Debu Complex : a tamagotchi-like game - 080521 | Multiple save files update !

Quick uninteresting backstory

I have tried to make a weight-gain related game for literally years. First time I tried was back when I was a teenager, not long after I found out about this whole fat fetishism. Back then, I had something very simple in mind : a female character living in her own little virtual world, and you guide her in her day-to-day life. Pretty much like a tamagotchi. But with an anime girl. And weight gain-oriented.

However, teenager me didn’t have a single clue how game programing worked, and all I had was a cracked version of RPG Maker XP. I gave up after a couple month of fighting with the various custom scripts I decided to install and managing absolutely nothing besides a hot non-functional mess.

Over the years, I gave it several more tries, started from scratch with fresh ideas, but eventually hit a wall, got pissed and gave up. But every time I tried, I had a more refined idea of the game I wanted to make. And you guessed it, some time ago, on the 26th of September of the Cursed Unholy Year 2020, I decided to try making a game once more.

This time I’m confident it’ll get somewhere, because it’s the closest to a functional game I’ve got so far, and the most time and efforts I have invested in any iterations of my game without feeling burned out (thank covid and lockdown for that). With every attempt I made of creating the same game over and over again, I now have a pretty clear vision of how the game should look like and what features should be included. On top of that, I became a developper and even though I am more used to code applications and software, at least now I have some idea of what I’m doing, unlike back when I tried to make a tamagotchi game on fucking RPG Maker.

About the game

This game is supposed to be a chill, long-term game. Pretty much like Animal Crossing, you aren’t supposed to do everything in one afternoon of binge-gaming, but rather play in small sessions every couple day. You will create your own character, from her physical look to her personality traits, and interact with her, take care of her and hopefully develop some kind of “bond” with her. Like having a virtual pet -a tamagotchi-, but instead it’s an anime girl and you’re supposed to use her to fulfill your lewd fat-themed fantaisies.

To achieve that, I want to give the user as much freedom as possible, may it be with in-game possibilities such as customization options or by letting the user edit and add their own dialog lines directly into the game. There will also be no imposed story or scenario ; instead, the focus will be put on social interactions between the user and their character, as well as between the character and the NPCs. Punctual events will rythm the game and provide a bit of “action” and development, but the goal is to leave the story-telling in the hands of the user instead of mine.

I want the game to be easily customizable. Idealy, I’d like the user to be able to customize every single dialog line, to scenarize their own events, and to import their own assets. However, these are merely wishes for now and I cannot guarantee I’ll be able to provide all of these features, as this raises a couple technical challenges. But I am trying my best to think of the best possible way to achieve this, and once I’ll consider the game to be feature-complete I intend to code a complementary customization tool to ensure customization is safe, easy and easily sharable.

The game itself is made with Game Maker Studio 2, the sprites with Pixlr Editor and some of the sound files were slightly modified with Audacity.

Features
  • Simple character creator
    | Create a character that kinda fits your preferences, from her look to her personality traits.
  • Customizable personality
    | Three different personalities, each having multiple variations and fully customizable dialog lines.
  • Feeding and weight-gain mechanics
    | 34 food items with different attributes to feed your character. Some are stuffing-oriented, while others are weight-gain oriented.
  • 100+ sprites
    | 18 different character sizes, each with 7 individual stuffing stages.
  • Dynamic metabolism
    | Your characters’ caloric needs evolve and depend on their height, weight, age and base metabolism.
  • Multiple save files
    | Create and fatten up to 10 characters.

Download and changelog

08/05/2021 - New interactions + emotions (limited)
18/04/2021 - Animations + workout + various bug fixes and refactors
10/03/2021 - Multiple save files + personalities and dialogs improvements + various refactors
24/02/2021 - Added mouse controls + various glitch fixes and improvements
23/01/2021 - Fixed some glitches related to character creation and typos
19/01/2021 - First playable demo

74 Likes

I’m glad to see another actual project in the projects section and not just another idea.
You’ve got my support! (Emotional, I don’t have enough spare change to give financial support.)
As for title ideas, I’ll think of some, and maybe ask my boyfriend about it.

