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CavemanJoe
 Thursday, August 16 2012 @ 08:04 AM UTC (Read 10744 times)  
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After another request from a new player, aye, this old chestnut bubbled up to the surface of my mind again. Sure, let's have a peek in the rabbithole and see if it's changed any.

Season Three will involve a complete rewrite, from scratch, of the game's core code. We won't have the problems outlined here, but we have no idea whatsoever of how to go forward.

It's still potentially impossible, but possibly only very hard. It's still worthwhile. Anyone had any bright ideas in the last eight months since we talked about this?

Usual rules apply; this thread is for discussion of the game design, programming and writing challenges involved in non-binary gender options only. You wanna talk about the politics, take it somewhere else. You wanna protest the whole idea, take it somewhere else. You wanna get into a discussion on sex versus gender, take it somewhere else. You wanna discuss the pros and cons of doing such a system, take it somewhere else. I'm seriously gonna be erasing anything that derails us from talking about how to do this. Tech talk here, not navel-gazing (well okay some navel-gazing (pretty much all game design principles are pretty navelgazey (hell look at the Interactive Fiction community it's all they've been doing for damn near forty years (although they have to deal with a parser which means combining game design and programming and language (all of which are the sort of navelgazey topics that you could sit and think about for years on end and still just end up confused (okay now I'm navelgazing)))))).

Also, before it comes up, we will never, ever attempt to establish the player's sexual orientation, for the obvious privacy reasons. This is about gender, not sexuality.

Note: suggesting interface ideas for gender options on the sign-up page is like designing a drive train around the colour of the gear shift knob., and querying for pronouns based on a pref - although certainly a step in the right direction - is like adding a second reverse gear position that isn't hooked up to anything.

Ideas, bring them to me. Go.


 
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LydiaDefountain
 Thursday, August 16 2012 @ 02:46 PM UTC  
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I think... the easiest way to handle the non binary gender problem is to more take the gender out of the 'code' of the character as it were and make it more an equipped item... as far as the programing of the game is concerned. With likely a store/place where you can set the item say 4 preset ptions and maybe a cig/hunter's lodge option for a custom option.

That way you could have a code using ` in the places, outposts, stores and quests that can insert the players chosen gender much like `w does for weapons, not only does it let the player chose their gender it lets people write differently

and on sign up you'd likely be using this gender mod with the preset genders available in say Dr Paprika's Office, and the custom option available after you're in the game proper.


The main downside to this is it would take out being able to have place programing with gender in min unless a value is assigned to the character for each of the presets and a value for custom and place programing querying it instead.

So far this is the only logical way I can think of it being possible..


 
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Hairy Mary
 Thursday, August 16 2012 @ 02:59 PM UTC  
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I know sweet FA about php, so my comments are going to be of limited use, but who knows? The pound of crap might just contain a grain of, if not gold, then at least tin. Also, I've got a funny feeling that this has been said before. Oops! Well, conceivably it bears being said again.

1) What would we ideally like things to look like? Yes, that ideal is going to be strongly tempered by what can practically be programmed, but you need to have some idea of what to aim for. The end result is going to be a compromise between the two.

Where does the current gender system crop up? As far as I can tell, Kissing Booth, Flirting with Seth/Emily in the PSK, um, Doc Paprika's, pronouns in a few places? C&Cs for gender testing.

2) Would going in the opposite direction be easier? That is, not having gender formally defined at all. We don't have a setting for height, eye colour or favourite food, why do we need one for gender?

Would it be possible to hide the current system? New players are just automatically made female ( or male, flip a coin) - gender = 0. Whatever. Get rid of the kissing booth all together. And Doc P.'s. Change the PSK so that you can flirt with either Seth or Emily on any given game day. Change pronouns to plurals. Hell, I tend to do that now anyway. In many cases "they" and "their" seem more natural to me than "he/she", "his/her" anyway. The idea of having different pronouns based on gender seems bizarre to me even if there were only two genders. Things being what they are, it seems risible. OK, going off into navel gazing there. Sorry.
Gender check C&Cs don't get given out any more and disappear from the scrapyard market.

This is all almost certainly a lot harder than it might seem to me, unencumbered with any knowledge of programming what-so-ever as I am. Just thought that I'd throw it all out there anyway.


