Women in Cyan

Women in Cyan

Postby HollyBluebird » Thu Apr 21, 2016 5:53 am

Edited this as it is in wrong post! Sorry!

I hope this is okay to suggest and hope i don't get flame for asking it because there are famous current game that also include women characters so its not so crazy. Life is strange and The Longest journey are two very successful games where the main characters are female! :)

I know some guys will hate this but it does not need to be because its an option so if guys still want to play as a guy that can happen too! :)

If i made any errors please let me know and i will correct them!

And if sequels can center around families too it just adds more tension and bonding with the characters as it just makes it real. And players can connect and relate to these things its why Life is strange is so emotionally driven, you really pulled into the characters life. Also since this is a non violent game and very family orientated the whole family can get hooked! Why watched Tv series like the Big brother when you can invest in Cyan and get 10x more value and enjoyment?

Would love to see a very strong emotional Cyan puzzles game in the future! Still the same theme like in Myst but now with complex emotions! Its no longer just go to A to B to C and then finish! But to somehow capture the players emotion so it be one huge emotional ride through it! When you are close to a character its harder to say no or to leave that character to die! Even harder if you had pet in the game and suddenly you have to part with it because of tough decisions you need to make in the game. It easy if you had no emotional connection you can easily decided what to do but if it acted like a real pet and you had to invest effort into it then its harder to let it go! And if pets are hard in the game then family characters will be even harder! You will just want to go all the way and even more desperate to get them back!

It could even be much much harder if the series continue on instead of making something totally new! Perhaps a revist of all the Myst characters and journey with them on this long story! Then the players will be so invested in these characters that anything bad happens will be an emotional disaster for them! Its very similar to watching Family Tv series where you grow to love a particular character. You don't purposely create disaster for that but the choices they make can do this to them so they really have to use their heart and mind now when playing! Not that I just need to get to A, B and C and finally i complete the game and move on! The players will be always thinking about these characters like how you would fall in love with reading trilogy books? Like Lords of the ring or Star wars? Its a very predominantly for guys so hope they can understand this? I am sure guys will love it too to hope in and re live the character lives and go on a thrilling adventure? So there is room for guys too and hope some won't see this as waste of developer time? But it just really can get exciting when your hearts are pulled in too.

It could be good educational lessons as it will teach players about themselves and how they deal with real life challenges. :) Discovering things about yourself that you won't have discovered!

Also more importantly it does not need to be dark like in Life is strange for this to succeed because dark seem to be the common thing now in games. Could be all non violent but still emotionally engaging! And again the Myst series have shown it that you don't need to seek after death to find that joy to push you on.

Also I know doing this you need good funding because the deeper the experience the more complex it gets and that takes lots of staff to pull this off. But what every the budget may be in the future they would be able to still have it in the game even if it is not that deep emotionally. The more funding they can get then the more complex and deeper the emotion can be to drive players on! If the puzzles get boring well the emotional investment might push the player on to keep wanting to do the puzzle! It won't be that they become bored so need a few days rest it would be I just have to get closer to understanding this issue because my NPC family is in trouble! And then I can save it and come back later! Its just the Psychological bonding now that will also drive the player to not want to put down the game so quick even though he is tired. This just won't happen if it were just the puzzles, he could just save it and not worry about it. But Just like reading a book you just need to know what happens so you keep reading! Isn't that exciting?

Not just that but then sequels and series can keep being produce because the players are now very emotionally invested! So if ratings are popular then the game can expand!

Here here is something i read why women characters are good!
If there's anything that generates controversy among the gaming community, it's the presence and depiction of female characters in games. Some claim that there are not only too little such characters in games available on the market, but when they appear, they tend to realize male fantasies rather be female characters in their own right. Steering clear from personal tastes and scandals that seem to envelop the debate, here are 5 key reasons why video games really need more women characters – backed up by recent research studies and key gaming community data.

1. Women do play video games – and a lot!

Browsing through forums, you might spot different figures accounting for the presence of women in the gaming community. But those never reflect the reality, because there are far more women playing games than you'd suspect!

