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KestrelPi

Massive Chalice and same sex couples

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I've mainly kept silent on this and stuck to just lurking, but have to say...this is really freakin' amazing. I loved that Brad was interacting with us all at the start and talking to us about this project and I love that this thread existed and did something.

Awesome job, folks. Thank you.

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Go for it if it makes sense mechanically within the context of the game but DF shouldn't feel obliged to find a way to "force" it in a way that ends up being detrimental.

Which is just a longer way of saying "just make a good game" :D

I dunno if just make a good game covers it because either way they go it could be a good game. In your standard RPG/SRPG the romantic pairing in storylines are just fluff not important to the game in the least but that just isn't true in this one. Here is what cuts to the core of the issue: we generally know how combat works, we don't know how classes, magic all the details are going to go or anything in the combat portion. We don't know how kingdoms are run or any of the details of the governance portion of the game is played. The one thing that we got specifics on and what they got 800k kickstarted into was the amazing core game mechanic - Royal families marry, permadeath at old age, creating offspring and raising them retiring your heroes, thus the multi-generational battle vs demons ensues. They say they don't want game details yet or stretch goals because they run the risk of not providing things that they promised but if they twist the core game mechanic to something very different to enable gay marriage because they didn't consider it in the design of the game, then I don't see how the game matches the core game mechanic that got everyone excited. I went from massive excitement to massive disappointment. I dunno I'll prolly check back in 20 days and see if everything else in the game is awesome enough to change my mind.

What you just wrote is what my first sentence says but with more words...?

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Hey, just to set the record straight because I know a lot of folks might be over here from the RPS article - the contents of the article are awesome but the title is a little on the sensationalist side. Brad's heart is in the right place, but he's well aware it would be very silly of him to make any firm design decisions about anything based on a single forum thread. Keep in mind that despite the RPS article, no final decisions have been made, and any decisions that are made should, must, and will be in the interests of making an awesome game.

I want this to continue to be an awesome discussion about possibilities, I don't want to keep on having to assuage fears of people who think something is being "forced" in. Please? :)

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Haven't gone through every single page of this thread yet...so not sure if this has already been mentioned....but how about giving same sex couples in the game the option to adopt war orphans? I assume there will be an option to either wipe out an entire enemy bloodline or wipe out only the adults and allow the kids to fend for themselves or perhaps be taken into orphanages, where they can be adopted by whatever couple ( or even a single parent) afterwards....just an idea. Then those children would have some of the innate abilities of their lineage as well as picking up some skills from their foster parents....just a thought. This thread is awesome!

So...this idea still seems plausible and non-destructive of the core game mechanic.

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Haven't gone through every single page of this thread yet...so not sure if this has already been mentioned....but how about giving same sex couples in the game the option to adopt war orphans? I assume there will be an option to either wipe out an entire enemy bloodline or wipe out only the adults and allow the kids to fend for themselves or perhaps be taken into orphanages, where they can be adopted by whatever couple ( or even a single parent) afterwards....just an idea. Then those children would have some of the innate abilities of their lineage as well as picking up some skills from their foster parents....just a thought. This thread is awesome!

So...this idea still seems plausible and non-destructive of the core game mechanic.

Most of the ideas with how to deal with it have. People have just been ignoring them.

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Haven't gone through every single page of this thread yet...so not sure if this has already been mentioned....but how about giving same sex couples in the game the option to adopt war orphans? I assume there will be an option to either wipe out an entire enemy bloodline or wipe out only the adults and allow the kids to fend for themselves or perhaps be taken into orphanages, where they can be adopted by whatever couple ( or even a single parent) afterwards....just an idea. Then those children would have some of the innate abilities of their lineage as well as picking up some skills from their foster parents....just a thought. This thread is awesome!

So...this idea still seems plausible and non-destructive of the core game mechanic.

Most of the ideas with how to deal with it have. People have just been ignoring them.

That's to be expected. I believe there is certainly a creative solution yet to be discovered that will both enhance the game and also be inclusive and not exclusive. I've got faith in the team.

