when I'll publish some more details for your feedback.  See you then!
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Female Agent
Public post
Layers
Hey guys!  Today I focused on this task from my MFAGA plan:
Clean up the layer architecture. Reörganising the layer architecture would make conversion from Illustrator to the main game much less of a chore. The reason we haven’t considered doing this before is that it would also require rewriting the avatar code that’s in the game. This is a pain in the ass, but I think we need to bite the bullet.
I redesigned the layers, adopting a new system that will be more flexible and elegant (if Hyneman can make it work).
🤓 NERD SECTION 🤓
The layers are currently displayed using if statements, e.g.:
 If def avatar.leftBracelet
   Display avatar.leftBracelet
 /If

This is a little clunky, because we need so many layers (one for the left bracelet, one for the right bracelet, one for the tattoo on her hip, one for the tattoo on her other hip, etc).  I don't think this has a runtime impact, but it sure bloats the avatar code, and makes adding new clothing items complex for Jeff.

I think we can do something smarter with arrays and for loops, e.g.:
 If avatar.jewelleryArray length GT 0
   For i etc
     Display avatar.jewelleryArray[i]
   /For
 /If
That way we'd just need to add jewellery items to the avatar.jewellery array, and the game would display them automatically.  (We'd need to add code to remove/prohibit conflicting items, of course, but we already have that in the dress-up sections – note that if Kate puts on a skirt, she automatically removes her leggings.)
🤓 ––––––––––––––– 🤓
This idea should help simplify the art production process, which is another key objective from my MFAGA plan.
We've been working on other things today as well, but more info on them soon.  Okay, that's all for today, I intend to post another update tomorrow.  See you then!
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Female Agent
Public post
Getting back on track
Hey guys!  The next few days are going to be a little unstructured, but I'll post updates throughout.
Firstly thank you so much for your support and feedback.  Knowing that so many people want this game to be fuckin' made is both encouraging and humbling.  We're all imperfect vessels, but I feel like I've been especially imperfect recently, and I'm going to do my very best to become the crab I need to become in order to deliver this.
Secondly, your feedback on my MFAGA plan – here, on Discord and in my DMs – has been helpful and thought provoking.  More on this over the next few days; I'm still absorbing some of it.

MONDAY PROGRESS REPORT
I took the whole weekend off!  This was challenging, because there's so much to do, but the project deserves better than a burned out crab.
Even though the MFAGA plan isn't set in stone, a few things are essential – one is simplifying the avatar.  Since that impacts the character creator, today I designed a new streamlined version of the character creation screens.
This is the kind of tedious but necessary shit we need to get out of the way as quickly as possible.  Getting this organised means that when Victoria's simplified avatar is ready, we'll have the screens set up for you to interact with it.
I also got caught up with a lot of comms, but I still owe people replies, and I might miss things in the backlog.  So feel free to nudge me if there's something specific you need an answer to.

Okay, that's it for today.  I'm going to take the rest of the evening off and catch up with you guys tomorrow.  See you then!
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Female Agent
Public post
Making Female Agent Great Again
Here's my plan for how to fix Female Agent.  The details aren't 100% finalised yet, but I wanted to share this today, so patrons can make an informed decision about continuing to support the project.
Please let me know your feedback here and in Discord.

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Female Agent
Public post
Major announcement coming soon
Sorry for the lack of information recently.
Last week was the lowest point in the game's development for me, ever.  On Sunday 5th, for the first time since starting the project, I seriously considered bailing on it.

But I want to finish it.  On Monday 6th, I was inspired by a quote:
What would you do if you weren't afraid?

This week, I've been working flat out on some big, scary changes to Female Agent.  Major announcement to follow soon.
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Female Agent
Public post
Situation report
Hey guys!  Sorry for the delay in writing this report.  It's taken me a while to grasp the problem and come up with a solution.  I'll describe things as plainly as I can.

SITUATION
I was aiming to finish and release the "bed branch" of the Dubai scene on Sunday (two days ago).  For much of last week I just basically switched off my phone, and stopped checking in on the forums, so I could focus on it 100%.
I knew this wasn't ideal behaviour on my part, but, in my defence...by Friday it seemed to be working.  I'd managed to add the following to the game:

