Moving In #2: House Warming Gifts

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Rachel: Hey, how’s the painting going.

Ariane: I should be done with this wall by the end of the day.

Rachel: Good.  Remember when we talked this morning about each of us getting something new for the apartment?  I just bought something and I want to show you.

Ariane: Me too! Let me get down from the ladder and I’ll show you what I got.

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Rachel: So are you going to paint this whole room red like your house?

Ariane: No just that wall.  I was thinking blue for the wall near the stairs and green for the balcony.  I’m trying to decide between neon green and forest green.

Rachel: I like the green on your apron.

Ariane: Dark turquoise green.  Yeah that might work.  Haven’t decided on the columns yet, they are so inconveniently placed.

Rachel: Well they are keeping 20 stories of building from falling on top of us, so they are staying.

Ariane: Good point.  So I got us a Cubert.  This little robot guy is similar to Amazon Echo or Google Home in that it is a voice activated home assistant.  But instead of a boring can of beans shape, it’s shaped like a robot.

Rachel: Can it do robot things?

Ariane: It’s head will look at you when you ask it a question, and it’s arms do basic gestures depending on it’s response.

Rachel: It’s also got legs and feet, can it walk?

Ariane: Why don’t you ask it?

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Rachel: Hey Cubert, can you walk?

Cubert: No, but I am mobile. Can you carry me?

Ariane: Did I mention it has a bit of a weird personality?

Rachel: Awesome. I love it. Kind of cute, too.

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Rachel: But my gift might be cuter, let me get it out.

Ariane: What do you have in the box Rachel?

Rachel: I have…

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… a little doggo.

Ariane: Oh my god, you got us a puppy!  I love it!

Rachel: She’s a bit of a mutt, not sure what species, but she seems friendly enough.  She’s already been spayed and had her shots.  We just need to name her.

Moving In #1: The Model Loft

This is the first of a series of stories I’m throwing together whenever I’m in the mood.  I still haven’t decided what my next game will be, but I’m interested in carrying on with Ariane and Rachel, and adding a bit of sci-fi tech to the mix.

Note: If Ariane and Rachel look a little different than usual, it is because I’m using La Femme as a base model instead of Vicky 4.

Our story begins with Ariane and Rachel discussing moving in together now that Rachel is out of college and has quit modeling…

loftproject1aRachel: So what do you think?

Ariane: It’s nice, but it means living under the same roof as my mom.

Rachel: Ellison Tower is a huge building, I doubt you’ll even see her very often.

Ariane: I’m just wondering why we can’t move into my house. There is no pool here.

Rachel: The pool is expensive to upkeep, and you can only use it half the year.  This place is bigger than your house. We can even bring the hot tub.

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Ariane: I’m also closer to work, living here would save me a lot of money, and I really love this furniture.

Rachel: This is a model suite, we won’t have this furniture, but we both have furniture we can bring.

Ariane: Yeah, I guess. At least the view is spectacular.

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Rachel: We won’t have that either. This is model suite is on the 23rd floor. If we take it, our suite will be on the 5th floor.

Ariane: So our view will be…?

Rachel: A parking garage.

Ariane: Can I run around naked and give the parking lot patrons a show?

Rachel: Sure but the glass is one way so they won’t see you. This is high tech glass that traps solar energy and generates electricity.  It also has a TLCD coating.

Ariane: What’s that?

Rachel: Transparent Liquid Crystal Display, similar to color e-paper.

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(Rachel does something with her phone and suddenly the Pirate’s Cove from Duquesne appears in the windows.)

Ariane: The window is a video screen?

Rachel: It can display pictures, it is slow to refresh, so it can’t do video.

Ariane: So if we don’t like looking at the parking lot we can change the view?  Neat! Do the walls do the same thing?

Rachel: No just the glass.

Ariane: So I can paint the walls another color?

Rachel: That’s right, you are not a fan of white walls.  Sure, as long as I can hang my photos on them.

Ariane: Deal, let’s do this!

