light has a solid style, latia’s style would be absolutely excellent for print stuff, NV is another incredible artist who could do something amazing, roach has done a print in the past, mulattafury would be good as would kdubz, kendraw may not be as interested in homestuck, but i’m sure they’d be willing to work with stuff if they felt compensated for it, dasmuskel could also do something incredible. there’s a ton of artists if you’re just willing to look for them.
i don’t think it’s at all an issue with the artists. if something isn’t being done right at WP, then it’s someone else’s job to stand up and say “hey, maybe we should fix this” ESPECIALLY after the debacle with the kickstarter rewards. saying this is all andrew’s fault would be lazy and really doesn’t address the real issue. andrew’s one dude who is hard to get a hold of. whatpumpkin is an organization with multiple channels of contact. there was a post i read earlier that was wrong on a lot of fronts, but did ask a question i’m asking myself which is basically “WHYYYYYYYY IS THIS HAPPENING AGAIN?” we should be past this.
EDIT: added art links, careful as some of it might not be safe for work
it’s pretty absurd that even after the whole kickstarter ordeal (when they all seemed really contrite and like they genuinely wanted to fix things???) literally nothing has changed. and when the whatpumpkin workers go on twitter to make fun of “white artists with poc headcanons” (what the fuck btw) and how difficult it is to cater to their specific tastes it’s just like…there are literally hundreds of extraordinarily talented artists in this fandom, most of whom would be elated to contribute to official merch, and many of whom already draw the kids as poc anyway?? it’s not like it’s a struggle to find artists to appease the oh-so-picky fans. it’s just that the artists that they have selected up till now have drawn (either of their own choice or because they felt pressured to conform to the previous body of merch) a bunch of skinny, lily-white, boring kids. and i think that the blame rests completely on the shoulders of the people who commission and approve the art for the store. im just baffled as to why we’re having to have this exact same conversation again.
thanks for the shoutout tho :P
no problem! and yeah, that bit about it being on the shoulders of the people who commission and approve the art for the store is very true.
i do get that it’s an awkward conversation to tell a POC artist that you feel their work isn’t representative enough, but sometimes awkward conversations have to be had. i remember left mentioning something before they erased their messages. it was along the lines of “saying that the POC artist draws characters to look white would be the same as asking why anime producers make their characters look white.” that does make sense, but it just reads as someone who is reluctant to admit they were wrong and is coming up with excuses as to why it would be wrong to have this conversation.
not to mention that they also said (and promptly erased) that “these people won’t take you seriously if you don’t answer them publicly” which is malarkey. i was thinking they were going to answer me privately, because i just wanted some answers for myself, not to turn this into a repeat of the kickstarter incident.
As a company, it is our place to encourage artists we commission to prioritize variety, something that we include and reiterate in every piece of correspondence with our commissioned artists; however, it is absolutely not our place to demand commissioned artists reach some kind of implied diversity quota, or to request that they specifically make changes to completed artwork, and I frankly think that would be insulting for us to attempt to do so.
This isn’t to say that we’re done working hard, in fact, we work hard every day; however, I think that to say that no improvement has been made is to insult the contributions of the artists who have worked with us.
I’m not sure, but something about this reads as business lingo that doesn’t quite sit right. The most diverse thing that’s been created was the tarot card set. And that, if I remember correctly, was something WhatPumpkin went back and told their artists to please change. I would think that whole kerfuffle would have taught you guys something.
Mentioning a “diversity quota” actually wouldn’t hurt. A little note to the artists that you’re paying to do this that instructs them “please mix up the humans’ ethnicities or keep to the blank skin” would be a restriction, but that’s what you’re paying them to work around. Creative directors from different parts of the industry axe bad designs all the time. Most of those “bad designs” tend to be things they just don’t believe are marketable and it’s not a coincidence that those same designs are usually of widely different body types or skin colors than what is the “norm.” And if you’re artists refuse to play ball, you can get different artists. The Homestuck fandom is HUGE and has a massively talented group of people willing to work for you and bring the diversity that I’ve seen nothing of since the above mentioned Tarot Card deck.
I don’t have a doubt that WhatPumpkin is filled with hard workers from all walks of life. And I’m still planning to buy a Vinyl figure and consort, because that is some truly desirable merchandise. But I also feel like there’s something that’s not happening that should be.
You have the opportunity to do something amazing here. And I’m just wondering why you’re not.
oh god i’d heard about the “i won’t commission artists who undercharge for their art” post and now it’s making its rounds on my dash.
please understand that this concept does not actually help anyone. the sensible thing to do if an artist is undercharging is to tip them for what you think their work is worth, and be sure to let them know that. even if this doesn’t cause them to actually change their base prices, at least YOU’RE paying for what it’s worth, and THEY’RE getting business instead of nothing.
by essentially boycotting artists who are already unsure of the value of their own work (and are thus underpricing) you’re not sending any positive message. no one is going to up their commission prices when nobody is buying them. the only thing the artist gets out of it is that people don’t want to buy their art for some reason, and people whose products aren’t selling aren’t going to say “oh i guess it was because i wasn’t charging enough, i’ll pump up the prices!”
if you want to support a commission artist, please do it by actually SUPPORTING THEM WITH COMMISSIONS rather than by choosing to take your business elsewhere because their prices were too low.
