Escapist Podcast: 104: Dragon's Crown & Stifling Innovation

104: Dragon's Crown & Stifling Innovation

This week, we discuss the sexualization in Dragon's Crown. We also talk about comments made on triple A budgets stifling innovations.

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http://www.themis-media.com/videos/get/0/e15a29097a5b663fa43b258772591ecc/7897.mp3

Don't know why they don't put it up on the post if they aren't going to advertise on it.

Yay good podcast! Janelle, I support your plan to incorporate props into the video feed. Why stop at the whip when you can go full Wonder Woman?

Hmm, freezing at 10:54 again this time.

Kristian Fischer:
Hmm, freezing at 10:54 again this time.

Our IT team believes they've locked down the issue, and are running a fix through right now. It should be resolved shortly (we just need to reprocess the video on our end). Thank you for your patience!

It's weird; I can move the pipper forward about 30 seconds and run the rest of the podcat no problem.

I had no interest in playing Dragon's Crown but with everyone talking about it, I want to play it now.

Actually, original mermaids had butts. The trend of the fish half not including the butt is not how mermaids were concieved to be but a deviation.

Here's a painting from the 1850s:

Oh and the "nun" is actually a fighter monk who has the chopped off head of a demonic dog still with its fangs lunged into one of her ankles, that's why she's moaning, cause it's still biting her. >_>

For those interested, here's a video of the spread-eagle nun.

She's also heaving. I mean, I get the intent of the style. I think my problem with it is that serves no purpose outside of being sexualized. It's not like Dead or Alive, where the intent is to oggle, and smack each other around, so the sexualization has a context. Here, the gameplay seems to try to be deeper (I don't know, I haven't played it, it's pure speculation), but pulls opposite with the art style. So, to each his own, it's just not my style (of art or gameplay).

Towards the end I had a hard time drinking my water because of you lovely people, don't even change. XD

The art style in El Shaddai was mainly the only reason I wanted to play it since it looked so cool and different. I'm really glad I played it too since each level was different and the themes of each one were so cool. The one where you ride the motorcycle was my favorite.

Dreiko:
Actually, original mermaids had butts. The trend of the fish half not including the butt is not how mermaids were concieved to be but a deviation.

Here's a painting from the 1850s:

Oh and the "nun" is actually a fighter monk who has the chopped off head of a demonic dog still with its fangs lunged into one of her ankles, that's why she's moaning, cause it's still biting her. >_>

Did they really?

I never knew that, and I feel like I just got learned.

Fiz_The_Toaster:
Towards the end I had a hard time drinking my water because of you lovely people, don't even change. XD

The art style in El Shaddai was mainly the only reason I wanted to play it since it looked so cool and different. I'm really glad I played it too since each level was different and the themes of each one were so cool. The one where you ride the motorcycle was my favorite.

Dreiko:
Actually, original mermaids had butts. The trend of the fish half not including the butt is not how mermaids were concieved to be but a deviation.

Here's a painting from the 1850s:

Oh and the "nun" is actually a fighter monk who has the chopped off head of a demonic dog still with its fangs lunged into one of her ankles, that's why she's moaning, cause it's still biting her. >_>

Did they really?

I never knew that, and I feel like I just got learned.

They sure did have butts. People buy the sanitized version of disney for all those original stories and forget the original. It's like taking the movie versions of books as canon over the book itself. I wish it wasn't so.

Every time they asked "why did the mermaid have butt" in this podcast I wanted to scream! XD

Mermaids have butts! Disney lied to you! Don't badmouth the game for being original and not following with the lie!

Dreiko:

Fiz_The_Toaster:
Towards the end I had a hard time drinking my water because of you lovely people, don't even change. XD

The art style in El Shaddai was mainly the only reason I wanted to play it since it looked so cool and different. I'm really glad I played it too since each level was different and the themes of each one were so cool. The one where you ride the motorcycle was my favorite.

Dreiko:
Actually, original mermaids had butts. The trend of the fish half not including the butt is not how mermaids were concieved to be but a deviation.

