The Ultimate Unofficial GBDNATE FAQ:
What is GBDNATE?
Gender Bender DNA Twister Extreme, (or GBDNATE for short), is a commercial “visual novel,” (which are games that resemble stories told on power point.)
Who made it?
It was produced by two developers: an Australian author / college student, and a French-Canadian illustrator from the website “deviantArt”.
What game engine does GBDNATE run on?
The game runs on Ren’py, which is a free game platform for quickly producing visual novels, and the code runs on Python.
How was GBDNATE developed?I will narrate the history as I know it. Sometime between 2011-2012, Zet was writing simple free games for a community dedicated to transformation fetishes, known as “tfgamessite. He used existing art taken from the internet for the characters he wanted to tell stories. He wrote at least two games, and I believe one of them was called “Double D Dip racing,” and the other was “Switching Sides.” (Although he never finished either, he has continually promised to finish them after GBDNATE is finished.)
In 2012 Zet decided to make another gender bender game. This time he wanted to have original assets, so he contacted an amateur from deviantArt to illustrate original artwork. He claimed to have paid an illustrator about a thousand dollars for about a month of illustrations, but he said he needed more money to make a bigger and better game, and for that he needed backers. So he turned to “crowdsoucing” through a website called Indiegogo, and he made sure people saw his campaign by spamming advertisements and links on about twenty websites to trick Google into putting his work first if you do a search for Gender Bender. This especially helped during the month that he ran his fundraising campaign.
The original target goal was $5,0000, although he promised to finish the game if he received a smaller amount, even a thousand dollars. He just said the game would have less art, and might have black and white backgrounds instead of color.
Did he meet his goal?
Yes, the game raised $27,610 in Canadian Dollars, which I believe the developers have split 50-50. There were 696 funders, but several of them donated disproportionately large amounts to reach or exceed certain reward tiers. Namely, if you donated $2,500 he promised to write a character that resembled you into the game, and you could tell him what story you wanted that character to have. He could also take a photograph of you and then have his artist draw a character that resembled it. One of them was so passionate about this work that he even went over and donated over $5,000 if I remember right…and in fact I think he donated $7,500….
What happened after that?
Zet kept going to college while working on his game. (I seem to recall that he might have quit his job too?) Irregardless, a few months after he raised over $27 K, he decided to sell his game through the online retailer “Desura,” as an “alpha version.” In other words the game wasn’t complete, but he’d still sell it, bugs and all for about $20 or $25, and would give free patches with more routes as he finished them.
How did it get on steam?
Having gotten it onto Desura, he decided to try and get it greenlit on Valve’s online gaming platform. In my opinion he knew that even if it didn’t make it to steam, the publicity would draw sales to Desura. A lot of people gave it a thumbs up, mostly as a sarcastic joke, and roughly a year afterward it was officially added to the steam library.
When will GBDNATE be finished?
Who knows. In my opinion, when the writer finishes college and loses interest. He has no obligations to do a good job, only to write something for all of the routes he promised to the rich trustafarians who shelled out thousands apiece for their own personal fantasy.
Are they trying to do a good job?
To facilitate an answer, the rest of this page will provide snippets of conversations with the developers, and links to responses from various backers, game industry professionals, and “internet people.” I hope this FAQ has been of use to you.
(I will now curate some interesting recent responses to Zet & DK’s project. This page will focus on curating the responses to their game, especially after it was released on steam. Earlier criticism directed at the game is linked to in the first link below.)
Table of contents:
Old criticism (Newcomers should begin reading from this link.)
My response to greenlight
Chocobo Sophie’s response
Skiegh’s response (the writer of Press Switch)
Desslock’s responses (on coding and writing)
Farhad tg censorship update
September 2014 update
To prevent my favorite Steam comment from ever being deleted by the “objective moderators” (on Steam that would mean the 2 creators), I’ll repost my response to the official green-lighting here:
Steam is a circus run by charlantans, and we are the abused participants in the ring. I wish the clowns in the audience had greenlit the stupid rock game instead; at least that one is an honest joke, unlike this….money-grubbing abomination that Frankenstein himself would have had the decency to kill before it laid eggs. Continue reading