Links to full sized pictures:

Ariane Through the 10’s

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There is a meme going around where people are comparing themselves in 2009 and today in 2019.  I made the above graphic to fit in.  The picture on the left came from Date Ariane 6.1 that was released in December 2009. The picture on the right is from Ariane in Paradise released this year.  I thought I’d post some of the in between pictures.

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2010: Version 6.4 brought some new Rebecca images into the game.

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2011:  DA 7.0 Replaced the video game screenshot downtown with an original 3D downtown model.

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2012:  First started working on the sequel Something’s In The Air.  I was still using the old Ariane model, but I created Rachel that year.

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2013: Finalized Ariane’s Something in the Air model, giving her a new haircut.

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2014: Did the remake of Date Ariane for Renpy with yet another new hair style.

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2015: Finished Date Ariane Renpy by replacing the ponytail wet hair with more realistic wet hair.

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2016: Began the Rachel Meets Ariane story.

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2017: Finished the Rachel Meets Ariane story, Rachel and Ariane both get new hairstyles.

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2018: Ariane gets yet another new look as I start work on Ariane in Paradise.

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2019: Finished Ariane in Paradise.

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2020?: I’m experimenting with a new model of Ariane based on La Femme instead of Victoria 4.

Rachel Meets Ariane: The Game

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Being that it is close to the holidays, and the game is set during the holidays, I thought I should finally release the Rachel Meets Ariane game.

How do I download?

Links to the PC, Mac, and Linux versions are available at the bottom of the “Rachel and Ariane” page.  As of now, it is only in English, and there is no android version.

Why the delay?

Two fold. First, It was just easier to share the short story online than put it in a game.  Second, this was a bit of a failed experiment.

My original intent was to start with the two characters meeting, then based on 4 possible scenarios from Something’s In The Air and new choices along the way, come up with multiple stories.  Unfortunately, only one of those multiple stories was interesting enough to share: the one that I did.

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Is there different material in this game?

Yes. What I have done is kept the four scenarios from Something’s In The Air, and created four versions of the story which ultimately end the same way.  So basically the beginning and the ending are the same, and many of the plot elements are the same. but there are some interesting twists to the story depending on choices.

What four scenarios?

The online story is based on the scenario that the player dated Ariane again in Something’s In The Air and ended up in a threesome with Lydia.  The other three scenarios are: the player dated Ariane again but did not end in a threesome, the player dated Rachel instead and Ariane dated Rebecca, the player dated someone else and Ariane dated Rebecca but the storm still happened.

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These other scenarios will affect the story because if Ariane never meets Lydia, then the two scenes with Lydia cannot happen.  If the player dated Rachel, then the storm never happened, so Rachel cannot ask Paula for help with the photography assignment, etc.  I basically had to write substitute versions of various scenes, some of which are better than the originals.

There are other choices along the way that change the story.  One in particular will drastically shorten the story.

Any other extra features?

There is no background for the text except for a black outline.  If you find the text difficult to read, you can change the color and font in preferences.  I made sure self voicing works (press ‘v’ to toggle it on and off).  To avoid accidentally missing text, the text scrolls in, but you can disable this feature in preferences, too.  Hitting ‘tab’ skips over scenes you have already seen.

Will there be an Android version?

Maybe.  The truth is I’m not sure the game will be very popular. 90% of the material is in the online story.

Bottom line is that I am releasing this game for completeness sake. This game picks up where Something’s In The Air leaves off, and Ariane in Paradise picks up where Rachel Meets Ariane leaves off.

My Next Game: Ariane in Paradise

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I have been hesitant to post anything about this, because I have a bad habit of starting something and then bailing on it half way through, but I am far enough along on this project to tell you about it.

If you follow me on Facebook and Tumblr, you may have noticed that my latest Ariane pictures look similar and she is dressed the same. That’s because I am making a new game.  Currently titled “Ariane in Paradise”.

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After experimenting with the genre with Something In The Air and Rachel and Ariane, I wanted to go back and do a second game like Date Ariane that is a little more chaotic and spontaneous.  My original thought was create a new character, but I like Ariane too much so I decided I just need a new setting.

