I’ve written about Heartwild Solitaire a few times, both here and on Twitter, and a few of you have downloaded the free version and yelled at me for allowing you access to such a huge timeslurp. It’s very pretty, this game, and the storyline is more than just your free version from that software company that comes installed on your PC with that other game with the mines that I suck at.
So Darek, mastermind of Heartwild, has offered me five free download coupons, good for the full version of the game, to give away to those of you who might need to take a soft, relaxing, click-click-click brainbreak while at your computers. Interested? Easy to win: just leave a comment, and tell me about how much time a day you spend playing games on your computer. I’m curious – because I suspect women play more than many people might think. Comments close in 24 hours.
Disclaimer: I’m not being compensated for this giveaway, although I might be bugging Derek for pointers on snowboarding. The data contained herein is for informational purposes only and is not represented to be error free unless I haven’t had enough caffeine. In which case your mileage may vary. This message is confidential. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is intentional but purely coincidental. Do not remove this disclaimer under penalty of law. Machine wash cold, tumble dry on low.
I had some questions for Sir Darek, and he was nice enough to answer:
Why a romance storyline? How’d you come up with that?
Darek: Back in the days, when we were doing shoot’em up games (you know, stuff teenagers play), I was longing to work on a game with more story and deeper emotions. We grew up on old school adventure games, which were just starting to get somewhere, but then the market died in late 90-ties.
Later casual games started exploding and it brought lots of new players. What was weird—mainly women. And I thought this could be our chance to do something new. We first considered various half-assed ways of testing the waters, doing me-too projects, but then a crazy idea dawned on me—romance games.
This was a pretty much non-existent category and I thought it shouldn’t be this way. I mean, I know why it isn’t popular with teenage boys but now that women were getting into games as well things could finally change.
Romance novels are a perfect mix of exciting story with strong emotions and that’s something I’d really love to see in games. So we decided to go all in—focus on romance and keep making games until we get the mixture right.
Heartwild Solitaire is just a first step in that direction. We already have few more titles planned ahead so you should expect more romance from us… shortly
How exactly did you figure out that more casual gamers were women? Demographic studies or self reporting?
Darek: I’ve heard casual gaming portals saying that the split between male/female for them is about 60/40, with most women being between 30 and 60.
Wikipedia cites sources that claim 74% of women: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casual_game
I haven’t ran any stats on our site, but from a quick glance at first names on our orders I’d say that at *least* 90% are women. Or men cleverly hiding behind female names Maybe it’s because we just assume that our customer is a woman and we design our games, website and everything for women specifically. That probably doesn’t make us too attractive to men, but hopefully it’ll fit with women more. I hope.
So here’s a big question: have you read some romances? And if so which ones?
Darek: Good question I haven’t really read any typical romance book, but that’s on my todo list. Maybe you could recommend me few titles I should start with?
To be fair though, I am a sucker for emotional stories. Especially in the cinema. I love what French people do here, at least the old school. Do you know Andre Techine or, recently deceased, Eric Rohmer? They had some great relationship/romance themed movies and French… ah, they are so good in portraying subtle, fragile emotions. I also loved the 50-60’s in American cinema. Tennesee Williams’ days of Fugitive kind, Can on a hot thin roof, Streetcar… etc. Good stuff from Newman, Brando and others. And of course my dearest Bogart in Casablanca – all time best romance movie!
With books it’s mostly Polish stuff so I doubt you’d know Hlasko or Lysiak And for the last 8 years or so I’ve been reading pretty much only non fiction (I’m a sucker for pop psychology, personal development, spirituality as well as business and marketing), so yeah, I’d appreciate any good book recommendations.
Ok, then: got any recommendations for emotional stories Darek might like?