Not to bother you, but is progress still being made on the game?
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Not to bother you, but is progress still being made on the game?
Well, you definitely know how to make me anticipate an update! This is the kind of cliffhanger to make TV shows jealous. I mean that in the nicest way, just in case that doesn't come across.
So I started up a fresh save file, saving right after the first talk with Twilight. Then I closed it and opened up the save, editing nothing but the PCs stats to see if it would work (changed them all to 8). That done, I closed the editor and opened the game back up and loaded the altered save.
It got through the second talk with Twilight just fine, and nothing weird happened in the first Violet Room either. But the next morning, when I had to either look at porn or study to progress time to do anything else, doing either would completely break the game, because time would just rapidly go forward without me being able to do anything.
To start with, the Stats are: Intelligence, Fitness, Charm, Guts and Bimbo. Guts being what Courage is in Persona.
So is the idea that you go through 5 skits before you get the choice to start bimbofying in earnest? That is, you can start the process physically and make some relatively minor changes, but it caps off until you reach a decision point in skit 6, at which point the physical changes kick off and the mental ones start, too?
If so, that's a good idea. It allows even the players who decide to do a non-bimbo run to still have some sexy optional TF to spice it up a little. I guess 5 Bimbo Points would be the cutoff, with the cap rising to match your level with them from then on?
I think there should be at least 2 stats you could use to solve major problems, to sort of give the player two chances to have a high enough one to succeed. For example, if you go the "pure" route and refuse to use bimbo magic to make Twilight calm down, you can instead use Intelligence, to either reason with Twilight/help her study and make her feel like she's progressing enough that she de-stresses a little bit, or you can try to make a (perhaps slightly more difficult) Charm check to convince her that she's hurting her friends by ignoring her so that she spends some time with them and de-stresses that way (and you could have an option to flirt to trigger the "pure" romance route at this point, much like in a Persona game).
Maybe structure it so that each Social Link has one "favored stat," one that you can use to pass most (if not all) of the major decision points successfully, with the alternative being to pass slightly higher checks for 2/3 different stats throughout the Social Link. So it'll be possible to pass Twilight's SL without high Int, but only if you have at least two other high stats. That way players feel like they aren't being railroaded into grinding a particular stat to get a girl (even though they're being strongly encouraged to).
Though, to make the Good End/Bad End structure work, we might need to add a new mechanic: a unique stat for each girl that represents their progress in their personal mission, with the name changing depending on the character and their route. For Twilight on the pure route, it would be "Stress," and would measure how close Twilight is to a meltdown, and thus the goal would be to make it lower than a certain threshold by passing checks during skits (and maybe stuff like talking on the phone could do it, but by a lesser amount?). If it's too high when you reach the end of her route, Twilight collapses of exhaustion/has a breakdown and needs to be hospitalized, missing the deadline for her program and thus securing the Bad End.
Though it doesn't have to be really bad, it can be you visiting Twilight in the hospital, where she's happy to see you (especially if you romance her) but quickly gets depressed, confiding in you that it's both because of her failure with the program and because she's afraid she's pushed away all her friends, only to have them show up behind you (maybe at your signal?) to throw her a (small and quiet, this is a hospital!) party to cheer her up and show her that they still love and support her. Maybe end with Twilight happier (though still regretful about missing her opportunity with the program), getting ready to write a letter to Celestia and/or Cadance about what she's learned about friendship from all of this...
Whereas if you get her Stress low enough, the help and support of you and her friends keeps Twilight from blowing a gasket and she gets in with flying colors. Her friends throw a big party to congratulate her, and the two of you share a dance (as friends or as more, with "more" being a slow dance. Either way, make sure to mention that she dances like a total dork) where she tells you that she's lucky to have you as her friend. And if you romance her, add to the end a little bit by having her blush and whisper in your ear that she'd like to continue the party later, just the two of you...
As for the Violet Room, I kind of gave some thoughts on that (and other stuff) in the General Writing thread.
