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Dev Q: Project Eternity and "Mature Content"


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I have really enjoyed playing a decent number of your games (the ones I haven’t enjoyed I haven’t played) in the past and am looking forward to playing this as well when you have done your bit! With that said I can't help but feel concerned when I hear about putting more mature themes into a game than we were able to in the past. What do you mean by mature content?

 

To give an idea of where I stand I am an avid reader (when I get time) and devour David Gemmell, Raymond E. Fiest, David Eddings, Ian Irvine, Ann McCafree, Frank Herbert etc etc as often as I can. All these authors have sex, rape, prostitution, homosexual relationships etc etc all through their work. None of it is gratuitous or graphic or particularly explicit in its description but it is definitely there and adds to the context and characters of their respective stories. I am not against Mature adult content.

 

I am, however, against immature adult content. Having sex (for example) in a game does not make the game "mature" unless there is a mature reason for having it as part of the story. Others may disagree but I would class The Witchers sex conquest card game as immature and cheap in what was other wise a great game and story.

 

I am looking forward to an immersive and mature story. I would much rather you spend your time creating another class or something than rendering cheap sex sceens that don't really do anything for the story. Can you give me some reassurance?

 

Cowgoesmoo

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No Obsidian / Black Isle game has ever invested a great deal of resources into rendering cinematic sex scenes and the like, so I think we're safe there.

 

In violence, too, there might be 'mature' stuff, but it's usually not a great point of investment dev-wise.

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Personally I want to see the "mature" themes being explored go well beyond sex/sexual/gender. Every example listed in the OP still boils down to "sex" and facets/expressions thereof. I also think it can be more than just raw violence. How does the main character cope with the loss of his/her family/friends/party members? What is the morality of genocide, when applied to a "cruel" or destructive species? The effects of profiting for oneself or allies through deceit? Class/caste restrictions on power in society(ies) and the positive and negative effects of such. These are all just examples, there are lots more mature subjects out there which could be tackled aside from sex and violence.

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"If we are alone in the universe, it sure seems like an awful waste of space"

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On the other hand, RPG = violence all the time, our enemies are frozen, sett on fire, beheaded, dismembered, stabbed, exploded etc. This isn't mature content? So sex can be in the game also, rendered or made in fallout 2 style.

 

Sex is also fun, there is no reason to talk about it in the game only in moral and pathetic way, and yeah I want chauvinist dialogue options in the game also. ;p

Edited by simon_templar
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Considering the level of talent and experience associated with this project, I'm quite certain that mature is not going mean gratuitous titillation. What I'm hoping for and expecting is a nuanced and comprehensive approach to a wide variety of serious and emotionally evocative topics. Depending of course on what themes are relevant to the story being told. From what I've understood, the freedom for mature content mostly just means that the writers don't have to censor themselves if the story-arc deals with issues that are considered taboo or unpleasant, not gratuitous nudity.

 

Although I wouldn't mind gore or an isometric sex scene at all, if not for any other reason, then just for the ****storm it would bring.

And yes, I know my profile picture is blasphemy on this forum, but I didn't have the audacity to use The Nameless One.

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Although I wouldn't mind gore or an isometric sex scene at all, if not for any other reason, then just for the ****storm it would bring.

 

Did you romance the farmer's daughter in Fallout 2?

 

I think that is the most appropiate way to handle those situations: include some dialogue and then black out.

 

Anyhow I believe Obsidian will be able to tackle really mature themes without coming off poorly. Look at how well Fallout New Vegas was written.

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Why are Americans so prude?

 

Although this isn't like the Witcher where you could even really tell that a charcter is nude, it'd have to be through text.

 

Personally I wouldn't mind having rape, sex, slavery, and torture in the game.

 

in fact these types of games are the best place for it becasue you wouldn't really see anything in detail. While with a 3d game you'd have soccer moms complaining about the children! Forgetting that any kid over 12 has internet access and can see the worst things around and probably already has.

 

And all those things do happen in real life and fantasy life. Unless it's a children's novel.

