Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Writing Salon Week 1: Pitch Your Story Ideas

This post is for the May 1-7 writing event of the 2016 AIF Writing Salon.

Have an idea for an erotic adventure? Have a steamy sex scene that you want to write down? Have you ever wanted to 'ship your favorite fictional characters? Pitch your ideas and get feedback from others. We'll spend time talking about how to flesh out concepts and simplify ideas.

The biggest problem faced by new authors is that they work on ideas that are too ambitious. They decide to write a novel when they should start with a short story. Another problem new authors face is that seemingly innocuous details of a story idea might require thousands of words of writing and code. The work needed to implement a minor character or alternate path can easily grow out of control.

By sharing your ideas with others early, we can help you simplify your ideas. Often, you can keep the core characters, emotions, and sexiness of your story but with fewer characters, rooms, and plot points. We can also offer suggestions about what order you should implement things in. With AIF, it's important to have something playable as early as possible. It makes it easier to see how it works, and it gives you a base from which you can build out something bigger. We can make suggestions about which scene might be best to start with.

If you have something you want to share, just post it as a comment to the blog post. Be careful to use a separate account for posting and not an account you use IRL. Anonymous comments are welcome, but it would be useful to tag your comments somehow so we know which comments are from whom. AIF Central sometimes has difficulties dealing with longer comments. You can break up your posts into multiple comments, or sign-up to become a blogger on AIF Central and make a new blog post with your content.


  1. I am opening the Writing Salon a little early to test things out and to let people start sharing their ideas early.

  2. My idea for a game is called Mrs. Harrow and the Rake. You play as Lord Kettering, an educated man of diverse interests. You are a philosopher, a poet, a scientist, and a notorious rake. You are a libertine with a reputation for boozing, gambling, and whoring. You have invited Mr. and Mrs. Harrow to your estate. Mr. Harrow is a buffoon who wants your investment in his business ventures. Mrs. Harrow, though, is a woman of keen intellect and exquisite beauty. Despite being from the hinterlands, she is well-read and has modern leanings. She is wary of your reputation but could not pass at the chance to learn of your latest discoveries and to hear the tales of your travels through the continent. She is open-minded and has a rebellious passion for new experiences but she is utterly devoted to her husband. Can you also teach her the ways of libertinism?

    The game involves you seducing Mrs. Harrow by indulging her intellectual interests that she cannot satisfy in her home life. Mrs. Harrow is a bird caged by her dullard husband and isolated home. She is smitten by your charm and learning. You challenge her faith in marriage as puritanical. You question the fidelity of her husband and send a maid (or your wife?) to seduce Mr. Harrow. Having complete faith in her husband, Mrs. Harrow agrees to let you do to her whatever her husband does to the maid...

    1. It looks interesting. The only thing that jumped out at me is that the end of the second paragraph seemed to go in a different direction than the rest.

      Reading through the first paragraph I was picturing a relatively simple (in terms of design) game; through the use of various items, conversations, and actions, seduce Mrs. Harrow. There could be two meters, her attraction to you and willingness to break her values.

      The last few lines add in a few more elements. Now you are setting up what happens at the mid-point of the game (at least as it had looked from the early comments). You challenge her values by challenging what her husband stands for. This introduces one to two more characters (though they probably are willing to go along with anything you request, which means you don't have to program actions for how to affect them).

      So this creates a few possibilities. The game could either progress through stages
      1: Make yourself appealing to Mrs. Harrows
      2: Challenge her values
      3: Prove that her values are not important by having her husband be seduced
      4: Sex

      Or it could me more open ended where the seduction of the husband is one of the ways that you can win over Mrs. Harrow, but not the only way.

    2. I was thinking it would be a two room game. You are seducing Mrs. Harrow in one room while Mr. Harrow is being seduced in another. You spend the game charming Mrs. Harrow until she is truly tempted by your lifestyle of philosophy and hedonism. Then you convince her to make the bet with you. You two then spy on Mr. Harrow and catch him in the arms of another. Then, sex scene.

    3. I really like this idea, there's lots of fun options for the seduction items (books of erotic poetry, exotic foreign sculpture, etc)

    4. So surely there is a spy hole from the one room to the other which looks out through the eyes of a portrait, right?

      Is the sex scene itself just going to be initiated by watching Mr. Harrow behave indecorously and then it plays out independently or is it gong to be a whole parallel thing where you Mrs. Harrow keeps being shocked by what her husband is doing next and being inspired to progressively try to one up him?

    5. I hadn't thought of having the seduction items be sexual. As a girl from the provinces, she would simply be overwhelmed by being in the presence of nobility and having her intellectual pursuits indulged. It would be like a woman today meeting her favorite actor/musician. She would be sorely tempted. Still, the idea of sexual seduction items might be interesting too, and it might be consistent for a rake...

      I was thinking of spyholes too. Apparently one way mirrors are a fairly recent invention. I am aiming to have the sex be independent at first. Obviously, having a huge swinger orgy would be ideal, but it is likely too complicated. I will just get something simple for the sex scene going first.

  3. Here is the game I'm currently working on: Called The Inn, you run an inn outside of a small town. Recently, the area was beset by a dark curse that brought monsters and danger and you are one of the few people who hasn't fled (why is determined by player choice early in the game).

    Along to your inn comes a paladin who has just finished her training to cleanse the area. She takes a room and will be staying there at night while during the day she will go out and fight monsters (this is not controlled by the player, not making a battle sim). The player must assist her as best her can, while also trying to win her over.

    The catch of all this is that as a holy paladin she has the ability to detect lies, except it is not working. Something is interfering with her ability, though she doesn't realize this. Thus the player is alone with a woman who knows little of the outside world and believes everything he tells her is the truth.

    This game came about from a discussion with BBBen about 'conversation simulators' like Let Me In. I wanted to do something similar (though with a little less focus on conversation and some more actions available). It's been a process of taking a design, over complicating, starting over and trying to keep as many of the good ideas as I can without making it too complex, etc.

    1. The number of rooms could be reduced by tweaking the plot. Perhaps the paladin has stolen a relic/MacGuffin from some local bandits/goblins. Perhaps she is hiding a young baby from some evil cultists. She takes shelter in your inn, and you barricade yourselves inside, but the enemy has you surrounded. You must kill the enemies, signal for help, and seduce the paladin before your food runs out. This will limit the game to only your inn. You can design some puzzles about MacGuyvering some burning oil, arrows, molotov cocktails, smoke signals, etc.

      The lying things sounds interesting but potentially complex. I will have to think about it for a while.

    2. The idea of lying to a naive paladin sounds like it could be a lot of fun. It reminds me of lesbian nun conspiracies ( ) and treatments for hysteria ( ). I'm not sure a full conversation simulator is necessary. Regardless of whether you go that route or not, you will have to figure out what the possible lies are and how those lies will come up in a conversation. She's not going to spontaneously ask you whether swallowing a man's essence will make her stronger. And the player isn't going to spontaneously type that in. How will that lie be triggered? What are your thoughts on that?

    3. I've actually gone back and forth over some of your ideas. Some of them I disliked, then really liked, then became luke warm on. I appreciate your feedback so let me take each idea one at a time.

      1: The plot limiting the area to a smaller location. This would make the game simpler, but I'm not sure it would be by much (and I've already got some work in). I am considering whether I can think of a way that would make it a quicker design and then to do the game as kind of a 'test' concept.

      2: Rooms. I already have the rooms in, experience with Twine has led to creating rooms really quickly. This game actually has a very simplified format where almost all actions the player can do originate from the same room, so there is not a lot of moving around (it isn't a find items game).

      3: Puzzles. I feel like any simplicity I would save from the earlier would just be added in by this. I see where you are going and it has more of a traditional AIF element of finding/combing the right items. I enjoy puzzles, but usually am not great at designing them. I will keep the idea in mind though.

      4: Paladin and lies: There will be a trust level, if the player just says something outrageous the paladin will realize something is wrong (or in the case of AIF things so out of bounds just won't happen).

      5: Design. Part of the benefit of Twine is that multiple text boxes can be used. This means most of the words in the sentence can already be filled in: ask her about (), tell her that you are (). This minimizes the 'guess the verb' that the player will have to go through.

      Currently the main design is three text inputs, ask, talk, and do. Ask gets her opinion on a subject, do is for actions, while talk brings up a conversation. Talk is for the more complex issues as you lay out above.

      There are two ways that this can be done and I'm currently working on what would be best. Idea 1 is that player brings up a subject. Let's say the player decides to talk about himself. The passage that links to may have one or more text boxes. So it could be 'tell her that you ()' or it could be, 'tell her you are a ()' and 'tell her you believe in ()' and 'tell her you did () in the past'. These text boxes then links to a different passage, so each step narrows down the focus so I can get to more specific answers.

      Just so I don't confuse people, I'm strongly leaning toward the former, I doubt there would be many occasions for having so many options.

      Option 2 (which may work in concert with the above) would start same, but at some point instead of text boxes, a variety of links appear. So, to use Let Me In examples, it could pop up with links: Tell her you are a: Noble, Knight, Innkeeper, Magician, etc. In this case I would just lay out all the possibilities for the player.

      Normally I like links, but I'm kind of set on the text input currently. I feel if I'm going to do it I might as well do it all the way through, if possible.

      6: Implementation of possibilities: I'm going to take BBBen's approach and solicit transcripts from players (I've already coded the game so it logs player inputs) and then program in ideas.

    4. Do you have ideas for at least one simple path through the game though? It would be hard for others to think of ideas without one example of how things would work.

    5. We've largely talked about this before, of course, but I do like the specific scenario of chatting up a paladin girl who thinks you can't lie. Managing the tone may be a little bit of a challenge, of course; Let Me In came out a little bit darker than I had planned just because of the element of having to deceive a gullible girl. Not that it was super dark or anything, but I did intend it to be a rather light comedy.

    6. Lost Trout,

      To clarify something that might be an issue of confusion, the main 'driver' of the story is the paladin. If the player does nothing she is going to go about her purpose. The player can assist in this (or, if I get an evil path in, corrupt it), but that's all he is, an assistant. If this was a fantasy novel she would be the main character and he would be the side character she ran into during one scene of the book.

      But it's not a fantasy novel, it is an AIF. So most of the player's actions amount to 'how to I get a relationship with/spy on/trick/have sex with this hot girl (depending on player prerogative)'.

      So the reason I'm not worried about players being confused by what they can do is most of their actions are centered around her.

