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Disclosure: My copy of HuniePop was complementary of the developers.  You can purchase yours from Steam, HuniePop.com and MangaGamer. You can read our review of HuniePop here.

There has been fierce debate recently in the gaming media over the latest match three based dating sim, HuniePop, which has been dubbed one of the most realistic dating sims at the moment due to its unique characters and witty dialogue. I’m already 100% addicted and so was eager to talk to Ryan Koons the lead developer on the project.

Firstly, tell us about HuniePop and what the inspiration behind the title was?

The simplest way to put it is that my two favorite things in this world are girls and games (in that order). Everybody wants to work on a project they are passionate about and, for me, combining my two great loves had to be it. So, I decided to make a dating sim. I specifically wanted to make a dating sim with a heavy focus on gameplay, not story. It’s not a popular opinion, but I don’t care much for story in games. The only current gen console I own is WiiU because nobody knows how to put gameplay before anything else better than Nintendo. Originally the game was a pure date sim without any of the puzzle elements. It was months into the project when I introduced the puzzle stuff because the pure date sim just wasn’t very fun.

What makes HuniePop different from other dating sims?

I think it would have to be the focus on gameplay. Modern dating sims are basically just visual novels. I’ve got nothing against people who enjoy visual novels, but I’ve yet to find one that holds my interest for more than a few minutes. Of course there is the writing style too. I wanted to avoid the usual innocent waifu style character types you see in visual novels time after time. Instead I wrote from my personal experiences with the intent to be as not-serious as possible. Many of the girls are heavily influenced by women I’ve known in real life. Kyu kind of IS her voice actress (a close friend of mine), minus the huge slut thing of course. I added that part! 🙂

HuniePop made it into the top ten on Steam Bestsellers in the first day. Congrats! What do you think the secret to HuniePop’s success is?

Thanks! The reaction has been very surprising. I think there are a couple of factors contributing to its success. Firstly, it has boobs. Let’s be real, boobs are always going to move units. Secondly, it has some sort of viral nature to it. I’m not exactly sure why. Maybe the abrasive writing style or the absurdity of the game in general. Lastly, I think people are getting a much better game than they are expecting to get when they buy it. At least, for the ten bucks. It’s very easy to look at this game quickly and walk away with a bad impression, especially when dating sims are historically not really that great.

The game has some lewd elements but is so much more.  Were you shocked by some people’s reactions to it such as Ian Miles Cheong editor of Gameranx?

I’m pretty shocked by the reactions in general. Ian’s reaction however I saw coming a thousand miles away. I can’t blame him. Being outraged is his job. You gotta keep the lights on.

I’ve heard that it’s more popular with girls than guy’s, is this your experience?

I don’t have any data to back that up, but, it wouldn’t surprise me. Chicks are cool like that.

You said it was an 80% female team on twitter.  Do you think the female influence and the realism helped the popularity?

I don’t think it was a female influence as much as it was just the influence of a group of really talented, hard-working individuals, most of whom just happen to be female.

Will there be a sequel, possibly a game where you have guys and girls?

If there is a sequel, I’d want to go all out on it. I wouldn’t want to make HuniePop 1.5, you know what I mean? It would be something completely different. Maybe it would be a dating sim mixed with some other genre, maybe it would be 3D, who knows? I’d also want to up the production value to match something like the Japanese game “Dream C Club”. Every time I look at that game I get jealous. I’m not sure how viable that is on an indie budget though. Unfortunately, I don’t think I would include dateble guys in it. Dudes are great, but they don’t inspire me like girls do.

Will HuniePop merchandise be available, specifically a t-shirt with the picture Kyanna sent me of her butt with the tagline “this is what a feminist looks like”?

If there is demand, I shall supply.

TechRaptor would like to thank Ryan for taking the time to talk to us, and urge readers to ask him to print me a T-shirt with Kyanna’s butt on it.

What do you think of HuniePop? Leave your comments below.


Georgina Young

Contributor

British girl, currently in Japan. Surviving on a diet of retro games. Worshiping the god that is the Sega Megadrive. I like Nintendo.



  • King of Bros

    Glad to see the tiny little game be such a success, mainly because it opens the flood gates for games like it

  • Brad Donald

    I like the fact this game is BYPASSING the people in the indie scene that set themselves up as the gatekeepers. SCREW all those rigged contests.

  • It’s definitely an interesting and fun game, I personally would enjoy it more if they had “Puzzle And Dragons” gameplay in it. Otherwise, I can’t wait to see their next dating sim.

    (For those that don’t know, PAD is available on Android devices via the Google Play store. It has a very unique take on the match-3 genre.)

  • Psichaos

    It goes to show that gaming journalism is obsolete for developers trying to get their work exposed. They no longer have to rely on blessings from sites like Kotaku to market their games when there is now a plethora of ways they can now interact directly with potential customers. Coupled with the very evident fact that those sites and the indie contests are being used solely to prop their friends up and push an agenda, there is such a distrust of them that direct marketing and advertising is now trusted more than their opinions, and those creators and publishers are catching on to that fact.

  • SevTheBear

    I’m happy to read a positive story about gaming. Best of luck with a sequel from here 🙂

  • Nytezero

    I’ve play the game. It is a decent game. Not the best, not the most innovative, but certainly not a piece of shit the SJWs are making it out to be.

    It’s pretty much Bejeweled anime edition. The voice acting is pretty “unique” haha.