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Another idea, not sure if this was posted already:

instead of making same sex couples identical and say their children are adopted orphans, you can have two systems for inheritance - nature and nurture. For example, strength, HP, etc are nature stats, affected by biological parents and intelligence, magic, etc. are nurture stats affected by whoever raises the child. Only different sex couples can have children, but any couple can adopt. That makes same sex couples and adoption a part of the strategy (if I have two male wizards, I might want them to get married from a power-playing perspective so they can adopt children from a high strength heterosexual couple to create children with high strength AND magic). This way each new hero actually has four parents which can result in more interesting combinations. It can feed into the mechanics in other ways:

- you can say that "active" heroes can sire children (nature) but they can't raise them so they can't pass on their nurture stats

- it can create interesting dynamics if there is some house loyalty dynamic (an adopted child might be loyal to his original house or his new house - think Theon Greyjoy)

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Another idea, not sure if this was posted already:

instead of making same sex couples identical and say their children are adopted orphans, you can have two systems for inheritance - nature and nurture. For example, strength, HP, etc are nature stats, affected by biological parents and intelligence, magic, etc. are nurture stats affected by whoever raises the child. Only different sex couples can have children, but any couple can adopt. That makes same sex couples and adoption a part of the strategy (if I have two male wizards, I might want them to get married from a power-playing perspective so they can adopt children from a high strength heterosexual couple to create children with high strength AND magic). This way each new hero actually has four parents which can result in more interesting combinations. It can feed into the mechanics in other ways:

- you can say that "active" heroes can sire children (nature) but they can't raise them so they can't pass on their nurture stats

- it can create interesting dynamics if there is some house loyalty dynamic (an adopted child might be loyal to his original house or his new house - think Theon Greyjoy)

There's been a whole bunch of interesting nature/nurture discussion - actually, there's a whole other thread about that. The developers have said they've been talking about that for a while, but also that like a lot of things they don't know whether it's in scope yet.

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Are you saying heterosexual wizards in a relationship are inadequate teachers of magic when compared to wizards who are in a same sex relationship? This is kinda what I mean about forcing things into the game. I don't see what any extra benefit this would have in game unless you specifically tailored this whole sub-genre of relationships to work within the game.

Again, I see this as a small vocal group trying to force their view on others and trying to get their way, irregardless of the actual gameplay. Again, like bioware and their need to force cardboard thin romance options in their games.

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Are you saying heterosexual wizards in a relationship are inadequate teachers of magic when compared to wizards who are in a same sex relationship? This is kinda what I mean about forcing things into the game. I don't see what any extra benefit this would have in game unless you specifically tailored this whole sub-genre of relationships to work within the game.

Again, I see this as a small vocal group trying to force their view on others and trying to get their way, irregardless of the actual gameplay. Again, like bioware and their need to force cardboard thin romance options in their games.

I don't think anyone is suggesting that! The above suggestion was that if you happened to have two wizards who you could retire from the battlefield in order to jointly train up a new wizard, then they could be both male, both female, or male and female, it wouldn't matter. You'd be able to pick the pair that you thought were best up to the task.

It's kind of a bummer the number of times we have to point out that nobody's trying to force anything because this discussion has been really constructive!

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Are you saying heterosexual wizards in a relationship are inadequate teachers of magic when compared to wizards who are in a same sex relationship? This is kinda what I mean about forcing things into the game. I don't see what any extra benefit this would have in game unless you specifically tailored this whole sub-genre of relationships to work within the game.

Again, I see this as a small vocal group trying to force their view on others and trying to get their way, irregardless of the actual gameplay. Again, like bioware and their need to force cardboard thin romance options in their games.

I don't think anyone is suggesting that! The above suggestion was that if you happened to have two wizards who you could retire from the battlefield in order to jointly train up a new wizard, then they could be both male, both female, or male and female, it wouldn't matter. You'd be able to pick the pair that you thought were best up to the task.

It's kind of a bummer the number of times we have to point out that nobody's trying to force anything because this discussion has been really constructive!

Well, why not just make an academy system, where heroes could retire to to teach? You could then have any number of tutors in a school, and have schools focused on different arts.

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Are you saying heterosexual wizards in a relationship are inadequate teachers of magic when compared to wizards who are in a same sex relationship? This is kinda what I mean about forcing things into the game. I don't see what any extra benefit this would have in game unless you specifically tailored this whole sub-genre of relationships to work within the game.

Again, I see this as a small vocal group trying to force their view on others and trying to get their way, irregardless of the actual gameplay. Again, like bioware and their need to force cardboard thin romance options in their games.

I don't think anyone is suggesting that! The above suggestion was that if you happened to have two wizards who you could retire from the battlefield in order to jointly train up a new wizard, then they could be both male, both female, or male and female, it wouldn't matter. You'd be able to pick the pair that you thought were best up to the task.

It's kind of a bummer the number of times we have to point out that nobody's trying to force anything because this discussion has been really constructive!