EDIT: Then again, implementing this might add too much to everyone's workload. I'd be willing to write some small stuff if anyone wants me to, but I can't code or draw for sh*t.
Also, here are some first attempts at descriptions for the cell phone for the Main 6, Sunset Shimmer and Trixie (because why not). Since we don't yet know what the others' stories are gonna be, I made them kind of open-ended, but they should at least serve as placeholders.
A true blue cowgirl: honest, hardworking, and stubborn as a mule. Her family owns Sweet Apple Acres, and she's been helping out with the farm since she could walk.
An animal lover who volunteers at the local shelter. As sweet and kind as she is shy, and she's very, very shy. Worries a lot about the shelter, which is going through hard times.
A living, breathing sugar rush, Pinkie never runs out of energy, jokes or sweets, and shares all of them with everyone, whether they ask or not. Making people happy is her mission in life, and she'll throw a party for someone for just about any occasion.
The ace of just about every sports team in the school, and as much a jock as that implies. You'll never find a more loyal friend, though, even if she sometimes makes things worse trying to help you out.
The most fashionable girl in school who doesn't follow the trends, she makes them. Literally; she dreams of being a designer. Only a tiny bit stuck up, and very generous to those in need of her help, especially tips on style.
The former "queen" of Canterlot High, who ruled through bullying and blackmail. Apparently had a change of heart, though a lot of students aren't buying it. Worried she'll never move past her bad decisions.
That's "The Great and Powerful Trixie" to you! A self-proclaimed (stage) magician who's about 20% actual talent, 80% ego. More than a little miffed that she's been left out of all the "real" magic going around lately.
Canterlot High's resident bookworm. Still new to the whole "social life and friends" thing. Studious and diligent to the point of obsession.
If the idea is that several people are being given magic to shape the world around them, then that's definitely something I could see Discord (either Equestria's Discord or the EqG version, who is still a spirit of chaos who was restrained but was freed when Equestrian magic started seeping in) being the one responsible (perhaps he's aware but still sealed and thus can't do anything himself, thus he sloughs off bits of his power and lets them grow inside of others to cause chaos and eventually free himself). After all, a bunch of selfish reality-warpers all trying to twist the world to their whims would create chaos in abundance. In that case, he actually probably wouldn't support the player, because even if they go full Bimbo Magic, they're still restrained enough to cause their changes gradually enough that they become innocuous and unnoticed, and thus aren't really causing "chaos" so much as just creating a "new normal." It's not chaos if everybody just nods their heads and accepts it, after all.
In that scenario, the Proprietor of the Violet Room might be a being who is trying to keep Discord locked away (and is perhaps the one who did it in the first place. Ancient human Starswirl? Celestia and Luna's distant but identical ancestors?), but is unable to remove or restrain Discord's power in its human hosts (possibly due to being just a spirit these days), and can't just convince them not to use it (perhaps because Discord made sure his powers would seek out hosts who would be driven to use it, hosts who have the desire to shape the world around them and the willingness to do so even at others' expense). Thus, they instead try to get the player to be their agent to stop the other hosts - perhaps the player has a choice in using the power for their own gain (via bimbofying girls) or not because the Proprietor managed to snag one of the pieces of Discord's power, but was forced to immediately stick it in the closest host they could find to keep it from going free, thus the player wasn't selected specifically by either party (though the Proprietor might lie and try to pretend he was) and can choose how they use their power.
So in that scenario the Proprietor of the Violet Room would actually be counseling responsibility and restraint, or failing that will present themselves as the ones focusing the power to cause the changes, which is a lie meant to keep it happening gradually enough that it creates the scenario of a "new normal," which will at least ensure that Discord doesn't go free. Meanwhile, the little sliver of Discord's power within them might have a mind of its own and will tell them they don't need the Proprietor and should just let loose, bend reality over a table and f*ck it senseless (along with every girl at CHS that catches the player's eye, of course). This would be a bit of a subversion of expectations for Persona players; they're used to always having someone who never lies to them and is always helpful in the form of the Velvet Room's inhabitants. That's actually a standout from the normal Shin Megami Tensei franchise and most of its other spinoffs, so it could be an interesting thing to play with. Especially if a player goes the "no/minimal bimbo" route and thus never learns that they're lying to them, then goes another route where they do find it out.
