Yes, that’s right! We’re finally back into the interview game again, and good thing that, since we haven’t published a new interview since March of this year (the last interview that we did was with the artist and comic book veteran Clint Hilinski).
Well, this time we got a hold of the lewd game development studio Toffer Team (we did an interview with them back in January of 2020 if you want to check that one out as well!), which of who was friendly enough to agree on doing an interview with us (yay!).
So we ended-up talking about everything from “LIP! Lewd Idol Project” (which is Toffer Team’s latest lewd game project), Toffer Team’s past games (“Himeko Maid“, “Hikari! Clover Rescue“, “Hikari! Love Potion“, “Kiara And My Ara Ara Adventure“), erotic game development, to their thoughts on censorship and cancel culture.
Anyways, I think you boys and girls get the idea. So with that said, please enjoy our interview with Toffer Team!
First things first, thank you so much for taking your time to sit down and do this interview with us =) And with that said, would you be so kind as to do a brief introduction of yourself to our readers?
My name is Toffer, and I’ve been developing and publishing hentai games for the last four years. Thank you so much for having me on this interview, it’s always a pleasure.
As not everyone might be familiar with Toffer team and what they are all about, perhaps you could tell us a little about how the studio came to be? (when, where, why, and how?) And have you guys and girls always been into lewd video games?
Well, to be honest, I’ve always dreamed about making video games, I’ve been playing them since I was 4 or 5 years old and I even remember playing hentai games on my DOS PC from a pretty young age too, it was more than 20 years ago now when I discovered the wonderful world of lewd games.
It seemed almost impossible for most of my life to make that dream happen, but after finishing a Game Design career back in 2012 and after many failed attempts at developing a game around 2015, I finally took the chance and started doing it for real in 2017. It all started just because of my love for video games, anime, hentai, and visual novels.
You know, It’s pretty crazy how fast time flies you by sometimes. I mean, it’s been over one year since our previous interview with Toffer Team, and I think it’s quite safe to say that a lot of things have happened since then.
So, perhaps you could fill us in on what has been going on around Toffer Team between 2020 and 2021 in terms of your studio and lewd games?
Whoa, it’s been a year already, I can’t believe how time flies! It’s been a pretty intense year for me and the studio in general, I was in Japan for most of 2020 (I traveled in February, right before the pandemic struck all over the world) and had a blast visiting the country, knowing a new culture, meeting awesome people, and getting a lot of inspiration for current and future projects.
In 2020 we released “Himeko Maid”, our very first Yuri visual novel back in February, and “Kiara and My Ara Ara Adventure” in August, both were super well received by our audience and the public in general and I’m super happy about it.
We’ve also launched and succeeded on our first Kickstarter Campaign for “LIP! Lewd Idol Project”, a new yuri title which is my most ambitious project up to date.
Speaking of lewd games. I could be wrong now, but ”Hikari! Clover Rescue” was your very first commercial 18+ video game release right? What were that game project and journey like for you? And how has the response and feedback been like since the release of ”Hikari! Clover Rescue”? And what would you say were the most valuable lesson learned during the development of ” Hikari! Clover Rescue”?
Yes, it was! We released “Hikari! Clover Rescue” back in October 2018. It was a very important first step, I’ve learned A LOT in these past years.
I always try to get as much feedback as possible, I read all the comments, interact with our audience, and try to make each new game better, more polished, and professional.
And I’m glad that it shows according to both our fans and reviewers. For example, our latest release “Kiara” has 100% positive reviews on Steam, and that’s huge for me. Nothing makes me happier than knowing that people are enjoying the game we’ve worked so hard on.
I’ve heard so many game developers and game publishers over the years who have stated that it’s always hard to follow-up the first game in a series with a sequel, especially if the first one was a huge smash-hit (living up to the public expectations, making the deadlines, keeping all the promises that have been made, and so on).
Do find there to be any truth at all in that statement if we look to your own release of ” Hikari! Love Potion”? (which is the sequel to ”Hikari! Clover Rescue”).
Well, I can’t say that was the case because “Hikari! Love Potion” is not a direct sequel to “Clover Rescue”, they’re just part of the “Hikari!” series but have nothing to do with one another, they have different settings, characters, and stories.
The Harem formula I used for both of them is the same because that’s what I want the “Hikari!” series to be all about, but that’s the only relation those games have. So it wasn’t hard on my part to make the second entry, Love Potion remains one of our most well-received and fan-favorite releases up to date, I mean… Who doesn’t love lewd elves?
