it looks fucking awesome
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100%, absolutely go ahead!
On the subject of giving Asterion a hat, the main thing holding us back from doing so is the way his horns are layered, really, since the layering usually goes
>fur color layer
>a LOT of clothing layers
>nose ring layer
>headwear layer (stuff like glasses, etc)
>horn accessory layer
Asterion's horn shape will be customizable in the future (though there are already sprites for this) so it's a layer on its own.
Adding headwear like hats or crowns becomes an issue because for most of his sprites, it would have to rest between the horns, so we'd have to split the horn and horn accessory layers into two, so
>fur color layer
>a LOT of clothing layers
>nose ring layer
>back horn layer
>back horn accessory layer
>headwear (glasses, etc. but could also allow hats, crowns, etc)
>front horn layer
>front horn accessory layer
It's... kind of a lot. And there's an additional complication: remember when I said "most of his sprites"? The layer order for the front facing sprites would have to be the same as the original, or else the hat would clip between horns. An alternative would be to have all the front facing horn sprites on the back horn layer and not render the front horn/accessory layers if asterion is front facing, I suppose.
And that's not getting into the trouble of shaping the hat to acommodate all these horn shapes. So, it's doable, but very complicated. You have our blessing to try, though.
There may be some spoilers if you code dive so do it at your own discretion and try not to spoil other people though.
Update: I've added a French translation done by rien de spécial , special thanks to him for offering to do it out of the blue!
As most of you may know, I've been posting weekly strips featuring these characters on Twitter since the comic ended, and plan to make more in the future. I'm currently taking a break from the schedule to post a different comic, Outclassed, which I will be making an itch page for when enough pages are posted.
Figured this was a good opportunity to compile all the current BMZ strips to date (November 2021) and add them here, which you can check out in the BMZ section of the language select. Also added some extras like the alternate ending to this comic voted by patrons.
Thank you all for your support, and hope I keep delivering.
Greta is getting a new sprite for 0.5.2. I try to make human characters look kind of ugly on purpose in the game (so when you see a divine being passing as a human, or a gigachad like Androgeos, there's a big contrast), hopefully this one gets it across without looking terrifying. Did my best to capture the chaotic energy of the original sprite.
We're keeping the original for the speedrunner route though.
I am happy with any of the game's characters getting attention, but yes, I am of course extra happy that my efforts to evangelize furries into accepting boars as the best anthro species are paying off.
Nah it's cool!
Speaking of the valley and licensed tracks, I remember hearing the Kevin MacLeod royalty free song we were using for Argos' theme (before we made the switch to licensed music) in Tiger King being used as the intro music for Joe Exotic's documentary and I cringed very hard
Very happy to hear your thoughts!
I'm glad the response to Oscar and Pedro's content has been so positive, we were kind of concerned that people would react negatively to most of the characters not being romantic interests for the player and lose interest in them, but fortunately that doesn't seem to be the case.
Pairing up characters with set personalities and stronger characterization than the MC lets us do more interesting things with their romance, so I hope you guys look forward to more of that!
I'll take a stab
Asterion - Gentle Giant
Luke - Free Bird
Kota - Dragon Attack
(these two are the achievement names when you get each character to run the lounge so might as well stick with it)
Argos - Dreamer Deceiver
Colbalts - Three of a Perfect Pair
Storm - The Passenger
P - Neutral Milk Hotel
Robert - Lemon Demon
Khenbish - Dire Straits
Themba - Elephant Talk
Wolf - Steppenwolf
Cool then, I'll get this and the typos fixed on the next release, thank you for pointing it out.
And thank you, we have multiple proofreaders and editors and they're very thorough. Especially Nemo, who wrote most of the ruthless route. Don't hesitate to bring up more issues if you find them!
Hello Jay! Sorry you had to encounter that, but thank you very much for reporting it. I'm assuming that since you wrote "finally got around to playing 0.5" you're using an old save from 0.4.1?
I did my best to avoid compatibility issues with old versions but that one may have slipped. This is the first time I've heard of this bug, so let me know just in case so I can find out how to replicate it.
Man, what a weird fucking game it is, I have so many conflicting opinions about it.
On one hand, the art direction for the backgrounds is amazing, it pulls off really impressive stuff for a DS title, the gameplay is pretty fun and innovative (if a little repetitive towards the end), and Tetris upgrade systems are always a plus.
On the other, the plot and some of the character designs feel very 2005 deviantart to me. It's like they put 5 weeaboos in a room, gave them a bag of coke and a gamecube with sonic adventure 2, locked them inside for two weeks and asked them to write a story.
Pervader is criminally underrated. It's got some of the best art among furry VNs, for both sprites and backgrounds (though I'll admit the amount of expressions per character is a little limited), great writing, and it's doing something different, which is always a plus.