      I have brainstormed a few ideas while thinking about this. Another approach I could take instead of the player typing what he wanted to talk about, he could just select a link for talk to, and then she would bring up a random topic for which she would like the player's opinion on. There could then be a list of links with possible answers the player could give.

      If players get confused during beta testing I'll switch to that (the coding for a change like that would be pretty easy).


      There will be the option to play the game being completely honest, though I'm not sure what the ultimate end result will be. I hope to have some kind of karma scale that measures how players behave.

    7. Having the paladin drive the story makes some things easier, but it makes other things harder. If she drives the story, you have to write an artificial intelligence for her. It can be very simple, but it still has to be planned out and written.

      You should carefully structure the environment and events to make things easier on yourself. Having the whole game take place in one room that she can enter and leave should help you avoid having to write any movement code for her. If she follows a strict schedule, that should also simplify things a bit because you can use timers or whatever Adrift uses for that. Sex scenes can happen "out of time" so it doesn't ruin the schedule.

    8. The artificial intelligence is already done. The creation is easy, though refinement can be tricky depending on weighting actions. At it's easiest (the game is in Twine) you just create an array to choose possibilities.

      Also being Twine doesn't use characters in the sense that Adrift does, there is no reason to think of a character as entering or leaving a room. It's easier to conceive of games like in stages where different things are possible and/or happening. Sure from the player perspective it looks like the character is or is not present, but that isn't the approach that the coding needs.

    9. Sounds like you're in good shape then.

    10. Sounds like a lot of fun Archer! I do hope your good path is entertaining as well. What can I say, I'm a sucker for being nice! But there are definitely all sorts of interesting ways you could corrupt her or at least tempt her. Can't wait!

  4. Mine seems a lot less ambitious than everyone else's so far, but as a complete newbie I'd like to do something small well.

    The game is to be set over a weekend, from a Friday night to the Sunday. The player is a man who goes back to his parents' house for the first time in two years and reconnects with an old friend of his: Anna, a neighbour who he had a crush on years ago. The actual story has to do with whether or not they're going to be able to become friends again, and what happens as they're working together on tidying up different parts of the old house.

    I'd like to have scenes in the house, in the garden, the dining room, all with lots of items which can be found which make differences to the plot/sex scenes etc. All very simple, but I'd like to do a small number of rooms and scenes in depth and well, rather than go crazy.

    I hope to include options to take into account how rude/pleasant the PC is, as well as what choices have been made earlier. I'll probably include tracking how much the PC and Anna have drunk as a thing, too.

    I'm tempted to add in other characters as options later, but I'd like to get the world-building and one-on-one interactions and options down pat (and of course, see how long it takes me to actually do them).

    1. It sounds like a good premise. One question out of curiosity before I get to other thoughts, how old is the man? Is this back from college, is this an older worker visiting for the weekend, or someone coming by for a longer period?

      What do you mean by scenes and how are they initiated?

      My two thoughts that might (or might not, up to you) help the early design:
      1: On the ability to be rude, is there a reason? One of the difficulties in making choices is that there has to be a reason for why a player might go a certain path. Either the choice is hard/tricky wherein figuring out the correct path is a matter of skill, or the choice has different consequences and the player is making the choice based on equal paths. Rude just seems like a bad option unless you have some ending planned where the character was a jerk and gets a reward (different sex scene) because of it.

      2: Other characters, there are many factors that influence how hard this will be, but engine and game design probably come out on top. You might want to consider taking a School Dreams 1 approach wherein you have a limited game to start and, if you like it, you expand it later. Yes this makes it very hard (though not quite impossible) to carry over the first game, but it can solve a lot of headaches, and if you are bored with the design after game 1 you can move on but still have a game released.

    2. That sounds really interesting. A few thoughts came into my head while reading about your design ideas.

      1. What are the choices that the player has to do? Is the main challenge of the game to find all the objects that trigger events? Is the challenge of the game to figure out which objects trigger good events and which trigger bad events? Is the challenge of the game in figuring out which order to present the objects to your friend? Your choice can make the game much easier or much harder to design and develop.

      2. Having your friend in the house with you can make things more difficult from a programming and a plot perspective. Does she follow you around? Does she comment on all the things that you do? Or do you have to find items and present them to her to "trigger" an event?

      3. One way to simplify the design would be to separate the "finding of items" from the "meeting your friend." Perhaps, your parents are moving, and you have to pack everything up. You find a few mementos that you think your friend might want. You can pack three of them into a box. Then, you bring the box over to your friend, and you have a linear "date." At various times, you can pull one item out of the box to influence how the date goes. This design is simpler because everything is much more restricted.

    3. Frankie No-Legs5 May 2016 at 13:47

      Thanks both of you for your replies! Sorry for not replying sooner. I'll try and answer things chronologically - although I might not be explaining very clearly.

      By scenes I mean collections of passages, in which the story happens. Because I'm making it in Twine this seemed to be the best way to do it - to have chunks of action where the player can choose what to do and what to say. I hope that makes sense.

      1. As for rudeness: I used the wrong word. I want to give the player choices about what to say, which in context of the conversation will be more or less natural (and affect stats in the background, if I have time).

      2. Yes, I agree with this. Having spent a bit more time on it I'm going to create the base game and have little hooks in it for me to expand on it later if the game is received well (and I'm still interested in it).

      Lost Trout:
      1. As they're going through the house, I'd like there to be choices of what to do, and things to investigate. As for challenge, I hadn't put much thought into working out how to avoid making it too easy - I was fixating on the conversation between the characters. I'll have a think about how add in some challenge without making it too "pick the correct options at all times".

      2. As I'm making this in Twine, I hadn't thought of this as a problem, as if I want her somewhere I can just write her into the passage and control the scene. I might be making this more complex for myself than I need to, though.

      3. I really like this idea. The actual structure of the story is that the PC is going through his parent's old house after they've died, so there's lots of scope for mementoes and things which might trigger old memories with the friend. Thanks!

      I've been reading all of the other comments on stories and they're helping too. Right now I'm trying to brainstorm by actually writing the thing and seeing what sticks story-wise.

    4. I would connect your #1 response to LT with your #3 response. If you've got an element involving exploration of items and interacting with them (say, opening a yearbook or playing a CD) then that could open extra conversation options.

      Rather than making all of the options required, give them all a hidden points value and just require the player to get over a threshold; that makes the challenge a bit less arbitrary and instead just encourages exploration of the backstory.

      That said, searching through mementos for backstory could be really boring for a player. Remember to keep things unexpected and interesting, and don't tax the player's patience. :)

    5. Frankie No-Legs5 May 2016 at 16:58

      The point idea's quite an elegant solution, so thanks for that. Differing points values at different times could lead to different options showing up. And it could work in Twine quite nicely.

      My main concern is avoiding the situation where the optimal solution is 'click on everything' - that's something I'd like to avoid. Ideally I'd like to avoid their being an 'optimal' solution at all - just choices. And I certainly don't want people getting stuck just because they haven't clicked on the right thing - I always hate hunt the pixel challenges in adventure games!

      But I'll definitely make it so that interacting with things opens up other options in conversations and romance - I always like it when things work like that.

      As an experienced writer of AIF, is there anything you try to bear in mind when it comes to not taxing players' patience?

    6. Sure: if something's boring to write then it's probably boring to read too. If it's keeping you interested then it's probably working on some level. Just stick to the good bits and cut everything else. If you can't cut it then try a bit of lateral thinking and attempt to do something the player just won't expect. And failing that... well, it's okay to have a little bit of boring stuff here and there.

    7. Frankie No-Legs5 May 2016 at 21:23

      Excellent, thanks. That sort of tallies with my thoughts, so I'll keep plugging away and then get a rough idea of what's working and what isn't at the testing phase (I seem to remember there was a testing phase on the schedule).

    8. I would specifically not try to design a game so as to make things challenging. Authors always misjudge things and often ruin their games by making it too challenging. Authors are to close to the game designs to know what is challenging and what is not. You should make the game, and then beta-test it, and then have the feedback guide you as to where to add challenge.

      I also wouldn't worry too much about not making things boring. I would err towards leaving out as much content as possible and keeping descriptions short. Once it's playable, you can then have beta-testers tell you what they liked doing, and you can add content there.

      I'm a little bit worried that you're adding too many systems to your game. There's the point value system. There's the memento system. There's triggers for new conversation options. Each system will have to be designed and implemented. There's a chance that all these systems will become a messy mishmash for both you and the players. It might be better to choose a single system, work out the details, nail it down solid, and then add in other systems later if you find you need it.

    9. Having spent a chunk of last night playing around with ideas, I think that for now I'll be using a point value system and also a conversation triggers system. I think I know how to work them together at this point - I've sketched a few things out and worked out how to do them in Twine.

      For now I'm writing a self-contained section of the story with examples from each of the systems, and technically it's working so far. Balancing it as a larger story is something I'll hopefully be able to do as I go along.

    10. Sounds like you are getting a handle on things nicely! I just wanted to also add don't be afraid of doing what you want. If you want it to mainly focus on story, the conversations of the characters, that is fine.

      Most of us playing parser games are used to that sort of exploration/hunting feel, but many times - especially with Twine - you can just tell a really fun story and not make it such a difficult game that you have to track all sorts of things you click on in order to play over and over to find the optimal route.

      Whatever the case ends up being, sounds like a nice game and plenty of room for connecting to the love interest within the house!

  5. Here's my idea:
    You play a guitarist in a local band known as "the Three Horsemen," consisting of yourself and your two best friends.
    You're scheduled to compete in a battle of the bands against another three-piece band, known as "the Riding Valkyries." The game starts just before the competition. Everyone is sitting around the local theater, where the competition takes place.
    Your goal is to seduce the female guitarist, who is a member of the Valkyries. After the competition, if you've managed to seduce the girl... Well... you know what happens after that.

    1. Although I love the idea of a battle of the bands, all of your friends and her friends can add up to a lot of coding. It's still manageable if you make them only minimally interactive (i.e. they stand in one place for the whole game. You can ask them some questions and they always give the same reply). There is also the issue of how to handle time. Your game seems like it might have different time periods: before the competition, during the competition, and after the competition. Each of these time periods would need to be coded completely separately, which triples the amount of work you need to do.

      There might be different scenarios that are similar but with less complexity. Perhaps you and the girl are trying out for a band? That has many fewer people. Perhaps the whole game takes place after you two play a set in a bar (or after a battle of the bands competition)? Then there wouldn't be multiple time periods.

      The main thing you will have to think through, though, is coming up with ideas of how you will seduce the girl. What are you thinking of there?

