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Ubisoft's beautiful Child of Light coming to the Wii U eShop
News reported by 
September 10, 2013, 22:06:04
Players will control a child named Aurora who has been stolen from her home and must find her way back, as well as bring back the sun, moon and stars. According to the Ubisoft press release, players will "uncover mysteries, participate in turn-by-turn combat inspired by classic JRPGs, and explore the mystical kingdom".

Ubisoft press release:

PARIS, FRANCE – September 10, 2013 - Today, at its Digital Days event, Ubisoft shared more details about Child of Light, a digital title to be released in 2014 on current- and next-generation platforms as well as PC.

The game is being created by a small team of seasoned developers based in Ubisoft Montreal. Child of Light has been developed on Ubisoft’s UbiArt Framework, a powerful engine that lets programmers and artists to bring their art to life by allowing original concept art to be inserted unedited into the game world. In Child of Light, the effect is that playing becomes akin to stepping into an interactive painting.

Child of Light is a reimagining of classic fairytales, inviting players on an epic adventure into the magical painted world of Lemuria. Players will uncover mysteries, participate in turn-by-turn combat inspired by classic JRPGs, and explore the mystical kingdom. The game puts players in the shoes of Aurora, a child stolen from her home, who, in her quest to return, must bring back the sun, the moon and the stars held captive by the mysterious Queen of the Night. Helped by her companion Igniculus the firefly and several unlikely allies, Aurora will face her darkest fears, including dragons and other mystical creatures in this modern take on a coming-of-age story.

“Ubisoft’s strengths include its diversity and the freedom it gives its creative teams,” said Patrick Plourde, Creative Director, Ubisoft. “We want Child of Light to be like a playable poem, a love letter to art and video games."

Child of Light will be releasing in 2014 on the Wii U / PS4 / PS3 / 360 / One / PC.

What do you think, are you ready for a 2D JRPG from Ubisoft?

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Posted: 09/10/13, 22:06:04    
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@Simbabbad No of course it is from the Renaissance era, but what I mean is from the context of how society operates and decisions are made right now, it's still very valid to mention how ridiculously patriarchal many things are. The fact that they used to be on a whole other level doesn't negate that it's still a very valid criticism. I said it in the same way that I would say something like "I wouldn't say game stories are THAT much better than they were in the NES days." And to say society is "more" feminine now isn't really saying much to me when it's still not very feminine at all. Like saying game stories are so much better now when most of them still blow hard.

I don't know if I see the increase in violence actually connected to the more "feminine" society either. I'd say it is more connected to the rise of visual media. Sure you had novels that were gritty in the past, but visual media kind of upped the ante since people could now SEE it, and ever since the introduction of violence in visual media, people have craved more and more extreme acts. Whether it's because society actually wants more extreme violence, or they're just so desensitized to it that what was extreme in the past becomes the new norm, I don't know, but I'd put my money on the latter. I watched Dawn of the Dead for the first time a few years back, a movie that apparently had "shocking" violence at the time, and for me to watch it now the violence is like... very commonplace, almost "boring" violence. Kind of cheesy, too, though it's still a worthwhile movie.

Posted by 
 on: 09/12/13, 21:23:52  - Edited by 
 on: 09/12/13, 21:25:01

I'm not saying your opinion in general is propaganda, but the sentence I quoted certainly is.

Male dominance in itself has nothing to do with what you say, as I said above, there are so many counter examples everywhere in every medium and every time period it's not funny. Even in video games precisely, the medium was much more male oriented when it started in the eighties, both among game creators and game audiences, and none of what you seem to be angry about existed back then, it's a very recent phenomena.

Again, it has much more to do with marketing and immaturity, and has nothing to do with male dominance, as history and plain facts have proved.

Zero said:
The fact that they used to be on a whole other level doesn't negate that it's still a very valid criticism.
Er... yes it does. You really don't seem to understand the giganormous gap there was at other time periods and now in this area, and yet you don't find what angers r_hjort at all in those times, including from all male authors in all male environments in a completely male power. It's simply not true.

Posted by 
 on: 09/12/13, 21:27:48  - Edited by 
 on: 09/12/13, 21:33:42
Simbabbad said:
Even in video games precisely, the medium was much more male oriented when it started in the eighties, both among game creators and game audiences, and none of what you seem to be angry about existed back then, it's a very recent phenomena.

