Weight vs. Height in Your Game


#1

If I’ve posted this to the wrong spot, I do apologize. I’m going to use the “I’m new” excuse at least this one time. :stuck_out_tongue:

This question came up back on the old forum, and from perusing the current one, I can’t find the thread, so I have to assume it’s been lost. That is a shame, because it had a lot of useful information that I was looking to use for a project.

The question which I’m asking again is with regards to how weight correlates to height. My rough understanding was that, as a person gains height, strength increases arithmetically, while weight increases exponentially. Simply put, someone small is pound for pound stronger then someone who is larger.

Where this becomes relevant for a fat fetish game is how people of different heights gain, and at what weight they really start to notice their newfound bulk. One thing mentioned by @Slime_Candy in the “What Weight do you wish you were at” topic has made me question one of my original assumptions. I’ve been working under the belief that someone 6 feet tall at 500 pounds would notice the effects of the weight less then someone of the same weight whose only 5 feet tall. But have I had that backwards this whole time?

Muddying the waters a bit are a couple of ssbbw models I’m quite fond of, Foxy Roxxie and Mary Boberry. Both are unquestionably quite large. From their stats on the bbw and ssbbw wiki, Roxxie is 489 pounds, while Mary is 601. I was a little shocked when I found that there was over a hundred pounds difference between them, since I honestly would have pegged them as very close to the same weight. Roxxie also seems to handle the weight a bit worse then Mary; between the two, she seems to have a far more pronounced waddle, harder time getting up from the furniture, and seems to tire out far more easily. Where I’m getting confused is that there is a height difference between them (5’4" for Roxxie, 5’7" for Mary). Even if it’s only three inches, would that be enough to spread out the added weight to decrease the stress load for Mary? It doesn’t mesh with the square versus cube formula from before if that’s the case, though I will admit, there is likely other factors that haven’t occurred to me.

In the previous thread, someone posted a huge, detailed response, breaking it all down into numbers. They had body percentages of fat vs muscle vs bone, differences between men and women in those numbers, and how muscle mass increases with height as compared to weight. While I’m not expecting something so exhaustively researched as that undoubtedly was, I’m hoping someone might have a general answer that’ll help me get a feature figured out. I’ll also keep researching online myself, and post here if I happen to find the answer to my question, just in case someone else finds themselves in the same boat.

I also had a question regarding converting calories to fat, although I may make a separate thread for that question, as this one has already gone on long enough. Starting to wonder if I can ever make a brief statement, lol.


#2

Oh my, I think this is going to be a long response too. I do remember that discussion and I thought I had saved the detailed response you mentioned, but I just can’t find it in my stash of information I keep for game design. It’s quite a complex issue, and one where a developer has to make some choices about realism vs. gameplay and the level of detail you want to model at.

On the scaling issue with height it’s relatively straight forward. A taller person will look “thinner” than a shorter one of the same weight. Your six foot 500lb person would be comparabe to a 5 foot 290 lb person (divide by 6^3, multiply by 5^3) - without any frame of reference they’d look broadly the same shape. Or in the case of Foxxie and MBB, if Foxxie was 5’7" she might weigh around 571 lbs - not far off. They are quite different shapes though; someone who carries weight in their belly is going to have a higher centre of gravity than someone who carries more weight in their hips and thighs, and that’s going to change the effort required to go from sitting to standing - the same mass has to be lifted a different distance.

Does strength increase with height? I’m not so sure at all. It really depends what motion you are looking at. In absolute terms a proportionately taller person will be able to do more work (energy output), but also has to deal with longer limbs. Ask two people to pick up a sack of spuds off the floor and the taller one will have to lift it further (do more work) than the shorter one before their back or legs are straight. Ask the same two to place the sack on a high shelf and the taller one will have the advantage as they won’t need to lift it above their head. Looking at the broader animal kingdom, small animals can jump further and carry more in relation to their own weight than larger ones.

But, what does this mean for a game? I suppose you could write a series of different calculations for different motions based on height, weight, and muscle mass - here’s how you get off a bed, here’s how you get up off the floor. While accurate it would be tedious to do, and possibly frustrating/confusing to the player - “I’ve been carrying this sack around, but now I can’t put it on the shelf/climb the stairs?”, or “if I sit down I can’t get back up unless I drop everything I’m carrying, stand up, then pick it all up again?”. Would that be an interesting insight into the world of the super heavy in the game, or just an annoying frustration? The golden rule is Ask Why? Why are you including something in the game? If it doesn’t enhance gameplay it probably is at best a waste of time, and at worst frustrating to play.

