Plan for v0.3.9

Hello again!

After taking a break over the past several days, I'm feeling a lot better than I have been over the last two weeks, and so now I'm ready to get started on finishing off the rest of v0.3.9. I'm still aiming at the 15th of July for the full, public release, but hopefully I'll be able to get it out sooner than then.

Plan up until v0.3.9

By the end of this weekend, I am aiming to have the following finished:
Release a preview hotfix
- Fix the bugs that have been reported in the preview release of v0.3.8.5.
- Completely finish off the Enforcer alleyway encounter.
- If time is left over, I'll try and add some other small stuff.

By the 15th of July at the very latest:
Release the full public version of v0.3.9
- Fill in all of the Rat Warren placeholders.
- Fill in the player's bathroom & spa room upgrade content.
- Spend any remaining time on adding as many small features that I've previously mentioned as possible.

Companion Support

I also need to mention the fact that I'm planning on dropping support for companions in this next version. This wasn't an easy decision to make, especially considering how much time has been put into them, but the amount of complexity that they've been adding to new content has been a large part of the reason why so many releases have been delayed. Not only was it taking a considerable amount of time for me to both write and make the framework variations for companions, but doing so was very repetitive work and was draining my enthusiasm for adding new scenes.

As an example of how companion support was slowing me down, I'll give a quick example of how I need to take into account attractions & available sex areas when starting a sex scene with a random NPC:
Without companions:
- Check NPC attraction to player.
- Check if the NPC's desired sex type with the player is available.
With companions:
- Check NPC attraction to player.
- Check NPC attraction to companion.
- Check companion attraction to player.
- Check companion attraction to NPC.
- Check if the NPC's desired sex type with the player is available.
- Check if the NPC's desired sex type with the companion is available.
- Check if the companion's desired sex type with the player is available.
- Check if the companion's desired sex type with the NPC is available.

The situation gets even worse when there are two or more random NPCs, as I then need to check all of the possible variations between the player's companion and these extra NPCs. Having to factor in all of these variations is what's been causing a lot of the delays in getting new content added (especially in the Rat Warrens), and so that's why I'm going to have to drop support for them.

How it will be handled

Starting from the next release, companions will be completely disabled by default, but you will still be able to enable them (via a content toggle), so no content is actually being removed by this change. All of the slavery and friendly NPC content is unaffected by this; it's only the mechanic of adding NPCs to your party which is being dropped.

Going forwards, I won't be adding any support in normal scenes for companions, but I will try and compensate for this somewhat by adding more options for slaves and friendly NPCs (such as taking them out on dates and other such things).

Elementals will also be getting a rework, and while they will no longer be summoned as persistent companions, they will still function in the same manner during combat. I will also be adding a way to start an interaction scene with them, so you'll still be able to have sex with them and talk to them about things. I'll be greatly expanding this once again once I get to the stage in the game where Elementals will be properly unlocked in a lore-friendly way (the current elemental spell books are just temporary).

There will also be some unique scenes and areas in the future which will involve temporary companions, similar to the way things work in Claire's quest, so the companion mechanics won't have been a complete waste of effort.


So, to sum up:
- Supporting companions is causing a lot of the delays when adding new scenes.
- As such, all new content from now on will no longer support companions.
- You will still be able to access all current companion content by enabling the companion content toggle.
- Slaves & friendly NPCs will have dating and other scenes added as compensation (in a future version).
- Elementals will be slightly reworked (for v0.3.9).
- Companion mechanics will be used as part of special quests later on.

I know that a lot of you liked the companion mechanics, and to you I'm very sorry about dropping support for them, but if I kept going as I have been, then it would take me absolutely forever to finish this game.