Haven Update: Meet the new Yu and Kay

Posted by on 03.09.22

They love each other, but they can’t be together, so they do what anybody would probably have done in this situation: escape to an unknown planet.

This is the story of Haven, a romantic space adventure about two lovers trying to stay together against all odds. Who are these two lovers, you ask? Well, with this Couple Update, the question just got more interesting.

Haven originally let you play as Yu, the hot-headed mechanic and Kay, the cautious biologist. This free update introduces two new characters: Yu, the hot-headed mechanic; and Kay, the cautious biologist. Which means you’ll now be able to play with Yu & Kay, Yu & Kay, or even Yu & Kay.

Still confused? Ok let’s clarify a bit: while Haven originally let you play as a heterosexual couple, you will now be able to play as a same-gender couple.

It could feel like a small change, but Haven being a game about the freedom to love whomever you want, we’re really happy to provide more ways for players to identify with our precious couple.

Whoever you chose to play, the main story won’t change, nor will the personality of the characters. What will change is their design, models, art, animations, quite a few lines, and of course, their voices, since the 80,000 lines of dialog have been entirely re-voiced by our amazing voice actors, Lexie Ann Kendrick (Kay) and Ryan Highley (Yu).

When we first started to work on this update, soon after the release, I was curious, as a writer, about how the original dialogues would translate for these two new couples. Will some of them sound odd? Unnatural? After all, I wrote Kay as a man, and Yu as a woman, didn’t I?

I was pleasantly surprised to realize that, pronouns and minor details aside, almost nothing had to be edited. Overall, the alchemy between the characters remained unaffected.

As if characters weren’t determined by their gender. As if men and women could have the same interests, the same thoughts, the same feelings.

Funny.

We hope you’re as excited as we were to discover or rediscover your favorite couple. Oink, for once, can’t wait to meet his two new moms. Or dads.

Haven Couple Update is available for free on PC, PlayStation 5 & 4,Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S and Nintendo Switch.

Pierre Corbinais

Choose your Yu and Kay and play as a same-gender couple with the Haven update available now!

Posted by on 03.03.22

Hello everyone,

Haven is a game about the freedom to love whomever you want, and that’s why we’re particularly happy to bring this free Couple update to all platforms. You can now choose to play the game with the Yu and Kay you prefer: either a woman and a man, two women, or two men. Check the update trailer:

This update will not change the story arc for Haven, and you still play as Yu and Kay, but the game offers more options as to the composition of the couple. Haven can now represent love in a broader way!

This update is special to us. Originally, the concept for Haven featured 8 couples, with a diverse range of relationships. It became clear during production that we wouldn’t be able to reach our initial vision for the full cast of characters, so we focused on the two characters you know well. But right after the game launch, we went back to work on this update to add the alternate couples!

You can read more about the Update in two very exciting blog posts:

We’re very happy to be able to provide the lovers’ story in two new ways that more players can identify with. We’re looking forward to seeing which Yu and Kay you will play, as you enjoy the two lovers’ adventures on planet Source (and catch up with Oink!).

As always, a big thank you for playing our games and your support,
The team at Game Bakers

 

Haven Couples Update

Posted by on 03.03.22

Haven makes you play as Yu and Kay, a young couple who are not supposed to be together. While everything in the universe is trying to tear them apart, they keep fighting for the freedom to be in love.

In Haven’s first version of the game, Yu and Kay are a young man and women. But one of the key theme of Haven has always been about “being free to love who you want”. Initially, our game concept featured 8 couples, with some of them being gay and lesbian. It was a very natural and obvious way to go with such a theme.

But production constraints made us cut all these characters and refocus the story and the game over two characters only. This allowed us to craft a very unique and moving story about two persons in love. Two personalities, two lives tangled with each other that players would come to know and fall in love with during the game.

After Haven released last year, we took some time to work on a unique update that would better support the game’s theme: you can now choose to play the game with the lovers you want. Either a woman and a man, two women or two men.

 

This is a fantastic update that lets you play the game with the same couple, Yu and Kay, but offers you the choice for them to be two men or two women. Let’s make things clear though: this is not a new story arc and the new couples do not have gameplay specificities. This is “just” a way to allow more people to enjoy Haven in a way that represents them better. We are very proud to make Haven represent love in a broader way!