This study conduted by the Internet Advertising Bureau showed that women are growing to become a gaming majority on the British market – 52% of the gaming community in the UK are women. (http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2 ... -games-iab)

What about the US? The analyst firm Superdata Research found out that when it comes to PC games, women play slightly more than men – we're talking 50.2% to 49.9%. Interestingly, the scale goes up for PC RPG games, which are often considered a game type preferred by men – here women dominate with 53.6%. FPS and MMO genres are still favored by men with 66% of the audience being male. (http://www.pcgamer.com/researchers-find ... ber-males/)

Another interesting piece of data was uncovered by a study from the Entertainment Software Association showing that there are twice more adult women than there are boys playing games in the US. After men aged 21-35 (18%), the largest chunks of the gaming community in the US are women aged 21-35 (21%) and 36-50 (15%). Interestingly, when we look at the age bracket of 51-65, there are more women playing games than men – by 2%! (http://www.theesa.com/facts/pdfs/ESA_EF_2014.pdf)

Seeing such statistics is bound to generate a question – maybe some genres aren't so popular with women precisely because they lack characters that are aspirational and empowered? Even if you still think that the line of 'women just don't play these games' rings true, it's clear that there are many women gamers out there that brands could address by creating fantastic female characters. And isn't widening its audience a top business priority for any company in the gaming industry?

2. More women characters will lead to positive discrimination

In 2009, a group of researchers form the University of Southern California analyzed 50 largest game releases and concluded that in less than 10% of them game characters are female. (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 140931.htm) Just because game creators would finally acknowledge that women exist and incorporate them into games wouldn't lead to positive discrimination.

Audiences who want more female characters aren't asking for a total revolution of the industry and domination of star female protagonists over the sector – what they want are simply more options to choose from. Games should accurately reflect the makeup of the gaming public and society as a whole, not a selected group of individuals who happen to be male, white and have specific fantasies about female bodies.

Just because recent years brought more female protagonists and Lara Croft got revamped to have a humanized body doesn't mean the job is done. The plea to include more women characters in games is often misrepresented as a campaign to entirely exclude male characters.

Games are created with marketing ratios in hand, so once marketers realize that female audiences do exist and thrive, we might expect more aspirational female characters to become an increasing presence in the gaming industry.

3. Accurately designed characters won't cause controversy
This is something we often hear from game creators – even if I take the risk to design a female character, I'll get criticized or even accused of violence against women. Needless to say, that kind of apprehension is based on a firm tradition in the gaming industry for representing female body.

A 2007 study showed that there are three major stereotypical depictions of women in games: a vision of beauty, scantily clad and sexualized. (https://dx.doi.org/10.1007%2Fs11199-007-9278-1) This is a canon that holds true for more than 80% of women depicted in video games – over 25% of these characters embodies all three categories at once!

Creators scared that their female characters will be received badly should do everything they can to minimize the chance of getting negative reviews. One way to go on about it is to dress female characters accurately to their role (not as sex fantasies of a teenager) and avoid making them objects of fetishistic violence.

No more scanty armors and pixelated cleavages for everyone to gawk at. Game creators should take their responsibility to create compelling female characters seriously – otherwise we'll all have to wait for things to change even longer.

4. Your art budget can take it
Yes, designing a female character will double your art budget if what you had in mind was only one male character. But does this logic sound alright? Creating female characters is considered costly only because it's viewed as additional – not fundamental. In the end, character budgets are only a fraction of the whole art budget, so if you're setting out to create a unique performance capture for 3 different male characters, adding a female character (or two!) won't cost you a lot.

It's really the way of thinking about the game's story – especially for larger studios that can afford other expenses such as actors for dubbing. If the budget is designed to include female characters from the ground up, game creators would assume a completely different attitude towards the process of creating female characters. The popular assumption that adding a female character takes a lot of money and work to create simply won't hold true.

5. Women in power are totally realistic
This is an argument that irks many women who actually work in the gaming industry. While it's perfectly realistic to see Cole MacGrath shooting lighting bolts form this hands, if he were designed as a woman it would suddenly seem absurd?

What is really unrealistic is the present situation in game creation, where a half of the global population is either completely ignored or assigned a passive role in the background of the game's plot. While real women work in law enforcement or army, it seems that virtual ones cannot be easily granted a similar degree of empowerment. And you have to admit that such an impoverished imagination is just sad.

Creating more female characters that are compelling and empowered, game designers will not only address a much wider audience, but also contribute to the gradual change of the gaming industry for the better. Just consider how many gamers around will appreciate more options that the ever-present and identical white, straight male. That's right, we're talking a major part of the gaming community, which is fed up with stereotypical character depictions – both male and female!


