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Author Topic: Adult content in PARPG  (Read 12343 times)
mvBarracuda
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« on: January 19, 2011, 11:19:22 PM »

Disclaimer:
PARPG is a grim and somewhat realistic old school RPG. We're discussing these topics to get an idea how the developers feel about. Please don't react emotionally to these points and try to bring up arguments for/against each point.

For details see:
http://wiki.parpg.net/Adult_content
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Roach
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« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2011, 01:04:49 AM »

I think there is little sense in aiming at anything less than mature, as it won't do justice to the setting and teens doesn't care about oldschool RPGs anyway.

World without children wouldn't be believable at all, and there is no reason they should be bulletproof. Consequences of killing them should be punishing though, for example every good NPC shooting on sight regardless where PC goes, and propably faction or person(Bowie?) hunting him all the time. Also, if some system of "sanity" could be implemented, killing children should make PC a psycho in no time.

I don't know about rape, it depends on context. Tere is no reason to allow raping all NPCs. It may make sense to allow it once, as a cruel way to resolve a problem, but I can't think of any use for it.

What exactly would be torture? Hitting a person to get him to talk? It would serve exact same purpose as intimidation. There is no reason to implement torture devices, thats for sure.
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BobBobson
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« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2011, 10:31:10 AM »

Just a suggestion - the thin line between realistic grimness and gratuituousness is measured by how the 'adult issue' is explored.

 F.i., it should never come down to, 'Hey, how do we make this baddie really, really bad? I know, let's make him a rapist!' It should be 'Okay, how does the inclusion of the issue of rape affect the characters? How can we investigate that issue through PARPG?'

PC child-murder's an interesting example because I can think of at least two relatively recent mainstream games (Mask of the Betrayer and Dragon Age) that have included it and 'got away with it', so to speak.

I'd argue that the former dealt with it stylistically much better, because the latter tried to stress the fact that it was a taboo issue in a slightly adolescent way, but both of them took the same approach: you can't go around lopping the heads off kids at random, but they may die at your hand in quests, when you can provide the proper context through dialogue, both making clear the ethical implications, and justifying its inclusion through relating it to the game's themes (this can even be tenuous - the MOTB example I'm thinking of simply used that - off-screen, indirect - child-murder as a way of showing the PC's descent into monstrousness).


PC rape, I have to say, needs to be a no-go zone. Emotional response aside, speaking entirely practically...it's instant bad press.  It just can't do the project any good if it becomes known that it's including that sort of thing. It's a taboo too far (perhaps strangely, if child-murder is now acceptable in mainstream games...but that's the way it is)
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Q_x
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« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2011, 11:51:10 AM »

Oh, come on, I thought its 16+ game right from the beginning. Its not about being dead, bad or cruel, things like body temperature management or skinning animals are not pleasant choices, thats all.
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Technomage
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« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2011, 01:34:20 AM »

This is a very sensitive and difficult issue. There was a post on GameDev.net that explored the issue in detail: http://www.gamedev.net/topic/580532-game-designs-of-questionable-ethics.

My take on it is this: as game developers we have a responsibility to be sensitive to our players' sense of morality. Since Fallout was marketed to a mature audience used to various forms of violence, we have a bit more artistic freedom than other games which are marketed to a broader audience. However that does not mean that we can depict violent actions without appropriate consequences. For instance, most if not all societies do not tolerate gratuitous violence or killing and will quickly outcast individuals or groups that partake in such activities.

Its a bit more complicated since we're dealing with a post-apocalyptic society which may or may not hold the same moral values that societies today hold. Survival trumps all morals, and violence can often be necessary. Social bonds won't extend much beyond the village scale due to the lack of global communication, and thus violence between villages is the likely outcome of contact with separate groups.

That said, there is a big difference between depicting violent or morally questionable actions as part of the storyline and letting or encouraging the player to engage in these activities. Killing and physical violence is sometimes necessary for survival, but anything more than that creeps into the realm of training sociopaths. Rape, child killing etc. are never necessary for survival, and IMO players should not even be given the ability to engage in such activities.
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Gaspard
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« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2011, 04:33:51 AM »

For starters: for players it should be made clear from the start what the game is about and what kind of material it includes - whether that'd be strong language, alcohol use, drug abuse, heavy violence or something worse - people should be given freedom-of-thought, which I guess - in a game - would virtually translate into freedom-of-action õ_õ We could give the PAPRG game a non-official international rating and have it displayed everywhere for light political correctness.

I'm of the belief that if the story-situation really calls for it, the game designer (writer etc) should have the freedom to give the player options to do anything. I agree with Technomage that things like this are never necessary, in some cases some of them might be made possible for the player to choose for themselves.
Although, several if not all of the "morally questionable" actions should have dire consequences (violence obviously not included*, as it happens to be gaming-industry norm for whatever reason õ_o).

Child-killing or rape or child rape etc (I'm having difficulties finding a reason for providing the means for the player to partake in anything like this (maybe when the PC joined a raiding party and the Leader orders it during a raid ? Then you'd decline and fight the whole gang and die valiantly !)) should have dire consequences - perhaps as dire as effectively breaking the game in some cases, or just ending it and pointing out that without any humanity there really is no hope. Planescape: Torment, for example, offered the end-game options throughout the game by providing the Nameless One to truly kill himself - PARPG could have this for really evil and some good but suicidal PCs.

