This new update was really shocking, I can't wait for a new update, you ate that!!! 😉
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haha. thank you sooo much <3 glad you liked it. If you haven't played the original, i promise things only get better. and if you have played the original, then i'll promise that things will only get better from what you saw in that :)
I played the original, you really nailed it, but I'm from Brazil and I had to play a Portuguese version :)
ah, well thank you. glad the revamp is an improvement. I'm also really surprised and impressed by the interest in a Portuguese version. there's been a lot of discussion about translations on the discord. i'm gonna work on that but it'll be awhile
This is such a fantastic game with a terrific storyline! It has some explicit content, but at its heart, it's a touching story about self-discovery, self-acceptance, and love—platonic love, romantic love, and love of self. The plot is thoughtfully crafted with care and attention to detail (it has some really unexpected and exciting twists and turns) and has central themes I wish a younger me could have been exposed to. The characters are complex and flawed and ohh so human. I cannot say enough good things about this game, except that its story should be made into a novel and/or a tv series, and have a much larger audience.
My one and only suggestion would be to reconsider the title, as "Straight!?" is a bit on the nose and doesn't live up to the eloquence and nuance of the storytelling. I think a more appropriate title could reference the Buckeye tree, which is a key setting and theme in the story and a powerful visual metaphor for the main characters' relationship. Something like "Beneath the Buckeye" perhaps.
heya. thanks for the kind words and thank you for taking the project seriously. You seem to have picked up on the gravity of a lot of the things that I wanted to share and make various points about within the story. a lot of people have wanted to see a movie or TV series on this thing and I think it would be fun, too; despite me probably being a very difficult person to work with in terms of casting, music, or even writing changes. lol
Now, on to your title suggestion...
The story title has been pretty well set from the start and was pretty purposeful and there's a lot of nods to various aspects of the story. I felt like a lot of LGBT media that I was exposed to had traditionally much more feminine or flamboyant examples as a lifestyle and that wasn't something that I could ever relate to personally. While I had some pretty severe closet tendencies, there were other traits and interests that were things I actually enjoyed that were not a projection of my own suppressed instincts. I didn't like the implication that for me to truly accept my sexuality, I was supposed to act like traditional depictions that I had seen in the media. I wanted to depict a lifestyle where the characters could have less stereotypical traits related to their sexuality and outwardly learn to express those in a healthy way and normalize that as a lifestyle option that was just as valid as any other lifestyle that truly captures who we are as individuals.
Hence, the use of the word "straight" in the title with question marks and exclamations. There's another point in the story that alludes to the title in which both Zack and Braden are referenced as literally being like the question mark and the exclamation point themselves. Another nod to the title is that the original game cover shows Braden instead Zack. This calls into question a large part of the story is just diving into where Braden falls on the spectrum. I think assuming that Braden is just a closet case is a very toxic way to view his character and the writing addresses that a few different times. Braden's sexuality, like a lot of people's preference, is way more complex than just being Straight or Gay and it's sorta left up to the reader ( I have my own head canon).
[End of Spoilers]
The word "straight" is also in red throughout the story. I did a public post on my Patreon page regarding why I did this that you can find here.
However, all that being said: I do appreciate your reference to the buckeye tree. it was a fun addition and was a personal way for me to sorta conceptualize how polarizing concepts can both be true within nature. Unfortunately, that scene, like much of this story was never planned and was written one chapter at a time. And while I always knew the ending of the story, I never knew anything that happened before it. I just knew where it stopped. Literally made that buckeye shit up right at the end of the story, lol :p
Although I disagree that people acting however masculine/butch or feminine/flamboyant as they want has anything to do with straightness, I respect that that's your perspective. I am pansexual/queer, and I identified with Braden throughout the story, especially toward the end, regarding his confusion and inability to put himself in a category.
[SPOILER] It became canon in the story that Braden is at the very least a one on the Kinsey Scale, which to me means that he is queer and decidedly not straight (a zero on the Kinsey Scale), but that's my reading of his character which is influenced by my experience. [END SPOILER]
Regardless of all that, I want to commend you again on writing and producing such a thoughtful story—I think it is a testament to the intricacy and impact of it that different people can experience it in various ways and still enjoy it so much. I am excited to play through the revised version and support the project by purchasing the game. Bravo!
to clarify, I actually agree with you. my perspective is that traditional gender norms don't equal sexuality-- -- which is sorta what led me to writing the story the way that I did. i wanted to play with some stereotypes a bit. I just wanted to mostly avoid labels and characters just being whatever they happened to be. i'm trying to normalize diversity here and say it's ok liking what you like and that you don't have to conform to pre-established labels or interests. just be you. I definitely agree that your take using the Kinsey Scale could be applicable here although my head canon is a bit different. i think that's fun and i think that's what makes braden's arc interesting. There's a lot of interpretations to it.
but thank you for your kind words. i'm glad you enjoyed the story and the depth of it was something that you could relate to. definitely check out the revamp though. it really does change the whole feel of the game from the start
I think a titular change would actually be a disservice to the plot, because the way it's written, it immediately draws the audience into questioning the word. I feel as though it was titled, specifically, with the "!?" to draw the audience's attention and actually get them to think about how the word is being used. For instance, even in the original release, the first time Brayden uses the word, it's more implied to mean "chill with it", as in his roommate's sexuality, but the reality is that, from that moment, the audience was tricked into thinking we're watching a straight guy question his sexuality, while in reality, we're witnessing a questioning guy on his way to come to terms with his sexuality. Both Brayden and Zach are in very similar situations, with neither of them really understanding that, and being so wrapped up in their own problems that they didn't realizw the person they cared about most was going through a similar issue. That's how I perceived the story and how it relates to the tile, at least.
heya, thanks for chiming in on this. that's actually my head canon in writing it as well. Obviously, people are allowed their own interpretation and whichever one makes you the happiest with the story is the one you should go with. Also, i chuckled in reading your post because you explained it way better than i did and I wrote the damn thing, lmao.
So thanks for the assist :p
Hey Aaryn, amazing game mate, I have played through both threads of the first release and am now working my way through the revamps, just amazing story line, best gay game I have ever played.
I went to download the android version, the revamp download just showed a splash screen not associated with the game and the original version wanted to access every app on my phone which seemed a bit strange. do you have a link to a correct download for android? or am I being paranoid. Cheers Dave
Heya Dave. Glad you're enjoying the story and especially the revamps. It's a ton of extra work with a lot of new additions but I'm glad it's still feeling fresh. I like it waaaaay better than the original :)
In terms of the android port, you don't sound paranoid and I don't blame you for the question. I don't make the android port myself. A guy named DarkAssassin does it for me and because he takes the time to make ports of my game, I'm completely cool if he puts his own logo on that specific version of the game.
That being said, I'm going to recommend you only download the game from here on Itch.io or from my Patreon links because those are official. If someone else makes a port and sneaks some bullshit into it, I can't really stop them on other websites.
Someone else on the Discord was worried about the permissions that it asks for as well so I reached out to him to clarify several months ago. I'll try to explain this but please understand it's me paraphrasing (probably poorly, lol). Because the game is saved on the device and contains images, pictures, and/or sound effects, it requires your permissions to actually access it its own files and pictures. It shouldn't be accessing any of your personal data, personal pictures, or things of that nature. It should only be accessing it's own images but still needs permission because its data is on the device. Lemme know if that makes sense or if you need more clarification.
Hi there. First off this is an awesome story. I have finished the original version and am currently doing the revamp version which is great so far.