You might have noticed that Kay as a woman and Yu as a man look very similar to their opposed gender versions. There are two reasons for that: first they are the same characters in the story, they share the same backstory and life. And second, for technical reasons, we had to keep the same body size, hairstyle and body shape.

This update may seem like a small addition but it actually took us more than eight months of hard work. We had to design and create new 3D models, but also redraw all the 2D assets in the game the dialog portraits, the loading screens, the key illustrations, some contents in the endings… The only thing that wasn’t redone is the opening animation, which plays before the couple choice.

We also made sure the dialogs were correct with each couple. This means supporting new translations in all 8 languages (2 new translations, one if Kay is a woman and one if Yu is a man), as well as changing and recording some lines that had some kind of explicit or implicit gender in English (like if Yu says “Mister” to Kay… that doesn’t work with a woman anymore). And we re-recorded all the dialogs of the game with two new actors, Lexie Ann Kendrick and Ryan Highley.

When you make a game over many years of development, there’s always things that you wish you had done differently. Players sometimes ask us “why can’t I choose the gender of my characters in Haven?”, but at the time we could never have made that feature. Especially as it’s the story of Yu and Kay, unique characters crafted with strong intentions. But a year after the original release, we were able to make that very special addition to the game, and we hope many new players will be able to meet Yu and Kay ! (and Oink)

Try The Right Shot, our talented interns game!

Posted by on 12.16.21

Over the last 5 months, we welcomed 3 talented interns in our studio: Louise, Maya, and Leelou. They had a mission: create their own game, from scratch to publishing with mentoring from the whole team at Game Bakers. 

We’re very happy to announce that their game, The Right Shot, is available today!

Play the game here: https://thegamebakers.itch.io/the-right-shot

The game is free, but you can give more and all the money raised will go to Secours Populaire. The charity supports people who are victims of social injustice, poverty, hunger and armed conflicts.

In The Right Shot you play as a little devil serving cocktails to the bar customers. Catch them, throw them: whatever it takes to serve them quickly!

Meet the team

While the game design was teamwork, each team member had their own specialties.

  • All the graphics of the game were made by Louise Jandot dit Danjou, who also took care of the management of the game production. She studied video game conception at LISAA. She enjoys getting lost on artstation, discovering new things & people in general! instagram.com/l.usie/
  • Maya Hill, who is in her first year at Epitech studying computer science, took care of the programming of the game. She loves playing video games as much as she loves creating them, and uses reading as a source of creativity and inspiration. And she’s fond of cats, cats everywhere.
  • Last but not least, Leelou Puech, who learned game design at Eart-sup. She worked on the game design and level design while working in parallel on the QA of Haven and Furi. She’s in love with hiking, cinema, theater, painting… Listening to music goes hand in hand with creating it for her! > twitter.com/LeelouPuech

Our studio has always been looking for ways to give back and support developers in our beautiful industry, in general, and with a particular focus on women over the recent years. We usually only take interns to work on our games in production, but considering how difficult it was during the Covid years for students to find an internship, we decided to do a bit more. This is why we created this « sur-mesure » internship for the 3 students, to help them get practical knowledge, mentoring and the applied learning they needed for their studies.

The whole team at Game Bakers is very proud and impressed by the result of their work! There’s no doubt they will make great games in the upcoming years!

Haven – Sweet Little Things – Patch note

Posted by on 09.30.21

We hope you had a great summer. On our side we kept busy: we launched Haven physical editions with Limited Run and we were working on the first content update for Haven… And that’s it, it’s ready: Sweet Little Things is available today for free, on every platform!

The update brings in particular:

  • Two new costumes for Yu and Kay: « Streetwear » the hot style in the street, and « Top/Truth » inspired by the style of their origin planets.
  • A meloglide: music is a huge part of Haven’s experience. Now, you will be able to choose which track of the OST by Danger to listen to while chilling in the Nest or exploring Source.
  • A concept art gallery: we know many of you love concept art and we wanted to share a bit of the making of Haven, and the work of our talented art team.
  • A new kiss for our two lovers.
  • A Theme for your PS4 background
  • And many quality of life improvements based on your feedback.

We hope you will enjoy it ❤️.