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I thought about a tropical island game since I made the epilogue of Something In The Air, but wasn’t sure how to go about it. Then I saw VDateGames has already done a couple of them,  Zoe is free to play if you want to get the idea of where I am going with this.

It also helps that over the years I have collected a bunch of tropical themed 3D sets that I have barely even used.

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The basic premise is this: Ariane follows Rachel to a fictional tropical island, where for Rachel it is a work trip: she is doing photo shoots for the entire week. This leaves Ariane all alone during the daytime hours to find some fun things to do.  You are on vacation alone on the same island where you meet Ariane at the hotel pool.

I don’t want to get into details, because they are likely to change, but I wanted to throw that premise out there to tie all the stories together.  You are not playing the same character as Date Ariane and SITA, in fact you can choose to be female if you want, that means you have to meet Ariane all over again.

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Also, Ariane only has free time during the day, which means that unlike Date Ariane and SITA, both of which primarily take place at night, this game will primarily take place under sun and mostly blue skies.

I made it a fictional place, because making it a real place could offend people that live there.  A fictional place allows me to, for example, create relaxed nudity laws. It also helps that my collection of exotic island sets include Mediterranean, Caribbean, and Polynesian looking props, so a generic tropical island in an unnamed ocean keeps the anachronisms down.

I have no time table of when it will be done. SITA and Rachel and Ariane both took around two years.  I’m doing this for my own enjoyment, and I hate deadlines, so it will be ready when its ready.

The Rachel and Ariane Story is Complete (for now)

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It was over two years ago when I released a story involving “Date Ariane” star Ariane meeting “Something’s In The Air” star Rachel meeting each other by chance at a Halloween party.  Parts 2, 3, and the first draft of part 4 were released last winter when I had a lot of time on my hands. After today, I am finished with part 5.

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You might want to read the whole story or at least the ending before scrolling down and reading spoilers.

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Last chance…

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OK, Spoilers.

So Ariane really isn’t gay, and Rachel is asexual.  I more or less already revealed this a year ago in the badly written draft of part 4 I released last February.  I had some anonymous bartender break the news in a very awkwardly written scene that might exist somewhere, but I removed it from my web sites.

I spent the good part of this last year trying to rewrite part 4, and failing miserably.  My second approach was to make a game of this story and have the part 4 top club divide into three paths: one with the ending as it currently exists, one where Rachel and Ariane have sex, and one with the “Rachel is Asexual” reveal, but before I could illustrate it, I made a valiant attempt at writing it and completely failing.

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The problem is that a perfect stranger they meet at a sex club should not be breaking the news, even though it makes sense that there would be a lot of sex experts at a sex club.

The fix I came up with is 1.) for the three branches at the sex club to be one long branch, and 2.) to have Lydia make the reveal. It is much better with someone they know breaking the news.  There is a bonus reason 3.) The story comes full circle as part 5 chapter 3 feels like a repeat of part 2.  The last few pictures are even the same except the different hair styles.

At the end of part 2, Ariane reveals she sucks at relationships, and Rachel reveals that she has an odd fetish when it comes to sex — she can’t be herself, she role plays. Part 5 closes both of those story arcs with Ariane finally finding a successful relationship, and Rachel finally being herself in an intimate moment.

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When I first designed the Rachel character I wanted her to be different than Ariane.  Two traits I originally imagined for Ariane, being a science geek and a secret supermodel, never came to fruition, so I gave those traits to Rachel.  I also got a comment once from a vegetarian player of Date Ariane, wondering why she was such a big meat eater, the comment inspired me to make Rachel a vegetarian.

But the biggest trait of Ariane is that she is really into sex, often on the first date.

So my original formulation of Rachel was to make her not really into sex, especially on the first date.  So the stories I came up with in Something’s In The Air didn’t involve sex. There was nudity at the dress shop and at her private photo studio, and at the house party though she didn’t get naked herself.

The problem, as all my beta testers informed me, is that erotic visual novels should have erotic scenes with the main characters. So I came up with this weird but geeky work around that Rachel will have sex when she pretends to be someone else. So I wrote two sex scenes with Rachel involving this quirk.

