Page 1 of 1

rating system

Posted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 7:17 pm
by jack1974
I was wondering if you could help me with this :)
I wanted to write some standard texts (maybe later will also do some badges/icons) for the games, regarding the content.
In practice they could range from the most tame games like Nicole or Always Remember Me, to middle one like Roommates/Heileen, to very hot stuff like Loren :mrgreen:

Talking about the sexyness but also presence of alcohol and/or blood/death scenes etc.

Right now I put on Roommates:
"This game is intended for mature audiences: includes sexual themes and alcohol usage."

But was thinking about some more "standard texts"... ? thanks!

Re: rating system

Posted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 7:38 pm
by Miakoda
Something I would delineate is if something is just mentioned as opposed to being actually shown. For example, in Roommates, the use of alcohol is just mentioned, but not actually shown. And you might put something as sexual imagery, but I would be a bit hesitant as well.

Also, for your tamer games like Spirited Hearts, or Always Remember Me, I would use the term Romantic rather than Sexual. So, Romantic Themes would apply to Always Remember Me (assuming you wanted to put a label on that).

Re: rating system

Posted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 8:12 pm
by Lonestar51
I would avoid some words: definitly "mature", "porn" or "sexual". All of them are going to be read the same way. Definitly avoid them, or Valve is going to pull your games from steam quite fast.

Even "erotic" might be borderline. I would think if it is a dating sim then "erotic" goes without saying. However, you could add warnings like:
"partial nudity" if the female nipple is visible (like in some CG in Loren)
"suggestive themes" and "suggestive language" if they talk about sex without showing anything
"references to drinking" (seems to be a big issue in Roommates)
"violence" may be necessary for Loren, if you add a rating
"gore" would need to be added if you show severed limbs and stuff, bucketloads of blood. I think you avoid this.

A quick research on Greenlight (3 visual novels from 3 different teams) shows that parental guidance texts are usually not used (or I just picked the 3 which do not show them ;-) ) Even though I know for sure that at least one of the novels does show "partial nudity" at least in the non-Steam-version. So on balance I would suggest to avoid these warnings unless you are required by law or steam policy.

Re: rating system

Posted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 8:18 pm
by OtterFace
I think Lonestar pretty much nailed it.
Definitely try and avoid anything with "sexual", "erotic" and "mature" in the text, because people will assume it's porn.

Re: rating system

Posted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 8:27 pm
by jack1974
Haha true! They already think immediately "porn!" as soon as they see a female character drawn in manga style (even fully dressed). Better not encourage them :mrgreen:

Re: rating system

Posted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 6:08 am
by ShyGuysAreTheBest
Hehe, see, I told you that made it sound like an eroge. xD But yeah, suggestive themes is something the esrb uses, sometimes with the word "mild".

Re: rating system

Posted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 5:03 pm
by fleetp
I'd recommend using the content descriptors that ESRB uses.
Here's a link. ... escriptors

I'd recommend including the 'full' description, as in
"Sexual Content - Non-explicit depictions of sexual behavior, possibly including partial nudity"
which is a LOT different from
"Strong Sexual Content - Explicit and/or frequent depictions of sexual behavior, possibly including nudity"

Re: rating system

Posted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 6:07 pm
by Lonestar51
If in doubt, go with the official list. Which may be read a lot stronger than the "official" description by the general public...

Which is why I very much doubt adding an warning is a good idea. A dating sim or VN is not that attractive for kids anyway. Besides with such a description you don't protect yourself, but get vulnerable: Having some descriptors from the list but not all a moral guardian believes apply to the list makes you look like you want to slip something by - whereas not having a list means the buyer needs to judge based on the marketing material, and there it would get obvious that in Loren the Goblins get massacred and in any game of yours finding the right person is a major plotpoint.