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digitaldirt

RPG Games For Girls!!!

90 posts in this topic

I think we''re looking at this problem from the wrong point of view. Turning the mass of girls from casual players to buyers is not going to happen easy (before the first soap like Sims game - with story twists and all - try watching some soap operas - I''d swear they make them stories with a simple algorithm hint, hint). What will happen is that in each (good) game, some girls will come and play that game well. Mythical figures such as the girl who beat John Romero at a Doom deathmatch.

What if the question to ask is not how would the girls enjoy a game better, but how would the guys playing enjoy the girls who are playing better? And to be honest, I believe these two questions have the same answer.

How would you like this: This game plus webcam plus live audio? I bet some girls would be _very_ successfull at this game, and I also bet the guys playing will _like_ it. This may still work with but audio messages.
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Just to clear something up: I didn´t mention this before, as I had somehow assumed that it was clear anyways - I think most of us (me included) weren´t discussing games for girls in general (as in girls=the other half of the population ), but as the part of the potential audience of computer games who are NOT playing games at the moment, or who are only playing small casual games.
I see that some of those who are typical core-gamers might feel offended by some of what´s been said here, but please bear in mind that most of what´s been discussed does not apply to you. Female core gamers are not relevant to this discussion, as they are already playing and happy with it.

Maybe another thing that has been neglected is the process of how to turn a casual gamer into a core gamer, so how about we have a look at some cases? It would be interesting (not only the female audience now) to see how people get into games, what the typical portal games are, etc.
Because what we should focus on is not how to make "games for girls", but how to get girls interested in the games we are making now, or how to change the games we are making now to make them interesting. I think that once you are inside the gaming thing it´s much easier to access new or different types of games.

So lets talk about the ideal portal game.


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The AP who posted the message, kudos! I''m glad you posted such a thoughtout message. I think that a game that has captured equally the attention of guys and girls is MYST and RIVEN. It had a good storyline, great artwork and intuitive game play... and you didn''t have a gun to go around killing the tree''s.

Thats not why girls and guys liked it... they liked it becuase it was something new. something different, and had an imaginative story tat made you keep playing.

So i guess the conclusion to this thread is that we should all work on better storylines, better character development, no matter what genre your game is in. If the story, imagery and characters are interesting enough, we''ll get a wider audience. And that is what the end of my studies has determined.

btw: it was girls from 14-40, didn''t get anyone terribly old, but well, i appreciated their time and again appreciate all the input on this thread, besides the namecalling and sexist accusing posters. I don''t think anyone on this thread is sexist, but may have said ignorant things. It helps to think your idea before typing it.

thanks again.
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quote:
Original post by digitaldirt
Thats not why girls and guys liked it... they liked it becuase it was something new. something different, and had an imaginative story tat made you keep playing.


AND because they did not have any blatantly sexist references such as a semi-nude leatherclad opponent or a female player character with boobs that would have made Pamela Anderson Lee blush.

Remember: if you''re turning people OFF from your game, it''s going to be very hard to pull them in again.

Diodor''s post about "portal" games, I think, is on the money. It''s not that girls (or anyone who''s not used to playing computer games)will never play games. It just hasn''t been marketed to them right. We need to make games that lure them from really casual games (solitaire) into the deeper recesses of game playing, games that actually take more than 10 minutes, and require a bit of attention.

I think it would have to be pretty gradual, and VERY easy to get into. Full-screen is out of the question to pull computer-illiterate people in. It scares the living daylights out of them to suddenly see that windows bar disappear. Remember, it probably took them a big leap of faith to just turn the PC on (think of your mom).
So you need a well-behaved, windowed game. It can have fancy graphics, but within the boundaries of the window. It can have fancy sound, but not to the point of overriding the windows sounds. It can''t have fancy controls, because the people using it will not want to see their mouse suddenly doing weird things on the screen, their pointer disappearing, their menu key-strokes suddenly doing completely different things.

Adventure games could be a really good start to this. They can fit perfectly into the paradigm, and there''s no real-time component to worry the not-so-adept computer user.


People might not remember what you said, or what you did, but they will always remember how you made them feel.
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I think that if you make a game with a great story, good plot twists, and strong believable characters that guys and girls alike can relate to, then a girl will like it just as well as a guy. C''mon. We all know that guys and girls BOTH read books. Stories of interest keep people interested.

