Big'ol Post: New build release is delayed a week or so, Sorry. General status update!
Hey everyone, sorry to say the build release won't be this week. Unfortunately, a family matter kind of got dropped on me, so I'm forced to be out of town meaning I can't really work today and the next few days
I had hoped I could pull off a stable build but there's simply no time. Certain features still need some programming work done, and there's things like facial expressions for sex sim dialogue that still need to be transferred.
We're close though, it's mostly busy work not critical functionality left. And even if the work was done right now there wouldn't be adequate time to test an actual build.
All that said, the build should be feasible next week. By then the functions should be complete, and enough things like character data transferred where a build seems reasonable.
The Projected State of the Build
So, here's what's to expect next week:
The build will be considered [Experimental] meaning it's a limited release, but I will document the state of the build and new functions as much as I can for everyone.
While Act 0-4 is implemented dialogue wise, the presentation elements are not. Cinematics, poses, facial expressions, outfits, 2D Sprites for some characters, etc. A lot of elements are required. As such this dialogue may be forcibly skipped for now or made available in a limited capacity for supporters who want to read despite the lack of presentation.
New UI Elements! A new character status window and journal have been implemented. These UI are still in their early stages but should be functional and will be expanded over time!
Character stats will be visible but not actively used just yet.
Buffs! During sex sim various temporary statuses may be applied! The full extent of these buffs and debuffs remains to be seen. Buffs apply to both Naomi and you, affecting things like arousal increments, climax threshold, speed, and possibly other aspects.
Talk to Naomi during sex sim! This feature has finally been properly implemented. There is now a range of dialogue choices possible during sex sim. What options are available depend on various conditions, and responses depend on conditions too! Things you say may apply various buffs or debuffs!
Grouped items! Now you can select a single item, and see its variants, rather than have a ton of individual items. Not all items of the same type will be grouped, like I won't pair socks with fishnets despite them having the same model.
Shopping! The release will support the games method of progressively unlocking outfits! Along with other things to buy in due time that will unlock certain features or side stories!
Saving and loading, Quickie mode, Outfit saving all should be functional. Heads up though as save data may not always work between updates.
Reworked settings to hopefully prevent weird visual bugs where a settings toggle doesn't seem to work properly.
Various graphical fixes
While we're here, what's the plan for next month?
Cinematics and Story Content!
Like I said earlier the story is in, but the presentation of that story is not.
At the moment many features, and functions are missing related to dialogue presentation. There're poses, and animations, and all kinds of stuff.
There're special outfits mentioned in dialogue that are needed (Overly tight clothing and dresses!), and scenes to present! Sex scenes without animations ready for them yet, the horror!
Naomi is the only 3D character but there's many others! Co-workers (above), bastards, and Baristas with southern accents! These will mostly have 2D sprites, but this solution is largely unexplored functionally. On top of this, I have not settled on the character designs yet. There's also going to be 2D backgrounds for some scenes, and possibly the option for 2D in other cases.
Additionally, the handling of 3D scene loading is something not thoroughly tested in build and needs added functionality. The above scene is from the intro and ensuring this scene is well optimized and not cumbersome to load is crucial!
Work on this will begin as soon as the build is released!
I've even optimized our workflow thanks to blender 3.2 supporting armatures in collections.
I came close with my projection a release could be pulled off this week, but it's just around the corner now!
Thank you for your patience, I know it's been a long time but some long awaited features are coming, then the story you've all been waiting for!
Big'Ol Update: Writing and Dialogue Issues Largely Behind us, Build in progress
Sorry for going quiet for a bit longer than usual again. There was a bit of a development problem I needed to resolve before I felt I could bring proper news for you guys.
In short after all the dialogue was added to the tool for importing into the game, I realized there was more dialogue missing and other issues than expected. So not only was a rewrite needed for Act 0 which is extremely important. Acts 1-4 needed multiple issues addressed, some missing dialogue, some rewrites, formatting issues.
So first I shifted my attention away from dev stuff to focus on writing, basically getting Act 0 together myself since a lot of consideration of game function and tutorial is needed. This might not have been the best choice, but at the very least I knew at the end of it, it would be something I'm willing to use. But some other shifts occurred and now I have someone focused on getting all the acts together. I'll talk more about this in the future.