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Looks promising! I hope you have as much fun making it as it looks

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Looks cute! I hope something becomes of this!

HMMMM. interesting…

Glad to see some people are interested, or at least intrigued !

I’ll post an update when the game is ready for an early version. But even with rough sprites, it’s still a lot of work, so I can’t really tell when that’ll be. Later on I’ll probably end up having to ask for some help from better artists than myself… I might be trying to bite more than I can chew. But for now I can still work by myself.

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An extra little sneak peek at what sizes and weight progression should look like :

Animated

I put this together with the sprites I’m currently making. It’s missing a few frames and the last size on the gif is not going to be the biggest size (yes, outgrowing the game display is an intended feature). But I though it looked cool so here it is.

Other than that the inventory system is well on its way, feeding and weight gain is also pretty operational. I was a little worried about performance issues because of the large amount of sprites the game has to handle and the inventory is pretty large, but so far it’s holding fairly well.

20 Likes

Can’t wait to try it

1 Like

I think I might keep this in my radar

I’m honestly kind of shocked that this type of game hasn’t been done more. Definitely following this.

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It’s been a couple weeks since I made this post, and well, I’ve been making some progress. I still need to work on a couple features before providing you guys with a first version, but I though I could post a quick progress report and show you neither I nor the project are dead (yet).

So first, I have a functional character creator. It is extremely simple and the options are very limited right now because I’m no artist and making the sprites takes me way too much time, but the code is there and all I have left to do is to make more hairstyles, eyes, and maybe add more options, like a couple accessories.


Right now, only the physical appearance can be customized. There are also two more pages to define the character’s personality and interests, but for now it’s just a placeholder. In the final game, I want the character to be able to react to different situations in different ways depending on her personality ; a character who is into feedism will be more inclined to eat until she’s absolutely stuffed, while a character who isn’t will not let you feed her too much (and you may have to get a little persuasive). This is only an example, and it’ll require a lot of work and writing to take into account all the different possible personalities, but I have a good idea of how it should work and I want interactions with the different characters to take a central place in the game.

I also kept working on the inventory, the feeding system and the weight gain system.



Regarding the inventory, I found a small trick to display all the objects with pretty much no impact on the performances, so it’ll save me the effort of optimizing it later on. It’s pretty simple to use : click on an item and drag it on a character to use it. As they eat, they will become more stuffed and their belly will grow bigger until they reach their limit. At first, they might not be able to eat much, but if you keep feeding them enough, they’ll eventually be able to eat more. Then, when they reached their limit, you need to let them rest by using a bed (not shown). Your character will sleep and process all the food they ate, as well as the other characters. This is when weight gain happens : if a character consumed more calories than their daily need, they’ll gain weight. Otherwise, they won’t (and they won’t lose weight either). The daily caloric needs depend on the weight, height, age and metabolism of the characters. The base metabolic rate is not obtained through the exact same formula as real life, as well as the calories/fat conversion, I want the weight gain to be slightly faster as to not be too boring. Maybe I’ll give the player the choice to opt for a realistic and slow approach or a faster and less realistic one in the settings, it doesn’t cost much to add the option anyway.

Oh yeah, and you can also chose your preferred unit system. By default it’s metric, because being french that’s what I’m comfortable with. But I made sure you could change it to imperial or internet system so that you wouldn’t have to keep a calculator next to you when playing the game.

I also started toying with the design and made some backgrounds. I’m not exactly a spectacular pixel artist and had to use a lot of references to make this, but I think it’s not looking too bad. In the final game, I’d like to let the player customize their room, because I’m a huge fan of customizable stuff in video games. But that’s not a priority for now, so the character’s room will remain a bit sad for the time being. I still need to finish the sprites for the character, as most of them are still lacking arms (not to mention clothes). I also need to clean the inventory panel, and in the future I’ll need to redo most of the items ; in order to go faster and have some visuals quickly, I kind of stole most of the food icons from stock pictures and used a couple icons that were lying on my computer without any sources. But as a result, the icons are not very harmonious since this is a mash of a lot of different styles, and I don’t like that (and stealing is bad anyway), so I’ll redo them properly when I have the time.

