GO GO alasdair69!

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GO GO alasdair69!

Post  tehnub on January 2nd 2012, 12:16 pm

Hey! I just happened to stumble by this page while recollecting on one of my past favourite games, Sim Brothel and JUST happened to see your post here and immediately itched to reply.

Sorry for getting your hopes high, for i am neither a previous member of your team nor a volunteer for your new team, but rather a loyal fan to games of all kinds who just could not stand by watching as you waited lonely withou anyone.

It has been countless times since I have seen people who have translated games halfway or like you, created games and abandoned them. I am neither scolding them nor looking down on them, because the time, courage and willpower required to even simply start such a long unpaid and ardous journey itself is tremendous. In your case, I do not attempt to pretend nor understand the situation you have had before nor the circumstances you were thrust into but I loudly applaud you for daring to come back again and pick up this project, even if it means you are completely alone, without any fan nor member's support.

It may seem hypocritical to you (and it most likely is), having a mere passerby, who does not even engage in such work attempt to sympathize and encourage you while he himself stands back and watches your progress. But hypocritical or not, even if I am to be judged, i will still stand up and applaud you, for your spirit is one that I have never seen before.

Whether or not you receive support, whether or not you succeed, whether or not you give up, whether or not you agree with me, know that there will be someone else, out there in the world silently applauding you and cheering for you.

I wish the best for this project, you and all of your future endeavours wherever you may be, alasdair69. Happy holidays!
May this fresh year signal the beginning of your success!

PS: on a completely unrelated side-note, the white text does not go well with the pale background, or is it just me?

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Re: GO GO alasdair69!

Post  alasdair69 on January 2nd 2012, 8:18 pm

Wow. Just … wow. With the gods in witness, I honestly have no idea whatsoever how I’m supposed to respond to something like this. The cynic in me suggests that this might simply be someone poking fun at my expense, after all in a life encompassing 4+ decades, 2 marriages, 2 kids, more than my fair share of jobs, several hobbies, etc, etc, etc, I have never been so gushingly praised for anything. EVER. But even if that turns out to be the case, you know what? It feels kinda good so I’ll take it. LOL

Anyway, tehnub brought up a couple of points that I would like to briefly touch on, in no particular order.

tehnub wrote:… the time, courage and willpower required to even simply start such a long unpaid and ardous journey itself is tremendous.
Truer words were never spoken. Admittedly, with the technological tools that are out there anyone can slap together a crap RPG or generic dogfight simulator or whatever but to make something truly unique and special requires imagination, time and a lot of hard work. Unless you’re one of the rare few who actually do this for a living, you have to fit it in whenever you have a few moments to spare around your job, family and every other aspect of your life. And with an h-game like SimBro you usually have to do it without anyone around you figuring out exactly what you’re up to as well (case in point: my kids know I’m designing a computer game of some sort but I’m still not likely to sort through my image folders or do web research on Edo period brothels while they’re in the room). All of which is why I have the utmost respect for the creators of the other versions of SimBro that I mentioned. Sure, I may not agree with the directions they’ve gone or consider the final results to be particularly awe-inspiring, but dammit they had a vision and put in the time and effort to make it happen and that’s something to be proud of.

tehnub wrote:Sorry for getting your hopes high, for i am neither a previous member of your team nor a volunteer for your new team, but rather a loyal fan to games of all kinds…
tehnub wrote:It may seem hypocritical to you (and it most likely is), having a mere passerby, who does not even engage in such work attempt to sympathize and encourage you while he himself stands back and watches your progress.
I think where a lot of amateur game designers go wrong is that they lose sight of the fact that the ‘loyal fan to games of all kinds’ is actually the target audience. One of my big passions is cryptozoology and I’d personally love to play a game where you gathered evidence, zeroed in on likely habitats, mounted expeditions and ultimately proved the existence of Bigfoot or whatever to the scientific community. And I would be playing it aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaall by myself. LOL It’s all well and good to have an idea that appeals to you and maybe to a small group of like-minded others, but you have to consider the effort vs. payoff equation. If you put thousands of hours into a game that only a dozen people will ever play then it’d be the same as if Van Gogh had hung all his masterpieces in his basement: the time and effort involved may have kept him from being bored and brought a smile to one or two people’s faces but ultimately never would have accomplished anything more than that. That’s why I spend so much time reading posts on every forum devoted to any version of SimBro I can find, try out each new version that comes down the pike and keep watch on everyone else’s reactions to it. It’s incredibly time consuming and frustrating but if I want to make the best version possible then I need to know what the fans, ALL the fans, like and dislike, want and don’t want.

