Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Halloween Open Thread: Clothing

In the spirit of Halloween and costumes, I thought I'd start the open threads again with a topic on clothing in AIF. Some AIFs have characters disrobe completely at the start of a sex scene, while others see characters go through multiple stages and combinations (the best example I can think of that I have seen would be a rub butt/pussy command that gave different responses based on: dress on/panties on, dress on/panties off, dress off/panties on, dress off/panties off; and then the above would be done for the top as well with shirt/bra).

So the thread is: how much does a more "complex" clothing system add to AIF? Does having multiple options about how a character is disrobed add to the game, or is it fluff that probably takes a lot of author time and is unnecessary?

And a final question: do costumes in AIF work? Does describing a character as 'dressed as a cheerleader' make the sex scene hotter? I'm not talking about AIF with pictures here, just the actual descriptions. How well can the sexiness of certain outfits be communicated by just text?


  1. In general I appreciate the extra work that goes into layered clothing but it's not a big deal at all if it isn't in the game. Reading a line or two before the sex scene describing the characters taking their clothes off is fine, as long as the descriptions are consistent (occasionally I'll come across a game where the character is naked, but still described as clothed).

    And as an author, it adds a lot of extra work and I don't really see myself putting it in there in most situations. Especially not in games with multiple characters.

    Re: costumes, I can't think of a game with costumes in it? I like the idea though! There's lots of plot ideas that can come out of a costume party situation.

  2. I also like the extra work that people put into clothing systems but it's only particularly ideal for certain types of scenes; namely ones that have a fair bit of focus on early foreplay and the act of stripping. It creates a nice 'first stage' to a sex scene that can then progress to the main event afterwards and is also useful for filling out the scene with plenty of interactive content if your main sex acts aren't huge or filled with loads of kinky variation.

    The big problem I've found with having an extended stripping stage is just that it's structurally very boring and predictable. I frequently want to fast forward through it, particularly when the writer hasn't put a lot of effort into the descriptions. First I have to work out all the items the character is wearing, then I have to type out the full phrase, (i.e. "remove julie's blouse") for every item, then if I just get a simple "You unbutton her blouse and she slips out of it," then I wonder what the point of that effort was.

    Occasionally you do see well written responses or something interesting mixing it up. Sometimes games have options for either the player to remove an item or the NPC to remove it, letting you decide who takes charge in the scene. I remember I liked the final scene in the Camping Trip's stripping because you could get the NPCs to remove each other's clothes, which was interesting.

    For my part I do enjoy writing some foreplay and build up but I can't bring myself to write a whole bunch of tedious, one-by-one stripping responses. Mind you, by this time I've written a lot of sex scenes and I like to have a bit more variety in the circumstances to make them interesting.

    I'll suggest a few ideas that I think would spice up a stripping scene:
    1) The descriptions of each item coming off don't have to be long, but try to make them a little sexy.
    2) Like I described above, if you've got multiple NPCs it would be cool to have the option to have each character strip each other. That's time consuming, of course.
    3) Having players choose who takes off the clothing could change the tone of the ensuing sex scene. Maybe if the man takes off the majority of the clothes he's on top and if the woman does it then she's on top? Etc.
    4) Have some unfolding event (like a conversation between the characters) occurring over a number of turns, with one snippet happening each time an item of clothing comes off.

    Second question: costumes work fairly well because they're another detail that helps the player imagine the character. If I have a common criticism of much AIF it's that there isn't enough clear descriptive imagery to give me a sense of what the characters look like. As a rule I'd say hair (colour and style), physique, skin, key 'assets' and of course outfit/costume should all get a mention.

  3. I like a bit of variety and can get a bit bored with everyone in a story immediately stripping naked every time. Having a bit of variation, like lifting her skirt and pulling her panties aside as she leans against a wall, can extend a scene by giving you more things to try.
    I like different costumes as it lets you make each girl more unique than simple changes in hair or eye colour.
    Having said that, I would still provide a quick strip command for those that do prefer a quick sex scene.

    SeattleMan - I noticed the Unbelievable post in your blog. You should be able to restore the last saved version of your game by renaming the .BAK file in your game folder to .TAF
    ADRIFT games are usually quite small files so I increment a number at the end of the filename (ie. MyGame46.TAF) every time I save it and move all the old versions into an archive folder.

