Stolen Pixels #258: Where the Boys Are

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pokepuke:
While it may be an interesting option, it often isn't a realistic one, either.

This^. How often do you see women on the frontline of a war?

RelexCryo:
How often do you see women on the frontline of a war?

Slightly more often than "never," which is the problem with the game in question. Also, since there's no requirement for videogame women to hump a hundred pounds of gear and ammo across the countryside for days on end or drag two-hundred-pound casualties to safety, this is a bit of a non-sequitur.

beema:

You have skinny neanderthal guy, giant neanderthal guy, and black neanderthal guy.

Did you mean skinny, giant, and medium? Any body type can be black. And not all of the heads have the neanderthal like sloping brow.

Why does everyone in Brink have to look like Dee Snyder?

2 words jiggle physics.... very expensive to produce

RelexCryo:

pokepuke:
While it may be an interesting option, it often isn't a realistic one, either.

This^. How often do you see women on the frontline of a war?

This argument would have more merit if Brink was a documentary. About frontline warfare. And even then - off the top of my head, women serve on the front in Russian and British armed forces*. There are almost certainly other examples if you Google.

But we're talking about a game, and making a game that deliberately alienates half of your potential audience (in fact, half of the people on the planet) is really stupid.

Especially when (I'll say it again) one of the main ways that game sells itself is how customisable your character is.

I don't think anyone is claiming that Brink is uniquely misogynistic (and hey, at least you can make black characters, because that's still not a given nowadays); it's just a particularly egregious example, given the vast amount of customisation that is available within the game.

It's pretty dumb when any game developer does it though - there's very little reason for virtually all game protagonists to be white men. There's also very little reason for virtually all game characters to be grotesque caricatures (the white ones too).

It's laziness. Putting female characters into your game might mean taking some of the male assets out (but in Brink would we have noticed? It's doubtful...), and it might well mean the game takes a bit longer to produce.

But that's just because it's something we don't normally do - if we normally had male and female characters in a game, along with more general variety in character design (including things like 'ethnicity' and 'personality'), then we wouldn't think of this as being extra effort. It would just be 'what you do when you make a game'; standard practice, not extra work.

You know, like putting multiplayer in - that wasn't always standard issue; it pretty much is nowadays.

-
*This is because of the asymmetrical nature of the wars we're fighting at the moment, but the net result is British women are fighting & dying in uniform, as soldiers of the British Army.

lesterley:
So the idea of making a game with all FEMALE characters is completely incomprehensible?

From a business perspective, yea it is. The vast majority of FPS fans are males in the 18-30 demographic. Thus, they will attempt to appeal to that market, and a significant portion of that market is insecure in themselves enough to refuse to play as women.

To be fair, I'd use the character with the smallest hitboxes regardless of gender.

I almost think they didn't include female body types to avoid another type of persecution. Its a lot easier to just say it was a resource decision than deal with the attacks from feminists groups saying the "light" body type is bad imagery for girls. Dumb shit like that.

Good point, Shamus, though the comic is essentially a sprite comic. On top of all the things you mentioned, you also have to make the hit boxes to be genderless from the ground up (one guy mentioning just 'copying the hit box', but if the hit box doesn't match the character model your game is fucked up) as well as the general character design, since you have to figure out whether the enemy rushing towards you is the big guy with the big gun or the small guy with the leaping powers with more ease than what kind of genitals it has.

Agayek:

lesterley:
So the idea of making a game with all FEMALE characters is completely incomprehensible?

From a business perspective, yea it is. The vast majority of FPS fans are males in the 18-30 demographic. Thus, they will attempt to appeal to that market, and a significant portion of that market is insecure in themselves enough to refuse to play as women.

That doesn't stop them from playing single player games in which you play as a woman, though. They might play as women if there was no other choice, since that's an excuse to do so. (Please insert a joke generalising mainstream FPS players as closeted homosexuals here.)

