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Which of these describes your feelings?
1. I would not play the game if all the characters WEREN'T furries. 11%  11%  [ 24 ]
2. I would not play the game if my character couldn't be a furry. 12%  12%  [ 26 ]
3. I would still play the game if the characters were just humanoids. 1%  1%  [ 2 ]
4. I would still play the game if the character races included both humanoids and furries. 20%  20%  [ 45 ]
5. I would LOVE to play the game if the characters were just humanoids. 2%  2%  [ 5 ]
6. I would LOVE to play the game if the character races included both humanoids and furries. 9%  9%  [ 19 ]
7. I would still play this game no matter what. I really don't care one way or the other. 40%  40%  [ 88 ]
8. My feelings are complicated! (explain) 6%  6%  [ 13 ]
Total votes : 222
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 Post subject: Skyrates Avatars
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 3:49 pm 
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There has been some discussion about the avatars in Skyrates. In particular, the fact that they are (for lack of a better word) furries.

First, I'll go into a bit of why the avatars currently are furries. It really comes down to three things.

1. Our artist was good at them.

2. It enables our art to be more characterful without risking being offensive (like how the Boars look somewhat fascist).

3. It makes the concept of floating islands easier to believe.

Over time, the furries have also given the game quite a lot of character, and help add to the light-hearted feel of the game.

However, there are some potential negatives associated with the avatars. It definitely causes some people to be less interested in playing it because they worry the game is a 'furry game' rather than a 'game with some furry characters in it.' We have no real idea how big this number (seeing as those people never played the game), and we're interested in potentially expanding our game's appeal.

However, we definitely don't want to lose all the character established for the game, nor do we want to lose the light hearted feel of it. Even if we were to go for just human avatars (which I am in NO WAY saying we're going to do), the characters could still be cartoonish.

Also, do note that if we were to suddenly decide to switch the racial make-up of the game, this would not erase the previously recorded backstory and history of the game. That stuff is far too valuable for us to toss it away.

One possible solution we've been considering is just having a whole host of character types. Games like Dofus & Elder Scrolls had various races (some of which could be considered furries).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-XwK6Nku7U

Anyway, do discuss the matter and make your feelings known. The poll is a bit of a complicated one, as it's a bit of a complicated issue. I encourage you all to post and explain your reasonings.


Last edited by Lord Gilbert on Tue Aug 26, 2008 4:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 3:56 pm 

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I could probably find a few more games with 'furry' or 'furry-like' characters? I mean, for a start, do werewolves count as furry?
But even apart from that if you look up the Togorians, Shistavanen, Cathar, and so on from Star Wars all of them would probably be considered 'furry' to some degree as well and I haven't seen anyone really complain about them.

I honestly think that the number of people who are determined not to play because of the 'furry' avatars are probably equalled by the number of people who wouldn't play with cartoony human characters because it doesn't suit them and they think it'll be like [insert anime here.]


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 3:56 pm 

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The 'character' bit is my main concern- this game's 'fee' has evolved, and it is defined as a world in which there are no humans. It would be a significant change, even if there were no in-game implications of that.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 3:58 pm 
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Tethran wrote:
Togorians, Shistavanen, Cathar, and so on from Star Wars all of them would probably be considered 'furry' to some degree as well and I haven't seen anyone really complain about them.


"To some degree" I think is part of the key thing. There is a difference between games that have some furry characters and games that have nothing but furry characters.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 4:04 pm 
Legend

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I've discussed this in world, but I guess I might as well post here too.

The opinions in here will vastly favor the pro-furry side of the argument. Those who absolutely loathed the furry concept of the game enough to speak out about it now would most likely not be playing. So, allowing for the possibility that some radical anti-furries stayed on despite the furriness and overlooked the furry part of the game, the vast majority is that of either people who couldn't care less about their avatars and just enjoy the game as it is (Myself included) and those who love the furry aspect of the game.

Now in an open discussion as to the fate of the furriness of the game, there will only essentially be one opinion, considering, "I don't care" isn't really much of a opinion one way or another. The overwhelming opinion will be that of the pro-furries. So if the dev's don't want it to turn into "That" kind of game, I suggest you make the game as you see fit.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 4:15 pm 

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Starfox perhaps then as a suggestion for a game with only 'furry' characters in to the best of my recollection.

I do think that any opinions here are likely to be of the either totally furry, don't mind either way or mixture of human and furry variety simply because anyone that objected to it that strongly wouldn't be here to start with. But I think if they'd object to the idea of furry avatars that strongly then I suspect they would probably find something, somewhere in the game to object about whatever you did.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 4:20 pm 

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I would vote 'Humans or furries I don't care, but please no mixing.'


