Wednesday, November 11, 2015

On being evil


It's long overdue, but discussion over on /d/ has finally prompted me to set down and post my thoughts as an author on being evil in Free Cities. Make no mistake: I think of the player character of Free Cities as an evil bastard. Owning slaves is wrong. The society Free Cities depicts is vile, morally bankrupt, and unsustainable.

And yet, I'm spending much of my free time writing a game set in that society. Why? Because it's fun to fantasize, and fantasizing is okay. Creating or playing a game in which the player character can commit appalling evil is fundamentally no different than writing or reading a book with an evil main character, or recording or listening to a song with an awful protagonist. This isn't a self-justification, because none is necessary; this is art like any other art and needs no more justification than Flashman or The Cask of Amontillado or Hallowed Be Thy Name. Nevertheless, just because this is a little text-based slave management h-game doesn't mean I don't think about these things. The questions I think most need answers are:
  • Why have I made it possible to be extremely evil in Free Cities? Because I think, in a postmodern slaveowning society, such evil would occur. Truly awful things happened to slaves in historical slave societies. I don't think anything in FC strays too far from what's come before. I personally enjoy games that make internal sense, so I'm trying to make the world of FC internally consistent. These options are available because I think they probably would be.
  • Even if extremely evil things would happen in the Free Cities world, why include them? Because without the possibility of sin, there can be no virtue. My favorite role-playing games all offer evil character paths. I never take them, but I would enjoy the good character paths much less if the evil paths weren't there. It's possible to try to be good in FC, but that would be devalued if it weren't possible to be bad.
  • Why are extremely evil things in Free Cities presented so casually? Because I'm making a point. Just because this is a little text-based h-game doesn't mean I'm not going to try sneak a little meaning in. If you've played the game and felt a little cognitive dissonance about the banality of the evil you're witnessing, or even committing, good. There's no reason this can't be erotic, fun, and a little thought-provoking. I'll be blunt: a lot of h-games out there present non-consensual sex accompanied by stupid excuses. Magic, brainwashing, unreasonably attractive player character, whatever. FC doesn't and won't do that. I try to present things in a fairly straightforward way, without excuses, hedging, or commentary, and leave it to the player to figure out what, if anything, to feel about that.
Not that this is going to have any major impact on the game as you may have experienced it. When it comes right down to it, I'm comfortable with almost any interaction a player has with the game. If you enjoy it as a light h-game, that's great. If it makes you think a little, that's great. If it's not your brand of whiskey and you delete the .html after two minutes, that's fine too. I just wanted to state, first, that I am thinking about these issues; and second, what my basic approach to them has been.

56 comments:

  1. That was a good read, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    Sadly, I don't think you'll be getting many comments for this post since Fallout 4 has just come out. :)

    The best part of the game for me has been the random events, especially since each one comes with a player choice and each choice provides a bonus of some kind.

    I hope you keep writing more them into the game.

    More interactions with NPC's would be great too, as a way of further immersing the player into the world.

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  2. I hope this post clears it up for anybody who gets butthurt about the more offensive content. I feel the same way, I almost always play somewhat virtuously in games I play, but appreciate the choice that gives it context. I almost never use the geld option, and never mute, clip tendons, remove ribs, etc etc... Though I still do some pretty sick things otherwise in the name of fetishistic beauty, I never commit to absolute sadism in the game, and wouldn't really feel as if there was any meaning to that without there being the option to do so.

    It would be interesting to see other factions presented in the game who may go other ways down the spectrum and perhaps even come to resent your Arcology for being different from them. (Too cruel and morally abhorrent to them, or too benign and even perhaps kind to your slaves making them look bad by comparison) The event where you can *Spoilers* give one of your slaves away for marriage for free, or straight up refuse to even let him ever see her again, comes to mind.

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  3. Seems ok to me, I always enjoyed evil in games since you never get to explore it in day to day life. I am more of a Lawful Evil type that takes care of the people around me and my property and rain hell on all those who oppose me. Also a bit of an Iron Fist type ruler where rules even if extreme are followed reguardless of good or bad perspective. So if slavery is legal, I will use it to my advantage and have no second thought about it.

    Kind of makes me feel like a fudal lord at times where the grass is greener where I am and with how bad life is for everone else I am supprised more people dont want to join my number just to not have to deal with the hardships of food, water, shelter, and security.