You can read the full patch note below!

 

Patch note – « Sweet Little Things » – Content Update 30/09/2021

Versions number:

  • Steam, GoG, Epic: v1.1.258
  • Switch: v1.1.250
  • PS5: v1.1.246
  • PS4 SIEA: v1.1.246
  • PS4 SIEE/SIEJA Asia/SIEJA Japan: v1.1.255
  • XBOX One, Series/ PC UWP: v1.1.246

Common to all platforms:

New features:

  • Two new outfits for Yu and Kay: “Streetwear” and “Top / Truth”. They can be worn after finishing the game 
  • A Meloglide to listen to the game music of your choice while roaming or hanging out in the Nest after finishing the game 
  • A gallery to discover artworks and concept art from the making of the game, they unlock during the game

Improvements:    

  • Load save menu now shows your progression in terms of ship parts and equipment
  • Multiple capsules can now be crafted at once
  • After cooking, it’s now possible to choose which dish to eat
  • Bonus loot is now rewarded when pacifying multiple creatures at the same time during combat
  • Alternative kiss animation added
  • Some settings can now be configured differently between the first and second player in co-op
  • Added more sounds and visual effects to several menus

Bug fixes:

  • Fixed main menu music stuttering sometimes
  • Fixed the scrolling behavior in the settings menu
  • Fixed an issue when starting a new game where the intro cutscene wouldn’t play
  • Fixed a case where characters would keep their spoon in hand in a post-meal dialog
  • Fixed a dialog about slugs dividing into two. They now do.
  • Fixed a music overlap problem when exiting camping
  • Fixed vibrations that continued when skipping some cutscenes
  • Fixed several typos in some texts and dialogs

Xbox One, Xbox Series, PS5

Bug fixes:

  • Fixed an issue blocking the start of the Holobug cutscene
  • Fixed missing portraits in some story events

Nintendo Switch

Improvements:

  • Balancing on the rust needed to craft, upgrade and repair
  • Flowburst ability doesn’t consume flow anymore
  • Added a generic animation when using the shower after exhausting every dialog
  • Prevented Beruberu to start fighting during the flow burst tutorial
  • Bridges guarded by Tamajus open automatically after the player uses a flow burst
  • Grass in the menu looks better, even when it’s far
  • Added sound effects when interacting with a Nokk creature
  • Improved character animations and navigation
  • Allowed characters to jump more often
  • Improved creatures animations and navigation
  • Islets can be cleared even if there is still a nightcrawler roaming
  • The anti-gravity sticks can’t be missed anymore
  • Added a field of view option

Bug fixes:

  • Fixed an issue blocking the start of the Holobug cutscene
  • Fixed a black screen if returning to the main menu while characters are in a building
  • Fixed a bug where the game appears blocked due to a tutorial’s popup being hidden
  • Fixed a bug on the climb interaction when Birble is leaving the islet after a bait
  • Fixed a bug where players could miss the event to upgrade the gloves after repairing the last ship part
  • Fixed a bug where players could miss a mandatory cutscene before the end
  • Fixed a bug where a character could end at 0 hp after combat
  • Fixed islet descriptions that did not update properly while being discovered
  • Fixed a bug that could get the Beruberu stuck if the heroes lose it by gliding onto a flying flow thread
  • Fixed visual glitches on creatures walking close to the edge of an islet
  • Fixed controls issues while cooking
  • Fixed a visual glitch on the Nest greenhouse visual
  • Fixed the duplicated guitar glitch in the Nest
  • Fixed the last seed dialog playing twice
  • Fixed a soft lock on the credits scrolling when players played the epilogue twice in the same session
  • Fixed the cooking reward popup that wasn’t allowing the gamepad stick to be used
  • Fixed a bug on the capsule tutorial dialog in combat
  • Fixed missing portraits in some story events
  • Fixed some typos
  • Misc bug fixes

PS4

New features:

  • Added a free PS4 dynamic theme that can be recovered in the gallery menu

PC Windows

Improvements:    

  • Keyboard and mouse controls rebind overhaul

Bug fixes:

  • Fixed an infinite loading issue when launching the game on Windows 7
  • Fixed an issue blocking the start of the Holobug cutscene
  • Fixed missing portraits in some story events

Haven Fan Art Contest Winners Revealed!