My approach was to ignore this level of complexity. For body size and shape it’s based off the height, limb length, and the mass of each body part. From that I can calculate actual dimensions in enough detail to check where the character will physically fit into a space, if they have outgrown their clothes, and so on. The game includes things that can change your height but not your mass, so getting shorter and wider is something that does happen.

For carry capacity (a check not currently implemented) I plan to basically use OSRIC rules based off the character’s strength stat (nothing to do with height or weight) - then reduce it by a small proportion of their body mass so that an obese player will be penalised by not being able to carry as much additional gear; leaving the way open to quest for artefacts that will increase carry capacity - that’s the why.

Immobility is a tricky one. You could treat it is a bad end, or even be the win state of the game. But if it is neither of those things and play is to carry on then you need to build some kind of out that can be achieved by an immobile player that makes sense in game. Waiting for the weight to go naturally would be accurate but tedious. You could have some outside agency intervene (like Boundless), encourage the player to carry a instant diet pills, temporary strength boosts, or some other mechanism. It’s a game design choice at the end of the day.


#3

That was a quick and detailed response, lol. In essence, what I was working for was a degree of character customization. It wouldn’t be extremely in depth of necessity, but I was hoping to have a couple different character models that gained appropriately for their size.

If the difference in strength will be mostly negligible, then I’ll probably avoid it. With what I have in mind, strength and carrying capacity aren’t going to be huge concerns compared to mobility, stamina and fitting clothes/doors/etc.

And yes, immobility is a thorny issue in this kind of game. I’ve got at least one idea for addressing it, but I want to save that one for a final product, so I’ll need to work something else out. In one case, I’m not sure I’ll be able to, but we’ll see, lol.

My mistake the last couple times I’ve tried my hands at this has always been aiming way too high and complex right from the gate. In the end, I’d get frustrated and set the project aside, promising myself I’d come back to it, but I never do. I plan to avoid that this time by starting small, basically making a couple short games that will be more interative fiction/kinetic novels as opposed to a full on game. Each one will be practice coding different stats and numbers, and hopefully go a lot smoother.

Thanks again for your very prompt reply. Cheers, mate!


#4

I feel obligated to make a reply to this thread given I was cited in the original post, but I have nothing more useful to say than “please dont make me pick many things up off the floor, I’m too tall for all this bending”.


#5

I had a bit of a laugh at that response, lol. All I could think of was that Bowser and Blue song. Part of the lyrics go, “bend over to tie your shoes, crack!, Oh dear, oh dear, is there anything else I need while I’m down here?”

But yeah, I read the “What Weight” posts, started a reply like three different times, and realized I had no idea what to put. Seriously, every answer I came up with involved a lot of fantasy elements, and I had no clue what to say. Your post did get me thinking, so I’m at least putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard, rather), so it seemed improper not to mention the source. Not sure if it was weird or not to name drop you twice in two different topics, but I’ll leave that for you to decide, lol.


#6

Yar! I remember this. I’m pretty sure I threw out a pretty long post about the square-cube law in the old thread. Additionally, I can throw in a bit of discussion about strength, although it’s not really about weightlifting strength, it’s about structural strength. I’ll dive right into that since other people have already talked about the cube part of the law.

Structural strength, or something not breaking under force, is mostly dependent on cross-sectional area, not overall volume. Imagine breaking a board in karate- what makes it hard is how thick and wide the board is, the total length doesn’t matter at all. So when you scale up a person proportionally, their mass is increasing faster than their bones ability to support it! Of course, larger people are stronger in an absolute sense- more muscle mass -> more power output. But a smaller person can support their body weight more efficiently. There’s a whole bunch of other biology behind it like cardio etc, but I don’t know about that, I just know the physics.


#7

So, I have some additional thoughts to throw in here, all under the heading of “everyone’s bodies are really different”:

  • You can have two people of the same height and weight and bodyfat percentage and have one look much fatter than the other. Because “fatness” is as much as aesthetic, cultural judgment as it is a measurable quantity of adipose tissue. We’re always filtering how other people look, and fatness is one of those things it’s simply impossible to be objective about, especially if you’re fetishing it. Which, presumably, we are.

