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All of the above, plus the satisfaction of giving a total stranger on the internet ten bucks a month!
All of the above, and everyone will know that you're the type of person with more money than you know what to do with!
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Everything included with the previous tier, but with the added bonus of being able to scoff at those $20 people, who clearly don't have as much disposable income to throw at amateur smut on the Internet!
All of the above, and I will give serious consideration to the idea of yelling your name really loud while I chase a duck.
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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!
Hey, everybody! I was really hoping to have a new build out for you by now, but I wanted one that actually included some worthwhile content for you and, so far, that's not working out.
I appreciate how patient everyone's been (don't think I had a single person so much as ask about the next build). I was at least hoping I'd get an extra day off from work for the holiday to get stuff done, but that didn't happen. I might need to try scheduling a "vacation" at some point to help get me caught up.
What's Coming Next
Content-wise, the stuff I've been working on has mostly involved Cynthia. She's been well overdue, and the cleanup work I did in the morning code looks like it may be enough to make adding some of these events possible. (I've also added a little graphical UI timer bar for morning preparation so you know roughly how much time you have to goof off before work. Should help with getting that shower scene added previously.)
Irene got a little love, too. She's the maid you catch in your room a few times. I've finally got her sprite updated and at least one scene that lets you start a bit of a casual relationship with her.
I've also been working to adapt some player-submitted content, which is tougher to do than I expected when I first asked for these. Lots of little tweaks and edits needed to make these sequences more universal, and less tied to specific mindsets of the PC.
I've been invested a lot in graphics, as well. I've been trying to finish off the last pair of costumes I had planned for the PC as well as working on the sex CGs I touched on in the last update. Had a bit of a setback in the former, as I'll explain below.
Behind the scenes
I thought I'd knock out a Behind the Scenes update a bit early and talk about issues I'm having with costume #4. In particular, the plunging neckline of the lace-topped dress ended up breaking my avatar/paper doll system, as it required the PC's skin to overlap the bottom of the outfit...something I (stupidly) didn't plan for when I did an overhaul of the code earlier this year.
I *was* planning on talking about how I was going to address it... But when I opened the file to make some sample images, I discovered the Photoshop file was corrupt.
Looks like this must've happened the last time I saved the file. I hadn't realized it even happened--only discovered it a few minutes ago, so my backup has the same problem.
So, in short: I've lost a ton of work I've done on that outfit. Original renders are still there, but this one was requiring some above-and-beyond Photoshop work, so this is a bit of a gut-punch when I was already behind.
Again, sorry for the delay. I'm even more sorry that I can't post the Behind the Scenes to tide you over in the meantime. But I appreciate your support and I'm going to keep beating my head against this wall until it gives way or I do. 😉
P.S. - On a personal note: Don't do major depression, kids. It just sucks the fun out of everything you used to like doing. 😜
Last time I was able to make some massive headway on cleanup and reorganization. It's done wonders for Avatar images, as I now have a more universal way of calling these images in-game and, on the back end, I've organized the files and folders used to make these graphics, which has streamlined the process of making them quite a bit.
I had wanted to work more on finishing the overhaul of the scene code, but, as I'm no longer on reduced hours at my day job (quite the opposite), I've decided to put that on hold until I have another block of uninterrupted time to focus on it (maybe next work holiday I get).
Instead, it's been a while since there's been some real content, so I'm pushing myself to get into the right mindset for some writing (trying to focus on Cynthia, since she was part of the main reason for trying to improve the morning and wardrobe code).
In addition to that, I'm still chipping away at the two aspects of Interns that I feel are preventing it from being what I wanted it to be in the first place: the sex and mind-control aspects of the game.
I mentioned previously that I was planning on stripping down the sex from the simulation I really wanted to do (maybe a future game when I have more time?) to something more streamlined.
Another big aspect of it is the graphical side of things. As the player character is overly-complex to make graphics of, I need to do it in a smart way, so I've been working on planning that out, with my intent to have reusable assets that can be combined in different ways to make different images. Part of the avatar overhaul was actually intended to help me with that--the ability to color-tint avatar images will make it possible to change scene lighting without needing to render new graphics.