    Although a recent idea for a few events might be to get a bonus renown to try and help the city around the complex. Like making an investment into a local prison complex to hold more people securly reducing crime vs just killing off inmates to make room. Or even sponsoring the local police/security forces for money and get a rep bonus and have them turn the occasional criminal over to you to avoid caring for them and repay your investment.

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    1. The parallels with feudalism are 100% intentional.

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  4. With the development of slave relationships, the slave marriages have become a thing...despite the conflict with the "evil" concept, would the player "marrying," so to speak, one or more of the slaves ever be an option? Of course, there are some drawbacks that would have to be set, given the social status of slaves, but it could have certain benefits as well. I would elaborate further, but I haven't quite thought it all the way through yet.

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  5. A bit offtopic, but the year 2037 your game takes place (assuming the world Free Cities has the same/similar timescale than ours), is not very far in the future and some stuff, like remote surgeries (on the topic of surgeries, they are a bit cheap for the risks of surgery / having to rent a professional surgeon to do them (if you made them more expensive, maybe you could hire a surgeon, to make them cheaper again, for a monthly (or weekly) fee of course)), security drones, etc. are a bit futuristic tbh., my idea would be to set the setting one or a few hundred years into the future, just to make the innovations a bit more realistically.

    On the topic of your game being evil, don't get yourself worked up over people getting butthurt over the content of your game, your game is not the only game, which has certain topics in it and will certainly not be the last to have them. The beauty of your game is in my opinion, that you can fully immerse yourself in this harsh fictional new world and do some of the kinks you would never be able to experience and do in real life and it's exactly that, fiction. If you can't separate fiction from reality, you have bigger problems, than playing an "evil" h-game. I would just say keep up the good, your work is a piece of art, like you say, and as with everything, there will be haters, but there are a lot of people, who really like your work (me included) and I probably haven't played a game that was as good at what it does, as this one.

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    1. ... dude. We already have remote surgery /today/. A local hospital in my area uses remote surgery stuff on a daily basis for stuff we don't have the expertise to do locally. Moreover, security drones aren't that far away at all considering amazon is very close to using drones for automated deliveries. With obscene amounts of money you could definitely get these sort of things just 10 years from now. The only thing that's crazy is the weird 'not!AI', and even that is just barely stretching the bounds of plausibility.

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    2. Alright geez fine, sorry that I'm not so up to date with the newest surgery technology.
      About drones, are you talking about those obnoxiously loud things? You want those 24/7 around you?
      I was thinking more about this kind of deal:
      http://blenderartists.org/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=239301&d=1370785022
      Granted, this one is maybe a bit too far fetched...

      Still, could you imagine a world in ruins (pretty much anarchy) and dominated by slavery, still with all that technology, 22 years from now?

      Anyway, I think FC Author had thought about all that already, so please forget my ranting, it's just a number anyway ;)

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    3. Keep in mind, the game world is currently 21 years in the future. 21 years ago, it was 1994. We've come a long way since then, and if anything it looks like the next 21 years will see more radical change still. As far as the drones, I should describe them better. I imagine them as somewhat beefier quadcopters not too different from what's cutting edge today. They can only carry a small payload, like a taser or a small firearm. They're really just appendages of your personal assistant, who's telling them what to do.

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    4. For 'copters with small firearms: http://www.popularmechanics.com/flight/drones/a16477/diy-quadcopter-shoots-a-pistol/

      They can strike your street next year, man!

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    5. Yes, those noisy things was I talking about. I would much rather hire a guard, than having one of those around me, even if they are only around the house, but that's just me.
      What FC Author makes sense though, yes, we've come a long way and now the drones make more sense to me.
      About drones carrying handguns, yay for the future!? If you don't do something about the noise, they wouldn't be good assassins though, as of now.

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  6. Thing is, in FC you aren't really playing as an evil character per se, just a rich slaver asshole. This was normal among humans since the beginning of time. In fact many wealthy individuals still practice it, enticing young poor women with promises of glamorous careers and then exploiting them as sex slave whores. This basically describes the idol industry in Eastern Asia and Las Vegas showbiz. By the standards of humanity nothing in FC can be considered as truly out of place evil (except maybe amputating/lobotomizing your slaves, which is a frequent occurrence in mental institutions even in "advanced" Western countries).

