Female PCs and Gender Silliness

Sep 9, 2014, 3:53 am
#1
Joined: Dec 11, 2008
Posts: 1,770
Decided to make a topic since the shoutbox is becoming a bit crowded. I believe adding female players to the game as an option is well worth looking into.
Discuss anything related to female PCs and general gender related things here.

Currently, when armor is worn it covers up most defining features.
I've done a bit of research into how sprites work with respect to hair, so we can distinguish female characters from males when they're covered in armor: Hair renders below helmet sprites and above armor sprites, so long hair will show easily. The problems here are:


I like the idea of having female characters' hair grow longer instead of the beards males develop. I've been toying with a concept for WIS upgrades:

My only reservation here is that the male's wisest beard is pretty grand and impressive, and I'm not sure how to pull that off with the longer hair idea.

And here's how some longer hair looks with armor:


Here's some obscenely long hair but I think it looks a little ugly:


And if you're wondering how much room we have for messing with the head sprites? Well, we have the entire tile to work with:



If you feel like messing with the head sprites (including beards, helmets) for yourself, I've outlined which heads are used for the player in this crappy picture.
You'll be wanting to edit Humanoid.pcx with something like GIMP or photoshop or whatever can open it. Be very careful about saving it in exactly the same format as you opened it - for me on photoshop that meant editing the file directly, and thus limiting the amount of tools I could use. Photoshop's pcx format is NOT the same as the humanoid.pcx file, so I've been editing via copy/paste and pencil tool for changes and just hitting Save instead of Save As.
The file is also a little touchy about what colours are used, so be sure to only pick ones that are present on the file as it exists by using the eyedropper tool.
Sep 9, 2014, 3:44 pm
#2
Ernomouse's avatar
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From Ideas thread:

Ernomouse wrote
Gender -based ideas from the shoutbox and my magnificent mind:

- If we don't want misogyny in IVAN
* We might have to review the existing female characters as well (priestess of Silva, angels (?), mistresses, Sherarax...)
* Distinguishing sex when wearing armor becomes difficult -> long hair for woman PC should be visible under helmets

- Spells, god effects etc. to change sex during the game
* 3rd genderless gender, eunuch. Cannot be cured, severely limiting, hard to obtain, needed for just one thing to make it worthwhile. Maybe a special victory

- I'm thinking sex should change the game in more ways than appearance
* Female characters might train different stats better than male, for example.
* NPC's could react differently to male and female characters
* A female only dungeon of misogyny

EDIT: Added an important word, 'if'...

Somagu wrote
No. No no no. If we all decide that the females are "in poor taste" and need give them more modest clothes, or god forbid spare the women and children from dismemberment, then I'm leaving the community forever. IVAN doesn't need the only thing it takes seriously to be that.

For the record.

Pent wrote
Wouldn't distinguishing sex below full body armor only serve to walk the line of misogyny anyways? Female PCs are fine, but it should consist solely of separate player sprites, with no other major changes (only pronouns used by NPCs and such, maybe some alternate dialog).

In any case I'm completely with Somagu.

Somagu wrote
To clarify a bit, I'm not saying the female armors should be skimpy or fantasy-like, as it were. (Not that I would mind, but that's completely besides the point) I wouldn't have said anything to begin with, but most of the NPCs you mentioned were the ones with skimpy clothes.

IVAN is already full of inappropriate humor, but the even more pressing thing to me here is that it all makes sense in context. "Fixing" the problem by giving them more modest clothes seems poorly thought through, and more like being sensible for the sake of making the game more sensible, rather than addressing a serious issue. The game is obviously tongue firmly in cheek, and I think changing the mistresses makes for an odd and out-of-place moment of mixed intentions. The next thing we know, the banana grower encourager does not whip people anymore because somebody thinks it sends a racist message.

Hopefully, I've simply read too much into that little statement, but this is the way I feel about it, anyway.
Sep 9, 2014, 4:11 pm
#3
Ernomouse's avatar
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Somagu, you have a fair point, which is partly what I tried to raise in my post. Pardon my bad output, I've added one important word there.

The things I listed in the Ideas thread are the result of a frantic one minute brainstorm. They are IDEAS I wanted to share for everyones benefit, and some of them were already mentioned in the shoutbox. They are not something that are going to be implemented into IVAN as-is, they are ideas to be refined or discarded as the coders feel.

As I said in the shoutbox, I like the idea of 'realistic' female warriors. I like realism in any game I play. I enjoy my flight sims as realistic as they come. I enjoy my space adventures with Newtonian physics. My chosen FPS games will kill me with one bullet, and in my most played strategy games, well, at least my tanks don't have hit points. I am also appalled in the amount of sexism and misogyny (had to go to an online dictionary to make sure I got the word right) in games and the internet, and in our society.

