Old Portrait for Konrad & Li'sar

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Pentarctagon
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Re: Old Portrait for Konrad & Li'sar

Post by Pentarctagon »

Dugi wrote:this game is for players, not for developers.
This game is for everybody, the developers are just the ones who spend their time working on it.
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Re: Old Portrait for Konrad & Li'sar

Post by Velensk »

Much as I don't think that describing the audience for the original style of artwork as "hormone addled teenagers' to be a good claim or worthy of someone attempting to make a point, describing the new portraits as ugly doesn't work either. As I said ealier, I find the new portrait for li'sar at least, to be far more attractive than the strange colorless thing the other one was (though as I said there, I don't think the new one particularly matches the way she was written before).

I don't think that any amount of new artwork could make HttT feel even remotely game of thrones-esk as long as it keeps the same plot or even a hint of the same style of writing. Of course, I wouldn't describe HttT as having any kind of 'faerie tale' feel to it so perhaps we got something different out of it. Kinda gets at how subjective this whole nonsense is.

Speaking as someone who works on games as a hobby, I would say that any game is definitely the developer(s)'s. Why make games if not to have a game that is the way you want them? If you want games the way other people want them there's plenty out there, frequently including many that are free. Of course, if you make a game that nobody else likes then you likely won't have many people to play with but if your tastes are unusual you may not have another option. When the metal strikes, the people who make things happen are the one whose subjective opinion is more powerful. I don't complain about your campaigns though they aren't at all to my taste (though I will say, I found the effort put into them to be impressive) nor claim that they should be for me or built to my specifications. I think it's a part of a creators due to be able to say "this is how I want it and so this is how it'll be" and not have to deal constantly with everyone who disagrees.
"There are two kinds of old men in the world. The kind who didn't go to war and who say that they should have lived fast died young and left a handsome corpse and the old men who did go to war and who say that there is no such thing as a handsome corpse."

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Aldarisvet
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Re: Old Portrait for Konrad & Li'sar

Post by Aldarisvet »

Heh, relax Dugi.
Since it is open project, everyone can just do this:

http://i.memecaptain.com/gend_images/tREcwQ.jpg

:D :D :D

You can even create your own game source with your own mainline campaigns. Since Wesnoth is not copyright-protected and considered as 'nearly finished' the only thing that would have importance is an attention you could get to your own version.
So with some effort anyone can take away 'the power' from authoritarian devs, but in fact no one just care to do it (and I really doubt ever will).
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Re: Old Portrait for Konrad & Li'sar

Post by johndh »

Are people seriously suggesting that the new Li'sar, the one who looks like a young Cate Blanchett, is ugly? Maybe she looks a bit stern because she's in combat instead of a fashion show.
Dugi wrote:It sounds like a nice way to tell: We are the bosses here, we decide. You are the minority.
To be fair, their opinions are the only ones that matter. The devs owe nothing to the players. All of the content in the game is there because somebody learned the skills and made it happen. If you want the content to reflect your desires, then you can learn the skills and make it happen just like they did. As with other FOSS projects, you can contribute, you can mod, or you can fork. Compare that to non-free software, where your options usually are 1.) deal with it, or 2.) kick rocks.
It's spelled "definitely", not "definately". "Defiantly" is a different word entirely.

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Iris
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Re: Old Portrait for Konrad & Li'sar

Post by Iris »

Dugi wrote:I know that the other position has a background, but I feel that the other position is being belittled. It's not about anime, it's about the fairy tale mood changing to Game of Thrones mood filled with ugly people (though the latter concerns DiD more than HttT).
Okay, let me make this clearer: I’m not belittling anime fans* or hormonal male teenagers in general, I’m belittling self-entitled people who insist that every fictional character in the game has to adhere to their standards. There’s no practical reason for us to compromise our artistic vision and bend down to appease a crowd that promotes a toxic and unrealistic perception of the world; if we were that desperate to increase our number of players we might as well make an erotic game of some sort instead.

* My bad for addressing both fans of the cookie-cutter anime aesthetic (which is, by the way, still bland and generic) and people who consider the new Konrad and Li’sar “ugly”, in the same paragraph.

