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“A lot of times with dating sims it’s a matter of getting a read on the character’s personality and telling them exactly what they want to hear,” Gray says.
“That's a really frustrating way to play a game.”, though, encourages players not to think about romance as a game at all.
They simply follow their hearts, and any obstacles they face are a result of emotional and personal complications, not struggles with their identities.
“We were determined to not make any of the dads' individual paths their sexuality or have their sexuality be their defining trait," Gray says.
She points to game franchises like , both of which have amassed huge followings in part because of the in-depth (and gender-inclusive) romances they offer in between their battles.
"We can have narratives that are about queer people that are not necessarily about being queer.
It’s about these relationships.”When you create your own character, you also have the option to make him a trans dad if you wish, complete with the ability to choose chest binders.
The game and the community surrounding the game was so positive and loving that it encouraged them to be themselves.”'s success belies a long-held assumption of the mainstream gaming world: that making games about LGBT people is an inherently niche endeavor, one that limits your potential audience and sales.
While the industry has taken marginal steps toward inclusion, queer characters still tend to crop up as sidekicks and subplots rather than as protagonists.
It’s a subversion of dating sims that is not just the best dating sim I’ve ever played but also one of the best games of the year.