Since the release of Ariane in Paradise, most of the comments have been very positive, so thanks for that.
The criticisms pretty much fall into two categories:
1. Bugs: The achievement scoreboard only lists 39 and you need 40 to get bonus content. Well the board left off the “Dead Parrot” achievement, which is one of the achievements that don’t come easily automatic. It’s been fixed in 1.03. Some android devices (primarily phones) have a dark bar across the screen when there is dialogue. Thanks to Animadoria, it has been tracked to a default background picture for phones. We replaced the file, and that issue is now fixed.
UPDATE: Some devices still cut off text choices, this seems to be more prevalent on android phones, so I’m releasing a 1.04 version that moves menus to the middle of the screen for people having that issue. See download page or comments for link.
2. The controversial ending. All paths lead to one ending: The vacation is over and you and Ariane say goodbye, probably forever. For me it is the only logical way the game could have ended. The ending was heavily hinted at throughout the game. Every time you suggest getting together after the vacation, Ariane rejects it, and avoiding those questions is a major objective in Day 2.
Now I knew it would be controversial, because most all romance dating games end where the player and the object of affection declare their undying love for each other, the end.
One of the inspirations for creating the game in the first place is to undermine the standard dating sim ending. It a theme I weave throughout all my games. Date Ariane was different from a typical Dating Sim by being a literal simulation of a date. Something In The Air was a typical “harem” dating sim, but choices not taken on one path affect the other paths. Rachel and Ariane was a “kinectic” visual novel that changed structure based on choices in previous games.
Ariane in Paradise undermines the typical “romance” story by actually being an “affair” story instead. True to life: if you meet someone on vacation and you have a lot of fun together, that will likely be the peak of the relationship. Trying to keep a vacation friendship or romance going after the vacation is over never works, and Ariane knows this for some unexplained reason.
But as I thought about that recently, I wondered “How come I never explained Ariane’s reason for feeling this way?” So I invented a reason and created a flashback to “Teen Ariane” and her first crush during summer camp. It’s a very short flashback, but I had fun writing and illustrating it, especially coming up with what Ariane would look like as a teen. It was mostly done by taking the Ariane model and applying a “young” morph to her face and body, and giving her some messy and oddly dyed hair.
Before you ask, there are no nude or sex scenes involving teen Ariane. I like my games to maintain an “R” or “M” rating, and be legal in most of the world.
The next problem was where in the game do I add the story? In day 3 there are two paths with identical endings that I call the “Casablanca” ending. So I decided to leave that ending on the “lake” path, and add the “Summer Camp” ending to the “beach” path.
I also decided to give in and include a more hopeful ending. It is still not the “happily ever after” ending people are used to, but it is not a hard goodbye either. It also ties to one of the bonus epilogues that open after you finish all 40 achievements.
For PC and Linux, extract the patch to the same directory arianeinparadise.exe is located, it should want to copy over 28 files, say yes, when you launch it should say 1.03 in lower right corner.
For Mac users, you can try extracting to arianeinparadise.app\Contents\Resources\autorun folder and let it overwrite.
Android users should just redownload. The download page is here.