It has been about 6 months since I actively started working on the “sequel”, so you are due for an update. The biggest news is that I have settled on a title, which is quite an accomplishment considering that the original Date Ariane Simulator never really had an official title. After toying with “Second Date” (which is the project folder name) and the lame but descriptive “Date Night in America”, the title I have finally settled on is “Something’s In The Air“.
Not only is it a more poetic title, which evokes a romantic feeling, but like all good titles it is actually descriptive of a couple of different plot points, which I am not going to describe here. Above is one of 7 title screens which circulate when you get to them each showing 2 to 3 characters you will meet along the way.
I’m now in mood for development again, and doing as much as I can while the feeling is still here. Above is one of the pictures I did this week. Part of the fun I am having in doing these crowd pictures is putting in little stuff in the background. In this scene, you are in a bar chatting it up with the girl in blue, while your friend Dave is hitting on the owner of the strip club next to her. At one point, he disappears, only to return with a copy of the magazine she is in. Meanwhile, the red headed dude in the back is ogling the bartender whenever she is not looking at him. None of this is in the dialog, it is just fun throwing in little details like that.
The game plan is 6 main stories, each with a different style, and different objectives. The first story is The Second Date, and its style is similar to the first date. Traditional date stuff, with a slightly surreal twist. The second I can only describe as “noir” featuring two women, one poor, and one rich. There is a mystery to solve here, too. The third I have decided on a “storybook romance” theme between a rock star and a temp “roadie” (you). I have not written this one yet, and I may even outsource it. I’m using this story as inspiration. The fourth is a true “visual novel” storyline involving many possible paths, probably the most complicated one with lots of possible endings. The fifth has two possible women, I decided to do this one comic book style: occasional multi-pane, and dumping the first person perspective for stylish angles, flashbacks, and onomatopoeia action descriptions. The sixth and final story is “video game epic”: an adventure game in the style of an alternate reality game. Its the “end game”; you can only play it after playing the other 5 (which can be played in any order).
While I have done some work on all 6, only story 1 is near completion. My plan is to release story 1 (the second date) as a demo within the next 6 months. Depending on what I have done and the rate of completion, I’ll decide how to release the rest of the game.
Here’s the other 6 title screens: