Greetings, fellow pervs!
Now that the catgirl is out in the wild we’d like to take a moment to update you on the state of the game and what to expect going forward.
Without further ado, it is our pleasure to introduce our new designer, Bangkok!
My name’s Bangkok( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°), and I’m the Lead Game Designer on Subverse. It is an absolute pleasure to have been given the opportunity to work on this title. First and foremost, I am an avid gamer and hentai enthusiast, much like you, and so I will strive to make Subverse the incredible experience it was originally envisioned to be. I hope I can make all of you proud and happy.
During my first two months, I familiarized myself with every nook and cranny of Subverse’s design and finalized certain areas within March’s patch. I can confidently say that this project has enormous potential to leave a long-lasting footprint as an authentic AAA adult experience. I am currently working on establishing the way in which to achieve this. We all know that we’re in the middle of early access, so the fans are not seeing the full picture coming together yet and there is some concern over where it’s all heading. Hopefully DC and I can allay some of those concerns in this blog.
With Bangkok onboard the FOW train, we’re stoked to talk about some of the design philosophies of Subverse moving forward.
We as a team recognize that the build up to the critical recruitment sex scenes is lacking in eroticism and are too abrupt. They definitely need more fleshing out. For starters, we will be going through all the previous content and adding in foreplay videos to tie it in with what is happening. These short videos should establish some atmosphere and bridge the gap between the novel sections and the abruptness of the initial sex scenes.
The current dating sequences in the bar are also very limited with only barebones gifting being currently available. Dating your crew members is supposed to be a more intimate experience compared to the Pandora framework and it is in the process of a major overhaul. The connection between waifu and Captain is not really present in the current iteration of dating, and we are aiming to gradually implement some more interesting interactive features to help alleviate this.
The payoff for all your hard work needs to be porn. Lots and lots of porn. Titties, ass, splooge and big fat meaty balls all coming together in unholy unison. As of now, there is indeed not enough porn. But fear not, the porn is coming.
- Sidequests not ending with some kind of porn is a crime. Luckily with the help of our inspirational artists we are going to try and remedy this in an exciting way.
- Part of the overhaul of the Dating module means that it must be intertwined with sex in some way. To complete the intimate, one-on-one experience requires some intimate, one-on-one POV scenes. More on this soon.
- The aforementioned foreplay videos tying the recruitment together and introducing more buildup.
- The interactive scene in Taron hasn’t landed quite the way we hoped considering the amount of effort required to make it work, but we will reuse its components to give existing animations some more variety and shelf-life
- The main storyline starts getting darker in a couple blocks time, so its extremely difficult to intertwine random sex scenes into it without it feeling completely jarring. Sex for the sake of sex is just going to exacerbate the problem of it not meshing with the story. Having said that, once the drama is resolved we are looking into giving the player and the waifus some much-needed downtime via supplementary story beats.
- One of these beats is the Devotion Quest rewards (more on this below) which sees the return of StudioFOW’s famed cinematic eroticism within the context of a tightly-waifu-focused epic questline.
For those of you that have been talking to the ladies on the ship (you HAVE been talking to them, right?) you’ll notice that they’ve been gradually revealing more about their backstories. These stories will be carried through to their glorious conclusion with a Devotion Quest for each Waifu.
Devotion Quests are inspired by the Loyalty Missions in Mass Effect 2, where you buddy up with a specific party member and help them out of a bind. Since the Devotion Quests are the culmination of a lot of invested hours into a waifu we want to make sure they are amazing. We want to do this by
- Giving you ample opportunity to interact with the waifu during her quest. This means talking with them, discussing the quest problems and their environments (each quest will take you to a place special to that particular waifu)
- Creating an environment that immerses you both romantically and contextually. The performances of the voice talent are incredible throughout these sections. The atmosphere must match their intensity and do them justice
- ROMANCE ROMANCE ROMANCE
- The payoff at the end of the quest has to be amazing and cinematic, as well as feel like a seamless part of the story – something StudioFOW will no doubt deliver
- Give you some cool rewards at the end thematic to the waifu for investing all that time into the romance
We are actively developing DEMI and Lily’s devotion quests at the moment and as soon as one of them is ready, we will make an announcement about the release dates.
