So at the start of my game, the protagonist is set to go through a pretty serious trauma. My question is, what is over the line for what the site will allow published here? Without getting too specific, the protagonist starts as a child (aged 10 or 12) and is abducted, but what exactly should I avoid having happened to them during this incident? I think we can fill in the blanks here as to what I'm specifically referring to, and it wouldn't be glorified in any way, it simply is way to help shape how the character grows and the decisions they make in the future. This game is set to be very dark overall and I would like to know what would be considered TOO dark, if that makes any sense. On a side note, would content like this prevent permissions to publish the game on other sites? (Gamejolt, Steam, etc.) Thanks for reading, I'm just looking for some guidelines before I dive too deep into this rabbit hole.
Avoid child sex when possible.
What are you thinking about?
(Note: When you are talking about kidnapping, I'm thinking about bail or a serial killer or something. 90% of sexual assaults are by someone the victim knows, due to today's offender registry. Meaning, most child rape cases are not strange men in a random van waiting to abduct children.)
I think it applies to the country that you live in, or the country that quest is based in. But I would avoid loli/child pornography and rape (some people have a fetish for "pretend rape" just make sure you know the difference). I know there are more but those are likely the absolute main ones to avoid.
In your case direct child torture/forced drug addiction might be looked down upon, sex trade stuff too --- now you CAN do these as long as it is tastefully done but that is VERY difficult to do. Like for example, there are movies and books about children getting kidnapped and then trained to be sex slaves and such. Personally, I think it's okay if the story is about the child's introduction and escape from that world, or if they find strength in overcoming it as an adult that could be a tasteful way of doing it.
@Anonynn I don't know why you had to mention pretend rape but, ooookay... I guess learned something...
Don't just write rape, or anything involving abuse, into the story, and then forget about it. At least make it a subplot, or put whoever the perpetrators in jail as soon as possible.
I think this thing on tvtropes might help. Do you prefer fade to black, or instant blackout out? (Smash black)
Typically, the smash one depicts a dramatic moment, while the fade to one shows the end of the scene. I suppose this might backfire and make the rape not important/look like you think the content is too disgusting/inappropriate... I think it's up to you...
So, for example....
That's kid gets kidnapped by female elementary school teacher, drugged, fade to black, she asks parents for bribe money....
That's kid gets kidnapped by female elementary school teacher, drugged, smash to black, she asks the parents for bribe money....
So you said you were doing something different, but I hope these are good examples...
The problem is that it is meant to be a major defining factor in the character's life moving forward. A traumatic event like that would have a huge role in shaping that person and that's the intent, not to glorify or objectify it in any way. The point of the adventure is to tell this person's story without pulling any punches. Or at least pulling as few punches as I can, if that makes any sense. Would it be more acceptable if it's merely alluded to? Like the audience could instead infer that things happened with nothing being explicitly stated? This event is meant to be where the story starts though. Towards the end of the protagonists time being held captive. I can change it if need be, but I'd really rather not.
I'm curious as to how you think this event will change him.
Edit: I found the frequently asked questions for Steam. This might help. http://www.steampowered.com/steamworks/FAQ.php
I think if the act is not described graphically and given that the point is that the abuse adversely affected the character, that would be okay for the adult section.
I think most professional game websites have stricter rules than this website. But other than that, I couldn't tell you what the policies are.
You'd have a hard time selling it on steam, if that's the main plot to the story, that's for sure. Steam will want to know if they will at least make a profit.
I'd think if you made this story you should already know/figured out all this, but here's a checklist.
Avoid talking about the actual sex act (penetrative, diddling, touching, etc.)
No descriptions of either person's body. And underwear.
Avoid talking about genitals.
Avoid talking about penetration.
These are some author/writing notes of mine:
Mom and rest of family skin sexual, etc. Uncle Naked is not sexual. Some other thing. French La nudité n'est pas sexuelle. It is only outside forces that make it sexual. Ce n'est (est?) que des forces extérieures qui le rendent sexuel.
Sorry, I just really like the French language and culture! ^^/
Some, not much. I've decided instead to make my debut game something not quite as... Sensitive. For now, this project is on the back burner.