First, what is otome? It’s a “maiden game”, built to appeal to a female demographic. It can be a visual novel or more simulation-style or RPG-style game, but the usual traits are a female protagonist and several available partner characters (usually for romantic purposes).
You can find examples of the genre in several places:
Second, what is the pitch?
A robotic girl, built for a nobleman’s son, grows to develop her own feelings and must decide how to express them.
In a fantastic kingdom - or a near-future metropolis - a brilliant inventor creates an artificial girl for his wealthy and influential patron. The aristocrat wants a companion for his first son, for many possible purposes. As an artificial romantic partner, a toy, a teaching tool, or something else. Unfortunately, like Pygmalion, the inventor is soon struck by his own creation.
The girl “wakes up”, with much data but no worldly experience. The game is about her navigating her new life, discovering emotion, and then choosing whether to conceal or reveal her true feelings and ultimately to decide her own fate, regardless of the wishes of those who built her.
As a simple dating sim, achievable with tools like Ren’py, there’s several routes that suggest themselves:
- The inventor (romantic or otherwise)
- The nobleman’s older son
- A platonic or sisterly relationship with a younger son
- A possible partnership with the nobleman himself
- The hard-working and loyal manservant
The “true ending” I personally prefer is that the girl builds herself her own robotic companion, with the best qualities of everyone she’s met, and then… but that’s an ending yet to be written.
What would I need to make this happen?
Before anything else, a scouring of existing games to make sure this premise hasn’t already been done to death, and to also ensure that I’ve got some unique thing to say on the subject.
- A commitment from some character and background artists, contingent on funding.
- A working script. I’d feel much more comfortable working in this genre if the script was at least co-written by a woman.
- Some idea about music, either using freely available sources or finding someone who can do it.
- An idea about voice actors for the major roles.
If I had these things, a project like this could be Kickstarted. I’m not saying I plan to do this, but it’s a good tool for thinking through the scope of a project meant for Kickstarter.
In case anyone out there thinks this is a good idea, you have my express purpose, here and now, to go ahead with it if you can. If what you are lacking is the technical side of the project, like writing code, I’ve got that much covered. I have no particular artistic talent, but I’m a great software engineer. I like robot protagonists and I’d love to see more games and other media include a sympathetic robotic character.