You are right in that a 'realistic' female PC wouldn't fit to IVAN as it is now. I added the second point on my list for just that reason. The whole game needs to follow one style, so either we pick the existing one or modify the whole game accordingly. The new dews need to think this out before they do stuff.

Also, the boobs of a mistress are what, four pixels? What they look like won't make any kind of difference. The only thing that does is that IF the PC's sex makes a difference, the player HAS to know. Pent, it is true that forcing or denying certain kind of behavior based on PC's sex is misogyny, it is also, in our culture and world and even more so in IVAN's, realism. As long as the average girl sees herself weaker as the average boy, that generally is true. Even if genes didn't pay any role the culture and our norms certainly do.

I also like the idea that the player can take the same setting and take two completely different routes and still achieve the same outcome. This is the best kind of equality. The old RPG genre classes are a good example of this (actually, a really bad one), you have to take a very different approach to the game with a warrior compared to a wizard. Having the gender affect the game has the potential to add a nice fresh strategic level to the game, especially if you could swap between the two (or three) genders freely.

So anyway, yes, I get exited about stuff relatively easily, and my ideas are not always up for a closer inspection. So by all means, inspect them, and shoot them down if you spot a flaw - that's how I learn, and we get the best out of our small community. Or at least that's how you get me to think my own ideas through and explain them better...
Sep 9, 2014, 5:24 pm
#4
Joined: Dec 11, 2008
Posts: 1,770
I think Smag was more saying that he doesn't like the idea of changing the already existing skimpy females to fit a more realistic or "covered-up" standard since it goes against the spirit of IVAN. E.g. mistresses should remain exactly as they are in appearance, since they are in fact BDSM monsters, servants of Nefas the goddess of greed and forbidden pleasures.
The current inadequately dressed women in the game all make sense in context, as smag said in the ideas thread.

What we can do in order to have our realistic female warriors is simply add some. There's no reason why we can't add some female guards or knights or something to satisfy our appropriately clothed/armored warrior women criteria while also keeping the old mistresses, priestess and slaves as they were. We can also easily make female variants of currently existing humanoids and individually tweak their stats if we so chose.

Quote
The only thing that does is that IF the PC's sex makes a difference, the player HAS to know. Pent, it is true that forcing or denying certain kind of behavior based on PC's sex is misogyny, it is also, in our culture and world and even more so in IVAN's, realism.
I agree that the PC should be able to easily tell if they're female and also that if it has any impact on the game world it should be known (or actually, unknown until the player stumbles upon it like most of the game's tricks and traps). Appearance wise that's what we're going for with the long hair sprites.
What I don't agree with is not denying some things based on the PC's gender simply because that'd be misogyny/misandry - so long as it's either played for humor or makes sense within context.
e.g. Our proposed female-only dungeon could make a lot of sense if it is guarded by, say, our proposed realistic female warriors who actively turn away males and block the entrance because they don't like men.

What would be bad sexism wise is denying basic gameplay elements based on gender (e.g. the smith refuses to fix armor if you're a woman, or charges more for his services). I'm all for making a few things that are denied to one gender or the other, but it shouldn't be the norm for all things, rather just a novel thing for a few situations - e.g. Pent's idea of unique dialog lines and Warheck's dungeons of misogyny.
Sep 9, 2014, 5:37 pm
#5
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Yep. Azba nailed it on the head there. It shouldn't affect basic things like prices or services (No matter how much "realistic" sense it might make) as much as it should something gimmicky, that the player can take advantage of at a higher level of play.

As it is, however, freely changing gender steps on other people's toes. That is my point. You cannot please everyone. No matter what you do, especially in this day and age, you will offend a lot of people. Lots of groups are extremely touchy (See: tumblr) about even the very smallest of issues, and cracking even the lightest of jokes about gender will invariably send them off into a rant about how you are literally worse than Hitler. So, keeping that in mind, don't try to be overly careful about not offending people.
Sep 9, 2014, 5:51 pm
#6
Joined: Dec 11, 2008
Posts: 1,770
On the topic of changing genders, I will again voice my opinion that forced transformations by hostile mages would be a fun idea. This is something that caught me out in Dark Souls 2 and was appropriately funny because it took me a while to realize what had happened.

With the addition of gimmicky gender-based things, actively chasing after hostile mages in the hope that they'll zap your genitals so you can e.g. get into the dungeon of misogyny would be fun and challenging. With appropriate tactics a smart player could take advantage of both male-only gimmicks and female-only gimmicks (and eunuch gimmicks?)

Smag's right though, the moment gender and gender change becomes a thing people start getting pissy. The best we can do is take a level-headed and sensible approach to it and not try to cater to the more zealous people who get angry if you so much as do anything.
Sep 9, 2014, 5:59 pm
#7
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Heh perhaps I shouldn't have threatened to script a misogynist dungeon.
Can I point out that the game assigns talents to the pc, and that this is a nice way of incorporating variations irrespective of preselected gender.
We can also sourcedive the mutant bunny breeding subsystem to investigate ways that gender, and to that end breeding, is manifested in the game.
I think we can safely and successfully implement sex into the game, no problem.

