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WFTO Wednesday #26: The Succubus

Simburgur

Managing Director
Brightrock Games
Nov 10, 2011
2,864
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Brighton, UK
www.twitter.com
#61
I'm sorry, I don't quite understand what you mean by that statement. It sounds as if you're saying that the inclusion of succubii is essentially wish fulfilment on the part of you as developers, but I get the feeling that I'm reading that wrong.
Actually the inclusion of the Succubus was to fill a specific archetype that the fans really wanted in the game, but we couldn't fill with exactly what they wanted... that's a bit cryptic but it should make sense.
For the record, I don't believe that you're making this design decision (nor any other) out of malice or anything like that. It's just that I think the trend of games catering almost exclusively to straight men when there are so many others out there who enjoy them as well is unfortunate and something that should ultimately be counteracted when possible. And you are catering to that specific demographic with the succubus, whether that's intentional or not - just read the posts in this thread t athare all jokes and comments about how sexy she looks for that to be clear.
I totally understand. Not being part of that demographic, it was a tough call for me to make. This character was sexualized specifically due to what she is, though, not because we want to cater to a specific audience. We probably won't be going quite this far with any other character before release (although there's one or two that are sort of half way there). However, post-release is another story... the time may come when it makes sense to do a similar male character... ;)
 

Simburgur

Managing Director
Brightrock Games
Nov 10, 2011
2,864
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Brighton, UK
www.twitter.com
#64
Is why I added "generally speaking". Wow people are nitpicky today.
I didn't know I had to be a diplomat.
Sorry, that wasn't meant as an attack. I was just pointing out that as part of the straight male demographic it's difficult to understand this point from the outside, and comments like that are basically proof of that. It's not necessarily wrong, it's just how it is.

Edit: To put it in perspective, it's just like saying something like "I think we can all agree, generally speaking, that we are all right-handed." As a right-handed person, you really have little frame of reference when it comes to the difficulties that can be faced by being left-handed, because everything pretty much just works for you. And again that's not inherently bad, it's just natural.
 
May 16, 2013
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#65
Description of Beguile tells me that one Succubus can take one unit, nor every could take one and nor that each can take next one by another next.

I'm not entirely sure what this sentence means. Could you rephrase it?
 

Simburgur

Managing Director
Brightrock Games
Nov 10, 2011
2,864
1,979
725
27
Brighton, UK
www.twitter.com
#66
Clarification on Beguile: A Succubus can only Beguile one unit at a time. She is also pretty much made of paper, so she will pretty much always win against a single target, and pretty much always lose against multiple targets (when alone).
 

Tommonius

Necromancer
WFTO Backer
Dec 15, 2012
616
247
400
30
Wolverhampton
#67
Is why I added "generally speaking". Wow people are nitpicky today.
I didn't know I had to be a diplomat.
Honestly I think the opposite. Everyone has an opinion and That is cool. I note men are plastered all over media and often shirtless where as women are usually portrait more conservatively in Britain where as in France topless women can be in adverts.
 

Aelius

Bafu
WFTO Backer
Jan 18, 2013
170
87
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A Dungeon in Belgium
#68
I sure hope this game gains a lot of attention and many modders flood to create amazing things that will help cater to any demographic and individual tastes.
I personally want Everyone to be happy and get what they want and even though I would rather have it my way sometimes, at the end of the day I'm glad we're getting a spiritual successor in obviously capable hands. Even if you don't change a thing on the succubus or anything else as it stands, I'm perfectly content with that too.

:cool:
 
May 16, 2013
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#69
Clarification on Beguile: A Succubus can only Beguile one unit at a time. She is also pretty much made of paper, so she will pretty much always win against a single target, and pretty much always lose against multiple targets (when alone).

Based off of what I read though a beguiled unit can still attack any unit other than the beguiler, right? And can multiple Succubi Beguile the same unit?
 

Aelius

Bafu
WFTO Backer
Jan 18, 2013
170
87
255
34
A Dungeon in Belgium
#71
Honestly I think the opposite. Everyone has an opinion and That is cool. I note men are plastered all over media and often shirtless where as women are usually portrait more conservatively in Britain where as in France topless women can be in adverts.
Haha, yeah it's true. I currently live in Belgium where they're not as prudent as the Brits. Even the mannequins in the shop windows are sometimes left naked with stiff nipples like you've just stumbled in to the red light district of some obscure wax museum.
 

