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Just a quick update on the "Rebuild of Interns" project: It looks like getting the new time log to support Ren'Py's rollback functionality probably isn't going to happen; Twi says errors in Ren'Py's code is preventing the engine from functioning the way it's been documented, so we'd need to wait on the developer to address these if we wanted to push forward with it.
My thoughts on this are that rollback doesn't strike me as terribly necessary; rollback is great in games where only one line of text is displayed on-screen at a time. Interns uses a text window that typically contains the majority of the recent scene. It's fairly easy for the player to scroll through the text log if they need to re-read something.
But what do you, the players, think?
Is rollback something you use? Would you mind if it was disabled?
I know, in my experience, my desktop system really struggles when rolling back through mirror images using the player avatar system, and I've yet to solve the problems caused by rolling back just as a new outfit is added to the PC's inventory.
On the topic of the avatar system, I see that Ren'Py version 7.4.0 and 7.4.1 are now available. To my knowledge, this is the first update to the engine since 2019.
I'm sure there's a lot of things in there that will be important—Python 3 support, Windows 64 bit support, etc... but, for me, I'm excited to see some of the graphical options.
The new blur transform property is something I've always wanted to see—Ren'py never had a simple way to blur the screen. With this, I may rework the effects for getting drunk to include more blur and perhaps less of the current effects.
The matrixcolor property, on the other hand, I have mixed feelings about...
I went through a lot of effort to include the old im.MatrixColor manipulator to the avatar code to allow me to put a color tint on the images. It turns out, this new transform property makes it not only an easier process, it appears it's much more efficient, so it should run a lot faster. And, hell, rather than coloring each individual part, it can be applied to an entire layer of the screen, allowing groups of objects to be easily recolored.
I'll have to rewrite a whole bunch of stuff (again), but it should mean that the game will run a lot better for everybody.
For backers today, I've got an assorted mishmash of behind the scenes stuff. Graphically, I've got some samples of an experiment I was doing for sex scene CGs. I wanted to see if I could cheat on some elements of character customization (tan, hair color, etc.) by doing some artistic silhouettes.
So, Twi, who’s been working to help me by creating a new framework for the game, has been urging me to keep everyone in the loop with a progress update.
While I’ve been struggling to learn Git and have been doing cleanup and reorganization of the game code and files to make it comprehensible to someone who isn’t me, Twi has built a timelog system and now has a stand-alone proof-of-concept “game” running with the new code.
Up until now, the game hasn’t really been aware of anything the player has done unless I explicitly have a scene set variables that I remember to check later.
Twi’s timelog sets out to make this less hap-hazard by creating a time-stamped registry of events. Whenever the PC interacts with a character or takes some kind of an action, I can add it to the log when it happens so that there will be a standardized record.
The log also has helpful search functions, so I can find out when something happened, how often, how much time passed between it happening, etc., etc. The new code for scenes can allow these log entries to be used as requirements for scenes to be selected, which should make adding them to the game a bit easier.
Admittedly, my coding skills are pretty weak, as most of my experience is with Ren’Py’s own language and small bits of Python that I’ve been using from inside of it.
Twi tells me that Python is heavily-modified inside of Ren’Py, which has made developing the timelog a bit challenging, particularly because of Ren’Py’s rollback feature.
For those who aren’t familiar, in most Ren’Py games, you can use the mouse wheel (or, I believe, page-up and page-down) to “reverse time” and step back through the game to an extent.
Ren’Py is pretty good about remembering variables that have been set and changing them back (otherwise Interns would completely break if the player rolled back past a variable that tracks some important event). The changes made to Python in order to make this happen are making this difficult to implement the timelog in a way that will allow it to rollback as well.
It sounds like this issue is mostly solved, however, so things are looking good.
I’m trying not to allow working on this rebuild to prevent me from getting new content out, so we’ve been discussing splitting things up and creating two versions of the game for the near future; the “legacy” version that continues as-is, and a new version built on this new framework.
Existing content will be added to the new build over time, and players can try it out and give us feedback on how it’s working, what bugs they’re coming across, etc.
