Thursday, November 24, 2011


I've just stumbled upon an important design issue for this game: save points x save anywhere.

I always hated save points. RPG Maker 2003 lets you save anywhere by default. Still, lots of games made in RM2K3 have save points, which means they forbid you to save anywhere and force you to look for specific places to save. So, when you want to stop playing, you can't just quit and come back later... you have to look for a save point, which sometimes is not as near as you'd like.

It is worse when save points are badly placed. There are games with huge cutscenes before difficult battles that force you to rewatch the entire cutscene in case you die in that battle.

So, unless there are places in which the player may get stuck and you don't want him to be able to save there, I see no reason for not letting the players save anywhere.


Polymorphous Perversity is, in a way, a game about morals and choices. Will you pay the farmer to have sex with his daughter? Will you fist the tranny looking for treasure inside her? Well, some choices are important, some aren't. But in a game where you can save anywhere, it's very very easy to undo those choices. Just save-do-regret-load. I don't want this to happen. So, for the first time, I'm thinking about adding save points. But I still hate them, saving anywhere makes the game a lot friendlier.

What to do, what to do?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Player sexual involvement

One of the main questions I raise with this game is how much can a player get sexually involved with it. Or even, can someone get sexually involved with the game at all?

Well, I can anticipate a yes answer to the second question. But I'm writing this post to remove some weight out of this assertion.

In one of the comments on RockPaperShotgun's piece on Polymorphous Perversity, someone said it would be too pretentious to me, as a developer, to expect players to learn more about their sexuality by playing a game like this. Though I never made such claim (that one could learn about his sexuality playing Polyperv), it could be true depending on the weight you put on that.

For instance, if you go to the market, try a fruit you had never tried before (like this), and end up enjoying it, you'll have learned something about yourself, won't you? That's as far as my pretension goes.

For that matter, there are many things you can do in Polymorphous Perversity that have very little impact on the game itself. For instance, once you learn the masturbate skill, you can use it anywhere (literally, anywhere). Though it has an impact inside battles, it's purely aesthetical outside of them.

Still, I expect players to do it. Maybe a little, maybe a lot. But if they do it, it will be for purely sexual reasons.

Another example, based on things I've been reading about balloon fetish, I added some balloon stuff in the game. There is a balloon item that is somewhat difficult to obtain, and you can sell it for money. Or you can just pop it, which does nothing but visual and sound effects of a balloon popping. I expect some people will pop it. Maybe once, maybe twice, maybe more. Why would they do that?

There are really a lot of instances in the game where players can opt to do sexual stuff. Sometimes they have an impact on the story, or game mechanics, but most of the time they don't. Still, players will do those things, and it's safe to say, to me, that it's out of sexual reasons. They might do it without thinking, they might do it consciously, or maybe self-consciously. And then they may go "what the hell am I doing?", and that's the point where you can start... observing yourself.

I shouldn't be making a post about this, because it can bias player's behavior inside the game... like I was there watching, saying "told you so". But not many people have been reading this blog anyway, so... eh.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Today my brother asked me a question: in games where there is some sort of progression (like gaining levels), do you actually get stronger over time, or do you just keep balanced with the enemies / challenge level?

If you think of traditional RPGs in which you gain levels and raise your basic stats, although you increase your power in absolute terms (higher numbers), it remains the same in relative terms, because the stats of the enemies increase throughout the game as well. So, although it works as a motivational factor, there's a certain illusion of progression in games like that.

It's only an illusion to a certain extent, because not only you get higher stat numbers, but different skills, more items, more party members, game options, etc., so there is an actual progression in the game. But the diversification of the challenge increases as well, and even though you get stronger and learn to play better during the game, the final parts are almost always harder than the initial parts of the game (i. e. enemies have complicated defenses, use tricky skills, etc.).

It's not really a flaw. I'm just writing this to introduce how I dealt with difficulty in Polymorphous Perversity.

First, I have to say I don't like hard games. I don't like games in which you die a lot and have to retry the same bits lots of times. I don't like it, period. And I don't make difficult games. If you played Beautiful Escape: Dungeoneer, you'll know it's an easy game. Very hard to actually get a game over. But though you can finish it with little effort, you'll need more thinking to get good scores.

I'm using a similar approach in Polyperv. With twists.

Disclaimer: I'm using the terms battle, enemies and damage because I am (and you probably are) more familiar with them. But like I said before, there are not actual battles, and they are not really enemies.

I described the battle/sex system in a previous blog. Finishing battles is fairly easy, as you can just keep using the basic fuck command and rest/use items to replenish stamina if necessary. Still, if your stamina reaches zero, you get no XP but you don't die either. The problem is: mashing the fuck command will probably get you a bad score.

Getting a good score involves some practice, and learning new moves. That means you're likely to get bad scores on all initial battles. Only later in the game you'll be prepared to get really good scores, even on the initial enemies.

For that reason, overall there's no clear increase in enemy difficulty through the game. Some enemies are harder (they have more stamina, use more skills, act more often, etc.), but the harder enemies are not necessarily at the final parts of the game.

My thinking is: finishing off battles quickly is so easy (and gets progressively easier) that players will start wanting to get good scores. Then they'll start thinking, and looking for tools to do it. And if they return to the enemies they fought early in the game, those same enemies will be harder... in a subjective way.

There's also a little problem: the main damage stat is potence, which determines how much damage your fuck attacks causes. As you increase your potence, battles will finish off more quickly... which is not always good. There are ways to reduce your own potence inside the battles, like masturbating, or repeatedly using the fuck command, etc. That's another element that makes the game harder/more strategical as it progresses.

There are bosses of course, and they are hard. But if you fail in them, it doesn't make a real difference story-wise (most of them).

There is a part where I went traditional though. Final parts of the game have a higher degree of challenge... not only with more bosses, but with less ways to rest between battles. If you fail a battle, your horny meter increases, and if it goes too high, you get a real game over. If you don't worry about good scores during the whole game, you'll get very little XP, your character will be weak, and you'll be unprepared to deal with the real final challenges.

That's not really an alternative way of increasing the difficulty of the game over time. This is my way of having the game be as difficult as the player want it to be. If you want it easy, easy it is. If you want complicated, there is fun for you too.