Woebin

Dwarven Worker
Jul 3, 2013
7
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Sweden
#72
However many of them wouldn't enjoy seeing a naked man walking around flirting with their minions, others would perhaps find it funny or quirky. Why a female instead then? Because I think we can all agree, generally speaking, that the female body is more appealing and falls in to the mainstream concepts we can all accept as beauty and seduction.
Actually, I personally won't enjoy seeing a naked woman walking around flirting with my minions, and I'm sure I'm not alone in that (although I concede that the number of people sharing this opinion is probably smaller than the number sharing yours). Also, as Simburgur excellently pointed out, we can't all agree that the female body is more appealing, and the mainstream concepts of beauty differ between cultures and time periods.

An argument could be made that the fantasy world they've made is grounded in medieval european culture (+magic that is real) and that the vast majority of males (and therefore soldiers) in that culture were straight males so a demon that takes advantage of human lust defending your dungeon is most effective as a female.
I'm sorry, but homosexuality existed in medieval Europe as well. Plus, there's historical basis for a male equivalent of the succubus (the incubus, mentioned more than once in this thread already).

Honestly untill the homo/bisexual male demographic is large enough to compensate for 90% of the male gamer demographic not buying a game because it's "that game for gay guys"* it's likely that mods (or nothing if no mods allowed) are the only way atm. Female gamers (well, straight ones) are in the same boat for the same reason.
I'd really like to think better of us as a species than to expect 90% of straight male gamers to reject a game because it has representations of other sexualities than their own (which, for the record, isn't even what I'm asking for; I figure an incubus would go for women, not necessarily men. I'm used enough to my sexuality being underrepresented to the point of nonexistence in video games that I hardly even bother arguing for that anymore).

That said, both the Mass Effect series, Fallout: New Vegas and Skyrim feature non-straight sexualities, and they still sold well enough to turn a profit. I think you're overly cynical in believing so many would object to it.

Finally, the distribution of genders among gamers is much closer to 50/50 than you might expect. Catering to straight male gamers at the exclusion of almost 50% of possible customers seems like a poor business decision, if nothing else.

I totally understand. Not being part of that demographic, it was a tough call for me to make. This character was sexualized specifically due to what she is, though, not because we want to cater to a specific audience. We probably won't be going quite this far with any other character before release (although there's one or two that are sort of half way there). However, post-release is another story... the time may come when it makes sense to do a similar male character... ;)
Thank you for the response. I can see the appeal of having a seducer-type character in the game, especially since it's something that was in the original Dungeon Keeper games as well, I just kind of wish we'd be past the femme fatale trope in doing so.

A friend of mine who has more of an understanding of animation than I do insists that it'd be no large feat to include a male equivalent of the succubus model and have it spawn with its sex randomly determined while working the same way mechanically. I don't wish to tell you how to do your job, but that does seem like a reasonable way to deal with it. I suppose a mod to that effect post-release should be doable.
 
May 16, 2013
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#73

Final question, I assume that they are melee only? (two part question as Beguile, Consume and Sunder are all tied to the Succubus' basic attack, but Soul fracture is separate and while the text suggests melee it's still worth checking)
 
May 16, 2013
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#74
I'm sorry, but homosexuality existed in medieval Europe as well. Plus, there's historical basis for a male equivalent of the succubus (the incubus, mentioned more than once in this thread already).
True, but to the best of my knowledge it was much less common than it was during even earlier periods (ie, when the Roman Empire was around) to the point where my statment about vast majorities is true.


I'd really like to think better of us as a species than to expect 90% of straight male gamers to reject a game because it has representations of other sexualities than their own (which, for the record, isn't even what I'm asking for; I figure an incubus would go for women, not necessarily men. I'm used enough to my sexuality being underrepresented to the point of nonexistence in video games that I hardly even bother arguing for that anymore).

That said, both the Mass Effect series, Fallout: New Vegas and Skyrim feature non-straight sexualities, and they still sold well enough to turn a profit. I think you're overly cynical in believing so many would object to it.
The cynic in me would like to point out that in all of those titles (to the best of my knowledge) all of that could be entirely avoided simply by choosing to romance a member of the opposite sex, which may have contributed. You do however make a good point that they weren't cast out to the cold for daring to include same-sex relationships, perhaps I am a bit too cynical.

Finally, the distribution of genders among gamers is much closer to 50/50 than you might expect. Catering to straight male gamers at the exclusion of almost 50% of possible customers seems like a poor business decision, if nothing else.
Honestly I'd need to see hard evidence that the distribution of core gamers (exclude the mobile market as that has a much greater reach than the console or pc market, and wfto isn't a mobile game anyway, or even a console game for that matter) is close to 50/50. Don't get me wrong, we're much closer than we used to be to it, but I would be very surprised if it wasn't closer to 80/20 than 50/50.

