Yandere Simulator’s development began on March 31st, 2014. That means that today is the 8th anniversary of Yandere Sim’s development! Whoa!
Do I have anything to say about it? Sure, a few things. If you’re interested in my thoughts on this occasion, scroll down past this absolutely gorgeous artwork by Jest!
I already expressed most of my thoughts about Yandere Simulator’s development in this blog post from last year and this video from last year. In summary: I don’t see Yandere Simulator as a game that “isn’t finished.” I see Yandere Simulator as the type of game that gets regularly updated with new content.
Here, look, I’ll describe a video game. Try to figure out which game I’m talking about:
- It’s free.
- It’s not possible to complete the main story yet.
- It is regularly updated with new characters, events, and features.
What game am I describing? No, it’s not Yandere Simulator…it’s Genshin Impact, one of the most popular and successful games of the past 2 years. If you said, “The Genshin Impact developers suck! It’s been years and the game still isn’t done yet!” you’d sound like an idiot. That’s because everyone recognizes and acknowledges what type of game Genshin Impact is; it’s simply the type of game that is regularly updated with new content, not the type of game where the highest priority is releasing a finished main storyline ASAP.
In fact, since 2017, this type of game has been formally recognized as a category at the Game Awards: it’s called an “Ongoing Game.”
There are many different types of game projects in the world. Some game projects are finished, released for $60, and then abandoned. And some game projects are made available for free and then updated for many years. That’s simply the type of game that Yandere Simulator became; an “Ongoing Game.” It began existence as a Hitman clone, and then gradually transitioned into being the type of game that is regularly updated with new content. It’s also incredibly easy to explain why this change occurred:
Releasing a build of the game that contains 10 rivals – but doesn’t contain any fun eliminations to use on them – would be a stupid idea. It wouldn’t be a fun game. I didn’t want to release a game containing 10 rivals without any fun eliminations to perform. So, I decided to put all of the elimination methods into the game first, and put all of the rivals into the game last.
During this process, it became apparent that regularly updating the game with new features was resulting in a fun game that people enjoyed downloading and playing. It became evident that I was providing something of value that people appreciated and wanted more of. So, I put a lot of emphasis on regularly adding new content to the game. Putting the first rival into the game was still a priority to me, but sometimes, I simply couldn’t work on her. Why? I’ll explain:
What makes a character a “rival”? Cutscenes, events, voice acting, unique animations, etc. All of these things require help from voice actors and animators. To obtain those things, I rely on volunteer contributions. If the volunteers are busy, I sometimes have to wait weeks or even months for the assets I need. Whenever I was waiting, I added new gameplay modes and “just-for-fun features” into the game. I don’t really consider this to be a mistake, and I think it’s really dishonest to describe this as “choosing to work on unnecessary features instead of the rivals.” (It’s also dishonest to describe this as “blaming the volunteers” because that’s not what I’m doing here, either.)
Even after Yandere Simulator had firmly established itself as an “Ongoing Game,” a lot of people still only cared about one thing: the number of rivals in the game, rather than the number of fun features in the game. To appease these people, I created a gameplay mode featuring 10 rivals and a complete story with a proper beginning/middle/end: 1980s Mode. It only took 3 months, proving that I have the capacity to implement 10 rivals into the game in a timely fashion.
There is also another reason why I implemented 1980s Mode: To send a message. “Yes, I can quickly slap 10 rivals into the game if you want me to, but if they don’t have cutscenes, voice acting, and unique events, they will all feel like the same girl wearing a different wig.” I hope that 1980s Mode communicated this fact with the force of a sledgehammer. I hope you realize that, if I implemented a bunch of rivals without cutscenes/voices/events, the final game would only disappoint you. After playing 1980s Mode, I hope you understand why I’m not implementing the rivals from Amai to Megami until after I have the budget required to pay voice actors and animators for the assets I need.
I’m sure that you’ve heard this quote a million times: “A delayed game is eventually good, a rushed game is bad forever.” I want to say something similar:
It’s more important for a game to be fun than to be finished.
What’s the point of releasing a finished game, if the game sucks? It’s more important to make your game fun than to rush straight to the end of development just so you can say, “Look at me, I finished a game!” Making your game fun should come first; making your game finished should come last.
I’d rather play a game that is fun and unfinished than a game which is finished but not fun.
I’ve played plenty of finished games that were not fun at all. I’m sure you have, too. And I’ve also played plenty of unfinished games that were incredibly fun. Mercenary Kings, The Forest, Minecraft – I played these games when they were “Early Access” with no proper ending, and I had an absolute blast. I’d much rather play any of those games in an unfinished state than play a finished product that absolutely sucks.
Do I want to implement 10 rivals, release a finished Yandere Simulator, and move on with my life? Yes, I do. Oh, hell yes, I do. But making the game fun is a higher priority than making it complete, so the rivals will have to wait a bit longer. They will wait until after I’ve finished improving the things that suck, fixing the things that are broken, redesigning the things that can be exploited, and bringing the game up to the standards of quality of a discerning video game enthusiast living in the year 2022.
Okay…so. How do I feel about Yandere Simulator at this exact moment in time? Pretty good, actually:
- Redemption Chapter 2 has finally been released, and has been translated into 13 different languages in less than 2 weeks, proving that Yandere Simulator still has an active global fanbase.
- A programmer is currently assisting me in implementing a feature that I’ve wanted Yandere Simulator to have for years, which will allow you to play the game in a completely new way, potentially breathing fresh life into the game.
- A crossover game between Yandere Simulator and another indie title is currently in development, and might get released later this year.
- I recently collaborated with a Vtuber, and although the video hasn’t been uploaded yet, I am hoping that I can use the collab as an example to represent the ways I’d like to collaborate with other creators in the near future.
- One of Yandere Simulator’s most skilled volunteers recently returned to the project after years of absence, and is planning to assist in the creation of new character models which will drastically improve the look-and-feel of the game.
With all of that in mind, it feels like things are looking up! I’m looking forward to improving the game in various ways over the next few weeks/months, and being able to show you everything that I’m currently working on!
Thank you for following the development of Yandere Simulator!