As of the last couple of weeks I've been focused on implementing the dialogue into the game which posed another issue. The import from the tool to Unity wasn't ideal for our use. So the dev of Dialogue System had offered to help improve the import tool to support our needs. And they've been an INCREDIBLE help. Again for anyone making a game I HIGHLY, and I mean HIGHLY recommend their asset. Dialogue system by Pixel Crushers is why most of Our Apartment is even possible.
Anyway fixing the import took some time and feedback loop of about a week, but now everything seems solid. It would have been better to tackle this issue sooner, but it just didn't happen that way.
State of the game now
So as of today I've confirmed the core game loop (Daily mode) works which is the most complex aspect. Barring any issues as things scale up further we're pretty much good to go!
This means all that's left is to organize all the dialogue into the format we've designed. Setting up conditional checks/triggers to gate dialogue and events, exp gain for stat levels, sex sim dialogue and all this other stuff.
There is still some work needed on dialogue, but the pace on that has been solid.
I also confirmed some of the new locations are functional for these dialogue scenes with some of their optimization in-tact, but much more is still needed.
After that extensive testing and fixing of many issues, some new animations or poses, and ensuring the systems work as intended with everything in place.
I believe we'll have a build this month Based on my expectation of the work load I think we'll have a build this month, at worst an incomplete one. The issues we face now are not a barrier to the game being generally functional. So it is possible to do an [Experimental] release this month.
I do want to outline some core things missing in relation to dialogue:
There's not quite enough "events" for some acts, this will need review in the future but for now things like Act 3 might be a bit barren content wise. Which given lewd content doesn't really unlock there, it's a big problem.
Act 0-4 still need a final review, and even after adjustments will be made as dialogue is implemented and tested.
Non-interactive characters will have 2D sprites, as of now designs are not settled and by extension the sprites not even made. I'll make proper posts on these designs when the time comes to start implementing.
The function for these 2D sprites has not been fully worked out yet...
Some scenes will need 2D backgrounds to avoid loading, besides ones based on existing 3D environments, these 2D backgrounds are not made.
The function for these 2D backgrounds is partially implemented.
Many dialogue scenes require new poses and some new animations, this may not make it into initial builds.
The handling of loading 3D environments is functional, but making sure it's efficient without lengthily loading screens is a concern. Preloading scenes is planned. But for now further optimization is likely needed to ensure fast loading speeds.
Dialogue history log, and things like skipping dialogue isn't implemented yet. The former likely isn't a challenge, the later likely is a big one. Ensuring doing so doesn't break aspects of the game or progression
A cheat menu is needed to make testing these dialogue scenes easier...
Like I said these issues don't prevent a release but will prevent the games dialogue scenes from feeling polished for some time. There's other non-dialogue related issues too that will be more the focus after the dialogue is working at a basic level.
Much of the issues listed above will be just kind of avoided for now, scenes and sprites we can't show will just have a background and text and such, and cases where Naomi will just have her VN style presentation seen a few times before. Otherwise some scenes may be skipped.
If things go as expected, testing builds may start by the middle of the month (I do this mainly on discord), with initial releases for supporters sometime after that. All releases I expect to be [Experimental] more limited releases. I really can't have people playing these first builds and expecting that to be the game. This means builds may not appear on itch or for $1 tiers this month.
Cause even now there's a lot of unknowns on how things will "feel" to play. Is the intro too long, is there enough engaging dialogue to play, does the daily progression work well? It's almost guaranteed even if I could get everything in as intended there's going to be problems with the way things feel to play.
It's not just a simple loop and some core functions anymore. And I've seen a few games where trying to make a proper "game" from what the project was before is where things get rough. And I want to avoid that both in perception and practice.
Again I'm sorry this is all taking so long, but I do feel confident builds will start again this month. Regardless of the state of the dialogue and other things, it's important we start getting feedback with all the functions in pace.
Massive'ol Update: Development Planning and Scheduling, Delegation, Version Planning, and Other Things That Sound Boring but Are Absolutely Critical
Alright peeps, buckle up cause this is gonna be a long one. Probably the largest post yet...
Hopefully by reading this post you'll get a very solid understanding of how development is planning to go from this point forward. And also potential issues that may arise as well.
As I've been building up to for months now, the transition to the Final Game Format is a significant one. And doesn't just represent a change in the game, but also, especially thanks to the increased support, a change in how development works for the long term.
I'll need to retread some things so bear with me if you've been reading these for a long time. But hopefully it might remind you of some of the context of things until now.
If you've been following Momoirosoft since The Couch, then that's awesome for sticking with me!