Sorry I haven't been very active in the community for a while. At work, I've been assigned to a big project that requires some extra training, and I've just been a bit overwhelmed.
Going off on a bit of a tangent here: I appear to be building up a list of a lot of new ideas I want to look into in the future--maybe not for Interns, necessarily... I'd like to explore adding animation to one of my projects at some point. I've looked at the idea of, perhaps, rotoscoping with a simple art style, but I've also gotten interested in tools such as Spine and Dragon Bones that can be used to animate 2D images. Could be neat.
Ah, it can be frustrating sometimes, as I have a lot of passion for game-making, but find time, energy, and lack of ability make it difficult. Ah well, nothing to do but keep pushing forward.
Well, I’m still chipping away at at things, as always. My current goal is to get enough of the PC’s room stuff squared away that I can start getting more events for Cynthia added to the game without causing issues (as some people can attest, the shower code can cause her to appear in the evenings to get you ready for work...right before bed—so, yeah, it’s a bit of a mess).
As always, I’m doing work on PC avatar images as well, with most of the focus on getting the additional outfits ready. There’s a third mirror pose that’s coming along as well. For those who are backing me, I’ve done a more in-depth post that goes into some of the details of the image-editing work involved in making these paper-doll-like images fit together better.
I’m going to switch into “thinking out loud” (but in text, so, really just “rambling writing”) mode for the rest of this, so fair warning. (I’m more hobbyist than anything else, so a part of what I do in these posts comes down to trying to organize my own thoughts as I tell you what I’ve been working on.)
In addition to what I listed above, I’ve also been working on the sex mechanics for the game. The aspect of it that I've been focused on recently has been more on general scene flow: how events start, what positions are available, how to switch between them, etc.
I’ve got a lot of neat stuff in progress for all of this, but I find myself having to take a step back to reevaluate what I’m doing.
Way, way back in the beginning, I told everyone that I would continue this experiment for a while, see how plausible it is, and, if I decided it wasn’t going to work out, I would look into simplifying things.
Having had the opportunity to work part-time on Interns for a few weeks let me experience what it would be like to really be able to give this game my full attention. Conversely, switching back to full-time work dives home just how little I can get done with the time I usually have.
I really love the idea of having a complex sim guiding things in the background, and I don’t think it’s beyond my abilities to eventually figure it out...but, clearly, that’d take forever with me working a full-time job.
Moving to part-time could be an option in the future, but, clearly, to get that kind of backing from Patreon & SubscribeStar means having updates that include an actual, playable game, making it a bit of a catch 22.
So, in the interest of getting Interns more playable, I’m considering moving away from simulation and going towards more flag-based mechanics. (Perhaps I’ll be able to revisit simulation more in a future project). Sex scenes probably won’t be interactive in the way that I originally planned, but, with flags, what's actually happening might more clearly reflect other choices the player has made.
Anyway, as always, things are subject to change. These are just my most recent thoughts on it. Feel free to share your own thoughts.
IMPORTANT: Do not overwrite your existing directory with this new build! Many filenames have changed, and doing so will leave old files that may prevent your game from working properly.
IMPORTANT 2: Start a fresh game for this version. Interns v0.250 includes a major overhaul in how free-time events are handled, so old saves likely won’t work. (This may be the case for an update or two, as I continue the overhaul of the event-picker code.)
With businesses starting to reopen, it looks like I may be back to full-time employment next week. While I’m happy I’ll be able to pay my bills, there’s a part of me that’s disappointed, since being part-time was a nice opportunity to really dig into Interns without as many interruptions.
v0.250 and v0.251
v0.250 is out to backers on Patreon and SubscribeStar, and I have 0.251 well in hand with bug fixes and some additional improvements that weren’t ready last week (such as the revisions for the saved game updater).
For me, part of these builds were changes to address some big issues with the core of the game that’ve been making development a headache. There’s plenty more to do, but with the organization and documentation work I’ve done so far, I’m already having an easier time navigating parts of the game that haven’t been touched since the very beginning.
For players, the biggest changes are some overdue quality-of-life improvements: Not needing to navigate the perfume and sunscreen menus every day; being able to change your swimwear choice at any point; the beginning of optional menus to move item access (such as the “magic wand”) out of a nested menu, and the new phone option which will allow you to plan meet-ups with NPCs.