Here's a painting from the 1850s:

Oh and the "nun" is actually a fighter monk who has the chopped off head of a demonic dog still with its fangs lunged into one of her ankles, that's why she's moaning, cause it's still biting her. >_>

Did they really?

I never knew that, and I feel like I just got learned.

They sure did have butts. People buy the sanitized version of disney for all those original stories and forget the original. It's like taking the movie versions of books as canon over the book itself. I wish it wasn't so.

Every time they asked "why did the mermaid have butt" in this podcast I wanted to scream! XD

Mermaids have butts! Disney lied to you! Don't badmouth the game for being original and not following with the lie!

So Disney created a mer-butt cleansing?

Hmmm.... That would make sense, and they did change how the original Little Mermaid ended. I guess it was too dark and risque to do a truly faithful adaptation of the book to a children's movie after all.

It's a mer-butt conspiracy!

I won't edit my previous post again so, here we go. Italian families are very expresive, in general, but maybe it's just stereotypical. It reminded me of the recent Fiat commercial.

Dreiko:
Actually, original mermaids had butts. The trend of the fish half not including the butt is not how mermaids were concieved to be but a deviation.

Here's a painting from the 1850s:

Oh and the "nun" is actually a fighter monk who has the chopped off head of a demonic dog still with its fangs lunged into one of her ankles, that's why she's moaning, cause it's still biting her. >_>

Ha. :) Fair enough. I can now forgive the mermaid butt......
Um...>_> I don't suppose you know of a painting that can explain the Nun, do you?

Anyway, so far I've been playing the game and have been having fun. Hopefully my friend will get his copy, and will have even more fun together.

As for the whole thing with the art, I think the biggest issue people should have with it is like what you all said in the Podcat. The sexualization is there, but not much else. Like Nasrin said in her review the story is there, but it's very bare bones, and generic.

So that makes all the titillation worse for those not enjoying it, because that's kind of all there is. I've been playing the game for a bit now, and it is fun and beautiful.
However, there is this nagging feeling that the whole thing while fun, and nice to look at, is just a bit empty inside.

For example; with the Sorceress we get the big boob, the magic, and some voice work but not much else.
There isn't a backstory or anything to her. Like maybe about how everyone teased her at magic school for looking like a large breasted bimbo, so she got really into her studies so she could become the best student at the school, and prove to everyone she's more than just breasts. Graduating as the top mage!

<_< Unless I just haven't gotten to that part yet....

WMDogma:

Kristian Fischer:
Hmm, freezing at 10:54 again this time.

Our IT team believes they've locked down the issue, and are running a fix through right now. It should be resolved shortly (we just need to reprocess the video on our end). Thank you for your patience!

Huh. That reminds me. I don't think I've had that happen again these last couple of podcats.

That must kind of stink for all of you. When things work the way there suppose to, no one notices, and only when things go wrong do people contact you to deal with a problem.

:( You are all so underappreciated. If I come off as insulting, I apologize. I really do think the people dealing with the sites issues should get more love. :D You should ask for a holiday on the Escapist!

.

On Dragon Age and the realistic portrayal of its characters, did anyone else max out everyone's morale? I did. I didn't bed anyone until at least halfway through the game so I had the girls (and guys) bickering over me in both titles until the game kinda forced me to choose someone. It was great for a laugh. What can I say? I'm a min/maxer. I wanted everyone at peak performance when I took them on quests.

I'm currently in a similar situation to Janelle's previous predicament. Having come out of major surgery myself, I've been told not to lift over 10 lbs for a month lest my insides inexplicably become my outsides. So I can't work, can't jobhunt because any job I might get would invariably include physical exertion of some sort. And so I sit, in my parents' house, in front of the computer. As a result I have renewed my interest in LOTRO. My formerly lv 17 hobbit hunter is now lv 40 and I have invested a bit of money into unlocking quest packs (Gamestop Mithril Ed FTW). I'm not one to complain, but prior to this I would workout twice a day, would get out as much as possible. For how little cash I had on hand I was active. And now I'm not. The anxiety reeeeeally sucks.

