Taylor Strutt wrote:Many games have a place where you insert a name, which the game then uses in conversations to make it more personal. There should be a way to do something similar with age. For example, at the front of the game it asks the player to put in the minimum age a character can be (for example 18). Then the game uses that age as the benchmark but can add years for other characters (for example input age+2 becomes 18 + 2= 20). You could even add a disclaimer on the "input age" screen to warn players to keep it above age of consent for their area. This way you could create the game you want without really sacrificing too much, yet it is up to the player to choose how young a characters are, and the only way the game breaks local laws is if the player chooses to do so, not due to the game itself.
Obviously this idea may be a bit of a cop out to your question, but it hopefully satisfies both sides. The trouble with this idea is that it would require more coding, some of the wording would need to be open ended to cover multiple ages, and yes a person could go even younger than you intended.
Goblinboy's School Dreams had this. In short, it doesn't work, or is too much work to do correctly.
Some people will put minimum age at 13, others at 18. Dialogues completely fail -- something completely appropriate for a 13-year old to say becomes immature in the mouth of an 18-year old. Conversely, a particularly insightful, but still believable, comment by an 18-year old will not work with a 13-year old.
Ultimately, it's the vision of the author. But I stick to my earlier comment. A visual novel, interactive fiction, etc., only works if it's interesting. If there's dialogue to follow, if there's a story, if the characters are interesting and go through development.
Teenagers are only interesting if they're family -- kids, grandkids, nephews/nieces, etc., or if you're teaching them. Otherwise, they're annoying. They're stupid, obnoxious, arrogant and entitled. They can't hold a conversation, and have zero insight into anything. This may be harsh, but I was a teenager, and I was all that (hell, I still am, just slightly less so). At the time I also thought it was unfair I had frequent arguments because "I was right" (in most cases I wasn't). Yes, there are uncannily mature teenagers. But not among the angsty ones, not among the hipsters, not among the rich kids. Those mature ones will tend to understand that they need to focus on studying and that sex can wait for the right person. Sex implies maturity, but there's no direct causation (i.e., having sex doesn't mean you're mature, and being mature doesn't mean you need to have sex).
I don't see why adult games have to be about teens. I understand how teens are typically seen as sexier, although I don't see much of a difference between a 19 and 25 year olds.
Now get off my lawn.