Posted by on 04.07.21

Hello everyone,

Thank you so much to everyone who participated in Haven community week and in the Haven fan art contest.

We’ve received a lot of submissions! It was so hard for us to narrow it down to just 4, to be quite frank.

Our jury consisted of:

  • Emeric Thoa – Creative Direction, Design, Production
  • Anthony Beyer – Art & Technical Direction
  • Simon <<Hutt>> Troussellier – Art Direction
  • Mylène Lourdel – PR & Marketing (that’s me!)

And without further ado, here are our 4 winners:

1st place is: MeowOwO – Twitter @MurrPurr4

2nd place is: Zoey Time – Artstation / Instagram

3rd place is: iybms – Twitter / Instagram

Coup de Coeur is: Jade – Twitter

Congrats to all 4, we will be in touch shortly about your goodies. 😉

We also want to give a special shout-out to everyone else, because we’re honestly in awe by the amount of fan art we’ve received. So, please enjoy the rest of the submissions below:

Nat

Zbuffer

Sebastian

Sakura Daikon

Silly_One

Yue Akiyama

Tenkiya

Madebygahh

Slyamallow

Hisha

Sundapple

Mukka_Dainax

And thank you to Tomas who sent us a nice video!

As always, feel free to join us on Discord to come to hang out with the amazing community there: https://discord.gg/thegamebakers

DANGER INTERVIEW: COMPOSER OF HAVEN SOUNDTRACK

Posted by on 03.21.21

The original soundtrack of Haven is fully composed by French electronic musician Danger. With one foot in the world of music and the other in computer graphics and gaming, Danger returned to the spotlight with his work for Haven after his first album 太鼓 and Origins. Haven Original Soundtrack is available on Bandcamp, Spotify and a lot of other stores.

At a time when everyone has been deprived way too long of the energy of concerts and musical events, we have teamed up with Danger and G4F Records to propose a free virtual concert to celebrate music and connect game and music fans around the world.

The unique virtual concert, entirely designed by artist and musician Danger will last about 15 minutes and feature tracks from The Game Baker’s games Haven and Furi original soundtracks as well as from the Origins album, around a virtual stage set in the artist’s mysterious universe.

This is a tribute to all the video game characters whom I grew up with. Haven characters have welcomed me into their world, now it is my turn to welcome them into mine…” says Danger.

The concert will take place Saturday, March 20th at 23h CET / 3PM PT and will be hosted on partner Twitch channels. You will find the list of channels here: thegamebakers.com/danger/.

Musician, designer, gamer, video maker, visual artist… You have a very eclectic profile as an artist. Where does this come from?

I never wanted to choose between music and images. I grew up listening to music in movies and video games, and watching music videos. Music and visual arts are just manipulations of waves, and their basic vocabulary is practically the same: wavelength, frequency, amplitude, whether it’s a color or a musical note. My music is enriched by what I learn through the images.
With all the media that we consume daily, I take advantage of everything I can to express what I feel, and I’d hate to be stuck doing just one thing.
Writing the soundtrack to a video game is a great chance to expand this spectrum.

Your music is usually quite dark, but Haven is a « feel-good » game. What was it like to step away from your preferred tone a little bit?

It’s true that I do like a mysterious, nocturnal atmosphere.
If I take an overall look at my work, I realize that I’m more generally drawn to all the feelings that stem from childhood and adolescence. I’m still pretty connected to that part of me.

I feel like people tend to romanticize the emotional world of kids: it’s this wonderful world, a time of innocence where everything is just joy and “simple” happy feelings. That’s not what I remember: for me, childhood is a world where everything is new, everything is strange, where things are undefined, a world made up of irrational fears. It’s a world that’s weird, intuitive and chaotic, were everything is built on sensations. Hayao Miyazaki’s work offers a very nuanced representation of this particular vision of childhood, and his work was an important reference for me as I worked on this soundtrack.

While so far I’ve been more interested in exploring the nightmare zone in my music, the Haven soundtrack gave me the chance to explore other, brighter aspects of childhood.

Even though the music from Furi and Haven are quite different, do you think there is some kind of link, of shared DNA between these two games and these two soundtracks?