I hope everyone like reading this! :)
Last edited by HollyBluebird on Mon May 16, 2016 10:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Idea: Women & family in Cyan games.

Postby wstrohm » Thu Apr 21, 2016 10:01 am

I have been a persistent Cyan game player since "Myst," and I do like seeing cut scenes with live actors. In "Riven" and also "Myst IV: Revelation" there are female characters of main interest (Catherine and Yeesha). (Catherine is also in Myst III: Exile.) But IMHO there are no "emotional puzzles" in any of the Myst series, nor in "Uru." In fact I don't know exactly what is meant by that term. My gaming experience is mostly limited to the Cyan/Ubisoft puzzle/adventure genre. Atrus' relations with his family and (in the books) with close friends carries emotional content, and certainly the "damsel in distress" theme occupies both Riven and Revelation, but I cannot recall a particular puzzle which seems "emotional" in any way. The emotional aspects have been in the stories themselves, not in the puzzles.

But what do I know? :lol:
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Re: Idea: Women & family in Cyan games.

Postby Tai'lahr » Thu Apr 21, 2016 2:10 pm

Hi Holly, welcome to the Cyan forums. I gather that Obduction is the main reason you've joined here, but this particular post isn't specific to Obduction and IMO, would be more appropriate in the more general Cyan section where it could get a wider audience of Cyan game fans. If you agree, you can request that a moderator move the thread.

I think Cyan has done a pretty good job of including female characters. Although the Myst games seem to revolve around Atrus, we all know that the saga includes strong women without whom Atrus wouldn't have accomplished all that he did. From the grandmother (Ti'ana) that raised him, to the woman that wrote the age of Myst and saved his life (Catherine), to the daughter who took on his burden and carried on his mission, Yeesha.

And, I think all of the Myst games have an emotional component to them if you allow yourself to care about the characters. I was particularly moved by the final puzzle in Myst III: Exile.
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Re: Idea: Women & family in Cyan games.

Postby belford » Thu Apr 21, 2016 4:32 pm

"Emotional puzzle" is a bit self-contradictory. Emotions in storytelling are engaging when they have depth and detail. If you can understand a game character well enough to "solve" them -- manipulate them in a way which guarantees an outcome -- then you're not engaged with them as characters, only as mechanisms.

There is certainly scope for emotional *interaction* in games. _Facade_ is a famous early experiment in that area. _80 Days_ is a recent one; you spend that entire game engaged in a character relationship with Phileas Fogg, plus a whole assortment of short interactions with other characters that you meet on your journey. But these are not structured as puzzles; the whole point of the game is that you can't treat the world as a game to "win".
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Re: Idea: Women & family in Cyan games.

Postby JWPlatt » Fri Apr 22, 2016 1:44 pm

belford wrote:If you can understand a game character well enough to "solve" them -- manipulate them in a way which guarantees an outcome -- then you're not engaged with them as characters, only as mechanisms.

Interesting thought. And if you are made to deeply understand and care about a character which must be lost, by your hand, as part of that mechanism to reach your goal?
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Re: Idea: Women & family in Cyan games.

Postby belford » Fri Apr 22, 2016 3:59 pm

I don't know. What are you thinking of?
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Consequence & choice: Imagine Life is strange combine with M

Postby HollyBluebird » Sat Apr 23, 2016 2:21 am

Idea: Choices & decisions have conseqeuences

Tai'lahr wrote:Hi Holly, welcome to the Cyan forums. I gather that Obduction is the main reason you've joined here, but this particular post isn't specific to Obduction and IMO, would be more appropriate in the more general Cyan section where it could get a wider audience of Cyan game fans. If you agree, you can request that a moderator move the thread.

I think Cyan has done a pretty good job of including female characters. Although the Myst games seem to revolve around Atrus, we all know that the saga includes strong women without whom Atrus wouldn't have accomplished all that he did. From the grandmother (Ti'ana) that raised him, to the woman that wrote the age of Myst and saved his life (Catherine), to the daughter who took on his burden and carried on his mission, Yeesha.

And, I think all of the Myst games have an emotional component to them if you allow yourself to care about the characters. I was particularly moved by the final puzzle in Myst III: Exile.


Hello Tai'lahr thanks for the nice welcome to the forum! :) yes I am very excited about obduction so why I wrote another long suggestion!