So my idea for a game is this: IN A WORLD in the far future, all the men have gone to war generations ago, and the women were left behind. The only men remaining are those who were children when the war began, and after being raised under the protection of a cabal of scientists originally intending to protect them and now using their limited number to control the people through control of its reproduction. Now certain parts of the population are rebelling against the scientists and have taken to arms. Gameplay is like Shadowrun only good and there are say five different factions with different powers and different objectives on each map, there being two pro-scientist ones (maybe one that's like a PMC force and one that's a zealot-like guard of honor), two anti-scientist ones (one that's a regular rebel force who wants to end population control and one that is a bunch of crazy feminazis who want to kill the remaining men and take the scientists' place through controlling cloning rather than reproduction) and one wildcard shits and giggles one that's just taking advantadge of the chaos. There would be few maps but the objective on them would change depending on the two factions who were fighting, which could be any two of the five.

Hey, remember that article way back that suggested a world in which women aren't expected to wear pink and like dolls but wear black and like guns? When the men left, women were supposed to wear black for the many who had already died during the war, and train to defend the homeworld should the last men fail. Since then it went from being a tradition thing to the general way of thinking. ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED

The two things I heard about Brink the day it was launched: It's a throw-away single player and there aren't females.

Lucane:

Irony's Acolyte:

lesterley:
So the idea of making a game with all FEMALE characters is completely incomprehensible?

That doesn't really solve the problem. It'd still be a one gender game and people would complain about that.

That isn't the point it's that if the gender of say Call of Duty Black Ops was switched to be an all female cast(or mostly if the original had a few women as NPCs) a decent number of men would object to it and/or refuse to buy/play it regardless of quality because they aren't represented.Any current FPS makers could easily make their next game in a series switch gender balance but they likely won't because they know it would hurt sales even with brand recognition.

DannibalG36:
Um... why? Does it matter? Since when did women become so damn sensitive? Just play as a guy. It doesn't matter if the avatar you kill has a digital vagina - they're still dead. Have fun.

Have you ever payed(Note: it's not missing a "L") for a game that let you customize your character's appearance but only had female designs to pick from?

You're missing the point. Gameplay is what's important, not the genitalia of the avatar you're playing or the sex of the people you're interacting with. Why would you make a superficial customization issue something that overrides the fun a game provides?

RUINER ACTUAL:
I almost think they didn't include female body types to avoid another type of persecution. Its a lot easier to just say it was a resource decision than deal with the attacks from feminists groups saying the "light" body type is bad imagery for girls. Dumb shit like that.

Lol, no. No feminist I have ever met or heard of has a problem with thin/athletic people. That would even be out there for 99% of this page: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/StrawFeminist

Agayek:

lesterley:
So the idea of making a game with all FEMALE characters is completely incomprehensible?

From a business perspective, yea it is. The vast majority of FPS fans are males in the 18-30 demographic. Thus, they will attempt to appeal to that market, and a significant portion of that market is insecure in themselves enough to refuse to play as women.

Yeah, Portal and Portal 2 are sure taking serious sales hits for having a female protagonist.

Zhukov:
Yeah, because every other online FPS has female characters.

...

Oh wait.

*shrug*

I kind of get why people are annoyed, but I fail to see why they are picking on Brink specifically.

Well, if you get a game set in a war zone or with a resistence force in a country where women are second class, then yeah of course it's understandable.

But if it's set in a civilization, on that civilization's soil, and is in fact a civil war (with a civilization supposedly set in the future), there should be women.
Though there should also be women in COD and such (if set in present day) since they are in the US military. Don't know if they are or aren't in those games. Just saying that's just as ridiculous, if not more so since, you know, the US military actually exists.

Personally I think the game was not just rushed, but the art department didn't know how to make women. Seriously. Look at those friggin monstrosities in Brink. Like it or hate it, that's an aesthetic choice that would look even goofier on female characters.

