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Weekly Update 2019-01-12

Teaser Scene

Not a whole lot to say about this one except that Amanda is as cute as a goddamned button! This week’s teaser comes from her upcoming blue path update. You knew sooner or later you’d have to talk about the incident by the pool. Or you know what, maybe you don’t because you’re the upstanding type that chose not to flash a bunch of teenagers with some wet silk pants. Either way you’ll get an amazing chance to further your relationship with this beautiful young woman. Cheers!

Progress

Ok. Now onto the meat and bones of this thing. Man is there a lot to talk about. Not sure where to start so I’m just going to dive right in!

It’s been a busy week, a very busy week. As you know we’ve spent the last year really working to bring our Daz skills up to par so that we can bring you the highest quality visuals we can. In that regard we’ve made some very significant progress! On the upside, we’ve got some really great art in our game. On the downside, it’s large. I mean very large.

Zipped, our last update weighed in at like 630MB and that’s just getting us through the introduction. We still have a lot of story left to tell and at this rate we’ll quickly be capping ourselves out and having to go to the trouble of splitting this thing up into multiple parts (which we’d like to avoid doing if possible).

However, in our zeal to learn as much as we can about Daz we’ve altogether neglected educating ourselves on some of the slicker features of Renpy. So in an attempt to bring ourselves up to speed we’ve spent the last two weeks really scrubbing through the Renpy documentation and playing around with some of the features and code available in that package. It has been time well spent and we’ve found a number of devices that will both save us time and space in coming releases.

     Layers

We’ve always known layers existed in Renpy but haven’t made much of an effort to incorporate them. Well now’s the time to change that.

Layer Pros: Reduced file size and easier manipulations of visuals in code. We ran some tests to determine if the additional work was going to be worthwhile and it is. A sample scene we did that took 14MB using our current methods only took 5MB when utilizing layers and transparencies. Multiplied over the length of the game, that’s a huge time saver when it comes to downloading, uploading, and storage. Using Dynamic Composites we are also able to alter characters in code resulting in a much faster coding process. It also enables us to reuse some of the generic images (like dialogue cuts) in subsequence scenes thus freeing up bandwidth for more detailed erotic scenes later on.

Layer Cons: Slightly longer set up time. Using layers requires more post-processing in photoshop than we’ve previously done. It hasn’t been determined yet whether or not this added time exceeds the time saved in coding and rendering (we render faster since we only doing parts of an image at once). Right now the perception is that overall time spent assembling visuals will remain relatively the same or less, and that the time spent is just being front loaded in the process. We’ll have to wait a few updates to really confirm this theory.

     Dynamic Composites 

With dynamic composites we are essentially using layers and manipulating the pieces at runtime. What does all that mean? It means the last several Patron Polls we’ve run have pretty much become null and void. Sorry about that.

Don’t worry, we’re still going to have interesting polls coming soon, it’s just that the last few are kind of obsolete. The results for polls such as Cassie’s nightwear, Lupita’s work outfit, and Jane’s tattoo can pretty much be ignored. Using layers, it’s possible for us to incorporate all of these choices at a minimal addition to development time.

Things like changing an outfit or adding a tattoo are disgustingly easy using layers and I regret we are only now exploring these benefits. And since we are only rendering the part of the image that is changing and not the whole image, we don’t add much in terms of file size or rendering time. For an extra hour or two of work per scene, we can give players an amazing amount of variety in terms of visual style.

Want Jane with a single tat, you can have it. Want her with all the tats? We can offer that too. Want her with a couple of facial piercings? Easy! Want to stick with just the plain Jane? You got it. The possibilities are endless.

And so the next series of polls we do will focus on what features you want to see added to the game.

     Name the MC

Holy hell, we’ve been hearing about this from day one. Why can’t we name the MC? It would be better if we could name the MC! I’ve patched it so that I can name the MC.

Alright already! We’ve heard you. And while our intention was to make each game stand apart by having a well defined protagonist, we can’t ignore the fact that players and patrons want what they want, and we don’t have a strong moral, business or marketing reason to do otherwise.

So in another update or two we’re going to begin the task of re-writing some code and allowing players the option of changing the MC’s name. To us, he will always be Roger Harrington and that will be his default name. But in your play through, you can call him whatever you want. But wait! There’s more!

We’ve also decided that the power of layers should not be confined to just the lovers in the game. And so our plan is over the next couple of updates to add layers to Roger as well. What does this mean?

It means that Roger’s ethnicity will be in your hands.

We’ve always planned to do games in the future with characters of other races. Val Jones, the private detective we’re going to introduce in our next update is one such character that we’ve slated to one day get his own game. But we know players have different preferences when it comes to the MC’s race. We’ve been at a loss in deciding the best way to handle that. But now we don’t have to!

All of the games we produce going forward will offer you a choice of name and race for your MC. None of which will change the actual story, but it will allow you to experience it visually in the way that pleases you best.

     But there’s a catch…

I know we’ve stated time and time again that our intention was write, release and update this game in a way that ensured you’d never have to restart…and that is still the intention!

However, we’re talking about some major changes here and we’re not yet sure the extent to which compatibility will be possible. It is still our goal to incorporate all of these updates in a manner that leaves all of your old saves functional. But there is the possibility some of these updates just won’t work without a restart. Honestly, it’s too soon to know.

Now the plan is to slowly integrate these major updates over the next several releases. We don’t want to stop the game cold and make you wait a whole month with nothing to do while we scrub old code.

So as we introduce each change we’ll start testing for compatibility and making whatever corrections are needed to ensure old saves work. In the event that a restart is necessary, we’ll put the game on a two or three week hiatus and work overtime to get all of the changes in at once so that if you do have to restart, this will be the only time.

We figure if a restart is necessary, best to do it now while we’re only a scene or two past introductions. Either way, we’ll keep you in the loop so you know what’s going as soon as we do.

Current Poll

Well the Jane poll is pretty much a moot point at this junction as we are now going to offer all of the options presented including a few new ones.

But the whose next poll is still going strong and right now it looks like Jane and Lupita with a strong lead. $5 Patrons can vote here.

What’s Next

We got a lot of damned work to do! We’re putting the renders together for the Amanda/Nanami update. It’s going to be slightly delayed as we continue to gain experience working with Renpy Layers and codifying our new post production process. But once we’ve adapted to it over the next update or two we’ll be completing this part faster than ever.

After that we’ll start in working on the next update (looks like Jane and Lupita) and begin easing in some of the changes we’ve discussed above.

It’s exciting stuff and this project is quickly growing in more a exciting and dynamic way that we previously thought possible.

Excellent stuff happening over here and we can’t wait to share it with you!

As always, we thank you tremendously for your support. We can’t do this without you!

We at Ianvus Salute You!

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