I am sorry that i've posted this but thought i could post it here so perhaps it could have future ideas for obduction? I checked the other forums and there no proper place for suggestions. So do you know who are the moderators so perhaps they can create a suggestion thread for these ideas? I also posted it cause we are all crazy about the game so perhaps we can enjoy the discussion? As I had post that they are activity on this forum? So what do you think? Still not a good idea to post it here? Who are the moderators perhaps i can ask them?

Well I do love the Developer for making the game!!

I really love the Myst series game and they have done a fantastic job already compared to other games. But going beyond is what ideas is all about and why Obduction has come out because it has advance so much and not just stayed the same. However even if they did use old technology it would still be so interesting because of the rare puzzles that you don't experience in any other game.

I do not know alot of girls who do play Myst games, even on reddit almost all are guys :( so just wanted to submit the idea.

Perhaps all of you can submit ideas too on this i would love that? Its not about saying Cyan is a bad developer because they are not it just adding suggestions that perhaps they might find interesting.

There is emotional content but just deeper so as said there is this deep psychological impact on the players, have anyone played Life is strange? It is a straight narrative game but the emotion is so strong and that it pulls you it. And not just psychological impact but also that players will struggle with choice because how connected they are with the characters. :) That is something I love to see in the future if they see this type of feature is needed.

So its not just about reading their life stories in the game or reading the history like a book but players are right there involved in the characters every day decisions.

This can be very compelling because as i said you do the puzzles not because to get from A-Z but because there is this deep emotional connection that you just need to do it. :) Like with Myst IV there is no compelling reason why I should run after and rescue Yeesha or even listen to the father! I do not know them i just enter the game and suddenly I am meet by these 2 strangers. But the game insist i follow this path and rescue them so i have no choice but to rescue them. If the game can go back in the past when yeesha was just a baby and even further back to when the father and mother was young. So you could be involved all through that stage of their life. So the impact of losing Yeesha in Myst IV would be even greater then just trying to find that emotion from the start.

I know you guys do not see this as very appealing but if anyone of you player the Dream chapters or life is strange and love it then you will understand. And its very appealing too for women and perhaps that might help draw more of them to play the game because it has that family deep component to it! And no swearing or violence! Life is strange is full of swearing never seen before in games so it ruined the whole thing!

So that is why to the comment of what are you thinking off?

I promise it will not ruin the game if they had this but just add more layers to the game just like how several more new layers have been added to obduction. And when it comes out its going to be another hit! The backers who have seen the alpha and tested it and gave feedback will know how true this is! The feel, the puzzles its all going to be fresh and exciting that is why the developer did not just take Myst puzzles and put them in obduction. But like i said again if it was old technology it would still be exciting anyway!

Again i know this kind of idea of emotion is not very appealing to you all but that is okay just try and understand how it could be! :)

"Emotional puzzle" is a bit self-contradictory. Emotions in storytelling are engaging when they have depth and detail.

It is why there would be different level of emotion that depends on the budget of the game. But i think there still can be a way even if you don't see the character talking non stop like in life is strange. I am not a developer my self so only the developer will know how to archived this with out it just becoming a point and click adventure.

Rich story adventure games like Life is strange do not focus on puzzles and is all about experiencing the narrative as you play. But it does not mean these powerful ideas cannot be translated into a puzzle game like Myst.

And why does it always need to be about winning the game? That you do puzzles to win the game and that is the objective?

Have you ever thought of wanting to replay Myst several times over? The players with Life is strange and Dream chapter do, more so with dream chapter. They want to experience the narrative over again because its so emotionally engaging and also to chose a different choice to see what happens! :)

Instead of having puzzle that is very linear and leads to the end it be more choices and decisions that you need to make that determine the end story. Puzzles are a mean to the narrative of a way to get to know the character plus it also is there for players to decided if they want to do it or not. Choices and decisions have consequences.

For Dream chapter choices are made via dialog and sometime action such as to kill, betray, to allow person to live? So that could happen with the sequel to Obduction if there is enough funding to have a lots of dialog and character animation. But if the amount of dialog and acting makes it too expensive perhaps as said it will be the puzzles that will direct the players path so each decision has an impact to the end.

I won't go too much into it as it be another long post! :)

But just wanted to explain an idea to build that emotion with out the character always talking and how to also have focus around the puzzles. So again it does not become just a click and experience narrative but more a puzzle but also a narrative at the same time.