 
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LydiaDefountain
 Thursday, August 16 2012 @ 03:26 PM UTC  
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**makes a face**

I forgot the tenses variances, possessive and such which would complicate things... and really turn writing clunky with any sort of custom option...


argh... I'm trying to figure the logic, this would allow a static tense.. possessiveness.. the only way to be able to get the others would mean for the place programing to flag and direct people to different 'page' descriptions... but that would increase content exponentially and muddy programing...

this really is a odd logic problem.. try to solve it one way and all sorts of other little issues arise.


 
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Harris
 Thursday, August 16 2012 @ 05:22 PM UTC  
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I have absolutely no damned idea of any relevant programming (I can do crappy HTML), BUT I have a buddy who doesn't play, but might LOVE to get in on game programming of this magnitude.

Since he's a game programmer who's never seen or heard of the code for the Island OR Green Dragon code, which bit of the site should I point him to first? Here? Labs?


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CID
 Thursday, August 16 2012 @ 05:37 PM UTC  
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I see two ways of doing gender. (As I remember they ask gender in the being, so you don't need to add anything there.)

1) Use a switch, which is probably what you're doing now, and just add in a bunch of stuff. This is useful only if you want gender to affect gear or other stuff in the game. If not I would suggest:

2) Make it another text box field that the player can type in whatever... except maybe "yes". This seems easiest sense it would be less work to have the most genders possible.

Also not use how to make the change to players already in the game... I guess you could just have "Something Improbable" happen and they need to reselect their gender. It all doesn't seem that hard to me, but I probably missed something.


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LydiaDefountain
 Thursday, August 16 2012 @ 05:48 PM UTC  
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Quote by: CID

I see two ways of doing gender. (As I remember they ask gender in the being, so you don't need to add anything there.)

1) Use a switch, which is probably what you're doing now, and just add in a bunch of stuff. This is useful only if you want gender to affect gear or other stuff in the game. If not I would suggest:

2) Make it another text box field that the player can type in whatever... except maybe "yes". This seems easiest sense it would be less work to have the most genders possible.

Also not use how to make the change to players already in the game... I guess you could just have "Something Improbable" happen and they need to reselect their gender. It all doesn't seem that hard to me, but I probably missed something.



you just cannot make a switch in programing and... add a bunch of stuff...

the problem seems like it would require maybe a matrix like solution (no not as in the movie as in math problem wise).

It would seem as you would need to keep all the options static without a 'enter your own choice' inless the possessive and plural for that will be its and it's or something by default and no option to change it...

Am I thinking in the right direction at all CMJ or do I have to try again.. I'm not the best programer but when it comes to trying to find a way to solve a problem, if you give me input on why it can't be doable or why it's not effective one way I'll try to think of another.. some ideas may end up wild but maybe I can help you think of something that works?


 
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CID
 Thursday, August 16 2012 @ 06:02 PM UTC  
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Quote by: LydiaDefountain

Quote by: CID

I see two ways of doing gender. (As I remember they ask gender in the being, so you don't need to add anything there.)

1) Use a switch, which is probably what you're doing now, and just add in a bunch of stuff. This is useful only if you want gender to affect gear or other stuff in the game. If not I would suggest:

2) Make it another text box field that the player can type in whatever... except maybe "yes". This seems easiest sense it would be less work to have the most genders possible.

Also not use how to make the change to players already in the game... I guess you could just have "Something Improbable" happen and they need to reselect their gender. It all doesn't seem that hard to me, but I probably missed something.



you just cannot make a switch in programing and... add a bunch of stuff...



... Maybe it's different in PHP, but in other programing languages you can. You set up the switch with predefined options(cases), then when one is selected you set it to the gender variable. Then you make it so that any place that refers to gender looks at gender variable to see what to plug in or if you can wear certain items. The hardest part would be making sure that all the text spots are grammatically correct. That still is not difficult in a programing sense though, it's something that would just take a lot of time... I would assume at least (a lot of that depends on what's already setup).


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Awesome Fred
 Friday, August 17 2012 @ 03:40 AM UTC  
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Quote by: CID

Quote by: LydiaDefountain



you just cannot make a switch in programing and... add a bunch of stuff...



