weirdfolio asked: Share 10 GW related facts about yourself, then pass this on to your favorite 10 followers!
1. My favorite race is Asura (you wouldn’t have guessed)
2. I’ve never played GW1, but still I love to look up ruins and lore references just for the heck of it.
3. I haven’t done one explorable in my entire GW carreer
4. Neither have I done a fractal
5. Haven’t killed Zhaitan
6. Have done only done the storymode dungeons up to Sorrow’s Embrace
7. I earned my T3 through playing the tradepost, hardly anything else
8. I’ve once set foot in WvW, only with my graphics too high. I got killed by people that still needed to be rendered, I haven’t returned since
9. I’ve considered using my gems for gifts, but I don’t really know people well enough to actually dare send them.
10. I haven’t been in a normal guild for longer then two weeks. Save for the 1-man banker guild I made myself.
Follower Sketch Giveaway
A’ight. I’ve got this sketchbook shoved in my desk drawer here, and it’s relatively empty. I want to do a page full of character doodles, and hold another giveaway while I’m at it. Since I want to give back to my followers, this is a followers only giveaway.
New and old followers are both welcome to participate. However, no giveaway blogs allowed.
This time, I wanna doodle Asura, Quaggan, and/or Skritt. So, if you’ve got Asura, Quaggan, or Skritt characters you want sketches of, show me some character references- reblog this, drop something in my Ask, however you’d like. Each person can have multiple characters drawn; I’m going to keep sketching until I fill the page. Have at it.
I might end up interspersing doodles of my own characters throughout the page as well, depending on my mood.
For those with Asura, Skritt or Quaggan! I’ll keep my char references under a readmore.
Let’s address the controversy, shall we?
Before I publish the second bingo card, I want to address the, for a lack of better word, shitstorm that ensued when a lead concept artist on Bioware’s Dragon Age: Inquisition, Matt Rhodes of mattrhodesart, decided to reblog the already-growing in popularity Female Armor Bingo.
His initial comments were met with a lot of backlash, and as much as I believe there was never nefarious intent on his side, which is confirmed by the thoughtful follow-up apology, what he said in the original post and added edit (below) was potentially problematic and one-sided.
Still, I’m most grateful that an industry professional helped to spread the word about my work and sparked a meaningful discussion concerning character design and the significant difference in perspective between male creators and female consumers.
In reference to the whole controversy, I’m reblogging below the excellent response by flutiebear who confronted Rhodes’s arguments both pre-edit and post it (below). Then, below cut I’ll add a few quotes from other reblogs that I found worth of mention. Bolding mine.
[truncated for brevity]
This is pretty amusing. The most concise collection of tropes and cliches used in female character design that I’ve seen yet.
But it also got me thinking. Tropes and cliches are like knives: if you’re naive you’ll only hurt yourself and others, avoid them entirely and you’ll be safe but limited, OR learn how and when to use them to your advantage. Ignorance and prohibition are two paths to ruin.
Looking at this chart, I honestly think there’s a good chance that throughout my career I’ll use most of these (and many more that aren’t represented here). In fact, just reading through the list gave me a few design ideas. Of course if I’m doing my job right it should ALWAYS be in service of the story and character (not at their expense).
This issue raises a small red flag for me. As an artist, the one thing I dare not do is declare: I shan’t use this or that design element as long as I live, so help me God!Edit: I’m going to expand on my thoughts here, as a response to some of the comments I’ve received. Over the past 10 years as a concept artist I’ve been able to see that the difference between a lasting design and a forgettable one is how much it respects the audience and the character. My unique position has afforded me a lot of face time with gamers and fans (and would-be-fans) and their desires echo my own: give us more character designs we can believe in. And now, as a father of two daughters I am more invested than ever in the fight for inclusivity and creating designs that inspire and invite EVERYONE to join in. Let me be perfectly clear: I firmly believe we will win that fight by attacking imbedded mentalities, not specific aesthetic choices. We should certainly treat the symptoms, but I don’t want that to distract from fighting the disease. For example, the chart mentions boob cups, helmetless armor and armor with holes with skin showing through. I’m watching through Game of Thrones again, so I think of Cersei Lannister’s armored gown with boob cups, Brienne of Tarth’s lack of helmet and the incredible design language used in the desert armor of Qarth (more holes than metal, with minimal fabric beneath). They are all done tastefully and in support of character and setting. Their respect for the characters and the audience led them to create unique and story-supporting designs despite checking 3 bingo boxes. I understand that this list was created out of a frustration that, frankly, I will likely never fully experience. I know that it’s targeting the worst, most flagrant examples of these tropes, and to that I say “swing away”. Concept artists/art directors/producers who perpetuate this insidious atmosphere should ABSOLUTELY be taken down a peg. But saying “we will never draw these specific things again” basically just gives the sexist mentality more power. At that point they own those aesthetics and they have no right to. I have to believe that there are a hundred ways to design backless armor that don’t insult or alienate half the audience. A smart designer could take back “armored gloves and feet but no armor on the midsection”. That could look really cool and imply a totally different fighting technique. I will (very likely) never design a battle thong, but some day an artist better than me will design an army of men and women in battle thongs and nipple armor, and will handle it with dignity and respect to the characters and the audience, and we’ll thank them for it.