This would mean they could be hundreds of puzzles because it will not longer be about winning the game but letting the player determine the end instead of being force to that end.

IMAGINE!
And just like to add that these particular exciting feature I am talking about already exist! :D But just not in puzzles games! So i do have solid reasons why it would be a success! Not totally the same but imagine combining the adventure with out the violence of Life is strange or Dream chapter with the layer of deep Puzzles like Myst? Instead of 20 hours of finishing it be like 40hs in one go but then you can go back and because it is a puzzle plus complex narrative it could be around 200hr of play!


With the emotional connection its Like having a baby? You get emotionally attached to it because of the things you do for it over a period of time and that is how the bond grows and yes there is that chemical bond you have when you give birth. But you still get developed a close bond if you had to adopt. You can even be made anxious if your phone is taken away because of how addicted you are too your phone. :) So puzzles can be the alternative if there can't be too much dialog because of budget. You can learn about the character by doing things for them and following them around and do basic things they require. So you can play the game over again and do things differently and choose something different.

Another thing I thought of is the developer could add to it over time just like in a persistent world even though its offline. Its like if Myst was all combine into one game and all the puzzles were there for the player? Players just journey through it all and experience all the puzzles? So players have a new experience each time, you don't need to create brand new words for it that could be another idea? So over time you do more and more for that character and you grow to love them just like watching the bold and beautiful. No need to end the character so quick journey through the character slowly and build the content slowly.

And with the hundreds of puzzles it does not all need to be really complex, perhaps dynamic puzzles that changes in the world because the world has time, weather and other things? Puzzles could just sometime take time to do but not all that complex so they can be that choice & Decision consequence. Even simple searching puzzles of finding things for the character. Helping Yeesha catch the insects with her? How are you going to trap the insect, where do you find them? Urges you to explore and research! Help her with her study? Many things that does not need too much thinking! And if thinking is required well the developer will be able to have it in the game like some things on science. All that complexity of it is already done so it just time spent coding it in. These could be relaxing puzzles to create that emotional bond to the character and to interact more with the character world. Like when reading the characters journal you can say I was with them doing that I remember and love it! Your name could be in the Journal too so its take a greater emotional hold on you when you read it. This does not happen when you do read the character journey, your just a stranger even though you played myst from the beginning.

What are Yeesha hobbies? Perhaps you can go on a journey over a period of time doing these things with her? Developer can use interesting types of hobbies not just lets read. Have you ever thought perhaps if she like painting you could help her with that project? So these easy things are also an alternative to dialog and an addition to the puzzles. Because you can be doing interesting things with the character! And perhaps even continue to do these things after the game has ended. So it does not need to always be about doing complex puzzles and sometimes just hanging out with the character and doing things with them.

These things are more then just do A, B or C but it also will teach you things because that is what puzzles do teach you things and also at the same time fun. So you could be asked to get the ingredients of making bread because the NPC family needs it or some chemical formula or fixing something mechanical machine and getting the right parts? So many things the developer can do with out destroying the fun of solving complex puzzles.

I have to admit i would not mind it becoming a point and click adventure: I will add the link to it to the post i made.

Anyway these types of things create the Psychological emotional impact i was talking about so still crazy. You go into a room and you have personal emotional experience in these areas and they mean alot to you. So get the room destroyed and all those happy events you did in there just gone it would be really moving.

Other more complicated things are, Players could even ruin her day by doing mean things and then the game changes and you no longer are wanted but now on the opposite end and working with the criminals. If that is too difficult then perhaps some other way so there are still consequences if you killed off a primary NPC. Not everyone is nice playing the game and some just want to cause death and well they can but they will be consequences as the game goes on. Important NPC does not need to be killed off but developer have shown it works and that if you kill or pick some choice then no longer will you have access to the other paths that you need to discover.

So still crazy none of your excited about this? If these ideas are just silly then I thank you all anyway for reading it and perhaps the dev can improve on it if they like it. :) They can recycle my silly ideas and turn it into a diamond so everyone will love it!

Did you know that diamonds were once ugly too? But give lots of time and just look how beautiful it is!

Just some thoughts that no idea is silly or crazy!

The great Greek polymath Archimedes has been tasked with determining whether or not a crown is made of solid gold. He can’t damage the crown and he can’t simply weigh it (since other materials equal to the weight of gold could be inside the crown). After working all day on the problem, he fills a bath to relax in, but as he’s getting into the tub he notices the waterline on the edge of the bathtub rise in relation to the amount of his body being submerged.