EDIT: Also, I have to insist that our artists’ opinions have far greater weight than our developers’ for matters like these. For example, it isn’t obvious to people who weren’t there at the time, but the new portrait style (and [message] UI) was developed during 1.5.x following our (at the time) active artists’ instructions and preferences. And yes, we might not have any artists constantly working on stuff right now (although it’d be a grave mistake to disregard LordBob’s contributions throughout 1.11.x and now 1.13.x) but that doesn’t mean that our past artists’ work isn’t any less important and defining for Wesnoth. Likewise, the cookie-cutter anime aesthetic worked well at the time (0.x - 1.0.x) and it did gain us an audience back when cross-platform gaming was barely a thing, so we are just as thankful for fmunoz’ and Jetrel’s work on that front as we are for their successors. It just wouldn’t cut it now that the market is oversaturated with games sharing the same aesthetic for time/money reasons.
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zookeeper
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Re: Old Portrait for Konrad & Li'sar

Post by zookeeper »

I feel like pointing out that while the whole "developers do the work so they get to decide" thing might be a decent approximation most of the time, it's still very much a simplification. There's no hivemind which guarantees agreement between developers about whether something should be done about X, how Y should be done and who gets to decide Z.

That said, in this particular case I seem to recall the consensus being rather strong. And the thing is that you can't really do volunteer work if you have to consciously make decisions which you yourself feel are simply bad (probably goes doubly for artists), even if a large portion of the audience would prefer it that way... especially when it'd be extremely difficult to feel assured that any poll results one might be able to gather would actually be representative of the whole playerbase. So it's not about developers' opinions being more correct or important per se, but more like developers just having to do what they think is best, because what else can you do?

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Re: Old Portrait for Konrad & Li'sar

Post by Pentarctagon »

shadowm wrote:we might as well make an erotic game of some sort instead.
Which, perhaps a bit ironically, was actually suggested(NSFW) at some point though I as far as I can tell the forum topic has since been deleted.
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ekeron
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Re: Old Portrait for Konrad & Li'sar

Post by ekeron »

If it's worth anything, I've recently played through the campaign and I like the new portraits. The old ones certainly weren't bad but the new ones are just :shock:.

The new portrait for Li'sar certainly fits her better. I imagine her as being a military commander first and a princess second. The new portrait makes her look like a warrior princess where as, in the old one, she looked like somebody that would probably prefer to be at a castle. I can imagine the new Li'sar stubornly chasing Konad through the north lands much more.

However, I do feel that Konrad and Li'sar seem immature now. Li'sar's goes from hating him to being his ally too quickly. She did try to get him killed by undead hordes right after he spared her life. Maybe showing she has doubts about Konrad right from the beginning?

The real issue for me was with Konrad and Delfador. Since he's older now, maybe he shouldn't defer to Delfador so much. It makes it look like Delfador is the real leader and Konrad is just a figurehead, especially considering the truth about who Konrad is.

Are there any plans to comb over the writing of httt? Maybe just have Konrad make his own decisions more often. Right now, it feels like his interactions with Li'sar are the only times he actually makes his own decisions. The rest of the time, Delfador is the one making decisions. While I understand that Delfador is an advisor, Konrad should be shown o decide things on his own more often. Particularly after the siege of Elensefar.
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Re: Old Portrait for Konrad & Li'sar

Post by Whiskeyjack »

Turuk did a whole load of work on a HttT rework (you can see some of the discussions around it here) but all that work only got him into the second scenario and AFAIK the project is abandoned again as of now (though I don´t know where Turuk vanished too, perhaps the devs know more about that).
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Re: Old Portrait for Konrad & Li'sar

Post by Iris »

Whiskeyjack wrote:Turuk did a whole load of work on a HttT rework (you can see some of the discussions around it here) but all that work only got him into the second scenario and AFAIK the project is abandoned again as of now (though I don´t know where Turuk vanished too, perhaps the devs know more about that).
He dropped by for a short while and then disappeared without notice. It’s a thing he does from time to time, like some kind of superhero.
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Re: Old Portrait for Konrad & Li'sar

Post by Dugi »

shadowm wrote:He dropped by for a short while and then disappeared without notice.
His signature tells that he's travelling until September 29 and that date has not come yet. No idea where on Mars is that place that takes so much time to visit, though.

