I don’t know if it’s relevant here, but:
The absolute number one rule of game devving: Do NOT make your dream game until you’ve gotten a lot of experience doing all kinds of different little projects.
Getting real sick and tired of all those v0.0.5 projects that pop up from some new/new-ish game devs that crash and burn because of spaghetti code, massive code rewrites, or feature bloat.
Anyway, probably more relevant stuff:
Important aspects of fun… is pretty subjective. Everyone’s got their tastes in gameplay, challenge, game length, fetishes, etc. Me, I like games where the fetish is first and foremost, or at least pretty close to it, lewd games that don’t try too hard to be a “real” game. It’s kind of a pet peeve of mine when you’ve got some kind of lewd RPG and the game has you grind for hours, doing all sorts of actual RPG stuff, just to have the kink stuff be locked behind losses against bosses and that’s it.
That said, having the game be some piss-easy puzzle game where you can rush through all the content in five minutes and have zero replayability is no good either. There should be some aspect of replayability here, whether it’s redoing things to unlock more stuff for the gallery, or doing an intentionally difficult side quest to unlock the ability to adjust characters’ weights whenever you like, IDK.
Game design tips:
- Consider whether or not the player should/could play one-handed. Maybe the whole game is lewd, so you should have the controls only need one hand? Maybe the game isn’t that lewd outside of the lewd scenes, so the controls are two-handed most of the time? Maybe do alt control schemes if possible.
- Consider the length of time between lewd bits of the game. It’s okay to have non-lewd breaks to pad the game out, but don’t overdo it. Nobody wants to spend the few private hours they have IRL to pick herbs for a fetch quest in a game about unbirthing.
- Add replayability through secrets, unlocks, difficult side objectives, etc. New game +? High score lists?
- Fetish toggles, when practical.
4a. Clearly telling the player what they’re about to get themselves into, unless the game’s point is to be vague. If you meet a woman and she’s being flirty with you, and the two options are “ANAL” and “CONTINUE”, you better clarify somewhere that “continue” means to get a blowjob from her and “anal” is her actually being a futa and screwing YOUR butt.
- Screenshots. Please, please make sure your game’s page has screenshots of a few things around the game so we know what it looks like and what to expect. I personally hate downloading a new game then finding out it’s another RPG Maker game.
- Put thought into the balance of genders in the game and how the player will see it. Is the game female-only? Is there a scene with a dude mixed in that the player can’t skip? Is the game 50/50?
- Don’t put lewd content behind bad ends, unless the game is so hard that the player is expected to lose to everything at least once. (Or you can cheat by having bad ends be unlocked in the gallery after you win!)
- Don’t change the game’s tone too much, if you can avoid it. Most players aren’t too happy when a game has a lot of wholesome pregnancy content and after the 3rd chapter, the game decides all pregnancies should be forcefully aborted by the new villain that hates children and there’s no pregnancy at all for the next two chapters, despite being a pregnancy kink game
- Consider adding a cheat mode of some kind while the game is in development so we don’t have to take as long to get to different parts of the game when things get added or whatever. Nobody likes having to redo 10 hours of a game because the dev reworked the save system, or a save bug broke everyone’s saves.
Also yeah, key points:
Watch the scope of the game, don’t add a billion mechanics if none of them are fleshed out, PLAY your game a few times while you develop it, and don’t surround yourself with Yes Men that just want to suck your e-peen and tell you how good you’re doing.