Imp Emissary:

For example; with the Sorceress we get the big boob, the magic, and some voice work but not much else.
There isn't a backstory or anything to her. Like maybe about how everyone teased her at magic school for looking like a large breasted bimbo, so she got really into her studies so she could become the best student at the school, and prove to everyone she's more than just breasts. Graduating as the top mage!

<_< Unless I just haven't gotten to that part yet....

Ummm true but same applies to the rest of the cast from DC we don't see any details from any other character, the whole nun stuff well, she's getting her leg bit.... also you may say that she got a "Breast" plate, but SHE IS covering everything up right? shes wearing plate and chains no skin exposed.

About the podcast, the true I got lost when you guys started talking about riotting..... and did you guys told the rest of the comunity to not buy DC cause sexualization ? -_- I need to hear it again ( bear with me english isn't my main language ), would be nice how many of the people in the podcast DID play the game, good to see Janelle taking a neutral position in this topic instead of bashing it and saying boobs....

Captcha: wow now we're selling capcha as publicity ?? Describe this brand with any words " Crap"

Drauger:

Imp Emissary:

For example; with the Sorceress we get the big boob, the magic, and some voice work but not much else.
There isn't a backstory or anything to her. Like maybe about how everyone teased her at magic school for looking like a large breasted bimbo, so she got really into her studies so she could become the best student at the school, and prove to everyone she's more than just breasts. Graduating as the top mage!

<_< Unless I just haven't gotten to that part yet....

Ummm true but same applies to the rest of the cast from DC we don't see any details from any other character, the whole nun stuff well, she's getting her leg bit.... also you may say that she got a "Breast" plate, but SHE IS covering everything up right? shes wearing plate and chains no skin exposed.

About the podcast, the true I got lost when you guys started talking about riotting..... and did you guys told the rest of the comunity to not buy DC cause sexualization ? -_- I need to hear it again ( bear with me english isn't my main language ), would be nice how many of the people in the podcast DID play the game, good to see Janelle taking a neutral position in this topic instead of bashing it and saying boobs....

Captcha: wow now we're selling capcha as publicity ?? Describe this brand with any words " Crap"

I see what ya mean. They don't go into the background of any of the characters.

That said, I don't hear many(or really any) people complain about the Elf's look like they do the Sorceress/Amazon.

Also, no they didn't say people should not buy Dragon's Crown, they said people should buy games with good female characters if they want to see more of them.

I think there's an interesting dicussion to be had if you look at the intersection of the two topics put together in the title of this thread. When it comes to something like the approach to female characters it's not uncommon for blanket statements to be thrown around about games, things akin to "all games should do this" or "no games should do that." I can't help but feel that those types of statements, even when the intention is right, can actually lead to a lack of innovation and growth in game development. As soon as you start creating any sort of checklist for what games can/can't do or should/shouldn't do, you start placing limitations on the sorts of games that are created. Note that I'm certainly not saying that I would have any issue at all with more games having better developed characters of all types. I'm just saying that, at their core, there are many games that would not benefit at all from having these blanket statements applied to them.

Honestly, nobody complained about the legitimacy of Vellejo's or Franzetta's art styles. Heck, there were plenty of animated films (Fire & Ice, Heavy Metal) that were certainly not for kids. They knew what audience they were shooting for.

However, it seems games are still a hot-button in a way that movies aren't anymore. I still disagree with objectification of ANYONE, but I fail to see how this is any different from the rampant trends in movies, anime, and other media.

As a movie, the Expendables isn't Macbeth. Similarly, Dragon's Crown isn't Ico.

To be fair, certain aspects of the game are ridiculous. However, if women can get Twilight, men can have their candy too.

I have no problem with what demographics games target. I posit, however, that there should be more content geared towards ALL gamers, as half of all gamers are women at this point.

While Remember Me was a decent game, what appalls me is that corporate is likely to say the game's failing was the female protagonist, vs the quality of the game itself.

To wit, there is an appalling lack of equality in games. However, this doesn't mean such an equality necessarily needs to be done at the expense of the fun or artistic vision of ANYONE.