The story for my upcoming RPG (well not TOO upcoming, its a ways off) is interesting to not only me and my co-writer (GET THIS!! A Female!!!!) but my girlfriend likes it. If you are making an RPG, then make it worth continuing. Make it interesting.

Neo-Toshi - The City That Never Sleeps
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Yeah, whats the deal with Diablo II with all the g-string chicks running around with spears? oh yeah, thats a believable story.

I hope there won''t be a Diablo III. I think Blizzard needs to invest their time in a new type of game. the whole warcraft, starcraft and diablo thing is kinda running on a bit long.

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Ferinorius,

Your game''s story is just about an exact rip off of Baldur''s Gate.

"Bring the memories and pain of that time my son, for I will listen. Your father is killed in front of your eyes. You can do nothing but cower.

Lightly he told you to run. "Why?" you thought. You hesitated but ran...

All too quickly the terror comes. Silver eyes pierce you. You run off. Your father...is....

Dead...it comes so quickly. Awaken my friend. The time is now for you to take up your sword and find the truth. You are Blade.

Emerge in a world where nothing is what it seems and everything you attach yourself to fades away. Your life is lead by an unknown force, yet you have to continue on...

Your destiny is chosen, and your tale is nothing but deception."

in Baldur''s Gate, nothing was what it seemed. And it was "deception" after deception after deception all the way to the end. Everything you trusted, was turned around on you.

Anyway, mabye it was a coincidence. You should pick up the game. and see the very similiarities that your story has with Baldur''s Gate. mabye try for something more original?

Anyway, keep us all up to date.


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quote:
Original post by Diodor
How would you like this: This game plus webcam plus live audio? I bet some girls would be _very_ successfull at this game, and I also bet the guys playing will _like_ it. This may still work with but audio messages.


No, no, no. Last thing we need is to have to resolve to webcam and live audio on driving the female gamers cause you''re just turning the game into a chat interface.

quote:
Original post by Hase
Just to clear something up: I didn´t mention this before, as I had somehow assumed that it was clear anyways - I think most of us (me included) weren´t discussing games for girls in general (as in girls=the other half of the population ), but as the part of the potential audience of computer games who are NOT playing games at the moment, or who are only playing small casual games.
I see that some of those who are typical core-gamers might feel offended by some of what´s been said here, but please bear in mind that most of what´s been discussed does not apply to you. Female core gamers are not relevant to this discussion, as they are already playing and happy with it.


Amen to that! Someone should have pointed this out in the first place.

To the AP poster above:
Temporary file site for GTW I am sure you will be most interested on the project as the majority of our artists are females. Not to mention we also have the forum "goddess" Sunandshadow as our main writer/producer. Please, email me before I implement some crazy long combo battle system into the game that no female gamer will ever enjoy performing.
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Personally, I like to make games from a 1st person perspective - not graphically, but conceptually (adventure games where you don''t see yourself, turn-based games, etc...) This allows the player to play "as themselves". My last adventure game has been played by as many women as men. Not forcing the player to assume the role of a certain gender gives the game more appeal and allows the player to associate more with the protagonist.

Unfortunately, being a female gamer requires a certain amount of patience and tolerance - as the game world seems to produce games for a male audience - and games produced for female audiences are ridiculously stereotyped and outlandish, if not insulting. Even worse is the fact that the stupid posts in this thread mentioning how a game needs to be in pink just demonstrate what audience game companies think they have to market games too. Go to the forums on www.ghostrecon.com - there are entire threads dedicated to complaining about the fact that the game has female snipers. These types of displays of sexist attitudes only hurt the future of gender-neutral pc games.
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quote:

Original post by MadKeithV

Diodor''s post about "portal" games, I think, is on the money.



That was Hase''s post. My post said that we shouldn''t worry about the casual girl gamers or even about the non gamer girls, turning those to serious gaming will not happen soon. Instead we should focus on bringing the few girl gamers that will read the manual and will play a complicated hardcore game in the center of attention and expect an increase in sales from the guy players.

The one idea that could do this (besides using large neon arrow signs) was bishop_pass''s Online politics and conquest RPG. The aim of that game was that real-life social skills would be a very important part in playing the game. That''s why I expect the few girls that would play such a game to be very successful, even if their in-game skills are not the best.


quote:

Original post by Mooglez

No, no, no. Last thing we need is to have to resolve to webcam and live audio on driving the female gamers cause you''re just turning the game into a chat interface.



