Is there a difference between tasteless pornography and adult themes with game development?

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shiori4me

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Various scripts say you're allowed to use them as long as the game isn't pornographic/etc, but the reason I don't understand.

Sex, violence, and taboo concepts are a part of life. To exclude and avoid them in a setting that would normally call for such things would limit things, make it less realistic, and feel like you're making more of a teen/kid game.

I would like to include sexual and mature themes without my game being defined by them and I don't want to represent people's scripts in that light, I just want to be able to not have to avoid such things. Adults in their free time when in a relationship tend to explore sex. People have weird addictions, cravings, and fantasies. Life can be harsh and wounds can be inflicted.

So I'm curious as to how to make a game that allows itself to include adult content while still using various scripts or materials.
 

Kes

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In part it boils down to how one defines what is, and what is not, pornography and whether your definition is one that the scripter would accept, as people draw the line in so many different places.  This is what makes answering your question in any definitive way almost impossible.
 

Solo

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Like ksjp said, it's an almost completely gray area... I, too, am all for complete freedom of creative expression and the celebration of one's individuality in their work. Like you said, censorship can really cheapen the experience.


I guess the scripters just want to avoid legal trouble (in case of whatever) by being "linked" to a controversial work.


Maybe if you add disclaimers to your game, there will be less of a risk of controversy? On the other hand, that would immediately clue in the scripters as to the nature of the game. So, bummer?


Maybe you could... negotiate with them? See where they draw the line, personally? If they haven't specified it clearly enough in their terms, that is.
 
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Well, if the focus of the game is the stage of growing up, then I wouldn't say it is pornographic.

If it is set in a high school setting and the goal of the game is to lay as many chicks as possible, yes, then it is.

So it depends on what the focus of your game is.
 

mchangin

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(Please ignore this post; I accidentally wrote on the quick reply box instead of the edit box. OTL)
 
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Solo

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By the way, to actually answer the question you posed in the topic title: "Is there a difference between tasteless pornography and adult themes with game development?" ...The answer is absolutely YES. However, there will always be overly sensitive people who will be offended. If you choose to follow this path, you just have to remember who you are, what you stand for, and not be rattled by their criticism (easier said than done, unfortunately).
 
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mchangin

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I think it's impossible to publish games without being judged for it though; People who submit games get judged for stuff like, "Use of the RTP" or "Gameplay Inconsistency" or "Ineffective female characters that are the prize to the main character". My point is, no matter what you do, there isn't a way you can make a game and not be judged for it, and by writing in sexual content and mature themes, like it or not, you're still going to be judged for that. I don't even think that realism is a huge help to any game production; Being consistent with your world and sticking to the rules established in it, that's definitely good, but some things in games are generally not considered or glossed over simply because they add nothing to the game experience for the budget required.

Heck, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 did have a scene which got called out for being rape-y and that caused some controversy which I really don't agree with given the nature of the actual scene which was more horrific than sexual to me. I think you're pretty much free to create whatever you want, but like with every profession that involves engaging the public, be it through business or engagement, putting yourself out there means putting yourself to be open to discussion and criticism. This is why companies have PR departments.

Now that that's out of the way, I feel the difference between a pornographic game and a game with adult themes is pretty much the difference in focus of the game's content. Is the game's content meant to raise erections or add to the experience of maybe, desperation or the need for intimacy? The difference between Dragon Age: Origins and a regular porn game from uh, I dunno, DLSite maybe, is that the selling points of the games are completely different; DA:o markets itself to be a great fantasy experience with battles against a dark horde and carving your destiny as the Grey Warden; Said porn game's selling point is usually the erotic art and simple gameplay along with the kinks that it's marketing itself towards. I guess if there was a simple term for that measuring and telling between tasteless pornography and adult themes, it'd probably be 'smuttiness'.

The similarities between them (apart from them both having sex involved in the games, however, is that they know exactly what their target demographics are and try to avoid elements which can compromise the experience of what they're trying to deliver, even if realism would tell them otherwise.
 
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Shaz

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I've moved this thread to General Discussion - this has nothing to do with commercial game development. Please be sure to post your threads in the correct forum next time. Thank you.
 

hian

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I think there is a rather big difference between pornographic games, and games with sexual content.


Porn is porn, and a porn game is a game where the porn I.E the sex, is the defining feature which everything else revolves around.


Having sex, or sexual content, in a game, does not make it a porn game any more than having a sex scene in a movie makes it a porn movie.


If you can distinguish between porn movies and regular movies with sex scenes, you should be able to make a distinction in regards to games as well.


So, what kind of game are you making? A game where you can have sex, or one that revolves around having sex?


Also, just so it's said - there is nothing inherently tasteless about pornography. Some pornography is, some isn't.


Whether the porn is tasteless or not is a secondary concern here.