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Why are Americans so prude?

 

Although this isn't like the Witcher where you could even really tell that a charcter is nude, it'd have to be through text.

 

Personally I wouldn't mind having rape, sex, slavery, and torture in the game.

 

in fact these types of games are the best place for it becasue you wouldn't really see anything in detail. While with a 3d game you'd have soccer moms complaining about the children! Forgetting that any kid over 12 has internet access and can see the worst things around and probably already has.

 

And all those things do happen in real life and fantasy life. Unless it's a children's novel.

 

While I don't like the accusation of americans being the "prudes," (I'm thinking Germany and Australia have higher levels of typical censoring and game alteration) I do think censorship and fear of it is too great for comfort. Especially in that violence is given so much freedom, but sexuality is so repressed. Hell, I know feminists who have seriously talked about how boxing is fun to watch in one sentence, and how they should've aborted their son as soon at the knew their gender (prompted by catching him looking at "filthy, disgusting, degrading, chauvinist porn").

 

Thinking about the more recent fallout games, and some of the other topics here, it does bring a point: why enable cannibalism, dismemberment and the carrying around of body parts, but feel so compelled to have bloody matresses with bound hands and feet, but oh no, the thought of a rape victim - dead or alive - is just so terrible. (It is, but in comparison it seems like they could have included it just to add to the terrible reality of the fallout universe).

Edited by UncleBourbon
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Although I wouldn't mind gore or an isometric sex scene at all, if not for any other reason, then just for the ****storm it would bring.

 

Did you romance the farmer's daughter in Fallout 2?

 

I think that is the most appropiate way to handle those situations: include some dialogue and then black out.

 

No, I didn't. I tend to play altruistic and responsible characters, especially on my first playthrough. But my subversive streak really likes content that pushes the boundaries of acceptable even if I wouldn't concentrate on that content while playing.

And yes, I know my profile picture is blasphemy on this forum, but I didn't have the audacity to use The Nameless One.

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How is it that in the entertainment industry, the word "mature" has come to mean sex scenes, violence and the oh so dreaded "bad" language? Is it an American thing? Where I live, a mature work of art is one of vision, wisdom, depth and insight, which by the way is something I have come to expect, to a lesser or greater degree, from the writing in Obsidian's games. Along with the sex, violence and "bad" language, of course :)

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How is it that in the entertainment industry, the word "mature" has come to mean sex scenes, violence and the oh so dreaded "bad" language? Is it an American thing? Where I live, a mature work of art is one of vision, wisdom, depth and insight, which by the way is something I have come to expect, to a lesser or greater degree, from the writing in Obsidian's games. Along with the sex, violence and "bad" language, of course :)

 

I blame a bit of this on the rating system. Some refer to "mature" games (logically) like you do, that is, a game with complex and significant plot and/or setting, which is best appreciated by an adult. Others, likely because a common rating of video games as "rated mature," classifies all "mature" video games as those which are rated mature. This is a misnomer, I think, as games like Beyond Good and Evil and KotoRII are rated teen, as with a few other compelling, complex RPGs. But you have a nip shot, or even a street working woman - nevermind her dress, or any potential activity, just her existance - and BAM, rated mature. Violance is given a slight bit more room, but with higher graphics the raters (and the parents and politicians against violent video games and their "inevitable corruption of the funimentals of our society/children") get harsher. That, I will admit, I think is strongest in america. Sure, we have an all time high rate of drug use and pregnancy in our middle schools, but heaven forbid! Digital violence with a hint of sexuality existing in the universe! You have to be 18 (21 in areas) before this is safe!

 

Edit: Also, to try and redirect back to the topic: I trust Obsidian to implement violence, sexuality, philosophy and other "mature" content with both the appropriate atmosphere, and level of detail. I don't see them possibly publishing this game with any rating under mature, given the current climate, but I know that will likely not stop me from buying it for my teenage nephew (barring they implement that "endangering a child" clause). I'd like to see some interesting situations where it isn't that the individuals were necessarily evil or cruel, but maybe just left with no resort. If you could be going through a cavern, and accidentally cause a minor shuffling of stones and such, and open up a hidden passage to find the remains of a lot adventuring party, with one poor individual shivering and gnawing on a femur, it would present a weird sort of relatively rare circumstance, I think.