Focussing on the topic of "family" (and specifically my Italian part of the family), a running joke with my siblings is whenever we have dinner at my mother's, we try and stop one another from engaging in conversation while dinner is actually being prepared, or we just take over. With talking comes gesturing, so if my mum is talking while making dinner, dinner isn't being made.

... If mermaids have butts does that mean they have...? Nope, doesn't matter, still weird, still fishy, still slimy.

Imp Emissary:
I see what ya mean. They don't go into the background of any of the characters.

That said, I don't hear many(or really any) people complain about the Elf's look like they do the Sorceress/Amazon.

Also, no they didn't say people should not buy Dragon's Crown, they said people should buy games with good female characters if they want to see more of them.

The way I see it, the Elf just doesn't bother people as much, so even if she was more sexualized she'd probably get a pass just because everyone is distracted with other characters. As to backstory, I always like a lot of ambiguity because then I'm free to make their background as sane or ridiculous as I wish. Doubly so if I'm playing with friends.

Touching on the buying games with more female characters: While buying multiple copies of a single game may be the only way to convince companies to make more games with well-written female characters, is that really feasible? Especially considering the current price of games. Most people buy what they want to play, so the only way to "vote with our wallets" is to bulk-buy.

OT: Lovely podcast everyone. Thanks for the more in-depth look at everything. And thank you IT department for all your hard work with the weird 10:54 stop glitch.

Nice to see you back Greg. This is defiantly one of my favourite Podcat teams so far.

The chemistry seemed really good and you were all genuinely funny.

So looking forward to Paul's dramatic re-enactment of select scenes from Dragon's Crown(in full Nun costume) next week?

shirkbot:
Touching on the buying games with more female characters: While buying multiple copies of a single game may be the only way to convince companies to make more games with well-written female characters, is that really feasible? Especially considering the current price of games. Most people buy what they want to play, so the only way to "vote with our wallets" is to bulk-buy.

Not all sales are created equal.

A consumer who is willing to buy a game at full price on the first day of release is simply worth more to the industry then multiple consumers who are only willing to buy a game on sale twelve to eighteen months down the track at a greatly reduced price. Added on top of that you have further subsections of consumers who are willing to spend more to get a premium version of the baseline product, or those who're willing to place a preorder long before the date of release. So seemingly from out of nowhere you would need to produce a sizable demographic willing to preorder female-orientated triple A gaming titles for higher than recommended retail price because they come with a bunch of branded plastic crap manufactured in distant China.

And when manage to do all that, the developers of relatively obscure Japanese titles like Dragon's Crown are more than likely to keep politely ignoring you. Not buying Japanese games from companies that don't rely on revenues generated in overseas markets is just going to see them pack up their games and take them back home to focus more on their own domestic market and the Asian regional market in general.

shirkbot:

Imp Emissary:
I see what ya mean. They don't go into the background of any of the characters.

That said, I don't hear many(or really any) people complain about the Elf's look like they do the Sorceress/Amazon.

Also, no they didn't say people should not buy Dragon's Crown, they said people should buy games with good female characters if they want to see more of them.

The way I see it, the Elf just doesn't bother people as much, so even if she was more sexualized she'd probably get a pass just because everyone is distracted with other characters. As to backstory, I always like a lot of ambiguity because then I'm free to make their background as sane or ridiculous as I wish. Doubly so if I'm playing with friends.

Touching on the buying games with more female characters: While buying multiple copies of a single game may be the only way to convince companies to make more games with well-written female characters, is that really feasible? Especially considering the current price of games. Most people buy what they want to play, so the only way to "vote with our wallets" is to bulk-buy.

OT: Lovely podcast everyone. Thanks for the more in-depth look at everything. And thank you IT department for all your hard work with the weird 10:54 stop glitch.

I see what you're getting to. However, people aren't just not complaining about the Elf, but giving the character praise. Like when Jim said she was a good example of a sexy character that wasn't sexualized. That's my issue with "sexy" characters in general right now, especially in games.

Everyone seems to think for a character to be sexy they have to be half naked, and voluptuous. Those are sexy yes, but they're hardly the only types of sexy, and I would argue that they're not even the most sexy things you can have in a game. For example, what I do like about the Amazon, and the Sorceress is that they have quite attractive voices.

