Monday, 29 December 2014

Voting, Milestones & Rewards

Hello everyone!

Just a quick blog post to talk about my thoughts on Patreon goals so far.

First of all, a big thanks to all the patrons so far. It's really encouraging to see such a positive start! I hope that I can reward your faith by making the game awesome, and now that the Xmas holidays are coming to an end I can redouble my efforts.

Right now the milestones & rewards on Patreon are somewhat work-in-progress. As I've mentioned on some forums, I'm planning to make some changes soon.

I'm planning to keep "Prove me wrong" as the $3000 milestone and it's an important one. Patreon's FAQ says that creators can hope for around 90% of pledged money because of failed payments and Patreon's cut itself. That means $3k/month is around £20000/year. That's not a fortune, especially by the standards of the IT industry, but it's enough for me to live on.
That would mean I could treat Newlife like an actual job. Part of that means doing things for the backers that don't necessarily interest me personally. So, things like anal sex, new clothing slots (like shoes) or letting the player hit a circus clown in the face with a custard pie and then have sex with them - they'd all be available to be voted on then and I'd dedicate some time to implementing the ones the supporters want most.

Of course it's quite a big deal to aim for that much in backing, but there are other adult indie developers making as much or more. My ambition is for Newlife to be one of the best indie erotic games out there, so I think I can aim to reach the same level of patronage as them.

Some people told me there's a bit of a big gap leading up to that though. Absolutely true! I can't expect to rocket up to those sort of levels of patronage immediately and I expect it'll take quite some time and quite a lot of new content & improvements to the game. In the next week I'll be adding new milestones for lower support levels.
I'll also be working on individual patron rewards. I think I might scrap the current $25 reward (which no-one's taken yet anyway) and I'll need to add at least a couple of new ones. I have a few ideas, and some kind people gave me some advice on the forums, but if any of you have suggestions for new milestone or patron rewards then let me know!

One reward that I am definitely keeping and that'll become more and more important as development continues is the Voter one. Although I said I'd start voting on major updates starting with 0.4 I actually want to do a smaller trial run first. I'll be sorting that out early next year with a vote in January.
I haven't decided 100% what the vote will be on. Most likely, it'll be which free-time skill gets chosen to have content such as special events added as part of the 0.3 work. The choices would be things like fashion, dance, cooking, martial arts and maybe some suggestions from players.

The next version is about half done. I'm not sure if you'll see it before the new year or not, but it shouldn't be too far along. This next one will give you some things to spend your money on that aren't clothes, and I'm just about to start work on a new random event as well.


  1. "...letting the player hit a circus clown in the face with a custard pie and then have sex with them..." C'mon. You know this could be as simple as one flag and one if statement.

    On a more serious note, please consider including middle-ground rewards that do not include "I will tell everyone that you donated money to a sex game". I am not a prude, but I live and work in an area that would not look too kindly on that. Usually, there is a clear option to exclude adding the donor to the in-game supporters list, but I like to not even have to worry about that. (I deliberately pledged just a little less than the $25 mark.)

    Also, please consider putting a link to your Patreon in each post, or in the sidebar to make it easier for someone to donate without having to find a post with the link.

    All that aside, everyone else who likes the game and has a spare couple of bucks should donate, too.

    1. Don't worry - I wasn't planning on putting anyone's name in the game without checking with them first!
      It was a bit of a rubbish reward though. I've removed it and replaced it with one at $20 which I think people might find a bit more rewarding :)
      I'd like to add something at the $15 level too, but no ideas just yet - no doubt I'll think of something though.

      Good idea about linking Patreon, I'll put something on the blog.

    2. Ah, ha. I do like that. I have edited my pledge, and I think it is worth it. I found the Patreon new link, too. Thanks!

  2. You should compile your Java code to Javascript. A lot more people could play your game then. Arianeb says that web games have 10x more players than downloadable ones.

    1. Lost Trout, you may know this, but Java and Javascript are completely unrelated. (From Wikipedia: "Despite some naming, syntactic, and standard library similarities, JavaScript and Java are otherwise unrelated and have very different semantics.")

      There are ways to crosscompile, but it would be a *lot* of extra work. It would probably be easier to make an executable jar (without needing Java on the system), but I would always hope for the jar, since I try to avoid running any more downloaded-from-the-internet .exes than necessary on my system.

      If you were aware of the above, and have an easy way to prove me wrong, please let Splendid Ostrich know. A Javascript/ECMA version would be more compatible and easier for people to play, but I believe Java gives a lot more flexibility and programmatic capabilities.

    2. I really like the game. If Splendid Ostrich wants, I can try to do this crosscompile but I would need a copy of the code first. I can be emailed on gmail.

    3. Lost Trout, are you the author of Entrancing Sin, back in 2010? If so, good job on that. I had forgotten about it until a recent discussion brought it up.

    4. Hi! Thanks for the suggestion. To run in a browser the game would probably need a complete UI rewrite, which is something I definitely don't have on the development plan.
      If I start another game after Newlife though, then I'll definitely look into browser-based possibilities for the front-end.

      At the moment I'm super-protective of the source code cause Newlife is totally my baby, so I'm not really open to sharing it. I'll think about releasing the source once the final version is out though - for one thing, some of the code quality is horrible and I'd want time to make it less embarrassing before showing anyone else!

  3. Happy New year (2 hours early GMT time)
    Can't wait to see what you'll do with the game next year :)

    1. Cheers :) I'm on the way to the big 0.3 update which will let you actually have babies. I think that'll be 5-8 smaller releases away - it's quite a bit bigger than 0,2 was.
      Event though it'll be a while, I'm really excited about getting it out there. 0.3 is as far as I planned in detail back in November when I first put the game online, so actually making it that far will give me a big sense of accomplishment.