Tuesday, August 21, 2012


It has been four months since I finished the first, untouched version of Polymorphous Perversity. Despite mentioning a few mechanics and releasing some screenshots beforehand, it was a game I fought hard to keep to myself. I didn't want people to see it before it was ready for public eyes. Even in the middle of all the player contribution, either in the form of short sexual fantasy testimonials or nude photos exposition requests, the game felt very... mine. Very personal. Anyone who's read a bit of this blog knows how intimate my relationship with the game has been all along. In a way that's not as flat and obvious as it may seem at first glance, everything I put in the game was part of me. In a way, the game was like a personal diary. And as it grew on me, so did the pressure to let it out.

After almost two months of testing - which were very painful to me, as I had to hold it for a bit longer - I made the public release of Polymorphous Perversity. Back then, it was one game. Today, after numerous comments, videos and reviews sprouted on the Internet, it feels like another game entirely. And that's how it should be. To me, games are messages, from developer to player. The content of the message is not exclusively determined by the author's intent, but by the receiver's understanding as well. The content of Polymorphous Perversity only made real sense to me after players started responding. And thus I feel the game - or rather, the project - is actually finished now.

I have vowed myself not to give interviews regarding the game once it was released. I have also vowed myself not to comment on player's discussion on the game, neither try to explain anything. I have to say, keeping those vows has been extremely difficult. I have this urge to keep talking, explaining and elaborating, if only to try and make more sense of the game to myself, put thoughts and ideas into words and making them concrete. But that would defeat the purpose of the entire thing, and I feel it would be too arrogant of me to say that someone didn't get the game. That's not what it's about.

There are two modes in which I functioned while making Polymorphous Perversity. I'll call them the Conscious Mode, and the Unconscious mode. In Conscious Mode, I made deliberate design choices trying to convey specific reactions on the players while fully aware of the message I was trying to send. There are various elements in the game that seem random, I know, but believe me - they aren't. In Unconscious Mode, I refrained myself from overthinking scenes and dialogs, and just wrote whatever came to mind, like free association, no matter how senseless they could seem at first examination. That's also an inheritance of Freudian inspiration, and that's not a bit more random than Conscious Mode. I think both modes worked equally well on constituting the game's content.

I'll say it now, there is intentional meaning in Polymorphous Perversity. I was trying to make a point. From what I've been reading, no one have seemed to quite get it, or rather, think like me. Maybe because in the effort of trying to hide some cues from insipid obviousness, I hid them a little too well. It doesn't really matter. I'm glad that people are still able to make consistent readings of the game, and I am not to say they are any less valid then my own.

What is special about Polymorphous Perversity, though, is how deep those readings can go. It is incredible how the game seems to catch people's attention through entirely different elements. How two people can love the game for completely different reasons, and how two other people can hate it for different reasons as well. And it's not just love and hate - players have engaged on the game on very different levels. And this is exactly what I meant, and what I expected when I said I hoped players to involve with the game sexually. I didn't mean players were suppose to get horny playing the game (though, well... it could happen). I meant that players would react differently to the game for reasons that correspond to their sexuality - and again, I summon Freud for a broader understanding of sexuality. I could mention a good bunch of examples here, but I don't want to point fingers at the people writing about the game. Just google it, or browse the "They have spoken" tab on the right side of this blog.

It would be absurd to deny that there's a lot of myself in the game, but at the same time it managed to allow players to put a lot of themselves in there too. And by the multiplicity of player's reactions, I could say that process number two has carried an important weight. From this perspective, it's funny how I have been called many things as the creator of the game, "transphobic", "misogynist pig" and "juvenile" being some of them. They're blaming me from the things they saw, things lots of other players didn't... and even I didn't. To be honest, I was incredibly surprised that the game has raised debate on the "tranny" issue and on the "rape" issue. My response to this is: those are not my issues, and they're definitely not the game's.

Having said that, I acknowledge a lot of the game's flaws that were mentioned by many players, especially mechanic. I took a lot of risks, and it was hit and miss process. Once some guy asked me when would I make another game like Beautiful Escape: Dungeoneer, or even a sequel to it. I would never. I want to make games that challenge me, that take me out of my comfort zone. If anyone thinks playing Polymorphous Perversity is hard, imagine making it. But that's what it's been about, all along.

My original intent of this game was making an RPG that contained pretty much every aspect of the male sexuality (male - intentionally). It would be some sort of clinical exposition, an essay on sexuality, and funnily, that was what some people were expecting. It was bound to fail, of course, and gladly it did. Polymorphous Perversity is not the game I started making in Feb 2011. It's nothing like it, but I'm completely satisfied with what it turned out to be. I'm satisfied with the journey I took, I'm satisfied that I actually finished it (almost a miracle, I could say), and I'm satisfied it communicates with people. I wouldn't change anything.

I don't know if I'll be graded A, B, or F, but my horny meter is definitely down right now.