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Phil Christiansen
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I've always found arguments about realism in relation to fantasy to be odd. Isn't fantasy by definition not realistic?

Anyway, my wife and I think the art looks neat, kudos to you and your artist.
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I am very interested in the game, but my number one game partner is my wife, and if most of the women were dressed like this, I would get a lot of complaints.

Would it prevent me from buying the game? Perhaps.

Side story, I have an old copy of Runebound 1st edition. The other day I was thinking it might be fun to play with my wife, then I opened it up and the first female character had huge breasts and a ridicules costume, and I decided ahh not worth the aggravation.
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Probably Red Scorpian. She's kinda gross.
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I have to agree with Phil that I'm not sure why realism is such a huge complaint when it comes to fantasy games. Personally I don't want to play myself when I'm playing fantasy. I want to be the hero and want to look awesome. And the women I've played fantasy games with seem to feel the same way. Let's be honest, real adventures would suck, we'd be cold and dirty and dressed in ugly outfits. No awesome hair or flashy weapons.

Another thing I find weird is why do people immediately get upset if a female character is a bit sexy but a shirtless male warrior with huge muscles doesn't get any comments? If the example card image in the first post was a shirtless sexy male that looks like he walked off a romance novel cover, would people still have a problem?

youperguy wrote:
Side story, I have an old copy of Runebound 1st edition. The other day I was thinking it might be fun to play with my wife, then I opened it up and the first female character had huge breasts and a ridicules costume, and I decided ahh not worth the aggravation.
You know you could just leave that hero in the box. I'm not sure why that would be a problem since there's plenty of characters to play. Why not play the game when you can just do that?
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ScottE wrote:
I want to be the hero and want to look awesome. And the women I've played fantasy games with seem to feel the same way. Let's be honest, real adventures would suck, we'd be cold and dirty and dressed in ugly outfits. No awesome hair or flashy weapons.

I think looking awesome is great, too, and completely agree that realistic looking dirty worn out clothes, greasy hair etc would make for a lot less pleasurable gaming experience.

The problem for me with this one card is that she just looks laughable. Add a bit of clothing on her and she'd look strong and awesome, dressed as she is all I can do is snigger at the silliness (which really breaks any high fantasy mood)
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ScottE wrote:
You make a good point Tristan. It used to be a publisher would make a game and release it and potential buyers decided if they found it desirable to purchase or not. Now with Kickstarter and buyers funding a game before it's done creates a whole new set of issues to deal with. With so many voices giving their opinion and so many different value systems how do you appease all those people?
Thanks for taking the time to type this up Scott, and for all your support - there’s a great deal of sound advice in this post and I thank you especially for outlining the importance of sticking to a vision. I guess the honest answer to your question of can I please everyone is, as you rightly say, that I cannot. I’ve already had someone dismiss the project because of the tone of my replies, which I had considered to be - until that reading that message - as polite as I could possibly be as an Englishman!



Meerkat wrote:
Tristan,

I have a great deal of sympathy for your dilemma (you cannot please all the people all the time) and admire greatly your approach of treating all commenters with courtesy and respect. Kudos to you for that no matter what you decide to do with the art!!


That said, assuming you do need to triage opinions into categories which include trying to estimate the magnitude of potential impact for going one way or another in terms of sales and reviews on each of these issues, I am going toss in an observation I have made over the past 10 years or so as data.

As I said upstream, honestly I don't really get as spun up as many others about the topic of women's portrayal in geeky hobby venues (Comics, games, fantasy art etc). However what used to be very much a mostly "boys club" in terms of target audience has seen a major growth in the openly and proudly declaring we buy and enjoy this stuff too, pool of females. Some has been a legitimate new growth in interest with-in the younger generations, but also a large part is just women who are openly declaring that we have always been a part of these hobbies and darn it WE want to get to feel included and even welcomed as well!!

The good news is that this has increased greatly the market for these types of products in general. But at the same time, much of this expanded market (both female AND male) has realized that it doesn't have to live with just what is offered while wistfully wishing for some changes. They have realized that the market is big enough now to support multiple choices, traditional fare AND newer fare which they find more appealing. And that inputting comments before production and then voting with dollars afterwards is one of the best ways to assure some of the things they find appealing will get produced.

The down side for some productions is that some people who 15 years ago would have just rolled their eyes, held their nose and bought a product anyway, even with a ubiquitous and annoying to them portrayal of women as part of the package, now simply won't do that. Even if they really LOVE the rest of the product, game play, theme, etc., they feel their money is better spent helping support projects they find more responsive to an issue they think is genuinely important, a more honestly empowering representation of women within the hobby.

I could link you to dozens of very heated threads just here on BGG over the last decade dealing with this topic. That is even before you get out into the articles, reviews and blogging spheres which have tackled it. In short, it is an issue that is currently hot enough that many people are willing to take strong ideological stands on it, in both directions and use their pocketbooks to back those stands up.

