My today's theme is a bit controversial, at least to me, as I want to talk about psychological realism versus involvement (I guess there's better word for that). I'm a hardcore 'down to earth' fan and if anyone actually asks me what I'm really good at, I'd probably point at psychology. Now this is a bit bothersome, as I tend to see absurd amounts of really stupid shit is mass media and can't really enjoy it when it bothers me.
Whenever I work on some sort of fiction I try to set my mind on "I'm gonna do it the most reasonable way it could actually happen.", and same idea was with Strive. Originally I even spelled out that you basically play a villain, who kidnaps, rapes, brainwashes and experiments on other people. Because, really that is what makes sense for game's kind of setting. Old Huntsman done it pretty reasonable by abstracting from morals entirely, focusing solely on gameplay making his game a slave management trainer. That worked perfectly well with the setting in manner that there's no real choice for girls. They are stuck in another dimension - bla bla bla, be slave or be food. FC has no real problems regards that either, as world is crapsack and you are not forcing anyone by default.
Now, I don't quite have such freedom as besides buying slaves you are actually encouraged to capture them as a central element of strive. Now, big shock, many people don't actually wanna play villain because of how psychology works and we still want to stay in line with social expectations we live in.
So I took a bit of time and spent some time reanalyzing CoC, TiTS and Slablands (not only those tho, as I tend to pay some attention to most erotic games for research reasons). And there's one thing, which irritates me to no end when I see it, yet I perfectly understand why people are completely fine with it. Any rape implied scenes are done in a way, there's no rape whatsoever. You done tough fight, you move onto rape, opponent is happy as fuck, you finish and nothing ever brought up again. Yes, I do realize that most people would not enjoy outright rape simulator, but it feels like nearly every western erotic game I played is stationed in some parallel universe where only porn logic applies - everyone is perpetually horny, there's never anatomical problems, nobody ever complains and so on. Needless to say, psychologist in me is triggered very easily by this kind of stuff. Funny thing is that people's lack of critical thinking hits roof when theme involves sex and anything goes, coupled with nothing provoking knee-jerk reaction on socially unacceptable ideas, makes it pretty obvious why it is in such state.
Hence why I originally went with two-sided option. You don't have to be an asshole, but that would be the most straightforward way of doing things. It took me some time to consider my options on changing it to be more appealing, and I decided, that rough treatment options are gonna stay, because really just straight vanilla bores me. And I'll have to achieve that by... ugh... justifying your morally dubious actions and shifting from 'rape-capture-train simulator' to something more neutral. Basically making more scenes where you would be attacked and have fair reason why it is reasonable (by modern standards) to make someone into your slave. I hope this way of doing things won't come across as trying to sit on two chairs.
All things said, prepare for next version to be pretty different in feel from what it is right now (although it will still take plenty of time until release I guess). I also realized, that I do want some sort of leveling-progress system (never thought, that I actually would be excited about adding something so overused), but that won't likely happen until version after that, so that will be a story for another time.