I do have one question though. In the original version, after the swim team meeting you had two possible directions to go, and I was wondering if you are going to do the same in the revamp version?
yo, heya. thanks a lot for checking in. glad you enjoyed the original story and the completely different take on things in the revamp.
now on to your question: short answer is yes, things should be the same. You can think of the original version of the game as my rough draft of the story that i just chose to publish in real-time to get feedback. there are some flaws with it and some annoyances (such as the repeating nature of the beginning) and those will chance, however the main story is going to stay the same. I'm not planning on removing much of anything that was shown in the original game. Almost all of the original conversations, choices, and events in the first draft will remain in the revamp. This is not a new game, I'm just polishing what i made the first time and updating it based on what i learned about how to make a game while working on the first draft :)
im in love with this story and the romance. you did just amazing if i had the money to throw at you i would 100%
aww, thank you. i really appreciate it. game is free and runs on donations only so don't worry about it. if you really wanna help support it in other ways, you can recommend it to others or leave favorable reviews here. It really helps my visibility. glad you liked it <3
Straight!? revamp is excellent and just waiting on the new updates of the game is there also going to be Staight!? summer on as well
glad you're enjoying the revamp and it still feels fresh with all the new stuff in it. No plans for a sequel right now but we'll see. I want to focus on one project at a time. I'm terrible at multi-tasking and i dont want to diminish one project by trying to add more work that's unrelated to the first one, if that makes sense. Appreciate your good vibes <3
I just finished the game and I must say, out of many homosexual games out there, it's the first that actually kept me hooked.
I loved the story and the way it was written and it felt realistic enough in some places that I wonder for a minute of it was based on a true story.
I know the creator is working on redoing and refining the game in the new version, but I really hope to get an announcement on a continuous story, even if it skips the summer holidays straight into the second semester :p
A note for the creator if you read it;
I am long since excepted my sexuality, and this story threw me back to highschool and without trying too much gave me a lot of perspective on things that I already forgot have happened. It is really nice to see a work of art at this form, that has NSFW content without making it the main focus, and being balanced with a well written story, character development, and inner thoughts. Keep doing what you do, and I hope you will find more support on the internet, it is good and important work, and I am sure it helps a lot of people who are yet to accept themselves and their sexuality.
I can only hope for a similar storytelling with a gender discussion in the future, and of course, a continuum to this story.
heya, thanks for checking in. i'm the creator and i try to read everyone's messages although sometimes i'm a bit slower to respond. i'm really excited that the story kept your attention. i knew it was niche and that the default on these games was normally just segways from one sex event to the next and that's kinda boring to me. i'm glad you saw the value in the use of the sexual stuff here and the purpose behind it.
in terms of a continuation, i dont have anything planned right now. mostly because i'm still learning and i want to finish this story. the revamp is leagues better than the original and i'm still learning new things that i'm trying there. after that? we'll see. i never planned much of this story in advanced and apparently that's how i work so not having a plan is my norm. i guess i kinda like to keep the story out. however, i was very careful with the ending on this to tie a lot of things up but also leave certain things open for the reader's own imagination and that just seemed fun to me. a continuation would undo most of that work so it would have to really be worth it to me. i've stated on the discord that for a sequel, i would have to have a story that blows this one out of the water. otherwise, it's not worth potentially fucking it up :p
Omg I poured my heart out and my post is gone, I put so much into that too??? Is there some rules I mussed? Length limits?
Well to keep it short i also wanted to say thank you for this game, and it brought many elements to itself which I know is what you wanted. My heart has been pounding in new ways thanks to this and it sure is one big successful first project. And a big thanks for trying so hard and for putting in the part where Zack talks about preassure from being the one who the family bloodline depends on, i dont ever hear anyone talk about it so it hit the feels more. I didnt think this is what I would be dragged into when i wanted ro relieve myself and thought Braden was cute haha
Even though Zack at multiple occations said nothing lasts forever it couldn't prepare me to say bye to this game. And it stings knowing you can watch it however many times but things will change, nothing new will happen. So I will just cherish it all knowing that this is what the game is and i cant let myself get tired of it, so I will try to not watch it over and over haha. Thanks Aaryn, I hope your future plans and project goes wonder, and that is not a selfish way of me saying I want more good games, i just wish you the best.
yo, i'm really sorry it deleted your original comment. I'm honestly not sure what happened. i'm not aware of any character limit and i've written some pretty long replies on here as well. I got a message yesterday that there was a new post, too but when i came over here i didn't see anything so hopefully itch.io isn't being crazy and deleting shit.
but, i'm sincerely sorry that i wasn't able to read you pouring your heart out. reading posts like that mean a lot to me. please know that i'm even more appreciative that you tried a second time after it deleted your first post. thank you for playing and i'm glad you enjoyed some of those rare discussions within the story. i'd never seen those anywhere either but it was something that spoke to me so i wanted to share it. thank you for your best wishes and be sure to check out the revamp if you haven't already. it's a chance for you to relive it all completely new. i guarantee it's better from the start and it's only going to get better. I appreciate you and your energy. thank you for reading <3
also, i normally purge the deleted posts on here to keep the page clean but i'll leave that last one up longer just in case you're miraculously able to get it back.
Nah it's fine, I still got most of it into my shorter comment haha, I will make sure to see the revamp, and watch it all from a new perspective now that I've seen it already. Also thanks for being such an active creator, I didn't think there would be anything much to this game and that not many would talk about it eityer, yet i see people from just a few days ago thanking you for the same things I do and you keep responding. Just feels good nowing you're there
oh for sure, it's still active. lot of people that were hanging on for every episode of the original version are doing the revamp in larger segments. We also have a discord where a lot of discussion has taken place before and we're pretty chill. I do like interacting with the community and i care a lot about it. I really wanted to write a story that had heart to it and it seems kinda stupid to not interact with people after doing that. i think it helps show that i was serious about the project and continue to be. plus, it's pretty cool to hear the effect that it's had on people. warm fuzzies :) but yeah, hope you enjoy the revamp. the first half of chapter 3 just dropped on the patreon so it'll be out over here end of this month for free. i'm already working on v0.07 now.
I finished the story at this moment and... you changed my life. All 4 of them are a part of me. All those insecurities, philosophies, remorse. It's been many years since I accepted my feelings. But you concluded my 13 years long battle with myself in the end of which I told my family. Because you are not truly honest to yourself until you can confide in others. This is the moment that unbinds your soul. Thank you for finding my inner peace.
i'm not even sure how to respond to this. just know that i appreciate it and i appreciate the impact the story had on you. that's one of the primary reasons that i shared it in the first place so thank you for being a part of that. i wish your journey towards further peace to be even more fulfilling. i like to think that all the shitty times help me appreciate the good times even more. thank you for reading and i wish you nothing but the very best <3
Is this finished or still on going??🤤
heya. very much still in active development. i work at least 6 days a week on it. The original version (v0.021.4) is not being developed anymore and has the full story. The revamp is going back through and polishing and reworking everything, especially the beginning based on what i learned over the last few years. it's the current focus and the part being updated right now. it will follow the same path as the original game, it's just gonna look and feel 1000 times better.
Anyone know of any more games like this? This one was really amazing and i find myself wanting more
heya. glad you liked the project. so straight!? is kinda in it's own category in terms of games/stories within this genre, which is kinda what led me to making it in the first place. i will prop up my buddy Blayke who helped coach me a lot with the writing stuff and helped me create what i saw in my head. he has his own thing now, his first project being New Hope. it's very different than Straight!? but it also depends on what attracted you to this story in the first place. He's still writing adult stories but less porny stuff and more story kinda like this one. was there something about this story that attracted you? nothing else that i know of has all the same elements as this story all smashed together but there's a few others out there depending on what you like.
