The Date Ariane Remastered Project
This is a slightly updated post I originally posted on Patreon to inform the general public of my plans to update Date Ariane, and to discuss my goals and ideas with this project. If you are interested in following this project, sign up as a $5 patreon, and see its progress. I’ve posted a link in another post for current eligible Patreons to get the latest beta release.
In October I released version 0.1, a base game which was basically Date Ariane as it exists now but with all the pictures blown up to 1080p and the interface of the game designed to match the interface used in Ariane in Paradise and Hopepunk City:
The latest beta release is 0.25, which has updated graphics for about three quarters of the game: the entire house and backyard, the park, convenience store, and downtown area.
There is an avatar representation of you, which I took from Hopepunk City and updated a bit. Like Ariane in Paradise and Hopepunk City, you can play as a male or a female, which is one of the biggest changes in the remastered game.
Like those other two games, all the choice menus are in the lower right corner, the stats are displayed in the lower left corner. Ariane’s dialog is in bright yellow, and mostly in the default location in the upper left corner of the screen. It moves to the upper right if there is an additional person on the screen who is left of her, or if she is not seen — for example when you are driving the car.
Your dialog is always in cyan color and located in the lower middle next to a picture of your avatar when you are speaking using one of three pics: you smiling, you asking a question, you unemotionally talking. Your avatar is supposed to change clothes as needed, but this feature is a work in progress. There are still many places where you will be inappropriately dressed.
Also in places that haven’t been updated, like the lake, and the vista, they are male, because female images do not exist in those parts yet.
Which leads to one of the many changes with the game I plan to make…
Things I need to change!
The introduction of an avatar means two major changes to the game:
- The game will have to adapt to the player being male, or the player being female. Scenes where you can see the players hands or, um, other body parts, will have to have male and female versions.
- Never in any previous version of the game, was the status of dress or undress of the Player Character ever discussed in the body of the game. It was up to the player to imagine your status. The upshot here is that it will lead to new possibilities. For example, if Ariane wants to go to the store naked, are you naked too? or are you dressed? This just leads to more options to adapt to and more possible outcomes.
Things I want to change (maybe).
If I say things here that I want in the game, doesn’t actually mean they will be in the game, this is all currently speculation/wishful thinking on my part. While working on those player character changes, I would like to:
- Make multiple avatars possible. Light skin and dark skin? Different faces? Different hair? Different outfits? To do this I would have to make avatars based on layers to avoid having to make dozens of different possible avatars. I experimented a little with this in Hopepunk City in the date scene where you can choose to wear a jacket or not. The jacket was a separate element that I could just layer over your avatar. Current plan is to have two, one of each gender, but I want to make it easy to add new ones in the future. (DLC?)
- Double the number of avatar emotions, adding “surprise”, “anger”, and “O-Face” which would rarely be seen but would be fun when they popped up.
- I want to make enough changes to the game to distinguish it from the current Date Ariane. One idea is to go really old school and add the hover click back to certain scenes. Bring back hover make out scenes?
- New music, including an easier way to customize the music. Instead of rock, country, romance, and light jazz, it is oldies rock, hip-hop, romance, and light jazz.
- Fun rule changes that make the story better. For example, I’m thinking Ariane will no longer have a private pool, but will have access to a community pool. This makes Ariane’s house a little more believable, and adds a sense of danger if you are skinny dipping in a semi-public pool.
- On the “public nudity” front, I wonder how much fun an internal “hot potato” game could be where the more time you spend naked in public, the more likely you get in trouble, resulting in the end of the date? It could add to the sense of danger, or it could just lead to player frustration. Worth a thought.
- I’ve had a number of people suggest different transport options if you and Ariane are both drinking, like taxi/uber rides, allowing for make out scenes in the back seat?
- Other date scenarios I am thinking about: An “escape room”, a poetry slam, “netflix and chill”, an expanded amusement park, a second board game option that could spawn into it’s own game?
Things I don’t want to change.
I believe there are important aspects of the game that players still find appealing, and I don’t want to mess with perfection:
- Dates should remain short. A typical Date Ariane date last from 5 minutes to 20 minutes. No involved plots requiring backstory. The appeal of this is that when you make a bad choice, you don’t have to wade through the story again to make the good choice. Also people love exploring the various choices, and short dates encourage exploring.
- Predictable outcomes. When you play a path, you always get the same results, no randomness except where obviously important (rochambeau, board games). Random outcomes discourages exploring different choices.
- Most dialog. I don’t want translation to be a problem. In just the opening scene I had to change “You are such a gentleman” to “You are such a charmer”, and “portable stereo” to “wireless speaker”. I’m sure there will be more to come, but I’m trying to keep it low.
- As much of the current content should stay in the new game as possible. If changes are necessary to accommodate new content, the old content should still be available maybe through other paths. I want to add to the content, not replace the content.
These are my thoughts on this project so far. My goal with the new art is beauty is more important than realism.
There are currently 1,372 images in the game, I have updated 1180 of them, so I only have 200 “updates” to do, though the remaining pictures to update are a bit on the hard side (lake, strip club, vista, and amusement park). After I finish updating the current images, I will focus on new content areas with new pictures to make. I have no idea how long this will take. It is a safe bet it will be some time in 2022, but I’m not going to guess which quarter.
I’m considering Date Ariane Remaster as a new game, and not an update to the current Date Ariane, so it will be a separate purchase. I hope to make it my first Steam release. More info as we get closer to official release.
If you want to download and play the current unreleased beta, you can as a $5 “dater” patreon. If you want to wait for it’s release, I will be releasing some new images I made for the game over the next several weeks as “Pictures of the Week”.