“Will there be same-sex romances in Cultist Simulator?”

The answer is ‘yes’, but this is a sensitive and complex topic, so I want to respond honestly and to make sure that player expectations are met.

In every game I’ve ever made, gender choice for the player has been cosmetic, and there’s been a non-specifically-gendered option. NPC romances have taken the ‘everyone is bi’ approach. I’d expect to continue this tradition with Cultist Simulator. You’ll be able to romance NPCs, and your chosen character gender will have little to no effect on which NPCs are available for romance.

But:

(1) this approach also means ruling out specifically same-sex or other queer romances, just as it means ruling out specifically straight romances. In some games, the ability to have a queer romance is explicitly part of the artistic intention and the promotional appeal.  That isn’t the plan here. I know that’s what some people might mean when they ask the question, I know it’s important to some players, and I don’t want to mislead anyone.

(2) That ‘little to no’ effect above. I want player characters to be able to start families in Cultist Simulator, for the drama and dilemmas that will allow. Getting into the details of this – whether a player character gets pregnant, or whether an NPC is a blood relation for occult reasons – can be tricky. I ran up against this exact problem in Sunless Sea, and I found a way to write round it and make all options, including adoption, equivalent in game terms. But that might be trickier when the character isn’t constantly off on long sea voyages. Honestly, I think it’ll be fine, and the approach will be abstract and completely non-restrictive, but I don’t want to commit to that. You might end up being asked, e.g., “is your character capable of bearing children?”, and that might affect some of your story choices in the game. We’ll see.

But the bottom line is that I’ll take the same approach that I have in my other work, and that hews as closely as possible to equal opportunities all round.

3 comments on ““Will there be same-sex romances in Cultist Simulator?”

  1. But you don’t want to exclude that romantic options. Because family and physical childbearing can come into the equation. Maybe you should write unique romance depending on the sexuality and gender of the relationship. This isn’t a strange world of sunless sea. Are character lives in a very real world while trying to pull back up the skin of it. The occult world is strange and eldritch. One of the big mechanics in the game is balancing that with the Mundane. With all the prejudices during this time your sexuality can bring let alone children. Imagine trying to be a pregnant mother leading a cult. Or maybe the child is going to be a vessel for your God. A lot of interesting narrative directions right their. Again 1920 how many people are in the closet. If you want to have openness of sexuality the safest bet would be the bohemian scene in Paris. Regardless I’m really interested in how you tackle this. This not i’m just about relationship but your family and children. Some of the most Mundane but hardest things we deal with in life. So by day you’re a family woman/man working at glove shop by night you’re trying to find the Secret hour between 11 and 12 Simultaneously ordering your disciples to ransacked the bookstore.

  2. Sort of a reply to the above comment, but my god is it refreshing when games *don’t* feel the need to take vast time out to explore homophobia etc. I very much enjoyed in Fallen London how it was absolutely no sort of deal. Navigating shit attitudes is Work, not fun.

  3. It would seem to me that the Cultist Simulator world could have other procreation options than birth, including asexual ones. And also, for sex-neutral impregnation (think of wasps of the genus Glyptapanteles).

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