Unless the chat is _part_ of the game.
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quote:
Original post by Diodor
How would you like this: This game plus webcam plus live audio? I bet some girls would be _very_ successfull at this game, and I also bet the guys playing will _like_ it. This may still work with but audio messages.


Webcams + teenage boys + teenage girls == lots of teenage boys telling teenage girls to get their tits out.

Sad, but true.



Edited by - Sandman on December 7, 2001 5:44:27 AM
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quote:
Original post by Diodor Instead we should focus on bringing the few girl gamers that will read the manual and will play a complicated hardcore game in the center of attention and expect an increase in sales from the guy players.


Am I the only one missing the point here cause I couldn't make any sense out of the above statement at all. How could focusing on a few "core" female gamers possibly have anything to do with increasing sales from the guy players ? And please tell me that you're not seriously thinking that more guys would play the game due to the possibility that they could talk with a "potential" female online. (Sex sells, I'll admit that. But using these online female gamers as a model bait for the males is just going below a moral level past h-games.) Sorry, I just don't see things that way, and we should try to focus on tapping into all the female population instead of chasing after a constant small percentile of core female gamers.

quote:
That's why I expect the few girls that would play such a game to be very successful, even if their in-game skills are not the best.


The more I read the more depress I get on the future of game developement. Stop worrying about the "few " and look at the whole picture please! Do you want to make game for the few or the masses ? I liked Bishop's idea for a political game, but please, lay off the webcam and live audio cause it will only get you so far till every game on the shelf adepts to it.

Edited by - mooglez on December 7, 2001 5:57:06 AM
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quote:
Original post by Sandman
Webcams + teenage boys + teenage girls == lots of teenage boys telling teenage girls to get their tits out.


sign me up!


--- krez (krezisback@aol.com)
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quote:

Original post by Sandman

Webcams + teenage boys + teenage girls == lots of teenage boys telling teenage girls to get their tits out.



To a certain extent, this is acceptable, and even adds to the game. Being rude is an equivalent of a war declaration. Assuming that those who act as stupid as this will be newcomers, (as the more experienced players must have learned not to declare war for no good reason), they''ll be soon corrected by such action as the deployment on their bases of the combined legions of the said girl''s allies.

quote:

Original post by Mooglez

And please tell me that you''re not seriously thinking that more guys would play the game due to the possibility that they could talk with a "potential" female online.



Not just talk, _play_

quote:

Sex sells, I''ll admit that. But using these online female gamers as a model bait for the males is just going below a moral level past h-games.



Sex? Model bait? I just assumed a game, and especially a role-playing one would be more fun with girls than without. Anyway, what about the morals of making scarcely clad girls dance on the side of football playing fields?

quote:

The more I read the more depress I get on the future of game developement. Stop worrying about the "few " and look at the whole picture please! Do you want to make game for the few or the masses ?



You sound like a management guy. Targeting the masses imposes lots and lots of limitations, besides competing with the big companies. I''d much rather want a small community of enthusiastic players than a mass of casual players who use my game to waste 5 minutes because there''s nothing on TV.

quote:

but please, lay off the webcam and live audio cause it will only get you so far till every game on the shelf adepts to it.



Yeah, I guess you''re right on this one. But I still believe webcams and audio will be powerfull tools for future games, and not too far in the future either.
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Hell, I''d play any game that had live teenage breasts.
I don''t think you should let them talk though.
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Peh, having teenagers, webcam and live in the same sentence might actually draw the wrong kind of audience. Oh well...
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dude, you need romance if you want your game to attract girls

here are some ideas
(1)wild girl as lead female character
Tokyo love story(popular Japanese Manga) and Norway Forest (popular Japanese Novel) has wild girl as the lead character. Lola Montex is admired by many other girls. Many girls like to fantasy themselves as wild, rebellous and powerful.

(2)GREAT LOOKING JERKS as lead male character
Great looking is very important. Girls just love the ideas of taming a great looking jerks who go around fucking girls and dumping girls.

(3)Find a playboy to write the script
Average guys don''t know the mind of the girls, but playboy are experts. They know what to say, when to say and what action to take, when they need to take the action when they want to seduce girls.
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quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
dude, you need romance if you want your game to attract girls

here are some ideas
(1)wild girl as lead female character
Tokyo love story(popular Japanese Manga) and Norway Forest (popular Japanese Novel) has wild girl as the lead character. Lola Montex is admired by many other girls. Many girls like to fantasy themselves as wild, rebellous and powerful.