  • Jake Martinez

    Going to have to agree with this. It’s one that that really has bothered me about all of the revelations that GamerGate has brought about over the last few months – just how incestuous and closed in the “indie” gaming scene is. It’s apparent that the majority of the scene is run to profit a very small minority of people with connections.

    So it’s good to see someone completely zoom by them and have some success. Hopefully more people will do the same and we’ll see this little indie gaming mafia go away.

  • Misogynerd

    I’m sure the game’s OK and the dev is chill, but he sometimes sounds like: “OH HUNIEPOP IS SO BETTER THAN THESE SHITTY VISUAL NOVELS, MY WAIFUS ARE BETTER THAN YOURS YOU WEEBS”

    That or I’m really paranoid and insecure.

  • Spokker

    Not only bypassing, but doing well in spite of industry-wide derision from those with an agenda.

  • ScottyT14

    You’re being paranoid and insecure. Based off of the interview, you can tell he puts gameplay above all else, so of course he doesn’t find VNs to be as great as his game, which has some actual gameplay. Regardless, I’m sure he’s still a fan of VNs and other such things. He’s just proud of his work, which is fine.

  • MotherofFish

    Nice article n all but Kyanna a shit. Beli 4lyfe.

  • Misogynerd

    Yeah I can agree on the gameplay bit, less so on the: “My girls are better because they’re based on real people unlike that moeshit.”

    I just think that comes from ignorance since there’s a plethora of personalities amongst the heroines in VN’s. Still, maybe I’m beingnegative towards the guy for no real reason.

  • ScottyT14

    I didn’t take it as that. It kinda sounds like he simply didn’t want to add to an ever increasing amount of usual waifu material. You look at most VNs and the girls kind of start to blend together. Of course, there are always notable exceptions, but it seems he wanted to make many notable exceptions in this game.

  • Nick_Soapdish

    If you’re reading this, congratulations on your success Ryan. Really looking forward to playing the game when I get the chance. For your enjoyment I published this story about Ian Cheong and Huniepop

    http://stopgamergate.com/post/108830354640/why-huniepop-hurts-my-whore-feelings-guest-post

  • Grumpy Catterman

    I’m way more addicted to this game than I should be. I’d pay another 10 bucks just for a more in depth relationship post coitus. Like the dialogue starts to get stale even with neat hidden characters to find. It’s probably one of the best games I’ve bought for 10 dollars though.

  • Javier Vega

    Gamergate never heard of the game until It was posted on Twitter and 8chan.What happen Ian Miles of Gameranx harshly criticized the game for being sexist, he honestly said he didn’t play the the game, and mention Nude patch which backfired.The Developer kind of reach out and talk some of us we look at the game we honestly never heard about the game when people started tweeting about the game I was like “Wow that looks interesting”.

    A lot of us are Anime fans thus the with the Anime Avatars. I am going to go buy it soon as I finish beating some games that I own.I already finish Bayonetta 2 the rest of the games I own.

  • dsadsada

    Still, there are people like me who don’t use things like social media so I would only have heard of the game on sites like this. I think it would be nice if there was a site where developers can post what they’re working on and anything can be accepted if it meets some simple standards (like if the developer/s are actually working on it). The site would just require really good tagging sort of like…well, sadpanda is the first thing that comes to mind actually.

    Of course I just created a steam account so I’ll probably be seeing a lot more stuff now.

  • Badmojo7

    This interview had a dev on that was refreshingly honest. I am really glad HP is doing really well. I got the game on the hype and have no regrets. It is a fun and addictive game. I know he said he focused more on gameplay than story, but I really hope future games (or a DLC) will have more VN story to balance out the gameplay.

  • Badmojo7

    It is sort of weird, but I am looking at agenda driven groups and seeing how they react to games. The more they hate a game, the more likely it is good and the more they like a game, the more shitty the game most likely is and to be avoided.

  • Badmojo7

    Also, for $10 you can’t really go wrong.

  • Badmojo7

    I agree, really like it but I want more in depth relationships.

  • Anonanonanon

    10/10 told a girli get high everyday

  • Cap’n Catpants

    Nice interview!

  • Cap’n Catpants

    Yeah, it’s nice to see people actually admit that they are attracted to girls. That seems to end up with your career in ruins nowadays.

  • Alex

    So I watched a Jesse Cox video playing HuniePop and I had to get it…

  • utera

    Lol I bought it out of spite, but its supposed to also be a good game so that makes it a double win:)

  • Lord Browning

    Voting for Kyanna’s butt. Also loved the voice acting in this game!

  • Niche’s Commenting Regulars

    I mean where else can you date an addict who would eat grasseaters like chips, an av actress running a webcam as a gig, and an expired christmas cake professor who is barely older than her students and the antithesis of a Japanese woman as she is a cynical wisecrack. The game loves to take what people see in vns and warp it.

  • rychanwr3

    Huniepop is a great game! I’m gutted I missed it on kickstarter as I would really like to get some merch for it.

    Is it weird that I have a favourite character already? I bought the game on Friday and played it pretty hard all the way through the weekend, loved every goddamned minute of it.

    The artwork, voice acting, sound effects and music all meld together with a different take on your classic match-3 gameplay and it just works 🙂

    My fav character is Aiko, for sure 😀

  • yanderenightmares

    This guy sounds really cool.

  • Clarence Jones

    *erryday