Well, why not just make an academy system, where heroes could retire to to teach? You could then have any number of tutors in a school, and have schools focused on different arts.

Sure, there's lots of ways to do it.

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dudes. i need another thread summary. haha i can't keep up.

(and by dudes i mean everybody on the gender spectrum. i call everybody dudes!)

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dudes. i need another thread summary. haha i can't keep up.

(and by dudes i mean everybody on the gender spectrum. i call everybody dudes!)

TL/DR: Inclusion is Good. Wedging something in awkwardly is bad. Things that don't make sense don't make sense. Storks. Babies. Academies. Some things would be easier to discuss with more definition in the setting.

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That RPS article really warmed the cockles of my heart. Brad is a good guy, and I'm glad he was able to acknowledge that you can't think of everything, sometimes because you just don't ever have to, but he'll try to be as inclusive as he can while giving everyone the game they want.

That article also allows me to make a very immature pppbbbbtttppppptttthhpppppttthhhhhhhhhhhhhhh at everyone who is against having gay couples in MC

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dudes. i need another thread summary. haha i can't keep up.

(and by dudes i mean everybody on the gender spectrum. i call everybody dudes!)

TL/DR: Inclusion is Good. Wedging something in awkwardly is bad. Things that don't make sense don't make sense. Storks. Babies. Academies. Some things would be easier to discuss with more definition in the setting.

This. I don't mind same sex relationships playing a part in the game, as long as it's inclusion and the reason why it's imoortant enough to specially highlight that relationship makes sense and doesn't feel forced and breaks the gameplay and immersion.

I personally have yet to see any really compelling reasons however, other than having orders, such as a knighthood or nunnery or monastery, etc which are generally comprised of members of the same sex.

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Well dang man, if you want to get into the discussion of nunneries and monasteries, you're first going to have to go through the other shitstorm of "why I think everyone else's ideas except mine are terrible" that permeates from every corner of this forum and prove your worth there before we can even get a proper discussion about how same-sex couples could play a game-enhancing role in those things

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What compelling reason is really necessary? There have been same-sex relationships since the dawn of time. Don't see a legit reason to exclude the option.

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The concept of being a couple not for the benefit of having children, but for the benefit of BEING A GREAT POWER-COUPLE IN RESEARCH is really funny to me.

Sorry, I didn't read the thread, just had a suggestion I wanted to throw in on this topic.

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Does explaining the mechanic of how a same sex couple (or indeed any couple for that matter) has a child really matter?

Children could be orphans, taken from an orphanage with unknown parentage or from a deceased friend/family member. They could be a runaway or could even be a younger sibling who has been entrusted to your care, or a child from a previous relationship of one of the parents - there are so many possibilities which are completely reasonable in a setting like this. Does it add to the game to outline the origin of each characters relationship to their parents?

Certainly it is another layer of traits you can incorporate to a specific character, but this is about bloodlines rather than characters, you cant really inherit being an orphan.

And, while a central mechanic of the game is the inheriting of bloodline traits, children dont always follow in the footsteps of their parents too, even biological ones, so traits may change, merge or disappear over time. Conversely an adopted child could actively emulate their new parents to inherit their traits. What im leading to with this is that a granual examination of how some traits are or are not passed on may not be required either.

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The concept of being a couple not for the benefit of having children, but for the benefit of BEING A GREAT POWER-COUPLE IN RESEARCH is really funny to me.

Sorry, I didn't read the thread, just had a suggestion I wanted to throw in on this topic.

Hehe, power couples in research happen in the real world, which is part of why I like this idea.

Marie and Pierre Curie, with their radiation pioneering are the most famous example, but their daughter also went on to win a Nobel prize with her husband. And there are one or two other examples of nobel-prize winning married couples. I find that notion awesome, that a couple in love could slave away for years and at the end of it come up with some really valuable item or spell in the game, that could be used by many generations to come.

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If research also took time over generations to complete, and you had a couple that wouldn't bear you any children, then a GREAT POWER-COUPLE IN RESEARCH could be an awesome way to get that research done faster and give you an edge sooner

I think Brad said a couple pages back that they weren't too keen on an idea like that for same-sex couples, but something like this wouldn't have to be limited to same-sex couples. It could be super interesting

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If research also took time over generations to complete, and you had a couple that wouldn't bear you any children, then a GREAT POWER-COUPLE IN RESEARCH could be an awesome way to get that research done faster and give you an edge sooner

I think Brad said a couple pages back that they weren't too keen on an idea like that for same-sex couples, but something like this wouldn't have to be limited to same-sex couples. It could be super interesting

I think he was just clarifying that he never would have wanted it to be an option that was only limited to same sex couples, which is the right approach of course. But he's brought up the idea I mentioned of couples maybe taking part in research in the RPS article, and again in the XCOM playthrough and again on that update video that just went out, so it sounds like he might be quite taken by it, which is awesome. I hope it goes in, because then I feel like even if same sex couples don't end up making it into the game, the discussion as a whole has still had a positive effect on it.

