Have there been dating-sim projects out there ?

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monele
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Have there been dating-sim projects out there ?

#1 Post by monele » Sat Nov 25, 2006 1:52 pm

... And what were the reasons for those who died ?

As I said in another thread, I'm playing Tokimeki Memorial 2 again and I still can't get over the fact that I don't understand half of what I'm reading, which is really frustrating. I came to VNs because I wanted to make what I didn't have : some *english* (or french for that matter) dating-sim game just as cool as Tokimemo.

I don't really care that much for the hentai ones you can find on some websites, and I don't care for those who think that saying "sh*t, f*ck" and such is oh-god-so-funnies. No... I'd really like a... normal one. With normal yet interesting ladies. It doesn't even have to be in a school setting (actually, it shouldn't, so there can be really original things going on ^^).

Ah well, I don't know... this is rather rant-ish XD... If I just could, I'd pay someone to translate Tokimemo and I'd be happy. But since this is impossible, maybe there's another way to still get to play an interesting dating-sim?
Have people tried the DSE in that regard? Have some been looking for something more detailed maybe? I don't know... Me being curious and a bit frustrated XD

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#2 Post by mikey » Sat Nov 25, 2006 2:08 pm

Well, agreed about the Flash swearing ones, I know the authors say it was *supposed* to be so overboard and you should take it like that (hahaha, fun), but actually, having made 10+ projects that are the same, the question is really why would you want to make the same statement with the same mechanic so many times over? Isn't one or two... or three enough?

As for the dating sims, you can go to my page and search it for "DS", it gives you a few projects that are in development. There are not too many though.
http://atp.manga.sk/english/projects.htm

As for commercial ones, again, go through one of the pages looking for "DS", but you'll find that except the usual variety from Truelove to CasualRomance, there isn't really much in this department.

As for DS death, you could always say that two of the most ambitious OEL projects are indeed DS games (Shiraoka and Loverevo). But where they are now is quite difficult to say.

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#3 Post by DaFool » Sat Nov 25, 2006 2:10 pm

Um, maybe its because a lot of independent creators, knowing that things take a lot of time, prioritize their projects first, which tend to be visual / kinetic novels with strong messages.

Maybe once they've made their work to get their stories out, they will be more open to creating a more open-ended story like most dating sims.

I'm not really too keen on 'dating' per se, but I am seriously considering usage of the DSE for related purposes, like a narrated battle engine.

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#4 Post by mikey » Sat Nov 25, 2006 2:23 pm

True, the problem may be, that for instance I usually have a feeling or a particular situation in mind that I want to do. And I use the VN to get to it.

To be honest, this is not really how "proper" games are designed, for most of the time you try to find your mechanic and use systems and logic to create a set of rules that are the fundamental game principle. Such as getting points for activities and interdependent stat bars. This is indeed more fun for the PLAYER.

But then, dating sims are more conventional in their gameplay, and with that underlaying game mechanic, they usually can't tell a story very well. They develop their own stories that come out of the game (like you choose a path of strength rather than agility in an RPG), but THE STORY of an average hentai game is usually more involving and complex than THE STORY of the best *game*.

So it probably needs a game-maker to make a DS, not a VN-maker.

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#5 Post by monele » Sat Nov 25, 2006 2:57 pm

Hmm... right. It's true that it's a quite different approach. Well, I tend to think it could better for those who (like me...) are not so good with stories but could make up a few characters and personalities, without having to go "novel" about it. I don't know... Because on the other hand, the whole coding of things and such could make it much more difficult... and maybe not even as fulfilling ^^;...
Aaaah~ *grabs his head* so complicated...

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#6 Post by Jake » Sat Nov 25, 2006 4:32 pm

Well, fundamentally the 'Dating Sim's I've seen have been far more closely related to management sims than interactive fiction - stick a couple of romance elements into Magical Boutique, and... ;-)
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#7 Post by monele » Sat Nov 25, 2006 5:36 pm

Well I was actually thinking of "management" ones. As I said, like Tokimeki Memorial. It's mostly a stats game... almost an RPG in that sense. I'm not even sure we can say the "question/answer" phase is really a VN. It's really a quiz... except not a knowledge quiz but a personality/empathy quiz. So except for the look of it, Tokimemo might not be a VN at all ^^;

So... Magical Memorial uh ? :p

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#8 Post by Davzz » Sun Nov 26, 2006 12:26 am

Wait for Persona 3 in English next year, where you can play a School-Life Simulation RPG!