I really loved the way all the characters interacted and the way the sexual elements were meaningful and not over done.
Did you find new game like this? Would you mind sharing with us?
yeah, check out Blayke's New Hope then. Again, different kind of story but he values the character development as well rather than just making cliched situations where people get naked for no reason.
Zack is just like me fr. I'm crying 😭
aww. there's a lot of me in him too. all that writing had to come from some place. you're not alone <3
Sooooo I finally had a chance to finish reading this amazing story. Legit have been in my own head so much lately and I can truly relate to Zack on so many levels. Without spoiling the story or making a super long post like I normally do....I can officially say this was the best story I ever read in my life. I don't read much but if stories had this much passion and realism in them then I would gladly become a bookworm. It didn't feel like some put together tale with a lesson or some happily ever after tale. It felt real and gave people a chance to explore themselves as they went on a journey with the characters. I applaud all who worked on this production and I will definitely be sharing this with my friends. I will also look into sharing this with my patients considering I am a therapist. I believe it could be a fun way to have them see that we all have days where we feel lost, confused and have no idea what to do. We simply float in the sea of life and hope we don't drown. If I've grabbed anything from this story then it would be the fact that we all have to learn how to love ourselves and not focus so much on having others love us. Trust I've learned this lesson but sometimes we need a reminder when trying to build healthy relationships. Once again, great job to all who worked on this project and I would gladly buy the animated version of this story for myself and others if it came to it.
yo, heya thanks for checking in. I'm always interested to hear a therapist reaction to the story. It was sorta meant to be a self-help story if you wanted it to be so I appreciate that you took it that way and some therapeutic value in it despite the adult nature of the content. If you happen to check back in, what theoretical orientation do you practice? I'm an existential guy, which isn't a secret, i'm sure based on the way the story leans. Definitely always appreciate another practitioner chiming in and taking this thing seriously. thank you so much and be sure to check out the revamp if you haven't already. it's a completely new experience
I tend to focus mostly on CBT and Reality Therapy. I believe it's often our perception of life that shapes how we live it. Reality therapy teaches us to tend to our needs and be honest with ourselves. Please feel free to reach out bc I enjoy talking about these things. I may not be the most proficient in terminology but it's the person that you must learn. Not just the diagnosis.
As for the revamp, you trying to get me hooked all over again. 😄Guess I will be downloading it after work.
haha, oh for sure. i think dx is bullshit anyway as evidenced by the process they use to come up with the definition of a dx in the first place and the fact that they change them periodically regardless. "Diagnosis is for insurance companies" and that's as far as I go with it. People are far too complex for labels... which is one of the primary themes in this story.
But yeah, check out the revamp, it's easily hundreds of times better right off the start <3
Thx, I downloaded last night but haven't started yet. I'm a gamer at heart so it takes most of my time if I'm not working. As for diagnosis, I completely agree that insurance can be a pain. I love my job but documentation for insurance can be so draining. I admit patients can sometimes be emotionally draining to but that's bc I get so emotionally invested. Even in your story I found myself feeling their pain and confusion. Sometimes we bond with the things we relate to the most. Regardless, thx for responding and sharing such a great story. I will definitely try to stay in touch.
What is the difference between original version and REVAMP?
So the revamp is a massive overhaul on the original story; it's not a sequel. When I started this project, I knew nothing so since 2017, I've learned a lot and that's evident in the writing and visuals by the time you get to the end of the original version. The revamp is an attempt to bring the quality at the end of the story back to the beginning of the story. The story overall will remain the same but there are new scenes, expanded scenes, a revamped visual prologue, new writing that is much better quality than the original, eliminated the repeating sequences at the beginning, and a massive visual upgrade including hundreds (soon to be thousands) of new images that replace all visuals from the early game (the top 3 screenshots posted here are from the revamp). The other major addition to the revamp is sound and music. The original story didn't have sound or music because it's expensive and I couldn't afford it back then. Based on donations, now I'm able to fund a fully licensed soundtrack for the story in addition to background sound effects. I'll also mention that I've been more recently adding more animations into the story as i learn how to do that. I'm getting faster at it so that means we're likely going to see a lot more of them as the revamp progresses. So far, the revamp is a completely new experience if you enjoyed the original.
how to I play the game I’m very confused I downloaded it but it had a bunch of files
heya. Not sure where you're stuck at so I'll start at the beginning. The game is zipped (compressed) to make it smaller to download. you'll have to unzip it using windows or a 3rd party program like 7zip or Winrar. If you're in Windows, you can just left click on it and go up to the top of the screen where it says "extract all," tell it where you wanna save it, then let it do it's thing. Once it's unzipped. just open the new folder and find the file that says Str8. Double click that and you're good to go.
if you're playing the original version of the game (v0.021.4) just know that the beginning is very rough and was my first attempt at creating something. to progress the game, you have to pick various choices in different orders to move things forward. so if things start to repeat, try and pick something different. that only lasts through the first 3 chapters or so then i took it out. If you're playing the revamp, you wont have any problems.
hope that helps
when will you make a new game
it's a pretty slow process but i'm still on the first one. the main focus right now is finishing the revamp. i anticipate the development of that will slowly increase as i progress but i want to always finish what i started. if you haven't checked out the revamp, it's waaaaay better than the original already and we haven't even gotten to the good parts of the story yet. i'm also terrible at multitasking and this was a passion project that meant a lot to me so i want to do it right. that means focusing primarily on it and not tainting it with a secondary project. i just can't juggle two at once. after that, we'll see where we are :)
Hello Aaryn. Straight!? is my favorite game since the last days and weeks but I extra signed up for this page to ask you why you did to have to put this beautiful Braden ugly glasses on! You made Braden ugly asf with this move and I'd probably wish you'd undo this. Think of something else, man! I'm probably gonna continue with the story, maybe I'll take a break until it's fixed. I'll see. It disturbs me a lot that he has glasses now and became ugly. Turn it back and update the game, there's nothing else to say!
hi Veryhappy. i'm glad you've been enjoying the game but i'm more disturbed that you may be missing the entire point of it if you're this far into the story and still having reactions like this. i'll answer your question but you're probably not gonna like the response.
braden can see now. that was the update and fix for him so the glasses will stay because he needs them. like many aspects of this game, circumstances occur within the story to allow the characters to address their insecurities. many of those insecurities are things that readers may relate to, have struggled with, or are currently struggling with (i.e accepting your sexuality, zack's anxiety, braden looking younger than he is, physical qualities, dishonesty, communication in relationships, sexual history or lack thereof, mental health stigmas, and many other situations you haven't reached yet in the story). when you're young and people are judgmental, it can be really uncomfortable when you're forced into a simple situation like having to wear glasses against your will. in the story, braden is obviously insecure about this and honestly hates them. some people may make fun of you, bully you, or even think that you're ugly and that's a cruel thing for people to do because it's beyond your control. this game has a lot of mature content in it and i wanted to include things like this in the story because i wanted to show how to be supportive of one another and not base everything on appearances. zack doesn't initially like the glasses either and for a second he's ashamed of himself for having that reaction but it only takes him a second to realize it's the same person behind them. and to me, that's the lesson that matters. when you like someone, you like them. your relationship shouldn't be conditional of them looking pretty for you or not and the story addresses this in depth. life companions aren't there solely for your visual stimulation. they're there to walk with you through the hardships of life and not bail on you if you have to wear glasses. your appearance, just like braden's, isn't a constant and will change with life or age; it's a poor foundation to build any house on.