But the industry (at least, consoles and handhelds) used to cater almost primarily to male children, and now it caters to male teenagers and, I guess, male adults. That's an important distinction. At least, the companies like Ubi whom, some Rayman and dancing games aside, have fairly predictable libraries. In fact, this whole Child of Light game existing is a big deal precisely because it's not the kind of thing you expect from Ubi. Like when EA released Henry Hatsworth.

Posted by 
 on: 09/12/13, 21:30:09  - Edited by 
 on: 09/12/13, 21:31:55
Simbabbad said:

I'm not saying your opinion in general is propaganda, but the sentence I quoted certainly is.

Posted by 
 on: 09/12/13, 21:36:34

Again, this is completely false. You had tons of games on 8-bit computers which didn't target kids, and this orientation just wasn't there.

You start from an affirmation that has absolutely no ground in reality, that doesn't fit at all thousands of art history nor even video games, and you try to nitpick to excuse it for not fitting. That's not how it works: you come from reality and form hypothesis from there, you don't start from your hypothesis and try to find excuses for it not fitting reality.

Posted by 
 on: 09/12/13, 21:37:14
The relative improvements in society and the industry does not make my point any less valid, or the power structures in place any less real. Has to do with marketing you say? Sure it has, that's part of it, but who controls the marketing, and who do they aim it primarily towards? If you for whatever reason don't connect the dots the way I do, I don't really care. I'd sooner try to convert the pope to atheism.

Posted by 
 on: 09/12/13, 21:47:06

Well, given the Pope's most recent comments, I'd argue he's the least catholic Pope that we've ever seen...

...but pretty game! I'm glad Ubisoft has the guts to make it.

Posted by 
 on: 09/12/13, 21:57:25
@Simbabbad Yeah but like I said the standards for what extreme violence are change over time too. Remember when Mortal Kombat was this insane, shocking thing that had parents up-in-arms? Does anyone even care about that anymore? Also technology had to get to the point where violence was actually violence, I mean, there were violent games in the past, but who takes them serious as violent games? They're goofy.

I actually kind of wonder if stuff like Castlevania and Contra were considered "violent" at the time. Or Rush N' Attack, which had you running around stabbing everyone with a knife.

I don't have the best sense of the history of violent games, but I think once Doom hit and was a success the future was pretty much sealed.

Posted by 
 on: 09/12/13, 21:57:27  - Edited by 
 on: 09/12/13, 21:58:20

Posted by 
 on: 09/12/13, 22:05:05
r_hjort said:
If you for whatever reason don't connect the dots the way I do...
It's you who don't connect the dots. You connect tiny dots in a tiny area, but you refuse to connect larger, wider dots contradicting your local deductions, you don't even want to see them, you choose deliberately to ignore them. How many women work at Nintendo? How many violent games are made there?

Immature violence in video games have more complex causes than "because it's men".

Posted by 
 on: 09/12/13, 22:08:48
Easy on the strawmanning, champ. I have not once in this thread talked about violence or immaturity. I made it very clear that I am talking about power structures, not subject matter.

Posted by 
 on: 09/12/13, 22:15:34

But that's what it's all about, isn't it? That there is a culture of violence and immaturity in some game developing studios?

Posted by 
 on: 09/12/13, 22:47:11
Diverting from the current tangent that spun-off from a slightly more on-topic tangent...

I think some people are really just influenced by whatever they grew up with and want to do something like that or against that. Even in this case Child of Light is based on the creator's passion for old-school Japanese RPGs. In an alternate universe where RPGs are more mainstream and FPS games are niche it could turn out that Child of Light is the mainstream RPG and someone who grew up enamoured with id's glory day games like Doom and Quake would be doing something radical and different within Ubi by working on Far Cry.

It really depends on the environment of where you work.

Today we also have a lot of issues in the military in terms of how women are treated and how women get sexually assaulted. If you go into a fashion company I'm sure the chances of having sports or FPS talk is down to a minimum (can anyone verify?).

Yes, when you go out into the working world you do expect a certain degree of professionalism. However, the people make the culture of the company. If the company mainly hires an army of party-hard frat boys (who, let's not judge, are certainly capable at their jobs) who just have a passion for making mainstream videogames they enjoyed playing growing up, then mocking a "fairy game" just doesn't seem far fetched. There are certainly people 30 years or older who view stuff like Critter Crunch or Pikmin as gay or a smite on masculinity, even if you expect more tolerance at that age.

