Hobby Project #1

For years I’ve been starting and shelving hobby projects that combine themes of kink with games. I’ve discovered a lot of things that don’t work.

Thinking back, I can trace this compulsion to a game called System Shock 2. It’s a sci-fi shooter set on a spaceship infested with mind-controlling parasites. The player stumbles across various audio logs with first person accounts of what it’s like to be transformed into a meat puppet. They linger on how their revulsion turned to ecstasy, and all their inhibition melted away. It’s not explicit, but there’s a strong sexual subtext running through the game. It had a lasting effect on me.

I went looking for more and found mcstories.com, where the sexual subtext was hauled out into the open and given nipple piercings. I liked the genre and wanted to make a game about it.

Malign Conspiracy (2005, Incomplete, unreleased)

My first approach was to take the usual progression of the stories – lure in a test subject, subjugate them with mad science, have hot sex, use them to abduct more members for your harem – and turn it into a management sim. At the time I didn’t see a way to turn the actual mind control into a game, let alone the sex, so I abstracted those parts away. If you got a person into your lair and picked the brainwash option, in the next turn they would be a minion. I modeled loyalty and had a few different indoctrination processes, but there was never much strategy there.

All the challenge in the game stemmed from abducting people without the police getting involved. You’d pick a squad of minions, and depending on their capabilities, sneak, fight, hypnotise or seduce your way into a building. You’d try to abduct your target before the cops or security arrived.

The game was largely text based. The infiltration gameplay never worked properly because there was no spatial aspect to the game. I realised that the game needed to have at least a blueprint view of the building and direct control over the squad members. I realised that as the abduction half of the game became more and more complex, and it was overwhelming the indoctrination half of the game, which was the erotic bit. The more kidnapping stuff that went in the game, the more uncomfortably sociopathic it became. I abandoned it.

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