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KestrelPi

Massive Chalice and same sex couples

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This thread has become a big tl;dr for someone coming in as late as I am so I don't know if someone has already made this point but I think having gay couples in the game gives sex and relationships to much emphasis in the game. This isn't the Sims (at least I hope it isn't) and isn't about making a happy family. It's about humans creating epic bloodlines. I think sex and relationships will be (and should be) left out of the game as much as possible. Unless gay couples can enhance the game mechanics why do we need them? To be honest, if there were some way to remove straight couples from the game I think that would be for the best but the truth of the matter it is pretty much a necessity. At least I can't think of a way around it. I would prefer it if any and all forms of sex, love and relationships were kept out of the game as much as possible. Let's just keep it about war tactics. That's just my thoughts.

You can't really create an epic bloodline without sex. ;)

That said, I agree in that I don't want the game to be a relationship simulator... And I don't think it will be.

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Well, sorry it's TL;DR but if you had taken the time then you'd realise that we've been having awesome discussions about how more types of relationship actually could enhance the gameplay in all sorts of fun ways - and Brad and the team think our suggestions and discussion have been awesome. So, y'know. I'd suggest that you maybe refrain from adding your 2c to a thread that, by your own admission, you couldn't even be bothered to read. Because all the 'problems' you have mentioned have been solved in a million different ways by this point. I mean, I propose one solution in the very first post - you couldn't even get that far before hitting post reply? :)

I'm sorry if my bluntness (bluntness) offended you. I really don't want to start an arguement on what otherwise seems like a productive thread. I didn't mean tl;dr because I couldn't be bothered. I'm at work so I literally can't take the amount of time it would take to read every post. (I shouldn't even be posting this.) I started on the last page and hoped for the best. How do you cherry pick which posts to read? Anyway, if you have a good way to incorporate gay couples into the game that I have missed and that doesn't add "Sims-like" qualities to the game play then great and I'm sorry I wasted your time with my 2 cents.

not offended, it's just a little irritating when someone gives their opinion and doesn't even seem to have looked at any of what has come before. Just read the start, from my post up to Brad's reply, that'd be something at least. It would also explain why actually I think these issues are important, and why I decided to bring it up, even if they're not the MOST important.

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not offended, it's just a little irritating when someone gives their opinion and doesn't even seem to have looked at any of what has come before. Just read the start, from my post up to Brad's reply, that'd be something at least. It would also explain why actually I think these issues are important, and why I decided to bring it up, even if they're not the MOST important.

OK so I went back and read the first page or so and I have read up to Brad's reply as you suggested and I love the idea of fostering out kids or couples spending time on tech rather than breeding because it's a fundamental game element. If that's the case then not having gay couples could easily detract from the game play so I'm all for it. I just want it to be about the game mechanics first and all that other just fits in around it. Unless of course the intent is to make a political statement in which case great but that's a very different conversation.

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Personally I am pro gay marriage, but I feel that the inclusion of gay marriage should be decided by in-game politics, not by our real world ones.

I did not read the whole thread so sorry if this all has been discussed before.

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not offended, it's just a little irritating when someone gives their opinion and doesn't even seem to have looked at any of what has come before. Just read the start, from my post up to Brad's reply, that'd be something at least. It would also explain why actually I think these issues are important, and why I decided to bring it up, even if they're not the MOST important.

OK so I went back and read the first page or so and I have read up to Brad's reply as you suggested and I love the idea of fostering out kids or couples spending time on tech rather than breeding because it's a fundamental game element. If that's the case then not having gay couples could easily detract from the game play so I'm all for it. I just want it to be about the game mechanics first and all that other just fits in around it. Unless of course the intent is to make a political statement in which case great but that's a very different conversation.

That's fine. I'm actually coming to this from a game designer perspective, to an extent. I am only an amateur but when I make a game I have to ask myself questions, like "what really makes this game tick?" and whenever I consider a new feature I have to think about if and where it fits into that.

For example the game I'm making now is a co-op game where one player shoots stuff in a vertical shooter and the other runs around inside the shop building power ups and making repairs. It became apparent that this was really a game about frantic communication between the two players. So when I have an idea for it I always think "okay, how will this idea make the interaction between the two players more interesting?" and if I can't find a way, I might toss the idea, even if I really liked it.