Immediately he realizes how he can use water to detect the mass of the crown in comparison to a chunk of gold equal to that which was supposedly used to create the crown.

Archimedes was so blown away by the simplicity of the solution that the legend says he dashed out into the streets, stark naked, shouting “Eureka!” which translates to: “I’ve got it!”

All along Archimedes had the know-how to solve the challenge of the golden crown. He was an expert at this type of stuff.

But it wasn’t until he physically saw the displacement of water in his bathtub that he acknowledged the solution.

The same goes for any ideas we might have: whether we’re attempting to solve something, invent something new, come up with the storyline for a novel, or anything in-between.


To think creatively is to spur the necessary connections required for us to have worthwhile ideas.

Please!
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Re: Idea: Women & family in Cyan games.

Postby HollyBluebird » Sat Apr 23, 2016 2:37 am

JWPlatt wrote:
belford wrote:If you can understand a game character well enough to "solve" them -- manipulate them in a way which guarantees an outcome -- then you're not engaged with them as characters, only as mechanisms.


With my idea was not suggesting that you manipulate them like a puzzle because as you said they just become a mechanic.

Here is quote from the developer of Dream chapters
Yes, choice and consequence is an integral part of the game. It's our theme, it's what the story is about. The choices we make shape our lives in ways that might be unknowable. A lot of games present it as "be good or be evil," and it feels more mechanical, like it's a stat. In this game, we make choices intentionally tough, with shades of grey and subtlety so that you never know what the right answer is. Consequences will come to the player further on down the line and they never know what it is. A consequence might affect another choice and they might come together in unseen ways. Sometimes two choices will lead to the same place in a kind of pre-determined way, and life is like that too, but it's really interesting for us to explore this mechanic of choice and consequence in a way we feel hasn't been done before.

We want to make it an emotional choice, we want the player to feel guilt. Guilt is something the gaming medium can do uniquely. You can't make someone feel guilty for the actions of a character in a movie or a book because they are doing it. In a game, I am doing it. If I do something that has terrible consequences, I start feeling "Why did I make that choice?" I might want to go back and chance that choice, but if I do maybe something even worse will happen! Consequences might come far, far down the line. There's no right or wrong but some choices might have more dramatic consequences than others.


So that is part of the idea of what I was suggesting but it does not need to be grey all the time like if i don't kill him then he will get tortured by the guards so i have to kill him. But just that the things we decided to do in the game will affect things later on in the game! So each player will have a different experience because everyone make different decisions because of the different choices they make. :) And it does not need to always be driven by guilt it can be a many types of other emotions that the game will try and get out of the player. So you get a more realistic experience then what you get with Dream chapters where its kill or live. Could be being friendly more to certain characters and helping them out more and not bothering about other characters because they don't mean much to you. You could even try to be the hero and try and help everyone but perhaps in the end it might not be so good? Anyway this is what i've explain above. :)
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Puzzle idea: Richard Hammond & Optical illusion!

Postby HollyBluebird » Sat Apr 23, 2016 6:10 am

I also thought about this appearing in sequels? The invisible world playing tricks on you?

Image

Optical illusion demonstration comprising mask and hollow mask mounted in frame with oscillating mechanism, made for Exploration Exhibition by R.L. Gregory, Brain and Perception Laboratory, Medical School, Bristol, 1977. Front detail view of object.

Have anyone seen Richard Hammond's Invisible World? These wonderful things could be puzzles in the game!

Or how about messing with your mind more with these Invisible rays? All sort of different puzzles can come out of it like sickness around and its so easy to figure out and it could be radiation!
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Even puzzles where you go about analyzing the environment like a scientist and needing the right equipment for doing so.
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Re: Idea: Women & family in Cyan games.

Postby wstrohm » Sat Apr 23, 2016 8:45 am

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Re: Idea: Women & family in Cyan games.

Postby Anna Catherine » Fri May 13, 2016 4:41 pm

Women can enjoy games for reasons other than how "emotional" they are, just as men can. Personally as a female gamer, I can enjoy a story-driven adventure like Life Is Strange, a story-driven RPG from Bioware, a wide open Bethsoft sandbox, a creepy atmospheric Darkling Room indie horror game, and a Cyan exploration/puzzle adventure... all for different reasons, and to get different things out of them. They don't all have to be the same to be fun, and in fact having a variety can be appealing in itself. It would be kind of a stereotype to think all women are looking for the same thing in our games.