    2. That's actually a good idea.
      As for seduction, I was thinking of having the player go out on a date with the girl. Seduction will mainly be focused around conversation, and a date is a good excuse for having plenty of conversation.

    3. You should try brainstorming some ideas for what sort of things would happen in the conversation and how that will improve the relationship between yourself and the other guitarist. Once you have some ideas there, you can then shape the scenario to just the minimum that you need to support the conversation. Maybe the whole conversation could happen at your battle of the bands, and there would be no need for a date. Maybe everything could happen during the date (after the battle of bands) and you can leave out the actual battle.

    4. Maybe so. Thanks for the ideas. It's conversation topic brainstorm time.

    5. Just touching on what Trout said, you could also make a bit of a compromise. If the 'meat' of the story is the date, there is no reason you couldn't still include the battle.

      Even if it isn't a puzzle or part of a selection, it could be a brief intro where you describe the battle and that is when you were smitten by their guitarist, possibly giving some description of her and how the player is attracted to her as she played at the concert. Then if you wanted to lighten your load by avoiding all the complications of setting up the date, you could give a quick indication of how you asked her out (or she you) and then jump straight to it.

      Of course if you feel like taking on all that work you could always spread it out and make it longer, but in the spirit of keeping things small and getting things done it might be easier not to ;)

  6. My game idea is pretty simple, You are over your friends house one afternoon in your friends room and his sister comes in, Your friend is really protective of his sister so you have to come up with ways to make him leave the room so that you two can have some private time, I have throught about putting in many activities such as movies and video games etc, that you can put on so you can distract your friend while playing with his sister in the same room, but you have to be careful not to get caught or he will kick you out and not only will you have lost a friend but also a chance to f*** his sister.

    So the idea her is that You should seduce your friends sister without your friend realizing it. I am planing on implementing a range of different objects to mess that might change the length of time your friend is out of the room, but of course he will always come back.

    1. That's a really great idea for a simple, interesting AIF.

      Other than some suggestions for what the player might be able to do I don't have any comments.

      Remind him of housework
      Tell him some kind of event is going on
      Ask for food
      Have someone call him on the phone
      Ask him to grab something you left in the car

      If you write the story so that the sister is into the player from the start, then you have a very straightforward, yet interesting game.

    2. That does sound like fun. I agree with Archer Fifteen. If you have to both seduce the sister and get the sister alone, it could be too much work. If you start with both you and the sister already eager to be with each other, then you can focus on just the mechanic of getting your friend to leave. Afterwards, if you have more time, you can add in the seduction aspect if you want.

    3. Yeah this sounds great, I really like the games where you have a limited time to get stuff done, the tension adds a lot.

    4. I'm with SeattleMan. I've certainly played games where time is frustrating and a terrible element that it would be better without. But for some games it can really work. And in this case, it makes sense for the story.

      The only caution I would take is in unexpectedly screwing the player over and over. You could go the very lenient way of giving context clues that he is returning so the player can stop, or more general ideas (taking a piss wouldn't take long, a shower would, etc.).

      But if the game is focused on repeatedly sending the friend out of the room for unknown times and you just have to replay it over and over to get the exact turn count for everything, some may get turned off by it. Then again, some may love it the same way some love games without maps and pulling out the graph paper! But just something to consider as you write it.

      Anyway, a lot of erotic moments could spring from a game like this! ;)

    5. Thanks for all the great ideas, I think context clues will be added, but will become more and more subtle as the game progresses and your actions become more daring.

      I am also thinking about adding an alert counter for the friend which will go up if he sees you doing anything with his sister or if he sees anything you didn't clean up. If it gets to high he will kick you out. It adds to the secret element of the game.

      I am planning to give the player several obvious options for each situation that will lead to different variations on the situation. I.e. hide in the closet or under the bed. But I hope I can set it up so it will be relatively obvious what the players options are in each situation.

      Which brings me to my question, it is better to set a turn count or to have him return once you progress to a certain action?

    6. You may want to leave the alert counter aside until you have the main game working first. If you're working with Adrift, the timer is probably easier to program than having the brother trigger based on actions.

  7. So I'm currently working on a bigger game that doesn't really fit for the purposes of this exercise so I think I'll start a shorter one that ties in to the bigger game (a prequel of some sort maybe).

    First off the bigger game is just a straightforward sex romp where you play as an employee of a gym and in order to secure a bonus you have to prove your worth to the gym owner by fixing various things, and encouraging several gym members to renew their membership (similar in idea to Generic New York Apartment I suppose).

    But the idea I have for the smaller game is simple in that you've moved in next door to an attractive woman that seems to get turned on by the idea that her neighbor might be watching her... The tricky part with this one will be spacing out the voyeuristic scenes, it doesn't make sense that you'd watch your neighbor doing things like 10 times in one day, so maybe I'll have some mechanic where you watch her in the morning, then go to work, maybe watch at night, etc.

    1. You should work on whatever you feel like working on. The writing salon doesn't really have any rules. It's just a place to hang out and collectively motivate each other to make some progress on making some games.

      The sex romp might actually be easier to make than the voyeur game. Depending on the game engine, handling the aspect of time and voyeurism can be tricky. With a gym romp, it could be more straight forward: find massage oil and have sex, help woman do yoga stretch and have sex, fix sauna and have sex, help woman get aroused while spinning. Most game engines handle these sorts of binary cause and effect relationships really easily. You can just focus on one or two scenarios and build out additional scenarios later.

    2. For your voyeur game, you can add in actions that might prompt a scene like ordering her a pizza or a plummer, or texting her boyfriend to come over (If the player finds his number) but it sounds like it could be fun

    3. How I've got it set up right now (in ADRIFT) is that the day is broken up into 4 sections, morning, work, evening, and sleep. Nothing happens during work and sleep, and the player has a watch they can look at that says what time and day it is. So for example the player wakes up, and maybe catches the neighbor washing her car in her bikini, he ogles her for a bit, and then when finished, goes to work. Time advances to the evening, and maybe the player sees the neighbor out for a jog in skimpy running shorts, etc. I'm handling this with a variable that advances +1 during every time period, so when you look out your window in the morning, you might not see anything but after work (when the time variable has advanced once) you'll see something exciting.

      If anyone knows ADRIFT better than me, is this the best way to do it? It *seems* like it won't be too rough but so far I've only programmed in one day.

    4. One thing I am worried about is finding good ways to interact with the neighbor. Will the game be about finding the right times to look out your window? Or can you just always look out your window and she will be there doing something?

      One alternate approach to a voyeurism game would be to have both you and the neighbor mutually spying on each other. That way, sometimes you have to do something sexy too as a way to flirt with the neighbor. If you do something too sexy, she will be turned off. If you don't do anything, she will lose interest. You might not even need to have any concept of time in the game. There was an AIF game like that before called "1st Time" in 2008 where a couple are having online sex over a webcam. The concept worked really well, and it could work for a voyeur game as well.

  8. You're a Conan (The Barbarian) type in a Barsoom (Princess of Mars) type setting. You're working as a caravan guard and are newly arrived in an unfamiliar city. A pretty girl catches your eye in the market and you chat with her a little bit. If it goes well she invites you to pay her a visit later that night, with the minor caveat that her father will have her hide and your head if he catches you. You do a minor breaking and entering into their estate and Romeo up to her second story bedroom balcony where we tastefully fade to black.

    1. You could easily cut down your work by starting your game outside the estate (or house). If you put the rest into the introduction you could save yourself a lot of work.

      Then add a few challenges to break into the young ladies room and you have yourself an interesting game.

      On another note you could add in an option when you break in to cover your tracks and if you don't then you might get found out and your "cuddling" cut short right before the good part? just a thought.

    2. I like all of this except for the "tastefully fade to black" part ;-)

    3. An intriguing setting! But what are you thinking of for the conversation? Will it be like a dating game where you have to answer questions a certain way so that you seem to have a certain personality? If so, what sort of personality is the pretty girl interested in? What sort of personality is she not interested in?

    4. It might be worth a look at Knight Errant's game A Lady In Waiting (from the 2008 minicomp) - totally different characters and setting but might be something useful in the structure.

    5. I actually really like that idea. I've always been a fan of the Mars series and Conan. Nice job on coming up with an interesting idea.

    6. For research, you might want to check out a throwback-y game called TREASURES OF A SLAVER'S KINGDOM:

  9. I've had this idea bouncing around my head and I understand that it's... rather bigger than I should be aiming for on a first go. Basic premise is a school trip. You are heading out on a Geography field trip for 2 nights and a day (Arrive Friday Night, Saturday, Saturday Night, depart Sunday). I've given some thought to the outline and broken it into scenes.

    Scene 1:
    Bus ride to the trip location. Done through a conversation with your friend (F), which introduces the three women on the trip (students [A and B], and the 20 something teacher [T]), as well as the premise. A map of the hostel you are staying in is provided marked with which girl is in which room. F acts as a guide throughout the game and can be questions when the player is stuck.

    Scene 2:
    Arrival at the hostel where you are spending the night. Dinner and conversation. Getting to know the women.

    Scene 3:
    Friday Night - everyone has retired for the night and this is a chance to go and and 'look around'. Choice between events.

    Scene 4:
    Saturday Day - A day in the field. Everyone has scattered to various locations. A chance to seduce the woman of your choice (depending on previous days).

    Scene 5:
    Saturday Night - a rough repeat of Friday Night, but events suitably modified according to player choices.

    Sunday - leaving. Little to no player interaction - more a score/breakdown of what happened.

    The initial plan would be to try and do the entire thing according to coding best practices so each scene can be build independent of the others. E.g. I might do scene 1 have that pass to a dud scene 2 that immediately passes to scene 3 which is implement, passing through dud scenes 4 and 5 to get to the epilogue. Hopefully by compartmentalising it I could easily add aspect to certain scenes later (the original mental draft had a minibus full of women... common sense lead that to cutting it down to the ones I had mental scenes for).

    Conversations would be choice from a list, and time would only progress at set triggers (you wouldn't be too late to an event if you have met the prerequisites and jumps in time would happen on command [e.g. "sleep"])

    Thoughts? Comments beyond "you madman that's far too much!" and anything pointing out how obviously I am influenced by GoblinBoy (I'm mulling over having F making references to AIF as a sort of author insert...)

    1. As you said this is a large idea but not impossible, I would recommend creating the path for one girl at a time all the way through, eg. On Friday night you could sneak up to her room and watch we masturbate, then you pick the same activity as her on day two and you have to get to know her, then maybe a scene on day three.

