A few days ago I had the pleasure to try out the Steam edition of General Practitioner, and things are surely changing for adult-games fans out there. What started as Patreon niche, is now turning to Steam as a reliable and trustworthy alternative for adult game developers.
Although here at Sinical Anime Network we did a Steam Review of the game, it’s exactly the same version as the Patreon one, and I have been playing that one for quite some time now, so it was obvious we had to get to know more about the whole concept behind General Practitioner, and thus, talk to the creator behind it all; Bruni Multimedia.
I had the pleasure to interview Bruni, to get a sneak peak of the game’s early concept, how everything become a whole, and what awaits the players for the future. We also have a deep insight of one of the biggest issues adult developers face when working under Patreon.
Please, we ask our readers to read out full Review General PractitionerHere.
This is the interview conducted during the month of October, in 2018, and it’s a direct transcription of the conversation between myself representing Sinical Anime Network (SAN) and Bruni Multimedia (BM).
SAN: First of all, I would like to thank you for your time in the name of our community for your availability, and granting us the pleasure of this interview.
Ever since I first played the Patreon version, I really wanted to ask you, when was the point that you decided to start creating your game? Did you always want to make something like this, or did you just get pulled in by curiosity?
BM:My former job was being a programmer for accountability software here in Italy. Last year, on a Sunday while my pregnant wife was asleep on the couch, I was looking for an indie game to spend a few minutes and relax. I specifically looked for indies because they often are more entertaining than AAA games and I looked for medical-environment based ones which were amongst my favourite when I was a kid back in the 90’s. When I realized there were none I ended up on Patreon and their niche games, especially designed for adults and found out that people were making a lot of money by doing very beautiful games, but also very poor and lacking ones. So I told myself: “I want a game which does not exist, I have the skills to try and do it and Patreon could support the costs of this enterprise.” I woke up my wife and told her “Why not? I can do it”. It all started right there.
SAN: Now, that’s very interesting and spontaneous! Also, I assume you had to do quite the research before starting to work on the game. There's a lot of medical terms, diseases and technical details. Did you do all the research or did you have professional medical tips?
BM:A friend of mine, who’s a real doctor, is giving me professional tips, but I did much research on many medical websites, especially for the English terminology of each exam/illness/medical situation, which are often very different from Italian words.
SAN: It’s surely a very long process. At this point in time, how much is completed for the General Practitioner, in percentage, from 1 to 100%? What would be the right number?
BM:I’d say about 60%, development got a huge boost when I left my job to start my own Software House and I became a full time developer. Before that the final release was scheduled for Q3 2020, now it is scheduled for Q4 2019.
SAN: A few months ago, Patreon had a few issues with adult content, did that affect you? And now with Steam, allowing adult games, do you think something drastically positive will change?
BM: It is affecting me right now, in fact, as we adult game developers are facing a huge decrease of pledges, almost by 40% in some cases. This means that many projects had to shut down completely. I owe Patreon a big deal, they made this whole project possible and I still rely on them for a living, but lately we started to feel like the old uncle who comes to visit. At first everyone is very eager but after a few days he becomes an unwanted guest. Patreon doesn’t really like us, not at the extent of supporting us in any real way, but they don’t kick us out because it would cause an upstir in the community, and that’s bad publicity. If Patreon would really want to support us they could make a Patreon18+ for Adult Projects only, maybe paying us by bank transfer (like Steam does) instead of Paypal, which doesn’t want to be involved with us at all, and everybody would be happy. Unfortunately, this isn’t going to happen anytime soon, if ever. Steam, instead, is helping us a lot. I think the market should choose which products are to be prized and which ones are not, and by allowing adult content (to some extent) Steam is doing this. It all started with removing Steam Greenlight and its continuing up to this day, and this could be a huge boost for our own industry’s niche.
SAN: That’s terrible, hopefully things will change for the best. Do you, at this current time, have an ending defined, or does the Patreons will have a saying?
BM:The main story is already planned. Patreons have a saying about how a romance should develop. For example a recent poll asked about Rita’s relationship and most patrons chose for her to follow an NTR (Netorare/Cuckold) path. Many people also voted for a “prostitution path” and many for a “purity path”, because everyone likes Rita and everyone would like to see her developed some way. Of course while doing this I won’t ever denaturalize a character, as each poll option is likely to happen to him/her in some way.
SAN: That’s great, to give Patreons the ability to influence their in-game routes. I personally love all the character's personalities, they are so different, doesn't even felt like they were made by the same person. Have you ever used some personal inspiration for any of the characters?
BM:Thanks, I’m very glad you like them as I put a lot of effort to actually explore their personalities and make them grow like real people would. Most of them are completely invented, while others I took inspiration from people I personally know. Some are, on the other hand, people I would’ve liked to meet, but never had the chance to. Each of them has something to tell, something to hide and something to be both proud and ashamed for, and each of them is unique in its own way. Like real people are.
SAN: Now, I have to ask you, what's your favorite patient? From the Codex List, I'd say Kiko and Clara are some of my favorites, but I'm curious to see yours.
BM:Definitely Kamil, the kid who was beaten by his father-in-law. I believe that one is the best written examination of the whole game, and players expressed many different feelings about him and his situation. I’m also fond of Sara, because of her shyness being examined by a man and because of her natural reactions to his demands.
SAN: What about character designs, have you had any external influences, like an actress, maybe from role models, or do you work around until you reach a pleasant result?
BM:The second option. And I try to design their bodies as much natural as possible. I personally don’t like adult games where girls are all very big breasted and all, it’s unnatural and it’s something you only see in porn movies. Real life is different and I think in a society dominated by porn and some imaginary view of both men and women people are more likely to be turned on by someone “normal” rather than a pornstar. And to write a story with normal people is much easier than doing so with unlikely people.
SAN: To finish, are you a fan of video-games in general, if so, what's your favorite games of all time?
BM:I used to play video games A LOT before the kid was born, now it’s becoming harder. I play mostly Visual Novels, because I believe you can’t be a good Visual Novel writer/programmer if you don’t play them first, and I have many favourite ones. But if you ask me which game I love to the core I’d say 1993’s Star Trek The Next Generation: A Final Unity from Microprose. I still own the CD-Rom my dad gifted me for Christmas and I still play it. I believe it’s one of the best “Trek” games ever made and it was state of the art in 1993. Of course I’m also a fan of Legacy Games’ Emergency Room Series, which inspired me for General Practitioner.
Sinical Anime Network would like to thank Bruni Multimedia for the time, availability, and for providing us with details and extra info on General Practitioner.