Are dating sims just an excuse for porn?

A place to discuss things that aren't specific to any one creator or game.
Forum rules
Ren'Py specific questions should be posted in the Ren'Py Questions and Annoucements forum, not here.
Post Reply
Message
Author
User avatar
OldNoEyes
Newbie
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Nov 20, 2019 7:20 pm
Projects: Black Heaven
itch: oldnoeyes.itch.io
Location: Brooklyn, NYC
Contact:

Are dating sims just an excuse for porn?

#1 Post by OldNoEyes » Sat Nov 23, 2019 8:17 pm

I was having a conversation with an artist friend of mine who had signed on to work on a dating sim project with me, and the discussion turned to how he should draw the NSFW material.

It ended up becoming a much bigger conversation about why someone makes a dating sim. So much of the visual novel and dating sim genres seem to operate on the promise of NSFW that it's almost required to put the sexy stuff up front, or at least promise players it's in there.

At the heart of the conversation was the idea that if you have NSFW material, you're basically cheapening anything else artistic or worthwhile by building it all on the promise of porn.

This led to a pretty bleak conclusion: either you create a game with a bunch of sex dolls and give it to the player, or you pretend you're doing that, but actually mislead them into buying something different.

I don't agrees with this argument, but I wanted to get your thoughts: why do you play dating sims or romantic visual novels? If you're a creator, why do you create them?
You opened the box, he came.

User avatar
trooper6
Lemma-Class Veteran
Posts: 3670
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:33 pm
Projects: A Close Shave
Location: Medford, MA
Contact:

Re: Are dating sims just an excuse for porn?

#2 Post by trooper6 » Sat Nov 23, 2019 10:26 pm

I've played a number of dating sims that neither had NSFW materials nor the promise of NSFW materials. So I don't think it is accurate that dating sims are just an excuse for porn. I've also played NSFW dating sims, and I don't agree with the premise that having NSFW material cheapens anything else artistic or worthwhile. That implies that NSFW stuff can't be done artistically or that there is nothing worthwhile to be found NSFW materials. That feels prudish.

I play dating sims or romantic visual novels for the same reason I play any sort of visual novel: I'm hoping for some good artistic creations that move me in some way.
A Close Shave:
*Last Thing Done (Aug 17): Finished coding emotions and camera for 4/10 main labels.
*Currently Doing: Coding of emotions and camera for the labels--On 5/10
*First Next thing to do: Code in all CG and special animation stuff
*Next Next thing to do: Set up film animation
*Other Thing to Do: Do SFX and Score (maybe think about eye blinks?)
Check out My Clock Cookbook Recipe: http://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/viewto ... 51&t=21978

GNVE
Regular
Posts: 36
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:11 pm
Completed: ShSt - Bad Day
Projects: ShSt - Afterparty, Collings University
itch: https://gnve.itch.io
Contact:

Re: Are dating sims just an excuse for porn?

#3 Post by GNVE » Sun Nov 24, 2019 10:33 am

I think it's wrong to think that NSFW scenes cheapens everything you do. That would mean if there is a sex scene in a movie that means it has to be porn. I think that in movies the reverse might actually be true where the more explicit the sex scenes in a movie the more artsy it generally is (e.g. La vie d'Adele (Blue is the warmest colour), Vicky Christina Barcelona or Turkish Delight).

Of course having NSFW scenes may cheapen the project if no thought is put into the why, how and when of the sex scene. I'd say try to look for a deeper layer. Can you show something meaningful about their relationship in the sex scene? Can you drive the plot forward? It's probably hard to do but definitely not impossible. But I don't think there is anything wrong with cheap pandering either if that is what you set out to do either.

Having a dating sim without sex is also possible. I think there is a dating sim about the Supreme Court in the US which aims to teach/show how the Supreme Court works and about who is on the court. I doubt NSFW scenes would fit within that premise or I'd want that. So no depending on your premise and goals NSFW scenes don't have to be expected or included.

User avatar
trooper6
Lemma-Class Veteran
Posts: 3670
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:33 pm
Projects: A Close Shave
Location: Medford, MA
Contact:

Re: Are dating sims just an excuse for porn?

#4 Post by trooper6 » Sun Nov 24, 2019 1:56 pm

There is also skill and artistry in doing NSFW stuff well and effectively. It isn't easy to do it well.
A Close Shave:
*Last Thing Done (Aug 17): Finished coding emotions and camera for 4/10 main labels.
*Currently Doing: Coding of emotions and camera for the labels--On 5/10
*First Next thing to do: Code in all CG and special animation stuff
*Next Next thing to do: Set up film animation
*Other Thing to Do: Do SFX and Score (maybe think about eye blinks?)
Check out My Clock Cookbook Recipe: http://lemmasoft.renai.us/forums/viewto ... 51&t=21978

gekiganwing
Lemma-Class Veteran
Posts: 2461
Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2004 1:38 pm
Contact:

Re: Are dating sims just an excuse for porn?