Similarly here, I think that this is at its core a game about making you care about a series of randomly generated characters that you go out and fight with. It's about other things too, but that's the beating heart of it. So when I think "wouldn't it be cool to have a place for same sex couples in there?" I am also thinking about how that might be an opportunity for the designers to make the kinds of things you can do with your heroes deeper and more interesting, while still keeping it to simple but meaningful choices that serve the epic time line. Because I think that kind of stuff will make you care about your heroes more.

All that said, even if I hadn't had any suggestions of how to make it work, I don't think that it should have to be a big political statement to simply suggest that finding a way to make same sex couples work would be nice. Or observing how that from a certain perspective the game might be (unintentionally) sending a message that might be exclusionary.

I know that to some people it's "just a game" and I'm taking it "too seriously" or whatever but, with respect, that's a very easy thing to say when you're not the one feeling excluded. And if I sounded snippy before, it's because you seemed to be going in that direction, and without even having read what we had to say. I hate that, it's just a lazy way of dismissing an issue as unimportant without having to think about it. And it's possible for me to suggest there might be a problem while still maintaining a sense of humour and perspective about it and not turning it into a big political statement.

Hopefully now you can see that nobody's trying to spoil the fun by bringing these issues up, we're all interested in having the best game possible. :)

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It definitely should not be a choice, some warriors would just born gay. Would it be ok or shameful in the game world? Would you be having to jump trough hoops to keep your best warrior, who happens to be gay, happy in a make-believe marriage so that he can foster children and still keep his status within troops? Secret meetings in the night.

I think this would distract from the main game though...

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It definitely should not be a choice, some warriors would just born gay. Would it be ok or shameful in the game world? Would you be having to jump trough hoops to keep your best warrior, who happens to be gay, happy in a make-believe marriage so that he can foster children and still keep his status within troops? Secret meetings in the night.

I think this would distract from the main game though...

It certainly shouldn't be shameful in the game world! Here's why: I don't think designers should be restricted with the kinds of stories they want to tell, so if they wanted to tell a story which included gay people being discriminated against and shamed, they might be able to tell that story in a really sensitive way.

But they'd have to be really careful about how they do it - unless the game really went deep on it, it would just seem like they've just decided it's appropriate to make all the gay characters shunned by society. I don't think in this game they are (or even should be) going to go into a really deep exploration of these themes, so I think it would just come across as homophobic if they made it shameful.

They're creating a brand new fantasy world. This gives them scope to create a society that's as accepting or as bigoted as they like - and so unless they're really going to explore bigotry as a theme and do it justice (which I doubt is the aim), best avoid it, right?

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not everything in the world needs be overly analyzed about how politically correct it is in the current world of everyone being overly sensitive to way too many things.

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not everything in the world needs be overly analyzed about how politically correct it is in the current world of everyone being overly sensitive to way too many things.

Here's another person who didn't get as far as the disclaimer in the VERY FIRST POST.

"I’m not trying to imply that the game or anyone making it is being homophobic or anything like that. Just asking people to consider the message that some of their design choices might inadvertently send. You know I love these guys and I’m not trying to stir up anything. So please keep it friendly and don’t anyone accuse me of being ‘oversensitive’. I’m not making a fuss, just pointing something out."

There is nothing so intellectually lazy as to just assume an issue doesn't exist just because it's not something that personally bothers you. That's not how it works. And it's even lazier to assume that when someone points an issue out, they must be being really over analytical and sensitive.

Time to pull out that JP LeBreton tweet again: "When you're against something someone else thinks is fine, the first thing they try to subtract from their image of you is a sense of humor."

[Edit: removed video link because I don't want to get out on a further tangent.]

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jussi-k, what about sexual fluidity? We must cater for everyone's idea of what is normal sexuality (except for Freud's idea of normal sexual development). What about transsexuals? They are born that other way. Their bodies should not be a choice.

Well, I *was* thinking of backing this game, but DF Brad's post has just about convinced me otherwise. Shoehorning a mechanic into the game to appease a vocal minority is not doing you any favours in my book. This game is just TOO GAY.

