(Before we begin, one warning for potential folks who’d like to join the Patreon — we’ll be skipping the $5 tier demo offering for September. This month has been all about juggling business on the backend of the game, so we don’t have anything new for a demo build. But if you’d like to join anyway to help pay the bills and dig us out of the red, well, I’m not gonna stop you.)
Recently I put together a google document for Arcade Spirits which plotted out all the “relationship point” opportunities, as well as common paths through them. I checked paths where you fanatically chase after one character, where you chase after two characters but they share a focus episode, and even a path where you try to balance your affections evenly. My goal is to make sure that by episode 05, you’ve clearly earned enough points that the game can effectively say “Okay, this is your special sweetie.” We don’t want to say “Wait, you weren’t interested in so-and-so? Well, too bad, you picked all the secret paths that lead right into bed with them” or anything like that. (See also, Bioware.)
Unlike many other visual novels, we’re erecting huge signposts which say “THIS WAY TO NAOMI’S HEART,” for example. We don’t want to have the players making uninformed decisions — if they choose to visit one location and not another, don’t ambush them with a character opportunity for someone they weren’t interested in, for instance. You can mess up now and then, say the wrong thing, it’ll be just fine as long as you’re paying attention to the clear clues along the way.
Now, that said, I’m deciding exactly HOW the opportunity to ink in your romantic choice presents itself. Do we let you pick from your top three of the six offerings? Top two? Do we allow you to say “screw you, destiny” and make a desperate last pitch to someone you didn’t entirely hit it off with? How game-y do we want to be, how natural do we want it to flow?
Everything comes to a head in the fifth episode. Well. There’s eight total, so obviously there’s more STORY, but we want to give you time to spend with your sweetums after deciding who your sweetums is. You know me; I don’t let my characters declare love and then immediately roll credits. But that declaration… aye, that’s going to be tricky.
I welcome your input and suggestions and thoughts and ideas and cupcake recipes in the comments.