But to go back to the original point... people grow up influenced by what they were playing or what they were surrounded by. People that make games that harken back to 2D-era games grew up playing and loving 8-bit and 16-bit stuff or before. Child of Light's creator grew up loving Japanese RPGs. A lot of the current staff at Ubi that are probably referred to just grew up loving stuff like Doom, Quake, Counter-Strike, Halo or whatever (believe it or not... Halo is almost 12 years old now and the people who grew up playing it in high school could very well be out in the professional world).

Posted by 
 on: 09/12/13, 22:48:38  - Edited by 
 on: 09/12/13, 22:53:27
No, I'm talking about how a homogenous industry targeting homogenous audiences result in a homogenous creative output (with homogeny being relative in this context since I can't come up with a better word for it), and how this system feeds itself. What is to be considered violent or immature content, and whether that is a symptom of the system or not is a different matter to me.

I'll just leave this discussion and go back to nitpicking about the game's art style since we're not only disagreeing, but also talking past each other.

Posted by 
 on: 09/12/13, 23:04:49  - Edited by 
 on: 09/12/13, 23:07:22
@CPA Wei I suppose so. It's just a weird idea to me. Like in music, people have asked me before what my influences are, and I can sort of vaguely list some bands (and game soundtracks) that I like that you might find elements of in my music, but ultimately I'm trying to do my own thing. A part of me feels like... shouldn't most people working in the creative industries be like this? I'm not talking about what they're actually working on, per se, because that's often out of their hands, but more like... if they were given the option to work on whatever they wanted, no questions asked, no having to worry about sales numbers, etc., what would they do?

Anyone who says "something very similar to a ton of games out there" is kind of a boring person to me. But that's how it seems to go, I guess.

@r_hjort In regards to this too I think it is important to understand that what exists in any given industry at the time isn't automatically what is best for that industry. Yes, corporations want to appeal to whoever they can to make the most money they can, so we can make the argument "if there were a bigger market for X, Y, or Z they would already be doing it!", but most corporations are also notoriously conservative and tend to stick with what they know works. I think the Wii is a good example of the kind of success you can have by stepping outside of that box, but even that could be argued to have been a reaction to Nintendo "failing" at what was considered to be the mainstream video game market the generation before. If the Gamecube had been a huge success, would we have seen something like the Wii, with the market that the Wii had? Would we even have realized how much more potential the game industry has?

It's also important to remember that most industries don't just cater to demand, because human beings don't actually have as high of a demand as most corporations would like. Most industries create demand, and any industry that gets stuck in the habit of only appealing to the already established userbase is inevitably going to be in trouble if and when that userbase decides to move onto something new. When you have the means and the power to create demand, why not try to expand that? The flipside of this is that we may never really know what the true demand is, because all of these shooters and such get shoved down our thoughts with multi-million dollar marketing budgets so of course most of them sell. I'm not saying they wouldn't sell at all, I'm just saying a certain part of the hype in any industry is created by marketing teams (and in gaming, by the media as well.)

With this in mind, yes, it matters very much that the population of females who play video games is growing disproportionately to the population of females that have the power to greenlight what games get made. Old thoughts and habits die hard.

Posted by 
 on: 09/12/13, 23:18:58  - Edited by 
 on: 09/12/13, 23:30:33
I'm not quite sure what part of my post you're referring to, or if you assume that I'm agreeing or disagreeing with what you're saying, but since this whole can of worms would result in me branching out my concerns to cover the nature of capitalism in general and the treatment of artistical expression as merchandise in particular, and I don't expect that to go down very well around here, I'm just gonna stick with staying out of the whole discussion from now on.

Posted by 
 on: 09/13/13, 00:36:51
I'm basically agreeing with you, and in the process trying to explain why the usual "but the industry is just catering to its market and if there were a bigger market for something else they would already be doing it!" argument that is generally used to refute what you're saying is not completely sound.

The DS and Wii and the failure of most publishers and developers to predict their success in advance both demonstrate how short-sighted the game industry can be at times.

Posted by 
 on: 09/13/13, 00:44:41
Um...back on topic? This game looks pretty cool and I'm intrigued by it. I'll check it out once it releases (and the reviews are positive).

Posted by 
 on: 09/13/13, 03:43:09
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