LewdPixels May 29, 2020 Redefining Traditional Concepts of Beauty with naughtyroad


Redefining Traditional Concepts of Beauty with naughtyroad

Light of My Life is a game that has subverted our expectations of classic female character designs in adult games. I sat down with its Developer, naughtyroad, to find out some of the thinking that went into creating it.

Q: Let’s start with an easy one: What was the first adult game that you ever played?

A: An easy one you call that. Hmmm. 

My first thought was that it must have been Illusion’s Artificial Girl 2 or 3 or something. But then I got to thinking that surely there must have been others, like maybe some old Sierra adult game from when they still made those, and I came to realize that maybe the first one was probably Strip Poker on my PC-XT, in glorious CGA. I even found it on some abandonware site

Oh-la-la, Suzi and Melissa.

Yeah, adult gaming left quite a lot to be desired in the old days.

Q: What inspired you to want to become a Developer, and why adult games?

So then it struck me that, if I polished off everything that was worth playing, I might as well try and make something I’d enjoy playing.

A: So as established earlier, at some point I did stumble upon Artificial Girl, and from then on I played around with a bunch of adult games coming out of Japan, like Custom Order Maid 3D and a few of the other Illusion games. 

The VNs really didn’t grab me all that much at the time; there were a few nice ones but mostly, they felt like walls of poorly translated text over a handful of static images with little or no means for the user to express themselves. 

It wasn’t until I found the thriving indie adult games community centered around places like F95Zone that I acquired a taste for VNs and similar story driven adult games, and soon they were just about the only type of adult game that could still hold my interest. I started out with the top tier titles, worked my way through the mid-tier and finally found myself desperately sifting through the dregs to find something, anything worth playing. 

So then it struck me that, if I polished off everything that was worth playing, I might as well try and make something I’d enjoy playing.

Q: Did you have any previous development experience before you started with this game?

A: I’ve been in IT for my entire professional career, and a developer in one form or another for a good part of that, so I have had my fair share of development experience. 

But starting this, I think the most useful part of that background was an understanding of how big a big project can get, and how to set yourself up to attack that mountain of work and start ticking off tasks until you have arrived at something to deliver, often many, many weeks later, without burning out or finding you’ve painted yourself into a corner.

Q: With regards to “Light of My Life” what was your inspiration behind the characters?

A: I knew that I didn’t want to do what a lot of games seemed to be doing, which was rehashing the same old models again and again, until they lost all impact. 

I wanted Light of my Life to have characters that were relatable, and not to have yet another supermodel roommate or landlady being all insecure about whether her impossibly perfect, gravity defying double-Ds were too big to be attractive.

For inspiration, I just looked around, at friends, inlaws, co-workers and people I see in the streets of the city where I live (and that’s in Northern Europe, btw).

Q: How did you respond to all the split responses you got from the community about the character designs?

A: So, let me first go and say that the next part is not about people who aren’t attracted to the main characters. That’s perfectly fine, everyone has their preferences and it’s OK if these characters don’t do it for you. 

However, it was pretty clear that a lot of the very vocal opposition to the looks of Macy and Denise came from a particular mindset: comparing them to monkeys, complaining that I should have gone with a “normal” Northern European look (the other 90% of the world population is quite abnormal then, I guess), and for some reason calling them gypsies a lot, which they seem to feel is a bad thing. 

The comparison with goblins comes up quite often too, and I just created this special render, which I drag out from time to time. Because none of the trolls ever seem to be able to come up with something new and original, it stays topical.

naughtyroad’s special render

Q: Did you think about changing any of the character designs after seeing the responses you were getting from the community?

A: Quite the opposite. For one thing, quite a few people came out praising the looks. And on the other hand, the howling, screeching mob of morons flinging slurs around just strengthened my conviction that I was on to something, or at the very least that I was standing on the right side of whatever this dispute was. 

Q: Not only do the characters look different, but also their personalities are quite different from some of the more common character types in other games. Can you talk a bit about your goals for, and inspirations behind, some of your characters?

A: I feel that, besides the rehashing of the same models, you also see the same personalities being rehashed over and over again in a lot of games. At some point, that also makes them lose whatever impact they may have had originally. 

