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Monday, December 21, 2015

PYRITE HEART: Training you to be the tsundere you were born to be.

I've never worked on an OEL game before. Generally I figure if it's originally in English, they've done their bit. But I was asked to give a little game called Pyrite Heart a once-over not long ago.


First up, much to my delight, this is told from the girl's POV. (I'm aware there are plenty of games out there like that -- I was just never called on to work on them 'til now.) The girl in question, Ahri, is a princess. Like literally. Her brother bets her she could never survive in the 'real world,' and she decides to prove him wrong by attention a commoners' high school. And then hijinks ensue.

Have you never ever in your life played a dating sim? This is a dating sim at its purest. I actually used it as an example for a friend who wasn't sure what they were beyond Mass Effect and Dragon Age and the 'Malcolm Tucker's Missing Phone' app (which is the weirdest dating sim I have ever played). As the princess, you can choose to pursue one of two storylines: an odd rivalry with the handsome class president, or a delayed 'will they won't they' with your handsome manservant.

I mean, you can also mess it up. There are 'Bad Ends' to be sure. I won't say what they are, but one was pretty mind-blowingly messy. This game goes hard.

Funnily enough, ever since working on Pyrite Heart, I seem to be getting Twitter ads for other condensed OEL dating sims with similar art. Or maybe I've been getting these for ages and didn't realise what they were 'til now.

Oh, right. Another interesting point. We edited Pyrite Heart not in spreadsheets or Office programs, but on Ren'Py, where it was built. I've only worked within Ren'Py once before when editing a game. For the curious, it's a visual novel engine available for anyone to use to build their own games. I've not played with it beyond editing stuff for work, but it looks like it could be fun to work and exploit.

Hmm.

If you'd like to give Pyrite Heart a go, it's available on Steam for a fiver. Comment and let me know what ending you get. I'm curious what it takes to get some of the endings I saw...