    To be evil is to delight in causing pain and torture to your victims, ala hellraiser. In that sense even forced sex themes don't even factor into it, unless it's to physically wreck and cruelly abuse your servants into ruin. What I would truly call evil is psychologically tormenting your slaves to show you have total control over their existence, not popular mild BDSM themes. This is the Gestapo/Khmer Rouge/ISIL kind of shit that just falls way, way out of the moral compass of an erotic fantasy game.

    So don't lose sleep due to prudes and SJWs freaking out over 50 shades tier stuff. Keep doing what you love, and you'll receive support.

    Also I have a request for you FC dev.

    I would really like to see some "Ferrari" slaves. Girls who are extremely high class (actresses, celebrities, princesses, presidents' daughter etc) but also very expensive, likely requiring astronomical sums to obtain. They should also be rather rare to encounter, likely requiring a special random event available at very high reputation. It would give something for an ultra rich player to aim at, when he completes everything and wants to sink his excessive funds into something.

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    1. Yeah, I have to totally agree. The only reason these people are being upset is because they can't separate fiction from nonfiction or just trying censor peoples ideas. I also think "Ferrari" slaves would be nice addition.

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    2. I share this view, and above all else it is like you said FC Author: Its a game, art, fiction, nothing done here matter in real life.
      In fact I would like to see more "evil" in this game and more "good" too, maybe things like:

      Freeing girls, marrying them (they could become a sort of Head Girl for in game purposes, or even shun on slavery and make your campaing harder, jealosy events etc).

      Selling to masters that could doom them further or treat them better, having an effect on the other slaves (more devotion, maybe lose devotion), Sucessful escapes when having many rebellious slaves or even killing for punishment with great repercursions on both other slaves and on renown.

      Maybe some kind of "Prized slaves" position as well, for the slaves that fit the player preferences, giving them a higher position and even some kind of special options.

      This game of yours is quite fun, I look forward to more content!

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    3. I myself would like to see just about everything you said, at least present as options. I feel like those things would really help increase player enjoyment, certainly at least for myself.

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    4. I get suggestions I politely read, suggestions I add to the list of good ideas, and suggestions that I instantly run to the code to add. The "Ferrari slaves" idea is one of the latter; it'll be in 0.4.4, probably tomorrow. A+ idea, let me know if you want a handle in the Credits page.

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    5. Good to know I will have something to do tomorrow! I appreciate the willingness to add things that are probably annoying to write. Perhaps some of the other ideas in this particular comment thread could be added sometime down the road, perhaps as actions exclusive to "Ferrari slaves," to make the in-game social views toward slaves be different depending on the prior social prestige a particular slave held.

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  7. I would like to support 'Ferrari' slaves, like offering a deal to a famous actress and then either helping her show succeed to get fame, or helping it flop to obtain her ;)

    I would also like to suggest some way to keep the corset as an outfit after they've been trained into it ;) (or maybe add a custom clothes thing to the options? One that counts as a punishment outfit and one that counts as a 'good' outfit)

    Also is it still possible to just... mail you the idea/background of a slave or is the uploader preferred? Cause I have a couple...

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    1. The uploader is preferred since it saves me some time. You can just get a slave as close to your vision as possible in game, upload her, and then append a note explaining anything the uploaded stats don't properly reflect. Very nice avatar, by the way.

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  8. I'm quite a fan of this game. There aren't enough games that I feel adequately focus upon being a dom or the master in a relationship of some kind. I tend to play it as more of a "just" master if you will, and only the criminals such as rapists and thieves usually get the truly degrading jobs in my arcology and I like having the option to run it that way. Keep up the excellent work.

    On another note: Do you have any intention of adding a fantasy element/option later? Such as elves or orcs. A completely realistic setting is good as well, merely curious.

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    1. No, for three reasons. First, I like coherent worlds, and the FC world doesn't include those things. Second, I have only so much time, so some content limitations are necessary, even if they're arbitrary. Finally, other outstanding slave management games have touched on those tropes, so I'm aiming for less well served areas like quasi-realistic transformation.

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  9. I apploud to author. I'm fully support that way of thinking. There is nothing bad in game with vile or amoral choices. Reall trouble begins only then people start to confuse game and reality.

