Revolution 60.

/Revolution 60.

So this game, out next year for iOS, definitely looks interesting. I wouldn’t say I’m in love with the big-heads-tiny-waists-Bratz-doll art style but, on the other hand: all-female cast, choice/narrative driven gameplay, female developers at the helm. So count me in.

2016-11-17T19:59:15+00:0024th November, 2013|Tags: gaming, ios, pop culture|5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Brianna Wu 8th December, 2013 at 3:20 am

    Hey, this Brianna Wu, Head of Development. Thanks for the kind words. ^^

    We’ve found the art style is crazy divisive. But, I’ve also found when people play the game they really get it – many people like it better animated than in screenshots.

    Overall, we’re telling a story with an all-female cast. They don’t talk about boys, they don’t talk about outfits – they are fully realized characters on a mission. I think anyone looking for fleshed out female characters will appreciate what we’ve done.

    If you’d like to play the beta, feel free to write me at Brianna at giantspacekat.com! You’ll have to promise to blog about it, though. ^^

    • Alis 8th December, 2013 at 10:57 am

      Hi there, and thanks for stopping by. 🙂

      I’d actually be sort of interested to know what the design decision behind the three main characters was. I mean, if you look at male representation in mainstream games, yes there are issues around Default Square Jawed White Protagonist Guy, but beyond that, male secondary characters generally get to be depicted in a wide range of ages, colours, and physical shapes. And that’s in stark contrast to most female characters, who almost uniformly conform to one particular model: young, thin, big-breasted-and-small-waisted, conventionally attractive, and generally white.

      And, I mean. I’m not particularly thin or conventionally attractive myself, so this is kind of my Big Representation Deal. There are plenty of games out there where I can play a thin white girl with big boobs and a tiny waist, and there are even no shortage of titles where I can play her in such a way as to have professional, mission-oriented relationships with other female NPCs (think pretty much any game wherein you get the choose the gender of your character… which in itself has some issues, I admit). But what I do struggle with is finding a game where I can play a woman who looks like me in the same way, or even just interact with women who look like me. (Or who, shock horror! Look like my mum or my grandma or any of the other 3.5 billion women on the planet.)

      (And this issue is hardly constrained to video games; see also the recent outrage over Frozen.)

      Don’t get me wrong I still like what you’re doing, narratively and gameplay-wise. But… yeah. On visuals? Eeeeh… I’m struggling. Let’s put it that way.

      • Brianna Wu 8th December, 2013 at 11:59 am

        Well, there are two factors. First, I, myself, am very tall and very skinny. My art style is very tall and skinny, and has been since I started drawing when I was 8. I actually learned to draw from Sailor Moon / American comic books and I think it shows. I’ve actually noticed most women tend to draw characters like their own body type.

        I didn’t set out to strike a blow for body image feminism. I did create characters I thought were pretty and interesting by my own personal standards.

        Secondly, professionally rigging characters is extremely expensive. We created the Holiday model, and then recycled the joint systems across characters. We are an indie studio and are looking to save money where we can.

        I will say this. I didn’t set out to make an all-girl studio, but it’s obvious to me now that – intentional or not, we’re going to be judged on some very difficult standards. For instance, normal game puts out skinny girls, no one bats an eye. All girl studio does it? Well, we’re going to get 10x the scrutiny anyone else does. That’s just the political reality of it.

        For the sequel, Rev 62, one of my goals is to have more body diversity in the cast. Again, I’m tall and skinny, and it’s not something I really thought much about before this job. But, it’s obvious to me it’s something a lot of women do care about it – so I’m willing to take more of a leadership role. I see it as GSKs mission to do the work other people are not in the industry. So, we’re going to have a girl who is not as skinny, who is dead competent, and is not the butt of any jokes. We’ll make her a real person. It’s important work – I see that now.

        I hope that most people will look at the work my studio is doing and take the larger message. We’ve hired female engineers and given them their first industry job. We have an animator that worked from home the first two years while raising her first child. We’ve brought high school girls into our office for the day and spent the day teaching them our jobs to inspire them – even if you don’t like the body type we use, I’d hope you’d support the larger message.

        • Alis 8th December, 2013 at 12:44 pm

          Yup, I can definitely see the influences (I admit I was thinking a cross between Naoko Takeuchi and Bruce Timm, myself). 🙂

          I didn’t set out to make an all-girl studio, but it’s obvious to me now that – intentional or not, we’re going to be judged on some very difficult standards. For instance, normal game puts out skinny girls, no one bats an eye. All girl studio does it? Well, we’re going to get 10x the scrutiny anyone else does.

          In some respects, this is the catch-22 about inclusive media in general. It’s not so much that you’re an all-girl studio per se as that you’re specifically marketing yourselves and the game as being progressive in that light. So, yeah. If you’re gonna sell to feminists, you’re gonna get feminist responses to your work, heh.

          And I don’t agree that big name developers don’t get called out on this as well; they absolutely do. Just a few weeks ago, in fact, RPS pissed off Blizzard by asking exactly these sorts of questions about Heroes of the Storm (it’s hard to get bigger and more mainstream than that!). Go back a few months, and you’ve got female soldiers commenting on the portrayal of women in war games. An then just prior to that it was this research paper showing playing sexualised avatars in videogames makes female players more likely to internalise harmful rape culture stereotypes.

          And that’s just three examples I can think of off the top of my head, given how recent they’ve been.

          Don’t get me wrong; I get that being an indie dev is tough and the tech is expensive. But the physical representation of female characters is a very hot-button issue in gaming. So… yeah. Something to think about, I guess.

          Like I said, I still look forward to the game–and its sequel–and will definitely grab it when it’s released. So… yeah. 😀

          • Brianna Wu 8th December, 2013 at 1:00 pm

            No, I think that argument is well said. It’s absolutely on our mind at GSK. T

            I guess my message is this – it’s too late to change this for Rev 60. But, I do hear you and others that share your opinion. This won’t be our studio’s only game. ^^ Let me know what you think of what we’ve accomplished when we ship in April! ^^

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