1: How do people feel about abstract challenges (by challenge I mean the obstacle between the player and the goal, in AIF usually sex)? Most AIFs in this community require the player to do something story related to get the girl. For example, in School Dreams the player’s relationship with Molly is affected by presents, good dates, etc. On the other hand, games like Hunniepop or Seduce Me replace the date/interaction with a puzzle game.
Now while I like the current system (and think it is the best when implemented well) it does have three problems (my opinion). The first is that it sometimes over simplifies things. Many people have pointed out that AIF can boil down to, “Hey, you found the thingy I wanted, let’s have sex”. Second, AIF rarely does a good job simulating romantic engagements (dates). Did you get a good present and choose a good location? Well, the date goes well unless the player messes it up (which generally requires an intentional action). I think this makes sense because actually trying to simulate a real date would involve many choices and a lot of conversation. For example, see how Let Me In revolves around a single conversation, now picture trying to do that for as many times as a player interacts with an NPC in an AIF. Third, from an author prospective, it can add a lot of complexity to the game if multiple options are being presented.
An abstract system replaces (or is in addition to) that with either a game/puzzle or a dice roll. For example, how good the player is at seduction in comparison to how open the target is to being seduced. Beat Blades Haruka does something like this with simple die rolls against a difficulty target. If you play the game well/roll well, then that reflects how well you did. The player can still improve his odds as by improving skills/buying gifts, but the actual success of the task will come down to a random chance (the earlier system is a yes/no, either you have done enough or you haven’t, there isn’t any middle ground where you have a chance of success or failure).
I am okay with the above (it doesn’t in anyway pull me out of the game) and am curious how other people feel about it.
2: Pictures. While pictures have been gaining ground in engines like Adrift, they have been standard with engines like RAGs for a long time. Most of the games designed on such a system do not make images with DAZ, but choose a different source for pictures:
A: Use pictures of famous people. In the game the ‘character’ may be representing a character from a fictional work, may be themselves, or (and this is what I see the most) is just a stand in for a character created by the game. As an example: the player’s hot neighbor is named Jenny, but for pictures Kate Upton is used.
This frequently, though not always, involves the use of photoshop for sex scenes.
Generic New York Apartment (I think that was the name) is a game that did something like this.
B: Porn stars. Like the above, but adult actresses/actors are used. This makes it a lot easier to convey the sexual content. It makes a connection to any type of fan fiction impossible, which can be a pro or con depending on the player.
C: Other animated works (anime). Instead of using a real person, a previously created animated character is used. A quick look on deviant art can return tens of thousands of results for popular characters.
Now I don’t think any of the above is as good as creating your own images, but how would you respond to any of the above being used in an AIF?