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  10. Gotta say I mainly share your lines of thought, FCA (especially the "need" for internal consistency), and I appreciate both you committing these thoughts on "paper" and working hard on the (awesome) game.

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  11. I respect your integrity. It's refreshing to see a Dev with a vision and direction put above all else. Even if I don't enjoy or agree with some of the content in the game, I would hate to see it removed just to please somebody. Keep doing what you love, broham.

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  12. It's so easy when you're evil
    This is the life, you see
    The Devil tips his hat to me
    I do it all because I'm evil
    And I do it all for free
    Your tears are all the pay I'll ever need

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWYCS6k1IOA

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  13. Hey,

    First of all I'd like to thank you for the effort you put into a game that is noticeable different from the majority of other games. It has indeed encouraged some thought about my actions as a player.
    (For reference: I would describe my play style as chaotic-good and the game has "forced" some actions unto me that made me uncomfortable)

    Normally I don't tend to give feedback to developers because I feel they must trust their own vision. I like what you've done with the game until now and I curious to see what plans you still have. So I will limit my suggestions and remarks purely to the game mechanics. You can chose to use some ideas or ignore it, I'll keep on playing either way. :)

    - The game feels a bit too easy and repetitive.
    After an hour of play you pretty much know how your "choices" will affect the slaves and the economics of the game. Some options just "better" and have less drawbacks. Other options are just so bland that, except for in the players fantasy, they don't affect the game in any (noticeable) way.

    -I don't always feel like my actions influence the game (much).
    I feel that the game would be improved if the player actions would have more impact on the economics and the 'society' in the game. In my opinion the basics of your world are very good, but the impact needs to be larger. For example: change the balance so that 'evil' players get more options to exploit their slaves for economic gain, but also that they risk an uprising. The reverse would be possible for 'good' players: they'd lose their status in society and the costs rise to unsustainable levels.
    However, both good and evil would would need some genuine unique unlocks so that a "neutral" play style would discouraged as well.
    Also, the state of the economy and the world should influence the player as well: Unhappy slaves would have a higher chance to join in whenever there's a revolt. Or maybe the economy gets so bad that the good player must take away luxuries just to avoid bankruptcy.
    In short: make it harder for the player to follow a set pattern of actions and make it that the actions will have an impact on the remainder of the game (or at least the following turns).

    -More random wouldn't be a bad thing. I know that this becomes a topic during the development of practically each game and that certain players like that they can predict the exact outcome of each action. But... I'm not one of those players. So you can put this remark into the category 'personal preference'. To me it would be fun if the outcome of certain actions would be variable. It mustn't be purely random of course, but there should be a few surprises every now and then.

    That's it for now, can't wait to see what you'll add next.

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    1. Discouraging a neutral play style I think is contrary to the author's vision, and on top of that I think a lot of people would hate it. This isn't a typical game, but a fetish game that's meant to be highly customizable according to the player's personal vision, not the developer's. The main character is already well past evil enough to exploit anything much for economic gain, (Though there's still some of that in events), and the only thing left is exploitation for convenience, which there is already lots of.

      I hear you on it being too easy, but I just plain disagree with your solution. The only reason it's easy like this is because there's no real sort of taxation and you're based in a somewhat self-sustainable mega-structure, that's kind of the point, the only way to increase difficulty I feel, without damaging the gameplay, is to add more antagonists, whether violent or economically based. I find it surprising there are no business' trying to worm their way into the picture, and aren't more instances of employees trying to launder money into their pockets against your will.

      The game could make security more of a concern for larger scaled set-ups, requiring more security and monitoring. Especially in the case of rebellious or resistant slaves, but not unfeasibly in the case of lower-income slaves who might be addicted to substances (usually aphrodisiacs) or perhaps want to help a family member outside of your influence who might be in debt and the verge of being put into slavery themselves.

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    2. True, true and I surely didn't mean to dictate how I would like to see the game and that's why I usually refrain from posting comments. I understand that many players like the easy going sandbox aspect of the game and I didn't mean to intrude on how they like to experience the game.

      I only tried to make some observations from a purely mechanical standpoint. As it stands the game now gets repetitive really fast and I the examples I gave were only meant as possible solutions or to illustrate my point. I leave it to the developer to come up with the solutions, if he even deems it necessary to address them.

