jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)

By Joe Parlock on Polygon:

I racked my brain to think of games featuring autistic characters that have stood out to me, and four came to mind. All of these characters are different kinds of people with autism, and some of them can be interpreted as positive representations. They also bring to light the tropes and stereotypes surrounding the condition that made me so worried about people finding out I have autism.

He uses the "person with autism" wording that a lot of people (like me) find unpleasant. But as long as we're now letting women and PoC talk about those kinds of characters in video games, we should also be listening to disabled people's thoughts on how disability is portrayed.

Personally, as an autistic person who plays video games one of my favourite portrayals is in Final Fantasy XIV Online. Your player character is shown talking to people occasionally, but words are never put in her mouth. And her somewhat-muted, frequently nonverbal reactions in cutscenes make her easy for me to identify with.

At any rate, I can't recommend the last game Parlock suggests enough.

jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)

So, I'm reading Final Fantasy series fans' criticisms of Final Fantasy XIII and its spinoffs, as found in the comment section of this article and the apparently-widespread attitudes that it addresses. They seem to amount to:

The story is weird and convoluted, and the characters are unlikeable anime stereotypes.

As someone who's played and/or watched Advent Children, Kingdom Hearts, FFVII: Crisis Core, FFXI: Chains of Promathia, and Final Fantasy IX, I have to wonder ... are we talking about the same series of games here? Are we even on the same planet?

Yes, the first half of FFXIII was more or less linear. So was a lot of FFX, as I recall. And Cloud Strife, FFVII's protagonist, was getting flack for being an emotionless anime stereotype with unbelievable weapons and hair since before it was cool.

Here's where I think the real issue is. This is the first half an hour or so of Final Fantasy XIII's gameplay, but you should be able to spot what "mainstream" gamers don't like about it in the first five minutes.

Click here if you can't see the video, or if you'd like to skip the 30 seconds where the player configures game options.

Notice something about the protagonists? That's right. The first two that we see on-camera are a white woman and a black man. The white woman never gets a love interest, and the black man never stops being the Voice of Reason and standing up to white characters.

Now take a look at this footage of a LAN party.

Click here if you cannot see the video.

What do pretty much all of the gamers there have in common? What two characteristics do virtually all of them have in common? And if you answer with parts of their anatomy, I will slap you.

That is all.

jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)

First off, unless you are triggered by romance or 16-bit pixel art you need to stop what you're doing, and buy the current Humble Bundle for $1. Just so you can play To The Moon.

Click here if you cannot see the video.

It's extremely touching, and the best portrayal of autistic people in any media I've ever seen. Just be sure to bring lots of tissues for when you play it.

Secondly, the dood what does the Errant Signal videos is now asking for donations via Patreon. He writes some extremely insightful (and amusing) video game critique, and excels at explaining both a) why a particular game caught on with so many people and b) what's problematic about it and video game culture as a whole.

Here's an example of his work:

Click here if you cannot see the video.

And here's where he asks for supporters:

Click here if you cannot see the video.

He's pretty awesome, IMO. >_>

jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)

It's like the freaking WordPress of tabletop RPGs.‏

Everyone uses it. Everyone knows how to extend it. Everyone knows how to break it. Nobody cares that it's broken.‏

The people who love it most are the ones who make money off of selling stuff for it so you don't have to write your own.

It wasn't as bad in the 3.5 days. 3.5 classes were as bare-bones as you can get. Some of the rules were really messed up (how the heck does polymorph work, anyway!?), and Pathfinder fixed some of those and clarified some things that were ambiguous.‏

But the biggest thing Pathfinder added was options. Loads of options. Tons of options. Lots more system complexity. Lots more moving parts bolted on, until it was like a blinged-out drag racer with fins and chrome hubcaps and flashing police lights.

Ranting and explanation )

I'm trying to think how to take the good parts from both 3.5 and Pathfinder. Here's what I'm thinking of so far:

From D&D 3.5

  • The basic core mechanics. How most spells work. How most classes work. Cleric domains. Each class should be only a page or two long in description. Psionic stuff's probably okay as optional add-ons.

From Unearthed Arcana

  • Action Points, ideally as the only secondary resource for most classes. Being able to add a +1d6 bonus to any roll you make really makes level 1 characters feel more heroic, and takes the frustration out of missing your attacks and skill checks.

