This is the first of what I plan to be a neat little series of articles on features we’re either working on or planning for the future. The character transformation system is about half-way done at the time of writing, and covers pretty much everything. In fact there’s too many variables to list here, but I’ll summarise some of the really cool parts.
I’m just big-boned
I’ve been a porn artist for a long time, so a key concern for me was handling varying body types. For instance, in Skyrim, you have a choice between skinny and buff by using their ‘body size’ slider during character creation (if you’re a dude, anyway. Ladies get a range from ‘skinny’ to ‘not so skinny’).
You’ll never see a fat guy in Skyrim, nor can you make one without the help of game mods, which is a shame, but completely understandable once you consider the exponential complexity it would have brought to the body models and making the armour fit.
Working in text lets us handle that. Players will have both a muscularity and fatness rating, and you can mix these two together as you please. This, when used with your height, covers a great deal of body types right up front. Muscleguts, girls with a bit of squish to them, bodybuilders or even morbidly obese, if that’s your thing.
Heads, shoulders knees and toes
As well as allowing the player to adjust their build, I also wanted to let them adjust the frame underneath it. Again drawing from my experience with smut, I know that simply changing the breadth of a character’s shoulders can change a lot about their overall look. More accurately, it’s the shoulder-waist-hips ratio that really defines a masculine body from a feminine one. With this in mind, we’ve been working on letting the player change those, too.
For instance, on a slender male body, merely narrowing the waist can make it dramatically look more feminine, and shrinking the shoulders further still. Or, simply expand the hips; it’s the ratio which is important. Broad shoulders on a woman make her quickly look more masculine; something to keep in mind for those amazon warrior types.
And this doesn’t simple change a measurement on a stats sheet. Changing your body shape will affect how NPC’s treat you and how the game describes you overall.
Scales aren’t just for weight
Your weight is calculated in Carnal Souls using absolutely everything possible. Your build, your frame, from your height to the size of your clitoris (if you have one) – every appendage, every set of genitals, every boob and bollock – it’s all used to calculate your weight.
Further still, everything attached to your body scales and is described accordingly. For instance, growing your entire character up to ten feet tall would result in a relatively large dick, ten inches or so on average. On its own this would be considered a huge ol’ dong, but being ten feet tall, the game considers this to be of a normal size for you.
NPC’s might think differently though. Relative to a dainty Elven lass half your height, that cock looks a lot bigger. But what this means is the game won’t start saying what giant tits you have simply because your D-cups scaled up with your body – nor will they suddenly be described as tiny if you become a shortstack.
My penis is a snowflake
As well has having a great deal of customisation for your body, players can also change their genitals in ways never seen before. Add an extra dick or twelve, add a few extra pairs of boobs, grow or shrink everything accordingly, that’s the basic stuff. Maybe you want an extra plump and squishy pussy. Maybe you’d like a knot on your cock, or to add a foreskin. Maybe you’d like to just make your foreskin even bigger, or get rid of it completely. Swap the whole thing out for a horsecock perhaps, but also keep the knot. Everything is changeable, even your butthole. Make it a dainty little thing or a big, shiny donut. It’s all up to you; you can be as tame or outlandish as you please.
Mind your pronouns
Gender is a pretty hot topic these days. My own character happens to be a very girly-looking male. With tits. Based on physical appearance, people assume that he’s a she, which is understandable in spite of the dong. People say what they see – they have to, in lieu of telepathy. I want the characters in Carnal Souls to react realistically to your appearance, too. Almost everything you change about your body from your hair style to the size of your hips, as well as the clothing you wear, will change how NPC’s see you. If you’re a mix of genders you may find they don’t know whether to say sir or miss, and being a very feminine male may get you mistaken for a girl, and vice-versa.
This stems from one of my biggest problems with RPG’s today – also a running joke in Bethesda’s games. Walking around in full daedric armour, killing dragons and calling down fireballs on your enemies, and still you get talked to like shit by shopkeepers and attacked by bandits armed with sticks. We aim to change that. As well as reacting to your apparent gender, NPC’s will react to your stature as well. Bandits will see girlyboys as easier targets than hulking she-warriors, and shopkeeps won’t talk to you like you’re dirt when you enter their store in full demonic plate armour.
To summarise, we aim to make Carnal Souls as reactive as possible. Changing something will have knock-on effects elsewhere, either for positive or negative results. Sex scenes will change to account for your body, NPC’s will treat you as they see you. This will mean a lot of work, but it will make the world a rich and immersive place to be.
Until next time!