Musumaker GD

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#1 by space-ranger
2015-08-16 at 13:28
The 15% translation patch is out and for once I decided to jump strait into it because usually everybody are done talking about a VN ages before I finish it. This time should be different.

I have to say that I find this one surprisingly good. I have seen people bashing it for being sad/cruel to the girls, but if that is the case, then it will take place in the untranslated part. It appears that it is possible to do some bad stuff to the girls, but the translation patch offers an option to disable bdsm stuff.

The story seems mostly untainted by the fact that it is orphans living/working in a brothel. The characters are well written, happy (mostly) and quite funny. In fact regarding how much fun I have reading the storyline, it's one of the best VNs I have seen in a long time.

H scenes are mostly happen during weekly training session. It is point and click for selecting "tool" and then click where on the girl to use it to get a more normal VN style H screen, some of them animated. The number of activities depends on the girl's stats and she gains stats by the activities. This part works quite well and it is interesting to see such an interactive H scene selector, which is written into a VN engine.

A fun, yet no very VN like feature is the weekly schedule where you set girls to study, sleep, work normal work or work in the brothel. Everything influences stats, cost or generate money and money must be earned for monthly payments and for the shop where you can buy stuff for more H scenes and stats recovery or improvements. It seems simple at first glance, but with the vast number of combos available, it becomes a full blown management game. While prostitution is available here, you do not actually see it happen, meaning there aren't any prostitution H scenes, at least not in the translated part.

The different parts of the game interacts with each other. Training unlocks schedule tasks, schedule trains stats to endure more training. Schedule level up unlocks small stories and so on. I don't know if the main story really interacts with the management because in the translated part, all it does is add more girls at some point.

The translation is surprisingly good. Looking at the forum, it overcome countless issues to even get the text into the game without crashes and then a number of fixes on top of that to make the text look right and not print outside the box/screen or split words between lines. The translated part seems fairly complete in the sense that not only the text, but also text in png files is translated. New concept like ingame popups for translation notes and options like removing bdsm and screen flashes have been added as well as fixing some script bugs present in the Japanese version (something about wrong/repeating level up side stories). Overall very impressive work. The text is well written in English, but I will not judge how well it is translated as I haven't compared it to Japanese.

There is just one big mystery about this translation patch. What is it doing on Hongfire? With the decent quality and good storyline, it totally doesn't fit with what else I have seen there.

Now you guys go read this or I would still be stuck having finished a VN (or part of a VN) and nobody to talk to :P
#2 by sanahtlig
2015-08-16 at 15:20
I might dig this up and keep playing. I've been playing this game off and on for 5 years it would seem.

The management sim part is engaging at first, but over the course of the game it wears out its welcome. Micromanaging the schedule of all 3 girls becomes quite time consuming and isn't quite as fun as similar games like Littlewitch Romanesque and Tenkuu no Sinfonia.

I haven't encountered a sex training system I've actually enjoyed, and this game doesn't do much to change that. The sexual training is probably the least interesting aspect of the game, but it's not at all badly done. The concept itself is just lacking.

My major issue is that I just don't really like any of the three main heroines. Mikan is too much of a dunce to be appealing sexually or otherwise. I don't find Ichigo attractive. Karin is alright. My favorite character is the goth loli Zakuro, but getting her ending on the first playthrough is problematic due to the route design.

This game rides on the edge of what I consider "too loli". Child-like characters don't really interest me, sexually or otherwise. I prefer the art of games like Aselia the Eternal, which feels more "loli" to me and less "child". I also find Orpha much more endearing as a character than Mikan, who has the intellectual capacity and personality development of a toddler.

I did a lot of moaning in this post but this is actually a pretty good game, especially for fans of lolis and raising sims. The gameplay is fairly substantial. There is a plot and the setting is decently developed. I would recommend Littlewitch Romanesque over this game, but it's still a competent raising sim with no crippling faults, as long as you can get past the premise itself.Last modified on 2015-08-16 at 15:31
#3 by tyr
2015-08-16 at 15:23
#1: Your post sounds far more believable than the Kara no Shoujo is a Moege and Subahibi is best Yurige topics. Good work!