One thing I really appreciate about is that it truly feels like a game written for adults, it doesn't really ask you to self insert into a barely above 18 character that has his life ahead of him and hasn't figured himself out yet. Which is a somewhat of a rarity, unfortunately.
Thanks a lot for writing the summary, RockJock. I hope people are willing to give the route a shot after reading this and knowing that very little time is spent indulging in the characters wallowing in misery, and more exploring Argos' character and the game's ongoing subplots and mysteries. I'd like to make a couple observations:
1) In "As You Are, I Once Was", yup, it's not intended to be a perfect parallel with the start of the game, you meet the next master that will take over the role after the MC, but you're not the old man at the start of the game. It's not a time loop.
(I named my Ruthless run character with a J so I don't know if they do this for every letter of the alphabet or not, haha)
I hate to disappoint you but that's not the case. That said, it's a pretty kickass idea and I may have to steal it.
(If you're ok with it, of course. Shouldn't take more than adding a python dict with the key being the first character in the MC's name and the values being a list of two or three names.)
2) I don't think you touched on this but for the people who DON'T want to play the routes, the next master in this ending is given a sprite, but it's basically a featureless gray character wearing jeans and a shirt that wouldn't look out of place in a YCH auction. We went with that because even if he's not the main character... you never know, someone might get the idea that it's the canon look for the MC, so we were as vague as possible.
3) In the "Welcome to Minotaur Hotel" ending,
They are still there, but the hearth has gone out, and Asterion apologizes for the delay. We don't hear words from or see sprites of anyone but Asterion at this point, though, who apologizes for keeping everyone waiting.
Don't know if it's clear in the summary but I'd like to emphasize "you don't hear words from or see sprites of anyone but Asterion" here. Everyone left and Asterion's completely lost it. I heard someone got this as their first ruthless ending, and that sucks because it's probably the bleakest and the closest to what people would expect from "bad ending in a visual novel".
4) On the subject of Nikos' religion,
I think just that it's a little blink-and-you'll-miss-it that Argos/Nikos and his family are some flavor of Catholic, since they specifically say grace before they eat.
Catholics are not the only denomination that say grace before dinner. It's more likely that Nikos would be Eastern Orthodox rather than Catholic, being born in Crete and all. Although I'll concede that, considering the majority of the team was raised Catholic, the way the scene plays out may not be the most accurate to how a Greek family would say grace before a meal.
And about Hermes being John the Baptist,
Mama and Bampas... and the priest back at the village, too... they all told me He, the one I should not mention ((Hermes)), even knew the Christ. They said He was John the Baptist. That is had always been Him.
So uhhhh, in this universe Hermes was a very famous preacher and figure in Catholic mythology.
We're not the first to make the connection, scholars have compared the symbology between the two figures for a long time. I'm not the theology expert in the team (that would be Kangarube, who IIRC wrote that line), but the basic gist is that both figures act like messengers to the gods and psychopomps, and there are similarities between rites performed to Hermes/Mercury and the blessing of holy water. It's interesting to read into.
5) To the people who didn't play it, there's a credit sequence at the end of the ruthless route endings, with either Asterion playing the lyre, Argos playing the trumpet, both, or neither, depending on your ending.
There's a song you can play in the music menu, "Seikilos Trumpet", by Jake, which starts playing as the endings are about to wrap up. I tried to time it so the vocals start as the credits begin to roll. It's one of the nicest pieces of music we received for the game and I didn't want a recap of the Ruthless route for people who didn't play it to not acknowledge it. We'll be using it for the main quest's ending, too.
And as a general comment, thank you all for taking the time to dissect a piece of content that we knew wasn't going to be a lot of people's cup of tea but still made the game more enjoyable for the small fraction of people that played it. The game wouldn't be complete without it and I'm happy to see it was effort that didn't go to waste.
Hey pooperman69, am I safe to assume you're playing from an old 0.4.1 save?
I haven't seen this error before, but I'll be adding a fix for it that will go on the next version. Sorry you had to deal with this.
One of two options for fixing this error quickly:
Option 1 would be... start a new save.
Since I don't want you to resort to that, there's option 2. If you're playing the desktop version, try to download the following file and paste it on the 'game' folder to replace the old version. That should fix this instance of the error for you if you load a save right before Hinterlands 3 starts:
Once again, super sorry you encountered this, and thank you very much for reporting it.
I think in general we want to give players enough time over the course of the full game where they can do a lot of what they set out to do and get to know a handful of staff members well, but leaving enough stuff left to do for a subsequent playthrough.