And finally, what took me the most time so far : data structure, aka the save system and custom story mode.
After character creation, I made a quick tutorial sequence to teach the user the basic controls, and started to prepare the grounds for the future customization tools. The goal is to be able to orchestrate the whole game (narration, dialogs, events, etc…) from a couple json files, and so far it is quite promising. This tutorial sequence isn’t 100% controlled from json files yet, but it’s encouraging for now.
The other big progress is the save system. It gave me a serious headache, but I ended up using GMWolf’s advanced save system for game maker studio 2 and tweaked it here and there to fit my needs. Right now there can only be one single save, but I intend to allow the player to create multiple characters, so it’s not going to remain this way. What’s important is that it works.

So yeah, that’s it for now. Right now I’m going to work on some of the sprites, finish the inventory panel, add interactable objects to the room, work on the player/character interactions, and hopefully the game will be ready for a first early release.

Let me know if you have any remarks or idea. That’s the fun part of developing a game. And I’m still looking for a title. I was thinking “Debucon”, portmanteau for Debu Complex, but I’m sure some people are better at finding names than I am.

22 Likes

Wow, where to start? Personally, I adore the concept of this game and everything you’re doing with it!

The amount of stuff you’ve got done in 2 weeks is crazy and super exciting, can’t wait to get my hands on an early version of this game. Character customisation is obviously relatively simple right now, but has tons of potential, especially the personality and interest concept, plus you can always add to more physical traits if you come up with any.

Really cool you found a way to keep performance up when showing inventory, always intersting to hear about the backend of making these games and how people get around the issues. Sounds like a fun gameplay loop to check in on once in a while and see how your girl is doing! Agree with the metabolism being a bit quicker, and like that physical traits affect weight gain, will make it more intersting to have multiple characters.

Also you did a really good job on the background and sprites so far, very good looking! I also love being able to customise areas in games so looking forward to seeing those down the line. Are the girls little on screen sprites going to change based on their weight? If so it would be very cool if certain objects had different animations based on their size (such as putting down a treadmill that they can run on easily when thin but struggle with when fatter), but I understand the sheer amount of work animations take, especially for multiple sizes. Placeholders are inevitable and once the basics are set up you can work through the icon backlog.

Saves and custom story stuff all sounds great! A lot of projects die on these technical points but it seems like you’ve been doing a really good job keeping on top of them.

So, awesome work and will definitely be checking in on this often!

3 Likes

This is looking really good so far, and I really appreciate the in-depth breakdown of the progress made in lieu of a demo. Are you considering body types as a feature? Namely, where weight goes as it’s gained. I’m much more partial to apples than I am to pears, as an example. (Maybe having their weight distribution affect the odds of their personality being favorable to weight gain could be a feature, but sounds unnecessarily complicated to me)

Either way, I’m excited to see more of this. It seems like it has potential, for sure!

Will we be able to pick different body types for our character? Or are these the only sprites we’re gonna get to see?

Also, will the game have any sort of objective or gameplay? Because it’d be fairly easy to take this setup and add in a campaign mode where you’re controlling the character’s career as a BBW model.

Now this is a truly American game.

Does this mean there’s no way for her to lose weight?

Thanks for the feedbacks !

Regarding the evolution of the small “overworld” character sprite, I’ll try to make its appearance change depending on the character’s weight, just not as much as the big one. Animation is another thing I need to work on, right now the character doesn’t even have a walking animation… I don’t have a lot of experience, but I guess I’ll learn.

I’m definitely considering different body types, but that’s not going to be one of my priorities for now. At first I wanted to give the player the possibility to chose the rate at which each part of the body grows (thighs, belly, chest, arms, face…), but on second thoughts it would be quite complicated to coordinate all the body sprites, so I think I’ll just make the player chose between per-determined body types. Now, let’s say I’m going to make 3 body types : apple, pear and hourglass. That’s 3 times the amount of sprites, and I’m already looking at roughly 200+ sprites for one naked body type. So that’s going to be a lot of work just producing the assets, and I’m pretty sure the game will struggle to handle that many large assets if I don’t optimize the draw pipeline. So body types are on my to-do list, but I’d like to work on other important features first, and at that point I’ll probably need to find someone to help me with creating the sprites if I want to actually make it happen.

