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Endure the Stars» Forums » General

Subject: Should variant gender characters classes in Endure the Stars have different abilities? rss

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Adam Smith
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We'd love to hear what you think about this! Does it matter to you if the different genders play differently? What sort of abilities would you like to see? If there's enough interest in this subject then there's no reason why we wouldn't integrate the idea into the game.
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Zeroth
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Since it increases replayability, I'm all for this idea!
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Andrew Hayford
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This was something I really liked about Myth. I play games with my daughters so it is cool to see alt gender versions of the various classes.
 
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James
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I said it in the other thread but to get all the opinions in the right place, I like the idea of 2 engineers, psychics, medics, marines, with slightly different abilities to get more value for the additional miniatures.

You could do a lot with strategic versatility having offensive or defensive classes, like a combat medic vs a back line doctor for example.

To be absolutely clear I like having the additional gender minis but I think that on a relatively small KS project adding more game play is important for relatively few stretch goals. Just having the minis but not doing too much with them besides appearance feels wasteful.
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Josh Fisher
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This would be awesome to see! It would truly add alot more playability and strategy for instance, would you take say: the 'tank' or the 'glass cannon'.
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Mike Kaplan
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I am always up for any that increases options and replayability.
 
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Baldy Pat
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It may be a thorny question, do you make the male version of the marine a kick ass close combat type and the female a ranged sniper type. What if people playing the female character want it to be kick ass close combat and not ranged? I guess a solution would be to have character boards without pictures on them and the have separate character pictures that can be place on the boards. That way all characters can be played in all roles. Cumbersome and probably not practical.
To be honest (speaking as a white male) I thought having the starter characters split 50/50 gender wise was good, maybe just add new character classes but keep the split 50/50.
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different genders having different abilities is a good thing as long as there is balance in both effectiveness and fun.
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James
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baldypat wrote:
It may be a thorny question, do you make the male version of the marine a kick ass close combat type and the female a ranged sniper type. ...


From what I've seen it looks like the Engineer will be melee combat, so I would assume the soldier would be a mid-ranged gun class regardless of sex. The difference could be more like 2/3 shots per action single target burstfire rifle vs 1 shot hitting up to 3 targets in the same space shotgun style. Same class, slightly different game mechanic. [edit] I'm aware that's an item-based distinction but it's just an example.

I don't want to see female characters as weaker more utility based versions of the males at all.

Anyway I'm assumimg from the artwork the scout might be the long range sniper class? As well as being pretty fast and sneaky hopefully.
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Jacob Thompson
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baldypat wrote:
It may be a thorny question, do you make the male version of the marine a kick ass close combat type and the female a ranged sniper type. What if people playing the female character want it to be kick ass close combat and not ranged? I guess a solution would be to have character boards without pictures on them and the have separate character pictures that can be place on the boards. That way all characters can be played in all roles. Cumbersome and probably not practical.
To be honest (speaking as a white male) I thought having the starter characters split 50/50 gender wise was good, maybe just add new character classes but keep the split 50/50.


I like this. I was actually going going to say the same thing - I prefer the idea that you could could have the graphic designer prepare cool looking boards without the specific character & allow the players to choose the mini they want. I can't speak about the cost effectiveness in production, but this would definitely allow versatility regarding the player's experience. My vote is to offer both genders and let us choose they base stats.

Also (for the sake of being the renegade idea-man, I don't expect this because I'm sure it'd be crazy expensive) what if you offered player boards, at an added expense, like what they did with Faith: the scifi rpg ( https://boardgamegeek.com/rpg/26028/faith-sci-fi-rpg ) wherein the player boards were modular and could allow you to switch out base stats? That way players could define their own characters stats, maybe with a point system like, say, "you have 20 or so points to work with, distribute them how you like." I loves pitchin' idears...

Personally, I like to have the options to allow genders play diffrently, but I'd rather choose how genders play differently. Maybe my male engineer is a physical wimp but a mechanical genius, or my female captain may be a noisy klutz but a badass close combat fighter. I say make pairs of mats and let players pick em.
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Jacob Thompson
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baldypat wrote:

To be honest (speaking as a white male) I thought having the starter characters split 50/50 gender wise was good, maybe just add new character classes but keep the split 50/50.


And about this specifically, I agree it's probably easier to make the mats about 50/50 but with slightly different focuses.
 
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Konrad Dienst
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I also think that varied abilities would mean added value.
 
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Christian Pelealu
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Yes to different abilities, mainly for variety.
 
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Gav Smith
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Sounds like an interesting idea that will give more options and replayability. Definitely has my vote.
 
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Jim Gallagher
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Massive +1 for new abilities to differentiate the new characters, as it gives you more variety and more game!

You could mix it up a bit and make the females take on less traditionally feminine roles, like tanks or close combat specialists.

Also since we're going for more diversity (which I massively approve of) how about having some of the least represented people in any media, women in their 40s and 50s that actually look like they are in the 40s and 50s. Mums are gamers too!


