I'm often curious as to how game makers come up with the concepts of their projects, and what's the execution process like. I know some people might not care about this, but here it goes anyway:
Marvel Brothel is a contest entry for Nackster's "Fanboyz!", a two-month (Jan-Feb 2009) gamemaking contest held in Gaming World themed for games based on a pre-existing product or license.
Even before this contest, I had in my mind the idea of making a brothel simulator. Not an original idea, actually. I had watched my brother playing an online flash game called Hentai Sim Brothel, which was pretty bad IMO, but somewhat addicting. I played it for a while, and thought "I could do better". I'm not a big fan of these point-and-click text-based flash games, so I thought the concept of a brothel simulator would look much cooler in a more dynamic engine, like rpgmaker. In my mind, I had a brothel version of Theme Park, one of my all-time favorite SIM games.
When Nackster launched the Fanboyz contest, I was just thinking of a product or brand I could fit in a Brothel Simulator. My first idea was names "Pussycat Dolls Happy House", based on the girl band. I gave up on it because there aren't many Pussycat Dolls (5, or 6, or 7, I dunno), and because my brother thought it was bad taste (is it?).
Picking Marvel Universe as a theme was his idea, and a great one. Marvel's got a lot of characters, it's very popular, and allows for more gameplay options.
Even though I already knew many Marvel characters from popular sources (movies, cartoons, games), I did some heavy research on characters and universe, mostly from Marvel.com, Comic Vine and reading comics, so I could get familiar with the way characters spoke, acted, etc.
Not sure if I should mention that, but my research applied to the second word of the game name too. I got to visit a big real brothel, which was closed at the time... but it was very interesting, because I could take a look at all the facilities, and talk to the owner about the brothel's agenda, its clients, management, everything.
The following 2 months were heavy work. I designed the simulation system from scratch, and it's the largest coding I ever did on rm2k3. Graphics are almost entirely custom made, even songs are edited. I was kinda scared of myself about how much dedication I could put on this project. Around the last two weeks, I spent as much as 11h/day working on it, just so I could get it ready in time. I enjoyed what I was doing, but I also had my eye on the 1st place $75 prize.
Coincidentally, the deadline was around the 28th of February, which is my brother's birthday. Since he's a bigger Marvel fan than I am, and it was his the original addiction to brothel simulators, I dedicated the game to him (in the opening credits).
There was an extension to the deadline because there weren't many entries. Besides my own, they were Lost Universe, Project DOAD and Biggles on Mars, all great games.
Sadly, Nackster kinda disappeared sometime near the end of the contest, and we didn't hear from him for quite a while (to the point we thought he might have died). Later I found out he was going through some personal stuff. The contest never reached an official end, but we agreed to making an open poll and voting for the winner. Marvel Brothel won with 41.2% out of 17 votes. I'm not particularly proud of it, because I imagine some people voted for my game merely because of its name.
I didn't care much for that money prize anymore. As anyone who makes amateur games, I just want people to play what I do. And I think Marvel Brothel is kinda jinxed in that aspect... not only we had this strange outcome for the contest, but the game randomly lags in some people's computer, not to mention the fact that most people don't take it seriously because of the funny concept. I'm very proud of the final product, anyway.
Thanks for reading!