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Only one of the top five projects on crowdfunding website Patreon isn't a podcast. A videogame called Summertime Saga is currently ranked three by of patrons it has 29,sitting below True Crime Obsessed and Chapo Trap House. The surprising thing is that its creator, who goes by the pseudonym DarkCookie DC for shortdidn't have any experience with adult games before he started making one. What began as a much more innocent game, admittedly with some "sexy but comical dialogue," was steered in a more and more NSFW direction based entirely on suggestions from its early players.
Now DC spends his days fielding requests for extremely specific fetishes from his many and vocal fans. DC is a father of three in his 30s who doesn't watch hentai, and yet making an adult videogame has become his main source of income. He can even afford to pay six other people to help.
It started back inwhen he was working as a freelance concept artist, making character des for animated movies and games. He dreamed of creating his own videogame, but had enough experience in the industry to the visit game patreon not to set his goals too high right out of the gate. He'd make his dream game some day, but first he'd try something small. He downloaded Ren'Py, a popular engine for making visual novelsand set to work.
As part of that learning process, he ed up for a forum where people making visual novels gave each other advice, and ed some of them in a Skype group. He traded art tips for help with code, and asked for ideas he could put into his test build.
Their suggestions led to a simple scene on a beach and a summer theme, hence the name. But his art—a cut above the "my first visual novel" standard—attracted attention from outside that inner circle. People who liked it asked what he was going to add next and had plenty of their own suggestions, which weren't so innocent.
The inevitable result is what we see now in the game, full on naughty. Roughly three months in, DC was still working freelance and making Summertime Saga in his spare time as a personal project. The first week I think one person subscribed? It didn't take long for that to change, with players sharing it across the internet. That's when I figured I could cut down on the freelancing and see where this could go and turn it into an actual proper game. Summertime Saga is about a young man in a town called Summerville. He tries not to fail his final year of school, works part-time jobs, and either pursues or is pursued by basically every mother and teacher in the town, as well as several of his classmates.
Where other games in its genre are more likely to go with anime art or 3D models direct from the uncanny valley of rendering software Poser, Summertime Saga's art is simple, cartoonish, and more like Mad Magazine than a traditional dating sim. Maybe that's part of its appeal. Or maybe it's the checklist of 24 included fetisheslike "mild BDSM", "librarian", "impregnation", and "milking". While DC describes himself as pretty vanilla, when his patrons request specifics in detail they are not shy about it. s, Patreon, Discord and streaming.
It comes from everywhere and I get all sorts! And though he's had plenty of success thanks to simply shrugging and saying yes to these requests, there are some things he says no to. I find all of that unnecessary, personally. Where a lot of adult games either dwell on asshole protagonists who manipulate and coerce, or suddenly veer into explicitly non-consensual territory, Summertime Saga is relatively wholesome for the genre. And yet, one of the entries on that list of fetishes is "trans".
It's disappointing to see a trans character's identity treated as a fetishand it's gross that the achievement for romancing her is named "The full Ackbar" in reference to the Star Wars character who says "It's a trap! In a game so unsubtle its Donald Trump parody is named "Mayor Rump", having the main character casually say "I think personality is more important than gender" feels practically progressive.
I wouldn't blame anyone for writing off Summertime Saga because of that shitty achievement, but this is a game that puts a transgender character written like a human being in front of a lot of dudes with Pepe the Frog avatars. It's not an unqualified win for human rights, but compared to the majority of horny games?
It could be worse. Look, it's a low bar. For a Patreon-backed porn game about trans women made by trans the visit game patreon, I recommend Hardcoded. Another thing worth mentioning is that there's an oddly somber undercurrent to Summertime Saga. The plot begins with your father's funeral, and there's an unfolding storyline about the debt he left behind. In addition to worrying about who you're going to take to prom, you have to worry about how your father was murdered and whether his killer might come for you next.
It's a morbid element in a goofy sex comedy. I always try to give a combination of elements. Perhaps that's part of the appeal as well—along with competent-at-a-sentence-level the visit game patreon, atypical art, and the fact you can always download a recent version for free. That last one certainly can't hurt. DC sums up Summertime Saga's merits as, "Fun open world, large variety of characters with unique stories, huge amount of art content with interesting style, tons of minigames, some comedy, some drama and obviously Summertime Saga is not the game DC set out to make, and he has ideas for something different he'd like to do next, but he's pleased with its success nonetheless.
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