As I said before your artist is fantastic. And I certainly wouldn't pass on your game over one card, especially one as beautifully done as that one. However the question is... how many females are in the game and are the others going to be drawn in a similarly scantily (and unrealistic to the role) dressed and exaggerated/highly sexualized fashion? Because in the current market a LOT of people will intentionally pass on your game if the majority of females are portrayed similarly.

This is a very contentious battleground issue right now and a lot of people are very vested in the outcome. I would hate to see your game get needlessly flamed or become collateral damage by accident.

I hope that with 250 plus cards you have enough female characters available to offer both a nod to the classical/traditional fantasy art genre AND also to have some kick ass realistically clad fighting women portrayed.

whistle
Since traditionally Nymphs are by nature highly sexual magical creatures (aka no armor needed or appropriate), and you say they are going to be in the game, if it were me, I might choose to use them to be my nod to traditional fantasy art rather than a Warrior Woman fighting with swords. Just Sayin...

But anyway... hope this post is helpful to you.
Lynette, first of all can I thank you for taking the time to type up your thoughts and deliver them so lucidly and coherently.

It might surprise some of the posters here that my vision for the game did not necessitate scantily clad women! I commissioned a piece of art for a female warrior in a dark, gothic fantasy world and let the artist do her thing, and I was delighted with the results. Women have been instrumental in the development of this game, from the gamers who play-tested the game, to my mum who looked after our boy once a week giving me more time to work on projects like this, to the artist who created the image, to my muse and inspiration, my wife, who is much smarter and more talented than me, and who composed the extraordinary piano soundtrack for this game, which I was immersed in whilst building this fantasy world, and who also happens to think that the art is great. Maybe it’s a European thing?

In any case I’m chuffed to bits that gaming is less of a boys’ club these days, and I greatly welcome the input and support of potential female backers and commentators. There are a great number of female characters in the game. I don’t want to start reigning in my artists or censoring them, but I’m sensitive to what many people here consider appropriate (or not) in fantasy art. It is my intent for each character to kick arse, which in my mind does not mean that there must be cleavage on every card, or any card. But it does mean that if the art is great, I’ll want to use it.

In summary, there will indeed be many “kick ass realistically clad fighting women portrayed” and the majority of females are not portrayed similarly to this card. So let’s get the game funded so I can prove that to you with more art. But maybe just turn a blind eye when the Nymph shows up...



GnatOfPower wrote:
Wonderfully put, Lynette.
Agreed!


DanKD wrote:
On the other hand, a game that I recently kickstarted was Mistfall. I am not comparing gameplay. but they both have fantasy adventure type themes. That game also has beautiful art, but represents the characters in such a thematically appropriate way. That helped the initial impression and I looked more into it and it sounded like a great game.
I love the idea of Gloomfall and I wish every success to everyone invovled with that game.


SomewhatDamaged wrote:
I've always found arguments about realism in relation to fantasy to be odd. Isn't fantasy by definition not realistic?

Anyway, my wife and I think the art looks neat, kudos to you and your artist.
Thank you sir.
My brother recently tried explaining to me why the lightsabers in Star Wars are not realistic.
We don’t talk anymore.


youperguy wrote:
I am very interested in the game, but my number one game partner is my wife, and if most of the women were dressed like this, I would get a lot of complaints.

Would it prevent me from buying the game? Perhaps.

Side story, I have an old copy of Runebound 1st edition. The other day I was thinking it might be fun to play with my wife, then I opened it up and the first female character had huge breasts and a ridicules costume, and I decided ahh not worth the aggravation.
Are you sure it wasn’t the silly movement dice that really put you off?


Blossercubbles wrote:
Probably Red Scorpian. She's kinda gross.
She’s the one with the bum and the boobs in the same image, right?
And here’s me defending a vest.



ScottE wrote:
Another thing I find weird is why do people immediately get upset if a female character is a bit sexy but a shirtless male warrior with huge muscles doesn't get any comments? If the example card image in the first post was a shirtless sexy male that looks like he walked off a romance novel cover, would people still have a problem?
Let’s find out when the Tribal Chieftain card is ready.


entwife wrote:
I think looking awesome is great, too, and completely agree that realistic looking dirty worn out clothes, greasy hair etc would make for a lot less pleasurable gaming experience.