      But if you complete one heroine you will have a working game for the Salon, then you can add the other options in later.

    2. Yes, that game definitely seems too big for a first game. Even if you were to attempt it, starting the coding from scene 1 would be a mistake. I would start at scene 4 or scene 5 with only one girl and work backwards. In fact, for such a large game, thinking of it in terms of scenes will make it harder to control its scope.

      If you think about characters instead, it might help you realize what the most important aspects of your game are. Who are the women? Why do you find them desirable? Why do they want to or not want to have sex with you? Why can't you just invite them to your room for sex?

      You might realize that your three women are actually pretty much the same, so you can just have one of them in your game. You might find that certain events and certain scenes aren't relevant for moving the characters together. It's certainly possible to make a game that's just a loose collection of sex scenes with anonymous women, but that's a different type of game than what you've described.

      Please post more details about the women in your game so that we can discuss more.

    3. The issue is that I'm coming into this from the other angle - from the code. It started with me wondering what AIF was missing and the solution that came to mind was procedural generation (welcome to the way my head works). I then though about how that would work and decided some kind of hostel environment where the girls taking part (or in the rooms close to you) would be randomly determined. I thought of a school trip as that limits time frame and give a reason you/your friend know about each and every girl in advance to give you hints (it is also why I use the term girl despite it being in that magical window where people are 18 but still wear school uniforms...).

      Some part of me saw that this was a) insane, b) beyond my coding abilities especially when I don't know the engines inside out and c) insane. But the hostel idea had got itself wedged in my head.

      The compromise I came to was to do a simplified version and work it from there. Of that there are two characters I felt I should focus on. The shy new teacher, and the rocker/punky girl (who might well have a randomised hair colour depending on if I try and investigate that angle and as an homage to a girl I knew whose hair colour changed every time I saw her). However for one of these characters the 'perfect' bitchy blonde in school plays an important part and so she needs to exist so I can juxtapose them. However having thought over your comments I may well make her a character who appears but isn't seducible.

      The whole scene idea is to try and compartmentalise it in my head - it gives clear distinctions between time frames and lets me work on mini goals. By my estimations the workload for scene 1 would be the shortest (it's a conversation on a bus with no movement and a defined end point) and so I would start there.

      The simplest form of the game would involve only one of the characters being seducible [I'm being deliberately vague here] with the one who links to the third being left out.

      Actually simplest outline whilst preserving the grand vision:
      1+2) Text based intro
      3) Friday night event with woman in question
      4) Saturday conversation with them.
      5) Saturday night event.
      6) Text based epilogue.

      Which then following the outline you posted a while back means boils down to:
      1-4) Text based intro and outline of the events that lead to here.
      5) Saturday night event
      6) Text based epilogue.

      Which seems like a far more realistic starting point...

    4. If you're interested in procedural AIF, then you should consider working on that. You can start by making a simple sex scene and then add different variants until you end up with a fully procedural scene. Procedural AIF has actually been tried a few times. Most recently there has been Splendid Ostrich's New Life. Even Goblinboy has made some procedural AIF. School Dreams 1: Camping Trip had a neverending stream of procedurally generated women you could sleep with every time you daydreamed.

      If the school trip game is what you want to do, then do that though. The main thing is to start with something small that you can actually finish and can iterate on until you get a full game.

    5. Huh - I never realised the School Dreams daydreams where randomised. Looking at a sample I see how they where made and it makes sense. I think I will keep the idea of doing something procedural on the back burner. It seems a little like trying to run before I can walk.

      Also I've got that scene listed above mostly mentally planned out now and from there I can see what direction the work takes me.

    6. If you do decide to go with the 'perfect' bitchy blonde (and maybe you should keep her unbangable, but that can also be a fun character) the trick is just to make her character arch an enjoyable one. Nobody likes those girls, even if they do want to have sex with them.

      I would suggest (just based on the way I tend to write such characters) that you want to:
      a) Make her convincingly bitchy, not just say she's a bitch. Then,
      b) Show some vulnerability to humanise her, AND/OR
      c) Have her taken down a peg, potentially as part of the sex.

      Just a suggestion. I do very much like your three choices of female characters - punk girl and teacher as well, although obviously we don't know anything about them yet.

  10. Here's my game Idea (No name so far)

    The concept behind is not to give direct commands, but to influence the subjects emotions with control over their hormones and endorphins.

    Basically, you take indirect control over the subject: A housewife, and mold her mind into a bimbo.

    Interactions in the game include encounters like:

    The housewife accidentally sees her son in the bathroom, the controller (you) can chose to give her a rush of endorphins and Estradiol ( to make her horny, she wouldn't fuck him immediately, but it would make her interested in snooping on him, which would lead to her eventually giving in and fucking him.

    Other encounters would be things like her seeing another girl with implants while on the street, and you could influence her into getting implants herself.

    There'll be situations where you could overload her with a hormone to make her do something way out of her comfort zone, but it'll make her suspicious of her body, and too many will result in a bad end. Also there will be limit to things you can do in a day and week, and she'll lose interest in things she hasn't done in a while. (For instance, if you follow the son storyline to the point she's spying on him masturbating in his room, but you stop following that that for several days/weeks, she'll lose interest in her son, and you'll have to work back up to it.)

    Importantly, no time limit, and potential to do everything given enough time. I'd focus on one storyline, and after that was done branch out into other ones. One branch could be her with her husband, getting progressively more kinky. Another could be a relationship with a neighbor (or his wife)

    1. This sounds like a cool idea, although being quite different from the norm creates challenges with how the gameplay will go. You might run into a problem that the game is quite linear and non-interactive. You just watch what unfolds a lot and occasionally drop in a hormone. You might want to think about how else the player can interact with the game world and what other elements of challenge could be incorporated.

      As for the story, to me the most obvious branches in this scenario would be a) 'general sluttiness' where she just starts to get hornier and hornier about any man she sees who isn't her husband, and b) 'lesbianism' where she starts to turn toward women instead. I know you've hinted in those directions but those paths I've outlined seem like more general ones that would feel like natural directions to me as a player. I will note, however, that if you put a character into an AIF game they immediately become a sexual target of a sort, so just including them is all the hinting you'll need to do to get players to try and hook her up with any of the supporting cast.

    2. I wrote a minicomp game with some similar concepts, and I've been toying with the idea of making another. I think it is possible to write a short game like this, but here are some things you will have to keep in mind.

      1. The actual programming is harder than it seems. There aren't a lot of games like this, so you will have to write a lot of custom code. You have to figure out how to represent a personality in code and how it will influence the story. Different personality traits can interact with each other in strange ways, making things more and more complicated.

      2. You have to spend a lot of time on the game design. You have to design a personality system and tweak all the parameters involved. Since the game design is so strange, you will have to do a lot of playtesting to get it to play well.

      3. Controlling the scope becomes difficult. You want varied things to happen as her personality changes, but if things become too varied, you end up needing to write too many different paths. You should carefully limit the number of locations and number of people in the game so that not too much can happen. Obviously, you want to choose interesting locations with lots of possibilities, but you want to limit yourself to very few. You also need to choose the personality traits to limit what can happen. If you include lesbianism, then you need to include a lesbian sex scene. If you include submissiveness, then you need to include a bondage sex scene. You should aim for more subtle traits that only subtly change how events play out like exhibitionism where she wears more revealing clothes or voyeurism where she becomes more tolerant of other people having sex.

      4. To keep the scope limited, you should think of one "routine" that she does every day. Each day should start the same way and follow the same general path. This routine should be short enough that it isn't boring for the player to play it over and over again. The routine needs to involve some interesting events that can be influenced by changing her personality.

    3. Good advice from LT; I think a daily routine would be very good for the gameplay. Also a couple of character points, it's often easiest to engineer sexual situations if some of the supporting cast are already trying to help out in that regard. Maybe the neighbour is interested in seducing the housewife? What if the neighbour's wife is busily trying to seduce the housewife's son? (Incidentally these might also provide avenues for submissiveness and voyeurism, respectively).

  11. Having started on several "small" TADS 3 AIF games that quickly spiralled into quite large projects, I'm thinking smaller scale for this exercise.

    The setting will be the first class coach of a sleeper train in India over one evening.

    I'm thinking four or five locations and between one and three fuckable NPCs. Possibly a threesome if I can.

    You'd play an opportunistic Western tourist.

    1. The concept sounds interesting, but you should try to flesh out your concept a bit more. Why do you need 4-5 locations? Is it even possible to have 4-5 locations in a sleeper train? What's so special about a sleeper train that it has to happen there? Who are the NPCs? Why 1-3 of them? Why can't it be just one?

      As a general "don't accidentally do something racist" thing, you should make the main character simply be a "tourist" and not a "Western tourist" unless there's a very specific reason why the main character has to be a "Western tourist."

    2. On the last point, I think it's probably fine to make the character a Western tourist and I also think it does effect the writing a bit. After all, what seems exotic to a Western tourist might not seem exotic to an Indian tourist.

    3. I picked a sleeper train because it's a confined location with beds. And because it hasn't been done before (to my knowledge).

      The reason the PC is Western is because I am and (I assume) most of the players will be.

      One of the NPCs will be wearing a sari and choli. Another (non-fuckable) will be a chai wallah.

      If the PC were Indian, there would be little narrative justification for explaining what these things are in the level of detail required for the player to easily interact with them without Googling.

      The five locations I'm planning to use are: two cabins, two corridor locations, and a bathroom.

      I could reduce it to three if I decide to reduce the number of fuckable NPCs to one.

      Having spent some time with TADS, I can tell you that adding new locations adds a negligible amount of extra work compared to adding new NPCs.

    4. I actually meant that you should consider making the nationality of the tourist be ambiguous, similar to how the ages of the young schoolgirls in most games are left unstated. Everyone will assume that the tourist is a Western tourist, but leaving that detail unsaid lets people imagine what they want, increasing the audience.

      Obviously, you can write whatever you want. I just wanted to make sure you didn't _accidentally_ write something that you didn't intend because you didn't think it through. Sexual fantasies often include a lot of regressive stuff like misogyny or rape or racist stereotypes. If your specific sexual kink involves former colonial powers fucking exotic women, then that's what you're going to write. You likely have something else in mind entirely. I just wanted to make sure you thought through what you were writing, that's all.