But you also may remember that game ended up on a basically indefinite hold due to the programmer at the time needing to find a normal job, thanks to a client of his screwing him over for around $8000 (He's since recovered but generally does not wish to return to ero game development). This left me as an artist with a game project I didn't know how to continue as someone thats not really a programmer and code i don't understand.
The Couch was always a foundational game project to something like Our Apartment, but sadly I could not use that foundation as I intended.
So I came up with a plan for the long term to learn programming, and see if it's possible if I can develop a project by myself. Aiming to return to The Couch in the future to wrap it up in a lesser form when I felt more confident (and I still do plan to). I had already done some experimentation with Naomi 3D, I felt like I could learn what I needed over time. And based on a poll, it seemed people supporting were Ok with that.
Since then Our Apartment was developed with no specific final game in mind. As such there was no version numbers only build release numbers, and I classified the game as a "Preview" as I had done before with The Couch (But Sample Demo was too wordy). The goal was remaking the features of The Couch with a lot of the same mentality. And thanks to 3D being a bit easier asset wise I could expand on some concepts like Adding Outfits.
And through development I've been very very cautious of commissioned programming being made in a way I don't understand or can be easily cut if it's unmanageable. Worried about recreating the situation with The Couch.
But last year I hit a big milestone, I remade a large chunk of Our Apartments features with written code largely removing the node based system Bolt. And not only was everything intact but it was much better than before. I wouldn't call myself a programmer, but this is something I considered impossible only 2 years ago. And from there development has been in written code.
And until build 22 released on new years eve this how development has gone. I've largely worked on things solo, any commissioned programming is largely isolated, and I've had my hands on just about every aspect. And thats brought us this far!
But that has to change.
After build 22 I begun work on implementing the actual game loop, which is the daily system and phases. There was another sex sim refactor behind the scenes done by Kaitou that needed to be implemented, but besides that I decided to setup the basic daily system stuff myself for a few reasons.
I needed to understand the real scale and scope of what I'm trying to make
There is a combination of UI, animation assets and scene asset management that needed to be reworked, cleaned up, and figured out.
I needed to know what worked and what didn't
I needed this done quickly so when I explain to people what I need, I have a close representation of the format.
And thankfully I got what I needed from that work.
And top of that I hired someone to help me work out future scheduling and planning and such. And after talking with everyone working on the project now, it became even more clear the way I've been developing so far isn't going to work.
First and foremost I'm the artist, and there's still a ton of work just there.
And that's not only true, but I also think for people supporting the project, this 'Extended Dev Period' and then a usually relatively short content period is not very satisfying. And I know some people miss when I did more (Or maybe more like any) 2D art.
But still that posed a serious problem, There's issues where art and programming mix, and all this stuff. And I need the programmer, Kaitou in this case, to be familiar with all those aspects so decisions on how things are designed make sense. And this is more of a "lack of documentation" problem.
Often I talk about things i have planned, but also often that stuff is in my head not on paper. And given the previous releases were more played by ear, that meant much of the games features aren't well documented.
So that needed to change, and the majority of this month has been spent typing that documentation both for the writer and programmer. I've written something along the lines of maybe 10k+ words typed across several documents based off what I can actually measure. And I don't believe I'm done yet, but it's at least workable for the main work ahead.
One of those documents is quite critical, a Version Document outlining development milestones for each version, along with explaining the version format. I'll get into that later but first I want to explain why this is important. It's because of a second issue.
Not only was documentation in my head but most scheduling and needs for build releases too. And for a good while it was difficult for figure out a good system, but thanks to the version doc recently we've organized things based on that. It may change upon further review, but at the very least things are clear enough that I feel comfortable talking about future plans.
What's all this mean?
What this means is from now on my objective is to be more hands off with programming, and hands off with writing, and instead focus on overall goals and outlining.
Instead of jumping to program major features myself, I'll outline the goals and review the work. I'll still be implementing most of stuff, I can't really afford to pay someone to do that busy work yet, lol.
Instead of working on writing I'll focus more on the story outline and reviewing written dialogue. Then determine rewrites based on how closely the writing represents the outline. I've also talked with an editor to better help reach my goals with less personal involvement.
And while at certain times I may check and adjust things, it won't be all the time like before. In the end I still need to know things are up to my standards of quality, but I can't be in that mindset all the time.
And that said, a warning...
While this is to help open me up to focus on art so I can bring more content, this does pose some degree of risk. I'm much more confident as a programmer than I used to be, but understand this is remote work over the internet. Shit happens. There may come a time where I have to explain unforeseen delays, or work may fail to be delivered for one reason or another.
