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There were Deviant Art fan groups dedicated to her.People drew fan art, and not just of her characters — but of her, based on her own sketched avatar.She engaged regularly with fans at first through journal updates on her Deviant Art and then through Tumblr posts.Her real-life friends chimed in, helping her make podcasts (dubbed Pacthecasts) and manage the fan groups.If it feels like you're playing an RPG, trying to keep track of everyone's feelings about you and giving out presents, that's a Dating Sim.
After creating eight dating sims and two point-and-click adventure games in a two-year period, Pacthesis all but vanished from her Deviant Art and Tumblr without explanation.
In fact, many romance games are Visual Novels, which is a much different game style.
(See for example, the difference between the Ace Attorney series, which is very close to a Visual Novel style of gameplay, and the DOA Xtreme series, which is the closest thing to a true Dating Sim with mass-market appeal in the US.) If the game plays out like a Choose Your Own Adventure, that's a Visual Novel.
And more than that, the name recalls a specific time in these young, female fans’ lives: when they discovered a world of games developed by, and made for, people just like them.
Deviant Art dating sim maker Pacthesis joined the platform in 2007, creating and uploading Flash games to the creative arts-based social network, as well as on game sites like Newgrounds and Kongregate.
Turns out, the answers to those questions are pretty simple.