tehnub wrote:… or like you, created games and abandoned them.
tehnub wrote:… understand the situation you have had before nor the circumstances you were thrust into…
tehnub wrote:… for daring to come back again and pick up this project …
Okay, first off I can’t take the blame credit ( Wink ) for creating SimBro, that was Pooolka (the same guy who originally created SlaveMaker and Hentai High School). As near as I can tell, he shambled out of nowhere, dropped SlaveMaker on an unsuspecting web and then disappeared again. Later, he reappeared, introduced SimBro v1 and reDISappeared. Forums sprouted up like weeds around both games with various groups of people cussing and discussing how they could be improved and eventually there was another Pooolka sighting, at which point he said that he didn’t really feel the mojo to work on either one any more and anyone who wanted could do whatever they wanted with them. Someone (I don’t recall who at the moment) took up the reigns of SlaveMaker and pretty much turned it into a cottage industry and a more or less stable team came together to work on SimBro. Quite a bit of time went by with nothing more than a few cosmetic changes to show for it until Pooolka, apparently having gotten his mojo back for at least a little while, showed up with a very rough, almost pre-beta version of SimBro v2 and then … wait for it … disappeared again. Quite a bit more time went by, during which the SimBro creative team spectacularly accomplished next to absolutely nothing (although to be fair they were trying to work with Pooolka’s original code, which was so senselessly complex it would give Einstein an aneurysm, and in French to boot), giving Pooolka enough time to show back up and unveil the original version of Hentai High School, which he also pretty much abandoned, fading back into the obscurity of myth and legend where, to my knowledge, he remains to this day.

Which brings me to the second point. I came along about 2 and a half years ago, shortly before Pooolka unleashed SimBro v2, and I’ve never actually stopped working on it. At first I just wanted to be part of the process, so I undertook the massive chore of collecting and collating every single complaint and/or suggestion that anyone had ever made on the game and presented them to the creative team while starting to formulate a few ideas of my own and looking forward to the collaborative effort that was no doubt about to ensue at any moment. Unfortunately though, there were some … issues … that I shan’t go into and nothing much came of it. Eventually, I decided that if I couldn’t contribute in that way I’d contribute in another and put all my ideas on the back burner to focus instead on collecting and collating images; 90% of the girls who are ready to go now stem from that period. As time went on, I would often commiserate with one particular member of the creative team about how the … issues … I cited above were keeping anything at all from being accomplished and we ultimately started our own forum, of which he was supposed to be in charge and I would simply be one of the many people working together to make a great game, which is all I really ever wanted. But circumstances conspired, as they so often do, and it was not to be. We attracted a lot of initial attention but the vast majority of people just wanted to suggest more girls or search for more pics and very, very few actually wanted to discuss game mechanics or how everything would work. And to make matters worse, the guy who was supposed to be in charge was able to spend less and less time and effort on the project, eventually more or less disappearing entirely and forcing me into a leadership position I never wanted, wasn’t prepared for and, to be frank, pretty much sucked at (my incredible OCD would make me a valuable team member but as a team leader … not so much). I did my best to work on a game design model all by myself (there were at least a few people willing and able to help me but I was hampered by my OCD-driven inability to show off something that I hadn’t worked all the kinks out of yet) while everyone else worked on bulking up the girls’ lists but repeated technical problems on my end (read as: ‘crap computer’) and having to stop and spend days at a time responding to various questions and issues on the forum (another aspect of my OCD is that it can take me all day to work out the wording of even the simplest posts to my satisfaction) made for slow going indeed. And then the inevitable happened. The girls’ lists got so glutted, the personal information that my game model required from each got so detailed and my own organizational system for that information got so mind-numbingly complex that the whole thing more or less collapsed under its own weight. My cross-referenced lists had girls listed multiple times under different variations of their names, I had images for girls who had somehow avoided being added to the lists, girls were listed as not being ready even though I had all the required images or listed as being ready when I didn’t, changes to the game design meant I had information for them all that I didn’t need any more and didn’t have information that was now vital, I could keep going but I think you get the idea. So I did the only thing I could do, I fell back and regrouped until I could fix the mess that I myself had created, which is what I’ve been doing for … oh gods, has it been that long? *shakes head* So my announcement wasn’t me saying I was ready to start working again on a project I’d abandoned, it was me saying that the work I’ve been doing on it all this time is nearing completion and I’m almost ready to move on to the next stage.

