Monday, March 28, 2011

More on Girl Gaming

To clarify, I'm not mad that there aren't many women.. I just find it intriguing. And some people say that it's because it's a boys' club, but I haven't found that. I feel more like a hot commodity than a reject in the game development community (from my experience so far).

I definitely agree about the "no fighting". Some girls do like fighting, but they're already catered to, kind of. I'm more curious about those who are looking for something new.

But let's think about totally new stuff.. Like, I've always dreamed about a castle building game, somewhat similar to what Larissa just described. You design a castle, but not to prepare it for battle, just for the fun of it! And maybe the challenges are technological... and you have to combine materials in new ways to unlock new structural possibilities to make towers that can stick out of cliffs etc.

Like someone said, I've also always preferred the character creation part of games. I often lose interest after that. I guess that's why Makers are so popular ^_^ I love Age of Empires right up until you have to fight.
There's gotta be a way to expand on that.. What else could Makers (dress ups) do?

What about dating sims? But quality ones, geared at girls/women? I think there's a lot more demand than anyone suspects (and a lack of high quality supply).
Like, what about an immersive adventure-game-style dating sim with Disney-quality graphics? I'd be down with that... Rachel, I know what you mean about games being geared at women focusing on stereotypical things, but I think if such a game was actually designed by a woman it would be quite different from the crap that's out there now.

And yeah, I actually agree that games shouldn't have to be geared "at women". When I say women, I more mean people who aren't into shooting games, which just happen to mostly (but not all) be women.

49 comments:

  1. Those ideas all sound amazing. I'm pretty impressed with your work, so I'm going to trust you, Ola. :D Heehee, do what you think best.

    If you want my opinion...I like the Sims idea and I had one of my own (but you might not like it...).
    You could make an EXTREMELY detailed maker. :D Haha. More so than the Princess Maker. :D Then, you could choose poses for the doll (see? Told you.) and, say, a horse or something for her to sit on. :D Yeah...
    Disregard if need be, I just thought it'd be cool. Hahaha.

    Do what you think is best!

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  2. O_O
    hahahahhaha XD
    Oh boy... tell you what, I'll get right on it, the moment I have 10 full time employees :D

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  3. I love the idea of a dating sim..but every one I've played has the girl so timid or clueless! I also love mysteries! Mostly with shocking endings! One like:
    'Oh My god it was the cat!' or something like that...
    And character costomization(spelled right?) is awsome in games. I also don't like how some makers have the dolls so stick thin (thats why I love the games by setsuna). Don't get me wrong I love all over your games Ola (promise!!!) but I would really like some body and hight options for them. (I'm such a shortty!)
    Also your couple makers are a must please make a prince one for the disney princess one!
    Sorry if I sound demanding...hehe. Keep up your awsome work!
    -ps. sorry for the spelling!

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  4. I love mysteries too!

    Ack, yeah timid/clueless sounds really lame.

    Haha actually I have a surprise on the way...

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  5. Ola have you ever played Mind Craft? Its a computer game and your in a world completely made out of blocks (kinda like Lego's). Your can make what ever you want in it, for example my brother is making a hotel! lol. Also you can make tools for chopping trees or mining. Its alot of fun and hard to explain the whole game, you should look it up! :)

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  6. I haven't played it but I know of it. Since joining the independent game developer community, I've been hearing about it from everyone. I've even had multiple minecraft "party" invitations lol.

    ..and yes it's actually where i got the idea for the castle mechanic from! If that's what made you think of it, good call :P

    But I haven't been drawn to it enough to try because:
    A. I can't afford to get addicted to things right now
    B. The zombies/night bit scares me >_<
    C. The graphics aren't too pretty (which I know is part of the charm, but it doesn't make it an easy sell)

    But I definitely like the idea of where that style of game is headed.. creation based gaming.

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  7. I've always loved games like Civilization, but, being the nerd I am, I've always wished there was a game like it that was even MORE in depth, where you had to get really hands-on with the politics and negotiations and stuff.

    The castle-maker sounds really cool! I kind of have this image in my mind where, instead of just making the castle, you have to also manage whatever little town you have around it, because that's where you get your building supplies from. And as the town grows and has more trade/industry, you can use more advanced materials/techniques to expand your castle. Oh man, I could spend hours on a game like that.

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  8. Hahaha! Maybe one of these days you'll get all those 10 employees, Miss Game Designer. ;)

    You could also (maybe you'll not like this idea, either, but I AM an author...so yeah..):
    Have a maker in book form (I kinda like the one for the Princess Maker...can ya tell?). You could then dress up the doll in certain stages of her life [For Example: baby, toddler, teenager, young adult]. (See? You won't like this one, either. :D) You could choose her status (Peasant, noble, princess, shieldmaiden), race (Elvish, human, blah blah blah), and whom she marries. :D Or you could skip that last part. Anyway, there's another idea from moi. *rolls eyes at self* Seriously, once I get going, I can't stop. *sighs*

    Do whatever, Ola! :D You rock!

