POLL - What types of Protagonists/Main Characters are you open to playing in a Hosted Game?


#122

Well, first off I want to admit that I think this isn’t fair, but for the most part people see “male” as default so when someone goes into a game with women as default I would assume they’re doing so for a reason, and that’s probably to look at women’s issues. For example, if you wanted to make a game at the women suffrage movement in America then you’d probably want that have the MC gender-locked to female (which would be kinda rad, honestly). I’m not saying it has to be about things like motherhood or the physical things women deal that men don’t.

I think what I’m trying to say is that locking anything about the MC in CoGs should have a point. Be it gender, race, sexual orientation, those things should be the player’s choice unless there’s a reason behind it. Which is why I assume if the MC is locked to female then the author probably wants to look into things that are exclusive to or at least more common for women. Which is NOT a bad thing, I want to emphasize that. If that’s what the author wants to do then more power to them, but its not something I necessarily want to do for fun.

Edited: I also want to point out that it could be about things that aren’t really “problems.” Like, if you wanted to make a game about a relationship between a mother and her child or about two sisters or something like that. That was probably poor word choice on my part, apologies.


#123

Already posted above, but, yeah, this is also a deal-breaker for me. I am person not existing, if that makes sense (does not completely to me, kind of the lack of gender feels too). :blush:

Sometimes this does not come out straight away, so I have a few games I never actually finished… :no_mouth: Recent games have been turned down by me on this criteria alone.


#124

Tbh I’m not sure if I’d play a game like that either. For me the purpose for gaming is to have fun.
I understand your point here and I agree with you that there should be a good reason for genderlocking otherwise once again the question would be that why should the opportunity to play the game be taken away from anyone?
All I’m trying to say that the reasoning must not necessarily do with the author trying to pass an important message on the audience. Once again I would use Guenevre as an example (not like there would that many too choose from, whatever). It was genderlocked bc it was written based on a certain historical figure, and I think I’ve read on the authors tumblr that they tryed to make it unlocked but that just didn’t work, which I can see why. Still when I’ve readed the game I didn’t feel like I have to think of any message about womans rights or sexism or any of that stuff. Of course there was the arrenged marriage thing but even that isn’t something what only affected womans in a bad way.

The edited part made me wonder about one more thing: If it would be genderlocked to female but overall the theme would be lighter and the only reason behind the genderlock would be that it would come off kinda awkward with a male MC. You still wouldn’t play that game?


#125

That’s true, it doesn’t have to be some big feminist statement but it would probably still have to have a reason. I haven’t played Guenevre myself and I have heard nothing but good things about it but it still has no interest for me. I, personally, don’t really want to play a game about a woman doing what women do in whatever time period.

Honestly it would really depend. If I’ve heard a lot of good stuff about it I might (the only reason I tried Study in Steampunk was because I heard a lot of good stuff about the Garret romance) and sometimes I’ll choose to play a female MC if my normal MC doesn’t fit the story, but I really want to have the option to play the MC I want to play. I know some people want to play as themselves and that’s cool but I want to play as a character I like.


#126

Wow! Poll results gave us a lot of data here. (currently there are 279 responses for Question 1, just to memorialize where the data sits at the time of my post)

It’s not enough data to make hard decisions, but I still formed some loose ‘take-aways’ from this.

1. 59% of readers say “no” or “leery” to gender-locking against their gender. 28% say “no” or “feel guilty” even if gender-locked in their favor. To me, this means you might be cutting potential audience by a quarter or even a half by gender-locking. Seems very risky to me, if you’re looking to make some money from your story.

2. It seems animal protagonist might be doable. Only 8% say a hard “no,” although when combined with “prefer a human protag,” you get up to 39% who might have reservations.

3. WRITE MORE STORIES WITH VAMPIRE/ALIEN/GHOST PROTAGONISTS ASAP! 96% of people responded favorably to a story with this style of protagonist. Only 3% would prefer a purely human protagonist.

4. Be wary of sculpting a fully formed protagonist. 17% would automatically reject a fully formed protagonist if they could not pick the gender (this seems a bit odd in that it’s still a bit lower than the “no” to question 1. I guess that mean a few folks would rather play a gender-locked-against-them-fully-formed-protagonist than a gender-locked-against-them MC who is supposed to “be” the player). And a huge 38% have reservations.