Furi is a more warlike game, in one-player mode only, with a very retro/synthwave musical vibe. The music had to be really “tough,” “hard,” yet “knightly,” with an underlying idea of rupture.

Haven is a game that leaves much more space for exploring the environment and the relationships between the characters.
Very early on, I felt that the most important emotion was the idea of a connection that the player has to weave little by little between all the various parts.
The music for Haven had to express this connection: something that’s built up little by little, that becomes increasingly solid, encompassing, reassuring, bewitching, while never denying its underlying fragility.

The design and conception of the 2 games are also linked through their Franco-Japanese identity, and my work in general shares these influences as well. I was heavily influenced by the Franco-Japanese animation series from the 80s, like Ulysses 31 (宇宙伝説ユリシーズ31, Uchū Densetsu Yurishīzu Sātīwan) and The Mysterious Cities of Gold (太陽の子エステバン, Taiyō no ko Esuteban), two series with soundtracks that were really important to me, and I wanted to evoke memories of those childhood moments in Haven.

The two soundtracks are also connected through a feeling of adventure, a hero’s journey, and an epic quest. These emotions are also fundamental in my music, which really made things easier in general for our collaboration.

Haven and Furi also share the fact that they’re games that don’t focus on realistic graphics but rather a distinct visual approach with a very unique style and color palette. I was also careful to use a more restrained musical palette, and I hope it’s very recognizable without being a purely synthwave product.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4i9hpysvjnU

Do you write music for games the same way you would make a track for an album? What’s different?

I’ve always listened to a lot of video game soundtracks and film music, so I really didn’t hesitate when I was asked to compose the soundtrack for Haven after my participation on the soundtrack for Furi.
I was really curious and very motivated to be able to create and imagine an entire soundtrack on my own, and I really want to thank The Game Bakers for trusting me with this collaboration.

My approach to the soundtrack was first of all to not let myself be overwhelmed by all the ghosts of soundtracks that I’ve listened to over the years.

Many iconic film score composers have a solid background in pop music (Hans Zimmer/The Buggles, Cliff Martinez/Red Hot Chili Peppers, or Trent Reznor/Nine Inch Nails). While I wouldn’t dare compare myself to these giants, I think I represent a generation of musicians who grew up with other influences, largely from video games. I’m fairly comfortable working in this medium because video games are no longer just for nerds with super niche references, and it can be helpful to understand today’s music to compose soundtracks.

There’s no question of doing a soundtrack the way a traditional music composer would. On the contrary, I tried to add pop influences into the soundtrack.
I used fairly straightforward hooks and gimmicks, but sometimes subverted them with weird or orchestral elements, sometimes making them « morph » into a form that wasn’t quite so pop.

My goal was to combine musical genres that aren’t necessarily the most obvious pairings at first glance, in order to create a dreamlike feeling that’s really specific to this soundtrack.

Even though I use different genres, I tried to keep a specific vocabulary. I wanted to use a limited sound palette so that you feel like you’re in a well-defined universe, with clear references, and can play with its codes. I wanted to put it together like a studio album, rather than an RPG soundtrack where different instruments are used to evoke each place, the beach, the snow… On the Haven soundtrack, there’s a rather limited but versatile vocabulary.

To help visualize it, I imagined the various compositions on the soundtrack like a child’s drawing with its fair share of impossibilities and inconsistencies, which could have been transcribed more faithfully using more sophisticated techniques.

So within the same piece, you move from one style to another, with the fragrances and memories that are associated with them.

For example, funk guitars can suddenly appear alongside trap bass and synthwave, then folk sounds, and then it goes back to an orchestra: it’s all weird, but I tried to make it sound normal after a while.

My goal was to have the soundtrack express what’s created as you explore the game, as you get more attached to the characters and the universe, that sense of connection I mentioned earlier.

You’re never fully immersed in a state of joy and fulfillment; there’s always that little sound that raises a doubt, reminds you of how fleeting it is. That’s what makes this connection so poignant for me, and that’s the whole point of it all.

Here’s how I went about creating that feeling: I refer back to past musical styles, such as funk and disco, and I make them dialog with more modern elements of Trap and House music, always within the same track. I create pairings of Trap and Disco, House and Synthwave, or Vaporwave and Folk that may seem unlikely.

