If a cover is unappealing, no one’s going to force themselves to read the contents.
Not a book, but at 8 yrs. old I once saw a VHS cover for Watership Down and thought I’d get a happy movie about bunnies.
Boy was I wrong.
Shrugs Totally off topic to the conversation going on here, hahah. Just thought I’d shed some light on this thread-- people have different perceptions and different tolerance levels for sensitive subjects like racism, can’t force 'em to play what they aren’t comfortable with, I guess?
In case anyone’s curious, I made a list of animal types and their origins.
[details=Animals and Origins]Ursine: Russia, China
Cheetah: South Africa
Wolf: Russia, US
Cat: Mexico, Pakistan, Russia, Vietnam, Other, Unknown
Dog: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Vietnam, Other, Unknown
Rat: Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, Other, Unknown
Rabbit: Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Other, Unknown
Other - This lets you enter your own country of origin. You will get some random names to pick from rather than from a particular country. You can also enter your own name.
Unknown - This will make you a hybrid (similar to a mule) of unknown origin. You get the same random names as “Other” or enter your own.[/details]
Looking forward to trying out all of the animal types! So few games let you play as an animal–anthropomorphized or not, of course.
Dogs for Vietnam and Rabbits for Latino American is well a big stereotype.
In Vietnam they eat dogs even nowadays. Rabbits aren’t native of America. Racists against Latino community called them Rabbits because Latino have sexual life and used to have many children.
I said my piece on that and I’ll stand by it. It seems odd to force myself to play through something that maybe justifies itself later on. More to the point, if the author knew that the term would invoke those thoughts, enough to have it defined and clarified later on, then another term could have been used just as easily.
If you’re fine with the term by all means don’t let me stop you from enjoying the game. It threw up a huge red flag for me, so I’ll give it a pass.
A little bit about the author, from his website:
S. Andrew Swann is the pen name of Steven Swiniarski. He’s married and lives in the Greater Cleveland area where he has lived all of his adult life. He has a background in mechanical engineering and— besides writing— works as a Database Manager for one of the largest private child services agencies in the Cleveland area. He has published over 20 novels since 1993. He has just recently completed the Dragon* series for DAW books, the first of which, Dragon•Princess, came out May 2014. The second, Dragon•Thief, appeared in April 2015. The final volume, Dragon•Wizard, arrived in March 2016.
This is the approach people should be taking. I expect better behaviour from members of this community than I’m seeing here.
If you don’t like it, don’t buy it. Sales will be a big clue.
I found the game enjoyable and its terminology was a non-issue. People are reading far to much into things and need to untwist their underwear.
I understand not being particularly interested in a story focused on oppression, especially given that it’s something many people on this forum have to deal with in our day to day lives. So, while I do feel like some of the comments being made against this game aren’t quite fair and people should probably read it before making assumptions about the way it handles things, I 100% get not wanting to read it.
That said, I thought the way oppression was handled in the narrative was pretty clumsy. I read the author interview when it popped up a few days ago, and while what the author described was something of a hodge podge of a bunch of different real world issues, he still had some specific ideas of how life as a morey is and how exactly discrimination against them works, and I was pretty curious to see how it would be implemented in the plot. I didn’t really see anything of what he described–the concept that moreys are treated poorly is there and throughout, but it’s told more than it’s shown, partly because we don’t get a lot of interaction with humans in general. The villains end up feeling something like straw-men–their beliefs are based around this figurehead (who feels like he should be a lot more notable than he ends up being–he’s introduced as a “mule” but that doesn’t end up feeling important past his odd appearance) and drug addiction rather than real action and dissatisfaction. Although the story still sort of touches on themes of “the all being vilified due to actions of the few” it doesn’t feel substantial in any way, just a few lines in the epilogue. I think the game had some interesting concepts and ideas, but was too short to execute them with very much backbone. If you romance the human female and get the sex scene, the term “taboo” pops up a handful of times and there’s a paragraph in the epilogue about you two facing some backlash for your relationship that only makes you more devoted and stronger as a couple and I could really easily see that making people uncomfortable given the sort of parallels to interracial couples, but I don’t really feel like I have much authority to comment on it past that.
