Thursday, February 27, 2014

LOVE Scenes vs SEX Scenes in your Game

----- Original Message -----
So I'm thinking of making a mature game in the near future and I just want to know how Making Love and Hentai scenes are different. Can one still show private parts and keeping in the Making Love section, or would it be considered a Hentai Scene?
 -- Interested in Otome

Whether or Not you show genitalia in a sex scene has Nothing to do with whether it's a Love scene or a Sex scene. Showing or Not showing genitalia is merely the difference between a PORN (R18) scene, and a SENSUAL (R16) scene.

Love scenes and Sex scenes are divided by something else entirely.

The Love scene vs the Sex scene.

The difference between a Porn/Hentai scene and a Love scene is Not CONTENT; it's not What the participants are Doing. It's WHY they are having sex. It's the MOTIVE.

However, before we get into that...

Don’t confuse Romance with Love. They are two completely different things!

Love vs. Romance 
There IS a difference!

  • Romance – a manipulation technique designed to make someone receptive to Sex. The source of Romance is LUST.
  • Love – when someone’s happiness means more than your own. The source of Love is CARING.

To many people, Romance means ‘showing love’. That’s not true. You show love by Protecting the ones you care for with the intent to ensure their lasting happiness. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re nice to them.

So, how do you create a LOVE scene
 -- as opposed to a SEX scene?

If you're doing it right, the ONLY difference between a LOVE scene and a SEX scene is the MOTIVE -- WHY that scene is happening.

  • Lust’s motive is ORGASM.
  • Love’s motive is CARING.

"How do you SHOW Love?"

It’s easier than you think, because you probably already do it regularly without realizing it.

Think in terms of your Pet...
-- When you want to show how much you care, you stroke them, cuddle them, and play with them. You also feed them, clean up their poop, and make sure they have vet check-ups. You do all of these things to keep them happy and healthy. You do these things to keep them from suffering in any way.

You do the SAME THING with people you love whether they are your parents, your friends, or your children – you hug them, play with them, joke around with them, make sure they’ve eaten, make sure their colds are taken care of, you make sure they are not suffering in any way –- physically or emotionally. You also bitch them out when they’ve done something that could harm them or result in misery.

The difference between these people and a Lover, is that when you are showing that you care for a lover, you use sex to bring them the greatest physical pleasure you can.

Point Blank:
  • Sex is just another form of PETTING.

LUST is a whole other bowl of kimchee.

LUST is a physical urge, like eating when you’re hungry, seeking warmth in the cold, or needing to pee. It is an urge that seeks relief just like all your other physical urges.

If the urgency is great enough, LUST will attempt every dirty trick in the book to get their hands on their object of choice to get some relief. Think: Physical ADDICTION, and all the crazy, scary obsessive acts that go with fulfilling one. If their particular object (of addiction) gives them exceptional pleasure, whether it be a dildo, a rubber doll, a super soft sock, or a person, they’ll make sure that the toy is cared for, and in some cases, jealously guarded – so that the toy will still be there (and receptive) when they want to use it again.

The key word here is USE.

  • Lust USES others for selfish physical gratification.
  • Love doesn’t use, it GIVES.

Love GIVES Affection to make the one loved happy.
-- If something should happen to cause hurt to the one loved, the one who cares is devastated by their FAILURE stop suffering from happening.

Lust TAKES affection to make themselves happy.
-- Toys have PHYSICAL value, not Emotional value. If their toy should break, or Refuse to be used, they will be FRUSTRATED and ANGRY, but they won’t think they failed. They’ll think the TOY Failed -- and just go out and get another toy. If their addiction is strong enough, they may even attempt to Destroy the toy so no one else will ever want to use it -- especially if that toy is a Person. "If I can't use them, I'll make sure no one else can either!"

What's the real difference between a Love scene and a Lust scene?

Very simply:
  • Lust Takes pleasure.
  • Love Gives it.

Jealousy is NOT a sign of LOVE!

Jealousy a sign of possession, of ownership; of FEAR that their object will be taken from them and no longer theirs to USE; of Obsession and ADDICTION.