      On the point of discouraging a neutral play style: I only meant that in the case of my own example. If you'd implement the changes I suggested for 'good' and 'evil' play styles, it would result in a unbalance. 'Good' and 'evil' play styles would be discouraged by the game mechanics resulting in an easier "neutral" play. I meant that all possible play styles should have their own merits and drawbacks and an overall balance.
      (obviously I address this from a purely mechanical standpoint. The moral implications and feedback towards the player can be completely separate)

      Anyway, I said what I wanted to say and I won't elaborate any further, regardless of further comments. :)

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    3. Your ideas have merit. I probably won't ever assign actions "morality points" of any kind, as much because it would be time-consuming as for style reasons. On difficulty, I agree completely. Balancing is one of the last things I will do before 1.0, since I would have to constantly fiddle with balance otherwise, every time I added something. Until then, Normal will be too easy.

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    4. About random events always turning out the same way, maybe it would be a good idea, to be able to fail those and have a bad outcome (or bad events having a good outcome, maybe she's a masochist and likes to be treated badly)

      Speaking of masochists, it would be cool, if they could be trained (or already have the kink), to be masochists(if that's not already included in them being submissive, in my opinion not, since they can be submissive, but not like pain)/sadists or dominant (kind of a dominatrix kind of deal).

      Maybe even turn them being masochist/sadist into a trait kind of deal, so they can be a masochist and submissive/dominant/neither or a sadist and submissive/dominant/neither.

      About morality kind of deal, maybe more options to chose from, how an event turns out (as the op said, some events force you in a certain way, which doesn't have to be bad, but a bit more variety is always cool), more options are always good, but time consuming so I can understand, if some (or most) events stay as they are.

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  14. Keep on doing what your doing. Throughout history people got "outraged" about many things and I got feeling these people will never be completely gone, just look up angry Christians and The Exorcist movie to see that these SJW types certainly are not new (I consider my self a Christian and I think it's totally crazy to think a game or movie can be "evil", some people just can't understand fiction is just fiction). Your game is awesome and don't let them censor you! Also this got brought up before but will their ever be furries in the game? I don't care ether way I'm just curious.

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    1. There will not. Suffer not the furry to contaminate and eventually ruin (another) game.

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    2. OOOOOOOH! #Shotsfired

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    3. INNOCENCE PROVES NOTHING! BURN THE BRONY, KILL THE WEEB, PURGE THE FURRY!

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    4. No furries? Great! What about pony-play?

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    5. On the list of Things To Add, though it's not a huge favorite of mine so it's lower down that list to be honest.

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    6. Okay so no furries, like I said before it's not one of my top preferences so no loss for me. What about mythical/space races like elves, orcs, dwarves and cyborgs. I know it's a little off theme but....screw it, I guess it doesn't hurt to ask.

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    7. Cyborgs aren't necessarily off theme, I don't really see why advanced prosthetics wouldn't be in the setting seeing as they're kind of in the makes right as we speak. Although I don't ~really~ see what purpose they would serve, aside from maybe giving limbs back to quadupees. Seems like an incredible expenditure for one slave.

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    8. I kind of like the idea of advanced prosthetics being available for your amputee slaves. I've only really ever had one amputee that i got because of the event where its an option for punishment. I was pretty mean to her at first but eventually she grew on me. It would be nice to have the option of rewarding slaves like that in some way. And of course it could be a late game money sink for when you have hundreds of thousands of dollars and nothing really to spend it on. And like someone else said I'd say this is definitely possible within the 2 decades until the game is supposed to occur.

      http://www.sciencedump.com/content/terminator-arm-worlds-most-advanced-prosthetic-limb

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  15. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    I see everybody here like to have the evil option in games but never uses it. I must confess I use it almost every time. A long time ago I used to like playing the white knight but I got bored eventually. I spend my life being a nice guy why not experience the opposite in a fictional universe?

    I noticed you don't rely on magic or similar stuff and I like that about your game.

    But what I really love is the first pillars of a world with a different set of moral values.For example, when you take your slave to dinner and treat her like an equal your reputation suffers because people do not agree of this. It reminds me of a game (totally not porn related) King of the Dragon Pass where XXI century morality doesn't exist and people will regard as weakness or treason various acts such as equality for all, mercy etc.

