maispace:

Inspired by going on one of my classic Overwatch character design rants the other day and binging @bikiniarmorbattledamage yesterday, I took it upon myself to try to make Widowmaker’s design… less worse. Here’s what I changed:

  • I gave her pants. Widowmaker is a victim of the weirdly common Overwatch character design trope of “armor from the knees down, skin-tight from the knees up”. (Well, the armor is also somehow skin-tight, but.) Since Widowmaker is a sniper and Talon is supposed to be paramilitary, I decided to put her in some actual tactical pants. …Of course, I still forgot to draw pockets. Pretend they’re there.
  • I decided not to shorten her legs or widen her waist, despite how ridiculous both of those features are, because Widowmaker actually has a reason to look like that – her spider motif. On any other character, I wouldn’t stand for it.
  • I closed up her ridiculous cleavage window. Again, she’s a sniper. Lay down on a roof in that and you’ll get your chest absolutely cut up. While I was in the area, I gave her bodysuit some subtle segmentation for a “carapace” look.
  • I think the way I changed her shoes she’d still have her feet in the high-heel position, but I at least wanted to made them flat on the bottom so Widow doesn’t catch her foot on a gutter and faceplant into an alley while doing her whole parkour thing.
  • Purple isn’t a very “spidery” color, so I changed her to a dull greenish-brown with yellow accents to evoke an orb weaver’s color scheme.
  • I shortened her hair so it doesn’t get in the way while she’s fighting, and so it’s the almost exact shape of a spider abdomen, thus making her whole head a big spider design.
  • I made her skin a normal human color, with some subtle purplish tones on her nose, lips, ears, and cheeks. I also removed her earring.
  • I made her visor boxier both to look like a jumping spider and for a more realistic “tactical” look, which also gave me room to pop some more eyes on there. Plus I think it just looks better; the original looks like they were going for Giger and gave up.
  • Black widows are overplayed. I changed the hourglass light on her gun to the Talon logo, so she’s actually representing her organization somewhere on her design.

Thank you for @-ing us, @maispace​! 

It’s a second fan redesign of Widowmaker we share that adds roomy pants to her costume, so it probably tell us something about what’s the next most glaringly inadequate part of her design, right after the navel-deep cleavage. 

Not sure if I’m personally into the proposed color scheme, at least without invoking orb weaver’s interesting patterns in some ways. That would also add some much needed segmentation and contrast in her outfit. 
I agree, though, that the original colors were completely out of nowhere and should be revised. 

The ponytail combined with helmet creating a spider-like shape is definitely much better evoked than in Blizzard’s design and shoes being somewhat wearable are appreciated. 

All in all, good reminder that Overwatch, while it comes with many interesting ideas and motifs for character designs, seems to abandon committing to them halfway through, to sell something more generic and palatable to their presumed audience, as per Creepy Marketing Guy’s request. Same reason it often fits the “concept art POC turns into a pale white Barbie in the final product” problem that @otherwindow noted.

~Ozzie 

ronaaz:

feministgamingmatters:

feministgamingmatters:

flamingtrashcans:

feministgamingmatters:

Whilst Overwatch does have some diversity in its female cast, I find myself incredulous that people can’t see the sexism in the predominant tropes: skin tight outfits; boob plates; and very skinny women are the most commonly occuring design choices. There are no conventionally unattractive female heroes, whereas there are male heroes like Winston, Junkrat, and Roadhog. There are good elements to Overwatch’s character design too, but plenty to critique.

THANK YOU and THANK YOU for the tag about the racism

The pants aren’t just tight, either, they’re so tight they practically go up into their assholes, like a reverse camel toe (I wouldn’t be surprised if they made versions with camel toe, just like the artists kept naughty drawings of Jessica Rabbit on their cubical walls). I won’t get into the sexism too much except to add that the combination of infantilizing and sexualising women at the same time disturbs the fuck outta me, and Blizzard did it unashamedly. You can make a character sexy without turning them into a sexual object but apparently Blizzard didn’t get that memo.