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I later found out in my research on sexual fetishes, that there are people that fantasize about sex not involving themselves, and it is called autochorissexuality, and it is a sub category of asexuality.  Asexuals are not sexually attracted to anyone, but still may have a sex drive that can be triggered with the right stimulus. That is a pretty good description of Rachel’s quirk.  So Rachel has been asexual since I created her.

Part of the reason I needed to reveal this fact in this story is because asexual representation is rare in the media. It is estimated that Asexuals represent somewhere between 1% to 2% of the population, which makes them a pretty small minority. GLAAD points out that there are literally only 2 asexuals on TV.  Todd on Bojack Horseman is the most prominent, Raphael on Shadowhunters is a minor recurring asexual vampire. That’s it.

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Is this really The End for this story?

There is an epilogue to the story that I attempted to include in the last part, but it interrupted the tone of the story so I dropped it:

On January 2nd, Ariane goes back to work after her week vacation to face a stack of new bug reports to sort and file, while Rachel has a morning meeting with her agent to discuss the new contacts and job offers she got on New Years Eve.  Rachel is super busy with jobs and online classes for the next several months.  The two of them rarely see much of each other after the new year.

This could set up a “Part 6” in the future, or it could set up a future game. I really haven’t decided yet.

The Deal with “Rachel Meets Ariane”

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Bottom line is this: I will not be releasing Rachel Meets Ariane The Game anytime soon, possibly never.  The good news is that the online story will be more complete, and a part 5 is coming, maybe a part 6.

The Rachel Meets Ariane game has always been nothing more than the Rachel Meets Ariane story I have been publishing in serial form for the last couple of years, but complete and with some minor added choices along the way.  The “game” version was just the same story but presented in a different format that emphasizes the pictures.

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I was planning on putting it into game form because online you cannot view the full size art work properly. While the last two games had over 1000 images each, this one has less than 200. No sound or music and no animations, just an illustrated story.

People seem to be under the impression that this game was going to be all new. It was always going to be a rehash of older material, and I don’t want to mislead anyone.  Also, putting out another “game” is a lot of work, and there will likely be demands for different versions for different devices and different languages. Keeping the material “online” makes everything a lot simpler.

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I came to this decision this week while trying to finish the game. The whole project has been experimental, and I am not sure the experiment worked. I have very limited experience writing stories of any sort, and I wanted to challenge myself in writing a longer narrative.

I was trying to finish “Part 4” which my idea was to have choices leading to 3 possible endings. I was writing a draft of the third ending — an ending that is supposed to conclude Rachel’s arc — and it was not working at all.  I was trying to squeeze too much detail into too short of a timeline.

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After thinking long and hard about the narrative problem, I decided that the story works better in serial rather than in parallel. So path 1 will be the only path, and path 2 will be rewritten to be tacked on to the end, and the incomplete path 3 will either end the story, or take it in a new direction.

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So, I just published the official canon “Part 4: Rachel and Ariane go to the Top Club” that is shorter and less complicated than the draft I released prematurely last winter and ends on a nice little cliff hangar.

I also updated parts 1 and 2, correcting grammar and spelling errors. Part 1 was written in the past tense before, I corrected it.

I will repost the multiple ending material I released before for part 3 as soon as I am able to convert the original HTML pages to WordPress format so you can once again see all 10 possible photos Rachel took of Ariane in the fall.

I’ll bounce the soon to be released Part 5 which takes place over Christmas and New Years off the end.

Sorry to disappoint about the game. Ultimately, This plan will work out better.

UPDATES!

I just finished updating the Rachel and Ariane pages.

1. The Rachel Meets Ariane page has been updated with new HD (1960×1080) renders that I created for the game.

2. The Rachel Takes Ariane’s Photo page now has all the original choices, meaning there are 12 different versions which you can read by making choices for Rachel.

3. All of the pages, including the 12 different versions of part 3, now have a gallery at the bottom, where you can see the full sized 1960×1080 versions of the pictures used in the story.