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Why make a stand alone version of Date Ariane?

If you played the online version in the last year, you have probably noticed you get a lot of "error 503" errors due to high traffic on the web server. This makes playing online not very enjoyable. I made the game available offline so you can download and play it on your own computer, but growing concerns about web security is making the offline HTML version harder to play for many people, especially if you are using anything other than Firefox, and that may change soon as well.  I don't want to rely on browser versions anymore.

This version of Date Ariane runs on Renpy, a well respected open source visual novel engine used by hundreds of games.  Besides pictures and text, it can include music, sound effects, as well as special visual effects not possible in HTML. Renpy also allows you to save games, auto forward time, run in windowed or full screen modes and even use a text reader. It creates versions for PC, Mac, Linux, and Android automatically. 

Where did the online version go?

It is no longer available on this website. Thanks to a 40% increase in users that is bringing my website to its knees (and not in a good way). In the meantime, try the Renpy stand alone version, it is WAY better than the online version ever was.  

My web traffic has gone down to much more reasonable levels and my web hosting service is much happier. Therefore, I think for now I will keep it this way.

In the mean time, I have started to collect links to working mirrors available on 3rd party sites. Classic version mirrors can be found here, and 10th Anniversary mirrors can be found here. These are third party sites I have no control over, nor have I completely tested them, but they seem to work OK. 

I play on my phone/tablet, and can't get the Renpy version, so where is our version?

I have released a Android version, which has been downloaded thousands of times without complaint so I assume it works. There is currently no IOS version in the works as 1. It is very hard to make without a Mac, 2. Apple would not let an erotic game into their app store.

What's a Visual Novel?

A Visual Novel is a story based video game. They are extremely popular in Japan. Think of it as a cross between a "Choose Your Own Adventure" comic book, and an adventure game with puzzles to solve.  While comic books traditionally feature action stories involving super heroes, and computer adventure games traditionally feature mystery stories, visual novels are traditionally romantic stories.  Visual novels (like comic books and adventure games) can really be about any genre, though Date Ariane is a romantic comedy in the Bishoujo tradition.  More info on my blog or on wikipedia.

Why do I have to download and run a program instead of play online?

Due to increased popularity of the online version it may be necessary to take down the online version. I hope to find a new home for the online version. BUT I highly recommend downloading and running the Renpy version. It is superior in so many ways you will probably want to forget about the online version.

What game play differences are there between the Renpy Version and the Online Version?

The most obvious is that you use menu buttons instead of links. Player text appears after your choice instead as hover text. Initially this may seem like the game is slower, but after a while you will notice there is a better flow to the conversations in the game.

Because Renpy uses Python instead of Javascript, and the Javascript code had become an indecipherable mess over the years, I decided to write all new code from scratch. Differences in game play is inevitable as a result, however where differences exist I focused on making the Renpy version better than the online version. For testing purposes, I made sure the walkthroughs I wrote for the latest online version work on the Renpy version as well. They almost do, but there are differences.

One of the biggest differences is the elimination of "ponytail hair".  This change was way too difficult to make in the online version, but I really wanted to drop the use of ponytail hair to represent hair that could be wet or dry. Instead Ariane's hair is always wet when in the hot tub or the pool, and remains so until she goes inside to dry off or after a shower. Ariane no longer wears a towel indoors, either. This eliminates two dress states which reduces the picture count a little. Some other rule changes have been made that make some events slightly harder, I'll point them out in updated walkthroughs.

Other minor changes have been made as well, the nightclub and museum differ based on what Ariane is wearing there.  There are a couple of small new events, nothing major, I'll let you discover them on your own.

There are other things like game "Achievements", 78 in all I believe. This kind of thing is not possible with the online version, and will add to replay value. Like the online version, there are also pop up hints to give you clues to Ariane's current feelings. If you find these annoying you can turn them off in the Options screen (they are off by default). Also like online, you can cheat using the Konami Code, but this turns off achievement progress.

On the other hand there is no longer a way to get a code to import your date to Something's In The Air. It's a rarely used feature anyways, and isn't worth all the extra code required. I may eliminate that feature in the next version of SITA anyways.

Can I share and redistribute the game?

For security reasons I highly recommend ONLY downloading it from links provided here on ArianeB.com. Third party sites tend to attach adware and other annoying malware on downloads, which I am forbidding as a violation of copyright, but I cannot reliably stop.  

Please note that this version of Date Ariane is Copyrighted, not creative commons like the online version.  You are not allowed to sell the game or make money off the game without my permission (which will probably involve giving me a cut), nor are you allowed to edit or change the game in any way for redistribution.  See additional legal info in the enclosed help file.

Can I mod the game?

For your own use? Yes you can. There is a subdirectory in the download called "game" where you will find all the pictures and Renpy text files used in the game.  As long as you don't redistribute your modified game, you can customize it all you want.  You may need to download the Renpy developers kit and a text editor. For ownership reasons (meaning I don't own them), sound and music files are archived. Links to download, as well as substitute file names to customize the music, are available in the help file.

How do I start the game over?

Somewhere on your computer is a new directory called "dateariane".  Not sure where to find it on Mac or Linux, but on a windows computer you can find it most likely at "c:\users\(your login name)\AppData\Roaming\RenPy\dateariane"  (note AppData is sometimes a hidden directory) This is where all the saved games are located.  In this directory, you will find a file called "persistent".  If you delete this file, all the game data will be erased and it will be like you are starting the game brand new.

How do I do _____ in the game?

This walkthrough page has how to do most everything in the game. For completing the 78 achievements, you can use this page for help.

What about other languages?

The translation project has ended for French, German, and Portuguese.  There is still some work to be done on Spanish but I do not have any vounteers to help at the moment. If translators of other languages want to organize, I could provide the source code needed for translation, but I do not have any plans to organize other language traslation projects at this time.

I am trying to download the Android APK from your link, it starts to downlad then quits?

This is the result of a security feature of Android to prevent viruses, and there is no direct fix.  The indirect fix is to do the following:

1. On your android device, go to settings > security > device administration and turn on “allow installation of apps from unknown sources”
2. On a separate PC, go to http://arianeb.com/dateariane/download.htm and download DateAriane-1.1-release.apk then move the completed download to a shared folder that your android device can access through its file manager, or you can go the microSD transfer route if you have the hardware.
3. Open the .apk file through file manager and select “install” then “allow”. It may take a while to install. It will save on your device with the title Date Ariane. Open the app and there will be a load screen on your screen for up to a minute. If it is longer than that, you either have a really slow device or something went wrong.

Hope this helps.