After I wrote An Adult Comic Universe in a Visual Novel, I felt like there was more to this topic. In order to see this from a developer’s perspective, I asked Reinbach for an interview.
Please describe yourself and your game in a few sentences for people who didn’t know you and This Romantic World.
A: Hey I’m Reinbach and I’ve been drawing smutty comics full time for five years now. This Romantic World is a comic that I would describe as a “slice of life porn comedy.” I’m also working on a visual novel that serves as a prequel to the comic with my friend and programmer Kaldonis.
Q: What was the inspiration to release your art in visual novel form?
A: We got the idea to do a visual novel when we realized that Kal knew enough about Ren’py coding to put together a proof of concept demo using my artwork, and the project grew from there. In the two years since the game launched, I think we’ve both learned a lot about game design.
Q: Which parts of your art better for comic platform and which is for visual novel?
A: I think comics are filled with more dynamic art and poses, as every panel is unique. Whereas visual novels can be more static to look at, as character models are reused from scene to scene. On the upside though, you can fit in an astronomical amount of story and dialog in a visual novel compared to a comic. You could spend several months drawing a story that would take five minutes to convey in visual novel format.
Q: What do you think your fans are more like sexual comic fans or sexual adult game fans?
A: It’s hard to tell who is showing up for what, honestly. But if I were to guess, I’d say that whenever a game update drops, it’s good at grabbing new supporters. But I think it’s the comic pages in between that help encourage them to stick around.
Q: Did you have experience with development before you started a visual novel or did you have help from the start?
A: I had no coding experience whatsoever, and no time to learn it. Without having a dedicated programmer this game never would have happened. But I don’t say that to discourage any artists who may want to code their own game. It was just too much for me personally to do alone.
Q: In the story, different characters have imaginary demon friends who try to help them. Where did the idea come from that these kinds of conversations can be very entertaining?
A: The idea for the demons came from my first comic, Switch. I wanted to do a comic that didn’t lean on thought bubbles to tell the reader what the character was thinking. So I decided that the star, Casey, would have an unseen friend that she could voice her thoughts to.
Q: In the universe of This Romantic World everybody is so open and natural about sexuality. Is it a conscious art direction or more like discovery writing?
A: I think it was more like discovery writing. During Switch it’s implied that the story more or less takes place in our reality. But when I started to think of ideas for the sequel, I found opening up the scope of the story beyond just Casey and her household really brought a lot more opportunities to get creative with the setting.
Q: Do you have a favourite character in the game?
A: Tough call. Casey will always be my favorite I think, but since her story has yet to be made playable I don’t think she counts. I’d have to go with Elianna. Her set piece is my favorite one in the game so far, and thematically she is the star of the main story of This Romantic World.
Q: What do you have planned for the future of This Romantic World comic and what do you have planned for This Romantic World visual novel?
A: The comic is meant to go on as long as I want it to, as when characters complete their stories, I can simply move on to fresh ones and keep going. As for the game, we have five more major quest lines to create as of this writing before we tackle the ending.
Q: Are there any big developments coming in the game that you would feel comfortable sharing?
A: Over the course of developing the game, I’ve learned to be very careful about what I promise as far as big developments go. In my experience game design can be a very mercurial process, and timelines can be difficult to adhere to if something goes wrong. I can say that we hope to have at least two more updates this year.
Q: I must make a question about the topic that every developer hates. How long do you think it will take for the game to be finished?
A: With any luck, the game will be complete by this time next year, but I might be wrong!
Q: Do you have any advice for sexual 2D artists who are thinking about starting a visual novel?
A: Even if you can do the drawing, writing, and coding yourself, I would advise against going it alone. Having someone else to bounce ideas off of and help you solve any problems that pop up is invaluable.
Q: Is there anybody that you would like to thank for support or help during development?
A: I’d thank everyone who signed up at Patreon to support it! This game is a lot of work, and it wouldn’t have grown as much as it has without people expressing the interest that they have. It’s been greatly appreciated.
Q: And finally, do you have anything else you want to add?
A: I’d like to encourage anyone looking to get into the business of erotic art to take the plunge. The more of us there are out there making money at this, the better.