And then there’s the racism. What I find absolutely outstanding is that this game was Blizzard’s attempt at diversity and being less sexist. And people (mostly white people, I’ve noticed) have just lapped it the fuck up. As a non-white, non-American I’d like to tell Blizzard to stay in its fucking lane because it’s so painfully obvious that they looked at other cultures and races through a white ‘murican lens that I want to break something. But of course, the fans are very quick to jump on anyone who claims or even mentions it. Nah, there’s nooo problem with the offensive skins, no problem with the white-washing of characters, no problem with the fact that some skins are from the wrong fucking culture to the character it’s on! We’re just being over sensitive! It’s just a fun game! It’s just a stereotype! Eat my entire ass. People would rather bury their heads in the sand than admit that they like something racist. Fun fact, we have an Indigenous tv show here called Cleverman and the writers and producers are Indigenous and had to ask their elders for permission to show the world parts of their culture/history/knowledge before they could begin the project. They had to earn the right to make a tv show like this. Because funnily enough, just having diversity doesn’t get you a get out of jail free card on racism. If the characters and their culture aren’t treated with respect, it means dick all.

In particular, Symmetra broke my fucking heart. My dad is from India, I get a lot of news from India. I grew up with a lot of stories. I have Indian friends. The rape culture is – bad. Very bad. Worse than you can imagine. And I stand with the women of India, who have to fight tooth and nail to be treated like human beings not their fathers/husband’s possessions. Who have to fight even outside of the country. So when I saw her design and broken-doll pose, I felt my heart sink. And when I saw the pathetic attempt at a Kali skin I felt my face get hot with anger. Kali is supposed to be like this:

Kali is represented with perhaps the fiercest features amongst all the world’s deities. She has four arms, with a sword in one hand and the head of a demon in another. The other two hands bless her worshippers, and say, “fear not”! She has two dead heads for her earrings, a string of skulls as necklace, and a girdle made of human hands as her clothing. Her tongue protrudes from her mouth, her eyes are red, and her face and breasts are sullied with blood. She stands with one foot on the thigh, and another on the chest of her husband, Shiva.
 –

Subhamoy Das

She’s ferocious power, she’s terrifying, she’s empowering – and what did Blizzard do? Ignore all that (like most men do) and turn the skin into an utterly incorrect, utterly ignorant pinup costume. A sexual object yet again, one of the many things Indian women are fighting against. Her skulls aren’t even on her neck! She only has two arms! They moved her skulls to her hip so they didn’t cover her breasts! The fact that people are going around calling it “the devi skin” says volumes about the utter ignorance surrounding this. Ignorance might not be done maliciously, but it doesn’t excuse people or make it less racist. It just proves that the majority of people don’t care about the cultures that Blizzard is using for profit. 

Thank you for this really important addition.

This post has picked up almost 5,000 notes since the addition which I’m super glad about because the added detail deserves all the attention; but I just want to point out that this is the post where the first thousand reblogs (and my inbox) are full of people telling me that no one cares, or that it’s just a game.

Well, clearly, we care. Don’t let anyone tell you you shouldn’t.

Hey, @bikiniarmorbattledamage, what are your thoughts on this?

Anyone who followed us for extended amount of time would know that we agree entirely. We’re sick of Overwatch being given all the credit for doing diversity right/doing women better when at best it’s just the minimal token effort, sprinkled generously with overt sexism and racism on top. 

All the while competing games with comparably more care about representation fall into obscurity, by the virtue of not being made by a huge studio with big marketing budget and overzealous fanbase. 

Speaking of which, Blizzard fandom is easily one of the most belligerent ones, consistently replying to any post we make about their games with defiance, trolling and abuse. And often insisting that their headcanons should be accounted for in judging the quality of OW’s designs, story and characters. 

@feministgamingmatters‘ and @flamingtrashcans’ posts above are almost 4 years old and no less topical than they were back in 2016. If anything, the amount of problems with Overwatch piled on since then and we have an archive of posts to prove it. 

Further BABD reading on the game’s problems with representation and diversity

(Note that vast majority of the links here are dated after the original publication of the above post. And it’s by no means a complete list of all the problems with sexism/racism the game has.) 

~Ozzie 

Some stats, counting out of 30 heroes, since Bastion doesn’t have gendered pronouns:

Total female-coded characters: 14

Women of color (robots don’t count): 6

Lady characters who are not human: 1 (counting the robot) (vs 3 men)

Lady characters whose entire face is hidden: big fat 0 (not counting the robot) (vs 5 men, also no robots) 

-Icy 

Tidy Up #98

There is one primary topic for this tidy up, but one that we thought was very important on many levels.

