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Same gender relationships clarifications?

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > Story and Lore
Same gender relationships clarifications?
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fabiyun's Avatar


fabiyun
11.28.2012 , 03:29 PM | #3341
Even if BW hadn't made promises, they'd still be in the wrong for being exclusive. And I think that's reason enough to call for action. Of course some will immediately derail the convo by pressing to petition the entire gaming industry, but that is simply derailment. In this case we're asking EA/BW to be inclusive in their largest MMORPG. One that is a successor to RPGs that have been inclusive.

I'm all for stepping up the game. I'd also suggest getting RPers on board, and bringing this subject to the attention of all gamers by doing in game actions. If you're willing to work together on this, I'd suggest starting a FB group or page, or perhaps a shared Office Live notebook.
"..the worst kind of DARTH one can dig up!"

Nozybidaj's Avatar


Nozybidaj
11.28.2012 , 03:53 PM | #3342
Not to rain on anyone's parade here, but even if we managed to drum up interest in this issue and got the word out and managed to put enough pressure on EA/BW to actually acknowledge this issue all I can see them doing is releasing another meaningless statement.

"blah blah blah... content still planned blah blah blah... writer lead time blah blah blah... time and money blah blah blah... will let you know when more information available"

For me personally BW's "word" wouldn't mean anything. Honestly I thought we made a pretty good effort back in Jan/Feb and got as much out of them as we ever will. The real time to effect change was back in beta, if we had organized then and gotten pressure applied maybe they would have been forced to change their stance and include the content.

The decision to exclude the content had already been made though and I don't see what BW has to gain at this point when all they have to do is continue ignoring us. Yes I personally want this content added to the game but I don't think we'll ever see it now no matter what we do. Still I support you all if you want to make the effort, I just think its a year too late to produce any tangible results.

The only real chance we ever have to actually see the content is if whomever made the decision to exclude this content and this section of the playerbase from the game is removed and someone specifically sympathetic to this cause is put in their place. I'd say the chances of that are rather small.

Tatile's Avatar


Tatile
11.28.2012 , 03:55 PM | #3343
To your point on possible derailment, Fabiyun, and if we do form a sort-of Facebook... book (I don't have Facebook), it might be in our interests to point that if/when we can succeed in having an open discussion with EA/Bioware on this subject and bring SGRA's into SWTOR, that would form a precedent and a basis for launching further campaigns aimed at the games industry in general (and also the possibility of lending more firepower to non-LGBT movements, such as having POC protagonists and having more female protagonists in games and as the focus of games, rather than a mere palette choice).

fabiyun's Avatar


fabiyun
11.28.2012 , 04:14 PM | #3344
Quote: Originally Posted by Tatile View Post
To your point on possible derailment, Fabiyun, and if we do form a sort-of Facebook... book (I don't have Facebook), it might be in our interests to point that if/when we can succeed in having an open discussion with EA/Bioware on this subject and bring SGRA's into SWTOR, that would form a precedent and a basis for launching further campaigns aimed at the games industry in general (and also the possibility of lending more firepower to non-LGBT movements, such as having POC protagonists and having more female protagonists in games and as the focus of games, rather than a mere palette choice).
Indeed. And the inclusion of POC and sexism towards women are also big issues in the game industry. They all have to be tackled. What I also don't understand is why we can have regulation for media treating people equally, and why the game industry is not considered media and can simply ignore all the progress human rights advocates try to achieve.

As for the window of opportunity; we did put pressure on EA over a year ago. The forums exploded over this issue, threads were closed and reopened constantly, and the post limit was reached on a topic sometimes three or four times a day. There was also coverage on tornews, and on darth hater. And there was a petition at All Out going. GLAAD and Stonewall took notice. Some local media picked up on the issue. It was what made them put out a quick press note that said they'd include the content. But since there's hardly been any pressure. And that does make a little sense, you also have to give them some time to keep their promise. I do think however that that time has passed, and we've not seen any progress on this matter whatsoever. And I do think there will be organisations interested in this matter. If we can start a page/group somewhere, work together and work out a strategy of contacting partners and interest groups there should be a way to bring this back into the gaming and mass media.

The thing about getting attention on this issue though is mass. One can't do it alone, one can file a ticket, but that is just one ticket. If the discrimination office started getting in dozens of tickets in a matter of days, then they'll be interested to ask for clarification. If we're going to do something then it needs to be an organised effort, and targeting specific advocacy groups and media.
"..the worst kind of DARTH one can dig up!"