So, this is our last update of 2020 it seems. Nothing too exciting going on so far on my end. I’ve gotten a lot of feedback on the latest release, which includes a whole bunch of bugs—many of which are he results of issues that have been compounding over time, so I’ll probably need a while to pull the whole thing apart and get it running properly. (In particular, I need to figure out why the clothing preview disappears if you have Cynthia helping in the mornings, and why one of her scenes keeps repeating.)
The HS community keeps putting out useful models and such, so I’ve updated my library with additional items and clothing. The beach scene that I used for the preview image in the last update was mostly created using these new models (rather than trying to fudge a beach scene with photo manipulation). I’ve also got a new, higher-resolution body mesh that I’m excited to try out (including poseable toes).
I’m probably going to be pressing my luck with the censors on Patreon (less so on SubscribeStar), but I’ll give you at the, uh…interactive genitalia in the backers-only post, so click here to check that out.
I’ve also gone back to what I left unfinished from the beginning of the last update; namely the mind-control elements I was working on, as well as trying to get all of the existing sex scenes up to stuff with proper event tracking (and now there are a few more of them). Hopefully, we’ll eventually have consistent tracking for virginity loss and the like.
Aside from those, some of my time has been spent getting acquainted with Git and Gitlab, learning how handle collaboration with Interns. Git is command-line-based, so it’s a lot of learning what commands do what, and trying not to explode the game while figuring out how to do version control.
I did a brief look into image up-scaling via AI. A problem I frequently run into is not having large or sharp enough images to work with, so I thought it might be another nice tool to add to my arsenal. Looks a bit more complicated to set up than I was expecting, however, so I’m not sure it’s quite worth the time investment to figure out.
Anyway, I hope everyone’s enjoying the last of 2020, and is looking forward to more Interns development in 2020.
This release is mostly a bugfix update, but does contain a few new CGs. Changes:
• New CGs added to Dave modeling scene. • Fixed issue with "[partner_name]" variable appearing in text. • Adjusted sex scenes so that they should take up game time now. (No more back-to-back encounters as if no time had passed.) • Corrected misc typos and other text issues.
This build introduces the start of the "become a model" path, with photo shoot events available with Scarlet and Dave. You should be able to get started by bumping into Scarlet a few times or by being invited by Gabby.
A bunch of new sex opportunities are available (thanks a lot to guest-writer Thule). I've done a quick rewrite of the code that was supposed to handle the PC getting hit on (or intentionally picking up) guests at the club, as the old one clearly wasn't working properly. There are a handful of new sex events available. Sex with Dave is now a thing, too.
General rundown of what's new:
• New scenes with Scarlet, leading to modeling opportunities
• Scenes with Dave that spin-off from Scarlet's
• Multiple new hook-up encounters with guests and coworkers
• New avatar mirror image - should display more often the more the PC has adjusted to their new body
• New sprites for Gabby, Scarlet, Tiffany, John...and a couple new characters
Issues to be aware of:
• Images are still missing for a lot of scenes, especially the sex encounters (which would have been placeholders, anyway).
• Text still needs a polishing pass to get replace "--" with "—" and the like.
• The "wrap party" Scarlet mentions does not yet exist. Sorry.
• Using the phone for repeat hook-ups with random guests hasn't been restored yet
• Avatar mirror image still has some graphical problems in certain combinations
I realized that those who aren’t active on the Discord probably haven’t heard much from me in a while, so I figured I’d better take a moment to check-in.
I’m going to -try- to keep it brief, as I don’t want to use too much of my writing time for update posts, but I figured I’d better let you know what’s happening before the month gets completely away from me.
So, for the last couple of weeks, I’ve been really focused on content writing and editing. It always amazes me how scenes that seem like they’ll be simple end up getting overly-complex. A simple discussion with Scarlet ends up with 13+ options that each require different text. It’s a lot of setup for future quest stuff, so the choices are all there to figure out how to get your PC onto the path, or if your character will be exempt.
On the topic of Scarlet, I realized that I have updated models for her and Tiffany, but never replaced the sprites (I’m pretty sure Scarlet’s previous sprite was scaled up from low resolution, to boot). So those updated versions are in.
I’ve got some great story submissions from Thule—one of which ties in quite nicely with what I’m doing with Scarlet. I’ve been working on adapting those to fit in with existing code, as well as fixing up the guest approach code that hasn’t really been firing off, best I can tell (though there aren’t many sex scenes, you should have at least been able to repeat what’s already in there).
