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This release contains:

  • Additional slutroom images. I added these ages ago, but only now realized they were never enabled in the game. Whoops! Researching the upgrades now makes more images/descriptions available.
  • Two new resources – cum and milk. These are needed for more advanced magic, like:
    • A new small building, the Magic Circle.
    • Raising the magic stat. Most people have a very, very low cap.
    • Catgirls. Catgirls have two special events as the Auction House and two when whoring on sycamore street.
    • Catboys. Catboys have a special random event whoring on sycamore street.
    • With some research, new public use events at the Galleria.
    • New pregnancy events at t he Milking Barn
    • With a bit of research, you can now assign people to work your Dungeons.
  • Whoring on sycamore is now much more likely to give you really random events, rather than looping the same ones over and over. Did you know Liana has a special something there, and that there are events for both male and female sex slaves?
  • Several research options have been made cheaper to reduce grind.
  • Improved performance generating the worker-assignment screen
  • Fixed a bug where saving at the wrong moment in the middle of a turn could break the save (I’m surprised no one ever reported this – it’s been in the game since 0.1.0).

Play it at the usual place or download to run locally.

This release contains two new scenes. Available to play and download in the usual places. Yay, pizza! Thank you Malkuth and Eidalac.

  • At the city council, if you’ve had someone shot by the police while trying to capture victims in sycamore, and after you’ve gained access to North End, you can blackmail a policewoman.
  • At the Holiday Inn, once you’ve researched the gym upgrade, if you haven’t burned the original gym you can make a pair of close friends really, really embarrassed to watch each other have sexytimes.

I want pizza. First person to comment on this post with an offer for a $15 e-gift card for Dominos gets a scene of their choice added to Hive. Something like 3-6 “pages” in the game, a couple of images.

Call it an experiment, or laziness, or simple curiosity. But really, the equation is simple – cheese and olives and green chili and pineapple and tomato sauce and dough + tap on the prostitution kink = awesome.

See? Not dead. Here’s an update.

Mostly, this release is composed of a couple of typo fixes (thanks Arcess and Varrik), a couple of new image variants (thanks to the same), and a new, rather long (11 part!) event for North End that I wrote up today while really horny.

Like many things in this game, it’s hot if you’re in the right mood, and more than a little horrifying otherwise. Enjoy. Download from the usual place or play online.

As you may have noticed, there’s been a lack of game updates recently. I can say how busy I am, how I haven’t been feeling inspired, how I’m working on other things, but the truth is really quite a bit simpler:

I’m a slut.

Yep, there’s been a lack of game updates because I’ve been having a lot of kinky sex. I have two girlfriends. Yes, they know about each other, and they like to hear all the dirty details. Yes, one of them is married, but I’ve met her husband and he thinks I’m cute (yes he knows what we’re up to). I spent last Friday in a giant mostly-naked cuddle-pile, petting and getting petted by another woman I like, and several strangers. I spent Thursday before last blindfolded with a spreader-bar, getting tormented with vampire gloves and flogged.

My schedule’s pretty busy. It’s awesome. I don’t really need the outlet for pent up sexual energy that working on the game used to provide.

I am still working on things, slowly, but it’s not “spend every evening on it” like it used to be. I’ve got places to see, people to get fucked by.

Time for another release, and it’s a big one. Play online or download, like usual.

  • Old saves are not compatible with the new version. You’ll probably get a blank screen when you first open the game. Hit “Load”, delete all your saves, refresh the page. All your hard work is gone. Sorry, not sorry, thank you come again.
  • Rebalanced everything. Most parts of the game are smoother now – less clicking through boring days waiting to accumulate XYZ. Probably still some of that, but less so.
  • Two new locations (only one of them is really interesting, though). Visit the North End for exciting new buildings, including a way to finally raise lust.
  • Lots of new images. Several new buildings. Several new jobs. Cowgirls. Slutty boys (don’t train Man Whores if you don’t want to see gay sex – it’s optional, they’re not required for anything).
  • TBH, I forgot what was even in the last version, it was a long time ago. But lots of new stuff! Still no tentacles. They’re coming eventually, I swear.

Time for a thing I haven’t done in quite some time… game reviews! In this exciting post, there will be not two, not three, but five short reviews all at once.

Academagia

This game is magic. It earns 9/10 – there are definitely things that could be improved, but I haven’t enjoyed and spent as much time on a game in what seems like forever. You play as a student in a magic school. Think Hogwarts, but a bit sillier and much more detailed. Make friends, go to classes (or skip them, and try not to get detention), have adventures, learn magic, get attacked by giant spiders and get shanghaied by sky pirates.

It’s a life-simulator / stat raising type of game, in the same vein as Princess Maker – you have a large number of statistics, which you raise on a day-by-day basis by planning what you’ll spend time on. I *love* those sorts of games, which you probably know if you’ve spent a great amount of time around my blog.