  • You can have two people who look “the same amount fat” who have different fitness levels and struggle with different things. When we’re talking about “tiring out” or huffing and puffing, that’s not a matter of strength, it’s a matter of energy and cardiovascular health. Muscular strength is about the maximum amount of force the muscles can output, and more means doing more longer before the lactic acid begins to build up… but actually eliminating the lactic acid as it builds is a job for your lungs and heart.

  • Centers of gravity are really important. The lower your center of gravity is, the more force you can safely use without falling over. If it’s no longer over your pelvis, because you have a belly apron that reaches to your knees, you’re suddenly using a lot of strength to stay upright. If you’ve got a huge bubble butt balancing it out, that effect is lessened.

Additionally, something that seems to be missing from the discussions of strength increasing linearly is leverage and momentum. When we’re talking about dead lifts, yes, only muscle mass matters, but for most practical tasks, humans actually try to make use of leverage, gravity and momentum as much as possible. A 400 pound person may have an easier time pushing a car along, for example, than a fit 150 pound one-- they’re not necessarily encumbered by their weight and they can direct the force of it.

And when we’re talking about height… a huge chunk of the advantage of height is the ability to use more leverage to direct force. When two people swing an axe, all else being equal, the one whose arm is two inches longer is using much more force because of the multiplicative nature of leverage.

On the flipside, when a person’s weight prevents them from moving limbs in straight lines-- think of Roxxie’s waddle, or a woman with huge boobs and fatwings trying to chop vegetables in front of her-- we lose a lot of those limbs’ power. The muscular strength might be there, but it’s inaccessible for certain tasks.

My takeaways from this:

  • Visibly fat people are generally much, much more capable of physical activity than thin people tend to assume. (Thin people are also generally much less capable of physical activity than they tend to assume. :roll_eyes:)

  • It’s not worthwhile getting worked up about whether weight numbers in games are “realistic” to the problems being faced by the character. If you make a game where a 250-pound person is having trouble moving around and getting stuck in restaurant booths, you’re ignoring people like me, who’re well above that weight and have no trouble navigating the world, but you’re probably accurately modeling someone’s real life experiences, because every body is different.

  • Numeric weight is generally a bad way to describe or decide what a person looks like or is capable of, because 300 pounds on one person can look and feel totally different than 300 pounds on another. When making games, it’s probably better to abstractify weight away from pounds, or to find other ways to describe the qualities you’re associating with those weights. The only times raw weight is interesting are when it’s directly relevant, like whether a bridge will break beneath you or another person can lift you while unconscious.


#8

There’s a lot of additional things here to think about if you were trying to simulate the real world. Particularly as @Kostromama mentions the relationship between height, mass, strength, reach, leverage and so on.

I can get a pallet with a tonne of gear on it moving using a unpowered pallet mover quite easily not because I am strong, but because I am reasonably tall and heavier than I ought to be and really only need to lean on it once it’s jacked up on the wheels (the jacking is done with hand pumped hydraulics). Getting up an incline is another matter; I don’t have the raw strength to push it uphill. I can do it by taking a run up though, but this requires some judgement so it neither starts rolling back down, or gets away from me at the top.

In the axe example the person with the longer reach will do more work to accelerate the axe as they are imparting more angular momentum to the axe head - but as a result they will take a deeper cut with each swing, unless their swing is slower as a result of their reach. I don’t have enough experience of using axes to know if longer arms are an adwantage.

I could go on, but the real point is that tasks are done differently by different people depending on their abilities and they learn what works for them.

The physical bulk aspect and it’s impact on the range of motion is something that might be interesting to explore in a game. I’m not at all sure how though.

I do think it is worthwhile getting the weight numbers in the right ball park for the tests in a game. Especially where they might be in the realms of the experience of the player. If a game says that your 250lb character can’t get into a booth, but you know from personal experience that the character could easily do it then it’s immersion breaking.

