Summer session dating sim
Games are both product and art, and the job of telling diverse stories was an even more thankless one back then, one whose importance was rejected by a community increasingly congealing itself around an (untrue) assumption that the player base consisted overwhelmingly of straight, cis, white young men.
The result is inevitably trial and error, resulting in more rote explanation of identities that the player isn’t assumed to have a previous frame of reference for.
These routes aren’t treated as jokes or flings, nor are they any shorter than the male romantic routes.
A crucial choice to completing the route is Virginia asking the player if they would still be interested in dating her, even if she never developed any interest in intimacy beyond hand-holding and kissing.
It’s a somewhat on-the-nose conversation, but believable for the character and handled with care to avoid invalidating ace identity.
And while it would be ideal to be able to depict people’s lives without the need for a Very Special Conversation, the game proves it’s possible to discuss such concepts even among characters who aren’t aware of labels or terminology for their feelings (a concern expressed by David Gaider when asked about including ace relationships in Dragon Age — four years after Other elements are more subtly included, playing with player expectations in order to provoke thought: a recurring male NPC, for example, will repeatedly ask the player for advice on how to win back a girl whom he thinks is losing interest, and the player’s roommates may remark on seeing his public romantic gestures; but depending on the player’s choices, they may also befriend a female NPC whose ex has been harassing and stalking her.
The game takes its time in connecting these dots, forcing the player to realize that they’d been complicit in treating a woman like an unseen prize rather than a person with her own legitimate reasons for ending a relationship.
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Suitable for beginners but capable of making detailed games, this software encourages unlimited creativity.