When I first had the idea of making Polymorphous Perversity, I wanted it to be a simple somewhat-surreal sex themed RPG. It is about sex, it contains sex, and it is aesthetically sexual.
The first place I ever posted the game was in a French RPG Maker community called Oniromancie. I asked permission from the moderator first - not many places would allow such game to be posted. Initial reactions were mostly "lol" and "wtf". But at some point, I got annoyed that people were laughing at my game so much. I didn't think it was a comedy game. And when I complained, someone said something like:
- You have a penis for a HUD. How can you expect anyone to take that game seriously?
To which I replied "I am taking it very seriously". But of course I always expected this game to be funny in parts. For some neurotic reason, sex tends to be taken as a funny subject. Modern comedy resorts to sex themes often because, in case you're not creative or witty enough, just saying something sexual will make your audience laugh.
I do not think I'm making a comedy game, though. A comedy game is one made for the purpose of drawing laughs from the players. Though my game has its funny bits and some deliberate jokes, it's not a comedy game, as it is not the main purpose of the game. People don't have to laugh to enjoy it. People may not even laugh at all, and taking it more seriously could even add to the experience. It's like Marvel Brothel: people lolled at it, but it was not a comedy game. It was a business simulator. Polymorphous Perversity is not a comedy game.
What offends me even more is saying it is not a "serious" game. I think it is, since I'm taking it seriously. In my opinion, a non-serious game is one that the developer makes without putting much thought and effort into it. He doesn't really care whether it'll be good, it'll be fun, it'll be balanced. He's more like "lol I can mak gams". And I've seen too many of those, which only makes me angrier at the comparison.
I will not fall into the trap of saying my game is super serious in the sense that it is a serious approach to sexual issues. It could be. Right now, I'm torn as to whether my approach is more scientific or more artistic (a blog on that later). But it is very serious as a game.
I believe that when someone sees a dick HUD on the screen and laughs at it, it's sort of what happens if you see a naked guy running on the street and you laugh. It's not just "funny". It's more like a defensive way to deal with uncomfortable stimuli. People deal with that kind of thing differently, and that's the whole point of the game. Not comedy.
I will not deny that I sometimes resort to little jokes here and there. I want to make the game enjoyable in more than one way. But there's seriousness behind every joke.