Unfortunately, the process of me making mistakes, fixing them and trying (and for the most part failing most heinously) to grow into the leadership position that I found thrust upon me has been so long and arduous that most of the people who were willing to help have given up on me and at least on my version of the overall SimBro project. I don’t blame them, I probably would have given up on me too if it weren’t for the simple fact that I am me and that makes that difficult. LOL A few have stuck with me and helped as much as they could while I tried to get things back under control. A few others have contacted me in the last few days to let me know they’re still around and willing to help again when the time comes that they can. As for the rest, I hope that once it’s time to kick the tires and light the fires again they’ll find out and make their way back but even if they don’t I don’t hold it against them and appreciate everything they did for the project before my poor management made it impossible for them to do more. And as for me, I’ll keep doing what I’ve been doing for the last 28 months: working on this game to the best of my sadly limited ability until either I’m satisfied with the result or someone pries it from my cold, dead fingers.

tehnub wrote:PS: on a completely unrelated side-note, the white text does not go well with the pale background, or is it just me?
It’s not just you, trust me. However, it’s by far the lesser evil considering that we often make extensive use of different font colors to distinguish girls in different stages of readiness for inclusion. One of these days I’m going to see what I can do about finding a better color scheme that’ll still accommodate all our various needs but my overwhelming tech-illiteracy means it’s going to be a long and drawn out process and right now I have far too many other things to worry about. Working on the game itself is job one, making the forum pretty is a distant second.

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Re: GO GO alasdair69!

Post  Joshua on January 19th 2012, 7:32 pm

Im still drifting here and there just not sure what i could contribute at the moment.

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Re: GO GO alasdair69!

Post  Glypwota on February 29th 2012, 11:25 am

Just a lover of the game passing by. I hope you don't give up on this, even if it's hard and costs a lot of time. You'd make a ton of users like me happy. (tried sibr1x ver, didn't like)

Seing you keep posting even if almost none posted here in months just made me really happy. Only for that, rhank you alasdair69, thank you for at least believing in your project. You're a hero.

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Re: GO GO alasdair69!

Post  alasdair69 on February 29th 2012, 1:27 pm

Heh, I'm no hero just too stubborn for my own good sometimes. Rest assured that I will keep working on this project until either I'm dead or it's done, even if that means writing out tons of stuff on paper (which I've been doing) because of hard drive issues (which I've been having). Gods alone know when it'll finally be done, but I certainly have no intention of giving up on it.

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Re: GO GO alasdair69!

Post  Keima-kun on June 4th 2012, 9:04 pm

So...uh, are you still working on this? I'd very much like to see a second version. If you've got any work any average joe can do, I might be interested to help. Also, a suggestion, while I'm at it: Make an unlimited days mode, if you would. A killer for the first game was that you only had 300 days to work with, after that, nothing. I'm a bit of a perfectionist, so I would love the opportunity to max out all girls' stats and such.

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Re: GO GO alasdair69!

Post  alasdair69 on June 5th 2012, 1:35 am

Absolutely I'm still working on it. I'm sort of perverse in that the more crap life throws at me to make this project more difficult the more determined I get to keep it moving along. Of course, life seems to just take that as a challenge and steps up it's game by throwing still more crap at me and it turns into a vicious circle. *snork* Right now I'm having both computer and RL issues that have slowed things to a crawl but really, considering the lack of visible progress up to this point anyway it's not like anyone could tell the difference. I'd like to stress though that while there may not have been any visible progress made that doesn't mean there hasn't been any progress at all. Basically, what I'm doing right now is laying the foundation. It's tedious and slow going and probably isn't even the most efficient way to go about things but it's the way my OCD brain has settled into and I'm going to see it through. Once the foundation is laid, I'll be able to build on it and hopefully start seeing some of my plans for the game come together in a meaningful way. Once it gets to that point I'm going to need all the help and ideas I can get so I hope everyone is patient enough with me to still be hanging around.