0.5 definitely skews hard on the "lots of shit to do, too little time" side of things, especially if we keep adding side stuff on 0.5.x patches like we plan to do, so 0.6 will most likely be a breather episode where we give players plenty of free time and focus more on Asterion's romance and the side characters than the ongoing mysteries. Which will still be there, but I think the last couple chapters of 0.5 were eventful enough and the cast deserves a break without too much crazy shit happening.
Thanks a lot for the kind and thorough feedback, RockJock. I'm glad all the work we put into the game pays off and people notice all the polish.
And thank you for pointing out stuff that could be improved, too.
1) Yes, Wolf is the most barebones side character at the moment. We plan on expanding on him in the future as he gets his own route content and we have a side quest planned for him that I think people will really like, but we couldn't really get to it until we develop him more.
Hell, I think Themba and Khenbish don't get enough attention either, aside from their side quests and routes (eventually) they aren't very present throughout the main story chapters. I added the scene with Khenbish cooking a local dish in chapter 17 somewhat late into development to just give the character a little more presence and write fun interactions between him and the cast. They were kind of a low priority since we had so much stuff we wanted to get to, aside from chapter 14 there isn't a single day with a management section attached that didn't have some sort of story event attached, we didn't have space for an optional scene even if we wanted to.
As much as I'd love to do that on one of the future 0.5.x patches, maybe add an extra day in the middle where your chosen character talks with Asterion maybe, to flesh them out more and show how positive of an impact he's making on people's lives, 0.5 is really intricate and I don't want to mess with it.
2) This is a great idea. I don't think it would be hard to go back and make small rewrites to have Luke and the player do some tasks while you talk, and more cobalt shenanigans are always fun (though it requires a little extra effort since the scene only takes place in the lounge if Luke is manning it, otherwise Luke helps out in reception). It's definitely something to keep in mind when we write the other characters' scenes.
3) Yeaaaah it doesn't make a ton of sense, does it? Unfortunately it would be hard to fix now. I think I can shuffle some stuff around and have the selection happen before the team is shown, that's definitely doable and would make it less jarring, so I will give that a shot... but moving the selection over to right after the daily agenda before the Mc does his daily tasks would be really hard, I can't promise that.
We're slowly adding most of them back in! The plan is to add customization options through R&D rewards or exploration loot, to give them a story purpose and show Asterion's reaction to getting each of them. For example, the bell asset had been sitting in the game files for a while, but we decided to make a dedicated scene for it that explains it's a memento of a previous master Asterion remembers fondly. We plan on doing that for most of the assets.
Some of them won't make the cut, though. A lot of these assets were made on October 2019, between the first and second builds (the first build cuts off right after the fireplace scene where the player chooses Kota or Luke), and we were basing the story off an original draft that took itself less seriously and had Minoanon roll with random ideas from very horny anons. So there are suggestions like torn handcuffs that don't really gel with the current tone that I don't think we'll end up using.
As for nipple customization options, Asterion is just not ready for that. Yet.
The highland bangs are definitely going in, everyone on the dev team fucking loves them (though I'm not happy with the current asset, I'll have to redraw it). We haven't implemented it yet because we were waiting for Oscar to join the hotel as proper staff, so the player character can get the idea from him. A kilt would look rad, too.
As for headwear like hats or paper crowns... we have one small complication, which is that Asterion's horns will be customized too, so the horns would have to be split into a front and back layer to put a hat in the middle. Same for the horn accessory layer. I'd say it's a little tedious but might be worth doing in the long run. I could try it.
Yeah. I hard-coded it on that one instance (if you push Argos to talk about the kilns) to always give you a tablet you don't have, so getting the achievement would be less annoying.
Imagine being forced to grind on a fucking visual novel of all things.
The only side task available at the start of chapter 14 is hanging out with staff (at the moment Luke is the only one who has some scenes available). As the game goes along you get additional tasks with some of the other characters.
If the task text is blue, that means that the guest is either unavailable or busy with a team (either R&D or Exploration). If you go to the manage teams menu and move Luke to unassigned, the task will become available, you just need to click it (or tap it, since you're on mobile) and select Luke.
I mentioned before how some media would have treated that like a finale.
I think a lot of people are used to monthly release schedules for work in progress VNs. So when we wrap up our builds at the conclusion of a specific plot point and then go months without an update, it's understandable that someone that is used to VNs cutting away somewhat abruptly when the 10k word quota is met would think that the game finished right there.
(Mind you, that's not criticism towards that release model, I'm all for VN devs getting paid for their work and our way of doing things is really fucking hard to monetize.)
... Wait. 2/3rds? Already?
Yup, at least for the main story, we'd like to wrap it up over the next year and a half or so. It's very easy for projects like these to go on forever and we'd like to keep the scope of the game manageable. However, we'd still have lots of side content to add (R&D projects, side routes for the other characters, additional endings, etc.) so I wouldn't say the game itself is 2/3 done.