Why women criticise sexualised character designs |OT2| I have no pants and I must scream (READ OP)

SapphiCine

Member
Oct 25, 2017
821
I've been playing the board game Gloomhaven a lot lately. And since its Early Access video game adaptation is around the corner, I wanted to talk about how outstanding its female character design was (at least in the board game... I guess we'll see how it turns out for the video game version).

Honestly, the art is so great! Especially when there are sill a lot of fantasy board games with the "boobs out, no pants" syndrome (looking at you Middara and Mage Knight).

Gloomhaven's character design is so varied and interesting:












Isaac Childres, Gloomhaven's creator, talked about his ideas about female character designs in a very interesting blog post called "Realistic depictions of women in fantasy":








Of course nothing is perfect, but the representation of women in the fantasy world of Gloomhaven has certainly been a huge step forward, especially considering how popular the game turned out to be. And it certainly puts some newer games to shame. It was bothering me a lot before, but now after playing Gloomhaven I just cannot stomach artwork like in Middara anymore.
Middara is nothing compared to Kingdom Death: Monster. The designs for Gloomhaven are a great stepforward and I know the game designer intentionally wanted tasteful character designs.
Been playing Bloodstained. Found it funny Miriam has such a large chest but whatever.

Then the combat nun in high heels also with a large chest popped up.

Fun game though. Best Castlevania is awhile
I'm interested in the game but the designs for the women leave a lot to be desired. :\
 

sabrina

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,778
newport beach, CA
Yes, exactly

Well I mean the 2 main female characters (as far as I know) are D cups so yeah
For the size of their frames, they're both well beyond D cups.

Miriam's costume is annoying because nobody would choose to run around fighting in that unless it was for a joke, but at least it does look like a realistic dress that she may wear for fun. Dominique's "habit" is so laughably bad though because there's no context that it makes sense in except porn parody videos. It looks like dominatrix gear that was ever so slightly made to be nun themed.
 

Mesoian

Member
Oct 28, 2017
7,323
For the size of their frames, they're both well beyond D cups.

Miriam's costume is annoying because nobody would choose to run around fighting in that unless it was for a joke, but at least it does look like a realistic dress that she may wear for fun. Dominique's "habit" is so laughably bad though because there's no context that it makes sense in except porn parody videos. It looks like dominatrix gear that was ever so slightly made to be nun themed.
And remember, their 3 sizes were even crazier at some point in development and they were toned DOWN.
 

SOLDIER

Member
Oct 26, 2017
5,208
Been playing Bloodstained. Found it funny Miriam has such a large chest but whatever.

Then the combat nun in high heels also with a large chest popped up.

Fun game though. Best Castlevania is awhile
Was going to mention Miriam since I started playing the game too.

I like her a whole lot because she establishes what I said before: she has a sexy design with big knockers, but there are other aspects of her design that keep her chest from being the sole eye-catching attribute. She also has a cool-headed personality that isn't quite Bayonetta but still let's her throw the occasional shade (plus a dedicated JoJo button) and pretty much dictates respect from every other character. None of this "don't you just want to protect her?" BS.

It's the happy medium of giving sex appeal to a character without having them defined by it.
 

sabrina

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,778
newport beach, CA
And remember, their 3 sizes were even crazier at some point in development and they were toned DOWN.
Yeah. They also all have incredibly forgettable faces. There's a place in the game where you can change Miriam's hairstyle and hair color, and it makes her look like a completely different person.

But I'm not ultimately gonna make too many bones about a game where the male character designs got shafted too. They're horrible across the board. Lucky the game is still really fun.

I think this character useless chains everywhere, unnecessarily exposed chest, and are those stickers plastered on his outfit? lol
 

hikarutilmitt

Member
Dec 16, 2017
2,383
Amusingly I'm still wondering if that's how big she actually is, since she's almost always arching her back and making her chest stick out more. I was under the impression that was why they are kind of in your face.

Dominique aka Sexy Nun Queen Exorcist is kind of shameful. There's nothing about her design that doesn't scream fetish in the weirdest ways. If she had glasses it would push it even further over the top, and I'm willing to be she had them at one point. Jesus I just double checked because I couldn't remember if she has them or not and she actually does.
 

Biestmann

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,411
I guess I am the outlier then, as I am quite fond of Miriam's design. The great artstyle doesn't do any harm either. I've seen some posters compare her to Castlevania's Shanoa, but I just don't see it. Colors aside, they have about nothing in common.


Well, while I think Miriam looks great, I won't defend Dominique. Her design is downright awful. I wouldn't mind if we don't see her again.
 

Pilgrimzero

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,074
I guess I am the outlier then, as I am quite fond of Miriam's design. The great artstyle doesn't do any harm either. I've seen some posters compare her to Castlevania's Shanoa, but I just don't see it. Colors aside, they have about nothing in common.


