wererat42 wrote:Read this post and it got me wondering if your manager is going to be male or female or whether or not it has any relevance.
You'll be able to choose the gender of the player character at the start of the game and it will be relevant to a few things (mostly minor dialog changes, and a few mechanical things, some of which I'll get to later in this post).
wererat42 wrote:It's pretty much a staple anime trope now that idol producers or managers are male and the idols generally develop crushes on them. Considering scandals seem to be a real issue in this game, will your role be aiming to remain professional and steer away from that romanticized version of idols?
Manager/idol affections aren't just an anime trope, they occur in real life, too! As such, this will be reflected in the game, albeit in a relatively minor (and completely optional) way. In the course of the game, some of the idols may flirt with you, you have the option to flirt back, and flirting may lead to a certain character getting preferential treatment. In gameplay terms, "preferential treatment" will probably manifest as minor stat bonuses for that specific character, and maybe protection from certain negative events as well. However, this may cause jealously and resentment to begin brewing within the ranks, and if the idols feel that one of their colleagues is unfairly receiving preferential treatment (or maybe they just don't approve of your flirtatious behavior), this kind of thing could get leaked to the press, which would obviously carry consequences.
To kick things up a notch and discuss the topic of (ahem) physical involvement, one of the goals of this project is to examine and present some of the more "unsavory" aspects of the Japanese entertainment industry, and talent exchanging sex for favors is certainly a part of that. (In fact, for some players, "exchanging sex for favors" might be one of the first things that comes to mind when they think about the seedy underbelly of the entertainment world.) It would feel really weird to ignore this, and at the very least it seems like the intellectually honest thing for us to acknowledge that this kind of thing happens. This leads to an interesting question of what happens when you try to implement this kind of thing in the context of a game. If we're going to present the idea of the player getting "involved" with the talent, then it makes sense for this to carry certain risks--you could get blackmailed, for instance, and you're risking your own reputation, and by extension the reputation of the agency, potentially jeopardizing the careers of everyone working there (both the staff and the talent). And in exchange, you get...well, maybe you get some lewd or suggestive photos for your trouble. From a gameplay perspective, taking on all that risk (not to mention all of the moral boundaries you have to trample over) just for the sake of some temporary and intangible gratification doesn't seem like a very rational thing to do, but maybe that's kind of a reflection of reality.
This is all is based on some internal team discussion, and we haven't actually implemented any systems surrounding this yet. But it's certainly something we'd like to do, and I think the above paragraph goes a good job of summarizing how we currently think about this topic and how we'd like to approach it. It's certainly a sensitive topic that ought to be approached respectfully, but I think sometimes the most respectful thing to do is acknowledge that yes, this is a real problem within the industry, and we're not going to pretend that it doesn't happen.
On a more broad level, this is a game that will definitely allow you to behave like a scumbag (mostly in a lot of ways that have nothing to do with the realm of personal "relationships"). But if you do decide to go down that route, don't be surprised if the game goes out of its way to make you feel like a scumbag afterward.