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Because of the fact that they're relatively easy to make, dating sims have been created by many indie designers.
Visual novel creation platforms such as Ren'Py and Novelty exist and are designed for people with minimal experience coding.
Good interactions boost your meter, bad interactions reduce it.
In order to woo a suitor and get the "good ending," the player needs to pick the best choice out of multiple options (usually two to three) that reflects the suitor's personality.
A higher social rank also means that characters will give each other better benefits (higher dodge rate and higher attack skill, for example), with the S rank as the highest.
Through cut-scenes, their relationships improve as the characters climb up ranks, culminating in S rank, which is only unlockable with two characters of the opposite sex and which enables them to marry.
Picking the wrong choice can have the meter decrease, potentially harming the player, depending on the game.
The Tokimeki Franchise is most notable for introducing the "bomb" feature.
In the West, dating sims are still seen as a niche market.
The adult games page is easily more popular, with some games reaching views in the millions.
With titles such as "Aching Dreams2 Hentai Game," "Meet'N'Fuck Road Trip," and "Orgasm Girl," it's pretty obvious what sort of direction these games are heading into.
Just like how there are multiple suitors, each suitor has multiple endings.
The endings typically come in two types: good ending and bad ending.
For example: in Fire Emblem: Awakening, pairing up two units in battle improves their relationship, which can grant "rank" upgrades in the Social menu.