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 4:25 pm 
Flight Master

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Quote:
The opinions in here will vastly favor the pro-furry side of the argument. Those who absolutely loathed the furry concept of the game enough to speak out about it now would most likely not be playing.


I agree that those who loathed the concept of furries probably won't be here, which is why those feelings are not really prevalent in the poll.

One thing to consider is that the developers are interested in expanding our audience while not completely isolating our old one. For that reason, we are polling the current community.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 5:11 pm 
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Kincaid wrote:
I would vote 'Humans or furries I don't care, but please no mixing.'


I agree, although I would prefer the Cartoon animals (reminds me of Tailspin).

Mixing humans and furries totally destroys any suspension of disbelief I have with this game, and I would almost certainly quit if a mix happens.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 5:26 pm 
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As Bali says, we're only going to be some of the opinions. With that said, the best we can do is give 'em.

I have no problem, in the abstract, with a game with furry characters. Nor with a game with all human characters, nor with a game with mixed characters. There are probably many other kinds, with which I have no problem, that haven't been proposed at all.

I do not see the problem as a problem of the kinds of characters offered.
I see the problem as one of making a fundamental change to the game world.

Specifically, this wonderful story and world that we're telling and exploring respectively don't seem to have room in them for the questions raised in a mixed world. I feel like it would seriously mess with the suspension of disbelief.

Declaring that there have always been humans here raises the question why we haven't seen them. Declaring instead that the humans' skylands have now made contact with ours would seem more palatable, but raises tremendous political and sociological questions that I don't think Skyrates wants to touch on. While they might make for good stories and good games, I don't think they'd permit the light tone that makes Skyrates what we understand it to be.

Switching to an all-human world (or a mixed new world, or any new world) is even more troublesome: even if the new world has no internal inconsistencies, how do we tie it in to the old story?

If the writers can solve that flavor problem - to make the change while remaining Skyrates - then I am fine with the change. Otherwise, what we have is a new game, and I'd have to evaluate anew whether it's one I'd like to play.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 5:33 pm 
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Quote:
Specifically, this wonderful story and world that we're telling and exploring respectively don't seem to have room in them for the questions raised in a mixed world. I feel like it would seriously mess with the suspension of disbelief.

Declaring that there have always been humans here raises the question why we haven't seen them. Declaring instead that the humans' skylands have now made contact with ours would seem more palatable, but raises tremendous political and sociological questions that I don't think Skyrates wants to touch on. While they might make for good stories and good games, I don't think they'd permit the light tone that makes Skyrates what we understand it to be.

Switching to an all-human world (or a mixed new world, or any new world) is even more troublesome: even if the new world has no internal inconsistencies, how do we tie it in to the old story?


Unexplanium meteor hit Skytopia, mutating various individuals. BAM.

Many people have expressed concerns with a change like this tossing away everything else the old game has created. While I think part of that would happen, I don't think it needs to be quite the etch-a-sketch ending that people seem to be saying.

However, many of the discussions the developers have been talking about recently have been in regards to, "If Skyrates wants to really grow up from just some project that the developers maintain in their free time, what would we need to do?"

We would like to avoid entirely erasing everything that has occurred in this prolonged beta, but I fear some level of editing may be inevitable.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 5:37 pm 
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Pen wrote:
Kincaid wrote:
I would vote 'Humans or furries I don't care, but please no mixing.'


I agree, although I would prefer the Cartoon animals (reminds me of Tailspin).

Mixing humans and furries totally destroys any suspension of disbelief I have with this game, and I would almost certainly quit if a mix happens.


I must say, this perspective I find quite fascinating. The 'belief budgets' of games have always been fascinating to me.

You mention furries & humans destroying the suspension of disbelief, but what would stretch it but wouldn't break it?

Bird-people?

Robot-people?

Aliens?

Humans and elves?

Humans and humans with tails?

Humans and humans with tails and cat ears?

Humans and cat people?

Do note I am seriously not trying to mock or make fun, I'm honestly curious where the proverbial line in the sand is.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 5:45 pm 
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I would be extremely dissatisfied with the Unexplanium Hammer approach. I would much prefer to close the story and begin a new one than to have such a random change in the middle.