Also: lol @ people playing a hardcore BDSM prostitution game and enabling the disable BDSM function. I mean ... how about ... NOT playing a BDSM game if you don't like this stuff?

I haven't encountered a sex training system I've actually enjoyed
Why haven't you played the best BDSM game ever yet: Pigeon Blood?Last modified on 2015-08-16 at 15:24
#4 by sanahtlig
2015-08-16 at 15:37
I'm really not a huge fan of BSDM in the first place. But I'll consider giving Pigeon Blood a try.

So far, the best implementation of a sexual training system I've across is Escude's Suisei Tenshi Primaveil Zwei. It worked in that game because it wasn't the focus. It was just a mini-game in the big scheme of an anti-magical girl evil organization sim.

The recent Venus Blood entries have sexual training, but it's not part of the gameplay. The scenes are notable because they form storylines that are actually interesting.Last modified on 2015-08-16 at 15:38
#5 by space-ranger
2015-08-16 at 16:26
The sexual training is probably the least interesting aspect of the game
Somehow I agree, but that is likely due to the rest of the game being interesting. The H part of the training is better than some nukige and the concept of stats improvements and schedule unlocks makes it somewhat interesting in a non-H way as well. I think of it as a nice chance compared to enforced H scenes.

My major issue is that I just don't really like any of the three main heroines. Mikan is too much of a dunce to be appealing sexually or otherwise.
I kind of agree and disagree at the same time. Their personalities makes them great for the story while the H scenes are... well I actually ended up skipping some, which I end up doing quite often. If my goal is pure sexual appeal, then VNs will not be my target ;)

Also: lol @ people playing a hardcore BDSM prostitution game and enabling the disable BDSM function. I mean ... how about ... NOT playing a BDSM game if you don't like this stuff?
If it can pull off not displaying visual BSDM or something like that, then I would say go for it. It's not a pure breed BDSM title and the translated part certainly doesn't suffer story wise. It's not a major issue for me, but it might be depending on what is in store that I'm not aware of.

The ability to turn climax flashes off is actually quite interesting. Reading an intense moment and get into it and then bam, you are flashed in the bad way and pushed away from the story by real life physical issues. As it turns out, turning them off is more relaxing, particularly for the eyes and it provides a better overall reading experience. Now I wish more VNs would follow this example because I would be happy not to be flashed... well except for boob flashing, that is.

I'm really not a huge fan of BSDM in the first place. But I'll consider giving Pigeon Blood a try.
I'm not a fan of BDSM and following that link showed that I blacklisted Pigeon Blood. I don't remember why, but if I'm not to trust my previous judgement, who should? ;)
#6 by dk382
2015-08-16 at 19:20
This game would be a whole lot more appealing if it wasn't all lolis.
#7 by tyr
2015-08-16 at 19:26
It's not a pure breed BDSM title.
But somehow ... it is.
The game tries to lull you with happy times with your sweet lolis just to make you realize that you can't escape the darker parts of the game. That's the whole point of the game.
It's really not like the game would let you choose a light or a dark route and you can play it both ways equally.

The feature for disabling the flashing is really neat, though.

I'm not a fan of BDSM and following that link showed that I blacklisted Pigeon Blood.
I would not recommend Pigeon Blood to anyone who really isn't into BDSM and slavery. But I would also not recommend it to people who are only in BDSM eroge for the misogyny (probably the majority of people playing darker eroge).

[what follows is offtopic and should only be read by people interested in Pigeon Blood or interested in SLGs]

Pigeon Blood is much more about the philosophy of slavery, prostitution and BDSM. It's such a great game because it doesn't cater to the usually eroge audience and instead plays it themes straight. For example, there is no sexual intercourse happening when you train your slave because .. well, there is no reason to do it as it's not part of a slavery training. Why would you deflower your slave when you want to sell her to someone else later? She only needs to know what it means to be a slave. Learning to H is something her future master wants to teach her, not you as her slave trainer. Instead, the slave training consists of making her body sensible, learning the basics of doing H things and showing her her place.
It's funny that every other slavery training eroge (I know of) is doing this wrong.

