Haven gets a 'Couples Update', allowing for same-sex relationships
The Game Bakers has released a new update for romance RPG Haven, adding same-sex relationship options which allow protagonists Yu and Kay to either be both male, or both female.
Haven is currently available for PlayStation consoles, Xbox consoles, Nintendo Switch, and PC. In Josh's review of the game, he noted that the game took on some interesting concepts, but faltered in its storytelling and themes.
A Couples Update trailer, description, and screenshots can be found below, via The Game Bakers.
We are super excited to announce the new free update for Haven available today for all platforms. The Couple Update lets you play alternate versions of Yu and Kay in same-gender couples. There's a lot of info on the update in this newsletter, including some behind the scene details from the dev team.
Haven - Meet the new Yu and Kay
The update is already available on PC (Steam, Epic Games Store and GOG.com), PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox One and Series and Nintendo Switch. To celebrate this update, Haven is 40% off on most stores, so tell your friends about it!
Pierre Corbinais, who wrote the funny and touching dialogues between our two lovers, is sharing his thoughts on the update. Pierre is also behind many other fantastic games and projects, learn more about his work here.
They love each other, but they can’t be together, so they do what anybody would probably have done in this situation: escape to an unknown planet.
This is the story of Haven, a romantic space adventure about two lovers trying to stay together against all odds. Who are these two lovers, you ask? Well, with this Couple Update, the question just got more interesting.
Haven originally let you play as Yu, the hotheaded mechanic, and Kay, the cautious biologist. This free update introduces two new characters: Yu, the hotheaded mechanic; and Kay, the cautious biologist. This means you’ll now be able to play with Yu & Kay, Yu & Kay, or even Yu & Kay.
Still confused? Ok let’s clarify a bit: while Haven originally let you play as a heterosexual couple, you will now be able to play as a same-gender couple.
It could feel like a small change, but Haven being a game about the freedom to love whomever you want, we’re really happy to provide more ways for players to identify with our precious couple.
Whoever you chose to play, the main story won’t change, nor will the personality of the characters. What will change is their design, models, art, animations, quite a few lines, and of course, their voices, since the 80,000 lines of dialog have been entirely re-voiced by the amazing Lexie Ann Kendrick (Kay) and Ryan Highley (Yu).
When we first started to work on this update, soon after the release, I was curious, as a writer, about how the original dialogues would translate for these two new couples. Will some of them sound odd? Unnatural? After all, I wrote Kay as a man, and Yu as a woman, didn’t I?
I was pleasantly surprised to realize that, pronouns and minor details aside, almost nothing had to be edited. Overall, the alchemy between the characters remained unaffected. As if characters weren’t determined by their gender. As if men and women could have the same interests, the same thoughts, the same feelings.
We hope you’re as excited as we were to discover or rediscover your favorite couple. Oink, for once, can’t wait to meet his two new moms. Or dads.
- Pierre Corbinais
A bit more on Haven Update backstory
Emeric Thoa, the game Creative Director gives more details on the work behind the update, and the story of Haven's development. If you are a fan of behind the scene game conception and concept art, you will find many of the concept art for Haven - including what Haven could have been - in our newly released artbook.
Originally, the concept for Haven featured 8 couples, with a diverse range of relationships. It became clear during production that we wouldn’t be able to reach our initial vision for the full cast of characters, so we focused on two characters only. The decision was tough to make, but it allowed us to craft a very unique and moving story about Yu and Kay.
But right after the game release, we began working on the Couple’s Update. The update meant hitting the quality bar that was established when we initially launched Haven, and to do that we created new 3D models and redrew all of the characters’ 2D assets in the game. The only thing that hasn’t been redone is the opening animation, before you choose which versions of Kay and Yu to play as.
Looking at the new Yu and Kay, you will notice that they look very similar across all playable versions. There are two reasons for that: first, they are the same characters in the story, they have the same personality, backstory, and life. And second, for technical reasons, we had to keep the same body size, hairstyle, and body shape.
The story of Yu and Kay is that of two personalities, two lives tangled with each other, that players would come to know and fall in love with during the game, and we’ve been asked many times “Will I be able to choose the gender of my characters in Haven?”. We’re very proud to be able to provide the lovers’ story in two new ways that more players can identify with.