    I realize that you can never implement it but what I would love to see is other cities ruled by the AI with different morals codes and customs thus giving you the chance to interact with them(form cooperation to war).

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  16. I feel what you mean, good actions feel hollow if you aren't also tempted by an evil choice. Similarly, evil actions feel bland and edgelordy without the choice to be the hero weighing upon you. My play style is mostly 'good', a saint to 'good' slaves, ones who just got a bad deal. Drug addicts, the overly poor, those raised from slave school. Rapists? I'll take a more 'evil' route, partly in retribution, partly just to bug test content I see less of in my normal play. I feel you're right on all points, that there is no true evil without virtue and vise versa, and a quote from Skyrim sums it up best for me.

    "What is better - To be born good, or to overcome your evil nature through great effort?"
    -Paarthurnax, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

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  17. Firstly, an interesting read. Unexpected, but interesting indeed.

    Up above, someone mentioned "ferrari slaves" - I'd like to second (or third or whatever) that idea. An end-game goal/event(s - making it repeatable is even better) like these sounds like a fantastic suggestion. Cue the "end game", as it should be a very expensive, difficult and prestigious thing to do (with appropriate rewards, not necessary financial - dare I say, I think "financially" it should be a loss. But can you put a price of having an honest to god arrogant, internationally famous actress trained into an obedient cumdumpster?)

    I have a question though, regarding the internal consistency of the game (a porn game after all). I will play the devil's advocate here and just to be frank I'll add that I'm personally indifferent to the topic (I don't mind it, I occasionally like it, I can live without it) - namely, lolis AND teens. I wonder if the decision stems from ethical concerns (you find the content horrible and that's it), security (illegal content), lack of interest in the fetish (you won't include/write something you personally don't find especially arousing) or something different altogether. While it's probably a mix, I wonder what's the "main" reason behind the exclusion of this content. From the "internal consistency" stand point it should technically exist - a society that completely legalizes (and to a degree/in a way agrees/is fine with) slavery/sexual slavery; can lawfully discard an individuals personal/human rights (making "her" property) etc. wouldn't probably give much thought on the "old era" age of consent, not to mention morals. Since sex and slaves seem to be a (even relatively) common sight one can assume that the sex, nudity, eroticsm, pornography and all related topics itself would be fairly trivialized and mundane - age of consent, laws and even morals regarding so-called "minors" would definitely take a hike. One can argue that persons in the higher echelons of society would of course protect their children (but even that is doubtful, considering the corruption and debauchery we see in some of the events), but slave-school kids wouldn't enjoy such protection. There's a few more arguments for it to work (or should work), but I'm rambling as it is.
    Like I said, it's only my curiosity - please don't take it the wrong way as it's in no way a mean to somehow "convince you" or a passive-aggressive way to push an excluded fetish (under the guise of discussion).

    On the off chance you already state your mind on the topic, either here or on /d/, please excuse me - I don't frequent /d/ and I've been following your game only for a few weeks (but I absolutely love where it's coming).

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    1. We've broached the topic on /d/ before and the author's opinion seemed to be "I'm just not into it personally" or something like that. I believe he stated that underage slave labor definitely occurs behind the scenes but he's just not into underage sex slaves, so we're unlikely to see them.

      I feel your pain, dude.

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    2. Fetishes fall into three categories: those I really like, those I'm pretty neutral towards, and those that I viscerally dislike. If I like it, it's going to get a lot of content. If I'm neutral, I'll probably include it if it isn't too much work. If I don't like it, I won't add it because I'd like my own game less if it were present. There's also an immense amount of baggage that comes with that content that I just can't be bothered to even touch. I'm doing this because it's fun, and going anywhere near there would make it less fun for me. Simple as that.

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  18. this post makes me think about Schindler's List, there can be relatively 'good' slavers

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  19. is there any way to submit content (not talking about slaves) like sex scenes to you? do you accept that kind of stuff?
    if so, how would i contact you?

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    1. Yeah, sort of seconding this. As it is now, your game is somewhat short on sexual content. It being an alpha and you concentrating on mechanics, it's of course totally ok. Having a "place" to submit sexual scenes (even if only for the sex options on a slave's page) would be great.

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    2. So here's the deal with that.

