Play the dating game and win
The first ending many people experience when playing notorious pigeon dating sim Hatoful Boyfriend involves being ambushed by ninjas for "failing to display sufficient intimacy with the birds." You are unceremoniously killed and brought back to the main menu to start over from the beginning or are forced to resume from an earlier save point.Dating simulation games like Hatoful Boyfriend most often take the form of visual novels, interactive text adventures with images and animations accompanying the branching story.Another hurdle I see people experience when starting out playing dating sims is that they spread themselves too thin.They shop around like they would when playing a Bio Ware game, interacting with all the different available characters for too long and find they are suddenly railroaded along a generic path that usually results in a normal ending where you don't kiss anyone, or worst-case-scenario: a harsh death.At this stage I advise friends new to the genre that they need to focus on a chosen character early and aim for that goal ceaselessly.And I assure them not to panic from this seemingly premature decision, because dating sims are specifically designed so that you will want to see all the available characters, each attempt requiring its own separate playthrough on a different timeline entirely.He pointed out the lack of gravity a character's death has in these kind of games, stemming from seeing the main character and surrounding characters die so many times and how to work with it."So basically, rather than the desire of 'I don't want the character to die, so I'll try to avoid it,' we put emphasis on the desire 'I don't want this story to die as is, so I'll try to avoid it,'" he explained.
Characters who are hale and hearty in one route will up and die in another, enemies become friends and vice versa.
Since dramatic romances are often the main focus of these games and are necessary to lead the stories along their branching paths, you are expected to fulfill your obligation as a good sport and at least attempt to fall in love.
Or else the game really won't know what to do with you, and thus you will be punished. Non-romantic visual novels do exist for those who don't want to opt in to this particular character-focused experience, but for this article we’ll be limiting ourselves to the love simulation variety.
There are some people who dislike this disjointed storytelling style, such as those found in transmedia properties, so these types of games may just not be enjoyable for them.
999: Nine Persons, Nine Hours, Nine Doors and Virtue's Last Reward director Kotaro Uchikoshi spoke of his attempts at harnessing the player's experience and perception of a game's story during multiple playthroughs.