If you haven’t already – please consider not sending any money to Blizzard.

(Yes, I say this as someone who has purchased multiple copies of Overwatch due to competitions and playing it with friends)

In addition to their general awful representation (and claiming cookies for improvement while getting worse), in the past few weeks Blizzard has:

At this point, it’s pretty safe to say that Blizzard is not only comfortable with supporting authoritarian regimes, but actively courting them in the hopes of increasing revenues… basically they’re the bad guys in all their properties.

But, to ensure that this isn’t completely a downer we do also want to draw attention to:

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Please consider letting this inspire you to be more politically aware and active in your life. Starting by declining to spend in a manner that leads to that money going to Blizzard.

(And of course, since there’s capital G gamers involved: please do double check any commentary you see on this that seems suspicious. Particularly if it is targeting the workers at Blizzard rather than the company’s controllers)

– wincenworks, ~Ozzie & -Icy

h/t: https://mad-maddie.tumblr.com/post/188284451402/article-october-11-2019-article-october-11-2019 

WoW Armor Switch

Like with Saint Seiya Online and Riders of Icarus before, we subjected some armor double standard in Blizzard’s MMORPG classic to a switch of designs between genders. 
After all, if those are supposed to be exactly equal in function, then why not make the dudes show off their flesh? 

Jade Set

This was a relatively laid-back stream. I was actually pretty surprised that we had not tackled WoW in a stream before! I ended up picking the Jade Armor just because of that underboob… it was just taunting me… I had to do it. It wasn’t my fault! Please, don’t–!

So besides switching the outfits between the 2 characters, I also switched their facial expressions! I gave the maaale an attractive, nonthreatening smile, while making the lady more intimidating. I also added the at-this-point Patented Icy Redesign Dick. I mean, if we can’t tell he has a penis, how are we supposed to know he’s a man, Blizzard?? How???

-Icy 

Glorious Set

This change was pretty basic copypasting job with adjustments according to character silhouettes. Bonus change was giving the guy’s cool braids to the lady, as she deserves an interesting haircut as well! 

~Ozzie

So, new Overwatch hero Sigma – aside from looking like he wandered in from a Capcom game has had a problematic issue in that he’s been bare foot due to some very negative and misleading stereotypes about mental illness (articles here, here and here).  Also he has a worrying but probably not legally actionable resemblence to a fanmade female character from two years ago…

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Given all of this, the least that Blizzard could do is cover his feet – and if there isn’t enough fabric to go around, well Loudwindow has found the perfect solution.  Perfect.

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In summary: Give. Sigma. Socks. You. Cowards.

Also stop being shitty to people living with mental illness and stop supporting harmful stereotypes in general (especially after claiming you were challenging them at the 2017 DICE Summit).  Classic Blizzard.

– wincenworks

(Original tweet here)

Sexy Overwatch Guys Part 2: Hard Daddy Torbjörn

For our Overwatch man meat week, I decided to empower Torbjörn, whom Blizzard has kind of been ignoring in the sexiness department. I thought this skin was a good start, and gave me some fun elements to work with.

Although as time went on during the stream, I decided that I actually just wanted to make a male character version of this comic (series is NSFW):

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So here we are.

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The biggest changes I did are to his face and his now-phallic mechanical accessories. I wanted to make him look like the loving daddy we all want him to be (probably?) so I gave him a more gentle gaze and slightly smaller chin. I also gave him the soft, loving lips he deserved.

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I made him shirtless, added some male-presenting nipples with piercing, and some chest hair. And then I spent an obscene amount of time rendering out some phallic machinery. You might notice the one on the left is much more in-line with the original art style, and that’s cause I ran out of time! As I always do.

I also gave him a bottle of lube in his tool belt (from Google images). I’m surprised the original design didn’t have that, actually, since keeping your equipment lubed is very important.

What was I talking about again?

-Icy

Sexy Overwatch Guys Part 1: Soft Boi Junkrat 

Time for a sexy male redesign post and this week it’s prooobably my hunky magnum opus so far: shamelessly stripping Overwatch’s Junkrat of almost anything quirky, fun and interesting about him for the sake of maximizing TEH SEXY. 

