The year was 2004. I was getting into 3D Virtual Worlds and meeting people online in places like There.com, Second Life, and the now defunct The Sims Online.
Besides these games, my other hobby was making 3D images using Poser 5. One of the things that happen in these 3D virtual worlds is you get hit on — a lot. People asking you out on virtual dates which can lead to cybersex, etc. I, being aromantic, had no interest in dating anyone in real life, let alone online.
So combining my two hobbies and completely misunderstanding what a Japanese “dating sim” game was, I decided to create a virtual date simulator. That way if I ever get asked out, I can just message a link and let people have some fun with a virtual me.
About three years later, the game went viral, and triggered an avalanche of nearly 100 known similar games written in HTML and Adobe Flash. (Link is NSFW)
I continued to improve “Ariane’s Date Simulator” for a few years, and then I decided to make a sequel. Because the HTML spaghetti code I created for the date simulator was incomprehensible to everyone including myself, I decided to find a better way to make “Ariane’s Second Date” and found a gaming engine designed for Asian style visual novels called Renpy.
So in 2012 I developed Something’s In The Air in Renpy, which was as far as I can tell the first time anyone ever used Renpy with 3D rendered images to make a visual novel.
Renpy is way easier to work with than HTML, so I remade my date simulator into Date Ariane using it. Goodbye incomprehensible spaghetti code.
Between the cost and ease of use of Renpy, with the expanding 3D rendering world thanks to Daz Studio, I have wondered why there still aren’t a lot of people making erotic renpy 3D rendered games like mine?
I recently decided to look into it. There are literally thousands of games like mine out in the wilds of the internet. My sub-genre has gone viral.
The primary hub for these games are f95zone.com (this website is very NSFW). I should warn you (or encourage you, take your pick) that while I try to keep things in the “erotic but not porn” area, many of these games are definitely pornographic. They also contain taboo subject matter that is likely to be illegal in some parts of the world.
Have a fetish? You are likely to find a game that suits your taste.
I downloaded five of them just to check them out. My primary interest in which ones I picked was in the art work. I’m initially attracted to games where the art is good.
Some of them are unfinished, or being reworked. I really haven’t gotten very deep into any of them to know if the writing is good or not. Tlaero and Mortze games are the best in my experience, and they set a high bar for others.
I’m also not sure how much I trust the people that rate the games on f95zone. The most popular seem to be the most erotic, which is not a measure I really consider.
My primary goal in making my games is to make them for myself. The only person I have to please is myself. I see my games as challenging the status quo, pushing the envelope, doing something no one has done before.
Part of me is proud that I have inspired thousands of other budding erotic indie game developers to make their own games. The truth is that once you get past the learning curve of figuring out Daz Studio and Renpy coding, these game are a hell of a lot of fun to make. I have more fun making them than playing them.
Part of me is also a little sad. There really are no status quos to challenge, no envelopes to push, and nothing I will do from this point forward will be very novel or original. Others are filling that role for me.
Do I stop making games? No. I make these games for myself because I enjoy the process of making them. Where’s the fun in quitting now?
Heavy Five https://www.patreon.com/nottravisgames
False Hero https://www.patreon.com/enyoeerie
Elsa’s Nightmares https://www.patreon.com/tora
Away From Home https://www.patreon.com/vatosgames
Acting Lessons https://www.patreon.com/DrPinkCake