Edit: it would be fun to see the first high priestess of the great frog.
Sep 9, 2014, 6:43 pm
#8
Joined: Feb 20, 2012
Posts: 231
I don't want any involvement in a discussion on perceived misogyny or any similar bullshit, so I'll just say this:

It's IVAN. We are pretty much the only people who will see it anyways, so it doesn't matter if some preteen girls on tumblr would be offended by it.
Sep 11, 2014, 5:47 am
#9
Joined: Dec 4, 2007
Posts: 180
I must admit, the entire thing seems fascinating; but dancing around the issues and worrying about offending someone is slightly a moot point. As Pent says, we are basically the only people who will see it... Plus, at least we won't take the Rogue's Tale route of it. (Where female characters get -1 to STR and +1 to CHA.)
Sep 11, 2014, 7:00 pm
#10
Joined: Dec 11, 2008
Posts: 1,770
During my daily perusal of IVAN's documents, I discovered that there was in fact an idea for a liquid that would change the player's gender:

Material Ideas II.txt, line 17
cursed water of Nyanneechuan		changes the gender of a male player

And also some uh, other things:

testosterone				strength & beard growth
estrogen				breast growth
Sep 11, 2014, 10:28 pm
#11
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... "Nyanneechuan"?
Oct 31, 2016, 10:38 am
#12
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What if there was a 50/50 chance to start the game as either male or female? I would find it quite fun.
Oct 31, 2016, 12:02 pm
#13
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I approve of this resurrection.

Sex and gender is something I've thought about in IVAN. Would be fine if it was completely cosmetic, IMO. I don't think changing game functionality based on sex (or gender) would be a good idea, though.

I am intentionally including gender there. There is some fun to be had playing around with male women and female men, etc. And if we offend some conservatives with this stuff, hell, I don't think they were ever going to like IVAN anyway.

Besides, sex change is already a thing in games. See: Munchkin.
Oct 31, 2016, 12:10 pm
#14
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Ischaldirh wrote
Would be fine if it was completely cosmetic, IMO.

I would also be for cosmetic gender.

Ischaldirh wrote
Besides, sex change is already a thing in games.

I would love to see the cursed water of Nyanneechuan in-game.

BTW, I'm for using a godiva-haired female sprite. We're starting as slaves in tropical village. Not much of a chance for our heroine to wear fur bra.
Oct 31, 2016, 1:01 pm
#15
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I'm fine with it being cosmetic only but I would also be fine with female having slightly smaller size / str, and much higher int / wis

Joking around but would love this change.

IVAN does seem a little different from most roguelikes. Seems like 99% of them allow you some customization when you start out. Did the IVAN devs do it differently intentionally to keep it simple or to keep everyone on the same path?
Oct 31, 2016, 1:41 pm
#16
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red_kangaroo wrote
BTW, I'm for using a godiva-haired female sprite. We're starting as slaves in tropical village. Not much of a chance for our heroine to wear fur bra.

I liked all the work 4zb4 did to show us the female sprites with the long hair. I approve of this resurrection too.
Oct 31, 2016, 2:01 pm
#17
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Whomever takes this up should also change the women in Attnam to not be so useless. Right now all the men science talk and all the women just complain about men.
Nov 1, 2016, 1:27 am
#18
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I think that might be intentional...?
Nov 1, 2016, 6:26 am
#19
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IVAN has a loooooot of gender issues, many of which have been addressed here, but this is still going to be a beanplatingly long post.
And I'm going to preface it by saying that I love IVAN and have a lot of fun playing it. The following criticism is intended to gather together areas of possible improvement so that it can become an even better game.

There are currently three sexes extant in IVAN: male, female, and undefined. Gender is only present in names and dialogue, rather than mechanics and code, and each character's pronouns are determined by their sex: he, she, or it. The default sex for a creature is undefined, but the default for a humanoid is male.

A fourth sex, transsexual, is defined in the code but unused, and if my reading of character::GetPersonalPronoun() etc. is correct they would also use 'she' pronouns. According to Doc/Obsolete/Main.txt it was intended to be 'something between the three'. In the nicest possible terms, that is total fucking bullshit. 'Transgender' or 'trans' is currently preferred. Neither 'transsexual', 'transgender', nor 'trans' is a sex or a gender; it is used to qualify existing genders. For example, a woman may be a trans woman, a man may be transgender , a nonbinary person may be trans. Being trans is distinct from being intersex (which describes someone's sex) or nonbinary (which describes someone's gender).