Well, while I think Miriam looks great, I won't defend Dominique. Her design is downright awful. I wouldn't mind if we don't see her again.
It’s a fine design I just think they could have given her smaller boobs and it would look better.
 

Static_Void

Member
Oct 30, 2018
1,738
north of the Dreamlands
Middara is nothing compared to Kingdom Death: Monster. The designs for Gloomhaven are a great stepforward and I know the game designer intentionally wanted tasteful character designs.
Oh really? I heard of Kingdom Death but my interest quickly waned when I learned that I would need close to a second mortgage to afford it. So I didn’t really researched the art. Its women characters design is not good?
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,573
Yeah. They also all have incredibly forgettable faces. There's a place in the game where you can change Miriam's hairstyle and hair color, and it makes her look like a completely different person.

But I'm not ultimately gonna make too many bones about a game where the male character designs got shafted too. They're horrible across the board. Lucky the game is still really fun.

I think this character useless chains everywhere, unnecessarily exposed chest, and are those stickers plastered on his outfit? lol
The game is so bizarre lol. Examining the artwork/style with any form of scrutiny makes it look like complete trash (look at his left hand ffs...) but whenever I'm actually playing the game it just feels beautiful and coherent. But yeah, everything on its own kinda looks like ass.
 

Mr_Antimatter

Member
Oct 28, 2017
706
I love Mariam’s design and the game itself, but it’s obvious it was designed to sell figures. Only the exorcist lady and her dress like that, all other ladies in the game are wearing more period clothing.

We’ll save for some demon women. They are even more shameless in terms of T and A.
 

SOLDIER

Member
Oct 26, 2017
5,208
I love Mariam’s design and the game itself, but it’s obvious it was designed to sell figures. Only the exorcist lady and her dress like that, all other ladies in the game are wearing more period clothing.

We’ll save for some demon women. They are even more shameless in terms of T and A.
I don't want spoilers, but I'm hoping Dominique is a hidden playable character or something.

I can easily buy the outfit if she's portrayed as an over-the-top demon slayer sent from the church like the dude from Hellsing.

I think the main character designs are all cute and indicative of the series it's succeeding.
 

Astartes

Avenger
Nov 12, 2017
1,717
Terra
I love Mariam’s design and the game itself, but it’s obvious it was designed to sell figures. Only the exorcist lady and her dress like that, all other ladies in the game are wearing more period clothing.

We’ll save for some demon women. They are even more shameless in terms of T and A.
Dominique’s design doesn’t seem to be standard Catholic Church nun attire.
 

Mesoian

Member
Oct 28, 2017
7,323
Zangetsu smolders with generic rage for most of the game.
The game is so bizarre lol. Examining the artwork/style with any form of scrutiny makes it look like complete trash (look at his left hand ffs...) but whenever I'm actually playing the game it just feels beautiful and coherent. But yeah, everything on its own kinda looks like ass.
It's an igavania to be sure. It's greatness comes as a sum of it's parts, but those parts taken individually, and this goes for all the igavania games, not just bloodstained, can look pretty skewed, iffy, or even problematic.

Like, the Portrait games are REALLY good. Why are there demon maid enemies? Would the game be any different if they weren't there? Is the game worse because they are? Look at Zangetsu. What is that design? Why is it so Chunni and smoldering with indiscriminate sexy rage? These are all...questions. But in the madness of each games' individual castles, it works, and that's a credit to Iga.

But yeah, it's...weird.
 

Static_Void

Member
Oct 30, 2018
1,738
north of the Dreamlands
Took much modern JRPG inspiration, complete with bad outfits and/or poorly fitting character designs for the women only (shoutout to just what the heck up with Shayliss' hips)
Yeah, those hips definitely worry me.

Oh...it's a boardgame solely using pinup art huh?
Well... let’s just say that every single woman character or female monster is so heavily sexualized, it’s not even funny.





As fun as the game seems to be, I can’t believe people are throwing huge sums of money at something like that in 2019.
 
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sabrina

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,778
newport beach, CA
Where are her pants? Was she such in a hurry this morning that she got out of the house with only her tights?
Where are her pants. Why is she in high heels? How does she even put those shoes on? Why is her garter showing? Why doesn't her "dress" come all the way, or even three quarters of the way around? Why is there exposed stitching/lacing on the sides of the dress that just show off more of her bodysuit(?) up her torso? Why is her collar/guimpe split down the middle as if it's specifically designed to emphasize her breasts instead of minimizing them? Why is her dress sewn so tight around the upper torso that she has a veritable boob socket? Why is she wearing gold? Why does she have such long hair? Why is she wearing a tiny hat instead of any sort of veil, hood or headdress? Where is her rosary or other religious iconography/spiritual implements?

Every single part of her design deliberately misinterprets the nun concept to make it "sexy". But it's like what a thirteen year old boy finds sexy because he has no taste and all he knows is the taboo.
 