(2)GREAT LOOKING JERKS as lead male character
Great looking is very important. Girls just love the ideas of taming a great looking jerks who go around fucking girls and dumping girls.

(3)Find a playboy to write the script
Average guys don''t know the mind of the girls, but playboy are experts. They know what to say, when to say and what action to take, when they need to take the action when they want to seduce girls.




1) Maybe
2) Maybe
3) No

Even in the case that a game with elements like that would work we have probably alienated the male audience (after all, what do I care about taming a playboy?), which is something that nobody can afford at this time.


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We were getting so close to agreement, and then drifted off again. Sniff!

Anyway,
I understand the reasons for some to NOT want to target an "untapped" audience of casual gamers. However, we are specifically discussing the casual female gamer in this thread. Therefore, if you don''t want to try to pull them into the game, you shouldn''t be posting here.

So, back to the topic.

I''ve been observing my sister''s computing habits lately. Since she got a boyfriend that uses a PC a lot for his studies, she has gotten into it a lot more. She''s not playing games, but definately using more "advanced" programs such as Paint Shop Pro, and using "deep" features of it.

So that got me thinking - is the way to get girls to play, to have their male peers draw them in? Can you think of a computer game that you''d like to play, and you''d like your girlfriend to play too? Maybe that''s the ticket - designing a game that''s still appealing to the huge mass of core gamers, but that also allows them to bring in less experienced computer gamers without too much difficulty.


People might not remember what you said, or what you did, but they will always remember how you made them feel.
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quote:

Original post by MadKeithV

I understand the reasons for some to NOT want to target an "untapped" audience of casual gamers. However, we are specifically discussing the casual female gamer in this thread. Therefore, if you don''t want to try to pull them into the game, you shouldn''t be posting here.



Aiming at computer illiterate people won''t work very well for a game as complicated as a RPG (points at the thread title). I propose creating a game that''s maybe hard to get into, but a lot more enjoyable afterwards. The way to do that is to add social interaction as _part_ of the gameplay. Girls like to talk, to phone around and to spend time in chatrooms. Creating a game that requires this kind of interaction for success will presumably create a much better experience for the girl players.

quote:

So that got me thinking - is the way to get girls to play, to have their male peers draw them in? Can you think of a computer game that you''d like to play, and you''d like your girlfriend to play too? Maybe that''s the ticket - designing a game that''s still appealing to the huge mass of core gamers, but that also allows them to bring in less experienced computer gamers without too much difficulty.



Spread of word seems like the perfect way to bring girls to play a game. Trouble is it is very hard for someone who plays and knows a game and some other one who didn''t play the game to have an interesting conversation about that game even if they are both core gamers, let alone casual girl gamers. I was bored more than once with talk about a game that I eventually liked when I got my hands on it. All the talk is generally game mechanics and 3d technology. As interesting as reading a VCR manual. You have to play the game to like it. (Some notable exceptions: The Sims, Roller Coaster Tycoon - these games have themes everyone knows and cares about, so it becomes easy to talk about them)

But if social interaction was (a significant) part of the game, a player could talk to someone who didn''t play the game before, ignoring the boring technical details and getting directly at the social part.
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quote:
Original post by Diodor

Aiming at computer illiterate people won''t work very well for a game as complicated as a RPG (points at the thread title). I propose creating a game that''s maybe hard to get into, but a lot more enjoyable afterwards.



But if social interaction was (a significant) part of the game, a player could talk to someone who didn''t play the game before, ignoring the boring technical details and getting directly at the social part.


To me, the "social" part of an RPG is the actual role playing - so a truly good RPG would automatically be very social. An EXCELLENT CRPG would lead to the topic of conversation no longer being "hey, I got 20.000XP last night" or, "look at my cool +3 Armour of the Avenging Angel", it would be more the kind of thing like "last night, I finally got a chance to present my case to the King" etc.

If the focus of the game shifts to this (and that''s not easy to do - even the MMORPGS haven''t managed to shift away from simple XP gathering AFAIK), it will be easier to get people that are not terribly computer literate to play.

I''m very interested in researching ways to make this happen. How to take away from the dice-rolling and stat comparing, and let the focus slip naturally to the story and the interactions. That''s why I originally got involved with that dreaded "what''s with stats" thread from years ago


People might not remember what you said, or what you did, but they will always remember how you made them feel.
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quote:
Original post by Diodor

Aiming at computer illiterate people won''t work very well for a game as complicated as a RPG (points at the thread title). I propose creating a game that''s maybe hard to get into, but a lot more enjoyable afterwards. The way to do that is to add social interaction as _part_ of the gameplay. Girls like to talk, to phone around and to spend time in chatrooms. Creating a game that requires this kind of interaction for success will presumably create a much better experience for the girl players.