Regrettably, I’ve spread myself way too thin on what I tried to accomplish this cycle. I don’t want to make everyone wait even longer to have something new to play with, so this release is probably going to be low on graphics so that I can at least have new story content out.
For the next cycle, I’ll be looking into getting some assistance on the coding end of things and seeing if that helps at all.
And, also, for you backers out there, here’s a quick post about what I teased last time: a look at the game code outline I’ve started updating to help me keep track of what does what.
Hey, everybody. It appears I’ve been on a bit of a “when it’s ready” trend as far as new builds go, as I know it doesn’t go over too well when there isn’t enough new story content in a release. So, I apologize for that, and I hope to have the stuff I’ve been writing integrated into the game before too long.
I’ve been completely ADHD when it comes to this update , getting distracted by every little thing that’s come up while working on the game. (I’ll repeat it as many times as needed: I tend to hop around a lot in what I’m working on because I’m a hyperactive, easily-distracted, rabbity-thing that has a hard time staying focused.) I was cognizant enough to have been taking notes on what I’ve been working on, though, so at least I’m prepared for this update post. So if you haven’t been following my random posts on Discord, here’s what I’ve been doing lately:
Jumping around a bit on this. I started with a focus on sex scenes—particularly working on some girl-on-girl stuff and looking into updating the old ones to better track the PC’s experience. As always, this is one of my weak-points from a writing perspective, so these tend to take me a while to do.
Laila’s been getting a little love, now, as more of her prerequisites are in place. I think a future update will break the bar areas off from the main free-time events so that you can get a drink/chat with the bartender before doing your main activity for that block; otherwise getting to talk with Laila will be too random.
One of Scarlet’s storylines is slowly coming together—though, as always, it’s a bit tricky to plan, as I have to figure out what the PC’s possible attitudes are towards it, the relationship status with the other people involved, and how to handle various other wrenches that can be thrown into the scenario (what if the PC decides not to show up, or what if another event takes place at the same time?). Writing is in-progress for a few different scenes, at least.
I’ve written some scenes for John. I’m not sure why, other than it was on a whim while considering that it might be nice to give people another shot at meeting him. Haven’t decided which, if any, will be going in.
Helping Me Help…Me
As a continuation of my earlier “commitment” to “housecleaning” on the Interns project, I’ve started a document to act as a map for the crazy code of the game. (Might be a good “Behind the Scenes” update for next time, now that I think of it…)
I’ve created most of the systems for Interns on-the-fly, and often find the code to be a confusing maze whenever I need to add, edit, or just remember how things work. To make it easier on my future self, I’ve been updating this new document whenever I wade into these systems, writing down the label names, what file they can be found in, what labels/functions they call, etc.
This code outline has already helped me a lot when trying to figure out how to get those Cynthia scenes inserted into the mornings. Updating it for the evening free-time events has provided me with some good insights on how I can clean things up the next time I have a chance. A lot of sections can be broken apart so that elements that are reused frequently aren’t duplicated; an example being the second evening block repeating most of the first, and all of the code that handles skipping time blocks when an event needs to take up more time than normal.
Making NPCs Classy
Another one of my writing projects is to add additional character introduction scenes, and along with that comes the challenge of figuring out a way to handle who you’ve already met and who it’s important for you to meet ASAP.
So far, the plan is to have some code to push forward character introduction events that you’ve been missing in order to get you access to the important ones (so that you don’t go a month or two in-game without ever coming across them).
As a part of this, I’ve also been laying the groundwork for moving NPC information to a new object class. Hopefully this will make for a more uniform way of pulling information. (Has the PC seen them? Met them? Met them as a guy? Are they friendly? Etc.)
Trickiest part so far has been trying to figure out how to update old saves, as there’s a mess of existing variables from the early game, the meanings of which I’m not entirely clear on. I *think* I have something in-place that’s working.
The Dungeon Master
No, no…no sex dungeon yet (planned, but not just yet). Just the first section title I could come up with that fits the topic.
Some of the story ideas I have require the game to be able to figure out how you’ve been playing the game. Has your PC been hiding in their room whenever possible, avoiding everybody? What about the opposite approach—is she having sex with anyone and everyone? Has she been snooping around, or has she been a good girl who does all of her work as assigned?