I’m pretty biased now, but I have always loved female catgirls (I’ve been a fan of them ever since I was a little kid). So, as you might imagine, I got pretty excited when I found out about your cat-girl-themed erotic game ”Kiara And My Ara Ara Adventure”. Well, I think you get the idea.
Anyways, how did that game project came to be? What has the response and feedback been like from the Gaming community and media? And were you happy with the end result of ” Kiara And My Ara Ara Adventure”?
I’ve always loved cat-girls as well, so it was just a matter of time before our first Neko girl-themed game came out! I believe Kiara is our most polished game so far, I gave big emphasis on all the different kinds of costumes she can use along the adventure, and all the lewd aspects of the game.
Fans really loved both the game and the character, which became quite popular on our polls, so I can’t be happier about the result and the reception it has. A lot of people ask me for a sequel and I’d really love to continue her story so, who knows… 🙂
And now that we’ve spoken quite a lot of your past, let’s focus on the present. Not so long ago, you announced that you were working on a brand-new erotic game title called ”LIP! Lewd Idol Project”. Well, I just found out that ”LIP!” got 369% funded via Kickstarter back in November of 2020.
So, could you perhaps tell us a bit what ”LIP! Lewd Idol Project” is all about? And did you ever in your wildest dreams expect that ”LIP!” would become such a smash-hit on Kickstarter? And what thoughts went through your mind when you realized that you had a smash-hit on your hands?
Also, is it truly correct that ”LIP! Lewd Idol Project” is coming to PC in June this summer? (2021)
Yes! “LIP! Lewd Idol Project” is our most recent project, it’s a yuri title and will be focused on our Company Mascot, Kairi, and her journey on becoming an Idol… Ahem, I mean… A LEWD Idol.
The story is set in Akihabara, my favorite place in Japan (and the whole world), so I took inspiration on my last trip by walking the streets countless times, taking a lot of photos, paying attention to all the details, interacting with my surroundings, and trying to represent the city as faithful as possible in the game.
It was our very first Crowdfunding campaign ever and our most long and ambitious series so far so I can’t say I wasn’t kinda nervous at first, but after a lot of work and challenges, I can proudly say I can’t be happier with the results.
I’m so glad that so many people liked the concept and helped us! I’m really thankful for all the love and support the project has been receiving in the past months. It’s been crazy.
That’s right, the first Volume of “LIP! Lewd Idol Project” is set to release around June this year. Also, we managed to achieve all the necessary Stretch Goals in order to develop and release the complete story so Volume 1 will be followed by two more Volumes introducing the new girls, Yuki and Kanako, and two Extra Fanservice Chapters of Hot Springs and Beach after each Volume releases. All of them will be released between 2021 and 2022.
Now that I think about it, aren’t all of your current games 18+ erotic visual novels? What was it that made Toffer Team go down the visual novel path in terms of developing video games? And did you intend from the very start of your studio to focus mainly on erotic visual novel titles?
I always loved hentai and eroge so yes, the main focus was always that, right from the very start. I also always had a burning passion for writing stories and making characters from a very young age, so the Visual Novel genre is perfect for that in my opinion.
I really love what I do, so you can rest assured we’ll always do our best to deliver the best experience possible, I’m not in for the “easy” money (imagine believing that making a game is easy) just like some other devs that I heard of.
I’ve been a fan for all of my life, this is my passion, I’ve started with nothing so I’m extremely grateful to have the chance of doing what I love for a living.
Over the years, Toffer Team has managed to release quite a few game titles for both PC and mobile, so you’re far from a stranger when it comes to developing and releasing games to the PC And mobile platforms. So, with that said, do you got any plans at all to release any of your erotic titles for consoles?
As much as I’d love to release my titles on consoles, it’s impossible at the moment due to censorship and adult content restrictions. And I don’t plan to cut out or censor any adult content from my games anytime soon.
I know that I asked you this question over one year ago. Even so, I’m still curious to know if you still think the same as you did back then. So, with that said, what do you think it is that makes the biggest difference between a great and a rather mediocre erotic 18+ game title in the current year? I mean, what elements and content need to be in place in-order for a game developer to be able to create an erotic masterpiece of a game?
I must say every aspect of a game is important, and not just having it done… Making it work altogether is the hardest part. So that’s why developing a game is so hard and so different in comparison to other media.
Of course, in adult games, the style and visuals are a key factor, since that’s the first thing that everyone has contact with. But it’s not enough with just good visuals, people care a lot about stories, characters, music, and every little detail that makes a game what it is.