Jealousy is a point-blank sign of someone concerned with their own happiness, not their Beloved's. 
"I won't let you make me unhappy!"

When the Beloved's happiness comes SECOND to the lover's happiness, "If you love me, you'd do this to make me happy..." What they are expressing is OWNERSHIP.

When one is in Love, and their lover sleeps with someone else, they do not feel jealousy, they feel FAILURE, and point the blame squarely on themselves.

I wasn’t enough to make my beloved happy in bed. What did I do wrong?” 

If their feelings are strong enough, they may ALLOW their lover to keep their other lover --and give up on them entirely-- simply because it's what makes their beloved happy.

When someone is merely in LUST, they will ISOLATE the object of their desires --from friends, co-workers, family, and even pets. They will use every trick they know, such as; Stalking and Spying, to keep rivals (read: THIEVES) from taking what they have claimed as theirs, even if it's merely their attention.

Should the object of their Lust sleep with someone else, they will attack the one attempting to steal their possession.

"How dare you touch what is MINE?!"

Then they will attack their 'supposedly' Beloved.

"How dare you let someone else have you?! You belong to ME!

Punishment --with the intent to cause Emotional damage-- swiftly follows, such as; breaking something important to their Lust object, a brutal and bloody beating, or flat-out rape.

If their Lust Object doesn't leave at that point, the jealous owner will then enforce stricter forms of ISOLATION on their Lust Object; up to and including Imprisonment, to ensure that neither Escape nor Theft will happen again.

-----Original Message-----
"Wow, I always thought Romance was about Love...?"
-- Prefers Romance

EVERYONE thinks Romance is about love -- because we really, really WANT it to be.

Romance tells us that the Other Person gives up everything for Us, when in fact, the opposite is true. Real Love makes us give up everything for THEM.

When you think about it, Love is a very scary emotion. It makes us give up everything we want, everything we are -- for someone else. If they are not worthy of such a sacrifice, it doesn't matter because we LOVE them and want them to be happy at any cost, even if that cost is ourselves.

Real Love
comes in many different shapes and colors.

A love that looks destructive from the outside, such as Bondage and Domination, could in fact be perfectly supportive, and exactly what both lovers need from each other. A good movie that illustrates this perfectly is "Secretary".

On the other hand, what an outsider may think is positive and supportive might in fact not be love at all. Case in point, stalking was once thought of as being an expression of love. Angry possessiveness can look an awful lot like love when in fact it is a terror tactic designed to isolate the one supposedly beloved.

When a lover asks their beloved to choose between them and anything else, a friend, a pet, or even a hobby, they not interested in their significant other's happiness. They are ensuring that their toy has no outside distractions, and is available for their convenience. A good movie that illustrates this is "Sleeping with the Enemy".

A lover that yells at their beloved for their destructive habits, such as; over-spending, drugs, booze, more likely to be showing real love, than a lover that sweetly begs their beloved to drop their plans for going out with their friends for a romantic dinner date with them.

How do you tell the difference?

Measure each action by this question:

"WHO benefits from the results, really?"
The Lover, or the one supposedly Beloved?


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Planning a Visual Novel

How do I PLAN my 
Visual Novels?

Since it's utterly pointless to create a story I don't have the resources, or skill, to turn into a Completed visual novel, I begin my planning by looking through my Assets and Asset Sources, to see what I can use. By the way, I am constantly adding new graphics and links to my asset collections.

For the main menu, and for individual scenes I prefer to use one album, or collection by one band, or artist per game. This makes the music consistent in style.

For backgrounds and characters, I happen to prefer using photo images. Occasionally I'll draw my characters from scratch, but my backgrounds are almost always heavily filtered images, or filtered photo-manipulations.  

Photo Sources

Anime style Character & Background sources:

3D Modeling program:

Sound Effects
For locations as well as for things that happen.

Then I consider my...
Artistic limitations:
  • What can I draw?
  • What can't I draw?
    • Can I make what I need with SketchUp?
    • Can I Photoshop what I need from bits and pieces of what I do have? 
    • Can I art-filter Photos into what I need? 
      • Do I have the right plug-ins to make a photo look like Art?
      • Do I have the right photos?

