Special thanks to Aleema for the awesome trailer video above. For sure the best trailer I’ve ever done for all my games!
You can find out more and purchase the game here: http://www.winterwolves.com/lovebites.htm
This game is a perfect example of a project where “everything went smoothly”. I know, it’s rare in the real world (and even more in the game development world!) but happens when you put together reliable people!
Brainstorming / planning
Miakoda, the game writer, had just finished writing the epic PSCD (over 240k words of text) and I wanted her to do something smaller (even if Love Bites is definitely not “small”, but you know how it goes, right?) and most importantly, simpler for me to code. I knew I would be doing more RPGs and complex games after PSCD (indeed I did Queen Of Thieves and Cursed Lands! Two RPGs, and now I’m working on a third, Planet Stronghold 2).
So I definitely didn’t want to have to deal with some more games with complex gameplay at the moment, and after some quick brainstorming, we decided to go with a game involving supernatural, horror, and romance. Seems a good combination!
At the same time, I got in touch again with Rebecca Gunter, the artist who did my first games (Heileen and Bionic Heart series) and despite the very busy schedule, she said would have time to do the art for a new game.
Personally I love her style (might also be because I’ve a sentimental attachment to them) but if I try to be objective for a moment I think perhaps her best skills are with males, and I think yaoi fans will like this game in particular… even if both the females (Sabrina and Nadia) are hot too! The only downside is that she doesn’t draw full nudity, but you can’t have everything.
On the writing side, I think the game features the right mix of seriousness, jokes, and sexual innuendo. I also think the use of the “inner voice” (during the game, as your curse grows stronger, you start to hear a voice telling you… to do “things”…) was a brilliant idea by Miakoda and really adds to the game “something more”.
As mentioned above, I wanted to keep things simple. Originally I was going to use a weekly planner similar to Roommates, but then after some preliminary testing, and remembering well what people told me, I thought…”why?” 😛
So I reviewed everything and kept things simple. I didn’t bother to add a “visual novel mode” in this game simply because there’s no need. Yes you can trigger some early endings, and yes reaching a certain amount of money will play a slightly different text endings and so on, but overall you can definitely finish the game without going crazy with stat raising like my other dating sims.
This choice was almost universally well received and I think I’ll keep doing this also for future games: either I have some gameplay that works well with the story, or there’s no point in going crazy with coding when it’s not needed or doesn’t work well, just for the sake of it.
As you can guess I’m really happy about how things went with this project, and the previous one (Cursed Lands) as well. If you asked me in Summer last year I’d have never imagined that I would have two games out in the first half of 2018! Next stop is Planet Stronghold 2 and then, finally I’ll start working on Loren 2 🙂