I also don't think that Reddit has given you a very accurate idea of the Myst fan demographic. Myst was widely popular and sold a massive number of units. It captured a lot of sales beyond the traditional gamer market. If you go to the annual fan gathering, Mysterium (I've been to ten of them so I'm fairly confident I've seen an accurate sampling,) you will see a pretty even gender split and an age range from minors accompanied by their parents all the way up to retirees. You also generally see both male and female players on Myst-specific forums, though you can't always tell the gender from the name. So yes, there are women gamers... including those who like Myst! ;)

With that out of the way, some specifics:

Personally I really hope that Cyan will never define their player character protagonists within the game. Out of game hints and speculation are fine (like with the Stranger in Myst) but when I'm playing an exploration-based Cyan adventure, I want to be able to see from my own eyes rather than playing a character. I don't want Obduction to tell me whether I'm supposed to be female or male. I don't want it to give me a backstory or a pretend family. This isn't an RPG, and I'd rather experience the worlds as myself if I so choose rather than having to play through a persona. Just personal preference.

I actually think the Myst series did fairly well at requiring the player to consider human behavior and the personality of the characters beyond just solving puzzles to achieve the best ending in each game. (The one exception is Uru, if only because the player choices that were intended to be implemented via the online experience never quite came to fruition so there's just a single linear path to completion.) In Myst, you learn about both brothers and either decide to trust one of them or realize you need to find a third option. To complete Riven, you have to do something that would otherwise be suicidally insane, but by that point you should know enough about Gehn's personality to predict how he'll respond, thus you take the gamble. In Exile you have to not only consider the objective you're trying to achieve but also Saavedro's motives and goals at the same time; if you ignore him and just focus on the puzzles, you will fail, and the best possible ending is finding a mutually beneficial solution. In Myst IV, you again have to decide who to trust based on what you have learned about various characters' moral growth, conflicting appeals from the characters, and character observation based clues about what the truth is. By the end of Myst V, you should have serious misgivings about giving more power to either of the obvious candidates based on how they have handled power already, and those misgivings prompt you to find a different solution.

I would definitely like to see more of that in Obduction. At the same time, though, there's a really fine and highly subjective line between emotion and melodrama. (If I'm honest, Life Is Strange crossed that line for me a few times, but that's just a matter of taste.) I don't want to see Cyan just add more drama for drama's sake. This is ultimately an exploration game, not an episodic story-driven game, and I don't want them to lose sight of that.

Speaking for myself, I have played the Myst games multiple times. I do feel emotionally invested in the characters. I've been to the fan gatherings. I have a Myst-related tattoo on my shoulder. Etc. etc.

If you (general you, not specifically the OP) don't feel invested in Myst, that's fine. I would just say... don't confuse your own taste with objective fact and assume no one else was invested either. We all have different preferences, and for some of us, Myst really grabbed us and didn't let go.

I know some things are going to be different in Obduction than Myst, and I'm pretty excited about it. I just don't think Cyan needs to reinvent the game in a completely different genre to make it fun and engaging.
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Re: Idea: Women & family in Cyan games.

Postby HollyBluebird » Mon May 16, 2016 9:23 pm

I lost everything i wrote because it log me off. :( So i will summarize because its not so important.

I also have edited it as my links should be in another forum!

1. Cyan do not take ideas so i hope it changes so they can see the benefit of feedback.

2. About emotions and women in games?

I already posted this in the first post so here is the link again in case it was missed!
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/commentisfree/2014/feb/19/video-games-need-more-women-female-characters

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/18/52-percent-people-playing-games-women-industry-doesnt-know

http://www.developer-tech.com/news/2014 ... refer-fps/

3. I posted about how successful games can evolved in the feedback thread for Cyan. Does not mean it doesn't become a puzzle game anymore.
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Re: Women in Cyan

Postby Anna Catherine » Tue May 17, 2016 2:41 pm

Yes, I saw your article links.

But your assumption about the lack of female Myst fans just... isn't accurate. There are a lot of us, and I'm not sure how to engage in a discussion if that basic fact can't be acknowledged.

