Developers versus indecent exposure

Developers versus indecent exposure

By Rob Crossley

June 1st 2009 at 4:39PM

Champions Online dev Cryptic Studios explains how it handles user-generated nudity

Cryptic Studios, the Californian team behind Champions Online, has explained on its news site how it is preventing its comprehensive character creation tool from becoming a grot machine.

Champions Online is centred on a robust character creation tool where users can create their own hero.
“We’ve got thousands of different parts available for players to create their own character,” said Christopher Chamberlain, lead artist for Champions Online.

“That gives enormous scope for creativity, and we expect to be amazed by the designs that players produce. But we also have to be aware that boundaries will be explored.”

Chamberlain said that game ratings group ESRB ‘had’ to look through thousands of character body parts to determine if all was above-board, while Cryptic itself has taken matters into its own hands.

“We also tried to recreate the most nude characters we could in male and female form; dressing them in the scantiest clothing. The end result was that we were unable to create anything that would offend the Teen rating that we’re aiming for, even though were able to create some very weird-looking characters.”

“What we’ve done is make sure that clothing cannot be matched too closely to skin-color. It’s the easiest thing in the world to dress a female character in a skin-tight leotard and match it to her skin-color, making her look like a nude character."

"In Champions Online players are forced to pick clothes colors with a certain contrast to skin-color. It’s not just about good taste and ratings. Super-heroes generally do not go about the world, naked. They have vibrant personalities expressed through their attire.”

Full interview can be found here.

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