Love Bites postmortem

Only a few months have passed since Love Bites’ release but I can already draw some conclusions about it. I’m planning to do a postmortem also for Cursed Lands later this year.

A smooth experience

As I posted already when I announced the game official release, the whole development experience went really smooth. I already knew about the work ethics of both Miakoda (the writer) and Rebecca (the main artist), but considering they both had some serious real-life issues along the road, it’s even more amazing. But everyone involved did a good job, from Matthew (the musician) to Aleema who did the GUI and trailer, the person who scripted it, etc.

When such things happens, a game gets released in a reasonable time-frame. Yes, I know that since the announcement (February 2016) to official release (May 2018) there are two years, but honestly it’s not such a long time to produce a quality game of a good size like this one, in which you can play as male or female (Nicole took more or less same amount and you can play only as female for example).

No stat raising

This was also a new choice for me, and thinking back, I should have done this sooner. In practice I already saw many complaints for some of my past games (Nicole, Roommates) in which several players didn’t really enjoy the stat-raising part, despite being a classic of dating sims. However, reading all the feedback, it seemed clear that for the vast majority of players, not only it wasn’t a required feature, but was preventing them from enjoying the story!

Keeping my theory of the “vocal minority” in mind, I still wanted to try to not have a complex scheduler and NO stat raising at all and see what happened. It went well!

I’m not saying that I’ll never do games anymore with stat raising, since in certain situation it can work, but for normal dating sims probably not. More complex games in general like raising-sims can benefit from stat raising, in particular to unlock specific scenes or gameplay features (new job, new class, new area, etc) but for games where the main goal is to advance in the story and unlock romances, probably it’s not such a good idea.

No erotic stuff

This wasn’t really a possibility since this artist doesn’t draw adult stuff, so even if in future we’ll do more games with her art, they’ll featureย  sexy content at best. Personally I still love the art style and in some cases even if there’s no frontal nudity the CG can be beautiful (if you played the game and saw for example Nadia/Brandon romance you know what I mean).

Still, I was a bit worried that this could have an impact on sales/public reception, and instead it went well. I mean, I can’t know if it also had an optional full nudity patch what could have happened ๐Ÿ˜› But I’m still happy about the results as they were.

Conclusions

I am very happy how everything went and the game was a success in my point of view. Of course considering the rising competition and the fact that non-porn VNs on Steam have really a hard time, but especially all those things considered, it could have been a disappointment. Instead the game did better than some titles I relased back in 2016 and I was positively surprised ๐Ÿ™‚

This entry was posted in dating sims, love bites. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Love Bites postmortem

  1. Adam says:

    I agree that no stats was a great choice for LB. Dialogue flags (I assume that’s how it worked) are much better for this style of game.

  2. Cay Reet says:

    LB was great for not having to keep an eye on the stats, I think. I could concentrate far more on the relationship routes and on the story as a such, not having to worry that I might miss something by having a stat just a little too low. I really enjoyed LB and will definitely replay it in a bit (lots of editing at the moment, so no time…).

  3. Troyen says:

    Glad this experiment worked out for you. And also glad to see you’re willing to ditch the stat raising sometimes, which makes replaying for alternate routes hard (or rather, a huge grind for reduced payoff since you already have seen all the common scenes you unlock).

    I’ve been playing a new game that came out on Steam which was labeled as an RPG but had no level/experience/physical fighting. A few points here and there you have some minigames that help determine win/loss outcome for trials and battles, but by and large not what people associate with RPGs. However, the main feature of the game is they have several hundred dialogue choices throughout that allow you to customize how your character responds (including a smart-ass option, which is sorely lacking in many games!), which influences how other characters treat you. They don’t branch the story (with a dozen or so exceptions that can shorten/skip scenes), but you get different response dialogue and reactions for each choice, so in a sense, it feels more like role-playing the character than you can with a “standard RPG”.

    Sometimes it’s nice to see games that break the mould and genre conventions. But of course it can also be a big risk.

    • admin says:

      I definitely want to try something like that in a future game. I mean I like the combat and the fights, but sometimes even for the developer becomes a real chore to design 100 enemies trying to make them varied and interesting.
      The Banner Saga approach for example is better for me, much less enemies but battles in general more interesting even if you probably need a battle map to implement it (not the system I use).
      A sort of RPG based entirely on choices is also a good idea, or even just a single character RPG, because designing a RPG with a party vs a RPG with a single character is VERY different ๐Ÿ™‚

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *