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 Post subject: HAHAHA Sociolotron!
PostPosted: Jul 29 2005 4:36 pm 
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http://www.1up.com/do/newsStory?cId=3142425

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SPOTLIGHT: Sociolotron, the Sex MMO
We chat with the creator of this unique online game.
by Patrick Klepek, 07/28/2005
18 of 24 users recommend this story.
Note: Sociolotron an online game meant for people age 21 and over. Keep this in mind while reading on!

These days, online games come in all shapes and forms. EverQuest is your typical, D&D-influenced fantasy game, The Sims Online takes the most popular PC game of all time and introduces social interaction, and some are nothing more than reality sims, letting you lead a double life without the messy process of actually dying.

Sociolotron, on the other hand, an MMO more aptly described as a massively multiplayer cyber sex simulation. Its origins lie in text-based fantasy role-playing with an emphasis on sexual interaction, before the creators moved into an Ultima Online-esque 2D environment where players could customize more imaginative avatars for their sexual escapades.

Patric Lagny of Muelheim, Germany founded Sociolotronics LLC and lays claim as the mastermind behind this decidedly unique type of online game. Originally a programmer at Blue Byte before absorption into Ubisoft, Lagny worked on moderately popular PC releases Battle Isle, Battle Isle 2200 and The Settlers before striking on his own.

Sociolotron was started three years ago under Lagny's own financial burden, and to get a better idea of what the heck drives someone to develop such an odd type of MMO, we asked Lagny to sit down and explain Sociolotron to us. Here's what he had to say.

1UP: Where'd you even come up with the idea of an adult MMO? Who finances this kind of game?
Lagny: The idea is pretty obvious. Everybody is doing it in regular online games like UO. Furthermore there is the "Ultimate Guide of Carnal Knowledge" or something like that circulating for years know which is basically a D&D compatible rule set for sex in RPGs (you find it on Google) and I was hoping that somebody would do a game like that for years.

I started working on Socio after working hours for my own amusement and hoped that I could let it run on a DSL or cable line one day from home, just for a handful of players for free. Then two years ago the company I worked for had to close down and I decided to invest my work power fulltime in Socio and try to turn it into something I could make some money with. There is nobody who finances it, it's a one man operation, I rendered the graphics, did the programming, concept and so on. It's run by my savings and family support.



1UP: Walk us through a typical online day in Sociolotron.
Lagny: Funny enough, I can't give you a player's day from first hand experience, since I never played Socio myself. During the past two and a half years of development a great crowd of dedicated players has grouped together in the forum that I set up for Socio and those guys gave me input, made suggestions about improvements and so on. We set up a hierarchy over time and through those channels came the input to me. I never had time to sit down for a day or two and actually play Socio so the dynamic development process and about half of the features came from players and they told me what's right and what's wrong.

I think my best guess is that players spend their day gathering raw materials for the production pipelines, spend time chatting in the local bars, plot politics for the player run government and have sex during what time there is left. When I started, I intended to make a sex chat with a little game around it, thanks to the player input Socio has turned into a game with some sex options.

1UP: How much control do you have over your appearance? How does that change the experience?
Lagny: Socio started as a text only game and around halfway down the road, I decided to add graphics. Therefore there is a great emphasis on textual descriptions at first. When you look at a character you get a detailed textual description of his appearance and features like body fat, makeup, beauty, and such are all described quite sophisticated. The graphic representation however does not change.

Sure, you see cloths and equipped items and such, just like in other games, but you don't see actual fat people or thin people running around. The skin color and the haircut change too of course, but that's about it. The reason is that Socio uses pre-rendered 2D graphic much like UO, so every object needs to have 4-30 frames for every direction and, in case of cloths, also for every posture, of which we have about 30 or so, so it's a tremendous amount of graphic data and since Socio was always intended for download only distribution, I had to keep the data as small as possible.

Other than that, your body appearance not only affects the textual description but also the game features. A fat person for example looses dexterity, a thin person is weaker and so on.

1UP: So, what's the main point of the game, anyway? It doesn't seem like leveling up.
Lagny: There is no real point in Socio and it's certainly not leveling up. It's just an alternate reality where people can do whatever they like to do. I think the freedom players have in Socio is the real target when they try to get away from the real world for a while. You can have a pretty usable character in a short time and after that it s the other people that keep the players around.

1UP: How does the 'sex' work? Considering much of the game is text based, it sounds an awful lot like regular cyber sex with some animated avatars.
Lagny: There are different postures you can obtain and postures combine in various ways for example for regular sex there's doggy stile, missionary and a few others, for oral sex, one can stand, the others on all four or 69 position, you get the idea. Like in reality sex then consists of a lot of pumping until orgasm :) but the system gives textual descriptions and the players are encouraged to do their own textual role play. The graphic shows the positions and also the movements during sex, also due to the 2D nature of the graphics there are cover problems in the 3D space. In general the system supports cyber roleplay, that's the original idea.

1UP: How far do you push the adult angle? Is it simply sex? Or can you be 'evil'?
Lagny: We're trying to allow mostly anything, except child pornography. We keep a close watch on what's going on and players know that childplay is forbidden. Every player is encouraged to report any such attempt. I can then check the server logfiles for proof and the respective player will be banned.


1UP FACTOID

Half of the Sociolotron players are actually female and the average player in their 30s, with some regular players as high as into their 50s. With the game peaking at between 100-200 players at the same time, Lagny believes the surprising ratio has to do with the game's approach to treating both sexes equally, unlike other videogames.
Crimes are possible and are a regular part of the game play, but we also have a player run justice system that stretches from police investigation over trials with player run jury, judges and prosecutors to a prison where convicted criminals spend a few days in detention, once they are caught, either by the robot guards or the player run police.

Characters can actually die and are either replaced by a heir or can chose to become a demon in an afterlife. These spiritual planes are similar to our main plane, just physically separated and more PvP combat oriented. Demons can be summoned back to earth by using black magic and even be resurrected.

So I guess there's a lot more in Socio than just Sex that can be considered "adult" and in fact I see the sexual aspect mostly as a side aspect now. Sure, people have sex, most come to Socio because of Sex, but then they enjoy all the other features Socio offers. In my eyes the widest possible degree of freedom is what people want, mostly because the current political situation takes away more and more personal freedom, on the street an in the bedroom too.

1UP: The character models are sort of...well, they're not Playboy models...
Lagny: People who want to look at playboy models should buy the new Mansion game by Playboy. Flawless beauty is boring, although Socio offers plastic surgery to come close to the ideal if that's what people want, but it has the risk of permanent scars in case it goes wrong and other side effects.

1UP: Okay, in one screen shot (left) it says 'Gypsy Moon was raped. Duration: [20-March 2005 through 19-April 2005]' Er, can you explain that?
Lagny: Rape is defined as sex without consent and that is recognized by our server just like other crimes for example theft, murder or indecent exposure. The justice system creates a crime object which can then be investigated and the criminal can be brought to prison just like any other crime. Socio is supposed to be a post apocalyptic and dark setting and implementing an 'excuse me, would you like to have sex with me, please' button was just not what went with it. Instead we gave the players the opportunity to impose a punishment on criminals themselves. Some people do that, but others just perform lynch justice and kill the criminals. Of course that makes them criminal too but sometimes emotions go so high that people accept that just to get back on somebody they really dislike.

1UP: What happens to a player when they're being 'raped'? Can they still walk around, interact? Here, the player was being raped for a whole month!
Lagny: I don't know what you are referring to but a rape is simply a sex act where one player tries to escape but is held back by the other player. It lasts as long as any normal sex act and both players are able to walk away afterwards. Technically it's like a normal sex act, just that there is a crime object generated that can be used to bring the criminal behind bars. Rape is really something that plays only a minor role, plus players can prevent it by wearing lockable chastity belts, both men and women, which is why it's really more like an option. It was highly overrated in past articles mostly because the authors wanted to have some sensational hook for their articles. I can't stress enough that it is merely a minor part in the role-play in Socio.

1UP: The graphics seem reminiscent of Ultima Online with everything on a 2D plane. What's the theory behind 2D > 3D in today's industry?
Lagny: For me, 2D was the only way to go. I could prerender all graphics and didn't need a 3D game engine. 2D is much simpler to do and gives less stress in the troubleshoot department than 3D but there are also other questions. For the next version, 3D is clearly the way to go simply because we will be able to show more animations with less data, plus we can avoid other difficulties. I think 2D is still good for some game genres, especially were cute cartoon characters in great details are needed. Other genres, like RPGs can profit from 3D when it is done well, like for example in Vampires Bloodline. The 3D graphic really adds to the mood and you begin to feel cozy in those neighborhoods and like to walk around.


LOL That's hilarious.

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1UP: What happens to a player when they're being 'raped'? Can they still walk around, interact? Here, the player was being raped for a whole month!

hahaha.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jul 30 2005 3:31 am 
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Joined: Oct 21 2004 2:12 pm
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man if that game had good graphics, i'd so play.

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PostPosted: Aug 01 2005 11:54 am 
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Joined: Mar 27 2003 12:06 pm
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Location: MI,
How weird. :?

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