Most people dissing Pigeon Blood haven't played the game I guess. I often see statements mentioning Pigeon Blood and Bondage Game being similar to each other when they are actually the complete opposite of each other. I guess it's because both have an anime adaptation which both are considered pretty hardcore to the casual anime audience, so the title is known even when nobody knows the actual game. And we all know how respectful anime adaptations are to their original erogame, right?
(I'm not dissing here on Bondage Game, either. It's a nice game, if you want some hardcore BDSM action. The gameplay is pretty lame and not nearly as deep thematically as Pigeon Blood, though.)

I'm not here to be a fanboy about Pigeon Blood, just want to correct some impressions one might have for the game. The strength of Pigeon Blood lies in its BDSM philosophy, the beautiful art, the well-written characters and the engaging mystery storyline. It's a game you think you play for the fetish, but you start caring so much for what's happening with the characters that you will eventually read it for the story.

And you will play it for the gameplay because it's that awesome. That's why I mentioned it to sanahtlig in the first place. Because I can completely understand this statement:
I haven't encountered a sex training system I've actually enjoyed
Most SLGs are terrible. It's sad, but it's the truth.
Either they are just too simple and shallow that there is really nothing to it and it feels like a huge time waster or they are so complex and obscure that you don't really know what to do and eventually read a FAQ which is completely against the point of having non-linear gameplay in the first place if you need someone to tell you what to do.
The beauty of Pigeon Blood is that it tells you exactly what points you will earn when you do something and what points you need to have to unlock something else. But the way how you earn those points is completely up to you and transparent and it's also complementary to the underlying theme of BDSM because whether you decide to train your slave in sexual service, masochism, humiliation or something else or deciding to make her an all-rounder who can everything a bit but nothing very good will have impact on her personality and the course of the story. And it's also important for the second minigame, a card battle system where you battle against other slaves at an auction in different categories which is directly related to what you do in your training sessions and is much more awesome than it sounds.

The recent Venus Blood entries have sexual training, but it's not part of the gameplay. The scenes are notable because they form storylines that are actually interesting.
Sadly I never really got into the Venus series. It's one of those cases where the beginning is already too complex and I quickly lose interest. I guess it's my fault.

So far, the best implementation of a sexual training system I've across is Escude's Suisei Tenshi Primaveil Zwei.
Interesting. I would have never considered playing this, looks quite unremarkable.
#8 by space-ranger
2015-08-16 at 20:02
The game tries to lull you with happy times with your sweet lolis just to make you realize that you can't escape the darker parts of the game. That's the whole point of the game.
It's really not like the game would let you choose a light or a dark route and you can play it both ways equally.
Interesting. Well it is in the translation, but looking at the translation forum thread, it appears to be a debated feature, which might be removed later, depending on how it affects gameplay as it is implemented along the way. I guess I will just wait and see how it turns out. One thing I really like about this feature is surprisingly not the feature itself, but the fact that translators control the game well enough to make it. I have seen translations stalling on technical issues and being unable to put the text into the game. The first time I spotted the translation (ages ago) it was stalled and stated that it couldn't be translated due to engine limitations. I then forgot all about it until I saw the patch.

This game would be a whole lot more appealing if it wasn't all lolis.
Yes for the H scenes and no for the story. Their loli appeal and behavior works great in the story with hilarious results.
#9 by sanahtlig
2015-08-16 at 22:09
Most SLGs are terrible. It's sad, but it's the truth.
Either they are just too simple and shallow that there is really nothing to it and it feels like a huge time waster or they are so complex and obscure that you don't really know what to do and eventually read a FAQ which is completely against the point of having non-linear gameplay in the first place if you need someone to tell you what to do.
The beauty of Pigeon Blood is that it tells you exactly what points you will earn when you do something and what points you need to have to unlock something else. But the way how you earn those points is completely up to you and transparent and it's also complementary to the underlying theme of BDSM because whether you decide to train your slave in sexual service, masochism, humiliation or something else or deciding to make her an all-rounder who can everything a bit but nothing very good will have impact on her personality and the course of the story. And it's also important for the second minigame, a card battle system where you battle against other slaves at an auction in different categories which is directly related to what you do in your training sessions and is much more awesome than it sounds.
That sounds pretty neat actually. Is there a "love" route where a relationship of some sort can bloom?