But at the very least, even if things come to that, I hope the organization and documentation is solid enough that recovery from these cases isn't too difficult. And in the worst case, we may get a nice period of content updates before I need to return to programming again for some reason.
I still take responsibility for the game.
I don't expect this to happen as people have been reliable so far, but I do need to make it clear further delegating than I have may lead to this problem at some point. But it's a worthwhile risk.
So lets get down into future releases
As I mentioned earlier there's a version doc made which outlines a game plan of sorts for releases. Part of this is possible thanks to a large chunk of the story being outlined, since the story is somewhat paced around features and functions that need to be made.
So let me get some very basic information out the way, and then I'll outline what I'm willing to for now, cause this post is already super long. Understand sooner plans are much clearer than farther plans.
At the moment the story is planned to have 13 Acts including an Act 0, this may change but at minimum the general plot of each act is outlined.
Based on current plans will be likely 14 major milestone releases before the final "completed" release of the game.
Major milestones are likely when releases on platforms other than Windows will be made. So you can expect android releases around then as well as other platforms (Not WebGL though).
Do know we don't use the trello for the actual development planning, the trello is more for brainstorming and maybe quick bug notes. Don't expect this to be reflected in the trello.
Versions work like this:
Versions will be formatted 0.0.0.a
0.0.0.a is generally reserved for hotfixes
0.0.0.a is generally for small content updates
0.0.0.a is for major milestone releases
0.0.0.a is for full final releases
So in short the closer we get to something like v0.14.0.a is how you can determine if we're close to a final completed game. Based on current projections.
So I'll explain a few versions so you have some perspective. I will keep some things vague, mostly far away versions.
Understand these are the milestone releases, there will be multiple releases leading up to this point, it just marks the completion of that version.
Understand what's in these versions especially later ones may change as time makes what's possible more clear. Please think of these not as promises, but as my current mentality, what I believe right now is coming and planned.
This release is coming soon, it's been a bit delayed thanks to the afore mentioned planning but now that things are organized we're trying to work fast on it. In short here, you can expect Daily System and Phases polish, Sex Sim fixes (like I said there was a refactor), and what might not be included in the build release is a prototype implementation of Act 0 (Formerly referred to as chapter 0).
One of the main hurdles here is managing faster loading of phases and scenes, and making sure all scene configuring is done behind a blink.
We'll be upgrading to Unity 2020 LTS, this is mostly for improved SSAO in URP but also some other improvements too.
The prologue (Act 0) will be playable to some degree, better animations and dialogue for daily system, a brand new UI will be implemented.
There will be new outfit items made in two forms. A new "Dream" Naomi, and something I'm calling "The Swim Suit and Under Wear" pack.
One of the main hurdles here is some management with environment loading, as much more is done loading scenes other than the apartment.
After this release we'll be working toward getting a release on steam, and also a free public demo. This should also mark that price increase I mentioned before.
This version aims to implement Act 4 which is a significant area plot wise and content wise. Expect a focus on sex sim content here.
This version is significant cause it's the planned implementation of the "Going Out" feature where you can take Naomi places.
This version will be considered the "Fetish and Fantasy" version. At this point there will be a focus on fetish type content outside the usual, and fantasy/role play scenes which will be very unique.
This version is where we'll get into the story conclusion and other things. This is a major event in the game that includes quite a lot of extra content. I won't go into too much detail since things change but the current concept adds a whole new area that should be quite nice.
Now obviously that doesn't include everything
There's of course much more detail in the actual document, and much more detailed to be added even on top of that. But I hope that gives some perspective, especially if there's things you're looking forward to.
In-between all these versions there's outfits and animations to make and all kinds of stuff, not all is planned yet. It's gonna be a lot of work, but with a lot of features and functions already established, I'm confident we can deliver.
My objective isn't to make this game some super long massive project, but a compelling quality product to be completed and released in a fair timeframe. Something i hope holds up for a long time for what it is, and serves as a foundation for future projects too.
About Side Projects
I've mentioned a few times about a side project released for free and occasionally updated. That's still planned, but I'm trying to squeeze it in and kaitou is trying to segment some code for it. Maybe with a lessened focus on programming for Our Apartment, i can get the ball rolling on this one a little bit.