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jussi-k, what about sexual fluidity? We must cater for everyone's idea of what is normal sexuality (except for Freud's idea of normal sexual development). What about transsexuals? They are born that other way. Their bodies should not be a choice.

Well, I *was* thinking of backing this game, but DF Brad's post has just about convinced me otherwise. Shoehorning a mechanic into the game to appease a vocal minority is not doing you any favours in my book. This game is just TOO GAY.

Please tell me you're kidding, because if not then that's just too hilarious. If you're not, I'd like you to explain how this is 'shoehorning' because it looked perfectly complementary to what was already there from where I'm standing! (And also, if you're not joking, good riddance.)

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Well, I *was* thinking of backing this game, but DF Brad's post has just about convinced me otherwise. Shoehorning a mechanic into the game to appease a vocal minority is not doing you any favours in my book.

This seems to misrepresent Brad's post, since he actually seemed to be talking about nature/nurture mechanics that they were discussing internally before the campaign launched (before any alleged vocal minorities had a chance to voice their own opinions) which could potentially be a good place for the representation of same sex couples (in essence, the exact opposite of what you're saying you have a problem with).

Edit: Providing it's Brad's first post in this thread that's being referenced there. I may have missed any subsequent ones - this thread is moving pretty quickly ^_^

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Well, I *was* thinking of backing this game, but DF Brad's post has just about convinced me otherwise. Shoehorning a mechanic into the game to appease a vocal minority is not doing you any favours in my book.

This seems to misrepresent Brad's post, since he actually seemed to be talking about nature/nurture mechanics that they were discussing internally before the campaign launched (before any alleged vocal minorities had a chance to voice their own opinions) which could potentially be a good place for the representation of same sex couples (in essence, the exact opposite of what you're saying you have a problem with).

Edit: Providing it's Brad's first post in this thread that's being referenced there. I may have missed any subsequent ones - this thread is moving pretty quickly ^_^

Oh, you mean that bit where he talked about "working them in" in the context of being inclusive? I never said that Brad's actions were a response to minorities voicing their opinions, just that they were to appease a minority that tends to be vocal.

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Well, I *was* thinking of backing this game, but DF Brad's post has just about convinced me otherwise. Shoehorning a mechanic into the game to appease a vocal minority is not doing you any favours in my book.

This seems to misrepresent Brad's post, since he actually seemed to be talking about nature/nurture mechanics that they were discussing internally before the campaign launched (before any alleged vocal minorities had a chance to voice their own opinions) which could potentially be a good place for the representation of same sex couples (in essence, the exact opposite of what you're saying you have a problem with).

Edit: Providing it's Brad's first post in this thread that's being referenced there. I may have missed any subsequent ones - this thread is moving pretty quickly ^_^

Oh, you mean that bit where he talked about "working them in" in the context of being inclusive? I never said that Brad's actions were a response to minorities voicing their opinions, just that they were to appease a minority that tends to be vocal.

Sometimes we gotta be vocal, otherwise we get forgotten for people like you who seem to imply that we should just shut up and be satisfied with being excluded, because, y'know, majority rules.

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Oh, you mean that bit where he talked about "working them in" in the context of being inclusive?

You may want to read it again, since Brad indicates that the mechanics were worked into the concept prior to same sex couples being raised (suggesting that he's talking about representation of same sex couples being "shoehorned" into the mechanics rather than same sex mechanics being "shoehorned" into the game).

Once of the coolest ideas that John and I had was to work in some nature/nurture concepts into the game. ... This could be an excellent spot to have same sex couples.
I never said that Brad's actions were a response to minorities voicing their opinions, just that they were to appease a minority that tends to be vocal.

Oh, I see. That seems an even less tenable stance.

It's probably worth noting that in the context of the gaming industry, hardcore fans of turn based tactical strategies are a minority (compared to some other genres), and I imagine they're vocal about wanting more titles.

That said, this thread (and Brad's post) as I see it is about representing something as normal rather than appeasing people.

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I read the entire thread, but I still don't like this... feels like catering a small, vocal audience just to look "cool" and politically correct...