(I don’t think I mentioned that I also reworked all of the swimwear to create graphics off-duty versions…)
UI and Future QOL
I think the optional menus show a lot of promise for streamlining the game without taking away choices. It seems way better to allow you to make a decision once, and not constantly ask you each time it comes up, instead, allowing you to tell the game when you want to change it.
The next obvious spot I see for one of these is work attitude at the beginning of your shifts. Right now, there’s a menu at the start of each work shift; I thought it might be better to make this an optional menu.
I’d love input on this. My current thought is to represent it with a little drawing of a girl holding a tray of drinks, with plus and minus buttons. Hit plus, and her smile gets bigger and she holds the tray higher. Hit minus, and her expression moves to neutral and eventually angry, with the final version depicting her dumping the tray.
Perhaps, when you hover over the icon, there will be a tooltip that actually says “Work Attitude” so that it’s obvious what it represents?
One of the challenges I see with this one is that it should only be available for a limited time at the start of work, so it may be easy to miss if the player is clicking through too quickly.
Another related item I’ve been considering are status icons. I’ve really tried to keep things immersive by minimizing game-like visuals as much as I can, but it isn’t like I’ve avoided it completely (the Lust and Energy bars have been around for a long time now).
Stats like Perception aren’t terribly obvious to the player. It’s hard to convey that when the PC is drunk or tired or otherwise distracted, they’re not as keenly aware of their surroundings. I was wondering if an icon should display in the corner of the screen at these times to help indicate this.
“One often creates more bugs on the road he takes to reduce them.” – Ancient Proverb (Probably)
TL;DR version: Those looking for a stable experience may want to steer clear. Lots of code changes and no new story content. I recommend trying this build out only if you’re curious about the new “optional menus” for wardrobe, telephone and items. (Or you want to help track down bugs.)
NEW SAVE REQUIRED!
Announcement: I now have a Discord channel! Thanks to Louise for doing all of the work of getting it set up for me. Feel free to come by and chat. I might even be there some times…
So, I’m part-way through some major overhauls for the game, which I hope will improve things both for the player, and make creating the game just a tad bit easier for me.
I outlined this concept in a previous post. As of now, there are two types of optional menus in the game. The wardrobe lock button will make the game show the clothes/sunscreen/perfume menu at a fixed point in the script when enabled. The phone and items menu can be used whenever they are on-screen, at which they will jump you to a new scene before returning to the line of the previous scene where you first pressed the button.
I’d like to know peoples’ thoughts on these, as I think there’s some interesting potential here to reduce unnecessary menu clicking.
Fun note: i figured out how to change the phone graphic based on the menu option the player is hovering over. (Not sure what happens to those on touch-screens…)
Known issues: With both phone and item buttons available, you can use them to get into an endless loop.
Free day and evening events use a new system that uses a Python class object for each scene. This allows the event picker to know things like whether or not the PC will need swimwear for the upcoming event.
Known issues: I had a lot of unexpected problems with this that may be tied to Ren’Py’s rollback. Some scenes that had previously been viewed would occasionally switch their status and enter the event pool again. Let me know if this happens to you, and which scenes are causing the problem.
Player Avatar Update
The player avatar image system got a big update. It’s moved to WEBP for smaller file sizes, and now allows for color tinting. I’ve greatly cleaned up an organized how calls to the system are done, making it much easier to use on my end. I’m hoping this system might lag less on less powerful devices.
Some new images were added, with one set of new casual clothes and a version of the resort uniform for a different mirror pose.
Note: So far, only the images to use this are the two full-body mirror images. More will be converted over in the future.
“Housecleaning” on the game continues on. As everything in the game is interconnected, each time I pull on one thread, it unravels more than I anticipated and I end up with more to fix than I started with.
In this case, part of the addition of the wardrobe menu is showing the player the PC in the new outfit they've selected. There were already a number of scenes for doing this, but they were coded to show up only in the mornings. I've had to revise this to make these show up when the player has chosen to switch clothes. (And this is why I needed to know what clothing type was needed by the following scene, requiring the previous update to the event picker code.)
