Ariane in Paradise is divided up into 3 days, each one being sort of a mini visual novel, which if successful leads to the next day.
I recently completed “Day 1”, meaning I’m a third of the way done. Day one, like act 1 of a story, is about establishing character and settings. Day 1 objective is to learn 4 things about Ariane: She likes dancing, gymnastics, astronomy, and outdoor activities. Of course if you play Date Ariane, you already know these 4 things about her, but it is all about getting her to talk about herself and ask the right questions. to get the right responses.
Meanwhile, you can talk about yourself and make decisions about your character as you do. The main decisions: business trip vs. vacation trip, rich vs. middle class, business degree vs biology degree vs never went to college, outdoor enthusiast vs science geek. There are a couple of others, but they only affect minor dialogue choices.
Finally, Day 1 is about establishing the setting. There are three main paths the story can take. One focuses on the island’s past, one on the present, and one on the future. From a Date Ariane perspective, Day 1 = before and during dinner.
It took me about 9 months to finish day 1. So far there are 235 pictures, and over 1000 lines of dialogue.
I practically have to start over to establish day 2. From a Date Ariane perspective, Day 2 = downtown and outskirts. Day 2 involves 5 new paths, 5 new sets, and different wardrobe and dialogue for each and a “game” of some sorts in each, without repeating myself from DA or SITA.
This last part is the biggest challenge. One of the 5 sets is set in a casino, so creating a “game” challenge is pretty easy for that one. Another one is going to a beach. Besides swimming, tanning, drinking and getting sand everywhere, what is there to do on a beach? and how do you make a game of it?
These are the challenges I give myself, and of course the fun is in solving them. Maybe in another 9 months or so I can say Day 2 is done and then I can start Day 3.