Let me put this way; I'm a thirdworldian brazilian and I have no issues if the game only presents white, european/north american people. It's a game, that works on it's own universe, and have other aims that does not include being a 1/1 representation of earth's demographics... This is a small title being funded with kickstarter money from people all over the world, seeing some of that money being used just to make a especific minority feel good about itself is retarded.

I would feel like a douche pushing in my own agenda down people's throat if I went "This game needs Latinos! It would tottaly work, make them have different stats and weapons!". In the same way you don't see cries about how asians, arabs, africans or whatever are being "left out", even if they are WAY more numerous than gays; but somehow the gay agenda always has a free pass in stuff like this...

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He has a point, Brad did say he wanted to be extremely inclusive including trying to work same-sex couples in, but I don't agree that's really what inclusiveness is, or that it's a good way to make games, or any art for that matter, but especially something as technical as gameplay mechanics. It's good Brad wants to represent different people, I've listed a lot of different kinds of people and relationships that can be represented, I like media that represents different types of people including games. I've watched many TV shows and movies specifically about different people like homosexual people, played many games with them in, nearly all my top 10 fav games. I just don't think it's a goal that should be aimed for, a "feature" like you can tick or place on your box art. I want gameplay to come first, and that if same-sex couples are in the game, it's not because anyone wanted to "work them in" for inclusiveness reasons, it's that the designers wanted them in, which also means if the gameplay mechanics don't work out, they get cut because they're in there on their merits.

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He has a point, Brad did say he wanted to be extremely inclusive including trying to work same-sex couples in, but I don't agree that's really what inclusiveness is, or that it's a good way to make games, or any art for that matter, but especially something as technical as gameplay mechanics. It's good Brad wants to represent different people, I've listed a lot of different kinds of people and relationships that can be represented, I like media that represents different types of people including games. I've watched many TV shows and movies specifically about different people like homosexual people, played many games with them in, nearly all my top 10 fav games. I just don't think it's a goal that should be aimed for, a "feature" like you can tick or place on your box art. I want gameplay to come first, and that if same-sex couples are in the game, it's not because anyone wanted to "work them in" for inclusiveness reasons, it's that the designers wanted them in, which also means if the gameplay mechanics don't work out, they get cut because they're in there on their merits.

But that's not the approach Brad has taken. I don't feel like Brad's reply felt like he was box ticking in any way. I certainly didn't feel like I was being patronised by his response. It sounded like he was taking it exactly in the best possible spirit: that including same sex relationships might not only make it more inclusive, but also lends itself nicely to some strategic possibilities that they already had in mind. If he'd just said 'oh, sure, we'll get them in somehow!' I'd have been more worried because then it would have sounded like he was just pandering, rather than thinking seriously about how to make the game more awesome.

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Oh, you mean that bit where he talked about "working them in" in the context of being inclusive?

You may want to read it again, since Brad indicates that the mechanics were worked into the concept prior to same sex couples being raised (suggesting that he's talking about representation of same sex couples being "shoehorned" into the mechanics rather than same sex mechanics being "shoehorned" into the game).

Huh? Before that, he says he's not sure how same sex couples would work yet. I understood that to mean altering the concept to allow for it.

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A decent designer could turn everything into game mechanics... games like Expeditions: Conquistador turned being racist or pious into mechanics, that would affect how people dealt with natives and pagan rituals. But where do you drawn the line?

As I said, you could definetly add multiple "races" to the game, africans being more agile, nordics more bulky, asians better researchers... or even religions, with catholics refusing to mary with other religions, jews having more money... but at this point not only your game is a clusterfuck of mechanics, but you're also bein racist as fuck.

So we all agree to leave all those comples real life issues to real life and enjoy our games... except for the gay agenda people, that insists they are the most underrepresented minority in the world and must be everywhere. Nowadays you can play entire games where your only purpose is to kill muslins, the big question people will ask is "why can't my muslin-slayer be gay?"

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Some of these responses are bumming me out, now. I don't get what I've said that's so demanding. It really is as simple as me and a few other people saying: it'd be cool if same sex couples could be included and here are some ideas about how relationships could work that would make the game better for everyone! Seems like an 'everybody wins' scenario. It's hardly like this small point is going to overshadow the whole game.

