💌 Keep your romance platonic in Mr. Hands' Naughty List #17
Some things get smaller when it gets colder, but my list of naughty games only gets longer! I hope you’re strapped in because I have a lot of naughty news to cover this week. 🥰
But before we begin, are you subscribed yet? I lovingly handcraft this artisanal newsletter every week with games about love, sex, and romance and I wouldn’t want you to miss out!
Let’s get into it!
Romance, but make it platonic 🌹
Emily Short, creative director and lead writer for Mask of the Rose, has put up an intriguing post on the Kickstarter for their upcoming romance game. She writes that the studio’s aim is to tell stories about all kinds of connections, not just romantic ones:
Right now we’re craving stories not just about love or romance, but about all kinds of friendship. The surprise mutual understanding with someone from a very different background. The loyalty and support of a close friend who is more like a sibling. The attraction that can’t lead to anything permanent, but is nonetheless a source of joy.
And that means that the game will acknowledge asexual (ace) and aromantic experiences as well:
Not everyone experiences attraction, or experiences it in the same way; not everyone is looking for a romantic connection. And some players simply prefer not to play romantic storylines.
I think this is an intriguing approach to take for an explicitly romantic game. I’m actually dying to find out how it will turn out! Judging from the buzz on Twitter, a lot of people appreciate this inclusive approach:
Failbetter Games @failbettergamesA Romantic Game That You Can Play Platonically? @emshort on love, consent and connection in #MaskoftheRose. https://t.co/5wkKJ4SAem #valentinesday2021 #aroace #asexual #aromantic
How about you? Is an aromantic path something you can appreciate in your romantic stories? Let me know in the comments!
Level up your store page ✨
This excellent video by Sir Fadrik shows you how you can take your Itch.io page to the next level and get the sales you deserve!
The video explains how you can write a catchy description, show off your screenshots, and change the styling of your page to match your game. These are all simple things you can do to maximize the eyeballs on your page.
And if that still doesn’t work, you can always reach out to me to feature your game in my next newsletter. 👀
Evenicle 2 is stuck in horny jail ⛔
According to reporting from NicheGamer, Evenicle 2 won’t make it to Steam with all of its adult content intact. The rejection wasn’t very clear but seems to be related to the adult content in the game.
This is really a crying shame. Its predecessor was one of my favorite adult games on the platform. 😞
Steam has been going back-and-forth on its policy for adult content for years. First, they didn’t allow it at all, then they allowed adult content if it was behind a patch, then you weren’t allowed to indicate a patch exists, and now this.
It would be nice for adult game developers if Steam could make up its mind on whether they want adult content or not!
Subverse announces a release date 🚀
Subverse was a smashing hit on Kickstarter, raising £1.6 million during its campaign. This makes it the highest-grossing adult game ever on Kickstarter. Suffice to say that expectations could not be higher for the final product!
FOW Interactive has now announced in a Dev Diary update that the game will launch on March 26th, 2021 in Early Access. They also say that pricing and platform distribution will be announced soon.
Congratulations to the team are in order, for proving that there is a market for AAA-quality adult games as well! 🎉
They’re still coming for your porn 🔞
XBIZ reports that the lawsuit against Pornhub’s parent company Mindgeek is ongoing. They are being sued by NCOSE, an organization of anti-porn crusaders. Their goal is to shut down the adult tube site, which they hope to accomplish by leveraging legislation aimed at preventing sex trafficking.
And yes, these people are serious about getting rid of the porn:
This [claim] supports NCOSE’s long-held argument that all depictions of sex should be outlawed because there is no possible way to determine that they were made by consenting adults.
A win in this lawsuit would be very bad for porn on the Internet. It would open up a lot more websites to possible litigation under the same laws. Pornhub definitely has moderation issues, but it’s also an important source of income for sex workers from a lot of different backgrounds.
Hunt for cuties in the woods of medieval England in Made Marion 🏹
Made Marion is a romantic visual novel inspired by the legends of Robin Hood. You play as the young noblewoman Marion as she becomes entangled in a battle between the Sheriff and Nottingham and a band of rebels led by a certain Robin Hood.
Adventure, danger, and romance await Marion as she becomes a key figure in the fight for the future of Nottingham. As Marion, will you fall in love or into despair?
Made Marion is being developed by Velvet Cupcake Games, which is a small independent game studio based in Canada. The game is currently up on Kickstarter and is already well on its way to smash its main funding goal. 🎉
Check out the free demo on Itch as well!
Writing Wrap-Up 📖
Neo Tegoel Games writes about how to use choices in a visual novel:
The most fundamental way to utilize a choice in a VN is as a plot-branching tool. Do you want to take the left door or the right door? This will appear to the player as the most important type of choice, as it will directly impact how their story plays out.
Black Tabby Games writes about how a number of tough rewrites of their narrative ultimately saved their game:
So without further ado, and listed in no particular order, here are six of the biggest changes we made that we think helped make our final product better than it would have been.
LewdPixels ponders whether Sorcerer is a tale worth reading:
The MC in this game is vastly different from most MCs in games I’ve played. He’s a strong character with some depth and a few quirks. There are several characters in this game that are unique in my experience of adult games, and that makes them compelling.
The Steel Hearts development blog asks: what makes a “pro”-tagonist?
[M]any protagonists (VN or otherwise) are boring and blank-slate for the sake of reliability. […] I reject this–for how many people do you know which are boring blank slates? Is it not easier to relate to someone with experiences, with defined thoughts and feelings?
Complex Relations writes about realism and surprising familiarity:
This might describe what some audiences are looking for in "realistic" narratives, but there's obviously some depth this idea fails to capture. There are definitely ways that some stories or characters can feel more "realistic" than others, even if they all stick within the realms of the mundane. So, what exactly goes into cultivating that sort of sense of realism?
Fanbyte has interviewed the creators of Call Me Under, an upcoming 1950s underwater mystery:
Call Me Under is an underwater mystery filled with eldritch horrors and dark magic. From my time with the game’s demos, the writing is poetic, almost lyrical at times. It manages to seamlessly blend horror and darkness with a gorgeous, seductive cast and extensive lore — all while telling a grander tale of two ancient entities, known as the Shadows and the Light, fighting for power.
XBIZ did a profile on Larry Flynt, who was crucial in the fight for open and free sexual expression in America:
"He was the real deal. I've represented a lot of people who used the First Amendment to try to gain some sort of economic advantage. Flynt wasn't that way at all and every case we filed on his behalf was because he was trying to move the needle,” Paul Cambria — his longtime attorney and free speech expert — told the Buffalo, N.Y. NPR affiliate as he reflected on his famous client’s passing.
Women who made significant contributions to video gaming history are hard to find these days:
“One of the hardest parts about writing about women in gaming history,” gaming historian Kate Willaert said, “is when they take a new name after publishing some work, and suddenly their body of work is split in two, or it’s ‘erased’ entirely.”
Adult stars continue to make a living during the pandemic using revenue streams from multiple online platforms:
When studios were forced to halt production last March, scores of performers turned to self-publishing platforms in hopes of “getting by” until things got back to normal. Instead, many of them ended up with life-changing revenue streams that continue to balloon even as mainstream shoots resume.
Cheeky chuckle 🤭
Artist spotlight 💡
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Until next time!