I understand you want to respect the creative process, and I believe you when you say that you’re trying to be respectful to your fans.
But please understand that by distancing yourself from the above examples, by saying this chart is only targeting the “worst, most flagrant examples”, you’re trying to create distance between yourself and the problematic status quo rather than examining how your own actions might be unintentionally perpetuating it.
Your Game of Thrones example is actually a great example. I’d argue that Cersei’s boob cups and Brienne’s helmetlessness and Danaerys’s Qarth garb are part of the problem. You might not perceive this costume design to be as flagrant or egregious as, say, chain mail pasties, but the fact is that these costumes are designed to remind the viewer of their wearers’ femininity for no apparent practical reason. And it always seems to be the case in stories that feature women warriors! We viewers are always, always reminded that they are first and foremost women, not warriors — as if we’d forget! If reminders of sex characteristics are truly necessary to reveal character and develop story, then how come there aren’t more armors being designed with penis cups and chest hair windows? Who knows, without them, I might otherwise forget I’m looking at a man!
A far more successful case of costume design, I think, comes from Dragon Age 2. Take Aveline’s guard armor or Cassandra’s Seeker uniform. These are two great examples of armor worn by women, which do not feel the need to remind the viewer by construction: DON’T FORGET THIS IS ARMOR FOR LADIES. Instead these armors are not only practical, but also fit within universe and tell a story about the women who wear them. And somehow we the viewers still manage not to forget that women are wearing them.
What I’m saying is that sexism, objectification, these things don’t always happen in flagrancies. Every now and then you’ll see something that’ll really make you grimace, but usually it’s a million little microaggressions, most of which often fly under the radar of our otherwise respectful and enlightened male colleagues. You might not think that underboob is all that bad, or see anything wrong about metal on bare skin, no matter how impractical it is. But when it’s the only representation you see of your own gender, again and again and again, you get tired of it.
You’re right that fighting female objectification in the industry isn’t about outlawing or banning certain design choices; it’s about a commitment to a more thoughtful, respectful and inclusive aesthetic. But the use of hypotheticals — well, I’m sure someone could design practical backless armor! — only serve to redirect the conversation away from its original point: that the industry status quo is sexism and female objectification. Yes, I’m sure someone could design practical backless armor, hypothetically. But that’s not the point. The point is that you and other artists/designers like you have the power to influence change through your work, and instead of rising to that challenge, you tend to distance yourself from it, by saying “well, it’s only those other guys that are sexist, not me”.
Your work, at least on DA, speaks for itself and so I give you the benefit of the doubt, Matt. But when you make a post like your original one, where you reblog this chart and laugh at it, even joke about how you’ve gotten design ideas from it — well, it makes me wonder, you know?
And below let me highlight selected quotes from other reblogs I found meaningful. To read whole posts, click on the usernames.
Agreeing to make couple OCs with someone but neither of you are allowed to show your OCs to each other until they are ready and now those two are going to get together and they must work it out no matter what
let’s do it
That sounds crazy fun actually if I could convince any of my friends.I….
oh god lol
This sounds pretty cool
Here’s a thing I’ve been meaning to write up about ~roleplaying~
I’ve seen the question of “why are we expected to follow lore?” come up a couple times so here’s the short version of the answer:
You’re sharing a storytelling medium with many many other people. This medium is an MMO, so, the devs create the story within which we are telling our own stories. To successfully merge the writing of thousands of people without extensive OOC communication, RPers follow the basic guidelines of the universe.
I don’t actually want to get into “but when and how is it acceptable for me to break lore” today so yeah that’s it bye.
“Amazing how often bleak despair, on closer examination, turns out to be low blood sugar.”
—Elizabeth Bear (via beruthielthequeen)
Happens a lot to me. That or I’m awake between 3 and 6 am. This is the time when dopamine levels in the brain are lowest you know. This is also supported by the fact that most depression- based suicides occur at 4 am.
I had no idea that blood-sugar had such a possible imparct on the mental level.