      It's just that your description of your game leaves out a lot of details. I promised to comment on every post but there isn't much to discuss. All you've said is that there are 1-3 women on a train in India, and the PC is a Western tourist. Who are the three women? What are the scenarios that you're thinking of? Do they just want to have sex with the PC right at the beginning? Is some seduction involved? Is there a puzzle? How does the chai wallah fit in? Does he pass notes around for you? Or give you hints?

    5. There's not going to be much of a story to it.

      PC is simply a horny young man who must do certain things -- such as getting rid of the woman's husband -- in order to get laid.

      The other two NPCs will be German/Swedish backpackers, if I decide to implement them. The chai wallah also wallahs pot.

    6. "The chai wallah also wallahs pot."

      That's got to be some good tea! Will he be spiking the husband's drink? Or the wife's drink? Or will he just sell you some pot that you can share with others?

      If you really want to have a lot of characters in your game, you should consider making the sex scenes be non-interactive cutscenes. That will free up more time for you to implement the extra characters.

    7. Scope small! Don't feel you have to tell an epic for your first (or in any case) story. Scope small and watch how this tiny thing you think is too small expands like a sponge.

  12. I've got a small project that I was thinking of including in this salon, and maybe this is a good time to air it because I'm a little fuzzy on a bunch of elements. It's called "Stupid Cupid"; here's the concept:

    Alison is a nice high school senior who has been dumped by her boyfriend for another girl. At school they start studying Roman mythology and Cupid comes up; Alison criticises his work, only for Cupid to show up and offer to help her out for the day. The only problem is that she has a point: Cupid is kind of stupid and makes a lot of mistakes.

    The game isn't going to have an SSS in the traditional sense, but I plan for it to be very reactive and responsive to player commands. The scenario is quite short but will branch many different ways and lead to a variety of endings. I intend to do something a little bit like what I did with Let Me In by soliciting player transcripts and feedback to create new responses and new branches according to what people try to do. It's not a conversation simulator, though, it's more like a CYOA but I want the choices to be a lot more subtle and not really presented to the player. The story branches off based on a lot of little variables of what you've been doing.

    Gameplay will be set in one room (the classroom) and will include a few main characters, Alison (the player), Cupid, Billy (the ex), Haley (his new gf) and Mr Hooper (their teacher).

    Yes to pictures (some, anyway), no to voice acting. I also don't want this project to take away too much time from development of Pervert Action: Legacy, obviously, so it's really a sideline and I'm going to keep it small. I've been running two private live AIF games already to start to develop the idea, so I've got a little bit written by now, as well as character designs for Alison and Haley (although I may change Haley).

    1. Sounds intriguing. But it's unclear in my mind how the game would actually work. What can you ask Cupid to do? What are his powers?

    2. The idea is that you can try whatever you like. The scenario is short, so hopefully it will be very responsive to your experiments. Cupid won't necessarily do ask you ask or do a good job, of course. His main thing is that he can shoot people with his arrows, but whether he'll shoot the right person or get the result you want is another matter.

    3. I don't want to give away too much about the potential plot twists up front, you see. But Cupid's arrows make people feel love or passion (he's the god of affection and erotic love, after all) and he can target them specifically to love someone, or have a kind of generalized passion effect, depending on what he wants when he fires it.

    4. It could be also interesting if Cupid is truly stupid or if the results at the end make sense, but this depends if you want multiple ends, if there are all change.

    5. Ah, yes, you're getting ahead of things there! There will be multiple endings but Cupid may still have more on his mind than he hints.

      I'm wondering whether I should reveal the main plot twist, since it's required for every branch.

    6. I like the Cupid idea. Especially if it causes plot tangles like MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM.

    7. I've always wondered what a modern day Cupid would look and act like - I always picture him Rambo'd up with an assault rifle and wisecracking like a New York cabbie.

      I assume Stupid Cupid is written in Adrift?

    8. Yes, I'm going to write it up in ADRIFT 5. I would like to try a new engine one day, but it'll likely be something totally different if I do that, like Game Maker (probably not RPG maker, though - there's too much of that about).

      As for Cupid, I like your idea, although I've gone with a classic Cupid look. He does have a bit of a modern attitude, though.

  13. I don't know if any of my current WIPs qualify for the salon, but I'd love to eventually submit them somewhere.

    My current is called "Breeding Princesses of the Planet Lesbonicon" which almost writes itself. The idea behind the game is that it's part 82 of an overzealous fantasy sex novel series (think "Gor" in space) so it is one random episode with a lot of implied off-stage already-happened backstory and worldbuilding. Trick of this: the PC is female which a lot of AIF players don't care for.

    At some point I want to revisit Fucking Monster Bash which is a frat-house romp with supernatural/fantasy elements that creep in, and perhaps a chance to bone your favorite stock movie monsters.

    I've also had in mind a similar short game called "Bodiceripper" which is all flushing manners and overwrought prose (once again starting at the "good part" of a longer romance novel) where you play the outrageously inept bad guy in the novel and have to seduce the virgin before her wedding whilst overcoming some ridiculous obstacles including a talkative chaperone, several attack dogs, a handsome Portuguese stablehand, and your shrewish wife.

    1. Of course you're welcome to join in. Since you're an experienced author, I don't think you'll benefit much from the Writing Salon events itself, but feel free to discuss your progress at the Salon, and you should definitely submit your finished games to the AIF Minifest at the end.

      I think most AIF players would be more than happy to play a female PC. I'm sure there's people who are not part of the AIF community who would be very interested in playing as a female PC as well. The more variety of stories there are in the AIF community, the more likely it is that people will be able to find stuff that satisfies their particular sexual kinks.

      Your ideas for games with pulpy atmosphere sound like a lot of fun.

      Your Bodiceripper idea is hilarious. The title might not match the content quite right though because when I think of bodiceripper novels, I literally think of bodice ripping. Those old-style historical romances usually have aloof, stern male love interests who are so overcome by a woman's charm that they will act...forcefully, like Rhett and Scarlett in Gone with the Wind or like the Phantom and Christine in Phantom of the Opera.

    2. I'm not so much experienced at AIF (published one...and a half?) but the motivational part would be helpful. Just you feedback on my projects has fast-tracked these a bit on my mental stove.

    3. Oh, and the "bodiceripper" idea stems from when I worked in a bookstore and we used to play "open the book to a sex scene" in the romance section when bored. 2/3rds of the way was always a good bet!

    4. Frankie No-Legs5 May 2016 at 21:27

      I do particularly like the BodiceRipper idea - they're so ripe for being used and abused. If you want to go for it, there's loads of opportunity to be funny and ridiculous: it's all right there in the source material!

    5. I'm hoping (and actually expecting) that players aren't going to have a big problem with playing as a female PC. I think that's maybe an overstated problem - just make the PC sexy and male players will be interested in making her do sexy stuff. I do look forward to seeing what "Breeding Princesses of the Planet Lesbonicon" is actually about. :)

    6. Well...there's these princesses...and they live on a planet called Lesbonicon...and...they breed...


    7. I've heard of male players saying they don't like playing female characters because that tends to make them have to "act gay" and usually end up having to seduce men or be on the "receiving" end of action.

    8. This is part of the reason all of the girl/guy scenes I'm doing might have to be optional. I don't think players mind a female PC in general (they're happy to play as Lara Croft etc.) but seducing a guy is borderline. I hope they have no problem with lesbian scenes, 'cos they're mandatory.

    9. A game doesn't have to please everyone.

      You can write your game from a third person perspective so that the male players don't feel like they are personally the female protagonist.

      There's a big difference between a game written with a female PC for the male gaze and a game written with a female PC for the female gaze. I've written a couple female-perspective games, and I don't exactly go into elaborate descriptions of cocks and manly chests and what all the ridges of a cock feels like sliding in one's mouth. It's more about how hot the woman is and how she slobbers saliva over a penis and coos softly when entered.

    10. That's a good point - the perspective matters a lot and whether she has a name and personality already defined for you to direct compared to a nameless avatar to inhabit.

    11. That's a good point. I have to make sure I'm not just writing a man in a female body.

    12. I can certainly see the appeal of actually having your game played by a larger fanbase, having them enjoy it, and feeling it was 'worth it' more so than finishing a game and hearing only crickets. ;)

      But, for me at least, I'd say do what you want - this is a hobby for most, not a job, so you need only make yourself happy. No stockholders or people signing the check. Just for fun, and you are more likely to finish what you enjoy.

      And honestly all the ideas sound like they have plenty of room for creativity. The monster bash obviously opens up the world of monsters and creatures and magic, so a good easy source of variety right there. And having an entirely made up planet with the possibility of alien life forms, cultures, etc. leaves that wide open as well.

    13. Come to think of it re: female PCs, there's a psychological difference between typing in the command "suck cock" and clicking on a link of the same phrase, even if the resulting text is the same.

      I do like the Bodiceripper idea - some kind of ludicrous over-the-top parody of Moll Flanders or Fanny Hill with scenery and genital chewing.

    14. "Come to think of it re: female PCs, there's a psychological difference between typing in the command "suck cock" and clicking on a link of the same phrase, even if the resulting text is the same."

      For me at least, this statement is true not just for female PCs, but about AIF in general.

  14. So I've changed tactics a bit for my game, I'm no longer going for a voyeur style thing (although that aspect will probably still be part of it), I'm now going for a more standard dating sim style thing, where different actions will increase your relationship score with your neighbor, opening up more actions/events. I think this will be a little simpler for me to write, and the player will be more active instead of just reacting to what the neighbor is doing. I don't think an entire game where all you can do is peek out your window would be super exciting

    1. Why don't you work on your gym idea? Depending on how elaborate the sex scenes are, you could at least finish programming one or two women from your game. If you go with simple puzzles, then it should be even easier to program than a dating sim.

      Your voyeur game idea has a lot potential too. Like I said earlier, the "1st time" game really shows that you can get a lot of interactivity between two people even if they aren't in the same room. You watch her doing yoga outside in tight yoga pants. She watches you doing yard work in a tight shirt. She sun bathes outside for you. You fix something outside without a shirt on. She sun bathes topless. You wear some tight bicycle shorts or a speedo that leaves nothing to the imagination. She eats a banana. You eat a papaya. She leaves her drapes open when she changes. You leave your drapes open when you take a shower. She rubs one out. You rub one out. There's lots of possibilities for interactivity in a voyeur game.

    2. Just peeking out the window not exciting - look what Hitchcock did with REAR WINDOW. Keeping up with people's secret lives is a thing *many* people would do if they could get away with it. Imagine a paparazzo with an injury "working from home" across from a populated apartment building where celebrities live. Timing the surveillance of the building and learning people's schedules to get the best pictures and who's having affairs with whom...and don't get caught when people are just gazing out and might spot you.