Zandilar's Avatar


Zandilar
11.28.2012 , 04:35 PM | #3345
Not sure if anyone's noticed on Facebook, but the Star Wars: The Old Republic page just posted this question:

Quote:
Have a question you would like to ask a Developer on our Livestream Q&A? Put it in the comments of this post and your question might be selected to be asked Live on the stream!
Three hours ago according to my feed, but I can't find the damn thing on their actual facebook page (it's probably there somewhere, stupid facebook).

Anyway, my answer was:

"Same Gender Romance Arcs, when - are we at least still on target for "this year"? How will they be implemented - will I need to start an entirely new character, or will they be open to level 50s who have gone through the entire conversation arc for the companion(s) in question?"
Zandilar, an Australian, IN SPAAAAAAAACCCCEEEEE!!
Too many characters, most of them Chiss.

fabiyun's Avatar


fabiyun
11.28.2012 , 04:36 PM | #3346
Quote: Originally Posted by Zandilar View Post
Not sure if anyone's noticed on Facebook, but the Star Wars: The Old Republic page just posted this question:



Three hours ago according to my feed, but I can't find the damn thing on their actual facebook page (it's probably there somewhere, stupid facebook).

Anyway, my answer was:

"Same Gender Romance Arcs, when - are we at least still on target for "this year"? How will they be implemented - will I need to start an entirely new character, or will they be open to level 50s who have gone through the entire conversation arc for the companion(s) in question?"
The Topic is in General, I asked the question on page 8 or 9.
"..the worst kind of DARTH one can dig up!"

CalamityRanger's Avatar


CalamityRanger
11.28.2012 , 04:41 PM | #3347
I finally resubbed as an early birthday present to myself and figured I'd chime in on some stuff here. Been following the topic pretty much since I got the game earlier in the year and it's still disheartening to know that we don't have any news on the matter. I mean yeah as of now I only have one character but it frustrates me to no end to know I can't play her the way I want to because of the lack of SGR. I'm assuming unfortunately that if it is eventually brought in with existing companions, we'll have to start over. Would I mind playing the Agent story again with the possibility of romancing dear Watcher 2? Not really, but on principle alone that's pretty damn bothersome.

JCisneros's Avatar


JCisneros
11.28.2012 , 05:03 PM | #3348
I have added my question(s) to the Live Stream 2 topic in General. My questions are on page 10 and I quote fabiyun's specific question about SGR's. I recommend we all add a question to it by quoting each other so they cannot say it was an isolated question.

~JC

Slaign's Avatar


Slaign
11.28.2012 , 05:03 PM | #3349
Look, I'll concede that the initial non-inclusion of SGRAs can fall under the heading of discrimination, and likely does. That's no longer the issue. That stance was outed, railed against, and reversed. They've already taken the proper steps to reverse that discriminatory position. The only question now is one of continued discrimination, and whether that's what the silence on this issue constitutes.

I merely contend that we don't have proper evidence to conclude that it does, and that jumping to conclusions and making accusations of discrimination is improper and unfair.

How many of you are producers on some major project, like a TV show, movie, or game? How many of you have a real understanding of what a producer's job is, and why they exist? A producer exists to manager all the incredibly complex dealings it takes to create things like this. It is their job to manage the dozens, hundreds or thousands of people involved, and make sure everything is handled legally, properly, and within budget. It's an enormous job.

Most of you seem to be operating on the premise that on the day they reversed positions on SGRAs, someone at BioWare could have just walked into the "Voice Acting Department" of their studio and told everyone to start recording SGRAs. That isn't how it works.

Some of you are claiming that after a year and a half (from the date of the reversal) there is no reason we don't have this content. Hell, some of you seem to be of the opinion that announcing the content 6 months before release means they had no excuse not to have it in the game at release. That's delusional.

Remember how long this game was in development before release? I find it extremely likely that the OGRAs were written, recorded, and likely even animated before SGRAs were even put on the table. I find it extremely unlikely they could have, at the time of the reversed position, gone in and started recording more dialogue. They had likely put the wraps on that stage of the operation.