... Maybe it's different in PHP, but in other programing languages you can. You set up the switch with predefined options(cases), then when one is selected you set it to the gender variable. Then you make it so that any place that refers to gender looks at gender variable to see what to plug in or if you can wear certain items. The hardest part would be making sure that all the text spots are grammatically correct. That still is not difficult in a programing sense though, it's something that would just take a lot of time... I would assume at least (a lot of that depends on what's already setup).



I think Lydia is referring to the idea that it's time-consuming. In the world of programming, difficulty IS taking a lot of time. You know, complexity. Switch cases are pretty inelegant solutions most of the time, though in this particular example you've given, it's actually pretty reasonable-sounding to me.

I find the question of "why do we need the player's gender" a pretty good one. Not because I think we don't need it, nor because I think we do need it. But the answers to that question allow us to explore exactly what we're going to feed this variable into. Grammar, monster encounter, sure, but what are the specifics? CMJ, are the sex scenes you wrote in the old Labs still going to eventually be used? (I will never let that fade into obscurity if you hoped it might. Wink )



And on the other side, because you keep talking about useful talk--what is the part that is stopping you from making the car go to London? Do you have the map? Can you tell which dot is London? Do you know where you're starting from? Or is it that you don't know how to make the car go forward? Is it about making sure you don't press the pedal too hard and run into someone? Et cetera.

Do you want us to give you direction or instruction? 30/70? 50/50?

Help us help you!


 
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CID
 Friday, August 17 2012 @ 04:03 AM UTC  
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There is at least one large body of water stopping me from driving a car to London.

And I agree that we need to know how the gender will be used before coming up with the right programming solutions.

P.S. I'll script it if the price is right. Big Grin


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Full Metal Lion
 Friday, August 17 2012 @ 04:12 AM UTC  
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Psh. If your car can't drive over oceans you need to pump up your tires.

More constructive: Yes, tell us, Joe of the Caves! Tell us what must be done! Well... I'm not too concerned, really, because I can't program. But still!


 
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Awesome Fred
 Friday, August 17 2012 @ 04:17 AM UTC  
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Quote by: CID

There is at least one large body of water stopping me from driving a car to London.



You know, I totally forgot that CMJ was in Pittsburgh or whatever. I totally was thinking, "Well, he's a brit. Clearly he's talking about getting to London from his native Chesterpubshireton-upon-Avons."

But I don't think the idea of there being an impossible-to-cross body of water being analogous to the programming difficulty of this problem, no matter how complex it actually ends up being. It's not impossible so long as it's logically reach-able.


 
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CID
 Friday, August 17 2012 @ 04:25 AM UTC  
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Quote by: Awesome+Fred

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There is at least one large body of water stopping me from driving a car to London.



You know, I totally forgot that CMJ was in Pittsburgh or whatever. I totally was thinking, "Well, he's a brit. Clearly he's talking about getting to London from his native Chesterpubshireton-upon-Avons."

But I don't think the idea of there being an impossible-to-cross body of water being analogous to the programming difficulty of this problem, no matter how complex it actually ends up being. It's not impossible so long as it's logically reach-able.



Heh. In non-programming I think that's referred to as a plane. Though even with an aquatic car I don't think I'd wanna drive to London. Also did not know CMJ was not in England.


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Trowa
 Friday, August 17 2012 @ 05:31 PM UTC  
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Get rid of the kissing booth all together.


Or mash all the booth employees together so a random one turns up regardless of the character's gender. Then the player can choose to use it or not, and justify it however they like in Story, if they even bother to RP it. e.g. "My character's not gay, he just need that shock to the system now and then," or "My character's not straight, but Petra always gives him a good smack on the rump to feel better afterwards."

But, yes, as others have mentioned, "What good is having a gender for anyway?" I might be missing something, but it seems a bit useless in terms of gameplay, except for cosmetic or nifty things like changing a storyline slightly (in which case players might just make two characters so they can experience both storylines, or n-characters for each category of gender, etc.)

I hope I haven't missed the point... Oops!


Something something unintelligible gibberish something.
 
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dizzyizzy
 Thursday, March 21 2013 @ 02:36 AM UTC  
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Quote by: LydiaDefountain

With likely a store/place where you can set the item say 4 preset ptions and maybe a cig/hunter's lodge option for a custom option.



