Oni Launches Video Game Series by Going Direct to Audience, Bypassing Retailers

Dream Daddy #1 (print) cover by Kris Anka

I haven’t played Dream Daddy, a yaoi-ish dating sim (visual novel) game where the user plays a single dad “new to town and eager to romance other hot Dads.” I did see a lot of people on Twitter enjoying it, though.

Now Oni Press is putting out a five-issue tie-in comic series where each issue is by different creators focusing on different Dads. It launched at PAX West (a gaming convention) at the end of August, which seems like the perfect audience for this. The interesting thing about this project is that it’s primarily a digital series (which makes sense, given the source material). A new issue comes out every month through Steam, Comixology, Amazon/Kindle, Google Play, and iTunes/iBooks.

There are print versions available, but only through Oni itself, either via their online store or at convention appearances. I was a bit surprised to see that the digital versions are $2.99 each (for around 24 pages) while the print versions are $10 each (plus shipping). That’s quite a difference! (You can sign up for alerts letting you know when a new issue is available at that store page also.)

Another interesting thing about the release was how Oni basically said “we’ll have these for sale in two days”. Because there were no comic shop sales, there was no mandatory two-month warning in a solicitation, which allowed for quicker announcement. This is the kind of experimentation smart publishers are doing in a changing market, where the audience plays a role in determining sales and release strategy. I suspect an eventual print collection will be likely, which would probably be more reasonably priced and available through more traditional channels.

Here are the five issue descriptions and creative teams:

Issue #1: “Much Abird About Nothing” (August 29)
(W) Wendy Xu (A/C) Ryan Maniulit

It’s college reunion time! Who’d have thought that it’s already been fifteen years since Keg-Stand Craig and the new Dad on the block went to college? This one’s like a buddy cop comedy, only there are no cops and more avoiding old flames while trying to stifle an existential breakdown, bro.

Issue #2: “Let The Right Dad In” (September 26)
(W) Lee C. A. (A/C) Jack Gross

There’s a new Dad in the cul-de-sac… and he’s already sunk his fangs into the neighborhood! But Robert knows a vampire when he sees one, and he’s armed with enough garlic and rewatches of F. W. Murnau’s Nosferatu (1922) to get to the bottom of this mystery.

Issue #3: “Dream Ad-y” (October 24)
(W) Leighton Gray, Vernon Shaw (A) Jarrett Williams (C) Jeremy Lawson

Sales are dropping at the Coffee Spoon, and Mat is looking for a way to drive new customers to the shop. Thank goodness the rest of the neighborhood is filled to the brim with enough seasoned craftsmen of the film industry to create the best local ad Maple Bay has ever seen! Just kidding, have you ever asked a Dad to take a picture of you? What can we say? The Dads and their kids try their best.

Issue #4: “Fair Deal” (November 21)
(W) C. Spike Trotman (A) Drew Green (C) Reed Black

The science fair is tomorrow, and Daisy hasn’t started her project yet! All she wants is a ride to the library and a participation ribbon. But Brian has bigger plans for her: wind turbines, working replicas of Mount Vesuvius, human genome editing. Turns out Daisy’s not the only one who procrastinated, and Joseph is out to force Christian and Christie to become the next science superstars. Can the kids get their presentations ready before the librarian kicks them all out for a no holds barred Dad-off?

Issue #5: “Dungeons & Daddies” (December 19)
(W) Josh Trujillo (A) D.J. Kirkland (C) Matt Herms

Hugo has been preparing for this moment for months, and it’s finally here. He’s wrangled all of the Dads to play an extremely popular but non-descript tabletop role playing game together! And with his carefully laid plans, Hugo is sure he’ll be the best Dungeon Master they’ve ever seen… as long as they all take the game as seriously as he does.

And some preview pages from the first issue:

And some from the second issue, just out:



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