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a multiplayer game of parenting and civilization building

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#1 2017-06-14 20:12:29

jasonrohrer
Administrator
Registered: 2017-02-13
Posts: 305

The Nudity Question

One Hour One Life is about growing a new civilization from scratch, starting naked in the wilderness, across many human generations.  You start the game by being born as a baby, and obviously you are born naked.  People can make clothing over time and put it on, but they can also take it off. 

The question:  how should nudity be depicted in the game?

My creative partner Tom and I parted ways about 3 months ago.  Before that, we were all-in on the depiction of nudity in the game, with a character style that looked like this:

oldNudity.jpg

I thought it looked interesting and funny.  But the detailed nudity seemed like the elephant in the living room for a lot of people.  It had the potential to overshadow everything else, and recurrently popped up in discussions about the game (Kotaku comments).  For me, an anti-Victorian stance is part of my makeup, and I do want that to shine through my work.  But it's not really what this game is about (it's not a statement on nudity).  And then there are commercial issues as well.  Nudity could make or break the game either way.  I could stir up interest and boost sales, or it could turn off the vast majority of people.

I've re-done all the drawings myself since Tom left the project, and I made an early decision in the new character design to keep the nudity totally abstract.  After all, these characters don't even have noses or ears, so why show nipples or genitals?  They're cartoons.  But they're still obviously naked, because they're flesh colored, and they can put on clothing and take it off.  (This is just a sample... there will be 100 different characters from a full spectrum of skin tones.)

NudeFamily.png

But is this too tame?  Some of my local game design friends say that I'm chickening out.  They also say that I'm cutting out something that will make people curious about the game.

And we have Naked and Afraid on the Discovery Channel as a hit show, albeit censored.  But people are interested in that premise.

And of course Rust.  Maybe there's a difference with 3D vs 2D nudity, though.  2D leaves more room for the imagination (see Scott McCloud), making it more salacious?  3D nudity looks like mannequins, and we can distance ourselves from them a bit.

On the other hand, Rust had nothing but naked MEN for years, and they only recently added women, amid great controversy.  Maybe depicting naked men is funny and okay, but not naked women.  Like the game Icycle:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u357mY1c2o8

My wife's reaction to Tom's characters was always that they were "creepy" and that they made her feel uncomfortable in they way that they depicted female nudity.  Maybe too R. Crumb-ish or something.

So is there some middle ground?  Some kind of more abstract nudity that would be less creepy without chickening out?

Someone pointed out the manga character Shin Chan:

ShinChan.gif

And there's the classic "inverted black triangle" for women, though even that has a somewhat creepy history, like the Playboy Femlin cartoon character (NSFW):

femlin.jpg

Obviously, the Femlin is meant to be erotic, but is there a way to depict cartoon female nudity without that effect?  We have so few examples to reference.

A Google search for "cartoon nudity" results in quite an eyeful.  So people are right to associate cartoon depictions of female nudity with salacious intent, given the history of dirty cartoons.  Maybe there's no way to transcend that association.

Still, I want there to be absolutely no doubt that these characters are naked when they're not wearing clothing.  That idea is very important to the heart of the game, while the specific way that nudity is represented is not.

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#2 2017-06-15 04:49:58

Alexotronic
Member
Registered: 2017-02-18
Posts: 12

Re: The Nudity Question

Saw this on r/gamedev! (lots of good discussion on that thread)

https://www.reddit.com/r/gamedev/commen … _question/

From my "Pursuit of Zero" experiment thead: Socks(Shoes), "Beanie, Shirt --- Light --- Blanket, Pillow, Bed. (pants optional)"

emphasis on " pants optional " - I don't need pants to regulate my body temperature.

It's a penis. Every man has one.

~

So - even as a 'nudist' - I winced a bit when I first saw Toms art. Might be the blackened nipple tips, or the strange reddish areola or maybe the over-sized pubic hair.