At the moment the full list of female humans and nonhumans appearing in IVAN is:
* goddesses of love and art; health and nutrition; nature; assassins and thieves; forbidden pleasures; mutations, disease, and famine; wrong knowledge and vile magic;
* the priestess of Silva;
* the enner girl; ~
* the dolphins;
* Petrus's wives; #@~
* the housewives; #@~
* the female slaves; @~
* all mistresses including Sherarax; @
* all angels including archangels; ~
* Genetrix Vesana;
* the female carnivorous mutant bunnies (though their sex is undefined);
* the female tourist. @~

Notice how many of them have an identity solely defined in-game by being someone's wife (#). There is exactly one male NPC referred to as a husband (and it's not the name displayed in-game). The only humans (@) in the list who science talk are the mistresses, and they're as effective as puppies and hunters (though that's for the best since the player can spawn unlimited friendly mistresses). Especially prominent as being unable to science talk is the priestess of Silva. Many female characters' friendly dialogue lines are at least 33% about male characters (~). Yes, I chose that percentage bound in order to write lots of ~s. More female humans should science talk. Their roles in towns should be diversified by adding new NPCs and/or changing the gender of existing NPCs. Some of their dialogue should be replaced.

The full list of humanoids with sex specified as 'undefined' is:
* goblins
* golems
* zombies
* imps
* werewolves
* kobolds
* gibberlings
* orcs
All of them are non-human, except for zombies who may be made of human flesh. The eunuch guard is not included here (he is male), which means that a character's sex attribute does not refer to their genitalia, or at least not their gonads. Identifying almost all nonhuman humanoids that appear in game as having undefined sex muddies the interpretation of the sex attribute further. Are these species composed entirely of sexless clones? Does the player only encounter warrior individuals, who are sexless clones? Does the player character only regard humans and beings with high charisma as having sex or gender? I think the correct interpretation of IVAN's sex attribute is 'pronouns', since that is the only effect it has on gameplay. The sex attribute should probably be renamed to pronouns. From here on I will generally talk about characters' pronouns rather than their presentation, gender, or sex (which are all different things), except when relevant.

In general the pronouns we use for sentient beings should correspond to the referent's gender (or stated pronoun choice), rather than their sex or presentation. When we use pronouns to refer to animals the choice matters much less, since it's is generally not likely to be offended. If it has an owner they may disagree.

Many of the nonhuman humanoids in IVAN (kobolds, goblins, orcs at least) use tools and have names and hierarchical societies, and are in constant contact with representatives of gendered human societies (Attnam, the dark knights, mistresses). It's not unreasonable to suppose that gender roles would arise in these cultures (the existence of a kobold patriarch and goblin king confirms it in two out of three cases) and be communicated during nonhostile interactions with humans (probably dark knights and mistresses).

Using 'it' as a pronoun to refer to another human who has not explicitly asked for that pronoun is in most cases (including all the use cases in IVAN's log text) very disrespectful, and during nonhostile interactions with intelligent nonhuman humanoids as hypothesised above, we could reasonably suppose that 'it' would not be in use for long. The pronoun attribute of intelligent nonhuman humanoid characters should probably be set to something other than 'it'.

If gender in these cultures is similar to current Attnamese culture as it currently appears in-game then they may have a strict gender binary; if it developed independently, then like real-world human cultures they may have a variety of non-binary gender identities which may or may not use pronouns other than 'he', 'she', and 'it', for example 'they' (which would require alternative verb conjugation for much of the game text) or 'zie' (which wouldn't). It may be a beneficial to add a fourth option 'they' or 'zie' to the pronoun attribute, or split it into 5 text attributes which do not have hardcoded values (subject, object, possessive dependent, possessive independent, reflexive). This would also accommodate nonbinary player characters.

Currently all humanoid characters share a pronoun set with all other characters made from the same character prototype. There is one humanoid prototype (tourists) which has paired male and female configurations; my understanding is that these configurations are also separate character prototypes. The implication of this is that all non-tourist/priest occupations represented in the world of IVAN are strictly gender segregated. In the crapsack theocratic/capitalist/patriarchal hellholes of Attnam and occupied Tweraif this (along with other sexist institutions like palm-leaf-waving female slaves as background decoration, and the limited dialogue options of female NPCs in town) may be thematic and unsurprising, but it is reasonable to suppose that some of the other cultures represented in the game (especially angels) could have less rigid gender roles, and even Attnam could be retconned into something less sexist. I would suggest either making configurations with different pronoun sets or randomising spawned characters' pronouns, for some or all of the non-unique character prototypes of intelligent races.

As a sprite game with 16x16 tiles each packing so much information into a small space, I'm not sure that titillating presumed straight male players by having 'she' pronoun player characters be topless by default with 2x2 pixel breasts is a grave concern. If Tweraifian culture includes female nipples being taboo, then probably even under Decos's rule it wouldn't be difficult to obtain some garment for them. If Tweraifian culture doesn't include that taboo, shrug.