  4. Like BBBen, I usually find myself zipping past clothing segments. If I were to guess, authors seldom enjoy writing clothing systems either. The quality of writing, in particular, tends to drop here.
    That said, I would be very interested in a game in which clothes are more involved in sex scenes in the way that BBBen describes.

    Before I comment on costumes, I think I'll go back and play Blue Satyr's Halloween Tail. I really can't remember the last time a character's costume stood out to me. I'm a big fan of cheerleader outfits and schoolgirl skirts, so I imagine all girls this way in my headcannon. :P

  5. I don't mind a layered clothing system, but as BBBen said I sometimes find myself wishing I could fast forward through the stripping stage. If your going to write a game with a layered clothing system, at least try to make the stripping descriptions a little sexy. Adding in some conversation (as BBBen described) wouldn't hurt either.
    Costumes? I don't think I've ever played an AIF game including any costumes.

    1. I think TS uses the word "costume" in a more general sense. TS says: "Does describing a character as dressed as a 'cheerleader' make the sex scene hotter?" I interpreted costumes here to mean clothing descriptions in a more general sense. But what I think OP is asking about instances in which writers emphasized clothing.

      I can't remember the last time I played a game that gave costumes more than passing descriptions. Palaverous's Lost Hound, perhaps? But even that was quite some time ago. To be fair, I haven't played an AIF for some months. I'm sure such games do indeed exist. I already mentioned The Lost Hound which has "proper" costumes. It features female knights, fox spirits, succubi, and anthropomorphic dragons in a fantasy setting.

      On the other hand, if I recall, A. Ninny makes an effort to describe Claire's dresses in The Sex Artist. Additionally, the final scene in The Sex Artist includes a strap-on option. Hence, A. Ninny must make mention of Claire's outfit at some point.

  6. I love the complexities of clothing and think the more with don't here showed how serious of an author the person is. If it's super quick without a good reason I feel cheated and usually find the author is of poor quality the rest of the way through as well. Striping is the build up, the drum roll, and is critical to a well written scene.

    And costumes are great! I particularly love the few games that let you do thinks without getting naked or taking then off completely. Like unbuttoning the shirt to grope and lick breasts, or simply unzipping, or letting the panties come off and leaving the skirt on. And then the sex scene includes these options, I'm just in heaven then.

  7. >how much does a more "complex" clothing system add to AIF?

    It adds a lot for me.

    The major draw of AIF over some other form of IF for me is the interactivity of the sex scenes themselves. A complex and deep clothing system "[fills] out the scene with plenty of interactive content" as BBBen put it, and I think that's more important to me than it is to most people.

    I'm not sure its related but I'm aphantasic; I can't visualize things in my head. So descriptions of how things look don't connect me with a scene very well, but descriptions of things which need to be kept track of, or can be interacted with, do.

    1. It's interesting that you're drawn to AIF despite a lack of internal imagery! That actually makes me think about how certain elements of the game systems (like you said) are making the game enjoyable beyond the stirring of visual imagination.

  8. I think a lot depends on what the game gives you in return. If there aren't good descriptions as I strip off each part of clothing, or if there aren't differences in how actions take place (touching them with a bra vs. a shirt for instance), then I really don't care. In fact, if there isn't a quick undress/strip option it can make it even more annoying as I peel off each part with no 'reward'.

    But used in the right way, I think it can add a lot. Enough to make it worth the extra effort for the author? I don't know, but I personally always enjoy extra effort even if it is mostly useless (like describing everything in a room even if it is all fluff).

    Having reactions different based on clothing takes the most work no doubt but it can be very fun. More so if it isn't a point-chase where I need to make sure I do each action, but more fluid and fun. It can also make a scene sexy if it is tied to it more so than a standard 'thing'.

    For instance on the first meeting you can only go so far, or in a public place clothes stay on or just are moved aside, etc. while a romp could come with tossing of clothes immediately and a more sensual scene could have slowly stripping down. It can make the scenes more unique in a sense.

    But in the end, I'm definitely not casting it as a bad game if everything else is enjoyable. It is just one of many parts in the machine.