    3. I guess to me the voyeur thing doesn't have much of the I in AIF, just watching isn't too interactive. The idea of a paparazzo keeping tabs on the neighbors sounds really cool, maybe selling photos to a magazine, etc. but that's not really the game I'm working on.

      I like SOME voyeurism and it'll definitely play a part in my game! I guess I've just moved on from that idea a bit? It seemed a bit limiting

    4. How do you interact with the neighbor? Do you go on a date with her? Or are you both standing in your yards talking with each other? Or are you just wandering into her house and hanging out with her? Netflix and chill?

    5. I think all of the above!

    6. I'd be concerned about scope-creep. This neighbor idea has potential, but it's even bigger and less-well defined than your previous ideas of the gym game and voyeur game. Going on a date, talking in your yard, and netflix and chill are three separate games. Putting them into a single game would be a multi-year Goblinboy project. You should try to pull in the focus a bit. Maybe some voyeurism followed by a netflix and chill?

    7. Hmmm, you're probably right! In my mind it doesn't *seem* that big, but isn't that how it usually goes? I suppose that's part of the point of this writing salon though, to help find a project that's manageable.

    8. Definitely! Also a lot of it will just have to come with experience, no doubt. And as to how deep each thing gets.

      Having a simple choice of what to do for the night and giving those options with a generic response and what happens isn't a huge deal (a quick summary and +2 to relationship, etc.).

      Having unique, interactive scenes where a lot is going on and decisions can impact things, possibly leaking into other scenes, can add quite a bit more work. Load up on these and things can get complicated quick enough.

      But I think as you play with the system yourself and see how things are going will mean a lot.

  15. I'm thinking of making a game where you are a genie ^_^. I call this concept Little Shit, but don't worry, there is no scat play involved (shutters). So how does it work?

    A business woman just happens to acquire a magic lamp from her antiquing club. She learns that she has a genie (the player) and begins her plots for world domination. She goes about her workday, but when she returns from lunch she gets stuck in an elevator. And in the elevator is of course an average Joe type who works in the building.

    So there is an interesting socioeconomic dynamic between the two. In short the business woman is far out of the guy's league. Being stuck together in such tight quarters does change things to a degree though. There are several points where the player can interject to make the situation more interesting (semi anonymous fucking).

    Hopefully this is a clear explanation of the idea.

    1. The relationship between the genie, woman, the average Joe is still a little unclear to me. Is the genie helping the woman or the man or both or none? Is the woman interested in the man? Is the man just some guy who happens to be in the elevator at the same time or do the two know each other? Is having sex with the man supposed to be a form of comeuppance for the woman because she's not very nice or are they just having sex or is there some romance going on?

    2. It sounds like a fun idea (not far from the kind of aesthetic of Stupid Cupid, in fact) although I am also a little foggy on the concept. I take it the player is acting to push the business woman toward having sex with the average Joe? That would suggest a voyeur oriented game, or one where the line between PC and player become a little blurred? I like the originality of that; it's something that others have been discussing for this mini-fest and I think it has a fair bit of potential, even if it's not the pre-existing norm.

      Also, I'd suggest changing the name. :) I think you'll mislead people about what's in the game otherwise. Something like "Little Bastard" (or, channeling Bart Simpson, "Li'l Bastard") might work better. Or something else entirely, I just don't suggest having "shit" anywhere near the name. Maybe that's just a working title anyway, I don't know.

    3. Thanks for the questions. This actually already helps me iron out more details in my mind.

      >The relationship between the genie, woman, the average Joe is still a little unclear to me. Is the genie helping the woman or the man or both or none?

      Yes. The player decides what the genie is going to do or not do.

      >Is the woman interested in the man?

      Based on the class difference between them, she practically doesn't even notice him at first. Likewise the man wouldn't dare flirt with a powerful woman who could easily have is job if she wanted. Being stuck in the elevator together balances that dynamic to a degree.

      >Is the man just some guy who happens to be in the elevator at the same time or do the two know each other?

      They are both strangers at the start of the game. The man does know that she is important but doesn't know her in any way. I forgot to mention that she is a power business woman.

      The genie uses magic to completely learn everything about her the moment that she opens and gains control of the magic lamp (the beginning of the game). I hope this can simplify revealing the businesswoman's character through a dialog between the genie and her, and as she works out her wishes.

      If the guy happens to gain control the lamp, the genie would gain a complete knowledge of him also.

      >Is having sex with the man supposed to be a form of comeuppance for the woman because she's not very nice or are they just having sex or is there some romance going on?

      Yes. Again this is ultimately something that the player will control. Is she a good person or bad person? Is the man better than her or worse as a person? Does it even matter? Hopefully these questions can be answered by choice in the game.

      I've read a few stories where a rigid or mean female is blackmailed or forced into sex for whatever reason. I don't want to do that. I talk a little more about it one of the following answers.


      >not far from the kind of aesthetic of Stupid Cupid, in fact

      Eek. I posted my idea before reading through what had been posted so far. Hopefully having another game told from the 2nd person perspective to compare against will be useful for our individual efforts. Not that you need any help ;).

      >I take it the player is acting to push the business woman toward having sex with the average Joe? That would suggest a voyeur oriented game, or one where the line between PC and player become a little blurred?

      Creating an environment where sex is inevitable is definitely an option for the player. As the genie trope goes, any wishes that are made are highly open to interpretation by the genie ^_^. And even things that aren't explicitly wishes are fair game for action by the genie, perhaps even thoughts. But I want to be careful to avoid it being a forced result. I want it to be more like these people have no reason not to get it on, so the question becomes what kinds of things can the genie do to remove barriers to that.

      As for perspective the genie will only observe what happens. The down side of this is that there will be less fine grained control of how sex plays out. I might be able to change that if the genie were to control a party, but I would have to justify that somehow.

      >Also, I'd suggest changing the name. :) I think you'll mislead people about what's in the game otherwise. Something like "Little Bastard" (or, channeling Bart Simpson, "Li'l Bastard") might work better.

      I really like 'Lil Bastard' for the game title. 'Little Shit' is just the working title in my mind.

    4. Oh, don't worry, your game and Stupid Cupid are pretty different (you don't play as Cupid in my game, but as the girl, for example). I was just remarking on how the idea of a small, magical mischief maker is a common theme between the two.

      Oh, and by the way, Stupid Cupid is a very experimental game for me and I don't know if it's going to work, so help is always welcome. :)

    5. Having the game take place in an elevator is an odd choice because there isn't anything in the elevator that can be used as a jumping off point for sexual situations. They can try to climb out of the elevator but that's all I can think of. You could argue that the genie has the power to change anything. All their clothes could disappear, for instance. If that's the case, you need to flesh out the nature of the genie's magic. What are the limitations of the power that prevent the genie from simply making them have sex right there? It might be useful for you to actually write out a sketch of the plot for yourself (of one possible playthrough of the game) to help yourself figure out how all the pieces will fit together.

    6. Somebody has never been trapped in an elevator. I used to laugh at stories about being trapped until it happened to me. After an hour, it was very nerve wracking.

      I could only imagine how stressful it would be for someone who is claustrophobic. They would probably need "comforted".

    7. I wrote a whole screenplay that was set all but 20 minutes in an elevator. If people think they're going to die anyway, you'd be surprised what ideas they come up with to pass the time. :)

    8. One of my first game ideas years ago was titled "Going Down" and set in an broken elevator, but with a real-time countdown to when it would get going again. It didn't have much more thought behind it than a hot chick in an enclosed space for ten actual minutes but it still sits in my ideas folder just in case.

      Sounds like you've got the character dynamics down to a clear vision.

      Do they form a relationship once the sex and the game is over? Or is it just a coming together and then going their separate ways? Does the genie/player have a motive beyond causing mischief or is he being directed by the woman's wishes?

    9. >Having the game take place in an elevator is an odd choice...

      Well in my mind if you have two characters who share a physical attraction with each other and happen to be stuck together in a room by themselves with not much else to do, sex is likely. My goal is to have the player/genie tilt the scales in different ways and see how the characters react.

      >You could argue that the genie has the power to change anything. All their clothes could disappear, for instance. If that's the case, you need to flesh out the nature of the genie's magic. What are the limitations of the power that prevent the genie from simply making them have sex right there?

      The genie is a servant first and foremost. Although the genie is virtually omnipotent in the ability to grant wishes, they can't do anything of their own will. But there is some fine print to that. The genie can read all of the thoughts of their master, and so can interpret those private thoughts as wishes, which leads to some mischief.

      Basically I plan on being subtle with the genie's powers (although I have a gimmick planned for a mistaken wish that causes instant full nudity ^_^). As an example, say the woman complains in her thoughts about the temperature being too cold in the elevator. The genie could interpret that as a wish and turn off the air ventilation coming through the elevator shaft, causing the temperature to rise. In time the characters would have to loosen their clothes bit by bit while trying to remain somewhat decent. This eventually turns the elevator into a sweaty sauna with all the implications that implies.

      >I used to laugh at stories about being trapped until it happened to me. After an hour, it was very nerve wracking.

      Seems there is a best case and worst case scenario for using an elevator. Okay I guess the 'real' best case is just getting to your destination quickly and safely. But the fantasy best case is what I'd like to make this game into. It's like a gap in the universe sets the stage for two strangers to come together in a trying situation, literally.

      I hadn't made a direct connection in my mind about how or if the characters would go from stressed-out to horny. But I can definitely see one character comforting another as an interesting plot. I'll have to look more into how claustrophobia could play a role in the scenario. Thanks ^_^

      >I wrote a whole screenplay that was set all but 20 minutes in an elevator...

      Fear is another idea that I hadn't thought of. Me thinks having one of the characters cling to the other as the elevator seemingly hangs by a thread could make for a yummy situation. It will really take some thought to figure out how the genie could justify cutting the ropes though. Perhaps the elevator could already be damaged and the genie would be in place to stop the elevator's collapse.

      >"Going Down"

      Genius ^_^. I think the real-time element might make that game a challenge to build, but I definitely dig the concept.

      >Do they form a relationship once the sex and the game is over? Or is it just a coming together and then going their separate ways?

      Ideally this should depend on how the encounter goes. But if I don't have time to do as much as I'd like (a high possibility) it may only end up being a one time fling.

      >Does the genie/player have a motive beyond causing mischief or is he being directed by the woman's wishes?

