Outsource Frenzy Developer’s Update

So far, so good. After deciding to ditch Twine due to it’s extremely basic format, we opted to use Ren’Py as the program to mod our game. We chose Ren’Py because we thought it was a more image-oriented program, which fit the kind of game that we wanted to create. After several efforts of trail and error, we were all able to download Ren’Py and semi sorta kinda figure out how to use it.

One of the things that we have done recently is to create the basic fundamental beginning of the game. In the ideal game, players will have a choice of four pre-created characters to play as. These characters are very general and represent a range of ethnicities as well as representing both male and female genders. The character that we will choose to focus on for our demo will be Miss Kim, an Asian female. We started creating a background for her, such as her origins, her educational level, etc. The idea is that at the beginning of the game the player will be able to see an image of each choice, along with a paragraph describing them, before making a decision. Then they will choose an area of the world to start outsourcing from. For the purposes of our demo, Miss Kim will choose India as the location.

We started creating the basic storyline of the game, meaning scripting the dialogue and the choices/responses that the player can make. This is still in its beginning stages, but it is being developed and pretty soon will be near completion. In regards to the actual gameplay, we decided on a feedback system that rests essentially on the opinions of the investors and the workers. This will be represented by a horizontal bar with two colors: black for investors and red for the workers. We chose these colors for a couple reasons- it references gambling terminology, with black being good and red not being good; red is a very common danger color (which we liked because it showed the workers as “dangerous” and thus negative, going along with the whole detached feel that we wanted to create), and because black is a very prominent, bold color, so even if there is lots of red of the bar, black will be ever present and thus always will be noticed by the player (kind of prompting him to try to focus on pleasing the investors and raising the black).

Also, we have begun the process of actually finding images to put into our game, which turned out to be a lot more difficult than any of thus thought after Amanda told us to watch out for copyrights and that we could pretty much only pull pics from sites that have openly free images. All in all though, the game is progressing along, and another update will come next week.




5 thoughts on “Outsource Frenzy Developer’s Update

  1. I just want to state, as a fellow Miss Kim (Jessica Kim from Phil: the Quota), I’m a bit worried about the “very general” representation of the ethnicities. I’m sure you guys are already aware, but people with the surname Kim are normally Korean, and so is that her ethnic background or will she be classified as “Asian” ? Will the image be cartoonized or realistic because that also can become problematic if the image chosen looks too racist or—I’m sure you guys have this under control but I just feel the need to say be careful.
    My group has also been finding the copyright issue on images a bit problematic. I’m in charge of backgrounds and have been using http://www.morguefiles.com. Any sites you guys can recommend to us?

    • I have to chime in to say that I agree with these concerns. While it’s obviously impossible to address every aspect of race and gender in your game, not to mention all the different intersections thereof, I would suggest that you are careful with your representations. You will have to tread a fine line in making a character representative of its specific circumstances without making it seem like a caricature or relying on too many stereotypes. Like pointed out above, even choosing a name can be a struggle since it can pigeonhole the character into a certain race when you are using that character to represent a variety of ethnicities.

      I am also curious what variables a character’s race and gender will affect. Will it determine how investors/workers react to that character? Will the white male character have an easier time gaining the investor’s approval? Though you might not have answers to these questions yet, I am excited to see how it will develop.

  2. Thanks for the comment. The four archetypes we have are white male, asian female, black female, and hispanic male. We are aware that there are many more possibilities out there, they are practically endless and can get out of hand. Our character will be Asian, not specific to Korean. As for the image, it will be a cartoonized image. Your “looks too racist” comment is interesting, and has a valid point. I personally don’t think it will be an issue, because I’ve noticed how people love to harp on images of asian/black/hispanic/etc being “racist” but when there is a generic, stereotypical image of a white person no one’s flipping out. So I’m not concerned too incredibly much about the character’s representation, but that’s just my two cents. As for images, yeah it’s tough haha. We use openclipart.org as well as some others, but so far its still tough

    • Part of why white “caricatures” aren’t noticed in the same way is because whiteness has become something of an invisible term. I would also caution you from throwing out this critique entirely on the assumption that people don’t respond in the same way to stereotypes of whiteness. It’s important to remember that a “stereotype” of whiteness functions in very different ways than other racial stereotypes, partially because of the symbolic value that whiteness carries in society, and partly because of the fact that whiteness as a concept is quite a bit more diverse in terms of cultural representations than other racial identities. Because so many different types of white representations exist out there, it is more difficult for stereotypes to function in a damaging way.

  3. Hello, I was wondering where the information behind the history and background of your characters is coming from? And do you predict difficulties in the restricting nature of the operator’s choice in avatar when its characters are so closely defined? Often times generalizations of marginalized groups can create uncomfortable depictions that perpetuate stereotypes. I am sure that your group is very aware of this, but I am wondering what steps will be taken to ensure that the depictions of the characters are fair and resist the stereotypes that permeate through mainstream culture, especially with the goal in mind of an anti-oppressive game. I think your game concept is very interesting and well thought out! It also sounds like the execution of your ideas is coming along well and I will be excited to see the finished product!

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