Anyone who thinks women are ruining gaming is ruining gaming.
I just don’t understand where this concept of ‘fake geek girls’ came from. Like, AT ALL.
Cus when I look for fandom related stuff like 90% of the fan art and the fanfiction and the meta, zines, comics, etc. Like 90% of the shit that I’ve seen is created by women & girls.
And all that stuff take’s a lot of work and research and critical analysis and staring at reference photos for hours.
We are literally the most well versed and invested group in the fandom. So, like, What the fuck boys? You mad you can’t keep up?
I saw an argument, and I can’t find it now, but it totally made sense, that there’s a gender split in fandom. Male fandom tends to be a curator fandom; male fandom collects, organizes, and memorizes facts and figures. Male fandom tends to be KEEPERS of the canon; the fandom places great weight on those who have the biggest collection, the deepest knowledge of obscure subjects, the first appearances, creators, character interactions.
Female fandom is creative. Females create fanart, cosplay, fanwritings. Female fandom ALTERS canon, for the simple reason that canon does not serve female fandom. In order for it to fit the ‘outsider’ (female, queer, POC), the canon must be attacked and rebuilt, and that takes creation.
"Male" fandom devalues this contribution to fandom, because it is not the ‘right’ kind of fandom. "Girls only cosplay for attention, they’re not REAL fans!" "Fanfiction is full of stupid Mary Sues, girls only do it so they can make out with the main character!" "I, a male artist, have done this pin-up work and can put it in my portfolio! You, a female artist, have drawn stupid fanart, and it’s not appropriate to use as a professional reference!"
In the mind of people who decry the ‘fake geek girl,’ this fandom is not as worthy. It damages, or in their mind, destroys the canon. What is the point of memorizing every possible romantic entanglement of heterosexual white Danny Rand if someone turns around and creates a fanwork depicting him as a bisexual female of Asian descent (thus subverting Rand’s creepy ‘white savior’ origins)? When Danny Rand becomes Dani Rand, their power is lessened. What is important to them ceases to be the focus of the discussion. Creation and curatorship can work in tandom, but typically, in fandom, they are on opposite poles.
This is not to say that there aren’t brilliant male cosplayers or smashing female trivia experts, this is to say that the need of the individual fan is met with opposing concepts: In order for me to find myself in comics, I need to make that space for myself, and that is a creative force. Het white cis males are more likely to do anything possible to defend and preserve the canon because the canon is built to cater to them.
Time is part of it, but the main issue isn’t time so much as constraints. Modders get to set their own schedule, and they don’t need to worry about things like performance, technical constraints, localization requirements, certification requirements, or scheduling requirements. What you usually see with mods is the best-case scenario. This is how nice things could look. But as developers, we can never live in the land of best case. Our world is full of people trying to break the game, getting themselves stuck in awful circumstances, getting to the worst case scenario and staying there. It’s our job to make sure that those scenarios aren’t eye-gougingly bad.
Hair specifically is expensive and extremely tricky to get right. In reality, hair can bend and flex in almost every which way, at almost any point in its length. You can take a strand of hair and loop it practically wherever you want. Hair can curl, it can swell, it can snap, it can shrink, it has all sorts of behaviors. It catches the light in different (nonuniform) ways, and requires a lot to make it look right.
In games, this doesn’t work because we can only animate based on a finite number of animation bones. If the model doesn’t have bones attached, it won’t move. It will clip through the character model’s shoulders, back, arms, etc. And it looks almost comically awful if the character turns or tilts his or her head because it doesn’t move, like helmet hair. It will look especially bad if you have outfits or models that don’t play well with big or long hair. It’s one of the reasons why most games keep hair short. It’s also one of the minor reasons why so many protagonists are male - men in western society tend to have much shorter hair than women, so you don’t need a complicated animation rig to handle realistic-looking hair.
The typical human head has around 100,000-150,000 hairs on it, and that’s way too much data to simulate on the fly at 1080p at 60 frames per second. Rapunzel (from the movie Tangled in the states… or Rapunzel anywhere else, really) had only 173 hairs on her head and it took them an entire render farm to simulate it. That’s definitely not feasible for games today, even if we optimize it down to the extent that Disney did. And even then, you can’t guarantee that you won’t have errors in the field either.
This isn’t to say we aren’t trying. Hair technology improvements are a big deal, and it’s one of the few areas that the hardware companies are looking to improve things. Take AMD’s TressFX technology, for example.
It still looks kind of funny, but we’ve finally got some real time hair strand simulation. There aren’t really that many of them, and it’s still extremely limited in scope (it’s only her ponytail and bangs that get simulated). There was also a significant performance hit when players enabled TressFX - hair calculations don’t come cheap! It’s the main reason why Lara was the only character in the entire game with hair simulation on. This is one of the things that affected their character design - all of the other characters besides Lara had hair that was short, unmoving, and didn’t require simulation.
What you often see with mods (especially with hair) is the best that things can be - it’s a prototype. Modders rarely have to deal with constraints like performance, deadlines, clipping, cert requirements, etc. Unfortunately for us, developers are held to a higher standard - we can’t just live in the world of best-case scenario, but we have to guard against all of the worst case scenarios… and the sort of cost involved with fixing those worst case scenarios is (currently) just too cost-prohibitive for us to put in the really nice-looking hair simulation that we’d love to if we could.
This is all very true.
I’ve noted, when it comes to hair mods, that it’s not always that mods are the best that things can be but rather that mods have a lower bar for quality expectation — meaning that, if what you’re really interested in is new hairstyles for your character, you’re unlikely to mind things like awkward hair animation or clipping very much.
That’s not going to be true for the fanbase at large — although, if I’m completely honest, I think the people who are most concerned about things like clipping are, in fact, our own artists and animators. I imagine it’s tied up in their (understandable and justified) pride in their own work, but I really doubt there’s any fan who worries about clipping as much as they do. To an almost paranoid degree, actually.
But to say that, just because some fans out there don’t mind things like clipping, that none do… that would not be true.
Of course, then you have other fans who like to cherry-pick features from one game and say “why can’t your game do this?” — ignoring, of course, all the other features of that other game which they sacrificed in order to get the one they cherry-picked to that level. If you read between the lines in the stuff askagamedev talks about, you’ll see that game development is a shell game — you are always giving up one thing in order to get something else. You kill your darlings so that the others might live, and if you’re not the sort of person who can mercilessly pick which of your beloved children are your favorite then you will not survive in game design.
It does make it mildly insulting when someone comes along later and suggest that the darlings you killed didn’t have to be killed at all, like they know better — Frank down the street didn’t kill his darlings, right? (And you’re thinking, “hey… didn’t Frank used to have fourteen children and now mysteriously only has seven? Or did I go insane during the last crunch?”) But you’ll have to forgive them, because there’s no reason why they would know the truth… and, I suspect, every gamer deep down suspects the only reason a given feature doesn’t make into a game is because the game dev hates them and hates freedom.
(modding l4d2 is SO MUCH FUN)
This is the greatest GTA clone of All Time (x)
I would pay good money for Bioware to release a video of voice acting bloopers