Finding Miranda (En, Sp, Fr, It, Ge)

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Re: Finding Miranda (En, Sp, Fr, It, Ge)

Postby el drakki » Wed, 17May10 08:32

En honor a Moskys!

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Re: Finding Miranda (En, Sp, Fr, It, Ge)

Postby scrumbles » Thu, 17May11 11:42

tlaero wrote:Well, if Xcooler's conspiracy is correct, the name of the titular character in the next game will start with "C".

Tlaero

At first i was like:

Image

Then I saw the date of the post.
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Re: Finding Miranda (En, Sp, Fr, It, Ge)

Postby tlaero » Wed, 17May17 07:32

I just posted this on pat.reon. It's right to post it there, but I find the mechanics of this place much better for discussions than the "comments" thing there. So I'm crossposting.

Thoughts on the "Hero"

With Pandora done and released, Mortze and I are starting to work on our next project--an Elsa-verse game. Since I'm right at the start of it, I've been spending a fair amount of time thinking about the feedback on my previous games, especially the disconnect between how I see my male characters and how many of the players do. I see my males, especially Marc from Redemption for Jessika, as superheroes, but I get a lot of feedback that they're the opposite of that. People say that they're too weak, or that they just follow the unrealistically competent female around, or that their only purpose is to have sex with the titular character.

I'm wondering if this is a "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus" sort of thing. Maybe men and women see "heroes" differently. Maybe we have differing views of what it means to be a hero. Maybe men, not all men, but a lot of men, see the hero as the guy who causes the explosions in an action movie. Maybe women, not all women, but a lot of women, see the hero as the guy who supports someone in a romantic comedy.

Now don't get me wrong. I like action movies. I actually like them better than romantic comedies. But I'm rarely impressed by the hero's ability to beat the bad guy. I'm much more impressed by his ability to understand what another character is going through. Clearly, though, not everyone agrees with me. Heroes in action movies always beat the bad guy. They only sometimes put themselves in other people's shoes. But all heroes in romantic comedies do that. And, in those movies, there often isn't even a bad guy to beat.

Maybe men, not all men, but a lot of men, see the primary attributes of a hero as determination and strength. Maybe women, not all women, but a lot of women, see the primary attributes of a hero as empathy and support.

Maybe people have been telling me that my male heroes are weaklings because, while I was showing their empathy and support, I forgot to make them determined and strong. Maybe, even though strength isn't terribly important to me, it is to a bunch of my players.

The good news is that there's no conflict between determination and empathy, nor between strength and support. It seems that I should be able to make the lead character in this game be a hero for all of us. I should be up to the task of giving you a character that can beat the bad guy AND understand what the main female is going through.

I'm certainly going to try.

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Re: Finding Miranda (En, Sp, Fr, It, Ge)

Postby Mortze » Wed, 17May17 16:23

I think it is wrong to try to design a male protagonist (the player's characters) around that kind of reasoning. I don't think it is about Strenght/Determination against Support/Caring. I think it's about designing convincing people, with their merits and specifically with their flaws.
In the case of FM, Lucas was kind of a super hero. Smart, handsome, athletic, ressourceful, emphatic, caring. He was made that way to be a super man for a super girl. But he had very grave unsolved issues in his hearth, like Miranda also had, and despite their strength couldn't solve it. It took the other to defeat one's demons.
But Marc is different. He doesn't shine like Lucas. He's average in all things. Average appearance, average job. He fades in the crowd. But he had a good hearth and a will to help the woman he liked and that made him special in her eyes (and Sarah's). For Jessika, Sarah and Sylvia, Marc was a hero.
And in Pandora
Kean is far from the strong hero. He's just flaws at the surface. But he is a good person. He is such a good person that everyone on board likes him. He is genuine, kind, true to himself, and never hurt anyone. Kean was there for Maggie, when she needed someone to discover sex, and when she needed someone to think away bad toughts about her mother's departure. He was also there when she most needed help to prove she wasn't crazy. Kean was also always there to help Rita. He didn't took advantage of her moment of weakness when she kissed him and did right by her. And in the end, Kean is the one that 1/ found the solution for the ruins placements, 2/ assures that Rita goes underwater in security.

I don't think we need to label the characters. We just need to make them human.
I want to think that I (and Tlaero too) make games about people. Not some either vague representation of the irresistible playboy, or an unscrupulous macho man.

So, since neither Tlaero nor I will ever want to make a playable character that is devoid of compassion and kindness (not for these type of games anyway) you will always find the Suport/Caring characteristic in them.
Either he is a Bruce Lee or a Star Wars shy nerd will only depend on what the story is about.

tlaero wrote:Maybe people have been telling me that my male heroes are weaklings because, while I was showing their empathy and support, I forgot to make them determined and strong. Maybe, even though strength isn't terribly important to me, it is to a bunch of my players.

