It’s great to play a finished game, a funny thing to say considering the fact that it should be common sense that it would be better to play a finished game as opposed to an incomplete one. One could argue that in many ways, we have gotten more accustomed to playing unfinished games however, and I don’t mean the ones that game developers claim are done, but are quite clearly showing proof of not being anywhere near finished, or the games that use a cheap gimmick to detract from the fact that they lack content. I’m talking about “early access” type of titles, betas and alphas that encourage gamers to pay towards the development of a game, even before the game is finished and actively contribute towards the development of the game. It has proven to be a great way to attract fans to new intellectual properties, save money on game testers and get useful feedback on what could be added or removed to make the game better. The best part is that instead of gamers complaining about the unfinished product and all of its woes, as to be expected from a game labelled “complete”, they revel in the bugs, partake in the lore of the game, come up with their own creative spins, theories, ideas and even talents (if they have it to offer) that they put towards the project. The result is a game that has developed a loyal fanbase, been shaped by the gamers rather that by the developers, been marketed via word of mouth and achieved a title that makes the game invulnerable to any criticism, regardless of how many tiny flaws remain. Many games have had “betas” and “alphas”, many have had early access, something that Valve’s Steam encourages and there is one game that defines all those points mentioned above.
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Yandere Simulator, a title that combines the Japanese words “Yanderu”, which means “mental illness” and “Deredere”, which means to “show strong affection”. The game, with a title that has already grown quite popular, may receive a title change in future to better emphasise what the game is about and revolves around a high school girl with an “unhealthy” obsession with a boy she happens to like. Whereas most “normal” people would deal with the heartbreak of seeing the one they love or at least have a crush on fall for someone else’s charm with crying, maybe a slight irritation, drinking away the woes or something along those lines, Yandere (which is not her real name, you can find that out by delving into the lore), eliminates her competition by any means necessary, believe me, if you were her victim and she got the school to bully you into wanting to never return, consider that a kindness, as the fates of other victims aren’t quite as pretty.
The game is heavily inspired by the popular Hitman series (of which a new game in the franchise is just releasing), borrowing many of the same aspects, except in one location.
The aim of the game is that you, yandere, must prevent your rivals from confessing their love to senpai (Japanese for upperclassman or upperclasswoman). You can use light tactics and bully your rivals so they don’t return to school (in the future possibly get them expelled) or you can go the heavier route and cutting the story short, find yourself incinerating blood soaked clothes and disposing of that plastic bag with something suspiciously human head-shaped inside.
YandereDev, as he is referred to, has created superb characters and personalities in this world and it just makes the game in its current form all the more attractive to follow and partake in. We know the characters’ names, we know their habits, we know how they react to given situations and that only continues to create immersion. On top of that, YandereDev has included aspects to the game as a direct result of gamers having suggested things, finding particular things or rooms suspicious and having fun with glitches that proved to be great inspiration for game ideas, or at least procrastination.
Fans who have been following the games since its conception, have seen the game go from strength to strength, YandereDev works hard and tries to stick to deadlines, doing the best he can to complete the game, but I’m of the belief that many probably don’t want to ever see the end to the game’s development, as the best part of following the development is in seeing new features added every month, however small they might be. I write this as “Delinquents”, a new type of student persona, was last to be added to the game.
I think what people enjoy the most about following the development of Yandere Simulator is the fact that the developer is so likeable, keeps his fans updated, shows off the work his fans have produced for his title and evidently works hard to make them happy, not only in his ambition to craft the game into a masterpiece, but include all the things he promised, plus more that weren’t even in the plans, purely because it proved popular during development with the fans.
This kind of game development is innovative, addictive and engaging, drawing an audience and keeping that audience with a vice grip. When fans are this attached to the development of something, they are prepared to defend it to the ends of the Earth, buy into anything being sold about it and take the game in its unfinished form with the knowledge that it will one day be complete, but not without their patience and assistance along the way, either in the form of assets, knowledge, skills or even just funding.
Yandere Simulator may not be a “finished game”, but maybe that’s the best part about it, and how often do you hear that said?
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