Tidy Up #86

More notices that wouldn’t make up individual posts, but are worth sharing wholesale here!


We’re sorry to inform our alleged readers that the previous Tidy Up Tuesday post requires to come in with basic reading comprehension. As does the entirety of our blog. Keep that in mind next time before responding.


We were sad to learn that not just Battleborn, but every other game we mentioned as a positive in our last throwback, is either dead (Gigantic), discontinued from further development (Dirty Bomb) or practically dead due to near-zero player engagement (Battleborn). 

Makes it even worse that the only successful diverse mainstream hero shooter multiplayer out there is Overwatch, which seems to have concluded that they already met their melanin and body type variety quota

Overwatch fans, please push Blizzard to actually do women better and to stop releasing more

white

skinny conventionally attractive female characters! Have Overwatch take responsibility for what it set out to do!


Praising media creators for doing things they should have been doing for a long time, let alone the bare minimum of it, won’t get us anywhere. There’s a difference between actual progress and finally getting to something that should be a given, like decent representation

There’s a reason we have both an “improvement” and “improvement?” tags.


Addressed before: 


~Ozzie, – wincenworks & -Icy

Livestreams: The Resurrection

Livestreams will be returning to BABD on November 24th! Get ready, cause we’re coming back with a sexy guy redesign~ ( ͡o ͜ʖ ͡o)

Our stream time will be the same: 10 AM PST / 7 PM CST.

We’ll also post reminders as we have been doing before. We look forward to seeing you again on Nov. 24th!

~Ozzie and Icy

fenrhi:

indivisiblerpg:

Today’s @indivisiblerpg update features Mara henchman and blade-licking afficionado, Ren!

Read up on his gameplay and check out his animations at the link!

http://www.indivisiblegame.com/2018/01/19/ren-animations-and-gameplay/

@bikiniarmorbattledamage

While we talked about Indivisible’s design being pretty damn awesome and varied, there were still issues we had to point out, like Phoebe’s whole costume. 

Good to see a genuinely sexyfied male character added to the game! 

Like, this sort of costume (high heels! underboob! thigh cutuouts!) and animations are very rarely used unironically on male characters.

He’s still though one of the villains, making this an example of evil is sexy and arguably also of antagonist LGBT coding.

Hoping to see a heroic dude get this sort of design treatment next time, to level the playing field and normalize sexy masculinity!

~Ozzie 

bikiniarmorbattledamage:

@lauraelyse submitted:

Same character class, same style of game, three different takes on it.
Stylistic choices don’t exist in a vacuum.

Dirty Bomb really doesn’t get enough credit for it’s walking the walk when it comes to egalitarian character designs and commitment to diversity.  Every mercenary has a story, a personality and gear that is suitable to them – on top of that, they’re not afraid to let things get ugly.  Have a look at how Proxy (basically their equivalent of Tracer in terms of personality) looks lately:

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Needless to say Sparks as a white-clad medic who’s only thoughts on her profession is “Call me Sparks. I heal. I kill. Is ironic paradox. Yadda Yadda.” is a wonderful breath of fresh air in games.

Ambra from Battleborn is certainly not ideal, but as we’ve discussed before her design reeks of the Creepy Marketing Guy influence – but they at least made her a unique character and worked in no small amount of entertaining quirk.

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Mercy… oh Mercy.

– wincenworks

Before anyone comes to say we’re taking things out of context or comparing apples to oranges, yes, all those games have their own aesthetic and we should should judge how each character looks within it.
Dirty Bomb is quite realistic, Battleborn is very cartoony and Overwatch lies somewhere in the middle.

Overwatch, out of the three, is the one which suffers from disparate stylization:

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And with female cast already less diverse than male, boobplates, the staple of unrealistic ignorant female costume design, look jarrigly cartoony there.

And we’re still not okay with boobplate on Galilea, even though Battleborn is more heavily stylized.

Speaking of ensemble games with cartoony aesthetic, let’s not forget about Gigantic, which while not boobplate-free (on their healer character, no less), does really good with gender and age balance among their cast.

~Ozzie 

This week’s throwback: a reminder that Blizzard’s bland approach to female character design really pales in comparison to competition.

Also that Battleborn never had to be asked to deliver Black (or Black-coded, considering the sci-fi fantasy setting) playable women.

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R.I.P. Battleborn, a potentially great game that committed a pre-emptive suicide by getting released shortly before very similar product from Blizzard while having barely a fraction of huge marketing power and none of religious fanbase devotion that Blizzard both has.

~Ozzie 

Return of Kanpani Girls

Our second Kanpani Girls redesign. Fixing more soldier waifus!

Elmina

So this character is supposed to be the highest ranking soldier among the Holy Knights (whatever they are in the game) and basically is supposed to be perfect leader and fighter, including über-pretentious part in character description: 

There’s not a single hole in her fighting technique. The spear is actually a perfect metaphor for her existence itself. She very rarely takes center stage. 

Mary-Sue-ish description aside, I gotta admit that Elmina’s stance and *parts* of uniform do inform what a confident authority figure she is. Then there are ridiculous patches of bare skin, schoolgirl face and ridiculously busy costume shape. 

First, obvious thing to fix were the random cutouts. Then I decided that whatever that giant pauldron thingy on her right arm is supposed to be looks just too absurd and uncomfortable to leave it as it is. Instead I recreated her left pauldron best as I could, to make it a simple symmetrical uniform. 

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Next thing was to give her face conveying the experience and age you’d expect from a high ranking officer. I made her look older with a bigger nose, some minor wrinkles and a tiny bit more detailed lips and jawline. Crossing scars over the bridge of her nose communicate that she acquired her mastery of the spear at a cost – no real badass warrior authority should go scarless.
Also she got a haircut. Her cape is epic enough to blow in the wind and the long hair just asked to get stuck in her weapons or armor.