  • There are 7 primary attributes, and literally *over 200* other skills. This is both a strength and a weakness – it’s a strength because there’s tons of room for different characters to actually be different, and a weakness because the UI is a little clumsy for dealing with such large numbers of items.
  • The writing is the strongest point. It’s funny, witty, there’s always more to discover. A++. It’s a little silly sometimes, but that fits the feel of the game as a whole – very light hearted.
  • My choices feel like they really do determine the type of character I’m playing. There are (almost) always multiple options for any given situation – use quick wits and magic, brute strength, cunning, artistic ability… my character was pretty, charming, studious and popular – the type of girl you just love to hate, and indeed, many students did!
  • Free DLC 16 came out in April, 2014. They’ve been supporting and releasing free updates – and not small ones – for your years. I’m very impressed.
  • The learning curve is rather steep. You *will* flounder about and fail at everything for the first several hours. That’s ok. You don’t need to restart. There’s no “win”, and “lose” is actually rather hard to do, threats by teachers to the contrary.
  • The UI is the weakest point. It’s not exactly ugly, just a bit lackluster. But the real issue isn’t appearance, it’s clumsiness. I want more sensible sorting, faster scrolling, ways to quickly filter or locate what I’m looking for. In most games that wouldn’t be a huge deal, but towards to middle and end of the game, I had probably 80 items in a list… and the ones I selected at least 100 times was buried near the bottom, but still in the middle of that list. At least give me a scrollbar I can click on, so I don’t have to use my mouse’s scroll wheel (which moves things painfully slowly…). A bit of work on the UI could boost the game’s score to 9.5, which is the highest I’ve ever rated a game.

I don’t often pay for games until after I’ve decided I like them, but this one is well worth the $25 they’re asking. If you do decide to give it a try, follow these three steps before you start. Seriously, just do it. You can’t save unless you run the game as Administrator, and you want all the latest content and bugfixes.

 

Hanako Games

This company makes all the games I wish I did. Like, seriously, I want to be them so badly. >.>

Black Closet

  • Play as a student council president. Assign your minions to talk with, stalk, harass, persuade, examine the scene of a crime, and otherwise resolve scandals that would potentially tarnish the reputation of the highly prestigious all-girls school you attend.
  • Game is super fun, and not terribly long. 8.5/10. It doesn’t last long enough to get boring, but you have to replay if you want to see all the different stories… and it gets kind of repetitive after the second time through. Could stand to be either a bit shorter of have a bit more variety.
  • PG-13. There’s a hint of romance, and plenty of discussion of dating, but nothing happens on screen. That’s fine, the game is good as is.
  • You have a defined personality, but a bit of wiggle room within that. You’re competent and smart and a bit controlling. You play as a black woman. It’s never made a big deal of, only mentioned in passing once (other than the artwork). You may or may not be a lesbian. It’s great. This game gets +0.5 score because of its feminist cred (it’d be 8.0 with a less adept – or non-existent – handling of gender and race and sexual preference). :)
  • The art is decent – it does its job well. The game also comes with a different sprite set, which is not nearly as good – second (default) one is much better.

 

Long Live the Queen

  • You play as a princess. In case you haven’t been hanging around here long, you know that from that sentence alone the game is going to get high marks from me. :D
  • Game feels a little light on content, but what is there is quite fun. 7.5/10, plus a special +1 Princess Bonus, for a total of 8.5/10.
  • Really fun! I’ve replayed it half a dozen times, just to explore all the different types of princesses I could be. :3
  • Again a sort of time management / stat raising / life simulator. You train things like “Composure” and “Decoration” and “Climbing”, and also things like “Battlefield Medicine” and “Naval Strategy”. You can win with a wide variety of skills – I played a power and intimidating sorceress with a thirst for military victory the first time, and a demure, polite and educated flower the second time. Obviously they solved certain problems very differently!
  • The weakness in this game is the seemingly arbitrary requirements. You can die, without warning, several times throughout the course of the game, and often need to backtrack 3 or more turns to avoid that chain of events. That sucks – if you don’t remember to keep a backward chain of saves or happen to have trained the right skills, you need to start over. Repeatedly. Ouch.
  • The art is cute. Not fantastic, but really cute.

 

Sword Daughter

  • 3/10. Eww. Bad writing, no plot to speak of, generic characters. It’s not a 1 or 2 because I didn’t close it in disgust (there are plenty of games I close in disgust), and because it’s at least competently packaged.
  • Licensed adaptation of a book from the 80s. At least Hanako Games didn’t write it, so I can only blame her for taking on the project, not for making such a terrible plot and characters.
  • Do not waste your time with this one.

