Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Forum replies and other communication with players

Hi all,

For 0.4.12 I'll be using the custom-scene system to add an actual scene to the game itself and writing a series of step-by-step blog posts to show how that's done.

Before I start posting those, I think that I should probably talk about something that's a bit of an "elephant in the room": my terrible record at replying to people.

When Newlife began I answered almost every forum post, PM and blog comment. As more people played it, I started receiving more and more feedback, and my efforts to reply to everyone fell more and more behind.

Part of this is a bit of a character flaw I have. I'm perhaps not the most outgoing of people and I especially don't relish writing posts that might make someone unhappy.
The bulk of my backlog involves requests for additions to Newlife, especially the grey-area ones where the request is something that reasonably could be added, but that isn't part of my core plan and I therefore don't feel comfortable making a binding promise about.

I can't reply with a yes because I get change requests through much faster than I can add content so it's simply impossible to do everything. I don't want to reply with a no because that makes me feel bad, especially when there's a chance their request might make it in at some point in the future. Replying "maybe" feels a bit like a lame cop-out. So, I just ignore the issue and let it languish for ages on my "to-reply" list.

What's worse, I often let this stop me answering people whose posts I could easily respond to. If there's a post earlier in a forum thread that I don't have a reply for then I feel like it needs to be handled first, and so later posts stay in purgatory until I come up with a proper reply.

I was beating myself up a bit over this a while back, when I came to an epiphany: when someone posts a change request for Newlife they aren't really asking for a personal reply to their post. What they actually want is just for me to read their request and consider implementing it.

So, I'm going to officially put an end to the "I attempt to reply to everyone" policy. Here's my new one:

First, I want to be clear: I do like it when people post and make suggestions. You should absolutely do so if you have an idea you think I should read. Just because I can't reply to everyone doesn't mean I don't like you posting!

Posts with change requests usually will not get a reply unless it's trivial to decide on a yes or no answer. However, I will read them and consider adding the request to the todo list. If I implement it then I'll make an attempt to credit whoever made the suggestion in the changelog. I might sometimes miss someone, but I'll do my best.

The same goes for bugfixes that don't need follow-up questions to fix. I might post a quick "thanks" comment, but I'm not going to feel obligated to do so. Again, people who report bugs that get fixed will generally be credited in the changelog. If you aren't a patron and you've found a bug that needed to get solved then you can PM me (on the forum where you originally reported the bug so I know it's you and not some credit-stealing internet joker) and I'll hook you up with the patreon version as a reward. This only applies to bugs and not change requests: for the latter the reward of seeing your desired content in the game should be enough!

Change requests phrased as rhetorical questions will usually get treated the same. E.g. "Will this game ever have x?"
Some players might want an answer because they're considering supporting the game on Patreon on the condition that it'll at some point include their favourite content. Do not do this.
My view of Newlife on Patreon is that you should only support the game if you enjoy it in its current state and want development to keep going, not because you're hoping it might become a game you'll enjoy in the future. I'm proud of never having gone a month without releasing an update, but nevertheless, like any single-person project Newlife is just a serious injury or bullshit anti-porn law away from cancellation or "indefinite hiatus". If you're supporting the game then you should feel that even if it was cancelled tomorrow you'd still have got a game you enjoyed playing out of my time developing it.
On a personal note, I also don't like the pressure of feeling that there are patrons who won't have liked the game unless it ends up with specific content. My request: only support the game based on how it is at the moment, not on how it might become in the future.

So, that's the new plan for communications. As for the blog, I'll be posting a lot more soon: not only is there the user-submissions stuff but I'll also be running the next PMW vote in September, and I also have a half-written post about nonconsent content to finish up.
Hope you're all having a good week :)

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Newlife 0.4.11

Hello everyone!

Newlife 0.4.11 has been released. Early-access Patrons can find it in the creations section here. The changelog is below.

The previous version would normally go public at this point. However, 0.4.10 was actually made public a while back so there's no need for changes there. You can download it using the links on the right-hand side of the blog. The public version's changelog is here.

As usual, saved files & templates from older versions probably won't work with newer ones. 

For new players - just use one of the links to the right to get a zipfile containing Newlife. Once unzipped, you'll see a folder containing .jar and .exe files. Either one of these will run the game. 

For either version you'll need to have Java installed. A lot of programs use Java so you might well already have it. If the jar shows up as an unrecognised file type, then you probably don't. In that case you can get it from
The exe should tell you if you don't have the right version on your computer, but you'll still need to install java to run the game.
There's a guide for new players here which includes some troubleshooting tips for installation & downloading.