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  9. You could ... make some dating sims? I don't really know much about the genre, but from what I know, a lot of the art is just stills of characters. And if you went off already popular franchises, you could probably get a lot of fans.

    If you wanted to tie in dress up games, you could design your character's appearance to some degree, and maybe at the end there's a pic of her with the guy she chose.

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  10. I do agree with what you have said- I would love more games like that! I find any game were you have to race, fight or shoot people incredibly dull, and my favourite part is always dressing them up- particularly in historical dresses! I have for a long time been having ideas for the perfect game (for me, anyway!), set in a Victorian world, with a storyline but you can choose the way the story goes, so make choices... Ahh well, I could elaborate a lot on that, but I don't want to take up all the space ;) By the way, I am currently playing the Sims Medieval, and am very much finding it to my liking- the costumes are beautiful, and not fighting unless you want to! On another note, your games are always so beautiful- I am very much looking forward to any new ones!

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  11. My favorite types of games are character creators, things with "romance" options, fighting, and rpg.
    I've had one series that had all those things, and that I am in loveee with: Dragon Age 1&2.
    I spent an hour and a half making my character, love the fighting system, and it has romance options.

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  12. Most games geared at women are always cutesy with girly anime bunnies and totally unrealistic, overely-romantic male characters. I call this 'guilty-pleasure' gaming.

    I personally like the tatical side of war games, but only when I have followed a storyline and characters developed enough to get me there. Most women like adventure style games, just not the repetive violence that leads to its predictabilty. Woman's nature is to anticipate and relish plot twists and puzzles, while most men only look for distraction in gaming.

    I am all right with both styles of gaming. Yes, I do wish that more games were designed to accomodate the desires of women, but no, I do not think that is the fault of a "boy's club".

    However, this is probably the reason that most strong women in games, from queens to assasins, often have skimpy attire. I mean, firing a machine gun from a helicoptor in heels and a low-cut bustier? Yeah, right.

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  13. It's actually Minecraft, not Mind Craft.
    Its a very well made game, and it's not even completed yet.
    You can turn off zombies, and other monsters with the peaceful mode, which also turns off health loss.
    The possibilities with Minecraft are almost endless, and I've created many castles, on cliffs, valleys and on/under water.
    If you don't like the graphics that come with the game, there are now many mods that change the style of the blocks, some are very cute and there are a few cool steamspunk designs.
    Overall the game is great and has a lot of potential.

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  14. theres a game out called "age of mythology" thats pretty awesome but you cant make your own characters, i love ancient civilization games were you can make our own well... ancient civilization, haha but with like myth and "god" options that you can create,design and name them
    i kno thats alot to ask but i love that kind of thing with like battles for territory and such in the ancient world

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  15. I find alot of games have the main character as a male. It would be nice to have some zelda type games, but with a girl hero.

    Although i have to agree that i often enjoy the creation more than the actual game.
    Sort of like the Sims!

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  16. Like some people have said, I love mysteries, historical-based, and designing my charachter. I love plot twists and what the other Anon said about Zelda games I completely agree.

    On seperate note, I like violence but not blood. Keep up all the good work.

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  17. I agree! Zelda-type games sound AMAZINGLY fun! :D

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  18. I'm sorta addicted to MMORPG's like Lord of the Rings Online and Perfect World International- but I only create characters. I never really go and fight- I just run around and explore. :P
    Like most of you all said- I enjoy making my character.
    I like strong female roles- and I wish there were games like them. I also enjoy games that have a darker feel to them. :P

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  19. 2 Words: Grow games.
    My faves are at: http://www.eyezmaze.com/
    kthnxbai
    b(^_^)d

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  20. Um... Off-topic from the posts before this, but I have an idea for a game that I'd like to see... (in general, not from this site in particular)

    There's a project that I'm doing in school (mandatory part of the mandatory economics class) called UrbanPlan. A city is redeveloping/revitalizing a 5-and-a-half block area, and the project is about designing a plan for it. There're all these different goals and requirements about money, jobs, neighborhood concerns, how the whole thing looks, etc... that you try to meet. Grades are based on how successfully you do this.

    What I'd really like to see someone create would be a game that'd sort of combine UrbanPlan and games like the Sims. There'd be a number of different scenarios (different cities, different backstories, different requirements, etc...) to try to work with. The game would also have an architectural side to it too (because simplistic blueprints and messing with Duplo blocks only goes so far), so you could see/design what the whole thing would look like; what the buildings'll be used for, what architectural styles you want to use, how the sizes/heights of things all fit together, down to the little details like sidewalks or parks or street lights.