That’s especially true for the side characters that are thrown the players way as the long story slowly unfolds. Quite often it’s some lazily written slut that just wants to jump on some D because sluts gotta slut. I tend to just skip through content for those types of characters, and my guess is many other players do too, and I really wanted to avoid that in Light of my Life.

So I try to give all characters some background, and a reason to be doing what they’re doing that goes beyond “sluts gotta slut”. Hopefully that makes their story arcs a bit more interesting. In addition, it’s a lot more fun to write an actual character and think about personalities and motivations and what not, than it is to write some bland dialog for a prop with a vagina that can be summed up with “I got horny looking at your bulge, can haz fuck plz?” 

I’m not really sure if I have a goal with these characters, other than trying to make them fun and interesting.

The trio of co-workers

The final part of your question was about inspiration. For me, that’s not always very clear when I start out. For instance, the trio of co-workers that were introduced in chapter 2 (and were originally just intended to be nothing more than a cameo from my previous game) turned out to be quite the classical archetype.

The thing is, when I was writing them, I hadn’t planned them to be; it was only during the writing for chapter 3 that I realized they were an incarnation of the Maid, Mother and Crone archetype (and I’ve since gone back and edited chapter two to make that more clear). I wish I could say that influence came from Shakespeare, or the classics, but Terry Pratchett’s Wyrd Sisters seems a more likely source if I’m totally honest. 

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

A: I have the whole story arc sort of planned out in milestones, but the stuff in between I fill in as I go along. A good example is the trio of office workers mentioned above, they didn’t even figure in my original plan and just appeared at some point. 

I feel it helps the process to have a rough idea where you’re going, but leave the details to when you get there, so you can be flexible enough to change things up if the situation requires it, or take a different route to the same end goal if it turns out better or more fun that way.

Q: It seems that the game is still early in development. Do we have a lot more content to look forward to or are you planning to wrap it up at some point soon?

A: I do have a story arc with an ending, and I am working toward that ending. I don’t want this to be like a soap that sort of goes on and on, until the ideas run dry and everyone just loses interest. 

Having said that, I’m also having a very good time writing these characters and I would be very happy to stay a bit longer with them on their journey. That could mean taking a more scenic route to the end of the arc, or maybe have a season two to follow up on loose ends and explore the characters, old and new, some more. Or maybe nothing of the sort, and I just wrap the story up as originally intended and move on to something new.

Whatever it is, I feel strongly that any additions should be interesting and fitting content. It shouldn’t feel like stringing the audience along and deliberately postponing development with the main characters, for the purpose of milking more funding from patrons. I owe it to the supporters of Love of my Life to be honest to them and myself about that

Q: Do you have a favourite character or is it too hard to choose just one?

But, if, from the writing perspective, I absolutely had to pick one for the bronze medal, it’d be Sierra, one of the trio of co-workers.

A: That’s really hard to choose. Obviously the lead ladies are very close to my heart, but I really feel for every character in the game in some way (and I think as a writer, you have to, otherwise your audience won’t feel for them either). 

But, if, from the writing perspective, I absolutely had to pick one for the bronze medal, it’d be Sierra, one of the trio of co-workers. She’s such a broken little thing, and quite oblivious to how messed up she actually is, and that makes her very interesting to write.

Q: The focus of the game seems to have always been the interaction between the MC and his wards. You mentioned the co-workers were added in after, have they changed the plan you had laid out for the story or are they just meant to be side-characters?

A: The one co-worker, Brooke, was planned from the very beginning, to introduce dramatic tension and give the oldest ward a reason to galvanize. 

The other three co-workers did come in on a lark, and having no real set function in the narrative structure, they are completely ad-libbed in each chapter so far. They do add texture to the interactions with the other characters and can pick up the roles in their storylines, by just adding background or being actively involved in some way. And because they’re such free agents, without a specific function to serve in the overall arc, their storylines are quite off the wall.

They might play some bigger part in the dramatic developments in the future, and I think I’d like to introduce them to the wards at some point and see where that leads, but for now I have nothing planned out explicitly.

Q: As of the current version (v0.5.2), the MC hasn’t had the opportunity to have sex with his wards, are we going to be getting that in an upcoming update?

A: Obviously spoiler territory, but I think I’d have a virtual lynch mob baying at my gates if I ended the game without giving the player ample opportunity to get quite intimate with their wards, so it’s a safe bet it will be featured prominently at some point. 🙂

Q: Is there anybody that you would like to acknowledge/thank for helping you with your development of “Light of My Life”?