But in this scenario, I think there would need to be two matrices to decide an ending: both how much you use the bimbo magic and how many "good" endings you get to Social Links (that is, whether they succeed in their personal goals or fail, be that failure be because the player couldn't get the stats to help them enough - you might want to give some indication of what stats you need to have to accomplish something - or because they bimbofied them in such a way that they no longer even care about them (making Twilight a party girl who doesn't even care about school, for example).
So a low bimbo, low good ending ending would be the "worst" end, "The Daily Grind," where your lack of commitment leads you to just drift through a normal life, a job that isn't terrible but not that great, a couple of friends and maybe a lover, but always with the knowledge that you could have had more (though maybe if you got at least one Good End you have a lover who makes it all better, so if not ecstatic with how you're life turned out, you still think it was all worth it). The low bimbo, high good ending would be "A Charmed Life," where your willingness to change yourself rather than selfishly demand the world change around you (by putting in the work to raise your stats and putting yourself out there to help others) leads you to living a happy life with a successful career you enjoy and a large circle of friends (and/or lovers, if we're going with the Persona thing where you can just romance everyone without any real consequence). The high bimbo, low good end is "My Private Heaven," where you've changed people and the world to suit your own ends with no thought for anyone but yourself. But just because you're selfish, does that mean the world you've created is wrong, when everyone's happy and gets along? The high bimbo, high good end is "The New Normal," where through a combination of diligence, magic, altruism and selfishness you've done what every great man tries to do: create a better world. You've helped people attain the things they wanted, and kept their own natures intact; aren't they still themselves, then, pursuing those same dreams? And if everyone's got the bodies of porn stars and are very sexually liberated, well, what's really wrong with that in the end? After all, don't people talk about great men shaping the world? What does it matter if you do it a bit more literally? You certainly put the work in, after all.
The problem is that this kind of requires writing 4 outcomes to every character's story, so for example using Twilight we get:
Low Bimbo, Bad End - Unwilling to bimbofy Twilight (at least past level 2) and unable to convince her to change her self-destructive habits, you end up watching Twilight spiral into either a collapse from exhaustion or a full-on breakdown. Either way, she ends up hospitalized and misses the deadline for her program. You visit her, and at first she's happy to see you (especially if you initiated a romance with her), but soon breaks down crying, convinced she's pushed the rest of her friends away so much that she's lost them and the chance to get into the program, as they haven't come to visit yet. If that seems too depressing, you can have her friends come in at that moment, concerned for her and with assurances that they still care.
Low Bimbo, Good End - If the player uses their high stats to convince Twilight to slow down and accept help from others, she reconnects with her friends and manages to stay healthy and sane and pass her application with flying colors, and her friends hold a party to celebrate. Twilight has learned that no amount of scholastic success is worth shunning all the people who make your life special for.
High Bimbo, Bad End - You've bimbofied Twilight and used your influence over her to convince her to stop caring about the program - and studying entirely. In fact, she doesn't care about anything but having fun with her stud (you), blowing off school and friends alike to be a total party girl.
High Bimbo, Good End - You've bimbofied Twilight, but kept her mind intact and used your influence over her to convince her that her friends and happiness are more important than getting into the program, but still encouraged her to go for it. With support from her friends, far less stress, and still retaining at least most of her prodigious intellect (possibly requiring a lot of studying with a high Int player), Twilight manages to get into the program and throws a big party, later leading to a much smaller one that's just the two of you. Twilight is still the same amazingly intelligent (and often dorky) young woman who's almost sure to succeed at whatever life she chooses and a circle of great friends that she loves dearly - but now she's also a total bombshell with a sky-high libido.