What's about the numbers? Well, not many people know what's behind a game. It's much more complex than what you think. That is, if you do the things like a good game designer should! ;)
Numbers of a dating sim
What's behind a simple dating sim like Heileen 3 that I'm writing right now? nothing, you might say, it's just text and images, and a few choices. No, not really: the choices needs to be balanced, otherwise the gameplay would be a disaster! So, even for an apparently simple game like a dating sim, there's a lot of work behind the scenes. Check the image below:this is the OpenOffice spreadsheet of the first 37 scenes of the game. In each row, I put a short description of the scene, and then I added a "1" when the choices possible involve one of the seven Sins or Virtues. Below, at the bottom (but is not visible in the screenshot), there's a formula called "Summatory" that sums all the values. Why? Because a well designed and balanced game should offer the player the same amount of choices for each of the seven Sins/Virtues!
So, while writing, I keep constantly open the spreadsheet, and I try to balance the game so that the player will always have the chance to get one of the 14 possible job endings (tied to the Sins/Virtues).
I'm not going too much in the details since discovering the skill+sin/virtue combo will be part of the fun of the game, but for example, the "Nun" ending will involve having max Chastity and max Faith skill.
On the right part instead, there are the choices that will affect the 6 possible romances of the game. The labels means: Morgan, John, Jonathan, Sebastian (the 4 male characters, Sebastian is a new one) and Marie, Lora (the 2 female characters).
Numbers of a RPG!
If a dating sim is so "complex", imagine a RPG! Making a RPG without spending at least one month first designing the rules, is a suicide. Don't do that. I can guarantee that you'll be unsatisfied by the result.
Now check the OpenOffice screenshots below:one is the condition/skill relationship for Loren the Amazon Princess RPG. How you read that? is a bit complex, but in practice:
- the first table is the warrior skills. the cells with orange background require the target to be "Staggered". Once it is, you can use for example the Gladiator "Battle Cry" (which has chances to Scare enemies), or the Blademaster "No Mercy" (which has chance to Weaken the enemies).
- the second table is the thief skills. Thieves have weak attacks, but if the target is in the right condition, they can deliver powerful critical attack using their skills. They can set a target in a specific condition themselves. For example, using the Flaming Torch on a Slowed target, they can set a target in the Burning condition too. Then, a Demonblood (Mesphit) can use the Immolation skill to deal an incredible amount of damage.
- the third table is the mages. Differently from Warrior and Thief class, a Mage doesn't need any condition pre-requisite. They can just attack using their spells, which will inflict specific conditions as you can guess (Blizzard will inflict Frozen condition, Plague inflict Poisoned condition, and so on).
The second image instead is a work-in-progress of the weapons dabatase. Some values might not yet bet final. But as you can see there's already a good variety of items! We've decided to use the following weapon division based on damage type: Edged (dagger, sword, axe), Impact (mace, club), Flail (Flail, Morning Star), Polearm (Staff, Halberd), Bow, Missile (Crossbow).
Explaining all the values will take too long, but if you're familiar with RPGs you might understand already what is their use.
This was just to show the tremendous amount of work behind a RPG, and just for the skills and weapons (there's more, balancing the classes, the enemy encounters, and so on). Now you understand why I've decided not to make more than 1 RPG a year? :D
Homosexual relationship in games
I want to spend a few words about the homosexual relationship that I plan to put in all my future games. First of all, I am honestly a bit shocked by how Spirited Heart Girl's Love announcement was mostly ignored by the press and reviewers. It's not something new for me (I'm used to that) but this time was even worse than usual.
I really hope that is NOT because of main theme (women homosexuality) of the game, and hope is due only to random circumstances (I know from past years that September is not really one of the best months to do a new game release).
In any case, everyone who played the game said that the romances are much better than the original game, and in general the players' feedback was overwhelmingly positive, and that's what matters to me. So I plan to keep adding homosexual romance in all my future games, alongside the straight options, since all I care about is what my customers think!