It’s been a while since we’ve had a proper devblog, and with Update 5.0 looming just on the horizon it seems there’s no better time! Today we’ll talk about the impending 5.0 release, look ahead to Update 5.1, and then finish things off by finally pulling the curtain back on a very exciting announcement!
Update 5.0 focuses on adding about half of Ava’s remaining content to the game, specifically her “darker” endings that start by dosing her to become uncontrollably aroused. This includes introducing both the “Broken Home” and the “Ava’s Bride” endings, while also expanding on the “Sell to Company” and “Futa Maid” endings. What’s more, is that content from across that entire route is getting expanded, with over 14 new events being added to the game in this update! That’s not even counting existing events with updated variations!
As is often the case, we also took some time to make a few mechanical adjustments to the game as well. These are all pretty lightweight, but I’ve personally been getting a weird amount of enjoyment from the new randomly generated surnames. Additionally, the Free Play starting experience has been tightened up, save management has been improved, and a whole slew of bugs have been fixed!
This update will be releasing to backers on Thursday, April 28th, and to the public sometime after that. Patch notes will also be out today, so I encourage everyone to go check those out as well!
While still focusing on Ava, Update 5.1 can almost be seen as a complete antithesis to Update 5.0. The next update will be focused on Ava’s more loving routes, specifically her “Mommy Bride”, “Tightest Family” and “Maniacal Matriarch” endings. This also means there will be more involvement from Dakota than in Update 5.0, as this route likes to include the entire household!
There will also be the usual run of fixes and adjustments made where appropriate, but this update will effectively be wrapping up the at-home content insofar as content originating from Ava and Dakota. What I mean by that is that any content involving, oh I don’t know, John taking over your homelife, is considered “John” content and updates will be made at that time. We expect a similar development timeframe for Update 5.1 as with previous updates, and of course I’ll be keeping everyone informed along the way!
After the final home content update, what I expect will be Update 5.2 will be primarily a mechanical update. We have a few fun ideas simmering on the backburner that I’d like to look into getting implemented. As for the following update, I think the community will be on the hook for that one… Tasha and Diana definitely need some attention, but who gets it first?
Artwork for The Company has always been an interesting proposition. On one hand, the amount of visual freedom having drawn artwork would allow for would be pretty incredible! We could actually visual feedback on changes being made to characters and the MC, interactions between characters could actually be shown with “those” characters, and even more mundane visuals like sitting around on the couch could be shown! On the other hand, and we’re not even going to touch on the resource investment, players have grown pretty attached to the media that The Company shipped with, and serving them something new that still garnered a positive reaction is a tall order.
Plus, let’s be honest, it’s an adult game. If the media in the game doesn’t rouse certain feelings then what’s the point?
The oft whispered-about artwork initiative for The Company has been in the works for years at this point. And in the interest of unapologetic transparency I would like to come out and say the reason that nothing has come of it so far is a direct result of horrendous mismanagement of the project.
From me. Specifically. The clusterfuck that was the first attempt at artwork implementation was the burning byproduct of my inexperience.
Above, you can see two versions of Ava, one being the initial version and the other being a redo over a year later. Despite a wonderful working relationship with my artist, we just never ended up with a product that I was comfortable releasing. What’s more, the engine wasn’t ready for it, and there was no “plan” for it. Simple things like art direction in the GDD that we “now” didn’t exist a few months ago, and even when new assets came in there was no easy way to use them, resulting in a limbo state for artwork and a constant flux in style and consistency.
So, we’re fixing some things…
Let me introduce you to the new art directive! Not only do we have a fantastic new artist on board, we’re working under a complete implementation plan for the first time in… ever! Art assets are coming in in a logical order and implemented into the engine immediately upon receiving. Artwork is held to new (and actually existing) standards of quality and consistency, and milestones have been set for specific batch releases.
We’re also making it a point to acquire and release artwork in a way that makes sense, tackling the game in a chronological order and ensuring “complete” implementation, even when that means waiting on “boring” assets. What boring assets? Well, for starters, all backgrounds in the game have been reworked and hand drawn, and even reflect the time of day when applicable. We’ve also adjusted some aspect ratios on things like room banners to allow for a cleaner UI with less scrolling.
Of course, I’ll be the first to admit that my track record when it comes to this isn’t great… which is exactly why I’ll be releasing an early-look demo build showcasing the artwork next month! This small demo is designed to show off how the new artwork will be used, and what players can expect in terms of storytelling, and will allow players to dose Ava and Dakota with MCS1, and meet the office staff. The partial demo has already been given out to a VERY small handful of players and the feedback has been fantastic. I can’t wait to get it into more players’ hands!
Additionally, those in the Marketing Associates backer tier will start seeing new artwork come in before anyone else, starting with a first look at Diana this Friday!
We’re doing it right this time, and we’ll be keeping all of you involved for every step of the way.
That’s all for this week, but I hope you all found it as excited as I did to finally share it! We’ll be releasing more information as it’s available, and the artwork demo will be making its way into everyone’s hands in the not-too-distant future!
As always, thank you all for your continued feedback and support!