5. Romance is not dead! 54% either need it or prefer it. I guess I interpret that as “it’s safer to include at least one or two possible romance options even if those scenes aren’t central to the plot.”

Anyone else come up with takeaways?


#127

Sorry •munch munch• I just finished the •gulp• last of it… :blush:

All right, no, nothing else here, but my mind is busy running irrelevant stuff by me today. :no_mouth:


#128

Not really sure what you meant by “leery” in all honesty, I just interpreted it as “picky”.


#129

“cautious or wary.”

So it doesn’t mean they won’t buy it, but they are looking at it with a more critical eye because of the gender-lock feature.


#130

I just like reading a good story, to each their own I’d don’t care if its gen-locked as long is the story is engaging and has a slither of romance, To me not buying just because its gen-locked doesn’t make sense to me.


#131

I would like to hope this doesn’t mean we get TOO many more ‘play as supernatural characterl’ COGs since we have a number in line already, but I would love a game where you get to play as a classic Mars Attacks style alien, so I’m probably a bit of a hypocrite. :stuck_out_tongue:


#132

I think the last question has too many topics. I prefer romance, but I don’t want a whole game to be about gender and sex issues and bigotry.

I understand in historical games where being in a royal child producing relationship is important and having to somewhat explain non-heir producing relationships, but I don’t really like mpreg or magic babies.

I’d rather have more escapism, but also have romance.


#133

Pretty much the only thing I don’t want to play in an upcoming HG:

A knight

And even then, it’s not because I’m opposed to it. It’s just that there’s a glut of games lately where chivalry and knighthood are either core features of the story, or the entire point of the story. Let tbe beggars and thieves and undead owl-based monstrosities have a spot in the sun.


#134

if you’re pedaling this I am buying!


#135

I like to play a game where your character is strong and can achieve things by themselves instead of being useless and relying on others. You don’t have to be overpowered or anything but I hate it when you’re all weak and can’t beat anyone in battle or feel helpless in general.
I mean if I want to be weak I’ll just see my real life self instead of playing a game :o


#136

I’m peddling! I’m peddling! And I just updated it a few minutes ago.


#138

uh…

there are stories of animals you could write…and play as though…only if you were perhaps more in favour of animal rights.

perhaps the life of a cow trying to figure out some way to liberate its species?(or any other creature we enslave for our own personal benefit without to much real care for what it goes through.) i mean i imagine it’d be quite graphic and…probably wouldn’t go well with many people but…it would be one way to be more or less ‘political’ i guess.

as for playing an animal i’d happily play an animal protagionist over an actual ‘human’ . perhaps because i kinda identify more with other species than i do with my own.


#139

Have you seen @Samuel_H_Young’s Winter of the Bovine? It explores some of these themes; maybe you would like it.


#140

@Eric_Moser Hope you don’t mind if I reap that sweet, sweet karma post the results of the voting because this is a rather interesting topic, and one that is perhaps more important than ever now that the omnibus is imminent.
Future Hosted Game writers would do well to note these results, as they give a glimpse at what types of games have the widest market appeal, at least when it comes to forum goers.

Eric, you wouldn’t happen to remember how long you set the voting period for, would you? That seems like very useful information to note.

Ahem, without further adieu…

The Results:

For reference:
The average amount of voters for each question was 378.
These results are for March 27, 2018.
Voters can change their vote even after polling period, so it’s possible that some people may change their answers after this date.



  1. Would you consider playing/buying a Hosted Game with a protagonist who was gender-locked to a gender not your own?

395 total votes

41% I might consider buying it, but I’d be more leery.

38% Yes, that alone isn’t a game-breaker for me.

21% No, I would never buy that sort of game.

Result:

To about 79% of voters, genderlocking to a gender that isn’t their own is not a deal-breaker.


  1. Would you consider playing/buying a Hosted Game with a protagonist gender-locked to you gender?

378 total votes

70% Yes that isn’t a game-breaker for me. As long as I can play as my gender, I’m good.