OH YEAH since im going away commissions are closed !!
I felt like i had to post some art with it so heres an old johnrose drawing i hastily coloured OK
eeeee Jade this is lovely
So I work in video games right now and sometimes stuff just happens that makes me really not happy with the total lack of creative risk-taking in the industry |:< Specifically with regards to characters that are anything other than white, male, 30-something, scruffy, and probably named Jack.
In cases like this designing ladies is my comfort food.
1. Money wins every time
2. If more people bought games with alt. MC’s then they’d be more prevalent
3. Solution? Make a great, marketable game with a character that isn’t a straight white male
Please don’t forget that while you may disagree with it, there’s a LARGE percentage of gamers who are not only typical dudebros, but white straight males. Most of them being ignorant only buy games with Macho McBeefHulk on the front. It’s no one’s fault but the consumers.
My point is: make the game you want to play if it bothers you so much. You obviously have artistic talent. Put it to use instead of complaining about “Cis-scum”(white hetero males, myself) on Tumblr.
Hey there! I just wanted to clarify that the focus of my frustration is not the consumer, and definitely not white hetero males themselves. Dudebros are great, and the world would be a poorer place without them just as it would be without ladies.
All three of your points are super true: money wins, consumers have power, and making games that are different will help create the change we need. BUT. Creating those games that give the consumer the opportunity to vote with their money is, I have discovered, extraordinarily difficult. The big studios have a winning formula (the white male 30-something protagonist) that they know is low-risk and will likely guarantee them the safest chance at a profit.
Spending the last year employed by Microsoft, you see this kind of thing happening constantly on both smaller and larger titles. A big game coming within inches of having a main character that completely breaks this pattern, but gets shut down by executives higher up the chain who have the power to make that call when they feel a creative decision is a business risk.
Independent game developers can take those risks and make games that are outside that pattern. Big studios are locked into this rut because, as you say, money wins every time. It’s a frustrating situation, and a challenging one to solve. The issue lies in the system, the bureaucracy, and the business. Many, many artists, writers, and devs are trying hard, VERY hard, to make that game that will break the cycle. But getting it through the system without breaking the integrity of the vision is nigh impossible.
I hope this helps clarify the situation and my feelings on it a bit.
Maybe I’m just feeling feisty and defensive of my friends (and Bridget had the decency to leave you such a thoughtful response even though you 100% didn’t deserve it), but theredmages? Fuck off, man.
Using art to vent frustrations with the industry is a legitimate tactic for change. Your logic is flawed, tired, and dated. Saying "if you want it so bad why don’t you make it" is a sad diatribe parroted by people who:
- don’t actually have any goddamn idea how games are made
- cannot cite actual statistics about the games industry because that would be too much work
- cannot deal with someone else being passionate about something they clearly don’t care about
In today’s climate of internet/social media, public opinion moves mountains. Anyone worth their salt in this industry knows that. The barrier between developers and consumers is far more transparent than it’s ever been, and it suddenly means that marginalized people are in a place to voice their opinions and be heard.
Also, how the fuck do you think we make games? They don’t just sprout out of the ground fully-formed and shrink-wrapped. Trying to stomp out creativity at the source is a pretty dick move.
"But consumers don’t buy [x] so developers don’t make [x] so consumers don’t buy [x] so developers don’t make [x]!" is some seriously cyclical logic. Step back and listen to yourself. If there were games out there driven by white, male, 30-something, scruffy dudes named Jack, I would buy them up in a second- but there aren’t. You can’t preemptively assume that games wouldn’t do well without white male protagonists just because that’s been the status quo for decades.
This legitimacy of this Henry Ford quote is questionable, but the sentiment still holds true: “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”
You’re talking down to someone who actually works in the industry. Bridget literally makes video games. This is what she does. What we do. Even by your weird, exclusionary logic about who has a right to proactively critique the media they consume, Bridget is that exact person.
You are complaining on the internet about the futility of other people complaining on the internet. Shut your mouth and walk away. You’re what’s wrong with this industry.
Well said. When someone brings up these tired arguments to shut you up, remember that their purpose (whether they realize it or not) is to shut you up, not to further a discussion.
That’s the difference between critical responses and oppressive responses. If you can boil down someone’s argument to “stop talking” or “just give up,” they’re not interested in what you have to say. They just want you to go away because you’re threatening their little world.