I am beginning to notice that Li'sar ugliness is perceived only by me. Still, she is not seen as beautiful by many.
shadowm wrote:There’s no practical reason for us to compromise our artistic vision and bend down to appease a crowd that promotes a toxic and unrealistic perception of the world; if we were that desperate to increase our number of players...
If a film contains a pretty actress in an important role, is it a toxic and unrealistic perception of the world? If a music band has a pretty female member, do they bend down to appease a crowd? When a campaign contains topless female demon sprites and portraits, is it desperately trying to increase its number of players?
shadowm wrote:if we were that desperate to increase our number of players we might as well make an erotic game of some sort instead.
It's like comparing this rock band's appearance to this rock band's (the second is slightly NSFW). In both cases, there is some female attractiveness involved, but still there is a huge difference.
shadowm wrote:It just wouldn’t cut it now that the market is oversaturated with games sharing the same aesthetic for time/money reasons.
Being different doesn't necessarily mean being better. For example in science, being too far away from mainstream is usually pretty bad for everyone.
I don't like the cookie-cutter first person shooter games and the mainstream radio-friendly pop/rap/soul music is driving me mad. But mainstream is bad does not apply everywhere and I have not seen a reason why it should apply in this case too.

@ekeron
Do you think that changing the dialogues to make Konrad sound more mature is a good idea? The campaign serves as an introduction where you learn about the game, he should be given advice from Delfador because the player is supposed to need advice. It would be ridiculous if Konrad gave advice to himself. When I added a tutorial to LotI, I had to change the main character's personality to a silly spoilt noble (that does not go ideally with his portrait) who grew wiser during a pause shortly later. Maybe the devs figured out something better. Maybe Konrad could be greatly experienced in civil rights or programming in Haskell but not in warfare, because was expected to get to the throne without bloodshed.
You know Konrad, the strategy to defeat these orcs is like currying the partial application of arrays of lambda functors. -Delfador the Great giving advice to Konrad, the Haskell expert

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Re: Old Portrait for Konrad & Li'sar

Post by Pentarctagon »

I feel like we're going off on a bit of a tangent. Ultimately the question isn't whether or not they're ugly, or if Wesnoth's process of adding new art is elitist, the question is whether or not the new portraits are better than the old portraits. And I think the best way to answer that is to ask whether or not their new portraits better fit their perceived role in the campaign.

For example, if Li'sar is meant to be more of a Fire Emblem-type mercenary, then the old portrait works well. If she's supposed to be the commander of an army, then I would say the new portraits are much better.

Personally, I think the biggest problem is that the sprite of Li'sar seems to have lost her thigh armor at some point.
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Re: Old Portrait for Konrad & Li'sar

Post by Velensk »

I've already expressed my opinion on that one but since you bring it up I'll explain why I think the old ones fits better even though I like the new ones much more.

Basically, I've never been able to take either Konrad or Li'sar seriously.

Dugi asks erekron whether or not it's a good idea to make Konrad sound more mature as he feels it makes sense for Konrad to be receiving advice from Defeldor but I think the desire to do this comes from other people having a similar opinion to me- that Konrad does not give the impression of being fit for military command- even as a figure head-. This particularly at the start of the campaign (he does get better later but never to the point where I'd feel confident following his orders). It's perfectly acceptable to have advisors and ask advice from them but he wears his doubt and inexperience on his sleeve and that is unacceptable. Maybe if it was more obvious that he was expressing his doubts in private it'd be better but at one point it's quite obvious that it isn't the case when at one point a generic army unit intervenes to reassure it's 'leader'.

Li'sar gives a similar impression to me for a different reason. Rather than giving the impression of naive doubt, she gives the impression of naive rashness. The story tells us that she's apparently one of Ashivere's greatest commanders but the only thing that really supports this is the fact that the level she is in is slightly more difficult than most in the campaign (which in a game actually is one of the best ways to demonstrate this). Not only is she written as being somewhat brash and arrogant but many of her military decisions are extremely questionable. When the enemy army is leaving Wesnoth to go into the dangerous northlands where they'll have to deal with orcs and outlaws and all kinds of monsters that'll weaken them for her, she not only chases after them but does so incompetently and in a way that loses the vast majority of her army. She sends her armies into a river full of sea monsters, then somehow fails to catch up with Konrad while his troops are making their winter quarters, and by the time she does catch him she's down to two of her royal guards and a fraction of the gold (forces) she met him at the river with. I think if I were one of her sub-commanders around the time she is about to order us into a massive tunnel complex filled with trolls and undead, after leading us through a valley with 5 orc tribes making a blood bath, I would be considering throwing her into the hole, leading whomever is left back, and explaining to Ashivere that the trolls got her [not that I'd expect this approach to save me personally but it still might be better in the long run].