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A decent designer could turn everything into game mechanics... games like Expeditions: Conquistador turned being racist or pious into mechanics, that would affect how people dealt with natives and pagan rituals. But where do you drawn the line?

As I said, you could definetly add multiple "races" to the game, africans being more agile, nordics more bulky, asians better researchers... or even religions, with catholics refusing to mary with other religions, jews having more money... but at this point not only your game is a clusterfuck of mechanics, but you're also bein racist as fuck.

So we all agree to leave all those comples real life issues to real life and enjoy our games... except for the gay agenda people, that insists they are the most underrepresented minority in the world and must be everywhere. Nowadays you can play entire games where your only purpose is to kill muslins, the big question people will ask is "why can't my muslin-slayer be gay?"

Uh... but nobody's suggesting that same sex couples would be implemented in a way that's homophobic. You're right, that example you gave would be terribly racist, so you wouldn't do it like that! But I still bet your heroes in the game will have various different skin colours represented, for example. And if that was missing, I think someone would be right to say that's an oversight! There's no implied 'clusterfuck' going on here, we're just asking for something to be represented, and suggesting a way to improve existing mechanics that might make it cool. For everyone.

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Some of these responses are bumming me out, now. I don't get what I've said that's so demanding. It really is as simple as me and a few other people saying: it'd be cool if same sex couples could be included and here are some ideas about how relationships could work that would make the game better for everyone! Seems like an 'everybody wins' scenario. It's hardly like this small point is going to overshadow the whole game.

I think the biggest thing is that no matter what you do, if you have same sex couples in the game it is going to appear to be a political statement. That might not be the intent but that is how it will appear to a lot (I would guess the majority) of people. This raises issues beyond the original intent of the idea itself. e.g. If you are making a political statement (whether or not it is intentional) then you split the focus of the team. Where as originally everyone was focused on making a great game, now they are focused on making a great game, managing a political statement and trying not to offend anyone. I think this is what most people are afraid of. I know it was my major concern. The thing to remember is that this is Double Fine we are dealing with. Making great games is something we all know they can and trust they will do. That's why we give them our $$ on Kickstarter before even seeing a fully formed game idea. Maybe they will have same sex couples, maybe they won't. Whatever they do I'm sure will something everyone can enjoy.

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Some of these responses are bumming me out, now. I don't get what I've said that's so demanding. It really is as simple as me and a few other people saying: it'd be cool if same sex couples could be included and here are some ideas about how relationships could work that would make the game better for everyone! Seems like an 'everybody wins' scenario. It's hardly like this small point is going to overshadow the whole game.

I think the biggest thing is that no matter what you do, if you have same sex couples in the game it is going to appear to be a political statement. That might not be the intent but that is how it will appear to a lot (I would guess the majority) of people.

You know, maybe that's true. And if it is, that's a damned shame, because it shouldn't be. It shouldn't be a political statement just to have something there, in the background, hurting nobody. It seems to me the only way to combat this perception that it's a political statement, is to make it so it's normal, and not surprising to do it. And the only way to get there is to keep doing it! It's hardly the first game that has done it anyway, and I don't recall anyone (except homophobes) having any qualms about how 'political' it seems.

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You're gay, of course you think it will be cool for you to be represented in the game. I'm a latino, I would love to see myself represented as well, not to mention a bit of brazilian mythology, that was NEVER, EVER shown in any game ever made. And there are countless other "minorities" and underrepresented groups that would love to be in a game... how many cripple games there are? With blind, deaf, mute people? Spiritists, Umbanda, Muslins? But it is a game, not a UN document on human diversity.

When you ask for gays to be included, you're asking for this to stop being a "fantasy" game and be "representative", to include your group, yet all those other groups that have the same - if not more - right to be included are being left out. And you're doing this using their pledged money. Get the problem? This stuff is way more complex than internet crusaders make it look like, that's why it's best left out.

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As I said, you could definetly add multiple "races" to the game, africans being more agile, nordics more bulky, asians better researchers...

As a Maltese man I think this could really add some complexity and realism to the game. Picture this, every time a skirmish breaks out you roll a D6 and whatever it lands on my Nunna comes out and smacks me that many times for not helping my mum around the house more. Mmm... immersive.