Preferred to either, in my mind, is a jump-forwards-in-time sort of approach: Skytopia as we know it encounters another cluster of skylands full of people (some or all of whom are of a different assortment of species) and whatever political and sociological upheavals happen, happen; jump some sufficient number of years forwards to a period of relative stability such as we live in currently. This allows continuity with the established history, while also allowing the world to be substantially changed and the backstory to be extended.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 5:54 pm 

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I should just note that the term Lord Gilbert originally uses is humanoid, and not human.

Humanoids can be so much more than simply humans. The robotic crew member, for example, would probably be a popular choice if he were made an avatar.

----

I never even saw this as a 'furriness' issue, until the recent chat. The point that I messed up in conveying in chat was that the current avatar choices gave me a hard time when I first joined. Personally, I thought many of them looked like they carry some type of emotional baggage. As examples, the raccoon and goat crew members has the type of expression I would want on my skyrate. And if anyone is wondering why, the answer would be, "they just look cooler." But somehow, me not preferring my skyrates to look 'available' got taken to mean something else entirely. :shifty:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 5:56 pm 
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Said line is different for each person I would think, Gilbert.

As for my personal opinion about this whole matter: Although I am not a furry, I am a roleplayer, and one with a mind open enough to realise the potential in different characteristics and personalities between the various races of furries currently in the game. Replacing them all with human avatars removes a large part of the creativity and freedom that we currently posess. Yes, ofcourse, you can have a human with any personality that you could give a furry, but I've never yet seen a human flick an ear, bare his / her fangs, wag a tail or twitch their whiskers - to name but a few examples. The characters we have now are just so very expressive, and I fear that we would lose part of that, if they were to be replaced.

Secondly, the current furry set of avatars has a certain whimsicalness about them, a certain silliness, that is much harder to attain when using human avatars. You know you're in a high fantasy setting just by looking at the avatar, and one that has a certain whimsy to it. Although this is - I suppose - also attainable with human avatars, it would be a lot, lot harder to match the current whimsical feel of the game. I believe that many people would feel the game as being a bit more serious, if there were human avatars, avatars we automatically identify with. Do we really want to change the entire feel of the game ?

So, my vote on overall replacement ? No. Quite an enthousiastic No.

Addition, then: humans in addition to furries. This, I could see working. But, as was argued earlier, only when it makes sense. Why are there suddenly humans, as well ? Where did they come from ? I'm still not entirely certain I would want to see it happen, nor am I certain I want to see it not happen. I will therefore withhold my vote on the addition of human avatars until I am more awake, and more people have voiced their opinions.

A fundamentally sizable change like 'suddenly, humans' would make me re-evaluate whether this is a game I would keep playing. If it maintains it's current whimsical sense, then yes. But that's difficult to achieve - perhaps too difficult.

</$0.02>

I hope all this makes sense. I wrote it at 4 AM, being dead tired.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 6:09 pm 
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I grow to wonder if we are at an impasse.

Many players are very attached to the character and story of the world.

In the interests of expanding the game's appeal we may need to change some of that.

Looking at the story and groups that exist in the world, it's really an interesting story. In many ways, the backstory of the world has gone through the same process of iteration that the game mechanics have. I don't foresee us throwing that away. Moreover, the estaiblished story and the history of the game (we feel) could continue to serve even if the characters involved were not furries.

If we were to add non-furry avatars to the mix, it would feel strange to me to bend over backwards trying to work it into the game 'continuity.' However, as during the Legacy events, this may again be a case of the developers seeing Skyrates as a testing/iteration ground, whereas the players really are seeing it as a world with character.

It's incredibly wondrous, flattering, and troublesome. If in the end, it makes more practical sense to just retro-con the world's history so that there have always been a mixture of races, we're going to feel a bit as though we're ripping someone's teddy bear in half.

We want to take the game out of its state as a 'project,' but at the same time we don't want to simply kick out the players who have helped us reach our current point.

Oh so many thoughts.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 6:16 pm 
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The "suspension of disbelief" problem, at one of the more accessible levels anyhow, seems to be one of mixing the ordinary with the fantastic; people don't mind if a wizard chucks fireballs at orcs, but they'll freak out if they see him with a cordless phone.

My personal problem with humans (here and in Tolkienian settings and elsewhere) is slightly different, though:
Currently, you might suppose that each human-person correspond to a single furry-person, whether fox or badger or walrus or anything at all. I can come in and create a character that represents me as I suppose that I might look viewed through the lens of your lovely little world.
If human-type is also an option, then does somebody map onto a human-type or onto a furry-type? Either everybody has an obvious mapping onto human-type (themselves) or the space of human-types is reduced. The latter leads to such as Dungeons and Dragons' approach, where it seems that only boring people would map onto human-types - which I'm sure was not intended, there or here.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 7:02 pm 
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I picked "still play if it was both furries and humanoids", however I'd distinctly prefer it to stay all anthros. In my personal case, this is probably more due to continuity and familiarity with the current setting.