When any of these morally low things are to be included in the game by a designer (writer ?) - serious discussion should follow among all of the developers to set borders for each and every case.

* although I do remember, that even killing people (in combat) in PARPG causes you to lose humanity/sanity/stress goes up and thus affects the gameplay. In this case partaking in morally worse actions should have this statistic at a fixed and very low level to punish the player.
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rowanthepreacher
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« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2011, 11:21:56 PM »

New Guy here.

As has been said, children exist and bullets aren't magically stopped by the flesh of an innocent. If you accidentally/purposefully kill a child, that's going to hurt your rep with a community. I heartily disagree with any of this sanity nonsense; there's no need for it, and no sound basis for it. If you're going for gritty, post-apocalyptic nuclear winter, it makes no sense for the PC to be a wilting flower, crying at the bedside of every kid with a graze.

As for torture, beating the stuffing out of someone for information should be covered by a decrease in abilities/stats through injury, so a healthy man won't tell you anything, but someone with nothing to lose and moments to live might just let slip. A decent, warm-hearted character will simply injure a prisoner to get the details they need, while someone playing a downright bastard will have them blow things off and generally, well... torture the poor guy.

Rape, I see no need for it. If there is to be forced wenching and such as a result of glorious victory, I see no reason why it has to be shown during real-time. It needn't be performed, but of course, in the frozen wastes there are bound to be people looking for a certain kind of fix and that shouldn't be ignored completely. In short, we can know that it happens and even help others if it'll gain you rep, but it should never be explicitly stated or shown.
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kb1pkl
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« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2011, 10:12:25 PM »

Perhaps an option in a menu (off by default) could turn on "adult themes"?

As for allowing the PC to do such acts as child-murder, rape, etc. I say - THEY are the player, it is their character. Let them play it as they want. It shouldn't be thrust in their faces (maybe in a sub-menu called "Evil" under actions?). I know some of the most fun my group had while roleplaying (PnP) was being just overall evil. Many options in that menu wouldn't be available if the 'adult themes' are turned off, things like Rob and Murder could be in there otherwise (murder as in - oh look, I'm getting paid to kill him and he's sleeping, a coup-de-grace)

There are consequences though, and that was something learned very fast in that game session. (Who knew - life lessons from RPGs) PARPG should definitely recognise that.
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Taldor
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« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2011, 10:30:48 PM »

Perhaps an option in a menu (off by default) could turn on "adult themes"?
Optional gameplay is not feasible, because it requires us to offer a 'non-adult' variant of every 'adult' storyline, which is just double work for the writing department.
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kb1pkl
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« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2011, 04:59:34 AM »

Fair enough, I'll take logistics as an excuse to not have it ;-)
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Gaspard
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« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2011, 07:50:53 PM »

Hm. Personally  I would be less politically correct and rather make something I would enjoy making myself. Or what this community would enjoy making, instead of worrying what some other people might think about it.

The Net is big, there are always people who like this or do not like that - it is an impossible and a very distracting and unnecessary task - catering to all those possible needs.
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Q_x
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« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2011, 09:58:25 PM »

This is open project. Need family-friendly post-apo game - make a fork. Really, there is no survival without violence and killing (at least killing animals) that you choose PC to commit.
Plus: I thought gameplay problems are made in the way that you actually need to be over 16 (maybe even 18) to understand it all anyway. So I don't know what is all this rambling for Tongue
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mvBarracuda
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« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2011, 10:06:56 PM »

Plus: I thought gameplay problems are made in the way that you actually need to be over 16 (maybe even 18) to understand it all anyway. So I don't know what is all this rambling for Tongue
While I'm in favour of having 1 version of PARPG, for pragmatic reasons (less work for us), I don't see anything wrong with bringing up the proposal. These are forums and forums are meant for brainstorming and discussion, so why not? :-)
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zenbitz
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« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2011, 06:26:48 AM »

I concur with barra, although "Vegan PARPG" is so absurd that it has potential.  I might have to make sure that gets coded in.

"Hey man, I finished PARPG in 'hardcore' mode!"
"SO what dude, *I* finished it in 'hardcore vegan' mode"
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goodtimeshaxor
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« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2011, 07:43:52 AM »

Here are my votes and opinions

Drugs  - Prescriptions/Cigarettes (for purposes of boosts only). No hard drugs for recreation
Language - No racism
Murder - Yes
Suicide - No
Child murder - No
Should there be children in the game? - Debatable
If so, should children be invincible or should you be able to kill them? - Invincible
What kind of consequences would child killing have? - Not even an option
Mass murder - Yes but severely limited by opposing forces
Genocide - No
Nudity - Unnecessary
Sex - No
Rape - NO
Rape as off screen storytelling device might be acceptable - No
Rape as player action is not acceptable - No
Torture - Some forms acceptable
Torture as off screen storytelling device might be acceptable - Yes
Torture as player action is not acceptable - Maybe
Enslavement - No
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