Some games get around this by simply never giving measurements, or giving them in other-worldly units that cannot be related back to our own metric or imperial ones. However it has to be recognised that for some players the weight gain fetish is a lot about the numbers, and they would enjoy it more to see those numbers climb rather than make sense of a varying textual description. In Yaffaif I try to offer a compromise; textual descriptions are the norm, but the player can see the size of their character in their units of choice (internally it’s metric) if they wish. Weight based traps and fragile furniture require that I keep track of the total mass. Clothing destruction (another wg fav of course, and a useful mechanic to encourage or moderate progression) requires that I can work out the increasing/decreasing size of various body parts. Transformations (a core part of the game) and potions can change size, weight, and fat distribution leading to many different body types. I tried various methods, but the simplest that satisfies those mechanisms was to store the mass of each body part and work from there. So, given what I wanted to do, numeric weight and how it is distributed is actually the best way forward for me.


#9

This is all complicated and fascinating but I do have to lean on the side of "actually numbers are important, because as it turns out a thing about weight gain kink that few people talk about is it has to do a lot with numbers lmao.

Whether it’s calories or pounds or inches or what, seeing numbers change (usually an increase) is part of the fun in a lot of cases I think.

Anyway, the thing I’d worry most about is being able to get height and weight numbers correct, rather than focusing on noticeable differences in how things work for characters of different heights. Tainted Elysium always felt really good at matching height and weight to actual character size/build. I never felt like how big my character was being shown as wasn’t correct with the numbers it gave me. I’d be okay with the only differences in character heights being what weight they are at different stages of softness, yknow?


#10

I feel like I’ve opened a rather large can of worms, lol.

I won’t lie, I am definitely a numbers guy. Every increase, no matter how minute, is a good one.

Never thought about the differences body shape could make with regards to how well you could move at a given weight, though it definitely bears more thought. Physical activity I knew was a consideration, though one I’m still figuring out how to work with. A separate cardio stat, perhaps? I suspect the equation for stamina might be a little more complicated then initially thought, though that’ll be a problem for later.


#11

A separate stat for essentially heart fitness would makes sense, though It might be complicated depending on what actions are affected/affect the cardio stat. exercise in general would slowly strengthen it, certain factors like overall mass pressing down on the heart can either reduce it or be a separate stat called heart strain.


#12

Having a stamina stat affected by stuff like cardio would probably be a very good way to deal with the problem of negative penalties in wg games actually.

Like there’s another thread on here somewhere discussing stuff like how getting too big in a lot of games causes penalties that only go away when you get smaller, and how that’s kind of antithetical to supporting both wg kink and actually, yknow, being able to play a game.

It certainly wouldnt solve immobility effects but being able to strengthen your body to better be able to handle the fat would allow for avoiding these situations some, but also allow people into struggling with weight (huffing and puffing and the like) to opt into that by just not maximizing their stamina :hushed:


#13

I could see cardio and overall weight being the primary variables in a stamina equation. Cardio would certainly help, and keep a heavier character more mobile then they would be otherwise, and possibly even more mobile then someone thinner whose in worse shape.

It wouldn’t solve ultimate immobility, but it would hold it at bay for a greater span of time then otherwise. In an instance where immobility is a game ending state, it would allow a person to see just how much weight they could pile on their character before s/he crosses that threshold. Depending on the game, that could be the primary means of scoring.

I like this idea. That is a very good idea.


#14

RE: Numbers are important because the numbers get some folks off:
My experience with this is that, while true, the accuracy of those numbers isn’t actually important? You can pretty much bullshit them and be right because the likelihood is there is someone matching your description at that weight. If you’re off by a mile it might break verisimilitude (like my example of a two hundred pound girl oh wow barely being able to run), but anywhere in the ballpark is going to be fine.

I also like the Boundless method of using nonsensical units for the sake of accountophilia.

Something else about immobility: Most games seem to treat immobility as a simple state where one moment it’s possible to move and the next moment it’s not. But it’s actually a lot more nuanced than that. Lots of people who are legally disabled are able, at great strain, to get up and stagger somewhere, or walk with a mobility aid or a hand on a wall, or use a rascal for longer trips but can totally maneuver around their house. I think fetish fiction likes to jump to “too fat, can’t move” right away due to impatience. Just food for thought.


#15

A lot of the fiction treats it as a binary state also. From a design perspective it might be better to think about a tabletop RPG and how different actions can require a strength check at different difficulty levels. You may be able to stand up from that couch with aid, less likely without, and if you fail you can retry after a short rest to recover stamina.