And on top of that, it has a very simple “point a to point b to point c” plot that doesn’t have very much story customization. You can take various actions with your character, sure, and I though the stats were okay (if pretty static–I didn’t notice mine changing very much) but there’s just one love interest per gender (plus a one night stand if you’re into women) and you really end up more or less on the same path, hitting the same story beats, running into the same events, regardless of how you play the game. That might not necessarily be a problem, but the concept of the game is simultaneously very outlandish and very down to earth–you’re the living result of a series of science experiments with some heavy worldbuilding about how your life works, but you’re also basically just some rando on the street. You end up in the plot because your apartment building got burned down, which is tragic, yeah, not a good thing to have happen, but isn’t terribly solid motivation for becoming entrenched in catching and bringing down a terrorism cult. Most story changes are small and inconsequential–your relationships with people you have only a handful of scenes with, your species which sets up some stats and maybe a nickname or two … People are describing this as “noir”, which I see, but I don’t really see why the MC couldn’t automatically be some kind of aspiring detective, or hell take a page out of Zootopia’s playbook and be the one morey in a police station where you don’t feel welcome, or have a plot contrivance that forces you into cooperation with a human that isn’t sure how to handle their relationship with you. As is, the only thing forcing the player to stay with the plot is that you don’t have an option to walk away from it.
I think the idea is interesting and it’s definitely a unique title for CoG, and pretty glad I read it if only that I would’ve been very curious about it otherwise, but the concept is significantly better than the execution.
Um hey, I don’t know anything about the rabbit thing so I’ll refrain from commenting on that, but (Vietnamese-American person here) dog meat honestly isn’t super super common and it’s a very regional thing. I googled it quickly because I’ve honestly never heard of people eating dogs outside of it just being a stereotype (probably because my family is from the south where it isn’t common) and it’s mainly in the north and it’s been decreasing more recently
I’ll admit that Vietnam isn’t exactly the best in animal welfare (one of my uncles there used to keep roosters for cockfights and my mom found recently found a video of performing monkeys) but, given the story and MC’s role and everything, I really doubt that dog meat was what the author was thinking of (also since cats were the only other animal with that origin and cat meat isn’t exactly what people immediately think of when they think of Vietnam). Cats and dogs have cultural significance outside of being possible sources of meat there
I understand that you meant well, but, unless you already have concrete evidence, maybe you should step back and analyze it a bit more before calling stereotype simply based on the country, especially if it’s not where you’re from
This is probably a little late… But I had the same Issues with HPRS (as well as with the entire series) and so far I’ve loved this game, sure, it’s centered on a “Rally for Peace” but you’re never asked to become any sort of “role model” unless you choose to.
For the general use of “Pink”…I can tell the author was going for an insult against humans. Whether one thinks it was a good idea or not is up to them, but the backlash would be greater if they used some other racist term commonly used when referring to someone of African or Asian descent. Personally, I think a better term could have been used if nothing else. Hell, even Fallout came up with ‘smoothskin’
For that matter, the use of Pink may also have come from a passage in the Island of Dr. Moreau, which this is partially inspired by, such as this line from Ch. 9:
Hidden in the undergrowth, he happens upon three grotesque people with pink skin and bristly hair on their foreheads, dancing and chanting indistinctly.
I thought this game had an interesting premise, but it could have delivered it better. For one thing, like a lot of recent CoGs, it could have done a better job incorporating gender preferences (or none if up to the MC). I know it is tough to do, but it felt shoehorned in.
Not to mention the pacing definitely felt off on this one. At least having the events rush forward made more sense than Runt of the Litter, but just because something may have a certain number of words in it, doesn’t guarantee it will run fine.
Finally…I’m cool with trying to allow as much customization for players to pick (such as various animals species, etc.)…however, this was a case where it felt like too much time was spent on that, and could have been used to expand other parts of the story.
I am not against social issues being used in a game. While most of the time I prefer a game to be ‘fun’, there is nothing wrong with it being compelling or interesting on a serious subject matter (Papers, Please or This War of Mind come to mind)…but this one is really ham-fisted.
I think Welcome to Moreytown is a wonderful piece of interactive fiction for mature adults.
I am almost there with you - I agree that the customization of the MC in this story was top-notch and there was a lot of time given to the development of this part of the story.
Where we disagree is that “too much time was pent on that.” What I feel is that just as much time as was spent on this excellent and above industry par aspect should have been spent on the latter part of the story.
Lately, the official CoG titles have been exhibiting a dual-quality. The quality of the writing, the world-building and the overall story-telling are as top-notch as they have been or better. However, they all share the quality of feeling rushed and truncated in their endings.