So as of the decision to include SGRAs this is an approximation of the kind of work they had ahead of them:

Conceptual Development Stage:

1. Convene and discuss how best to implement SGRAs
2. Come up with a general concept
3. Assign a team to manage the project
4. Team comes up with an outline for development plans
5. Receive approval for development plan

Writing stage:

1. Hire or assign contracted writers
2. Work with writers to come up with an actual story outline for each SGRA
3. Seek approval and refine until the green light is given
4. Rough Draft
5. Editing and Revision
6. Final Draft
7. Final Draft approval

Voice Acting stage:

1. Hire/Assign VA Director
2. Work out schedules of current voice actors and possibly audition and hire new voice talent
3. Update contracts AND/OR sign new contracts for additional content
4. Hire/Assign sound engineers
5. Record all dialogue
6. Edits and possibly re-recording sessions
7. Sound mixing

Animation stage:

1. Potentially design models for new companions
2. Animate entirely new scenes
3. Modify existing scenes for new content

Implementation stage:

1. Get new content working independently
2. Inject new content into existing game
3. Smooth conflicts
4. Alpha test
5. Hammer out bugs
6. Develop patch
7. Test patch deployment
8. Certify content as ready to deploy

Deployment stage:

1. Schedule deployment
2. Work with community team to create blog posts, trailers, etc.
3. Deploy on PTR

This is anything but a short process. Further, if this content is on the scale we hope it is, they may have to do this for 16 (one of each gender for each class) or more (potentially all romancable) companions. We are talking about a massive undertaking. Even with the minimal effort required to keep their promises, given that they said they don't want to do a simple pronoun swap, it's far larger in scale than anything implemented post launch.

The only thing that even approaches the scale we're talking about here is Section X and HK-51. As far as I'm aware, that content was planned for release as well, but postponed. It was also planned for before, or at least around the same timeframe as, SGRAs. And we JUST got it. We JUST got something that has been in development since before launch, and is much smaller in scope than what SGRAs have the potential to be.

We don't know where in the development pipeline SGRAs are. We don't know if they even HAVE concrete answers to our questions yet. Even if they do, game development companies almost NEVER discuss content before it's pretty much finished for deployment.

That's the point, we don't know, and that makes it irresponsible to claim discrimination as if its the only answer.

I understand it's not our fault we don't know, and I understand the desire for transparency. However, that's not a fair thing to expect, as it's far from established standard. We in the MMO genre have a virtually unprecedented level of communication with our developers, when compared to the gaming industry as a whole, already. Even outside the MMO genre, BioWare is one of the very few development studios that maintains a line of communication with fans beyond occasional press releases.

The industry standard is developers don't really talk to fans, they talk to the press. MMO fans enjoy a greater level of access, but even then, developers don't usually talk about what's going on behind studio doors."We'll talk about that when it's ready," has been the mantra of every game developer for a long, long time.

The point is, if this content WASN'T of a homosexual nature, but all other things were equal (for example, if OGRAs weren't in the game and that was what we were talking about) I see no indications that we would be being treated differently, and that means accusations of discrimination are at best lucky guesses and at worst completely unwarranted. I see no evidence to support such a claim. Circumstantial evidence doesn't count, because it is subject to the twisting of interpretation.

Look, I do personally wish, and think they should, come out and give a simple confirmation that "Yes, SGRAs are still planned." Still, I don't think it's strictly necessary they do that, as it's just a simple confirmation of information we already have and should trust, but it would be nice. Any information above and beyond that is a boon and, should it come, should be received with gratitude.

Slaign's Avatar


Slaign
11.28.2012 , 05:19 PM | #3350
Quote: Originally Posted by JCisneros View Post
I have added my question(s) to the Live Stream 2 topic in General. My questions are on page 10 and I quote fabiyun's specific question about SGR's. I recommend we all add a question to it by quoting each other so they cannot say it was an isolated question.

~JC
While I encourage people to do so as well, I don't expect it to be answered, and we shouldn't really be outraged when it's not. They have pretty well limited the topics they will be addressing by labeling the subject of the chat as 1.6 and F2P. It doesn't have to be an isolated question for them to be justified in not addressing it there, as it's off topic.

Still, I encourage people to submit questions about SGRAs anyway, because they will obviously read that thread and it's good for them to see continued interest. Please do try not to come off as antagonistic though.

Maybe we'll get lucky and they'll at least give us the acknowledgement of answering the question, even if it's with "Sorry we don't have any information ready to share." But I wouldn't count on it.