 

The Royal Trap

  • This one’s a pure visual novel, no game play at all. However, unlike many visual novels, the routes are *actually different*, not a linear story in disguise. Romance different men, who are all charming in their different ways.
  • You play as a servant / companion to a prince. You are a competent, deadly but-not-cartoonishly-so, loyal but still independent, woman. Again, it gets a huge amount of credit for well done female characters. You can be a servant but still your own woman, and be a trained thief/assassin without being stereotypical.
  • Love the writing, the characters, the art. It’s all unbelievably cute. 9.5/10. There is almost nothing that could be improved. It’s long enough to be satisfying but short enough not to be overbearing. It may not be everyone’s style, but it’s perfect for what it is.
  • Nazagi forever. <3

 

Science Girls

  • JRPG style gameplay. You play as the leader of the Science Club. Your power is Psychology – buff your allies, harm your enemies. The Physics girl (who has a name but I’ve forgotten) runs around with a car battery, zapping enemies with the terminals. The Chemistry girl dumps beakers of acid on your foes. It’s really cute.
  • 6/10. Remember, I rate games very harshly – if it’s above 5, I think it’s still worth playing. I’ve reviewed games as 1/10 before. Obviously less polished / earlier in Hanako’s portfolio than any of the above works.
  • The story is silly and light hearted. The game is kind of simple and a bit short, but could use being even shorter – it gets a bit repetitive near the end.

 


 

So… yeah. Georgina Bensley (owner / sole worker at Hanako Games) is made of magic and I want to be her. Or maybe be her apprentice or something. She churns out well made, beautiful, fun, cute and feminist games by the armful.

LogoSI had the urge to work on Lapis again tonight, to maybe finally introduce Asara… but then I opened the files and my motivation just shrivelled. That’s a horrible place to be, with something that’s first and foremost a hobby, something I do for fun and relaxation. It’s time for something to change.

So, it’s time for a thing I’ve been dancing around for a few months now: I don’t want to work on Lapis Azurai any more.

Well, to be more specific, there are *some parts* of it I don’t want to work on. For one thing, the gameplay… didn’t really come out like I’d hoped. I’ve patched it a few times, and learned a ton in the process, but really it’s just not getting done what  I want it to. I also really dread the writing format I chose, dialogue and formatting heavy. It’s really hard to work on, and takes many iterations to get it right. So. Much. Time. Spent.

I like other aspects very much. The story, which has barely begun to show up in game. The art, which despite complaints from some people, I continue to really like. The characters. The setting.

What do?

So… here’s what’s up. I’m going to mess around with some things for a while, play some of my favorite games, and consider how I want to rework Lapis Azurai, what sort of gameplay, in what format. Some things I’m pretty sure about by this point:

  • James as a character will be going away. He’s uninspiring. Will there be a new male officer? Maybe. I’ll have to find someone more interesting if there is.
  • Natalie’s current art will be given to a new character, as yet unnamed, while I commission another set for Natalie. I like the art, but it’s just not her.
  • The trade-sail-sell gameplay will be gone. The “assign people to jobs each day” framework may or may not stay – I’m unsure if I like it, despite the fact that it’s been at the core of all my games so far.
  • “Generic crew” will be going away. Writing faceless people is boring and hard – I want to give everyone personalities.

Other than that, I’m just not quite sure right now. I need to do some thinking and planning – how can I make something fun without getting burned out on irrelevant details?

It’s here. It’s harder, faster, stronger, not compatible with previous saves. Play the new version of Hive online, or download it.

If you played the last version, click “load”, then delete all your saves. They may or may not error out obviously, but they’re unlikely to work 100% correctly even if nothing goes wrong immediately.

All reported bugs are fixed, though I’m sure I’ve introduced plenty more.

  • Build Community Outreach Centers
  • Train Maids and Sex Slaves, in addition to Dommes and Sadists. Finally, a use for virgins.
  • Build an Auction House and sell your trained slaves.
  • More space for new rooms in Sycamore street.
  • I actually ran spellcheck. Amazing how much that caught (mostly in stuff from the last release). ^^;;

Planned next (subject to change): Coffle Block (sell untrained slaves). More “story” stuff (such as it is). Jobs around town that only certain classes can do. Tentacle expansions to the game economy.

Edit: Updated the release with fixes for all the comments I’ve responded to so far. At least they were all quick!

As mentioned previously, I’ve been taking a bit of a break from Lapis Azurai to work on a side project. It is significantly more more on par with brothels.im than Lapis. I present to you:

http://hive.winds.blue/

I’ll probably fix any issues you all report, but honestly, it’s just for fun, and minor things like “continuity” and “making sense” and whatnot aren’t a real focus.

I originally started work on this in Ren’Py, but after a week of banging around at things, just gave up and ported it the the Lapis engine. It’s designed for games like this, while Renpy works better for much more linear VN type thingies. The ease with which the code adjusted to different concepts – simultaneous locations, rooms, research, trainable units, etc. revives my dream of publishing it separately as a real “game engine” someday, for other people to use for their own games.

You can download the game at http://hive.winds.blue/Hive.zip. The source code is at https://github.com/BlueWinds/Hive.

Damn things go fast when I’m not waiting on art. Also, damn this reminded me of how much I hate scripting expressions for characters in Lapis Azurai. My next game will just have thumbnail portraits of the characters. ^^;;

I make no claim to any of the artwork found in this game – it’s all borrowed from https://chan.sankakucomplex.com/. Big thumbs up to all those artists out there. :)