Where a « traditional » composer would have used only classical orchestration methods to create a feeling, I tried to use the inherent qualities in each of the musical « styles » of disco/funk/synthwave/orchestra whenever they were most relevant to express a certain feeling.

What makes you vibrate, what inspires you the most these days?

Working with video games a lot has made me rethink our relationship with avatars in general. They’re like so many digital masks, which make them an obvious tie-in with my work.

For a long time now, I’ve been observing projects like Hatsune Miku, Gorillaz, Daft Punk or Kraftwerk, which have all explored this concept of the avatar. And since 2pac appeared at Coachella, and Final Fantasy characters were featured in fashion campaigns for Louis Vuitton, I’ve been wondering what we can expect about the question of representation in music in the future.
This future with musical avatars is something I’m really interested in. I’m currently working with LIL BRAIN www.iamlilbrain.com, who released a 1st EP on my 1789 label in December 2019.

As I realize a little more each day just how different I am from a machine, I’m finding myself fascinated by our relationship with them, especially with computers. It might seem obvious, but often I realize that almost everything I’ve learned requires a computer to be enjoyed. I don’t particularly enjoy playing guitar or piano compared to all the things I can do with sound on my computer.

As video game fans, we are curious to know if there is an iconic video game you would like to compose music for (even old IPs)?

I’d love to do more soundtrack compositions in the future.
There’s a future for cross-over projects between video games and music, in the same way that in film there are often director/composer partners who work together. I think the video gaming world could benefit greatly from this (Fincher and Trent Reznor for example, or Miyazaki and Joe Hisaishi).

Video games are in their golden age, where even AAA’s are trying out some weird things (Death Stranding). There’s still a lot to be done in soundtracks.

Personally, I don’t consider any movie or video game to be a « cult classic » if it doesn’t have an incredible soundtrack.

For now, I imagine my music more in the world of independent video games, which allows for projects that are a little rougher around the edges, but on the other hand I’d love to imagine my music being used in a game like Final Fantasy, a Hideo Kojima or a Fumito Ueda.

 

Haven Community Week: Fan Art Contest

Posted by on 03.16.21

Hello everyone,

Since the announcement of Haven and even more since the release, we have received a lot of amazing fan art of Yu & Kay (and also Oink, which is possibly the real hero of the game). 

Between March 15th and 21st, we are celebrating Haven’s amazing community. You can see all the details here and we are running a fan art contest with the theme “Dinner is ready!”. The fan art can take the shape of your choice (drawing, illustration, sculpture, collage, installation…) but has to be created especially for the contest. You have to be the original author of it. The contest runs for two weeks, until Monday 29th March at 23:59 PM CET / 03:59 PM PT.

To participate, please send your fan art, your nickname, your social media profile, your physical address and the name of your artwork to fanartcontest@thegamebakers.com. Don’t hesitate to share it also on social media with #havenfanartcontest! Please note that you have to send us an email to participate, posting only on social media doesn’t count.

Here are the prizes for the winners:

  • 1st: Haven vinyl signed by Danger + Haven poster + Haven t-shirt*
  • 2nd: Haven CD + Haven poster + Haven t-shirt* 
  • 3nd: Haven poster + Haven t-shirt*
  • “Coup de Coeur”: Haven poster + Haven t-shirt* 

*coming later

We can’t wait to see your creations!

Haven: Danger Virtual Concert, Community Week & First Discount on Haven!

Posted by on 03.16.21

Hello everyone,

Since the launch of Haven, we have been amazed by the reception of Haven by you, our fantastic community. We’ve received so much love, that we’ve decided to give a little bit back. We’ve organized a week of celebration, with some surprises related to Haven but also celebrating your creations.

But the BIG event of this community week is the Haven Virtual Concert by Danger! The concert, entirely created by Danger will be broadcast during a livestream hosted on Twitch. More info here: thegamebakers.com/Danger

We are also organizing a Ask Me Anything secession with Danger on Discord, a fan art contest, a live drawing session, chances to talk to the Dev team and a few more surprises.

