Exclusive: Getting Intimate With Privates

See, he thought he was hurting me, but he was helping me!

Upon hearing the news of Zombie Cow’s pee-pee and hoo-hah themed game, Privates, we clearly wanted to know more. What are these “vaginas” and “penises” they’re talking about? So we got ourselves a chat with project lead Dan Marshall to find out the details on their STI-busting project. We exclusively reveal what the game’s about, how it will play, and what disgusting items lie in Zombie Cow’s search history.

RPS: So right now all we know is it’s something in 3D, and set inside people’s bottom-areas. But what kind of game is it?

Dan Marshall: The game itself is pretty standard platformer mechanics, though more Gunstar Heroes than Sonic.

RPS: Platform! Go on, tell us more.

DM: You play as Jack, the chisel-jawed captain of a group of ragtag useless no-hopers known as Foxtrot Squad. Top brass have decided they’re just too useless, so they’re sending them on missions with a veteran like you in the hopes that they’ll either shape up and prove their worth, or die horribly. Either way, they’ll stop being such a drain on the system. You’re followed about at all times by up to three Privates who, bless ‘em, will do their best to help you out wherever they can, flailing wildly and shooting bullets in vaguely the right direction, but as I said they’re not the smartest bunch of marines. That’s genuinely by design, not to save time coding complicated AI routines. You need to look after them and keep them alive as your top priority, because you won’t make it past the harder enemies without them. If they all peg it your mission’s over.

RPS: But was it really to save time coding complicated AI routines?

DM: Just getting the little bastards to follow you about is enough of a headache – oh how I wish we could spend time on the AI routines to make them smarter! Sadly all the voice over’s been done now so they HAVE to stay stupid or the whole game won’t work. (I should point out: they’re all actually very clever. They’re just not very good soldiers, there’s a difference.) So the whole game’s a sort of tweed uniform-wearing piss take of all these Space Marine/ Warfare games – they’re doing all the same sort of stuff that the Gears of War crew get up to (running around, shooting, not much else), but from a very British perspective.

RPS: But this is all taking place inside our pants, right?

DM: It’s five levels, each of which is probably 10-15 minutes or so long, so it’s a little game for a lazy Sunday afternoon. So yes, two of the levels are set in vaginas. One’s in the mouth and down the throat, one’s on someone’s bollocks and one’s inside someone’s cavernous bottom area. If anyone’s getting a bit squeamish, they’re all actually more representative of those areas, it’s not like we’ve taken the level design right out of a biology text book, for example. It’s much more abstract and cartoonish than all that – I’m pretty sure real vaginas don’t have toll booths outside and little lights running along the ceiling.
The bum level actually looks a little bit like delicious chocolate cake.

RPS: It seems dangerously close to having a serious point.

DM: So, although it’s little men with condom hats on, there’s a solid foundation to what you’re doing. All the enemies are genuine sexual infections, and all of which embody the sort of symptoms you’d get if you actually caught them off someone. We’ve got all your ‘most popular’ sexual infections covered, and you’ll need to use the right weapons to take them out – Anti-Viral for viruses, Anti-Bacterial for bacteria etc. Each of the guns is unique and totally awesome. You can order your Privates to cover certain enemy types while you take out the others, or you can deal with one threat at a time as a team. Your choice. We’ve got the likes of Chlamydia and Herpes, and one or two you probably haven’t heard of but should pay attention to. All the baddies are anthropomorphised, cartoonish takes on infections – Syphilis has got a little hat on, for example, which I don’t think is what really happens in real life.

RPS: For how long have you taken an interest in STIs?

DM: Since forever! STIs are totally the new Pokemons! It helped when Channel 4 were happy to give me some money to indulge my Sexually Transmitted Interests, admittedly. It’s not all STIs, though. There’s also a lot of sperm flying about, for example. They’re brilliant, just kicking about doing their thing, trying to find their way. They’re like a flock of swimming cows – they’re not vicious particularly, but you don’t want to get in their way.

RPS: Researching this must have been… interesting. Have your eyes seen things you wish they could never unsee? Tell us disgusting things.

DM: Absolutely. My Google search history is eclectic, horrific and embarrassing all at once. If my ISP are snooping on me, they’re presumably pretty concerned about my well-being. There was one image that stands out, of a man who had a hole right through his willy because of something he’d picked up. Right through! You could see right through to the floor! Andy, the artist, was constantly getting sent stuff he desperately didn’t want to look at. Blisters in all sorts of places. Things that ooze and seep. Things that has gone wholly inappropriate and unusual colours. Nasty stuff.

RPS: Having worked on this game, are you now more or less afraid of people’s holes?