*Tips head to one side in puzzlement* RPGs are complicated? Since when? A fighting game with lots of button combos, or a sim game, or an adventure game is much harder to learn how to control. With an RPG it''s just "Find what does the most damage to the monsters and keep doing that. If you get a new thing, equip it. If you can''t equip it, look at it in the item menu to see what it does. When in doubt, consult the walkthrough."

That''s almost as simple as a sidescroller "Go forward. Don''t die. Collect whatever is there to be collected."
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quote:

Original post by sunandshadow

RPGs are complicated? Since when?



Well, any game that has at least a screen full of numbers could be deemed overcomplicated. Also, any game that requires the player to _read_ more than 10 lines of text would scare away half the Windows users. Finally, any game that requires a player to remember more than one or three things (like quests, spells, locations to come back to, weapons, prices, skills, useful NPCs, monster weaknesses) is simply hard.

But if you want complicated RPGs at their best, give Nethack or ADOM a try. More commands than a flight simulator, and without savegames very hard games too.
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quote:
Original post by Diodor
But if you want complicated RPGs at their best, give Nethack or ADOM a try. More commands than a flight simulator, and without savegames very hard games too.


To think that Nethack''s based on "Hack - The Amulet of Yendor". The first computer game EVER.

But, I still believe that RPGs CAN be made simple, or at least intuitive.

You say "anything that requires the user to read more than 10 lines of text scares off the average windows user". Maybe, so lets use text-to-speech and make sure they don''t have to read.


You say "any game that requires the user to remember more than 2 or 3 things is hard". That may be true, unless it''s within an acceptable, "real world" context. You may not remember that the "Sword of Vile Nastiness" happens to be particularly effective against the taller orcs that have purple eyes, because you happened to find that written in a fortune cookie you found in a troll''s lair. That''s not logical or real-world. However, if the shopkeeper in the country''s capital was very helpful in helping you pick out a good all-round weapon to defend yourself in the rougher neighbourhoods, you may take an unknown weapon to him next time because he proved his knowledge. The key is character depth, believability, and consistency. In real life, you also remember the people that were specially good for you.



People might not remember what you said, or what you did, but they will always remember how you made them feel.
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quote:
Original post by sunandshadow

*Tips head to one side in puzzlement* RPGs are complicated? Since when? A fighting game with lots of button combos, or a sim game, or an adventure game is much harder to learn how to control. With an RPG it''s just "Find what does the most damage to the monsters and keep doing that. If you get a new thing, equip it. If you can''t equip it, look at it in the item menu to see what it does. When in doubt, consult the walkthrough."

That''s almost as simple as a sidescroller "Go forward. Don''t die. Collect whatever is there to be collected."


Find what does the most damage and keep doing that. I can agree that most RPGs in the computer world is like that today, but then I have never seen a game that let you roleplay (a RolePlaying Game). To me it seems people call a game a RPG as soon as it''s in a medieval setting. Which is not the case, according to me.

To me, a roleplaying game is a game where your character is developing all the time, depending on what you do. Not necessarily cleaving orc with a dwarven axe, why not trading? Hunting? With all these online games you could probably bring politics into it as well, if you think that''s fun.

The Wheel of Time, is that an RPG? No. (And yes, I was disappointed in the big-breasted Aes Sedai of the Black Ajah). Some games I hope will be better at the roleplaying aspect are Neverwinter Nights (http://www.bioware.com/nwn/) and Morrowind (http://www.morrowind.com).

If a game really is a RPG I believe girls can and will like it. Why? Because they like roleplaying games (the ones where you use pens and papers, dies, have a game leader/dungeon master/storyteller etc) if they give them a chance. So many times I''ve heard that "us boys who plays them are nerds". But when you manage to get the girls to try it, you''ll end up having to play day and night for weeks or you will have them asking you, "when are we going to play the next time?". (No they don''t have to be ugly to be that way as I saw someone say somewhere, not here).

Just a last note, an adventure does NOT have to include tons of killing to be fun. Investigating. Searching. Looking. Finding. Tricking. Solving puzzles. There are so many things you can do, doesn''t have to be violent.

Just my oppinion.

-Benny-
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