      The woman's wishes prompt the genie's actions. But the player should have freedom to interpret those wishes as they see fit.

      If the game ends up being a CYOA the player would hear the woman's thoughts or the conversation between the man and the woman and then be presented with options to act in in some way or not at all. If the game is parser based I imagine there would be a command to peer into the woman's thoughts or listen, and then act.

    10. Since the game occurs entirely in one location with no items and since it has a strong time-based aspect and unusual mechanic of being able to read minds and use strange powers, this is definitely a strong candidate for being implemented as a CYOA. Only an experienced programmer would be able to make something like this in a traditional parser game engine.

    11. I agree with Trout on that one. Normally I am a much bigger fan of using parsers - not for any technical reasons, just personal preference - but I can't see any reason to do so here.

      Everything will be in the one room (or mostly so), so the idea of exploration or checking out tons of items doesn't seem needed. 'Guessing the verbs' and how to phrase things is often one of the major weaknesses of parsers, and it sounds like this one would be full of them!

      Not that you couldn't have a multiple choice game within a parser (there are addons/scripts/libraries out there to do just that), but it seems unnecessary in this instance.

      Getting a thought, a list of options in how to interpret it, the response, and so on is just asking for Twine or similar programs to create CYOA.

      Oh, and very interesting idea by the way! I had a similar one started where you were a ghost and influencing a family's actions, starting with small things and moving up, but like the rest it sits in an unfinished pile ;) Best of luck!

  16. Hey all,

    There's this game I've had in mind for a while now and it is potentially too big to be inside the scope of the salon's aim of concentrating on smaller games in order to Get Things Done, but I'd still like to get involved in the whole salon aspect for at least the sex scenes, discussing and getting advice and feedback of the mechanics and writing. I suppose I'm just as interested in the process of making the game as much as the act itself.

    So, a Twine CYOA called "Hitwoman".

    You play a young secret agent/assassin who finds herself chasing a fellow female agent, who seemingly vanished from the academy some months earlier without warning and leaving your budding relationship in tatters - now graduated, you discover she has resurfaced and gone rogue, and your superiors order you to retrieve her, dead or alive. Thus your first routine mission soon turns into a globe-trotting series of encounters as you seek to track her down and bring her back in from the cold. Along the way you'll need to use all of your womanly attributes and wiles to seduce and ultimately kill the various bad guys and girls that hold each piece of the puzzle.

    Something like that, anyway. Female PC, so similar number of girl/girl and girl/guy scenes, branching paths and choices impacting on later scenes, etc., and all that CYOA stuff. By and large I have it plotted out with all the story beats along the way, with just the specifics of each scene to pin down and things like who all the characters actually are. I have each location/scene largely independent from each other so they can be written in any order and linked together afterwards.

    It might sound ambitious on paper, but One Last Day Day had just one sex scene, in TADS, and this has about five, in Twine, plus a similar number of locations, which feels like it balances out the workload. If I keep disciplined I should be able to get, at the very least, a truncated-but-playable-from-start-to-finish-and-hopefully-coherent version by the end of the salon. I haven't (so far) done a female PC or a lesbian scene, so that's new territory.

    Thoughts? Advice? ("Don't use a female PC!" "Don't make it so big!" "Make it bigger!")

    1. If each location is independent, maybe you could release the game as episodes? Then, once all the episodes are done, you could stitch them together into a mega-game.

      Do you have to seduce the bad guy at each location? Could a location be solvable in different ways be seducing different people depending on who you find attractive? That is likely too much work though. A no-seduce path might be nice just for completeness. Your writing is strong enough that some people might want to play your game just for the writing and skip the sex (Having unusual alternate paths can backfire though. Apparently, some people played through my Nat Dewey mystery game without realizing that you're supposed to solve mysteries in it).

      Is it possible to hear more details of some of your story beats or are you keeping those secret for now?

    2. I don't know your story beats, so I don't know what you're thinking, but have you considered one large location but with multiple paths through it? These stories always have some conspiracy where your own organization is filled with double-agents. Maybe the location could be resort where an important peace conference is happening. The bad people and good people and your assassin friend are all there but can't leave. Who do you seduce? Who is in on the conspiracy? Who is trying to assassinate whom?

    3. > If each location is independent, maybe you could release the game as episodes? Then, once all the episodes are done, you could stitch them together into a mega-game.

      I wouldn't call it a mega-game, but the story does lend itself to an episodic model, so that's a viable option, particularly with the 'bad guy' scenes. It's possible to release the game initially including only one of them plus tweaks and still have a complete story with the beginning and end unaffected. Originally I was going to do it in TADS, and that would have spiralled into a mammoth undertaking (not undoable, but a long-term project nonetheless), but now I've switched it to Twine it can be a more straightforward and manageable CYOA. Most of the scenes aren't terribly long.

      I was planning largely one path through the game itself, with little changes here and there for flavour, but the scenes themselves having multiple branches through.

      > A no-seduce path might be nice

      Sex might not always be the most effective path (should be most fun though...) but yes, that is something I'd like to include, possibly not at first, and partly for story reasons and partly so anyone can skip around if they aren't keen on the content. I am aware girl/guy scenes might not be to everyone's taste, though at least none of them will be forced sex. You'll be the one in control throughout. It was of course entirely possible to play One Last Pay Day without seeing the sex scene (quitting halfway excluded) though at least two scenes here will be mandatory (both girl/girl). Even my Big TADS Game with at least eight separate scenes can still be completed without taking part in any of them. Regardless of the optional paths, the sex should still be front and centre and a choice to avoid it rather than by accident.

      A rough scene breakdown currently looks like (heavily spoilerific):

      1) Intro scene of you on your first mission, told to assassinate a particular target. Using clues you can either spare his life, shoot him or work out the real target and shoot them instead. Either way the original target is still shot by somebody.
      2) Flashback lesbian scene with female agent at the academy (I really must name these characters). Just as it reaches its climax she is called away by your superiors and never seen again.
      3) Meeting with said boss who tells you the other assassin is the former female agent, and that she has gone rogue. You are tasked with bringing her in as you were the closest to her.
      4) Three story missions played in any order where each bad guy or girl in each exotic location has a clue to her whereabouts. Various options to achieve this, be it sex, just seduction, intimidation, torture, sneaking around, etc, then kill them off or spare them when the job is done. I'm thinking a casino, a Caribbean yacht and a strip club?
      5) In between each mission another short flashback in reverse chronological order showing the growth of your relationship with the female agent at the academy from first meeting to becoming lovers. Possibly non-interactive.
      6) Confrontation with female agent, before which your boss reveals that they brain washed her to be a super soldier and then lost control of her. Turns out she is assassinating the scientists who did it to her. After incapacitating her, you must remind her of her previous life by replicating the content of the flashback scenes including the climax you never got the first time around.
      7) Something to wrap it up, no idea what yet.

      (Forget all that when actually playing it. I did realize the futility of writing the synopsis spoiler-free initially.)

      > These stories always have some conspiracy where your own organization is filled with double-agents


      Cheers for the feedback.

    4. Sounds like a pretty interesting game. I really like the episodic idea for the future, though I'm not sure how much it would add in reality - just sounds fun. Like the ability to add new locations/characters, but if you wanted to keep it manageable you could still only require 3 (or how many ever you decide) to be completed to finish the game.

      Your locations seem to fit well enough as they have in games, movies, and stories. I guess, really, just about anywhere could though. A small island where they thought they could hide out, a European city so often seen in the movies (be one in France, Italy, Britain, or elsewhere), a large aquarium, all sorts of possibilities!

    5. Can the plot be tightened up some more? It seems a sprawling. Are scenes 1 and 5 really needed? Even scene 4 looks like it might not be necessary to the plot. Does the government give a cover story for why the former agent has to leave the academy when they take her for brainwashing? If not, people will become suspicious. Perhaps the agent has to pretend to "drop out" and is torn by having to leave her lover, but she's really convinced it is important? If the former agent assassinates someone who you're supposed to assassinate anyways, how does that make her rogue? Shouldn't she assassinate someone who's supposedly good like people from your agency? It's hard to forgive a cold-blooded assassin who kills good people at the end of the story, so you might want to make it so that she steals something important instead? It's not entirely clear to me that the scientists who did the brainwashing are actually evil. And who is protecting her that you need to run around to all these locations to find her? Is she brainwashed to be evil at that point? Or is she simply operating as a rogue agent from the brainwashing group at that point?

      It's just not clear when she's good and when she's evil, which of the people she's killing are good or evil, or whether the PC is doing good or evil stuff. If she's killing evil scientists, that makes her good, right? That means the people protecting her are also good, so why are you assassinating them to find out where she is? Doesn't that make you evil then?

    6. Ha, yeah it sounds fuzzy when delivered in such short form. All good questions to ask, honestly. This is helping to clarify my thoughts to myself as well. In fact, I've made a few alterations to the game based on your questions highlighting potential flaws and giving me something to chew over. Thanks! My storyboard looks a little tighter now.

      Again, hugely detailed spoilers abound! And I realise as an AIF the sex is vastly more important than the plot that serves it. That gets written first and the story around it. I don't want to lose sight of that.

      To be clearer, as far as the salon goes I'll just be concentrating on scene 2 and one of 4, and quietly beaver away at the rest until it's a coherent whole.

      > Are scenes 1 and 5 really needed?
      > If the former agent assassinates someone who you're supposed to assassinate anyways, how does that make her rogue?

      Nobody has names yet, so let's call the other female 'Agent X' for now...

      I know as it stands scene 1 will go through a few more revisions and rewrites being the weakest sounding part currently but I do feel the game needs some shortish initial scene to act as a present-day introduction to the PC's current world and personality and to set up the motivations for the rest of the story.

      Gameplay suggest dodgy intel and possibly faked orders, so you have to decide whether they even are your intended target (they aren't) or a case of mistaken identity. Truth revealed in scene 3.

      The following contrasting flashback(s) give backstory (and a sex scene!) of your relationship. Choices made during these are referred back to in the final scene as part of the sex scene to reverse the brainwashing and whether it succeeds or fails.

      > Even scene 4 looks like it might not be necessary to the plot.

      You're mostly correct on that point; they're more sandbox-y areas to play around in and do assassin/spy stuff (plus sex scenes), acquiring the MacGuffins to unlocking the final scene (encryped intel? Doesn't make much difference). They're the meat of the game and where the most interactive parts happen in an otherwise linear and unbranching story. They break up the various flashbacks and provide better pacing than jumping straight to the end too quickly. Being largely independent of each other I only need to do one first for the initial version and slot others in later.