As far as scaring people off because the game is all anthros... it distinctly gives off a "cartoons of our youth" feel, rather than a "sketchy/creepy people who live in their moms' basements" feel, which probably helps a lot with that. It also seems (to me) that the anthro avis even help maintain the friendly and open community, at least to some extent. The few people who came on Radio making comments (either directly or obliquely) about how they disliked all the anthro stuff, also said other things that (to me) decreased the generally friendly atmosphere. I.e., were prone to being nasty in arguments, insulting other people's intelligence simply for disagreeing with them, etcetera, and did so in various different topics of discussion.

I should probably drag Being back to respond to this, since she refused to play for sometime, (ostensibly) because it was all anthros. (Of course, when I finally got her on, she said she was disappointed to find that there wasn't any "furry airplane porn" going on over Radio... :razz: )

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 7:13 pm 
Legend

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Eskay is doing an excellent job exploring how I feel about this, so I'll keep this short:

First my offense - I think this would be very disruptive to a whole lot of RP storylines, which the players have been extremely adept at fleshing out. I think this would also wreck the flavor of a furry world for suspension of disbelief issues above - humanoids start to push us into uncanny valley territory.

Now my defense - Who is this supposed to appeal to? Any person that would otherwise enjoy this game but is so turned off by having to pick a furry avatar (something which virtually every culture on earth has as part of its childhood games and stories) that they would quit on the spot at the character selection screen is a person so closed-minded that I have a hard time understanding why they'd be a valuable addition to the game, or frankly, even exist. If there are issues with the low diversity of the avatars, it's not like there aren't a ton more animals to add in without tripping on the above complaints with adding non-furries - heck, go raid the crew pool if you want suggestions.

I know there were a few more arguments bandied about in World; if they crop up here I guess I'll address them as they come.

I'll also say that, despite being pretty lukewarm towards the furry community at large, I'm surprised by how strongly I feel about this. I didn't vote in the poll because I think the options weren't terrifically worded - I wouldn't quit, but I would curtail a lot of my RP activity.


[Edit - Note to self: always check if Kyra has posted before hitting the submit button. What the lady said.]


Last edited by Zabrak! on Tue Aug 26, 2008 8:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 26, 2008 7:31 pm 

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I'm in with Kincaid. Mixing them would be a problem.

In all the cases where the two mix they either use beast races, which are distinctly different from anthropomorphised animals, (despite the physical similarities there is a definite difference between Khajiiti and cats) or they are divided into the animal and people worlds, ala Granny and Sylvester/Tweety. Even Brian Griffon, who's the closest character I can think of to a Skyrates-esque character is living in a people world. Animals are only distinct from each other if they are the only thing around. In Skyrates, the different species are treated more akin to races. Foxes are essentially the same as Squirrels are essentially the same as Bears other than perhaps some little hints of the actual species behavior. The minute humans are introduced there is a division made between "person" and "animal", and questions of fox vs squirrel vs bear become irrelevant.

Mathematically, an even distribution would be 9:1 animals to humans. To the sort of person who would be scared away by furries, this would look like a game that was basically all animals - a furry game. Even if it was half humans and half animals it would still probably be a little weird to them, and at that point the animal races may as well not exist anyway as far as the people who play them are concerned.

By leaving it all animals it is much easier to make the link to stuff like Tailspin, Loony Toons, etc. which no one has a problem with. The art style actually helps make that connection. I thought Tailspin long before the word "furry" ever came into my mind. Honestly, if you'd asked me before I started playing Skyrates Id probably have told you that there's no way I'd play a furry game, but the fact that it came off as more classic cartoon than weird genre (okay, fine, let's just say it. The issue is most people hear "furry" they think "fetish".) meant I had absolutely no issues at all. It actually seemed like a kinda cool idea.

If you want to attract a larger crowd you could go to an all human world, but I really don't think that I would be able to consider it Skyrates. Better to start from scratch and let us work from there. Like Eskay pointed out, though, it would take away a certain something from the feel of the world. The cute little critters help keep things a lot more light-hearted and less serious, whereas humans I think would tend to make things lean much more toward a low-tech EVE type of world. If it weren't for the animals I would feel much more welcome to bring things a great deal farther toward dystopia, and while that could be moderated by ample use of the devhammer, the fact that it's unneeded right now is one of the things that makes Skyrates great.


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