(anyone ever mention the Ski Free yeti? ;-p)

+1 for the comment "...creepy because it put detailed nipples/genitals on an otherwise abstract character"

~

Bigger picture: I hope to see an iteration on your character design. Specifically the eyes (which I find to be derpy) and the torso/head shape/proportions. (babies are cute though)

Random: AAA Videogame Penis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdETPOK5Wec

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#3 2017-06-23 00:04:35

Purumus
Member
Registered: 2017-06-22
Posts: 12

Re: The Nudity Question

If I have any issue with the art is the spideriness of the pubic hair. It's as if the characters are caught between being a hairy ape kind and a human that has done away with the necessity of having hair. It brings up the question of women and shaving for demonstrating their female traits and the man being hairy to demonstrate his. This has the effect of dividing them through the grooming behavior we associate with ourselves today. I consider a bonus, not necessarily obvious, shown in the difference between your new characters: some are bald and some aren't... that description is a natural result of our evolution, not the active display of our gendered costumes of outward appearance.
In other words, either both are hairy because we are when we let things GrOw or current social norms are being displayed via their nudity (thats kind of weird thinking on my part perhaps).
I recommend that the animation could help here: jibbly bits! Women have two lumps, and men have one lump. They flop freely and naturally and realistically BECAUSE of our natural bodies, not because of any pruning on out parts. Keep hair off as to remove the grooming habits of our era, and to keep the depiction of our sex honestly "Front facing".

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#4 2018-03-10 17:48:11

Auner
Member
Registered: 2018-03-10
Posts: 22

Re: The Nudity Question

I don't know how many women are playing this game, but as a female gamer I'd like to add my two cents in this.

If this game was depicted as the first image above- I would never have played.

I have -zero- issues with the depiction of nudity as it presently stands in march of 2018. I enjoy this game because clothes don't change to force my character to be sexual. While I have zero issues if other female gamers want to be sexy- please know I think that's great but my personality is more cute-nerd rather than sexy-nerd/fashionista/professional (whatever personalities!) and I've grown really tired of having my character forced to be sexy and not allowed to customize my character to represent me.

In One Hour One Life, I find it a breath of fresh air that my character is represented more from the situation I was born into- rather than the gender I was born as.

Last edited by Auner (2018-03-10 17:49:53)

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#5 2018-03-10 20:34:28

Uncle Gus
Member
Registered: 2018-02-28
Posts: 255

Re: The Nudity Question

Maybe the fact that it's in by default and needs a mod installed from a separate download that is hard to find is an issue. It would be more work, but having it as an in game option and disabled by default would be more palatable to sensitive players.

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#6 2018-03-11 19:44:47

Exgrathanor
Member
Registered: 2018-03-11
Posts: 3

Re: The Nudity Question

Think about OHOL for a moment from a business prospective. I highly respect you for sticking to principles and developing this game from your passion and not thinking about the cost of it. You have made a great game as a result of ignoring traditional development process as a corporation would go about it that I foresee is going to do very well in the long run as I am an extreme gamer myself and have spent literally more than 5 years of my life in game time (probably more than that) playing video games. I haven't even purchased OHOL yet (I am going to after I write this post. I just got side tracked reading about your game on the website first in which I came to this post), but from watching hours of people do "let's play" videos on OHOL via youtube I am so interested in a new refreshing genre from MMORPGs, ARPGs, Survival Games, MOBAs, RTS, etc. that I spent over 6 hours editing the gampedia wiki starting guide for OHOL just to learn what I need to do to have a successful start in OHOL and to provide myself and others with a reference before I try to play it. Game Developers like you are my heroes.

With that said though (trying to not get too distracted fanboying on you) like I said, think about OHOL for a moment from a business prospective. You say your main strategy is to spread awareness of this game to get sales is by word of mouth. If this is the case, do not EVER implement nudity. The reason is simple. People who make youtube videos cannot include nudity in their videos. If you choose to include nudity, you will make it much more difficult for people making youtube videos to produce content related to OHOL because they will have to spend time editing out all the nudity as they do when they make RUST videos. This limits your spread of awareness of the game by word of mouth because some content creators on youtube are just not going to want to deal with all that additional editing just to make videos about OHOL. In my opinion, implementing nudity would be shooting yourself in the foot and I don't think it adds any value at all to the aesthetics of your graphics.

From another business perspective, women typically like to play gathering and crafting games more than men. As you can see, one other female user already chimed in on this thread as how nudity would have stopped her from playing the game. Adding nudity will only limit your audience that would play OHOL, and this is just a second great reason not to implement nudity. Many mothers would not allow their children to play games with nudity in them. Just as in the movie industry, G rated movies sell the best man (because they can be sold to a larger audience) and if you aim to keep OHOL as close to a G rated title as possible, you will get more sales in the long run.