Then I consider my...
Coding limitations:
What I know how to code, or can get templates, sample codes, and/or tutorials to code.

The LemmaSoft forum holds a comprehensive library of tutorials, samples, and template games. Seriously.

Next to consider are my...
Copyright Limitations:
  • Paid license for commercial use?
  • Creative Commons, free to use with Credit, but not commercially?
  • Public Domain? 
  • Stolen from the Internet? (With the possibility of a copyright infringement lawsuit?)

Once I know what I have, I can then figure out what type of game I can create vs. what I can't create, and explore possible work-arounds for what I want to create. 

What I Want vs. What I Have

As you can probably guess, I prefer making adult games. However, I rarely have enough graphics to fully illustrate an erotic scene, so I Fake It. I select one one static image and write extremely detailed text to fulfill the erotic portions of the game. Oddly enough, this technique has proved to be rather successful, (read: Popular among my players).

For those who have actions scenes in their games, but just can't get the graphics to illustrate them, this technique could be a viable option -- IF you have a damned good writer on your team.

To see full-sized image: Right-Click > View Image

Next comes...

Game Planning

I use FreePlane, a free mind mapping program, to plot out the main paths/options in the game. FreePlane is disgustingly easy to use. Most of it is simply point > click > type. It even has a built-in Spell-Check, though you have to Turn It On, plus internal hyper links (green arrows) to jump from any bubble to any other bubble.

With this program, I can map out the game into multiple stages (or chapters,) with all their branching options, plus hyper links that jump to specific results.

By closing all the options, then clicking open only those I wish to select, I can actually do a dry-run of the entire game. This is particularly useful for uncovering anything left open-ended before I even begin coding.

To see full-sized image: Right-Click > View Image 

As for the story writing aspect goes, I tend to write out most of the dialogue and narrative right into FreePlane, then just copy-paste the text straight into the game's code.

How to Plot the Story

I plot out my stories in FreePlane, but then I've crafting stories for a really long time so most of the work happens inside my head. For those who need a little assistance getting their ideas organized, there's this technique;

Visual Novel Graphics

To make the graphics FIT exactly the way they're supposed in the game without any extra adjustments, I open Photoshop and create a PSD file set to the exact dimensions of the game. On separate layers in this one file, I create all the graphics; buttons, textboxes, menus, and backgrounds.

Once they're created, it's simply a matter of saving the individual layers as PNGs and JPGs into the Game file.

 1024x768 game
For full sized image: Right-click > View Image

I create the characters in their own PSD files because they tend to have hundreds of layers all by themselves. I also make them complete; head to toe at 1100px tall for a game 768px in height, then cut the image from the top - down to fit the 768 screen.

Ivan's PSD file was over 800MB in size.
He had 4 costume changes, 6 poses, and 14 different expressions. 

Once I have all (or most of) the graphics made, I open Ren'Py, my visual novel engine of choice, and begin coding the game together.

When I  run into problems --and I do regularly-- I visit the LemmaSoft forum for Tech and Coding support. It is the ONLY place to get quick, if not immediate help for Ren'Py coding complications. Mainly because the creator of Ren'Py; PyTom, hangs out there.

The Cookbook section of the forum has a whole treasure-trove of coding tricks for just about everything from making an Image Gallery, and a Music Room, to setting up Turn-Based Battles. Warning: This section has been known to induce Feature Creep in games!

What about Beginners?

If you're a beginner working on your very first visual novel, I cannot recommend this tutorial high enough:

This tutorial will teach you everything from the ground floor of opening the RenPy engine, all the way up to the intermediate level of setting up menu choices and jumps, posting flags to change events, and applying a point system to select an ending within a working multi-ending game that you code from scratch.

When I first ran into this tutorial, I had already completed two games. Even so, I could not believe how many Basic things I'd never learned. This one tutorial made so many things that seemed complicated very easy to learn -- and Use.