Nadadine1 November 25, 2020 Interview with Andrealphus, Developer of “Love & Sex: Second Base”

Interview with Andrealphus, Developer of “Love & Sex: Second Base”

Q: Please describe yourself and your games for people who don’t know you yet.

A: I am a 42 year old French game dev living in Brittany, more or less on the spot where Asterix’s village is supposed to have been. My main game is called Love & Sex, it’s an old school dating sim with a huge cast of heroines and many hours of content, currently on Patreon and Early Access on Steam and Itch.io.

Q: What made you get into game development and what was the path for sexual gaming?

A: I love telling stories, I have been a gamesmaster in table-top RPGs for 30 years, and making games is just another way to do that. As for adult gaming more specifically, I started playing visual novels and dating sims back in 1996 with Seasons of Sakura and True Love 95, then it was Sexy Beach and other Illusion games, and many more. I’ve loved eroges for most of my life, so making them was a natural step forward.

Q: As you are working with a team now how different has it been to be a project leader rather than a sole developer?

A: The main difficulty is finding the right people, you have to be at peace with the fact that often it won’t work out. Then you have to accept that some of your initial ideas will be challenged by others and that your ideas are not necessarily the best ones. Seriously, there is a lot currently in Love & Sex that I would not have done that way or even considered adding. The most glaring example is the in-built hint system we call the “Story tracker”, it’s the work of one of the devs helping me, Spirit, from start to finish. As I don’t like hint systems as a player, I would not have added it to the game myself, but I must admit that players like the system and it was a great idea.

Q: Seems like all your games have different art styles. Do you have good relationship with 2D artists? How has your experience been dealing, and working with them?

A: Senturi, the main character artist for Love & Sex, has been with me since the start and we have a great relationship, we are even talking about what to do after the game is finished; big reveal we want to do a fantasy themed dating sim. I personally have had both good and bad experiences with artists, from them leaving with the money, ghosting me, or taking months to finish work, to people I can now call friends like Senturi, Boo or Oshigan. But that’s true with any business over the internet when dealing with semi-professionals, I had those issues with devs, writers, voice actors… This is overshadowed by the fact that I met great people during those three years, Bliss and Spirit who are helping me with the code, Nate the main writer for Love & Sex, the wonderful VAs I work with, Domestos whos handles the wiki and a lot of fantastic patrons who are literally carrying my projects forward while funding my crazy ideas.

Q: Do you see adult game industry having changed and improved over the years?

A: I think we have a richer, more diverse, more supportive and more interesting crowd of artists, devs and writers than ever before giving us the opportunity to enjoy an endless variety of stories and characters, and that’s just fantastic. Just look at games like Good Girl Gone Bad or Space Rescue: Code Pink, and you’ll see how great some of the content out there is (kudos to my two favourite competitors.)

I think we have a richer, more diverse, more supportive and more interesting crowd of artists, devs and writers than ever before giving us the opportunity to enjoy an endless variety of stories and characters, and that’s just fantastic.

Q: What was your original vision and inspiration for Love & Sex? What was the reason you changed the concept for Love & Sex: Second Base?

A: I started making Love & Sex out of boredom, I was at home and recovering from surgery, I played an old flash game called Pornstar Dating Sim and thought “This is good but it would be better with an actual story” and then started coding it myself. I made a “Proof of Concept” game using altered pictures and released it for free on Hongfire, when I saw that there was an interest in it I was surprised but happy. It quickly became limiting, as I couldn’t tell stories I could not find the right picture for, and so I decided to start a Patreon to fund artwork. My own writing (specially in English) was pretty sub par so I hired writers too, then as the funding grew so did the game.

Q: Do you have the whole game planned out now or are you just making it up as you go?

A: A little bit of both, it’s actually a mix of planning, making it up on the fly and using my patrons’ input. I do have the rough outline of what I want for each of the game’s characters. Some of them are actually requests or ideas from patrons for example Palla, Emma, Hanna.

Q: Do you have a favourite character from your games?

A: Samantha, Lexi and Kylie are my favourite characters in Love & Sex: Second Base, in that order. Samantha has just the right mix of sweet and sexy for me, in addition the fact that you have to ‘win’ her from her asshole boyfriend is a huge bonus. Lexi’s bad girl white trash vibe is a huge hotness factor IMHO, and the danger coming from her relationship with drug dealer Danny is pretty interesting. As for Kylie, her devotion to Mike is probably her best feature and how it can go downhill to full blown craziness makes her very enjoyable too!

Q: Can you tell us what makes a sandbox game really fun experience in your eyes?

A: Player agency, and more specifically the fact that it comes from a huge number of small choices rather than a small number of big ones. Plus the fact that you are experiencing a whole world of adventures and characters, exploring it as freely as possible. Replayability is a high priority for me too, Love & Sex is designed so that you can’t get all the content in one playthrough and the fact that there are people with up to 500 hours of play on Steam shows that we succeeded in that.

Q: Love & Sex: Second Base is your brand leader game but you work on other projects too. What is the story behind developing more than one game at the same time?

A: I have many stories I want to tell, and I am easily bored so I need to have side projects to dive into when I need a break from Love & Sex. I actually started some of my side projects at the same time as Love & Sex and have been working on and off on them since then. My biggest and most complete side project right now is Leap of Love a fairy tale-like game with a mix of visual novel and dating sim elements.

Q: I must ask a question about the topic that every developer hates: how long do you think it will take for these games to be finished?

A: I don’t hate that question; for Love & Sex: Second Base I think development will take another 2 years, Leap of Love will be finished and released early 2021. As for my other projects it’s too early to tell.

Q: Do you have any advice for people who are thinking about starting their own game? What lessons have you learned while making your games?

A: To quote a great man “Do or do not – there is no try.” Seriously write something and put it out there, you are bound to find someone that will enjoy it and encourage you. Start small, sharpen your skills, game making is like dungeon delving you should not go “down the well” to soon or you’ll meet Orcus and die a horrible death.

Do or do not – there is no try

Q: Is there anybody that you would like to thank for support or help during development?

A: All of the thousands of people that have played and enjoyed Love & Sex over the past years. My two favourite VAs and friends on the web: MidnightDatura and MissMoonified. Nate Walis my writer and Senturi my artist. My lost brother because he is always in my thoughts. And finally, my wife for putting up with me.

Q: And finally, do you have anything else you want to add?

A: This past three years have been a rollercoaster, I went from doing this for fun to Andrealphus Games being my full time job, from doing it alone to having 20+ persons working on the project. If I had to do it all over again I would in a heartbeat, would I do some stuff differently? Sure, but I had so much fun doing it that I have basically no regrets. Well thanks for giving me that chance to express myself, and I hope we will discuss more in the future. Cheers!


Editor’s note: This interview has been edited for spelling and clarity.

Nadadine1

Remember when I found sexual adult game genre, a whole new world opened for me. As a fan, I started to handle it more like a hobby than casual fun. During the years I tried many games and found fantastic stories. I like to think that I've got good eye to sort out special ones from the many. Always try to be objective and not push my taste to everyone but also share my thoughts based on my experience.

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