Edited by UncleBourbon
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Yes, UncleBourbon, I think you have made an apt analysis of the situation. I live in Sweden, and here sex is considered decidedly less repulsive than violence for some reason :)

 

I think the undermining of the word "mature" is confusing at best, among other things for the ratings reasons you mention, and rather sad at worst. I think maturity (in the non-rating sense of the word) is something to admire and strive for ... in moderation :)

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When I think of mature, I don't think sex, violence or harsh language. When I think of mature it's that the fiction in subject whether it being film, book or game tackles on different kind of deeper/higher issues such as MCA said in the recent interview:

 

With this world I think it's going to be a little bit more subtle. The whole premise of the lore and the magic system is that souls get inherited, and then when you pass away the souls wait for a time and then come back to another body. The question is how much of your own behavior is being governed by your own free will or the influence of the soul inside you and all of its history? I think that can raise some interesting questions for both the player character and the companions.

 

When I think of mature film, I think of film like Blade Runner which tackles on with the issues "If we give conciousness and emotions to androids, are they still just androids?" even though that is somewhat under the surface but it's still there.

 

That's not to say I don't enjoy violent films such as Evil Dead 1 and 2 but I don't consider them as very mature even though they are great films.

Edited by jarpie
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To give an idea of where I stand I am an avid reader (when I get time) and devour David Gemmell, Raymond E. Fiest, David Eddings, Ian Irvine, Ann McCafree, Frank Herbert etc etc as often as I can. All these authors have sex, rape, prostitution, homosexual relationships etc etc all through their work. None of it is gratuitous or graphic or particularly explicit in its description but it is definitely there and adds to the context and characters of their respective stories. I am not against Mature adult content.

 

I am, however, against immature adult content. Having sex (for example) in a game does not make the game "mature" unless there is a mature reason for having it as part of the story. Others may disagree but I would class The Witchers sex conquest card game as immature and cheap in what was other wise a great game and story.

 

I am looking forward to an immersive and mature story. I would much rather you spend your time creating another class or something than rendering cheap sex sceens that don't really do anything for the story. Can you give me some reassurance?

 

AFAIK the authors writing on this game have their mature compass firmly in place. The things you mentioned is just things that could be mature content, but they are not by nature. If anyone understood what I meant. :D If anything I believe you might use the word "theme" instead, you want mature themes. Most certainly a story with gratious sex isn't very mature in my eyes, in fact the inclusion of sex doesn't sway it either way. It is how it is is presented. therefore "theme", not "content".

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Cultural differences aside I'm pretty sure the ideal scenario is that if situations are created where those would be interesting topics to explore, they are explored, but if they aren't, they're left out. Controversial features shouldn't just be taken as a bundle of "maturity" and thrown into the game because that's not what maturity is. Slavery for example isn't the kind of thing you want to just throw into the setting for the sake of being dark. On the other hand, what if someone swore an undying oath of servitude to the king, and their reincarnation was hunted down and "claimed"? That would be a case where slavery is tied into the lore and can be used to discuss interesting topics.

 

The question therefore is not "is this stuff going to be in the game?" but "what kind of themes or ideas will the game present, and how far will those be explored?" If everything follows from there, rather than the other way around, the game probabaly won't just come off as trying too hard.

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I dont need sex per se but i feel that the game should show that in a harsh violent world with a rigid hierarchical social structures and a pre industrial economy, sex is a readily available commodity and that selling/offering it was for some women their only way to put bread on the table.

 

Mature themes i would like to be explored in PE - racism, sexism, religious extremism, class oppression For some game companies that kind of mature content would be a lot more controversial than just throwing some flesh and swearing into the game.