so the truth is that i included the glasses in the story as an impetus to specifically address reactions like this
Hi Aaryn, thank you for your reply. I get your point now. Hold tight, because this is going to be a hopefully interesting debate. I AM Braden to be honest. My real name is Ben and I'm from Germany. I had to wear glasses from age 9 as far as I remember until age 26. I also had my insecurities about being bisexual. Age 26, I searched the internet for alternatives to glasses because I didn't want to wear glasses anymore. Contact lenses? Oh please, I got insecurities about touching my eyes too. Eye surgery? Not in my life. Then I found a text telling me I can train my eyes. When your legs are broken you don't get permanent walking aids like when you can't see. The same should be with eyes too. Sure I got your point and I'm happy you try to get others become self confident about wearing glasses. My life got better since I took my glasses off and did the eye training. There are lots of people I guess who don't wear glasses, because they find themselves ugly with them. I saved my cousin's son from having to wear glasses as a young kid. Now he's a teenager and still doesn't have to wear glasses. That's about why it's not necessary to get used to glasses because most people can fix this too, knowledge about this is just not being spread over the world because glasses seller don't want people to know you can improve your eyes because they make money with them. I feel great since not having to wear them anymore, I live a great life since 2014 because I feel much better since then. If Braden doesn't have to use it all the time, fine. I just didn't want to have ruined the beautiful look of the eye candy. And I get you. If there's nothing that I could do about my partner having to wear glasses I would accept it. But before I let that happen I'd try everything to get possibly get the issues fixed. That also might not be the answer you wished, I just wanted to state my opinion. I keep playing the game now because the novel is very interesting and I kind of was getting used to Braden wearing glasses now, it's just I like to enjoy his beauty whenever he doesn't wear glasses and maybe one day he does eye training to fix his eyes completely, too. One more time for you: NICE WORK!
heya. thanks for understanding. you seem to really have very strong feelings about glasses in general. i have glasses as well but i finally got the courage to try contacts so i primarily use those. i never had a problem with bullies bothering me about glasses because i'm generally pretty good at turning a bully's audience against them but many people suffered from this. glasses are pretty common throughout the world so it was an easy example to use to make the point that i really wanted to make here that i articulated above. while i've never heard of training your eyes, i probably would have had a hard time setting up a plot point like braden's eyesight and then introducing a lesser known alternative practice to cure it. odds are, people would have gotten caught up in whether they felt the approach would work or not rather than paying attention to the story plot. the "training" part probably would have taken time as well and given that the impetus for the doctor appointment was an actual tragedy, the quick fix of glasses just seems more appropriate here to keep the story moving. it's weird, though, it took me a bit to get used to braden's glasses but now that i've gone back to the revamp and started over before he got them, i actually think he looks weird without them. i'll also mention there was a huge following that actually loved the glasses and prefer him that way to the early part of the game. regardless, it's his arc and not our decision to make. i lost control of these characters a long time ago. thanks for reading and i hope you enjoy the rest of the story if you decide to keep reading
You should make a opinion for what clothes we want to buy
yeah, getting to choose outfits would probably help with emersion in the game world and kinda personalize things a bit more. unfortunately, the actual execution of that can spin out of control very quickly because i'd have to render every single picture in the game with every possible combination of outfits. For example: if we only limited the choices to shirt and pants slots and offered 5 choices of each, I would have to render 25 different combinations of a picture of zack sitting on his bed with his mouth open talking. now if he smiles while talking, i'd have to render 25 more images with him smiling. that would also add 50 lines of new code to every single line of code in the game. The finished original version had over 50k lines so i'd be looking at 2.5 million lines of code just to do that version and the revamp is already going to be longer. right now in the revamped version of the game, the dorm setting has 335 images during the daytime. that could easily balloon to somehwere around 1,600 images in that scene alone just to add a few shirts and pants and we're only 5 updates in. i like the idea and i think it would be fun but the logistics when you're one person rendering all these things can get messy. i came to the conclusion that mario and link have worn the same clothes for decades and those are AAA studios so i had to sorta admit the clothing to be a losing battle. it would be fun tho :)
WOW!!, where to begin. An honest review. (some spoilers)
Straight!? has several descriptions but I think the most accurate one is "emotional rollercoaster" and even that one is an understatement!
The story pulls you into a world that anyone of any age can relate to. It allows you to play on the naughty side but gives you the option to rewind and make different choices. Either way, by the end of the story you'll find the choices you make will affect the main characters in a profound way just as they would in real life.
It is so well written and intricately detailed that you find yourself connecting and feeling all the emotions as if they were your own. You make choices that guide Zach while completely understanding his thought process and struggles. You'll see him and Braden slowly realize their fears, insecurities and the inner torture it causes them and how it affects them to their very core. They explore unknown feelings and question themselves along the way as they begin to fall in love without knowing or realizing it and it slowly tears them apart. Much like real life it is a messy cluster of happiness, sorrow, self hatred, self understanding, self realization and finally self acceptance.
This story goes far beyond the standard "Gay guy falls for questioning straight guy" storyline. You'll get to see what its like from both Zach and Braden's story and how they internally navigate and rationalize this messy thing called life.
The story also involves abuse and forgiveness on a level that will shock you with disbelief. I won't describe it because its a major spoiler but it will have you understanding what you think is a small harmless action can drive someone to make cold and calculated decisions. It shows you that the most innocent person only allows you to see what they want you to see. The hidden manipulation for a "controlled experiment" is truly impressive. The hidden guilt and betrayal they both feel afterward show how they cope with their feelings and how it prevented self healing and growing stronger together. They ultimately understand and forgive each other.
Along the way you'll meet other characters that you can't help but truly appreciate and come to love. Especially Max (aka Ash), he starts off very annoying but his character gives you a very deceiving impression of who he is. The old phrase "never judge a book by its cover" can strongly be applied here. He will keep you laughing and is probably the weirdest and funniest person in the story. He's great at masterminding situations, finding loop holes and truly cares about the people he loves. He's far from the impulsive idiot he projects himself to be. Nothing can stop him when he has a plan in motion. Everyone should have a friend like him.
In addition to learning about the 2 main characters in great detail you also delve into the supporting characters and learn all about them and their troubles. You'll learn how they feel and cope and ultimately deal with life.
Over the course of the story there's plenty of hot explicit scenes to help guide and entertaining situations to have fun with. Not only do you feel all the feels but you also learn a lot about how peoples minds work, what leads people into making decisions and also how those decisions can shape and mold them into the person they are. It also shows what happens to someone without any support or someone to confide in. You can't help but to fall in love with the characters and be completely invested in their well being and seeing what's in store for them.
Some scenes are heart wrenching to watch and will have you crying. There's so much drama with twist and turns and revelations that I couldn't keep up with it. I found myself enthralled and on the edge of my seat that everything around me disappears and my only focus is hoping Zach and Braden can find a happy ending. Just when you think it's over for them and you're left crying, you get a glimpse of hope.
I'll stop here to avoid a spoiler
I highly recommend this story but be warned you will hurt, cry, be shocked and be overwhelmed with a wide range of emotions. It's a complex yet relatable story and superbly written. It might seem to drag on at some points but you must keep reading, everything you read will teach you so much about yourself and other people you might not understand and how offering a little support can change someone's life.