Sadly I never really got into the Venus series. It's one of those cases where the beginning is already too complex and I quickly lose interest. I guess it's my fault.
The gameplay has increased in complexity as the series has progressed. Empire's gameplay was really simple. You could either start with Empire (or earlier) like I did, or read up on how the gameplay works. In my Venus Blood Gaia review, I provided an overview of the gameplay (dungeon defense is only a part of Gaia and Abyss, but the other systems are relevant). Clephas marathoned the series from Empire onward and he seemed to enjoy it despite his grumblings (Series review).

As for Primaveil Zwei, it's actually fairly well-regarded in Japan (EGS score 78, 152 votes). That's how I found it, since it only had 2 votes on VNDB when I played it. There's certain titles that are completely off the radar of the English fanbase, for whatever reason. It has one of Escude's stronger gameplay systems, which tend to suffer from being overly superficial.
#10 by sanahtlig
2015-08-16 at 22:50
I created a Musumaker thread on MangaGamer a while ago also. Just to show that I liked the game enough to promote it in the past.
#11 by veronin
2015-08-16 at 23:08
Just gave this a try because of you nerds and, well... for a so-called prostitution game, there really wasn't a whole lot of it. Disappointing. It could have done with less BDSM/vanilla and more customer interaction. I guess Make Me Lover Darkness is still the best game in that sort of genre.
#12 by tyr
2015-08-17 at 00:54
Is there a "love" route where a relationship of some sort can bloom?
The relationship between the slave trainer and his slave is arguably the central focus of the story. If you decide to do so, you can also spend time with your slave outside of the training sessions to learn more about her and her past. And who knows, you may even see more than just a slave in her...
If you think that scenes like "a poor girl looking at the moon through the window of her prison cell while singing a nostalgic song to cheer herself up" can give you feels, you might want to check this game out. ^^

The gameplay has increased in complexity as the series has progressed. Empire's gameplay was really simple.
Which game would you recommend me to play first? I'm not against starting a series from the beginning, but when the newer ones are just the same as the older ones, only better, I would rather play the newest.
#13 by sanahtlig
2015-08-17 at 05:39
The relationship between the slave trainer and his slave is arguably the central focus of the story. If you decide to do so, you can also spend time with your slave outside of the training sessions to learn more about her and her past. And who knows, you may even see more than just a slave in her...
If you think that scenes like "a poor girl looking at the moon through the window of her prison cell while singing a nostalgic song to cheer herself up" can give you feels, you might want to check this game out. ^^
Sounds interesting. Will add Pigeon Blood to my list of games to check out.

Which game would you recommend me to play first? I'm not against starting a series from the beginning, but when the newer ones are just the same as the older ones, only better, I would rather play the newest.
You can enjoy the games in any order. The game system has evolved with each successive entry but the stories are completely self-contained.

I've played only a little of Hypno but by all accounts it's the best game in the series. If you're only interested in sampling the series, play that one.

If you want simple gameplay, play Empire.

If you want dungeon defense gameplay, play Gaia.

If the idea of bending heroines to your will appeals to you, play Empire, Frontier, or Hypno.

If you're looking for a well-developed gameplay system, pick whichever of Frontier, Gaia, or Hypno has a premise, setting, and characters that matches your fancy.
#14 by eacil
2016-04-01 at 01:07
Digital Cute announced a HD release of Musumaker! \o/
800x600 > 1280x720.
They renewed the system, made the direction more dynamic like they had to rebuild the script from 0.
New content they initially cut. 4 new h-scenes. Renewal of training scenes with CuteMotion2 they used with Tincle ★ Twinkle Festival!.

