In no particular order I settled into the usual rhythm of 4am. By then I had taken on a preference for Adult Swim bumps to grace my speakers because business emails are like holiday gifts from family. You expect to be at least partially disappointed, but you hope for the best anyway. And I’d be damned if I wasn’t dancing-seated with anticipation.
The next morning I had a meeting with a publisher, we’ll call them Bluecorp. Well Bluecorp asked me that morning if a meeting in the afternoon would work out and of course it would. Partially because by now we had spoken to multiple publishers in the past who intended to drag things out much longer than they needed to be dragged out for. And if progress is what motivates you, that kind of sucks.
Halfway through the meeting it became clear that one of the reps – we’ll call him Henry – had the wrong initial impression as to what Triple X Tycoon was. Unfortunately, Henry was the only one we hadn’t spoken to at Bluecorp at this point since we had been speaking on and off with them for about a year or more. Worse still, Henry’s decision would ultimately guide the verdict that would hopefully come at the conclusion of that meeting. It didn’t, of course.
See, Triple X Tycoon is a tricky beast. Henry thought the game should be dirtier and if the idea of publishing the game was going any further we’d have to be open to that concept. We very much were. Except this deviates from what we’re actually trying to do. Most of Bluecorp’s games, I’m sure, are played and enjoyed primarily by heterosexual men from the USA and/or Canada. And that’s fine, except we’d definitely have taken a different approach if this was the only audience who bought adult games. It’s not. But we love them all the same!
Now I’m not saying we aren’t open to the concept of a dirtier Triple X Tycoon. The idea mentioned at the meeting was brought up by one of our fringe designers once before. It’s just that, dirtier isn’t the point. The point of the game is to make money, but in the business of adult entertainment. That means, toys, websites, magazines, calendars, hotlines, clubs, movies and so on are your tools in reaching that goal. The sex is a bonus, we’ll keep it interesting, but there are other things to worry about. It’s our own world in a box. So where the hell does that leave us?
In the middle. We’re Midcore as far as adult games go.
Not hot enough for Bluecorp and their audience, too hot for Steam. The good news is that this doesn’t actually matter as we’ve reached some understanding with Bluecorp for the time being and our release on Steam is now pending an exact date. The bad news is that the middle is usually where things get half-baked or over/undercooked from time to time. The middle is where you often buckle and pick sides. But we think the middle is about balance.
I think having the ability to pick a side is more important than picking one sometimes. Being given the opportunity to take a measured approach is key to the open-mind and I don’t know about you but we could all use more open-mindedness. Our game is open-ended, which means it’s important to us that you reserve the ability to do whatever the fuck you want on your way to the conclusion you create for yourself.
At the end of the day we don’t care how you play the game. Actually, we care about not having to care about it. And if throwing the hand-crafted systems off balance with silly mechanics that appeal to a certain group of people – who may or may not be playing – kills joy for the majority, we just won’t do it.