Techniques in making authentic GxB game

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Jake
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#31 Post by Jake » Fri May 18, 2007 10:27 am

mikey wrote:Actually, taking GITS, is it really female-led? I don't mean Motoko being a cyborg, but exchange Motoko for a guy... and does that much change? I don't think so.
Well, if you're going to take such an approach, you could equally say that the only stories that are 'female-led' are those where it's absolutely mandatory that the protagonist is female, perhaps feminist/gender-inequality fiction. And even then, could one really say that feminist literature wouldn't be exactly the same story if written by a man about a man in a matriarchal society?

Certainly there are those stories in which the gender of the protagonist is less relevant, of course, and GitS does fall into this category. And there are those stories where the relative gender of the protagonist and other characters matters; Cell Phone Love Letter of recent releases wouldn't have been the same with one character remapped. But I don't think it's really fair to claim that for any piece which doesn't hinge upon the gender of the protagonist it's an arbitrary assignment. ;-)
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#32 Post by DaFool » Fri May 18, 2007 10:46 am

Well my primary motivation with regards a female protagonist is that I as a writer can define her exactly how I want to be...

basically generally just like how women define men in romance novels, men define women in conspiracy novels, etc.

I could portray her either as a victim of circumstances, or someone who grabs life by the horns, or even a more realistic scenario of somewhere in between the two extremes.

Sure, maybe you can replace female protagonist with a male one and the story will be the same, but I also want to be able to add additional pleasures to the story...

..so that in addition to the edge-of-your-seats battle with cyborgs while solving the mystery of the foundation of civilization, one can also get a peak up her skirt...

...and that makes a far better story in my opinion.

A long time ago I read a review of the Nanoha franchise which basically said that all the characters are boys, that it really just is a standard shonen kick-em-all action anime. But the fact that though the characters behave like boys, since they all have female form (like I mentioned to Sailor Kitty earlier), the hormones of the viewers kick in and by golly if it ain't the best action anime I've seen in recent years, etc, etc!

I also read an article a long time ago that analyzed the creative writing pieces written by elementary schoolers and they noticed that majority of boys wrote male protagonists, and majority of girls wrote male protagonists as well! The hypothesis was that patriarchal culture was somehow creating a disconnect in girls so they can only write themselves embodied as a male protagonist. What was interesting was that I also noticed in the statistics was that some boys preferred to write female protagonists. It's only recently that I've reached an understanding of why that is the case... it is similar to the phenomenon in online gaming where the majority of female avatars are played by men. I think it's also a side effect of the pressures of patriarchal culture... I mean why just kick ass when you can be beautiful and kick ass at the same time! Isn't that even better?

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#33 Post by mikey » Fri May 18, 2007 11:32 am

Jake wrote:But I don't think it's really fair to claim that for any piece which doesn't hinge upon the gender of the protagonist it's an arbitrary assignment
Darn, I had to look into the dictionary to see what "arbitrary" means ^_^. Blast my English.

Well, the point I tried to make is that it's often not crucial to the GxB game that it has female thoughts, but much rather that it has a female feel.

So basically, the "heart" of your story - the main idea (something philosophical), the point, will often be gender-neural, and it's up to the designer to decide whether to wrap it up into a package appealing to females, or males.

But of course...

This is something different from say creating a story with specifically one gender's typical thoughts in mind - for boys this would be a pirate adventure for instance - and then replacing the boys with girls. In this normal pirate's adventure, the point of the story would typically appeal to the boy's dreamy side (being a pirate and conquering the world), but by actually replacing the cast with girls, it can appeal in addition to that to their sexuality as well (let's not be hypocritical, anime girls of all ages are hot). So you have the adventure, but also the pretty girls, all in one.

And it ties directly to this thought:
DaFool wrote:Sure, maybe you can replace female protagonist with a male one and the story will be the same, but I also want to be able to add additional pleasures to the story... ..so that in addition to the edge-of-your-seats battle with cyborgs while solving the mystery of the foundation of civilization, one can also get a peak up her skirt... ...and that makes a far better story in my opinion.... the hormones of the viewers kick in and by golly if it ain't the best action anime I've seen in recent years, etc, etc!...
- in our case the pirate story with girls.

It looks like a win-win, but maybe take this into consideration as well: While a pirate's adventure with girls is twice as nice to look at, the "realism" will suffer, since IRL boys will already have understood that girls aren't really behaving like that, and aren't really as crazy about pirate's adventures as the boys. So this combination of appealing to a boy's mind and his sexuality might be great to watch and consume - however, when it comes to role-playing in the yard afterwards, no one is going to want to be Captain Elena Longhair and no one is going to want to wear skirts. So this concept of added value by having sexy cast is good for passive enjoyment, but not good for active imagination. This would target otaku boys, not adventurer boys.

