Drag Option

Developing the charatcer creation process in Heroes and Villains

Drag Option

Unread postby Rattus » Wed Mar 12, 2014 11:40 am

One thing I've yet to see in any costume customizer is the option to put female hair, clothes and make-up on a male toon, and vice versa, meaning you can't make a super-tranvestite-character. I am not kidding, I'm for real here, please please please please please make this happen, I WILL SUBSCRIBE IF YOU DO THIS!

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Re: Drag Option

Unread postby Golden Girl » Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:03 pm

The issue here would be technical, rather than anything related to the rating of the game - while something like makeup is just texture based, actual clothing models are set of to conform to the body sliders, which work in different ways between the genders, especially something like the chest slider, so it's not just a matter of tweaking the shape a bit, it'd need a completed reformatting of the model to fit the other gender.
And that's when we have to start thinking about the return on the development time and effort needed for doing it - when we're just a small indie project trying to compete with over 8 years of professional costume content in CoH, we really have to focus on costume options that will appeal to as many different players as possible, and have as many different uses as possible.
Related to this, there's also the consideration of how well it fits into a comic book game world, which is why you're much more likely to see us produce combat boots rather than fluffy slippers, for example.
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Re: Drag Option

Unread postby StAngelius » Thu Mar 13, 2014 6:48 am

Sadly, very few game developers are brave enough to challenge the gender binary in their character customisation options. Only 2 game francises I know of allow male characters to wear female clothes and females characters to wear male clothes.

One of those is the Saints Row series from the second game onwards. In the first Saints row game the PC was a male character who gets blown up on a boat at the games close. The second game starts with the PC in prison after considerable "Reconstructive plastic surgery" and the ability to choose to play as a male or female character. Characters you meet during the game from the first game in will comment that "something is different" about the character and ask if they "did something to their hair" and no big deal is made of it other than that. The male character model and female character models both have the same set of morphing "sliders" and the male chest slider starts out as increasing Pectoral size and if kept going to max turns into "Moobs" complete with a bra.

The next game series is the Fable games. Again, the first game only had a male PC but the second game onwards alowed the choice of male or female. all clothes bought or found in the world can be worn by either male or female characters, and actually have a "cross-dressing" rating for when worn by a character of the oposite gender from which would normally wear it. There is even a quest availible after the completion of the main game in Fable 2 where the prize is a "Potion of Transmogrification" which has to be used before leaving the dungeon or lost forever, and has the effect of changing the sex of the player. So in Fable 2 it is actually posible to actually play the game as a Trans* character with the final reward being a full sex change so that the PC's sex matches their gender.

As I say though, most game designers will never allow this kind of option as it can upset the sensibilitites of certain types of people. The option for skirts and other female gendered clothing for male toon was met by the devs with a resounding "we have no plans to include this", and many of the vocal forumites with a "no thanks, this is City of Heroes not City of Trannies". When push, the devs main reason for rejecting the idea was "Too little interest for it" Which will be the cry here, and in most other games ever made. Simply because too few players, or potential players, would welcome the feature as opposed to the amount of people who would hate the the feature. The other major argument against it in CoH, and likely here is that it is incompatable with the supuerhero/comic book setting, even though there has been at least 1 cross dressing super hero in the past. And I'm not talking about SheZow either, but Madame Fatal.

As a Trans* person myself, though the options availible in the Saints row and Fable games are nice, and refreshing, generally If in a game with a customisable character I want to play a Trans* character, then I will choose to play with the character model for the identifying gender and role play the Trans* aspect. If you want the character ot only be a Part time Trans* person, (cross dresser or transvestite), then you could,under the CoH system, which I assume H&V will duplicate, have Different costumes using different player models, some female models, some male. Where as, if you were wanting to play a full time, serious Trans* person I don't know why you would want to play anything other than thier identifying gender, Female for a FtM or male as a MtF.