As for the unlimited days, that's been part of the plan from the very beginning. There's going to be a 'story mode' for lack of a better term, where the player tries to accomplish certain objectives within the initial 300 day period, but once those 300 days are up and your success or failure in accomplishing those objectives is evaluated you'll then be free to continue playing on that save for as long as you choose. And unlike the first game, where things turned into a boring 'wash, rinse, repeat' about two thirds of the way through, there's enough content planned to keep it fresh and entertaining for FAR longer.

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Re: GO GO alasdair69!

Post  Keima-kun on June 5th 2012, 3:00 am

Sounds good Very Happy If I may make a suggestion, it would probably be beneficial to provide once-a-month updates on progress, just on stuff you had worked on during the month, an estimate as to when you think you'll finish (up to you, I know some people work better with a deadline, and some just get stifled with one), and a rough estimate as to how much of the game you think is finished percentage-wise (people really enjoy seeing progress updates like that, so they feel they can know when it'll be finished). Doing this will generate more people to come back and participate (read: more volunteers), which you really need, since it's been years since this started, and people will be seeing an active board instead of one without a post for months, where they assume "Oh, he's given up on the project, the boards are dead." I know if I came on to a project like this and saw the last post being a week ago, I'd be ecstatic and would more than likely start exploring the board. Just my 2 cents.

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Re: GO GO alasdair69!

Post  alasdair69 on June 5th 2012, 3:58 pm

You're absolutely right of course, but if I'm going to be completely honest with myself (and everyone else) I have to admit that it probably won't work out that way for several reasons; not for a little while, anyway. The first main stumbling block to something like that is the Obsessive part of my Obsessive Compulsive nature, as I tend to lose track of everything when I'm concentrating very strongly on something. I once spent a weekend so focused on SimBro that I suddenly realized Sunday night that I hadn't eaten since sometime early Friday so I know I'll forget to give regular updates. The second is that, having never developed a game before and having no real clue what I'm doing or how to go about it, I'm pretty much playing this by ear and would have no idea how to answer questions like what percentage is completed or how much longer it might take. And of course since I don't know code from crapola even when the design is 100% done someone (hopefully Fred will still be around and interested, if not I'll have to find someone else) will then have to turn it into something functional. And perhaps most importantly I used to give status updates with my best estimates on percentages of completion and rough ideas of when to expect certain things, but every time I did something weird would come out of left field to screw up my projections and either slow progress down immensely or temporarily bring it to a screeching halt. Now I can't speak for anyone else (and no one has said as much to my face), but if someone kept crying wolf like that to me and then never delivering I'd rapidly lose all confidence in them. All of which is why I've settled into doing things the way I have been.

As I said, right now I'm laying the foundation. What does that mean exactly? Well, in it's most basic sense I'm fixing the mess that the girls' lists became, organizing all the images that I had squirreled away in farflung corners of my drive and researching all the personal info that's going to be necessary for some of the features I plan to implement. But it goes beyond that as well. On the face of it having a whole bunch of girls ready to include in the game doesn't mean a damn thing if you don't have a game to include them in, but this is a game that's all about the girls so knowing which ones are possible for inclusion and which ones aren't is a big step in helping figure out which game mechanics would highlight their particular strengths, weaknesses and personalities the best. For instance, the inclusion of Chii from the anime Chobits has always bothered me because this is a game about the girls having sex but one of the main plot points of the anime is that Chii's reset switch (she's essentially an android, for those unfamiliar) is located in her vagina so she can never do that. However, while going through her images I hit upon the idea of only showing her engaged in non-vaginal intercourse but including a rare but potential random event where a customer ignores that stipulation and accidentally 'resets' her back to her original configuration, effectively undoing any stat gains she had achieved up to that point. Similarly, doing the personal info research showed that Kiri Komori from Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei is a shut-in that never goes outside, meaning that she's the one girl you'd never have to worry about running away but it would be a real pain in the ass to transfer her to another brothel (you'd probably have to seal her in a packing crate and pay to have her shipped to the new location or something - it makes sense if you've ever seen the anime, they actually did something similar once). So while it may look and sound (and often feel) like pointless busy work, getting the girls' lists straightened out, the images organized and the personal info researched really is an important process that's helping me codify and expand upon the various game mechanics that I already had in mind and come up with new ones.