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You're gay, of course you think it will be cool for you to be represented in the game. I'm a latino, I would love to see myself represented as well, not to mention a bit of brazilian mythology, that was NEVER, EVER shown in any game ever made. And there are countless other "minorities" and underrepresented groups that would love to be in a game... how many cripple games there are? With blind, deaf, mute people? Spiritists, Umbanda, Muslins? But it is a game, not a UN document on human diversity.

When you ask for gays to be included, you're asking for this to stop being a "fantasy" game and be "representative", to include your group, yet all those other groups that have the same - if not more - right to be included are being left out. And you're doing this using their pledged money. Get the problem? This stuff is way more complex than internet crusaders make it look like, that's why it's best left out.

So your argument boils down to "inclusivity is really complex, so best not to try, even where it would be easy or even useful." Riiiight.

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People are straw-manning all over the place here. I'm not saying they have to make the game a happy-clappy gay utopia in order for me to be happy. I'm just saying that it would potentially be relatively simple to include the option to form same sex couples in the game, and that actually if couples (of any kind) could be devoted to raising children, research, or other goals we haven't thought of yet that would make it a cooler, richer, strategy experience.

I don't get what's so 'political' about that. The fact that I was just called an 'internet crusader' for suggesting it is ABSURD, guys.

But also, Brad seems to agree - obviously he's not going to make any commitments to gameplay purely based on a discussion on a forum, but I don't think he felt like I was stepping all over his game idea by suggesting this. So why do some people seem to think I am?

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I think including gay men and women options can increase the experience for those who are gay. In a game like Dragon Age this made sense as it's much more fun enjoying romances just the way you want. It doesn't make sense to me though in games where this isn't relevant game design wise or where it turns out to be a budget problem.

If Raz would have been a girl, so what, then i would have played as a female. I was fine playing Pac Man as i was playing Ms. Pac Man decades before. Saying so, DF did a great job how they let you choose male or female in Costume Quest. You could play the gender you wanted, it was nicely integrated but it also wasn't in their way so that they had to design/animate tons of stuff differently. I think this was done in a clever way. And for some people it does matter, f.e. my daughter preferred playing Costume Quest with the girl in lead, not the boy. So, if it doesn't get into your way game design or budget wise and makes sense for the game then i think it is a win as more people can get more out of it.

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I think, if you can afford it, including gay men and women options can increase the experience for those who are gay. In a game like Dragon Age this made sense as it's much more fun enjoying romances just the way you want. It doesn't make sense to me though in games were this isn't relevant game design wise or where it turns out to be a budget problem.

If Raz would have been a girl, so what, then i would have played as a female. I was fine playing Pac Man as i was playing Ms. Pac Man decades before. Saying so, DF did a great job how they let you choose male or female in Costume Quest. You could play the gender you wanted, it was nicely integrated but it also wasn't in their way so that they had to design/animate tons of stuff differently. I think this was done in a clever way. And for some people it does matter, f.e. my daughter preferred playing Costume Quest with the girl in lead, not the boy. So, if it doesn't get into your way game design or budget wise and makes sense for the game then i think it is a win as more people can enjoy it.

This is all true, but I don't think it should be the only reason why they should include it. I think they should include it for those reasons, but mainly because I can think of it opening up some cool strategic possibilities* That's the stuff that Brad is excited about, and that's as it should be.

*like, say a couple had a kid, but they were needed back on the battlefield, because they are awesome or whatever. You have to find the ideal 'foster parents' to keep that kid as a ward, and it just so happens that the best candidates you have right now happen to be a pair of aging female knights. So they get hitched, and look after the kid, training him in the ways of being a knight, while he still keeps the mystical advantages of his bloodline. So you're not restricted to a worse strategic option because it has to be a man and a woman. But maybe next time you come across that scenario it would be a man and a woman. Or a man and a man. Or maybe even just a man or a woman on their own. I'm not saying that's how it'll work in game because that's not been decided yet, but it's the kind of thing that Brad and Co. have been talking about on this thread and others, so it fits right in with their current thinking.

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