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#34 Post by Nafai » Fri May 18, 2007 12:00 pm

It looks like a win-win, but maybe take this into consideration as well: While a pirate's adventure with girls is twice as nice to look at, the "realism" will suffer, since IRL boys will already have understood that girls aren't really behaving like that, and aren't really as crazy about pirate's adventures as the boys. So this combination of appealing to a boy's mind and his sexuality might be great to watch and consume - however, when it comes to role-playing in the yard afterwards, no one is going to want to be Captain Elena Longhair and no one is going to want to wear skirts. So this concept of added value by having sexy cast is good for passive enjoyment, but not good for active imagination. This would target otaku boys, not adventurer boys.
I'd have to agree with this, despite my wishing otherwise, since it would be great if I could enjoy games with a male or female protagonist with equal alacrity. Actually I tend to require a sympathetic character in any medium of story-telling, whether passive or active, though its more pronounced with active, participatory entertainment. When the options in the menu choices are all options I wouldn't choose in real life, I tend to distance myself a bit from the game, which hurts the immersion factor. Oh I can still have fun with it and the choices - but I wont be "playing" the protagonist anymore.

But that's just me, and I'm aware that there are many without my unfortunate road-block , and hats off to them :)
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#35 Post by monele » Fri May 18, 2007 12:56 pm

the pirate story with girls.
*shiny eyes*... Kyuuun~... must playyy~... XD...

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#36 Post by DaFool » Fri May 18, 2007 2:18 pm

monele wrote:
the pirate story with girls.
*shiny eyes*... Kyuuun~... must playyy~... XD...
Uh... I don't think mikey was mentioning a particular existing game...lol. :shock:

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#37 Post by Sethaniel » Fri May 18, 2007 2:22 pm

Why do men have this idea that women are mysterious creatures whose thoughts must remain forever unknown?

I'm just saying I've heard a lot of this type of discussion before -- men wondering about how to write a female protagonist so that she'll seem like a real girl. I never hear women wondering about how to write men that seem real. Seriously, I don't remember ever hearing (reading. . .) a woman asking how to write a male protagonist.

You know, going off topic, is there a difference, I wonder, between a man writing a girl that men will find believable and a man writing a girl that women will find believable?

Another point to ponder- is there really a huge difference between men and women? I mean, if the reader didn't know you were a guy, would they read your writing and say "oh, he must be a guy, because a girl would never act like that/think like that?"

I was in a writing class once, where we were assigned to write a paragraph about ourselves, without mentioning our gender. Then the prof read the paragraphs, and the class voted on whether the writer was male or female. The rationale for most people's votes was based on the activities the person mentioned.

I just don't know if you really need to worry about thinking differently. (Of course, I was voted "can't tell/ don't know" in the gender paragraph class, so what do I know about it?)

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#38 Post by mokenju1 » Fri May 18, 2007 2:36 pm

Sethaniel wrote:
Another point to ponder- is there really a huge difference between men and women? I mean, if the reader didn't know you were a guy, would they read your writing and say "oh, he must be a guy, because a girl would never act like that/think like that?"
I agree with you in all your main points :wink: . I think this is one of the few sites in Internet where people actually realizes that I'm a girl :lol: . And is not because I try to hide it or anything, if somebody asks me I always tell them the truth. But the fact is they never ask!! They are so sure that I'm a guy that they don't bother to actually ask me. Hmm... maybe I'm a tomboy :roll: .

And when I write about a character I don't think about if the character is a male or a female. I only think about the character as a person who has his/her own personality.

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#39 Post by DaFool » Fri May 18, 2007 2:58 pm

Sethaniel wrote:Why do men have this idea that women are mysterious creatures whose thoughts must remain forever unknown?
Because people keep talking about 'women's intuition' and whatever on earth that means, I better make sure my female characters have it.
I'm just saying I've heard a lot of this type of discussion before -- men wondering about how to write a female protagonist so that she'll seem like a real girl. I never hear women wondering about how to write men that seem real. Seriously, I don't remember ever hearing (reading. . .) a woman asking how to write a male protagonist.
It's easy to write as a male. Just write simply. The default will be masculine, just like this happy face here...

:D

defaults to a white (male) person. If you want that happy face to be female, you have to draw more hair on it. Similarly, when you want to draw an ethnic face, you have to give more detail to that happy face (such as an ethnic nose). That's why anime has lots of characters that don't look asian at all. Same way with writing female...you just need more detail to be convincing.
You know, going off topic, is there a difference, I wonder, between a man writing a girl that men will find believable and a man writing a girl that women will find believable?
I think for more mature men, a believable girl to them will more or less be the same as a believable girl to a woman. For immature men, a believable girl is anything with pigtails and a miniskirt, even if she acts like a robot.
Another point to ponder- is there really a huge difference between men and women? I mean, if the reader didn't know you were a guy, would they read your writing and say "oh, he must be a guy, because a girl would never act like that/think like that?"
In general, there is. Some studies regarding left/right brain hemisphere thing. In general.

