Masquerada’s homosexual characters are outlined by humanity, not sexuality
In Masquerada: Songs and Shadows, the town of Ombre resembles a fantastical, medieval Venice: elegant stone towers are lined with heavy wooden furnishings and the individuals gown in lush materials, wielding swords and spears. However Ombre isn’t Venice; it is a completely secular society whose residents put no inventory within the concept of an afterlife, and it is a land the place highly effective magic stems from a set of uncommon masks. The Inspettore, Cicero Gavar, returns from exile to research an earth-shattering kidnapping, with the assistance of spells, weapons, his group — and his sexuality.
“Whereas having the primary character be homosexual and permitting a romance, as BioWare does, could be very empowering to a homosexual participant, we hope to serve them in one other means — to point out our viewers the sweetness and humanity of a homosexual character and the way it might translate to actual world conditions,” lead developer Ian Gregory says.
Masquerada‘s world displays the lives of its builders in a number of methods. It comes from Witching Hour Studios, a improvement firm in Singapore, and the world of Ombre is predicated on Singapore’s personal mutli-cultural, numerous inhabitants. The sport is a “pause for techniques” RPG, which means gamers can cease in the midst of battle and plan out environment friendly assaults. The artwork and mechanics are impressed by Bastion, The Banner Saga and Baldur’s Gate, a set of narrative-pushed and revolutionary tactical titles, all sprinkled with a touch of sensible neon colour.
However, these are the floor features of Masquerada. Beneath the beautiful design lies a deeper message about what it means to be human, formed by Gregory’s dissatisfaction with the portrayal of homosexual characters in video video games.
“I am drained that homosexual characters in video games are portrayed [as] oversexualized,” Gregory says. “Whereas some have depth, they appear to be outlined by their sexuality and never sufficient by their humanity. If we’re gonna always harp on how totally different they’re simply by their bed room habits, that is all society will latch on to. We might like to point out the attitude of a homosexual character whose decisions and behaviors are profoundly affected by others’ conflicting attitudes to their sexual orientation — and to take action in a means the place the dialog is not about romance.”
Principally, Gregory treats Masquerada‘s characters as full, flawed and gifted individuals first, relatively than approaching every one from the view of a single, limiting trait. Gregory’s aim is to make his characters relatable and accessible with out counting on stereotypes or exaggerated tropes.
“We will discover worry, guilt, loss, redemption,” he says. “A state of affairs the place a participant would tackle the position of an excellent pal as an alternative of a lover. Maybe one thing extra acquainted to these of us not of the orientation.”
In fact, Masquerada needs to be a strong recreation to ensure that its characters — homosexual or in any other case — to have any impression on gamers or society at giant. To that finish, Gregory says Witching Hour Studios has partnered with Ysbryd Video games, a writer that gives sufficient funding for the builders to craft an expansive recreation with wealthy lore and no compromises. With help from Ysbryd, the complete recreation is due out on PC and unannounced consoles in early 2016, without having to show to crowdfunding or different financing choices.
“We’re unlikely to take this to Kickstarter until we abruptly have a necessity for half one million to get Daft Punk concerned or one thing,” Gregory says. For what it is value, a Daft Punk recreation soundtrack would in all probability be superior.
Witching Hour is not involved about funding and the studio has a transparent concept of who Masquerada‘s characters are — that does not imply Gregory has zero worries general.
“If we have been fearful about something, it would not be concerning the assets to make the sport, nevertheless it’d be about overcoming the hurdles of visibility with our meant viewers,” he says. “It isn’t one thing you’ll be able to plan for. It might suck to be drowned out by the subsequent cadre of ‘I Am Name of Battlefield Creed Roguelike Simulator 2016s’ as a result of we ‘did not comply with tendencies’ about what’s hip today. Exhibiting at PAX can solely achieve this a lot.”
It might not end in a lot, however Witching Hour is doing it anyway: Masquerada might be in sales space 8236 at PAX East 2015, the sport conference held in Boston from March 6 – eight. Followers of Bastion, The Banner Saga or absolutely shaped characters, test it out.
Tags: homosexual, glbt, hdpostcross, Indie, lgbt, masquerada, masqueradasongsandshadows, sexuality, singapore, witchinghourstudios, ysbryd