Developer says his romantic games aren't realistic because he's never been in love
Fans shower forever alone developer with love after honest response to criticism
It was a seemingly standard comment, the sort of thing posted to Steam thousands of times a day. But the response was heartbreaking.
It all started when one gamer left a comment on the game Tiny Snow: “This game is ok. It’s just that the romantic plot between the main characters was a little unconvincing.”
It’s a damning comment for a game that’s essentially an interactive romantic novel -- the plot is everything to Tiny Snow. But the game's developer responded with brutal honesty.
“The romantic plot is not convincing because… I never… got that experience,” Rice wrote.
“However, I’m really good at writing stories about being rejected and being dumped. I will try harder next time,” he added.
Gamers responded by showering the developer with love. People flocked to Tiny Snow's Steam page to leave positive reviews, encouraging the developer not to give up on love. Some even say they purchased the game even though it’s in Chinese -- a language many new buyers don't understand.
One Steam user wrote, “I can‘t read Chinese but i want the developer to be happy. *hugs*”
Another wrote, “Sold 3 expensive CS:GO guns JUST to buy this game to support and encourage the developer…”
Tiny Snow, launched on February 28, has over 360 positive reviews on Steam -- compared to just 13 negative reviews.
In response to the sudden outpouring of support from fans, Rice wrote, “Thank you for your encouragement. Actually, I am not so miserable.”
He also said that his "tragic experience” was exaggerated because of translation problems. He said he would rather the players love the game than pity his romantic struggle.
Rice wrote on his Weibo account that he saw around 100 new purchases from foreign accounts, and noted that many who left reviews didn’t actually play the game.
Tiny Snow isn't Rice's first game, or indeed his first romance game. He's also part of the team which created another dating sim called Love.100Days, which is a much more well-known game amongst Chinese fans of the genre.
But while some might find Tiny Snow’s romantic scenes generic, the game has a fairly philosophical theme. Rice said it was meant to portray the absurdity of life as well as serve an expression of rebellion.
Some praised Rice for being well-read, to which the developer responded, “I am not really. I just bought a lot of philosophy books to decorate my shelf and hopefully one day I can impress some girls when they visit.”
This comment, of course, has a bittersweet ending.
“But sadly, no girl ever visited."