Now, neither of these issues is a big deal to me as I'm always aware that I am playing a game and I'm fine with that. It doesn't bother me too much to not take the characters or story seriously so long as I enjoy the challenge. That said, some games try to make you take them seriously even when you aren't inclined to do so and it can be distracting. The new Li'sar portrait actually looks kind of like a person, and what's more, it looks like a practical person with a sense of dignity. As such, it's more distracting when I see that portrait giving the line "I surrender! Don't hurt me, Imposter." after you've slaughtered her whole army. Also, the portrait gives the impression of her being a solid beefy fighter rather than the agile but frail type her unit is (and the sprite with skimpy armor). When the whole thing is obviously supposed to be stylized then it's easier to either ignore or accept it.
"There are two kinds of old men in the world. The kind who didn't go to war and who say that they should have lived fast died young and left a handsome corpse and the old men who did go to war and who say that there is no such thing as a handsome corpse."

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Re: Old Portrait for Konrad & Li'sar

Post by Iris »

Dugi wrote:If a film contains a pretty actress in an important role, is it a toxic and unrealistic perception of the world?
Depends on the context. Did they choose the actress because of her skills or because of her appearance? Does the role actually work better with this specific actress? (Alternatively: would the film have been better if they had chosen a less conventionally “pretty” actress for the role instead?) Are the role’s physical requirements actually necessary for it to work? Et cetera. This isn’t a black and white matter. Very often, however, you’ll find that the creative industry does indeed go overboard and use sex appeal as a money-making device, either subtly or blatantly. I’m not the first or the last person to point this out, so hopefully you’ll spare me the full essay and do some research of your own if you are legitimately curious or surprised by this revelation.

And guess what, we don’t make money from this game, so we quite certainly don’t need to make all our campaign protagonists into generic anachronistic supermodels without due justification. And in this case, there certainly isn’t any.
Dugi wrote:Being different doesn't necessarily mean being better. For example in science, being too far away from mainstream is usually pretty bad for everyone.
Okay...?
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Re: Old Portrait for Konrad & Li'sar

Post by Caladbolg »

Firstly, I don't think that labeling people as "hormonal teenagers" or accusing them of promoting "toxic perception of the world" is helpful considering that there are valid arguments for why new portraits have replaced the old ones. Someone preferring old portraits because they find them more aesthetically pleasing doesn't make them sexist (even if they only felt that way about Li'sar, which was not the case here), it just means that they have a different taste. And I'm quite sure that people are capable of distinguishing fantasy from the reality to some extent (at least I haven't seen anyone killing people to gain experience lately :P ).

On to the topic. I think that new Li'sar is much more attractive and a much better portrait as far as quality goes, even if I personally like the old one better (anime fan here). However, just like Velensk said that he thinks the old portraits fit better because he cannot take Konrad and Li'sar seriously, I think the new ones fit better because it would be very jarring if amidst all the realistic portraits we had two anime style portraits. As for how well the new portraits match the personalities of Konrad and Li'sar, it was mentioned that Turuk is reworking HttT and that Li'sar will probably be depicted as an experienced warrior and a capable battle commander as opposed to her previous depiction as a childish and brash skirmirsher. There is also a thread in the Writers' Forum on Li'sar's characterization so there will likely be improvements on that front as well. And if the dialogues are going to be rewritten, then the conflict between depiction and personality should disappear anyways.

As Dugi mentioned, the artwork style before seemed to be "anything goes" and I remember there being a lot of portraits with very different styles. As the development of the game continued, there was a need to make portrait styles more consistent across the campaigns. Considering that LordBob and kitty were the ones providing the highest quality portraits and raised the bar pretty high, their style became "the standard". As such, newer portraits were made with this more realistic style.

I browsed through the thread on the HttT portraits and it seems there was a very strong concensus that the new portraits are a good replacement for the old ones. Now, you may say that opinions on that thread are not representative of the whole community, but what were the developers supposed to do? Who were they supposed to ask and whose opinions would be representative of the whole community? I'd imagine that those who feel strongly about artwork would check the art forums and voice their opinions. The vast majority of those that responded said that the new portraits were better (and I don't see anyone explicitly stating that they prefer the old ones).

On the topic of how the portraits affect the popularity of the game, again, I think the new ones are better. Yes, the old ones have something endearing to them but I recognize that I might be biased here. Wesnoth has an obvious "medieval fantasy" setting and many people who play it probably like that setting and would prefer portraits that suit it (new ones). Additionally, while it seems that the number of people who like anime is growing, I don't think that there is yet a significant number of people who would prefer anime style.

Anyways, sorry for the long rant, just some thoughts...

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