For now just know, basically people liked Our Apartment Preview a lot as is, and I think there's an opportunity to do more of that but have it go beyond Naomi. I don't want to explain much more until more progress is made. I still haven't finished Alex yet...
About some of the confusion about "Preview"
I think it was a bit of a mistake to do the public release without having another supporter only version ready. As that's seemingly confused some people a lot, both here on Patreon and itch.
Basically people seem to play the public version, then donate or support on Patreon, and wonder where a new build is. Not really aware how rare public releases were in the past, and the big transition development is going through now.
It's completely understandable, and I've been trying to figure out how to fix this as it's given some people a bad impression. But really the only option is to get the v0.1.0.a release out as soon as possible. Which kind of made the need and decision to focus on planning this month a difficult choice.
I'm really sorry about the confusion, but outside of explaining things and getting the next release out I can't really fix it. For me something like making a tiny version update just somewhat separate the public and donation versions seems disingenuous. So please bear with it for now, and the next release will come asap. And returning to the preview version in general just doesn't make sense with how much work needs to be done.
So just please give me a little time.
That said, while I prefer not to, I will release the v0.5.0.a build to $1 supporters since there's an extended wait. But man I would really REALLY prefer the build not go further than that. It is a goddamn mess. Please...
I know I owe some people tier rewards, I'll get to those soon. TBH i want to adjust things, but there's a bit of a problem with editing the page...I'll explain more later but I take issue with the fact Patreon requires adding your name to your account now. Mostly cause there's PayPal people who work at Patreon.
Anyway! I'll contact people soon. Sorry I've taken so long.
Wrapping this post up...
I think I finally reached that point where I've forgotten anything else I intended to say in this post. So that probably means it's a good time to wrap up.
Thanks for your support peeps, I hope this post gave some clarity and confidence, but also set reasonable expectations.
Because of your support I want to be as clear as possible with what's going on in development, and ensure it's success. And hopefully that shows.
[Experimental] Our Apartment B17: URP Build! UI Revamp! New Variants! Time of Day Switch! More!
Hey peeps, sorry this is so late, I just had more issues on the asset side to fix than I expected. So I started later on implementing things than I wanted. This build is considered experimental cause there may be critical issues I'm not aware of. And several critical issues were found already. As promised though some test builds have been released public on the discord, Android and WebGL currently more soon.
Some quick news Hypnolab is released on steam to some unfortunate technical issues with a VR device we don't own causing most of the negative reviews DX. I'll be spending some time at the start of this month doing fixes, which isn't what I planned, this really sucks in general but I need to help make it right. So expect some quiet after this post. But if you have a HTC Vive or some older VR devices, and like hypnotism and trippy/fantasy scenes, maybe give it a shot and leave a review.
Back to Our Apartment...
It is critical that I get feedback on these builds, there's already issues but more info is better! Now lets go over whats done and whats missing...
Whats done, whats new!
Alright I'mma try and list all this off as best I can without missing things.
Now rendering with URP! This was a massive change but it's all functional, and comes with a ton of improvements to shaders too! Performance seems better across the board! Android build on low is at least stable 30fps, max appears to be 50 but i need to uncap somehow. There's a few visual downgrades since i can't use my old shadow asset, but I expect things to improve over time!
New agnostic "profiles", the systems that govern Naomi's arousal, Likes, and certain stats are no long hard coded, and now pull from a "profile" of sorts. This is to prepare for similar projects with different characters (Sorry I've been slow on this).
Converted majority of sex sim code from bolt to written code! This also means the majority of functions are isolated making testing and adding new scenes easier! Also means if I need some help I can hire someone. There may be some performance improvements because of this! That said though there is some glitches, I need to more thoroughly test this and iron out issues.
Completely revamped outfit system, and outfit UI! The new UI is in, using a system that lets me add descriptions and set other information per item! There's no icons right now, I'll work on that this month, at the moment it's just too huge a task (I need like maybe 150 thumbnails or something). Same with descriptions, those might be left out for a bit, but if you have descript ideas for items let me know! There's some new features added too, and more slots, states of undress is functionally missing at the moment but will be added next along with outfit saving.
Preliminary X-Ray toggle! I've been wanting to do this for a long time but I needed some better options. Thankfully the move to URP made this a lot easier. You can now see how deep you're going into Naomi! Next step is adding a symbolic womb with "filled" indication and maybe impregnation indication >:3.
Preliminary day and night toggle! A quick add but I wanted to test possible issues with time of day lightmap switching. You can currently do this at any time! Right now it's just "evening" and "night" but expect "Morning" and "Afternoon" options and maybe others too (Like a lights off late night version?)