'She' pronoun player characters (and more) would be a very good addition to the game. Presentation (so far reflected in the alternative hair sprites, which are great), gender, and sex are separate attributes which correlate strongly in Western culture, and need not necessarily correlate in IVAN. People of any gender can have or not have beards, breasts, and long hair. Player choice of pronouns and presentation is an interesting issue. At present the player chooses nothing directly at birth; colours, stats, and training rates are randomly assigned at birth. Before I discuss gender issues at birth I'll talk about stats.

Currently it is possible to start-scum by looking at the new character's stats, comparing them to desired minimum values, and restarting the game until satisfied. Angband used to work like this, and had the same grindy optimal play at birth. Later it implemented an autoroller. The player types in minimum stat values, and the game rolls tens of thousands of characters until it hits a maximum or the requirements are satisfied. A few versions later the maintainer realised that was a terrible mechanic and replaced it with a point-based system. You have 20 points and you spend them to increase stats. Leftover points (used to) increase your starting gold. The standard roller (one character per keypress, no highscore left behind) is still in the game for some reason. IVAN may have a penchant for needless cruelty, but it can still learn from Angband here. Manually scumming for start stats is a bad mechanic, worse when it takes 8 keypresses and a loading screen for each new character. Automating the process is not a big improvement. The only good way to implement varying stats at birth is with a point-based system.

So, if the player can assign points to stats at birth, suddenly there is an appropriate point in the game for the player to state their preferences about the PC's appearance (long or short hair, beard or no beard, chest shape and possible covering, hair and skin colours) and pronouns (a field to type in just like their name). Possibly also gender, and sex if that ever becomes an attribute that exists in-game. If these options did become available, some NPC dialogue (Kaethos, mistresses, housewives) would have to be altered to remove the implication that the player character is white and male.

An alternative possibly more in line with IVAN's style is to make all of these attributes independently variable at birth and randomly chosen. But following the same arguments as stat assignments, it would make more sense to let the player spend points to choose them at birth (and avoid random assignment). Another possibility is to take the Rust approach and fix the player's appearance and pronouns for all games by using eg. the computer's MAC address to seed the birth RNG.

In conclusion, wow there sure is a lot of work to be done!

TL;DR?
* Remove "TRANSGENDER" from "Sex" attribute enumeration
* Rename attribute "Sex" to "Pronouns" and change the enumeration values appropriately
* More diverse women in towns
* More human women science talking
* Women talking more often about things that aren't men
* Kobolds, Goblins, Orcs (maybe more) should not have 'it' pronouns
* Add 'they' option to Pronouns attribute, or split Pronouns into 5 text attributes
* Long hair good
* Do not make any of Pronouns, beard, long hair, chest attributes fully dependent on another; at most they may be correlated
* Make randomly spawning humanoids have randomised Pronouns, beard, hair, chest attributes
* Change some town NPCs' Pronouns attribute and/or add new NPCs who aren't men
* Let the player have any Pronouns attribute
* Spend points to increase stats at birth
* Choose skin colour, hair colour, hairstyle, beardability, chest shape, and pronouns at birth, using points if you feel cruel

Also, why are there so many rape jokes in the website's random quote box? If we want to decrease misogyny in the game, we should also try to decrease the misogyny on the website.
Nov 1, 2016, 8:01 am
#20
Joined: Apr 2, 2014
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Serin-Delaunay wrote
IVAN has a loooooot of gender issues, many of which have been addressed here.

And many of which should remain in my opinion, because they paint the crapsack world of IVAN. Some, however, should be addressed.

Serin-Delaunay wrote
* Rename attribute "Sex" to "Pronouns"

I don't think it's that important to rename something no-one but people looking at source will concern themselves about... but if anyone is willing to do it, I say let them.

Serin-Delaunay wrote
* More diverse women in towns

I'm strongly against removing the "crapsack theocratic/capitalist/patriarchal hellholes of Attnam and New Attnam" feel you talk about. The sexism is "justified" in that it gives the Attnamese society the feel of being wrong. As I said above, Attnamese sexism paints a nice crapsack picture of the IVAN world.

However, I would love to see more female NPCs in new towns. Mondedr is supposed to be a town free of Attnamese influence. I believe it could be nice to make it evident from the dialogue of Mondedr NPCs how different the points of view of Attnam and Mondedr are, about women and everything.

I also have some ideas about Tweraifian freedom fighters being mostly female force. They couldn't have just disappeared, right? Neither could they have been all sold as slaves.

Serin-Delaunay wrote
* More human women science talking

Definitely. Especially the priestess.

Serin-Delaunay wrote
* Women talking more often about things that aren't men

Why not, but the lines better be interesting and/or funny! No need to add lines just for the sake of not talking about men.