This is my two cents. Nudity would not bother me in the least bit personally, but I know it would bother many people. For the sake of your own profitability, which I think you have earned greatly and deserve to reap the rewards of making a great game, I urge you not to implement nudity. There is no point in throwing tens of thousands of dollars out the window just to put genitals and tits on your characters.

Last edited by Exgrathanor (2018-03-11 19:45:55)

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#7 2018-03-12 01:22:58

Uncle Gus
Member
Registered: 2018-02-28
Posts: 255

Re: The Nudity Question

Exgrathanor wrote:

...I urge you not to implement nudity.

You know it's already in the game by default, right? He's not thinking about adding it, he's thinking about removing it.

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#8 2018-03-12 02:16:54

Antarys
Member
Registered: 2018-03-09
Posts: 40

Re: The Nudity Question

Uncle Gus wrote:
Exgrathanor wrote:

...I urge you not to implement nudity.

You know it's already in the game by default, right? He's not thinking about adding it, he's thinking about removing it.

I don't think he has played the game haha.

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#9 2018-03-14 16:37:24

Wyr3d
Member
Registered: 2018-03-14
Posts: 2

Re: The Nudity Question

EDIT - Never mind, with more recent footage of gameplay,  I see this has already been dealt with - EDIT

I think there's probably a middle ground somewhere that would work for everyone. The original artwork is a bit much, true but the replacements shown here are too tame. There is no real distinction between male, and female other than hairstyle. Perhaps the solution can be found in body shape, rather than specific details?

There's nothing explicit about a few basic lines to show that one character is female. That said, I took the liberty of editing the feature characters in the "nude family" picture above as an example on how this could be achieved:

miyzkh.png

Hope this is useful ^^

Last edited by Wyr3d (2018-03-14 16:50:54)

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#10 2018-04-21 09:30:57

Lavea
Member
Registered: 2018-04-13
Posts: 31

Re: The Nudity Question

I like the setup where it's there by default but people have the mod to remove it. More realistic is good. Lol, in a game where abandoned babies die by the score, teenage mums starve to death on the hunt for food, and whole villages are mauled to death by a bear, do we really care to much about the horror inflicted on us by breasts and genitals?

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#11 2018-04-21 20:11:28

jord1990
Moderator
Registered: 2018-03-03
Posts: 81

Re: The Nudity Question

I don't see how the way it is right now could offend anyone. Maybe a way in the settings to disable it easier could be included.

I must say that im not a big fan off the hairy nipples in the first picture since that is a bit much. but the way its in the game now is  fine, I mean come on we all have one or the other anyway. It shouldnt be a taboo to look at something that vaguely looks like a penis/vagina and tits.

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#12 2018-04-21 21:01:00

paxpython
Member
Registered: 2018-04-07
Posts: 26

Re: The Nudity Question

jord1990 wrote:

I don't see how the way it is right now could offend anyone. Maybe a way in the settings to disable it easier could be included.

I must say that im not a big fan off the hairy nipples in the first picture since that is a bit much. but the way its in the game now is  fine, I mean come on we all have one or the other anyway. It shouldnt be a taboo to look at something that vaguely looks like a penis/vagina and tits.

+1

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#13 Yesterday 07:11:05

The_Llamacorn
Member
Registered: 2018-04-01
Posts: 11

Re: The Nudity Question

When I bought the game I was, quite frankly, amazed at how you managed to draw nudity in the game without making it awkward. The way it is now is perfectly fine. But as you mentioned, the old style did make it very weird and awkward. I think you should stick with the current style and not chicken out, nudity is a big part of the game since it plays out at a time when genitals weren't considered gross or inappropriate. If there was no nudity then it would just look like something was missing. Stick with your ideas and don't care about what society tells you what's wrong or right smile

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#14 Yesterday 07:49:06

aristotle
Member
Registered: 2018-04-12
Posts: 1

Re: The Nudity Question

Having your bits swinging in the wind makes you feel vulnerable. 
Removing that is a mistake. 
 
Solution: 
* Option to turn it off. 
* Dialog on first start, similar to not matching FPS dialog. 
* "This game is about being born into this world naked and surviving. It includes cartoon nudity. This may be turned off in the settings."

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