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The rest of the stream I spent reversing all those tiny little ornamental shapes from her uniform into simpler, bigger shapes that don’t tire the eye so quickly. Most such changes can be observed on her greaves, as her legs were the least exposed part of the costume.

~Ozzie


Helga

I decided to tackle the lovingly-rendered but very unfortunately dressed Helga. She has no backstory that I found, so nothing was stopping me from doing whatever I wanted. Insert evil redesigner laugh!

I started by giving her an actual breastplate to replace the…. um. I’m not actually sure what she was supposed to be wearing in the original? It’s not pasties, but there’s not enough coverage to call it a bra… anyway. I got it outta there fast. I also gave her a sleeve while I was at it.

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I used the same breastplate design as I used for my other Kanpani Girl redraw, because the metal bits under her breasts lead easily into it. I just moved it down to that it’s an actual armor. And thanks to feedback on the previous design, I knew to give her a brigandine under that breastplate: that’s what the metal rivets are.

Next, I debated over what to do with her legs. At first, I wanted to give her a tabbard and get rid of her massive skirt almost entirely, but I actually like the skirt. It goes well with her flowy sleeve, and I decided that she was a noblewoman who learned sword-fighting. No backstory, no rules!! It wouldn’t be the most practical, but I decided she still held onto vain nobility ideals and thus kept the skirt. I just made it a little less wide.

I also noticed that her short inside skirt had the beginning shapes of pants, and I ran with that. The trademark Poofy Pants™

make an appearance again, with white tights underneath for contrast. I moved her stocking decorations to her shins and made shoes out of them.

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And finally, I made her actually look determined. She feels like a person who only recently picked up the sword, so no scars for her yet.

I definitely had fun rendering this out, though having to switch to a different idea part-way through once again meant that I didn’t finish this during the stream. I’m better about it now, I swear! 

-Icy

grubwizard:

if your female character doesn’t look like she has lived the life she leads and you can’t get a sense for her actual personality by looking at her because you’re too focused on making her pretty and perfect and palatable it’s bad character design and you should feel bad

It’s worth noting that, generally speaking – this is why concept artists want to be concept artists. They want to convey feelings, story and inspire the imagination. It’s not uncommon for concept artists to do staggering amounts of research in order to find ways to convey a type of character in a type of time period.

So, if you come across a product created by a major studio where they have extensive executive and production staff – it’s safe to say that any aggressively boring female character designs are done at the behest of a particular type of individual pushing a ridiculous myth to try to seem like a genius.

It is important to call out this kind of absurdity, not just to try to reduce the amount of gratuitous objectification in media – but to also spare these poor artists the indignity of having a guy try to convince them he invented anime tiddy.

– wincenworks

Tidy Up Tuesday #85


Redesign streams are very likely to come back this weekend! Stay tuned till Friday for more info!


Some elaboration on the obviously contentious topic of Ashe being the next Overwatch heroine:

  • Arguing over whether she’s a “true” albino or not completely misses the point of the whole discussion. Even if Ashe was (and her design, even when accounted for makeup, makes a shitty job of conveying albinism in person of any ethnicity), this changes absolutely nothing about Blizzard electing to give another pale, thin conventionally attractive woman spot in the cast rather than finally creating a playable Black woman. Especially since she’s clearly not a PoC albino, as many rebloggers pointed out.
  • People claiming that racebending a supposed albino to be Black is somehow taking away from albino representation are concern trolls
  • Literally all “arguments” about Overwatch “already having” playable Black female representation are neatly listed and debunked in this handy masterpost by @geegee-wellplayed​. Please go read it and hand the link to anyone who claims that Symmetra/the Amaris/Sombra/Efi/Lucio is all that Black women need to identify with in the game. 
  • “Ashe is a gang leader, so making her black would be a bad look” rhetoric makes as much sense as any Thermian argumentshe doesn’t have to be made as an antagonistic gang leader or to be (extremely) white. It was entirely Blizzard’s choice to release a character like that instead of literally anyone else. 
  • For some more detailed commentary about overall blandness of Ashe’s character design, please read this writeup by our reader @red-queen-on-the-heathen-throne
  • If you actually think that @darthputa​ or anyone (particularly PoC) doing race-bent redesigns of white characters from predominantly white media is the real racist and you still follow this blog, please unfollow immediately. Or at the very least tell us, so we can block you. 

Since it wasn’t the first time we discussed the matter, with the Ashe post we introduced the representation and diversity tags. We’re still working on re-tagging old posts with them, so if you guys spot in our archives something related to those topics and not yet tagged, please drop us a note!


~Ozzie, – wincenworks & – Icy

geistaku0719:

A while back, I found the Female Armor Bingo Card by @bikiniarmorbattledamage and I remember seeing a particular candidate for that while binge watching Anime America. So I went ahead and did the bingo card with Dragon Half’s main character, Mink! Afterwards, I thought it would be fun to do a redesign of her, and even if it took me a while to finish, here she is! I love her color pallette, btw. ;D

Now this is a legit bingo contender! I think we could also mark “Boob window” and “Sharp ornamental pieces” too, scoring another row.

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And just in case we get responses from people claiming that it’s ecchi comedy series, so any sort of non-porn sexualization goes… NOPE. Armor bikinis don’t start making more sense just because the series is made mostly of slapstic and fanservice

I really enjoy the redesign, it’s cute and simple. Amazingly, giving her pants and a shirt doesn’t make this half-dragon heroine look any less like a fantasy character. And golden greaves, bracers, pauldrons and ornamentation still communicate both fantasy aesthetic and that she has a capacity to fight.

Thank you for the bingo contribution, @geistaku0719!

~Ozzie