Serin-Delaunay wrote
* Kobolds, Goblins, Orcs (maybe more) should not have 'it' pronouns

I actually like that they are refrered to as "it". In most RPG games, the humans behave as if they owned the world. Most heroes slaughter "lesser races" with no regard to them being intelligent beings. Again, it paints a nice Picture of the crooked perspective of all humans in IVAN that these races are "it". It is and should be seen as derogatory, as the humans feel as a superior race.

Let it remain. We could add some female NPCs for these races, though. Orc woad warriors and such. Still referred to as "it".

Serin-Delaunay wrote
* Add 'they' option to Pronouns attribute, or split Pronouns into 5 text attributes

I don't think that's such a good idea. Using 'they' or 'zie' in the way you describe is a neologism that would confuse the heck out of most players. And my eyes would hurt reading 'zie'. Please, don't use 'zie'.

Serin-Delaunay wrote
* Long hair good



Serin-Delaunay wrote
* Make randomly spawning humanoids have randomised Pronouns, beard, hair, chest attributes

OK, but no bearded mistresses, I dare you. Leaving all dwarves with beards but making some female would be hilarious (see Terry Pratchet).

Generally, I think it depends on the particular creature. Some should remain one gender race because of rule of fun, some should be changed.

Serin-Delaunay wrote
* Change some town NPCs' Pronouns attribute and/or add new NPCs who aren't men

Add new towns to contrast with Attnam, leave Attnam be the sexism crapsack dictatorship it is now.

Serin-Delaunay wrote
* Let the player have any Pronouns attribute
* Spend points to increase stats at birth

I really like the simple beginning the game has now. Other roguelikes may take quite a while to create a PC in, but IVAN just let's you start and build yourself in-game. Especially for new players, this might be an interesting boon as opposed to contrieved character creation.

That said, eh, I probably don't care one way or another.

Serin-Delaunay wrote
* Choose skin colour, hair colour, hairstyle, beardability, and pronouns at birth, using points if you feel cruel

See "contrieved character creation" above.

And I really, really love the quote Kaethos has about your white skin and violent personality. Again, it makes a nice piece of background for me and I would loath to see it go.

If everyone agrees to have variable skin color, though...

Serin-Delaunay wrote
Also, why are there so many rape jokes in the website's random quote box? If we want to decrease misogyny in the game, we should also try to decrease the misogyny on the website.

I guess because these are quotes from young male fandom.

EDIT:

Not actually a gendre issuve, but I would *love* to have a town of non-human NPCs. Kobold families with whelps, baby orcs, goblin grannies...

EDIT 2:

Going by humanoid creatures and whether they should be of varied gandre and appearence:

Angel - I actually like they are all female. Not a reason for this, I just like it.
Dark knight - Should be both male and female. No need to change their appearance, they're all wearing heavy armor.
Dark mage - Should be both male and female. I request at least one skimpy sorceress, though, beacause reasons and rule of fun!
Gibberling - What are actually those? I think they could even remain genderless, a weird underground creature.
Goblin - Should be both male and female, but described as "it" in game messages, because humans see them as lesser race.
Golem - Genderless.
Imp - I have no idea if they have or don't have sex. Female imps would be OK, though.
Invisible stalker - Genderless.
Dwarf - Should be both male and female, but both with massive beards. Because rule of fun and Terry Pratchet.
Kobold - Should be both male and female, but described as "it" in game messages, because humans see them as lesser race.
Mistress - Female-only, definitely. They are the counterwieght to Attnamese patriarchism. Attnam is misogynistic, mistresses hate males, so we have both extremes covered, which I really like.
Necromancer - Should be both male and female. No need to change their appearance, they're all wearing masks and robes.
Orc - Should be both male and female, but described as "it" in game messages, because humans see them as lesser race.
Punisher - They are only found as torturers in my PR of Attnam Catacombs. I would say it's fine for them to be male-only, but eh.
Siren - Female-only. Don't go the DCSS route. (In their hunt for "correctness", they removed mermaids because they are by definition female and using their female charms to goad males. I say let the mythology be!)
Skeleton - "It", even if they were fe/male before.
Werewolf - Should be both male and female. Female human-form werewolf sprite would be awsome!
Zombie - "It", even if they were fe/male before.
Farmer+hunter+wife - See "sexistic Attnam", these are OK as they are. Same goes to male-only guards, banana growers and female slaves.