The good news is that that part of the process is nearly done, the cement is almost dry on the foundation, so to speak. I've got less than a gig of images for fewer than 20 girls left to sort through and then some additional work to do regarding the girls who were included in version 1.5. The personal info research is significantly farther from being completed (especially as regards certain complex sources like Gundam and Fire Emblem, of which I know next to nothing in the first place) but that's not something I can complete in a timely manner with the computer problems I've been having anyway so I'll be doing it in fits and spurts as opportunity allows while moving ahead with everything else. And just what is 'everything else', you may ask? What's next on the list after I finish the current groundwork? Glad you asked.

If this experience has taught me anything it's that I really have no freaking clue what I'm doing when it comes to designing a game. Don't get me wrong, I have a lot of (what I think are) good ideas about how the game experience should go from a player's perspective and at least some small concept of how most of them would function but the finer details of each and how they all work together is an immensely intricate undertaking. I'm a smart guy and very detail oriented so I could probably figure it all out on my own ... in a couple of hundred years or so. *snork* My original intention was to design a fully functioning game model that I could then hand over to a programmer to slap on some ones and zeroes and we'd all have a really cool game to play but that was pretty much my ego and inexperience talking. So in the interests of seeing this come to fruition during my lifetime and me not dying of a stress-induced aneurysm I've been forced to subtly alter my methodology. Currently, I have probably 70% of the game planned out in my head but next to nothing written down in any sort of concrete manner that anyone else could look at and make sense of. As such, once I'm done with the groundwork I'm going to take some time to organize and write out my concepts for the various mechanics of the game as I see them working. I'll then post those to the forum so other like-minded individuals can work with me to fine tune them and help figure out how they would all work together in the finished product. Hopefully we'll end up with a whole swarm of people sharing their own ideas and helping build on each others. More likely is that a small core team will develop (again) to make all the really substantial contributions. In a worst case scenario it'll all be met with a rousing round of indifference and I'll end up having to do it all myself or with the help of only one or two people anyway. I guess we'll see when that time comes.

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Re: GO GO alasdair69!

Post  Mr Man on December 18th 2013, 3:08 am

Hey, I just recently stumbled across this Dev-board and I figured I would applaud your effort and cheer you on. I immensly enjoyed the first Sim Brothel and have been waiting for someone, anyone, to make a sequel. This forum has given me hope that there will be sequel as you seem to be admirably persistent in taking this straight to the end, as you have made that a clear fact throughout a few of your posts. While I can do little in the way of actually contributing to the game itself, I would be happy to serve as a reminder, alongside tehnub, that there are people out there that appreciate the effort you are putting forth to create a fun experience for others while asking nothing in return. Of course, I do have a question I would like to ask along with a suggestion.
       The question is if this project has any connection to Sim Brothel 2:Revival. I understand that this may be a stupid question but I don't find it hard to believe that the game discussed here could have slowly evolved into that project.
       The suggestion is that the game should have the same playstyle as the first Sim Brothel. For instance, Revival has the core simulation with the player managing each of his girls in the brothel, but adds several new components like combat, storyline, traits, and even traversible maps complete with character sprites. While I can understand the creators of Revival adding in these components, I would prefer gameplay similar to the original, albeit with more in depth simulations and things to control. As fun as it sounds to be able to build a team of ass-kicking, monster slaying, whores, that is simply not what I want out of Sim Brothel (Although I would definitly play that.) Instead, I want to be given the opportunity to bribe the city guard with money, or girls in order to keep myself out of trouble. I want to win over a VIP by picking out the girl best suited to his desires. In the first Sim Brothel "Blowkob" and "Fuck" were stats. Expand on that idea by giving seperate stats to different forms and styles of sex along with classes that increase each specific one. If the customer prefers a blowjob over a handjob then give me a bonus if the girl is high in that stat. And who needs a story or a quest? We're playing a simulated brothel, not any number of rpg out there. Instead of telling me some cliche story about a disgraced noble seeking revenge or some random guy asking me to perform some menial task, give me the option to inspire obedience into my girls through benevolence or tyranny. Perhaps there could be a rival brothel that could attempt to recruit some of my unhappy or mistreated girls. Of course, these are only suggestions and beggars cannot be choosers so I will certainly understand if I am asking a little much. If, however, you feel that you could use my ideas, I would be more than happy to share them with you.
    Overall, thank you for giving this project so much of your time and energy, and thank you for listening to just another guy's rant. Just remember that there are people out here who would love to see you complete this project even if it takes years to accomplish, and that they are rooting for you all the way.

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Re: GO GO alasdair69!

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