EDIT: Hey, guys, this is becoming a super hard thread to follow, but majugi has done a great job of summarising the story so far. MOST of the time it’s been a really constructive discussion. To help keep it that way, please consider reading the summary posts below before chiming in! Thanks!
And also, adapted from several posts Chris Remo has made on this topic, the Chris Remo Charter For Posting About This In A Civil Manner
It makes absolutely no difference whether an idea comes from a minority or a majority or one person or two people or a poll of people or any other number of people. All that matters is whether the idea resonates with the team and can be integrated in a way that is additive and fun and compelling. That’s it. Nothing is going to end up in the game without undergoing the same testing and tuning that any other feature would.
I really don’t appreciate accusations of “pandering” on this. We’re not going to put anything into the game that we don’t personally want to see in the game. Period.
1. We are ultimately the ones who are developing MASSIVE CHALICE.
2. We want this to be a great game. We will principally make our decisions based on that goal.
3. Community feedback and involvement is extremely important to us as an avenue to share development of the game, gather ideas, and simply have fun. It is not a poll-based design-by-committee situation where we will make final game decisions based on how many people are advocating for or against one idea, or how vociferously it is argued for or against. We have gotten lots of great ideas from the community about LOTS of different parts of the game, and each of those ideas that ends up in the game is subject to the same design scrutiny.
4. Ideas can come from anywhere.
5. No decision decisions are—or even can be—truly set in stone until the game is done.
6. Let’s all chill out.
7. Video games.
I thought I would move this conversation over here because I don’t mean it to flood the welcome topic with this. Here’s the story so far:
This is perhaps a minor point, but with the focus on bloodlines it’s hard to see how there could be any same sex relationships in the game, which is a shame because I always love it when that’s an option to play around with, like in The Sims or Fable or (eventually) Mass Effect. But man, if there was some way to acknowledge ‘em that worked with the core gameplay then I’d sure appreciate seeing it.
The thing to keep in mind about that mechanic is that these are ultimately strategic marriages to foster powerful bloodlines—they’re entirely about producing heirs, basically. I mean, theoretically speaking, in the kingdom there may well be same-sex couples who have fulfilling romantic relationships outside the context of gameplay, but this game isn’t a relationship simulator in that sense. These are arranged marriages for strategic goals.
N.B. Some other people had some cool ideas in the other post too, but I didn’t want to copy the whole thing, so feel free to reiterate them here too! Didn’t want it to seem like I was ignoring you
Disclaimer: I’m not trying to imply that the game or anyone making it is being homophobic or anything like that. Just asking people to consider the message that some of their design choices might inadvertently send. You know I love these guys and I’m not trying to stir up anything. So please keep it friendly and don’t anyone accuse me of being ‘oversensitive’. I’m not making a fuss, just pointing something out.
So, to respond: thanks for the reply, Chris. I understand that it’s not a relationship simulator, and I see your point but can you at least see how the subtext of: “same sex couples might exist, but the only way to be a useful member of society and protect our future is to settle down and have kids” might be a little troubling? I know it’s not what’s intended by the mechanic, but it is a side effect of it.
Cards on the table: I’m a gay guy and I have been lucky in that I’ve never suffered much because of it. But I still have to deal with society’s assumptions about what you need to do to be the most productive member of society. One of the things that closeted gay people hear over and over again is “hey, when are you going to settle down and have kids?” or even when they’re younger it’s talked about like it’s an inevitability.
So maybe that’s why what seems to most people like an innocuous and innovative game mechanic seems to me like you’re accidentally making a game about making the best possible heterosexuals.
I think there might be a solution to this that would actually make the game more strategically rich though:
What if bloodlines weren’t the only possible major strategic output from a marriage? At the moment the game is only about raising particular kinds of kid, but all that time raising kids could instead be spent making something else that’s really awesome like researching special armour or new combat techniques or magic spells that you can’t get via normal research. Maybe if you want to research the most effective special spells then you need two particularly strong mages and your two strongest mages right now happen to be two females. So they get together and they don’t have kids but they do discover a wicked awesome attack that could then be learned by other future mages, which might be a worthwhile trade off.