Players shouldn't have to pay real-world money or even in-game currency to be called the correct gender, that's incredibly out-of-line in my eyes.

I wish I had something to contribute to this other than just popping up to attack someone, but I know nothing of programming, and I was actually kind of shocked that was a real suggestion when I read it.


 
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Harris
 Thursday, March 21 2013 @ 04:40 AM UTC  
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Quote by: dizzyizzy

Quote by: LydiaDefountain

With likely a store/place where you can set the item say 4 preset ptions and maybe a cig/hunter's lodge option for a custom option.



Players shouldn't have to pay real-world money or even in-game currency to be called the correct gender, that's incredibly out-of-line in my eyes.

I wish I had something to contribute to this other than just popping up to attack someone, but I know nothing of programming, and I was actually kind of shocked that was a real suggestion when I read it.



Look at the rest of her statement (not just what you quoted here); it wasn't about paying for the feature- point was about making a readily available item to grant multiple gender options for all of the characters. Be cool, man. Be cool.


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dizzyizzy
 Thursday, March 21 2013 @ 06:26 AM UTC  
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Quote by: Harris

Quote by: dizzyizzy

Quote by: LydiaDefountain

With likely a store/place where you can set the item say 4 preset ptions and maybe a cig/hunter's lodge option for a custom option.



Players shouldn't have to pay real-world money or even in-game currency to be called the correct gender, that's incredibly out-of-line in my eyes.

I wish I had something to contribute to this other than just popping up to attack someone, but I know nothing of programming, and I was actually kind of shocked that was a real suggestion when I read it.



Look at the rest of her statement (not just what you quoted here); it wasn't about paying for the feature- point was about making a readily available item to grant multiple gender options for all of the characters. Be cool, man. Be cool.



Readily-available and pay-to-acquire are vastly different. I got the gist of the rest of it, but that line stuck out to me as horribly, fantastically bad.


 
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Harris
 Thursday, March 21 2013 @ 06:42 AM UTC  
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Quote by: dizzyizzy

Quote by: Harris

Quote by: dizzyizzy

Quote by: LydiaDefountain

With likely a store/place where you can set the item say 4 preset ptions and maybe a cig/hunter's lodge option for a custom option.



Players shouldn't have to pay real-world money or even in-game currency to be called the correct gender, that's incredibly out-of-line in my eyes.

I wish I had something to contribute to this other than just popping up to attack someone, but I know nothing of programming, and I was actually kind of shocked that was a real suggestion when I read it.



Look at the rest of her statement (not just what you quoted here); it wasn't about paying for the feature- point was about making a readily available item to grant multiple gender options for all of the characters. Be cool, man. Be cool.



Readily-available and pay-to-acquire are vastly different. I got the gist of the rest of it, but that line stuck out to me as horribly, fantastically bad.



izz, you even have a sentence fragment as the proof that something wrong was said. You don't get much more out of context than that.


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Marly
 Thursday, March 21 2013 @ 06:50 AM UTC  
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Quote by: dizzyizzy

Quote by: LydiaDefountain

With likely a store/place where you can set the item say 4 preset ptions and maybe a cig/hunter's lodge option for a custom option.



Players shouldn't have to pay real-world money or even in-game currency to be called the correct gender, that's incredibly out-of-line in my eyes.

I wish I had something to contribute to this other than just popping up to attack someone, but I know nothing of programming, and I was actually kind of shocked that was a real suggestion when I read it.




Well, from what I read, it came across more like programming customization, like above and beyond customizing your gender. Sort of like colors? I dunno, but I don't think anyone's saying that CMJ should or would do that. If we can customize things like race and names and even the little dialog option in clan hall chats, I think we can figure this one out neatly enough, even if it's packaged in an item much like the notebook.

As it is... does this count as necro'd? Gonna get off this thread now and wait for this topic to come up by the Powers That Be as something that needs discussion right now.

d-_-b


 
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CavemanJoe
 Thursday, March 21 2013 @ 09:30 PM UTC  
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Quote by: dizzyizzy

I wish I had something to contribute to this other than just popping up to attack someone, but I know nothing of programming...



You dug up a seven-month dead thread for that? Neutral


 
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