Video games, science fiction and sex have the ability to create an informal triumvirate of perfection. The three just seem to fit so well together, don’t they? Of course, this trio tend to imbue themselves with lessons in and about morality, self-ability, the promise of the future and the bliss of the present moment.
So step forward Future Love Space Machine (F.L.S.M.): the digital love child of a team of two people – ViV and Giselle (the latter of whom helmed our most recent #SexTechTalk) who are collectively known as Ripened Peach. F.L.S.M.’s goals are as expansive and limitless as they universe they want to show you. Not only do they want a fully-functioning, interactive universe complete with a range of human-controlled characters of all genders, races, colors… from human to alien and even beyond. Please keep all your dirty ‘black hole/rocket thrust/etc’ jokes to yourself!
Not only that, but the creators also want all of this to take place against a backdrop of hot, sticky and perpetual inter-planetary… nay, inter-dimensional… fucking. And like all great relationships, it’s a helluva lot more than just wanting to get your bits wet. ViV and Giselle want to recreate and remodel the entire gamut of human sexuality within the infinite gaze of our Mother Universe.
First and foremost, they want to make it so you can meet characters in the game and form relationships with them. That’s been their main goal from the very beginning. And by relationships they mean both sexual and otherwise. They want to have a huge variety of characters, with aliens, humans, and others (Intriguing!). Bisexual, trans, straight, lesbian, asexual, gay, alien, gorlothian (whatever the hell that is), etc. This is a whole universe we’re talking about here, baby! They want to have a lot of stories, about the mythology of F.L.S.M., the various planets, colonies, denizens, and more. They also want to let players make a personal avatar and explore super cool areas, walk around, interact with other characters, collect things, do missions, and more. And yes, if you’d not guessed already, they are both super sci-fi geeks!
F.L.S.M. is currently available for patronage on Patreon and the hyper-sexualized demo – complete with 360 degree camera angles, multiple positions, rather sexy and realistic noises and a selection of characters – shows a lot of promise for a game that could well be the next word in alt-reality immersion. We caught up with Giselle to get a closer look at the workings and cogs of the Future Love Space Machine…
Tell us what exactly FLSM is. How far off the mark would it be to deem it a sex-based sci-fi RPG?
You wouldn’t too be far off the mark at all. Our goal from the beginning was to make a sci-fi sort of RPG\adventure experience.
We talked a lot about what it would be like to be on a long, isolated journey in space, and how that would effect a person’s psyche. A major part of our psyche and humanity is of course wrapped up in our sexuality, so it seemed natural enough to start there with Future Love Space Machine. Considering our previous experience with virtual sex software it was a good fit to focus on sex for our initial alpha release.
Can you tell us a little about your own background and your company/team’s background too?
I started in game development as an artist\musician working for EA – and other companies later on – in the 90s. Eventually I went off on my own to freelance from home. That led to me learning how to program and develop games from the ground up. On F.L.S.M. I handle programming, finalizing the overall look (lighting, textures etc) and I’m the community manager and deal directly with our fans.
ViV has been partnering with me on and off for over a decade and she played a large part in the games we’ve worked on over that time. She specializes in animation, modelling 3D architecture, and writing. We’re heading in a heavily story-line focused direction with F.L.S.M. and she’ll be writing most of those stories and interactions as we move forward.
What other games – if any – have inspired F.L.S.M.?
Wow, a lot I think. Half-Life, System Shock 2 and Bioshock for their use of space, atmosphere, and isolation. Dragon Age: Origins for interactive relationships and story-telling, which it handles amazingly well. Mass Effect for its story-telling and of course the sci-fi settings and feel. Second Life just for the fact that you can pretty much make and do anything you want. It’s fascinating to see what people come up with… and people always end up doing something with sex!
What kind of feedback have you received for F.L.S.M. thus far?
So far the response has been really positive. People are excited about the direction we’re heading in with stories, relationships, missions, exploring, space flight and so on. We started with sex but it’s just one small (but important) part of the planned whole.
Sex in games so far is handled either as the sole focus of a game, or if not that then it’s pushed aside as a novelty. We think sex is just as much a part of the human experience as anything else so we don’t shy away from it in the game. It’s the first thing we focused on and fans seem to be happy with that decision.
Is there an ultimate underlying message to be found in F.L.S.M.?
Opening up to and appreciating the fact that things other than the absolute norm can be sexy, stimulating and engaging can ultimately help us to find a more peaceful harmony both in our own lives and with those whom we interact with. Plus… sex is fun and space is cool!
I’m going to assume you have a background in/passion for science fiction? Across the spectrum – TV, movies, books etc – who would you class as some of your favourites? How much do you think their potential influences have bled into F.L.S.M.?
ViV and I are both way into classic sci-fi books and stories. Some favorites between us are Neuromancer, The Handmaid’s Tale, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Dune, The Stars My Destination, Flight to Forever, The Coming of the Ice and pretty much any Golden Age sci-fi pulp stories.
As far as movies and TV that have influenced F.L.S.M., Battlestar Galactica (new series), Firefly, Star Wars, Alien, Sunshine, Edge of Tomorrow, John Carpenter’s The Thing, The Matrix, Blade Runner, Gattica, Dark City, The Road Warrior, City of Lost Children, District 9… there are so many!
We surround ourselves with science fiction stories and ideas and we constantly talk about the future and what it will bring, so pretty much everything we’ve experienced along those lines has influenced the game in some way.
You’re currently raising funds for development via Patreon. How is that going?
So far it’s going really well. When we found out about Patreon we were like, whoa, we have to try that, and it seems to have been a good decision. Having supporters and being able to see their interest right there on the page is super encouraging. It’s inspiring to know that people like what we’re doing and want to help us succeed.
What other features can we expect in the future? What’s the one feature you want to include the most and just can’t wait for?
We’ve got big plans for the future. Right now we’re finishing up a character editor which is something players have been asking for most. After that we’re going full on into story and relationship mode. Turning Future Love Space Machine into an RPG experience is the long-term goal and we hope to eventually have missions, combat, collections, exploration, building, space flight and more. So yup… huge plans!
One feature we can’t wait to add in is VR support (Oculus, HTC Vive, etc.) Using VR to actually be in the game is going to be insane. Hell yeah.