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Visual novels have long ventured to places that more mainstream games avoid. A genre-cum-medium of interactive stories that often feature static anime-influenced art, they also tend to be more diverse than more mainstream titles — including how they depict queer relationships. Even before programs like Twine democratized game design, visual novels offered a lightweight process for development that allowed lone creators to put together a playable story. All they needed was the free RenPy engine and some art.
But visual novels are also controversial; their unmistakably feminine mien both attracts and repels. And while their non-traditional, often queer and erotic stories have earned them a devoted fandom, some gamers dismiss the clicky text-and-sprite affairs as barely worthy of the label “game.” Not every critic of visual novels is a stereotypical gamer bro, however.
Back in July, Adam Koebel, the award-winning creator of the tabletop RPG Dungeon World, tweeted, “can we please have more queer games that aren’t visual novels? signed, a queer person who does not like visual novels.” He held up the punky road-trip combat game Get in the Car, Loser! as an example of a video game that met his requirements, only for its creative lead Christine Love, an award-winning developer, to pop in and say:
“I don’t think I’m the developer you want to hold up if you don’t like visual novels. My earlier game Analogue was the first visual novel on Steam, and frankly, I think Get in the Car, Loser! would be a pretty lifeless game if not for all the visual novel influences in its design.”
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.