New Outfit Variants! I've added a bunch of new variants to existing outfit items. I think you'll enjoy them! I forget how many I added, maybe 20 or so. One of them features Belgerum.
Improvements to male avatar customization and new options! Color selection is now much larger in tabs to make getting the right color easier. There's now Color presets for human and non-human appearances. Hands and head have adjustable transparencies.
New male "bits" options! Wolf bits with various levels of fur, animal heads from Hunt and Snare (Also on Steam), ALL MALE BITS ARE COLORIZABLE!
Reformatted main menu planning to transition into "Day screen" functionally not a big deal, just setting up for the future. Appearance may change.
"Low Quality Shader" and "Sun" toggle to help improve performance on lower end platforms.
Quite a few things from sex sim, jizz decal effects are not re-added for now. Head petting is disabled (GASP!)cause for some reason Naomi looks horrifying. Some jizz buttons work incorrectly.
I removed a lot of options from the settings menu due to how massively different things are handled now. They will be re-added over time.
I have not added the new "From Behind" animations yet, that should be in the next build in maybe a week or two.
Warning to people who play the current build, if you acess the missionary scene. It will break the 360 camera until you reload the game.
Light map changes doesn't change indirect lighting so the rendering isn't quite right.
Occasional odd behavior from sex sim buttons.
Android: Will crash if quality set to medium or higher, if you do this and it crashes, uninstall or clear the app data. You may need to do this to get the build to run at all the first time.
WebGL and other platforms: some materials broke and didn't add proper spec map, making some materials look like a mirror.
There's probably more things but they'll be fixed very soon.
I've basically met all my goals, I just need polish and more variant outfit items and the "From Behind" sex sim scene. Everything from here (Besides the full public release) is a beeline to "Demo" meaning a focus on story content and related functions. The Day System and general event triggering is needed to be completed. Along with more saving functions for outfits, and story progression.
It's been a long road, and with the release of Hypnolab once thats stable, I may shift to focusing more fulltime on Our Apartment rather than splitting my time outside of projects I have a generally lower commitment to. I really want to move forward to faster development from now on and I just need to find a path to make that feasible without overworking a more than I already do.
And thanks to everyone supporting on SubscribeStar, Patreon, and itch.io it seems viable that I might be to give this the focus it needs.
Huge'ol Update Post! Development Progress & Build Status, Whats Coming This Month, and Broader Public & WebGL Release!
Alright this is gonna be a LONG one... I hope people actually read these but regardless it's there.
The short of it
So before I get into the long of it, let me get some main stuff out the way. First off I'm writing this post after being satisfied with what I was able to do with the refactoring on my own. That said the refactoring is not complete, I'll get into that more later in this post. But while the game is mostly functional, certain things haven't been reimplemented, or have odd critical bugs to be worked out. These issues are beyond my own programming ability, so this month I'm hiring Kaitou to fix these issues and add/re-add features I didn't have time for.
I went HAM on this for the past two weeks and I need a break, so after this post I will make some updates but they probably won't be "development" related until after at least the 15th and that also includes builds I think. I am going to try and schedule some updates related to music and other stuff in the mean time. But I think after typing all this today I'm just gonna be done for bit.
I know people are really eager for a new build, but I promise this whole thing was absolutely nessecary and hopefully the rest of this post will make that clear.
That said, I'll start test builds soon, the first will probably be $5 and up tiers only, then all supporters after that. Reason being I expect the build to have too many issues given how much was redone. Given my goals, and my deadline, I anticipate a lot of builds this month and even if you're not a supporter you should join on discord if you want to test builds closer to the very end of this month.
And before I get into further specifics here's my promise for the month. By the end of this month one way or another, there will be a full public release and WebGL release. This absolutely needs to happen for reasons I won't get into, cause I don't like talking about things unless they're already done or an inevitability, but you can probably guess what I mean. Anyway this public release may or may not include the new sex sim content or new outfit variants. It depends.
Oh and I know some people are waiting on certain rewards, or they need to get back to me on what they want. I'm sorry I'll be on those soon and I'll talk with you about those. Right now I'm on multiple serious deadlines and actually stuff like the voice lines I tend to commission in bulk.
Oh and some side news, one of my client projects Hypnolab VR is hitting steam! So please check that out as a ton of work was put into it, and cypress has been awesome and very patient. And honestly a lot of development on Our Apartment wouldn't be possible without his project.