After 6 years of playing CoH, in the final year, I finally created a Trans* character, Rainbow Pride. She was a FtM Trans* person and used the female player model. The only way to know she was Trans* was to read her bio, or if she happened to be in her Trans* Pride flag costume rather than her Gay Pride flag or Bisexual Pride flag costumes and recognised it as such, as only a small handful of people on the virtue server did. (I was full up only my home server, defiant, and the EU RP server union)
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Re: Drag Option

Unread postby Golden Girl » Thu Mar 13, 2014 10:02 am

Hereos - and Vilalins - come in all shapes, sizes, colors and genders, so it's not really a question of only accepting the "default" settings of women and men - every design decision we make is based on the simple question of how much work it'll take, how many players will use it, how flexible it is for multiple uses, and how it fits into a comic book world.
That's why on our rather long list of essential costume parts that we've drawn up, there's no wizard hat, for example - it'd proably appeal to several players, but it fails the flexilbity and comic book tests, and as we're aiming to have all hats also show the player's hair, it also means that any hat needs quite a bit of work to make.
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Re: Drag Option

Unread postby Rattus » Thu Mar 13, 2014 10:18 am

Golden Girl wrote:The issue here would be technical, rather than anything related to the rating of the game - while something like makeup is just texture based, actual clothing models are set of to conform to the body sliders, which work in different ways between the genders, especially something like the chest slider, so it's not just a matter of tweaking the shape a bit, it'd need a completed reformatting of the model to fit the other gender.
I thought this might be the case, but my technical expertise here is almost none.
Golden Girl wrote:And that's when we have to start thinking about the return on the development time and effort needed for doing it - when we're just a small indie project trying to compete with over 8 years of professional costume content in CoH, we really have to focus on costume options that will appeal to as many different players as possible, and have as many different uses as possible.
Related to this, there's also the consideration of how well it fits into a comic book game world, which is why you're much more likely to see us produce combat boots rather than fluffy slippers, for example.
Well superhero comics are nothing if not colourful, they encompass just about everything in pop culture, plus while they have a certain male demographic to consider for the most part, they're not generally shy about dealing with issues like this without being graphic or exploitative. I hope HaV can do the same, eventually, but I take your point.
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Re: Drag Option

Unread postby Rattus » Thu Mar 13, 2014 10:27 am

StAngelius wrote:As I say though, most game designers will never allow this kind of option as it can upset the sensibilitites of certain types of people. The option for skirts and other female gendered clothing for male toon was met by the devs with a resounding "we have no plans to include this", and many of the vocal forumites with a "no thanks, this is City of Heroes not City of Trannies".
:roll: I can imagine.

StAngelius wrote:As a Trans* person myself, though the options availible in the Saints row and Fable games are nice, and refreshing, generally If in a game with a customisable character I want to play a Trans* character, then I will choose to play with the character model for the identifying gender and role play the Trans* aspect. If you want the character ot only be a Part time Trans* person, (cross dresser or transvestite), then you could,under the CoH system, which I assume H&V will duplicate, have Different costumes using different player models, some female models, some male. Where as, if you were wanting to play a full time, serious Trans* person I don't know why you would want to play anything other than thier identifying gender, Female for a FtM or male as a MtF.

After 6 years of playing CoH, in the final year, I finally created a Trans* character, Rainbow Pride. She was a FtM Trans* person and used the female player model. The only way to know she was Trans* was to read her bio, or if she happened to be in her Trans* Pride flag costume rather than her Gay Pride flag or Bisexual Pride flag costumes and recognised it as such, as only a small handful of people on the virtue server did. (I was full up only my home server, defiant, and the EU RP server union)

I also had a transgendered toon on CoH, just using a female base and mix of gender-oriented clothes which the costume-creator allowed, such as top hat, one of the trench-coats with waistcoat, thigh-length boots etc. The bio-description just indicated they were trans in the third person without giving details of from which gender to which they made the switch. This is always an option, but it's a shame, as superhero mmos seem a very appropriate setting to give this option (not that any setting should be inappropriate).
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Re: Drag Option

Unread postby Rigger » Fri Mar 14, 2014 6:28 am

StAngelius wrote:... it can upset the sensibilitites of certain types of people.

Why would it upset people if it doesn't affect them?

HA HA HA HA HA!

Oh, I kill me.
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Re: Drag Option

Unread postby StAngelius » Fri Mar 14, 2014 8:49 am

Rigger wrote:
StAngelius wrote:... it can upset the sensibilitites of certain types of people.

Why would it upset people if it doesn't affect them?


I don't know why it does, but it does. My very existance does for some people.
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Re: Drag Option

Unread postby Golden Girl » Fri Mar 14, 2014 4:44 pm

While there were some jerks in the CoH community, it was still a pretty open and tolerant one, so I don't think that you need to worry about the HaV community not being any less welcoming to everyone.
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Re: Drag Option

Unread postby StAngelius » Sat Mar 15, 2014 5:50 am

Oh, Don't worry GG, I know that, I was speaking more to the world at large than the CoH or H&V communities. :)
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