That was a chief concern, and that's specifically why we brought on consultants, why we brought our friends, to make sure the game was sincere.

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In this interview, its creators talk about the tricky balance of making a comedic game while not turning homosexuality into the butt of the joke.

Nathan Grayson: Was originally conceived as a joke, or was it always going to try to walk the line between sincerity and the ages-old philosophical question of -- and I quote -- "What Is Dad?

That was just something that I didn't want to touch just because I feel like it's been done a good bit and talked about a lot.

I just kind of wanted to have this scenario where this guy has already worked it out. Also, neither Vernon nor I being gay men, we didn't feel like we had the authority to tell that kind of story.

It was the kind of thing that, you know, if you are familiar with binders or, you know, or if you are trans or nonbinary, you know what you're looking for.

If you don't know anything about that, it's just kind of, like, there, or maybe you don't know what it means and you decide to look it up and expand your knowledge.

Was there ever a point where you considered not making his story that, per se, but being more explicit about it? I think we already do have, not a lot of narrative about how difficult it is to be trans, but some -- because it is really difficult.

But I can't think of many that are just about trans people being happy and being in love, you know? I think a big goal for this was normalizing a lot of this stuff and just treating it like it's not a big deal.

is the latest unlikely hit rocketing up the Steam charts, a dating sim where you romance a neighbourhood block of improbably hot dads. On one hand, it's a giant dad joke, a tongue-in-cheek ode to beards, puns, and grilling implements.

I spoke to creators Leighton Grey and Vernon Shaw to find out more about how they struck a balance between humour and sincerity, criticism the game has faced since release, and what it means to be a dad. On the other, it's about sensitive subjects like queerness and toxic masculinity.

Grayson: Another character who's garnered some blowback is Damien.