While he definitely has a cult following among the fandom (have you seen the last week’s reblog?), Junkrat is clearly not designed with sexual/romantic appeal in mind. He’s one of many examples of male characters in the game with pretty extreme appearance and out-there personality. You know, those features which none of the female characters* are allowed to have. So I decided to remedy that and redesign him into a more conventionally attractive boyfriend material. Hope Roadhog doesn’t mind!

Of course the most important part was the face. The sharp jawline, wicked smile, receding hairline and bulging eyes couldn’t stay! With more or less subtle edits I changed them, most importantly giving him a dreamy gaze of a romantic interest. I let him keep his bushy eyebrows, just changed the expression. Also added some attractive facial hair, to soften the face shape. 

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The cherry on top, which I’m pretty sure Icy suggested, was the blushing, which nicely ties everything together.

The body went through some changes too. Most importantly, those shapeless raggy pants are out, making place for short shorts with a codpiece that matches his belt buckle! Now he can show off those amazing muscular thighs that happen to match the newly sculpted abs!  

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Also, bonus enlarged male-presenting nipples!

Final, less important changes were to his left leg (the position and a stereotypically Australian flip-flop instead of an ugly shoe) and the RIP-Tire on his back, which now instead of being big and sharp is small and soft, matching his new aesthetic. 

I kinda regret not repainting his lower half in a boobs-and-butt pose, but otherwise I’m very pleased with the results, especially the expression. Hope now he’ll enter some of our readers’ fantasies… And also Roadhog’s. You’re welcome!

~Ozzie


*Yes, it’s an old is post and doesn’t feature Ana, Sombra, Orisa, Moira, Brigitte and Ashe who were introduced since and who collectively changed little to nothing about the narrow conventional beauty standards in OW’s female design. 

Simplifying the Diablo Ladies, Part 2 

Demon Hunter from Diablo 3 was… a challenge, to say the least. Mainly because I couldn’t decide where to even start with that ridiculousness!
Not only is she super sexualized via the enforced “feminine” silhouette of skin-tight armor, boobplate and giant thigh gap, including a cameltoe… she’s also the most overdesigned thing I ever tried my Photoshop skill on. 

Apparently to work as an artist at Blizzard, you have to willfully forget the most basic rule any design school worth its salt teaches: Less is more
For concept art of what would ultimately be a small character model in-game, all those pieces have SO. MUCH. NEEDLESS. DETAIL! Teeny tiny little shapes of distracting ornamentation, basically nothing to rest your eye upon. 

I feel really sorry for anyone who ever attempted cosplaying this shitshow – so much work added into recreating all those arbitrary seams, textures and spikes, sheesh. 

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I was so busy simplifying the shape language that I overlooked some stuff I do pretty routinely, like getting rid of the cleavage in the first and second levels, and modifying the hourglass silhouette (I did add some bulk in higher levels, just not much). 

Preparation for posting this redesign is why I threw back this post lately (also, you know, it’s just a good post to resurface) – because those level ups convey neither a better set of armor, nor more protective layers, except for pauldrons. The shape of her boobs and thin waist remain a constant, no matter how much more “armored up” she’s supposed to be.

Like with Ashe before, I decided that my version is a trans lady, with a noticeable crotch bulge

in the place of the creepy thigh gap. Though I discarded my initial gag related to its size, as it was just in poor taste and not my joke to make. 

Overall, this thing took two or three weeks to finish (last level seemed unsalvagable at first), but hopefully I managed to put some actual design thought into this hot mess.

~Ozzie

Simplifying the Diablo Ladies, Part 1

We’ve talked about how Diablo makes such an effort to make very disappointing characters. So, it was finally time to take on some of those designs and try to make them less overdone and less….

Anyway, I went for a concept art of the Wizard from Diablo 3. I stayed in the color scheme because I was more distracted by…. everything else that was happening. All the tiny details that only highlighted how little she was wearing… it had to go. I ended up giving her a simple tunic and pants, in order to have some grounded large shapes in the middle of all the small ones. I do like the shoes (below the knee, anyway) and the jacket, so I left them alone.

I did remove some weird-looking accessories, like the not-glove and the awful crown sharps, and I changed her face as I always do.

Definitely a simpler redesign, but it was still not easy to work around all the things that I wanted to keep in the design. I probably should have made her tunic a different color, but it’s still way easier to look at than the original. Hope y’all enjoy!

-Icy