Of course, it's one of the furthest game from being "normal" though.

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#9 Post by musical74 » Sun Nov 26, 2006 11:41 pm

I think of all the so-called *dating simulations* out there there's only one or two that qualify as offical *dating simulations* that aren't flash screwups or heavily H-scened...Sim man's Sim Girl and <maybe> Season of the Sakura. Outside of those two, they are all either *let's stick 7 zillion curse words in there, no one will mind!* (I'll skip these) or too much hentai and not enough *getting girl to like you is more important*. I think True Love is a good game, it just has a lot more hentai than a true dating sim should have. Dating Sailor Saturn is fun, but that's a one on one date, there's no one else involved, so that isn't REALLY a dating sim...now if the other sailor scouts were to show up or be involved, and the question and answer format stays the same, this would be a good one =)


Let's see, have Fram start to fall in love in the Hero, but he's too dense to realize that she loves him, and she starts all these interesting ideas to make the player realize that she loves him....:)

I think, if we were to search for a dating simulation that wasn't riddled with cursing or where there was very few (or no) hentai scenes, it would be a very long search....
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#10 Post by monele » Mon Nov 27, 2006 4:37 am

Well, someone's got to make it, obviously :3...

Are some people here willing to try the DSE? Especially the new upcoming DSE?

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#11 Post by F.I.A » Mon Nov 27, 2006 5:21 am

Well, like Musical said, currently the non-run-down-the-mill dating sim is Sim man's Sim Girl. But it is currently yet finished, and also rather for the matured as well due to some scenes. Perhaps it takes a hard ordeal in coding a DS than most think. Like, Sim Girls is like... 4-5 years old?

Elf Sim Date is one which does not have those swearing words the Spoon Bros put. However, take out the character profile and such, it is the same like other generic SDs available.


If anything, I did try to make a SD which revolves on a mystical world where you get to go on quest, get a job, beat the boss and get to date girls(Either a priestess, a mage knight, an adventurer or a librarian.). So what happened? I cannot go far without a decent coding talent and the project gets too big to be handled alone.
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#12 Post by mikey » Mon Nov 27, 2006 5:42 am

What I don't really warm up to (in the flash sim dates) in the long term is the inexistence of a story, or basically any form of intermezzo that ties in the main game mechanic. Click on some stat, choose activity and click on next day and again. That, or it's basically collecting items and unlocking things - again, without any sense of global story. The VN part that you see in most "dating simulations" is there for a reason. Without it, it all feels just a bit too distanced, even when the game mechanics aren't particularly wrong.

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#13 Post by monele » Mon Nov 27, 2006 6:23 am

It's one thing I sometimes miss in a Tokimeki : the fact most girls are totally independant from each other. You rarely have them being friends, chatting together, etc... whereas in any romance anime, it's mandatory. Since interactions between characters other than the protagonist is what makes things interesting imo, it's sad ^^;

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#14 Post by mikey » Mon Nov 27, 2006 6:54 am

... and even if they do, there's this generic feel to the whole thing, like the relationships have been fabricated somehow. It's usually just in the level of friends-enemies, rarely anything more. But I guess that comes from the nature of the dating sim. It's like with those games that claim that you build up a rep and clans or other groups will respect you or things like that. Looks god on paper, but in reality, it's very hard to spot (well, other than the people who don't like you shoot at you or something - so there's no subtlety)

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#15 Post by monele » Mon Nov 27, 2006 7:11 am

Yeah :/... It's like the shop keeper constantly telling you "Hello -somename-, what a good weather today! Whaddya wanna buy?".... thousand and thousand of times @_@. And even with a few variations, the very first time you'll see a repetition, the illusion will be broken :/

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