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dudes. i need another thread summary. haha i can't keep up.

(and by dudes i mean everybody on the gender spectrum. i call everybody dudes!)

TL/DR: Inclusion is Good. Wedging something in awkwardly is bad. Things that don't make sense don't make sense. Storks. Babies. Academies. Some things would be easier to discuss with more definition in the setting.

I'll have to scroll back to look for the section on Storks. thanks!

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dudes. i need another thread summary. haha i can't keep up.

(and by dudes i mean everybody on the gender spectrum. i call everybody dudes!)

TL/DR: Inclusion is Good. Wedging something in awkwardly is bad. Things that don't make sense don't make sense. Storks. Babies. Academies. Some things would be easier to discuss with more definition in the setting.

I'll have to scroll back to look for the section on Storks. thanks!

Has the team for MC been assembled yet? Or has a list of hopeful inclusions been made?

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This is my first comment about Massive Chalice but I just wanted to weigh in that my absolute favorite elements of emergent storytelling in multiple generation games like King of Dragon's Pass or Crusader Kings come from the characters having traits and personalities that might run counter to your plans for them.

If you take Crusader Kings as an example - the actual mechanical effect of the sexuality, physical traits, personality traits and so on is really minimal but with just those few little brush strokes by including them the storytelling effect is gigantic. In remembering games past the statistics of various rulers I had fade into one another but the fact that my most successful and long ruling King of England was gay has stuck with me because of the stories I could project on it and the histories that I could imagine being written in the future. Similarly when one of my highest stat characters who I might want to use the children of has a frustratingly low fertility or the time when my perfect union of a genius king and a genius wife went off the rails because the characters personalities clashed and they started plotting against each other after producing only one child. etc. etc.

In a game where the characters themselves just couple off with whoever you pair them with without any kind of modelling for their own drives and desires or for them disliking or liking who they're paired with then I think you're losing a lot of the possibility for emergent narrative. You're removing a lot of what Renley Baratheon is and what makes his story interesting if you ignore his sexuality entirely.

I think that if marriages in the game are purely about trying to calibrate stats for their offspring then it removes a lot of the storytelling impact from the game. For me I would really like the option to allow love matches or for characters to be somewhat diverse and unruly in who they want to love. It creates tensions in the decision making involved in playing the game and gets you to start treating the characters as personalities rather than stat blocks.

I'm gay and would absolutely love being represented but even beyond that I just think that it's more immersive and rewarding in an emergent storytelling game for there to be aspects of the cast of characters you're playing with, I guess including sexuality, that are not under your control and pull in different directions from one another.

I mean even games where those aspects of the game have little/no gameplay effect they're really important for the ability to imagine the story. In Dwarf Fortress one of the first things I do with a dwarf that catches my eye is to consult the procedurally generated little personality description they've been given. I want to know if my Doctor is antisocial or that my Expedition Leader loves cats and worships the War deity etc. It adds massive value to my play experience and influences how I choose to play.

edit: All this goes towards saying that I would much prefer if characters could be randomly generated with a full set of 'nature' traits that I then have to work with, nurture and tell their story with, including sexuality, rather than declaring by fiat that I any character I want will marry whoever I want and be ensured of giving me perfectly minmaxed kiddies.

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dudes. i need another thread summary. haha i can't keep up.

(and by dudes i mean everybody on the gender spectrum. i call everybody dudes!)

TL/DR: Inclusion is Good. Wedging something in awkwardly is bad. Things that don't make sense don't make sense. Storks. Babies. Academies. Some things would be easier to discuss with more definition in the setting.

I'll have to scroll back to look for the section on Storks. thanks!

Has the team for MC been assembled yet? Or has a list of hopeful inclusions been made?

That's something you should probably ask Brad. Jane is on the Broken Age team, I think. I don't think she would really know much about what the Massive Chalice guys are doing. It also doesn't really fit this topic.