Criticism is essential to furthering art, but all too often these days someone saying “just stop, just shut up” is masquerading as critical analysis.
Some people would complain that these characters wouldn’t fit in a game, which is bull. I have ideas for these women just off the top of my head!
[number 1-8,from left to right, top to bottom]
1. She’d be in a game right alongside number 4. They’d be the selectable main characters in an action game. They would have two very distinct playstyles. Number 1 focuses on a Devil May Cry style swap of gunplay and fist weapons (like Beowulf from DMC3, Gilgamesh from DMC4 or Eryx from the new DMC.) Her gunplay would be fairly acrobatic, but the fist attacks would be very heavy and have a solid feel to them. Some of the stronger attacks might cause the screen to shake a little on contact. For a neat change up, she might even combine the two, essentially using her guns as miniature clubs to strengthen her punches. The effects of her attacks would be colorful and vibrant. If you managed to get a long combo chain, the flowers on her left arm would glow and bloom and have a sort of water color effect following her. [See below for detail on Number 4.]
2. This lady would be featured in a more exploration heavy game. Something like Zelda, but with a more sci-fi, cyber punk feel. For an appearance think a mix of Tron and the Black Velvetopia level from Psychonauts. Her main weapons would be two disc like weapons she summons from her earrings and the beads on her little belt loop thing would be used for long range. They’d also gain upgrades as the game moved on that would make them more useful for exploration (bead loop hookshot, disc earring glide ability, that sort of thing)
3. [See number 5]
4. Stars in an action game alongside 1. Her play style would be more speed oriented, quick stabs and jabs. Taking another example from Devil May Cry, it would be similar to how Rebellion is used. For a similar effect to 1, she’d have streaks in her hair that began to glow different colors and create a similar moving water color effect. I just really like the idea of the game being bright and colorful.
5. Bare with me on this one! Number 5 and number 3 don’t just co-star, but they are actually the same character. She’d be the star of a puzzle game that had a time hopping mechanic, where in you jump back and forth between two incarnations that allowed you to traverse the levels. I’m not sure how you’d nail it, but I think it’d be really fun.
6. Number 1’s Momma! You’d go to her for upgrades to your weapons and special skills. Thinking on it, I think it’d be fun if the story line of the game was to save Number 1’s Poppa.
7. I really like the idea of this girl being Number 2’s rival. She’s small and unassuming, which you don’t see a lot of in an antagonist, but I think it’d be fun if she wasn’t actually as timid or weak as she looks. Her appearance makes you think she’s not that big of a deal, but the first time you have to deal with her, it’d be made very clear that she’s nothing to sneeze at.
8. Off the top of my head, I thought she’d be the star of some sort of rhythm game, like Guitaroo Man or Parappa the Rappa. Then I figured she’d be fun as a reoccurring villain character in 1 and 4’s game. Either way, she’d be very loud and expressive. If she were an antagonist, she’d be that pain in your ass character that is fun to see come on screen, but that you really don’t want to fight against.
This is the best thing I have ever bought for my squishy
i am the squishy in question and this is our child. the adoption agency didn’t think we’d do very well, but we’ve shown them. how many kids do you know have this kind of talent?
req rule 63 with john heart hood
I personally found it accurate - still a Ravenclaw, secondary house being Slytherin.
I got Ravenclaw, which surprised me. I thought I was a shoe in for Hufflepuff. I’m a little surprised that I scored as high as I did with Gryffindor, too.
You scored 29% on Gryffindor, higher than 44% of your peers.
You scored 42% on Hufflepuff, higher than 76% of your peers.
You scored 51% on Ravenclaw, higher than 77% of your peers.
You scored 12% on Slytherin, higher than 4% of your peers.
Gryffindor! I’ve, uh, never read the books, so I’m a little iffy on what that means and what each house stands for, short of Gryffindor being the Do-Gooder house and Slytherin being the one full of Nasty Grinches.
That was the Slytherin emblem, right? And Voldemort had a pet Grinch that was part of him and that’s why his soul was full of gunk? And then Team Potter buried Tiny Tim and had to make a bargain with the Heat Miser, and Dumbledore was the Ghost of Christmas Future and brought Harry back to life and the last horcrux was his trademark shiny red nose?
I may have been a little lost during the last movie
(43% Gryffindor in the 86th percentile, 38% Hufflepuff in the 66th percentile, 32% Ravenclaw in the 24th percentile, 19% Slytherin in the 16th percentile)
heh, i got hufflepuff. aaah, yeah, common room right next to the kitchen.
You scored 28% on Gryffindor, higher than 41% of your peers.
You scored 41% on Hufflepuff, higher than 74% of your peers.
You scored 40% on Ravenclaw, higher than 47% of your peers.
You scored 26% on Slytherin, higher than 37% of your peers.
I will never not laugh at this video
the part of new mexico i grew up in looked exactly like that.