I really don't know what kind of "Strength" is that that the players want then. There's physical strentgth (muscles, agility, martial arts master) and there are other kinds of strength like being there for those in need, never give up on someone, be prepared to sacrifice your time for someone else, reach out and save someone from her depression.
Yeah Marc would surely get his ass kicked in a bar fight. But Jessika would love him even more if after that he asked her if SHE's alright.
Strength of hearth is the strongest one.
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Re: Finding Miranda (En, Sp, Fr, It, Ge)

Postby Dasati » Wed, 17May17 17:12

Just my opinion but I think part of the perception some have of the male characters being "weak" is that in most cases it feels a bit like they're just along for the ride. In DwE, RFJ and FM the player is essentially like a supporting cast member. The main focus is on the women, there troubles, struggles and ultimately how they change from beginning to end of the game. Elsa starts her game as a shy, introvert who stays at home/work all the time but by the end she's blossomed into a strong, confident, outgoing woman. Jessica starts her game haunted by the riot and basically broken by it, but again finishes the game with her confidence restored and once more a force to be reckoned with. Miranda's issues at the start of the game aren't as obvious or stark but she does become more settled and engaged by the end of the game in comparison to the start. In all three of the game's Jason, Marc and Lucas feel a bit like supporting characters, yes they have their own issues but their character growth feels like its relegated a little. By the end of DwE not much has changed for Jason in his own life except now he's in a relationship with Elsa. It's implied by the end of RFJ that Marc has grown more confident and assertive as a result of his relationship with Jessica but we're never actually shown anything has changed for him except the relationship with Jessica. Lucas's is a bit better in that there's clearly a moment of growth for him when he tells Miranda to let Chloe go.

Now whilst I don't personally agree with the argument that the male player characters are "weak" I think the fact that they are essentially not the "lead" character in the story has led to some feeling that they are weak. I think of all the male player characters in the Elsa verse, Lucas is the "strongest" because he has an explicit moment of character growth. For RFJ for example I think it would of helped if towards the end of the game/in the closing credits we had a moment explicitly showing the personal changes Marc has undergone. He started the game as a mild mannered court clerk lusting after a woman no one thought he had a chance with. Assuming ofc the bonus scene is canon, then he end's it by having a foursome with 3 gorgeous women, its impossible that he got from one to the other without growing as a person but we're simply not shown that growth.

Not entirely sure I've articulated my point properly so I'd be happy to discuss/clarify it further if anyone's unclear.
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Re: Finding Miranda (En, Sp, Fr, It, Ge)

Postby JFR » Wed, 17May17 17:16

Mortze wrote:... Yeah Marc would surely get his ass kicked in a bar fight. But Jessika would love him even more if after that he asked her if SHE's alright. Strength of hearth is the strongest one.

Yes, but even so, he shows great strength in the moment of crisis when, after finding the bomb, he runs toward danger to help and warn others. Marc is a lot more man than he is given credit for.

And I think you mean "heart." Sorry. [img]images/icones/icon10.gif[/img]
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Re: Finding Miranda (En, Sp, Fr, It, Ge)

Postby vkalvkal » Wed, 17May17 17:40

Basically what Dasati said.

It's been a long time since I last played DwE and RfJ, and I still haven't played FM. I do plan to play the latter and replay all three games in a row sometime. When I do that, I'll try to voice my main problems with the male MCs (granted that I don't know anything about FM yet), but I agree with most things pointed out by Dasati.
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Re: Finding Miranda (En, Sp, Fr, It, Ge)

Postby Hoboy » Thu, 17May18 00:00

I think I'll chime in here, as to the ongoing discussion across 2 threads on the male protagonists in these games. I have NO PROBLEM with how these are constructed in either artistic or in real life terms. They are realistic, and are not a cliche as in so many other games. In contrast to the blandness of so many other games, these add - to borrow culinary terms - a "depth of flavor" to the experience. The make the experience rounder and more full. I seem to remember a similar discussion back when Getting to know Christine was released - about the perceived weakness of Adrian. Guess what - he got the girl, and it's been at the top of the Play Force One ratings for 6 YEARS. (And - PS - my avatar...)

I really loved how the Pandora story progressed, and am now looking for the next characters to unfold, with a supportive couple in Kean and Maggie in the background. I can only imagine where this goes, as in all games in the Tora-verse... [img]images/icones/icon7.gif[/img]
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Re: Finding Miranda (En, Sp, Fr, It, Ge)

Postby Crane » Thu, 17May18 01:01

tlaero wrote:I'm wondering if this is a "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus" sort of thing. Maybe men and women see "heroes" differently. Maybe we have differing views of what it means to be a hero. Maybe men, not all men, but a lot of men, see the hero as the guy who causes the explosions in an action movie. Maybe women, not all women, but a lot of women, see the hero as the guy who supports someone in a romantic comedy.

Tlaero


It's not just explosions and stuff. We're not playing action games here, we're playing erotic ones.

Now Marc has a big share on superheroes stuff. He can keep his cool watching a lesbian couple having sex, then he has a foursome and then gets a free pass for Sylvia, the hottest lesbian ever, in exchange for a free pass of Jess with Sara and him watching them. THAT is superpower. No one can deny that. :D And that is why RfJ is the absolute No.1 game in PFO.