Knowing what you’re character has been up to will allow me to serve up special story scenarios that fit with how you’ve been playing. The trick is figuring out how to do it.
As this will likely come down to adding variables to all sorts of game events/actions that don’t currently have them, it’s the sort of thing that will require players to start a new game. I know how much people hate that, so I’m hoping to have a reasonable plan ready for when I do my next pass on cleaning up the work-day event pickers, so I can kill a few birds with one stone. Twi on Discord has already given me some great suggestions how to do this.
Willpower and Mind Control
Work on this still continues, and was my main focus last month. I’ve been doing testing of what I’ve come up with in a stripped-down build that compiles faster, and the menu portion is coming along. I’m pretty excited for when I’ll get to put this in place and can go back and start adding these events—it’ll make some existing scenes a bit more interesting with MC checks finally in place.
On the graphics side of things, I have the third full mirror pose pretty much ready for the coding phase. If all goes well, that should make it into the next build. I’ve got one more of those in-progress (for the “most comfortable as a girl” stage), and then I’ll have to take another crack at the face closeups and see if I can get makeup working.
I’m still playing with new set and prop 3D models and have been doing some test renders to enable me to get some good-looking CGs with less Photoshop work. Unfortunately, I still don’t have everything I’d like to have…it would be great to have more variations on hotel rooms, but I’m looking at what I can do with the various props I do have access to.
At the very least, I think a lot of what I do have will help fill out more of the TV content. I’m hoping to make some more generic content so there’s at least some nice visuals to make the unlocked channel a bit more fun to check out.
I’ve been chipping away at the willpower/mind control/mental change mechanics and how this info will be conveyed to the player. It’s an assortment of lots of little challenges to be solved…all of which can be a little tricky for me, as I tend to go somewhat ADD and have difficulty focusing on the problem(s) for very long.
Spoilers ahead for the game, of course.
For the two main types of mind control in the game—which I call Obedience and Indoctrination, respectively—I realized the willpower check mechanics can be done fairly simply.
A willpower check will look something like this: There player is provided with a choice, with one option being what the PC is compelled to do, and the other choice being the option to resist the compulsion. The “resist” option requires an amount of willpower in order to be selected.
Now, say the PC can have up to a maximum of 100 points of willpower.
If I treat Obedience as a percentage (i.e. the PC is 30% conditioned to be obedient), the willpower checks can simply be this max willpower multiplied by the Obedience percentage.
So, at 5% Obedience conditioning, the PC will only need 5 points of Willpower to pass the check and chose the “resist” option. At 100%, they would need 100 points to pass (making it nearly impossible).
It’s fairly straight-forward and makes the willpower checks themselves a bit easier, leaving me to focus more on the mechanics that handle how those percentages are adjusted during the game.
The lust aspect is considerably more challenging, unfortunately. The idea being, choices that are influenced by lust have a lot more factors, such as the PC’s orientation, how desperate they are for some kind of release, etc. This ties into some mechanics that I’ve been working on simplifying.
And, to make things a bit more of a struggle for me, I’ve realized that some choices the player will be presented with can have overlapping conditions. It’s possible that some willpower checks will need to be made against both Lust and Indoctrination if the situation is one where the requirements overlap.
There are also some side cases where none of the main conditions apply. An example would be the “homework assignment” dream, which is intended to be a short-term effect.
Conveying Info to the Player
Every bit as important is the underlying mechanic, is making sure that the player knows what's going on. I've been working on ways of handling this feedback, including things like colored text that implies the reason why a willpower check is required, and marking these choices so that the player has an idea of just how much willpower is needed to pass the check.
I feel a bit dumb having struggled to try to figure this out, only to discover the Ren'Py site actually spells it out...
So, I mostly have a handle on that aspect.
For the willpower checks, I liked the idea of having some kind of icon that identifies them. While I still wouldn't say I'm happy with what I've got right now, it does appear to display properly and, with some trial and error, I've managed to get the icon to display in menu options based on the value of the willpower check.
(You'll notice the one sample also has a yellow text blurb that appears before the menu, hinting at the reason for the check.)
