GAME WRITING AND DEVELOPMENT: Naughy Words

#24, July 9, 2016

 

 

I debated writing this blog. For one thing, it contains naughty words. Some really naughty words, so be aware. But also be aware that there is a logical and, for game writer/developer type people, very important purpose for this blog and these words.

* * VERY NAUGHTY WORD WARNING! * *

Okay, let's continue.

I worked briefly on development for Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean Online game, or POTCO, as it was called. The game was an MMORPG based on the popular Johnny Depp movies, duh. What you might not know is that the development process involved a lot of things that didn’t have anything to do with character creation or weapons research or programming ship battles. In game design, especially if the game may be played by kids, you have to think about the players themselves—not just their enjoyment, but all those evil little things that many players do outside of normal gameplay, like typing in dirty words to see what happens.

For POTCO, the developers created a dirty word dictionary that prevented players from giving their characters rude names or calling other players nasty words during gameplay. If a rude word was typed in, an acceptable “pirate” term was automatically substituted.

I did not write this dictionary, though I did write other documents used by the game program. But somehow I received a copy of this, and I stumbled across it the other day. Much to my chagrin, I giggled like a loon when I read it. I'm sorry, it's just awfully funny. Why? Well, think about it. In order to make sure players couldn’t cuss in the game, the developers first had to think of all the cuss words players might try to type in, and then they had to concoct acceptable piratey equivalents. So for a while, they had to really live in the gutter.

Since POTCO is no longer live and cannot be played, I figure it's okay to let you see this amusing though very rude document. I'm doing so to show an aspect of game development that few people think about. Heck, I'd written lots of games for Disney before working on POTCO, and this kind of problem had never occurred to me. But it makes sense, doesn't it? It's necessary if you want to create a game that the majority of people can comfortably enjoy. And in the case of POTCO, the piratey substitute terms are often hysterical.

One note: I did edit this list. I took out the most extreme cuss words because this is my blog, after all, and I don’t want to offend the entire universe. As it is, I fear I may get some nasty emails. (f you do consider sending me a nasty email, first consider this—I warned you, didn’t I?)

Okay, here goes:

arse—dungbie

as*hole — hornswagglin’ dungbie

bastard — bilge-belchin’ varmint

biatch — weevil-eatin' sea cow

bimbo — albatross-huggin’ lass

blowjob — Jolly Roger

bonk — weigh anchor

boobs — doubloons

bullshit — briny hornswaggle

clusterf*ck — ill-fated voyage

crap — cackle fruit

damn — blimey

dick — barnacle

dickwad — bilge-sucking swabbie

dildo — anchor

dipshit — bilge-sucking swabbie

douche — bilge-sucking swabbie

douche bag — lily-livered swabbie

eatme — pillage me six pounders

fugly — scurvy-infested

hardon — barnacle

hobag — weevil-eatin' shark bait

hoebag — weevil-eatin' shark bait

hooker — wench

jerkoff — set sail

jerkwad — bilge-sucking swabbie

manloaf — barnacle

marijuana — grog

milf — wench

mofo — frog-lickin’ scallywag

naked — bare n’ briny

nakid — bare n’ briny

nude — bare n’ briny

pissed — filled to me gills with grog

pisser — thundermug

pissoff — walk the plank

poontang — pillaging wench

porn — sailing

schmuck — swine

sex — sailing

69 — set sail

sixtynine — set sail

skank — wench

skanky — ol’

spankthemonkey — set sail

stripper — wench

wanker — bilge rat

wankshaft — bilge-suckin’ scallywag

Okay, you can breathe now.

You can also see how spellings had to be considered when dealing with a list like this. Slang terms often have no set spellings, so all variants had to be covered (and believe me, there were a lot more).

So here you have it, folks, one of the sneakiest yet most important aspects of creating wholesome entertainment fit for all ages. I need to go take a shower now...