World-renowned gameplay designer and shortstack-butt-afficionado Halfpint had some great ideas on this topic, which we are totally going to steal. In a December 12 video, he suggested that the galaxy should be reacting to the revolution in some way. Right now everything feels too static, too dead, you don’t feel like the disruptive force of change that the Mary Celeste is supposed to represent. A great idea he came up with was a simple reputation system, that keeps a track of all the battles you’ve fought against a particular faction. When you’ve killed enough Fuccbotts for example, a reward depicting a short 30 second cinematic would unlock showing Fuccbotts mobilizing to hunt you. If you slay enough Kloi, Landervoo and the council could react in some way to your extermination of their forces. Introducing reactive elements such as this will make Prodigium feel much more impacted by your actions. This is but one of the improvements we are aiming to make to Prodigium feeling more immersive.
The main problem right now (and this is a common part of narrative games in Early Access phase) is that the story is still being released and therefore the connective glue is not live yet… So what is this glue we are talking about?
- Devotion levels being a meaningful part of multiple modules
- Having a Dating system that makes use of the galaxy
- Resources playing a bigger part in collectibles/upgrades
- More waifu interactions with each other and the Captain across all modules
These elements working together in harmony will make the experience of managing your own crew feel more cohesive. But as we keep saying, our focus right now is on delivering the story first and foremost and then leaving the glue elements for later releases to tie everything together once the building blocks are in place.
Things like gold stars and meaningless grinding have no place in a supposed top-end story driven product like this. The original philosophy of the Kickstarter and the no-bullshit stance of the StudioFOW OG’s were successful in capturing the imagination of the gaming public. Introducing artificial progression elements and psychological tricks at this stage would be a mistake for the brand. Our design philosophy for avoiding the mobile trap is as follows:
- Retool the way player performance is measured by utilizing more of the waifus and less gold stars and badges
- Remove replayable story missions. Do you replay Virmire in ME1, do you replay Ostagar in DA:O? No, these are climactic story set pieces, so why would you replay Temple of Defilement, especially after what happened there? Not only does this make no sense from a narrative design standpoint but it’s a huge resource sink on the dev team
- Reduce the sheer quantity of same-y missions and focus on making them memorable by increasing their quality
- Introduce elements that facilitate replayability through dynamic design, instead of mobile-like repetition
- Make upgrades and collectibles feel part of the world. Having to help someone or find a rare component to make your ship better should be an essential part of an RPG dealing with space exploration. We will have more on this in a later blog.
The original vision for Subverse was that it is not a sex simulator. It was not designed from the ground up to be a sandbox style sex simulator. There appears to be some misconceptions out there that this game is supposed to be the next big thing to supplant Honey Select. This will never be the case because Subverse is a story driven narrative RPG with sex. There are plenty of well-designed sex simulation games out there like Honey Select and Koikatsu that focus on endless customizability, sandbox elements and interchangeable parts. These games have mastered the art of being a simulator and have years of experience and much bigger budgets than ours. There is no point in competing with them. Our design philosophy has always been the complete polar opposite of that, and while the introduction of some interactive elements and things like outfits are planned, they will never be the lynchpin of the game.
We understand the game is not in an acceptable state for many of you currently. Quite frankly, Subverse (in its current state) is so far away from our personal standards that it’s not even funny, so there is a lot of hands-on work to be done here. This is a long marathon process and it will take time. We are not promising every single thing listed above will make it in. Subverse has a lot riding on it so we have to test every design decision internally. A lot of people are looking up to the game and we have to make sure we are delivering the absolute best product we can. Thank you to the fans for sticking with us and for reading!