Also small reminder about my new personal website sac.moe!
And now that the basics are out of the way lets get into it...
The long of it
Alright so as I said the last two weeks have been a HELL of a lot of work. The true work didn't begin until after my last post about completing the move to URP.
Actually a short bit about that, I still had some issues to fix but over all I'm happy with the results. The few things that need to be fixed is issues with some transparent clothing items that don't support dithering yet. But that may just be a simple move to the Uber Shader. I also added some stuff like if you move the camera too close, and you you end up culling Naomi's body, you'll get a flat shade on the culled area now.
After that I also mentioned I updated some assets, I still need to update the skinning on those assets to match Naomi's updated skinning. I also fucked up her arm bone weights cause I changed how many twist bones she has. Dumb mistake, I shoulda known. I'll probably just roll back that change and deal with it. So yeah a good deal is needed with reexporting.
And thankfully the 100+ prefabs and 100+ asset item's for the UI to read will update automatically thanks to Unity's new prefab variant setup. Speaking of that, GOD THAT WAS A LOT OF WORK. But it's done and I shouldn't need to do it again besides the few asset items that need to be made for the player Avatar.
But understand that besides redoing all the prefabs I had to make and organize a "item" file for every, single, item in the game. It was a lot of work and I didn't even get to making icons and descriptions yet.
So after all that...Outfit UI
I started working on the new Outfit UI, I already had a mock up for it I just needed to program it. Instead of using bolt I decided to write it myself since I already had a concept of how and that would allow a commissioned programmer to more effectively extend it if needed. That all went successfully, the game now loads a list of game objects that work with the new costume system and equip and mask accordingly. You can see it working in a test scene in the image above. which also includes me franticly trying to avoid anything too NSFW lol...
Unfortunately the first critical issue came up where for some reason the costume asset loses it's references to what is pre-equipped causing a null-reference error. I don't think this is related to the UI stuff but it should be resolved without much issue I think as refreshing the asset list in play fixes the issue it's just a weird thing with startup.
Next as I said earlier each item needs a description, a thumbnail, and some need banners for collabs. That will be quite the under taking on it's own but I think I have a concept for a process that should simplify things.
While I'm on outfit UI the Avatar UI got an update too, this I started and finished just yesterday rather than doing it immediately after the outfit UI. It will have a similar tabbed selection for various slots at the top, then color selection at the bottom with a similar tabbed UI so the palette can be larger making selection easier for smaller screens.
As mentioned before color selection is now a global property meaning all possible future dick options will now have custom color selection. And while working on the next part I'll explain, there's support for color presets too. I dunno if I'll have the ability to save presets anytime soon, but that would be nice.
This UI is not properly implemented yet, only stuff that works is based off Naomi's outfit stuff, but that will be a job for Kaitou.
Also once the overall UI is finalized I will be commissioning a proper UI design, I've been holding off all this time due to how much could change.
Agnostic Character Properties and The Future
So I said last month that the "Refactoring" taking place required replacing some aspects of bolt code with written code. But as I started this process I gained some confidence and decided to replace as much as possible with written code. I did this for several reasons...
Written code can be faster than bolt, so I want to use bolt more as a design tool than a foundation.
I wanted a custom inspector view I can use to more effectively test sex sim
Using written code allows for me to commission work more effectively as references and relations can be more clear, and they don't need to learn or know a separate tool.
Bolt is not fully compatible with some things I want to use like DoTween, and also post processing adjustments required dealing with code as well. So it's not ideal for some aspects
Bolt 2 is coming and actually converts nodes to actual written code, so this makes integration and use more natural. In the long term this should be highly beneficial, and its better if as little as possible needs to be remade for when Bolt 2 comes to a full release.
Overall my confidence with written code has increased a lot as I understand VS tools and have a a bolt graph to reference. Bolt nodes look pretty similar to written code in a lot of ways so converting wasn't too hard since i already knew how I wanted to do something
My main limits in programming is methods relating to math is less experimental and visual, and I'm mostly programming by ear. I have a good sense of these things but not enough knowledge to know the best method for every particular thing. And stuff like "coroutines" which are a simple toggle in bolt have a lot more layers to them in written code and the way my head works is I need to know what the result needs to look like then I can guess the rest. I just lack good examples or enough examples for things I'm trying to do.
But despite all that I got a ton done.
