I’m usually a rather private person, and I told myself I’d never play the “pity me” card, but something has happened recently that led to me wanting to maintain this page and I’d like to open up with an explanation and some backstory.
To start from the beginning, VS was… kind of a long shot after several years of working on games as a passion hobby. I saw there was a need in the market for something of this nature, I thought I could make something that fit and it seemed enjoyable to work on, and I figured, hey, at least I’ll get some experience for the future. When I started this project, I was heavily in debt from some failed online businesses that were attempts to detach myself from the grind. I don’t come from money, my family was no different. I was hopeful, but knew how unlikely it was to make it alone making games.
Well, somehow, it blew up. It’s been two years already (somehow?). The game is huge now, it’s grown to a level I couldn’t have dreamed of. It’s allowed me to change the lives of those around me, to remove huge financial stress from some ageing members of my family, and for me to feel like there’s a genuine chance to make it out there by creating.
Knowing the whims of platforms, for the first year of Virtual Succubus’s development, I would consistently wake up with cold sweats in the middle of the night and panic-check my phone to see if I had an email that would wake me up from what I really thought was just a dream.
In October 2020, a few days after I decided ‘’hey, this is safe enough I think, I’ll move out from my family home and try to start a life’’, it finally happened.
The guidelines team wasn’t ok with… small booba. The first few emails were unclear, they conveyed much more seriousness than the following discussions, causing, frankly, immense panic as to what they accused my game of being. After some exchanges, I resolved it by changing body proportions, and moved on with my life… somewhat.
From that point on, for a solid year, the day to day became ‘’if I’m not pushing this as far as I can, if I’m not dedicating my life to growing this, it’ll come back and bite me in the ass the next time the platform decides it doesn’t like me.’’.
I would be unable to sleep halfway through the night, tell myself ‘’Hey, if I get up now, work on this feature, this might just be the feature that grows the game significantly. Doing anything but totally dedicating myself to this would be unfair to everyone else around me that lacks the growth potential I have.’’
Months disappeared. 120 hour work weeks passed. I lived that way until late 2021. It worked, let’s be honest, you can see the numbers, you can see the creative output that resulted from it. It also led me way too close to burnout and I eventually grew pretty miserable.
Luckily, some things in my personal life happened and allowed me to detach a bit and stop worrying so much about the future. Life grew more… reasonable, and so did my relationship with work. The numbers aren’t as good, but I think the game is progressing along pretty well, the features are pretty cool, and while there’s a lot to do, the game is in a good spot overall.
It is May 10th 2022. The game’s second anniversary.
I receive an email from the Patreon guidelines team indicating that JOI content as a whole is no longer appropriate for the platform. It is equated to providing sexual services, and sexually gratifying content is deemed inappropriate for the platform.
I spend days exchanging emails as to how the hell that’s possible. I eventually succeed in convincing the reviewer that this is nonsense by consistently asking for second opinions. I am lucky that I’m able to do that.
I don’t especially want to go back to waking up in the middle of the night. I’m extremely lucky to be so heavily supported, I have a good amount of safety net, but at this rate, I will forever live in worry that Patreon will some day scrap all my efforts.
I've decided to start maintaining this page to hopefully try to not rely on a single platform's (sometimes not very reasonable) whims.
To be honest, this seems like the safest, best time. If Patreon were to go back on their approval of my page now, it would visibly be punitive. I’d hope they wouldn’t act that way, but simultaneously, I’d also hope they wouldn’t expose themselves acting that way.
If you'd rather support me here, it's very much appreciated as currently SubscribeStar is much harder to grow than Patreon.
Every person who decides to support here instead will contribute to diversifying the project's future safety, and help me feel more free to experiment without fear from platforms. Help contribute to the feeling that I can indeed make some weird shit that isn’t necessarily financially sound, because I won’t get thrown off a single platform and have my entire life turned upside down.
If you decide to do so, please know that I truly appreciate it and it makes a significant difference. If you'd like a Patreon refund to subscribe here instead, please let me know by DM by giving me the information on both of your accounts.
Thanks for reading my little wall of text.