Thank you to the creator/s and all involved for this story. You've essentially created a blue print to teach people how to understand a variety of things and provide support for others while allowing people who identify with Zach and Braden to understand and themselves and lessen the guilt and torment they feel.
This is truly an impressive and entertaining story!!
yo! Hey, seriously appreciate the long post and well-thought reaction to the story. I wish i could respond with equal length but i think you covered most everything, lol. however, thank you for taking the project seriously. it means a lot when people get excited and focus on the same stuff that was important to me when writing it. so thanks for gettin it :)
I finished reading it the story is good but after the character development I don't know. And I laughed when they don't know how to do it so nothing happened between the 2 MCs until the end of the chapter. No sex between them at all. But I love the sex scene between Mikhail and Max/Ash :)
you may wanna add some spoiler warnings here so you dont ruin the parts of the story for someone else
The original is fine. But the revamp is sooo much better! Thank you!
havent made a comment in along time...... love the revamp. cant wait for the next update... soon going to start from the the start again.... the more i read this storie the more i can see how it fits me, not as a teenage like zack and branden but as an older man. and i can see how this fits for alot of guys. and i can see how this will help alot of them in there real life..... the work you have and are putting into this is on real. this is by far the best i have seen so far.. looking forword to the next update..... keep up the great work....
heya. i appreciate you taking the time to go back through the revamp and stop by to say hi again. I'm also glad that it holds up across generational perspectives. I really tried to write something that was applicable to the age of the characters but nostalgic and had a depth that could apply to any age really. hopefully the upgrades in the revamp make people take my motivation for this even more serious cause we're just getting started :)
I love this game! I love the sex scene<3
glad you enjoyed it :)
I didn't see a sex scene I had the latest update
I just have to say this. This game is one of the best experiences I've EVER had. Like for real now. Straight changed me in ways I can't explain. Even with just having played the ending and literally bursting out into tears, the game and the story just made me realise that I don't have to force myself into situations I don't want to, particularly relationships. I got the game just thinking it would be another one of those Sex based games, but as I got further into the game, I realised it was nothing at all like that! This game is wonderful in its own way. I really have to say it, and it's helped me figure things out and figure myself out. And some parts of the stories really left me... weird sometimes. I can clearly remember playing the update of the game and getting to the end of that update. Their Dorm burned down, and.. I don't want to sound weird here.. I felt.. sad? Devastated and angry all at the same time. For days. Straight really impacted me for who I am and what or who I love. I can't say it enough. This. Game. Is. The. Best. It's better than any other experience I've played, better than any game I've played, and yet it's so unique in every way. and it binds players into it. Somehow finding a connection with the characters. It's like a book, a very VERY well written book! Or at least that's my interpretation of it. I connected with Zack the most I was just always so fed up with myself. I hated the way I was and couldn't really figure myself out. I didn't even know why. Playing Straight and seeing that I wasn't the only one that felt this way, I started getting better. I have not figured everything out yet, and I'm certainly not at my best. But Straight and this SO incredibly well written story really impacted me and the way I think.. I'm happy I played Straight and I'm so happy I even found it in the first place. This "review" may sound so weird to some people, but I'm genuine. I really meant all of that, and I'm ok with people not understanding it. So, Thank you! Thank you, Aaryn, and everyone who worked on Straight! I loved it so SO much, and I'm so glad someone took the time and effort to even come up with such a different approach to a game. It was so different from anything I've experienced before. Again, Thank you so so much for making this game and pushing through to the end with it. Thank you for helping me figure myself out and slowly making me find my inner peace.
(God, just re-reading this makes it sound so weird, I promise it shouldn't. I just wanted to express myself! :) )
Heya, I know I spoke with you on the Discord and stuff and we talked about this there but I just also wanted to follow-up over here and say thank you for the detailed reaction. I'm always humbled when people have a reaction like this and it means a lot to me when people take the time to write a thoughtful response. Also, please keep in mind that this project and it's "perspective" isn't the truth so find what works for you and define the world in your own way. I just wanted to show one perspective here on how one stubborn person could actually start that journey and try to sort through the mess of contradictions that we see every day. I appreciated your reaction and loved talking with you and reading this again. Hope you enjoy the revamp <3
I've just finished the draft after downloading it about a week ago I think. For someone in their 40's and can still see bit of myself in the main character at that age this was a great story to read. I've never fit the stereotype and taken years to work out labels and/or if they where needed for me. The maturity to the writing/storytelling show the experience of the characters and I guess the revamp will help that come through more.
For someone that has a very supportive family, but still had hard time coming out and the recovery from my perants shock. I would have love seeing Zack still getting on the train and standing up to his folks as that is a personal development I feel he would need even if his folks don't care etc, but then have Braden saving him, but then there was a mention that Zack wouldnt call for help
heya, glad you enjoyed the gravity of the story and that you were able to find parts that resonated with you. i think one of the fun things about the ending is that it's open. what you're suggesting could easily happen for sure in your own head canon. I tried to do a lot with this story but eventually i had to draw a line and not include everything. the parental side is a different beast entirely and this story was much more focused on self-acceptance rather than trying to find the approval of others. who knows, we may see it again some day tho if the time is right :)
Oh I so could see you guys doing Zach's second year at college for sure.
we'll see. i dont have plans for it now but i'm open to returning to this world again. it just needs to be worth it. i'm not trying to milk a story out and run it into the ground unless there's really another purpose to it. so far my requirement has been that a sequel would have to be "better" than the first one for me to ever touch it
Você teria uma versão traduzida para Português Brasil ?
I'm going to look at translations in the near future. i was waiting on the revamp for a translation
I wrote a review for this game, not knowing how itch.io works and that the review wouldn't be public 😅
So I'm posting here to say, for the benefit of anyone who sees this, that Straigh!? is a wonderful (and sexy ;) ) visual novel, with tremendous depth - 5/5. I can't recommend it enough.
Cheers and thanks, Aaryn, for all the hard work and commitment that's gone into this! (and if you happen to see my review and feel like posting it below this comment, I wouldn't mind, but nbd)
thanks for the kind words. so in terms of reviews, this is a little embarrassing but I'll publicly say it anyway because anyone who's followed this project for any length of time can attest that i do not shy away from embarrassing myself. So this project began in 2017 (the original demo was published in October 2017 but i started several months before that-- I wanna say like july or so but i can't remember). Anyway, I published it over here not too long after that as the means to get more feedback and reach a wider audience. However, about 2 months ago is when i actually figured out how to read the game reviews for this thing. They're buried in my user profile and i have no idea if they're public or not but there's hundreds of them in there. hundreds of notes people have left in there that i've never been able to read. Now I probably could have figured out how to read the reviews sooner but most of my time is spent in the project itself, rather than marketing or website construction. I usually spend the most time writer and doing graphics and the rest of my time is usually spent interacting with the community. So while i could have done better at trying to figure out the website over here, I promise I was busy doing other things that were probably more important. But, I did finally figure out how to read all the reviews so i spent the better part of a day going back through and reading them all. That being said, I have no idea if they're public or not and i have no idea what they're so hard to find. I've always thought the UI over here was overcomplicated. But thank you for your kind words and thank you for taking the time to rate the game and leave a thoughtful response. i really do appreciate it <3
Haha, well I'm not surprised, honestly, with how itch is laid out. No worries at all, you have more important things to be doing than digging through the wonky UI on this website. I just wanted to say publicly how much I appreciate this project, and I've done so here.
