I’ve got good news as well as some potentially controversial news. As stated before, the majority of the work we’re doing on the game involves polish and UI. While the features I’m about to bring up aren’t necessarily new, their UI elements are.
First off is the Gal Info panel. Clicking once on any Gal will zoom in on them and bring up a panel listing their stats, level, description, abilities, and mood. For the most part it’s mainly a recapping of the information displayed when you originally hired them, plus any additional stats or bonuses you might have given them.
Mood is an important thing to note here however, as when a Gal’s Mood deteriorates completely, she will not be able to work again until she regains Mood. When enough real-life time passes, Mood will be restored. If this is starting to sound like an energy system, well, yeah, it basically is. Where this gets awkward is that we specifically mentioned in our Kimochi we would not implement any sort of time gating system based off of energy, so I wanted to take the chance to clarify this ahead of time.
You see, Fallout Shelter was able to tout the “you can play as long as you like” moniker only technically, as after a certain point yeah you are playing the game, but nothing interesting is happening. There was still time gating, however it was disguised in a bit more of an elegant way, a way we were originally hoping to go at. However, since our game has a number of design choices different from Fallout Shelter, such as our VN storyline and a different pool of resources to juggle, this system just ended up not being very fun in our game. This was when we implemented a Day/Night cycle.
The current gameplay progression feels more similar to the hostess club minigame of Yakuza 0 if anyone is familiar with that. During the “day phase” the player can build new rooms, hire new Gals, assign Gals, send Gals on missions, etc. The “day phase” is the time for the player to actually manage their brothel. Once they are happy with their choices, they can then press a button to enter “night phase” in which the brothel opens up for business and starts accepting clients. This phase only lasts a couple of minutes real-time and the player is unable to make any large changes to their brothel. This is the period in which the players can enjoy the animations and also observe which parts of the brothel are more profitable than others.
In order to make this new system work, we had to have the night phase consume some form of resource. Thus, the Mood system. However, you can still technically play as long as you like as Gals running out of Mood doesn’t stop you from opening up the brothel. While you will likely in-game money as you still need to pay for the upkeep of the brothel every night, you are able to advance time for the sake of advancing a room build timer. In addition, some Gals have more Mood than others, so it increases the strategic element to the game by having to manage and constantly rotate out the Gals currently available to work a shift.
Phew, that was a lot to explain. Moving on to the purely good news now- we’re working on actually implementing a Gal customization screen! While originally a part of the design for Dimlight City, it got cut somewhere along the way due to infrastructure constraints. We were able to go back and shake up the original planned implementation in order to find a way to make it possible again. I know a couple of people have asked for this, so anyone who requested being able to dress up and customize your Gals, well, today’s your lucky day!