First I worked on the inspector, thanks to an asset called Odin inspector this is easy, but I'm using it minimally due to time and knowledge limits. The above is only part of the inspector. The key here is now all aspects of Sex Sim and the game will be character agnostic. Meaning it doesn't need to be Naomi, I can take any character and provided I have the animations and certain other bits they'd work just as Naomi would.
This is a long term thing that ultimately won't be used in Our Apartment specifically. But for that you should keep an eye on or support here at Subscribe Star. Progress on this is extremely slow I know, but with so many critical things to do myself I can at least make tangential progress on Alex content. Really sorry about this!
Anyway this also solidifies some concepts thats existed previously. Naomi has long had an H level, in-fact originally it was even in The Couch but the code never existed to use it. In current build releases upon fulfilling certain conditions Naomi's "H Level" will rise to a max of level 3. As a result arousal rates will increase, she blushes easier, and gets sweatier easier, and at level 3 gets heart eyes. Other aspects like dialogue and facial expressions can be affected too.
Now this has been solidified into a "likes" system agnostic for any character. If something a character "likes" occurs H Level will increase, I even included the option for those "likes" to be weighted, but it's not in use yet. In fact while the functions to increase H level exist, the conditions to trigger if a "Like" as occurred is not setup yet. But thats based on values that are already setup, it's a relatively simple thing I think.
You'll also note other "stats" that affect a variety of things set by a "Base Stats" profile. I won't take time to explain what each stat means but they affect sex sim obviously. I also made sure the image above didn't include Naomis configuration. ;)
The player also has their own stats.
Here you'll find aforementioned color presets, player stats set by profile similar to Naomi and global material settings. You'll also see "current" values which was excluded from Naomi's image, current values are just the dynamic changes for a particular scene. These values will change as currently they are extremely unbalanced.
Ofcourse the player is agnostic too.
After getting this setup, I went through the task of replacing bolt code. As I went one thing just lead to another where in the end the only thing part of the Sex Sim not bolt is Audio and "Petting" functions.
This was largely done to simplify references, to me it didn't make sense to try to awkwardly dump some aspects into bolt especially when a lot seemed perfectly feasible to be done in code.
The scary part is a had to do a lot of this, somewhat blind cause up until now the sex sim gameplay has not had a test scene. And stuff was so fragmented making a test scene was difficult. So I actually had to write all this stuff, and assume the way it read would work based off what the bolt nodes were supposed to do.
And thankfully I was mostly successful once the test scene was actually made.
There's some issues, but arousal/blush/sweat ticks work, most of the buttons work to activate animations. Most issues relate to the lack of coroutines and some of the "timers" I use to check for "likes". But the foundation is quite functional.
After confirming things are where they should be even if they don't work ideally this is the point where I pass off the work to Kaitou. Part of the reason I did this myself is because originally I built it, and I would be the best to make the conversion. On top of that describing my goals is complicated. It's much easier to make something badly so someone can see what I'm trying to do or see it as it's working currently and rework it to be proper. So thats basically the plan.
My expectation is over the next two weeks while I'm taking a break from Our Apartment he'll be fixing things up and making sure stuff works the way I intended. Then after finishing my other work I'll get things wrapped up for the public release. Then in the future I'll transition some more things from bolt and make more things agnostic.
Here's some other things I did as well:
The "soft object" script which makes the bed deform was moved from bolt so it can use global shader properties and hopefully more quickly apply the world space position values. This is also a hopefully more agnostic method.
I started using a new settings asset and the dev has been very helpful, next build should have various resolution settings and other things built in just fine. Do expect a more limited array of settings though that will expand over time as I learn how URP works in this regard. This is less because of refactoring and more that the old settings simply don't work anymore cause everything is completely different.
Probably other things I'm forgetting in the fog of my work habits...
Whew that was a lot, what can I expect this month again?
Like I said one way or another there's going to be a public release. And if things go as planned there will be a lot of test builds made probably not until after the 15th. I will release some here, but most will be on the discord.
Some supporters will get updates on Music made, I'll try and make some samples for everyone else.
There's other stuff and polls I've been meaning to make for a while but I either end up lost in work or burnt out so I don't get to them! DX
Uh, there's probably something else I meant to say here but I've been writing this post for like 3 hours and the brain dump is emptying. Thats why these things always end abruptly...
I think thats it for now? Maybe I'll make another post later if I remember...
Whelp thanks for your support peeps! Seriously, I'm able go through all this thanks to you peeps. Which might read weird but I know what I said.