Indie Game Spotlight: Best Friend Forever
This week’s Indie Game Spotlight is too doggone cute. Best Friend Forever is the world’s first simulation game to combine pet care and dating (just not necessarily at the same time – we need to be real clear about that). Adopt and pet the pups, date and pet the humans. What’s not to love?
We spoke with Calliope Ryder, game runner and marketing human at Starcolt. In her hybrid creative/production/marketing role, some days she is storyboarding and directing trailers, and others she’s considering whether it’s okay for our dog-themed socks to have buttholes on them. Let’s jump into it!
How does the game balance taking care of a dog with the dating sim aspect?
BFF is a different type of dating sim—instead of raising the stats of yourself or a date, you’re raising the stats of your adopted Best Friend, so the ‘upskilling’ revolves around your dog. The game is split between dates and Dog Quality Time (DQT), where you train, care for, and schedule activities with your pup to change those stats.
Your dog also comes along to whatever dates you go on and hangs out in the corner (we’ve lovingly called that our Dogagotchi). Not picking up a poop, for example, will result in a rather unimpressed date, whereas a well-behaved pup is a great wing-dog. The main star of the show is really your puppy, whereas the story is influenced by connections with humans.
Who are some characters we can expect to romance?
A favourite of mine has gotta be Anders because he’s handsome, flirty, and has commitment issues. Astrid is a competitive dancer and ice skater with some serious Ariana Grande vibes, up to and including the Big Ponytail. She’s secretly into occult stuff, too. The team had come up with an amazing cast of diverse characters before I even joined Starcolt, and they’re all incredible and extremely datable.
From a charge nurse who moonlights as a gaming streamer to a giant-dork-wanna-be-P.I. who listens to way too much true crime, we’re confident there’ll be someone for everyone!
What did the team enjoy creating the most?
We’re a bunch of children, so it’s got to be the ‘Dogagotchi’—whether it’s farting, pooping, or doing a happy dance because you petted it, having a tiny mischievous animated dog is a delight. We certainly didn’t expect to be designing poop mechanics when we got into games, but here we are. In the poop.
Are there any dogs in the game that were inspired by a team member’s furry friend?
Inspired by our dream pets! The game is made for people like us—millennials who can’t own real-life dogs (renting, am I right?) and want to pour all that love into a virtual best friend. However, we have based some dogs on famous Extremely Good IRL boys and girls, so look out for them as you’re playing through!
Want to find your new BFF? You’ll be able to pat your dog all day on Nintendo Switch, or through Steam and Itch.io on PC, and because we’re all romantics at heart, it’s releasing on Valentine’s Day 2020 (that’s the 14th of February, folks)!