The Dutch developer No Reply was in the news this week after Valve removed their erotic game, Seduce Me, from its Greenlight promotional service. While many outlets wondered eloquently whether Valve was right to censor sexual content on the crowd-sourced site, we wondered, Dutch sex game? So we talked to the game’s co-creator Miriam Bellard, an Amsterdam-based Kiwi who made the game along with her partner, Andrejs Skuja.
Kill Screen: You worked at a major game studio before.
Yes, Andrejs and I both worked at Guerilla, on Killzone.
How did you come up with the idea for Seduce Me?
It all started years ago. Andrejs and I were browsing for erotic games and there wasn’t anything. It was surprising and eventually that idea built up until it was time to do something about it.
Why were you and Andrejs looking for erotic games?
Curiosity? When you look for erotic games in English all you come up with are crappy little flash games, really crude 3d simulations. Then you have the Japanese Hentai. There is no western gaming equivalent of erotic fiction or film.
Seduce Me is played from a male point of view. Why?
We just chose our target audience early on, men. That’s the bulk of gamers.
You play as a university friend of somebody who knows a woman who owns a house in Greece. She’s a very sociable person and has extended the invitation to come along. You can interpret the main character yourself. You don’t see a picture of him while you’re playing except in pictures where he has to be there.
When he has to be there. How much of the game is seduction, and how much of it is sex?
There are four main female characters and each main character has four or five event images of them around the house. Then there are six cut scene images plus the final “winning” image.
The winning image?
Two of them are sex and two of them are fantasy scenes. Those are still sexual in nature, but it’s the girl telling you about what her interests are.
Do you view Seduce Me as a sex aid?
That’s a personal question for the people who play it. The gameplay is quite character driven so I can imagine some people just enjoying the human interaction and the actual sex part being just a small reward at the end. I can imagine other people playing it and being very focused on the sex part. I can imagine some people playing it together for a laugh.
What do you think about the potential for erotica in games?
They make a very interesting medium for erotica. When you’re reading a book it’s interactive to some extent but you’re not getting to direct or change things. You don’t feel responsible for anything. The potential with games is that purer interaction – you’ve made this happen. If you fail with the girl, you made that happen.
According to the Seduce Me website, “the game was inspired by the lives of American socialites and celebrities. The game revels in their decadence and glamour.” Which socialites and celebrities would those be?
I’m not going to name names.
THIS INTERVIEW HAS BEEN CONDENSED AND EDITED