  • Two options for pre-bed foreplay sections (one on the bed, one on the rug)
  • Interaction with the room service waiter when he arrives
  • An oral sex foreplay section when Max goes down on the agent (who we call "Kate" in the game code)
  • A missionary position section with four broad outcomes (Max and Kate come simultaneously; Max makes Kate come; Max comes prematurely; Max *nearly* comes prematurely and has to slow down)
  • A conclusion for the mutual orgasm outcome (Kate cleans up the cum shot if necessary, then we move to the next scene)
  • A conclusion for the Max premature orgasm outcome (Max tries to finish her off with his fingers, and either succeeds or fails.  If he fails she can optionally fake an orgasm to save his ego.)
  • A conclusion for the "Max adjusts his pace" outcome (Kate can either encourage him to take it nice and slow; tell him to just fuck her hard, either because she's really close or because he can make it up to her later; or finger herself to help him out.)
  • A second missionary section for the "Max made Kate come" outcome.  The object is now Max's orgasm: in a new mechanic, Kate has a range of options based on her Vaginal Sex skill level ranging from "Let him fuck you" to "(Vaginal Sex +3) Squeeze his cock with your pussy, play with his nipples and talk dirty about where he's going to come".  This section has two outcomes: Max comes or he doesn't.
  • A conclusion for the "Max comes" outcome (including a porno-style money shot if Kate talked dirty about it in the prior scene).
  • A continuation if Max doesn't come.  He or Kate (depending on an initiative roll) can take off the condom or switch to doggy style.
  • Part of the doggy style section.

SIGNAL #1
On Friday, while working on the doggy style section, I had an urge to revisit its start (i.e. the bit where Max and Kate switch from missionary to doggy style).
I took a look, but couldn't really work out what was bothering me about it.  Sure, it could be improved – but my writing can always be improved, and I figured you guys wouldn't thank me for perfecting a transition between sex positions instead of getting a release out.
So I ignored it, and cracked on, working on some spanking content for the doggy scene.

SIGNAL #2
Saturday was a real struggle.  I felt blocked and reluctant to write, even though it was the day before my intended deadline.  I put this feeling down to general anxiety about publishing the scene, and ground out as much writing as I could.
Time for bed.  For reasons I didn't understand at the time, I ended up staying up real late just replaying Female Agent from the start, over and over.  
I was trying to figure something out, but I didn't know what it was.

TRUCKER PILLS
Sunday was tough because I'd stayed up so fucking late.  A friend of mine (who's a pharmacist) gave me some trucker pills to get through days like this.
I took a triple dose because I was serious about getting it published before I went to sleep.  Sleep it off tomorrow, I told myself as I chugged them down.

SUNDAY 1900
Things weren't going great.  I remembered that weird feeling from two days before, and decided to rewrite the doggy section intro.  Maybe fixing the beginning would help me wrap up the rest?
I tried to improve it...but I wasn't sure what was wrong with it.  Why was this one section bothering me?  It wasn't especially worse than the rest of the scene.  But something was gnawing at me.
Did it need a new decision point?  More internal monologue?  Some kind of power struggle between Max and Kate?  More dialogue?  Less dialogue?  Sexier description?  I kept trying: I didn't know why, I could just sense it was important.

THE BREAKTHROUGH LINE
About an hour later, I just tried deleting the whole section, and replacing it all with one single line:

Moments later, you're on all fours.

It probably sounds trivial, but this was a breakthrough moment for me.  I tested this line out in the engine, and immediately learned a few things:

  • The pace felt much better.  This one line developed the scene faster, and was more interesting, than everything I'd written for the past hour.  It also fit better into the context of the rest of the game, which is something I couldn't have appreciated if I hadn't sat up all night replaying it from the start
  • It was way sexier than the previous incredibly detailed account of two people switching positions
  • It felt more authentic.  Changing positions in bed just sort of happens most of the time; you don't notice or remember that your left hand grabbed her right hip, then your right hand curled under her left knee...it's not fucking Twister
  • It was quicker to write.  Much, much quicker.  😯

That last realisation was fascinating – if a little bit scary in its implications.

YOUR FEEDBACK
It's real easy to swallow trucker pills, but it's hard to swallow the feedback you don't want to hear.  Although everyone prefers the new sex scene to the old ones, many of you have raised serious concerns about how long the process took.
My response was always basically, "I know, I know, I'll learn how to do this faster because there's no other way."
Well...what if I was wrong about that?