A: Well first and foremost my thanks go out to all patrons and supporters (current and former), and anyone who’s contributed in any form over the past year or so. You are giving me the opportunity to make this game a reality, and I couldn’t have done this without you. 

A special thank you goes to my wife, who’s willing to put up with me putting so much of our spare time into this game, as well as providing some rock solid wardrobe advice for the characters in the game.

Q: Concerning the detractors you’ve had so far, is there anything you’d like to say to them? 

A: To the frothing troll boyz screaming slurs at the top of their lungs for not getting another parade of blonde, blue-eyed bimbos, not so much. They’re not really good at listening. Or reading.

For anyone who’s so far passed LomL by based on the screenshots alone, I’d say: give it a chance if you’re feeling like something different. Who knows, you might come away enjoying it.

Q: Finally, is there anything else that you would like to add?

A: Yeah. This little ecosphere of fantastic adult games we all play and love is based on two things: free sharing and patronage/support. 

If you want the games to keep coming, support sites like F95Zone promoting free sharing by using them and sending advertising income their way, or with a donation. Even more importantly, support your favorite devs by donating and pledging, so they can keep on making games. 

Finally, avoid scammers trying to divert funds away from those two pillars by making you pay for access to stolen copies or to download those faster.

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1 year ago

I wrote this game off at first due to how the character models looked and how it looked from afar to just be yet another faux-cest fantasy playground where the MC just fucks whoever willy nilly and through contrived reasoning is suddenly okay with boning his totally-not-relatives.
Having played it now, I think it’s one of the best adult VNs out there atm.
The main characters aren’t portrayed as goals that you have to unlock by doing tasks, they’re wonderfully written complex characters whose lives are intertwined with that of the MC for more reasons than just being totally-not-family. Not only that but their models are absolutely gorgeous. As NR stated in the interview, they’re not your basic supermodel aryan women that you see much of in indie adult VNs. They’re well written, emotional characters whose models are well crafted and posed in a way that is a cartoonish representation of real feelings. The body language and facial expressions are not “she’s angry! but sexy ;)”, when a character is supposed to be angry that emotion is the focal point, not the teasing of an eventual trip to the bedroom.
While the models are fantastic, the writing is very solid too. As of Chapter 5 the MC and the “wards” have slowly had their relationship with one another strengthen through real character progression with solidly written, interconnected journeys that sometimes even got me emotional. The main premise already sets the prospect of emotional moments but when these emotional moments hit, they HIT. And none of these moments feel written just to evoke emotion, they’re there as a vehicle for character progression and as exposition for the reader to learn more about these characters and their history together.

If you’re at all on the fence about this game and you happen to be reading this, go give it a shot. You will not regret it.

2 years ago

This is one of the most refreshing adult games I’ve played in a long time, it has great characters and wonderful storytelling. I have played a bunch of VN games with only a hand full out of like 50 or so worth the wait or paying to play. I get so hyped to find out whats gonna happen next on every release like i would do for my favorite Netflix shows XD this game is up there with games like Midnight Paradise, Milfy City, Monster Girl Island, Diminishment and BeingADik oh cant forget Neko Paradise.

2 years ago

I became a patron shortly after playing chapter 1, and this dev has not disappointed. Absolutely loveable characters and a great heartfelt story (with plenty of sexy times as well). I highly recommend.

2 years ago

Light of my Life is entertaining and very well written. An interesting plot, with revelations parcelled out sparingly. Realistic dialogue. And the most adorable girls. I passed over this game a few times, because the screenshots put me off. I’m not normally into cartoonish characters. Once I decided to give it a go, I quickly became immersed in the rich story. I thoroughly enjoy the animations – for example Denise’s habit of bouncing up and down with excitement. Ah – Denise. I must admit, the little vixen captured my heart – she is just too adorable. Ignore the naysayers. The peculiar graphics do not ruin the game at all. Well worth a try.

2 years ago

Good review, I got to learn more about the game I’m so interested in and the dev behind it.

2 years ago

Fantastic Interview. Naughtyroad is a very interesting dev and he could be an interesting person too. I’m glad he dare to do something fresh and new and I’m stick out this opinion in that case too if I try the game and don’t like it that much but hope I will.

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