26% I might consider buying it, but I’d feel guilty that others can’t play as their own gender.

4% No, I would never buy the game because it excludes others from playing as their own gender.

Result:

96% of voters would probably buy a game that was genderlocked to their gender.


  1. Would you consider buying/playing a Hosted Game with a non-human animal protagonist (cow, owl, cat, etc), and does being able to pick the protagonist’s gender affect your answer?

381 total votes

32% I would prefer that the protagonist be a human, but I might consider buying it.

30% Yes, I would consider buying it. That’s not a big deal to me.

24% Yes, and I might be even more excited about buying it, because it would be different than most other Hosted Games.

7% No, I would never buy a game with a non-human protagonist.

7% Yes, but only if I could pick the protagonist’s gender.

Result:

93% of voters would be willing to play as full non-human protagonists. However, 7% of those respondents would be under the condition that they could choose their protagonist’s gender.


  1. Would you consider buying/playing a Hosted Game with a non-human supernatural protagonist (ghost, alien, demon, vampire, etc), and does being able to pick the protagonist’s gender affect your answer?

379 total votes

44% Yes, and I might be even more excited about buying it, because it would be different than most other Hosted Games.

28% Yes, I would consider buying it. That’s not a big deal to me.

24% Yes, but only if I could pick the protagonist’s gender.

3% I would prefer that the protagonist be a human, but I might consider buying it.

1% No, I would never buy a game with a non-human protagonist.

**Result:

99% of voters would be open to playing a non-human humanoid/supernatural protagonist. However, in this case, 24%–nearly a quarter–would be under the condition that they could choose their protagonist’s gender.


  1. Would you consider buying/playing a Hosted Game with a set protagonist where you guided the protagonist’s actions but did not play “as” the protagonist? Would the protagonist’s gender affect your answer?

370 total votes

37% I would prefer to actually “be” the protagonist, but I might consider buying it.

23% Yes, I would consider buying it. That’s not a big deal to me.

21% Yes, and I might be even more excited about buying it, because it would be different than most other Hosted Games.

11% No, I would never buy a game where I could not “be” the protagonist.

8% Yes, but only if I could pick the protagonist’s gender.

Result:

89% would be willing to “guide” a set protagonist that they did not fully create themselves, but 8% of them agreed under the condition that they could choose the gender of the protagonist.


  1. Would you consider buying/playing a Hosted Game where issues of gender, orientation, identity, and romance simply were not factors in the story?

367 total votes

45% Yes, I might buy/play it, but I would prefer that there be at least some exploration/acknowledgement of gender issues/identity/orientation, and/or romance.

44% Yes, I can see how a story might focus entirely on a non-romantic relationship, or a quest, or a mystery, or any number of plots that don’t involve gender issues at all.

11% No, I would never buy a game completely devoid of these issues.

Result:

89% of voters would be willing to try a game devoid of gender issues/identity/orientation or romance.



Interpretation:

While gender-locking isn’t a deal-breaker for a majority of forum players, the desire for gender choice actually increased when talking about non-human humanoid supernatural protagonists; on the other hand, it decreased drastically when the gender choice was for a full non-human protagonist (such as a cow, dog, or barn owl lawyer).

Premade protagonists are also not a big turn-off, neither is excluding gender issues/identity/orientation or romance from a game.

That said, I believe we would do well with creating another, more exhaustive and detailed poll, because some of these questions could have been broken apart to get a better and more nuanced understanding.
For example, Question 6 lumps gender issues and romance together, when I can easily imagine a romance game with no gender issues for miles.

The unfortunate part is that there’s no way to keep track of demographic details like a voter’s gender or age to give a more full picture, so an off-site survey may be a better choice than another forum poll.

All in all, this was very enlightening.


#141

@impeccably-stressed, I think the poll is still actually open. I see “close” buttons I can push, but I haven’t done that yet.

And my “vague premise for a space opera where you play as an alien” gathered about 10 times more interest than did my (pretty well-written, I think, 8,000-word demo) owl attorney story, so for now I am going with the perceived demand.


#142

Market trends can be a real kick in the creative testicles sometimes.