WIREFRAME
I knew I had to investigate this, even though it was 8PM on deadline day.
By 10PM I'd wireframed out a portion of the scene, written in the new style.  The wireframe version had all the benefits I noticed already, plus a few others.
lt felt solid – really solid – but I was finding it hard to stay focused.
I knew the pills would make it hard to sleep.  But I also knew that Star Trek: The Next Generation was available on Netflix!  Perfect: a bunch of meetings in space, and a crew that prefers cosplaying on the holodeck to firing their phasers.  I'd drift off while Data learned a lesson about birthdays or something.  I'll never make it all the way through Encounter at Farpoint, I thought...
WRONG
The next morning, I thought maybe I'd dreamed the bit about Riker fighting Napoleonic-era soldiers in order to become a god, then using his new powers to give Worf a sex slave.  
But I checked, and that really happened, I was awake the whole time!  What idiot gave me trucker pills
I sat at my desk all day yesterday, but didn't start to come alive until well into the evening.  Realising I was at risk of turning into a vampire, I forced myself to stop early and go to bed instead.

TODAY
I didn't get much sleep, but I felt better today, and I built out more of the wireframe.  
At this point I've had one full day – plus a few hours yesterday and Sunday – developing the scene in this new style.  And I'm fucking psyched about it so far.  I think this is going to address a lot of the (valid) concerns that many fans have tried to raise with me about the work process.

NEXT STEPS
I don't have anything to share yet (except this report, the purpose of which is mainly to let you know I'm alive and working, not off sulking like Achilles in his tent).
But I will have something ready soon (as in days, not weeks).  I'll push it out to Operators as a Beta first (just so they can check this is right, and not some fever dream induced by trucker pills) then get it out as a release ASAP afterwards.

VERY NEXT STEPS
I'm fucking exhausted, I'm going to bed, I don't even need Star Trek to fall asleep.  Further updates to follow.

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Female Agent
Public post
Unstuck
Hey guys!  Apologies for the lack of reports.  I've been really struggling with the bed scene; some kind of writer's block, I think.  😕
On Sunday, feeling totally frustrated, I decided to just switch over to writing a different scene.  Doing that for a few hours recharged my mojo, and gave me the insight I needed to figure out what was wrong with the bed scene (basically: overwriting).
I've now had two GRETA WRITING DAYS on the bed scene (today and yesterday), and it's nearly finished.  Expect version 1.6.3 of Female Agent this week.
We've also added the following minor features over the last few days:
  • Avatar beauty marks.  Your agent can now have a beauty mark.  (There are six options, modelled on Blake Lively, Elizabeth Taylor, Kate Upton, Madonna, Sophia Loren and Virna Lisi)
  • Regional school uniforms.  Your agent's school uniform now varies based on her nationality.
  • Nickname/knownas.  Your agent can now go by a shortened version of her name in most social situations.  (I know this sounds like the most pointless feature ever, but with my test agent Charlotte it was surprisingly humanising to hear NPCs calling her "Charlie".)

Last week, Operators+ got a preview of a new feature we're experimenting with: NPC avatars.  The first planned use of this feature is to show you the other contestants in the Miss Wet T-Shirt contest!

More on this (and some other cool things, like the potential involvement of a AAA video game writer and journalist) very soon – sorry for the light update, just wanted to report on activity while you're waiting for results.
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Female Agent
Public post
NPC avatar experiment
Hey guys!  This is a short experiment with NPC avatars.
It's only a few passages long, but you should be able to call up avatars for two female NPCs.  Please let me know your thoughts!

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Female Agent
Public post
Pomodoros!
Hey guys, quick update!
My current priority is writing the bed branch of the new sex scene.  I worked on it last week, but by Friday my writing had slowed to a crawl.  
I woke up on Sat feeling listless and demoralised, so I decided to take the day off and see if rest would help.  I just took the fucking day off because I'm a maverick crab!
On Sunday I didn't feel any better, though.  If anything, I felt moar tired!  UH OH!  If resting a day didn't fix it, could anything fix it?  Was I burned out?  Had the well gone dry?
😬
Spoiler alert: no.  Anyway, I also took Sunday off.  (I think this was literally my first weekend off in two or three years.)
Warming my engines this morning took me a little longer than usual (I started work at around 0900, two hours later than planned).  But the good news is that I had a super productive day!
I decided to just go back to basics.  I worked for nine hours, putting in 8 pomodoros (focused 25-minute time-blocks) of solid writing today.*  And it felt great!  I blasted straight through the section I'd been struggling with on Thursday and Friday.  
I also squeezed in a run right after work and my plan now is to chill the fuck out for the rest of the evening.  Hopefully I'll have another greta day tomorrow!
If I can keep this pace up, the bed branch will be finished in three days or so.  We'll release 1.6.3 as soon as it's ready, then announce plans for 1.7.
Okay, that's it, just wanted to let you guys know I'm alive.  Update to follow soon!
––
* (The rest of the day was spent on non-writing tasks)

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