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I'd rather the mature content be thematic, and based on the developer and the proposed game design and the intended audience, I think that's the most likely. I don't mind violence and sexual content as long as they're handled maturely, and I expect that P:E will have plenty of the former and some of the latter. But realistically speaking, the 2D graphics do kind of limit how in your face either kind of content can be and I don't think that either of those aspects would be what would earn the game an M rating or make it unappealing to publishers.

 

I think what's more likely is that stories about things like genocide, slavery, drug abuse and the like will be taken to their more disturbing conclusions and not cut off at a point where everything ends relatively cheerfully without forcing the player to spend too much time contemplating the subject matter. Instead of freeing a bunch of slaves at the docks or deciding to look the other way, players might get a chance to explore a culture that has slavery in more depth and talk to people directly involved in it. Or perhaps players might be presented two imperfect options and end up finding both choices quite disturbing.

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Thinking about the more recent fallout games, and some of the other topics here, it does bring a point: why enable cannibalism, dismemberment and the carrying around of body parts, but feel so compelled to have bloody matresses with bound hands and feet, but oh no, the thought of a rape victim - dead or alive - is just so terrible. (It is, but in comparison it seems like they could have included it just to add to the terrible reality of the fallout universe).

 

They did include it. Cook-Cook?

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Thinking about the more recent fallout games, and some of the other topics here, it does bring a point: why enable cannibalism, dismemberment and the carrying around of body parts, but feel so compelled to have bloody matresses with bound hands and feet, but oh no, the thought of a rape victim - dead or alive - is just so terrible. (It is, but in comparison it seems like they could have included it just to add to the terrible reality of the fallout universe).

 

They did include it. Cook-Cook?

And all of Caesar's Legion?
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jcod0.png

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When I think of mature content, I realize that my love for literary works is primarily for immature literature. Sensationalist novels, such as Borges and Beckett, allure by monumental excess. Brilliant architects and sorcerers they might be, but what they ain't is mature. John Irving and Mark Helprin, Salman Rushdie and Kathy Acker. This is not mature writing that I love, albeit the issues these authors approach are the issues of humankind. We're not being mature when we have to evoke the land of the dead, question the sanity of arch-angels, describe copulation, elicit love for bear-costumed women, and sputter out bathroom humor twisted with a punk version of hallmark greeting cards. We know we're not being mature when we gleefully tread the dried ink surfaces, noting the latest murder by so-called heroes, applauding their thievery, wishing we too could defy the gods (gods who doubtlessly try hard but are otherwise too busy for us). So mature content sure as hell isn't Fritz Leiber, Clive Barker, Samuel R Delany, Tanith Lee, nor Joanna Russ.

 

Mature content is not going to be in Project Eternity. Nor do we seek maturity except to sanctify our transubstantiated blood sport (seen blood into the word blood).

 

So what we will find is entertainment, dashing and vivacious. We will be surgical prize-fighters cutting into the foe and committing numb murder after numb murder, we will be the special forces of the evening star and shatter diamonds with our hard greed. We have the maturity of Sartre's The Stranger yet we will understand that novel as a Cure song about killing people of different nationalities than ourselves, because when we kill, it will be villains who seemingly deserve murder.

 

Like humor, killing and dying is wonderful fun when you're not the target, and it's best when the target is artwork. This is what most people do not understand about Colbert and Silverman. They only mock fictional celebrities, celebrities who destroy their selfhood to unify with the wants of the people, celebrities who are transfixed by the evil hungers of the public. Feed us a Gomorrah built up of luminous dreams, we beg. Here it is, they say, and it looks like your steaming brains.

 

I seek the same things, for I am an ogre and I love to watch the christmas lights suffer.

"This is what most people do not understand about Colbert and Silverman. They only mock fictional celebrities, celebrities who destroy their selfhood to unify with the wants of the people, celebrities who are transfixed by the evil hungers of the public. Feed us a Gomorrah built up of luminous dreams, we beg. Here it is, they say, and it looks like your steaming brains."

 

" If you've read Hart's Hope, Neveryona, Infinity Concerto, Tales of the Flat Earth, you've pretty much played Dragon Age."

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