I've been following Straight since maybe 2019 or 2020, I'm not too sure. But when I started, you still had the loop in the early game of going to class and having to choose the right path to progress things. The story has developed a lot since then, it's really grown up! I just started in on the revamp for the first time, and I'm loving the added depth and attention to detail, it's great. Anyway, thanks again, your passion for this project really shines through.
well thank you. i honestly have to also thank the community for allowing me to write a story that actually could grow up. adult games seem to be pretty shallow in their story and I really needed a community that was open to having a story within the genre rather than just mindless adult content. sure, it's niche, but it does help to have people that appreciate the depth there and like the slow burn. i really am passionate about this damn thing and honestly i'm happy i can still be passionate about the revamp even after working on it for this long. the community has a good energy that's helped keep me going more than once :)
I downloaded the game months ago to see what it was like and then didn't have time to really look into it. Now I stumbled across it again on my computer and started to casually play. However, I got captivated by the story, the characters and basically everything. It is such an excellent and realistic story with all the ups and downs, the inner conflicts, the problems and so on. I can only recommend it to everyone who likes graphic novels with gay content. You've done a terrific job there and I'm really looking forward for an even more perfect final version - I will download the latest version as soon as I'll be finished with may first play through, not wanting to have to start all over before at least reaching the end once. I'll most certainly replay it though. Thank you so much for your passionate work!
heya. thanks for checking in and thank you for your kind words. it really is a passion project and I'm glad you stumbled back across this little thing. if my opinion means anything, I think finishing the copy you have now before starting on the revamp is the wise way to do it. even though it's the same story, the revamp hits waaaaay different and fresh and i think its even better when you actually know the ending this time. you have more time to pay attention to how much more alive the world feels. lemme know what you think of the end. i worked my ass off on that thing and i'm actually pretty proud of it <3
After having finished the story, I'm feeling a bit emotional and thus I have to reply again. You are so talented with storytelling. I loved every moment in this and I wanted to sincerely thank you for all that you have accomplished with this. Any young gay person should play this game (allthough I prefer to call it a visual novel). It has so much deep wisdom in it - and I'm almost out of words at how impressed I am.
Just thank you and to all who read my comment: download this and let yourself be touched by this masterpiece. And I know I'm overhinking everything here (because I'm a little Zach myself), but I hope you can just accept my praises and rejoice in them for they are perfectly justified - at least for me and that's reason enough to tell you.
Please continue to with telling amazing stories - I hope I will have the honour to read them.
Alle the best to you and all the people involved in this outstanding project.
heh, well thank you. i'm glad you made it to the end and yeah, i had a hard time with it, too. however, if you're looking to experience is all over again but new, check out the revamp that hits waaaaaay different right from the beginning. i never expected people to look at this as some paragon for gay media. i was just writing and stumbling through it but it's heartfelt and i'm eternally grateful that that's resonating with people the way that it is. It's been an amazing experience so thank you for reading and i'm glad you stumbled back across it <3
Just asking since I finish the game yesterday (for second time) and I absolutely love it, is there any chance we see them after they go for vacation? I want to see more of them and interaction with each family
heya :) glad you made it through twice. i appreciate the reread. I dont have any plans right now for a sequel. i worked really hard to get a lot of things tied up with the end while still leaving some things open to imagination and individual head canon. however, i'm open to things in the future but it would have to be a really good story. it's really important to me not to run the story into the ground or just milk indefinitely. i ended zack's story on my own terms and i'm grateful for that. but we'll see. i've flirted with some ideas. my standard is that the sequel would have to be better in every way for me to justify doing it.
i think is pretty difficult to make a better story that the one already existing, still, I will play the game with the rework in the animation once is finish, probably could be good to at least make a little future view with each family in like a special chapter or seeing them all group up some years later, but the game is already beautiful as it is, waiting for some others projects you have.
really glad you liked the rough draft. i think the revamp is better in every way. you can actually feel it from the beginning rather than having to wait a bit to get into the narrative. i haven't shown anything after the ending because of the layers involved with the ending. there's been a lot of fan theories about things that one picture could completely undo the complexity of the ending and i like having all of those fan theories able to coexist
i imagine it feels good to have fans creating theories, but i feel good sharing my opinion with you so you can take it as a idea
it's incredibly humbling and moving to have people that invested that they think about your characters even after or when they're not reading. I was never prepared for much that i've experienced during this process and i'm incredibly grateful for everyone for chiming in and sharing their thoughts and just saying what it meant to you. it's a super cool feeling. thank you for adding your voice to the chorus.
Poderia colocar tradução para português
I'm going to try to start taking a serious look at translations soon, although I'm not sure how many languages we'll start with. My main focus is to get through the organization at the beginning of the revamp and once that is mostly settled, I can move onto translations while I continue to work on the revamp.
This game is so good, thank you!!!
So I just finished the rough draft and it was definitely a whole experience. Following along Zack's journey had me laughing at times, it made me anxious and sometimes sad. The characters were realistic and relatable. A lot of the time it's all about the fantasy, which is nice in it's own way, but realism is harder to achieve and still be immersive.
The way it's presented, focusing on the evolving relationships with himself and those around him, was especially pleasant. As an asexual person this spoke to me very strongly. While I do enjoy those projects that focus on the sexual aspect, this was definitely a treat from start to finish.
I have books and stories I go back to over the years to read again and again. It doesn't matter how many times, or how often I read them, I'm enraptured by them every time. I have the feeling that this VN is going to be like that for me.
It will be a true pleasure to see how the remake evolves the story in both writing and visuals; but I think I'm going to take the time to absorb this experience first before I jump back in.
i really appreciate you sharing your thoughts. over the years a few people have referred to the story as an "experience" and i think it's still my favorite description of it so it means a lot to me that it had that much of an impact. I'm also glad that it checks the asexual box. rather than trying to list out all the sexual demographics, i wanted to take a different approach that was more inclusive without actually giving them titles. i think there's more individuality there and the idea was to make it more empowering. i've never been one to go back and reread things over and over. hell, i wrote this damn thing and i think i've only read the entire thing maybe 5 times and that's a bit iffy for me because it may not even be that many. but i'm humbled that you would add this story to your list and i'm grateful that you took the time to play it so thank you. and for sure, stick with the remake if you enjoyed this version, i think it's going to be a lot better. thanks for reading and i really appreciate you taking the time to check in <3
Like many others, I initially downloaded this game only because I wanted to get to the NSFW scenes as fast as possible.
But for anyone who's about to download this game only to just straight-up skip the entire story save for NSFW scenes : Don't. You'd be missing out, in my opinion, on one of the most full-fledged story-wise gay VNs out there. I caught myself falling in love with the characters and their routines, their interactions, their feelings (with Zack being quite relatable in certain ways).
The whole story feels so alive, so realistic, it almost gives that "I've been there" vibe that you can feel all the way up to the ending.
I've completed the "rough draft" and I've played what's been done so far in the remaster. The latter is of such high quality that it's honestly really hard for me to recommend the rough draft instead of waiting for the remaster to be fully completed. But on the other hand, you don't want to miss out on that story, so go check out that rough draft and appreciate it for what it is. You even get to see how quickly the developer picked up on how to write good dialogues and set up good scenes.
