Friday, February 25, 2011

Cursed: Behind the Scenes

Who cares about theory? Let's look at some mechanics!

Some of this might be a slight restatement of stuff that I've already posted at TFGamesSite.

So, in Cursed, you play a man who has been transformed somehow into a woman. The causes are kind of vague, really. Anyway, once you're a woman, then what? Well, there's a couple of obvious things that happen, and a couple of things that kind of don't. First of all, your body is set based on prior actions. You can have small breasts, big breasts, or zonking huge breasts. There's a problem with the zonking huge breasts, though: if your boobs get too big, you'll lock in a bad end. I'm not sure if that's going to stay, but given the fact that I don't want breasts to be capable of getting infinitely huge, the best course of action right now seems to be if they get utterly (udderly) massive, which in this case is an H-cup, then you'll have to deal with the consequences. In other words, you'll have to deal with the fact that you really can't operate with breasts that big. Your butt size is variable as well, as is your hair length and color. I'm considering adding a height mechanic, but without any particular advantage or disadvantage to doing so, it's not worth it right now.

Hair length and color are relatively easy to influence. Color is a matter of dyes which, while costing money, won't be prohibitively expensive. The dye would be permanent (unless you re-dye it), reflecting the malleability of your body. Hair length would increase every week or so, or can be increased by special hair growth products. Hair is largely cosmetic: you can choose to do some different things with it in terms of styling, and some characters will like that, but for the most part it has little effect beyond your description. At least for now.

Breast and butt size are somewhat different. They influence a character's opinion of you (for example, more conservative characters might think less of player's with big tits). They tend not to get in the way of things, but altering your body, whether through breast, butt or weight changes, affects your clothing most of all. Changes are "instantaneous", in that when you go from, say, a b-cup to a c-cup bra, they grow within the space of one turn, but you have to build up to the growth in various ways. Your clothes will never fail, but once you take off an outfit after a body change, you'll notice that it doesn't fit anymore. There's a tailor available who will take an inventory of all your clothes that don't fit, and charge a flat fee per item. So, while you can change your body shape in a variety of ways, it's not necessarily the best idea, because you'll find yourself going through money rather quickly.

Money that may be better spent on different things. You start off with an apartment full of basic stuff, like a TV. However, these items only offer basic functionality. By upgrading your stuff, you can gain access to additional functions. For example, the basic TV lets you watch four or five different channels, but for the most part, you're going to find that there's nothing on. Getting the better TV gives you a total of ten different channels, and greatly reduces the chances of not finding something to watch. Getting the best TV (which requires getting the better TV first) gives you access to adult channels. Some things you can buy don't offer any benefits themselves, but instead just organize your apartment (for example, you can buy a large variety of books, but they will eventually clutter up the living room, so for a relatively low price, you can buy a bookshelf to hide them all, and yes, that's not a very good reason to buy a piece of furniture, but when you have more than a dozen books...).

I'm toying with an idea for descriptions. In other words, when your body fits in certain parameters, your description changes to reflect that you're a specific type of woman. If, for example, you were at the thin or very thin weight level, had a-cup breasts, and a barely there butt, then the description would reflect the fact that you have a waif-ish look. Add in black hair, and maybe you're a little bit of a gothic lolita in the right clothes. Things like that. I don't know how I would code it yet, but it wouldn't be terribly difficult. The way the "Player: Examine" command works right now, there's a command to determine certain personality traits, so changing it to include checks for various body effects wouldn't be very hard. So really, the only problem is what "special" descriptions there would be, besides the obvious things like "voluptuous", "tomboyish" and so on.

The game is almost stupid complicated. There's an "Examine" command to give you a basic idea of how you're doing (which will reflect fairly recent events as well, like if you've just had sex, are particularly horny, and so on), and a much more involved "Status" command that gives you lots of details. There's six options (because if I put it all in one command, it would be horribly long and take a while to go through and maybe you're just not interested in all that stuff), only one of which is not status related at all (it explains any sexual traits you've unlocked). The other five commands are Vitals (name, gender, cash, arousal status, and any odd physical features like a penis, or pregnancy), Appearance (hair, breasts, butt, weight, overall looks [I'll elaborate on this another time], makeup and currently worn clothing), Job (career track, actual job in that career track [again, something for another time], and the three job-related skills status), Sexuality (relationship status, gender preference [guys, girls, both], and your sexual traits), and Skills (non-job related skills, and your femininity: the degree to which you are comfortable being a woman). Just about everything in that's been listed can be changed.

I think that's enough for now. Eventually, I'll get around to talking about some other stuff in the game, but for now, there's things to do.

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