Still to Come
There's still a lot more to do before I can start adding all of this into the game proper. Things including adding an indicator for the state of the willpower pool (maybe another bar at the top with Lust and Energy?), figuring out how much willpower passing checks should actually drain is something I need to play around with (a 1:1 ratio seems like it'd be too much), designing the mechanics for changing the PC's level of obedience/indoctrination, etc.
Other Things I'm working on...
Have you ever wondered about boob shadows? If I’m doing my job correctly, I would hope not. When they’re missing, though, things look a little weird. I'm always chipping away at avatar images, and through this might make an interesting topic, so in my latest backers-only post, I've got some samples of what goes into creating these shadows to make images of the PC look better. Find that post here.
There are still a lot of “housecleaning” tasks hanging over my head that I know I need to get to eventually. I used some of my time off during the early pandemic to create a new scene class and use it for reworking how scenes are picked on days off. I’d like to get around to updating the workday events to use this system to (with some updates I have planned for scene tagging and filtering).
Along with making that update, I intend to change event handling for the period when the PC returns to her room from work and decides what to do next. Right now, so many events are vying for that slot that it becomes possible for some events to be delayed for a lot longer than they should when many of these scenes should be able to happen on the same day.
A lot of people have noticed some issues with the swimsuit "effects" not working properly, and it looks like this is tied into the above issues as well. The code for this needs some rework as it was tied into the fixed schedule the game originally had, and doesn't look to work well with being able to switch outfits whenever the player wants.
The body-transformation code is in desperate need of an update as well. A lot of it doesn’t even work as it is right now, and I would like to add in some more gradual body changes early on, so you won’t be stuck with the “starter body” for as long as you currently are.
Lastly, I've been working on story-planning a little bit, toying with flowcharts to help get my thoughts organized. Some story elements can get pretty tricky when they involve more than one character and the relationships the PC has with them.
#4 - A tie - Chastity and Cynthia with 16 votes each
#5 - Christina with 14 votes
So here’s what I’ve been up to:
Thanks to the popularity content results, I discovered that I never actually finished updating Gabby’s model, so she got another pass. (There are a few others who still need it, but I haven’t had to render those characters in a while.)
I mentioned previously that I’ve been looking into some resources for more 3D props and sets that I can use, especially since I realized sex scenes with the PC are likely to require a lot of different angles. I’ve found a lot more great stuff and took some time to check out some options to see what else might help me improve quality.
I’ve got some crude sample of some of the background models in the latest backer-only post (for those who missed me sharing some quick renders on the Discord), so be sure to check that out when you’re done here.
Along with new sets and props, there was a higher-resolution body model that I think might be handy for things like first-person close-ups where polygon edges start to show (and there are some new skin textures as well that I wanted to try out).
I also gave a shot to the Image-Based Lighting plug-in to see what I could do with that. I love that there are a lot more controls for tweaking images, but with the time I had to invest into it, I just couldn’t get results that looked better than what I’ve managed with the time I’ve spent already, so I may put off playing with that again for another day.
On the game mechanics side of things, I’ve done some preliminary work on the willpower mechanics and the way these things will be communicated to the player.
Right now, I’m looking into colored text to indicate when the PC’s thoughts are being influenced by something (pink for lust and yellow for mind-control).
Certain decisions will eventually require a willpower cost for the PC to choose (such as doing a really good job at work or turning down an insistent guest). I intend to designate these choices with an icon, which will likely also indicate just how much willpower the choice will require.
In the content I’ve been working on, which picks up on last time, there are some sex opportunities, and that’s partially prompted me to revisit some older scenes as well. I’ve mentioned previously that I’ve intended to scrap the overly-complicated system I’ve been failing at for way too long now, so I’ve gone through my notes and tried to break it down to the most basic parts I still want to include.
I wrote a quick and dirty little scene that hits on just about everything, and I’ve been working out what kind of function calls I need to be in there. A lot of these things are just things like keeping track of what acts the PC has done, how many times, etc., so that the story can properly reflect that (so no more “first-time” messages long after your first time).
These probably won’t be complete for a while, but it’s my hope that I can at least put the calls to the functions in their proper places in the existing scenes and clear out some of the old code. Hopefully, I’ll be able to fix some of the problems with the existing scenes in the meantime.
Interns v0.261 is now available! (Image is completely unrelated to the update.)