Well, the next challenge that lead to was the code that handles assembling the CGs of the player avatar. This already needed updating, as there's a bug that prevents the hair from updating properly, and some instances of calls to the code in the game lead to error screens because of missing images.
I wasn't able to accomplish everything I was hoping for, but the important thing is that after pulling everything apart, I was able to slap it all back together again with some notable improvements.
Biggest thing for end-users is that I've switched it to use WEBP instead of JPG and PNG. (I'd already switched out the NPC sprites and haven't received any complaints about the quality, so I figured it was safe to do this with the avatar images as well.) For one mirror image alone, this reduces the file size by 75%, so that should greatly help prevent the download sizes from getting out of control.
I've also made efforts to help Ren'Py with image prediction. The idea here is that Ren'PY will attempt to load image files in the background while you're reading, rather than lagging the game whenever you get to a mirror scene. I'm not entirely sure how successful I was here (and I notice tremendous lag even on a desktop system when trying to rollback through one of these images), but I'm hoping this will result in a bit of an improvement for people on Android or weaker systems.
One last thing I want to try tackling is that I believe I know how to make the save file updater code run whenever you load a saved game. This should be a much better way to prevent bugs, since I can initialize missing variables immediately, rather than between scenes. I *think* this will be quick and easy to update...
Anyway, I'm hoping I can patch up the rest of what I've been working on with the backend and start adding content that takes advantage of all the groundwork I've laid. Wish me luck!
For those of you who missed my last major update, the big news is that I’m working on Interns as a part-time job for now (my day job has slashed my hours due to the pandemic).
If you haven’t figured out before now, I’m working on a game that would really benefit from a skilled programmer with very little programming skills of my own. On top of that, researching Ren’Py and Python, figuring out the code logic, and implementing and debugging the code tends to be a slow and arduous process for me.
For that reason, having many full days back-to-back is a huge boon for me. I’m able to come back fresh each morning and return to problems that left me frustrated the night before...whereas, previously, it could be days, weeks or months between being able to return to the problems.
So far, I’ve been tackling things that have given me some big headaches, and I’m making progress. I’m sure a lot of this won’t be terribly exciting to the end-user, but I think it should make things for me easier as I go along.
First version of the system actually looks to be working! The biggest hangup is still the update/notification portion; the game detects when you’ve changed clothes and plays an appropriate seen, showing the new outfit. This was easy to do when you only had this option in the morning, but now you can do this at pretty much any time throughout the day.
What’s tricky about it now is that, during free time, the PC can choose to stay in the room, go to the beach, go to the club, etc., and there’s no easy way for the wardrobe system to know if the next outfit will be a swimsuit or not. I think I’ve got a solution for this in the next section.
At the heart of Interns is the code that selects the weighted-random scenes that will play based on time period, previous choices, who the PC has met, etc. It’s always been complicated, and it’s one of the biggest challenges when it comes to allowing players to continue their saved games.
I’ve learned a lot since I made the current version of the code, and I took some time out to learn a little bit more in order to come up with a better solution. What I have still isn’t perfect, but I think it’s a big improvement.
I won’t go into too much detail, but the general idea is that now events are class objects; rather than being a group of separate variables that I need to keep track of, there’s now one name that holds all the information such as whether or not the player has seen it, what the default odds are of the scene appearing, whether or not the PC is in swimwear for the event, etc.
I have this code implemented for the free day event picker and appears to be working fine so far. My next step will be to convert all of the other major day events.
If this system works out, I believe I can eventually add more info into these scene objects, which may allow for things like content tags. The idea being, I could eventually allow the player to tailor their experience by selecting which tags they do and don’t want to see. I’m not promising this feature, but it’s something I always wanted to explore.
I talked previously about cleaning house, and that applied to the art assets as well. The current shower CG ended up being a bit of a fiasco. It turns out, the system I made for showing the PC’s custom body type completely broke down from that angle, requiring me to spend way to much time doing editing in Photoshop (and, even now, I’m catching additional issues with it).
I took a day to overhaul all of the PC models to hopefully avoid this in future CGs, but only time will tell.