I think it is what I needed to 100% the game.
New script means the current translation is fucked, they will have to redo the encoding. Moreover, they were tampering with the system so it might not work anymore.Last modified on 2016-04-01 at 01:07
#15 by sanahtlig
2016-04-01 at 02:19
I still haven't finished this game which I started years ago. Damn it. I made it 2/3 of the way through but the sim system gets annoying after a while. I would've endured but the character I'm most interested in (the goth loli) is hard to "win" on the first playthrough, so I was stuck with Karen.

Maybe I'll pick this up again when the remaster releases. I assume saves will be compatible?Last modified on 2016-04-01 at 02:20
#16 by eacil
2016-04-01 at 02:54
They rebuilt the script and, at least with Kirikiri, savestates are referring to labels. Depends if they kept the same structure. Then, your save needs to not be in a part which wasn't tweaked. If it's a new engine, it maybe not even works like that.
I don't want to replay all I did too because it's a pretty big game and I bet I will rage on some tricky last CG that doesn't want to fall.

Got Karin on my first playthrough. Seems like my love was stronger than yours. :P

Edit: the translation project got a blow to the stomach since I taught them the news. Poor guys.
Edit2:

I think the game generates one long script file at startup (merging files based on scripts.ini order). Savegames would then be a line number. On top of that it seems to hold a stack to remember lines it should return to when hitting a return statement. This mean even minor changes to the script can mess up savegames. I would not even dare to think how much it would be messed up by moving to a rewritten script. I'm as close to 100% sure as I can be that you would have to start a new game. Even worse odds are that you will not even get your flags transferred, meaning your seen endings will reset. It has NG+ content, meaning clearing the seen ending flags actually does matter. I will not spoil and say precisely what shows up, but there is plenty of events (story and H) which can't be reached in the first game.
linkLast modified on 2016-04-01 at 03:37
#17 by sanahtlig
2016-04-01 at 04:01
Wow, that sounds like hilariously bad programming. How would you even patch a game with that kind of structure without invalidating save files?Last modified on 2016-04-01 at 04:02
#18 by space-ranger
2016-04-01 at 18:12
Wow, that sounds like hilariously bad programming.
I have seen plenty of bad programming over the years, but yeah this could be a winner in that category.

EDIT: actually Love Death 4 ~ν-Realtime Lovers~ might be the winner. It's nearly unplayable due to bugs and area loading time increase from 20 seconds to 5 minutes if you turn on vsync because somebody figured it would be a good idea to load X bytes for every drawn screen. The 1980's called. They want their code back. To my knowledge, the Amiga 1000 was the first one to go past code like that and that one was released in 1985. I have no idea how Teatime ended up with code like that in a 3D game released in 2009.

I actually feel sorry for this VN. The "normal" VN parameters with story, art and that kind of stuff is actually done well. It's also has working code, which is fairly advanced for a VN when it comes to training and similar and then it get's butchered by horrible code on such a basic level. Digital Cute released this as their first VN in 2008. They are now remaking it in a 2015 engine. It seems to me like they know they made mistakes in their early days and can do better and that releasing a remake might not just be a matter of selling the same VN again, but also admitting "we screwed up. This is how it was supposed to be".

How would you even patch a game with that kind of structure without invalidating save files?
Why ask for the impossible?

According to the translation thread, this is a real issue and the only known answer is to save when the game is in the top of the first file... or something like that. Something like you can save once each week. That's beyond ridicules.

Edit: the translation project got a blow to the stomach since I taught them the news. Poor guys.
That's kind of sad and a horrible fate for hardworking people. Let's hope they work it out. I would love to have the translation in the remake. If we look on the bright side, for once there is actually the possibility of a decent sized translation patch of decent quality being released the same year as the Japanese release.Last modified on 2016-04-01 at 22:57
#19 by sanahtlig
2016-04-02 at 07:09
Why ask for the impossible?
I was referring to official patches for the Japanese version.
#20 by gabezhul
2016-04-02 at 07:20
I think you are blowing the save issue out of proportion. The game should still be patchable. The only thing this *will* fuck over is playtesting and QC, as after inserting every newly translated segment it would mess up the saves and they would have to start playing from the beginning to see if there are any bugs/typos/etc, which would be a pain in the ass, but the finished TL should work fine.

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