It's called Tusks and it's got me wondering: why has it taken so long for someone to make a video game about Gay Orcs? It all seems so obvious now...
It's the work of Mitch Alexander, a Scottish Games Journalist and game designer. It started life as a NaNoRenO project (a challenge to create a visual novel in 31 days) and is now being worked on for an upcoming release.
In Tusks players travel through what is described as an "anachronistic, semi-mythical Scotland" and meet, become friends with, and sometimes date a variety of different Orcs.
Why Orcs? Well, personally I love Mitch Alexander's explanation so I'll just post it here:
Monsters are the eternal outsiders - and I think a lot of people who don’t mesh up quite well tend to empathise and relate to the monsters sometimes more than the heroes that tend to take center stage. For example, female artists and creators are exploring monsters through things like mermaid myths and cyborg feminism - comparatively, orcishness in its ugly, crass and troubled depictions holds the same kind of appeal to me. Orcs get cast as the Other to whatever values artists want to uphold, often through real-world tropes, stereotypes and narratives rooted in racism, misogyny, homophobia and more. Instead, I’d like to cast the orcs as the protagonists, and show that most of the things we tend to think about orcs tend to be reflective of the folk writing them.
That's actually super interesting and actually really well considered in a way.
In Tusks the idea is to focus on diverse, multiple different body types that aren't usually considered 'romantic' in other media: "round, stocky and fat bodies, with stretchmarks, body hair, facial hair, scars and piercings; with visible and invisible disabilities, with varying ages, with differing beliefs, educational backgrounds and attitudes".
In terms of the game itself, Mitch is also trying to push boundaries, removing the player from the centre of the game, and trying to remove that feeling dating sims have: the idea that you're just pushing the right buttons to get the right response. Mitch is hoping his characters will act more like actual human beings.
There's no official release date for Tusks, but there will be public playtests throughout April. You can find out more about the game here.