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RevanT1

Need advice for a female Native American character I'm creating

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haha!  You're good.  Nobody is that rabid about this stuff, no matter what the news says. ;)  If you make a fun game and somebody has a serious issue with something you do, respond politely and make a change if it suits the situation.  Games can update.  Just another bug in the end.

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Okay true! Thanks for your help I appreciate it. Hope it's okay if I have any more questions to ask.

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Posted (edited)

Lol, saw this question and sure enough... lots of opinons! 😂

Ar you sure you didn't just want a lot of comments on your post @RevanT1😉

Edited by SIr Pep

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What do you mean? All I wanted was to get advice on some very controversial issues that seem very big in todays world :(

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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, RevanT1 said:

I see what you're saying. So to convey it without trying to put so much of it being flashed into someone's face, I could just have a small hint about it, like maybe she wears a particular small necklace piece with a small bead in it that relates to her cultures heritage that so happens to be Native American without having to of explained to everyone "hey btw she's a Native American woman that descends from a family member of so and so tribe" I could just add some small detail like a small bead or earing or ring that is thoroughly researched in case antone questions or wonders about it based on her family's ancestral tribe that was passed down like her grandfather's great great grandfather's jewel that was kept in the family or she mentions a death of a fsmiky.member that was buried with kept native traditions?  Are  these good examples?"

 

Yes, that would be good "background lore" about her.  That's where you can "call her a native American woman" and get away with it.  You might have a scene of her performing some religious ritual on a reservation in the beginning of the story, for example.  The audience can plainly she her ethnicity and sex by looking at her, and you've established that she follows the traditions of her history and ancestors.  Then even "off the reservation" in modern clothing the audience still knows who she is.  But what is her story?  She isn't "native American and a woman" and doesn't just go around telling people about that all of the time, just like Lt. Uhura those things should never be the focus or even hinted at unless that is the story, like a Spike Lee story or something, where that is the primary subject matter and focus of the story.  But the "native american woman" aspect of her should be mere "background lore", the focus should be on the fact that she is a doctor, or laywer, or soldier, or scientist... what she is that has nothing to do with her ultimately irrelevant race or ethnic heritage.  

Even setting aside controversial social issues, it always makes for better storytelling in general to not say things outright and directly as much as possible.  To ask more questions then you answer, to set a situation and allow the audience to decide what the right answer is.  People don't want to be told what the answer is, they want to decide for themselves what the answer is.

 

 

Edited by Kavik Kang

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That is true. Since this is a fighting game I wanted to represent a whole different variety of characters. So at first I wanted to truly represent her as a fighting game character that played a homage and tribute to Native American culture with a fighting style that was based on her heritage but I don't want to make it a stereotype so that is why I made choices between making her a cop, a soldier or an MMA fighter without really letting anyone know she is Native American other than through maybe appearance or some small references.

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Posted (edited)

In a fighting game you won't have much story or lore for her.  She will most likely just have a one or two paragraph description like a monster in an RPG game or a vehicle in a war game.  In this type of situation it is usually best to set a standard format for all of the fighters and stick with it across all of them.  You will probably have 8-16 or so fighters, and each would have an information screen somewhere with their picture, description, stats, etc.  That is where her description would be.

So every fighter might have a 3 paragraph description on their information screen, and those three paragraphs are a standard format you use for all of the fighters.  You might decide that the first paragraph will be about their personal life/background, the second will be about their past career as a fighter, and the third will be analyzing them as a fighter compared to the other fighters. Almost as if a sports announcer were giving you the rundown on them before the fight.

So, in this case, what we are actually talking about (assuming my example) is the first paragraph of her description.  That is where you would mention the "personal life and heritage".of every fighter.  Doing it this way helps you create it better, and it helps the players follow it all better.

 

Edited by Kavik Kang

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Posted (edited)

One last thing, just to add to the last post...

In the 3 paragraph example the middle paragraph was 100% and completely optional.  It would all be made-up mumbo jumbo about a fake history of a fake fighting league.  You may want want that, that might be a good thing, thats "lore".  But let's drop it for an example of something else.  Now there are only two paragraph descriptions for the fighters, "personal life" and "fighter comparison".  Notice that one is story, the other is gameplay.  You can keep changing the theme, story, and universe of the game by replacing the first paragraph... the second paragraph can remain no matter what "paint job" you put on the game.

Change "Personal life" to "alignment with the force and apprenticeship history" and you have a Star Wars game.  Change it to "Manufacturer, model, and features" and you have a robot fighting game.  The second paragraph can stay the same, assuming that all you keep changing is that first paragraph and the "playing piece".

The point is that one paragraph is about the story, and the other is about the game play... even though this is the story. 

And, of course, I am talking about now while you are still in the design stage.  Once you had written code for this, it would obviously take a lot more to transform it from Star Wars to Robots then just replacing a paragraph and theoretical "playing piece".  Which is why the more you work it out ahead of time, the better it will be in the end.  

Edited by Kavik Kang

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So all in all, this should not have a great effect on her nationality or heritage as long as her short story and play mechanics are well implimented? 

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Base her on a real person.  Do you know any native women?  There was one girl I grew up with that was native and the weirdest combination of frightening/beautiful.  She dressed like a guy, mainly baggy clothes, think late 90's hip hop style and got a big slash across her face that took off the tip of her nose around middle school fist fighting a grown man who panicked because he was losing and pulled out a knife.  She had the same girlfriend for years, a girl that got pregnant in high school and the guy left her and she ended up raising the child like her own.  They ended up breaking up years later and she was still co-parent with the kid.  Basically a thug on the outside but a really caring person on the inside.  IDK if it's a stereo type but if you make her a person that had to fight because of the surroundings they grew up in and make their reasoning wanting to not have to fight anymore it's kind of more true to life and relatable to the people it's meant to represent. I knew lots of girls like Maggie but if you asked me which one I would want to base a fighting game on it would be her because I'm pretty sure she could beat anyone up. That would be a good idea for a bad guy too, the guy that cut her face, that way you could have a native bad guy to even it out like the other guy said.  Make him older and the polar opposite of her, flashy, loud and sleezy enough to fight a child over their shoe color on the bus.  Make him an Elvis impersonator because that guy had his hair slicked back and geled so much it looked like Lego hair.  Make him a dangerous chump basically.  

You'd have to give them a shared backstory, I like the marital arts based one.  Make their fighting style Eskrima and have them be from Alaska.  Their master moved there from the Philippines to teach them the art of the blade.  One day he was killed in a bear attack, because Alaska, and he hadn't yet named a successor but his 2 top students and the rest of the school knew it would be down to them.  They duel beginning bare handed to decide who will lead the school.  Maggie believes they will fight with respect for each other and keep it to bare hands.  Elvis believes he can beat her with his bare hands and plays along but is mistaken and gets beat down.  He reaches for a fighting stick and attempts to hit her from behind as she walks away but she knows it's coming and turns around to grab his wrist and he apologizes.  She lets go of his wrist and he reaches for the knife at his waist and slashes across her face.  At that point the rest of the school rushes in to save her but he stops them and gives them a speech about a distorted and evil vision of the true spirit of Eskrima, the kind of stuff a villain would say, then banishes Maggie from the school.  She's fighting to go back and take her place as the head of the school from a the villain. Her attacks are speed based and focus on bare hands and traditional stick weapons, he is a weapons expert with increased damage potential but compromised speed and an arsenal of weapons as special attack, Eskrima encourages weapon improvisation so the sky is the limit here, you could even have him throw his plastic hair hat at someone.

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