To some that may not sound like much, but I remember once in the Podcat that it was brought up how Morrigan's voice helped to make her a very popular romance choice in Dragon Age. But because there's little story(about the main characters at least) all they can do is work with the visual.

As for the vote with your wallet thing. Buying just one copy, but spreading the word of the game can do a lot too. It's why some people call Deadly Premonition "Jim Sterling's Deadly Premonition", just because he spread the word about the game so much. I know we all don't have a few shows on the internet like Jim, but all ya can do, is what ya can in the end.

Imp Emissary:
-snip-

Yeah, but the whole praise of the Elf gets into all kinds of messy issues of what is sexually attractive and how should it be depicted relative to characterization and whatnot. It's a big ball of stupid that we can't do much about because these are deeply rooted cultural issues combined with something incredibly subjective. My guess is that it just comes down to what's "Realistic" in this particular case. The Elf has real-ish dimensions, especially relative to the Sorceress and Amazon.

Paradoxrifts:
-snip-

To both of you: Then what do we do, not just in this particular situation but overall? We can spread the word, share what we love, but isn't that how it works anyway? What can we do differently that actually makes sense from a collective financial perspective?

LOL did anyone else laugh a lot during the part when Janelle explained her experience living with her parents again and how her dad was getting angry at her playing videogames a lot and told her to stop?

That was the best part of the podcat.
I demand moar fun stories like these :)

shirkbot:

Imp Emissary:
-snip-

Yeah, but the whole praise of the Elf gets into all kinds of messy issues of what is sexually attractive and how should it be depicted relative to characterization and whatnot. It's a big ball of stupid that we can't do much about because these are deeply rooted cultural issues combined with something incredibly subjective. My guess is that it just comes down to what's "Realistic" in this particular case. The Elf has real-ish dimensions, especially relative to the Sorceress and Amazon.

Paradoxrifts:
-snip-

To both of you: Then what do we do, not just in this particular situation but overall? We can spread the word, share what we love, but isn't that how it works anyway? What can we do differently that actually makes sense from a collective financial perspective?

I think I understand what you're getting at. What I'm trying to say is for people who didn't enjoy their looks, because there's really nothing else there to appreciate about the character, it just makes the situation worse, and makes ya hate them more because you don't have any story bits about them/dialogue for them to say to take your mind off it.

Take Isabela from Dragon Age. Very sexualized look too, but she also had a lot of character, and her personality made SOME sense of how she dressed. And even if you still didn't like her look, she made jokes, gave opinions, and had some goals that you could like her for.

With Dragon's Crown, because of how the story is, they don't have that option, and so you're just stuck with the look you may happen to think is dumb.

As for what you can do? Well, unless you got the cash to fund a game of your own, all you can do is support games with good female characters, and spread the word that you want more good female characters.

Also, while simply talking about what you want may seem simple, it is a big deal if you can let people in charge of making games know what you would like to see more of.
I mean hell. If publishers want to ignore more than half the population(and some of the other half too. Guys can like "girl things", and girls can like "guy things"), then I don't think money is enough to get them to do what they should.

Bottom line. If you want something, you have to do what you can to let people know that you want it.
It may sound insignificant, but maybe write a letter/email to a company/publisher you like, and ask them to consider making a game that you think they should try to create.
It can't hurt to ask.

shiajun:
For those interested, here's a video of the spread-eagle nun.

She's also heaving. I mean, I get the intent of the style. I think my problem with it is that serves no purpose outside of being sexualized. It's not like Dead or Alive, where the intent is to oggle, and smack each other around, so the sexualization has a context. Here, the gameplay seems to try to be deeper (I don't know, I haven't played it, it's pure speculation), but pulls opposite with the art style. So, to each his own, it's just not my style (of art or gameplay).

When everybody talks about this scene I always pictured something much worse, and the question that is never asked, why haven't mermaids been depicted with butts before?

It would have certainly removed a lot of confusion to my young mind when watching My Little Mermaid... but then really dirty (and wrong) because it would've been My Little Mermiad

 

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