The problem for me with this one card is that she just looks laughable. Add a bit of clothing on her and she'd look strong and awesome, dressed as she is all I can do is snigger at the silliness (which really breaks any high fantasy mood)
Don’t snigger at her Kim, she’ll chop your head off! laugh
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ninjadorg wrote:
I’ve already had someone dismiss the project because of the tone of my replies, which I had considered to be - until that reading that message - as polite as I could possibly be as an Englishman!
I've always thought you've been amazingly polite and good at keeping the discussion light. A lot of times by the 2nd page there's insults and hate being thrown left and right. But so far everyone has been very civil.

ninjadorg wrote:
ScottE wrote:
Another thing I find weird is why do people immediately get upset if a female character is a bit sexy but a shirtless male warrior with huge muscles doesn't get any comments? If the example card image in the first post was a shirtless sexy male that looks like he walked off a romance novel cover, would people still have a problem?
Let’s find out when the Tribal Chieftain card is ready.
Maybe we can generate 3 pages of discussion on whether it's realistic not wearing a turtleneck sweater!
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On a side note we could also use some more mature representation. Something along the lines of this well armoured individual?

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jokeroz wrote:
On a side note we could also use some more mature representation. Something along the lines of this well armoured individual?
laugh Cohen!!!
Great feedback Nick, added to the checklist...
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I have to say I object to seeing old man boob more than the pinup style female boob.
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DanKD wrote:
I have to say I object to seeing old man boob more than the pinup style female boob.
Well then, if you don't Share this project on social media... There Will Be Moobs.
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ninjadorg wrote:

Don’t snigger at her Kim, she’ll chop your head off! laugh
As a thought experiment I wondered what I'd do if I really saw a woman dressed like that. I really couldn't manage to imagine a 'real high fantasy' warrior situation where someone would dress like that, but I could imagine a cos-player doing so (as practicality would be less of an issue, and attention-gaining would be the whole point)

I think if I saw a cos-player dressed like that I would think it was awesome - all power to them for having the confidence - and I don't think I would be at all tempted to snigger. I think the difference is that as art on a card she's been 'dressed' by the artist, whereas for a cos-player I'd be sure it was her choice. Similarly if an actress was forced to wear something like that for a film or play it wouldn't make me feel like she was empowered, just that she had a director with certain fantasies or who was catering for an audience with certain fantasies.

Interesting, to me anyway, to see that even in just different hypothetical situations my reaction varied to the same outfit.

Anyway, in all my imaginings it suddenly occurred to me that I'd been assuming that things got 'more wholesome' below the waist (like maybe there was a skirt or something) but when I looked closely I started to worry that there wasn't anything below the waist at all. Her criss cross-y bit looks like it's getting more open rather than less.

So now I'm wondering if this is getting to the real reason behind my reaction to the card - that it looks as if she's not just exposing her tummy and chest but that if you could only see further down it would be epically x-rated.

In which case maybe it just needs a little tweak to to make it clear that she does have something below - and that it's not just the top half of a completely pornographic image .
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entwife wrote:
So now I'm wondering if this is getting to the real reason behind my reaction to the card - that it looks as if she's not just exposing her tummy and chest but that if you could only see further down it would be epically x-rated.

In which case maybe it just needs a little tweak to to make it clear that she does have something below - and that it's not just the top half of a completely pornographic image .
Ok, wow! So you imagine there's naughty stuff going on in areas of the image we can't see. How can an artist possibility be responsible for your imagination? I think you are going a bit overboard now. I get that you don't like the art, but there's no way you can expect the publisher to now be required to make absolutely sure that unseen areas can't be interpreted as being naked. I've looked at the image myself and it didn't even occur to me she had no pants or skirt on!

It's hard enough to deal with everyone's personal values, lets not get into people's heads too!
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[q="ScottE"
Ok, wow! So you imagine there's naughty stuff going on in areas of the image we can't see. How can an artist possibility be responsible for your imagination? I think you are going a bit overboard now. [/q]

I'm just looking at what there is - it's a swimming costume/neglige shaped thing, we can see it's cut high on the thigh (such that we can see thigh to the left) it's open from the top to well below her belly button. When I look at it and ask myself how the clothing line would continue in a downward direction it looks like she'll just end up having two silver thongs between her legs. I really can't imagine the costume as shown doing anything else. If she had either a skirt or trousers on, then given the amount of thigh we see to the left and the amount of flesh below her belly button then they'd have to be incredibly gravity-defyingly low sitting.

I'm not prone to having naughty imaginings ( well about females on cards anyway) so I don't think I'm reading something into it that's not heavily suggested by the cut of the clothing as shown. I'd really love to know what the artist imagined was going on behind the sword, that somehow protected her modesty.

By publishing pre-production artwork it seems like the designer is open to feedback, I had a fresh realisation of an aspect of the artwork that concerned me, and wanted to share, thinking that might be helpful.

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entwife wrote:
So now I'm wondering if this is getting to the real reason behind my reaction to the card - that it looks as if she's not just exposing her tummy and chest but that if you could only see further down it would be epically x-rated.

