Monday, October 24, 2011

Gamey game

So I've spent enough blogs talking about fetishes and sexual weirdnesses, but not enough talking about the game itself. Well, the game is full of sexual weirdnesses (and non-weirdnesses), but there's more than that.

Like I said in a previous blog, originally this game was supposed to be very simple and bland RPG with the focus on the content (sex). It was also supposed to be finished in two months (one can dream). But I quickly remembered a game should have more than a strong theme to be interesting. It is a game, so it needed to be gamey. Not everyone would be interested by ingame sexual weirdness, so I needed something to attract other players.

My decision was NOT to innovate in basic RPG aspects, and follow all the traditional formulas that have worked for classic games. So, apart from the theme, this is a very ordinary RPG in many ways. You can expect:

  • Semi-linear story structure
  • Side quests
  • Dungeons
  • Battles
  • Boss battles
  • Leveling-up
  • Simple character customization
  • Learning new skills
  • Items and shops
  • Treasure chests
  • Random talking NPCs
  • Minigames

One of the biggest difference to traditional RPGs refers to battles. Polymorphous Perversity uses RPG Maker 2003's default battle system (which is a replica of Final Fantasy's) in a modified version. There's only one character in your party, and your goal in battles is not to kill enemies, but to pleasure partners. There's a stamina measure that's similar to HP, and battles end when it reaches zero. Moves, apart from dealing stamina damage, cost a bit of stamina (and sometimes additional points called tricks, similar to MP). You can heal yourself, but partners rarely will. That means they slowly kill themselves as they attack you. Battles are often very easy, but the point is not just to reduce partner stamina to zero, but to give him as much pleasure as possible. Battles are scored in 4 factors:

  1. Duration
  2. Amount of pleasure given (each move raises it in specific values for different enemies)
  3. Chain attacks (using the right sequence of moves, varying among different enemies)
  4. Maximum damage delivered in a single attack (proportional to partner's maximum stamina)

At the end of each battle, this value is calculated and a score is given in a scale of F to A. The higher your score, the more experience points you get.

If you "die" (your stamina reaches zero before the partner's), the battle ends and you get no experience points, but you don't get a gameover. That is, you never really die in battles, there's no clear victory or defeat. The gameover comes from another condition. There is a meter at the top of the screen that says how horny you are. It grows with time. If you win a battle, it is lowered. If you lose, it is increased. If you fight a streak of battles, you'll probably begin each of them tired (low stamina), and your chances of winning is subsequently lower. If you keep dying, your horny meter will reach its maximum and then you'll actually die. That's your difficulty for ya.

Stats and level up
Once you get enough experience points, you gain a level. Each level you can raise one single stat. Each stat has a different function in battle.

Battles don't give you money. You can get money by item chests, or working. There are basically two jobs in the game: prostitute and miner. Mining is a completely non-sexual activity in the game. I tried making it a fun minigame on its own.

There is also a story, but I don't want to reveal much about it. You're a guy from the real world thrown into a bizarre sex-driven world, and you must find your way out, while understanding why you're there. It has to do with the Tale of a Flower.

I guess that's it. As for completion status, I have almost all the basic maps and scenes made, all systems working. Now I need to fill the final town, make the entire ending scene, and catch up with lots of minor details I left behind. I have no idea how long it will take, but I will finish it... promise.


  1. Must admit I'm feeling a bit confused by this combination of sex and combat. I mean, it's a legitimate metaphor and everything of course, but it surprises me because I'd thought you'd been going for some more kind of "understanding" vision of different sexualities and fetishes and so on? The combat version makes it sound like you "inflict" sex on other people in a sort of negative way? That you defeat them with sex, that they are your enemies, and so on. Is that part of the narrative of this world you're making? Fucking is fighting?

  2. No, not really. Though I use the word "battles", they're not really battles. Like I said, your goal is to give pleasure, and the end of the battle should represent something like an orgasm. It was not supposed to have that negative connotation... but I guess it's hard to avoid it using a battle system. Anyways, the deeper and more understanding aspect of the game is in dialogs and interactions. Battles are still simple and straightforward, and somewhat repetitive. They don't encompass the whole "diversification" aspect of the game.

  3. Right - I find that kind of semantics stuff really interesting. It's kind of what I meant when I was asking the other day about RPGMaker's effects on the kinds of games one might make - being forced or inclined to call lovers "enemies" seems revealing and interesting.

    Hear what you're saying about the dialogs and other aspects though - looking forward to hear more about those parts, too!

  4. I just want to say one thing... the use of RM2K3's default battle system has to do with the history of this game's development and... laziness. I could have designed a "custom sex system" from scratch, any way I wanted. But it's incompatible with the kind of project I wanted it to be.

  5. Got to love the phrase "custom sex system"! I completely understand about the principle of "working with what you've got" and I'm certainly not criticising your decision - I just have a personal fascination with the interaction between the technologies we choose and how they shape what we end up doing (it's fairly related to my PhD thesis, for example).

  6. I will reserve judgement until I see it in the, uh, flesh... but does the idea of a "mining game" fit with larger tapestry of PP?

  7. Well... all I can say is that I wanted a deliberately non-sexual job. Of course I have expectations on how it will fit the game, but we'll see.