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In a game where the characters themselves just couple off with whoever you pair them with without any kind of modelling for their own drives and desires or for them disliking or liking who they're paired with then I think you're losing a lot of the possibility for emergent narrative. You're removing a lot of what Renley Baratheon is and what makes his story interesting if you ignore his sexuality entirely.

Sorry for removing most of your response, it was just for the sake of keeping post length short, so I thought I'd quote the bit I'm directly replying to. So it seems like there are two schools of thoughts on this throughout this threat, and maybe you realise I come down on the opposite side of this - I think it's more seamless and better for the game as a whole if the game is just sexuality agnostic, and you make the pairings you choose.

But interestingly, it's for the same reason that you think the opposite! I come at it from a slightly different angle. It's true that if there's an element of randomness to sexuality then that could encourage some cool emergent things to happen, but I don't think it precludes emergent stories to just leave it all to the player's imagination. One think that I've always liked and that struck me again as Brad and Co. livestreamed XCOM last night was just how much of the storytelling for that game happens purely in the player's head. The game gives you just enough to start imagining the inner lives of the heroes, but never goes so far as to impose very much about them. So we'd decide that this one character was just a huge risk taker, while another one was the goldenboy superperformer of the group, and stories would come from that almost unbidden.

So the way I imagine it is that I might have two heroes, and I think they might make a good match, so I start making up a little story in my head about that, and then another guy comes along who might even be a better match, and suddenly it's a love triangle - which doesn't need to be spelled out in the game mechanics for me to read into it, and have fun with the ideas. I just really think this type of game is, in a really big way, about the stories we tell ourselves just as much as it's about the stories which are given to us by specific things that happen.

So that's why I'm sort of okay with it being much more abstracted and player driven.

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Has the team for MC been assembled yet? Or has a list of hopeful inclusions been made?

I'll brave this one even if it's off topic because there are now so many threads John or Brad might not see this particular question. I think a very small core team has been named, but how much of auxiliary people time (like, how much concept art time etc, by who) those kind of decisions probably really depend on how much the budget is, and what people are available when.

Most of the time, people are not on the team for the full duration. For example, it doesn't make sense for a 3D artist to be eating Massive Chalice's budget in the beginning when the team should be designing and testing the mechanics with simple temporary art.

The MC-pitch team did borrow Derek Brand from Broken Age for a few days to do some paintings. That kind of arrangement happens a lot around here too.

P.S. i'm not on broken age either! secrets!

Back on topic!

Also, you guys should watch John and Brad's design chat, they talk in depth about inclusiveness and how it's super awesome to have threads like this.

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In a game where the characters themselves just couple off with whoever you pair them with without any kind of modelling for their own drives and desires or for them disliking or liking who they're paired with then I think you're losing a lot of the possibility for emergent narrative. You're removing a lot of what Renley Baratheon is and what makes his story interesting if you ignore his sexuality entirely.

But interestingly, it's for the same reason that you think the opposite! I come at it from a slightly different angle. It's true that if there's an element of randomness to sexuality then that could encourage some cool emergent things to happen, but I don't think it precludes emergent stories to just leave it all to the player's imagination. One think that I've always liked and that struck me again as Brad and Co. livestreamed XCOM last night was just how much of the storytelling for that game happens purely in the player's head. The game gives you just enough to start imagining the inner lives of the heroes, but never goes so far as to impose very much about them. So we'd decide that this one character was just a huge risk taker, while another one was the goldenboy superperformer of the group, and stories would come from that almost unbidden.

So the way I imagine it is that I might have two heroes, and I think they might make a good match, so I start making up a little story in my head about that, and then another guy comes along who might even be a better match, and suddenly it’s a love triangle - which doesn’t need to be spelled out in the game mechanics for me to read into it, and have fun with the ideas. I just really think this type of game is, in a really big way, about the stories we tell ourselves just as much as it’s about the stories which are given to us by specific things that happen.

I can understand and respect that as a position although you're right that my own preference if very different from that and not just on the issue of sexuality. If the story is all being provided by me then I don't really enjoy it as an emergent storytelling game because I require the game being able to surprise me or to suggest narratives that I wouldn't have come up with if left to my own devices.

In a game like The Sims, for example, I've always not enjoyed it as much because I have almost complete control over what the little figures do and feel. In that game the moments I DO like are when they do things I didn't tell them to do.

I would actually not mind too much the sexuality of characters being left up to the player but I'd be a lot more disappointed if the characters across the board in other areas only had implicit or player-supplied personalities or relationships to one another.

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