VR Game Developer on the Challenges of Creating Adult Content
How easy is it to launch realistic virtual reality sex games?
Jorge Ramirez is an indie developer currently working on an adult-themed VR project called La Douche. Future of Sex spoke with him to learn more about what it takes to make true-to-life, X-rated virtual experiences—and the struggle to publish them.
FoS: What is La Douche?
La Douche is a virtual reality experience oriented for the adult niche. It puts you in the shoes of an invisible person who is spying on a beautiful girl while she is having a shower. La Douche is not a game in the sense that you have an objective and you can beat the game, it is as mentioned, an experience where players can immerse and have a taste of what it would be liketo be invisible and the fantasy of spying on a girl as she takes a shower and is completely unaware of you.
FoS: Why did you decide to create a VR experience of an invisible voyeur?
Actually, La Douche started as a test canvas. As I was working on it I started to share it with friends trying to get feedback on VR responsiveness and interaction. The girl was actually only an untextured basic female 3D model I put in there just to test that size proportions were matching real-life proportions. That was all it was, but I started to see that people wanted to interact with the girl, and they started to ask if she was going to start moving or go into the shower. Some others even asked me when I was going to release the next version with the girl moving around. This is when I realized that this could have potential, and since I already had the basic canvas built I continued to develop the idea.
FoS: What are the physics involved in developing a realistic and interactive VR sex game?
Interaction is something very difficult to achieve from a VR perspective; we are tricking the brain to think it is in a virtual world and anything that breaks that world's rules can break the immersion. This is why interaction has to be as real as possible. La Douche lets the user interact with the girl's breast, using the HTC Vive controls it lets the player manipulate the breast the way they want. I’m still researching on how to get better results and things are looking good. Currently, I have plans to add virtual hands that can actually wrap around and push the skin with the fingertips.
I’m trying to add interactivity to the game in a way that won't break the fantasy. I have many ideas, one, for example, would be enabling the player to stop time. This way he could interact without disrupting the girl character. Another idea is to make it look like the girl is having a dream and she will just play along.
There are plenty of cartoon adult games out there and only a few of realistic experiences. In order to make the experience more realistic, I'm trying to simulate accurate physics for player interaction, character awareness of the player that plays along with the fantasy, and a lot of HD graphics and baked shading system for the 3D environment. I also use many of the common immersion techniques used and discussed by professional VR game developers, like 3D audio immersion and self-awareness.
FoS: What other challenges to creating realistic interactions have you had to consider or work on?
The major challenge right now are my limitations as an indie developer. I may be strong in creativity and coding but I lack on skills at 3D modeling, because of this reason I have been struggling with common things like baking 3D meshes, posing and animation. These are the major issues I will need to address to continue working on my projects. A secondary challenge is the efficient use of resources, efficient programming and performance, but I’m less worried about this since this is what I do in my day-to-day activities as a professional software developer.
FoS: Why did you decide to create a crowdfunding campaign for your project and how has your experience been using Patreon to raise funds? As you may know, adult-themed projects and sex tech startups have run into problems or not been accepted on other platforms.
When I started to develop La Douche I was trying to learn from other adult VR game developers, I found out that all of them are using Patreon to fund their projects and I found out that some of them are doing very good.
I know the problems of publishing adult games through the popular portals, I have been asking Steam and Oculus if they would let this game to be published in their platforms but things don’t look very promising unless I censure the game. This is why I will be looking for other means to promote and make my game reachable to VR users.
I want to mention that La Douche is not my main project. I want to use this to learn and practice as well as to raise some funds to pay for developer licenses, content licenses as well as required technology to continue working on my projects, La Douche will also help me to grow audience and prepare the hype for when I announce my second and bigger adult VR game. By this it doesn’t mean I wont continue developing La Douche, this project will go on until it is a completely stand alone VR experience. This should take less than a year while I prepare the way for the second game.
FoS: Regarding Steam and Occulus not wanting an adult game like yours on their platforms unless censored, I recall Oculus saying it would allow NSFW VR programs about a year or so ago. Has something changed?
I’m trying to figure that out. I have wrote to Oculus but haven't got a satisfactory response. It seems that I can publish my product and they won't block 3rd party software to run in their SDK, but from that to publishing it in their portal is a very different thing. Also I have been told from other developers that one can actually publish a censured game to Steam, and then release the uncensored content as a plugin. I will let you know when I learn more about it.
FoS: Are there any VR platforms that are particularly adult-content friendly?
Yes, there are plenty of websites offering VR content and video for the Google Cardboard, especially on Android devices where developers are free to publish Adult content. The Google Cardboard is a good platform to start experimenting VR, but its not as immersive as the Oculus or the HTC Vive.
*The conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Image source: Haz ZnelArts
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