This verson adds the game-mechanics around a proper handling of PC infidelity. I'll be working on fleshing out content for it over the next few releases. 0.4.12 will be a small release with just a single scene that I'll make in yaml & velocity as an example for writers - you can expect a series of blog posts soon as I work through it step-by-step. 
Once that's released the following version will add more cheating content. I'll also be doing a PMW release soon - I'll be posting early next month on Patreon to gather suggestions from voters.

Changelog for 0.4.11:
Major changes & additions:
  • Improved handling of the player-character cheating, including a new scene where your infidelity is discovered.
  • The game now stores more of the pc's sexual and cheating history for each NPC. Cheating history will eventually be 'forgotten' after enough time, and will always be cleared if the PC confesses or gets confronted about it, to prevent getting caught twice for the same misdemeanor.
Minor changes & bugfixes:
  • Fixes to text issues. Thanks to OrangeJuice, Max Mustermann and Der Kittin Kampf for reporting some of these.
  • Fixed a bug with the custom scene transition reported by lostTrout.
  • Added a new trait: cunning. This stops the player being discovered cheating (unless her lover confesses, which will be added in later versions). It also stops the perverted client's wife from catching them together. The player can still choose to reveal her infidelity voluntarily.
  • Modified some conditions for the 'express your uncertainty' makeout action. I think it was Max Mustermann who reported some issues with these – thank you!
  • Rewrote the “request condom” makeout action with some changes to the logic and a more varied range of NPC replies – no longer will abusive jerks “kiss you gently” when they wear one because they have the conscientious trait!.
  • Some rewriting of the cowgirl “ask him to come inside” action text, which had some issues with e.g. directly quoted text. I also updated it to handle the as-yet not-fully-implemented baby-crazy trait, although that won't be visible in play until the trait is available.
  • The player can no longer ask an NPC to remove a condom if they were the one who asked him to wear it in the first place.
  • Reworked how the hair-trigger and hard-to-please traits work which should resolve some peculiar interactions they had with other game systems. The traits will probably have larger gameplay effects now, in some cases significantly larger.
  • Following a suggestion from Karanya, added a bit of extra text that will sometimes appear during the orgasm-on-breasts ending of the oral scene.
  • Added simple game-mechanics effects for the trying-for-baby relationship status, although most text hasn't been looked into to see if it needs changes and it's only accessible via a few special scenes. This status is currently only available in situations where it's locked-in, so there's no action to remove it (except for having a baby). This also means that the various “have babies” vows now have an actual gameplay effect if activated before marriage.

Changes for user-submitted content:
  • Improved tracking of the PC's sexual history with male NPCs. This may be useful in writing dialogue or text that hinges on what things they've done together. See the male NPC hasDoneSexualActivity and hasDoneCheatingActivity methods. This should also be set when the PC does an appropriate action in your scene: use addSexualActivity for this.
  • Added the performMakeoutAction method to male NPCs. This lets writers access Newlife's standard set of makeout actions, used in makeout scenes and also several others that involve an NPC feeling up the player.
  • Added the getBreastsDesc() method to female NPCs. This is identical to the PC's method. Thanks to Drgong for highlighting this omission.
  • Added the ability to add or remove PC traits as requested by Eulexia. This is intended for testing purposes only. For instance, you could add the not-fully-implemented baby_crazy trait to test your scene against it before it gets properly added.
  • Added various methods requested by writers – I haven't kept detailed notes, but if I said I'd add something in the discord then it's probably there.
  • The custom scene testing scene will now clear all scene flags when returning to it from a sub-scene. This means that you can use returnToParent to test the same scene repeatedly without previous runs interfering with the state of later attempts.
  • Added a new hidden Stat (“TEST_STAT”) for use when writers will need a new stat for their scenes. That way you can test with this and I'd replace it with the proper one when your scene gets integrated into the game.
  • New scene transition: ORAL_SEX.

Enjoy the new version, and let me know if you find any bugs! 

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Public release of 0.4.10

Hi all,

Normally the public version of Newlife is always a release behind the Patreon version. However, after consulting with my patrons we've decided to make an exception this time. As such, 0.4.10 is now public – you can download it from the links to the right as usual. The changelog is here.

The main change for 0.4.10 was support for user submissions. Making this public now means any non-patrons who are interested in writing for the game can start their scenes earlier, and that'll benefit everyone – patron or otherwise.
If you're a public-version player and you submit a scene that I add to the game then make sure to let me know that you aren't on the patreon version – it wouldn't be fair for you to have to wait to see your own scene in the game, so I'll PM you the early-access version.

To see the user submissions documentation go to the additional_scenes/documentation folder in the Newlife release.

If you have questions about Newlife submissions or want to get feedback on an idea for a scene then a good starting point is the Newlife Discord, kindly set up by the awesome FutureSight.