If you want to see for yourself, do an image search for "Mysterium Spokane" (or any other past location - it's just that if you don't specify a place, the results won't be con-related.) The photos will speak for themselves.
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Re: Women in Cyan

Postby Tomala » Tue May 17, 2016 2:58 pm

Anna Catherine wrote:But your assumption about the lack of female Myst fans just... isn't accurate.


I'd actually like to know where she's getting her data regarding female Myst fans and the lack thereof. I could understand this argument in other genres like FPS for example (and that continues to grow as well), but Myst?
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Re: Consequence & choice: Imagine Life is strange combine with M

Postby Fay » Sun Jun 26, 2016 5:49 am

HollyBluebird wrote:I do not know alot of girls who do play Myst games, even on reddit almost all are guys :( so just wanted to submit the idea.


I know I'm late to the party but I made the Obduction Facebook fan group that has 1429 members. I did a quick count of people who either look female or have an obviously female name. It doesn't include the more vague names or foreign names I do not understand. In total I counted 467 women in the group. It's safe to say plenty of women play or like the Myst games or are interested in playing Obduction. I've never felt like the Myst fan base lacked in women compared to some other game genres I've played.

I'm a woman and a passionate gamer. I play or have played so many games from pretty much all genres for most of my life, including games like life is strange up to games like Gears of War and everything in between. Women didn't used to be as common in certain types of games like Unreal Tournament but they were there. A lot of the time women don't advertise they are women in these type of games because they get harassed a lot by men in it. I've personally experienced this extensively when I used to play Jedi Academy. Although it's been getting much better in recent years.

However, in other games I almost always see a healthy mix of women and men. In MMO's, RPG communities, Puzzle Adventures etc. Things have come a long way from 15+ years ago and it's completely normal to see lots of women in most games. Including competitive ones like League of Legends or games like Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty. For example I've been running a raid team in Guild Wars 2 for about a year now and in that time we've had 7 women in the team not including myself. We currently have 3 in total.

My point is that there are plenty of female gamers in general and the puzzle genre has an especially larger percentage. From my experience 1/3rd to about 40% of gamers I meet are female. Your assumption that people aren't aware about how many women play seems off and I only really hear that sometimes now from teenage boys and they swiftly get proven otherwise.

Now to your second point about the emotions and such. I don't feel that it's an issue. The Myst series is full of family drama and good story. I also don't believe that an emotional game is required to appeal to women. That's coming from someone whose highly emotional and love stories I care about. But I also like grand theft auto which is about as masculine you're going to get. I like Distance, a car racing game with zero story nor emotions. While women tend to be more emotionally driven I think it's misguided to say those elements need to be present to appeal to women.

Don't get me wrong it's totally cool to suggest ideas and I liked a couple of them and while more puzzles involving emotional choices and outcomes like life is strange is cool that's just not the Myst series. They're unique in their own way and I don't think turning them into life is strange suits the series.

The assumption that people at Cyan don't know about female gamers seems odd to me. I feel you somehow got the wrong impression regarding women, gaming and how most gamers in general think about it.

Your pitch about how women play video games; The vast majority of people are already very aware. Especially Cyan whose always been thoughtful and respectful about its female characters and they are more than aware about their female fan base. It's kind of like your preaching to the choir.

I don't know where you got the assumption from that things were as you assumed but Reddit is an awful way to find the gender ratio, what with it being completely anonymous and people rarely bring up their gender. I reddit and I never thought about being one of the few women on there, including the Myst subreddit, because I just don't think that's remotely true. Reddit is very gender neutral in content as far as I'm concerned.

I'm just really confused to be honest because from all the games out there this is one of the last I would complain about in regards to female characters and representation. And I complained at plenty of games (Assassin's Creed debacle anyone? Overwatch?) and I constantly stand up for female gamers and push for better characters and better representation.

But I really don't see where you're coming from at all with this one. I'm literally sitting here dumbfounded. I almost feel like your assumptions are borderline disrespectful. Like it kind of comes across a bit like you assume Cyan and the Myst community are just a boys only club for nerds who obviously never seen a girl gamer before. It's just really strange. I mean I don't know if that's how you meant it to get across but that's what it came across like to me. It also came across like you haven't actually played the games and read the books or you would've known about the strong female characters in it.

You're desire for life is strange kind of elements is a fair suggestion but to me you're then just talking about a whole different game. I'm sure someone will build more games like that. I just don't agree that myst should be one of those personally. I love how the puzzles work, the story, the characters etc.
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