Soylent Dave:

poiumty:

lesterley:
So the idea of making a game with all FEMALE characters is completely incomprehensible?

No, just implausible. Women don't usually go shoot eachother for sport.

Which horrifying dystopia do you live in?

Because men don't usually shoot each other for sport in mine.

(not that it isn't still a horrifying dystopia of course...)

I never see women at my local Thunderdome.

Kahunaburger:
Yeah, Portal and Portal 2 are sure taking serious sales hits for having a female protagonist.

First off, Portal is a vastly different beast from Brink.

Second, there's a larger percentage of customers that would prefer to play men over women, when presented with the choice. Hence, it makes greater business sense that if you must choose one, go for men over women. That's all this is, a business decision.

Grey Carter:

Soylent Dave:

poiumty:
No, just implausible. Women don't usually go shoot eachother for sport.

Which horrifying dystopia do you live in?

Because men don't usually shoot each other for sport in mine.

(not that it isn't still a horrifying dystopia of course...)

I never see women at my local Thunderdome.

That's because they're operating it all behind the scenes - it's a well-known fact that a certain Ms. Turner is the majority shareholder in Thunderdomes Incorporated.

Agayek:

Kahunaburger:
Yeah, Portal and Portal 2 are sure taking serious sales hits for having a female protagonist.

First off, Portal is a vastly different beast from Brink.

Second, there's a larger percentage of customers that would prefer to play men over women, when presented with the choice. Hence, it makes greater business sense that if you must choose one, go for men over women. That's all this is, a business decision.

And we all know that business decisions about game content are always correct?

All these excuses about how "making female models is hard" and yet, I can make my Spartan female in Halo:Reach. That changes the model completely and yet there are still a ton of customization options. Its one of the most customizable shooters on the market. You even play "your" spartan in the campaign.

Say what you want about halo, but brink brings nothing to the table I can't get playing reach. Less in fact, reach has a poor story but at least its single player campaign is existent. I see no reason to be interested in brink at this point.

Kahunaburger:
And we all know that business decisions about game content are always correct?

I never said it was a correct or just decision. Someone asked why there's no women, I gave the most likely reason behind such a thing. Numbers speak, and they wanted to capture the biggest market share they could.

Agayek:

Kahunaburger:
And we all know that business decisions about game content are always correct?

I never said it was a correct or just decision. Someone asked why there's no women, I gave the most likely reason behind such a thing. Numbers speak, and they wanted to capture the biggest market share they could.

I certainly think that's how the people making the decision felt - playing it safe, etc. Although, has an all-female shooter even been tried? Honestly, I'd guess that buzz about the gameplay would supersede buzz about the gender of the characters, as it did in Portal and Mirror's Edge.

The women of that universe probably passed on taking part in it.

Besides, look at how the MEN are styled! A woman would be blocky, thick and built tough like a linebacker, so don't think those stick figure models would last long in it if that's what you're after.

Though it would be a nice change from "Thick glaring, built tough guy with skinny, slender, big tittied supermodel beside him holding a gun bigger than she is that passes for the women of in a combat setting. There aren't enough tough girls in games.

You know, I was originally really offended by them cutting females out of Brink's character customization, but now I realize that in order to have a female Brink character, you would have to make a FEMALE BRINK CHARACTER. So, something that looks like a woman, a horse, and a caveman crossbred. *Shudder* It would be almost as hideous as the male characters.

What awful facial design. Sheesh. Permanent derp-faces.

Fuck Brink .. that game has so much lag it's unplayable.

Don't care about what you can or can't do in the customisation screen.

Wow they sure are generous with the usernames:
Just so you know, they specifically announced that they won't be having female characters and that it was a specific design decision, not just an oversight or anything. They felt female character models wouldn't fit in with the design style they chose for their game.

Well then, if they believe that, they might want to rethink their design. A visual style that does a poor job of portraying half the human population is not really a good one. What if they want to do sequels with women?