Adding female named uniques would be great, but probably wait until new towns are introduced. Attnam does not deserve female NPCs.
Nov 1, 2016, 9:17 am
#21
Joined: Apr 9, 2016
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red_kangaroo wrote
And many of which should remain in my opinion, because they paint the crapsack world of IVAN. Some, however, should be addressed.
Agreed.
red_kangaroo wrote
I don't think it's that important to rename something no-one but people looking at source will concern themselves about... but if anyone is willing to do it, I say let them.
I think naming variables accurately is important to writing maintainable code. In particular, if sex-gated dungeons are added then an actual sex attribute will need to be added for them to work. And at present that attribute would clash with the pronouns attribute which is currently named 'Sex'.

red_kangaroo wrote
I'm strongly against removing the "crapsack theocratic/capitalist/patriarchal hellholes of Attnam and New Attnam" feel you talk about. The sexism is "justified" in that it gives the Attnamese society the feel of being wrong. As I said above, Attnamese sexism paints a nice crapsack picture of the IVAN world.
Agreed. But there need to be locations actually existing in the game that reflect more liberal models of society. The most recent update added a new town and new dungeon rooms with no Petrus/Decos influence and even those are entirely populated by men.
red_kangaroo wrote
However, I would love to see more female NPCs in new towns. Mondedr is supposed to be a town free of Attnamese influence. I believe it could be nice to make it evident from the dialogue of Mondedr NPCs how different the points of view of Attnam and Mondedr are, about women and everything.
Yes please.
red_kangaroo wrote
I also have some ideas about Tweraifian freedom fighters being mostly female force. They couldn't have just disappeared, right? Neither could they have been all sold as slaves.
Ples yease.
red_kangaroo wrote
Definitely. Especially the priestess.
Yep.
red_kangaroo wrote
Why not, but the lines better be interesting and/or funny! No need to add lines just for the sake of not talking about men.
Most of the lines about men aren't that funny anyway. Except "he's that farmer who's just been mugged with a frying pan."
red_kangaroo wrote
I actually like that they are refrered to as "it". In most RPG games, the humans behave as if they owned the world. Most heroes slaughter "lesser races" with no regard to them being intelligent beings. Again, it paints a nice Picture of the crooked perspective of all humans in IVAN that these races are "it". It is and should be seen as derogatory, as the humans feel as a superior race.
I did consider this perspective, and it does paint an appropriate picture of Attnamese culture, but I'm not sure that either the game's narrator or the player character necessarily subscribe to this viewpoint. Human cultures (the dark knighthood, mistresses, Mondedr?) that have been in friendly contact with eg. orc societies would not preserve usage of 'it' for long if they found the relationship worth maintaining. Also, dwarves are exempt from this rule despite their generally unfavourable disposition and methods. A likely explanation for this is that Attnamese society in employing kamikaze dwarves took the same trajectory from 'it' to gendered pronouns as I am proposing the dark knighthood did. Since the player can ally themselves with chaotic gods and factions, it would make sense for the narrator to be capable of both kinds of usage.

What pronouns would be used for elves if they ever appear in-game? Why?

If usage of 'it' for intelligent nonhuman humanoids is supposed to reflect the player's bias against species or characters they consider inferior because of their appearance, perhaps charisma should be a factor that overrides a character's pronouns attribute and uses 'it' instead. For instance, orcs, kobolds, and goblins could all be given 'he', 'she', or 'they' pronouns, but any character (human or nonhuman) with charisma less than half the player's charisma would be referred to as 'it'. The more charismatic the player becomes, the more of a disrespectful asshole they become.
red_kangaroo wrote
I don't think that's such a good idea. Using 'they' or 'zie' in the way you describe is a neologism that would confuse the heck out of most players. And my eyes would hurt reading 'zie'. Please, don't use 'zie'.
If singular they should be excluded from consideration because it's a neologism, then all of the game text should be rewritten in Middle English. Wikipedia
I would be content with 'zie' and other actually neologistic pronouns not added to the game, but I'll assert that their use would not be nearly as confusing as you suggest. Probably the two most common uses of personal pronouns in IVAN are when looking at a character and being hit by a character with a weapon.
Quote
Fryndal the quartermaster is standing here. Zie doesn't care about you.
Sherarax the mistress monarch slashes you in the right arm with hir spider silk chameleon whip +5! Your right arm bleeds very badly.
red_kangaroo wrote
OK, but no bearded mistresses, I dare you. Leaving all dwarves with beards but making some female would be hilarious (see Terry Pratchet).
None of the mistresses are wise enough to grow beards. But if you fed Sherarax enough ommel cerumen...

red_kangaroo wrote
Generally, I think it depends on the particular creature. Some should remain one gender race because of rule of fun, some should be changed.
Agreed. Sexism manifests differently in different cultures, but that doesn't mean IVAN humans or Attnam are likely to be the only ones that develop strict gender roles.

red_kangaroo wrote
Add new towns to contrast with Attnam, leave Attnam be the sexism crapsack dictatorship it is now.
Sounds good. Xinroch's tomb should be a part of that contrast too.

red_kangaroo wrote
I really like the simple beginning the game has now. Other roguelikes may take quite a while to create a PC in, but IVAN just let's you start and build yourself in-game. Especially for new players, this might be an interesting boon as opposed to contrieved character creation.
Agreed. I like that you can go directly into the gameplay without spending too long customising. Well, except for the two story screens. And the several restarts if you decide you want to try to win.

red_kangaroo wrote
And I really, really love the quote Kaethos has about your white skin and violent personality. Again, it makes a nice piece of background for me and I would loath to see it go.