Once these body types are implemented, I can absolutely add it to the characters’ personalities and preferences and change their reactions depending on it. I didn’t really think about it, but that’s a good idea, I’ll keep that in mind (more work yay).

Regarding the objectives… First, it’s going to be a chill and laid back game, and there will not be a real “story”. Instead, the emphasis will be put on interaction between the user and their character, and between the character and other NPCs. The game will contain short events (becoming a BBW model could be one of said events, and unlock a couple features) involving other characters and leaving you different choices that will influence your relationship with said characters. I’m choosing not to impose any scenario to leave more freedom to the player : if they want their character to be an gainer obsessed with getting fatter and fatter (à la Ayano), they can. If they want their character to remain thin and be more inclined to fattening and teasing one (or more, not judging) of their friends, they can. Basically, the player write their own story, and my job is to give them all the tools to make it possible. I know that’s very ambitious and I’ll hate myself when I’ll have to write all the lines and dialogs to take every possible situation into account, but that’s my vision of the ideal weight gain game. Btw, that’s another thing where I’ll probably need some help with in due time since I’m 1) not a good writer and 2) non-native English speaker. Just dropping that here in case someone is interested (but not right now, I’d like to be able to provide a good enough quality demo with most features done before asking people to invest time and effort into it).

Still on the topic of story and scenario, that’s also the reason I’d like to make a customization tool. I know there are some fantastic writers out there, and if they ever play this game, I’d like to give them a tool to write their own scenarized events and stories right into the game, and share their work with other players. So ideally, this tool will give the user the possibility to create events in the game, write dialogs and narration, control the position of the characters, and so on. But while that’s a feature I’m currently working on, it won’t be available before a little while as I’d like to release a complete game before I start developing the tool itself.

Finally, regarding weight loss, it’ll be possible of course, but not eating will not be the key condition. As I said, I want the game to be chill, and imposing weight loss if the player doesn’t feed the character enough sounds like a source of stress, especially in the higher sizes where gaining weight will be more difficult. Right now, gaining weight is an active process : you have to manage to consume enough calories to do so, by eating rich food in high quantities. It’ll be the same idea for weight loss, and you will need to actively pursue that goal if that’s what you want to do (instead of it being a passive constraint), by working out for example. Yay for exhausted fat girls miserably failing at jumping jacks.

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Body types are definitely a lower priority to getting a working (and feature complete!) game, yeah. I understand the weight of feature creep that’d entail. Thanks for the in-depth reply!

1 Like

This seems promising! My only suggestion would be to implement some kind of system (maybe a small minigame?) to “earn” food to eat, or money to spend on food, I think that would make it more interesting.

There will be an economy, yes. I still have to figure it completely out, I only have a couple ideas right now, but I was thinking either a passive, daily income that can be increased by completing some events or a way to actively earn money in the form of a minigame.

That’s on my to do list, but not for the early release.

1 Like

Are you by any chance familliar with CodenameL D.E.B.U? I saw you mention it and way back then was really saddened to hear they got bullied out of making the game. I Can’t help but notice the huge similarities. Are you trying to emulate it??? if so…well, quite frankly that’s awesome! Wanted someone to do that for so long!! You can do it! Go for it and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, lest what happened to them happen to you. :3

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Dear lord, what a throwback. That is indeed, in essence, the same project and I was one of the guys behind it.

Back then, I talked about this game idea to a couple of internet friends and one of them was way too stoked about it (let’s call him Serge). We ended up working in a small group of three on the game, one on the art, one dev (me) and one… Well, the last one being one hyperactive, pushy control-freak pain in the ass. Yup, that last one is Serge. He was also the one who pushed to start posting every fucking where about the game while we had basically nothing to show. So yeah, it didn’t go too well, unsurprisingly led nowhere and disgusted me from team projects for a long time.

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