It's possible to make a pornographic game in a tasteful manner, but it would still be a pornographic game.


It's also possible to make a non-pornographic game with tasteless sex-scenes.


In either case, it's something to mindful of.
 

mlogan

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I assume from the question you are asking because you want to know if you can use the scripts commercially because technically your game isn't porn but "adult themed". Perhaps I'm wrong, but if that's the case, I think that would be a discussion you would need to have with the developer of the script. If it was something they thought to put in in the first place, then they must have clear ideas themselves of what they deem acceptable or not.

If they do not want their work represented in such a way or do not want their name (in the credits) on such a project then that needs to be respected.
 

SLEEP

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It's a grey, contextual area, with honestly a lot of swing to go both ways.

If you've ever had the misfortune to see people creating pornographic games with RPG maker, then you might understand why it's so repugnant. It's poorly made trash with all the tasteless toxic baggage of mainstream pornography and mainstream hentai, and really something you'd want to disassociate from as much as possible. It's also poser porn, as the people who make it can't draw, and use 3D modelling programs to make the "H-scenes". (Which are the image cut-ins of poser porn ****in) Even if they didn't use poser porn though, they would still are uncomfortable for the "carrying the toxic baggage of mainstream pornography" reason.

I know all of the above FOR SCIENCE by the way.  ;_;

tbh, i don't think you can disassociate sex, pornography, and mature themes with anything but a contextual definition, and that's not something you'd want to write into your terms of use. It's easier to ban all pornography, rather than try to explain the context of adult themes you want your stuff being used in. I'm sure this is why pornographic games are banned in most popular RPG maker communities as well. And it's... kind of unfortunate. There is value in mature themes, and high-class pornography. There can be value in the lowbrow as well, titillation is value. But people aren't making things with value. They're creating toxic baggage poser porn. That's not something you want around. And because you need to close the door to porn to get rid of the trash, you end up shutting the door to porn with value. And it's unfortunate, and it's how things have to be. It seems.

I think there's wriggle room. In your situation, I would contact script authors and plead your case. I dunno if script authors would mind that or not, but as long as you're polite, no harm trying right?
 
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West Mains

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It's all about context, man.

Pornography is about eroticism, adult themes are about erotic themes without being purely FOR eroticsm.

A picture of a naked lady is pornographic/erotic, but characters getting naked is just an adult scene with an erotic tone.

So, if the game is only about sex, erotic imagery and themes, then its basically a pornographic game. If it isnt entirely about these things, but contains them within the context of its plot, then it isnt pornographic.

I think that made sense.

edit: I just wanna add I dont think any pornography is 'tasteless' because what does and does not constitute as pornographic is pretty much entirely based on taste. Yeah? 
 
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Andar

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I have my own definition for the difference between pornografic and adult themed, or about fanservice for that matter, and that depends on the question if the scene is needed in the story.


The perfect example goes around several old horror movies:


In the classical Dracula movies, you don't see Dracula stripping the victim before biting. On the other hand, I really doubt that a cannibal will eat clothes...


I have no problems with using some nude pictures in a game, or even giving partially fanservice in it - but only if there is a reason for it in the story, not as a random insert to get a higher age rating for the game (as it has been done with a lot of movies, the pilot episode of Stargate TV for example where the examination scene was entered purely to get an age-18-rating).


That said, there will always be people who consider your definition of pornography wrong - for example, there are some countries where it's considered pornography if you can see a woman's face. And in other countries there is no problem with nude public sunbathing on some public rivers, parks or lakes.


Where do you define the difference, and what you countries laws say about it - that are the only points that really matter.
 

shiori4me

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I know I don't plan to draw like a bunch of turned on people but I do like scenic and situational nudity.

For example, there is a gateway where the enemies strip the party of their equipment in order to remove their dependancy on equipment to speed up growth in their abilities so that the antagonist can posses them so he can force them to fuse with him and gain their powers.

The idea of things prominently showing or moving around sounds a tad awkward so emphasis and animation should be reduced, but the idea of a team who are meant to spend over 2 years together actually getting to know one another in the flesh sounds like a peculiar concept, as long as it isn't portrayed as an excuse to show of character nudity.

But I wouldn't want some person going "No, they weren't CONSTANTLY wearing underwear so you can't use my minimap!" or whatever. Lol.

I mean people do refer to sexual frustration and lack of sex while on a conquest or flirt with someone they like, and I may include some scenes where you can hear suggestive or romantic interaction but you can't see it, but, I don't know. I mean, once you get natural with it, you know, with unfs and awws, then it starts feeling more like it's not meant to portray a scene. So I'm kind of stumped on that. And if I should make it so that these sort of things can be turned on and off with a switch at will, or what. 