    You can get points for all sorts of things based off of your plan-- originality, style, financial stuff (aka: things that I personally don't really care about but tolerate for the challenge aspect), how much the neighborhood and/or city likes it, and even things like traffic or how green the space is. I'm not sure if it'd work, but players could also get points for exchanging ideas with other players and providing critique/feedback/suggestions. The points could be used for unlocking new levels/scenarios or design stuff or just for bragging rights.

    ... And that was a massive word-dump... But, yeah, that's my idea. I'm not sure if it'd even work or not, but I just wanted to put it out there just in case.

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  21. Also another game would be cool with a girl lead (i mentioned the zelda game), would be games like Assassins Creed, maybe without the blood though.

    Although have any of you played Little Big Planet? That's pretty good for girls, and involves character creation, world creation, and fun, cute adventure games!!

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  22. I really like the idea of a dating sim. I've never played one before because, to be honest, they usually seem kind of skeevy, but the thought of one being well-made is very appealing :P I've always thought that a boarding school-type sim/adventure game would be fun. Quizzes to determine your house, classes that are mini-games, side quests to earn money to decorate your room and buy customized clothing...

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  23. I am going to be getting Sims Medieval in the mail soon. I am very excited to play it! I know you can not make castles, but you can totally decorate them and what nots, as well as the kingdom's layout I think. I also know that as you play the game you will unlock or be able to put on addons to your castle. It will still have that sims motion to the game that makes it fun, but it will have a different theme. I, also, love the character creation part of games, which will come with the Sims Medieval (beautiful costumes aswell). Again, I am very excited to play it!

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  24. I Loooooooove AoE II. My housemate and I used to play on Standard level, Black Forest, the largest map possible, against six computers...and trounce them. She played the Spanish, I the Koreans (mobile fiery arrow tanks!!) Once we played for so long byt the time we'd finished the sun was rising. We also used Halo II and III multiplayer as stress relief - I'd go and hide, she'd come and find me. Oh and the demo for Dead Rising - hot frying pans. Alas, now we don't have an XBox (it was out other housemate's) so now I watch her play Legacy of Kain or we play Mario Party on the Cube if we have guests. (No fun with just two >.<) And we both have IV and V generations of Pokémon. Basically we both play what we want to play, how we want to play it, screw everyone else. :D

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  25. One thing that bugs the crap out of me is those games that start out free, get a bunch of players and then make it cost money to get the cool stuff (zwinky, fairy hollow, etc). It drives me crazy! Whatever game you make, do NOT do that.

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  26. i agree 100% with Myleah it is really annoying when websites do that some people cant aford to pay and it ends up becoming super annoying

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  27. lol I love MMORPGs and I love the fighting. Character creation is extremely important.

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  28. have any of you guys played "sanctum"? it's a tower defence/first person shooter, with a female main character. she's not busty with a ridiculous outfit, and the game doesn't revolve around her femaleness; she's just a girl. that you play as while you build mazes and shoot aliens. it makes me pre happy ngl

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  29. I like RPG's mostly, especially ones where you can play as multiple races, and one with a lot of choices for character customization.

    I personally don't mind first person shooter to much, I prefer playing the campaign on the Call of Duty games to playing online.

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  30. I think your idea of a game where you can make your own games is awesome tbh. =-)

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  31. !!! just saw that you added another bodytype to the princess maker. you are officially the best ever <3

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  32. I really Like A Single Touch's Idea to make like a super complex book idea! That sounds awesome... then again... I'm not the one that's challenged on making that sooo... nvm. xD

    I really Love your games, and I'm really not that picky. I just wish you would upload games more often! It's been awhile. D:

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  33. I was so thrilled to come across dolldivine earlier this year. And it is so impressive to me that you are trying to meet the niche of the 'girl gamer' market. I've received much criticism from 'hardcore' gamers for my taste in games, so it is relieving to know I'm not alone.

    Anyway, I play mostly puzzle, maker, and sim games. I think it would be very nice to see the three of them combined into one fully functioning game.
    A game with a dating sim or conversation adventure for story line, where you design your own character's appearance and choose basic abilities, and earn items and levels by playing simple puzzle games.

    I'm not even just looking for a freebee game like this. If it were as well made and given as much detail and length as other 'hardcore' games, I would gladly pay the thirty to fifty dollars for it.

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  34. Kate, that sounds awesome!

    Those grow games intigue me but I never have enough patience/free time to figure one out completely.

    That city block game sounds awesome!
    So does the boarding school game!