  • Spell Points instead of spells per day. Clerics, Druids, and Wizards still prepare spells each day, but they cast them with Spell Points, which makes it feel more worthwhile to experiment with interesting spells because it's not as much of a waste if you never cast them. Plus everyone gets the concept of "mana" or "MP" more readily.

  • Certain optional class archetypes. Monk fighting styles aren't much more complicated than Wizard schools. Paladins shouldn't have to be Lawful Good to begin with. Whirling Frenzy is a neat Rage variant. So long as they don't add too many moving parts to keep track of, I'm cool with thematic abilities.

From Pathfinder

  • Advanced Race Guide rules for creating a species, but trimmed waaaay the heck down to stuff that'd be useful for anthros.

  • Certain bloodlines, mysteries, and the like could be simulated using feats, maybe. It'd be sort of like 4e multiclassing: You gain a class skill and a cool ability, maybe one for your familiar too if you have one. Higher-tier abilities depend on the lower-tier feats. Don't have enough feats? Take an Unearthed Arcana weakness, why don't you.

  • Clarifications on some spells, like polymorph.

  • Character traits, just as options. If you want you can take another feat instead. Could probably make these a lot simpler than Pathfinder has it, anyway, especially since most of the traits seem like reprints of each other (+1 to a combat stat, +1 to a skill and it's now a class skill).

Jury's still out on whether Combat Manoeuvres are an improvement on how 3.5 handles it. I think that they're doable as long as we make them an optional system, and stuff all the "fancy tricks you do in combat" into it.

We're open to suggestions and stuff.

jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)

Content note: Misogyny, and the catchiest chorus about death threats you will ever get stuck in your head.


Click here to watch on YouTube.

The song's lyrics come pretty much directly from Leigh Alexander's satirical review of Grand Theft Auto V. You can read it here, and hear her audio performance of it here (autoplaying audio).

*sings* Games are about feeling powerful, and yo~u getting your way ...

jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)
In part 1, I summarized how I feel about human society and what they've done to the rest of the world. Now I'm going to go over different human-created technologies, and ways we can use them to tell our own stories and create our own worlds. I feel that this is a way we can both help otherkin and other marginalized people, as well as attack the most powerful humans directly.

So here's a breakdown of what's involved in creating the experience of becoming one's fursona or true self, and how hard each step might be to implement.

Read more... )

Sorry for the drowsy rambling. We sort of had to work this out for ourselves. We're open to suggestions, offers of assistance, and anything else anyone would like to add.

Edit: Oh wow you guys look at this http://danielribeiro.github.com/WebGLCraft/ It's an open-source tech demo for playing a Minecraft-style game in your browser. There are other things like it out there. Just imagine what could be done with this, like for creating scenes you could RP in or games and stuff. Virtual legos don't need to be able to run Tekkit, they just need to let you build things!
jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)
d20 has a lot of unpleasant entry barriers and can be just outright unintuitive at times, because there was "legacy code" from D&D they had to leave in or the D&D player base would have thrown a fit. >_<

-- [personal profile] rev_yurodivy, Piecing it together
A d20 is a twenty-sided die, and the one that you roll to do basically everything in Pathfinder. It's also the name of the system that Pathfinder built on top of, that was used for the last edition of Dungeons and Dragons.

The fact that it's a continuation of Dungeons and Dragons is one of the biggest things to understand about Pathfinder, and why it did certain things the way that it did. Despite changing hands from TSR to Wizards of the Coast in the 90's, and getting an update in the form of that d20 system (which was used for most of the 2000's), D&D was still recognizably the same game as it was in the 70's. A lot of things had changed, but enough things -- races, classes, levels, magic items, and game terminology like "saving throws" -- were still there just like always.

Pathfinder is like that, and a big part of the reason is ...

Read more... )

So, putting it all together, I don't think the "legacy code" matters so much in the end as a story that people want to get into, and a presentation that makes it easy for them. Pathfinder's "Beginner Box" was exceptional for this, and I'd love to have something like it that was specific to our world and characters.

If anyone's read this far, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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We tell stories, paint minis, collect identity words, and share them all with our readers. If something we write helps you, let us know.

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