Here is the schedule for the Haven Community Week:

  • Wednesday 17th at 20h30 CET: watch the Pégases Awards Ceremony to see which games receive prizes this year from the French videogame industry. Haven got 6 nominations! Watch it with us on Discord. In French with subtitles.
  • Thursday 18th at 18h CET / 10 AM PT: Q&A on Discord with Emeric Thoa and Audrey Leprince, Creative Director on Haven
  • Friday 19th at 22h CET / 2 PM PT: Live Art on Twitch with Simon Hutt Troussellier
  • Saturday 20th at 23h CET / 3 PM PT: Virtual Concert from Danger on Twitch
  • Sunday 21st at 17h CET / 9 AM PT: Q&A on Discord with Danger

Send your contribution before Monday 29th midnight for our Fan Art Contest “Dinner is ready!”. More info here:

We are also discounting the game this week so you can encourage your friends to get it! It’s the first sale and the game is 20% on PC and Nintendo Switch from today and from tomorrow on PlayStation 4 and 5 and XBOX Series and One.

Behind the curtain and under the sheets with Haven

Posted by on 02.10.21

A modern romance in a JRPG

I played tons of RPGs when I was a kid and a teenager. Video games at the time were designed for people my age. The writing was simple, naive. The relationships between characters were simplistic as well. Romance, especially, was treated in a very childish way. Even if the characters were adults or young adults, they were acting like children who have never had a romantic relationship before. The core of the game was never about love, it was about getting stronger, defeating a powerful enemy and saving the world.

Secret of ManaImage from the game Secret of Mana, still a great game despite not being “modern”

The romance was a side story. A “love interest” as we sometimes say. there was very little to feed on the romance side. The boy (most of the time it was a male lead) met a girl and eventually, at the end of the story, they kinda were in love (we knew because they hugged in a cutscene).

Lunar 2

Lunar: Eternal Blue, one of the best JRPG from the 90s

Growing up, I got really thirsty for seeing more of that side of the story. What happens in between the quests? What do characters do when they don’t explore dungeons or buy shinier swords? Can I look behind the curtain and see what happens in my group of heroes when they stop at the inn?

Final Fantasy XV

Final Fantasy XV camping sequences

That’s a part I really liked in Final Fantasy XV, when they stopped to camp, in a high standing camping tent, with transat chairs and luxury barbeque. It was a story about friendship and you could actually witness it. That’s also what makes the Persona series so unique: it’s not only a JRPG and a dungeon crawler, it’s a social sim. You get to see your characters at school, in their families, in their hobbies and jobs. And they date. You see the bonds between the characters develop, should it be love or friendship.

Persona 5Persona 5 social bonding and dating gameplay

But even in Persona games, it’s still about flirting, about the early days of a relationship. You can eventually date one of your teammates, but that’s the endgame. It got me really interested: what if we saw a real relationship. What happens when they are a couple, a real one. Not an “anime character” one. What if we described a lasting relationship in a video game?

Haven is trying to do exactly that. Tell you a thrilling story of runaway lovers in space, fighting to stay together. There’s action, mystery, exploration and combat. But you get to see behind the curtain. You see them in their intimacy. The dialogs are written in a modern, relatable way. The RPG gameplay is paced with slices of their life while they try to settle in a deserted planet. You get to see them eating, playing games, chatting about their life, doing chores, getting a haircut, fighting or having fun.

Haven

And obviously, as an established couple, they have sex. It’s part of their life, it’s neither a taboo or a big deal (most of the time in games it’s either absent or a memorable first time). In Haven they tease each other, they joke about it. It’s healthy, fun, tender. You don’t “see them making love” because it’s not the point, that would be going too far in their intimacy, but it’s definitely not a taboo.

Haven sexuality

I really loved playing these games when I was a child and I’m still very fond of love stories in Final Fantasy or Persona games, but I’m happy we could come up with something unique, a tone that was missing in the video game landscape. We have received a fantastic response from players about how genuine Yu and Kay’s relationship feels and how it makes them relatable. We hope this will keep on growing with PS4 and Switch’s versions that just launched and inspire more games to deal with love and sex more healthily and honestly. If you wish to discover more about Haven you can read our previous blog posts about Haven’s inspirations,  making a relaxing experience by designing simplicity, the co-op and the gameplay or it’s beautiful opening.

Peace & Love & Video Games everyone!