So, as the head of the company, I’m always active in every aspect of the development (I must admit I’m kind of a control freak, sorry), so my advice is to always be consistent, well organized, having a plan, and try to make the best experience possible. It’s hard, but very satisfying when you finally see it finished, and even more when people enjoy it.
Please do correct me if I’m wrong, but haven’t Toffer Team mainly stuck to vanilla-like erotic content since your very first game title? (to ”normal” stuff) My point would be this.
Do you stick to a specific erotic genre by default? Or is it just a question about you not having the right title in the making just yet for other fetishes and whatnot? (monsters, tentacles, and so on)
Yes and no, most of our content could be considered straight “vanilla”. But we’ve been experimenting with different kinds of things from the very start.
For example, in “Hikari! Love Potion” there’s the option to use tentacles in more than one sex scene, we’ve also added cat-girls and succubus, and even some people pointed out that the sex is “non-consensual” just because we gotta make use of the potion in order to make the girls come back to their senses, with the side-effect that the potion makes them horny as hell, and of course, it’s our duty to keep them satisfied 🙂
We’ve also introduced the yuri genre with “Himeko Maid” and the upcoming “Lewd Idol Project”, so I’m always open to trying new things. I’d also love to develop a much darker, depressing, and grim Lewd Adventure in a not-so-distant future, but that’s a story for another day…
I’m not sure if you’ve heard about this or not…But not so long ago Top Hat Studios made a public statement about their and Suzaku’s waifu-themed 2.5D cyberpunk/horror/ adventure game ”Sense” we’re they stod up against censorship, cancel culture, and the SJW/PC madness.
So, what’s your take on that? And do you think that Top Hat Studios did the right thing here?
I hate censorship with all my heart, I really do. Any kind of censorship is bad, since that only means limiting the creator or the original idea by cutting out content, or making unnecessary changes in order to -in most of the cases- appeal or submit to just a bunch of SJWs that won’t even play your game or consume your content. It’s crazy how some people can’t differentiate between what’s fiction and what’s real life.
I’ll always stand up against censorship, I love creative and artistic freedom and that’s why we always release our games 100% uncensored, just how they came out of my mind without any limitations regarding the adult content.
And speaking of censorship, cancel culture, and SJW/PC madness…Not so long ago Inti Creates and PQube announced via Twitter that their lewd rail shooter “Gal Gun Returns” won’t be coming to the Xbox nor Playstation platform at all..
So, what are your thoughts on that and censorship, cancel culture, and the SJW/PC madness in general? And do you think that it’s about time that people (especially game developers and game publishers) take a stand for creative and artistic freedom?
As we talked about in previous questions, I really think it’s a shame that some game companies are sticking to those censorship policies. Game consoles could easily have a parental control system in order to hide any mature-rated games from kids, it’s as simple as that…
But they choose to censor or cut out game content instead, when we could easily have the option to access or not to that content. The user should always have the option.
As you might remember, back in 2018, Youtube removed ALL of our lewd videos from our Youtube page…Well, in the current year, Youtube is even more anti-lewd and pro-censorship and SJW/PC madness (the same could also be said about Twitch for the most part…).
I’m bringing all of this up since I’m pretty sure that lewd game developers have been hit hard by this, because not only will lewd devs have a much harder time getting the word out about their games, but gamers will also have a very hard time creating content for their lewd game titles…
So, how has Toffer Team tackled this issue? And do you have any advice on how a content creator could make a video or a live stream for your (or other lewd game devs) games without ending-up in deep trouble over at Youtube or Twitch? You might even know some good Youtube and Twitch alternatives for those who want to create lewd content?
We’ve been struggling with those issues for years now, YouTube removed A LOT of gameplays from our games around 2017/2018, and that’s a shame because it was really a win-win situation for both us developers and content creators, it was good promotion of our games, and it also helped creators to make a wide variety of videos and having new audiences. Nowadays that’s almost impossible and it shows.
As for my final question to you for this time. What are your plans, hopes, and expectations for the rest of the year? And is there anything else that you would like to say to our readers?
We’re currently working hard on Volume 1 of “LIP! Lewd Idol Project” and I must say it’s looking great so far, so I hope you look forward to it! I also want to thank all our fans for the love and support we receive every day, I promise I’ll keep doing my best for the lewds!
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Robin “V-Act” Ek
Editor in chief
The Gaming Ground
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