In which case maybe it just needs a little tweak to to make it clear that she does have something below - and that it's not just the top half of a completely pornographic image .
As much as I value your feedback Kim - and I sincerely do - I can't be responsible for what you might imagine which is not actually in the image! surprise But for your peace of mind I've posted the original image side by side with the card so you can see that she is wearing trousers:

http://ratdorg.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/fantasy-quest-new-warr...
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ninjadorg wrote:
But for your peace of mind I've posted the original image side by side with the card so you can see that she is wearing trousers:

http://ratdorg.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/fantasy-quest-new-warr...
Thankyou, I am relieved

I actually think she looks more awesome for having 'serious' trousers on - really nice contrast.
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I love the scantily clad and sexily portrayed women, busty or otherwise.

In a game with Fantasy in the name what do you expect? Matronly old women with prim Victorian era clothes buttoned up to the neck?

Women should be proud of and celebrate the female body, not be embarrassed every time a quarter inch of skin is shown here or there.

Ever been to an art museum?

Please ignore people that have a fit because they can't tell whether a character is wearing pants or not out of the frame - that's just sad.

Amazing artwork - very nice job!
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entwife wrote:
ninjadorg wrote:
But for your peace of mind I've posted the original image side by side with the card so you can see that she is wearing trousers:

http://ratdorg.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/fantasy-quest-new-warr...
Thankyou, I am relieved

I actually think she looks more awesome for having 'serious' trousers on - really nice contrast.
Hehe, we can both sleep a little easier now then!


glookose wrote:
I love the scantily clad and sexily portrayed women, busty or otherwise.

In a game with Fantasy in the name what do you expect? Matronly old women with prim Victorian era clothes buttoned up to the neck?

Women should be proud of and celebrate the female body, not be embarrassed every time a quarter inch of skin is shown here or there.

Ever been to an art museum?

Please ignore people that have a fit because they can't tell whether a character is wearing pants or not out of the frame - that's just sad.

Amazing artwork - very nice job!
Thanks for you input Ian - I don't think anyone is having a fit though, just a bit of healthy discussion about what's what. cool
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ninjadorg wrote:


As much as I value your feedback Kim - and I sincerely do - I can't be responsible for what you might imagine which is not actually in the image! surprise But for your peace of mind I've posted the original image side by side with the card so you can see that she is wearing trousers:

http://ratdorg.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/fantasy-quest-new-warr...
Now I've seen the whole image it's a shame you lose so much of the art on the final layout. The second sword held in the same position makes an impact.

You must have some tough decisions when your cropping.
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jokeroz wrote:
Now I've seen the whole image it's a shame you lose so much of the art on the final layout. The second sword held in the same position makes an impact.

You must have some tough decisions when your cropping.
True say, brother.
But having the full resolution images means I'm able to use them in the rulebook, on the box, online, in promotional material and/or, dare I say it, in other games...
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ScottE wrote:
We just finished a successful KS recently and it was a huge learning experience.
Hang on - was this Pillars of Eternity: Lords of the Eastern Reach??
How the flipping heck did I miss this?? It looks ace!
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ninjadorg wrote:
ScottE wrote:
We just finished a successful KS recently and it was a huge learning experience.
Hang on - was this Pillars of Eternity: Lords of the Eastern Reach??
How the flipping heck did I miss this?? It looks ace!
Yep, that's the one! We'll be at Gencon doing demos next week in the Obsidian Entertainment booth if you are attending.

Thanks! And hope you can stop by.
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I'd love to, but I'll be several thousand miles away sadly.
Have a wicked time though!
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I was a hair reluctant on the art change but only because I'm stubborn lol and that surely has gone to pass. It looks wonderful and in dark fantasy I think you need a little busty relief from a long day of defending the realm from gloom, needless to say a tall glass of ale to boot!

Keep it up Tristan, you're one of a kind!
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1565, St Elmo's Pay - October 2019 Kickstarter
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Microbadge: 1066, Tears to Many Mothers fanMicrobadge: 1565, St. Elmo's Pay fanMicrobadge: Gloom of Kilforth: A Fantasy Quest Game fanMicrobadge: 1565, St. Elmo's Pay fanMicrobadge: Lifeform fan
Mugen_Infinity8 wrote:
I was a hair reluctant on the art change but only because I'm stubborn lol and that surely has gone to pass. It looks wonderful and in dark fantasy I think you need a little busty relief from a long day of defending the realm from gloom, needless to say a tall glass of ale to boot!

Keep it up Tristan, you're one of a kind!

Haha, thanks Dave!
One mooted potential option is to offer this image as an alternative art - non-gameplay - card add on for those who like it, rather than forcing it on those who would rather back the game without it. Not sure yet of the logistics of that, or if there's even enough/any demand for something like that though, but we can gauge things like this with backers once the campaign is underway. Could be a please everyone solution, or it could offend everyone too!
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