In the world of sexy games, Lust Doll is unique: It's an RPG that lets you choose what types of sexual situations you want to see as you journey through its world.
Into feet, but not BDSM? Fantasise about futanari, but don't particularly enjoy vore? Where other games start you with a character creator and ask you to choose between hairstyles and eye colours, Lust Doll gives you a menu of fetishes and turn-ons, letting you pick through and define how your game will progress. Want to see some gay aliens gettin' down? It's just a checkbox away.
The vast majority of sex games, whether trashy ones or more thoughtful, tend to be fairly straightforward about it: You'll have a paper-thin setup that brings two or more characters together for some bonin'. But Lust Doll, initially released in 2015 but finalised in October, and the developer's new game Rainy Skies approach the topic from a different angle.
It's a veritable buffet of kinks and stories, all put together over a substantive RPG. The idea here is that you can swap out and fiddle with just about everything else in games, especially RPGs, so why not fetishes?
"Human sexuality is ridiculously complicated, and what works for one person can completely ruin the experience for another," said the game's developer Indivi.
To be clear, this isn't Skyrim or The Witcher: Lust Doll uses rudimentary 2D art, borrowing heavily from the rich tradition of tabletop RPGs. The sexy vignettes come in the form of detailed, occasionally dry, descriptions of your shenanigans, which usually happen off-screen.
"Lust Doll was sort of my version of that type of open-world concept where you just go around, exploring the world and discovering things," said Indivi. "I was somewhat concerned... in an age where eye candy tends to decide whether your game gets attention or not, whether people would respond to such minimalistic graphics."
Fortunately, reading isn't dead yet, and a solid community has sprung up around Indivi and their games. Because the game isn't exactly G-rated, many use handles and stick to forums such as Fenoxo, where they can discuss NSFW content freely.
Most of the chats are rather mundane, with people offering their suggestions for how to tweak the game, or which features should be added in upcoming releases.
But others request specific fetishes be included, such as nappy-wearing, or ask for tips on things such as how to start lactating in-game. It's bizarre, for sure, but, besides the subject matter itself, no more so than the discussions around the minutiae of any other RPG.
Indivi funds development through Patreon, which they say has grown to become a primary income source. Starting in May 2015, the first "season" of Lust Doll concluded in October. There will still be regular updates and modders are encouraged to dig through the code and add what they can, but for now, Indivi is focusing their efforts on their next game, Rainy Skies.
By reacting to the community and working with fans, Indivi says that they're able to take the time they need to account for the many, many possibilities that arise when you select kink combos such as "tickle torture" and "vore pregnant futanari". In the same way that choosing to go in one or another direction in Skyrim might mean that you miss out on certain areas, Indivi struggled creating a system that was flexible, while remaining story-based.
"You have to account for all the different possible scenarios," they said. "You end up writing twice as many scenes that a significant portion of players might not see, due to their settings."
That work is worth it, though, if only because it means that fans get to tailor their experience, which Invidi hopes will help the sex-game genre to come out of the shadows.
"I'm hopeful that sex games (and sexual experiences in general) becomes less niche and more generally accepted," Indivi said. It's a little sad that something so fundamental to human nature is often oppressed or spoken of in hushed tones, as it's pretty clear there's an immense, unfulfilled demand for these kinds of games."