All in all, a huge recommendation from me. Thank you for this game, can't wait to replay through it once the remaster is fully out!
heya, i really appreciate your thoughts and experiences with the game. you have a shared experience with a lot of people that's just fun for me. for people to download the game for the adult content, only to be distracted by substance is just fun to me. the rough draft is exactly what you said, it's the audience watching me figure out how to create this thing in real-time. we have a lot of purist fans out there that really like this version because they've been following it for a long time. they've seen my struggles and cheered me on to keep going. there's some triumph to that for the audience. The revamp is very much me taking a deep breath with a lot more confidence and saying to fans, if you liked it before, watch what i can do now that i've learned a few things.
the next part of chapter 2 just dropped today so go check it out. massive upgrade to that chapter and extended sequences and more changes and i hope you continue to enjoy it. thank you so much for the recommendation <3
sorry for commenting so much, but i just got to the confrontation part between Braden and Zack ang I felt really betrayed for not picking up on Braden's plans. But at the same time I want to understand where he's coming from so much so that I would really like to see maybe a spinoff of the game where we get to play in the perspective of Braden and also know what went through his mind during the story. Not really demanding for it but I hope in the future it may be considered as a. spinoff, minigame of some sort.
no worries on the posts. if you have discord, you can join us over there and talk in real time and process some stuff with other fans of the game. it's kinda fun to get other perspectives. Also, you may wanna include a spoiler warning in your post here as we don't want to ruin parts of the game for people that are just scrolling down to check out some of the comments when deciding whether to download or not.
that being said: i dont have plans to do a braden specific route despite originally planning to do that. my first plan way back years ago was to finish the game as zack and then unlock the story all over again to play it from braden's pov. i changed my mind in that and i abandoned that plan mostly because i wanted the mystery of braden to be more relatable to people. Because braden doesn't really fit into some typical labels, i didn't want to force his pov on people. i wanted to give them the freedom to determine things themselves. Braden's arc deals a lot with labels and fans that have never really fit anywhere have found a lot of solace in his character. if i wrote a story from his perspective, i would take that away from fans and i dont have a desire to do that. in the scene you're talking about, braden talks a lot about what was going through is head and how things slowly spun out of control and eventually he didn't know how to stop them. in that scene, i wanted to show something that was fucked up and broken but i also wanted there to be some hope there and a strong desire for forgiveness and people to try to rebuild. i wanted to show how people can communicate when both parties genuinely want to fix things. while i, myself, have more questions about his motives, zack did not and we're sorta stuck with the information that we have because we don't control these characters. zack asked the questions he needed to in that moment to get the information that was important to him for him to determine whether things were salvageable or not.
I think the fact that Zack didn't require much information shows how he is very understanding and empathetic towards Braden. And I now realize that we as an audience don't really need to know Braden's full motive and perspective and just know that he is also just human, complex. I really love that the ambiguity of Braden's identity and how you decided not to continue on the original plan to still cater to those people that can relate to him.
yeah, it was a very conscious decision for me. i've never taken any decisions with the game lightly. on the discord, people talk a lot about the game and i really take that feedback and reactions seriously. sometimes giving too much detail can take the magic out for some readers so i've really tried to walk a fine line (having no experience at all but i was attempting to walk a line). and with the type of ending that we see in the game, it's entirely possible that braden himself couldn't answer a lot of those questions and that's ok because all of us deserve the amount of individual time that we need to figure ourselves out
have you considered or already are promoting this beautiful game in Tiktok and on Youtube? I think many people on these platforms will love this game and would be interested after just watching a single video from it. I wouldn't have known about this game if I didn't specifically search for these types of games in itch io. and I think tiktok and yt will bring in more players hence more feedback. just a suggestion though <3
sooooo, not so much if i'm being honest. i've pretty much relied on word of mouth to get me this far and people have been very kind to me. I'm also not exactly satisfied with the beginning of the game. I was very new at this and that's reflected in the jumbled mess at the beginning. that being said, my focus was to get a little ways into the revamp, which i'm much more satisfied with, and then i could potentially start to promote things more. i'm one of those people that has a hard time promoting my stuff because i dont want to draw attention to it for the fear of looking greedy. I also feel guilty to monetize things and I'm bad at hype :p But i am happy with the finished product as a whole, the beginning just needs work because i think it's weak enough to chase several people away and it doesn't reflect the quality of the entire project so that revamp quality means a lot to me before i start to push it more. I'm not ashamed of it; i was just new and it could be a lot better so i wanna fix that. i've also considered putting it on steam but i've been adamant that the game should always be available for free. if people want to donate, that's fine but if they're not in a position to, i still wanted it to be available because i think the premise beyond the story is important and money should never be an obstacle to something like that-- but steam has a few roadblocks to free games. if you want to pass the project along to others, please feel free to do so. if you'd like to promote somewhere or create a thread about it, please feel free to do that. a few more updates on the revamp and i'll start sharing it more, though. the original game was just the rough draft and me trying to figure out how to do this. i am promoting a tad more on my twitter lately so if you're on there and you wanna retweet things or pass it along, that helps me too
The rough draft is majestic in my opinion but I understand that you want it to be the best before promoting it to a lot more people. I will surely do an edit on zack and braden as soon as I finish the game. I will also follow the dev team on twitter and on tiktok/yt if there're official accounts.
well, i appreciate your kind words and they mean a lot to me so thank you. i'm sure the other guys that helped me out on this would each appreciate the follow, too, so please feel free. no official tiktok accounts. all of my official presence is listed here. we do have an official discord in that list, too. if you want to interact in real time :)
are you by chance working on a new game right now, or are you focused on the revamp?
heya. So right now development is only on the revamp. The beginning of the game is a hot mess and requires a lot of reworking based on what i've learned since i started the project. this includes writing, coding, and massive visual upgrades. I'm also awful at multitasking so if i were to split my attention between 2 projects, both projects would suffer and take a quality hit and i'm not ok with that. i have a pretty good reputation for putting out quality story-related stuff and I don't want to jeopardize that with taking on a second project yet because i know my weaknesses. however, the plan right now is to focus on the revamp until I get to the part of the story where I require less rewriting and organizational stuff (that's the hard part for me right now because I put a lot of emotion into it), then I may be able to branch out and split my attention somewhere else while i work on the remaining visual upgrades for the revamp. *fingers crossed*
hope that makes sense :)
understood, i think it's actually for the best that the revamped is being focused on so much. I've been putting it on hold to play it and im so excited for the full revamped even though I know it will take a long time to get there.
Same. I played the older version before and I thoroughly enjoyed the story. Been planning to replay it only when it's complete in its entirety
so my original forecast was about one year to get the revamp done. i wish i could say that's on track but i honestly have no idea. there's a ton of work at the beginning that's slowing me down but i also know there's virtually nothing to do at the end so that progress bar for the full game is gonna go slow as hell at the beginning and then probably leap dramatically in the last 3/4. i get that you want to wait until the revamp is done but i'll also toss out something else here that can be helpful to me as a developer. If your'e playing as the story goes, it gives you a chance to pipe up and give feedback. once it's done, you get less of a role in that because it's too late to change. like my thank you notes say at the beginning of the story, the energy behind this has been a group thing. supporters have been amazing to me over the years and have had a prominant role in helping to motivate me and that has turned into subplots that i ended up including that were based solely on the community. but regardless, play the game the way you want. i really appreciate the support either way <3
I downloaded this on my phone and loved it so much I decided to put it on my PC as well. Just a note: it will not install via the itch app. It says that it's hosted on an incompatible third-party website. You will have to install it independent of the app.
I'm currently working my way through the rough draft version and I'm super excited to work my through the rework after that's complete.
heya, thanks for checking in and I'm glad you're enjoying things. Be sure to let me know what you think when you finally finish it. I think you're doing it in the right order, too. I'd do the old version and then the revamp.
