Honey Bunny is an indie visual novel studio that creates otome games. The studio is made up of two creative individuals, Alex at the Moon and DemonBear. This dynamic duo are the masterminds behind Renting Love for Christmas, World’s Doom Mission Salvation, and Colorful MIRAI.
We got to chat with Honey Bunny about how they were formed, what it’s like working on holiday themed releases, game jams, and more!
Can you tell our readers a bit about who you are and how you found your start creating visual novels?
Hii, I’m DemonBear. Honey Bunny’s writer and programmer.
And I’m Alex Moon, Honey Bunny’s artist and also a programmer.
Alex: Our journey started in 2014 when we were learning about Otome and BL games. We were so interested in it that we started plotting a BL visual novel for fun. But, since we were too young and too inexperienced, we decided to give up on it. Later in 2016, a new idea came to light, and we started planning a new BL game inspired by DMMd lol. But it never made it out of our chats.
Demon: Years later (2019), I got drunk and told Alex, “let’s do an otome game right now”, and it just happened lol
That’s how Colorful MIRAI was born and how we got into game developments.
How did you both first meet?
Alex: It’s been 22 years…
Demon: Yep. I think we never said it before, but we are siblings lol
What inspired the studio name, Honey Bunny?
Alex: I thought the studio name should be something that represented the two of us. So, the animal that represents me is bunnies, while Demon’s animal is a bear. The first thing that came to mind was Honey (for bears) Bunny (me).
How would you define the kind of games you make? Is there one genre you appreciate working on more than others?
Demon: We make otome games. We love it, and it’s always a pleasure to bring more husbandos to the gamers lol
Alex: BUT we still plan to work on a BL game somewhere in the future. It’s still in our dreams.
Demon: Also gore!! Someday we will bring y’all an otome macabre.
You released Renting Love for Christmas around the winter holidays and World’s Doom: Mission Salvation for April Fools Day. What made you want to make a game to celebrate these holidays?
Demon: Renting Love wasn’t in our plans. Honestly, it wasn’t even supposed to happen. I remember deciding in October not to do anything for Christmas because we had gone through a lot with Spooktober Jam. But then the idea came and it happened lol Now, World’s Doom was a completely different situation.
Alex: We wanted to do something for April Fools because that’s something we enjoy. We wait every year to see what the otome companies are going to do to celebrate the date. So, this time we also wanted to be part of the fun.
Was it hard finishing the games before their respective holiday deadlines?
Demon: Not World’s Doom. It was fast and easy to make. Although we decided to do it a little late, we still made it in time easily. I think it’s because we created fewer assets, and the story was very short.
Alex: Meanwhile, Renting Love turned out to be hell. We were tired and sick. The jam’s burnout was hitting on our minds, and we had no idea where to start.
Demon: I think all the characters changed their personalities at least three times within four weeks. We almost lost Kaito on the way.
Alex: Everything was going wrong. We had planned to release it on December 15th, but we ended up delaying it one week. It also forced us to work on Christmas.
Demon: But we made it!
Can you tell us the premise of Renting Love for Christmas and World’s Doom: Mission Salvation?
Demon: In Renting Love for Christmas, you play as Caroline. Christmas is just around the corner, but something went wrong, and now you don’t have time to plan your party. To save your favorite day, you are going to do anything! Even go online and ask for help from four strangers on a renting app. It’s time to save your Christmas and spend your holiday with cute boys!
Alex: In World’s Doom: Mission Salvation, you take Lauren (Colorful MIRAI’s MC) and Caroline (Renting Love for Christmas’ MC) on a mission to save the world from an evil creature about to wake and destroy humanity. In this game, RPG elements meet otome elements. You will meet new friends, make your party and fight slimes! This is your chance to see all characters from both games interacting with each other in fun gameplay.
You’re currently working on Colorful MIRAI, an otoge game. Can you tell us the premise of the game and what inspired it?
“Colorful MIRAI is a visual novel about a girl going through an art block in the most important moment of her life.
This game is about finding your meaning and accepting who you are through love and pain.”
Demon: When we started working on Colorful MIRAI, I was going through a hard time and got stuck in writer’s block for three months. I was losing my mind asking myself every day what to do with my life and what it would be like if I couldn’t write anymore.
Alex: I’ve never had such a long block, but I got to a point where I was feeling like a failed artist, and I wanted to give up on it all. So, I think our time dealing with art blocks was the main reason why we decided to work on this plot. We wanted to go deeper into a not-so-happy theme to explore it and still show a happy end.
Demon: Lauren is a great representation of all of this.
Colorful MIRAI: Spooky Edition was released for the Spooktober 2021 Game Jam. Why did you choose to do a spinoff of Colorful MIRAI for this jam?
Alex: Because we were so in love with those characters that we wanted to show them everywhere lol. It was our first jam too, so we wanted to join it with something we were familiar with. Then the idea of having the characters we loved so much in a gothic horror scenario (my favorite) was just the perfect match for us.
How is working in a game jam different from working on a project long term?
Alex: On Jam, you are kind of forced to finish the project on the deadline. Meanwhile, in the long-term project, you are allowed to take it easy and decide when you want to work on it. Besides, you have more freedom to improve everything calmly and redo stuff all the time on long-term projects.
Do you have any advice for new developers trying to create their first project?
Demon: Don’t limit yourself to what others say. Try to discover your limits instead of fitting into other people’s limits. The way every person works is very personal. And, sometimes, what seems to be a lot to one, can be seen as too small for someone else. It’s subjective. So, just focus on doing what you love.
Alex: Don’t think you won’t make it. This is the first step to fail. Put your heart into the project more than your worries. Don’t be afraid to create something. And try your best to learn from your projects. Take your time to look at it, and spot what you liked the most, and what you didn’t like. Write it down, so you can try to do even better in the future.
You’ve made a few games already. Is there one you like more than the others?
Alex: I think it’s a moment thing(?) Like, when we were working on Spooky Edition, it was our favorite work. But then, we started working on Renting Love it turned out to be our favorite. And it keeps happening lol
Demon: Same for me. I just think that Colorful MIRAI will always have a more significant place in our hearts because it was the start of this journey, and I know we will walk a very long road with it until it’s finished.
Is there anything you can share with VN Game Den readers that Honey Bunny is currently working on?
Demon: We are currently working on our new otome game for OtomeJam.
Alex: This new game will happen in a school where the MC is a new teacher. The game has five LIs and four side characters.
Demon: We also want to share a very exclusive info for VN Game Den. Renting Love for Christmas is getting a sequel! We don’t know if we will make it for this Christmas or 2023 Christmas. But either way, the sequel is happening. Stay tuned!