This is a bug-fix update that addresses a few of the glaring issues with the previous build(s). Players of the previous build should not need to start a new game for this one.
• Fixed the “holodeck” background bug. • Fixed bug that prevented Olivia from appearing in the first night bedroom menu. • Cover image should no longer require game restart to update. • Address some reported typos and grammatical errors.
It doesn't contain everything I was working on, but I don't want to make you want any longer than you already have. Without further ado, here's v0.260...which is primarily a Cynthia-focused update.
A fresh save probably isn't required, but wouldn't hurt.
Main New Content in 0.260 Content-wise, most everything that's been added involves having Cynthia help the player character get ready in the mornings. These are all scenes that were always intended to be early in the game, building off of the original makeover Cyn gives the PC in the first week.
There's still more planned for this event chain, and, sadly, it still ends with a tease, but, hopefully, there's enough to explore until the next Cyn-centered update.
Skip this part if you enjoy the frustration of discovering things on your own. For everyone else, here are a couple of tips to find some of the scenes.
Obviously, you'll need to allow Cynthia to help you get ready in the morning.
You have a set amount of time to get ready for work each morning (and I've added a bar to the UI to help make it easier to track this time). When Cyn is helping you, she'll appear a little while before this time has run out. If you're still in the shower during this time or masturbating in front of the bathroom mirror, there's a chance she'll walk in on you.
Other additions side from the aforementioned timer bar in the mornings, there are two new outfits added (one which has mirror support). There's also a series of events that can change your eye color, and you now have the ability to get a haircut. All of these are currently only available through Cynthia's events (technically, you can get the eye color event on your own), but alternate methods will be added at a later date.
What's new? (That I remembered to write down...) • New chain of events for Cynthia + CGs. • New CGs for incomplete shower scene with Cynthia. • New scene for Irene and new sprite (likely temporary). • Added mirror "avatar" CG for new yellow dress outfit. • New transformation event for eye color. • Created preliminary haircut mechanics (only with Cynthia helping in the mornings). • Added timer bar to morning preparation to make it easier to see how long you have to get ready for work. • Added crude implementation of prep time tracking to mirror masturbation. • Added slight variations on shower image (reverse pan and slow zoom out). • Fixed error that was preventing beach party event from happening. • Fixed issues that were preventing cover image stats from updating with most endings. • Fixed issue with display of maid uniform for mirror image 2.
Those of you who have been following me on TFGamesSite and Discord have been getting little updates here and there, but I thought I should take a few minutes to give everyone a quick update as to where I am.
What I’ve been up to
As you may recall, I got off to a real bad start with this build working on stuff for sex sequences that I just ended up scrapping; way too much complexity for a game that’s already bogged down with way too much complexity.
Since the prior update included a big cleanup of all of the code around the PC’s room, I shifted my focus to seeing if all of that work would make it possible for me to finally add in some of the events I’d long had planned for Cynthia.
Cyn is already in the room with the PC (such as with her “shower tutorial” sequence)
The PC’s hair has grown long enough for Cyn to suggest a haircut
It’s the first day the PC is in the sun and Cyn has advice on sunscreen
I’ve got most of that figured out, which mostly involved making each morning scene with Cynthia composed of multiple smaller scenes (as I did for Holly), and I’ve got most of that code done but it needs testing.
I had two transformation events that I wanted to include for the next update, but, so far, I’ve only managed to get one working (and, for that, I ended up needing to work with some placeholder graphics, as the renders for the avatar image had alignment issues again). I’ve tested the event a few times and ran into some issues that required some makeshift updates to a few mirror scenes, but it looks to be working well enough now.
It’s not exactly a TF, but the haircut event finally makes it possible for players to choose to stick with one of the shorter hairstyles now.
What I’d like to have done before the release
This build has been as much about content as the code required to get it into the game. I’ve got most of the former worked out, but there are still sections with no images or where only placeholder text appears.
I really wanted to have a build out after last weekend (and I’ve been pushing hard to work on it every chance I get). I’ve previously released plenty of builds that were just back-end updates, but, with this one, I feel that including more of the content that I’ve been working on is going to make a big difference in how worthwhile the update feels, so I hope you’ll continue to be patient as I try to get a bit more of this content into the game.
Thanks again, as always for your support of my work!