The LA-based Somavision is an innovative new company that was created by game developers and special effects artists who were fed up with the state of American interactive erotica for the computer. So they pooled their talents to create realistic-looking models of women in all types of erotic poses and outfits, placing them in interactive situations where users may strip them naked, issue commands and view animations. Then in a smart, cost-effective move, the company provided all this as an online service only, although currently Somavision is busy at work producing a new CD-rom/DVD version of the software.
I recently had a chance to take Somavison.com out for a test drive to find out first-hand just what's going on over there. I also interviewed Alan Watts, the creator of Somavision.
The first feature that I noticed is Somavision's monthly 3D babe, giving members something new and fresh on a regularly basis. There are thumbnail galleries of current and archived cyberbabes in all ethnic varieties. Their bodies almost always look like the real thing, making it easy to forget that you're not looking at a living, breathing woman. But the real fun starts when you choose to interact with these ready and willing cyberbabes through one of the features listed below.
Strip-O-Matic - Choose from several outfits and poses, then click garments to remove them. These are similar to interactive KISS dolls, and the concept is the same as AGR's Interactive Lara Croft Gallery, but the Somavision gals are 3D, hot, and come in all flavors. Plus you can zoom in once they are nude.
Director's Cut - After selecting from a menu of sex positions, you watch a 3D guy fuck the model of your choice from multiple camera angles. Blowjobs are also an option and with the click of a button your babe gets a facial present.
Studio - This is where it all comes together in an interactive
erotic game. Once again you choose a cyberbabe, and then you are presented
with three randomized things to tell her, and if you start out being
nice, she will perform the action for you. For example:
Some are purely for comedic value, like,"Are you into fruit or animals?" and will upset her, as will coming off too strong in the beginning.
Occassionally choices don't yield the expected result. I chose "Lean back," and she leaned forward. There are also some broken links and/or missing images leading to a blank screen until you choose a different option.
AGR: Are real-life images ever spliced with the 3D models? Those vaginas are photo-realistic.
Alan: You're correct, our background in visual effects is a great help in trying to come up with the right techniques to create photo real CG babes, sometimes this will include merging real photographs to create a more convincing image. We really want the girls pussies to look good because we know that is where the viewer will focus, at least that's where I'm focusing. The key is to match lighting and perspective with the original material so that the final image will appear seamless to the casual viewer.
AGR: Are any of the cyberbabes based on real-life counterparts? Such as the bios and/or bodies and faces?
Alan: For the most part the babes are completely made up, although some are loosely based on some popular Victoria's Secret models.
AGR: It looks as if only certain cyberbabes are selected for the interactive sections of the site. Are these your choice or based on members' votes? Will more be added?
Alan: The interactive babes were selected at random to get as wide a cross section of that what types of girls we thought our subscribers would want to interact with. So you have your token blonde, brunette, etc... Each interactive session with a single cyberbabe can utilize over a hundred separate images, so adding a new full developed girl each month is not a reality. Our subscribers do vote on a monthly poll as to what type of girl that they would like to see a new pictorial on, the results of which determine who will be featured in our original monthly photo spread. We've even had special requests like extra long hair, or even a special tattoo that have been implemented.
AGR: What about cyberguys? What are your thoughts on the female and gay male market for this type of entertainment?
Alan: To our surprise we've gotten a fair number of women subscribers, even though our intention from the start was to entertain the straight male population. An additional focus on the men, I think, would detract from the experience that we're trying to create. Once the AI schemes are developed they are applicable to either sexes, but at the moment we have no intention of breaking into the gay male market.
AGR: Will there ever be an option to direct lesbian cyberbabes?
Alan: They're coming soon, no pun intended.
AGR: Is it true that you making both a CD-ROM and DVD version of Somavision?
Alan: Yes. We are currently working a new a improved SomaVision for CD-ROM that we hope will bring adult interactive simulation to a new level. As for specific additions we're adding more animation and sound to make the cyberbabes more dimensional. We're also working on incorporating 3D camera moves for the "directors cut" area so that the action won't stop when you choose a new angle.
AGR: What are Somavision's plans for the future besides the CD-ROM?
Alan: In the long run we hope to bring the entire SomaVision Studio to the realm of real-time 3D. In order to do this currently would mean that we would have to sacrifice the complexity of the AI in order to accommodate the hefty programming and animation duties that a real-time 3D environment would require. This should not be as big of a problem in the future when software vendors begin to make preexisting solutions available.
AGR: What's your opinion on the future of adult interactive entertainment? What do you predict? What do you want >to happen?
Alan: The emerging DVD market is definitely a step forward. What I hope is that the artificial intelligence and graphics for 3D erotica will become as complex as they are already becoming in mainstream games for the Dreamcast and Playstation2. Ultimately what we want to offer to our audience is an experience that is indistinguishable from their favorite porn movie. The only difference is that they will have the ability to interact the actors in a way that will affect the attitude and actions that are played out in the scene. Once the player finds something that he/she likes, that moment could be slowed or frozen in time, rotated and zoomed into so that they could see everything they were interested in without the limitations of a real camera.
AGR: Will there be any more marriages of hentai and 3D erotica besides Ultravixen? With Somavision's interests in both genres, it seems like a natural direction for your company. [Somavision has a hentai/anime section for subscribers.]
Alan: Well, the guys at Pixis have done an incredible job in this department, and from what I hear they're getting even better. We are huge hentai fans here at SomaVision and would love to see more of it realized in 3D. For us, our focus is to maintain a style of plausible realism with the types of CG girls and their reactions to our viewers requests. Our bridge to hentai will continue to be the perverse themes and situations that we want the viewer to be able to put the girls though. For me that's the real thrill.
I look forward with giddy anticipation to Somavision's interactive CD/DVD and to their truly interactive prospects on the horizon. Take the SomaTour.