#5 Post by gekiganwing » Tue Nov 26, 2019 6:53 am

OldNoEyes wrote:
Sat Nov 23, 2019 8:17 pm
It ended up becoming a much bigger conversation about why someone makes a dating sim. So much of the visual novel and dating sim genres seem to operate on the promise of NSFW that it's almost required to put the sexy stuff up front, or at least promise players it's in there.
I had been active for three years in VN fandom when I read the freeware story A Midsummer Day's Resonance. It was a love story with goofs and spoofs, but I thought it did two exceptional things. 1: It got me to care about the characters in less than an hour. 2: I enjoyed reading it even though there were no sex scenes, choices, or alternate endings.

Over the years, I've played a few romance games which emphasized complex gameplay. I found Tokimeki Memorial Girl's Side interesting enough that I got three different endings. The game is part of a franchise that has almost always been on consoles. Its entries would merit a Teen rating from the ESRB, or maybe a PG-13 rating from the MPAA. There are a couple scenes in Tokimeki Memorial Girl's Side in which male love interests wear swimsuits. That said, the game's good endings only have chaste kisses.
OldNoEyes wrote:
Sat Nov 23, 2019 8:17 pm
At the heart of the conversation was the idea that if you have NSFW material, you're basically cheapening anything else artistic or worthwhile by building it all on the promise of porn.
A couple works of fiction which I think are good combinations of storytelling and explicit content:
During the first story arc in Elfquest, there's a brief sex scene. I didn't think it seemed out of place in a comic that's full of drama and conflict. For what it's worth, the sex scene happens a few pages before the characters fight a group of trolls.

There's a four-chapter comic called The Sea, the Sun, and You created by Mira. It's NSFW due to several sex scenes, but I thought its characters seemed sympathetic and believable. Likewise, there's a three-volume series called My Lovely Ghost Kana created by Tanaka Yutaka. It has somewhat explicit sex, but it's also a story about characters overcoming grief.
OldNoEyes wrote:
Sat Nov 23, 2019 8:17 pm
This led to a pretty bleak conclusion: either you create a game with a bunch of sex dolls and give it to the player, or you pretend you're doing that, but actually mislead them into buying something different.
If I care what happens to the characters after 45-60 minutes of story, then I will probably care when they fight battles or solve crimes or have sex. However, if the characters seem like rejects from central casting, then I will probably not care about them, regardless of what they do.

User avatar
jack_norton
Lemma-Class Veteran
Posts: 4030
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2008 5:41 pm
Completed: Too many! See my homepage
Projects: A lot! See www.winterwolves.com
Tumblr: winterwolvesgames
Contact:

Re: Are dating sims just an excuse for porn?

#6 Post by jack_norton » Tue Nov 26, 2019 8:59 am

As other said, there are many dating sim WITHOUT sex. Those with NSFW *usually* sell a lot better.
But it all depends on quality. You can have a poorly written/drawn NSFW that won't sell and a cute/fluffy dating sim well written and drawn that will sell a lot.
And I disagree that an artist drawing NSFW is not making art. There are terrible NSFW pictures but also some that are really artistic and well done and require a lot of anatomy skills. For example here in Italy we have this great artist called Manara who drawns NSFT stuff but everybody agrees that he's making art, not porn.
follow me on Image Image Image Image
computer games

User avatar
磯七ラスミ
Regular
Posts: 62
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2016 4:31 pm
Projects: If Facts Aren't Alibi | 盲点に日光 (Mōten ni Nikkō) | Nest, Treetop | Untail Wire Stretch
Contact:

Re: Are dating sims just an excuse for porn?

#7 Post by 磯七ラスミ » Sun Dec 08, 2019 5:33 am

When playing dating sims I hope for warm and kind experiences where I meet various characters, know about their unique traits, have some surprises and solve mysteries and stuff. Play as the role of the MC makes me feel important, like a character that is always in scene (like in real life) so that bolsters the genre.
I can enjoy them even if I don't want to be sexually aroused. Many has strong plots and/or well developed characters so I'm not left out of the enjoyment.

As a creator, I have strong doubts about why sex scenes are most of time extreme. That makes them feel (in my opinion) out of place. My guess is that when they exclude considerable part of audience by making it sexual, they raise their ero bars so it worth it.
I don't think everything else gets ignored but it will affect how the player read through it. You'd have some reader that skims through your scenes wanting to get to the sex, but few would waste a full story and the chance of meet the characters only for get the H-CG.

User avatar
tatsuchan
Newbie
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2019 12:34 pm
itch: furnacestreetstudio
Contact:

Re: Are dating sims just an excuse for porn?

#8 Post by tatsuchan » Mon Dec 09, 2019 12:59 pm

It depends on the game and game creators. Sometimes I think the game is just a marketable way to sell hentai/porn, and as such, the audience isn't going to care about the story as much, if at all. The dating sim I've been working on doesn't show any nudity, although sex is implied (like the EA sims games). I like the idea of an RPG where instead of saving the world or whatever, you're simply trying to get a partner. It's a premise that most of us would probably be more familiar with. Where/what time line the fantasy takes place is where the differences can spawn off from, and you can get creative from there. To each their own though.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users