EDIT: Aaaaand, double post. I guess I got too used to this thread moving fast enough that there'd be multiple other posts between my posts especially with a post this long :p.
 

Aelius

Bafu
WFTO Backer
Jan 18, 2013
170
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A Dungeon in Belgium
#75
Actually, I personally won't enjoy seeing a naked woman walking around flirting with my minions, and I'm sure I'm not alone in that (although I concede that the number of people sharing this opinion is probably smaller than the number sharing yours). Also, as Simburgur excellently pointed out, we can't all agree that the female body is more appealing, and the mainstream concepts of beauty differ between cultures and time periods.

That's sad. I personally can see the beauty in both, but if I had a choice, I'd still prefer the Female version. I also prefer dark hair as opposed to light hair. Does that mean we need to make hundreds of models to satisfy everyone or scrap them all because we can't please the minorities? I don't think so.

There are Always exceptions to the rule. In todays society it is still widely accepted for both men and women that the Female sex is considered more seductive and prettier than males in most cultures and time periods. But of course, I'm sure we could have long conversations with the ancient Romans and Greeks telling us stories of a different kind.

They however, don't play computer games. Also, who says I'm right or left "handed". I might just well be ambidextrous. ;) lol
 

Noontide

Designer / Community Manager
Brightrock Games
Dec 8, 2012
2,144
1,776
700
Brighton, UK
#76
I'm going to start by saying I don't think this debate is suitable for this forum and I think it should move to the off-topic discussion if it goes anywhere at all, but I am going to add my little thoughts to the pot. Likewise any talks of sexism in video games or media in general should head elsewhere lest it derail this topic, I will not respond further than this post to any talk on either of these subjects. Please try to stay on topic, I'll allow some leeway as I just added my own contribution but soon I might ask you to stop talking about it here. Thanks :)

Actually, I personally won't enjoy seeing a naked woman walking around flirting with my minions, and I'm sure I'm not alone in that (although I concede that the number of people sharing this opinion is probably smaller than the number sharing yours).
I realise that it may not be enjoyable to you, maybe even uncomfortable for you to see, I do hope that it wouldn't be offensive to you though, as you say it's a definite heterosexual majority and I think that would be reflected in any fantasy world we as humans would generally portray, it's a matter of survival of species, the majority must be heterosexual for the continued existence of species, and usually men are more compelled by their base instincts than women, add to that adventurers are more likely to be men and it makes sense the succubus is the first choice.

What I'm aiming at here is people who are of homosexual orientation would be in the minority and likely reviled in many cultures for what is perceived as "Unnatural" (Not my belief) thus it is more likely heterosexual behavior be more open while homosexual behavior more secretive. I touch on the point a bit more in the next paragraph but what I'm getting at here is a realistic portrayal is difficult to achieve in such a game as this, I'll touch on that later.

I'm sorry, but homosexuality existed in medieval Europe as well. Plus, there's historical basis for a male equivalent of the succubus (the incubus, mentioned more than once in this thread already).
I think we can agree that people's varied sexuality has existed for as long back as people have, it's a part of what makes us unique and of course we should respect everyone regardless of their orientation. But the fact is that in many cases that homosexuality is reviled in cultures around the worlds and only now that our culture has developed so much can we begin to accept it more openly. In medieval times which fantasy is often based around this behavior would result in much worse than can happen today, meaning open homosexuality is significantly less likely.

I'd really like to think better of us as a species than to expect 90% of straight male gamers to reject a game because it has representations of other sexualities than their own (which, for the record, isn't even what I'm asking for; I figure an incubus would go for women, not necessarily men. I'm used enough to my sexuality being underrepresented to the point of nonexistence in video games that I hardly even bother arguing for that anymore).
I'd like to think so too, we should be understanding of all sexualities. I will admit that if I was to see openly homosexual behaviour in something it would make me slightly uncomfortable but I personally would not reject it because it shows that everyone is an individual but I do believe many would be uncomfortable like me with open homosexuality or depicitions of the male body but I'd like to think they wouldn't reject it. I do know I personally would try to avoid it wherever possible though.

With this I'm thinking of Game of Thrones, I don't know if you've seen it but it has some scenes between two men which made me uncomfortable but this did not make me reject the world or these characters because this is more what would happen, people fall in love or have other urges based on their sexuality, it's part of them and you can't change it.

