Tanya Short, co-founder of Kitfox Games, discusses details about Boyfriend Dungeon’s upcoming Secret Weapons DLC. Short, who is also Director and Designer for Boyfriend Dungeon, shares more with us about the new characters, Dunj, Special Attacks, and more.
Over this past weekend, on June 11, Kitfox Games—the developer of Boyfriend Dungeon—shared an announcement trailer that highlights additional romanceable weapons—Leah, Jonah, and a mysterious “new threat,” Dr. Holmes.
At the end, the trailer says, “Swinging this Summer,” leaving the launch date open to speculation. Unfortunately, when asked about the date, Short couldn’t be explicit. “We can’t say yet, sorry!” she admitted. “It’ll be as soon as we possibly can, but that might be a little while…”
Luckily, even though she couldn’t discuss a launch date, Short had plenty to reveal and expound upon regarding the new characters’ personalities and designs, the new Dunj location, and much more.
Previously, it had already been announced that there will be three new romanceable weapons, but we’d only known the identity of two—Leah and Jonah. Over the weekend, Dr. Holmes (Whip), was announced as the third. The trailer also discloses that Dr. Holmes will be voiced by Kathleen Belsten, also known as Loserfruit. Short reveals how the two came to collaborate and discusses details about the characters’ personalities, how they were designed, and more about their Special Attacks.
VGKami: The trailer shows that Dr. Holmes is a “new threat,” but also that she is a weapon—specifically a Whip. Does this mean that she will be someone we fight against? Or will she be a weapon that we can use?
Tanya Short: Yes, they’re a boss fight and a romanceable weapon… but she doesn’t need or want a wielder, ever. They need a friend or maybe even a lover but would rather fight on their own.
VGK: If Dr. Holmes is a “new threat” as the trailer suggests, how will it work for her to be one of the romanceable weapons? Does she start as an enemy and become a lover, perhaps?
Short: Perhaps! Or both, at the same time? Some people are into that…
VGK: We haven’t seen anything about Dr. Holmes until this announcement—what can you tell us about her personality, motivations, or interests?
Short: They’re a professor at the local college but seems to have missed most of their classes this semester… her doctoral student assistants are pretty stressed out about it.
VGK: The trailer showed that Kathleen Belsten (Loserfruit) will be the voice behind Dr. Holmes. How did that relationship start and how did she come on board with the project?
Short: I went hunting for the best voice and came across Loserfruit’s stream of Boyfriend Dungeon. It seemed like a longshot that we could work together, but she was up for it, and I think she adds a lot of ‘oomph’ to the role. We didn’t originally envision Whip as Australian, but… why not?
VGK: Why did you decide on a Hammer for Leah? Is there any connection between a Hammer and her personality traits?
Short: She’s strong, she’s blunt, and yet together you dance like figure skaters. An initial concept had her a little more traditionally Olympian-bodybuilder looking, but after we got to know her, we felt her current character design was more in line with how she felt to date and wield.
VGK: In another interview, you outlined your process for creating characters, including how you mapped them out at the start according to the Big Five Theory, and that you’d often start with a catchphrase. Is this the same process you followed for Leah?
Short: We followed the same process for her as the other weapon development. I don’t want to spoil too much, but the phrase I can see in my original document that seems most insightful to her final arc is probably, “Why am I crying?!!”
VGK: In your mind, what is Leah’s most unique trait that makes her different from the other datable weapons we’ve had in the game so far?
Short: I think Leah’s the most classically feminine of the cast, and although she struggles with impatience, her sweetness doesn’t come with any apologies or submissiveness.
VGK: In the most recent announcement trailer, Leah’s Special Move, Death Spiral, was showcased. What exactly does this move do and how did you come up with it? Are there any connections between Leah’s personality and her Special Move?
Short: As you kill enemies, you build charges, which you then expend in ‘Death Spiral form,’ whirling nearly-invulnerably together. We strive to make each weapon feel distinct, most of all, and certainly wielding Hammer and Axe both feel very different from any other. Leah struggles to control her emotions, but I’ll let the players decide how to interpret that as part of the Death Spiral mechanic.
VGK: Why did you decide on an Axe for Jonah? Is there any connection between an Axe and his personality traits?
Short: It just felt right. You know it when you see it, I guess!
VGK: Assuming you followed the same process for constructing Jonah as the other characters, what catchphrase did you start with to conceptualize him?
Short: In my original document I see I wrote, “I don’t want to hurt anything…”
VGK: What is Jonah’s most unique trait that makes him different from the other datable weapons we’ve had in the game so far?
Short: Of all the characters, Jonah’s the most concerned with the ethical problems of being a weapon and literally being made to hurt things (even if those things are monsters). None of the other weapon-folk give it two thoughts, but he really thinks about it deeply.
VGK: Is there anything more you can tell us about Jonah’s Special Move, Swing?
Short: Jonah swings automatically towards enemies, left and then right, sort of a natural ‘going with the flow’ feeling.
Kitfox Games has stated that the Secret Weapons DLC for Boyfriend Dungeon will include a new Dunj to explore in addition to the original two. The recent announcement trailer gave us a brief glimpse into what it will look like, but the details were unclear. Short was open to sharing more about the location and what additional content we can expect to find inside.
VGK: The new Dunj almost looks like it takes place in a lab of some sort. Can you tell us where this is? Is this place related to the ‘new threat,’ Dr. Holmes?
Short: It takes place in/underneath Verona College, and Dr. Holmes is employed at the college.
VGK: Will there also be new enemies within this new Dunj? How about new Hangouts? If there are new Hangouts, will there be any new conversations with the weapons we already know and love?
Short: Yes, yes, and yes!
VGK: Speaking of the characters we already know and love, will there be other new Encounters with them?
Short: Yes. You’ll come across all the weapons (old and new) talking to each other in various locations, getting to know each other better.
Previously, Kitfox Games has posted that there will also be new outfits in addition to the rest of the upcoming content. However, these new outfits aren’t just for our character—Short explains that you’ll be seeing your favorite hotties in some fancy outfits too.
VGK: Are any of the other characters getting more outfits or different looks? Or is this specific to our character?
Short: There’s a new ‘formal event’ of some kind in the game, so all the characters get a formal look to go with it. The community seems particularly interested in Lasersaber’s and Dagger’s looks so far.
VGK: Can you tell us anything about the new outfits our character will be getting?
Short: Nope! But I can say that some of the hats will have new special abilities…
Jumping Into the DLC
If you’re wondering about all the hype surrounding Boyfriend Dungeon and its DLC, you’re in luck. Short explains that both new and old fans alike can take advantage of the Secret Weapons DLC when they dive in. “Whether you have completed the base game, or you start from a fresh new game, you’ll be able to play the new content seamlessly integrated into the old stuff,” Short explains. “Old players can just boot it up (once the update is out) and look for fishy text messages, while new players can just look for it as they play normally. Have fun! Stay safe, sword smoochers!”