Because I know I am controversial. One person is in love with his brother and always refers to his long-distant lover but it isn't found out that it's his brother until they find out (if they find out, this is situational) that that person is actually a man and is his brother and has been dead for a year now but that his death was completely unknown by the person who would mention him (and he is either unable to resurrect him with his current Grace Sage powers or is unsure if it's respectful enough to do it). It's sort of an odd concept to everyone, especially considering half of the team members are religious and believe their powers were God-given.

Also there is a sexually confused man spelled into his horse after seeing through a witch's mirage, who can't have an efficient relationships and hasn't had a chance to fully have a real childhood and adolescence, 

some bisexuals, and the main character is a chubby chaser atheist beastman homosexual who doesn't drink, in the 1500s who's parents are about to die of old age. I was also thinking about having it so that (and I'm not for sure if I'd like to include this concept or not and if I'd like it to be off-screen skipped or if I'd like to have it so that it has already happened) one of the women on the team were taken advantage of by a dragon from a different realm that she summoned, stating that she needs him and not the other way around and that she should learn her place. {The main character also kills various people and gains the ability to use dark claws of magic so that he can make it look like a beast of the field attacked them, in case he needs to?}

I mean, various vulgarities can sometimes make people not want to interact with something, yes.
 
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mlogan

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It just comes down to what each resource creator wants. Personally, I am glad you've brought this up. I've released one sprite to the community and have more in the works. This aspect is something I've not thought about and will need to rework my terms for anything I release in the future.

My feelings as a creator are not that I don't respect someone else's rights to make the game they want to make. You have the choice to make it as sexual as you want. However, I would not want my name associated with that (as in the credits). My personal reasons are because everything *I* build I plan to make family friendly - and by that I mean, would I be okay with my 8 and 5 year olds seeing it? Because that is what *I* want to create, not out of judgement of what you want to create.

All of this to say again, I think your best bet is to just ask each creator. And if you are running into stumbling blocks because of it, you may need to look at hiring someone to create the scripts or resources you need. Many people would be a little less strict in the use when money's involved.
 

shiori4me

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Well just because they said they got a journal script or whatever doesn't mean they went "Hey guys, if you liked the mature content included in this RPG, check out mlogan for more!" Heheh. I do my own sprites and faces.

5-8 year olds shouldn't be playing a game that says it includes content not suitable for young ages, anyway.

And it's not like a person's content links to anyone who posted projects, including r18 games. So there's a very thin link between their credit and a scripter's name.

I think by limiting what games get to use scripts, you limit the amount of people that are helped, because, after all, that's why people post scripts and content. To help people.

And yes, I can more see if they sexualized a character that someone drew or sprited, but you don't taint a minimap script if it's included in a game that contains scenic nudity or violence, lol

I'm only stumbling because I don't know what I feel is best to put.

How explicit something should be versus the focus being elsewhere.
 
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mlogan

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I think you missed my point. I was trying to explain why someone might not want their name associated with certain projects. My point about my children is that for their sake and for what I am trying to build, I don't want my name on something compromising, no matter how mild that may be - in other words, if it's not something I would be comfortable with them seeing, I don't want my name on it. As a creator, that is my choice, just as it is your choice to create games with adult content.
 

shiori4me

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Yes. 

And you're an (artist? spriter?) so I can understand that.

I just meant that having someone's name on someone else's credit list doesn't lead to more children being subjected to comprimising material.

I don't make commercial things.
 
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whitesphere

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I think the difference between porn and adult content is very subjective.  Some great RPGs do have adult content, if by that you mean dark themes or sexual ones.  The quality of the game is definitely key.

I think porn is when a game includes, say, sex scenes just to include them.  If you want to avoid any sharp controversy over the topic, you can use artful implication to make it extremely clear what's going to happen, without showing it.  Sometimes, the implication of sex works far better than showing it.  But, even then there may be those who get into an uproar over how suggestive the scene is.

If script writers or artists have that restriction, it's probably best to check with them, to see exactly what qualifies.  I would treat it the same as any other licensing condition.  In other words, if you are the least bit unsure, check with and get permission from the creator.  If need be, send them a demo of the game, with the save file at the proper location.  Or at least describe in detail how you're using the resource.

A great game can include adult content, but make sure the adult content is a proper part of the plot.  It shouldn't be totally gratuitous and shouldn't be the center of everything in the game, either.   Treat it the same as any other plot or game element.  And, when you are finished, be sure to label the game accordingly (M for Mature).  Even if you don't go commercial with the game, it helps to avoid problems if you make clear to, say, friends that the game has adult content.  Those who are sensitive will want to know what exactly is:  Strong language might be, suggestive scenes, drug use, onscreen violence, sexual content, etc.

Informing people ahead of time is far better than them finding out on their own later.
 

Engr. Adiktuzmiko

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If all you're worried about is if you can use some scripts in which the creator says they don't want it to be used on those kinds of games, the best thing you can do to make sure is to ask them directly... :)
 
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