If everyone agrees to have variable skin color, though...
I like that quote too, but IVAN devs are an inventive bunch, I'm sure they could find something equally striking
red_kangaroo wrote
I guess because these are quotes from young male fandom.
It might be easier to get more input about the game from people who aren't cis men if the game's only community website didn't have text that's directly hostile to them on the front page.

red_kangaroo wrote
Not actually a gendre issuve, but I would *love* to have a town of non-human NPCs. Kobold families with whelps, baby orcs, goblin grannies...
Love it.
And it is a gender issue because of how these species' sex and gender are currently represented in game (by which I mean not represented).
Nov 1, 2016, 9:21 am
#22
Joined: Apr 9, 2016
Occupation: Priestx of Sophos
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In the meantime, if you'd like to play the pronounflip version of IVAN, replace your Script/char.dat with this. (sexes, genders, and presentation are mostly unchanged)

I'm gonna try and win IFAN with Claudia Donovan and her faithful dog Trailer now.
Nov 1, 2016, 9:49 am
#23
Joined: Apr 2, 2014
Location: North Tyris
Posts: 615
Serin-Delaunay wrote
Except "he's that farmer who's just been mugged with a frying pan."

Yes, this one is great.

Serin-Delaunay wrote
If usage of 'it' for intelligent nonhuman humanoids is supposed to reflect the player's bias against species or characters they consider inferior because of their appearance, perhaps charisma should be a factor that overrides a character's pronouns attribute and uses 'it' instead. For instance, orcs, kobolds, and goblins could all be given 'he', 'she', or 'they' pronouns, but any character (human or nonhuman) with charisma less than half the player's charisma would be referred to as 'it'. The more charismatic the player becomes, the more of a disrespectful asshole they become.

This. This so much! I LOVE it.

Serin-Delaunay wrote
'zie' and stuff

If I read this in game, I would probably report a typo. But I'm not a native speaker, so it might be much less confusing a word for other than I think.

Serin-Delaunay wrote
Xinroch's tomb should be a part of that contrast too.

Yup.

Thinking about it, a nice first step, if fejoa is not against it, would be to have the terrifying tomb guard master be a kind and polite woman (and still a deadly warrior).

Serin-Delaunay wrote
Agreed. I like that you can go directly into the gameplay without spending too long customising. Well, except for the two story screens. And the several restarts if you decide you want to try to win.

/sarcasm

We should probably decide whether we wish to somehow remove start scumming and have quick easy starts, or go full point buy.

Serin-Delaunay wrote
And it is a gender issue because of how these species' sex and gender are currently represented in game (by which I mean not represented).

That's one thing I always hated in RPGs. PC (half-)orcs are treated with some respect (even if begrudging). NPC orcs are slaughtered. I'm generalizing, but it's quite common.
Nov 1, 2016, 10:29 am
#24
Joined: Apr 9, 2016
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Serin-Delaunay wrote
If usage of 'it' for intelligent nonhuman humanoids is supposed to reflect the player's bias against species or characters they consider inferior because of their appearance, perhaps charisma should be a factor that overrides a character's pronouns attribute and uses 'it' instead. For instance, orcs, kobolds, and goblins could all be given 'he', 'she', or 'they' pronouns, but any character (human or nonhuman) with charisma less than half the player's charisma would be referred to as 'it'. The more charismatic the player becomes, the more of a disrespectful asshole they become.
red_kangaroo wrote
This. This so much! I LOVE it.
Thinking again, the meaning of the charisma stat in most RPGs that have it (and presumably IVAN) is a bit broader than just appearance; it also includes a broad range of social skills useful to the player. Disrespecting other characters by misgendering them is not really compatible with these social skills, so that usage would have to be confined to "private" speech (ie. the game's text log), and not spoken lines like "Oh my frog, they've got a golden eagle feather head of Elpuri!".
Or, calling people 'it' would be something that low-charisma characters do.
In any case, adding an explicit misgendering mechanic to the game is probably something to be left until after the game's problems with representation and roles for non-male characters are fixed. It's very IVANish, but I can't say that misgendering is something that needs to be a normal occurrence in the game.
Nov 1, 2016, 11:57 am
#25
capristo's avatar
The Imperialist


Joined: Dec 2, 2007
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Are there a lot of rape jokes in the quotes? The only one I see is:

Quote
Ah, the internet. Giving voiceless, pubescent young teens a place to rant about everyone in their lives to a bunch of people who either think it's funny or want to rape them. I love you, Internet.

Which is sadly a factual observation.. I'm ok with removing it though. Attached the list of quotes, I don't see any other offensive ones. I think it's possible to be too PC
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