Lets see Lucas. Lucas is a very charming successful guy in all aspects, who can have any woman he wants, and he wants them all until Miranda. He's no Marc, but he's cool.

What do some people want anymore? It's not Jason's Universe, it's Elsa's Universe. It''s an Only Women Club. The story revolves around women. Some people want the main protagonists to be men. It's not about explosions it's about being the center of attention\attraction.

Now, if you want to change the whole "Elsa Universe" and transform it into a "Gentelmen's Club" ok. But then they'll come for harem (because that's the whole point here!!!) and then they'll come for some "family stuff" and then they'll come for furry, and tentacles, and orcs, and virgin princesses.

Perhaps just make the male character not only to get envolved but also to develop during the story and keep Elsaverse going as you projected it?
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Re: Finding Miranda (En, Sp, Fr, It, Ge)

Postby Niauropsaka » Thu, 17May18 05:26

I think the player character in RfJ is impressive, actually. He's unassuming, and in a world of musicians, he can seem lesser as a non-musician. But he's a strong boyfriend, or can be, depending on how you play him. And he does save that huge crowd, and in effect the city, in the end.

The one in Finding Miranda seems like a little bit of a stooge, at least on the path I played, though only really in the way his ex-wife treated him.

What strikes me about the player characters in Tlaero's games is that they can be very heavily defined. They have names and backstories written, and aren't the generic white everyman PC of Date Ariane and of Chaotic's early games. They're practically romance novel leads.

Yet they are after all designed to be identified with, and that has an effect on how they are seen. They're not the stars, and while their decisions affect outcomes, they're not the centre of attention. I think sometimes a male player projects his own insecurity on the character. The player is not seeing the man from the outside, just seeing a series of choices written for him, the player, to take.

That creates an odd middle position. Neither the star with the obvious power--such as the lead in an Arnold Schwarzenegger or Jean-Claude Van Damme type of movie--nor a full self-insert of the player himself. It misses two different kinds of fantasy, and will be a disappointment to anyone who wanted one of those fantasies.

So far, all the title characters--the stars--of the Elsaverse have paranormal abilities. As a player, you are playing the normal human boyfriend to a superhero. That's a perfectly desirable fantasy for many, many potential players. William Moulton Marston--who created Wonder Woman and her normal, flawed, very human boyfriend Steve Trevor--would approve of this theme. But some players want to be the superhero themselves, and that's understandable.

For some time, even before the Elsaverse started, I've thought idly about a game where the player plays this sort of character, a normal human dating a superhero. At the moment, I'm thinking about a player character who is a woman pursuing a Superman type. I know that there would be some critics who would feel uncomfortable with the idea that the fantasy is to be with the strong man instead of being a strong woman. They might even call me anti-feminist. I think I'm ready for that, if I ever get it written and released. Different readers want different things.
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Re: Finding Miranda (En, Sp, Fr, It, Ge)

Postby tlaero » Thu, 17May18 05:52

Mortze wrote:I think it is wrong to try to design a male protagonist (the player's characters) around that kind of reasoning.


No, I just have to do it well.

I'm pretty sure I've got it figured out, but it's a good thing I've got a male counterpart who will be seeing all the scripts and can let me know if I haven't. (-:

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Re: Finding Miranda (En, Sp, Fr, It, Ge)

Postby Mortze » Thu, 17May18 17:27

Well,

We've read and take into account your opinions about how the male protagonist should be. We discussed it thoroughly and decided on the next game.
Here's a concept for the title page. This is a BIG SPOILER so don't watch if you don't want to know what our next game is going to be!! You have been warned.



I am kidding of course. I know most of you don't mean anything of the sort. I just felt like rendering this.
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Re: Finding Miranda (En, Sp, Fr, It, Ge)

Postby caravaggio » Thu, 17May18 19:16

I don 't think it's actually about weakness, but I happen to agree with several DeusExLibris reviews of Tlaero's games (both with Mortze and Phreaky) when she says the weakness (which to me is the only one, while ExLibris is way harsher) is the lack of agency from the player.



EDIT: I'm a little tipsy, I hope what I wrote makes sense
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Re: Finding Miranda (En, Sp, Fr, It, Ge)

Postby Marco6661 » Thu, 17May18 19:22

Mortze wrote:Well,

We've read and take into account your opinions about how the male protagonist should be. We discussed it thoroughly and decided on the next game.
Here's a concept for the title page. This is a BIG SPOILER so don't watch if you don't want to know what our next game is going to be!! You have been warned.



I am kidding of course. I know most of you don't mean anything of the sort. I just felt like rendering this.

Par pitié!

Tout sauf ça, Mr Mortze.
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Re: Finding Miranda (En, Sp, Fr, It, Ge)

Postby DarthMelkor » Thu, 17May18 20:11

Mortze wrote:Well,

We've read and take into account your opinions about how the male protagonist should be. We discussed it thoroughly and decided on the next game.
Here's a concept for the title page. This is a BIG SPOILER so don't watch if you don't want to know what our next game is going to be!! You have been warned.


You made one mistake. The girl is supposed to be at guy's feet and not beside him in such type of games. :p
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