Welcome to Moreytown is a window into a fascinating if controversial world. The story presents to the reader a great sampling of that world through the opening customization. The issue is that as the story progresses, the railroading and lack of actual agency is accentuated by the rushed finish.
One ending feels the same to me as another - no matter the faction I am allied with, who I am romancing, or who is my enemy.
This is something CoG needs to break out of before their publishing reputation is further harmed by this.
I liked the story, and the world it presented. My only real criticism is that I felt is was too short, actually, with the pacing leaving something to be desired. But hey, I liked it! It was interesting being a cat caught up in events beyond me control, and just bouncing around trying to figure things out.
I don’t have to have evidence to consider something wrong in a piece of art, this is not mathematics is called opinion. I have never said author wanted to be racist I only said That is not the best choice of animal. In my country some racists called Vietnamese people dog eaters. I have no idea real Vietnam. But here is like some sort of urban legend.
I have read the demo and what I could say is it is amazingly well written and animal choice seems to matter. However, I don’t really feel in control of character and game tend to assume what my character believes. I decided not buy it due it doesn’t have the interactivity I want for a game. Funny thing I thinking looking for the books as literary pieces should be interesting to read
Sorry if I failed to clarify, but there is absolutely no evidence it was racist specifically in that aspect. Whether or not something is racist is a fact, not an opinion. I’m fully aware of the stereotype, I’ve known about it my whole life
The game definitely is worthy of criticism that others have already explained as well or better than I could so I won’t bother repeating, but the animals and nationalities available seem to be more animals that are really common or native to the country, or something along the lines, not based on some sort of racist stereotypes (at least not that I’m aware of anyway)
We have the year of the dog on our lunar calendar (similar to the Chinese one, only the ox is replaced with the water buffalo and the rabbit is replaced with the cat), I remember hearing fairy tales (kind of like the Aesop’s fable style stories) that involved canine characters when I was little, and many Vietnamese people still believe that keeping a dog (a live dog, mind you) around will scare away ghosts. In my opinion, having a dog as an option would make a lot of sense
If people eating dogs is someone’s immediate thought in something that doesn’t mention it at all, that’s not the story’s problem, that’s their own personal problem. Unless there was something, like a passage explicitly talking about people eating dogs, there really was not anything racist about a dog being Vietnamese and it really isn’t your place to say that it is
I didn’t mean to get this way about a text game about furries, but there is next to no Vietnamese representation in any media outside Vietnam itself. Most ideas about Vietnamese people beyond the standard nerdy Asian stereotype is that we’re scammers or prostitutes. An animal isn’t the ideal “representation” (in quotes since I’m not even sure if it can kind of count), but as long as it doesn’t follow any of those and also pretty much every other major character is an animal, I’ll take it
Hmm I was excited to play CoG’s newest game. Having just finished it, I find myself… pretty disappointed? I felt the pacing was far too rushed and the story employed a lot of “telling” and somewhat boring exposition and not very much personal interaction between the characters or even much personality from the MC. It was a lot of “Character A shows up and you spend some time catching him up on X, Y, Z.” Later… “Character A shows up again and asks you what happened. You do your best to tell him about X, Y, Z. Shortly after, he leaves.” It just felt very impersonal and the choices also felt repetitive/too obvious. Many scenes involved a simple Will you use your strength or speed to get out of this situation? choice, over and over, rather than the exploration, meaningful branching, and different dialogue/reactions that I enjoy in other CoG games.
I also found it hard to be very hostile towards humans or “Pinks” in this game. Feels odd, but I couldn’t really roleplay in the mindset of a true morey and just felt myself aligning more closely to the human characters/factions of the game, simply by dint of being a human in real life? It’s hard to explain why I felt compelled to play this way.
Finally… and I may be alone in this… the sex scene made me feel kind of uncomfortable. Which it really shouldn’t have, since I was the one making the choices that lead to it! But the descriptions of it felt… like I was reading something very taboo (which is ironic because it said the word “taboo” about a million times). It doesn’t help that the title of this forum thread also says “claw your way to the top of this slum for furries.” Does “furries” still mean what I think it means…?
That’s a fair assessment as well. The reason I said that I went with the ‘time spent on it’ angle…well, I know CoG usually has deadlines their writers must meet. As such, a person may spend more time than they realize on the customization part, and find out “Oh shoot, I don’t have time to wrap this up like I want to…” when they near the end.
Here it’s being used as eye-grabbing shorthand for “anthropomorphic animals,” I don’t think I saw the author ever use the term himself