I’ve also started cleaning up and organizing models for the NPCs. There are a few that still need to be finished (the maid, Irene, is *way* out of date), but I think most of the characters are to a point where I can do a final pass on them.
Part of this will involve some code; Chastity, May, and Renata already have a preliminary version of this that allows their sprites to change dynamically, but I want something a bit more robust for everyone that will allow their attire to change on the fly to something appropriate for each setting.
I’m also looking into making some special variants for facial expressions. Not sure if these will be made for the sprites, but I at least want them for the CGs. The tools available for facial expressions are pretty weak and I’ve found that, in order to give a character a reasonable smile, I actually need to make a special version for it.
(This one image of Scarlet should serve as a good example of how much more expressive characters can be when I actually alter them specifically for the image.)
Getting my files organized is pretty essential for this, so that I can actually find the models I need when I need them.
(I’m still contemplating if I want to do different variations for different outfits. Case in point: An earlier version of Angel had alternate versions based on whether or not she was wearing a bra. There are other characters I feel could use similar treatment.)
“Look on the bright side, Dad—did you that the Chinese use the same word for ‘crisis’ that they do for ‘opportunity?’” – Lisa
“Yes! Crisitunity!” – Homer
Well, we certainly do live in interesting times. The current pandemic looks like it’s going to hit a lot of industries pretty hard, and my day job is in one of those industries.
Things are still very much in flux right now, but it’s entirely likely that my full-time job may soon become a part-time job for the indeterminate future.
I always thought it would be interesting to try working on games like Interns as a part-time job, but my plan was to hold off until my crowd-funding income made it safe to do so (particularly since nearly half of my total income has been going to medical bills in the last couple years).
As it looks like I’m likely going to be losing the majority of my income anyway, it seems like I may as well take advantage of the new time being freed up to be more productive with my game-making hobby and see if it has any potential to keep me afloat.
Immediate Interns Plans
Sadly, the same “opportunity” that’s given me some time to work on the game has left me in a mental state where I’m not really inspired to write. (I’m in multiple high-risk categories with regards to this virus, and I have close family members in similar conditions, so my mind is a bit occupied.)
That said, I’ve been making solid progress in other areas. The wardrobe menu is in and I’ve been moving forward with revisiting all of the room code to clean and rebuild it.
The biggest change is that the player can now choose to change clothing and other choices between major blocks (so if you want to wear different perfume or clothes in the evening, you can). This ended up being a far bigger undertaking than I was expecting, as I realized that I need to know what the PC will be doing in the upcoming event, which isn’t always clear (such as going to the club vs the hut tub party).
I’m currently building and debugging an updated system for handling the various firsts—playing the scene for the first time wearing a work uniform, swimwear, casual clothes, etc. I had to do this mostly from scratch since the initial version wasn’t made to be aware of the PC’s days off.
Next up will be a more consolidated system for showing the CG of the PC wearing clothes, which I’m hoping will help me finally squash a lot of the bugs people have been hitting with some of the mirror images.
I’ve gotten a lot of really good Python pointers from some helpful people, and it has a lot of potential for streamlining the handling of NPCs and game scenes. For the latter, it could mean a system that makes it a bit easier to add new scenes into the game and assign them to the event pickers and minimizing the opportunities for me to miss a variable, which typically results in bugs where the new scenes are inaccessible, or you’ll have one scene that repeats over and over.
I’m not entirely sure if I want to move forward with that now or save it for the next update, as it’ll mean rebuilding all of the event-picker code. I already need to do a revision to make things like the phone system work, but this would be more of a total rebuild requiring a lot more testing, so I’m a bit hesitant.
The biggest plus side to all of this is that I can have multiple full days in a row to tackle problems. With working mostly on weekends and evenings, there’s a lot of stop-and-start with long periods of time in between, forcing me to try to figure out what I was even doing in the last session before I can even start to move forward again. I can tell I’ve already reaped the benefits of this while tackling a big chunk of the wardrobe overhaul over the last few days.
The TL;DR version: Corona-chan has taken away most of my income, is threatening to make my health condition worse than it already is, but has also given me much more time to focus on Interns. Here’s hoping I can benefit from the opportunity and avoid all of the looming bad things. 😨