      Writing is not the roadblock, coding is. I am a very fast writer and a very slow coder. So, having others write would barely speed things up for me, and would be a lot less fun! So, the only way I can see this working is if contributors are willing and able to do some very basic coding to make their scenes work. Email me (freecitiesdev at gmail) if you feel you can do that. If I get enough interest, I'll do a writeup on how to do that with a template contributors can follow.

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  20. I agree completely, fictional entertainment is just that. It doesn't need any justifications or excuses whatsoever. It doesn't need a disclaimer or an apology or the "right tone" or a moral lesson at the end or anything of the sort. It's patronizing, it's cowardly, and it limits art.

    I'm drawn to evil games and bleak settings out of sheer novelty if nothing else. There are so many waifu simulators set in cotton candy worlds, and so few games like this. Jack o' Nine tails was another great one recently, you can find the latest version of that on Hongfire.

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    1. Jack o Nine inspired this game more than any other. I initially considered joining the Jack o Nine modding community with the goal of making owning multiple slaves possible in that game, but QSP is an awful first step to take in coding.

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  21. It's really sad that you feel that you have to justify yourself for making this game... It seems the Internet morality police will never stop...

    If people don't like it, there are plenty of other games (99% of them) for them where the player is nice.

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    1. You misunderstand; I don't feel I have to justify myself at all. I simply think these issues are interesting. I've thought about them at length and thought there might be interest in where I'm coming from. I certainly understand the backlash against the modern morality police, but let's not go too far the other way, please. Just because some people want to censor content doesn't mean that we can't have a serious discussion about content.

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  22. And here I was routinely turning all new slaves into heavily modded limbless sextoys.

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  23. In many respects the way you're thinking here mirrors my thoughts, too. I definitely agree that without the capacity to be evil, choosing not to be means nothing, and a good RPG should allow you to imagine yourself as either a hero or a villain. However my concern is (and I know people will find this funny) that here the problem is not with an incapacity to be evil, but with an incapacity to be kind, which also makes anything gruesome you might do feel banal, and not really evil in a context where there really isn't another way to act at all, only different degrees of evil. I mean, if you don't abuse your slaves, you really just get nowhere, so being evil doesn't have much of an impact.

    What do you think about adding a capacity to treat slaves well (small gifts, talking to them), outside of special events? My problem with jack o nine was that there was either systematically breaking them down, or spoiling them and I think that's somewhat restrictive. I want to be able to treat them like people dammit! (and then betray them cruelly, but I can wait on that). Also what do you think about events based on not mistreating them? To be blunt, I feel that in the hypothetical situation where you have power of life and death over someone you own as a slave, not debasing them or violating them would get them in a stockholm syndrome place relatively fast. Take for example not abusing a pre-owned slave. Wouldn't she take note of the difference in treatment? How would she realistically feel about it? I feel banding all choices not related to breaking them under spoiling them or them remaining rebellious is unrealistic. You would expect someone to become less agressive if they realised that they've hit what amounts to a jackpot in this world, especially if they understand what could have been their fate. Consider how grateful a mother would be if you didn't abuse her daughter, for example. I feel that escapes "slave trainer" and enters "tamagochi" territory, but what can I say, I should admit I am a sucker for variety.

    Also, on an unrelated note, have that public use punishment in that one event be a work or something you can do to them at your discretion, you delinquent! Or work on those gloryhole descriptions or something.

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  24. The PC doesn't really have a choice in this one--he has to be a Despot, it comes with the title. My only problem is that you don't really have an option to be a benevolent despot, just an aggressively evil despot or a neutral despot.

    For instance, you can send your slaves out to be streetwalkers (neutral, at least compared to the next option) or you can lock them in a glory hole (pretty bad). What about the option to send them out as courtesans? Maybe you earn less money that way, but they can pick and choose their clientele and are less likely to come back stretched or with bruises. And brothels--the name is pretty generic, the conditions inside can vary wildly. Are you running a nice, friendly, high-end place, or one where bodies are dragged out every night and girls go in but never come out?

    It'd be cool from an RP and world-building perspective, but from a gameplay perspective too. The Free Cities are portrayed as this crazy place where fortunes are won and lost in an instant, everything has a price, and everything is expensive. In that environment, can you literally afford any scruples? What happens when your bank account is run down and expenses are through the roof? Which of your principles do you sacrifice first? That sort of thing.

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