    You guys are definitely making me wanna try sim medieval and dragon age. We'll see.. I should be doing some "research" after all...

    Haha, I lost a large part of my life to AoE. My ex and I also went to town on Rise of Nations.

    Myleah, they call it the monetized freemium game model, and it's all the rage. Every third talk at the Game Developer's Conference was about how to make games start free, then charge for stuff. Personally, I'm down with the free download, but I hate the idea of sleazily charging for stuff. I'm so happy that I can make money using only advertisements :D

    Yeah I'd really like to make games that let you make games or dress up games. A friend of mine made FlashPunk and another Ogmo, both are things to help you make games, but I haven't really investigated the possibilities, nor do I know whether they're easy to use. Worth investigating though if one's interested! They're both free.

    I like the idea of combining "puzzle, maker and sim" games ^_^ Sounds very girl-friendly indeed. The next question is "how?"

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  35. So, I get that the ALTA stuff is bothering you, but I think suki should have an engagement necklace from sokka. And we should be able to make all the girls pregnant in the ALTA scene maker. PLEASE!?!?

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  36. Yeah... I don't remember what the original topic here was. But I like to play Poptropica every once in awhile. Kind of geared toward little kids, but its currently mostly free(I haven't paid anything...) and has a lot of different "islands" you can do quests/missons on. Very guided, but you can edit your person as much as you want!
    I like it a lot! Also no downloads! I don't think its going to stay free much longer...
    btw I love your games~!!! ^_^

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  37. @Luna - try Echo Bazaar :3 Fallen London, mostly-text based, you raise the stats you want to raise, choose what oppurtunities you take... (also? addictive.)

    One of my favourite games is Princess Maker (not the one on here, although I do love it :3) - originally Japanese, but the second one has been translated to English and is floating around the internet. You raise a little girl, sending her off adventuring, or to school, or to work. Cute Knight by Hanako Games is much the same principle (and Cute Knight Kingdom)

    I love visual novels :3

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  38. Personally, as an adult woman (who can therefore play things that are rated M) I find that games like Fable have an appeal. You can customize your character, but you can only do it over time, meaning that by the time you customize your character, you're well into the plot, meaning that you don't just create your character, customize them, and get bored. You can choose any hairstyle or tattoo, but you have to find cards for them. You can choose between three paths: good, evil, and neutral, and the appearance of your character is affected by your alignment. Plus historical and fantasy games do have a female appeal.

    In Fable II and III, you can play as a man or a woman, but in the original, it was male-only. Personally, I'd rather play as a man, but I can see where having a female option, along with strong female allied characters, such as Briar Rose and Whisper in the original and Hannah (aka Hammer) in Fable II, would be of appeal to some women.

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  39. I agree with what A Single Touch said about the dress-up a woman and select the age, and whether or not she's a noble or a peasant, and whom she marries, etc. I think it's an awesome idea because I ALWAYS have ideas for characters and stories rattling around inside my head.

    But there is a such thing as too detailed.:(
    Still a nice idea though.

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  40. can someone please tell me how some people have hearts or other little pics in their messages and how to get them. I just wanna know.

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  41. how do I add more pictures that I make on here so that they show up

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  42. I love it when you can decide how your character looks from his / her hair to their body build. It's so awesome. I love reading fantasy-historical-romance manga and watching same genre anime - so I'd love to play a fantasy-historical-romance sim (but again make the dresses optional) In my opinion there's only such thing as "too detailed" if things become confusing. [quote]However, this is probably the reason that most strong women in games, from queens to assasins, often have skimpy attire. I mean, firing a machine gun from a helicoptor in heels and a low-cut bustier? Yeah, right.[/quote] Exactly! I have mixed feelings about "sexy" female characters and clothing. It's unrealistic to expect a female to go to battle in, say, a tube top and mini skirt and high heels. *rolls eyes* When you see stuff like that it's just so obvious that it's most likely a male or a bunch of males who made the game. *sigh* For those interested in trying to make games...if you like interactive fiction there's Adrift (the downside is that most interactive fiction writers are snobs that like to look down on things like Adrift but if you get your stuff out there I'll play) I've tried my hand at making games but I don't really have anything out there for various reasons and my main problem is that if I have to make a choice between playing a game or making one, I'd rather sit down and play one. A lot of stuff is kinda hard on me since I'm not a great artist or programmer. Oh, and there's also Adventure Game Studio for those that want to try to make various types of Sierra and Lucasarts/lucas soft type games. Or google search for "free game creator" / "game creator on google and look around the indie gaming scene. - Karessa

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  45. My favorite types of games are character creators, things with "romance" options, fighting, and rpg.
    I've had one series that had all those things, and that I am in loveee with: Dragon Age 1&2. * slope

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