That said, both the Mass Effect series, Fallout: New Vegas and Skyrim feature non-straight sexualities, and they still sold well enough to turn a profit. I think you're overly cynical in believing so many would object to it.
I think many would find it uncomfortable, and more would reject it outright than pure heterosexual behaviour if they were subjected to it forcefully. That said the games you touch on are RPG games where it is much easier to do such things and limit what the player interacts with, RPGs allow you to build believable characters with behaviours and this isn't something that could possibly be achieved with your creatures in WFTO.

Finally, the distribution of genders among gamers is much closer to 50/50 than you might expect. Catering to straight male gamers at the exclusion of almost 50% of possible customers seems like a poor business decision, if nothing else.
It's been said before but this is not to cater to the demographic. The Succubus is a well known mythological demon, and I think it's generally become clear that most people are comfortable with the concept of it given that it appears in a significant portion of fantasy. I find that generally Women are more comfortable with the female form than men are with the male form, but of course that's just what I've seen personally.

I'd also like to say that most studies I have seen in this area do not have very large sample sizes and do not take into account genre or subject of games played, without this data it's hard to tell how the gender split would stand for a game like WFTO.

Thank you for the response. I can see the appeal of having a seducer-type character in the game, especially since it's something that was in the original Dungeon Keeper games as well, I just kind of wish we'd be past the femme fatale trope in doing so.
I think the succubus makes sense in this role and by definition is a female demon with the power to control men and through demonic power women of all orientations to do their wishes. Most adventurers and creatures you're going to run up against are male and it's not unreasonable to assume that they would be attracted to demon's like this.

A friend of mine who has more of an understanding of animation than I do insists that it'd be no large feat to include a male equivalent of the succubus model and have it spawn with its sex randomly determined while working the same way mechanically. I don't wish to tell you how to do your job, but that does seem like a reasonable way to deal with it. I suppose a mod to that effect post-release should be doable.
The problem is having the development resources to commit time to what would essentially have little impact on the game itself, it's a question of shall we pull our art team away from development of stuff we don't yet have resources for and develop this to satisfy a minority of players while also risking that we might alienate or make a significant portion of other players uncomfortable? As it stands now it's too big and investment at this stage in development to really consider, as the gains from it would be extremely limited.

Originally it was toyed around with that there might be male and female versions of every unit where it was applicable but that was ultimately shot down because it wouldn't be a good use of the dev teams time and resources. If it's something the community really really wants perhaps we could revisit it in the future?

But this is what will be great once dungeoneer is available you will be able to add this in yourself if it takes your fancy.
 

RyanAvx

Disciple
Nov 6, 2012
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#78
Great design, nice to see some originality added to what's becoming a stale image! Look forward to seeing it alongside the rest of my dark army of otherworldly doom and bunnies mayhem.

>:3
 

Underlord Vulukai

Witch Doctor
WFTO Backer
Mar 11, 2013
666
351
440
The Void
www.youtube.com
#79
i feel that there is a very easy solution to this entire issue, while catering to both sides, and having a character equally capable of seducing both male and female enemy units:
http://warhammer40k.wikia.com/wiki/Slaanesh

Slaanesh, the Prince of Pleasure, or She Who Thirsts, is an excellent example of being able to take a being meant to and able to seduce either gender, being made to appear attractive to both while still being a blur in between both. This makes sense with the idea of a demon being able to appear attractive to anyone it encounters through the use of magic

*EDIT* this is not a cry to change the design, my personal view point of the model is that it looks great, this is just an option and an avenue that could be taken to have both, because while i agree that while chauvinism rules SOME of societies general outlooks of things, having an incubus able to seduce nothing but female characters, or both, as well as a succubus doing the same (because im certain we're speaking equality here, not catering to one side rather than the other) is an over all unnecessary addition of art resources for a unit that will accomplish the same thing regardless of its shown model. Having a mechanic in place to where they would only be able to beguile the opposite gender, with a 50% to beguile the same gender, while interesting in concept, would make things confusing in terms of tactical management, and over all wouldn't add much to the over all game either way.

Either way of thinking doesn't really bother me, and seeing Incubi in game doing their thing will probably appear just as goofy to me as Succubi, as i imagine little heart being blown to the unit if thinking in line with previous DMGs
 

RyanAvx

Disciple
Nov 6, 2012
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#80
Or you could just keep it as a Succubus and laugh at the misfortune and uncomfort of all those that don't agree.

We ARE Underlords, after all ;)
 
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