      > Does the government give a cover story for why the former agent has to leave the academy when they take her for brainwashing?

      After a tweak it's more of a fictional independent academy to train freelance assassins rather than any official/government agency thing; something with more of a college feeling with classes and dorms and teachers.

      But yeah, the 'official' reason given is she was expelled due to fraternization with a fellow student (you) which you feel guilt over your part in seducing her. The events between the flashback and the present day are told through dialogue in scene 3 - that she was selected to be turned into a 'super assassin' involving an experiment removing emotions, empathy, memories of you. It doesn't quite work and she instead rebels and goes rogue, vowing to get revenge on those responsible. I'm not sure the details matter too greatly, or that the player will question it much beyond it being A Thing That Happened off-screen and now your job is to sort it out one way or the other.

    7. > It's hard to forgive a cold-blooded assassin who kills good people at the end of the story
      > It's not entirely clear to me that the scientists who did the brainwashing are actually evil.
      > And who is protecting her that you need to run around to all these locations to find her?
      > Is she brainwashed to be evil at that point?
      > It's just not clear when she's good and when she's evil

      I'd rather avoid anybody being straight evil - Agent X was brainwashed, albeit not entirely against her own will. In her altered state she's on a personal crusade to kill the people she deems have wronged her (the scientists), and you're ordered to stop her. It really comes down to whether you as the player consider assassins inherently evil people, just that her orders come from within rather than other people. Maybe you don't or can't forgive her.

      You'll have to decide what to do with her at the final scene - reverse the brainwashing by completing the aborted sex scene from the flashback (and have her deal with the consequences of her actions now she has her memories and emotions back) or follow your orders and terminate her. If you do 'awaken' her, do you turn her in to the authorities, or defy your bosses and run away with her into the sunset?

      The scientists are certainly unethical, but again, they're already training killers and this was a failed experiment to make them even better, and are now being bumped off by their subject. Agent X was misled about parts of the procedure, but complicit in the aim.

      The bad guys are typical movie stereotype criminals being used by Agent X as a means to an end in her quest, who all happen to have information you need to extract. I wouldn't say they're protecting her. With the right persuasion they'll give up the intel, then you can deal with them as you see fit. You don't need to kill anyone during the game.

      There were several comments about One Last Pay Day, inferring Keira being 'evil', though I didn't intend for her to be viewed that way. She's amoral, pragmatic, greedy, and maybe something of a psychopath, but not evil. I'd like to see if I can do better with the writing this time around.

    8. I just seems a little unsatisfying that the reason why Agent X is assassinating everyone is simply that she's crazy now that she's brainwashed. It would be more satisfying if she did have some tragic need for vengeance: they test her brainwashing by getting her to assassinate her family or the process horribly disfigures her or the process makes her infertile or they replace many of her internal organs with mechanical monstrosities or her life is shortened to only a few more years or they control her by requiring her to drink an antidote they produce every few days and she doesn't like that or they tell her to assassinate one person but with her altered mental state, she takes that to mean she should assassinate everyone connected to that one person such as family and associates too or she originally wanted to become an assassin due to some childhood trauma and that resurfaces during brainwashing in some strange way.

      > And I realise as an AIF the sex is vastly more important than the plot that serves it

      I usually argue the opposite. The Writing Salon focuses on sex scenes because they are small, self-contained, and very similar. Beginner authors have trouble finishing anything, so if you can only finish one thing, then it might as well be the sex scene. When I play AIF, I normally just skim through the sex scenes. If the characterization is good, I'm usually satisfied just knowing that the characters finally have sex.

  17. Ok, Lost Trout and others have talked me out of my probably too ambitious game. So I'm dusting off an old idea I had about meeting an attractive young woman on a hike. Good thing is that I already have the first chunk of this written out. The problem is though, I can't think of any good ways to gamify this. They get lost? The player has to somehow follow her to a secluded cabin? Also how what's a good way to convincingly write a random hookup with strangers that doesn't rely on the "Hey, you found my phone/hat/book/etc, let's fuck!" trope?

    1. You could always make them meet at the beginning of the hike then you have to solve a few puzzles as you progress through the map. Depending on how the player solves them you could gain positive or negative relationship points. At the end of the game you might happen upon a secluded area and if she likes you enough go for a tumble in the underbrush.

      An example of a puzzle could be choosing between climbing a pile of rocks or going through a cave, where if you climb the rocks you might accidentally slide rocks down on her or if you took the cave you might get attacked by bats (Could be prevented by an item)

    2. Another approach is to not gamify the relationship. Not even Bioware has found a way to gamify a romance without it detracting from the relationships. Just have there be an instant attraction between them. Love at first sight. You can even have a cutscene that portrays that.

      Then gamify some other aspect of the story. It doesn't have to be a complicated game mechanic. Being lost can be done with a simple maze (with most paths leading back to the same spot). Maybe there are 2-3 sites you want to see, so you have to figure out the trail to get there (which would be an even simpler maze). Sometimes, it's nice just to simulate the feel of a hike with no game element. You're just walking through the forest looking at nice things. Or you can even skip the hike entirely and start at the cabin.

    3. Here is a random list of mostly realistic things that could be found while hiking.
      The first find would be the attractive young woman (bites lip).
      You could find a seemingly abandoned cabin with interesting items inside (beer, drugs, used sex toys).
      You could find a rock formation that forces you to caress the attractive young woman's ass while lifting her up to get over it.
      You could find a cave to camp in overnight. Only to discover that you were being watched by a family of bears who were quite intrigued by watching human mating rituals all night.
      You could find two bath tubs in the middle of nowhere like in those erection commercials.
      You could find an old wise yogi who brings you into his secluded woodland home to instruct you and the attractive young woman on the secret texts of the kama sutra.
      You could find an escaped prisoner who robs you both and takes your clothes for fun (naked and afraid anyone?).
      You could find a running stream that allows the player to carry the attractive young woman across in a cheesy/romantic/cute way.
      You could find a hornet's nest that causes someone to get stung, break out in hives, and have no choice to get undressed in order to be rubbed down with some kind of plant that supposedly helps.
      You could find an awesome view atop a cliff that causes hand holding, making out, boob grabbing.
      You could find a secluded lake that begs for skinny dipping.
      You could find the demon lord Baphomet, who requests your aide in defeating his rival, deity Yeenoghu.
      You could find a natural hot spring where the player and attractive young woman could get to know each other better.
      You could find ... okay I think that's enough ^_^

    4. Enticing Ella by BeanBean had a hiking scene which might give you some inspiration.

      Skinny dipping in a lake is always a good go to, especially if there is the threat of passers-by, or clothes being swept away... ;)

  18. My story might be a bit ambitious to start with, so I'll have to try and think of a back-up plan. It will be a CYOA which is encompassed in a series of scenes. The story is meant to be a slow-building romance between a dark mage and his apprentice, told through the perspective of the female apprentice. As the apprentice, you are given the opportunity to resist or succumb to the mages seduction and corruption. Can you change his ways and be his salvation? Will you turn on him and let him destroy himself? Or will you fall into the same dark depths as he has?

    I think what makes this ambitious is the slowness of it. The more scenes and the greater the build, the more options I give myself, the more difficult it will be. But I think that I can pare it down quite well and make a basic version that can later be expanded on. Create a working, complete story, and then allow that story to grow.

    For the actual content, your character is a powerful, but untrained mage. Nobody recognizes this power in you, save for our anti-hero or perhaps villain. You find yourself under his tutelage, unaware of the depths of his darkness. You need his assistance, and only he can give it to you so that you can control your power. But he wants much more from you: he wants you to give yourself to the dark side of magic and follow his agenda. If he needs to make you swoon and take you into his bed, he will do it.

    It's meant to be a darkly erotic game. I haven't yet decided how to handle the content; based on your actions as the apprentice, the initial sex scene and those following could be gentle, rough, or even non-consensual. I think that the main story could hold up without explicit sex, but I believe the chemistry and tension between the characters would be key to the central plot, so I feel relatively satisfied that I've created a good situation for adult content.

    1. The story sounds amazing. It might be difficult to finish up before the Minifest. There's no need to have a backup plan though. Instead of going full George RR Martin, maybe you could work on a scene from your full story that involves the main characters and captures the main themes and eroticism of the full story? You can then expand out from there. Although I appreciate the sexiness of a slow buildup, you can sometimes capture some of that same emotion simply through careful writing. Instead of the full Phantom of the Opera, maybe you can do just the Music of the Night scene.

      Perhaps you could construct a scenario where the mage is teaching the apprentice a new spell/ritual/summoning. While learning the spell, she can see some of the darkness in the mage. Perhaps the ingredients are macabre like children's fingers or blood drawn warm from men's hearts. Maybe the nature of the spell is malevolent. The casting of the spell could involve eroticism. He could use the apprentice's body to build the spell's power. Her pleasure might change the nature of the spell. Will it be a gentle and light spell or a mad and delirious spell? Perhaps the apprentice can fall into a magical trance while casting the spell. The apprentice can see hints of the mage's darkness, she can read about the power of the spell and how eroticism fuels it and changes it, and she can make choices about how to cast and complete the spell depending on how she feels about the mage. Will she maim a child for the fingers or dig up a coffin? Will she cast the spell on an innocent peasant or the crooked tax collector or on a barnyard animal? Will she lock the mage out of the room during the casting or let him in to "help" her? That might be one way to test out many of your characters and themes of your full story in just a single scene.

    2. I like the concept. The description made me think of a few questions that could possibly be answered in smaller games to compliment the main game. I don't know where your game begins or what happens exactly and some of these ideas seem to conflict with the description but I'm just throwing darts.

      How did the dark mage become corrupt? Does the dark mage serve some kind of awesome sex god/demon or master? Is the dark mage trapped in servitude somehow (and one goal of the main game could be salvation by releasing him from this bond)?
      How did the dark mage learn about or recognize the apprentice's powers? Was he stalking her? Did she release some kind of sexual wave that traveled far enough for the dark mage to notice lol? Did the apprentice get in trouble because of her powers, and the dark mage offer her help? Did the dark mage set her up?
      What was the apprentice doing when she first discovered her powers? Was she in the middle of a sexual act when her powers were triggered?
      Does the apprentice know about her powers but hide them out of shame or some other reason? Did her parents recognize the danger of her powers and force her to keep them concealed? Is the apprentice upset about her powers for some reason and not want them?
      Does the apprentice try to use her powers but fail in some interesting way?