Also really liking this project, was on the fence at the beginning but I backed it for the eb discount and the more I learn the more excited I am, the new sentries look awesome.
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Bjorn Wolfen
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but the whole idea with having two versions of each class was so that you could play your favourite class without being forced to have a character that has a "wrong" gender.

By giving the two versions different skills, you essentially just turn one class into 2 classes, without addressing the reason why you were splitting the classes to begin with. Sure, you now have the same amount of male and female characters, but you still might not be able to get your favourite class/gender combo.

Personally, I'm all for maximum variety, and don't particularly care about what gender the characters are. But I do know there are people for who that is an issue. So, I'll have to vote for the "gender variants" to have the same abilities.

Or just have "gender neutral" variants of each class (picture of both genders on the character board?), if you end up coming up with new variants of the classes anyway whistle
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Zeroth
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Or you could just provide double-sided character dashboards like in Robinson Crusoe, one side has female art and other side has male art, same ability on both sides.
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Christopher Dong
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TL;DR – Yes.

1) Should there be different sculpts of the same character class (regardless of gender or ethnicity)?
If the gameplay expanding components of the game are complete then yes. However, if there are still additional new character classes that can be added then no. The priority should be to expand gameplay over gameplay experience. This is not to diminish the enhanced gameplay experience a gamer may have using a character of matching gender and/or ethnicity. My preference is for characters that expand gameplay or replay. I am also biased here because I am male, but I am Asian, not White. These different sculpts would not be a value added proposition for me. I wouldn’t be unduly drawn to playing a specific character because it is an Asian Male. With my gaming I play the character’s abilities and not their given gender or ethnicity.

2) If there are going to be different sculpts should they be just gender/ethnicity variants of the character or should they their abilities be different too?
Give the variants different abilities. It provides additional gameplay, which is always good. It also avoids the new sculpt from being seen as a useless, waste of money game piece by those won’t use it because it is no different than the existing character other than the sculpt. And to them the original sculpt and character board are just fine.

2b) If the variant sculpt is going to be included before a new character class, should it be just a gender/ethnicity variant or should their abilities be different too?
Give it different abilities. At least I will be able to get some expanded game play out of it.

3) What should the ability differences be?
That depends on how much work you want to do. If you want to give the variants vastly different skills and abilities I will not stop you. However, I would strongly suggest that the variants have similar abilities to the base character but better in some and worse in others. This will be less work for you and will require less play testing. You could go for big changes, but I am concerned that such changes would require major play testing which could end up delaying production and game delivery unless you are cannibalizing abilities from yet to included character classes. It will also open you up to - “Why didn’t you give her/him ‘kick-ass’ abilities like the other one?” “Why is she/he so weak as compared to the other one?” “Why does she/he have more support functions while the other one is more offensive?”
 
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Ike Trike
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Would be great to see different abilities for variation and strategic play.
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Zach Kurjakovski
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I would love to see variant gender classes having slightly different abilities. I'm not sure exactly what I would like to see but for the Engineer active ability you could have reduce noise made of an item by 1 (min 1). And a passive ability might be while in close combat you may attack two targets/twice at one target if they are both in the same zone. Just a couple of ideas but would love to see some kind of variation.
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tom mills
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its a yes from me
 
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Will Martin
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Yes, but be careful. Don't make the female ones all the same and the male ones all the same theme wise. Make some kick ass up front ass kicker women and some back of the line sniper men. And for all that is holy, watch poses carefully. Nothing suck more than "Women in sexy pose, man in strong pose".

I mean, you can always just create two characters and make a male variant of each and a female variant of each if there is the problem of wanting to play each one but not wanting to be consigned to a specific gender. Just keep the same art?

Kind of like how the Pathfinder card game has different versions of the same characters.
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Dan Manning
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I like the idea of the same traits for the character with just a different picture (gender). Easy and more than what was there originally.
 
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Adam Smith
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It looks like it's a pretty unanimous decision from you guys! Also we're very conscious of some of the downright silly ways that women are posed. Personally I find overly sexual poses of women in comics and miniatures off putting and even somewhat embarrassing. Women can still be portrayed as beautiful without having everything on show/
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Peter Vandorffy
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I'm all for different versions as long as they are good characters to play, and fit the theme of the game, and the character. You can make them only slightly different, or radically different. (Personally I'd prefer a female engineer without the power suit ) I wouldn't even mind stereotypes.

I'm very much against not using the character art on the dashboard! I like those and want them displayed.

IMO the best approach would be designing a new variant based on story, and game play, and designing the art and miniature afterwards. Put the special skills on small cards, and list the recommended/official ones on the dashboard. This way a player can ignore the recommendation and use an other set. In fact you could release more skill cards, and official skill combination in later expansions. Of course the miniature would be design to reflect the official skill set (for example power suit), but that wouldn't bother me if I choose a set without the suit.
Admittedly this approach might not be viable at this stage of design, a production.
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