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#40 Post by mikey » Fri May 18, 2007 3:22 pm

Sethaniel wrote:I just don't know if you really need to worry about thinking differently.
Agreed - that actually supports my point from above. The thinking is usually quite similar, it's the feel of the game that can be done to appeal to women.
Sethaniel wrote:Another point to ponder- is there really a huge difference between men and women? I mean, if the reader didn't know you were a guy, would they read your writing and say "oh, he must be a guy, because a girl would never act like that/think like that?"
Not really in writing style - I still can't tell whether you are male or female, and I probably wouldn't jump to conclusions unless you explicitly state it - even the fact that you discussed the above issue from a more female point of view, it doesn't make me really certain about it.
DaFool wrote:Because people keep talking about 'women's intuition' and whatever on earth that means, I better make sure my female characters have it.
:P :P :P
DaFool wrote:That's why anime has lots of characters that don't look asian at all.
So the theory that they are simply the exact opposite of real Japanese girls (big eyes, small mouths, long legs, silky hair and big breasts) is not true? That's one of the pillars of understanding anime, gone just like that! :P

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#41 Post by Sethaniel » Fri May 18, 2007 3:30 pm

What do you mean, a more female point of view?

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#42 Post by lordcloudx » Fri May 18, 2007 3:34 pm

DaFool wrote:I think for more mature men, a believable girl to them will more or less be the same as a believable girl to a woman. For immature men, a believable girl is anything with pigtails and a miniskirt, even if she acts like a robot.
Chance! :twisted:
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Hehe sorry. I couldn't resist. Anyway, time to join in the discussion.

I also have some reservations when trying to write a female character in the first-person. I try to have some female writers review my work and give me suggestions or edit it to their taste.

Just a little rant. I'd like to believe that most males do not think the way that female shounen-ai/yaoi fanfic writers want them to think. For example, we generally don't give meaning or read too deeply into every little action like an accidental caress or a prolonged handshake (especially if it's someone from the same sex.)

example:

Guy brushes his chest against another guy's long smooth raven hair.

Typical yaoi fic would go: His hair... so smooth, It feels so soft against my body. Wait, why doesn't he leave yet? Could it be? Is he doing this on purpose to drive me mad? But... etc. etc.

Real guy might generally go: Wth is wrong with this guy? Yachoo! his hair is tickling my nose. Ok, I'll just pretend I don't notice him. (the end)[/b]
Last edited by lordcloudx on Fri May 18, 2007 3:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.
How do you make your games? I see. Thank you for the prompt replies, but it is my considered opinion that you're doing it wrong inefficiently because I am a perfushenal professional. Do it my way this way and we can all ascend VN Nirvana together while allowing me to stroke my ego you will improve much faster. Also, please don't forget to thank me for this constructive critique or I will cry and bore you to death respond appropriately with a tl;dr rant discourse of epic adequately lengthy proportions. - Sarcasm Veiled in Euphemism: Secrets of Forum Civility by lordcloudx (Coming soon to an online ebook near you.)

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#43 Post by DaFool » Fri May 18, 2007 3:36 pm

Sethaniel wrote:What do you mean, a more female point of view?
That's exactly the elusive technique I am trying to master. :oops:

Hmmm...
mikey wrote: The thinking is usually quite similar, it's the feel of the game that can be done to appeal to women.
I second this. For example, it's okay to have violent themes, just tone it down. In art, more detail and softer shades make something more gentle, and thus more appealing. But at the same time, simple in that the details don't grab at you. More cute also helps a lot. No need to be all pink and frilly. Just think of shoujo and seinen which are indistinguishable (very thin, gentle lines, not too much spikeyness... example the manga Aqua and Aria)

Ahh... regarding the yaoi thing lordcloudx just mentioned... I think it ties with the you-dress-as-boy and another boy falls in love with you, then discovers you're a girl thing. It's an attempt to participate in the following...the equivalent elusive thing which women don't get about men is male non-homosexual extreme bonding and friendship. The kind of stuff that screams "I will die for you, brother. The Unification of Brothers!!!" I think I may have hit the jackpot (else shoot me :D )

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#44 Post by mikey » Fri May 18, 2007 3:48 pm

Sethaniel wrote:What do you mean, a more female point of view?
I don't know, actually...all of the sudden :?

I meant from a female perspective, kind of standing up for women, saying hey people this is nonsense, women are not mysterious - it implies some kind of inside knowledge (like for instance a girl would not think that girls are mysterious... because she understands herself).

Nothing deeper than that, to be honest.
lordcloudx wrote:For example, we generally don't give meaning or read too deeply into every little action like an accidental caress or a prolonged handshake
Hmmm, so with the right cast, Gakuen Redux would make a great yaoi ^_^.

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#45 Post by lordcloudx » Fri May 18, 2007 4:15 pm

this thread reminds me of a good question from a local beauty pageant.
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How do you make your games? I see. Thank you for the prompt replies, but it is my considered opinion that you're doing it wrong inefficiently because I am a perfushenal professional. Do it my way this way and we can all ascend VN Nirvana together while allowing me to stroke my ego you will improve much faster. Also, please don't forget to thank me for this constructive critique or I will cry and bore you to death respond appropriately with a tl;dr rant discourse of epic adequately lengthy proportions. - Sarcasm Veiled in Euphemism: Secrets of Forum Civility by lordcloudx (Coming soon to an online ebook near you.)

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