Hehe, mine is still tentative too, in very early stages. I’ll let you know when I have a demo up.
Well, the short answer is yes, of course, a game about any kind of character could work as long as it was executed properly. I don’t see anything different about being trans that makes a character “not work.”
Of course, I’m being a bit reductive-, you’re wondering if the audience would be cool with it, and I can say I think yes, they would. The only thing I might ask (and I feel tempted to ask this whenever a player character is locked into any particular gender/sexuality, really) is why? What reason does the story have to make the player character exclusively trans?
I hasten to add, though, that “Because there aren’t enough stories about trans people, and I want to write one” is a good enough reason as far as I’m concerned. Write what you feel passionate about, frankly. If it’s good, you’ll pick up an audience, no matter what a character’s gender is, especially due to how cool the CoG community is.
For that reason, yes, and also because I myself am trans and find trans characters easy to right and also because, well, that’s just how I thought of this game and I like it
Here are some considerations to… consider?
If the story is focused around trans life - awesome. The player can experience a hitherto unknown world from a fresh perspective. For example, the Infinite Sea series provides us with some reliable data on the issue. In the series, the player’s character is gender-locked to male. This is because the country the character lives in is super sexist. This enables a variety of plots and stories to be told oriented around female rights in a male-dominated society.
The player can therefore explore a complex issue from a particular perspective which they might not otherwise be able to have. A trans story would presumably take place from the opposite perspective - that of the oppressed, not the oppressors - which, again, would offer a fantastic opportunity to explore ways of life that the reader may be unfamiliar with.
Alternatively, if the story isn’t focused around trans life, and the trans-ness is incidental to the plot, this is less desirable. For example, if you want to tell a story about investigative journalism, then the character’s gender and sexuality is surely an unimportant consideration compared to their skills as a journalist.
In this instance, it’s simply been shoehorned in to force the issue, which would presumably detract from the overall experience - the same as telling a story about ancient Druids but making the player Chinese - if it doesn’t actually fit well into the setting / worldbuilding, it’s likely to cause confusion and distraction for the reader.
Absolutely! Regardless of the details, if there’s a dearth in the market for such tales - and there definitely is - then it’s time to get writing! The revolution starts with you.
Well, considering I’m planing to write a game where you play as NB, and have had prior romantic relationships with both a male and a female person, this is definitely an idea I’m 100% behind.
Hmmm, I can’t help but feel as though some people might not deal well with it - not because the character is trans by default (although there will be those too, probably), but because it will come as a surprise.
If the player chooses a gender in the beginning and only much later finds out that ‘oh hey btw you’re trans’, I wonder if some might not feel as though their choice has been disregarded, in a way?
Personally, I don’t think I’d have issues with it, but I wonder if that might have been different if I’d been confronted with it in the middle of a game that had me assuming my character is cis since the beginning.
I think most people will be used to picking the particulars of their character (including whether they are trans, if it is an option) in the beginning of the game and will not expect any additions to that later.
I still think you ought to go for it, though. Maybe with a note in the description for players or some definite hints right from the beginning that your character is trans, but either way, write what you feel most comfortable with. Even better if it includes representation for those that tend to get the short end of the stick!
Considering it’s been proven that there is certainly some link between genetics and sexuality, I think it might not be too far-fetched
@muffy trans-ness isn’t central to the story, but it is crucial. As in, that’s not what the story is about, but it does play a key role in the story. Furthermore, I wanted to tell a story about a trans person who does other stuff, and tell a story that isn’t about the trans person coming out, or facing opposition, or being trans. Its about an MC who is trans doing stff.
@The_Lady_Luck Sound’s like an awesome game!
@blackrising I may hint at the MC being trans but I hope it’s in a subtle way that only other trans people would pick up on. Something like maybe a mention of “blue pills dissolving under my tongue” if the MC is a woman. I am actually okay with cis people being a little uncomfortable with the game, and think the “surprise” might be a good thing.
@kyros Okay this has to happen now!
I feel like trying to set it up as a surprise might be a mistake–for one, it would make it easier for trans people to find work that includes them if you were open that the game was about a trans MC, but also by trying to do subtle hints about transitioning instead of leaving it up to the player, you might make some trans people uncomfortable. Everyone transitions differently, after all, and basing it on only one experience might alienate other trans people–I know of some who take hormones but don’t want any surgeries, some who have had surgeries but aren’t comfortable taking any hormones, etc. It might be complex to implement but I think otherwise you risk being in a sort of unappealing middle ground–where transphobic people don’t like it because it’s about transness, but trans people are uncomfortable because they feel it supports only one trans narrative
True. True. I may just revert to my initial plan which was, not really discuss it until your twin comes up, and not mentioning medically transitioning.
I think it would be interesting if it had some sort of a background instead of saying 2 lines about you being trans and that’s it (like what they did in the Demon Mark game with the non-binary brother)
I intend to, especially if I follow through on the twin coming out to you. But I started writing it yesterday, and I’m already building in background details, such as one side of the family being estranged, which, as it will come out, was due to them being transphobic.
Prefacing this by saying that I am cis (ish?) I would certainly be plenty happy to play a trans-MC game, and would support it being a thing, and just be really excited by the idea
I think as far as transness being a “surprise,” you could also make a distinction between when it’s introduced in the story itself, and also if it’s mentioned in the game summary. I mean, if you want to take a while before it comes up when actually playing, it could still be mentioned in the game blurb, thereby still drawing the notice of people looking for something along these lines
With the sibling thing, I’ll just note that I did know a pair of identical twins of whom one was binary trans and one was nonbinary, so that certainly happens
I wonder, though, as a cis person, being caught off-guard (for want of a better term) by my MC being trans might be a very compelling experience. Would I be upset that I didn’t get to choose that? Would that feeling reflect how trans people view their originally assigned gender?
I think being put in a situation where I’m somewhat suddenly confronted with my own feelings and biases (biases I’m probably not even aware of) on gender like that could be fascinating. It reminds me how in the game RUST, the player can’t choose their race or gender, and how the community reacted to that. Honestly, interactive media is the best way to get people to engage with sensitive issues, and it can happen in really small ways. In the case of this prospective game, it doesn’t even have to be the main point of the story, but the potentially new perspective a reader would have when playing it could be enough on its own to get someone thinking.
Good feedback! I may indeed mention it in the blurb, and then only have it come up midway through the story. Thank you!
That was sort of my thoughts exactly! Like, you could have a cis reader strongly identifying with the MC, and then, they find out the MC is trans, and, hopefully, they think a little about it. Thank you!