Web Design & Development Entry
Your Username: Xenokitten
Your Real Name: (optional) Jenilee Dunson
Country where you live: (optional) USA
Who Made the Project: Myself
Name(s) AND Link(s) of Envato item(s) used:
Google Play APP Store CMS
Title of Project: Otome Play
Link / URL to Project: http://OtomePlay.com
Screenshot of Project:
About the Project: Otome Play currates the best games for girls from the Google Play store using the Google Play App Store CMS by ianthonypillos on Envato’s Code Canyon.
Girls are often under represented in gaming and technology sectors. The games on Otome Play are hand selected by myself, also a female gamer (and working in the tech industry) - with over 3 decades of gaming experience under my belt.
I began gaming back on the atarii 2600 and continued to enjoy the hobby all of my life even now in adulthood with all the new gen consoles, PS4, Switch, and Gaming PCs, and still delve into my retro games and consoles as well.
Over the years, the gaming landscape has changed. Back in the 80s and 90s, the majority of “games for girls” could only be found on consoles. But with the rise of mobile gaming, the landscape has changed. There are thousands of these “games for girls” available on mobile, with only a few dozen seeing release on console or PC.
I began this project on a whim one day. I was looking for a site that would allow me to “track” my mobile games such as other “tracker” style sites like animeplanet and myanimelist (MAL), or the countless trackers that exist for PC and Console games.
But no such site existed for mobile games… so I decided to create one myself. I wanted to help recommend games to other girls and organize them in a way that made sense and was user friendly.
When designing Otome Play, I thought about what makes a game a good game for female gamers? What do I personally look for when playing a game? I came up with the following criteria and decided that all games featured on my site would fall into at least one of the following areas:
Cute “Kawaii” artwork, usually “anime” in style or “pixel” or “retro” graphics
A great story - preferably with a branching plot with multiple endings and choice and consequences that are influenced by player decisions
Unique / Quirky gameplay.
Ability to customize “everything” (or as much customization as possible)
From there I thought not only about the qualities I wanted in my games, but also what genres of games do I most often play? I came up with a “short” list including the following categories.
Visual Novels (Choose Your Own Adventure Games)
Otome (the name sake of the site, Otome games are visual novels with a female protagonist.)
Anime Dressup Games
Hero or Card Collecting “Gacha” Games
Virtual Pet Games
Idol Simulation Games / Rhythm Games
City Building Games
Life / Career Simulation Games
Other “Kawaii” (Cute) Games that didn’t fit into the rest of the categories
From there, I took it a step further and divided each of those above categories once more, so that under each one you can find English games (my target audience is primarily North America) - or “Other” Games (typically Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Malaysian, etc - There are a ton of those games that never make it to the English Google Play Store, but you can still access by using a VPN like Tunnelbear).
The advantage that Otome Play offers a gamer as opposed to going directly to the Google Play store is that it cuts out a lot of unwanted/unrelated apps (like anime live wallpapers, anime quizes, or non-anime non-gaming related apps) and focuses only on great games for girls. The other benefit, as mentioned above, it introduces you to many more games from around the world which you can play that you may have missed if you relied only on the google play store for your recommendations. And lastly, it organizes and categorizes the games in a way that makes sense, so you can find exactly the type of game you want to play.
The Google Play Store CMS script from Code Canyon does most of the work for me. I simply use the back end to search for new games OR enter the ID of a game I want to add. This lets me spend less time coding/maintaining the site, and more time playing and discovering and sharing new games! The script automatically pulls in the descriptions, screenshots, reviews, comments, and requirements for each game. There’s also space on the site for my visitors to add comments of their own. And if a user is an app developer, or they simply know of a great app for girls, they can hit the “Recommend my app” button to tell us about it for future consideration of inclusion on the site. Editor’s Picks on every page are games I have personally played, tested, enjoyed, and find to be a cut above the other apps on the site.