DM: I’m exactly the same about peoples’ holes as I ever was, but working on Privates has certainly opened my eyes. If the person you’re sexing has EVER slept with someone who’s slept with someone who’s slept with someone who’s slept with someone who’s slept with someone who’s slept with someone who’s slept with someone who’s slept with someone who’s slept with someone who’s slept with someone who’s slept with someone who’s slept with someone… who’s got something, you’re in trouble. And that’s a pretty sobering thought since I stopped copy-pasting there when really I could have gone on and on. It’s just not worth the risk for the sake of putting on a condom really, is it?

RPS: Which is best: viruses or infections?

DM: This question is a trick question, right?

Privates is due to arrive on PC over the Summer, and will be completely free!


  1. Malawi Frontier Guard says:

    So this is what you do if you get Channel 4 money?

  2. Sobric says:

    This interview is pure gold.

    • Spacewalk says:

      Yes, reading it is making me feel all tingly inside and I’m not talking about the tingliness that I had to see my GP about.

  3. Lack_26 says:

    That’s got to be one of the best interviews I’ve read in a while. I feel sorry for Andy, I remember some of my sex-ed lessons, we saw some pretty horrible infections, *shudder*

  4. Pace says:

    Ah VD. Good times.

  5. Rosti says:

    STIs totally are the new Pokemons. Gotta catch ’em all, etc. This looks like a lovely little oddity – continue to keep me abreast of it, RPS/Walker.

  6. Vague-rant says:

    As a medical student I hereby declare this the study aid of the 21st century!
    Edit; I also choose infections as the lesser evil in the virus vs infection war. Bacterial infections are generally easier to deal with.

  7. mbp says:

    I am not sure I will actually be able to overcome my inner prude and play this game but one line of your article nailed my attention:
    and will be completely free
    Zombie cow is not a charity to the best of my recollection so why are they doing this for nothing? Is there some clever new form of monetisation going on that I haven’t figured out yet? Subliminal condom advertising perhaps?

    • Vague-rant says:

      I think Channel 4 are paying them, and then Channel 4 offers it for free. (But by the way, Zombie cow are also pretty generous with the prices they charge for BTDT and Time Gentlemen, Please, so its not too surprising)*

      *Not so subliminal advertising

    • Nathan says:

      Just that. Channel 4 had/have a scheme where they offered UK indie developers a reasonable sum of money to develop a game with a degree of educational worth. You might also remember Introversion’s proposal for this project, “Chronometer”.

    • RedFred says:

      I thought maybe it was some sort of sex-ed lesson disguised as a game.

  8. Lambchops says:

    Today I learnt that bum looks like chocolate cake.

    Do I get a gold star?

    • Vague-rant says:

      Your comment shows a lack of attention and means you get HIV.

      Question 2;
      Hepatitis? a), b) or c)

    • Lack_26 says:


      Q2 made me choke on what I was eating due to laughing, good man.

    • Pew says:

      I read that part and then sadly thought of 2girls1cup and the “is it poop or chocolate mousse” dilemma.

    • RedFred says:

      All of the above comments amuse me greatly.

  9. Mario Figueiredo says:

    Now, wasn’t it a lot better?

    An interview with the project leader giving a more accurate notion of what the game is all about, went a lot further than the whole nonsense of the previous… description(?) you featured. I know, I know, it was all in good jest. But I’m cranky that way. I submit to your scorn now.

    It however was left unexplained why, regardless of all this, their website makes no effort to explain what they are actually trying to do, instead choosing the sexual innuendo path coupled with a very tasteless stab at teenage pregnancy. But hey, whatever sells, right?

  10. Vadermath says:

    I’d just like to reflect once more on how fucking awesome this game will be.

  11. Dominic White says:

    They’re walking a dangerous line here…

    No, no the sex-ed angle. The ‘More like Gunstar Heroes’ thing. That’s not a name you invoke lightly. If they can produce something even within a mile of a Treasure game, I’ll be very, very happily surprised.

  12. Anomalous Poster says:

    Wait, it’s free? But I want to pump money into this man’s pockets! I want to reverse rape his financial black hole. Err… I want to inject fat wads into his leather folds?

  13. Agiel7 says:

    Man, I do hope that it’s a very attractive lady’s bottom the Privates are going to be going into. It could make it or break it for me.

  14. Andy says:

    No Ben and Dan?


    Seriously though (if you can be serious about this) I can’t wait to (virtually) experience this!

    • Wulf says:

      Hopefully they’ll be in there as easter eggs!

      Hey Dan, look, I’m giving you more work!

  15. Omar says:

    It really intrigues me that they are giving it away for free, but I gotta say DO WANT!

    Hopefully the pc requirements will be out soon

    • whaaa says:

      “Hopefully the pc requirements will be out soon”

      This game is running on idTech 666.