Making sex games is tough. Between political issues, the ESRB's ratings board, cultural differences and technical issues -- it's a war zone. Brenda Brathwaite, the encyclopedia
for sex in the industry, held a few roundtables about different aspects of sex over the course of GDC. The first day was about the business side of things and one of the major conclusions was if there is anything holding back sex-based games in the industry it's collision detection software.
Some of the designers in the room had worked on fighting games and explained grapples that you see in games are all canned. Simon Strange, a designer on Godzilla: Destroy all Monsters
, said, "Single point of contact between two people in games is already difficult enough. If you're going to have people having sex, there is ultimate contact. How do you support their weight? There are multiple points of contact. That is the difficulty."
A conclusion that came out of the discussion was the company who makes a friendly to use multiple points of contact software will make millions through licensing between the fighting and sex games genre.
It also turns out that in these sex games all animations are originally created by hand. Designers said there has been a social downside creating position in this manner. Straights and gays received certain animations and there was complaining that one group couldn't do what the other one was doing -- even though in real life they certainly would have the ability. Let your imagination roll with what that means.
At this point the sex games industry is still in its infancy, due to technical limitations and social implications. Some of the hurdles these companies are trying to overcome is the obvious collision detection issues, linking up with dating sites and, most interestingly, how to get women involved in these games? For many of the games attempting to create a "real life hook-up" option, it kind of helps to give heterosexual men something to log in for. Otherwise, for the women on these services, it'll be a man-buffet.