💌 Illegal words, game writing discourse, and more in Mr. Hands' Naughty List #10
I hope you've all had a wonderful New Year's Day! 🎆 I'm ringing in the new year by bringing you the latest news from the adult gaming community and some sexy game updates to boot.
One of my goals for 2021 is to write 52 newsletters. If you want to keep me accountable, why not consider subscribing to the newsletter? 😘
Let's get into it!
Unauthorized translations: menace or boon?
Apparently, there's a Turkish website where they take adult games from Patreon and other sources and sell them to their own audience. You can get a premium subscription from them where you can get the games early, which is still way under market value. They also sell unofficial merchandise of some of the games, like t-shirts.
Now, piracy is of course not a new phenomenon, but what I find interesting is that the website translates the games into Turkish themselves. They upload new translations within two weeks of an update becoming available via official channels. The owners seem to have identified an underserved market for adult games translated into their native language. This is obviously not a legal venture, but I think it shows that there's a sizable opportunity for these games to be translated into Turkish officially.
And it's actually not that uncommon to see these "piracy translations" popping up in other places. I've also seen unofficial Italian and Chinese translations being sold on other sites. There’s a lot of passion from these communities about playing games in their mother tongue.
Our knee-jerk reaction as gamedevs is often to clamp down on piracy as soon as possible, but I think in this case there really is an opportunity to be seized. Translating an older game from your portfolio into a new language can often see a high return on investment from becoming available in a new market.
That said, if you find one or more of your games on these sites, it is perfectly within your rights to ask them to stop their infringement of your copyright and even to consider taking legal action.
What do you think? Should we let these translations slip us by or take them down as soon as possible? Let me know in the comments!
Writing for games is hard
Most video games contain a lot of words, much more than you might realize. Besides the main story beats, there are characters to write, item descriptions to craft, and on and so forth.
And while a lot of talented people work on making the words flow nicely, games often have issues with pacing in the acting performances that you don't really see in other media like films or plays.
Mikko Rautalahti (one of the writers for Alan Wake and Quantum Break) wrote an excellent thread about why this happens:
It's one of those things that really start to bug you once they've been pointed out to you. I've now experienced the same lack of overlapping dialog for myself in The Witcher 3 and Assassin's Creed: Odyssey. 😅
I also find myself nodding along with this take on narrative barks from @six6jiang. Realism in these sound bites works in most contexts, but sometimes you just want to hear characters completely chew the scenery, you know?
On the visual novel side, Complex Relations has written an excellent blogpost in which they explain how they try to write imperfect characters to make them more appealing. In other media, characters that act as romantic interests often portray only surface-level flaws:
The result is that they feel, not necessarily like implausibly perfect people, but like people the audience never gets close enough to to get an uncurated look at their personalities.
Also on Itch, Minotaur Hotel has an excellent tutorial on fixing textboxes in Ren'Py for Android. The text often doesn't look right on that platform, but luckily there's an easy fix!
In this tutorial you'll learn how to add the option to increase the font size in your textbox, add an option to include and switch between additional fonts, and have the textbox accomodate for these changes.
I also find myself revisiting this amazing article from Richard Cobbet about the Art of Text in video games in general, but the upcoming Nighthawks in particular. Mr. Cobbet hits the nail right on the head when he says that the visual part of "visual novel" is sometimes neglected to the detriment of the text itself!
It's a surprisingly tricky design challenge, and if you get it wrong, even the best written game in the world very quickly becomes unplayable.
And finally, it was a month ending with R so we had to talk about what is or isn't a visual novel again. Luckily, we now have this handy chart:
Building a paper prototyping kit
Over on the blog, I've written an article about how you start testing your game designs early by building a paper prototyping kit.
Here's an excerpt:
Paper prototyping is the practice of testing out game design ideas outside of a computer and without the involvement of engineers, on paper if you will. It is used by designers to make their ideas playable as fast as possible, which allows them to both find the fun in their design quickly and catch design mistakes before they become expensive engineering problems. I’ve personally used my paper prototyping kit for many years, both professionally for large game projects and for smaller personal projects.
I go over each of the parts in my kit, how can you go about acquiring them, and their respective advantages and disadvantages. I hope you'll like it! 💖
Andrealphus Games announced that they're making TruLove, a traditional dating sim 😘
Big Fat Games is making an adult open-world RPG in Unreal called Magissy 🔮
Annoyed NPC has put up 2020 in review for their game Lewd Quest 💖
The Daily Dot has a post on famous porn films and where to find them 🔞
ChatRoulette is working on a comeback and is hoping to use AI to detect unwanted penises 🍆
Cheeky chuckle 🤭
Artist spotlight 💡
Thank you for reading and I hope to see you again next week! 😘