Although, honestly, I think women would look fine in that style. While the extra workload is a valid excuse, it still comes across as odd. Saints Row 2 had nearly as much customization freedom, and Volition had no problem including women.

WanderingFool:

michaelknives52:
-snip
YES!!! Pretty much because a larger portion of the video game community is comprised of males and thats the target demographic and the majority of games are created by male developers. Yes sexism still exists. Call of duty would look pretty silly with females running around shooting gus with double D sized breasts... that only makes sense in fighting games like dead or alive or mortal kombat. Perhap you can create a game that is comprised of females with normal sized chests... and watch you company burn to ashs and fail

Ummm... okay, this might seem weird to someone, but is anybody else actually sick of seeing large breasts on female characters? Cause im literally bored with the image of large breast now...

Yeah, like The Witcher, where everyone with LESS than double D breasts was a fat guy merchant..

It's insulting to me as a guy that the developers think the game will be better if all the women have giant boobs..

"different hiboxes"

Hell No.

subtlefuge:
It screams more "incomplete" to me than something intentionally left out. Sure, voice acting and asset generation is expensive, but it would have boosted sales.

Anyways, it's not the only flaw that points to this being a rush job.

not necessarily. A new series is an uncertain thing in this market. That much money pumped into a non-established franchise is financial suicide regardless of who it is.

Friendshipandmagic:
All these excuses about how "making female models is hard" and yet, I can make my Spartan female in Halo:Reach. That changes the model completely and yet there are still a ton of customization options. Its one of the most customizable shooters on the market. You even play "your" spartan in the campaign.

Say what you want about halo, but brink brings nothing to the table I can't get playing reach. Less in fact, reach has a poor story but at least its single player campaign is existent. I see no reason to be interested in brink at this point.

Halo is more established in Brink. You can pump gratuitous amounts of money into Halo and still make your money back, the same can't be said for Brink. There is no established franchise.

Shamus Young:
Stolen Pixels #258: Where the Boys Are

Who needs women? Not Brink, apparently.

Read Full Article

Not to be a jerk about this but theres three standard character models in Brink. Light, Medium, and Heavy. The heavy model is like a massive tank. To balance play the female version would need to the be same size. That would be hilarious at least.

Females are naturally smaller and offers an imbalance to play. Halo gets around this with enormous armor... Socom got around this by having the female character the same size as all the rest ( a world of Tom Cruise size soldiers, hurrah ).

Ultratwinkie:

subtlefuge:
It screams more "incomplete" to me than something intentionally left out. Sure, voice acting and asset generation is expensive, but it would have boosted sales.

Anyways, it's not the only flaw that points to this being a rush job.

not necessarily. A new series is an uncertain thing in this market. That much money pumped into a non-established franchise is financial suicide regardless of who it is.

I understand that, but most new franchises don't get as much coverage, hype, or promises lumped in either. Brink wasn't neglected, it was rushed out the door.

subtlefuge:

Ultratwinkie:

subtlefuge:
It screams more "incomplete" to me than something intentionally left out. Sure, voice acting and asset generation is expensive, but it would have boosted sales.

Anyways, it's not the only flaw that points to this being a rush job.

not necessarily. A new series is an uncertain thing in this market. That much money pumped into a non-established franchise is financial suicide regardless of who it is.

I understand that, but most new franchises don't get as much coverage, hype, or promises lumped in either. Brink wasn't neglected, it was rushed out the door.

This is said about nearly every game that hits the market. The first week of online play is rarely a smooth affair.

MajorDolphin:

subtlefuge:

I understand that, but most new franchises don't get as much coverage, hype, or promises lumped in either. Brink wasn't neglected, it was rushed out the door.

This is said about nearly every game that hits the market. The first week of online play is rarely a smooth affair.

I'm not saying the game is terrible, but there is a difference between the game we were shown and told about, and the final product.

What

Is anyone else bothered by the smaller font of words and generally the comic, since the number 244? It just really irks me.

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