Sacul64

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,427
Yeah. They also all have incredibly forgettable faces. There's a place in the game where you can change Miriam's hairstyle and hair color, and it makes her look like a completely different person.

But I'm not ultimately gonna make too many bones about a game where the male character designs got shafted too. They're horrible across the board. Lucky the game is still really fun.

I think this character useless chains everywhere, unnecessarily exposed chest, and are those stickers plastered on his outfit? lol
Stickers?


Pretty sure those are often used In Anime and other things as a way to ward off evil, Isn't he the character that gets Cursed during Curse of the Moon?
 

Redcrayon

Zoinks!
Moderator
Oct 27, 2017
5,611
UK
Where are her pants. Why is she in high heels? How does she even put those shoes on? Why is her garter showing? Why doesn't her "dress" come all the way, or even three quarters of the way around? Why is there exposed stitching/lacing on the sides of the dress that just show off more of her bodysuit(?) up her torso? Why is her collar/guimpe split down the middle as if it's specifically designed to emphasize her breasts instead of minimizing them? Why is her dress sewn so tight around the upper torso that she has a veritable boob socket? Why is she wearing gold? Why does she have such long hair? Why is she wearing a tiny hat instead of any sort of veil, hood or headdress? Where is her rosary or other religious iconography/spiritual implements?

Every single part of her design deliberately misinterprets the nun concept to make it "sexy". But it's like what a thirteen year old boy finds sexy because he has no taste and all he knows is the taboo.
I feel like, after they had stuck a ‘sexy maid’ design on Miriam, they realised that they still had so many character design tropes to cram in and not enough ‘sexy young woman’ characters, so they all ended up on this one.

As you point out, there’s a lot of stuff that doesn’t make any sense aside from detached sexualisation.

Just to touch on another aspect of design here, colour palette and where the eye is drawn, the greatest contrast is between the garter and her leggings/leotard. As opposed to her silly top-thing/face/hair all being fairly bright. I can only assume that’s deliberate to draw the eye to her thighs/crotch, as otherwise it’s quite a large element to be such a contrasting spot colour, and too small to be a major element of the design.
 
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sabrina

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,778
newport beach, CA
I feel like, after they had stuck a ‘sexy maid’ design on Miriam, they realised that they still had so many character design tropes to cram in and not enough ‘sexy young woman’ characters, so they all ended up on this one.

As you point out, there’s a lot of stuff that doesn’t make any sense aside from detached sexualisation.

Just to touch on another aspect of design here, colour palette and where the eye is drawn, the greatest contrast Isn between the garter and her leggings/leotard. As opposed to her silly top-thing/face/hair all being fairly bright. I can only assume that’s deliberate to draw the eye to her thighs/crotch, as otherwise it’s quite a large element to be such a contrasting spot colour, and too small to be a major element of the design.
Right. Between the white being the brightest, most eye-catching part of the design, and having literal arrows pointing to her tits and crotch, and then having her face covered up. There's absolutely zero subtlety.



Stickers?


Pretty sure those are often used In Anime and other things as a way to ward off evil, Isn't he the character that gets Cursed during Curse of the Moon?
I know what ofuda are. I wasn't aware of a trend of sticking them haphazardly all over your body like you're a common graffiti destination. That seems so tacky.
 

Sacul64

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,427
Right. Between the white being the brightest, most eye-catching part of the design, and having literal arrows pointing to her tits and crotch, and then having her face covered up. There's absolutely zero subtlety.




I know what ofuda are. I wasn't aware of a trend of sticking them haphazardly all over your body like you're a common graffiti destination. That seems so tacky.
I mean I assumed he did it since he got cursed in the 2d vania game but after play more I cant even tell if that game is in the canon so I'm just confused now.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,383
Australia
I mostly wouldn't mind Miriam's design as a cool fantasy demon hunter thing if she just had some pants.

Dominique though, yeesh

I mean I assumed he did it since he got cursed in the 2d vania game but after play more I cant even tell if that game is in the canon so I'm just confused now.
Curse of the Moon was initially pitched as a prequel, but the actual released game is basically just an alternate universe take on Bloodstained unrelated to the plot of the main game
 

SapphiCine

Member
Oct 25, 2017
821
The first time I saw Dominique’s design, during development, I groaned and lost some interest in the game. Miriam's design isn't that egregious but what bothers me the most is the pose they put her in for the one full body shot. It makes her look submissive and cutesy.
 

Shingi_70

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,354
Does this thread have a related discord channel?

I haven’t played bloodstained yet, but I like the MC’s design, however if you don’t at least there seems to be customization?
 

Biestmann

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,411
Does this thread have a related discord channel?

I haven’t played bloodstained yet, but I like the MC’s design, however if you don’t at least there seems to be customization?
Customization doesn't really fix the outfit for those taking issue with it. You can customize hairstyle and skin, hair, eye and outfit colors, but the outfit itself will always be that.