In terms of the game not working on the itch app, you're correct. I currently am using MediaFire for the download links over here. I pay for storage over there for the game and to my knowledge it's been a safe download space for several years now. Unfortunately, itch has size restrictions and would not allow me to upload anything over 1 gig (the original version is over 4gig now so there's now way it's going to fit). In order to meet this requirement, I would have to significantly reduce the image quality of the game and I was unwilling to do that because it made things look terrible. Best alternative was to just link to the 3rd party site where I host it and offer the full scale version there. Hope that gives you some context :)
I get it, I just wanted to notify future users so it's not a surprise. I'll definitely pop my head in when I finish. I'm looking forward to comparing the two versions in the future.
yep, no worries. i forget about that thing just because i've gotten so used to the third-party upload. good to remind people tho, but hopefully nobody thinks the 3rd party link is sketchy. and for sure, check in when you get done. i always appreciate feedback. i've put a ton of thought and care into this damn thing :p
Playing this for the first time (the rough draft), and LOVE it.
I'm not done, but I swear Max is autistic too. Just finished the coffee shop discussion to the point he leaves and comes back. He has a lot of the signs, but it may just be more subtle. I wasn't diagnosed until I was 22, myself. High functioning is apparently difficult to detect.
EDIT: Just finished it.
Honestly kinda wish the epilogue skipped a few years and showed like Mikhail and Ash together in the future with Ash's bro chilling out on the couch playing games with them or something, but in contrast I think it gives you an opportunity to make more games focusing on different characters and their journeys if you wanted. I'd love to see Zack meeting Braden's family and them slowly being accepted. Zack finally getting the family he always deserved. I imagine Braden's mom doting on Zack once she gets used to their relationship.
Before the epilogue, I thought Braden was gonna bail and Mikhail would step in an wind up being Zack's true romantic soulmate, but I'm definitely not mad about how it ended.
Maybe I'm just spoiled; I blame YAGS, cause its epilogue is more like "2 years later".
Still an amazing game, what a journey.
heya. glad you liked it although you may wanna edit your post and include some spoiler warnings so you dont ruin the story for someone scrolling down here to check out the comments.
so the ending was written for several very specific reasons. some of which are meta and others are vague and allow the reader to fill in what they want. the discord has come up with some fun interpretations that i was happy to see people playing around with because all of them are possibilities so it kinda allows the reader to determine what's canon and what's not. I specifically didn't want to fast forward and give 100% closure because after getting thousands of letters from people over the years, i came to the conclusion that it was more important to each individual person to get the ending they wanted rather than have me write it. so many people were invested in this story and so many people wanted different things to fit their own narrative so i went a more generic route for the reader. I think that's more fun that having everything resolved just by the writer, that's only one POV. so that was the design. you get to check your own boxes but there's enough there to satisfy most people i think
Fair enough. I do that with everything anyway, even if there's a canon ending. If I don't like it, I change it in my head. As I said, I'm probably spoiled. I completely understand giving an ambiguous ending so people can fill in the blanks themselves.
sure thing. that's perfectly acceptable. get what you need from the project. that doesn't bother me a bit :)
i tried to include plenty of subtle cues for different perspectives on the end so there's hopefully something for everyone. i do appreciate the interest, though, and i'm glad you enjoyed it
That was amazing.
Seriously the most affirming and beautiful piece of gay media I've ever seen. One of the most endearing aspects was how the characters' depth and your abilities as a story teller developed in tandem, and all of it seemed to mirror Zack's own development... which I know mirrored my own coming out: stumbling around for way to long just trying to see dick and then slowly realizing the complexity of the world around you and the people in it. Very meta. I have to admit that a couple of the plot points towards the end were a little ... "extra" but how you leveraged them to propel the character development and tell a deeper story made the more superficial plot exploits work in your favor.
The ending did *not* disappoint - and I think it would have been so easy to botch. The meta references (porn can have stories etc...) and how you inserted yourself at the end were really spot on (cheesy, but spot on). The writing in the Ash scenes literally had me laughing out loud.
I downloaded this for "porn" but I got something so much deeper. That really became obvious when I realized that the "hottest" scenes were the ones where they were just laying in bed. And I teared up SO many times. It's definitely unlike anything I've ever seen, and it's something I really needed to see at this moment in my life. Thanks for your effort working on this, the care you put into it is evident and I've been waiting 20 years to hear a story like this. It's really breathtaking, and I hope you're proud.
Thank You! I subscribe to every single word.
I’ve been trying to comment for a few weeks to express what this story did for (and to) me but almost everything I want to say was already said in a much better way than I would be able to say it. I find it astonishing how consitent the reactions to this „game“ are (at least from those who take the time to comment). Maybe it‘s a matter of „natural selection“ because those who make it to the end, do so for very similar reasons. But most of all, the way the story is crafted conveys such a strong message that it‘s impossible not to be affected by it. I‘m glad that I found it by coincidence and very grateful to Aaryn and his co-developers.
Heya, glad you guys liked it and I appreciate that you looked at the story on a deeper level, given the genre that it's written in. i think the revamp will be more consistent but you're absolutely right. when i started this i had no writing experience at all you the quality of the story does develop with zack so you kinda get to watch both of us grow in real time. there's a ton of meta references in it and that was an overarching theme throughout. i wanted something that was in the adult genre that actually confronted the genre. also, glad you liked the ending. i was terrified and i agree, good stories can have terrible endings and ruin everything and i was super invested in trying to make this right. i am proud of it. it's not perfect but it's a first draft at something that i've never done before and i literally put my soul into it and i'm humbled that people have received it well and it's made such a difference to people <3
Wouah quelle merveilleuse histoire d'amour entre Zack et Braden. J'aurai tellement aimé avoir un colocataire comme Braden. Grand merci a vous pour ce jeu que j'adore malgré qu'il n'ai hélas pas de version en français.
aww. thank you :) I'm gald you enjoyed it <3
I'm going to explore translations in the future but they will only apply to the revamped version
Merci pour ta réponse, y aura t'il une suite car j'ai franchement kiffé cette magnifique histoire d'amour. 🥰😘😘😘
no sequel planned right now. I dont want to just milk the story forever. I ended it the way i wanted but I'm open to coming back to it if i think of a sequel that is better than the original. if i can't do better, i wanna leave it be :)
In all honesty… I don‘t believe there will be a sequel. Regardless how much it hurt to let go of those guys (as many others I was reduced to tears at the end), I don‘t think I would recommend a Straight!? - Season 2 (I hope I won’t get too much hate mail after this statement). It‘s obvious that you wrote this story as much for yourself as for your audience. You put all your heart and soul into it and it will be difficult to replicate the same emotional intensity you were able to create for so many of us with just a continuation of where you left off.
On the flip side… you are without any doubt a gloriously gifted writer. You have a sense of drama combined with a remarkable ability to balance intuition and self-reflection in your approch to storytelling. So, if you really mean it and you want to continue on this journey, I would rather see you start a new project that is completely different and reflects where you are on your path in life today. You have developed your own unique and genuine voice in this genre. And while it breaks my heart that I will - most likely - never know how Zack and Braden‘s relationship is going to evolve as an „official“ couple, my gut tells me that you won‘t come back to the story. But - as everybody else - I would be thrilled if you proved me wrong. Just my 2 cents ;-)
God I wish Zack could have a threesome with the other two guys